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Forum nameOkay Sports
Topic subjectI've said all year he's a Top 5-6 guy, but I have a few concerns.
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=8&topic_id=2697432&mesg_id=2698120
2698120, I've said all year he's a Top 5-6 guy, but I have a few concerns.
Posted by Frank Longo, Thu Jun-06-19 05:13 PM
The ceiling is there for a beast. Great body, strength, arms, etc. Athleticism is very good. Potential is all there.

But a few concerns:

1. Much of his scoring was on post-ups... against the WCC. If you take his stats and efficiencies against the best non-WCC opponents (Duke, UNC, Tennessee, FSU, Baylor, Texas Tech), they dip hard. Mainly because, while you'll still be an effective bully against good college teams with that body, you're way *less* effective. His mid-ranger is okay, and his floater is sublime, but he has to be able to stretch in the NBA. And while his small sample size is promising, it also feels misleading-- he can't be shooting 3s in the NBA willy-nilly day 1. At all.

2. Same concerns on defense. He *struggled* on defense against the best teams. In the Duke game, Duke came back and nearly won how? By running switches until someone was on Rui, and then they'd drive at Rui every single time. The potential is there, but we say that every year about guys with good athleticism, length, strength, whatever. Right today, dude would be a net negative defender in the NBA, because he was at best an okay defender in the WCC.

3. He definitely would take games off. Again, new to the sport, many of the games weren't expected to be close, Lord knows other players on elite teams took at least halves off... but when his motor isn't engaged, he can definitely disappear. Which... you don't want in a top 5 pick, especially one from a bad conference.

If you asked me, I'd still take him in that 6-9 range (nice), which is higher than most, but it's lower than I expected to see him be by season's end. His ceiling is something along the lines of Paul Millsap... but Millsap has been a bamma since Day 1. Rui needs to embrace that to maximize potential and be more than Just A Guy in the league.