“That kid’s really tall, why doesn’t he play basketball?”
“I would be good at basketball if I was tall.”
These are just some of the things you commonly hear from the common basketball fan. Notions such as these are nothing more than myths being proven wrong by guys like Kay Felder.
Standing at 5’9″, Kay Felder has beaten the odds to make it this far. And you can expect him to keep beating those odds in the NBA. Another player standing at equivalent height is fellow lefty and Celtics all-star, Isaiah Thomas. Clearly Thomas has been a success in the NBA and gives good reason to believe Felder will be too.
Let’s take a look at Felder up to this point and see how he stacks up against Thomas.
In their final college seasons Thomas put up averages of about 17 points and 6 assists per game at Washington, while Felder produced just above 24 points and 9 assists per game for Oakland.
To me we can just end the conversation right there and get the gist that Felder can flat out play. I remember when I first heard about him. I looked at those numbers and my first thought was: what’s his shooting percentage? For the season he shot a respectable 44% from the field (almost exactly what Thomas shot in his final season at 44.5%). My next thought was: is his team winning? Sure enough his team finished second in the Horizon League.
So he can score efficiently, distribute, and win all at the same time. Maybe he’s just not playing very good teams? (In a Donald Trump voice) wrong!
Against the current #1 team in the country, Michigan State, Felder scorched the Spartans with 37 points and 9 assists to force Izzo’s team to have to win in overtime.
Fast-forward to the NBA draft combine, Felder tied for the second highest vertical jump in NBA combine history at 44 inches. Again, another category he has Thomas beat in so far. Not to mention that he’s also more built that him too. Not to say Thomas is weak because that dude’s an absolute bull, but Felder has the wider frame.
I guess it was just meant to be for him to get drafted late second round with the 54th pick just so there could be another similarity between he and Thomas, who was chosen 60th. I can honestly say at the time of the draft I would have taken him in the first round if I were a GM. I mean, look at the comparisons he has to a current all-star. He’s basically the same guy with possibly more potential. How does a guy like that get passed on for that long?
Though he’s not going to be starting over Kyrie Irving, hopefully he can start getting some extended minutes. If his Isaiah Thomas trend continues we should be in for some real fun basketball.