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Subject: "The Official 2020 NBA Prospect Thread 4 Thruthiness and Justivity" Previous topic | Next topic
Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
83599 posts
Tue Oct-27-20 10:41 AM

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"The Official 2020 NBA Prospect Thread 4 Thruthiness and Justivity"


  

          

I'd usually wait until a little closer to the draft to post this, but I desperately need the distraction. So that said, you know the drill.

I'll list the prospects, you list your thoughts, as detailed or as basic ("he'll be good"/"he'll be sorry") as you want. As meticulously bias-free as possible or as blindly agenda-driven as you want.

Get on record before these guys play a single NBA game as to how you think they'll pan out. Stake claims, "buy stock," etc.

BUT DON'T BE LATE.

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
LaMelo Ball
Oct 27th 2020
1
... sigh. He's the highest upside player in the draft.
Oct 27th 2020
46
Pretty much said all the things I think about him.
Oct 31st 2020
98
i would be so scared to draft such a spoiled player
Oct 27th 2020
48
I see folks haven't learned from the last Ball
Oct 27th 2020
54
Lonzo is not average. He is an elite defender and can create.
Oct 28th 2020
73
      Lonzo Ball is a *slightly* better Elfrid Payton.
Oct 28th 2020
74
      Lonzo may be the best passer in the league not named Lebron James.
Oct 28th 2020
75
           Both of those things can be true.
Oct 28th 2020
76
                I don't think a GM in the league would take Elfrid Payton over Lonzo.
Oct 28th 2020
77
                I agree. I said Lonzo is better than Elfrid.
Oct 28th 2020
78
                     exactly...
Oct 28th 2020
82
                          You're literally arguing with absolutely no one, lmao.
Oct 28th 2020
83
                               as usual, you LIED...
Oct 28th 2020
84
                                    LMAO! Cool. Everyone else can read reply #74.
Oct 28th 2020
88
                Yup
Oct 28th 2020
80
      Create what.
Oct 28th 2020
79
The only one of these guys I remotely know anything about, I think...
Oct 27th 2020
66
Gifted but lazy as fuck.
Oct 28th 2020
70
James Wiseman
Oct 27th 2020
2
A safe starting NBA center... but I'm lower than most, admittedly.
Oct 27th 2020
47
Will make Draymond expendable.
Oct 28th 2020
72
Anthony Edwards
Oct 27th 2020
3
Super strong bulldog of a wing. I'm a believer.
Oct 27th 2020
49
Obi Toppin
Oct 27th 2020
4
Elite offensive weapon, absolute defensive liability.
Oct 27th 2020
50
I think he is the rookie of the year.
Oct 28th 2020
71
This is who I want Charlotte to pick
Nov 17th 2020
119
Onyeka Okongwu
Oct 27th 2020
5
Ideal big man in 2020. I honestly prefer him to Wiseman.
Oct 27th 2020
51
Isaac Okoro
Oct 27th 2020
6
Potential to be the next Iguodala. I'd reach for him, personally.
Oct 27th 2020
52
Tyrese Haliburton
Oct 27th 2020
7
Spencer Dinwiddie-lite. I like him.
Oct 27th 2020
64
      I kinda wanna change my comparison to "Lonzo Plus."
Nov 05th 2020
102
RJ Hampton
Oct 27th 2020
8
It all comes down to the jumper.
Oct 27th 2020
53
Killian Hayes
Oct 27th 2020
9
Deni Avdija
Oct 27th 2020
10
He got decent vision.....
Nov 01st 2020
99
Devin Vassell
Oct 27th 2020
11
Very solid 3-and-D guy. Good piece on a winning team.
Oct 27th 2020
67
Patrick Williams
Oct 27th 2020
12
A guy who will go higher than he should due to crazy upside.
Oct 28th 2020
68
Kira Lewis Jr.
Oct 27th 2020
13
Stock purchased
Oct 29th 2020
91
He answers the question, "What if Terry Rozier was good?"
Oct 29th 2020
92
Aaron Nesmith
Oct 27th 2020
14
Not sure I'm a believer.
Oct 29th 2020
93
Saddiq Bey
Oct 27th 2020
15
Yup. He's gonna be good
Oct 28th 2020
87
High IQ 3-and-D wing. Role player who helps you win.
Oct 30th 2020
94
Tyrese Maxey
Oct 27th 2020
16
Brad Beal upside imo. No reason he shouldn't go lotto.
Oct 30th 2020
95
Precious Achiuwa
Oct 27th 2020
17
Diet Coke Montrezl Harrell. I have questions.
Oct 28th 2020
81
Tre Jones
Oct 27th 2020
18
Fort Wayne Mad Ants
Oct 27th 2020
62
LMAO
Oct 27th 2020
63
Better pro than any Terp born in, no joke, the last four decades.
Oct 27th 2020
65
Good creator, good defensive stopper at point of attack.
Oct 28th 2020
69
Cole Anthony
Oct 27th 2020
19
Has all the tools to be pretty good
Oct 28th 2020
85
Austin Rivers 2.0.
Oct 28th 2020
89
Jalen Smith
Oct 27th 2020
20
Sticks!!
Oct 27th 2020
55
Possible off-the-bench stretch big. Ceiling: Thomas Bryant.
Nov 05th 2020
103
Aleksej Pokusevski
Oct 27th 2020
21
Desmond Bane
Oct 27th 2020
22
Josh Green
Oct 27th 2020
23
Isaiah Stewart
Oct 27th 2020
24
Solid starter
Oct 27th 2020
59
Jaden McDaniels
Oct 27th 2020
25
Nah
Oct 27th 2020
60
Only caught a few of his games. Mouthing at the other team every time
Oct 27th 2020
61
Obvious lotto potential, buuuuut I don't see it.
Nov 11th 2020
109
Malachi Flynn
Oct 27th 2020
26
Xavier Tillman
Oct 27th 2020
27
Word is he shot threes better than some of the guards at the combine.
Nov 11th 2020
111
Tyrell Terry
Oct 27th 2020
28
Robert Woodard
Oct 27th 2020
29
Theo Maledon
Oct 27th 2020
30
Leandro Bolmaro
Oct 27th 2020
31
Cassius Winston
Oct 27th 2020
32
Gonna miss seeing him lead the Spartans
Oct 28th 2020
86
... I worry about him. Best case scenario: Jalen Brunson.
Nov 14th 2020
113
Cassius Stanley
Oct 27th 2020
33
Gerald Green at worst. Terrific second round value.
Oct 29th 2020
90
Elijah Hughes
Oct 27th 2020
34
Sticks. Rotation player
Oct 27th 2020
58
Unsold, but good 3-and-D potential at the top of the second.
Nov 11th 2020
107
Zeke Nnaji
Oct 27th 2020
35
Daniel Oturu
Oct 27th 2020
36
Yup, like this kid. Double double machine in the Big Ten
Oct 30th 2020
97
Decent PnR big off the bench. Can shoot a bit.
Nov 16th 2020
116
Immanuel Quickley
Oct 27th 2020
37
Manny!!
Oct 27th 2020
56
Nico Mannion
Oct 27th 2020
38
Not sold
Oct 27th 2020
57
      Agreed. Kid doesn't have it imo. Kendall Marshall at best.
Nov 03rd 2020
101
Sam Merrill
Oct 27th 2020
39
Easily worth a second round flier. Elite shooter, secondary playmaker.
Nov 16th 2020
115
Isaiah Joe
Oct 27th 2020
40
Grant Riller
Oct 27th 2020
41
HUGE value in the 2nd imo. I'd consider taking him first round.
Nov 14th 2020
114
Payton Pritchard
Oct 27th 2020
42
I’d pick him to run my team
Nov 05th 2020
105
Udoka Azubuike
Oct 27th 2020
43
Throwback big
Nov 05th 2020
104
I feel like he'll be bad
Nov 11th 2020
110
      His agility has improved a lot. I think he can play a bench role.
Nov 14th 2020
112
Devon Dotson
Oct 27th 2020
44
Solid backup PG
Nov 02nd 2020
100
Jahmi'us Ramsey
Oct 27th 2020
45
You're basically in here talking to yourself.
Oct 30th 2020
96
College basketball is so boring nowadays
Nov 07th 2020
106
Yeah, it's especially hard in a tournament-less season...
Nov 11th 2020
108
Mason Jones
Nov 16th 2020
117
A crafty wing scorer. I wouldn't bet against him.
Nov 16th 2020
118

Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
83599 posts
Tue Oct-27-20 10:41 AM

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1. "LaMelo Ball"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

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Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
83599 posts
Tue Oct-27-20 11:21 AM

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46. "... sigh. He's the highest upside player in the draft. "
In response to Reply # 1
Tue Oct-27-20 11:23 AM by Frank Longo

  

          

I've been *really* resistant to the idea that he should go #1, because I saw a *lot* of Melo in HS, and his style of play was, to put it mildly, deplorable. Zero defense, 40 foot shots chucked early in the shot clock... and this was when he was FIFTEEN.

Despite all that, maybe that's the reason why he's such a high draft prospect today. LaVar gave him a lot of bad, but probably also gave him a lot of good. Because the bad is obvious-- the lack of discipline, the poor decision making, the idea that he had free rein to do anything and everything, the thought that defense was worthless, etc....

... but the good is there too, because by making Melo believe he was the Guy Who Had To Do Everything from a very early age, he now has some truly terrific skills in his toolkit:

- He's the best passer in the draft. Elite passer, elite vision. The fact that he's now 6'7/6'8 makes this even more enticing.

- He's one of the best ballhandlers in the draft, which, again, at 18 and at 6'7/6'8, is just of insane value in today's NBA.

- Like Lonzo, he's a really good rebounder for a guard. I also think there's hope for Melo's defense thanks to what we've seen from Lonzo. Lonzo was a bad defender in college, but he's turned into a good defender in the NBA... and since Melo is bigger than Lonzo and his hips are less stiff than Lonzo's, I think one could reasonably coach him into a switchable defender in the NBA. His anticipation and his fundamentals are all there.* (Asterisk coming in the bad side.)

- ... sigh, god help me, I also think there's a chance he could be a not-awful shooter. He's got elite touch with floaters in the paint (with both hands to boot) and he's a good free throw shooter. The indicators are there-- it's just a matter of if you trust that they'll convert into a decent shooter. I don't think he even needs to be a *good* shooter to be a very good NBA player... but he needs to at least become an average one. But if you actually think he can hit 34ish% from 3? Then you probably need to take him #1.

The problem with Melo, of course, on both sides of the ball, is discipline. Awful early shot-clock chucks. Plays taken completely off on defense. Settling for mid-range jumpers when he has the tools to easily get into the paint, which leads to some concerns about his desire to initiate contact. Like, these are all some pretty serious red flags-- which is a big reason why this draft is so dicey in the top 3-4. There just isn't a guy with monster upside who both fits the style of 2020 NBA and has a reasonably high floor.

That said, I think Melo will probably go #1-- maybe not to Minnesota, because I don't really like the pairing of him with Russell and Towns (it'd be a defensive nightmare there), but I'd imagine Minnesota (and Golden State, if Melo doesn't go #1) will have a team courting them for this pick to take a flier on Melo at or near the top, because the upside is just too obvious. A 6'8 kid with the best court vision in the draft who can create separation with his handles and has the upside to become a switchable defender? You're just not going to find better in this draft. If you're a bad team, you *have* to take the risk. And really, if you're a good team with a strong player development program (looking at you, Golden State), and Melo lands in your system, then he's definitely got the tools to be a star.

But fuuuuuuuuck, I'd be gulping as I pull the trigger, admittedly. It's just hard to shake how awful his play was in high school. I've seen the tape since, I see the reasons why he's a contender for the top pick... but I'd be scared. Like, the upside is obviously All-Star-- maybe even higher if his shot becomes decent-- but the floor is, like, higher usage Shaun Livingston. Which would be a disaster for the #1 pick. If I'm Minnesota, I'm calling every terrible team in desperate need of a reason to hope for the future, looking to send Ball that way, collect safer assets, and plan for next year's far-superior draft.

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B.J.S.301
Member since Nov 30th 2005
7069 posts
Sat Oct-31-20 07:12 PM

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98. "Pretty much said all the things I think about him. "
In response to Reply # 46


          

He's a super smart player. Like really smart.

But I definitely question his mentality. Way too entitled for a player. Maybe the NBA humbles him a bit.

  

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agentzero
Member since Apr 12th 2007
1766 posts
Tue Oct-27-20 12:12 PM

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48. "i would be so scared to draft such a spoiled player"
In response to Reply # 1


  

          

his potential def showed these last two years...


To people like US, a record is a piece of history. A moment in time.
most people don't get it.

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http://www.mixcloud.com/musicofcolor

  

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Beezo
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Tue Oct-27-20 08:44 PM

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54. "I see folks haven't learned from the last Ball "
In response to Reply # 1


  

          

Average

<---
Fuck a sig, my presence is enough.

  

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Castro
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49022 posts
Wed Oct-28-20 10:38 AM

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73. "Lonzo is not average. He is an elite defender and can create."
In response to Reply # 54


  

          

Folks are hung up on that ugly ass jumper. He may not be an all-star, but I would be happy with him as my PG.

------------------
One Hundred.

  

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Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
83599 posts
Wed Oct-28-20 12:04 PM

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74. "Lonzo Ball is a *slightly* better Elfrid Payton. "
In response to Reply # 73


  

          

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ThaTruth
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Wed Oct-28-20 12:34 PM

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75. "Lonzo may be the best passer in the league not named Lebron James."
In response to Reply # 74


          

________________________________________
Watch For The Hook
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gy9Fun9CuZ4

  

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Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
83599 posts
Wed Oct-28-20 01:49 PM

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76. "Both of those things can be true."
In response to Reply # 75
Wed Oct-28-20 01:53 PM by Frank Longo

  

          

If he can't make shots and keep defenses honest, then he's not a Top 15-20 PG in the NBA. He's either a bottom half of the league starter or a backup on a team with a top PG. I'd call that average.

12/6/7 on 40% FG shooting and 56% FT shooting can't be called an above average NBA PG right today. For comparison, Elfrid Payton did 10/5/7 on 44% FG shooting and 57% FT shooting... and had a higher assist rate than Lonzo.

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ThaTruth
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77. "I don't think a GM in the league would take Elfrid Payton over Lonzo."
In response to Reply # 76


          

________________________________________
Watch For The Hook
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gy9Fun9CuZ4

  

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Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
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Wed Oct-28-20 03:03 PM

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78. "I agree. I said Lonzo is better than Elfrid."
In response to Reply # 77


  

          

It's in the subject line, you didn't even need to read my actual post to know that I think that, lol.

My point is that Lonzo is an average overall PG in the NBA right today. I didn't even think this was a debateable point.

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ThaTruth
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Wed Oct-28-20 04:30 PM

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82. "exactly..."
In response to Reply # 78


          

>It's in the subject line, you didn't even need to read my
>actual post to know that I think that, lol.
>
>My point is that Lonzo is an average overall PG in the NBA
>right today. I didn't even think this was a debateable point.


you can use "advanced stats" to argue strawman points but the the bottom line is Lonzo Ball is a better basketball player than Elfrid Payton on both ends of the floor right now and has a way higher ceiling. It Lonzo an all-star today? No, but the potential is there.

________________________________________
Watch For The Hook
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gy9Fun9CuZ4

  

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Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
83599 posts
Wed Oct-28-20 04:41 PM

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83. "You're literally arguing with absolutely no one, lmao."
In response to Reply # 82
Wed Oct-28-20 04:42 PM by Frank Longo

  

          

> but the
>the bottom line is Lonzo Ball is a better basketball player
>than Elfrid Payton on both ends of the floor right now and has
>a way higher ceiling

No one said otherwise. What is happening in this post right now? lmao

Someone said Lonzo is above average. I disagreed by saying he's a slightly better Elfrid Payton right today. Then you come in acting like someone argued Payton is better than Lonzo, when it's literally *in my subject line* that he's not, lol. And when I pointed that out, you said "Exactly," as if you won the argument... that no one started... over a subject that no one disputed.

I feel like you're having a tough week. Go have a beer, kick back, relax, lol.

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ThaTruth
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84. "as usual, you LIED..."
In response to Reply # 83


          


>he's a slightly better Elfrid Payton right today.

that's a LIE and now you're trying to backpedal out of it.

________________________________________
Watch For The Hook
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gy9Fun9CuZ4

  

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Frank Longo
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88. "LMAO! Cool. Everyone else can read reply #74."
In response to Reply # 84


  

          

Where that comment is the actual subject line.

Have a good day, Truth. Be blessed.

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Beezo
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80. "Yup"
In response to Reply # 76


  

          

>If he can't make shots and keep defenses honest, then he's
>not a Top 15-20 PG in the NBA. He's either a bottom half of
>the league starter or a backup on a team with a top PG. I'd
>call that average.
>
>12/6/7 on 40% FG shooting and 56% FT shooting can't be called
>an above average NBA PG right today. For comparison, Elfrid
>Payton did 10/5/7 on 44% FG shooting and 57% FT shooting...
>and had a higher assist rate than Lonzo.

<---
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BrooklynWHAT
Member since Jun 15th 2007
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Wed Oct-28-20 03:21 PM

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79. "Create what."
In response to Reply # 73
Wed Oct-28-20 03:24 PM by BrooklynWHAT

  

          

he's sorry man. so what if he is an alright defender.

what good is a PG that cant shoot, cant drive and cant finish at the rim.

best case is his spotup 3 comes around and he's a role player. yeah his passes might look pretty, but if he doesnt do it often whats the point of them. he literally puts zero stress on a defense.

<--- Big Baller World Order

  

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ThaTruth
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66. "The only one of these guys I remotely know anything about, I think..."
In response to Reply # 1


          

he’s a better shooting version of his brother

________________________________________
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Castro
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Wed Oct-28-20 10:32 AM

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70. "Gifted but lazy as fuck. "
In response to Reply # 1


  

          

Lonzo doesn't have his scoring skills, but has the drive. I do not know if Melo has it.

He needs a Jimmy Butler in his life. Somebody who is going to bust his ass everyday in practice.


He either becomes a perennial all star or a bum that scored 45 in one game during his rookie season.

------------------
One Hundred.

  

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Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
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Tue Oct-27-20 10:41 AM

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2. "James Wiseman"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

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Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
83599 posts
Tue Oct-27-20 11:56 AM

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47. "A safe starting NBA center... but I'm lower than most, admittedly. "
In response to Reply # 2


  

          

The strengths are obvious:

- elite body
- elite big man explosiveness
- strong rim protector
- fights for rebounds, which not all bigs that big consistently do
- ideal pick-and-roll guy
- smart kid, by all accounts high character

I think there's reason to believe he's easily the safest of the top 3 picks in the draft (maybe even Top 5, if you think guys like Hayes or Avdija would be the next two off the board).

That said, I simply don't believe the shooting. I've heard people say he could be pick-and-pop level. And I'll even grant those people that the mechanics don't look bad. But he's just *never* been a guy with a good track record of making 3s or even mid-ranges consistently in HS. So if the shooting happens, it'll be based nearly purely on the eye test.

Furthermore, he just doesn't really have any of the other features that a face-the-basket type of big would have. He's not a good passer. He can't handle the ball. I think his offensive upside is, realistically, DeAndre Jordan with a 20% pick-and-pop 3-pointer and a 65-70% FT. Which, let's be clear, if he defends like Jordan, is probably an All-Star/All-NBA type of player, lol.

But while he's got Jordan upside on defense, imo, he's got some things to work on. He's terrific at the rim, but it's not clear from his HS days that he can rotate on defense well. He wasn't the strongest player in HS, so it'll be interesting to see how he does in the early days against grown man bigs with his newly developed strength. Finally, he's not switchable imo due to lateral movement slowness. He's probably, right today, more in line with Hassan Whiteside defensively than DeAndre Jordan. Which certainly isn't bad when he's at the rim...

... but with the game increasingly going to switchability and versatility, it'll be very interesting to see if you can be a consistent winner if a guy like Wiseman is, say, one of your top 2 players on the floor. He's a back-to-the-basket, rim-runner type of big on offense and a pure rim protector on defense. Do I think there's value in that? Absolutely. I think he's a starting NBA center. And do I think there's upside there? Sure, if he develops a jump shot and/or some added lateral speed, then he's an All-Star big.

But if he doesn't, then his upside is probably... again, maybe Hassan Whiteside? And while in this draft, that's probably a win (and, again, you've got a higher floor here than some of the other top picks), I'm not convinced people wouldn't view that as a disappointment at the 2 spot. And I'm certainly not convinced a Hassan Whiteside type as one of your best players puts you in a position to be a winning franchise in 2020 the way that a wing or guard would.

If you're someone like Golden State, where you'd *only need* Wiseman for rim running and rim protecting? Then it's a beautiful fit. He can give you minutes right away inside, and he can work on his jumper with some great shooting coaches off the floor. But if he went somewhere like, say, Charlotte, where they're going to ask a lot more of him early, where they'll have him creating for himself more, shooting more right away? That's a tough situation for him imo.

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Castro
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72. "Will make Draymond expendable. "
In response to Reply # 2


  

          

------------------
One Hundred.

  

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Frank Longo
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Tue Oct-27-20 10:41 AM

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3. "Anthony Edwards"
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Frank Longo
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49. "Super strong bulldog of a wing. I'm a believer."
In response to Reply # 3


  

          

I'll start with the bad, since I really like Edwards. He displayed at Georgia a lot of the negatives you see from elite prospects when they go to bad schools. His effort was inconsistent on offense at times. His shot selection was too often "whatever I want it to be." And his concern about defense simply wasn't there. It honestly reminded me a lot of Ben Simmons's college days, where he'd carry his team to victory in tough situations at times, but especially once it was clear the season wasn't going to work out, and once he got weary of the constant double teams, the effort just didn't carry over game to game.

That said, I really like him.

- He's really strong. Grown man strength on the wing-- think guys like Oladipo and Wade in terms of strength (honestly probably how Crean won him over to come to Georgia).
- Strength, athleticism, and wingspan give him crazy defensive potential. Simmons was an awful defender in college... and he's now a top 3 defender in the NBA. I think Edwards is the sort of guy who has the potential to make a considerable leap on defense once he's at the next level.
- Along the same lines, I could chalk up his tendency to settle for shots to the same thing. Increased spacing and a lack of constant double teams should immediately allow a player like Edwards to see the floor more.
- Wasn't always the most willing passer at Georgia (who could blame him), but he's definitely a good passer when he's looking.
- Elite in transition. In a fast-paced game with floor spacing, he's a weapon.
- Really nice touch around the basket... he's not just a bruiser, he can finish.
- He scores in a variety of ways with a number of shifty moves, spins, etc.
- Not a "shooter" at present, but he can definitely shoot off the dribble, and his 77% FT numbers suggest that, when not facing double teams and crowded floors, he should find better shots.

The "Dion Waiters" comparison is tossed out a lot here, but I think that's assuming that Edwards will never give a shit about defense and/or shot selection, and it's easy to justify why his situation in college led to him punting his effort in several ways. Besides, I think "a bigger Dion Waiters with better FT shooting and higher switchable defense potential" is an intriguing prospect, especially in this draft. Worst case scenario, you get Dion Waiters, an offensive spark off the bench. Best case scenario, you get something... Victor Oladipo-ish? It'll all come down to what sort of consistency he displays at the next level when given NBA spacing.

Stop me if you've heard this one before, but being somewhere like Golden State would work wonders for Edwards-- he'd be an improvement over Wiggins immediately, tbh-- and being somewhere like Charlotte would be more likely to set him onto the Dion Waiters path. With so many of the higher upside prospects in this draft having fairly low floors, destination is really going to matter in whether these dudes pan out or not.

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Frank Longo
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4. "Obi Toppin"
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Frank Longo
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50. "Elite offensive weapon, absolute defensive liability."
In response to Reply # 4


  

          

If you were designing the perfect offensive big man for 2020, it'd be Toppin. 6'9, 6'11 wingspan. Terrific shooter, ball handler, and passer for his size. Essentially functioned as the chief playmaker out of the high post for Dayton a lot of the season, and it was a huge reason why they were so elite. He's also an absurd leaper and quick straight-line cutter, making him ideal for PnR, rim-running, baseline cuts, transition fast breaks, etc. Too skilled for bigger defenders to deal with, too big for smaller ones. It'd be easy to see why any team would fall in love with what he could do for any offense. Like, put a few shooters around him? That's deadly.

That said, the defense suuuuuucks. First, the physical problems: he's very top-heavy, so most bigger players-- and even smaller stronger ones-- could really push him around in the post. Also, as fast as he is straight line, he is slow footed laterally with the stiffest hips imaginable. He'll never be switchable without a serious overhaul of his body. And even then, even if he were able to magically lower his center of gravity, drastically loosen his hips, etc... his instincts just aren't good on that end. They never really asked him to do anything other than weak side shot blocking, so his rotations, his positioning, his helping, all of it is really bad.

Don't really know what the upside comparison is here... Boris Diaw with better offense and way worse defense? There's still tremendous value here, especially if you can get him to be even an okay-to-mediocre team defender, because he can do so many things for your offense, especially in today's style of play. I just worry about the floor, because we've seen offensive players drop out of the league if they can't stay on the court.

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Castro
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71. "I think he is the rookie of the year. "
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------------------
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legsdiamond
Member since May 05th 2011
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119. "This is who I want Charlotte to pick"
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I’m pretty sure he goes 4th right after Charlotte picks and ends up being a star and everyone in Charlotte wonders how missed on him.




****************
TBH the fact that you're even a mod here fits squarely within Jag's narrative of OK-sanctioned aggression, bullying, and toxicity. *shrug*

  

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Frank Longo
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5. "Onyeka Okongwu"
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Frank Longo
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51. "Ideal big man in 2020. I honestly prefer him to Wiseman."
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Like, yes, there's no *question* that Wiseman's got the upside. On paper, you want the 7'1/7'6 wingspan athlete over the 6'9/7'1 wingspan athlete. I've also seen people argue that Wiseman has more pick and pop potential than Okongwu, and while I don't really believe in Wiseman's jumper, I admit that that's probably true. So it's clear that Wiseman will go first.

But let's look at what Okongwu has right today over Wiseman:

- On defense, Okongwu is switchable across the board. One of the best PnR defenders in the draft. Can move laterally on the perimeter if on the switch, is fast/explosive enough to catch anyone driving. Knows exactly where to be on defense at all times. And while he doesn't have Wiseman's wings for blocking shots, Okongwu has superb shot-blocking timing and explosiveness. He's also got at least ten pounds of muscle on Wiseman, and while I don't think he's yet at a point where he can handle the biggest and strongest of big men in the NBA, in 2-3 years I think he can hold his own there.

- On offense, Okongwu has terrific handles for a big man. He also has more moves in the post than Wiseman does right today. He also knows who he is: he's not a shooter at this juncture, and likely won't ever be, but he wants to play through your body instead of fading away or trying to face the basket-- he won't shy away from contact.

So I think Okongwu is the sort of player in 2020 that's immediately conducive to winning basketball. He's a tough motherfucker who wants to do everything to help your team win. In a season after we saw how Bam Adebayo drastically affected the playoffs, I wouldn't be surprised if someone saw Okongwu as Adebayo-lite and reached for him in the top 4-5. I don't know if he's *as* versatile as Adebayo, obviously, but that role is just so key going forward in the NBA, and if anyone deserves the label "Bam-esque" in this draft, it's Okongwu.

And I'd *easily* take Bam today over Wiseman. Would I take Okongwu? Probably not, just because of Wiseman's upside... but if Okongwu ends up a more valuable player in the NBA than Wiseman, I wouldn't be even remotely surprised. I think if he falls to the 8-10 range, he's going to be a massive steal for this draft.

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Frank Longo
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6. "Isaac Okoro"
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Frank Longo
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52. "Potential to be the next Iguodala. I'd reach for him, personally."
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His range of possible draft positions is something like 5-9... but I'd strongly consider in this draft reaching for him as high as 3. He's one of my favorite prospects in the draft.

The best defender in the draft, first of all. Can easily defend 1-4, thanks to terrific strength, speed in all directions, and intelligence. Dude knows exactly where to be, how to disrupt, how to communicate. He also plays hard, high motor at all times.

On offense, he's got potential to be the secondary creator on the floor in the NBA. He's got good handles for a wing, and he's a really great passer for a wing. He was the best finisher of any wing in this draft too, so he has touch around the rim.

The shot is the only downside, as it was inconsistent last year... but we're in a league right where we've seen guys like Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler be undervalued in the draft because they couldn't really shoot, but then, because they were driven, hard-working dudes, they became good shooters and ultimately franchise players.

I don't think Okoro's upside matches either of those guys... but if you told me he'd definitely shoot the league average from 3, I'd tell you he's an Iguodala type, the sort of guy who, if not a multi-year ASG type, at least starts for winning teams and makes a couple of All-Defense teams, maybe even an ASG squeezed in there. And he's just such a hard worker and such a high IQ player. I really like his chances-- so I'd reach, especially in a draft where so many of the high upside players have low floors.

Like, I think Okoro's worst case scenario is something like "a bigger Tony Allen with better playmaking" or "a bigger but slightly less skilled Marcus Smart." Even in the worst case, I think he should start, play good wing defense, and help teams win.

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Frank Longo
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Tue Oct-27-20 10:43 AM

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7. "Tyrese Haliburton"
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Frank Longo
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Tue Oct-27-20 10:52 PM

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64. "Spencer Dinwiddie-lite. I like him."
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He's got a kinda weird shooting form, but it's consistent and it goes in. There's a chance his slower release fucks some of that consistency up next level... but he's a 6'6 PG with terrific court vision. I love his eyes-- he's not an athlete, but his fakes are supreme, and he just knows how to make his defender bend to his whim. I honestly thought he could've come out last year, and that was *before* he had the terrific season he had last year.

Not the greatest defender because he's not the *greatest* athlete... but he knows his spots and he knows how to hurt offenses in those passing lanes. I think about the possibility of him going to Atlanta and playing alongside Trae Young-- that's a tantalizing tandem on offense, especially with guys like Reddish and Hunter on the wing who are good passers in their own right. He could be the piece that takes the ball movement on offense into the stratosphere.

I don't think Haliburton is the sort of guy who can create his own shot as well as a guy like Dinwiddie can, but I think he can provide a lot of the other things Dinwiddie does. Good team defense, good team offense. A good spot up shooter, a great creator for others. Again, not a guy you'd expect in a normal draft to be a top 6 sort of dude... but I think he's got a pretty high floor and a pretty high ceiling if he can get better at creating for himself off the bounce. Starter on a good team sort of ceiling. In this draft, that's at minimum a top 8 pick imo.

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Frank Longo
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Thu Nov-05-20 02:17 PM

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102. "I kinda wanna change my comparison to "Lonzo Plus.""
In response to Reply # 64
Thu Nov-05-20 02:18 PM by Frank Longo

  

          

Not quite the passer Lonzo is, but a better shooter than Lonzo is (even with, like Lonzo, a funky form), and he brings a lot of the stuff Lonzo brings to the table while also probably being a better scorer at the next level than Lonzo's been. I still like a lot about the Dinwiddie comparison, but I'm not convinced he'll ever get to *that* level of scorer, and I think he'll always be a better creator for others than creator for himself, even if he does get the jumper consistently going.

I also think he should ultimately be a plus defender next level, that a lot of the things I didn't love about Haliburton's man-to-man defense in college... were also things I didn't love about Lonzo's. Now that Lonzo's in the NBA and is no longer *the guy,* he puts a lot more effort into that defense and uses his IQ and good positional size to be a good NBA defender. I think Haliburton can do the same.

As I said above, he's got starter-on-a-good-team ceiling. I don't really think he's a guy who becomes an All-Star unless the jumper really takes off... but his floor is just so high imo. The more I think about him, the more I like him-- and I really hope he goes at 6 or even 7. Would really hate to see the Knicks take him and mismanage him as they'd be bound to do.

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Frank Longo
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Tue Oct-27-20 10:43 AM

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8. "RJ Hampton"
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Frank Longo
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Tue Oct-27-20 02:57 PM

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53. "It all comes down to the jumper."
In response to Reply # 8


  

          

I wouldn't be surprised if someone reached for Hampton, because if you buy that the shot can be consistent, then his upside is really high. Terrific speed, terrific handles, good playmaking. On offense, the kid gets it. On defense, I'd say he doesn't, but still, you're looking at a guy who could give you something like OJ Mayo production...

... if he can hit 35ish% from 3. Like, if he's hiting 30ish% from 3, then he's Dante Exum. It's a huge swing skill for him, because if he has that figured out, then as we've seen other places in the NBA, the defense won't really matter, because teams will play a guy who's that shifty and that quick... if he can shoot.

I usually don't really give thoughts about overseas guys because I don't know them, but I watched Hampton some in HS when the rumor was he was interested in Duke, so it's not like I've never seen him before (whereas Hayes and Advija and those guys? total question marks for me). His jumper was never his strongest suit, and the footage you see from him overseas definitely wasn't promising... but he's had a longer pre-draft process than normal, he's worked with Mike Miller the whole time, and reports... seem good? But then again, it's in an empty gym. Who really knows?

So I'd reach for him at a certain point, especially if I'm a bad team who just absolutely needs a grand slam, because his upside is considerably higher than a lot of players in that 7-20 range. But, like a lot of other dudes in this draft, this can go either way in a *big* way.

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Frank Longo
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9. "Killian Hayes"
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Frank Longo
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10. "Deni Avdija"
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B.J.S.301
Member since Nov 30th 2005
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Sun Nov-01-20 01:56 AM

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99. "He got decent vision....."
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But athletically, I dunno....

  

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Frank Longo
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11. "Devin Vassell"
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Frank Longo
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Tue Oct-27-20 11:55 PM

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67. "Very solid 3-and-D guy. Good piece on a winning team."
In response to Reply # 11


  

          

One of the better defenders in the draft, both at point of attack and in team defense. Really good spot-up shooter and catch-and-shoot guy from beyond the perimeter, and he's got some good pull-up jumper game in the PnR too. He's got limited upside, but he's got a really high floor. Any team ready to win now that needs a wing? They could do waaaay worse.

In a different draft, he's not a lotto pick, he's the guy that joins a playoff team and immediately makes an All-Rookie team because he can contribute right away. This year, it won't be that, because he'll end up on a worse team-- but if he falls to someone like 10 or lower, it could go very well.

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Frank Longo
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12. "Patrick Williams"
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Frank Longo
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Wed Oct-28-20 12:44 AM

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68. "A guy who will go higher than he should due to crazy upside."
In response to Reply # 12


  

          

I'm not saying he shouldn't go high-- I'm just saying he's not there today. Like, if you took last season in a bubble and said he'd be a top 10 pick in any draft, even one as weak as this one, I'd say you were nuts. He currently can't shoot, can't do much on offense away from the rim without coughing up turnovers, can't switch on defense.

That said, he's 6'8 with a nearly 7 foot wingspan and an insanely wide frame that can take on more muscle-- even though he's already really strong. While he's very turnover prone today, he's got good handles and decent passing for someone his size and age. He's not a chucker, and he's happy to play a role and play it well. His 32% from 3 and 84% from FT suggest he could absolutely be a PnR asset, both at rim-running and at the pick-and-pop. Like, some of the things I said about Okoro's upside? Add height, wingspan, strength, and a better shot, and that's Williams.

Williams is just way more raw today than Okoro. So the floor is way lower than Okoro's. But in this draft, if you have a pick between, say, 8 and 14? I can't imagine *not* taking a guy like Williams who has star upside, even if he also has a floor that's something like "goonish unrefined small ball defender who does 6 and 5."

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Frank Longo
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13. "Kira Lewis Jr."
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Beezo
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91. "Stock purchased "
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<---
Fuck a sig, my presence is enough.

  

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Frank Longo
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92. "He answers the question, "What if Terry Rozier was good?""
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I realize that's a snarky subject line, especially since Rozier had by any measure his best season to date last year. But if you look at where Rozier was when he came into the draft and where Lewis is, I see a similar role for Lewis immediately in the NBA to the one Rozier played in Boston-- except that Lewis is, today, a better shooter and playmaker than Rozier was when he joined Boston. Lightning quick, tenacious on both sides, dynamite in PnR,

He's still a bit out of control at times, and his decision making as a playmaker can get a *little* streaky... but he also was 18 basically all of last season, so I think there's some good upside here. In an ideal world, he's a backup PG/sixth man early, more of a energy scoring guard than a true PG-- best case scenario, I could see him becoming a Lou Williams type.

And who knows? If he's paired early in the right system with the right leadership, I think there's true PG potential there on top of the aggressive scoring. I know I just mentioned Boston, but that *would* be a really good situation for him. Let him be the Rozier while he learns how to be a Kemba.

If that doesn't happen, then like I said, there's definitely a good chance he becomes another "good starter on a bad team/good bench player on a good team" kind of guy. In the teens of this draft, even a "Diet Coke Lou Williams" is pretty real value.

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Frank Longo
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Tue Oct-27-20 10:45 AM

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14. "Aaron Nesmith"
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Frank Longo
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Thu Oct-29-20 08:11 PM

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93. "Not sure I'm a believer."
In response to Reply # 14


  

          

This is going to be a weird one, because Nesmith fans will argue he's the best shooter (or, at worst, top 2) in the draft. And they're quick to mention he shot 52% from 3 last year on over 8 attempts a game... and, to be sure, that's nothing to sneeze at.

That said, last season he only played fourteen games... and only *one* was in conference! He played a grand total of *two* games against KenPom Tier A+B teams last year. Now, granted, he shot 11-18 from 3 in those games, lol. But over two seasons against Tier A+B teams, he averages closer to 36% from 3. Do you think he's that guy? Or do you think he's a surefire 42+% shooter next level, as he suggested he could be in a small/weak sample size this season?

Because if you want him to be a lotto pick-- and because wings are a huuuuuge need for most teams in the NBA, teams will want to think he's one-- you need to think he's the 42+% guy. Because everywhere else, he's fine, not great. He's got some potential off the bounce, not too shifty as a handler/driver but not a liability by any means, a good team defender but not really quick/athletic enough to handler bigger/quicker wings man-to-man... like, if you think he's a 36% shooter, then he's, like, a second rounder at best.

If he ends up in the right place, he could really thrive. Like, if New Orleans keeps JJ Redick around and he teaches up Nesmith? That's your 3-point wing shooter for the next decade. If you put him somewhere where he's thrown to the wolves? He could be playing overseas after his rookie deal ends. Just hard to say. I'd take him more in the 19-24 range based on the potential the stroke provides... but I realize he'll likely go late lottery.

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Frank Longo
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15. "Saddiq Bey"
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87. "Yup. He's gonna be good"
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Frank Longo
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94. "High IQ 3-and-D wing. Role player who helps you win."
In response to Reply # 15


  

          

Smart player, good shooter, multi-positional defender. Don't think he's a guy with any upside beyond "winning starter"-- the athleticism isn't there, and he's more of a good-at-everything, bad-at-nothing guy than a guy who can make a crazy jump in star quality. But I think people generally underrate players like this going for the home run swing instead. Which I get for certain teams... but if you think you can contend any time soon, I'd take this guy without any hesitation. I'd take him ahead of Nesmith... and maybe even Williams.

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Frank Longo
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16. "Tyrese Maxey"
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Frank Longo
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95. "Brad Beal upside imo. No reason he shouldn't go lotto."
In response to Reply # 16


  

          

Like, yeah, Maxey struggled from 3 last year, and if he can't make 3s in the NBA, he's a bench guy at absolute best. That said, he's an 83% FT shooter, and the stroke looks good. Honestly reminds me again of Brad Beal and a lesson I learned the hard way, as he didn't shoot the 3 especially well in college, so I Cuban B'd all the other indicators that he could become a good NBA shooter. Maxey's indicators are there.

I don't think he's a PG, so there may be some teams expressing some concern about his ability to defend as a 6'3 SG in the NBA, but he's got good speed and decent wingspan, and the effort is there, so I don't think he'd be a net negative in that category. And he's just a tough, strong dude who wants the ball with the game on the line. You gotta like that.

I think worst case scenario, he's a sparkplug bench scorer guy. Best case scenario, you have your starting 2 guard of the future.

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Frank Longo
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17. "Precious Achiuwa"
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Frank Longo
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81. "Diet Coke Montrezl Harrell. I have questions."
In response to Reply # 17


  

          

Like, yes, he'll be drafted pretty high on potential. He's probably the only guy in the draft who could *truly* defend 1-5 in theory-- guys like Okongwu and Okoro come close, but Achiuwa has that perfect combo of the right length, size, strength, athleticism, and motor. He's also a really good rim protector, which would give him real value in small ball lineups, and he's obviously got the tools to be a terrific rim runner.

But man, I've seen him a lot from HS on, and I just don't think he has *any* skill or IQ on the offensive side of the ball. He's a bad passer. He takes bad shots-- which sucks because he can't shoot. He constantly goes into traffic and just tries to bulldoze people, which, even with his size and athleticism, simply won't work enough in the NBA. He's the absolute prototype try-hard bamma, but he also has some dum-dum in him. Like, say what you will about Trez, but at least he knows he's not a pick-and-pop guy, and he knows he's not secretly a 3. Achiuwa gives me those vibes.

He's also just not consistent enough on defense-- I know that's nitpicking because he's so young... but Okoro and Okongwu are both young too, but they have high IQ on defense in addition to strength and ability, and even if neither of them can really shoot either, (a) the shots look better than Achiuwa's, and (b) they can handle, pass, and make the right play on offense way better.

Right system and right staff, the tools are there. I can't imagine him going later than 20... but I'd truthfully wait until the 25-30 range. He'll almost certainly stick because he's a try hard dude with an NBA body, but he's Just A Guy unless he has an uptick in skill or IQ.

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Frank Longo
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18. "Tre Jones"
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Beezo
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62. "Fort Wayne Mad Ants"
In response to Reply # 18


  

          

Allstar

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DJR
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63. "LMAO"
In response to Reply # 62


  

          

  

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Frank Longo
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65. "Better pro than any Terp born in, no joke, the last four decades. "
In response to Reply # 62
Tue Oct-27-20 10:58 PM by Frank Longo

  

          

And it's oddly not close.

It's also going to be very funny when you come back and say, "he won't be better than this *one* random wack Terp from the last four decades!"

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Frank Longo
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69. "Good creator, good defensive stopper at point of attack."
In response to Reply # 18


  

          

Terrific basketball IQ, terrific pedigree. Better athleticism, strength, and speed than he gets credit for-- better than his brother in all of those regards, really. He improved significantly last year as a catch-and-shoot guy, and while he's never been especially good off the dribble, I doubt any team will ask him to do that.

If drafted in the 20s to a good team, he can be an off-the-bench PG from Day 1 to provide that energy-- or, if on the right team with shooters, could really set the table for teams with perimeter weapons. He's honestly best suited imo for the role he had as a freshman at Duke-- to go to an NBA team with a Big 3 where he can be the perfect role player to set them up and to help lock in their defense. There's real value in a guy that brings those things to the table.

But the upside is admittedly limited. He's not the put-the-team-on-his-back guy that he tried to be in the ACC as a sophomore imo-- not at the next level, anyhow. But that's okay. He's a high IQ enough player that he knows what his role will be and he'll play it to the fullest.

He'll be a more valuable winning player than some other lead guards who'll be drafted around the same range who are more interested in scoring than winning.

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Frank Longo
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19. "Cole Anthony"
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Beezo
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85. "Has all the tools to be pretty good"
In response to Reply # 19


  

          

Questionable decision maker.

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Frank Longo
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89. "Austin Rivers 2.0."
In response to Reply # 19


  

          

Same hype out of high school. Same reputation, same "this could be the #1 pick" talk. Same sort of disappointment in college, although Austin obviously had a better season than Cole did.

Same strengths and weaknesses too, really. Good at scoring (if not especially efficient). Crafty with the ball. Strong threat in transition. Not really a point guard, more of a score-first guy-- though I believe Cole should drop more dimes in the NBA than Austin, he's a little better there, even if the numbers don't reflect it. Both had reputations of being deadly shooters coming out of high school, buuuuuut both did not shoot very well in college, at least in part due to pretty dreadful shot selection. Again, I imagine Cole is a slightly better shooter than Austin, but Austin is a better finisher than Cole is, especially in the halfcourt.

Cole's relatively slight height, wingspan, and frame is also definitely going to be an issue on both ends-- the poor finishing in the halfcourt should likely continue, and he'll get picked on on defense. He wasn't an especially good defender at UNC anyway-- he's pretty good off-ball in the passing lanes and on weak side blocks, but outside of that, there's not much there. The NBA will just run switches to put Cole on the guy with the ball, and he could get abused.

So yeah, I don't see *that* level of upside with Cole. Maybe if you think he can become a point guard, or if you think he can shoot 40+% from 3, then sure, I guess he could start. But he screams "bench scorer/primary guard only if your primary guard is injured." Which, again, has kind of become Austin's role in the NBA. I'd take a flier in the 20s. The Knicks fans who think they should pick him at 8 are certifiable. He might not even be a Top 8 *guard* in this draft.

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Frank Longo
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20. "Jalen Smith"
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Beezo
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55. "Sticks!!"
In response to Reply # 20


  

          

Solid in all areas on both sides of the ball. Improved 3 ball and free throw percentage. Will make any team better, solid pro for many years.

<---
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Frank Longo
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103. "Possible off-the-bench stretch big. Ceiling: Thomas Bryant. "
In response to Reply # 20


  

          

Liked the improvements I saw from him last year as a shooter. Do I buy it at the next level? Not sure, but anyone that size who can make 37% from 3 on nearly 3 attempts a game is probably worth a look on that alone. Also a good weak side shot blocker.

That said, he's reeeeeally stiff, and he's got a weak lower body. That's a really bad combo imo. Because there is a zero percent chance he can defend the perimeter and switch... but he's also gonna get abused by a lot of the bigger, stronger, more mobile bigs in the NBA.

So I think you bring him in with your second unit, especially if the other team's second unit big is pretty stiff. There, he could take advantage, especially in pick-and-roll or pick-and-pop action on offense. I think that's pretty good value at the very end of the first round. I think he's gonna go more like mid-first, which... I just don't see, unless you think you can drastically alter his mobility or drastically build his lower body strength.

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Frank Longo
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21. "Aleksej Pokusevski"
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22. "Desmond Bane"
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23. "Josh Green"
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24. "Isaiah Stewart"
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DJR
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59. "Solid starter"
In response to Reply # 24


  

          

  

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Frank Longo
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25. "Jaden McDaniels"
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DJR
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60. "Nah"
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Beezo
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61. "Only caught a few of his games. Mouthing at the other team every time"
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Reminds me of Josh Jackson. So..

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Frank Longo
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109. "Obvious lotto potential, buuuuut I don't see it."
In response to Reply # 25


  

          

Any guy that's an athletic 6'9 with a 7 foot wingspan like him will probably go first round. He's a really good ballhandler for his size, he's a good catch-and-shoot guy so the stretch 4 potential is there, and the size and athleticism gives him some serious multi-positional defender potential. Like, it's easy to see why he was a Top 5 recruit coming out of HS.

But the basketball IQ suuuuuuucks. And he's absolutely rail thin, so the switchability isn't really a bonus with him, because there are probably a lot of 2 guards and wings that can realistically back him down into the post right now.

So yeah, he could honestly become a star in the right setting, if he builds muscle and gets more comfortable with the game... or he could be overseas in like 2-3 years. I think he's an obvious stash candidate for a team who can afford to do so, be that a good team with a strong developmental program at the end of the first... or a shitty team that knows they'll be tanking again next year at the top of the second. But I'd honestly rather let another team pick him.

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Frank Longo
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26. "Malachi Flynn"
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27. "Xavier Tillman"
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Beezo
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111. "Word is he shot threes better than some of the guards at the combine."
In response to Reply # 27


  

          

Hard worker with grown man responsibilities. He’ll be a solid rotational guy on somebody’s team.

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Frank Longo
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28. "Tyrell Terry"
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29. "Robert Woodard"
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Frank Longo
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30. "Theo Maledon"
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31. "Leandro Bolmaro"
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32. "Cassius Winston"
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Beezo
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86. "Gonna miss seeing him lead the Spartans"
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Winner. Solid pg for years in the league

<---
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Frank Longo
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113. "... I worry about him. Best case scenario: Jalen Brunson."
In response to Reply # 32


  

          

Granted, projecting these undersized All-American PGs and how they'll do in the league is admittedly my biggest weakness. Sometimes I get too excited, other times I'm way too low.

Winston is a terrific shooter, and he's a willing defender, so he could stick. Not quite the playmaker Brunson was-- maybe a slightly better Yogi Ferrell is the better comparison?-- but a good facilitator with a high basketball IQ.

That said, beyond his lack of size and athleticism, people also forget that his knees were hot most of his college career. I think there are serious injury concerns with him.

I think mid-second round he's probably a good value, but unless he can keep a full bill of health, I'm not necessarily convinced he's as safe a bench player as people seem to think.

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33. "Cassius Stanley"
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Frank Longo
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90. "Gerald Green at worst. Terrific second round value."
In response to Reply # 33


  

          

There's room for improvement, obviously. The handle is too loose. The passing needs work. While he's a good catch-and-shoot shooter, his off-the-dribble shooting definitely needs to get better for him to reach his ceiling. He's a good point-of-attack defender, but his discipline in off-ball defensive rotations needs work-- he still tends to watch the ball too much, because he knows he's quick/athletic enough to pick off passes, but that also means he's vulnerable to back-cuts and things like this, which he definitely can't let happen at the next level.

That said, he's one of the best pure athletes in the draft, he's a high-motor guy, he's unselfish, he can make catch-and-shoot 3s in the halfcourt, and he's a massive weapon in transition. If one of his swing skills (shooting off the bounce and/or consistency on defense) works out, he's an NBA starter.

And in a draft where most of the second round is going to be more polished picks with limited upside, here's a guy with serious upside whose floor is still "off-the-bench athlete"-- a la Gerald Green. And if he pops, then shit. Real chance he's the best Duke player in the draft, and real chance he ends up better than a couple of the wings who are going to go lottery.

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Frank Longo
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34. "Elijah Hughes"
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DJR
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58. "Sticks. Rotation player"
In response to Reply # 34


  

          

Good athlete, can play off the ball but can do a bit off the dribble too, can shoot with range, decent ball handler and passer, decent defender.

  

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Frank Longo
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107. "Unsold, but good 3-and-D potential at the top of the second."
In response to Reply # 34


  

          

I'm not immediately sold for a couple reasons, but most of them I can immediately caveat:

1. Not a consistent 3 point shooter at all. 29% shooting off the dribble and, even worse for his 3-and-D prospects, 36% off the catch. I could blame the bad off-the-dribble stuff on shot selection, but he's gotta nail catch-and-shoot 3s at a better clip. His free throw numbers are good, so there are reasons to be optimistic that he could be a totally serviceable 3-and-D wing on the 3 front. There's just also some downside. Which comes to my next point...

2. That goddamn zone, lol. Just never really tells me what kind of defender he actually is today. Do I think he has the physical and athletic tools to be a net-positive defender? Yes. But if all he's got as a 3-and-D prospect is tools to develop the 3 and tools to develop the D... that's just not a first rounder, really.

He brings some other interesting things to the table. Pretty good playmaker for a wing. Good midrange. Good competitor. Some versatility there. I saw a Deandre Bembry comparison that I don't hate. Don't really ever see him being a double digit PPG guy, but if the tools are developed, he could be a solid role player at an increasingly valuable position.

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Frank Longo
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35. "Zeke Nnaji"
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Frank Longo
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36. "Daniel Oturu"
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Beezo
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97. "Yup, like this kid. Double double machine in the Big Ten"
In response to Reply # 36


  

          

.

<---
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Frank Longo
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116. "Decent PnR big off the bench. Can shoot a bit."
In response to Reply # 36


  

          

Not in love with Oturu in 2020 NBA. He's got good post moves, but he was also super turnover-prone. He's a good defender at the rim, but he's definitely not a perimeter defender at all-- I question his mobility outside of the paint, and I kind of question his conditioning. So a big man who usually is just the fed the ball down low and who can't defend the perimeter is... not a great asset in 2020.

That said, he shows some propensity to hit standstill 3s in college. Now, granted, if you think Wendell Carter will never be an NBA shooter, and he hasn't been so far, then you've gotta have the same skepticism here, because Carter was a better 3-point shooter *and* free throw shooter in college. But still, you're in the second round, a 6'10 guy who can set big screens, dive to the basket well, and occasionally do a pick-and-pop standstill 3... that's decent value in the second.

Assuming he can hit those 3s. If he doesn't, then I'm not convinced he sticks.

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Frank Longo
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37. "Immanuel Quickley"
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Beezo
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56. "Manny!!"
In response to Reply # 37


  

          

Just put 3 on the board if he gets an open look.
Showed the ability to defend the guy on opposing teams all last year.
Always room on rosters for knock down shooters. Solid pro.

<---
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Frank Longo
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38. "Nico Mannion"
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Beezo
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57. "Not sold"
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<---
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Frank Longo
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101. "Agreed. Kid doesn't have it imo. Kendall Marshall at best. "
In response to Reply # 57


  

          

Like, he's a great passer, does work in transition, and is probably one of the better "pure PGs" in the draft in terms of creating for others.

That said, the red flags are glaring:

- his FT percentage suggests his 3 point shooting should be better than it was... but the stroke also doesn't pass the eye test.
- he's one of the worst finishers in the class. Doesn't like contact, takes weird floaters, etc.
- he's not nearly quick enough to get separation in the NBA.
- he's not nearly quick enough to defend even average PGs in the NBA.
- he also doesn't have the size or length to defend in the NBA.

So he doesn't project as a good shooter, or a good scorer, or a good defender. So, like, what is he?

Like, I feel like he's a less-good Kendall Marshall. Maybe if he figures out his jumper, he can have bench backup PG value... but, like, that jumper's gotta get waaaaay better to make up for how bad he'll be on defense.

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Frank Longo
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39. "Sam Merrill"
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Frank Longo
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115. "Easily worth a second round flier. Elite shooter, secondary playmaker."
In response to Reply # 39


  

          

Definitely an argument to be made that Merrill is the best shooter in the class. Deep, midrange, you name it. He also more or less ran point at Utah State, and while he's obviously not fast enough or athletic enough to really do that in the NBA full time at a high level, I think he's a great second round pickup for those looking for secondary playmakers or guys who will make the savvy extra pass in a half court set.

Not a good defender at all, but good positional size, so that could make up for it-- plus he's smart enough that I bet he could become a non-liability as a team defender. Also not an athlete... but I mean, that's obvious, because a 6'5 guy who's the best shooter in the class and a strong high IQ playmaker would be a lotto pick in this draft if he was. I think he's more a catch-and-shoot, or maybe a pump-fake-one-dribble-shoot kinda guy in the NBA, but if you find that guy reliably in the second round? That's value. I definitely heard him comparing himself to Duncan Robinson in interviews, and I think that's a smart sales pitch-- he may not be able to defend, but he can supernova your offense.

Ultimately, you take him for the shooting. I think he's projected mid-to-late-mid-second, but I'd take him in the 30s. Very few guys that can give you this level of pure shooting.

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Frank Longo
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40. "Isaiah Joe"
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Frank Longo
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41. "Grant Riller"
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Frank Longo
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114. "HUGE value in the 2nd imo. I'd consider taking him first round."
In response to Reply # 41
Sat Nov-14-20 03:06 PM by Frank Longo

  

          

He's one of the best in the draft at creating his own shot. Potentially *the* best, and I realize what a crazy sounding statement that is for a guy projected second round, but it's true. Really, really gifted scorer. Good handles, great at creating separation. Terrific at the rim and willing to drive, but also able to hit Damian Lillard range 3s. Great catch-and-shoot shooter (41% on a massive sample in college), but since he was his team's entire offense, he also showed he can hit off-balance 3s, 3s on the move, etc. Has a nice pull-up midrange game too. Really nothing on offense he can't do.

I've heard three knocks against him, and I'll happily counter all three:

1. "Weak competition." Undeniably true... but that was true for Lillard and Curry too. Like, if a guy has game, he has game. Dude is gifted and he's tough on offense. Sure, it may take him a bit to adjust... or it may not. I think the guy is an NBA scorer.

2. "Forces shots." I mean, yeah, but he had to carry the offense, which meant taking contested shots now and again. I don't really see this as a real problem in the NBA, where he'd be playing more of a role.

3. "Bad defender." This is undeniably true also, but it's hard to tell whether it's just because he had to do everything on offense every game. He's got the tools and athleticism to be at worst an average NBA defender.

It seems like he's projected mid-second, which is crazy to me. I'd easily take him above Mannion, above Winston, above Pritchard, and I'd consider him above Terry. Even if he's never a starter, he could be a deadly sixth man scoring type. I saw a Marcus Thornton comparison, and that's not bad, really. There might be growing pains, but he's also a prime candidate to be the second round breakout guy that scores 14+ PPG as a rookie and people ask "how did he fall so low?"

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Frank Longo
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42. "Payton Pritchard"
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Beezo
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105. "I’d pick him to run my team"
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Steady as hell, gamer.
Cooked some of the guards projected ahead of him.
Solid backup pg

<---
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Frank Longo
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43. "Udoka Azubuike"
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Beezo
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104. "Throwback big"
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Set screens, rebound, put backs.
Just be big

<---
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will_5198
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110. "I feel like he'll be bad"
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I don't know anything though

--------

  

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Frank Longo
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112. "His agility has improved a lot. I think he can play a bench role."
In response to Reply # 110


  

          

Like, if guys like Omer Asik stuck for a decade, he can stick. He's a better rebounder and rim protector than Asik too. He's also, importantly for the NBA, pretty elite in the pick-and-roll, because his screens are monstrous and he's tough to stop on the slip because he's a little quicker than people would think.

The big problem is the free throw shooting. It's sooooo bad. He would be the worst free throw shooter in the league by a lot on Day 1, and if I were playing against him, I'd intentionally hack him until he can prove he can make 55+% from the line minimum. In 4 seasons at Kansas, he shot 42% from the stripe. ROUGH.

Other mild concerns: he's not a good passer. His only offense is bully ball, and while he'll still be physically imposing even at the next level, it won't be nearly as effective. Dribbling is a non-starter-- he's good for one or two bounces and up. He also, of course, is the sort of guy who would show up at Kansas weighing 290 or something, so y'know, that could definitely be an issue going forward.

But I think, assuming he can shoot 55+% from the stripe, he can be an effective off-the-bench rim protector and paint bully for 15-20 MPG. And if he can really solidify that role, he could play it for a decade plus. (But that 55+% is a *big* if imo.)

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Frank Longo
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44. "Devon Dotson"
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Beezo
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100. "Solid backup PG"
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<---
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Frank Longo
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45. "Jahmi'us Ramsey"
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allStah
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96. "You're basically in here talking to yourself. "
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Lol.

Just messing with you.

  

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guru0509
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106. "College basketball is so boring nowadays"
In response to Reply # 96


  

          

but maybe that bc my alma mater has sucked at basketball since 2011

If frank doesn’t do this thread no one else does lol

Im so out the loop I haven’t even heard of 50% of these players

>Lol.
>
>Just messing with you.

-------------------
I wanna go to where the martyrs went
the brown figures on the walls of my apart-a-ment...

  

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Frank Longo
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108. "Yeah, it's especially hard in a tournament-less season..."
In response to Reply # 96


  

          

... to get anyone to post takes in here. So often the guys that NBA fans latch onto are guys they see for the first time in March.

Still, it's a stressful time in America, and it's a good outlet for me, lol.

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Frank Longo
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117. "Mason Jones"
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Frank Longo
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118. "A crafty wing scorer. I wouldn't bet against him."
In response to Reply # 117


  

          

He comes from a basketball family (his brother, Matt, was an NCAA National Champion for some school or another). He weighed 270 in high school and decided on a lark that he'd start playing basketball in HS senior year. In the, like, 4 years since, he's lost like 70 pounds. Played one JuCo year and dominated... and was the SEC Player of the Year his second year of college. There's a good chance that the dude just has It when it comes to the game.

He's not an athlete, and he's definitely a high volume guy and not a high efficiency guy... but he's got terrific shooting range, he's a good shooter, he's crafty at creating separation, and he's got great strength when driving downhill that I think will translate next level.

I don't think he's a lock to get drafted because, well, he was a nobody HS prospect-turned-JuCo, so scouts haven't seen as much of him over the years, and the sub-average NBA athleticism and the not-great defense will likely mean teams won't bet on him. I can't really blame them... but when you're already digging through marginal NBA talent toward the end of the second, and you see a bulldog like Jones? I wouldn't bet against him. Kinda hoping he goes undrafted and gets a deal to come off the bench for a playoff level team looking for depth-- then you'll get to see what he does sooner rather than later imo.

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