The draft is not just a regular event of the offseason. It is the enormous one-time infusion of fresh blood into the league. It is a chance to change the development of an entire franchise. It is a potential opportunity to turn a franchise, which is falling apart, into something bigger.
Erm, no, Vivek, not every franchise will change. And no, you won’t be choosing first if you have a long record in consecutive seasons without a playoff. What? No, you can’t give Marvin Bagley back for the same pick number.
Well, you know it all yourselves. The players, their pros and cons that determine their place in the draft. That is what their evaluation and their prognosis are based on. Each new class is a new guide.
To be honest, I don’t think that in one year, the classification of players has changed drastically. I don’t think it changed at all.
Please note that even if you see a player who was a bust on the list, then that’s only because we take into account how the player was rated before the draft. Who they were when they entered the league and how they did it.
: One-and-done. The players who spent a year as college students and went there only because they had to follow the rules. They are usually highly rated among the school players due to their athleticism.
Typical representatives of this class: Carmelo, Rose, Durant, Simmons, Irving, Davis, 90% of the stars.
A1: are ready-made stars or superstars. These are the players who went to college not just because they had to follow the rules but also to work on their skills and become better. They often stand out not just because of their athleticism but also because of other unique skills. Or it could be that athleticism isn’t a dominant skill at all.
Typical representatives of this class: Kevin Durant, who’s never been a super athlete; Carmelo Anthony, Anthony Davis. Each one of them has come to the league to do the task here and now.
A2: players who have vast potential, as the scouts believe. The players with remarkable talent but need to work on it.
Typical representatives of this class: Greg Oden, Andrew Wiggins, Zion Williamson, Andrea Bargnani.
А3: those who have a potential for star players and playing at a high level in college, but it’s doubtful they have what it takes to become a superstar.
Typical representatives of this class: Markelle Fultz, Deandre Ayton, D’Angelo Russell, Jahlil Okafor, Jabari Parker.
A4: are the players with little potential for a star. Or those who were five-star players in high school, who weren’t appreciated in the mocks, but view themselves as ready for the league.
Typical representatives of this class: James Young, Tony Tony Wroten, Cory Joseph, Gary Trent Jr.
: a European who loves to assist, shoot and is terrible at defence (but not always, to be honest).
B1: the incomprehensible Europeans. They are incomprehensible for everyone in Europe but do incomprehensible things for the NBA. One of them is also a unicorn.
Typical representatives of this class: Kristaps Porziņģis, Luka Dončić, Nikola Jokić.
B2: comprehensible Europeans who play the absolutely right basketball and have a perfect foundation.
Typical representatives of this class: Pau Gasol, Tony Parker, Peja Stojaković.
: have African ancestry and surprise everyone with their skills. The scouts always believe in them, but often they are wrong. Although sometimes it could be someone like Hakeem, but it is pretty rare. For one, Hakeem there are about ten Thabits and maybe one Embiid.
C1 are centre players. Usually, they’re the riskiest option. Their exact age is unknown, and they are slow learners but work a lot and have the highest potential.
Typical representatives of this class: Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Olowokandi, Joel Embiid, Thon Maker.
C2 : players from a different position. They’re usually wings and almost never defenders. Very efficient, often have problems with shooting but are outstandingly good in the defence, setting examples for other players.
Typical representatives of this class: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Pascal Siakam, Luol Deng.
: Sophomores, spent two years at college and suddenly became noticed in the second year of the mocks. Or, a tried and tested solution — have polished their skills. These players rarely make it to the top-5, though, as the scouts believe that losing one year had an impact on the potential pick.
D1 : it’s believed that these players have the potential for becoming stars.
Typical representatives of this class: Paul George, Gordon Hayward, Terrence Ross, Otto Porter, Marcus Smart.
D2 : these are the role players.
Typical representatives of this class: Donte DiVincenzo, Rodney Hood, Kyle Anderson.
: the players who spent 3-4 years as students.
E1 : 3-4 years at college, and they’re still considered stars. Usually smart players, often point guards and floor generals. They’re prepared for the league already and often have prominent leadership skills.
Typical representatives of this class: Kemba Walker, Jimmer Fredette, Damian Lillard, Victor Oladipo, Buddy Hield.
E2 : 3-4 years at college, and they’re ready for the league, enter the NBA as role players and may get better.
Typical representatives of this class: Malcolm Brogdon, Norman Powell, Joe Harris.
So here’s the list of the picks from 30 to 21.
The picks from 30 to 21.
30. Jared Butler
Combo guard, 20 years old
The stats — 16.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists, two steals, 2.8 turnovers. Effective Field goal percentage 52.4%,three-point field goal 41.6%, free throws — 78%.
190 centimetres, 88 kilograms
Wingspan – 193 centimetres
Similar players – Devonte Graham without playmaker skills, Goran Dragic
Which team might need him? It’s hard to tell. Butler’s performance really depends on who he’s surrounded with. I can’t see him being the first option even in the second unit, but I think that, for example, Denver, Utah and Brooklyn can consider him. Clearly, he can be an effective player at the NBA level, and he is close to being an accomplished player.
- During his three years in the league, he developed his shooting to 41.6% with 6.2 attempts.
- He has a good and stable throwing methodics and excellent body balance, making Butler an effective shooter.
- Throws well at the NBA distance and can do even further than that.
- At the beginning of his career in the league, he can only be a shooter with a somewhat unstable throw, but in theory, he can be retrained for the role of, say, Bryn Forbes. And succeed in it better than Bryn Forbes himself.
- One more thing about his mechanics — speedy, stays pretty calm when the opposing team attempts a block out, and it is rarely possible to block him.
- Works well with mismatches, knows his strengths.
- Avoids too risky advances, which is good, but also bad because while he isn’t an elite scorer, he can be effective against problematic players of the opposing team.
- He’s quite a creative finisher with a good knowledge of how not to lose the ball and stay effective.
- A good set of lay-ups, including reversals.
- He’s not an elite pick-and-roll point guard, but there’s enough to call it his strength.
- Also has an ability to throw after pick-and-rolls. But he does need to work on his passing skills.
- Isn’t an elite playmaker, but he does see his point guards well, loves alley-oops and works well as part of the team without being selfish.
- He is a good candidate for the role of the second ball handler out of the five players.
- A qualified defender with good lateral mobility.
- Understands the defence well and isn’t bad at reacting to the opponent’s passes — 2 steals per game is a lot.
- Relies on his dribbling too much, often has situations when he switches on the beat mode, and it ends with the loss of the ball. I wouldn’t allow him to play in isolation often.
- From time to time, he hurries to make the throw too much and makes attempts for which he didn’t prepare well. I know I praised him for quick release, but sometimes it lets him down as well.
- It’s hard for me to believe that he will be a favourable defender in the league. He lacked size in the NCAA, and in the NBA, this can become critical.
- Butler will turn 21 in August — it’s not much, but what can drastically change his skills? I tend to believe that he’s close to reaching his full potential.
- Yes, he is a creative finisher, but I think this is primarily due to his unwillingness to finish with a contact, which is essential for the guards in 2021.
- Three free throws per game are really not enough.
Areas for improvement:
- Jump balling
- Converting contact from defenders into fouls
Butler is a good prospect. A player that is needed right here, right now. However, it is highly unlikely, quite impossible, even, that he has what it takes to become a star. The question is, should he be considered when choosing a player with a pick 20-30?
A lot of teams need a player like this. Butler has many skills, which would come in useful for the league in 2021 — he understands pick-and-roll, even if it’s from the shooter’s point of view; he has a good, polished throw with quick release and stable technique; and he has a good experience at the NCAA championship level.
I believe that he can become an important role player in a contender team in the near future.
29. Sharife Cooper
Point guard defender, 19 years old
The stats — 20.2 points,4.3 rebounds, 8.2 assists, 1 steal, 4.2 turnovers. Effective Field goal percentage 46.5%,three-point field goal 22.8%, free throws — 82.5%.
185 centimetres, 81 kilograms
Wingspan – 184 centimetres
Similar players : Trae Young without the throw, Ja Morant without athleticism.
Which teams might need him? Knicks, Atlanta, Clippers — all three of them require the defence in the second unit.
- Episodes of his brilliant playmaking sometimes make you wonder why this guy is so low on the list? Getting back to the point above, this makes him similar to a fox and Morant.
- He sets the tempo and tips off, which is sometimes challenging to combine. Also, he adapts well to the situation on the court.
- He isn’t just a guard player who sees the situation or plays using classic combinations. He often creates the opportunity to give passes to his partners out of nowhere.
- He always keeps his head up, which is surprising considering his style of ball handling.
- He knows all types of passes, and if he makes his throw a beautiful one, it’s not just to show off, but because this is precisely what’s needed. Sometimes his passes look as if they are remotely controlled.
- His pick and roll will help him in the league.
- Knows exactly the right moment for a pass — there are too many teams that need the player with skills like these.
- He has excellent speed and will be among the fastest players in the league straight away.
- Good at dribbling and loves to change and break the pace.
- Excellent behind the back passes that look beautiful.
- His first step is perhaps the best one in the draft.
- Considering the 8.6 free throw attempts, we can say this guy knows his strengths. He is definitely ready for the franchise.
- Excellent body control, he knows when to make contact and how to keep the ball from the opponents.
- Got the skills of an adult player.
- Isn’t big but is agile and tenacious.
- Defence skills are decent.
- Keeps getting charges but is brighter than it seems at first glance.
- He has perhaps the most uneven mechanics in the draft. His 22.8% may not be fatal for the career, but definitely a problem that requires attention.
- He isn’t afraid to throw, but how threatening is he?
- Are there any teams that will be willing to retrain him how to throw? The paradox is that his free throw is good, there are no problems with 82.5%. But his release is mainly slow, the body isn’t straight, the legs don’t have momentum, the hands are too close to the face, and the elbow doesn’t look natural. There’s nothing right about his mechanics.
- Has to be a little more subtle in the drives, he has only 47.9% in the paint. At the same time, he practically never uses floaters, and, for example, Young had shown how effective they could be. Perhaps he is often more focused on getting a foul than on actual scoring.
- He’s got more than four turnovers per game and more than eight assists. The ratio isn’t too bad but needs some work on.
- Considering his size — 185 centimetres tall and about the same wingspan, he is unlikely to be an elite defender.
- Not good with avoiding the picks, which makes him similar to Kemba in that respect. But I don’t quite get his off-ball role in the offensive. Can he even do anything?
Areas for improvement:
- The throw
What was Shareef like, when he left about 20 years ago? Probably in the top 5 of the draft.
I am convinced that Sharife is definitely a top player with great talent and one huge disadvantage. Is anyone ready to work on it? Is there anyone willing to train him how to throw in 2021, considering the example of Ben Simmons, which grabs more attention than the example of, say, Brook Lopez.
Sharife is not scared of his weaknesses, he throws openly, in this he is similar to Ja – he will throw openly.
It’s clear that if Cooper works on his throw, he’ll be the steal of the draft. If not, you’ll get another Payton, only one who is worse at the defence. Are you sure that’s what we need?
28. Tre Mann
Combo guard, 20 years old
The stats — 16 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1 .4 steals, 2.8 turnovers. Effective Field goal percentage 49.4%,three-point field goal 40.2%, free throws — 83.1%.
196 centimeters, 86 kilograms
Similar players – D’Angelo Russell, CJ McCollum without the first step.
Which teams might need him? Utah, Denver, Brooklin and any other that lacks scorers off the bench.
- Didn’t think I’d speak of Kemba twice, but at least this time it’s for something positive — his step back in limited space is actually good. He’s got one of the best floaters in the draft — an important skill for the guard players now.
- He has good body control, can make contact and initiates it himself from time to time. I think he can draw many fouls.
- He’s not a playmaker, but good at pick n roll. Just don’t look at him as the first ball handler, then he looks pretty decent.
- He throws at the NBA distance and has more than 40% with 4.7 attempts. It’d be interesting to see how good he is off-ball, the guy obviously has potential.
- Definitely a creative finisher with a variety in layups, who works well on the boundary lines.
- He is quite a professional player with only 4% of body fat.
- While he has a rich arsenal of possible actions, he lacks cunning in game. If he is going for a drive, it will be just that – a drive with a layup. He doesn’t surprise the defenders with an unexpected pass. He’s unsure what to do after an unsuccessful pick n roll and gets confused, makes bad attempts at passes and gets close to too many players.
- Can’t dribble against 2-3 players.
- He doesn’t understand the situation and the game well.
- His footwork needs some work on as well – there’s no first step.
- There are many turnovers — 2.8 for 3.5 passes, depressing for a ball handler, especially at the NCAA level.
- His defensive stance is too low. He loses at the first step to the opponents who aren’t even the fastest ones. He isn’t hopeless at the defence, but certainly lacks concentration and aggression.
Areas for improvement:
- Jump balling
- Off ball game
Tre was rated by scouts and put on the 22nd place among the players of his year before college — he overtook Williams, Okoro and Lamelo, but then failed the first season. He’s shown significant progress and I have a mixed impression of him.
On the one hand, the progress he’s made after the first season is astonishing. He improved every aspect, especially the throw, which has become his greatest weapon against the opposing team.
On the other hand, can we remember many players who have improved their dribbling over the course of their career? I’m sure he’ll become more accurate and better at the jump ball. But what about his dribbling? First step? What will be his role on the court? Second unit leader? Is it possible to retrain him for a shooter, who’s mainly playing off-ball?
27. Miles McBride
Combo guard, 20 years old
The stats — 15.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.9 steals,1.8 turnovers. Effective Field goal percentage 43.9%,three-point field goal 41.4%, free throws — 81.3%.
188 centimetres, 90 kilograms
Wingspan – 205 centimeters
Class — D1
Similar players — Jrue Holiday with a lower basketball IQ, Marcus Smart.
Which team may need him? Phoenix, Denver, Philadelphia, at the bottom of the first round there are exactly the teams that could really do with a guard player or two.
- He is a solid one-on-one defender. Potentially, he will guard the opponent’s best scorer and chase him up in every corner of the court.
- Has a unique ability to stop the players’ advances and stay on his feet.
- It looks like his stance is low, but it allows him to get the opponent really easily.
- So good at guarding, I’ve seen players with excellent pull-ups who tried to use that against him and couldn’t, he doesn’t give in. Cunningham had 6 turnovers against him.
- He’s got good pull-ups, and good timing. Likes to throw unexpectedly.
- The release isn’t perfect, but quick and on point.
- He likes stepbacks but doesn’t overuse them, he uses them to create space, and it looks decent.
- Loves his mid putt line shots, they aren’t as effective, but he’s good at creating space.
- Loves post-ups — he’s so strong and powerful that he overpowered even Davion Mitchell.
- Catch-and-shoot at 40% — these are good numbers.
- I like the way he throws in motion. His body balance is really decent.
- It’s difficult to stop him from breakaway slams. He notices everything around him. And his pump fake is underrated.
- His advances are pretty risky.
- He doesn’t use his athleticism to the full, runs out of energy in the second step and often gets blocked when it could’ve easily been avoided.
- His body control during advances isn’t perfect, and he’s terrible at shooting while being guarded. Oh, and he’s afraid to get into advances.
- His choice of a throw is also a weakness — he has good potential for a practical shooter with excellent timing. Still, the problem is that he is inconsistent and unstable.
- Sometimes he resembles a well-trained Sexton in defence: he faces the players, recovers well while keeping up on his feet. Yet, good ISO scorers with an excellent first step get around him and handle a one-on-one situation. The progress in this area will show us his basketball IQ.
- He is also an excellent on-ball defender, but off-ball, he loses concentration and, as a result of that, loses his player — back cuts are something that happens really often when it comes to McBride. And what about his understanding of the game in the defence? It scares me!
- He loves helping out in the defence during advances, but usually, he tries too hard there and again loses for his player. He needs to work on his tip-off and creating space for partners.
Areas for improvement:
- Basketball IQ
- Off-ball game
Okay, so when Sexton was a student, we also said that he’s really good at the on-ball defence, and what happened after that?
Now we can see the potential for a good defender, but in reality it may turn out that ball handlers will outplay him by a tricky game. And he can also have problems with the defence when guarding an off-ball player. He doesn’t have a good understanding of the game. But he does have very good instincts, which help him both in the offence and in the defence when he’s concentrated.
The main question regarding McBride is will he be able to transfer his skills to the NBA level? Offence-wise — why not? But what about the defence? We’ll see. It’s a prospect no one can guarantee.
26. JT Thor
Power forward, 18 years old
The stats — 9.4 points, 5 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.6 turnovers. Effective Field goal percentage 53%,three-point field goal 29.7%, free throws — 74.1%.
208 centimetres, 92 kilograms
Wingspan – 221 centimetres
Class – C1
Similar players — Jonathan Isaac, Guannis two years before his first NBA year, Jaden McDaniels.
Which teams might be interested in him? Houston, Oklahoma, Sacramento, everyone who has the time and desire to grow their own unicorn.
- I do like to think that Thor can defend well in all positions. However, his lateral mobility is still somewhat questionable. He moves rather on instinct than by the book.
- He’s got good timing for blocks, responds to the situation excellently, and isn’t easily fooled by fake moves.
- Backing up his teammates is his underrated skill that doesn’t get enough attention.
- I can’t figure out his position, but it’s obvious he’s not a bad rim protector. That is an intriguing skill for this draft, where there aren’t other players similar to him. I like that I can see Guaniss’ talent in him.
- Just 2 fouls in 23 minutes is a really good result, considering his blocks and his position. He is a neat player.
- He follows the game and sees the potential passes. At the same time, his wingspan of about 225 centimetres allows him to be a threat in any corner of the basketball court.
- Sometimes he shows highly unusual skills of ball-handling for his position and his size. It is impressive but also unclear how it might be helpful.
- In high school, his good one-on-one skills became evident — step backs, dribbling, pull-ups. Yes, that is surprising as well.
- Good footwork in the offence, loves post-ups and can surprise the opponent with his throws a la poorly trained Nowitzki.
- He is athletic and finishes his advances well with soft wrist movement.
- Sometimes he shows the unique skills of the unicorn — hooks, overplaying in the first step and many more. An athlete who’s only getting to know his physical skills.
- Thor’s throwing teaching isn’t perfect, but pretty decent. The field goal percentage is only 29.7%, but when he played with Cooper (number 29), it went up to 35%. So the difference is in the passes given to him?
- At the draft combine, he scored 15 out of 25 from beyond the three-point line.
- It is pretty exciting to watch his pick n pop and pick n roll.
- He isn’t reaching his potential and is perhaps the most unrealised player in the top 40.
- Isn’t accurate with the ball, doesn’t have some of the basic foundations. Looks awkward, 0.9 assists for 1.6 turnovers — he gives careless passes, is unable to handle the ball, doesn’t feel the game tempo.
- He’s too straightforward, lacks subtlety and cunningness. For now, his anthropometry is enough to surprise the opponents, but is it enough for the NBA level? I’m not sure.
- Lacks the mass to finish through contact. He’s too skinny.
- He attempts the throws, which are obviously too hard for him — it is good. Still, at the same time, there’s a fine line between a wrong choice of a throw and being ready to take on the responsibility. I’m not too sure it’s the second option.
- Incredible defender potential, but his concentration and game understanding raise questions.
Areas for improvement:
- The basic fundamentals of the game
- Physical shape
High risk equals high reward. It’s a classical axiom. Yes, the risk is high, but there is a potential reward. Thor might be eliminated from the league faster than Maker purely due to his lack of understanding of what’s going on.
I listed the most strengths for him in these ten players, but let’s admit that all of that is just his qualities and what he can use in future games. The fact is that for me, Thor still remains the player with one of the most incomprehensible career ceilings of this draft.
When anthropometry doesn’t level the difference of the players’ foundation, his defence is good. But who knows if there’ll be anything left of it at the NBA level. The same goes for the rest of his skills.
His body is made for basketball, but his mind? We’ll get something interesting out of this if he’ll start thinking more often and making decisions that aren’t based on the instincts. He is a highly questionable player unless he continues to train, and we see progress in handling the game.
25. Ayo Dosunmu
Combo guard, 21 years old
The stats — 20.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.1 steals, 3.3 turnovers. Effective Field goal percentage 51.1%,three-point field goal 39%, free throws — 78.3%.
196 centimetres, 90 kilograms
Wingspan – 205 centimeters
Klass – E1, E2
Similar players — Russell Westbrook without the athleticism part, aggressive Delon Wright.
Which teams might need him? Clippers, the Lakers, Philadelphia, brave and daring ones.
- He’s really good in fast breaks, dribbles and handles the ball well.
- Stays calm during the drives against 2-3 people.
- Has excellent timing. His throws may look difficult statistically. Still, he notices the opponents and their mistakes, which is a real adult skill.
- Excellent at pull-ups. It’s one of his primary skills.
- An adult player, who loves playing the central role, all the throws during the last seconds of the offence were made by him.
- Skillfully employs his hands in a game. Uses pick n roll as a way to organise the space and often converts it into a throw.
- Reacts excellently to what is happening on the court, often tries to make a mismatch. Doesn’t advance on good defenders.
- His dribbling isn’t elite, but he breaks the tempo well, which helps him to overplay the opponents and create space.
- He’s effective against the centre players, whom he has to face in the paint (a lá Gober), and makes good use of his speed.
- Has some good results in pick n roll passes, even though there are questions about his technique.
- A fantastic ball defender has the burning desire and the arm length — the two essential skills for it.
- I like how he gets around the picks — it looks fascinating, he is extremely agile, and his wingspan helps him get the opponents.
- He’s such a black hole, useless off-ball, and he was on the court way too much in the previous season. His team becomes ineffective when he’s the one doing everything – and it happens all the time.
- Has the Westbrook problem — he tries to shove the ball to his big player whenever he doesn’t know what to do.
- Another Westbrook problem which is even worse — actually tries to do everything. The pull-ups, trying to be in possession of the ball in every offence, worthlessness off-ball — all this is frightening.
- Aya has a good sense of rhythm, but his dribbling leaves a lot to be desired, and he is in his third year. Is it possible for him to become a little bit better?
- His catch and shoot is really bad, which is strange considering his experience. Is he actually that useless if he gives away the ball?
- His passes are inaccurate — they’re apparent, slow and don’t lead to anything. I don’t get who would want him as a playmaker. The technique of his passes is pretty upsetting.
Areas for improvement:
- Jump ball
Westbrook without the athleticism might be a surprising comparison to make, but it’s actually an accurate description. Ayo can become a good leader of the second unit. Perhaps he’ll even spend a few seasons as almost a star. But I can’t imagine which team he can play an essential role in if this team is playing at a high level and is trying to achieve something significant.
Would it be surprising if he becomes one of the leading scorers of the draft? No.
Would it be surprising if he never plays in the playoffs, if he plays more than 22-23 minutes? No.
24. Chris Duarte
Swingman, 23 years old
The stats — 17.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.9 steals, 2.3 turnovers. Effective Field goal percentage 51.1%,three-point field goal 39%, free throws — 78.3%.
198 centimetres, 86 kilograms
Class — E2
Similar players — Klay Thompson, Danny Green in his prime, but without the defence (potentially).
Which team might need him? Utah, the Lakers, Phoenix, those who are ready to win right now.
- One of the best shooters of the draft. 5.5 attempts per game and 42.4% of the scoring. His mechanic is stable and consistent, and the throw is at a high level.
- Shoots excellently after screens and receiving passes.
- Constantly stays in motion, moves around the court to find free space. Makes the game difficult for the opponents’ defence.
- He has 44.4% of the throws made after dribbling. To be honest, he has the most stable throw from all positions.
- Duarte’s stepback is excellent. He also has great cut stats — 76.5%, which shows a great sense of rhythm and understanding of what’s going on in the court. That’s an essential skill.
- He finishes in the paint nicely, although I’m not sure he’ll be able to do it as efficiently at the NBA level.
- He looks like a solid playmaker. Not the main one, but he will pass to his partner if he’s in a better position than Duarte is.
- We can see that he can be good at pick n roll, and that’s an essential element of his scout report. We don’t know how good he would be in the league, but he does have bright intellect.
- He’s got an excellent athletic profile and can surprise with his dunks and posters.
- He’s aggressive in the offence but lacks the ball-handling skills, which is evident when he tries to do it by himself.
- Needs to master drawing fouls, so he could convert his cuts and drives.
- His lateral mobility in defence raises questions. He doesn’t always keep up with the small players.
- He isn’t always accurate with his passes. He’s good in the fast breaks, but it is questionable during patterned offences.
- 24 years old at the draft is a lot, and it’s the main reason why Duarte is in the 20s pick.
Areas for improvement:
He is perhaps the player who is the readiest to be useful for his team here and now. Duarte is absolutely an adult player, both mentally and physically. He is often compared with Brogdon, who entered the league at a similar age, in terms of readiness. The teams going through significant changes right now don’t need him, but a contender team would make a good choice picking him.
23. Trey Murphy
Forward, 21 years old
The stats — 11.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.8 turnovers. Effective Field goal percentage 62.0%,three-point field goal 43.3%, free throws — 92.7%.
206 centimetres, 93 kilograms
Wingspan – 214 centimetres
Class – E2
Similar players — OG Anunoby
Which teams might he be useful in? Utah, the Lakers, Knicks, those who want the player to be valuable straight away.
- I don’t really like his throw mechanics, it’s like his legs do something completely different from his hands; but considering the 4.8 attempts and 43.8%, I can’t really say anything.
- Considering his position, 32.8% throws against him is a fantastic result.
- Can do well in position 4, maybe position 5 as well.
- He is excellent at noticing potential passes, and entering the paint. He isn’t a stupid player.
- He is the best cutter in his class — 82.6%! He’s naturally good at the game, his game instinct is well developed, and he uses it a lot during the game.
- He’s a solid athlete, even if he isn’t explosive.
- Can become more than 3 and D, but that will take time.
- Sometimes shows solid one-on-one skills.
- His drives leave a lot to be desired. They’re often awkward and unsophisticated. He pushes and tries to count on his size, but that’s not good enough even for the NCAA level.
- He lacks body balance when doing jumpers, his body tilts, and the mechanics are inconsistent.
- He has a Middleton problem — an excellent on-ball defender, but it’s difficult for him to guard the snipers.
- His footwork isn’t that great and impacts his ability to get around screens and tricks.
- The dribbling is pretty average.
Areas for improvement:
If you were offered OG Anunoby at around 22-25 pick, would you take him?
If yes, then the question is solved, – they really are alike. Trey is a versatile defender who has what it takes to become successful in the league. A classic 3 and D with the potential to become something more significant.
22. Nah’Shon Hyland
Shooting guard, 20 years old
The stats — 19.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.9 steals,3.1 turnovers. Effective Field goal percentage 53.9%,three-point field goal 37.1%, free throws —86.2%.
190 centimetres, 74 kilograms
Wingspan – 211 centimeters
Class – D1
Similar players — Jamal Crawford, Immanuel Quickley,
Which team might need him? Denver, Knicks, Rockets. Those who are prepared to take the risk and to train players.
- 7.8 attempts from the three-point line — this guy is really aggressive in the offence, and that’s a strength.
- Good shooter, throws at the NBA distance and even further. He stays calm and is really focused on the offence.
- His stepbacks and the one-on-one game really do not look like he played in college for two years, but that doesn’t make him worse.
- Good catch and shoot, which is strange, considering his street style.
- His movement arsenal in isolation is worthy of being noticed. He might be the significant steal of the draft if he continues to develop these skills and doesn’t lose confidence.
- A creative finisher. He’s not the most cunning one, but still pretty ingenious.
- A result of 55.4% from the paint is a high one for a player who’s that skinny.
- He’s good at pick n roll but only uses them to create space for a throw.
- Great body control.
- Excellent cutter, although he doesn’t use his skills fully in the openings.
- The 72.7% tell us that he understands the offence better than it seems at first glance.
- 1.9 steals per game — he has an excellent wingspan to react to opponents passes.
- Played well at the combine and earned 17 points (7/11).
- Hyland’s nickname is “Bones” for a reason — he is too light and feeble.
- His defensive stance is too high. It’s like sometimes he’s not even trying and being lazy.
- Struggles to get around the screens, doesn’t have enough weight and understanding of the game. Or, possibly, he doesn’t try hard enough.
- Awful decision-making. He wasn’t bad at tip-off at high school but is too greedy now. He doesn’t make even the passes to the players who obviously should get one. I’m not sure it’s just about understanding the game.
- Many steals, he’s not neat enough. I’d be careful with using him even as a second ball handler. He’s got a fantastic body for the point guard, but the athleticism and physical skills are questionable.
- Doesn’t have an explosive first step or jump. It’s not too bad but needs improvement.
Areas for improvement:
- Reducing egoism
- Physical strength
A thin, aggressive scorer but has quite typical problems for his position.
Players of this type always have one giant, universal problem — they’re too difficult to incorporate into the system. Do you think that Jamal Crawford didn’t get into the league in the past years due to his age? No. It’s just too difficult to understand what to do with him. Do you think that Lou Williams should have been traded? No. It’s just that at some points, he was too unstable. And what about the story of Nann last season, when he started playing half as much in the playoffs while being considered a candidate for ROY? They are all excellent players, but they all think only about themselves, and it is extremely difficult to change them. And it would have to be a really good day for them to be able to use their advantages in the game.
Does Hyland have any chances of improving his skills? That’s questionable, but why not become a new Jordan Clarkson? Or Lou Williams? That seems realistic.
21. Jaden Springer
Combo Guard, 18 years old
The stats — 12.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.2 steals,2.4 turnovers. Effective Field goal percentage 47.5%,three-point field goal 43.5%, free throws —81.0%.
193 centimetres, 92 kilograms
Similar players — Marcus Smart.
Which team might need him? The Lakers, Knicks, Philadelphia. Those who lack the defenders.
- A fantastic athlete, physically strong.
- He’s strong but quick.
- Good lateral movement allows him to stay on his feet during the offence and get through the screens.
- Has a good, low gravity centre and strong core. He defends against the big players, and it’s not a mismatch, which is a rare situation for the defenders.
- A bright defender who supports his teammates well.
- Uses his core during the drives, strong enough to finish with a contact.
- Explosive jump coupled with the previous point leads to 59.4% in the paint, pretty solid.
- Loves pull-ups, but at the moment, they look more like his potential rather than his current skill. The mechanic is really unstable.
- Outstanding in the fast offences — he’s quick, sudden, and strong enough to finish in the fast break offence.
- He isn’t the central playmaker, not the first ball-handler, but he has some rare, interesting moments.
- You can count on him developing his shooting skills. Now his 43.5% for 1.8 attempts from the three-point line don’t look bad, but it’s evident that his mechanics are still in progress.
- He isn’t confident about his throw, but he is 18 years old, one of the youngest ones.
- He can’t outplay one-on-one, his dribbling isn’t good enough, and that’s vital for his position.
- Pretty awkward, bad footwork. I don’t quite understand his role on the court during the set play, 3 and D? But he still needs to work on it.
- At high school, his crossover wasn’t bad, but it disappeared at college. Why? Is it about confidence? Gaining mass? The role in the team?
- His ability to give passes is questionable — it’s too obvious and lacking cunning.
- Sometimes throws himself into the opponent without a chance for an interception.
Areas for improvement:
- Outplaying one-on-one
- The throw
Everyone hates Marcus Smart, but everyone would want him on their team, right?
That’s why Springer is valued pretty high, even though he’s obviously worse than his position opponents. His aggression might allow him to remain in the league. If he develops himself just like Marcus Smart did, we’ll get a really interesting character.