Articles | Commentary | NBA Draft

Royal Roundtable: Draft Crushes

The crew assembled to share our favorite prospects in the 2020 NBA Draft.

As the 2020 NBA Draft approaches and mock drafts and big boards trip over themselves to post new content and stay relevant, we here at The Kings Herald are taking a different approach, at least until Bryant finishes his magnus opus on Tyrese Maxey's fit with the team. Instead of guessing who will be taken 12th overall, or who we might like to see taken late in the lottery, we're here to argue about our draft crushes. These are the prospects who we believe will be far better than their current projection, whether that be in the top-3, late lottery, or even outside of the first round. Our reasoning may be sound or psychotic, but these are the draft takes you can hold us to for years and years and years to come.

Tim: Deni Avdija

I view Deni Avdija as a highly attractive prospect for both the Kings and most of the other teams in the lottery. Every report labels him as a gym rat and a hard worker, and his attitude on the floor is such that he wants to destroy and humiliate his opponent. He doesn't back down from anyone at anytime. Doesn't that sound refreshing for a team like the Kings? In addition to his intangibles, Avdija is a 6'8" secondary ball-handler who has also shown prowess in moving off of the ball for easy buckets. His best game has been in transition (hello, Kings!), and he's displayed potential as a weakside, rotational rim defender, although he certainly will never guard centers full-time. Yes, his shot is questionable (at best), but even if he never becomes a league-average sniper, his ability to play-make, defend, and dominate in transition makes him a top-end selection for me. In a weak draft full of questionable players, I'll take the hardworking, never say die, oversized ball-handler over any other guy listed here.

Rich: Cole Anthony

The premise of this piece revolves around which players we are highest on relative to consensus ranks, so I chose Cole because his stock has just slipped too far. He was a top three recruit coming out of high school one year ago and frequently projected as the No. 1 overall pick. Yes, he had a bad year, but it wasn't disastrous. He still shot the hell out of the ball and proved he could create those shots for himself regularly. He also had flashes of excellent defense, even at the rim.

The area he really struggled with was finishing, but there are excuses that can be made for that. Just check twitter for examples of the spacing on his UNC team. His Tarheel teammates were atrocious from deep and Cole was constantly double and triple teamed when driving in the paint. He certainly lost his spot as a contender for the No. 1 pick, but he didn't fall out of my top five. His nightly triple-double average at Oak Hill Academy is not far removed and shot creation will always be at a premium in the NBA.

Bryant: Isaac Okoro

Isaac Okoro is gonna be really damn good, and he's a jumpshot away from being the best prospect in the class. Any conversation about the 6'6 forward starts with his terrible shooting numbers and mediocre free throw throw rate, but I think he's become underrated because he has such a clear, obvious weakness. He's otherwise one of the more complete players in the draft. He's a dynamic driver to the rim and shows excellent touch around the basket, has the passing eye to be a good team playmaker, forces his way to the line, competes on every play, and - oh yeah - is an absolute beastly on-ball defender. He has a real chance to be a top tier defender and defensive culture setter. With his two way motor, I see no way that he doesn't work his way to being an average shooter. I daydream about Monte McNair being the one GM in this draft who isn't afraid to trade up; Okoro would be fantastic in Sacramento, and he'll be an awesome player wherever he ends up.

Brenden: Onyeka Okongwu

Onyeka Okongwu is the perfect modern big man on the defensive end of the floor. While the comparison to Bam Adebayo has been vastly overstated, it is most noticeable in Okongwu's ability to simultaneously switch onto smaller wings and guards while maintaining a daunting presence at the rim. At 6'9€ he is gifted with a 7'1€ wingspan and impressive lateral quickness, hip flexibility, and OO elevates as fast as anyone. He also has an unbelievable IQ for a 19 year old, impeccable shot blocking timing, and outstanding awareness to go along with his physical abilities.

On the other end of the ball, Okongwu plays within his limits and understands that he is best fit as a roll man and finisher around the rim. He displayed excellent touch around the rim with both hands, flashed moments of decision making out of the short roll, and has a neverending motor that bodes well for his team on the offensive glass and in transition. While I am skeptical that Onyeka is not a typical top-5 pick since he likely caps out as an elite role-player, I think Onyeka has the potential to function as the defensive anchor on a championship-level roster. 

Tony: Aaron Nesmith

Things I've heard people say about the NBA and this draft class over the last several months: Versatile wings are the most important position in basketball. 3-point shooting is essential, and it's hard to find minutes for non-shooters. Every team can use more spacing. Small ball is king. Traditional centers can't stay on the floor. The 2020 NBA Draft is the weakest in a long time.

So let me get this straight. Modern NBA teams should prioritize versatile shooting wings and I can draft the best shooting wing in this weak class in the late lottery? That's Aaron Nesmith to me. His volume shooting last season at Vanderbilt was silly-good. 52% from 3 on 8.2 attempts is absurd. I understand that his season was cut short due to a stress fracture in his foot and people will cry small sample size, but I'm a believer in his shot. I think he's going to be an awesome 3-point shooter and floor spacer with enough wingspan, strength, and smarts to be a decent defender, and considering where he's projected (12 or so) I'm so very comfortable with that potential and skill set.

Will: Aleksej Pokusevski

I'm sorry but if there were one player in this draft worth harboring a deep and unwavering crush for, it 1000% should be Aleksej PokuÅ¡evski. As the youngest player in the draft, Poku can do everything but find enough calories to fill his frame. No seriously. He can run both sides of a pick and roll, he's a good pull-up shooter, can legitimately beat people six inches shorter off the dribble and is an absolute savant as a passer. Does he make boneheaded plays from time to time? Sure. Everyone who is the equivalent to a high school senior would. Filling out his frame, learning to contain his sometimes overly complicated basketball urges: many of these are just things that can simply be fixed with time and the right coaching staff. Time is something that he's got in droves. I know this is less about being Kings centric as general draft crushes but looking at a few other picks in the Kings range: He's a year younger than Tyrese Maxey, almost a year and a half younger than Devin Vassell, almost two years younger than Tyrese Haliburton and over two and a half years younger than Saddiq Bey. 

Some of you might want to point out that he was playing in a lower Euro league. Yes true, but it's also true that Olympiacos was keen on keeping this young guy hidden, hoping to get another year or so out of him. Regardless, he crushed in his playing time the same way and in the same league as a young Giannis Antetokounmpo. Per 36 he averaged over sixteen points, over 12 rebounds and just about five assists as one of the youngest one's on the floor every night. He's not built to be a Giannis by any means and it's more likely that he's nothing than he is close, but it's hard to see him becoming anything other than the very first Poku: a 7'2 point forward with a shooter's touch and eyes in the back of his head. Put it this way: in a weak year, where everyone is trying to get out of the top picks and no one thinks anyone in this class would be worth a Top 8 pick in next year's draft, what's the risk in the lower lottery of picking a guy who could end up having Luka's passing in Durant's body, someone who could run the floor with Fox and spread the floor for Bagley? It might take a few years, but swings for guys like Poku are how you vault a limited team like the Kings from playoff contender to championship contender. Ask Denver how their low risk swing with that Jokic guy went. All these other guys in this article might have a better chance at being solid role players, even starters. Poku is the only guy who could end up as a Top 10 player in the league. 

Kevin: Jalen Smith

Full discloser: I've been the conductor of the Jalen Smith hype train since late December and it would be irresponsible for me to leave my post at this point. That said, I legitimately think he's the most undervalued player in this draft and I didn't expect that to be the case. He is a real deal stretch big who can rebound, shoot it from deep, and protect the rim, and he did all that in arguably the best/deepest conference in America. While that 3p% might not jump off the screen I think it only begins to tell the story of what you can expect from him offensively. His still-improving jumper features excellent mechanics and a quick release that will allow him to punish defenses not only as a catch and shoot spacer but ALSO a movement shooter. Maryland wasn't just using this dude as a trailing big or stationary shooter from the corner, they were running off-ball screens to free him up, dribble handoffs, pnp's and pin downs. You combine that offensive bag of tricks with his size and length, and you've got a straight up weapon.

The Kings are obviously an interesting case but on the other end of the floor, he'd immediately translate as the their best rim protector and one of their best rebounders. He was an absolute freak around the rim on defense and seems to be able to eliminate shots almost at will. On the flip side he'll likely have issues sticking with quicker guys out in space but he has a great motor, and uses his length and nose for the ball to help recover and get back into plays. He's pretty slow laterally when defending out on the perimeter, which is weird because he's fairly coordinated and fluid otherwise, so it's unclear to me whether this comes down to "stiffness" or indecision. I don't think this is an impossible deficiency to overcome, provided he can learn to better read/anticipate and utilize his length to defend on the perimeter. Even then he'll need to add some strength to more effectively bump/control his man out in space.

Maybe I'm too high on Jalen because he's exactly the type of player I'd like the Kings to pair with Bagley. He'd provide Sac with the kind of spacing/lineup versatility they desperately need without sacrificing rebounding or rim protection on the other end. Jalen and the Kings are a match made in heaven and I know that's not necessarily what this exercise is about, but almost every team in the league is looking for this kind of player on the cheap. If the Terps needed a play, on either end of the court, they went to Smith and he routinely delivered in the biggest moments. Bottom line, he should be a lottery pick in this draft and teams are going to be kicking themselves for getting this wrong.

Rob: Kira Lewis Jr.

Kira Lewis could bring a lot to the Kings, both behind and perhaps even alongside De'Aaron Fox. For the Kings to get its best from Fox, they need to play up-tempo. This generates a dual need: a little additional rest for Fox, and the ability to still play up-tempo when Fox is out. Enter Lewis. And as the Thunder showed last year with CP3, Schroder and Gilgeous-Alexander, available minutes for Fox, Lewis, Hield & Bogdanovic would be a non-issue (well, if your coach's name was Donovan and not Walton€¦). From my perspective (I know nothing), Lewis is the player that would best benefit the entire roster.

Sanjesh: Desmond Bane

I'm in the same boat as Greg in terms of a crush at #12, if the Kings even remain in that slot. If I were to select a lottery crush, I'd go with Devin Vassell but he's not my favorite player in the entire draft. That title goes to Desmond Bane from TCU. I watched clips of his three-point shooting in a Twitter thread and I was amazed by his release and how he can knock it down from anywhere on the court. I pursued more Bane content and looked up his numbers; Bane has improved every year with increased minutes. I saw many early mock drafts that had Bane picked all across the second round. The Kings have three second-round picks so I was completely on board to use one on Bane. But as we've moved closer to the draft, Bane has only received more attention and his draft stock continuously rises. Wherever this strong sharpshooter lands (he's a tank), I'll be watching.

Greg: Literally no one

I am zen. Sure, I could watch some draft videos or read a draft profile and convince myself that Player A is better than Payers B or C. But I've been down that path too many times. I've been too hurt. I can't fall in love with a player again. It's silly to do considering how often we're all wrong about players, and even when I'm right about a player it can still hurt when the Kings pick someone else. So why bother? Early in the draft season I dedicated myself to the idea that I would gain only a passing knowledge of each player. I'll know just enough to have an idea how the Kings next rookie might fit or why he might be good or bad. That's all I need. And stayed true to this with only one exception -- I do not want LaMelo Ball. I'm convinced that he's not going to be worthy of his draft position and I have zero interest in him. Hard pass. Aside from that, I'm just along for the ride.

***

What do you think of our draft crushes? Should we all take Greg's approach and realize that life is mostly disappointment and pain until our physical vessel expires? Who is your draft crush and why is Rich so very wrong about Cole Anthony?

Support Us On Patreon
Subscribe
Notify of
90 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
BestHyperboleEver
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 8:38 am

Of these options, I’m with Sanjesh in terms of guys that I’m higher on than the consensus. I like Halliburton and Avdija a ton, but I wouldn’t call those crushes. Ultimately, there are a lot of guys (Bane, Bolmaro, Tillman, Riller, Terry) that are projected in the late-1st/early-2nd that I like more than guys projected around 12 (Nesmith, Bey, Maxey, Anthony, Williams, Achiuwa).

eddie41
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
October 27, 2020 4:00 pm

I agree on some of those players, especially Grant Riller. A talented combo guard behind Fox and Bogdan would be fun to watch. Most of the scouts seem to say Riller has the athleticism, first step, unpredictability, and 3-level scoring ability to make the jump to the nba successfully. The overall polish in his game that shows on highlights is jaw dropping.

RikSmits
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 9:08 am

For obvious reasons, I love Avdija.

For other obvious reasons, I am happy that he is likely gone before Walton can get him in his deadly clutches. Although he is exactly the kind of player with such good BBIQ and fundamentals to overcome Luke’s Midas touch.

Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 11:47 am
Reply to  RikSmits

McWho?

andy_sims
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
October 27, 2020 9:09 am

I think we should do a draft and stash so that whoever we pick won’t have his career aborted in utero by the mentoring wizardry of Lose Walton.

BestHyperboleEver
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 9:14 am
Reply to  andy_sims

I’d happily take both Poku and Bolmaro (obviously after a couple trades) and stash them both.

Hobby916
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 27, 2020 9:22 am

Playmakers that have potential to be game changers? sign me up

cunimus
October 28, 2020 8:18 am

I’m definitely into the upside plays. King’s need more players that have creation potential. I think Poku with the Stockton Kings or at least development staff in Sacramento if G-League isn’t going. Bolmaro is with a good overseas development team.

Wonderchild
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 27, 2020 9:15 am

The big question I have is for those that chose players that definitely won’t fall to 12 (Advija, Okongwu, Okoro): What makes them worth trading up for over just taking a guy that may be available at 12 (Nesmith, Poku, Anthony, Smith, Lewis)??

RikSmits
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 9:21 am
Reply to  Wonderchild

It is likely not worth it. These guys like good compared to the rest of this class, which is low on high end talent, IMO.
As much as I love Avdija, for instance, he has ways to go to become more than a good complementary player.
Better use your trade chips for next season.

BestHyperboleEver
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 9:34 am
Reply to  Wonderchild

There is some chance that the cost of moving up may be depressed this year. That said, I’m not sure they are worth moving up for. Avdija and Halliburton are the only ones that offer the potential combination of playmaking and versatility to entice me.

Hobby916
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 27, 2020 9:26 am

I would like to see the Kings move up to the 20s with some of their 2nd rounders/players and select Lewis, Bane, Maledon, Bolmaro, etc if they are in that spot. Then use any remaining 2nd rounders for draft and stash targets.

BestHyperboleEver
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 9:41 am
Reply to  Hobby916

Honestly, I feel like they may be better off inverting that and taking the draft and stashes earlier. There aren’t many good draft and stash prospects late in the 2nd (Eboua, Simonovic, Madam, etc.) this year. Meanwhile I think there are a number of interest college players being mocked late in the 2nd like Queen, Diane, Hinton, Marshall, Perry, Tinkle, etc.

RobHessing
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
October 27, 2020 9:56 am

Thanks for letting me drop in, guys!
comment image

Last edited 1 year ago by RobHessing
Klam
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
October 27, 2020 10:10 am
Reply to  RobHessing

The only thing you’re dropping is your pants.
comment image?itemid=4803778

Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 11:05 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Careful, you have a lot of influence here! People might want to jump out of windows now.

Chent
Comments
Original Member
Comments
Original Member
October 27, 2020 10:00 am

I dont really like anybody in this draft as players who can be a core piece of a rebuild, and although I’m not sold Pokusevski will be an NBA contributor, I think he is the guy I take a chance on at 12. Can he be a 7 foot shot blocking version of Bjelly? I think thats a possible outcome.

I would definitely try to trade up to mid 20s, and be perfectly happy with anyone below:

Maxey, Maledon, Bolmaro, Bane, Flynn.

Aside from these two wishes, I would definitely try my best to get Nate Hinton and Trevelin Queen on 2-way deals; I think they have NBA rotation value, Definitely for Hinton as a 3 and D wing who can crash the boards, take charges, shoot a good percentage from 3.

RikSmits
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 10:23 am
Reply to  Chent

I want to think Poku has a real chance to be a good NBA player, but then I look at his pictures, examine his frame and I just don’t know.

I mean, I have seen broomsticks that look more imposing.

Last edited 1 year ago by RikSmits
BestHyperboleEver
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 10:32 am
Reply to  RikSmits

It’s going to be an interesting study. As bigs with perimeter skills continue to be the dream, we’re going to see more and more thin guys. There are top 3 prospects in the next couple drafts in the same mold.

BestHyperboleEver
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 10:36 am

Correction, not the next couple. 2022 (Chet Holmgren) & 2023 (Victor Wembanyama).

AirmaxPG
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 27, 2020 1:54 pm

Yeah, might want to start stocking up on 2023 potential lottery picks. Per Schmitz, Wembanyama may be the best prospect in the world right now.

BestHyperboleEver
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 3:34 pm
Reply to  AirmaxPG

I don’t know, but between those guys Cunningham and Bates there sure look to be some special players coming up.

AirmaxPG
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 27, 2020 3:51 pm

Of course, the likely scenario is the Spurs bottom out those 3 years and come away with a couple of those guys. Then they start another multi-decade contending run.

RikSmits
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 10:48 am

Brad Lohaus really was born in the wrong era.

Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 11:48 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Brad Lohaus was born in the right era. It is everyone else who was born in the wrong era.

MichaelMack
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 7:24 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

He really did have a great shot.

Another player who I was a fan of who would fit in well in todays game is Raef Lafrentz. He had a decent career despite injuries, but he was a very good shooter.

Sacto_J
Comments
Original Member
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Vote Up
October 28, 2020 8:05 am
Reply to  MichaelMack

The only thing I’ll remember LeFrentz for is his inability to finish this play:
comment imagev

WGriffith
Admin
Original Member
Author
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
Comments
Vote Up
October 27, 2020 11:01 am
Reply to  RikSmits

It will definitely be a case where the team training staff will get a ton of credit if he turns out any level of success. I read a lot of comparisons to Durant in terms of success at that body type, but go take a look at someone like a Jonas Valanciunas before he came over and they’re fairly comparable. Regardless, he’d probably be due to grab some time in the G-League to get his first round of lickings.

RikSmits
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 11:28 am
Reply to  WGriffith

I sincerely doubt that. Take a look at the bodies of guys like Valanciunas and Porzingis and then look at Poku closely. These guys had a slender frame but you could see there was something to build upon. Poku is more Shawn Bradley in body type.

RORDOG
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Original Member
October 27, 2020 11:51 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I’ve been playing google image detective, and I feel like certain angles paint a better picture than others. This is one I found that at least makes it appear that he has put on some muscle:
comment image

RORDOG
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Original Member
October 27, 2020 11:53 am
Reply to  RORDOG

that offhand positioning makes it look like his shot would rotate on it’s axis towards the hoop.

Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 11:55 am
Reply to  RORDOG

RORDOG, I’m sure you saw this already. But how cool would it be to go watch this future legend shoot hoops inside Mott Gym:

RORDOG
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Original Member
October 27, 2020 12:06 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Lol I did not see that. We should reach out to Peja, and offer to give them a tour of the campus and/or SLO night life.

Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 12:23 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

Farm to Fork? How about Farmer’s Market!

andy_sims
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
October 27, 2020 4:41 pm
Reply to  Kosta

I still maintain that it should be Fork to Farm, although it would mean that half of the participants would starve to death.

Hobby916
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 27, 2020 12:45 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Go Mustangs!!!

Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 28, 2020 6:47 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

comment image

andy_sims
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
October 27, 2020 4:38 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Mid-major school offers scholarship to kid three years before he graduates high school.

What a shame that he’ll be committed when Duke, Kansas, and Kentucky start sniffing around in 2022.

“Sorry, legends. Since I was a boy in Sacramento or wherever, I’ve dreamed of making my mark in San Luis Obispo, the most fertile feeding ground for the NBA since the Eisenhower administration.”

Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 28, 2020 6:50 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

San Luis Obispo/Cal Poly gave us John Madden, Weird Al, Jamba Juice…LEGENDS!

Sacto_J
Comments
Original Member
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Vote Up
October 28, 2020 8:09 am
Reply to  RORDOG

Yikes, this pic hurts my eyes! For the kid’s sake I hope this is a one off and not his actual, regular shooting mechanics. How can you ever craft a proficient shot if you don’t know how to position your hands on the ball to start your shooting motion?

BestHyperboleEver
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 28, 2020 10:30 am
Reply to  Sacto_J

There’s plenty of footage of his shot in action. His form is good and his release is clean. He has a little body bend but I’m guessing that’s primarily a strength issue.

Hobby916
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 27, 2020 1:07 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

This dude needs to be on the 10,000 daily calories meal plan, weightlifting in the morning, plyometrics after that, and then a solid Yoga strength/stretch program. Get that 20 pounds added with increased strength/coordination within the next year.

It is all doable…if he wants it and has the motivation.

RikSmits
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 3:01 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

At certain angles, IT could look as tall as Tyreke.

RORDOG
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Original Member
October 27, 2020 3:33 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

I was just pointing out that there aren’t really any recent photos or videos of Poku from the last 6 months, and that was the only semi-recent one I could find online. It’s not exactly an insane proposition to believe that an 18 year old kid has filled out somewhat since he declared for the draft back in April.

WGriffith
Admin
Original Member
Author
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
Comments
Vote Up
October 27, 2020 12:41 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

So say he only gains 10-20 lbs in his career? A 7’2 Shawn Bradley frame with passing skills and even an average outside stroke could be a very useful player. In a draft with this much chaos, a swing on someone with such a unique skillset doesn’t cost you much in terms of reputation or capital.

eddie41
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
October 27, 2020 9:34 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

How about Reggie Perry then? He’s a big who has all of Poku’s skill set but weighs 250, rebounds well, sets screens, and can score in the paint. Projected 2nd rounder.

BestHyperboleEver
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 28, 2020 10:32 am
Reply to  eddie41

I think Reggie Perry is underrated, but he doesn’t really have Poku’s skill set. He doesn’t show any of the ball-handling/passing ability that makes Poku so intriguing. He’s also at least a couple inches shorter.

WGriffith
Admin
Original Member
Author
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
Comments
Vote Up
October 27, 2020 11:08 am
Reply to  Chent

I’ve been trying to come up with comparisions that fit a Poku that makes it in the league but isn’t as glamorous as one’s thrown around and I think the closest I’ve gotten to is Tomas Satoransky mixed with Channing Frye. A guy who could play freakishly tall point guard in a pinch but who should slide down and be a floor spacer in traditional lineups.

BestHyperboleEver
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 11:28 am
Reply to  WGriffith

The funny thing being, Satoransky + Frye would be one heck of a useful player.

Last edited 1 year ago by BestHyperboleEver
WGriffith
Admin
Original Member
Author
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
Comments
Vote Up
October 27, 2020 12:46 pm

He’s certainly one of those guys that is doomed to flame out if he isn’t drafted by the exact right team, but whatever Euro team or G-League team he hangs around in for the next decade will have this bizarre piece they can game plan for like a special teams player.
End of the game and need to toss the ball near the rim? Poku takes the ball out and no one is blocking his vision or pass to the cup.
Want to run a desperation all bigs lineup? Poku comes off the bench and gets dropped in wherever.

RobHessing
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
October 27, 2020 10:44 am

Saw an interesting trade idea from Ken Rohrbach at Yahoo: Hield and the 12 for LeVert and expirings. Gives Brooklyn an off-ball sniper to go with Irving and Durant, while the Kings get a wing that better fits Walton’s offensive…philosophy.

If LeVert’s healthy, Kings get the best the best player in the deal. A Fox/LeVert pairing would be interesting.

BestHyperboleEver
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 11:00 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Let’s tack on the Prince + 19 that’s been speculated:

Hield + Bjelica + 12
for
Levert + Prince + Claxton + 19

RobHessing
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
October 27, 2020 11:10 am

Done.

RikSmits
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 11:41 am

Speedy Claxton is still in the league?

BestHyperboleEver
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 11:43 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Nah, but Stretchy Claxton is.

9sac8
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 27, 2020 1:08 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Same…SAME!!!!!!!

Adamsite
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
October 27, 2020 12:01 pm

Make it so.

RAP87
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 27, 2020 11:40 am
Reply to  RobHessing

As much as I love getting my hands on Levert, I do think there is no chance in hell the Nets trade Levert unless it gets them an all-star in return.

With that said, I do believe Prince + 19 is on the table since there are rumors that they are trying to ship out Prince and the pick for additional cap space.

BestHyperboleEver
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 11:45 am
Reply to  RAP87

EDIT: I thought you were responding to me.

Last edited 1 year ago by BestHyperboleEver
RAP87
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 27, 2020 11:56 am

Yeah I think it depends on their ability to land a 3rd star to pair with KD and Kyrie. If they are not able to get someone like a Paul George then probably there is a chance they go that route (Buddy, Bjelica and the 12th for Prince, Levert and the 19th). I just think its less likely

There’s a bigger chance they do something like Prince + 19th for Bjelly and a 2nd round pick especially if the Nets are serious about shedding salary and re-signing Harris to a lucrative deal.

BestHyperboleEver
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 12:54 pm
Reply to  RAP87

Although this is just a personal bias, I’m beginning to believe there’s a very real elements of diminishing returns once you get beyond 2 stars on a team. I think after that, one of those three stars is essentially going to have to be willing to really contract their game and take on an elite specialist role (Bosh, Klay) to make it work. Now, obviously, if one of your other stars gets hurt, it’s nice to have a 3rd. And with Durant and Kyrie you’re probably smart to expect them to miss chunks of the season. Basically, what I’m saying is, if Bradley Beal is a third option with a USG in the low 20s or high teens, and doing a lot more playing off the ball, then is it really worth the cost of getting him? In that role, is there really a meaningful difference between having Beal or Hield in that role? To say nothing of whatever else you can add to the team with the difference in assets it takes to acquire them.

Wonderchild
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 27, 2020 1:15 pm

I’ve seen a lot of offers to move LeVert and Dinwiddie for more shooting and/or defense. The problem with that is the playmaking drops off hard after Irving and Durant. Then you get into issues the Clippers had in the playoffs (and Houston in previous years) where if one of those guys has an off-night, it’s going to be a rough day.

I think if you move LeVert, you’ve got to keep Dinwiddie, and vice versa.

BestHyperboleEver
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 1:26 pm
Reply to  Wonderchild

Personally, I would keep both. I really don’t think they need to do much. Re-sign Harris and see if you can find a way to acquire a good Jerami Grant type, and you’re good. Heck, a healthy lineup of Dinwiddie, LeVert, Harris, Grant, and Allen alone could be pretty good.

Wonderchild
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 27, 2020 1:34 pm

But that doesn’t help the Kings…

Seriously, I know most of this is offseason rosterbating by media pundits for entertainment value. I know 99% of the trade offers I see right now have zero chance of happening.

The only thing that worries me about the Nets is further injuries, and the “influence” Durant and Irving are showing. Stuff like demanding DAJ start over Allen, even though Allen outplays him in every single way.

BestHyperboleEver
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 1:36 pm
Reply to  Wonderchild

Oh yeah, I fully expect the Nets season to go sideways.

RAP87
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 27, 2020 11:29 am

For our pick, I’m with Tony.. I’m a fan of Nesmith and I do believe he will be a really good player especially at #12. Aside from Nesmith, one player that I am high on that does not get too much praise and I think he’ll be a steal is Isaiah Joe. The dude can legit shoot the basketball and has a really good stroke.. somewhat reminds me of Devin Booker. If he’s available at pick #35 I’ll take Joe in a heartbeat.

JackassCentral916
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
October 27, 2020 11:37 am

I’m with you Greg. Meh. Whoever. They’re still the Kangz until proven otherwise, smart GM hiring or no. Whoever we pick is probably going to suck. I WANT to get deep into the picks, but I’ll watch their 10 seconds of highlights on draft night.

Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 11:52 am

I’m just happy we have a first round pick again after sitting out last year.

#ThanksVlade

Last edited 1 year ago by Kosta
RORDOG
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Original Member
October 27, 2020 1:18 pm

I’ve gone back and forth on this, and I think I’m neutral on the Kangz versus Kings thing. I think people probably underestimate the chasm between Vlade and McNair, so there’s no doubt in my mind that certain aspects of the process will improve. I’m not at all worried about the worst case scenarios I was worried about with Vlade at the helm. On the other hand, I don’t really think the Kings have a fully staffed front office at this point, so there still at a disadvantage just from a manpower perspective.

If we take the Contact Us page (and Dumars press release) at face value here’s the members of the front office involved in day to day team building activities:

  • Monty McNair (replaced Vlade)
  • Ken Catanella, Assistant GM (retained)
  • Wes Wilcox, Assistant GM (replaced Peja)
  • Phil Jabour, VP, Player Personnel (new position)
  • Colin Montague, Director, Basketball Analytics (retained)
  • Paul Johnson, Director, Bball Ops & G League GM (replaced McClish)
  • Greg Stratton, Director, Scouting (retained)
  • Gene Cross, Director, Amateur Scouting (retained)
  • Adam Filippi, Director, Pro Scouting & Shooting Coach (retained)

Essentially, Johnson replaced McClish and Wilcox replaced Peja. They’ve lost Bornn for all intents and purposes, and gained Jabour. Basically, they’re at a staffing level they were at prior to firing Brandon Williams. If you were of the opinion the Kings were understaffed under Vlade, then that probably should hold true for McNair as of now. One could make the argument that some of these individual moves are upgrades, but McClish to Johnson seems like a lateral move. I don’t know much about Montague, but Bornn + Montague to Montague only seems like a downgrade (although McNair’s analytics expertise could make that roughly a wash).

Point being, this front office still has a ways to go before they should be considered equal to their peers. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that they won’t make Kangz-level blunders, but I don’t really think they have a competitive advantage at this point either.

andy_sims
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
October 27, 2020 4:44 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

The front office simply not being demonstrably less competent than other orgs is a good enough start for me.

San Antonio wasn’t built in a day.

RORDOG
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Original Member
October 27, 2020 8:21 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

That’s fine. I just personally feel like the Kangz days are behind us. If they’re now on a path to Spurs-ian level competence remains to be seen.

Adamsite
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
October 27, 2020 11:58 am

As I’ve been saying for months, Haliburton is my wish. I just think he is a perfect backcourt mate for Fox, plus he makes Buddy and Bogi expendable. I think there is a chance he’s there at 12, but I’m not getting my hopes up.

After him I have Poku and Nesmith as my targets. In all honesty I didn’t give much time and energy into looking at players like Deni, Hayes, Toppin, Okoro, etc. because I don’t think they will be there at #12. Now, if for some reason they do fall to #12 I’m nervous of that falling knife like Robinson and McLemore. Let’s just hope McNair is the one to finally get some good drafting for the Kings. It’s been damn near a decade since the Kings “won” a draft.

Wonderchild
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 27, 2020 1:16 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

My positivity says this year will be different because McNair delegated his scouting. This isn’t Vlade trying to do everything because there’s no budget to hire anyone else.

BestHyperboleEver
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 1:29 pm
Reply to  Wonderchild

I mean, the vast majority of the scouting was done before McNair took the job. So the draft board will primarily be built on the scouting McNair, Wilcox, and Jabour did will their previous teams, I would think.

Wonderchild
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 27, 2020 2:06 pm

Just as long as McNair went office space on Vlade’s whiteboard on his first day.

andy_sims
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
October 27, 2020 4:47 pm
Reply to  Wonderchild

I don’t think Divac had budgetary constraints in regard to properly staffing a front office. More likely is that he figured that he and his buddies would just waltz right in and, *BOOM* championships.

Wonderchild
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 28, 2020 7:55 am
Reply to  andy_sims

Well, his idol IS Magic Johnson. Great choice as a player, not so great choice as a GM.

bjax1
Comments
Patreon Supporter
Vote Up
Comments
Patreon Supporter
Vote Up
October 27, 2020 1:19 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Jaden mcDaniels has been my draft crush for a while now. Sort of a poor man’s Michael Porter Jr. He has all the tools, he just didn’t shoot great in his one college year. But he’s the type of guy I’d like to take a flyer on, because if the shooting improves as it should he could be scary good.

BestHyperboleEver
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 1:42 pm
Reply to  bjax1

He’s got some major decision-making development to go through before he’s useful on an NBA squad. But he certainly has the physical tools and a baseline level of skill.

MichaelMack
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 27, 2020 2:48 pm

I agree with you Tim regarding Deni. I usually pass on projecting on young players for the draft as it is such a crapshoot, but I think he can be the kind of pro that one of my favorite players of all time was, Bobby Jones. Bobby was a terrific defender, great team player, could really get out and run, and could keep the ball moving on offense. I would love if the Kings could land him.

Last edited 1 year ago by MichaelMack
RobHessing
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
October 27, 2020 3:08 pm
Reply to  MichaelMack

Thumbs up for the Bobby Jones reference. I’d take any player with a Bobby Jones motor.

eddie41
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
October 27, 2020 4:11 pm

Another guy on my list is Naji Marshall. I don’t know why he’s ranked so low. Point forward. 2-way player. Got some Tyreke Evans in his game. If i had to bet, I’d say Boston snatches him up in the late first round. Otherwise he’d be a steal at #35.

eddie41
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
October 27, 2020 4:26 pm

What do you all think about Abdoulaye N’Doye? Only recently I started looking at him. Point guard who had a late growth spurt and will probably defend on the wing. Pretty smooth. Good finisher in the paint. 7-foot wingspan. Decent percentage on spot-up 3’s. Good in the pick and roll. Lack of an elite first step will probably limit him to being a secondary playmaker (which is not bad from a wing). Touted for his defensive ability although does not appear to have quick feet in the available video footage. I’m thinking if the Kings draft a guard at 12, they could grab a small forward at 35. There are some 3&D guys who might be available but I’d like another playmaker like Marshall (who I’ve already talked about a zillion times) or maybe N’Doye. What do you all know about him?

TheBufferZone
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
October 27, 2020 6:18 pm

Jalen Smith all the way! 🙌🙌🙌

kfipp
Admin
Original Member
Author
Original Member
Author
October 27, 2020 7:39 pm
Reply to  TheBufferZone

You’re my new favorite person on the site and i’d like to invite you to my birthday party.

49taylaners
October 27, 2020 7:45 pm

This team desperately needs3 & D players with high IQ. That being said, my draft crushes would be Saddiq Bey, Nesmith, and Bane. If we could swing Buddy and a 2nd round draft pick to Philly for the 21st, Horford, and Thybulle(if possible), I think we could land 2 of the 3. I also like Isaiah Joe, he does have the sweetest stroke. Hopefully, he could be had @ 35.

RAP87
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 28, 2020 12:47 am
Reply to  49taylaners

ISAIAH JOE!!! Finally found someone aside from me who likes Joe as a prospect. I’ll gladly take him at #35 and would be stoke! Excellent shooter, smooth shooting stroke and based on his interviews looks like a gym rat who is really dedicated on his craft. I can’t imagine him not landing on a team and not be an immediate contributor. His floor is atleast a 6th man and could easily be a starting 2 guard.

If we could land Nesmith, Bane and Joe or even just 2 of them (Nesmith and Joe), I’ll be one happy camper. Imagine the shooters around Fox if we land those 2 guys or 3 if somehow we can get a late first and draft Bane.. sheesh!

SPTSJUNKIE
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
October 28, 2020 8:15 am
Reply to  49taylaners

If you want 3-D with a high bball IQ, then Vassell is probably the most realistic target (unless we trade up or someone like Hali drops).

I really like Nesmith, but he’s a passable defender (think of a taller, longer Buddy Hield) as opposed to a defensive stopper.

Bey I think is really interesting, he’s a very smart and unique player, but I do wonder how his defense will translate. He doesn’t have great lateral speed to defend wings / be truly switchable and he’s a big enough target who is not overly agile and really struggles to get around screens both on and off ball.

Malrock
Comments
Comments
October 28, 2020 10:46 am

Greg… now also ruining draft crushes since 2020.

smcornel03
November 12, 2020 5:46 pm

Malachi Flynn is an elite shooter, elite pick n roll distributor, and a plus defender and would be an elite backup point guard who could play next to Fox is small stretches. Reminds me of Mike Bibby a ton.

Desmond Bane is another great talent. Smooth shooter, a bit of Joe Harris with a little more ability to make decisions with the ball in his hands.

Tyler Bey reminds me of a mix of John Collins (particularly as a lob catcher), Derrick Jones Jr and Shawn Marion. Will be a great defender who can guard 1-5 in a few years and he can be an elite lob catcher. I think he will get better at spacing the floor with time. The Mavericks would be an elite fit next to Doncic and Porzingas.

Paul Reed is crazy good defensively. His instincts are off the charts and his length is so disruptive. His offensive game shows flashes of versatility but he will need some maturing and time to really build his skillset but he could be a major steal.

Naji Marshall is the type of off the bench swiss army knife that every team needs. He can guard 1-4, pass, and attack. He reminds me ever so slightly of Tyreke Evans with the way he finishes through contact and attacks. He is less low to the ground and is a lot less shifty with the basketball but Naji Marshall could be a significant contributor on the bench.

Xavier Tillman is just so solid. A bit more of a traditional big, but if he can develop a 3 pointer he could be a really nice piece. He moves his feet well, and can defend the rim a bit and should be a plus defender. Offensively he will be really good in pick n roll and distributing from the top of the key.

Skylar Mayes reminds me a lot of Gary Trent and I think could be an absolute steal late in the draft.

Sam Merrill is sneaky efficient and high IQ and could be a decent bench pickup for a team.

Mason Jones could be a major spark plug for a team. With elite scoring package reminiscent of Khris Middleton, Jones will need to prove himself on the defensive end but he can light teams up. Reminds me of TJ Warren a lot in general as well.

Badge Legend

Patreon Supporter Patreon Supporter   Registered On Day 1 Registered On Day 1   Published Post Published Post  Published Post Nostradumbass
Comment Up Votes 200 Up Votes   Comment Up Votes 500 Up Votes    1,000 Up Votes    3,000+ Up Votes
Comments 50 Comments   Comments 100 Comments    250 Comments    500 Comments    1000+ Comments