It’s that time of year again.
Much, much more below the fold.
First of all, here is the initial 2012 Draft Board. It has a breakdown of the Hoopus Score as well as a few key points I like to look for in the draft process. I’ll write the rest of this piece with the assumption that readers are familiar with some of these basic concepts.
On that note, let’s continue.
Let’s start with the weighted raw score (i.e. the "do s**t" measurement):
1- Thomas Robinson, 51.55
2- Jared Sullinger, 49.77
3- Anthony Davis, 49.1
4- Andrew Nicholson, 48.85
5- Doug McDermott, 48.575
6- Draymond Green, 48.175
7- Mike Scott, 47.55
8- Mike Moser, 47.025
9- Royce White, 46.52
10- Tyler Zeller, 45.875
11- Cody Zeller, 44.55
12- Herb Pope, 44.525
13- JaMychal Green, 44.25
14- Ricardo Ratliffe, 44.175
15- Andre Roberson, 43.7
The rest: John Henson, Kevin Jones, Tony Mitchell, Meyers Leonard, CJ Leslie, Jae Crowder, John Shurna, Arnett Moultrie, Andre Drummond, Perry Jones III, Terrence Jones, Mason Plumlee, Patric Young, Festus Ezeli, Fab Melo, Gorgui Dieng, Bernard James, Rodney Williams, James McAdoo, and Alex Oriakhi.
1- CJ McCollum, 49.17
2- Tony Wroten, 44.8
3- Orlando Johnson, 43.47
4- Will Barton, 43.2
5- Harrison Barnes, 41.77
6- Moe Harkless, 41.67
7- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, 41.6
8- Dion Waiters, 41.3
9- Quincy Miller, 41.27
10- Branden Dawson, 41.2
The rest: Terrence Ross, Jeremy Lamb, KCP, Jeff Taylor, Marcus Denmon, John Jenkins, Darius Johnson-Odom, LeBryan Nash, William Buford, Hollis Thompson, Kris Joseph, Adonis Thomas, CJ Wilcox, Austin Rivers, and Doron Lamb.
1- Damian Lilliard, 50.75
2- Jesse Sanders, 43.42
3- Scott Machado, 41.6
4- Tyshawn Taylor, 40.22
5- J’Covan Brown, 39.85
6- Tu Holloway, 38.37
7- Jordan Taylor, 36.77
8- Myck Kabongo, 35.85
9- Kendall Marshall, 34.95
10- Elijah Johnson, 29.95
OK, let’s move on to the efficiency side of things:
1- John Shurna, 46.12
2- Jae Crowder, 39.23
3- Cody Zeller, 34.44
4- Draymond Green, 33.76
5- Anthony Davis, 33.41
6- Royce White, 31.55
7- Kevin Jones, 31.18
8- Mike Scott, 31.08
9- JaMychal Green, 31.04
10- Tony Mitchell, 29.95
1- CJ McCollum, 41.06
2- Dion Waiters, 35.30
3- Will Barton, 31.84
4- Marcus Denmon, 31.84
5- Orlando Johnson, 31.33
6- Tony Wroten, 28.14
7- Darius Johnson-Odom, 27.41
8- Doron Lamb, 26.67
9- Jeff Taylor, 25.87
10- MKG, 25.61
1- Damian Lilliard, 40.34
2- Jesse Sanders, 39.05
3- Scott Machado, 33.85
4- Jordan Taylor, 33.34
5- Tu Holloway, 30.57
6- J’Covan Brown, 28.30
7- Tyshawn Taylor, 26.48
8- Myck Kabongo, 26.14
9- Kendall Marshall, 25.92
10- Elijah Johnson, 19.75
So what does all of this mean? I’ll explain as I walk through the final tiered draft board.
1- Anthony Davis: This is a one person draft and I think there is a larger gap between Anthony Davis and the rest of the field than there was between Blake Griffin and the rest of his draft class.
Davis is an aaaaammmmmaayyyyzing prospect. He is the draft’s top off-the-ball performer, he has the 3rd best efg% of all the players on my list, he has a 9.4% to rate (17th in the nation), and his per 48 numbers are outstanding considering he requires less than 20% of Kentucky’s possessions to get his work done. I like to think of team basketball production like a pitcher of water. There are 5 equally sized cups that fill the pitcher. Some cups are magically able to pour more water than others. Davis’s cup is some ultra-magical nonsense. (This is also a useful way to think of individual production vis-a-vis offensive and defensive production. Each player fills a cup. Some fill it with lots of defense, others with offense. It doesn’t matter how the cup is filled. What matters is who has the fullest cup.) He has a low usage rate, underdeveloped scoring, and he is still able to put his stamp on a game in a way that few others can. (ED NOTE: I wrote this before the NCAA tourney. It wasn't just the Final Four where he displayed an uncanny ability to take over a game without scoring.)
Now throw in cartoonish physical measurements and a world class unibrow and you have the clear-cut best player in the 2012 Draft.
2- Thomas Robinson: Robinson’s game is built on the back of awesome rebounding. He carries a 11% oreb rate and leads the nation with a 31.6 dreb%. On top of the boards, he shoots over 53% from 2, gets to the line at a decent clip (46.9%), and isn’t a train wreck with the ball in his hands.
3(a)- Cody Zeller: Awesome shooting? Check (.626 2%, .668 TS%). Offensive rebounding? Check (11%). Decent blk/stl% for a freshman big? Check. Gets to the line? Check (69.2%, good for 32nd in the nation). Doesn’t turn it over a ton? Check (13.6%). Zeller needs another year or two in the weight room but these sorts of numbers are nothing to turn your nose up at with a freshman big.
Here’s how he compares to his big brother’s sophomore year at UNC (Cody/Tyler--Tyler’s first year with production was his 2nd):
Hat’s off to the Zeller parents.
3(b)- Jared Sullinger: You know how Kevin Love came back to the Wolves this off-season in tip-top shape? Sullinger pulled the same bit at OSU while maintaining his extremely high level of play. Very skilled, good scoring with top shelf rebounding. Yes please.
Tier Three (The Big Man Grab Bag):
5(a)- Andre Drummond- Drummond did not fare well in either of our scores. What he did do well was be an 18 year old 7 footer with a high offensive rebound rate (14.2%) and block rate (9.9%). Say what you will about his perceived attitude or intensity or offensive game, he will likely be very good at rebounding and defending for a fairly long time. Is he "worth" a top lottery pick? Who knows? What I do seem to have a solid handle on is that if Drummond has his head anywhere near in the game, he’s going to do some very good things for whatever team ends up with him on the roster.
5(b)- Tyler Zeller: If the Wolves get a chance to draft Tyler Zeller they should phone in the pick as quickly as possible and head on down to the draft party to celebrate. Excellent rebounding, a 60+ TS, he is able to get to the line, and is not a disaster with the ball in his hands. He also runs the floor better than your average 7 footer. If the Wolves are in the market for a bigman backup for Love and Pek, they could certainly do worse than Zeller.
5(c)- John Henson: Zeller with less offense and offensive rebounding and more defense. He is another solid backup option to the Love/Pek frontcourt wall of pain.
5(d)- Royce White- I have no idea how his anxiety issues will play out in the NBA but it is impossible to ignore the production. He also has mountains of red flags. He turns it over on nearly a quarter of his possessions and while he gets to the line like a madman, he makes less than .500 of his attempts. That being said, in a bad draft, he’s still one of the better big man options.
5(e)- Mike Moser: Decent off the ball production and ok shooting.
A few thoughts on Perry Jones III: Perry Jones III is a stunningly athletic 6’11" big who looks like he could take over any game at a moments notice. He’s very long. He’s very athletic. He’s also not a very productive college player.
Compared to his big men peers, here are his following per40 pace adjusted ranks (out of 35)
- Points (18)
- FTM (25)
- FTA (29)
- TotReb (23)
- Blocks (32)
- eFG (29)
He’s also 31st in blk/stl% and 18th in Oreb%.
I know he looks shiny and cool (especially in those bright green Baylor unis), but the production simply isn’t there. What on earth do you do with a big guy who doesn’t rebound all that well, doesn’t block shots or get steals, isn’t a great shooter, and doesn’t get to the line like his peers? I don’t know either.
Tier Three (b) (The Wing Man Duo):
6(a): Will Barton- Let’s get this out of the way: this year’s wings suck. That being said, if you are going to use a top pick on a wing and feel good about it, Barton is probably your best bet.
6(b): Tony Wroten- Can’t shoot a lick from distance (.161) but he gets to the line at a fair clip...only to make .583 of his attempts. Did I mention that this isn’t exactly a great year for wing players? Wroten turns it over on just over ⅕ of his used possessions and is the 5th best adj oreb performer amongst the measured wings.
Tier Five: Promising Bigs
Tony Mitchell: Started off the year like gangbusters and faded down the stretch. Still has very good numbers for a freshman.
Gorgui Dieng: The homeless man’s Anthony Davis. Dieng isn’t much of an offensive player but he certainly qualifies for the "does s**t" label. With the highest %min/%poss ratio in the entire draft list, Dieng is still able to rank 4th in blk/stl% while being 9th in Oreb%. He shoots .546 from 2 and is not a trainwreck at the line. Do you want a defensive-rebounding-minded big who doesn’t need the ball? You can certainly do worse than Dieng. Dieng is my sneaky pick for the guy I hope the Wolves end up with if they are able to keep the Utah pick (or with a 2nd rounder if he falls that far).
Doug McDermott: McDermott is the high school teammate of once-highly-touted recruit Harrison Barnes. McDermott stepped out from under Barnes’s shadow to put up some of the most impressive big man shooting numbers in recent memory. McDermott carries a 68.8 TS%, which is good for 3rd in the nation. Considering he took over 100 3pm, this is kind of crazy. Derrick Williams crazy. Not quite Jon Diebler crazy, but definitely Derrick Williams crazy. Another good thing about McDermott is that he carries a nearly 30% usage rate while turning it over less than 15% of the time. The bad thing is that he does absolutely nothing off the ball. No steals, no blocks. He’s a serviceable rebounder and if he can defend the NBA 4, he can carve out a nice niche in the pros as a sharp shooting bench big.
Draymond Green: Does everything fairly well. Nothing flashy. 4 year senior without a lot of athleticism. He doesn’t have the "HOLY CRAP!!!" rebounding numbers of someone like DeJuan Blair or Kenneth Faried, but he does have a widely-varied game that should find minutes at the next level.
Andrew Nicholson: I’m not sure the Wolves need another stretch-4, but Nicholson is certainly in the Anthony Tolliver wing of potential talent.
What on earth is Jae Crowder?
Is he a wing? Is he a big? Whatever he is, if you think he can play on the wing in the NBA he is deserving of consideration as the top wing on the board. If you think he’ll get blown by on the wing at the next level, you put him behind the 2nd big man grab bag.
I have never seen Jae Crowder play a single minute of basketball. What I have seen is him playing over 80% of his team’s minutes, using just over a 5th of its possessions while taking 25% of the shots, grabbing ⅕ of the defensive rebounds, doing a ton of stuff off the ball (especially for a wing--7.4% combined blk/stl%), hitting .611 of his 2pa, downing .397 of his 3s, and only turning it over on 10.4% of used possessions (36th in the nation).
Whatever you want to call that, Jae Crowder seems to be good at it. If he can play on the wing at the next level, he’d be a steal in the teens and should be considered as one of the top 3 wings on the board.
Tier Six: Wingnuts and Lillard
- Orlando Johnson: Big usage rate with not a ton of turnovers and good shooting numbers. This is a guy the Wolves should definitely take a 2nd round flier on because he seems to be well above 2nd round talent, at least in terms of this draft.
- Dion Waiters- On principle alone I should knock any Orangeman into the 4th round of the CFL Draft. That being said, Waiters is probably one of the better non Branden Dawson (removed from list because of his ACL injury) non-top duo wing in the draft. You can make a pretty good case that he belongs in the top tier of wing players.
- Damian Lillard- Awesome shooting, gets to the line, excellent with the ball....and...well, nobody’s perfect.
- Jeff Taylor- .432/.537. That’s what Taylor shot from 3/2 this year. Last year it was .345/.493. The year before it was .091/.509. He has finally started to make his shots. He has elite size and athleticism for his position.
- Moe Harkless: We’re well into flier territory at this point. However, Harkless does a fair amount off the ball and his name is Moe. What’s not to like about that?
- Harrison Barnes- Simply put, Harrison Barnes does not produce very well at the college level and there isn’t much in the way of his record to suggest that he will turn it around for the pros. .480 from 2, .377 from 3, isn’t a great rebounder, doesn’t do much off the ball, and doesn’t pass all that well. Wes Johnson pt. 2 is probably what we’re looking at here.
- Terrence Ross: Again, flier territory.
What to do with Quincy Miller?
I want to like Quicy Miller. He’s a former top prospect whose stock fell following a knee injury. He didn’t really do anything of note at Baylor so it’s hard to justify my thoughts about his prospects...but...well, I don’t know.
Is Marcus Denmon a legit 2 guard?
If he is, the Wolves could certainly do worse with a 2nd round pick. Even as a backup point he might be worth a look.
What about CJ McCollum?
What do you do with these guys? Not a single one put up production that makes you stand up and shout (although Doron Lamb was close at the beginning of the year) but they all have done enough to consider lottery consideration. Of the group, I think Beal is the one with the best long-term prospects. He boasts outstanding off-the-ball numbers and he showed some scoring skills down the stretch.
Kidd-Gilchrist also showed signs of being more than what he showed during his time at Kentucky. How do you measure this type of production? I don’t know. I know that Kidd-Gilchrist looks like he should be the bee’s knees, and I know that he showed brief stretches of actually being the bee’s knees, but his overall production simply doesn’t scream it in the same way. I’m fairly certain he’s a top 10 talent in the draft and that if I had to make a gamble on the wing, he’d be my 2nd choice after Beal.
I have no idea what to make of Jones or Jeremy Lamb. Jeremy Lamb graded out very well last year but faded in his sophomore campaign. Do we know if this is actually a bad thing in terms of prospect analysis? I don’t think it has to be. Whatever the case, Lamb is probably worth a peak in the teens if the Wolves get the Utah pick.
Doron Lamb started off the year as the perfect Wolves prospect: a low-usage awesome shooting 2 guard who will make all of those kick-out threes that are missed by Wes Johnson, Martell Webster, and whatever else the Wolves trot out on the wing. He tailed off a bit over the course of the season but he still ended up using less than 20% of Kentucky’s possessions while on the court while having a 60+ TS, nearly .500 from 2, and .466 from the great beyond. He doesn’t rebound or get steals or blocks; what he does do well is shoot. Again, nobody’s perfect.
All 5 of these players will get drafted higher than their production suggests. This isn’t to say that they aren’t worth a pick; rather, that they will cost more to acquire than their box scores would suggest. I think Beal and Kidd-Gilchrist will be heavy rotation kind of players for a long time. Doron Lamb could be a nice complimentary player.
As for Jeremy Lamb, here’s what he did this year:
And the freshman Lamb did this:
He took on a larger share of the offense, maintained a decent to%, dropped off his offensive rebounding, picked up his 2p%, and....well, Jeremy Lamb is one of those players who me actually watching college ball would help figuring out how his game changed from year to year and what that means for his pro potential. There’s a really good prospect in there and I’d think the Wolves would be hard pressed to pass on him in the teens.
Tier Seven: Leftover bigs:
- Mike Scott
- Herb Pope
- JaMychal Green
- Ricardo Radcliffe
- CJ Leslie
Way, way, way, way below the last tier: Austin Rivers.
Do not draft Austin Rivers.
Well folks, that’s how things look at the end of the college season. I’ll update the final final draft board before the draft when we have a better sense of who is in and who is out. I’d also like to add Madison Dan’s positional standard deviation to the weighted net score.
What say you? Did we get everyone?