Wednesday, June 25, 2014

DI 2014 - Analysis

Green Level

Similar to Noel last season, Embiid came up short of the minimum amount of minutes needed to grade a prospect, but was very much on pace for one of the highest, if not the highest score, and so we'll grant him a provisional inclusion within the green level. Smart improved as a facilitator and brought his shooting numbers up a smidge too...we feel totally confident that he'll be an impactful and well-rounded NBA point guard for years to come.

Russ Smith is the latest in a long line of Louisville prospects to post elite DI scores. While there clearly is something about the Cardinal system that puts players in a position to succeed in regards to the variables DI measures, the possibility that Pitino's players are legitimately improving their games shouldn't simply be dismissed out of hand either. To wit, Dieng looks like he could be the first real professional hit of the Pitino era.

Also in the second round discussion is Khem Birch. A former top recruit who transferred to UNLV from Pitt, Birch is the kind of quick, court-running big with rim protecting skills that has become increasingly popular and valuable in today's NBA. So, is he a new Serge Ibaka? I don't know if I'm going there, but I would take him as early as the mid-first.

Invite Casey Prather to play on your Summer League team.

Gold Level

At the gold level are a slew of guards and wings that could be viable additions after the top names are off the board. I, and apparently Lebron, are united in our disbelief that Shabazz isn't in the lottery discussion. Aside from a troublesome turnover-rate and less than ideal size, Napier demonstrated a well-rounded and often dynamic game. He should be every bit as viable as Kemba at the next level.

Of the group of wings who are kind of bunched together, I would say my favorite is Kyle Anderson. Having shot 43% from three and shown solid passing and rebounding skills, he's the kind of player who can fit in just about any system and could be quite productive. Just ask the new NBA champs about the value of D-ing up and shooting from distance.

Big-ish name Julius Randle doesn't do a lot for me, but I'm sure he'll have a long and OK career.

Red Level

Here we find the probable #1 and #2 picks, in a yet to be determined order, Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker. I, as a guy with a beer in his hand who watched a lot of college basketball last year, much prefer Wiggins, though neither is any kind of sure thing. Wiggins is the kind of freakish athlete that I think you just have to take a chance on, despite his underwhelming season in Lawrence. Prior to the 2012 draft, we made a similar case for Andre Drummond, and last year it was Victor Oladipo- in this one-and done climate, some guys aren't going adjust to the college game in time to show you the totality of what they're capable of. Sometimes, you've just got to accept some risk and put your chips on the table.

Parker, on the other hand, is awash in red flags. At Duke, Jabari often stopped the ball, took silly off-balance shots, and played indifferent and unprincipled D. The Melo comparison everyone makes is actually pretty generous to Parker, as I don't think you could really make any of those claims about Anthony coming out of Syracuse.  And one Last point, Parker will score a lot, and guys who score a lot generally hold high 'real-life' value. For that reason, he isn't the worst thing you could do to your franchise.

From the substantial list of reds, a couple favorites to hit would be Mitch McGary, whose season was ruined by a back injury and Adreian Payne, who will likely be able to stick in the league as a stretch four.

Gray Level 

There aren't any particularly big names in the gray level for the first time in several years, which suggests this draft could really be a good one. Rodney Hood and T.J Warren are a couple of ACC wings that are extremely athletic though lacking in basketball skills. I would pass on either. Johnny O'Bryant could look dominating on the right night, but the concerns about his size are probably legitimate. I'd at least want to work him out if I were in a position to do that sort of thing.

There you have it folks, just a few cents worth of insight to accompany the numbers. Enjoy the big night tomorrow and here's hoping your team trades its' pick to clear help clear cap space to sign a mega-star.

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