Kay Felder Is The Next Damon Stoudamire

Nov 22, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin (L) watches from the team box in the first quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 22, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin (L) watches from the team box in the first quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /

Cleveland Cavaliers rookie point guard Kay Felder has drawn a lot of comparisons, but Damon Stoudamire is the most accurate.

Cleveland Cavaliers‘ General Manager David Griffin made a move to trade for the 54th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft and select Oakland’s Kay Felder. He probably could have been a first round pick if it weren’t for his 5-foot-9 frame, now he has a shot at being the backup to Kyrie Irving.

Who does Felder play like, though?

The easiest comparisons for Cavs’ rookie Kay Felder has been Nate Robinson and Boston Celtics’ point guard Isaiah Thomas because of recency bias. Most people remember Robinson and Thomas because they are comparable to Felder’s game, but they aren’t the best comparison.

There are many comparisons between former point guard Damon Stoudamire and Felder’s game. Surprisingly, there haven’t been a lot of these comparisons made.

The left-handed Stoudamire was 5-foot-10, 171 pounds during his playing days. Felder, also a lefty, enters the league at 5-foot-9, 176 pounds. They are both similar in size and stature, but it gets eery diving into their last year’s in college.

Felder was considerably better in his final year at Oakland University. He averaged 24.4 points and 9.3 assists per game as a junior. He was the only college player to rank in the top five of both of those categories. His shooting line was a solid .440/.355/.848.

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Stoudamire, 21, averaged 22.8 points and 7.3 assists per game in his senior season at Arizona. His assists average was good enough for 10th in the country. He was a better three-point shooter, with a total shooting line of .476/.465/.826.

They both averaged 4.3 rebounds per game in their final collegiate season. While Stoudamire was a better three-point shooter, the two played very similarly.

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Stoudamire would go on to the NBA to enjoy a solid 13-year career where he was predominately a starter. In his beginning days with the Toronto Raptors, he was a go-to scorer. It wasn’t until his years with the Portland Trail Blazers where he settled into his starting role as a secondary scorer and a playmaker.

In his time in Portland, Stoudamire averaged 12.8 points, 5.7 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game during his eight seasons there. His shooting line suffered from his college days down to .405/.359/.846.

Felder, who projects as the backup point guard if Mo Williams retires, is capable of doing that with his Per 36 numbers, assuming he plays 15-20 minutes per game as a backup. The one area of concern is his three-point shooting. During the Las Vegas Summer League, Felder shot an abysmal 22.7 percent from three-point range.

Take a look at Stoudamire’s playing days with the Raptors. While he was the go-to-guy, his offensive game is best showcased in this clip. He scored 31 points and had 11 assists against Michael Jordan‘s 1995-96 Chicago Bulls.

Stoudamire uses his quickness off of ball screens to set himself up to make a decision to either drive at the rim or pull up for a mid-range jumper. It’s a move that Felder mastered to get his points to either open up looks from mid-range or drive at the rim.

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Both players can use ball screens to free themselves up, but it also gives them an opportunity to find the screener for an easy look or an open shooter for an open three-pointer.

One are where Stoudamire excels over Felder is his ability to drive right. Felder typically drives to his strong side and his offense can be negated by forcing him right until he proves he can do it. It doesn’t mean that he can’t, but it was rare that he did in the Summer League.

In transition, Felder will be able to showcase his court vision because he won’t have to deal with a compact halfcourt set. The spacing in transition allows smaller point guards to see the entire floor and pass without having the fear of someone deflecting it. It’s also where he can use his quickness to get to the rim and finish himself, or find an open teammate.

Stoudamire was a good defender, but Felder has an edge. The 44-inch vertical that Felder has allows him to play above the rim, specifically in transition where he can chase down defenders and block a shot.

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Felder, who averaged 2.0 steals per game in his final season at Oakland, is an aggressive defender in halfcourt sets. One area where he thrives is getting into passing lanes when playing off the ball. Due to his quickness, he can jump the passing lane and get out in transition at the blink of an eye.

This is also an area where Felder needs to be careful at the NBA level. Whiffing on passes puts the Cavs at a disadvantage defensively, which hurts a defensive-minded team.

Overall, there are a lot more similarities to the way Felder plays with Stoudamire than that of Robinson or Thomas. As long as Felder works to improve his three-point shot, he could become as well-rounded as Stoudamire, if not better.

Felder may be an even better player than these three. Though he won’t get the spotlight playing behind Kyrie Irving, Felder does have a good base entering the NBA and is capable of being a key rotational player on the Cleveland Cavaliers bench.

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What are your expectations and comparisons for Kay Felder? Do you agree? Let us know in the comments section or follow and tweet us @KJG_NBA.