According to draftexpress.com, 47 percent of Larkin's offense this season was from pick-and-roll sets. Defenders can't go under screens because Larkin can make them pay with his shooting. If they go over, he can use his speed to get to the basket. And if the defense collapses, Larkin can and will find the open man, either on a drop-off at the rim or a kick out to shooters.
“He's so good at what he does,” said Miami coach Jim Larranaga.
Larkin exploded onto the national scene this season as a sophomore on a senior-laden Hurricanes squad. He averaged 14.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists and two steals while leading Miami to both the ACC regular-season and tournament titles.
Larkin led Miami in minutes, points, assists and steals while shooting 47.9 percent from the field and 40.6 percent from 3-point range.
“I don't think there has been a more valuable player to any team,” Larranaga said of Larkin.
Thanks to Larkin's sharpshooting and world-class athleticism, his value figures to translate to the NBA level. He doesn't project to be a star player, but he could add depth to a team in need of an additional ballhandler and someone to help space the floor.
The obvious drawback would be Larkin's ability to defend. Bigger point guards like Derrick Rose, Deron Williams, John Wall and Jrue Holiday could have their way with Larkin in the post or simply shoot over him. But if used in tandem with a player like Westbrook in small-ball lineups, Larkin could be hidden on a lesser scorer.
But for Larkin to get an opportunity, he'll seemingly need two things: a freethinking general manager and a creative coach.
Will the Thunder be that team?