TBG Player Previews 2016-2017: Sean Kilpatrick

(AP Photo/R Brent Smith)

Sean Kilpatrick (AP Photo/R Brent Smith)

Sean Kilpatrick, guard/forward

2015-2016: 23.2 MPG, 13.8 PPG, 1.1 APG, 2.2 RPG, .462 FG%, .36 3P%, .898 FT%, .578 TS%, .532 eFG%, 23 G

Who is Sean Kilpatrick?

Despite playing only 35 NBA games over the past two seasons, Sean Kilpatrick could be a key piece to the Brooklyn Nets this season. Kilpatrick, an undrafted shooting guard from the University of Cincinnati in 2014, showed promise for the Nets after they signed him out of the D-League. Only 26 years-old, the 6’4” Yonkers native must have felt like he aged five years in his first fifteen months as a professional. Persevering through roster cuts and 10-day contracts, Kilpatrick took his knocks and made ten different stints with various teams in the NBA Summer League and D-League, including three separate stints with Delaware 87ers. When he was available on February 28th this past winter, the newly hired general manager Sean Marks made Kilpatrick his first acquisition of his tenure and, so far, it’s paid off.

At Cincinnati, Kilpatrick finished second on the all-time scoring list in school history, only trailing some guy named Oscar Robertson. After averaging 20.6 points his senior season, the sharpshooter was named to the AP Consensus All-American Second Team along with Andrew Wiggins, and Nik Stauskas, and was one of ten semi-finalists for the Naismith Player of the Year Award in 2014.

On the funner side of things, Kilpatrick has a leg-up in the mentoring department as his cousin is ex-New York Yankee and future Hall-of-Fame shortstop, Derek Jeter. Kilpatrick once said this about the New York icon:

“It’s good to be close to home and be able to have a guy like that, especially of his stature to really come out and show the support that he’s been showing me for years.”

2015-2016 Recap:

Before he found security with the Nets last year, Kilpatrick had played/signed/appeared with the Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors, Santa Cruz Warriors, Delaware 87ers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Milwaukee Bucks, New Orleans Pelicans, the 87ers again, Denver Nuggets, and the 87ers once more time since he went undrafted.

Yeah, that’s a journey.

After surviving two 10-day contracts with the Nets, Kilpatrick joined the franchise permanently on a multi-year deal. The Nets needed a gunner from beyond the arc and with veterans like Wayne Ellington slumping, Joe Johnson bought out, Jarrett Jack and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson recovering from major injuries, and Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young shut down throughout parts of Kilpatrick’s late-season tenure, he had the absolute greenest of lights.

Kilpatrick shot 36% from three with Brooklyn, firing 4.2 attempts a game as the trainwreck Nets tried whatever they could to stay afloat in games. The blonde-haired assassin scored a career-high 26 points on 10-18 shooting on April 10th against the Indiana Pacers — oh, and the Nets lost that game by 24.

What does Kilpatrick bring to the table?

In 2016, it was three-point shooting and Kilpatrick hit more than one in 12 of his 23 games with Brooklyn. But in 2017? With a more fleshed-out and healthy roster, Kilpatrick is going to find it hard even making it on the court, as exhibited by Kenny Atkinson’s preseason rotation. For now, it appears as if Joe Harris has leap frogged Kilpatrick for now, which doesn’t bode well for a shooter that’s got to shoot.

Even in preseason, he struggled to get his shot to fall and when he tried to do much else, it didn’t go well for Kilpatrick. As it stands, however, he’s one of the team’s best dead-eye shooters, so we still expect him to get the opportunity — but it’s highly likely that he just won’t play enough defense for Atkinson’s hard-nose, effort-based system.

The Kilpatrick Highlight Reel Theater:

Fill ’em up, Skillpatrick.

The Bottom Line:

Randy Foye, Bojan Bogdanovic, and the aforementioned Harris will all get burn at shooting guard while Atkinson searches for offensive fire power on a nightly basis. Kilpatrick, albeit in just 23 games, showed more consistency shooting the ball from the perimeter than Bogdanovic has in two full seasons — but is that enough to make a difference? Defense and improved shot selection will be a key factors in Kilpatrick continuing to get extended minutes, but his ability to score in bunches and long-range prowess should give him plenty of looks off the bench … streaky pre-season withstanding.

The Brooklyn Game Player Previews: Jorge GutiérrezEgidijus Mockevicius, Yogi Ferrell, Chase BudingerBeau Beech

Jeremy Lin, Isaiah Whitehead, Caris LeVert, Greivis Vasquez

Joe Harris, Randy Foye, Bojan Bogdanovic

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

Anthony Bennett