Thursday night in Philadelphia, the Sixers coming off an ugly loss to the Boston Celtics welcomed the Chicago Bulls to the Wells Fargo Center.
After the Boston game many Sixers were left bewildered and upset about their beloved team.
“This team has the same weakness as it did last year!”
“Brett Brown is getting outcoached”
“Ben Simmons still can’t shoot!”
“Can Markelle Fultz even play at this level?”
Fans ran through a gamut of emotions and opinions. Fast forward to tonight, both teams came out shooting the lights out with Philly shooting 79% and Chicago 71% from the field. It was a tight affair throughout the first half with the Sixers holding a 65-58 lead at halftime.
In the 3rd quarter the Sixers took off on a 17-0 run and never looked back. The Bulls sweet shooting came back down to earth and Chicago never got back in the game.
Joel Embiid and Zach Levine led all scorers for their respective teams, each with 30. Embiid also added 12 rebounds and 4 blocks.
Ben Simmons was his usual multi-faceted self with another triple-double that’s becoming so commonplace for him.
Much maligned Markelle Fultz finished with 12 points 5 assists and 4 rebounds on 5/15 shooting. Not the best stat line, but the flashes were there. The crowd buzzed everytime he touched the ball, they erupted every time he made a shot. The climax coming when Fultz made his first career 3 pointer, it was obvious everyone in the building was rooting for the 20 year old.
A great boost of confidence for a young player and a young team looking to compete at the top of the Eastern conference.
Next up: Sixers vs Magic Oct. 20.
Draft options for the Sixers
In Philly, they’re at the point where the draft isn’t as important as it was in years past. There is no public outcry to grab the top college prospect and have him lead the team to prominence. Nowadays the draft picks are viewed more as a bargaining chip. Trade the No. 10 pick and a certain player for a certain superstar is the common theme. That is as it should be though. The Sixers won 52 games and have their sights set on an NBA title. To achieve that, the improvement will more than likely come from free agency and trades for veteran help. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything useful in the draft. Assuming they don’t trade any picks here are some players that can be useful for the Sixers in the upcoming NBA draft:
Options at 10
Mikal Bridges – He’s an obvious scheme fit and already a fan favorite. Bridges defense on the perimeter and 3 point shooting would be a welcome addition. Doesn’t have the huge upside that captures the imagination but still solid. Low ceiling, high floor type player.
Miles Bridges – Bridges is a very athletic and energetic player with a developing offensive game. A bit of a tweener. His best position may be at the 4. Has a ways to go, but he can develop into an exciting player.
Kevin Knox – An extremely talented scorer. Has a consistent jump shot that’s only going to improve. Has that upside that I spoke of earlier. Has to figure out the rest of his game. He needs a lot of coaching but could be a gem long term.
Lonnie Walker – Talented player with excellent 2-way potential. Shooting, Ball handling, Defense are all good but need improvement to make an impact on the NBA level. Overall a very good prospect at SG.
Robert Williams – A bit of a long shot for Philly, but at 6’9 with a 7’4 wingspan, Williams would be a big help as a rim protector when Embiid sits. Uber-athletic and quick enough to defend on the perimeter. He can offer energy, defense and rebounding while his offense comes around.
Options at 26
Jerome Robinson – A 6’6 combo guard that can shoot the lights out. Able to score on all three levels. Willing passer. The only concern is if he can defend at an NBA level.
Chandler Hutchinson – A 3 and D player that’s all the rage in the NBA right now. A much improved 3 ball and good defensive ability gives Hutchinson a shot to play early. He also offers ball handling and play-making abilities.
Shake Milton – Another 6’6 combo guard with great shooting ability. Quick with the ball and a good passer. Needs to improve decision making and shot selection.
Donte DiVencenzo – He may go before 26 with his excellent athletic testing at the NBA Combine. Excellent upside player coming from a great program in college.
Khyrie Thomas – A bit undersized for a SG, but makes up for it with extremely long arms. One of the best defensive players in this draft class. Thomas also offers decent 3 point shooting and an ability to finish at the rim.
Tyus Battle – A true wild card. Undecided whether or not he’ll stay in the draft. Battle has a great ability to create his own shot. Can score at every level with his good ball handling and jump shot.
2nd Round options
Rodions Kurucs – An athletic forward that can do a bit of everything. Would be a great draft and stash option.
Isaac Bamba – 6’9 with PG abilities. Very fast and a good ball handler for his size. Needs to work on his J, and he’s paper thin. Another draft and stash option.
Melvin Frazier – Defensively he can play right now. Offensively he needs to work on everything. Still a very solid wing player.
Rawle Alkins – Has the size and strength to play early. Offers playmaking, shooting, and energy. Would be a good bench player.
Legerald Vick – Long and athletic player with 3&D upside.
It should be interesting to see which players will join The Process going forward.
What happened to the Raptors? They won 59 games this regular season, but as per usual they choked in the playoffs. This is my opinion on what I think the Raptors should do this offseason, following the firing of head coach Dwane Casey.
Jerry Stackhouse-head coach for Toronto 905 (G-League)
Becky Hammon–San Antonio Spurs assistant coach
Nick Nurse-Raptors assistant coach
The Raptors have a ton of options, but I would prefer Jerry Stackhouse. He has had a ton of success in the G-League. He led his Toronto 905 team to the finals, before eventually losing the best-of-3 series against the Austin Spurs. He is a young coach and has a ton of potential.
Separate Kyle Lowry and Demar DeRozan
What do we do? They are best friends and it would be so hard for us the fans, and the rest of the team, including President Masai Ujiri to have to split them up. So what do we do? I say we trade Kyle Lowry. He doesn’t seem like he takes the game seriously. He was seen laughing with LeBron James just moments before that huge buzzer beater in game 3.
But who will take his large contract? Yes I know he has two years left of that huge contract, 31 million next year and 33 million the year after that. I think teams that may be interested in Kyle are the Minnesota Timberwolves or the San Antonio Spurs. What can we get in return?
From the Spurs: Patty Mills, Rudy Gay and the 18th overall pick. Why should the Spurs and the Raptors agree to this trade? The Spurs need a point guard for right now. They have Dejounte Murray for the future, but he is only 21 years old. The Spurs can use Kyle Lowry for the next 2 years and try to win another championship with the aging Pau Gasol and Tony Parker, and of course Kawhi Leonard, for the Raptors they get a much-needed draft pick and a couple of veterans. Patty Mills is only 29 years old and has 3 years left on his 12 million dollar contract.
They get Rudy Gay who can return to the 6ix and he can become a mentor for the rookie OG Anunoby and improve that already lethal bench. From the Timberwolves: Jeff Teague, Justin Patton, and the 20th pick. The Timberwolves finally get that point guard who can dish to the likes of Jimmy Butler, Andrew Wiggins, and Karl-Anthony Towns.
They don’t have to rely on Lowry to score; they just need him to be a traditional point guard. The Raptors can use Teague as there point guard for the next two years and maybe he can be a spark. Justin Patton still has 4 years left on his rookie deal so he can play on the bench as another young big man. What do you think the Raptors should do regarding Kyle Lowry and Demar DeRozan?
I don’t think they should completely blow up, they just need to split up our two all-stars. I don’t think they will ever be successful with those two together. Similar to the Portland Trailblazers with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
This is the worst you will ever see Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Markelle Fultz (yeah I said it) play…….
I say that to say this……This team is in no way, shape or form a finished product. The Ben Simmons you see now is not the Ben Simmons you will see going forward. What you are witnessing now is the absolute ground floor of what Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are as players. I threw in Markelle Fultz because his issues are mental, not physical. Call me crazy but I believe a 19-year-old kid is gonna progress mentally at a rapid rate.
On the court, Ben Simmons has obvious weaknesses to his game. He can’t shoot. He knows it, we know it…..the Celtics damn sure know it. But let me ask you this…Does Ben strike you as a player that’s gonna rest on his laurels? Does he seem like a player that’s ok with being flawed? I don’t think so. The kid is gonna get a jumper….step back, fade away whatever, he’s gonna put in the work to add another dimension to his game. Then just watch the magic happen. No pun intended.
Joel Embiid barely practiced with the team this season. Can you imagine what he can be with a full offseason of working on his game as opposed to rehabbing an injury? Can you imagine a decisive powerful Embiid in the post? With the touch around the basket and jumper already there, can you see a player who knows where the double is coming from and how to beat it? Can you see a player with a tighter handle and less turnover prone? I can, and it’s scary.
Markelle Fultz. His rookie season has been disappointing. But is it something the Sixers fans aren’t used too? No. The 19-year-old missed most of the regular season with something wrong. I’ve heard the rumors as I’m sure most of you have….but all that aside, the kid is going to mature and get better. Even in this less than an inspiring season, we’ve seen the talent that he possesses. The ability to get where he wants to on the floor, the ability to set up teammates….we’ve seen it. Now it’s up to him to make that his level of play game in game out. Basically, if you ask me if a 19-year-old kid is gonna mature and get better at his craft…..I’m gonna get yes every time.
Furkan Korkmaz, Jonah Bolden, 2 future first round picks coming in June. Korkmaz and Bolden are two names I don’t expect anyone outside of Sixer Nation to know…..but both are talented players that can contribute going forward. The development of these young players should not be overlooked when factoring in future success. Both players can contribute as early as next season.
I’ll speculate on free agents in another article which should be a game changer.
I’ll wrap this up by saying this…..the floor of this team is 52 wins and 2 rounds in the playoffs. Just imagine what the ceiling is…..
2017 NBA Draft Winners and Losers
|5||Jonathan Isaac||Florida St.||Fr||SF||6-10||210||6|
|9||Dennis Smith Jr.||NC State||Fr||PG||6-3||190||9|
|12||John Collins||Wake Forest||So||PF||6-10||235||19|
|13||Justin Jackson||N. Carolina||Jr||SF||6-8||210||15|
|30||Jawun Evans||OK st.||So||PG||6-1||180||39|
This was my Top 30 Big Board prior to the draft. I added the final column to show where that player actually got drafted as a reference.
So according to my personal rankings, the NBA GMs agreed with me on the top 6 picks. We differ on Markkanen and Monk apparently. I would take Malik Monk over Lauri Markkanen 100 times out of 100. Monk is going to be a bucket-getter in the NBA for the next 12 years. I told everyone that Jonathan Isaac was a top 6 player and I was proved correct. I also said Bam Adebayo was being severely underrated by all the mock drafts listing him as a late 1st or 2nd rounder. He went in the lottery.
The other player I tried to tell everyone about was Josh Hart. Some people considered him an undrafted free agent candidate. That’s crazy talk. He’s a proven entity. He went in the 1st round to the Lakers. They made a good choice with that one.
The biggest reach of the draft in my opinion was Portland taking Zach Collins at #10. Call me crazy, but I don’t want to draft a guy in the Top 10 that didn’t start a single game in college. If you’re not good enough to start in college, what are the chances you are good enough to start in the NBA? Not likely. Collins is foul-prone with a limited upside. Can you picture Zach Collins playing meaningful minutes in an NBA finals game in the current NBA? I can’t. He would get destroyed on pick-and-rolls. Lauri Markkanen at #7 is also a reach in my opinion. I’m not sold on him.
The biggest steals of the draft were Malik Monk at #11 and OG Anunoby at #23. Jordan Bell at #38 was also good value, especially considering the team fit. Golden State doesn’t need offense; but they would love some big man athleticism with rebounding and shot-blocking. That describes Bell’s game exactly. Malik Monk in Charlotte will be great. He is possibly the best pure scorer in the draft. I can’t believe he fell to #11. The Bulls at #7 or the Knicks at #8 should have jumped all over him and reaped the rewards. Instead they went with Euros.
Charlotte Hornets – Picks: Malik Monk (11), Dwayne Bacon (40)
Philadelphia 76ers – Picks: Markelle Fultz (1), Anzejs Pasecniks (25), Jonah Bolden (36), Mathias Lessort (50)
Sacramento Kings – Picks: De’Aaron Fox (5), Justin Jackson (15), Harry Giles (20), Frank Mason (34)
Los Angeles Lakers – Picks: Lonzo Ball (2), Kyle Kuzma (27), Josh Hart (30, from Jazz), Thomas Bryant (42)
Needless to say, the Minnesota Timberwolves were the big winners on draft night. Not because of who they drafted but because they traded for Jimmy Butler. Butler provides every single trait the Timberwolves need to progress to the next level: defense, toughness, veteran leadership, clutch scoring, etc. It was the perfect trade for Minnesota.
Denver Nuggets – Picks: Tyler Lydon (24), Vlatko Cancar (49), Monte Morris (51)
Portland Trail Blazers – Picks: Zach Collins (10), Caleb Swanigan (26)
Chicago Bulls were losers on so many levels. Traded an All-NBA player for 2 flawed young players and then used the draft pick to reach for a 7-foot Finnish kid who only shoots 3s but can’t rebound or play D. Well done Bulls!
2017 NBA Draft Prospects
I am going to provide my insight and evaluation of some of the more polarizing prospects as well as all the lottery prospects in this draft. The rankings were taken from nbadraft.net (which I routinely disagree with).
- Markelle Fultz 6-4 190 PG Washington Fr.
NBA Comparisons: Damian Lillard, James Harden. Fultz is incredibly skilled and talented. He has become the unquestioned #1 player in this draft despite the fact that his college team was terrible. He has no discernible weakness or red flags. He is a great scorer at all three levels: At the rim, Mid-Range, and 3-Point Line. He has amazing change of pace and herky jerky moves. He’s so smooth and talented that it almost seems like he’s not trying that hard at times. But I’ve always said that the best athletes are the ones that make it look easy. In the modern NBA where the single differentiating line among playoff/non-playoff teams is the quality of point guards, Markelle Fultz is an incredibly valuable commodity as a playmaking and scoring point guard.
- Lonzo Ball 6-6 190 PG UCLA Fr.
His Dad is an idiot, but don’t hold that against him. Lonzo has great vision and playmaking skills and can lead your team for the next 10 years. He’s the best passer in the draft and it’s not even close. His shot is incredibly awkward and it makes my eyes bleed. It goes in, but it’s not pretty. Hopefully an NBA shooting coach helps him fix it. Think Jason Kidd.
- Josh Jackson 6-8 205 SG/SF Kansas Fr.
NBA Comparisons: Jimmy Butler, Paul George, Trevor Ariza. Some people swear he’s the best prospect in this draft class. I don’t agree although he is really, really good. He’s got a ton of talent and great measureables. His defense should immediately translate to the NBA. His outside shooting is inconsistent but shows some signs of improving. He competes hard and has a very low chance to bust. Not a pure scorer but can find ways to score.
- De’Aaron Fox 6-3 170 PG Kentucky Fr.
NBA Comparisons: John Wall, Dennis Schroeder. I really like this kid too. He’s very competitive and a freakish athlete. His problem right now is that he’s unbelievably skinny. He’ll put on weight and muscle in the next few years as he fills out. He’ll be fine. I love him as a point guard that can attack the basket, distribute the ball, and wreak havoc on the defensive end. Quick hands and ball pressure are his defensive strengths.
- Jonathan Isaac 6-11 210 SF/PF Florida St. Fr.
I can’t decide if I love Jonathan Isaac or if I just love the idea of Jonathan Isaac, a 6’11” athlete with long arms and a beautiful jump shot. He is the type of player that NBA teams covet right now. He can guard multiple positions, shoot the ball, and rebound well. He could be a 3 or a 4. When he fills out his body he could even play the small ball 5. I love his upside. In my opinion, he’s a much better prospect than Brandon Ingram who was drafted #2 overall last year by the Lakers. The Timberwolves seem like the perfect fit for him.
- Dennis Smith 6-2 195 PG NC State Fr.
NBA Comparisons: Steve Francis, Stephon Marbury. He worries me a little because he seems to have a low “Give a Sh** Factor.” I saw him play in person this year against UNC and he seemed completely overmatched and disinterested. He didn’t lead his team to a winning record. However, he has incredible athletic talent and explosiveness. I saw him ranked #1 in some NBA draft rankings before this season. He has that proverbial “high ceiling” where he could turn out awesome. But he could also be a coaching nightmare and never translate his immense physical gifts into actual basketball skills.
- Jayson Tatum 6-8 205 SF Duke Fr.
NBA Comparisons: Gordon Hayward, Brandon Roy. Tatum is one of those guys who are good at everything, but not great at any one thing. He has no real weaknesses, which means he likely won’t be a bust. He should be a productive NBA player at the least. If he becomes elite at one particular skill, he could be a potential star. He’s very skilled and fundamentally sound. I like him.
- Zach Collins 6-11 230 C Gonzaga Fr.
I’m not a big fan of Zach Collins. I saw him play multiple times including in person. He’s the type of player that does really well in college (especially against smaller competition in the weak WCC) but he will struggle to impact an NBA game. What elite NBA skill does he possess? I don’t see one. I would avoid him. He would be great if this was 1988.
- Malik Monk 6-3 200 SG Kentucky Fr.
NBA Comparisons: Zach LaVine, Bradley Beal. I think Malik Monk has a very high “Give a Sh** Factor.” He seems ultra-competitive and aggressive. He was the best pure scorer I saw this year in college basketball. Calipari didn’t always give him enough touches, but Monk had some huge scoring performances this season, specifically dropping 47 points on the national champion Tar Heels. His defense is underrated, but his calling card is his explosive scoring ability.
- Frank Ntilikina 6-5 190 PG Strasbourg 1998
I don’t have time to evaluate international prospects. Sorry Frankie Nicotine!
- Lauri Markkanen 7-0 230 PF Arizona Fr.
NBA Comparisons: Frank Kaminsky, Ryan Anderson, Kelly Olynyk. OK, I will acknowledge that this kid can really shoot. Seven Footers who can shoot the 3 are rare and valuable, even though I’m not personally a huge fan of Lauri Markkanen. Here’s my prediction…Markkanen will wow some NBA team in his private workout by hitting 80/100 3-pointers in an empty gym or something ridiculous like that and they will in turn reach and draft him well above his expected draft slot. Don’t be shocked if Lauri gets drafted in the Top 8!
- Jarrett Allen 6-10 235 C Texas Fr.
Seems like a guy who may get a GM fired for never living up to his expectations and talent level. Yes, he’s very athletic. No, he has no idea how to play winning basketball. He is turnover prone and inconsistent. He could be Javale McGee or he could be DeAndre Jordan. It’s up to him and his work ethic. Low floor high ceiling.
- TJ Leaf 6-10 225 PF UCLA Fr.
Not a fan. I mean, he may become Nick Collison and hang on for a long time. But he’s not a player I would build around. Could be this year’s Henry Ellenson. Who? Exactly. He was a 1st round pick last year that couldn’t sniff the court in the NBA.
- Harry Giles 6-10 230 PF/C Duke Fr.
Harry Giles is the biggest wild card in this entire draft. He was ranked the #1 player in the Nation coming out of high school. People compared him to Chris Webber! They swear he was awesome. Anybody who saw Duke play this year is saying “Who?” Giles couldn’t even get on the floor for the Blue Devils this year. He was bad. Really bad. He has major medical red flags after 2 ACL knee injuries. Did not show any leaping ability at the NBA combine. However, beneath all the injuries and lack of playing time lies the natural talent that landed him in the #1 slot a year ago, right? Maybe he can get it back. It’s a huge risk. I definitely wouldn’t roll the dice on Giles in the lottery. If I was a playoff team picking at the bottom of the 1st round I might take a flyer on him just in case he becomes what he could be. He likely becomes a bust due to injuries, lack of confidence, etc.
- Terrance Ferguson 6-7 185 SG Adelaide 36ers 1998
Go hang out with Frankie Nicotine. I’ll watch you in Summer League and then form an opinion.
- Bam Adebayo 6-10 245 PF/C Kentucky Fr.
NBA Comparisons: Serge Ibaka, Dwight Howard with a jump shot. This is one of the guys I am higher on than every expert and website I’ve seen. Everyone has him slotted in the very late 1st round or even 2nd round. I’m telling you right now this guy should be picked in the Top 15. Bam has the highest vertical of all the big men in this draft at 38.5”. He also has the best NBA body. He weighs 245 lbs of pure muscle with only 5% body fat! Let that sink in. Picture Dwight Howard and Serge Ibaka. That’s what Adebayo looks like as a 19 year-old. He will immediately contribute through rebounding and defense. He also flashed the ability to hit midrange jumpers in college. Kentucky never ran plays for him and rarely allowed him to do anything but catch lob dunks. He’s got a lot more to offer. But he’s also awesome at catching lob dunks. This guy will be good, mark my words.
- Ivan Rabb 6-10 220 PF/C California So.
Boom or Bust. Came back for his Sophomore season and impressed absolutely no one.
- John Collins 6-10 225 PF/C Wake Forest So.
Had the highest PER (Player Efficiency Rating) of any player in the draft. He can really score and rebound. I like him a lot. The concern is that Collins is a dinosaur that doesn’t fit in the modern NBA. He scores on the low block. Nobody does that in the NBA any more. He can probably adapt and add some more stuff to his arsenal. But if he doesn’t, he suddenly becomes virtually obsolete like Al Jefferson or Jahlil Okafor. I think he’s better than that. I think he’ll be good. High floor guy who will surely rebound well.
- Justin Patton 6-11 230 C Creighton Fr.
Another high ceiling guy who could develop into a long, athletic 5 who can switch screens and run the floor. Could also become a frustrating case of wasted talent. He’s a bit of an unknown coming out of Creighton after only one year.
- Justin Jackson 6-8 200 SF North Carolina Jr.
Should be a productive wing shooter and quality defender. He’s obviously a winner and a good team player from his experience at UNC. He might be another Otto Porter who improves every year. He has a nice 3-point stroke and can attack closeouts with his floater game. Justin Jackson has the best floater of any prospect in the draft.
- Donovan Mitchell 6-3 210 SG Louisville So.
NBA Comparison: Derrick Rose, Marcus Smart. Mitchell dominated the NBA Draft Combine athletic tests. He was #1 in almost every single category like vertical leap, ¾ court sprint, etc. He is an explosive athlete at 6’3” with a freakishly long wingspan of 6”10.” Here’s a nugget that most people won’t notice…he’s a 2-footed jumper. Why does this matter? Because when a smallish guard attacks the basket it’s advantageous to gather and go strong off two feet to absorb the contact and still finish the shot. His basketball IQ and decision-making needs some work. Some team will take a chance on him and his athletic talent and hope he develops the skills to compliment them. Tons of upside here.
- Tyler Lydon 6-9 215 PF Syracuse So.
I’m not a fan of Syracuse players in general. I wouldn’t draft a player from Syracuse. The track record of them flaming out in the NBA is too long. I don’t trust a player that has only played zone defense to become a quality defender in the NBA. It hasn’t happened yet. Even the best Syracuse players like Carmelo Anthony and Dion Waiters have proven to be terrible defenders in the NBA. That bias aside, I still don’t like Lydon’s game or his body. He’s primarily known as a shooter but his shot takes a long time to get off. He has a hitch in his shot where he catches the ball then brings it down and all the way back up before releasing it. A red flag for Lydon was showing up chubby to the NBA combine. He had the highest body fat percentage of any prospect at the NBA combine, including noted doughboys Kennedy Meeks and “Biggie” Caleb Swanigan. That’s not a good look for Tyler Lydon. I’m out on him every being a quality NBA contributor.
- Caleb Swanigan 6-9 250 PF/C Purdue
I personally wouldn’t draft a player with a history of weight problems like “Biggie.” He dominated college basketball because he’s simply bigger than everyone else. He won’t be bigger than everyone in the NBA. That’s a bad sign. He could become the next Jared Sullinger. How is he going to guard the quick, athletic bigs in the league?
- Ike Anigbogu 6-10 250 C UCLA Fr.
NBA Comparison: DeAndre Jordan, Bismack Biyombo. Ike Anigbogu is a great athlete in a big, long body. His only skillset is blocking shots and dunking. But he’s great at both. With the right team, he can be a solid contributor with just those skills. Anything beyond that is probably unrealistic. He’s very unproven because he didn’t even play a lot of minutes this year at UCLA. He played less than 15 minutes per game.
- OG Anunoby 6-7 235 SF/PF Indiana So.
NBA Comparisons: Kawhi Leonard, Draymond Green. The predictions for Anunoby are all over the board. Some sites have him ranked in the lottery like ESPN. OG is ranked the #13 prospect on DraftExpress.com which I trust. Others like nbadraft.net have him in the 2nd round. There is no consensus. I love this guy. He is exactly what I want on my team (Minnesota Timberwolves). He is long, strong, athletic, explosive, and aggressive. He has a great NBA body at 233 lbs of sculpted muscle and a 7’2” wingspan with big hands! Remind you of anyone Kawhi Leonard and Draymond Green??? He rebounds, gets steals and blocks shots. He drives hard to the rim and dunks everything possible. His outside shooting wasn’t off the charts but his form is sound and shows the ability to become a good outside shooter. He can guard positions 1-4 and possibly even small-ball Centers like Draymond Green. His per-40 stats are awesome: 18 pts, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. I would absolutely draft his guy. I know he tore his ACL this season at Indiana and will need to recover first. But my gosh this guy seems to have NBA player written all over him.
- Semi Ojeleye 6-6 240 SF/PF SMU Jr.
I loved everything I saw about Semi until I actually watched him play. Semi Ojeleye is the captain of the “All-Airport Team”. He looks awesome walking through the airport. He’s HUGE and sculpted. He’s incredibly athletic and explosive with a 40” vertical. He crushed the NBA combine drills. He has everything you want in a “3 and D’ player on paper. Then you watch him play basketball and realize he has no real clue how to play. His basketball IQ is very low. He relies exclusively on his strength and athleticism. When he’s not bigger and stronger than everyone, I worry that he doesn’t have the skill to stay in the league long term. I wanted to like him because of his measureables, but I just couldn’t get on board. He’s a bit of a “bull in a china shop.”
- Josh Hart 6-5 210 SG Villanova Sr.
Sneaky Sleeper Alert! He could be this year’s Malcolm Brogdon that gets drafted in the 2nd round but comes in and contributes right away as a rookie. He’s smart and he’s a winner. He knows how to play and he’s a great teammate. He should stick somewhere.
- Frank Mason 6-0 190 PG Kansas Sr.
NBA comparison: Trey Burke. I’m really worried he’s the next Trey Burke. All signs point to that being his destiny. Barely 6’ tall shoot-first point guards can make great college basketball players but rarely make great NBA players. It will be hard for him to guard guys like Curry, Westbrook, Wall, etc.
- Devin Robinson 6-8 190 SF/PF Florida Jr.
This is another one of my sleeper picks. I really like Devin Robinson and I would take a shot on him as a 3 & D wing player. His measurable are off the charts impressive. He had the lowest body fat% of anyone at the NBA combine at only 3.2% body fat. His hands are HUGE, measuring 10.25 inches wide and 9.25 inches long. He also had a 41.5” vertical and a 7’1” wingspan at 6’8” tall! All the tools are there. He shoots it pretty well and defends at a very high level. Every projection has him going in the 2nd round and some even have him undrafted. That is crazy to me. I would definitely draft Devin Robinson. He has too many skills and measurements that could develop into a nice player.
In summary here are the players I’m HIGHER on than most sites:
Here are the players I’m LOWER on than most sites:
I will post my 1st Round Big Board with my Top 30 prospects next.