With all of the talk of the 2024 NBA Draft class being one of the weakest ones in recent memory, it’ll be important for teams to get creative in their evaluations. Every draft contains high-level basketball players, capable of exceeding expectations and, quite frankly, making the teams that passed on them look bad. It’s just up to these front offices to put in the work and trust in both the film and the numbers. And one player that seems to be hiding in plain sight is Providence guard Devin Carter.

As of right now, Carter looks like a fringe lottery pick that is more likely to be selected in the 15-25 range. But Carter is coming off an outrageous junior season, as he averaged 19.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.0 blocks per game. And when diving into his resume and analyzing his tools, it isn’t crazy to think he can be a very good starter in the NBA.

With Carter, it’s hard not to start with the defense. As previously mentioned, Carter averaged 2.8 “stocks” per game last season. What’s incredible about that is that Carter is listed at 6-foot-3, which probably means he’s a bit shorter than that. But Carter has a plus wingspan at 6-foot-7, and he’s a feisty competitor. That allows him to play a little bigger than his size. And overall, Carter just takes a ton of pride in getting stops. He’s a menace at the point of attack, and he’s just as big of a pain off the ball.

Last year, Providence was 18th in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency, according to KenPom. And Bart Torvik had the Friars in the top 20 in adjusted defensive efficiency. Well, Carter was the tone setter for Kim English’s group. Carter got right up on the opposing team’s lead guard every night, working to either create turnovers or force his man to get rid of the basketball. And Carter only fouled out of one game as a junior, despite playing an in-your-face style for the better part of 40 minutes.

Carter’s combination of good footwork and footspeed should allow him to continue to do a good job of harassing guards at the next level. And it helps that he has tremendous defensive instincts. When thinking about the best defenders in a draft class, we often think of the wing stoppers or rim protectors. But Carter is arguably the best overall defender in the class, and doing it at the point of attack is rare. So, his next team will be getting a unique piece on the defensive end.

Carter also happens to be an elite rebounder at the guard position. You simply don’t see guards that flirt with double-digit rebounds on a nightly basis. But Carter had 13 games in which he pulled down at least 10 boards last year. And while he might not be able to replicate that in the pros, he will be a difficult player for opposing guards to keep off the glass. So, boxing him out will be a part of the scouting report, and that will be annoying for his opponents. You normally don’t have to worry about the little guys.

Normally a player with Carter’s ability to do the dirty work is somewhat clumsy offensively or has real holes in their game, at the very least. But that’s not the case with Carter. In fact, Carter was an absurdly productive offensive player in college, and he took his game to new heights in his final year in Rhode Island. That’s why it’s a little perplexing to see that Carter isn’t generating more top-10 buzz.

A lot of people think Carter’s shooting mechanics are a little unorthodox, and it definitely feels like a little work can be done to clean them up. It almost looks like he pauses a bit near his chest before releasing, which isn’t something you want. But Carter shot 37.7% from deep last year, and he did it on 6.8 attempts per game. That was a massive year-over-year improvement from 2022-23, when Carter shot just 29.9% on 3.5 attempts per game. And Carter has a clear belief in his jumper now, as evidenced by the 37.3% he shot on long threes (according to Synergy Sports). Shaky shooters don’t pull up from well beyond the three-point line, but Carter did it regularly.

In a lot of ways, evaluating his three-point shooting is like doing so with Tyrese Haliburton at Iowa State. If the guy is making shots, looks comfortable letting them fly and is capable of making them from NBA range, it’s best not to overthink it. And Carter didn’t just hit catch-and-shoot triples either. He can shoot off the dribble, he makes jumpers on the move and he can make them late in games. That said, his jumper should eventually be a weapon in the NBA.

Carter is also a dynamic pick-and-roll ball handler. Last year, Providence scored 1.000 points per possession when Carter ran that action, and that was considered “excellent” and put him in the 89th percentile in the nation. Carter is great at running the pick and roll because he can shoot the ball and finish at the rim at a high level. Despite being a bit smaller than you want a guard to be, Carter scored 1.32 points per possession at the rim last year. That put him in the 82nd percentile in college basketball. Carter is just good at getting the ball up and over rim protectors, and he’s comfortable using weird angles to make shots. He’s also good with his off hand. That finishing ability also makes Carter a tough cover in transition.

Carter also sets his teammates up for good looks. Providence wasn’t a very good offensive team, so Carter didn’t rack up assists. But his ability to play the pick-and-roll game isn’t limited to his scoring. He’s also good at making pocket passes, and he is capable of throwing lobs. Carter also does a good job of keeping his head up when attacking. So, when he’s surrounded by NBA talent, he should look like a better passer than he did in college. He occasionally struggled with the shrunken court he had to deal with because of the Friars’ weak offense. That shouldn’t be the case at the next level.

There’s just a lot that Carter can do very well and he gets it done on both ends of the floor. Carter also plays with a ton of emotion and every NBA team loves a high-motor guy. It just isn’t hard to envision a scenario in which Carter is contributing right away in the NBA, even if it’s as a reserve. It almost feels like his worst-case scenario will see him as a bigger version of Jose Alvarado.

It also helps that Carter will be able to lean on his father, Anthony Carter, for advice. He was an absolute pro and had a lengthy NBA career.