Well, it’s started in earnest. The dubious rumors are beginning to fly as the NBA draft approaches.
Old favorite Chad Ford published a piece yesterday suggesting—with anonymous quotes!—that the Celtics were seriously considering taking Josh Jackson with the first pick. I don’t claim to know anything, but this seems exceedingly unlikely. I’m not a believer that “consensus” has to be right, or that teams never do surprising things at the top of the draft (see Anthony Bennett,) but for weeks there has been little debate about the top pick, and now this? Smelly.
Frankly, I’m rooting for something like this, because hell, who doesn’t like draft night chaos?
Ford also reports that the Lakers are looking at possible trade back scenarios, with either Phoenix or Sacramento, though who knows how serious either of those teams is about getting to the second spot. Given the relative strength of the players in the top group, I would not be eager to give up too much to move up from four or five, but it’s always about the specific player and teams do fall in love.
Finally, he writes that Luke Kennard, shooting guard from Duke, is the late riser in this draft, and could go as high as eight to the Knicks.
Which brings us to Kevin Pelton’s most recent piece with his stats based rankings. Thought I’d run through guys his system sees as overrated and underrated, and Kennard is a place to start. He see Kennard as overrated, citing his poor steal rate in particular as a negative indicator of future success.
Other overrated guys include:
Josh Jackson(!) due to his inefficiency and age.
De’Aaron Fox, more because he doesn’t shoot threes than the fact that he doesn’t make them.
Jayson Tatum, because he doesn’t stand out in any of the statistical factors Pelton uses.
Malik Monk, largely due to his poor defensive projection.
Underrated guys from Pelton:
Jonathan Isaac, who has the second highest projected WARP in the draft (behind Ball.)
OG Anunoby. His system loves the defensive potential.
Tony Bradley, who he thinks will shine on the offensive glass.
Monte Morris, who he projects as a very low mistake player.
Josh Hart, a player with no real weaknesses who can shoot. Pelton mentions Danny Green as one of his best comps.
This is your open (draft) thread. Use it wisely.