2018 NBA Mock Draft by Boanerges - 5.31
Published at 6/5/2018 6:51:05 AM
A fresh look,... was starting to get caught up in the hype, and my own analysis,. couldn't see the forest for the trees. Re-analyzing teams,. not based on 'position' analysis, but based on a functional 'role' analysis, to see if that clarifies, or changes any perceptions of the teams, their needs, or their potential draftees.
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DeAndre Ayton - C - Arizona
I've started most of my mocks off with, 'Phoenix is a young team. Last year they had 1 player older than 25, Tyson Chandler.' While this is true,.. there is so much more to what is happening in Phoenix than age.
Phoenix has a problem with creating on offense. They have a number of players that have the capability to create offense or get a stop on defense. The foremost of these is Payton. He is backed up by Ullis, Canaan, James, Harrison. Payton has the handle, passing ability to be a top notch creator in the NBA. He simply doesn't have the shot. When Payton is the sole creator on the floor for the Suns,. the offense stagnates. The opposing defense knows it can allow him all the court outside the arc,.. stack inside, overplay the other shooters,... Payton can't do anything about it. He is a good athlete, he can take advantage when a defensive rotation allows him an opening, or in the open court. But he can't run a half-court, pick and roll offense. To compensate, the Suns have been using a quick passing attack, using touch passes to set up the rotations to get scorers shots. This has worked to a certain extent, but it is putting a band-aid on a cut. It might stop the bleeding,. but it isn't going to heal the wound.
Defensively, he is good on the ball. He can cause the opponents to have to attack using someone other than their primary ball handler. However, his good position defense, doesn't get him a lot of steals, nor put him in a position to help.
The backups are generally good at taking care of the ball, settting up the offense, & not getting beaten on defense,. but none of them has shown anything beyond holding a spot in the rotation.
Overall grade: D - they need help, but they have something at the position.
Wings - shooters / defenders:
The Suns actually have a pretty good set of wings. In Booker, Warren, & Jackson, the Suns appear to have a rotation that is athletic, capable of playing both ends of the floor, and has the potential to play with anyone. However,.. they need Warren and Jackson to continue to develop. Both are part of the Suns top 5 scorers,. but neither has a very good 3%. Neither of these players plays a 'stretch 4' particularly well. Both seem to be 3 - 2 players who need more than a 'running / rebounding / defending' game to help the Suns. Still, they have Booker. As long as they have him, they will have at least 1 player that can stretch a defense, or make it pay.
At the 4, they have Bender & Chriss & Peters. Bender & Peters seem to be able to shoot the ball. Neither, at this point seems much of a defender or rebounder. Bender has the athleticism,.. but he doesn't seem to have the motivation. Peters, has the skills, just not the athleticism. Chriss, has the capability to be a top flight defender. Right now, he can't shoot the ball. The Suns have to play the 4 by committee,.. but at least they have the players to try.
Overall Grade: B - the talent is there, but the skills and consistency are not.
They have Len and Chandler,.. and well,.. no one. Len is an offensive center. He has shown a nice 3 point shot, but he hasn't shown the willingness nor passing ability to set up a half court from the blocks,. nor run the pick and roll. He isn't a good defender, nor shotblocker, though he is an adequate rebounder. Chandler,.. is a decent rebounder, and low post scorer, but again, isn't able to pass well enough to help with a rotating offense from the post. Chandler was a good defender,. but he will be 35 this year,.. and no longer has the step to be truly effective.
This lack of any ability in the post really affects the Suns both offensively, and defensively. Opponents stack inside the arc, at the perimeter & dare the Suns wings to try to beat them. Most of their post plays come from cuts. They don't have a presence that would allow them to play all the way to the rim on offense, nor allow them to ability to switch, run out on shooters defensively, as there is no one really defending the rim.
Overall grade: F -
Biggest need,.. an athletic, 2-way post that would allow them to play from the top of the key to the rim on offense, and protect their rim on defense.
Second biggest need,.. a creator that can score & defend.
In Ayton,.. the Suns fill their biggest need. He is a local with strong ties already in the Phoenix community. He is a 'once every few years' athlete in the post with the ability to rim run, block shots, and rebound, as well as a good shooter, that can make opponents play for stacking the arc.
He is the player that can stretch the floor for the Suns, both offensively and defensively, from the top of the key to the rim. With Booker already playing complete basketball, should Warren or Jackson show they can stretch the floor to the strong sideline,.. and Chriss or Bender show they can stretch to the weak sideline. (both BIG If's, that would have taken a lot of off-season work.) The Suns could, at least, be competitive in most of their games next year.
Suns's Needs via ESPN's RPM
Marvin Bagley III - PF - Duke or Luka Doncic
The Suns and Kings were suprisingly similar teams this last year. The 'core' for both teams is very young. Both teams have issues with creating opportunities offensively and defensively. Both have relatively good wings / shooters. Both have issues (to a greater or lesser degree) in the post.
Where the Suns have Payton,.. the Kings have Fox. Their stats this last year were earily similar. However,.. with the Suns,. in Payton, it's become a case of 'what you see is what you get'. Payton is only 23,.. but it seems like he has been around forever,.. a number of 'experts' have worked with him on his shot. It doesn't seem like it will improve. Fox has just finished his first year. He is only 19. More importantly, there is nothing mechanical wrong with Fox's shot. He just needs repetitions & practice. It should come in time. Fox does need more work on his skills creating for other,.. understanding the court, making the right pass, reading the defense,.. but Fox seems to have better vision than Payton. He actually sees the whole floor, but being 19, playing 1 year of college ball, he doesn't always understand what he is seeing. He is a smart player. It will come with time and practice, he just isn't there yet.
Athletically, Fox is in another dimension. He is already a standout defender, capable of taking away the opponents best perimeter player / ball handler. He plays good position defense,. but he also has the that extra bit of athleticism to jump plays when his opponent makes a glaring mistake.
The backup is Mason,. who has shown himself more than capable of playing as the backup playmaker / defender at an NBA level. He an make all the shots needed to keep the opposing defense honest,. and though not the athlete that Fox is, can turn the corner & open the passing lanes to keep his team mates involved.
Overall Grade: C with potential to be B+ or better in a year or two.
In Hield, Bogdanovic, Temple, and Jackson. the Kings have a good group of perimeter wings capable of shooting the ball and playing decent position defense. All of these players has shown the ability to shoot from beyond the arc (Jackson need to improve his efficiency), most in an efficient manner. They are all good enough athletes to stay with their man, and force the other team to attempt to create a mismatch, instead of knowing that they already have one. None of these players has shown the ability to be a 'high volume' scorer,.. but that could be due to opportunity with the Kings, as much as ability.
At the 4 the Kings have Labassiere, and Sampson. This year, they also get Giles, returned from injury that kept him out his entire first year. Labassiere & Sampson have both already proven they can shoot the ball from 3, as well as defend from the perimeter to the post. If Giles is able to play at even 80% of what he was,.. this could be a real strength for the Kings this year. (Particularly if Giles can swing from 4 to 5 as needed.)
Overall Grade: B with potential to be B+ a couple of years down the road.
The Kings have Cauley-Stein in the post. Again, he is a youngster, but has shown a very diverse game. He is a good 'medium post' player. He doesn't seem to get true low-post position very well. This could be part of his personality, or how he used by the Kings,.. most tape would make you believe it is the later. He shows a nice ability to pass from the post. He can score at the rim with either hand,.. and can stretch it to 12'. He needs to improve his shot beyond 12', and his FT%. However, his shot looks good, there is nothing wrong with it, it seems like he just needs practice to build his range & consistency. Defensively, because of where he plays, he doesn't get a lot of blocks. He is a good position defender, and reads the floor well,.. leading to more steals than blocks. He has the athleticism to rim run & block more shots, get more rebounds,.. he just needs to develop his toughness, and those particular skills. Having said that,. there are a lot of teams that would love to have Cauley-stein as their starting post. He is young (again), and his potential is very high. He just needs the time and guidance to develop.
His backups, Koufos, Labassiere, and hopefully Giles, are all reliable, dependable, in the post, keeping the opponent honest & making them pay if they double off the post,... but none of them is a 'rim runner', shot blocker, rebounder. (at least with the Kings, again, it could be a system thing).
Biggest need: Time to learn, grow, & gel. Oh, right,.. draft need,....
A creator / shooter. Maybe someone who could play as a secondary creator, 2nd team creator. Who is a good enough scorer to play primarily as a wing shooter / scorer.
A rim runner, rebounder, shot blocker, with the ability to score consistently and efficiently from the post, forcing opponents to play at the rim offensively, and protecting the rim defensively...
This has to come down to a choice between Doncic and Bagley. Much of this may depend upon the development of the other players on the Kings roster (Giles & Richardson, etc.). Either could be argued to be the best player available. Either is a good fit on the Kings,....
I've been continually mocking Doncic to the Kings,.. but in this instance,..
Kings's Needs via ESPN's RPM
Mohamed Bamba - C - Texas
The Hawks have a good young core. With Dennis Schroeder, Taurean Waller-Prince, and John Collins, the Hawks have 3 players under the age of 24 who can play with anyone. They do have some maturing to do, to grow together & make this team gel. The return of Kent Bazemore from injury should really move them in the right direction. However,. they need a presence in the paint both offensively, but more important defensively before this team can really start to take the next set of steps in becoming a team.
The Hawks very early on were linked to Bomba,. and he to them. I don't think that was wishful thinking,. and the testing at the combine is only going to confirm, that he is a once every few years athlete at the center position.
Mo Bamba wants to be a unicorn,... with the work ethic he's shown to this point,.. there is a very good chance, he will be. He is exactly the athletic, running, rebounding 5 this team needs to start taking steps towards the playoffs. He is a 7'0", 230 pounder with a 7'9" reach. He can alter opponents thoughts! let alone their shots. He just set the record for the largest wingspan at the NBA combine,... ever!... 7'10"
In the NBA, we have started to see a resurgence of 'good teams' beating 'good players'. The Hawks have the foundations in place to become a very, very good team. They will need to work on their efficiency, and their team defence, but Bamba can give them the inside / outside balance, they so desperately need to become that good team.
I've read the articles about Schroeder saying, he could be happy on other teams,.. I don't think it will really come to anything. The Hawks are moving in the right direction,.. and there core is really young. The biggest key,.. for the Hawks,.. Schroeder is one of the key pieces,.. they formulate their game plans around his strengths & weaknesses,.. on another team,. that likely wouldn't be the case,... So, I'm betting this all positioning, and that he is with the Hawks next year.
Hawks's Needs via ESPN's RPM
Marving Bagley III - PF - Duke
Pre-lottery I wrote, - "I've seen a LOT of mocks selecting Luka Doncic to the Grizz. I just don't buy it. They have 2 very similar players already in Evans & Harrison. Adding a 3rd doesn't really seem to fit with this teams identity or needs. "
So many comments saying that the Grizz lost out in the lottery. I don't think so,. I think they will get the player they would have chosen,.. at a better price.
The Grizzlies are really, 'the tale of 2 teams'. They have a veteran core of Mike Conley - 30, Marshon Brooks - 29, Tyreke Evans - 28, JaMychal Green - 27, and Marc Gasol - 33. They have a veteran bench of Chandler Parsons - 29 and Mario Chalmers - 31. Then, they have a good group of younger players in Dillon Brooks - 21, Andrew Harrison - 22, Wayne Selden - 22. They don't have anything in between the 2 groups.
The injury to Conley really de-railed what looked like it could have been a good season for the Grizzlies. However, it could be a blessing in disguise as other players had to step up and run the team, and the younger players had to take on more responsibility. This will become very important this season, as Gasol, yes the 33 year old, was last years leader in points, rebounds, assists, minutes played, and FT%.
It also forced the emergence of Evans as a true PG, and the development of Harrison along those same lines. This can only help in the long run, providing the Grizz with more positive match up opportunities then they have enjoyed in previous years.
For the Grizz to have a successful season this season, they need more players to contribute across the board,. and frankly, for Gasol to do less. That will not only help him stay around longer,. but will help the team win, as opponents won't be able to game plan around Gasol, but will have to consider playing against the whole team.
If you noticed the 'young team' referenced above only included perimeter players. The Grizz do have 2 young players a C/F in Deyonta Davis - who is 21, and Ivan Rabb a F/C who is 21. Both played 14 - 15 minutes a game, for some of the games this last year, but neither has been able to establish themselves as a reliable part of the rotation. At this point, that is expected, but neither is likely to be a player that other teams must game plan to counter. So, the best selection for the Grizz would be a 4, that other teams should have to account for when he develops. preferably one that has the potential to play 'small ball 5' when Gasol eventually retires.
Grizzlies's Needs via ESPN's RPM
Jaren Jackson - PF - Michigan State
Dirk Nowitzki turns 39 this year. I believe he will be a hall of famer,... but he's no longer the player he once was. This is no longer Nowitzki's team,.. it is now Harrison Barnes & Dennis Smith's team,.. but Nowitzki is still a 'presence'. He is still the soul of the Mavericks. The Mav's need to find an heir to Nowitzki to get this team back to playoff basketball.
The young core of this team Barnes, Smith, Jonathan Motley, Yogi Ferrell, Dwight Powell, have the making of a really good team,.. They lack a true 4 / stretch 4 like, well,. Nowitzki to spread the floor and open up the offense. They could also use someone who can defend the 4 on the perimeter or in the post. There is one player in this draft that fits this team perfectly.
Jaren Jackson is an extremely athletic 4. He can run the floor, rebound, defend on perimeter,.. and is starting to learn to defend the post,.. and yes,.. He can shoot the 3 at the very high percentage. His game is very comparable to Nowitzki. Jackson is 6'11", 235 pounds. Only, Jackson is a much better athlete. His ceiling is likely to be higher than Nowitzki's. If the 'soul of the Maverick's' takes him under his wing,.. and Jackson learns and works hard,.. (All big If's),.. the Mav's could be on the road to once again, building something really special in Dallas.
Mavericks's Needs via ESPN's RPM
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander - PG - Kentucky
The Magic have been looking for a player that can pass,. that can initiate their offense, AND shoot the ball,.. for years. Their offense is built around the ability to shoot the 3, setting up their cuts, and opening up the floor. However,.. they've never had someone who can play the point without allowing the defense to drop & pack in more tightly. They have the shooters Fournier, Gordon, Simmons, Augustin, Hezonja can all shoot the ball. Even their Center Vucevic, can shoot the ball. In Augustin, the do finally have a PG that can create as well,.. but he turns 30 this year, and can't do it by himself.
Gordon & Hezonja are both FA after this summer,.. with Gordon, a RFA, likely to draw a max contract offer from somewhere. This team needs to find a player that can compliment the other players, and provide the cohesive element that pulls the differing skills into a complete team.
He is a pass first guard with the ability to shoot the ball. Offensively, he is already a very good creator, making the right pass,.. and not necessarily the 'flashy' one. He is 1 of 2 guards projected in the first round with a 2 to 1 AST/TO ratio. an exceptional athlete. He will is already an excellent defender, capable of running the point on the press,.. and picking up & guard jets. at 6'6" with a 6'11 reach. He has all the makings athletically, physically, and in terms of performance of an all-pro point.
Magic's Needs via ESPN's RPM
Wendell Carter - PF - Duke
I've seen a number of Mocks that have Michael Porter Jr. going to the Bulls,.. which could happen. SF is not the strongest position on the Bulls,. but it also isn't the weakest. Denzel Valentine actually did a very nice job last year playing 3 for the Bulls. He played good defense, and shot 38% from 3. with David Nawaba & Paul Zipser backing up Valentine (depending on matchups), the bulls are OK,.. if not spectacular at the 3,..
(Yes,.. I do tend to 'piece things together' as the draft season progresses. - LOL )
The bigger issue for the Bulls is at 5,. where they have Robin Lopez, who is 30,.. and well,... nobody.
there is a 5/4 that is being predicted to be available and good value at this point in the draft,.. that fills a greater need on this team, has fewer question marks than other potential draftees on the board, and still shows good draft value.
Wendell Carter is a rare athlete for a post player. He is 6'10.5", 260 pounds,. but he moves like a 4 at 230 pounds. Oh yeah,. he's got a 7'3" wingspan. He is, particularly for the Bulls as they rely on movement & speed at all the positions on the floor, a model of what the modern 5 should look like in the new 'space & pace' NBA. He is a good passer from the post,.. and he controls the backboard offensively and defensively. Some very experienced BB coaches questioned whether Bagley could have the stats he had this season, had Carter not been playing the post for the Duke. Yes,.. he is that good,.. with all the important, 'little things' that make his team better. He even has comparisons to Al Horford.
Bulls's Needs via ESPN's RPM
From Brooklyn via Boston
Michael Porter Jr. - SF - Missouri
I think that the Cav's can make a pick here that could end up helping no matter LBJ's decision on staying,.. or going.
What do they need if LBJ leaves?..... well,... they have Clarkson, they have Thompson, they have Hood,. they have Larry Nance, Jr. (I find great that he can play for the same franchise as his father!). They actually have a pretty decent young core they can begin to develop & build around. Some of the veterans will be around for a couple of years to help them,... but again,.. they don't have a scorer,.. a 'put the game on his back, and he will win it', shooter / scorer.
If LBJ stays,. these playoffs have shown that he can't do it alone. When Irving left,. that second scorer,. that other player that could stretch the floor, and force teams to cover 2 complementary players on defense, left with him. This team needs another volume, efficient scorer to pair with LBJ.
A number of mocks have projected Trae Young to Cleveland. I just don't see it. I think Young is a great player,. with a great motor,.. he just doesn't 'fit' with the Cav's need,.. as he isn't the athlete to play the point on the defense as well as the offense... I do believe Young will be a very productive PG in the NBA,... just not on this team, with or without LBJ.
I think Michael Porter could fit very nicely with the Cav's, with or without LBJ.
Of the top group of players in this draft,. Porter is the only one that really plays like a 3,.. he can shoot, pass, has a more than good enough handle. He can post smaller 3's, and shoot over bigger players. He has enough tough in his game to swing to 4 as well if needed. This would give the Cav's tremendous versatility across their post & wings. He just seems to 'fit' with the other pieces on the Cav's roster.
Michael Porter is the most talented offensive player in the draft. Porter is a real, team-altering talent. He is a smooth offensive player, with great shooting skills, and excellent instincts. His ball skills are good, but not yet fully developed. He is a good passer, particularly from the wing,.. but he is going to make his living as a shooter & scorer. His shot is a thing of beauty. With his height, and high release,.. He can be a double-digit scorer from his first day in the league.
His defensive skills aren't as developed as his offensive skills. He has the quickness & footwork to be a good defender on 4's against the face-up, the post, or at the perimeter. He has great length, & timing, so he can block shots. He could stay with the smaller, more athletic 3's, but it remains to be seen if he still has that mobility.
Porter needs to prove that he is healthy for this to happen. He didn't workout at the combine. He needs to take a play from football's playbook & schedule a 'pro-day', and show that he is recovered from his surgery, and the athlete that he is reported to be. If he does, I can see his draft stock climbing at we get closer to the draft.
Cavaliers's Needs via ESPN's RPM
Mikal Bridges - SF - Villanova
What to the Knicks need?.... more like,.. what do they not need?.. well,. a giant PF with ridiculous range that can shoot the lights out,..... they have one,.. everything else is pretty much open.
I've read some analysis that say the Knicks biggest need is outside shooting. I read some that say it's ball handling & creating. I've read some that say it's perimeter defense. I've read some that say it's rim protection & rebounding,.... Is it the lack of shooting that is letting the defenses sag & stop the penetration & passing? or is it the lack of attacking ball handlers that is stopping the spacing or the 'shooters'?.... Who knows?
Short version: the Knick's need everything except another Portzingis.
I think the Knicks simply take the best player available,.. on most mock's & rankings I've seen that's Mikal Bridges. With an upside of 'close to Paul George' as a 2-way player that can shoot, score, pass (from the wings), & defend nearly anyone,.. with a downside of 'Otto Porter'. That's a pretty dam good player.
He won't cure all the Knick's issues,. but if he can shoot the ball from the other side of the court to Portzingis, and improve the spacing. If he can defend the other teams best player and make that player work. Maybe even work a few entry passes. Then he will be a difference maker for the Knicks.
You got to start somewhere,....
Knicks's Needs via ESPN's RPM
From LA Lakers via Phoenix
Trae Young - PG - Oklahoma
Philly needs shooting from the wing or backcourt,.. a 1, 2, or 3 to space across from Saric to keep the floor open. (Assuming that we don't label Simmons as the '1' on the 76er's.)
Philly has really become a great Cinderella story. They don't look like a team on paper,. but they dam sure do on the court! Even saying that,. Philly isn't without it's imperfections,... Philly relies on the outside shooting ability of it's 'guards' to make it possible for Ben Simmons to do the things he does & for Joel Embiid to be able to keep clean in the post. They could use a second ball handler or passer on the court to take some of the pressure off Simmons,.. or use touch passes to move the ball,...
They currently have JJ Reddick, and Marco Benelli as their primary shooters from the backcourt. Both managed double digit scoring in the regular season and the playoffs,. with Reddick being their leading scorer in the first round of the playoffs. One will be 32 next season,. the other 31,.. and both are free agents this summer.
Trae Young has shown he can be a dead-eye shooter. He can score in any number of ways,.. and his passing ability & vision will fit right in & give the Philly offense an extra dimension,.. (as if it really needed it?). He can also handle & become the initiator when Simmons needs to rest or play off-ball due to match ups.
Philly is also one of the teams that won't be as exposed with Young's defensive limitations. Philly already has athletes at the wings & at the other backcourt spot to handle 'the point' of the defense. Young should be able to really help Philly,. well,. be a better Philly,.. and it's one spot where he can be his best as well.
Philly needs shooters more than scorers,.. so Young is a better fit than Sexton. Also,.. young has 1 attribute that Sexton doesn't which will make a difference in Philly,... Vision,.. he sees the whole floor and what is developing both offensively and defensively,.. it's why a guy who isn't a + athlete defender can have 1.7 SPG per 36 minutes,.to Sexton's 1.0.
76ers's Needs via ESPN's RPM
Kevin Knox - SF - Kentucky
Charlotte needs scoring & upside,.. this team is all Kemba Walker & Dwight Howard. A third option is needed on both ends of the court.
Kevin Knox is a smooth forward with incredible athletic ability. He can play either 3 or 4 on offense or defense, He is young. He is going to take some time to mature, but his upside is as high as any player in this draft. He has a very good fit on the Hornets, and will get the time he needs to develop in their system. If he 'gets it' quickly, and begins to contribute this year,.. he could be worth a couple of wins to the Hornets,.. now.
However, with the age of the Hornets main players,.. If Knox doesn't 'get it' now,. it isn't a problem. The Hornets have to start game planning for the future,. with the hopes of moving from the late lottery,.. either direction would be an improvement.
As one of the youngest players in this draft, Knox has the time to become part of the Hornets core, when they do start to make a push for the playoffs.
Hornets's Needs via ESPN's RPM
Miles Bridges - SF - Michigan State
The Clippers have a number of players whose best position is 'stretch' 4. They don't really have anyone that can play the 3. The players they already have are not any better than 'good' or 'normal' defensively, even when playing the 4. None of them are the caliber of athlete that is Bridges.
Bridges would give the Clips a top level, NBA athlete at the forward spots,. a player that can defend the other teams best forward. Allowing the other forwards on the Clips roster to likely defend a 'catch & shoot' player.
Offensively,. he gives the Clips an mid-level scorer who can play above the rim & make plays on the move, which is something they don't currently have on their roster, as well as a capable shooter to further spread the floor.
The Clippers use they pick they got from Detroit,.. to pick a native of Detroit,.. and get an exceptional '3 & D' guy. A Power 3,.. Bridges defends very well. He can pass. He can shoot the three with consistency. He also rebounds,.. and rebounds very well, which has been a weakness for the Clippers when Jordan is out of the game.
When Jordan is in the game,.. he can control the rebounding around the basket, but doesn't get much help. Bridges can provide that help, from a player that 'fits' their personality, and system perfectly. Harris can continue to play 3 on offense 4 on defense,... while Bridges does the opposite,..
The Clippers seem to be moving back into re-building mode. Bridges can give them a piece they can build around, who helps make some of their younger talent better, more efficient on both ends of the floor.
Clippers's Needs via ESPN's RPM
Robert Williams - PF - Texas A&M
The Clippers have Jordan & Harrell & able to play in the post, or from a classic '4', and frankly, no one else.
They need an athletic player, that can play a classic 4 or swing to a small ball 5. A player that can rim run, rebound, and defend both the post and the perimeter.
That is Williams. Williams is an exceptional athlete. his rebounding and defensive game is much more developed than his offensive game. Williams has huge hops,. and an exceptional first step on defense,. at a legit, 6'9" (6'9.5" from pro day, so 6'10" listing), 235#, with long arms, good length,.. Williams has the athleticism to step out & guard 3's on the perimeter, and the strength, power, hops to play centers, even in a classic half-court. He can be this team's designated defender, rebounder,.. for the frontcourt. Williams can also play as the defensive 5 in small ball or in a classic alignment.
Offensively,.. Williams is very raw. He needs to develop enough of an offensive game that the opposition has to at least cover him. He doesn't really need to have a 3 point shot. Williams does need a little 12 - 18 foot, face up jumper,. that becomes automatic. When he has that,. he becomes the 5th option, release valve for both the interior play and the perimeter attack.
Williams has a game that could be developed along the lines of Antonio Davis. He has that level of athleticism or better. He could be the defensive forward / center stepping out on shooter, rebounding, making the opponents reverse the ball,.. getting his points on put back, lobs, short jumpers. He could give the Clips an injection of youth & athleticism in the post, that they desperately need.
Clippers's Needs via ESPN's RPM
Omari Spellman - PF - Villanova
The Nuggets need a power forward that can shoot the ball,.. rebound, and play defense. They have good youth, talent, & depth in the backcourt. They have youth at PF,.. though it could be argued not much talent,... and they have the Joker.
Denver is the first team in this draft to really 'roll the dice' with a high risk / high reward choice. In Spellman,. they get a legit 4, with good length,. massive bulk & strength,.. but surprisingly good agility, who is able to shoot the 3. Spellman fits the Nuggets philosophies for both offense and defense. He should step right in and provide the support in the frontcourt that the Joker needs without trying to play in the same space.
Paul Milsap was their best performing PF last year,.. and he is now 33. Spellman & Milsap have a ton of similarities,.. not just is physical attributes,.. but in playstyle & ability.
Spellman was a late addition to the pre-draft camps & didn't really have a chance to train for the combine,.. he had one of the highest body fat percentages at over 12%,.. but still manages a 35.5 vertical, and ranked in the top third in all of the tests & drills. What he could do with time in an NBA conditioning program could be astounding.
Nuggets's Needs via ESPN's RPM
Mitchell Robinson - C - Western Kentucky
The Wizards are a team built around it's backcourt. They need someone in the frontcourt, at a 'big', position to balance out the offense and the defense.
Robinson is a bit of an unknown quantity. His issues at W. Kentucky were well documented. He is a tremendously talented player with top level athleticism. The unknowns are his desire,. his commitment, his mind for playing basketball.
If he is committed to this game,.. then at 15, he would be a steal. he has the athletic ability to rival the player in the lottery,. He is a bigger, longer player, a good rebounder & defender,.. He would give a new element to the Wizards on both offense and defense, that they have needed,... for a while.
Offensively, he has shown good ability on put-back, posts,.. even flashing a baby hook with either hand,... as well as the ability to step out & face up. if he continues to develop, and brings a consistent FT & outside jump-shot to the table,. he could become the best all around 5 the Wizards have had in years. Could become,.... he still has to prove it,.. and he has a lot to prove.
Wizards's Needs via ESPN's RPM