The Brooklyn Nets drafted rookie Chris McCullough with the 29th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, hoping they'd get a steal. In that, McCullough, who stands at 6'11", was supposed to have been a Lottery selection coming out of Syracuse, had it not been for the ACL injury he suffered back in January. Still, if he can work out to become the "next" Tim Duncan then, well, they certainly will have a steal on their hands.
McCullough, speaking with SiriusXM NBA on Monday afternoon, said that there are two big men in the NBA who he patterns his game after, and both of those guys happen to play on the same team.
"Tim Duncan and @aldridge_12" -@briskuno naming the two players he patterns his game after— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) August 31, 2015
Duncan is a first ballot Hall of Famer, while LaMarcus Aldridge was one of the most sought-after free agents this summer, prior to his signing with the San Antonio Spurs. Those, you would have to say, are two exceptional players to pattern your game after, as both guys have a near perfect handle of the fundamentals of the game, and neither are flashy in their execution, but efficient to say the least.
Back in July, McCullough told the Nets official site that his role model was LMA.
"I model my game after LaMarcus Aldridge. I like everything he does. He’s a 6’10" player, he can handle the ball, he can shoot from mid-range, and he’s got a post-up game. I play very similar to him so I modeled my game after him."
Also, from that interview, a few other tidbits -- that he's added "13 pounds of muscle" since the Draft; that his family was "pretty overwhelmed" at being selected by the hometown team; and that while he's been limited in what he can do, he's been working on "right hooks, left hooks, my ball handling" while rehabbing.
McCullough was also asked how he sees himself -- meaning, what position would be perfect for his skill set.
"I see myself as a stretch 4 right now but I can become a 3." -Chris McCullough (@briskuno)— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) August 31, 2015
That's more Aldridge than Duncan, if you had to pick one. Still, if McCullough, who is still recovering from his ACL injury -- though making nice progress -- can work on his stretch game he certainly has the tools to be a special player in the league. Duncan special? Aldridge special?
I'm looking forward to seeing how it all plays out for the rookie.