Duke’s two-headed frontcourt this past season relied on both Marvin Bagley III and his compatriot, Wendell Carter Jr., the latter of whom goes ninth in our community draft board. Carter went a but overlooked due to the gaudy numbers Bagley put up, but there is plenty to like in his game to make him worthy of a lottery selection.
Carter gained national attention not only for his play, but his intelligence. Carter’s college decision came down to Duke vs. Harvard, a credit to his intelligence and a storyline that sometimes becomes inconsequential when it comes down to a player’s raw talent. As for his performance, he rounded out at 20.2 points, 13.5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3.1 blocks per 40 minutes in his lone season at Duke.
Although he only attempted a shade over one 3-pointer a game, he converted at a 41.3% clip. With a 73.8% free throw percentage in the bag too, he appears to have a workable stroke that could translate into the NBA. At 6’10” with a 7’3” wingspan, he has enough verticality to give guys trouble at the rim defensively. At 260 pounds, he looks big but trim and carries his weight well around the halfcourt as a screener and roller. His shooting ability will be paramount to his upside as a big, since his decent hands mean he can handle a swift pass while barreling to the basket, but a pick-and-pop game would force defenses into tough choices on the perimeter.
Unfortunately, there’s a reason all that talent hasn’t landed him higher than ninth. Carter has issues working the ball out from the post, looking overwhelmed in double teams and losing discipline at time. He’s a good athlete but not a great one, meaning he’s probably a smidge undersized for every team to conceive of him as a center. I’m sure Jason Kidd would’ve loved tossing him out at power forward. He doesn’t quite have the foot speed to handle some of the league’s elite four’s, which could be a problem as the league continues its trend toward switching defenses. Bigs capably guarding on the perimeter is becoming an even more invaluable, perhaps necessary, skill. Carter may struggle with that aspect of the game initially. The Stepien profile mentions him as “one of the more well-rounded big man prospects in recent memory.”
That statement likely connotes very different things to different people, but to me it boils down to a “safe” pick. Late lottery selections that turn into solid contributors are always a win, but I’d be swinging for the fences at choices in this range. It reminds me of Jakob Poeltl, who went one pick before Thon Maker back in 2016. Poeltl seemed like a sure thing, a big with traditional screening and rebounding traits that would translate. Carter Jr. may have higher upside if his shooting ability translates, but ninth seems about right for someone with his solid skillset. As we inch our way closer to the board’s conclusion, help us decide who should go number 10.
Editor’s Note - It appears we crossed the wrong Bridge in yesterday’s post regarding the #8 selection. Mikal Bridges was actually chosen in that spot instead of Miles Bridges, who was the feature of that post. Apologies to all the readers for that mix-up and we’ve thrown Miles back into the pot for the poll below. We’ll also toss up an extra scouting post for Mikal to reflect the actual rankings. Thanks for bearing with us!
Brew Hoop Community Draft Board Rankings
1. Deandre Ayton - C, Arizona (The Stepien Profile)
2. Luka Doncic - PG, Real Madrid (The Stepien Profile)
3. Marvin Bagley III - C, Duke (The Stepien Profile)
4. Jaren Jackson Jr. - PF/C, Michigan State (The Stepien Profile)
5. Mohamed Bamba - PF/C Texas (The Stepien Profile)
6. Michael Porter Jr. - PF, Mizzou (The Stepien Profile)
7. Trae Young - PG, Oklahoma (The Stepien Profile)
8. Miles Bridges - SF/PF Michigan State ( The Stepien Profile)
8. Mikal Bridges - SF/PF, Villanova (The Stepien Profile)
9. Wendell Carter Jr. - PF/C, Duke (The Stepien Profile)
My Pick for the #10 spot on the Community Draft Board is:
This poll is closed
Kevin Knox - SF/PF, Kentucky
Miles Bridges - SF/PF, Michigan State
Lonnie Walker IV - SG, Miami
Collin Sexton - PG, Alabama
Troy Brown - SG, Oregon
Other (Please Leave in the Comments)