Why did SK choose Lee Kyung-do and Kim Gun-woo?
Seoul SK selected a big man to fill a position of need and provide good competition.
The 2023 KBL Rookie Draft was held on April 21. SK, who reached the championship game last season, had the ninth pick. You have to choose from players left over from other teams. It wasn’t a position where they could pick their favorite player.
When Lee slid down to the ninth pick, SK took it for granted. Lee is a point guard with good size and a reputation for defense, including steals (he averaged 2.5 in 34 games in the College Basketball League). However, his low three-point shooting percentage (23/97, 23.7%) and slow speed for a guard are some of his drawbacks.
Lee competed with Lee Ju-young (KCC), Park Seung-jae (DB), and Park Jong-ha (Sono) in the middle of the first round. He was expected to be selected earlier if his strengths were valued more highly, and later if his weaknesses were more of a concern. The scouts had him as a late first round pick. He was picked where he was supposed to be picked.
Instead of a late first round pick, SK was able to pick early in the second round. Kim Gun-woo was considered a second-round pick, but not early in the second round. Even if he had a fairly good showing at the Draft Combine as a big man, he was still taken fairly early.
So why did SK select these two players?
SK head coach Jeon Hee-chul said in a phone call on the 23rd, “If Samsung hadn’t picked Jo Jun-hee, we might not have picked Lee Kyung-do. It’s not accurate (that we were able to select Jo Joon-hee) because there were teams that wanted to select Jo Joon-hee ahead of SK,” he said, adding, “We were thinking of selecting a No. 1 (point guard). Park Seung-jae and Lee Kyung-do were (on the list). Lee was going to be the ninth pick. Of course, Jo Jun-hee did well in the tryout, so (Jo’s) ranking went up.”
“The purpose was to select one of the four guards who can play basketball well, if not the No. 1, including Lee Kyung-do, Park Seung-jae, Lee Ju-young, and Park Jong-ha. We thought it might come down,” he added.
SK got the player they needed at No. 9, but what did they like about Lee Kyung-do?
“All players coming up from college (not just Lee Kyung-do) need to have a hand in shooting,” said Jeon Hee-chul. Jo Jun-hee doesn’t even need to use her hands to shoot. Other players need to make adjustments,” he said, adding, “The first ability requires natural talent or sense that coaches can’t create much. (Lee) showed that in her college games. His size is fine for a No. 1. His physicality is good, and his defense is good because his body is solid. I’m satisfied with the ninth pick.”
When asked if Lee will be available for the 2023-2024 season, Jeon Hee-chul said, “I can’t guarantee it. My style is that if I can’t see it with my own eyes, I don’t put him in a game as a test. “It’s hard until the first or second round,” he said, “but if he shows good play in the D-League, digesting everything, including SK’s patterns, he can be promoted. After that, we will adapt to SK’s system and learn the way we move, and in the second half of the season, we will assume that we have shown our capabilities in the D-League. You have to show it in the D-League (laughs). We don’t have enough players to bring (rookies) up to the regular league. We’ll think about it after they’ve gotten a little bit of practice.” 메이저사이트
The selection of Kim Gun-woo with the second pick of the second round was as surprising as the selection of Cho Jun-hee with the fourth pick. Furthermore, if they needed a big man, Lee Kang-hyun was still available. The team skipped over Lee, who was better than Kim based on his performance in college.
“We thought about a forward (in the second round),” said Jeon Hee-chul. The players we had and the players we needed to reinforce were too similar. On the big man side, Kim Gun-woo is different from Sun Sang-hyuk and Kim Hyung-bin among the younger players (among SK big men). We’re going to pick a player with a different style and let him compete and grow. “Kim Gun-woo has good physicality, and his height is similar to Sun Sang-hyuk and Kim Hyung-bin, but his basketball style is different. Hyung-bin and Sang-hyuk have good shooting ability, but Gun-woo plays a basketball that uses physicality while bumping his body. I thought it would be okay to pick him,” he said, explaining why he chose Kim Gun-woo.
When asked about Lee Kang-hyun, Jeon said, “I should have picked Lee Kang-hyun, but he’s too similar to Sang-hyuk. He seems to have learned from Sang-hyuk at Chung-Ang University. They were too similar. I wanted to see him compete with a different style,” explaining why he passed on Lee Kang-hyun.
“It’s better to have a blank slate than to have bad habits. The front line moves a lot, but the big men are more monotonous than the perimeter. It’s easier to plant a path (for a blank slate), and that’s better. That’s why I wanted to try it (with Kim). His physicality is good. I watched his combine results and it was good.
You can have three young big men competing in a good way. They can play amongst themselves. Gunwu is a big man with physicality, strength, and height. He has good sense. In the pros, you don’t leave a big man one-on-one unless it’s Oh Seung-geun or Lee Seung-hyun.”