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Thread: NBA DRAFT 2020 DISCUSSION

  1. #51
    Okay time to do some more LaMelo scouting
    Tyrese Maxey/Isaac Okoro/Oscar Tshiebwe/Onyeka Okongwu/Nico Mannion endorser.

  2. #52
    [[/I]LaMelo Ball: Illawarra Hawks vs NZ Breakers


    Pros:

    - Again, can't overstate this. He has the best natural passing ability in this class, from anyone I've seen. If you can think of the pass, he can probably make it. He can pass with both hands, off the dribble. He can float lobs, do skip passes (as he does in this game), bounce passes, thread the needle, go-aheads. He's happy to put spin on the ball, with either hand. Passes from LaMelo come crisp, fast, and largely on target (he can get a little out of control occasionally) and he has great snap on his wrist motion. There's no question to me that this is his best ability: he's not the best passer in the world (damn, he's probably not even top 5 which tells you how crazy some guys out there are) but at 18 years old he's about as good as you can ask anyone to be.
    - Perfectly willing to do help defense on easier assignments. There's a moment here where he moves just slightly into the space to cut off the pass that was available before; it's not 'great' or next level defense, but it is something, and that's more than you could say about him six months ago.
    - His body control has improved from some of the earlier games I saw of him in the NBL. He's still not 'under control', but he's much less flail-ly than he used to be. There are a few moments here where he goes up for a slightly tricky finish and although he misses some of them, he's not terrifying me as much. Fewer mid-air seizures going on.
    - For his height (6'6? ish?) his handle is pretty nice. It's not the tightest in the world but he is ambidextrous with it, and he does show off some pretty nice hesitation moves to either direction. His ability to incorporate pass-fakes into his dribble is pretty good and it can get defenders on the back foot.
    - Fast in a straight line. He's not Fox from Sacramento fast, or even the fastest guard in this class, but he's certainly no slouch from one end to the other.
    - Likes to attack space, which is a good sign. He's a willing driver even if he's not very good at it (will get to that in the cons), and I don't see any reason why he couldn't improve there a little as he adds core strength, and he does have a decent enough frame to add weight to.
    - Quick hands! Isn't generating steals by the dozens or anything, but when he helps he likes to shade the ball handler and scoop a little at it, and he's not really in much foul risk here.
    - He's very mobile. I don't know what his wingspan is, but I'd imagine it's a +2.5, maybe +3 differential, which would give him a 6'9 span on a 6'6 body which is really good size for a PG. Combine that with his mobility (he gets over a couple of screens well here with good hip action) and he could become a solid defender 1 through 3. If he fixes the problems I outline in the cons
    - Pretty good burst actually. He's not an explosive athlete by any means, but he can accelerate without too much difficulty and without needing a huge run-up to get the momentum. There are moments where this benefits him: he scores quite easily in transition a few times here and in other games before because he can build up that head of steam. This is when he's most willing to attack the basket.



    Cons:

    - You know how Lonzo hates contact on his drives and absolutely refuses to take them if there's any risk of being even really touched? Yeah, LaMelo's a bit like that too. Not quite as bad, he will take more contact than his brother will, but he is very contact-averse and he will gladly sacrifice an easier shot for a difficult fall-away if it means dodging any brushes with defense. Does it at least twice in this game, and I've seen him do it before.
    - Cannot shoot. Just can't shoot. I know that a while ago, last week or something, he had a game where he shot well and everyone got excited about it on draft Twitter, I saw the people posting, but he was shooting 27% or so before that, and he shot 1 of 11 from deep tonight as well. His form is horrific. He puts both hands on the sides of the ball rather than the traditional one below+guide hand, then he sort of pushes it outwards. The release is so low that at least three times in this game, it was shot from about nose-height. Due to the sidewards position of his hands, he has to use his thumbs to push off with the release to avoid putting sidespin on the ball, and that just introduces a huge amount of variance. Both of his elbows are flared out. It does look a bit better than it used to because he's not flailing so much anymore, he's transferring closer and closer to a set shot with time, but it's still bad, and when he does jump and get airborne, he lands with his feet pointing everywhere except the basket. Sometimes he leans away as well, like a fade-away. It's really, really, really bad. Possibly more broken than Lonzo's was, somehow. Anyone drafting him will need to put a lot of work into his jumper.
    - Awful defensive footwork 1v1; he has slightly high hips and gangly legs, and he doesn't really sit down into a defensive stance so when his footwork is bad like this there's no balance at all. Jab step on him and he takes 2 steps to get balanced again.
    - Sometimes screens on offense but refuses to absorb contact on them. He only really does this once in this game, but again, seen it before from him.
    - God awful shot selection. Will take bad shots, often, with plenty of time left on the clock without passing it. He'll stroll up into a terrible 3 from well behind the line and brick it, regularly. I mentioned him going 1 for 11 from 3 this game; he went 10 for 28 in total, for 25 points. That's 0.89 points per shot. That's not very good.
    - Gambles for steals. Simple, but he does it often. Sometimes you get the vibe that he's only helping because he wants a steal out of it. Maybe that's just me being cynical but that is what it feels like sometimes.
    - Very little defensive intensity. Will just stand, not in a stance at all, and watch stuff happen. Head does not stay on a swivel. He's blown by whenever an opposing guard puts their head down and really goes for it, particularly because when he does close out on a shooter, he tends to lead with his feet rather than leaning forward onto the balls of his feet, which puts his weight behind his point of contact with the floor and sends him off balance. NBA level guards will eat him alive for this unless he changes big time.
    - Bites on fakes and jabs at least 3 times in this game, getting out of position. Again, something I've seen him do before as well.
    - Rebounding numbers are clearly inflated because he just abandons his man on D to run for it. Doesn't box out; in fact, doesn't do much that would require him to take contact (there's that problem again).


    I still have him as a top 10 prospect because his passing is so good and I think he does have potential elsewhere, but man he has such huge gaping flaws in his game that it's staggering.

    According to Synergy, LaMelo so far this season has generated
    0.86 points per possession in the PnR, which is rated as ''very good''
    0.92 points per possession in transition, which is rated as ''below average''
    0.78 points per possession in isolation, which is rated as ''average''
    1.15 points per possession in spot ups, which is rated as ''very good''
    and
    1 point per possession on cuts, which is rated as ''below average''.

    So he has 2 below averages, 1 average, and 2 very goods. He doesn't really do other play types (post-ups/PnR Roll Man, for example) so he doesn't chart on there. Disappointing to see no ''elite'' rankings, which you typically want from top tier prospects. Zion's chart from last year (and yes it's unfair to compare people to Zion) was basically all either Elite or Very Good.

    According to Synergy, LaMelo so far ranks in the 47th percentile as an offensive player: his dreadful shooting and willingness to launch terrible shots really does drag him down. That said, his ast:to ratio is still good, he's mobile, he has good hands, and he's tall with incredible court vision. That all combines to tell me he has a lot of potential despite his problems.

    What LaMelo needs is to go to a coach/development system that will really iron him out. He needs someone to hold him accountable and tell him ''listen, you can't take these 28 foot off the dribble threes when you're 1 for 10 and there's 17 seconds on the clock. If you do that, I will sit you.''

    High risk, high reward pick imo. If everything works out he could be really really really good. If it doesn't, he could be a huge bust.

  3. #53
    Watching more Onyeka Okongwu film, and the more I do, the more convinced I am that he's the best C prospect in this draft.

    6'9'' with a 7'1'' wingspan, Okongwu is a little smaller than the traditional 'big', but his combination of length, lateral quickness, and burst really compensates for his slight shortness (and it is only slight; if he was 6'10 and a C, most people wouldn't blink twice). The wingspan is an unofficial measurement, I believe, so it might even be a little longer; it certainly wouldn't surprise me, he looks lengthy as hell.

    Here're some clips for people who haven't seen much of him before.





    Look at the smooth athleticism in that. He just rises up, effortlessly, and jams it. Runs well too, keeps his back really straight which is positive.

    Okongwu's current per 36 stats (he averages 27mpg):

    23.9 points
    11.9 rebounds
    0.9 assists
    1.4 steals
    3.9 blocks

    65% TS
    36.3 PER
    +47.1 Net Rating
    2.25% steals
    12.07% block
    22.03% DREB
    13.31% OREB

    Just bonkers numbers from a Freshman C.



  4. #54
    I've been fooled way too many times by a PG who is a good passer and/or defender but has a terrible shot. I can't think of the last one to pan out. Especially in the current NBA. I want NOTHING to do with another one. I'd probably have to go on suicide watch if we drafted Lamelo. I think I saw Kumar talking about this the other day on Twitter but drafting a "prospect" (where they are bad at basketball but have measurements or intangibles that if they could iron out those flaws they'd be great) outside of the top 5 statically has had very poor odds of success. No. Thank. You.

  5. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by Mythrol View Post
    I've been fooled way too many times by a PG who is a good passer and/or defender but has a terrible shot. I can't think of the last one to pan out. Especially in the current NBA. I want NOTHING to do with another one. I'd probably have to go on suicide watch if we drafted Lamelo. I think I saw Kumar talking about this the other day on Twitter but drafting a "prospect" (where they are bad at basketball but have measurements or intangibles that if they could iron out those flaws they'd be great) outside of the top 5 statically has had very poor odds of success. No. Thank. You.
    Yeah, that's my take right now as well. I cannot really buy into the Ball hype because while he truly is an incredible passer, his defense is god-awful and he cannot shoot a single bit. His shot is vomit-inducing. Maybe he gets drafted by the Spurs and Pop decides to stick around and they fix him or something, I don't know, but I don't want to be the team taking that risk.

    And yep, you're right: I posted this earlier in the thread and got dismissive comments (because, of course) but the best way to draft a good basketball player is to draft a good basketball player. Obviously I can see the temptation for drafting for potential, and it does sometimes pay off, but if you want the closest thing to a sure-fire shot at a good basketball player you can get, you should just draft someone who is already demonstrably really good.

    Every year, some guy who is legitimately really good at basketball drops in the standings because teams got stars in their eyes about some raw prospect who's only been playing for 3 years and who is really athletic, and more often than not, that guy ends up doing nothing whereas the guy who dropped ends up being good. This year's example is Brandon Clarke, who was one of the best college players of the decade but went 21 because he's older, and has been fantastic, whereas guys like Sekou Doumbouya went several spots earlier based entirely on hope and prayers that he'll one day be good at basketball.

  6. #56
    Well I hope we draft ball just to watch ya’ll melt. It’s going to be epic.

  7. #57
    I think of our very own Kenny Hustle. He wasn't even drafted because of his age even though he was a good basketball player in college. While not a world beater player he's shown he is a legit NBA player who deserves minutes in this league, and he was passed over by every team twice.

    Or NAW. If you look at what he did in college he played better than a decent number of guards who went ahead of him but because he played an extra year a guy like Garland (who was injured his college year) went well ahead of him.

  8. #58
    List of college prospects in the last 10 years to average at least 15% DREB, 10%BLK, .450 FTR, and 70% from the FT line, in order of BPM:

    1) Anthony Davis
    2) Karl Anthony Towns
    3) Onyeka Okongwu
    4) Jaren Jackson Jr
    5) Jaxson Hayes

    Here's the same list, but when you add in a requirement of at least 2%STL as well:

    1) Anthony Davis
    2) Onyeka Okongwu

    That's it. That's the list.

    If you want a centre in this draft, Okongwu is the clear best guy atm. Could always change, still a long way to go, but he's been great so far.

  9. #59
    Okongwu use to play with the ball brothers at chino hills

  10. #60
    My favorite prospects are Edwards, Okongwu, and RJ Hampton

    Call it shade on Cole Anthony, but I haven't bought into him. I like RJ's potential. Need to see more though.

  11. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by Taker597 View Post
    My favorite prospects are Edwards, Okongwu, and RJ Hampton

    Call it shade on Cole Anthony, but I haven't bought into him. I like RJ's potential. Need to see more though.
    Cole's been massively disappointing so far. I had him as my probable number 1 coming into this year, and while he's still shown some signs (his team defense has been awesome) he's certainly not the top prospect right now. Probably have him somewhere in the 5-10 range.

    Hampton's been better than many expected, including myself. His decision making has improved a lot and he's added some passes to his arsenal that he didn't have 6 months ago. That said, I don't think I'd have him top 5 myself still; as a PG, I still have him behind Nico Mannion who has been a monster tbh.

  12. #62
    Not excited about this class at all to be honest.

  13. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by Snarly View Post
    Not excited about this class at all to be honest.
    I think it depends what you're looking for tbh. The value in this draft is fairly widely distributed, but it's not got much in the way of true superstar upside.

    So if you're a terrible team looking for a probable superstar to come and save you, this draft is really bad. But if you're a team that just needs to pick up guys who are almost certainly NBA-calibre players, even if only 10 year roleplayers, this draft is pretty good; at least when it comes to guards and bigs. Not so many wings.

    Basically, a top 3 pick in this draft is pretty low value since there's no guaranteed star to grab, but there's tons of value that will be on the board between 7-15. Good draft to trade down in, imo.

  14. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by Pelicanidae View Post
    Cole's been massively disappointing so far. I had him as my probable number 1 coming into this year, and while he's still shown some signs (his team defense has been awesome) he's certainly not the top prospect right now. Probably have him somewhere in the 5-10 range.

    Hampton's been better than many expected, including myself. His decision making has improved a lot and he's added some passes to his arsenal that he didn't have 6 months ago. That said, I don't think I'd have him top 5 myself still; as a PG, I still have him behind Nico Mannion who has been a monster tbh.
    I really want to like Nico... But I don't like his level of competition faced. After what Baylor did to him. I just don't like his ceiling. Feels like a mirage.

  15. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by Taker597 View Post
    I really want to like Nico... But I don't like his level of competition faced. After what Baylor did to him. I just don't like his ceiling. Feels like a mirage.
    That's fair, obviously we do need to see more of him as competition ramps up. That said, I do think he has played against some teams that are decent enough to show the signs. I don't think touch like his can really be a mirage, the shots I've seen him hit are just unbelievable and they seem almost automatic.

    Definitely does have some downsides (like I said, don't think there's a auto-superstar in this draft) but I've seen enough to this point to have him as a top 5 pick. Certainly could change, no doubt.

  16. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by Pelicanidae View Post


    I mostly agree with this. I'd make a few changes.

    Advancedstats notably really dislikes LaMelo (he has Ball ranked 20th in his rating atm) whereas I still think Ball's a top 10 prospect (probably not top 5 tho). I'd have Okongwu higher, I'd rather take Tshiebwe before Wiseman at 16 if they're both still on the board, and I'd have Okoro and Hampton pretty much swap places, but overall this isn't a terrible list.

    I appreciate his support for Tyrese Haliburton, who is a Gem.


    Tyrese Haliburton is special. He's got the highest floor around imo.
    8.2 assists is a ton for a college player/ great passer
    has been above the 40% mark on his threes both seasons
    and he's 6'5"

  17. #67
    Love Okongwu! That's a nice 3 man big rotation with Zion and Hayes...lacks shooting obviously, but could be unbelievable defensively.

  18. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by ml wave View Post
    Love Okongwu! That's a nice 3 man big rotation with Zion and Hayes...lacks shooting obviously, but could be unbelievable defensively.
    This is true, although I would add that I think that Zion's going to be at least an acceptable shooter (he shot 34% in college overall despite a dreadful start, and shot over 40% in his final 10 college games) longterm, and that Hayes projects fairly well to add range as well with good form and touch. Might be rough spacing-wise for a year or two until Hayes really adds that to his game and Zion irons out the smaller issues in his form, but long-term I don't see that much of an issue.

  19. #69
    id like obi toppin. Unlike all the others forwards we wouldnt be waiting on his development. he's ready to play. good character too reminds me of Rui

  20. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by fullcourtpress View Post
    id like obi toppin. Unlike all the others forwards we wouldnt be waiting on his development. he's ready to play. good character too reminds me of Rui
    He's 22 already and he's no better than some much younger prospects. Age is never a total cut-off for me (I loved Brandon Clarke last draft, for example) but if two players are of roughly equal standard, why would you ever take the older one?

    If I'm drafting a big, my sights are dead set on Okongwu. He's multiple years younger than Toppin, and a superior player. Obviously younger age also implies higher upside.

  21. #71
    A Soulful Sports Fan Contributor Eman5805's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snarly View Post
    Not excited about this class at all to be honest.
    If you're looking for another Zion, either that guy doesn't exist at all this year or he hasn't revealed himself. Either way, the guy we take this should be the BPA. If we think it's Wiseman, then take Wiseman. If it's Edwards, take Edwards.

  22. #72
    Pistol Pete Would Be Proud!!
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  23. #73
    wouldnt yal say that the SF and PF positions that we should covet the least due to having Ingram and Zion?

  24. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by fullcourtpress View Post
    wouldnt yal say that the SF and PF positions that we should covet the least due to having Ingram and Zion?
    I don't personally think it's very useful to think about players as all 5 positions anymore. I find it more useful to think about Guards, Wings, and Bigs.

    In that case, Ingram is a wing, but how many other good, high quality wings do we have?
    Outside of Jrue, how many good guards do we have?
    Outside of Zion, how many good bigs do we have? I'm talking guys who are in the long term plans.

    I would argue that when you look at it that way, it becomes clear that we have a need of quality players at really all of the positions. Lonzo is far from proving himself at this point, Hart is good but he's not a must-keep, Frank has been disappointing forever, JJ is in his late 30s and might not be here by the end of February, Moore is not a long term piece. So that's for guards: Jrue and NAW.

    With wings, I'd argue that we're pretty shallow. Really there we have Ingram and Kenrich, and that's about it: and even Kenrich is kind of a tweener between a wing and Big.

    With Bigs, we have Zion and Jax. Favors isn't guaranteed to stick around and Okafor is not long term quality.

    So really it's draft whoever we like best and whoever we think will fit best around Zion. For me, I'm in favour of a guard first because high quality guard play is so important in the league right now, and I'm also thinking of skilled passers who can shoot. So that's what draws me towards Nico Mannion so much.

    When it comes to wings, Ingram is going to take primary scoring on the wing. So we don't necessarily need someone who is a lead-scorer type, it's more vital to focus on someone who can fill an auxiliary role on O while covering for Ingram's poor defense against other high calibre wings: that's what leads me towards Isaac Okoro, probably the best defender in this class as of right now.

  25. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by fullcourtpress View Post
    wouldnt yal say that the SF and PF positions that we should covet the least due to having Ingram and Zion?
    I feel like you're disrespecting Hayes... lol

    jk.

    I think the only position you shouldn't covet as much is simply C. We are still probably gonna need a tall PF or another C for a big lineup. Every other position is free reign.

    PG
    SG
    SF
    PF/C/ Viable Stretch 4

    We need it all. Just because we are young. Doesn't mean you should completely abandon BPA. We still got to see how these players develop.

    It's probably why we will probably move assets for a potential superstar. We are gonna be overloaded with young talent and some of the guys that we will draft in a few years... Are gonna be high priced depth.

    Just don't pull a Knicks and get 4 PFs.
    Last edited by Taker597; 12-12-2019 at 01:57 PM.

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