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2019 NBA Draft

Discussion in 'Trades, Free Agency, & the Draft' started by Nathan S, Jun 26, 2018.

  1. blommen

    blommen Pissing Excellence

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    I guess my point is, look at the teams that are actually "contenders". They all have guys they can stick at the 5 who are capable of switching on to smaller players and not be a total liability. Teams like Toronto, Boston, Golden Sate, Milwaukee they all have more traditional bigs in case of match ups but generally where they do the most damage is with their switchable line-ups. It's why I had a guy like Jaren so high on the board last year and why I still think he's the best big man prospect in the class.

    Of course, there are more defensively challenged bigs who are so good offensively that it alleviates some of their defensive deficiencies but how many of those guys even exist? 1? 2, maybe?

    Outside of floorspacing, defensive versatility is the most important thing I look for in players, especially bigs.
     
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  2. Nathan S

    Nathan S 33 is the new 23

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    I think that's a fair point. If we're talking about Goga in particular, I don't think he's quite as big a risk to get run off the floor as some guys...even if he isn't the ideal pick&roll defender, 6'11" weighing 240-250 doesn't put him in the plodder category either.

    But seriously, how many bigs can protect the rim, defend the perimeter, *and* have some kind of offensive skill? Jaren Jackson has the potential to be one of those guys, but they're basically unicorns...you could draft in the lottery for a decade and never have a chance to pick a guy like him. Normally you have to settle for a smaller big who doesn't really give you much shot blocking, or a more traditional big who'll have some problems guarding the perimeter, or an athletic freak type (think Jaxson Hayes) who can do it all on defense but is extremely limited on offense.
     
  3. blommen

    blommen Pissing Excellence

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    Right, they're super rare and that point I'd probably bite the bullet on offensive output if it meant getting defensive versatility at the 5. I know it's not necessarily a solution, but I just think there are so many examples of lacking defensive play at center being a fundamental issue to teams that I think it sort of has to be one of the very first things you look at when evaluating a Big man.

    I'm not opposed to the idea of having your best player be a big man at all, but I think that has to include some level defensive versatility.
     
  4. Nathan S

    Nathan S 33 is the new 23

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    If you boil it down to rim protection, perimeter defense, and 3-point shooting, pick 2 of 3...it's not an easy decision, right? I mean, I don't even know what I'd pick. But I think all options are viable assuming that, as you said, you're not counting on the guy to be the best player on your team.
     
  5. blommen

    blommen Pissing Excellence

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    It kinda is for me. I pick rim protection and perimeter defense. I'll live with a big who isn't capable of spacing the floor, I can find shooters at the other positions. The odds of finding rim protection and perimeter defense at the other positions is much worse.
     
  6. Nathan S

    Nathan S 33 is the new 23

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    Say you happen to draft a guy like Zion though. He could be devastating offensively if he's paired with a 5 who can space the floor. Same deal to a lesser extent if you consider other talented scoring PFs in this draft like Clarke and Williams. I'm not convinced that the league is trending towards smaller 5's, but it's 100% trending towards 5's who can space the floor, and for good reason.
     
  7. blommen

    blommen Pissing Excellence

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    I think if you draft Zion you do it with the expectation that he's one of the very few perimeter players who can be counted on to take on some rim protection duties, so in that case picking up a floor spacer at 5 is sensible. If Zion isn't that player and you draft a 5 who isn't capable of perimeter defense and rim protection I think you're setting yourself up for some bad mismatches and ultimately I think it's going to hurt you more than it helps.
     
  8. Nathan S

    Nathan S 33 is the new 23

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    Well, I certainly agree that any stretch 5 should either be a pretty good rim protector or be a pretty good perimeter defender. If he's neither, then yeah, you're going to have problems defensively. But all the top center prospects in this draft, other than maybe Fernando, are potentially elite rim protectors.
     
  9. Walter White

    Walter White Hall-of-Famer

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    But imagine if you paired Zion with a good rim protecting center where he can float around and block shots from the weak side and play passing lanes. That would be some nasty defense.
     
  10. Cavatt

    Cavatt Hall-of-Famer

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    Do you try to keep Jon Henson in this case? A guy who can hit a 3 and protect the rim?
     
  11. CleveRocks

    CleveRocks There go the Cavs!

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    I am not sure zion matches up with a true big per se. I am thinking he is more of a positionless guy. He has the size and strength that normally you find in centers, but athletically he would run them right out of the gym. For me it would make sense to team zion with four ball handlers who can also shoot to create havoc in the defense for Zion to exploit. I think we are pretty close to that already with Sexton, Cedi, Nance and Love. If you add a human wrecking ball to that line up, defensively all you could do would be try to stay in front of your guy.
     
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  12. Nathan S

    Nathan S 33 is the new 23

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    Quick notes on the top PFs. Much harder to narrow this down to 3, so I won't try. Zion's obviously #1, and I see Williams as the clear #2, but don't feel strongly about the ordering after him.


    Zion Williamson

    Offense - Devastating scorer attacking the basket thanks to his strength, athleticism, and surprising quickness with the ball. Really good handle for a player his size, which should continue to improve with experience. Not a great passer at this stage, but has shown some flashes. Capable outside shooter, albeit with rigid and unorthodox mechanics that make it hard to project significant improvement in that department.

    Defense - Fantastic defender with beyond-ideal strength and athleticism. Plays way above his listed height and covers ground effortlessly. High motor, gambles too much at times but doesn't rely on gambles for most of his impact plays. Generally good fundamentals for his age. Quick feet and active hands allow him to stay in front of quicker perimeter players, and elite lower body strength allows him to hold off bigs, though savvier NBA bigs will exploit the fact that he has to leave the ground to contest.


    Grant Williams

    Offense - One of the best 1-on-1 frontcourt scorers in the NCAA due to his strength and quickness with the ball paired with his accurate midrange jumper. Very crafty, gets defenders off balance and draws fouls. Great passer for a PF, willing to call out plays and lead the offense. Does the dirty work of setting screens and crashing the offensive glass. On the downside, somewhat uncomfortable creating/shooting from behind the arc, and lacks elite length to get his shot off over bigger defenders.

    Defense - Very good fundamentals; no wasted movement, moves his feet while maintaining a strong base to put pressure on opposing bigs, often forcing them into off-balance short midrange shots. Communicates well, good reflexes and instincts going for opportunistic steals and blocks. His size limits his upside as a 1-on-1 defender against more skilled bigs. Good effort on the perimeter, but lacks elite lateral quickness, and his physical style results in too many fouls.


    Nicolas Claxton

    Offense - Surprisingly perimeter-oriented game for a 6'11" guy. Comfortable handling the ball, and played point forward for significant stretches. A willing shooter, even off the dribble and out beyond NBA range, but not very accurate. Somewhat more dangerous attacking the rim, but again not the model of efficiency at least by PF standards. Capable of playing aggressively, but currently limited by his underdeveloped frame.

    Defense - Really stands out of the perimeter, where he moves like a huge wing. Dangerous shot blocker thanks to his size and athleticism. Has the potential to be an extremely useful multi-positional defender if his frame fills out, but currently gets bullied by larger frontcourt players. Good motor, but doesn't always have great body language; needs to mature some mentally to take the next step. Hard to separate his struggles from the overall dysfunction of his team.


    Brandon Clarke

    Offense - Extremely dangerous scorer with great touch within around 15 feet. Plays much bigger than his size thanks to elite athleticism. Voracious offensive rebounder. Capable but not exceptional passer; doesn't operate much from the perimeter at all. Nearly nonexistent outside shot is a serious weakness. One of the oldest 1st-round prospects, unlikely to seriously expand his game.

    Defense - Again, plays much bigger than should be possible for a guy listed 6'8" 215 thanks to his relentless motor and athleticism. May even have the potential to play some small-ball center, as he's a more than capable shot blocker. Decent ability to step out and guard the perimeter, though clearly much more at home in the paint.


    PJ Washington

    Offense - Versatile all-around scorer, capable of creating his own offense in the paint, and a solid 3-point shooter who should immediately be able to space the floor at the NBA level. Doesn't always stay focused, and is sometimes too predictable when he looks to score; needs to be more aware of his teammates when the defense sends help.

    Defense - Good toughness and athleticism, ideal frame to guard 4's and big wings, can really shine when he's fully locked in. However, he's also capable of coasting for long stretches and having virtually no impact. Somewhat behind the curve in terms of defensive fundamentals for a guy who'll turn 21 this summer. Needs a coach who can get him to really "buy in" on that end.


    Chuma Okeke

    Offense - The prototypical glue guy, he's a very good 3-point shooter and loves to crash the offensive glass. High-IQ player, unselfish, makes good, quick decisions with the ball. Uses his length and athleticism well attacking the rim, but rarely gets there off his own dribble due to his underdeveloped handle and general passivity. Recovering from a torn ACL.

    Defense - One of the few guys who may genuinely have the potential to guard 1-5. Really fantastic combination of length, strength, and smarts. Knows how to box out and rebound and will actively do so even against big centers; equally happy to hound ballhandlers out behind the 3-point line. Also a useful off-ball defender, though he adds most of his value passing lanes rather than protecting the rim like a typical big.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019 at 10:23 PM
  13. TyGuy

    TyGuy Chinese

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    I don't think people have any question about it working offensively. Defensively they will undoubtedly be a train wreck.
     
  14. Nathan S

    Nathan S 33 is the new 23

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    Quick notes on the top SFs. The ordering here is pretty fluid depending on what exactly you value in a prospect, I think, and that includes Barrett at the top.

    RJ Barrett

    Offense - Surprisingly polished game for an 18-year-old. There are questions about his scoring upside due to a lack of high-end athleticism and a streaky jumpshot, but there's no doubt that he's a threat to score from anywhere on the court, and that's impressive. Really good passer for his age and size; did a good job limiting turnovers considering his enormous usage. Tends too much towards chucking at times, but has the skills to be a point forward if coaches push him in that direction.

    Defense - Just barely adequate at the college level; he'll have to make big strides on this end to hang in the NBA. Shockingly few steals for a wing, and many of them he only got thanks to the pressure generated by his more active teammates. Will add some value as a rebounder, and has enough size that it shouldn't generally be hard to hide him on defense.


    Jarrett Culver

    Offense - Had the profile of a blossoming superstar wing around midseason, but serious late season struggles cast doubt on how much potential he really has. Dribble/pass/shoot skills are there, but more raw than you'd like to see in a 20-year-old lottery prospect. Probably better off as a secondary rather than primary creator at the next level, but needs to improve his jumpshot to really shine in an off-ball role.

    Defense - One of the better defensive wing prospects in the draft; good motor even when he was expending a lot of energy on the other end of the court. Projects to be fairly versatile with the toughness to handle big wings and the quickness to stay in front of most guards. Active rebounder, capable shot blocker in 1-on-1 situations and occasionally as a help defender. Good instincts playing passing lanes and pressuring ballhandlers without over gambling.


    Talen Horton-Tucker

    Offense - A full year young for his class beginning the season at just 17 years old, he wasted no time asserting himself offensively, always looking to make something happen when he touched the ball. Bowling-ball frame combined with willingness to pull up for deep 3's makes him difficult to guard, though he's not yet skilled enough to consistently cash in on the openings he creates. Also an above-average passer for his position who probably has some point forward potential.

    Defense - Intriguing frame at 6'4" with an enormous 7'1"+ wingspan, and it's not crazy to think he could grow a little considering his age. Solid rebound/steal/block numbers for a wing, though too often he was a loose canon that disrupted his team's defensive scheme. Needs to get in better shape to really max out the defensive versatility his frame promises. Needs a coach who can rein him in a little, improve his fundamentals, and channel his naturally high motor more productively.


    De'Andre Hunter

    Offense - High-IQ roleplayer at the college level, though with less ballhandling and finesse than you'd hope for in an older wing prospect. Will find a way to make himself useful with his accurate jumper and his toughness on the glass, but underdeveloped handle and just-ok first step makes it hard for him to create against a set defense. His midrange jumper was a handy fallback option for Virginia at the college level, but NBA defenses will be happy to give him that shot.

    Defense - Perhaps the very best 1-on-1 defender at the college level, he should be immediately useful in a defensive stopper role in the NBA. Really good at using his length to contest without fouling, and rarely gets beat off the dribble thanks to his quick feet. Very fundamentally sound in that he'll always maintain his position and never get baited into swiping for a steal. Though he certainly errs of the side of being too conservative at times, his approach pays off more often than not in the long run.
     
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  15. The Human Q-Tip

    The Human Q-Tip I want to be called "Loretta"

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    Do you believe any of those guys can swing between the 2/3?
     

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