The inaugural selection in our Brew Hoop Community Draft Board went to the nimble, buff big man Deandre Ayton out of Arizona. It was a narrow victory for him over Luka Doncic, the European with deft ball skills and the size to boot. His falling down draft boards of late will likely be the biggest story line leading up to draft day, but for now we turn our attention to Ayton.
The attraction is obvious. As the old saying goes, “you can’t teach size,” but you also can’t teach the brute strength that Ayton played with at times this year. His dominating presence made most college bigs look puny in comparison. Granted it’s against New Mexico, but look at the combination of patience, footwork and finishing ability Ayton shows particularly in the first dunk at the video below. Those sort of step-through and slams will face far more resistance in the NBA, but the fact he can get that kind of explosion off of a standstill two-footed stance is amazing.
In terms of his ability to space the floor, he only took 35 threes on the year (34.3%), but he did shoot 73.3% on 5.5 free throw attempts per game. That sort of conversion percentage should give teams some promise his jumper can extend out and improve under professional shot doctors.
I’ll admit to not really watching must Ayton tape this year, but the most grumblings I’ve heard about him is his poor defense. His block rate is quite minimal for a lottery center, or so his Stepien profile tells me, and I’ve also heard people chock that up to the Arizona team he played with. Personally, I’m not too concerned about a lack of defensive awareness from a guy shouldering the offensive load for a college squad, particularly when he shows the athleticism to corral guards on the perimeter within a switching scheme. If those nimble feet translate, that’s a more useful skill in this evolving league in my opinion than his paint patrolling skills. For what it’s worth, I still would’ve taken Doncic here. We soldier on though, continuing the Brew Hoop Community Draft Board and take aim at who will be number two.
Brew Hoop Community Draft Board Rankings
1. Deandre Ayton - C, Arizona (The Stepien Profile)
My pick for the #2 spot on the Brew Hoop Community Draft Board is:
This poll is closed
Luka Doncic - PG, Real Madrid
Marvin Bagley III - PF/C, Duke
Jaren Jackson Jr. - PF/C, Michigan St.
Mohamed Bamba - C, Texas
Trae Young - PG, Oklahoma
Wendell Carter Jr. - PF/C, Duke