I decided to do a series of big boards for this years draft. I'm hoping to do around four or five, one now, a few during the season, one after the season, and one after the combine. I will probably expand the number of players each time.
I'm going to use this system again
Current/Future Grade: This is a baseball thing i think could work really well in discussing prospects. Basically on a 10-80 scale you grade an Nba player typically in increments of five like so:
10 Basically unplayable in NBA fringe D1 college player
20 Well Below Average Nba Player (Ben Brust)
30 Below Average Nba player (Ekpe Udoh)
40 Average Nba player (role player) (Carlos Delfino)
60 Starting quality player in NBA, Might make one or two all stars games typically impacts the court on both ends (Klay Thompson, Nicholas Batum)
80 Top 30 Player all time, Once in a decade talent (Kevin Durant, Lebron James)
Things to keep in mind with above system For baseball they use it to grade skills like power, arm, curveball. I adjusted it because I think it has merits that can work well in Nba Draft reports. I will also tier the prospects. I think one important thing to keep in mind is just because a player has a higher ceiling doesn't make him a better prospect. For example if both of them completely refine all their skills Gordon will be much better than Parker because he is more athletic, but Parker is clearly a better prospect because of his place on the development curve. Also the future grades reflect their realistic ceilings. Some players like Aaron Gordon have the potential to be top 30 all time but it is highly unlikely.
So here it goes, i'm looking for some feedback. I'm hoping we pick top 5, but i have a strong feeling we will be top ten. Now looking back Draft Express and Espn predicted the top 7 correctly based on October, so while it is early we already have a decent idea about the prospects. I've watched film and a couple of highschool all star games along with reading some mocks and scouting reports. All upsides will be on the generous side ceilings don't fall until they start playing/ failing in college. Floors also will be lower for the same reasons. I've also decided to add a Fit on Bucks section because I know some of you only care about what it means for the Bucks when discussing prospects.
Tier 1.) Blue Chip Franchise Cornerstones
1.) Karl Towns Jr. (50/80) C/PF
21p/14r/6b St Joseph, Metuchen, New Jersey
Karl Towns is simply put a beast he is an elite athlete at 7' 1" with a 9' 5" standing reach. He can knock down a three and take his guy off the dribble. He blocked shots at a ridiculous clip in highschool. I've seen some reports say he might get time at SF at Kentucky this year due to their surplus of big men. He is one of a kind at the center postion, but I can definitely see him with his athletic ability and offensive prowess playing some four in the NBA.
Here is a video of his Highlights from this season. Enjoy
Fit on Bucks: (7/10)
Might sit behind Larry for a year, but would surpass him on the depth chart pretty quickly in my opinion, he is already a better offensive player and has the athleticism and basketball IQ to surpass him as a shot blocker. Would not see much time at power forward with the way the roster is currently constructed unless he was playing alongside Larry and Jabari was on the bench.
2.) Emmanuel Mudiay (50/80) PG/SG
16p/6r/4a Prime Prep, Dallas, Texas
While not as physically imposing as Towns, Mudiay is an impressive physical specimen standing at 6'5" with great foot speed. Has been physically comped frequently with John Wall frequently. WIll play at SMU this year for Larry Brown who should be a great asset to Mudiay development as a point guard. With a 6' 8" wingspan alongside his athleticism he has all the tools to be a lockdown defender at the PG position or the SG position. Has a tight handle and should continue to draw a ton of fouls as he transitions from High School to College and College to the NBA. Can really finish through contact and drive hard to the basket. As it is with most prospects at his age, shooting is a work in progress, he isn't the worst shooter or even close to it. If he has time and he spots up he actually is decent.
The following video shows a little bit of what Mudiay is capable of.
Fit on Bucks: (10/10)
Would work great in tandem with Brandon Knight. They could potentially take turns ball handling and whichever develops into a better defender would take the tougher assignment of the guards. A starting lineup of Knight/Mudiay/Giannis/Parker/Sanders would be long and athletic. It'd be hard for me to see Mudiay drop out of the top 3 though. I
3.) Jahlil Okafor (55/75) C
24p/11r Whitney Young, Chicago, Illinois
While he isn't as athletic as the prior two players, he has something both of them could use, polish. Okafor can do just about everything you want from a center prospect. He has a nifty turnaround in the post that he can hit with good consistency out to about fourteen feet. He is the best passing center prospect in quite some time. He has a very advanced back to the basket game. He is 6'11" with a 7'6" wingspan and a 9'3" standing reach, despite this massive frame he doesn't rebound as well as you'd expect. He was/is the consensus #1 player out of high school and for good reason, he is the most polished center prospect since at least Greg Oden. For those of you who like player comparisons the guy I see him most compared to and personally agree with is Al Jefferson. Also have seen a Tim Duncan comp but Duncan was a better athlete. Emeka Okafor is his cousin for what it is worth. Expect him to dominate lesser polished college guys, I can't think of a guy off the top of my head in the ACC who has a shot at competing with Okafor.
Fit with Bucks: (5/10)
I know he plays the same position as Towns and is probably a better offensive player. I just have reservations about whether Okafor will be better defensively then Sanders so that is why i question the fit. With Towns I am convinced he can be better then Larry on both ends of the court.
4.) Cliff Alexander (40/70) PF
24p/15r Curie, Chicago, Illinois
When I see Cliff Alexander it is hard to think of anybody, but Julius Randle their games are so similar. Alexander is a better athlete though although measuring at the same height as Randle he has 7'2" inch wingspan, so he should be able to avoid the "alligator arms" label. He is the definition of a power dunker, but he also flashes a decent midrange turnaround/jumper. Also unlike Randle he blocks a decent amount of shots. In my opinion he plays alot like Deandre Jordan. Committed to play for Kansas next season expect him to over power guys similar to Embiid, the only teams with NBA quality front lines in the Big XII are Baylor & Texas.
Fit for Bucks: (1/10)
I just can't see it, despite playing very differently from Parker and Giannis, those two are entrenched at the forward spots for the foreseeable future. If he was 2 inches taller I'd consider him to replace Larry, but he isn't and I wouldn't want him at center.
5.) Stanley Johnson (50/70) SF/SG
25p/8r/4a Mater Dei, Santa Ana, California
You can talk me into taking Stanley Johnson number one overall pretty easily, I think the other guys so far on this list will have better college careers and that will help their draft stock. Call it Midwest/East coast bias. Johnson is a winner too his team was 35-0 this year and he has won four state titles in California (widely viewed as one of the best basketball states). Some scouts think he won't be much more then a glue guy, I think he has the potential to be a second banana on a team, he is the definition of a team first guy. The first thing that stands out when you watch Johnson is his body, he is built like a really tall NFL player. His body is definitely NBA ready, he has a high basketball IQ. He is just one of those guys where you can't put your finger on one thing he does exceptionally, but he does alot of things really well. If I had to nitpick his release is lower then it should be, so his shot is kind of flat, it goes in alot though, I think he can improve on it at Arizona though. Stanley's on ball defense has been comped to Ron Artest. He like fellow Arizona one and done Aaron Gordon, will most likely enter the NBA as a pretty good defender. Good size for a swingman too 6'7" 6'11" wingspan. Might have the best hair in this draft class.
Fit for Bucks: (10/10)
Slotting him in a lineup like this Knight/Johnson/Giannis/Parker/Sanders would give us a phenomenal core. Parker would be the weak link defensively, but even that wouldn't be a real minus. He really would be the Bucks ideal guy to draft out of this class in my opinion. In the offensive pecking order he could be behind Knight for a few years, and then just behind Parker.
Tier 2: Possible All Stars
Kristaps Porzingis (30/70) PF/C
I'm sure alot of you heard hype about this guy before he pulled out of the 2014 NBA draft. He is a nimble 7 footer with a 3 point stroke. I think he slots in this draft in the 5-10 range, thats why I included him, but to be honest it is so hard for me to get any info on him right now, that isn't contradictory or grainy film I'm just going to leave it at this: He could be a stretch four/five and a good defender, but he definitely needs to bulk up.
Fit for Bucks: (2/10)
Not sold on his abilities to surpass Larry Sanders on the court. Thats if he ever bulks up enough to play center, at power forward he isn't as athletic of creative as Parker so it'd be an uphill battle were he to end up a Buck.
7.) Myles Turner (30/75) C/PF
18/p/12r/7b Trinity, Euless, Texas
Myles Turner might be the best athlete in this class, he is pretty raw though, I've seen him comped to Andre Drummond who was equally raw coming out of highschool. Turner as evidenced by his stats blocks a lot of shots. He has a decent jumper that I could see developing. I think he might be a two year college player but being one and done wouldn't shock me either. It'll be great to see him go against Kansas in the Big Twelve, I feel like those two games will go a long ways in determining his NBA future.
Fit on Bucks (1/10)
I'm guessing you guys are sensing a trend. My problem with drafting a center is if I don't think the guy has a reasonable shot to be better then Larry I don't really want him. So it is top 2 or bust in terms of centers. Otherwise i'd like to target a point guard.
8.) Kelly Oubre (30/70) SF/SG
22p/7r/3a FIndlay Prep, Henderson, Nevada
The heir apparent to the small forward position at KU, doesn't have the hype Wiggins did coming in and likely won't be as good. Don't take that as an insult to Oubre though he is athletic long and has a developing jumper. At 6'7" with a 7'2" wingspan he could be a good swingman defender.
Fit for Bucks (6/10)
His creating skills don't wow me and neither do his ball movement. We need a shooting guard that can help knight do both of those things. Oubre is a good shooter and would help on defense and he obviously would upgrade the current situation (OJ i ate all the Mayo)
9.) Mario Hezonja SG (50/75)
Mario Hezonja is the next big foreign prospect, he moreso then Porzingis would be my pick from this class or really any class from the last three years will be the foreigner I pick to become a household name. At 6'8" he is athletic and can do just about everything on the court. In almost every draft/scouting site I have been on they list his biggest weakness as his intensity. Cue the "Oh no i don't want a guy with motor issues" uhhh no other end of the spectrum he has been observed yelling at teammates for blowing up assignments. Well this isn't a good thing, I think a strong willed coach (Jason Kidd) could iron this out quickly. (Sidenote He is still really young and alot of my reports on him weren't from the last few months) He is a good ball handler and passer. He has a developed jump shot, expect to see him put up big numbers in Europe this year.
Fit on Bucks (9/10)
If we can't get Johnson or Mudiay, Hezonja is my guy. He can assist Knight in ball handling and running the offense. He is another guy with good two way potential and will help spacing when he is on the court.
I'm going to cut if off here. I honestly planned on doing more, but my computer took a dump and stopped loading my scouting sites and this was already getting to be a really long fanpost. Other guys to keep an eye on:
Trey Lyles (UK), WIllie Cauley Stein (UK), Wayne Selden (KU), Justise Winslow (Duke), Rondae Hollis Jefferson (Arizona), Montrezl Harrell (Louisville), Marcus Lee (UK), Caris Lavert (Michigan), Chris Walker (Florida).
Let me know what you guys think on the following topics
General write up quality, Load times (if i had too many videos), Who you guys want, Areas you think i am wrong whether it be fit or talent level, ceilings potential.
As always I look forward to hearing what you guys think.