We’ve topped off the lottery and then some thanks to your loyal voting fingers notching a tie between Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (henceforth known to as SGA) and Robert Williams. We’re covering both of them in here and moving onto the next spot in our selection. Let’s start with Gilgeous-Alexander.
Measuring 6’6” with a 7’0” wingspan to go with it, SGA boasts elite size for the point guard position where he formed a formidable lineup with fellow tall human from Kentucky, Kevin Knox. SGA is an intriguing guy by virtue of his positional choice and adept size, although that’s somewhat qualified by his rail-thin frame. One can envision him sprinting into screens and getting knocked backwards as if he just ran into a lightpole. His strength will be a serious question at the next level as he fights around screens, but his long arms will allow him some leeway when batting at a ball handler who’s loose with his grip on the perimeter and during penetration. SGA’s height is also used to his unique advantage at the rim, where he has a bag of tricks worth of savvy finishes. In the video below, there’s a number of plays where he works past his man and finishes in the in-between area utilizing his length. Those are the sort of plays I’m dubious will translate at the next level where he’s facing better, rangier athletes at the rim, but his court vision beneath the hoop is impressive.
Threading his way to the rim, a number of times he spots a cutting Kentucky player for an easy dish-and-dunk play. For someone his size, the passing vision is paramount to his success. Particularly when you factor in his iffy shooting numbers. He shot 40.4% from three (only 57 attempts), but also boasted an 81.7% percentage from the stripe on nearly five attempts per game. That latter figure bodes well both for his ability to draw fouls at the next level and his shooting potentially translating. His stroke looks smooth given how much extra length he carries in his arms, but he also looks hesitant. It’s apparent his first instinct is to drive on every play and NBA players won’t mind sagging off him plenty and forcing him to have the confidence in his own shot.
While he doesn’t have a quick burst off the dribble initially, a concern at the next level, it seemed like his patient approach to driving actually paid off in college. He didn’t look out of control too often, keeping his peripheral vision open for shooters on the perimeter and generally taking his own shot when he found himself close enough. SGA is one of the more fascinating prospects given the fact he’s classified as a point guard when most guys his size would probably be a wing. His skinny body prevents him from realizing his full potential if a team tried to reclassify him to that position, but his off-the-dribble ability would be a welcome boon for Milwaukee should he happen to fall. Now, onto Robert Williams report.
Robert Williams fell into the Miles Bridges mold of unexpectedly heading back to school for his second year in an effort to shore up what was already a promising draft stock. Williams looked like a prototypical dive-and-dunk big, a burly but nimble man who could use his athleticism to land a smacking screen before vaulting above the rim to catch a lob pass for a slam. He’s a little undersized for a center at 6’9”, but he more than makes up for it with his huge 7’4” wingspan. That radius makes for a huge target as point guards toss the ball up for him, but it also translates to the defensive end. He deters shots at the rim and his quick-twitch leaping ability means he doesn’t need much wind-up to stuff someone or recover after going for a pump-fake beneath the rim.
At Texas A&M, he often played the four alongside another big, clogging up the lane that should be more open for him in the league. That positioning did help him develop a bit of a face-up game, but he still lacks much offensive credibility outside of his ability to slam home a dunk. His shooting numbers are woeful over his two years, and his free throw percentage dipped from 59% to 47.1% year-over-year despite attempting nearly one less shot from the stripe this season. If his jump shot never develops, teams will have to hope his athleticism and finishing can make up for it. The free throw numbers themselves may get him pulled from the floor anyways, a la Andre Drummond, in late game situations.
According to The Stepien Profile, where I gleaned much of this insight, his motor is iffy. For a player who would make his druthers divebombing to the rim and leaping out of the gym on defense, that’s a troubling phrase to associate with a prospect. While his nimble feet help him navigate in traffic, his post game is Jurassic. He doesn’t have much feel at the rim beyond the occasional ability to hook shot one in over defenders, but it seems unlikely teams will be featuring him in the post much at all. Given his pedigree, he seems like a big worth taking a flier on, but teams will have to hope he can develop into a Clint Capela-like player to realize his full potential. And with that, we’re moving on to number 16 in our rankings. Let us know who ya got.
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. Mikal Bridges - SF/PF, Villanova (The Stepien Profile)
9. Wendell Carter Jr. - PF/C, Duke (The Stepien Profile)
10. Miles Bridges - SF/PF, Michigan State (The Stepien Profile)
11. Lonnie Walker IV - SG, Miami (The Stepien Profile)
12. Zhaire Smith - SG, Texas Tech (The Stepien Profile)
13. Collin Sexton - PG, Alabama (The Stepien Profile)
14. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander - PG, Kentucky (The Stepien Profile)
15. Robert Williams - C, Texas A&M (The Stepien Profile)
My Pick for the #16 Spot on the Community Draft Board is:
This poll is closed
Kevin Knox - SF/PF, Kentucky
Troy Brown - SG, Oregon
Elie Okobo - PG, France
Kevin Huerter - SF, Maryland
De’Anthony Melton - PG, USC
Jerome Robinson - PG, Boston College
Other (please leave in the comments)