NBA draft hopeful Kennedy Chandler draws comparison to Chris Paul

prospect project Kennedy Chandler is one of the most intriguing point guards in the draft.

NBA talent evaluators consider Chandler, who was named SEC Tournament MVP in his only season with Tennessee, to be a sneaky point guard with good scoring ability who thrives in pick-and-roll sets. shifting gears and is a disruptive passing defender. ways.

He once worked for several teams as a teenager, including the Hawks, Hornets, Cavaliers, Rockets, Bulls, and Bucks and Spurs in the 1920s.

While traveling between workouts, Chandler spoke with HoopsHype in a phone interview about how Rick Barnes took him behind the scenes, responding to criticism of his size as a point guard, comparisons to two All-Star point guards, and more.

Kennedy Chandler: Off the pitch, I’m a fun guy and a great teammate. I’m a teammate you can talk to about anything when you’re going through a tough time and who’s here to help.

CC : It was a great experience to play in Europe for the first time. My goal has always been to win a gold medal. We had a very talented team. Most of those guys are in that draft class now, which is crazy. I feel like they let you play there a little more physically. The rules are different there, like when the ball is on the goal (circle) you can knock it down. It was nice to play against these teams who have great chemistry and have been playing together for a very long time. I didn’t take playing against these teams for granted.

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CC : The first thing I did when I walked onto campus was I told the coach Rick Barnes that the goal I wanted to achieve when I was there was for him to push me, challenge me every day, and that I wanted to win an SEC championship and then the national championship. He challenged me every day in training and he never let up. I thank him. I learned a lot from him throughout that year there, and he said the same about me being a better player on and off the pitch. We won the SEC championship. They hadn’t won it since 1970-something. It was a big goal for us to achieve and a really fun team to play for.

CC : When I came to Tennessee, I didn’t have a midrange game. I learned how to have a mid-range game on offense and where to shoot. My mid-range game improved and I started shooting more. I watched movies in high school, but I didn’t watch as many movies as I did in college. Coach Barnes and I started watching a lot of individual movies together. It really helped me as a player, learning what different readings you would see in each game. It helped me grow as a player.

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CC : It was a very moving moment. I knew we lost the game and I didn’t want to lose because I wanted to win an SEC and national championship. Knowing that this would be the last time I would play with all the guys on my team really hurt me. It shows how competitive I am and how much I want to win every game. I knew Juwan Howard since I was in fourth grade. I played with his youngest son, Jett, at AAU. I have known Juwan for a very long time, and he also recruited me. We are very close and like a family.

CC : I am a winner. My sophomore year (high school) I won a State Championship and a Peach Jam Championship at NIKE EYBL. My last year, I think we only lost three games. We went as far as the national Geico championship but we lost. For Sunrise Christian (his senior year of high school), they had never done this before as a program. In Tennessee, we won the SEC championship my first season. I feel like my whole resume from high school through college is really good and shows what a winner I am. Coming to an NBA team, I will bring that mentality to a team and I want to win every game.

CC : I always wanted to surpass myself, and it was one of my dreams since I was a child. I talked with my family a week after the season to decide if I wanted to go to the NBA or not. I spoke to Coach Barnes and got his opinion on it. He thought I was ready to go to the NBA and he knew all my hard work had paid off.

CC : For sure. I don’t think you realize that in college you’re going to have your ups and downs. Not every moment you are going to have a good game. You are going to have a bad game. You have to fight through adversity. For me, in the game against Texas, Coach Barnes didn’t play me the last three minutes of that game, and we lost by one point. It was a time when I dealt with adversity. T. J. Ford spoke to me after the game, saying it was a learning experience. From that game, Coach Barnes told me the same thing. He said the way this game changed me helped push me. He didn’t want me to go out for the last three minutes, but he had to do the right thing. I feel like it’s a game that struck me. I wanted to win this game because we’ve been in Texas since he coached there, and I wanted to get this win for him. Since that match, me, as a player, and the team have taken off.

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CC : All my life, people have criticized that about me. I succeeded at all levels and I will do the same in the NBA. I use my speed and I’m able to hold on (in defence). The guys at college wanted to post me, but I never let that happen. I feel like the weight room in the offseason helped me get a lot stronger. I gained seven or eight pounds. Size is nothing to me. If I still have to prove people wrong, that’s what I’ll do. I’ve done it all my life. You have little guards like Chris PaulMy favorite player, Jeff Teague and Tony Parker. These guys also had questions about their size. Jalen Brunson and Jordan McLaughlin too. I feel like I’m in the same situation as them. They proved people wrong, and it’s time for me to step up and prove people wrong too.

CC : I feel that I can bring good minutes as a leader with a lot of energy. I’m a great defensive player who will get on the ball. I do what it takes to get the job done. That’s been my mindset since high school. I’ve done it at every level, and I’m ready to do it at the NBA level as well.

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CC : I compare my game to Chris Paul. It’s who some people compare me to with his pick-and-roll game. I feel like I can read pick-and-rolls with a high IQ level. I have a little Jeff Teague too. He was short and athletic. He was sneaky in the way he could score the ball.

CC : I have Minnesota, Memphis, then Miami.

CC : I always dreamed of being invited to the green room, but I didn’t get the invitation. It hurts not to get the invitation. It was always something I wanted. It doesn’t matter at all. That doesn’t mean all of these guys are going to be in the Top 20. My goal is to go to a team that drafted me and show why they drafted me.

CC : Knowing that all the hard work has paid off. Have no regrets and know that when I retire, I did everything I could and outdid myself every day. I haven’t stopped working and I haven’t stopped being the player I’ve been all my life. My goal is to win an NBA championship before I retire.

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