Categories
Articles | NBA Draft

2020 NBA Draft Big Board, Version 2.0

The 2020 NBA Draft keeps getting pushed back, but our resident draft guru is here with an updated version of his Kings focused Big Board!

Welcome to the September update of the Kings Herald 2020 NBA Draft Big Board! Yep - it’s September, and we’re still almost two months away from one of the most confusing Drafts in recent memory. As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported this week, the draft has been moved and locked to November 18th as the NBA and the Players Association juggle with when to start the 2020-21 season. But the NBA Playoffs have been so damn entertaining that it’s almost hard to stay focused on this draft-that-never-comes. The extension does give me more time for detailed prospect breakdowns, so my Big Board will likely have another big shake up between now and November.

As I highlighted in my recent article on Saddiq Bey, this draft offers the Kings a range of talent and upside combinations that Monte McNair will have to seriously debate as he decides how best to reset Sacramento’s rebuild. Are the Kings just a few competent pieces away from success? Take Bey. Do the Kings need to swing for the fences to even have a chance at salvaging this rebuild? Take Aleksej Pokusevski or Patrick Williams. Are you Richard Ivanowski? Take Cole Anthony and pray. Do the Kings just need a culture reset? Take Tyrese Maxey. Don’t think this draft is anything special? Trade out! This draft will provide us a fascinating first look at our new General Manager.

Below are my updated rankings, set with two numbers. The first is my Kings-Centric ranking, which is almost entirely set by “take the best player available,” with the singular caveat of “please don’t slow down De’Aaron Fox.” (Side note - beware anyone who speaks of trading Fox this early into McNair's tenure. They are crazy folks and should be ignored.)

The second score in parentheses is a player’s KANGZ score, which indicates how volatile that player is if he gets drafted into basketball hell. Can a player reach anywhere close to his standard outcome if he’d been drafted by a smart basketball team? Think of a guy like Fox, or to a much-lower-talent degree, Jason Thompson - you are you who are, and that guy gets a high number. Are you Ben McLemore? You’re probably a 4 or lower. This ranking isn’t really indicative of a player’s talent - Saddiq Bey would get a 9 here, while Deni Avdija gets a 5 - but it should give a basic indication on how safe I think a player is for our insane, never stable franchise.

1. Anthony Edwards (KANGZ Score: 6)

The Good: Still the highest ceiling in the draft class for me; he proved he could hit absurdly difficult three-level shots against double and triple teams while also flashing passing skills.

The Bad: His defensive motor was incredibly inconsistent all season, as was his decision making on offense. His shot selection absolutely tanked his shooting efficiency, which hides just how good a shooter he really is. Given that his Georgia team was so bad, this can be excused… to some degree.

2. Onyeka Okongwu (KANGZ Score: 7)

The Good: A new-age big with great touch around the basket, potential as a face-up scorer, and - most importantly - an extremely high ceiling defensively. He’s a defensive anchor in waiting, thanks to both his rim protection skills and his ability to switch and handle speedier players in space.

The Bad: He was slightly undersized in college, and his explosiveness, speed, and flexibility will only compensate so much for his 6’9” size - although as we've seen in these Playoffs, a 6'9 center can be plenty big. He can also become a capable shooter - I’m banking on it to have him this high - but it’s no guarantee.

3. Isaac Okoro (KANGZ Score: 8)

The Good: In a class on volatility and uncertainty, Okoro offers a high-floor in many ways; he’s a dominant on-ball defender, thanks to his exceptional combo of strength, explosiveness, and intensity. His handle needs work, but he showed a strong ability to get to the basket in the half court and finish with power and finesse (89th percentile for shots around the rim in the halfcourt), and earned more trips to the line (6.1 per 40) than Devin Vassell and Patrick Williams combined.  He’s a complementary offensive player whose versatility won’t let him get played off the court.

The Bad: 28.6% from deep, 67.2% from the free throw line. Let's hope he ends up somewhere with a truly excellent shot doctor.

4. Devin Vassell (9)

The Good: This draft’s ultimate combination of shooting and defensive upside. Vassell proved himself as a top-tier shooter both off the catch and off the bounce, while also being a massive disruptor on and off the ball on defense.He’s one of the better team

The Bad: Unlike Okoro, Vassell’s best defensive skills show up off-ball, and I doubt that he’ll ever be a “stick him on the best guy” type of defender. This isn’t really a critique, as help defense is just as important in the NBA today as anything else, but it makes Vassell more of a role player than Okoro in my mind.

5. Killian Hayes (6)

The Good: An 18-year old genius with the basketball, possessing great passing and craftiness with great size (6’4) and strength. Also a damn promising pull-up shooter, the best skill for any initiator. His handling needs some work, but his upside is clear.

The Bad: While Killian’s pull-up shot is damn sweet, he’s not as proven off the catch, which may limit his immediate abilities to play with another initiator. His lack of explosiveness and elite quickness may be more limiting on the defensive end.

6. Deni Avdija (5)

The Good: Versatile combo forward who offers real secondary initiator upside thanks to his excellent passing and vision. Good instincts on both ends, and a motor that doesn’t stop. He shows the mentality to be a real alpha dog in the lockerroom.

The Bad: While Avdija’s shooting numbers have improved over the year, and smarter shot experts than I say his form has improved, his potential as a shooter is a real question (a FT% of just 58.8%). With his instincts and motor, I don’t think Avdija is truly big-time bustable, but he needs his shot to translate more than the other questionable shooters in the lottery do.

7. LaMelo Ball (4)

The Good: Ball’s passing is probably the best individual skill in this class; a true maestro with the basketball. He has no fear of the big passes or the big shots, and it’s better to have those onions and need to learn hesitation than the inverse.

The Bad: LaMelo is 2nd on my overall ranking, but I despise the fit with Fox. Could he share co-initiator duties? Is his shot good enough to pull defenders when he doesn’t have the ball in his hands? Can this team handle another negative/neutral-at-best defender? I struggle to expect the Kings situation and coaching staff could truly get him to buy in.

8. Tyrese Haliburton (8)

The Good: While he played point for Iowa State, Haliburton will be best at the NBA level as a secondary initiatory; lucky for him, his 6'5 size and 6'8 wingspan give him positional versatility. His strong (if funky) catch-and-shoot ability combined with preternatural passing instincts make him an excellent fix next to Fox, as long as the Kings get a damn defensive wing.

The Bad: Can’t be counted on to create his own shot. While he’s a great team defender and always ready to jump passing lanes, he’s a skinny dude who may never get the muscle needed to rightfully battle bigger guards.

9. James Wiseman (4)

The Good: A titanic combo of size, length, and explosiveness; has the potential to be a dynamic rim-runner/pick-and-roll big. Tough rebounder and promising rim protector, as long as his defensive instincts catch up with his physical dominance.

The Bad: I’ve watched his three games at Memphis too many times not to be terrified of his offensive instincts with the ball, and the Kings already have a big man who wants to pretend he’s Giannis. I’m also not as confident in his defensive upside as some of the professional scouts are.

10. Patrick Williams (7)

The Good: Instinctual, explosive defender who can pull off nonsense like this. He’s also a capable shooter, both off the catch and the dribble, while also flashing the passing and dribbling skills for something more than just 3-and-D.  Also happens to play a position and role the Kings haven’t tried to find for more than a damn decade, and he’s the youngest American player in the draft.

The Bad: Played only 22.5 minutes per game, which is worrying until you consider the context of “no one ever gets big minutes under Leonard ‘I won’t even play Jonathan Isaac more than 25 MPG’ Hamilton.” In reality, Williams IS a project player who is unlikely to provide more than a high-motor defender and alright shooter in his first year or so. He’s also not an all-world defensive prospect unless he gets some real help unlocking some flexibility in his hips and legs so he doesn’t get hunted by guards.

11. Tyrese Maxey (8)

The Good: Bulldog point-of-attack beast on defense whose intensity and motor could be a culture-maker. Already has a relationship with Fox, and with their transition talents combined, the two of them could be one of the more fun warp-speed tandems in the league. He’s also a capable secondary playmaker and a strong rebounder for his position.

The Bad: While smarter armchair scouts than I trust that Maxey’s shooting ability is real/was cramped by Kentucky’s shitty spacing and Calipari’s Calipariness, the value of having two speedsters who can rim-run goes down when they aren’t locks to provide each other spacing (Maxey shot 29% from deep at Kentucky). At 6’3, he has to become outlier tough and strong to become the elite point-of-attack defender he wants to be.

12. Kira Lewis (7)

The Good: Kira has Fox-level speed and body control. Already showed he could run an insane-tempo offense, and improved as a catch-and-shoot threat to the point where he could really be dangerous off the ball. Fearless at attacking with the basketball.

The Bad: While I buy a Fox/Kira combination on offense, defensively the two lack size or strength to be a dangerous two-way combination.

13. Obi Toppin (7)

The Good: Best offensive big in the class; above-average shooter, dunker, and scorer in the paint, while also possessing alright passing and decision making instincts. High-floor player on the offensive end, and one who wouldn’t need to crowd the paint to provide value.

The Bad: I lied when I said fit doesn’t play a factor here - I don’t want the Kings to draft another zero on defense, especially if that dude is a big man.

14. Aleksej Pokusevski (5)

The Good: A 7’1 dude who plays like a top-flight combo guard. Defies all positional logic with his mind-bending combination of passing, handling, driving, and shooting. I’ve grown to the idea that even Sacramento could stand to be patient enough in his physical development to work him into a real NBA threat - check out the Kings Pulse pod with draft guru PD Web for a ton of Poku insights and optimism.

The Bad: All his skills won’t mean much if the 7’1, 200 lbs Poku doesn’t end up with the right development staff and doesn’t have the toughness to handle the transition to the NBA game. Here’s hoping he ends up with a smart, patient team - the NBA will be a better league with a dominant Poku playing somewhere.

15. Cole Anthony (5)

The Good: Hyper confident scorer whose best traits were completely messed up by an absolutely dreadful UNC squad. Great shooter, crafty dribbler, and can finish at the rim with a dozen excellent moves. Makes up for less than idea size by actually giving a crud defensively. Considering his usage rate, surprisingly solid shot rate and efficiency off the catch. 6th on my overall big board.

The Bad: While I’ve been a long proponent of finding another initiator to play next to Fox, selecting an undersized guard (I don’t buy the 6’3 listing) who hasn’t spent time sharing playmaking duties and doesn’t have tremendous defensive upside (as Maxey does) would be weird roster construction. For all his craft as a scorer, his playmaking and passing instincts are a step behind other “true” initiators in the class.

16. Saddiq Bey (9) (Full breakdown here)

The Good: Fantastic shooter, capable playmaker, and all-around high-feel player who excelled at Villanova as a rangy defender. His high floor makes him one of the fan-base's favorites.

The Bad: While his defensive instincts are sharp, his under-discussed lack of athleticism will absolutely get him hunted down in switches and he could be a liability in space at the NBA level. While a capable catch-and-shoot player, he lacks any upside as an individual creator. His most likely outcome is as a solid rotation player (which may not be a issue in this draft class).

17. Aaron Nesmith (6)

The Good: An excellent shooter, both off the catch and off movement. His 6’6 size and 6’10 wingspan makes his quick release even harder to guard. His shooting splits are eyepopping, but he only played in 14 games this season; I still expect him to be a very capable shooter, but he certainly will average out below 52% from deep. A determined defender who can swallow up opponents with his length.

The Bad: Beyond above-average shooting, I’m not sure what else is a lock in his game. He’s an alright defender, but doesn't have the instincts of the other wings in the class. He struggles at the rim and a lack of handle and quickness limit him as a self creator. Finished his short season with just 13 assists in 500 minutes played. Lost most of his season due to foot surgery.

18. Jalen Smith (8)

The Good: He’s got the hybrid combo of skills that every team dreams of in a big; promising deep shot and rim protection. How dynamic these two skills will be at the next level is up for debate, but he’s got the defensive instincts and drive to be a very strong two-way player. Tough, physical rebounder who always runs the floor hard.

The Bad: While I trust his rim protection, he’ll need some real physical development help to unlock the flexibility needed to not be a liability in space. For all his versatility, he’s not a capable passer.

19. Josh Green (7) (Full breakdown here)

The Good: Extremely high-motor player with the athletic tools to be an excellent NBA defender. If his shooting is real, and his future team helps him tighten up his handle and come up with some more options with the ball in his hands, he could be a dynamic two-way player.

The Bad: He’s still a ways off from that two-way ceiling, unfortunately; he’s an inconsistent shooter who shied away from open shots too often, and yet he was dreadfully bad when he got to the rim in the half-court. Doesn’t have a go-to skill on offense, unlike some other defense-first prospects in this class.

20. Precious Achiuwa (6)

The Good: Very promising defensive big man with the potential range to protect the rim and guard on the perimeter. His ceiling could be what we’d always hoped from Willie Cauley-Stein - rim-runner who fights in the paint and on the glass.

The Bad: Aside from his success in transition and on the pick-and-dive, he lacks offensive versatility. I don’t buy him as a shooting threat, and don’t think he’d be the right selection with a lottery pick.

21. R.J. Hampton (4)

The Good: Electric athlete with the length, size, and the basics of off- and on-ball skills to be a versatile NBA guard if he adds strength.

The Bad: Hard to be overly excited if you watch his full NBL games - Hampton wasn’t efficient at the rim or from deep. Much more of a project player than I think many expect. Even in a class of questionable shooters, I worry about his jumper mechanics.

22. Leandro Bolmaro (7)

The Good: Hyper-confident, electric wing who can jet around the court, attack the basket, and toss around every pass in the playbook. At 6’8, offers real versatility on both ends, and attacks his defensive assignments with vigor while always ready to jump in passing lanes. If his touch around the basket translates into an actual deep shooting touch, watch out.

The Bad: Shot just 29.3% from deep across all leagues this season, and his shooting is very much a question mark. Already decided he’ll stay in Barcelona next season, and has a contract that lasts until 2023.

23. Xavier Tillman (9)

The Good: For his size (6’8), the best defensive big man in the class thanks to insane strength and excellent instincts. Strong rebounder who will be undersized but not outfought at the next level. Legitimately played as a secondary initiator next to Cassius Winston.

The Bad: Aside from post-ups and assists, unclear how he’ll impact an offense at the next level. Perhaps his shooting touch could be unlocked by a smart team, but shot just 26% on 50 attempts from deep this year (and 66.7% from the line).

24. Isaiah Joe (7)

The Good: Sweet shooting off-ball guard who can hit off movement and off the dribble. Capable passer and smart offensive player, aside from a tendency to take bad shots. For his size, one of the more fun, energetic defenders in the class. My first answer to “if you don’t take Aaron Nesmith at 12, who can offer shooting help at pick 35?”

The Bad: His shooting numbers tanked in his sophomore season as his attempts spiked; went from 41.4% from deep his freshman year to 34.2% as a sophomore, so his actual average is probably in the middle. For all his effort and intensity on defense, his lack of strength (just 180 lbs at 6’5) was a real problem at Arkansas and will be doubly so in the NBA. Had knee surgery in February.

25. Desmond Bane (9)

The Good: The best shooter in the draft (hat tip to Markus Howard, who has a real argument for this crown). Give him any space, and he’ll knock down shots from way beyond NBA range. But he’s more than just a shooter - very capable ball mover, solid finisher, and strong, dedicated defender. My second answer to “if you don’t take Aaron Nesmith at 12, who can offer shooting help at pick 35?”

The Bad: While he gives a crud on defense, his negative wingspan and lack of great burst limits his versatility. Likely tops out as a solid rotation player (which isn’t really a negative at this stage in the draft).

26. Killian Tillie (9)

The Good: A top-tier big shooter who hit 44% from deep in his four years at Gonzaga while also consistently showing some of the best offensive awareness you could ask from a collegiate big. Great connecting piece on offense, even if he’s not the biggest scoring threat. Also a high-IQ defender, although he needs to get much stronger to handle NBA bigs. My favorite pick for any of the Kings 2nd round picks.

The Bad: Would have been a 1st round pick in any of the last three drafts if it wasn’t for an insanely unfortunate injury history, as he’s dealt with numerous ankle, knee, and foot injuries. Not an truly effective rebounder, although sticking close to the rim was never his role at Gonzaga.

27. Theo Maledon (5)

The Good: Promising initiator with combo-guard size and length. Not the fastest or most explosive player, but plays with good control and change-of-pace, and flashes some real craftiness around the rim. Efficient shooting numbers off a relatively consistant shot.

The Bad: Not sure how he creates his offense at the next level, unless his shooting off the dribble spikes. I’d admit that of the guards in this class, he’s the one I’m least sure on.

28. Jaden McDaniels (2) (Full breakdown here)

The Good: The basics of McDaniels are alluring - a 6’10 wing who can shoot off the bounce and handle in space will always get attention in the NBA. He’s also a surprisingly stout help-side rim protector.

The Bad: He’s not the shooter his draft stock might indicate, his love of driving leads him to be predictable on offense, and he’s very much a project player who needs a few patient years with a good organization before he’ll be a two-way impact.

29. Tyrelle Terry (7)

The Good: Flies around the court with and without the ball, looking for just a bit of daylight to launch a deep shot - sank 40.8% of 152 attempts on the season. More than just a shooter, as his passing skills and willingness surprised me since he only averaged 3.9 assists per 40. At worst, an absolute microwave off the bench.

The Bad: Undersized (6’1, 160 lbs), which makes him a one position defender even if he does play with solid intensity and quickness (1.7 steals per 40). Would be best on a team with a bigger initiator who could take advantage of his off-ball movement. In the right spot, he’ll make this ranking look foolish.

30. Malachi Flynn (8)

The Good: The backup point guard the Kings have been looking for; tough, high-instinct player on both ends who can shoot, pass with gusto, and dominate in the pick-and-roll. Extremely competitive player who won MWC Defensive Player of the Year.

The Bad: Like Terry, his 6’1 size will limit him defensively, although with weight training he might gain enough bulk to avoid getting pushed around.

Subscribe
Notify of
67 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rob Hessing
1 month ago

Great stuff, Bryant. Love the formatting of the information. An easy yet informative read.

andy sims
1 month ago

Fine.

Doug Scott
1 month ago

Good stuff, Bryant!

In my opinion, no matter what direction Monte chooses to go, this team needs wings!

My favorite realistic wing targets for the Kings:

  1. Vassell
  2. Nesmith
  3. Bey
  4. Bolomaro
  5. Green

I also like some potential 2nd round guys like Tyler Bey and Robert Woodward, and maybe a developmental guy like Casius Stanley.

I think Pat Williams is a 4 at the next level.

Finally, I also would not mind at all if we take Poku.

Carlos Cordova
1 month ago
Reply to  Dougscott

We missed on Luka but we can have Poku!

Doug Scott
1 month ago
Reply to  sonny

LOL Yup. Poku ceiling is ridiculous. Unfortunately, so is his floor.

Eric W
1 month ago
Reply to  Dougscott

Eh, I don’t think his floor is especially lower than a number of other guys on the list. I mean, any floor below “not an NBA player” is essentially the same. And I’d say there are at least a number of guys on this list whose floor sits below that line.

As a sidenote, it’s interesting to me that Poku is being mocked in the mid-to-late-1st in a weak draft, while his American doppelgänger is being touted as a top 2-3 pick in 2022 despite only being 5 months younger than Poku.

Last edited 1 month ago by BestHyperboleEver
Eric W
1 month ago
Reply to  Bryant

Sure, but my point is it’s no lower than guys like Hampton, Green, Smith, Joe, Maledon, etc. who all share the floor of “not and NBA level player.” If you aren’t above that floor it doesn’t really matter if you’re in the 1st basement or the 3rd basement.

Wherever he ends up, he should be stashed and be mainlining creatine whenever he isn’t on the court.

Christopher Hauck
1 month ago

Maybe the proper way to think about it is less about floor and more about probability of outcomes.

Poku has that 5-10% chance of being star some other players don’t. But hey may have a 50% chance of being out of the league or a 12th man on the bench if his play against a lower level league / frame don’t translate.

While someone like Josh Green has a much higher probability of being a rotational 3-D player and maybe a 20% chance of washing out.

Eric W
1 month ago
Reply to  SPTSJUNKIE

That’s a good way to look at it, though I disagree with those numbers. But even taking yours as given, I’d say Poku’s slim chances of becoming a star are more valuable (especially to a team like the Kings) than Green’s greater likelihood of being a rotational 3-and-D guy since rotational 3-and-D guys are pretty easy to come by.

Now, you could argue that a team is more likely to acquire elite talent by stockpiling and trading young, cheap, rotational role players like your 80%-outcome Green than they are to develop a guy like Pokusevski into that guy. And I’d probably agree to some degree. But even then, I would quibble that I don’t think “Josh Green” is anywhere close to 80% likely to be a useful player, and I think looking at Poku like a complete dichotomy is mistaken. The chances that he’s Dirk are really slim. But are the chances that he’s Davis Bertrans or Channing Frye really any slimmer than the chances Green is Jae Crowder?

Last edited 1 month ago by BestHyperboleEver
Christopher Hauck
1 month ago

Makes sense – to be clear – those were sort of placeholder %s for the example and not an assertion that those are true probabilities.

I think you highlight a good and real debate though – is it easier to acquire that star player with some big swings or accumulating assets and making a trade.

Probably a bit of both as some of the best teams have found diamonds later in the draft, but also hard to argue they were all wild swings – Jokic for example was a 2nd round pick (and Denver’s 3rd pick in that draft).

As for your last question – still looking more into both, but my gut so far says yes. I don’t want to call Green safe per se, but he’s 6’6” with a 6’11” wingspan, very good lateral speed, a strong motor, and a good 210 pound frame. Seems like a good probability he’s a strong defensive wing who will be able to shoot as hit 36% of threes and 78% of FTs as a freshman with good enough form / release speed.

Poku was playing in a HEBA 2 league arguably more on par with AAU as opposed to NCAA division 1. For comparison, Papa G never even played in HEBA 2 (he was in HEBA 1 and Euroleague while in Greece from what I can find). Even in this lower level league, he struggled to score efficiently. It’s also not clear if or how long it will take for his body to develop and even if he becomes a rotational NBA player – it could be on his second contract with another team.

Anyway, we of course agree on the upside and the potential unicorn qualities. I think there’s just a much higher probability that if his talent doesn’t translate from HEBA 2 or his body doesn’t develop – he could wash out as opposed to having a middling outcome.

Eric W
1 month ago
Reply to  SPTSJUNKIE

All reasonable. I will point out, regarding the HEBA/AAU/NCAA comp level discussion, that Pokusevski is a full year younger than Green. So he’s getting 8 minutes in Euroleague and a season of AAU (though I would debate this, I wouldn’t debate all that hard about it) level play, including FIBA U17 & U18 tourneys, at the same age as American HS seniors.

Christopher Hauck
1 month ago

Great point and completely agree. That’s part of what makes him tricky to evaluate.

Josh Green for example averaged about 30 points, 7 boards, 4 assists, and 3 steals per 40 in AAU.

Now Poku’s skills for a big .might mean more, but we’re just evaluating a different level of competition.

He’ll almost certainly be that one candidate I referred to earlier this thread.

Darren Van Blois
1 month ago
Reply to  SPTSJUNKIE

That description of an athletic guy with long arms who shoots at a pretty good percentage sounds like it could be someone draftable in the 1st round, maybe sort of like Ben McLemore, but I’m looking for more. Compare that to a guy like Lamine Diane who can initiate from the perimeter, he can initiate from the high post, he can draw fouls, he’s longer (7 foot plus wingspan) and he rebounds, gets steals, blocks shots and runs the break.

Darren Van Blois
1 month ago
Reply to  SPTSJUNKIE

Do you realize who you just described as “safe”? Physical attributes, 6’6” with a 6’11” wingspan. Shoots sort of well. You can find an image online of him yelling, which makes us think he’s a beast. Yet no description of his game. That’s no different from Malachi Richardson. Tell me what his game is and then we can talk about possibly taking him at 12. How does he get buckets?

Christopher Hauck
1 month ago
Reply to  eddie41

I understand your point, but they are night and day prospects.

Richardson had a 51% TS, 3.5 bpm, and averaged 15-5-2.5 and 1.3 steals per 40 and had a negative assist to turnover ratio with no defensive reputation.

Green had a 53% TS, 6.9 bpm, and averaged about 16-6-3.5 and 2 steals per 40 with a strong positive A/T and was a lockdown defender.

I’m not even stumping for Green, but he’s a much stronger prospect than Richardson.

Darren Van Blois
1 month ago
Reply to  SPTSJUNKIE

Those stats are comparable. Lock down defender? Not sure about that. More important, you still can’t describe his game. It’s a tough sell at #12.

Christopher Hauck
1 month ago
Reply to  eddie41

I never advocated drafting him at 12.

But a strong, switchable defender with a good shot and who is a good passer with a good bball IQ is pretty easy to project into an NBA role.

Darren Van Blois
1 month ago
Reply to  SPTSJUNKIE

Okay. Gotcha. I think green is a first rounder also.

Darren Van Blois
1 month ago
Reply to  SPTSJUNKIE

I’m watching more of his footage now. Seems to make the right play. What seems incorrect is the 6’6” listing. He looks very much like Justin James.

Christopher Hauck
1 month ago

Every year in the draft there is 1 player where after all of the research, analytics models, tape, discussion here, etc. – I basically shrug and say “wow, this is the player who might get a GM fired – either because they drafted him or passed on him.”

Still earyish, but I have a feeling it could be Poku this year. Hard to deny he has skill and his numbers are likely to pop in models. But he’s also played some pretty low minutes against some pretty low levels of competition. HEBA A2 is a professional league, but not Euroleague – it’s a lower level than Giannis played in before he was drafted. Poku has played 8 minutes in Euroleague. And his frame is slight. It’s one thing to put on muscle, but I’m not sure how much potential he has with his frame. Could be good enough for the NBA, but he’s not going to have Jokic’s base / strength.

Given how flat this draft is I wouldn’t be surprised to see a team reach for him, but in general, he does feel like more of a late teens / early 20s risk-adjusted gamble.

Eric W
1 month ago
Reply to  SPTSJUNKIE

I absolutely agree with all of that. That’s why I’m a big fan of the idea of combining a guy like him with a lower-risk pick or two. But as a team with a dearth of elite talent and in a draft that lacks players with that type of upside, I think the Kings absolutely have to be figuring out ways to both take a chance on that upside AND mitigate the risks that it doesn’t pan out.

Christopher Hauck
1 month ago

I maybe in the minority here – but given our overall lack of assets and how rich next year’s draft is – I would be happy to hit a double and build our asset base. If we can get an extra pick or trade back – I don’t mind taking a big swing as well (so not that different from what you are saying).

But I think adding a clear rotation player with some upside that builds our assets is probably more valuable than taking a big swing, but risking yet another draft where we come away with nothing. I don’t think most here would disagree since I am picking an easy example, but adding Vassell at 12 instead of swinging for Williams or Poku would seem wise.

Especially to get a win on the board for the new FO. If they come out and immediately draft a Nik or Papa G – fans are going to start getting a bit nervous.

Eric W
1 month ago
Reply to  SPTSJUNKIE

The thing is, I personally don’t think the guys projected at 12 are any more likely to be a “clear rotation player with some upside that builds our assets” than many of the guys projected at the end of the round and in the 2nd. The Papa’s can be avoided obviously. But I’d say Stauskas (at the time of the draft) fits your description as well as any of the guys usually being mocked to the Kings these days.

Christopher Hauck
1 month ago

I mean that comes down to scouting ability. I think one trap it’s easy to fall into as a fan is to get a tier and say “ok this is as far as we can get – these guys are all the same.”

While no team is perfect – some have a better drafting record for a reason. And Nik is the perfect example of a bad pick that even many people on STR (myself included) had much lower than where we picked him. It was an open question if he had the ability to create / guard players in the NBA.

Eric W
1 month ago
Reply to  SPTSJUNKIE

Sure, I’m just saying the majority of mock drafts had Nik Rocks slotted anywhere from the Kings pick to the middle of the round. And as the “best shooter in the draft” as many non-Vivek pundits called him at 6’6 with some ballhandling skills, I would say he falls well into the “clear rotation player with some upside” category.

The overall point being, I think we may be overstating how easy it is to “hit a double.”

Doug Scott
1 month ago

Who is American Doppelgänger?

Eric W
1 month ago
Reply to  Dougscott

Chet Holmgren.

Christopher Hauck
1 month ago

Also a vast difference a year out. If he doesn’t develop and play well, he’s not going to go #2-3 next season.

Eric W
1 month ago
Reply to  SPTSJUNKIE

Well, yeah, it’s impossible to know what will happen between now and then. But I’d argue that if he were in this draft he would be in consideration for the top pick and almost certainly go in the top 5. And, as I mention, he’s technically two drafts separated from Pokusevski yet only 5 months younger.

Darren Van Blois
1 month ago
Reply to  Dougscott

Take a look at Lamine Diane. Diamond in the rough.

Eric W
1 month ago

Nice work. I appreciate the willingness to break with consensus. Personally, I’d put guys like Bolmaro, Tillman, and Bane above any of the guys you have in the 15-20 range. And I wouldn’t say Bolmaro’s contract situation is a negative. In fact, it could be a positive depending on the strategy the FO employs.

Doug Scott
1 month ago

I have grown big time on Bolomaro. Love his skill-set, and think the jump shot will improve

Eric W
1 month ago
Reply to  Dougscott

Wing initiators are gold. Especially ones that actually care about defense.

Doug Scott
1 month ago

Yup. That’s why my top player in this draft in Deni. Probably one of the only people who have that, hit his playmaking ability is unmatched for someone at his position

andy sims
1 month ago

First of all, excellent work here. I’m sure I’m not the only one who reads various draft boards and is frustrated that the author has declined to supply height/weight information. Particularly in this era of no-position basketball, not providing that info is a dereliction of duty.

Secondly, I can’t believe that there are two guys called Killian in the draft. This is definitive proof that this year’s crop is weak.

Thirdly, your overall ranking/Kings ranking was an excellent innovation that helps us weigh options. I imagine you’ll get some arguments about some, but that’s standard with draft boards.

Thanks for the superior effort!

K W
1 month ago

No John Salmons? Weak analysis.

Christopher Hauck
1 month ago
Reply to  AmateurNerd

Bryant is just assuming we trade down from 12 to 15 in order to pick up Salmons in any of these scenarios.

Eric W
1 month ago

The interesting thing is that while I’m down on this draft, I’d happily take 3-4 picks in the late 1st/early 2nd to draft and use them to roster Tillman and Bane, and draft-and-stash Poku and Bolmaro.

Eric W
1 month ago
Reply to  Bryant

No idea. I will say, in general I think upperclassmen tend to be underrated. Personally, in drafts like this, where there are a lot of meh-ceiling, medium-floor candidates and very few high ceiling guys, I tend even more towards the more developed guys. Basically, give me high floors and a lottery ticket or two and I’m good.

Ralph Lawrence Reyes
1 month ago

If we could somehow ended with 2 or 3 of them in this years draft I’ll be a happy camper especially if we land Poku and Bolmaro. Tillman and Bane is a toss up for me.. If we could get Tillman, he could probably be Giles replacement and potential fan favorite.

Eric W
1 month ago

Adamsite. I think it’s behind the pay wall, but if you can see it, I thought you’d like this:

On Halliburton from The Athletic

Edit: Huh. Apparently when you @ somebody, their real name shows up.

Last edited 1 month ago by BestHyperboleEver
Eric W
1 month ago
Reply to  Bryant

Yeah, I can get on that bandwagon. Obviously, their playing styles are a bit different but he makes me think of SGA in terms of how his well-rounded skills and versatility make him a good fit for pretty much anybody. But even more so for a guy like Fox. Together they theoretically form a pretty complete back court. If it makes you feel any better 2021 is full of 6’7-6’9 guys with talent. Even beyond the usual Cunningham, Boston, Kumiga, Johnson group. Actually, so is 2022 for that matter. I mean, I’m not going to hang my hopes on getting Cunningham or Bates, but even a guy like Scottie Barnes who’s seen as more of a mid-1st guy at the moment is a pretty high level talent.

Greg Wissinger
Admin
1 month ago

test

Last edited 1 month ago by Greg
Adam Dieter
1 month ago

Thanks for that share, I get the Atlantic. Yup, he’s the one I want and is really the only guy I’d trade up for. After thinking long and hard about his weaknesses (strength and weird shot) and his strengths (efficiency, defense, length) I think I finally have him pegged on who he could become.

I really think he’d be a better passing and defending Kevin Martin (weird shot and all). The one thing he’d really need to get to Martin’s level is his ability to draw contact and get the line. Martin was always so crafty at that. I’d love that kind of player next to Fox.

By the way Mods, I thought it was pretty cool that I got an email letting me know that BHE mentioned my screen name in a comment. Nice feature.

Last edited 1 month ago by Adamsite
Darren Van Blois
1 month ago

I think first we all need education on cognitive biases, groupthink psychology, what generates the “mock drafts” and how are they misinterpreted. Why do people say “I want that player but you can get him in the second round” but later when you look back on past draft decisions, it is not an excuse when that player becomes good to say “it was okay to not draft him because we thought we could get him in the second round and it surprised a lot of teams when he was selected in the late first”. Why do people envision prospects starting for playoff teams if they get drafted by them but cannot envision those players on the Kings? And how can anyone look at raw prospects like Poku, Okoro, Patrick Williams, and a dozen other guys without looking at Lamine Diane?

Parker Wells
1 month ago

In what’s generally perceived as a “weak” draft, I wonder how many teams try to squint hard at the bigs in this draft to see if they could resemble what Adebayo is doing in Miami. Even if you ignore his passing and just look at his defense.

Eric W
1 month ago
Reply to  Wonderchild

Maybe. I think people are already squinting a bit hard to see Okongwu as the next Adebayo. After that I suppose the player with a blurry outline that could somewhat resemble Adebayo defensively would be Precious. The guy actually most likely to turn out vaguely Adebayo-esque is probably Tillman IMO. Though obviously he doesn’t have Adebayo’s athletic gifts, he does have the size, BBIQ, and commitment on both ends.

I will say that I think a lot of Adebayo’s break out (mostly on the offensive end) comes down to simply being with an organization willing to use him the way the Heat does.

Last edited 1 month ago by BestHyperboleEver
In Starz
1 month ago

I’m on the Poku train as well, as one of my favorite potential draftees

Role players can be traded for or overpaid for in FA

Buddy/Barnes are “solid” back half of the lottery talents

I’m much more “process” oriented at this point, and the league is about franchise talent

Eric W
1 month ago

Hey, has anybody heard of Lamine Diane?

Joseph Valencia
1 month ago

I think he is some dude in his mid 20’s who beasted against weak competition will go undrafted but will certainly get a shot at being the 10th man on a rotation…….In China…… don’t take my word for it but that’s my take on it anyways. Perfect draft to have multiple darts to throw at heres to hoping we land a gem.

Darren Van Blois
1 month ago

Weird. He’s only 6 months older than Obi Toppin who beasted at Dayton and is a consensus top 10 pick. The main knock on Diane is his free throw shooting percentage (65% on 9 attempts per game), which is way better than Avdija, another consensus top 10 pick. His handles and post game are better than Poku who everyone is hyping. His 3 point shot is no worse than a lot of those guys. And should we talk about initiators? Initiators from the high post and wing? The dude’s got game. I’m really curious to know which two games BHE saw. I’ll try to find those games and watch them. Because everything I see on the 2 hours of his footage on YouTube says nba player.

Joseph Valencia
1 month ago
Reply to  eddie41

Was just making a point to say that dudes that are considered projects are usually young and raw with those same glimpses of potential that you see on an almost 23 year old dude that played on a bad team playing bad competition while being considered raw still. Once there’s a Siakam and an Adebayo we will try to squint hard to find their twins. I dont see why he wouldn’t land on a summer team tho and see what happens plenty of talent goes undrafted so while he has plenty of flaws, is older, and remains unproven he could be an outlier I guess.

Darren Van Blois
1 month ago

who is the “raw” “project“ who only shows “glimpses” of potential that you are referring to? I was talking about someone with a lot of skills, a lot of ways to score, a guy who has been productive for years on both sides of the ball, who I think will be productive soon on an nba team.

Darren Van Blois
1 month ago

BHE, how can I find more footage of him? Since I’m going to bat for him, I’d like to see more than the 2 hours on YouTube. I’ve got about one week left before I go Forrest Gump on a bicycle. Would like to dive into it more.

Eric W
1 month ago
Reply to  eddie41

Ummm, I’m not sure where to find more footage. I saw him this season in both games vs UCDavis, once in-person, and against UCSB. I think the home game against Davis was on an ESPN network, so you might be able to fine that. The UCSB one was probably on the Big West streaming site or another streaming site that I swear was TOTALLY legal. Otherwise it’s probably all the YouTube stuff you’ve found.

Darren Van Blois
1 month ago

Thanks. For what it’s worth, I found a Terrell Gomez quote saying he’s probably the most talented player he’s ever played with.” You would know better than I what that means (ie., how many players Gomez has played with)

Darren Van Blois
1 month ago

more research: apparently his dominant play is nothing new. July 2016 adidas nations camp, among names like Immanuel Quickley, Jordan Nwora, Reggie Perry, etc, “there wasn’t a more productive player than small forward Lamine Diane”, 27 and 8, most effective slashing, crashing the glass, looks like a potential defensive stopper. Long, athletic, energetic, all over the place, etc.

Vincent Serrato
1 month ago

1. Killian Hayes
2. Deni Andija
3. Tyrese Halliburton
4. Lamelo Ball
5. Onyeka Okungwu
6. Anthony Edwards
7. Devin Vassel
8. Isaac Okoro
9. Pokusevski
10. Wiseman
11. Toppin
12. Bolmaro
13. Patrick Williams
14. Sadiq Bey
15. Jalen Smith.
16. Nesmith
17-22.
Josh Green, Kira Lewis, Malachi Flynn, Tyrell Terry, Tyrese Maxey, Xavier Tillman.
23+.
Theo Maledon, Desmond Bane, Jordan Nwora, Cole Anthony, Zeke Nnaji, Trevelin Queen….

Milk Man
1 month ago

I think it’s also worth mentioning that Cole Anthony was the McDonald’s All-American MVP, like Bobby Hurley, Chris Webber, Tyreke Evans, Harrison Barnes, and Justin Jackson. That’s not bad company for a 12th pick.

Darren Van Blois
1 month ago

Isaac Okoro is Ben McLemore without the 3-point shot. Great athlete. Can guard but does not create turnovers. Not a playmaker. 2nd rounder.

Darren Van Blois
1 month ago

Grant Riller is another guy I think you’re sleeping on. Lots of pgs in this draft, I get it, but he’s got more game than most. I think he should go lottery. Baller.

Darren Van Blois
1 month ago

Take a look at Naji Marshall also. BHE told me about him. Wing defender and versatile offensive player. Handles, passing, finishing at the rim, some playmaking ability. Seems like he could be a solid rotation player who should go in the first round.

trackback

[…] for now. Does McNair’s ascension clear enough of the Kangz pessimism? For me, the answer is yes – Patrick Williams sits 10th on my Big Board, and is one of my favorite prospects for the […]

trackback

[…] further draft reading, you can also check out our very own Bryant West's 2020 Draft Big Board, Version […]

Badge Legend

Patreon Supporter
200 Up Votes    500 Up Votes    1,000 Up Votes    3,000+ Up Votes
50 Comments    100 Comments    250 Comments    500 Comments    1000+ Comments