ARIZONA BASKETBALL

Pelle Larsson receives praise after NBA Draft Combine performances

May 16, 2024, 11:03 AM

Arizona Wildcats guard Pelle Larsson...

Arizona's Pelle Larsson (3) reacts after getting fouled by Southern California during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

(AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

Arizona Wildcats wing Pelle Larsson hovered in the peripherals of NBA scouts over the past two years because he brought an intriguing blend of athleticism and role-player potential.

The Swede’s style of play lends itself to being a plug-and-play rookie, too.

Larsson arguably played below his talent level, rarely forcing the issue and slowly bumping his numbers to finally become a double-digit scorer in his fourth college season in 2023-24.

He averaged 12.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game, with shooting splits of 52% overall and 43% from three on just 3.0 attempts per game.

The efficiency was there, but he finished as Arizona’s third-leading scorer and third-highest shot-taker for the year.

Earning an invite to the NBA Draft Combine despite those tepid numbers was evidence that scouts remain intrigued about projecting him to the pros. How Larsson could push his stock into the combine’s scrimmages, where ball-dominant players tend to shine most, was a question.

Pelle Larsson makes impact in limited minutes at NBA Draft Combine

It seems Larsson made the most of his minutes in two scrimmages. ESPN’s Jeremy Woo listed the Arizona product as a Wednesday standout.

While he shot just 1-of-7 from the field, he made positive contributions all over the floor with good passes, boxing out and battling defensively. While more of a connector than a scorer, Larsson played more assertively than he did in college and was able to get into the paint and draw fouls against weaker defenders. He checks a lot of boxes teams value in perimeter role players, such as being able to contribute on both ends without needing heavy usage and operating as a secondary handler. Larsson is the type of unselfish, experienced prospect who might soak up minutes on a team with playoff aspirations early in his career but will need to shoot well in workouts to show teams his potential.

Larsson reached seven points Wednesday by getting to the foul stripe four times. Over 21 minutes, he added two assists and a steal.

In 19 minutes of action during that first scrimmage Tuesday, Larsson scored 12 points and added three boards. In that one, he went 5-of-6 from the foul line, his way of showing a more aggressive aspect to his game off the bounce that should complement the shooting splits that there’s plenty of college tape on.

Before taking part in scrimmages, Larsson weighed 212.4 pounds and measured at 6-foot-5.25 without shoes and had a 6-foot-7.5 wingspan.

 

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