As is my wont this time of year, I will roll out a draft big board, using the model that is my brain; I call it the Analysisinator. It is imperfect, but the best available to me. Here goes…
45. Aaron Craft (Ohio State, PG) – This seems like a stretch, but he is very much a plus defender at a very difficult position to defend. According to kenpom, Ohio State’s defense has been 3rd, 12th, and 7th in the country over the last three seasons. Craft was a big part of that. If he can improve his shot, there is a niche for him.
44. Cameron Bairstow (New Mexico, PF/C) – Despite not shooting three pointers (three attempts on the season), according to Synergy (via Draftexpress), he scored 1.04 points per jumper, best of all NCAA power forwards. That is Lamarcus Aldridge level marksmanship from midrange. Plus, he’s Australian. An Aussie senior from a western mid-major was arguably the NBA’s rookie of the year last year. If nothing else, the Analysisinator can pick up on a trend that evident.
43. Deonte Burton (Nevada, PG)
42. Patrick Young (Florida State, PF/C)
41. Scottie Wilbekin (Florida, PG) – He finished high school in three years and is 21 until April 2015. That is a really young senior. He was the SEC player of the year and a key component of the NCAA’s second ranked defense according to kenpom. He made nearly 40% of his threes. His Pure Point Rating exceeded 2 every year at Florida, including a peak level of five assists per game against two turnovers his junior year. This season, via statsheet.com, Florida’s on-court differential was +371 when he played, and -10 when he sat. His sprint speed and agility tested very well at the combine, reasonable indicators of PG success.
40. Thanasis Antetokounmpo (Greek, D-League, SF)
39. Nick Johnson (Arizona, SG) – He makes up for his 6’ – 1.5” height, with wingspan exceeding 6’ – 7” and a 41.5” vertical leap. He made PAC-10 All-Defense first team and also drained 37% of his three pointers.
38. Jabari Brown (Missouri, SG) – An undersized, stout shooting guard with 41% three-point accuracy and an ambivalence towards passing? I’m going to put him on the Marcus Thornton track.
37. Spencer Dinwiddie (Colorado, SG) – He is relatively young, turning 21 in January. Over the past two seasons according to statsheet, the Buffaloes have been +320 with him on the court and -42 when he sits.
36. Zach Lavine (UCLA, SG) – He doesn’t really pass, rebound or score particularly well. UCLA was better with him on the bench than on the court. According to Draftexpress, his defense is “not fundamentally sound” with “average intensity at best”. His size and length are average, and he needs to bulk up. I can’t see using a lottery pick based primarily on vertical leaping ability.
35. Walter Tavares (Spanish ACB, C) – He is 7’ – 3” and a good rebounder and shot blocker (13 rebounds and 3 blocks per 40 minutes) who only started playing the game five years ago. He also makes 70% of his free throws.
34. Rodney Hood (Duke, SF) – Turning 22 before the 2014 – 2015 season starts, he is an old redshirt sophomore (six months older than senior Wilbeken). Draftexpress says of his defense, his “biggest weakness as a NBA prospect likely revolves around his defense.” Is his shooting ability enough to overcome what is otherwise not a very impressive resume?
33. Glenn Robinson III (Michigan, SF) – He is young and super athletic with an NBA Dad. He needs to improve the reliability of his shot to nice value early in the second round.
32. Vasilije Misic (Serbian, PG) – At the U19 world championships last summer, he lead Serbia to a silver medal, receiving first-team all tourney honors over Marcus Smart.
31. Russ Smith (Louisville, PG) – He can be a lock-down defender with a solid outside shot. There are some concerns about his ability to manage his offense and avoid bad shots, but at the LA Clippers combine, he dished out 10 assists against 3 turnovers, attempting to show ability to play within himself.
Those are the guys that I kind-of, sort-of like; later today, venturing into the higher tiers will begin.