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Posts Tagged ‘Kelly Olynyk

On Kelly Olynyk’s summer league and upside, gauging athleticism

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Kelly Olynyk was the star of Orlando Summer league. His averages of 19.5 points, 8.0 rebounds. 2.8 assists and 2.3 steals per game in 26.5 minutes is dominant production per minute. More impressive to people was how he did it. Easily. Consistent. With a variety of skill moves. On a different level than his peers.

Naturally summer league statistics are close to meaningless. Just check out the history of players like Jerryd Bayless and Anthony Randolph during it. However, since he’s a hot product at the moment, I thought I’d dive into why I was so high on Olynyk before his draft – ranking him as my 2nd most talented prospect behind Anthony Bennett.

What’s obvious about Kelly is his feel for the game is one of the best in the class and potentially will be one of the best at his position in the NBA. Everything he does is smooth, under control and with layers of craftiness if he needs it. These instincts and superior sense of space were clear in summer league, as they were at Gonzaga.

His shooting skill may actually be a little overstated. Olynyk has been rated by some as a future Mehmet Okur, Ryan Anderson type 3 point shooting big, but he only hit 9 of 30 from the shorter NCAA 3 point line his entire senior season as Gonzaga and 25 for 75 his entire college career. Anthony Bennett took and hit more 3s as a freshman at UNLV than Olynyk did in his three seasons at Gonzaga. In summer league Olynyk went a fairly meek 3 for 13 from 3 point range. With that said, hitting 77.6% of his FTs his final year in college is impressive touch for a big man and it’s clear that Olynyk’s midrange shooting tough is great. Furthermore even hitting any 3s at this stage in summer league is fine, considering many prospects need time and struggle early extending their range from NCAA to NBA. For example, Trey Burke went 1 for 19 from 3, while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope went 7 for 31, in both cases far below their shooting aptitude in college. With that said if I had to venture a guess, it’d be that Olynyk’s shooting career based on his numbers now is more likely to resemble Chris Bosh and Kevin Garnett’s. Both players had an exceptional midrange stroke but didn’t lean on their 3 point shot as a consistent weapon, albeit both did occasionally take them. Bosh attempted 1 3 pointer a game last year for the first time, his career high before that 0.6. Garnett attempted over a 3 a game on two occasions in Minnesota, peaking at 1.4 3PA – but 13 of his 18 seasons he had 0.5 3PA or less.

The most interesting area of debate for Olynyk is his athleticism and general physical talents. The reason Kelly slipped in the draft is that despite gaining obvious attention for his skill and feel, he had been labeled too underwhelming an athlete to be more than a 3rd big. Some said his footspeed was too poor to guard PFs, forcing him to be a stretch center who would potentially be abused in the post defensively.

First of all even in a vacuum, the idea that Olynyk is any sort of weak athlete, just seems false to me. This play alone dispels the myth of Olynyk being a plodding spot up shooting C who can’t move, such as what Ryan Kelly is:

That one play covers a lot of athletic skills. He shows elite transition speed for a 7 footer and even acceleration late. Then of course, he shows impressive leaping and finishing ability for the poster. While one play is one play, a Kelly-like slouch athletically can’t make that play, ever.

However what really impresses me is shown in this video

The whole video serves to show some of Olynyk’s athletic traits, such as his transition speed and leap finishing. However, the section that really stands out to me starts at 1:26, in “Off the Dribble”. On a few plays Olynyk creates plays by facing a defender off the dribble, then driving into the paint, going right by them to score. He does this with what appears to be a very good, long first step for a PF, which is the most important thing for just about any prospect. In the NBA not all athletic traits are created equal. One of the reasons that Kyrie Irving and James Harden were underrated coming out of college – they were labeled as not having perennial all-star upside – is that they were called average athletes despite their skills. One of the reasons for this is that you didn’t see Irving and Harden showcasing their vertical leap and putting down highlight reel dunks. However, both Irving and Harden do have an exceptional first step, allowing them to attack the basket off the dribble. In reality, this first step meant more than standout leaping ability. More leaping ability presumably helps finishing skills at the basket, however Irving and Harden have the size, enough vertical athleticism and skill to finish there not only passably, but an elite level for their position. In reality, their athletic strength of a first step has unlimited value to their games, while their weakness of lacking a high max vertical, doesn’t seem to affect their game at all. My lukewarm position on Andrew Wiggins is built on a similar idea. Where Wiggins is wowing people athletically is that he jumps higher off two feet than just about any NBA player we’ve seen has. However personally I see a decent, but not great first step and ability to attack the basket off the dribble. This has made me presume that Wiggins from an NBA/value perspective, is a good but overrated athlete. It may be true that he’s one of the most athletic HUMANS of his size that has played basketball, in a vacuum – but if it’s not the right combination of athleticism to translate to equally elite NBA value, it won’t matter. Wiggins is an excellent prospect and potential all-star for other reasons (I see Paul George’s feel and athleticism, but in a 6’7 body with a raw jumpshot) but I do not see a generational athlete, for the inverse reasons of why Irving and Harden’s athleticism is so valuable. The opposite of Wiggins is Julius Randle, who may have one of the most explosive first steps and ability to penetrate that the power forward position has seen. I would call Randle the most physically gifted player of his highly ranked 2014 peers and the most likely superstar, although he needs to prove himself on a skill level to cement that.

Like Harden and Irving, Olynyk’s outstanding ballhandling for a 7 footer, helps mask some of that athletic “weakness”, if he has it. That ballhandling is one of the reasons why he looks to have the potential to attack the basket off the dribble. From a slashing perspective, his good athleticism with elite ballhandling, may be as good for as having more clearly explosive athleticism, but average to subpar ballhandling. As for his finishing at the basket, Olynyk has both showed the ability to leap vertically, plus at 7 feet tall he may not need to leap once he gets there. I’m not positive that Olynyk’s ability to slash off the dribble will stand out, but it has the chance to. In addition to his skill and feel, it could make him a tremendous prospect.

Olynyk really has many similarities to Chris Bosh. Bosh has an elite feel for the game and is a strong midrange shooter. Bosh is also skinny like Olynyk and is one of the best ballhandlers for a PF, which along with his elite first step, allows him to attack the basket off the dribble to compliment his shooting game and feel. The main difference between them is I feel Bosh has the superior first step. Where Olynyk could actually make up that difference, is if his 3 point shot developed into a more consistent weapon than it has for Bosh. In that case Kelly could showcase similar talent. Either way, the comparison is favorable to Kelly and it wouldn’t surprise me if we see him in an all-star game, if not multiple ones.

Written by jr.

July 13, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Final NBA Draft Talent Grades and more! (June 2013)

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Part I: The Talent Grades

Here are my final talent grades for the 2013 draft. If you’d like to read my individual position breakdowns, here they are:

2013 NBA Draft Rankings: The Centers

2013 NBA Draft Rankings: The Power Forwards

2013 NBA Draft Rankings: The Small Forwards

2013 NBA Draft Rankings: The Shooting Guards

2013 NBA Draft Rankings: The Point Guards

Some of the grades have changed (just ignore what I wrote about Schroeder in the point guards post, my post at the end of the centers post explains my change on him) and I added a few new grades to the below list:

My grades are from 1 to 11 in 3 categories: Physical impact talent, Skill impact (shoot, post, pass) talent and Feel for the Game talent. The grades go by this rubric:

11: Transcendent, 10: Incredible 9: Elite, 8: Great, 7: Very good, 6: Decent, 5: Average, 4: Lacking, 3: Weak, 2: Very poor, 1: Awful

What the overall grades mean:

25+: Perennial all-star talent, 23-24: Blue Chip starter to Perennial all-star talent, 19-22: Blue Chip starter talent, 17-18: Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent, 14-16: Rotation player talent, 12-13: Deep bench to rotation player talent, 11 or lower: Deep bench player talent

I also added an “Adjusted” grade based on this method: Because I see skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent the be the most likely to be volatile translating from the NCAA to the NBA, followed by physical impact talent, then feel for the game as the most static, I multiply their grades by these weights: 100% * Feel for the Game talent grade + 90% * Physical impact talent grade + 80% * skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade. I then add 10% * the Total Talent Grade to that adjusted score. For example here are my grades for Otto Porter:

SF Otto Porter (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 3 / Weak, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 6 / Decent, Feel for the Game talent grade: 10 / Incredible, Total talent grade: 19 (Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 19.4)

100% * Feel for the Game talent grade (10) = 10, 90% * Physical impact talent grade (3) = 2.7, 80% * Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 4.8. That adds up to 17.5. Which added 1.9 which is 10% of his overall talent grade of 19, Porter’s adjusted talent grade is 19.4. This indicates Porter is a strong 19.

The adjusted grades both help me account for the unpredictability of skill development and to an extent physically impacting the game, plus it gives me a more clean order of prospects based solely on the grades. If two prospects have an identical adjusted grade, I order it by biggest position first, from C to PG.

Here are my grades:

1. PF Anthony Bennett (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 9 / Elite, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 8 / Great, Feel for the Game talent grade: 8 / Great, Total talent grade: 25 (Perennial all-star talent grade) (Adj: 25.0)

My clear cut top ranking prospect. If his shooting translates, I see him as likely one of the league’s star talents, if not a franchise player. As important is his cushion between him and my threshold for starting talent. With a combined physical impact and feel for the game talent of 17, even if he had awful range and touch for a PF, he may challenge starting status. However as an NCAA 3pt shooter with touch, he’s not only a great bet to be at least decent as a finesse skill player, but average at worst. Bennett to me presuming health, both has an ultra-high star upside for his position, but also a high floor as a virtual lock to be a starter.

2. PF Kelly Olynyk (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 6 / Decent, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 7 / Very good, Feel for the Game talent grade: 9 / Elite, Total talent grade: 22 (Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 22.2)

3. PF Kenny Kadji (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 7 / Very good, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 7 / Very good, Feel for the Game talent grade: 8 / Great, Total talent grade: 22 (Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 22.1)

4. PG Dennis Schroeder (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 9 / Elite, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 7 / Very good, Feel for the Game talent grade: 6 / Decent, Total talent grade: 22 (Blue Chip starter talent grade)  (Adj: 21.9)

Olynyk, Kadji and Schroeder have strong cases. If their shooting becomes elite for their position instead of the decent grade I gave them, they can challenge multiple all-star type of careers. Whereas with a combined physical impact and feel for the game talent grade of 15 for all three, their skill games would have to be one of the worst at their position to be in danger of missing starting and blue chip status. Considering Olynyk and Kadji’s touch at the rim likely isn’t going away for a big, they should be shoo-ins. Schroeder may have the biggest danger of his shooting bottoming out, but perhaps with his youth the most likely elite upside in the area. Overall I see these three as having both a puncher’s chance at stardom and a high likelihood of starting, making them great prospects.

5. SG Victor Oladipo (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 8 / Great, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 5 / Average, Feel for the Game talent grade: 8 / Great, Total talent grade: 21 (Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 21.3)

6. C Alex Len (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 7 / Very good, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 6 / Decent, Feel for the Game talent grade: 8 / Great, Total talent grade: 21 (Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 21.2)

7. PG C.J. McCollum (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 5 / Average, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 8 / Great, Feel for the Game talent grade: 8 / Great, Total talent grade: 21 (Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 21.0)

Oladipo, Len and McCollum are also strong prospects. Oladipo’s combined physical impact and feel for the game grade of 16 is the second highest in the class behind Bennett, indicating he’d have to be one of the worst perimeter shooters in the league to be in danger of less than blue chip and starting. Whereas if he can turn himself into elite in the area, he may have a huge upside. Len’s combined physical impact and feel for the game talent grade of 15 is also high enough, that when considering his relatively guaranteed touch and hands, should help Len cruise to starting status especially considering the talent bar to start at C may be lower than at other positions. Len if he develops a go-to midrange shot and/or post play, could also have huge upside. McCollum’s combined physical impact and feel for the game talent grade of 13 is weaker and indicates if his shooting fell apart, he’d have a bigger danger of falling to journeyman status – he needs at least decent shooting to be a starter. For McCollum to approach star status, he needs to become one of the league’s signature shooters, following in the footsteps of players like Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving. McCollum also has positional concerns between PG and SG. I consider McCollum to have a little more risk and a little less likely upside than the above players on this board, but his chance at blue chip status as a guard is still high. Overall for Oladipo, Len, McCollum I consider the most likely situation good starters, but not true all-stars.

8. C Jeff Withey (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 7 / Very good, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 5 / Average, Feel for the Game talent grade: 8 / Great, Total talent grade: 20 (Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 20.3)

9. C Gorgui Dieng (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 5 / Average, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 7 / Very good, Feel for the Game talent grade: 8 / Great, Total talent grade: 20 (Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 20.1) 

With a high combined physical impact and feel for the game talent grade of 15 and Withey’s good touch at the rim ensuring at least a middling skill floor, his chance of starting looks excellent. However at his age and frame preventing post skills, it’s hard to envision the great to elite skill game needed for Withey to approach star status. Dieng has a lower combined physical impact and feel for the game talent of 13 which indicates he needs at least average to decent skill to lock down starting, but with his midrange shooting and passing, that looks likely enough. I see Withey and Dieng as likely reliable, but not stellar starters.

10. PF Jackie Carmichael (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 7 / Very good, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 6 / Decent, Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good, Total talent grade: 20 (Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 20.1) 

11. SF Solomon Hill (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 8 / Great, Skill impact talent grade (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 6 / Decent, Feel for the Game talent grade: 6 / Decent, Total talent grade: 20 (Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 20)

Carmichael and Hill are two of the draft’s most interesting prospects. If either of their decent skill levels as of now is pushed to elite for their position, they’d move up to star potential. At the same time with a good combined physical impact grade of 14 for both, they’d need average or barely lacking skill, to make it as starters. I’d say there’s reasonable risk of Carmichael and Hill becoming just middling players, but with a more likely than not chance at starting and a puncher’s chance at an all-star appearance.

12. SF Tony Snell (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 4 / Lacking, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 8 / Great, Feel for the Game talent grade: 8 / Great, Total talent grade: 20 (Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 20)

13. SF Sergey Karasev (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 4 / Lacking, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 8 / Great, Feel for the Game talent grade: 8 / Great, Total talent grade: 20 (Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 20)

14. PG Trey Burke (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 4 / Lacking, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 8 / Great, Feel for the Game talent grade: 8 / Great, Total talent grade: 20 (Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 20)

Snell, Karasev and Burke have the same grade. With a combined physical impact and feel for the game talent of 12, they need at least decent shooting games to be starters, but that seems likely. It’s also more difficult to envision them as stars than some of the above prospects with an already assumed great skill level, unless they learned to physically impact the game more than I rated. Overall I see all three as likely starters, but not locks and unlikely stars. These are the type of prospects who end up the 15 or 16th best starter in the league, but not threatening the top 8 or 10. That’s still a valuable piece to have.

15. PF James Southerland (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 5 / Average, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 8 / Great, Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good, Total talent grade: 20 (Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 19.9)

16. SG Ben McLemore (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 6 / Decent, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 8 / Great, Feel for the Game talent grade: 6 / Decent, Total talent grade: 20 (Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 19.8)

Southerland and McLemore also rate similarly to Snell, Karasev and Burke. With combined physical impact and feel for the game talent grades of 12, they need to be decent shooters to be starters, while pushing their talent just by improving their already great shooting games, also seems hard. Southerland and McLemore are unique in that assessing their physical impact feels harder than for other prospects, as both are more athletic than their jumpshot dominated games in college suggested. Because of this I see Southerland and McLemore as having a higher upside than players like Snell, Karsaev and Burke, but also more of a risk of falling short of starting if both their skill games and physical impact goes in the wrong direction.

17. SF Otto Porter (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 3 / Weak, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 6 / Decent, Feel for the Game talent grade: 10 / Incredible, Total talent grade: 19 (Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 19.4)

18. SG Jamaal Franklin (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 7 / Very good, Skill impact  (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 4 / Lacking, Feel for the Game talent grade: 8 / Great, Total talent grade: 19 (Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 19.4)

19. PG Lorenzo Brown (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 6 / Decent, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 5 / Average, Feel for the Game talent grade: 8 / Great, Total talent grade: 19 (Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 19.3)

Franklin’s combined physical impact and feel for the game grade of 15 is huge for this stage of the rankings, only surpassed by Bennett and Oladipo. He’s a volatile prospect because of the unpredictability of his shooting game. It could conceivably be both awful in the pros which would make him a defensive specialist and unlikely starter, as well as it could be good to great, which with his other tools may make him one of the draft’s better prospects. Franklin also has some ‘crazy person’ in his style of play and energy which could be good or bad for his career. Either an all-star, starter or energy player off the bench wouldn’t shock me for Franklin. Porter also is at a stage with risk and upside. With a combined physical impact and feel for the game talent of 13, he needs average skill to start – in other words, the ability to hit an open 3. On the other hand, with a great to elite shooting game, also in play, he may have near star upside. Porter is another player where a standout SF in the league and a less than true starter, wouldn’t surprise me. Brown is also an intriguing prospect. With a combined physical impact and feel for the game talent grade of 14, he needs an average shooting/passing/post game to be a starter and that’s no lock, it’s in play he’s poor at the position in those areas. However if he can turn himself into a great skill player, his has the chance to be an above average starter and blue chipper. With Franklin, Porter and Brown, both are at risk of falling short of starting, but with the upside of blue chip starting – the most likely situation is likely somewhere in the middle as usual, becoming good, but unspectacular starters.

20. C Mike Muscala (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 2 / Very poor, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 8 / Great, Feel for the Game talent grade: 9 / Elite, Total talent grade: 19 (Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 19.1)

21. PG Nate Wolters (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 3 / Weak, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 8 / Great, Feel for the Game talent grade: 8 / Great, Total talent grade: 19 (Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 19.0)

22. PG Erick Green (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 3 / Weak, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 8 / Great, Feel for the Game talent grade: 8 / Elite, Total talent grade: 19 (Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 19.0)

Muscala, Wolters and Green have similar projections. With a combined physical impact and feel for the game grade of 11, they need well above average skill games to be starters. They seem to have a good chance at that, but it’s no guarantee. Likewise true all-star status may be out of reach unless they can both become elite skill players and impact the game more physically than I graded. These can be good players and are likely impact 1st bigs/1st guard off the bench scorers at worst.

23. SF Giannis Antetokounmpo (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 4 / Lacking, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 5 / Average, Feel for the Game talent grade: 9 / Elite, Total talent grade: 18 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 18.4)

24. PF C.J. Leslie (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 7 / Very good, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 4 / Lacking, Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good, Total talent grade: 18 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 18.3)

25. PG Myck Kabongo (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 7 / Very good, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 4 / Lacking, Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good, Total talent grade: 18 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 18.3)

26. PF Andre Roberson (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 7 / Very good, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 4 / Lacking, Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good, Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 18.2)

Antetokounmpo, Leslie, Kabongo and Roberson are all intriguing prospects. Both are in the range where with a great to elite skill impact game out of nowhere, they’d near star status. However with a combined physical impact and feel for the game talent grade of 13 for Giannis and 14 for Leslie, Kabongo and Roberson, with a below average skill game, a huge possibility for all three, they’d be unlikely starters. The risk of irrelevance for these three may be too real to go *too* high for me, but at a certain point of the draft outside of the lottery, getting a player with a blue chipper and top 15 starter upside, is terrific value.

27. PG Matthew Dellavedova (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 1 / Awful, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 8 / Great, Feel for the Game talent grade: 9 / Elite, Total talent grade: 18 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 18.1)

28. C Lucas Nogueira (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 8 / Great, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 5 / Average, Feel for the Game talent grade: 5 / Average, Total talent grade: 18 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 18.0)

29. C Ryan Kelly (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 1 / Awful, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 9 / Elite, Feel for the Game talent grade: 8 / Great, Total talent grade: 18 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 17.9)

30. PF Erik Murphy (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 1 / Awful, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 9 / Elite, Feel for the Game talent grade: 8 / Great, Total talent grade: 18 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 17.9)

Dellavedova, Kelly and Murphy rate similarly. With a relatively low physical impact and feel for the game combined talent grade of 10 for Dellavedova and 9 for Kelly and Murphy, these players need at least great shooting and skill games to start. They have a fair chance at that, but if they slip a bit as shooters, they can likely find a role as scorers off the bench. Nogueira has a big combined physical impact and feel for the game talent grade of 13 for this stage, indicating if he can develop a perimeter scoring game, he has blue chip upside. However if his skill is poor for a big, he have risk of irrelevance. Nogueira has some risk, but also blue chip upside, making him similar to Antetokounmpo, Leslie and Kabongo.

31. PF Trevor Mbakwe (Physical impact talent grade: 5 / Average, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 4 / Lacking, Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good, Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 17.3)

32. PG Ray McCallum (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grades: 6 / Decent, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 4 / Lacking, Feel for the Game talent: 7 / Very good, Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 17.3)

33. PG Michael Carter-Williams (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 6 / Decent, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 4 / Lacking, Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good, Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 17.3)

34. SG B.J. Young (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 7 / Very good, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 4 / Lacking, Feel for the Game talent grade: 6 / Decent, Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 17.2)

Much like Leslie and Roberson, Mbakwe has the athleticism and feel that with a perimeter skill game, he can challenge starting status. However with a combined physical impact and feel for the game talent grade of 12, an average or worse skill game makes him a backup. McCallum, Carter-Williams and Young have a high physical impact and feel for the game talent grade of 13, meaning with an above average shooting and skill impact game they’d be blue chippers and starters. However their NCAA careers so far, makes a below average aptitude in that area seem more likely than not. I would say these three have the talent to have a puncher’s chance at starting, but are more likely standout bench contributers.

35. SG Glen Rice, Jr. (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 3 / Weak, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 6 / Decent, Feel for the Game talent grade: 8 / Great, Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 17.2)

36. C Bojan Dubjlevic (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 1 / Awful, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 8 / Great, Feel for the Game talent grade: 8 / Great, Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 17.0)

37. PF Cody Zeller (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 5 / Average, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 6 / Decent, Feel for the Game talent grade: 6 / Decent, Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 17.0)

Rice and Zeller could be blue chippers and true starters, if the Rice becomes one of the best shooters at his position and Zeller one of the most skilled inside/outside bigs. With a combined physical impact and feel for the game grade of 11 however, a middling skill level or worse would make them unlikely starters. They have decent chance at starting, but it’s more likely they don’t. Dubjlevic’s low combined physical impact and skill grade of 9, means he’d need among the best skills as a stretch big at his position to start. With that said it seems likely he’s a positive value contributer off the bench, if he ever comes to the NBA.

38. PF Deshaun Thomas (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 1 / Awful, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 8 / Great, Feel for the Game talent grade: 8 / Great, Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 17.0)

39. SG Seth Curry (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 1 / Awful, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 8 / Great, Feel for the Game talent grade: 8 / Great, Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 17.0)

40. PF Grant Jerrett (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 2 / Very poor, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 8 / Great, Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good, Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 16.9)

41. PG Pierre Jackson (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 2 / Very poor, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 8 / Great, Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good, Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj: 16.9)

42. SG Michael Snaer (Physical impact talent grade: 2 / Very poor, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 8 / Great, Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good, Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj. 16.9)

Thomas, Curry, Jerrett, Jackson, Snaer rate fairly similarly. With a low combined physical impact and feel for the game talent grade of 9, they need elite shooting games to challenge a starting spot. If they fall a little short, their most likely role is specialist sparkplugs off the bench. These are good prospects to count on as at least having long term NBA careers presuming at least decent jumpshots for them.

43. C Steven Adams (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 8 / Great, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 3 / Weak, Feel for the Game talent grade: 5 / Average, Total talent grade: 16 (Rotation player talent grade) (Adj: 16.2)

44. SF Adonis Thomas (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 7 / Very good, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 4 / Lacking, Feel for the Game talent grade: 5 / Average, Total talent grade: 16 (Rotation player talent grade) (Adj: 16.1)

For this late, Adams and Thomas having combined physical impact and feel for the game talent grades of 13 and 12 is fairly impressive. It indicates that with good to great skill games, they could still be blue chippers and starters. However with nothing but poor skill shown so far, that’s somewhat unlikely. Furthermore, there’s a risk they have not only poor skill level, but among the worst at their position. This would make them replacement level players.

Overall, Adams and Thomas have some upside, but also more strikeout risk than above prospects. Their chances of long term rotation roles is still solid.

45. SF Shabazz Muhammad (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 3 / Weak, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 6 / Decent, Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good, Total talent grade: 16 (Rotation player talent grade) (Adj: 16.1)

46. SG Tim Hardaway, Jr. (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 3 / Weak, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 6 / Decent, Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good, Total talent grade: 16 (Rotation player talent grade) (Adj: 16.1)

47. C Nerlens Noel (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 9 / Elite, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 4 / Lacking, Feel for the Game talent grade: 3 / Weak, Total talent grade: 16 (Rotation player talent grade) (Adj: 15.9)

48. PG Isaiah Canaan (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 2 / Very poor, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 8 / Great, Feel for the Game talent grade: 6 / Decent, Total talent grade: 16 (Rotation player talent grade) (Adj: 15.8)

Shabazz and Hardaway, Jr. with a combined physical impact and feel for the game talent grade of 10, need to be among their position’s best shooters to be starters. If downright poor as shooters, they’re in danger of struggling to maintain minutes in the NBA. The most likely situation is probably decent but not great shooters, making them rotation wings, but not starters. Noel’s combined physical impact and feel for the game talent grade of 12, puts him in a similar camp as players like Leslie, Roberson and Mbakwe for me where they need an above average skill game to start, settling in as an energy big otherise. Canaan’s low physical impact and feel for the game talent grade of 8, meaning even among the league’s best shooting, may not make him a surefire starter. With decent shooting he should lock down a backup PG spot. I wouldn’t say upside is that likely for Canaan, but he may have a better chance of sticking as a contributer than some other prospects around here.

49. PF Brandon Davies (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 2 / Very poor, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 4 / Lacking, Feel for the Game talent grade: 9 / Elite, Total talent grade: 15 (Rotation player talent grade) (Adj: 15.5)

50. C Colton Iverson (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 4 / Lacking, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 5 / Average, Feel for the Game talent grade: 6 / Decent, Total talent grade: 15 (Rotation player talent grade) (Adj: 15.1)

51. SG Nemanja Nedovic (Physical impact talent grade: 6 / Decent, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 4 / Lacking, Feel for the Game talent grade: 5 / Average, Total talent grade: 15 (Rotation player talent grade) (Adj: 15.1)

Davies, Iverson, Nedovic have a physical impact and feel for the game talent grade of 11, 10 and 11 respectively, all fairly impressive for this stage of the overall rankings.  With a great skill game such as lockdown midrange range for Davies or Iverson or 3pt shooting for Nedovic, they could challenge starting status. That’ll be difficult for all three however considering their age. With average or worse skill games, they’d likely be backups.

52. SF James Ennis (Physical impact talent grade: 4 / Lacking, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 8 / Great, Feel for the Game talent grade: 5 / Average, Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade) (Adj. 15.0)

53. SF Reggie Bullock (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 1 / Awful, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 7 / Very good, Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good, Total talent grade: 15 (Rotation player talent grade) (Adj: 15.0)

54. PG Shane Larkin (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 1 / Awful, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 7 / Very good, Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good, Total talent grade: 15 (Rotation player talent grade) (Adj: 15.0)

55. C Rudy Gobert (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 8 / Great, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 5 / Average, Feel for the Game talent grade: 2 / Very poor, Total talent grade: 15 (Rotation player talent grade) (Adj: 14.7)

56. SG Allen Crabbe (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 2 / Very poor, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 8 / Great, Feel for the Game talent grade: 5 / Average, Total talent grade: 15 (Rotation player talent grade) (Adj: 14.7)

With Bullock, Larkin and Crabbe having a physical impact and feel for the game grade of 9, 8, 8 and 7 respectively, barring absolutely elite skill and perimeter games, challenging a starting spot looks unlikely. However if they maintain decent range, they should be rotation players and backups. Gobert’s physical impact and feel for the game grade of 10 is a little better, but he’s at a bigger risk of poor skill level. He’ll need a great perimeter shooting game and some post ability, to be a blue chipper.

57. PF Richard Howell (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 3 / Weak, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 4 / Lacking, Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good, Total talent grade: 14 (Rotation player talent grade) (Adj: 14.3)

58. SG Ricky Ledo (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 3 / Weak, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade:: 4 / Lacking, Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good, Total talent grade: 14 (Rotation player talent grade) (Adj: 14.3)

59. PF Livio Jean-Charles (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 2 / Very poor, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 5 / Average, Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good, Total talent grade: 14 (Rotation player talent grade) (Adj: 14.2)

60. SG Alex Abrines (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 1 / Awful, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 6 / Decent, Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good, Total talent grade: 14 (Rotation player talent grade) (Adj: 14.1)

61. C Mason Plumlee (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 7 / Very good, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 4 / Lacking, Feel for the Game talent grade: 3 / Weak, Total talent grade: 14 (Rotation player talent grade) (Adj: 13.9)

62. SG Archie Goodwin (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 9 / Elite, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 4 / Lacking, Feel for the Game talent grade: 1 / Awful, Total talent grade: 14 (Rotation player talent grade) (Adj: 13.7)

With a combined physical impact and feel for the game talent grade of 10, Howell, Plumlee, Goodwin have limited skill games right now, but need great skill games to challenge starting spots, which is unlikely. There’s also a risk of a below average skill game, which would cause them to struggle to hold onto their minutes long term.  These aren’t surefire rotation players and an upside beyond that is unlikely. Jean-Charles and Abrines are international players and Ledo is a college knock-out who it’s hard for me to peg down, it wouldn’t surprise me if they either become too limited to play long term, or if they’re signature role players.

63. PG Phil Pressey (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grades: 2 / Very poor, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 4 / Lacking, Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good, Total talent grade: 13 (Deep bench to Rotation player talent grade) (Adj: 13.3)

64. C Jack Cooley (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 1 / Awful, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 5 / Average, Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good, Total talent grade: 13 (Deep bench to Rotation player talent grade) (Adj: 13.1)

65. PG Peyton Siva (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 5 / Average, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 4 / Lacking, Feel for the Game talent grade: 4 / Lacking, Total talent grade: 13 (Deep bench to Rotation player grade) (Adj: 13.0)

66. SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 3 / Weak, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 7 / Very good, Feel for the Game talent grade: 3 / Weak, Total talent grade: 13 (Deep bench to Rotation player talent grade) (Adj: 12.6)

These prospects largely need to show a better skill game than they have so far, to be positive contributors for teams in the league. If Pressey and Siva’s outside shot continues to struggle, they’ll likely struggle to find more than end of the bench reserve spots. Cooley needs to be a great skill player instead of just a garbage man and Caldwell-Pope needs to be an elite shooter instead of a decent one, in both cases to be an above average player, not a blue chipper. It wouldn’t surprise me if these players held onto journeyman careers in this draft, showing the depth of this draft. But Europe could also be a better fit.

67 PF D.J. Stephens (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 7 / Very good, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 3 / Weak, Feel for the Game talent grade: 2 / Very poor, Total talent grade: 12 (Deep bench to Rotation player talent grade) (Adj: 11.9)

68. PF Tony Mitchell (North Texas) (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grades: 5 / Average, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 5 / Average, Feel for the Game talent grade: 2 / Very poor, Total talent grade: 12 (Deep bench to Rotation player talent grade) (Adj: 11.7)

To be rotation players in the NBA, I need to see Stephens and Mitchell have respectable and above average skill games respectively. If raw offensively, I don’t see it long term for NBA teams unless very deep depth.

69. SG Brandon Paul (Talent grades: Physical impact talent grade: 2 / Very poor, Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 4 / Lacking, Feel for the Game talent grade: 4 / Lacking, Total talent grade: 10 (Deep bench talent grade) (Adj: 10.0)

If Paul can be an elite shooter in the NBA, he has a shot at carving out a rotation spot. But for the most part, I see him as likely headed overseas.

Part II: Probability forecast

For fun, let’s say the probability of my grades for each player being accurate are:

Within 0 points of the above talent grades (rounded, as is for all these numbers) – 30%

Within +1 or -1 – 70% (+1: 20%, -1: 20%)

Within +2 or -2 – 90% (+2: 10%, -2: 10%)

Within +3 or -3 – 97% (+3: 3.5%, -3: 3.5%)

Within +4 or -4 – 99% (+4: 1%, -4: 1%)

Within +5 or -5 – 99.5%+ (+5: 0.5%, -5: 0.5%)

Now IF these numbers were correct, I forecast these probabilities for each player/grade:

Grade of 25 (Anthony Bennett)

65% Perennial all-star talent
95% Blue Chip starter to Perennial all-star talent
99.5%+ Blue Chip starter talent

Because Bennett needs to either stay at his grade of 25 (the threshold for “Perennial all-star talent” based on the rubric at the top of this post), if he’s 0 “away” from my grade or anything in the positive direction, I forecast he’ll finish with a perennial all-star talent. That’s enough for a 65%, including both the 30% for 0 along with the 35% combined probability of finishing above what I graded. Likewise he’ll need to finish more than 2 points lower than my current grade to fall below the “Blue Chip starter to Perennial all-star talent” threshold of 23, with only a 5% chance of -3 or worse, I forecast that gives him a 95% chance of finishing at least in that Blue Chip starter to Perennial all-star talent category. Then with the threshold of Blue Chip starter being 19, 6 points lower than my grade, that’s enough for me to give him a virtual lock grade in the category. Overall I have Bennett in the came category as #1 prospects like Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis where starting is ensured and at least fringe stardom for his position seems extremely likely. While if he pans out, he could be an MVP contender and one of the faces of the league.

Here is the same exercise done with other prospects and grades:

Grade of 22 (Kelly Olynyk, Kenny Kadji, Dennis Schroeder)
5% Perennial all-star talent
35% Blue Chip starter to Perennial all-star talent
98.5% Blue Chip starter talent
99.5%+ Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent

The chance of Olynyk, Kadji and Schroeder being true stars is a lot lower than Bennett. However the chance of one entering that fringe stardom category is excellent, according to these numbers, I forecast there’d be about a 73% chance that at least one of these players hits the  “Blue Chip starter to Perennial all-star talent” category and a 14% chance one becomes a “Perennial all-star talent” and true star. Starting at their position is a near lock.

Grade of 21 (Victor Oladipo, Alex Len, C.J. McCollum)

1.5% Perennial all-star talent
15% Blue Chip starter to Perennial all-star talent
95% Blue Chip starter talent
99.5% Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent
99.5%+ Rotation player talent

These players are superb bets to be good starters with a puncher’s chance at stardom at the next level. These probabilities forecast there’s about a 39% chance at least one of these players becomes a “Blue Chip starter to Perennial all-star talent” category prospect, but a 14.3% chance one of them is a “Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent” instead of a true blue chipper.

Grade of 20 (Jeff Withey, Gorgui Dieng, Jackie Carmichael, Solomon Hill, Tony Snell, Sergey Karasev, Trey Burke, James Southerland, Ben McLemore)
0.5% Perennial all-star talent
5% Blue Chip starter to Perennial all-star talent
85% Blue Chip starter talent
98.5% Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent
99.5%+ Rotation player talent

While on an individual basis these players are overwhelmingly likely to be good starters and no more or no less, but because of the size of this group, these numbers forecast there’s a 47% chance that one of these prospects becomes a “Blue Chip starter to Perennial all-star” category talent and a 4% chance one becomes a “Perennial all-star talent”. The numbers also state that there is a 77% chance at least one falls short of “Blue Chip starter talent” and a 13% chance one falls short of “Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent”. Of this large group, one could very well break through to stardom and one could disappoint, but which ones?

Grade of 19 (Otto Porter, Jamaal Franklin, Lorenzo Brown, Mike Muscala, Nate Wolters, Erick Green)
< 1% Perennial all-star talent
1.5% Blue Chip starter to Perennial all-star talent
65% Blue Chip starter talent
95% Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent
99.5%+ Rotation player talent

The numbers forecast there is only a 9% chance one of these prospects becomes “Blue Chip starter to Perennial all-star”, a 93% chance at least one prospect falls short of “Blue Chip starter talent” and a 26% chance at least one falls short of “Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent”. The risk of falling short of starting or even borderline starting is real for these players, while the upside is realistically a long starting career instead of stardom.

Grade of 18 (Giannis Antetokounmpo, C.J. Leslie, Myck Kabongo, Andre Roberson, Matthew Dellavedova, Lucas Nogueira, Ryan Kelly, Erik Murphy)

< 1% Perennial all-star talent
0.5% Blue Chip starter to Perennial all-star talent
35% Blue Chip starter talent
85% Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent
99.5% Rotation player talent
99.5%+ Deep bench to Rotation player talent

It’s more likely than not these guys fall short of true starting status, settling into fringe status. These numbers forecast a 4% chance of one of these players becoming a “Blue Chip starter to Perennial all-star talent”, a serious longshot. There is a 97% chance at least one of these players is a “Blue Chip starter talent”, but a 27% chance one of these players falls below the “Rotation player to Blue Chip starter” talent category. I forecast there’s a 4% chance according to these numbers that a player in this group falls below “Rotation player talent”.

Grade of 17 (Trevor Mbakwe, Ray McCallum, Michael Carter-Williams, B.J. Young, Glen Rice, Jr., Bojan Dubjlevic, Cody Zeller, Deshaun Thomas, Seth Curry, Grant Jerrett, Pierre Jackson, Michael Snaer)
< 1% Perennial all-star talent
< 1% Blue Chip starter to Perennial all-star talent
15% Blue Chip starter talent
65% Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent
98.5% Rotation player talent
99.5%+ Deep bench to Rotation player talent

Because of the size of this group, I forecast there’s an 86% chance according to these probabilities that at least one of these players is a “Blue Chip starter talent”, but also a 17% chance at least one is a “Deep Bench to Rotation player talent”. Some of these players will be starters and fringe starters, but as many will likely be undisputed bench players, if they stick in a rotation at all.

Grade of 16 (Steven Adams, Adonis Thomas, Shabazz Muhammad, Tim Hardaway, Jr., Nerlens Noel, Isaiah Canaan)
< 1% Perennial all-star talent
< 1% Blue Chip starter to Perennial all-star talent
5% Blue Chip starter talent
35% Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent
95% Rotation player talent
99.5% Deep bench to Rotation player talent

According to these numbers, I forecast a 26% chance of one of these players turning into a “Blue Chip starter talent”. I forecast a 93% chance that at least one of these players is a “Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent”, but a 26% chance one of these players falls short of “Rotation player talent” and becomes a “Deep bench to Rotation player talent”. These players are not guaranteed rotation players or sticking in the NBA, but have a longshot puncher’s chance at starting as well. The most likely scenario is bench contributors, or borderline starting ability.

Grade of 15 (Brandon Davies, Colton Iverson, Nemanja Nedovic, James Ennis, Reggie Bullock, Shane Larkin, Rudy Gobert, Allen Crabbe)
< 1% Perennial all-star talent
< 1% Blue Chip starter to Perennial all-star talent
1.5% Blue Chip starter talent
15% Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent
85% Rotation player talent
98.5% Deep bench to Rotation player talent

These numbers forecast an 11% chance of one of these players becoming a “Blue Chip starter talent” and a 73% chance of at least one player being a “Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent”, or borderline starter. This also forecasts that there’s a 73% chance of one of these players only being a “Deep bench to Rotation player talent”. The numbers also forecast there’s a 11% chance of one of these prospects not even making it to the “Deep Bench to Rotation player talent” threshold of a grade of 12. These players have a Russian roulette chamber caliber danger of not sticking in an NBA rotation or the league long term, but overall still have a more than good chance of being NBA caliber players, whether they’ll stick around long enough to prove it or not.

Grade of 14 (Richard Howell, Ricardo Ledo, Livio Jean-Charles, Alex Abrines, Mason Plumlee, Archie Goodwin)
<1% Perennial all-star talent
<1% Blue Chip starter to perennial all-star talent
0.5% Blue Chip starter talent
5% Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent
65% Rotation player talent
95% Deep bench to Rotation player talent

These numbers forecast a 3% chance of one of these players being a “Blue Chip starter talent” and a 93% chance at least one falls short of “Rotation player talent”, instead”Deep bench to Rotation player talent”. They also forecast a 26% chance that at least one of these players falls short of the “Deep Bench to Rotation player talent” threshold. These players may struggle to establish rotation player status, especially considering it may take them years to develop to reach their talent level, but if they’re not producing immediately, may not be given the leash to get there. They have a reasonable chance of sticking, but it wouldn’t surprise me if any of them fell out of the NBA whether for talent reasons or not.

Grade of 13 (Phil Pressey, Jack Cooley, Peyton Siva, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope)
<1% Perennial all-star talent
<1% Blue Chip starter to Perennial all-star talent
<1% Blue Chip starter talent
1.5% Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent
35% Rotation player talent
85% Deep bench to Rotation player talent

These numbers forecast a 48% chance that at least one prospect falls short of “Deep bench to Rotation player talent”, with a scarce chance at getting past pure bench player and the “Rotation player talent” grade. These players could be out of a rotation spot early in their careers and struggle to get it back.

Grade of 12 (D.J. Stephens, Tony Mitchell)
<1% Perennial all-star talent
<1% Blue Chip starter to Perennial all-star talent
<1% Blue Chip starter talent
0.5% Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent
15% Rotation player talent
65% Deep bench to Rotation player talent

Grade of 11 (nobody in this category)
<1% Perennial all-star talent
<1% Blue Chip starter to Perennial all-star talent
<1% Blue Chip starter talent
<1% Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent
5% Rotation player talent
35% Deep bench to Rotation player talent

Grade of 10 – (Brandon Paul)
<1% Perennial all-star talent
<1% Blue Chip starter to Perennial all-star talent
<1% Blue Chip starter talent
<1% Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent
1.5% Rotation player talent
15% Deep bench to Rotation player talent

These players are longshots to establish themselves as bench rotation players and are at risk of falling short of even fringe status for that. Overall it’s not that these players have no shot at an NBA career, but if they start slowly, it won’t look good.

Part III: Final Rankings

Ok, gun to my head, after taking into account my grades along with other factors like character, health, contract status, how confident I am in my grades about them or their ability to improve, position, etc. here’s how I would rank the 2013 prospects:

1. PF Anthony Bennett

2. PF Kenny Kadji

3. PF Kelly Olynyk

4. PG Dennis Schroeder

5. SG Victor Oladipo

6. PG C.J. McCollum

7. C Jeff Withey

8. C Gorgui Dieng

9. SF Sergey Karasev

10. SF Solomon Hill

11. SF Tony Snell

12. PF James Southerland

13. PG Trey Burke

14. SG Ben McLemore

15. PF Jackie Carmichael

16. C Alex Len

17. SF Otto Porter

18. PG Nate Wolters

19. SG Jamaal Franklin

20. PG Lorenzo Brown

21. C Mike Muscala

22. PG Erick Green

23. SF Giannis Antetokounmpo

24. PG Myck Kabongo

25. PF Andre Roberson

26. PF Lucas Nogueira

27. PG Matthew Dellavedova

28. PF Erik Murphy

29. C Ryan Kelly

30. PF Trevor Mbakwe

31. PF Cody Zeller

32. SG Glen Rice, Jr.

33. PF C.J. Leslie

34. PG Ray McCallum

35. PG Michael Carter-Williams

36. SG B.J. Young

37. SG Tim Hardaway, Jr.

38. C Bojan Dubjlevic

39. PF Grant Jerrett

40. PF Deshaun Thomas

41. SG Michael Snaer

42. SG Seth Curry

43. PG Pierre Jackson

44. C Steven Adams

45. SF Adonis Thomas

46. SF Shabazz Muhammad

47. C Colton Iverson

48. SF James Ennis

49. SF Reggie Bullock

50. PF Brandon Davies

51. C Rudy Gobert

52. SG Allen Crabbe

53. C Nerlens Noel

54. PG Isaiah Canaan

55. SG Nemanja Nedovic

56. PG Shane Larkin

57. SG Ricardo Ledo

58. PF Richard Howell

59. PF Livio Jean-Charles

60. SG Alex Abrines

61. C Mason Plumlee

62. C Jack Cooley

63. SG Archie Goodwin

64. PG Peyton Siva

65. SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

66. PG Phil Pressey

67. PF D.J. Stephens

68. PF Tony Mitchell

69. PG Brandon Paul

Part IV: Final thoughts

I haven’t ranked this many prospects or this closely in a draft before, so I’m not sure whether it’s just me or the year – but the depth of this draft looks freakish. Clearly it won’t really have 45-50 rotation players, it’d be too out of line with normal draft standards, on average  in the 20-25 range for rotation players. I’ll say the most likely situation is there’s a number of NBA talents who slip through the cracks. Because some players need thousands of minutes before reaching their talent level, many of these players with 8th or 9th man talent may not play like it immediately, eventually developing in an international league unsure to return to the NBA. Still, there should be a lot of NBA players from this draft and a lot of starters. In regards to stardom with one player I feel confident about in Bennett and the likelihood at least one of the players underneath breaks through to star status or fringe star status, I’d say it won’t lack for stars either in the end. Overall this seems like an excellent draft.

Compared to my draft ratings a year ago, the confidence I have in the methods I used this year is night and day, in particular knowing what to look for to make feel for the game ratings and skill impact (shoot, post, pass) ratings. This also helped me change my assumptions, for example realizing Cody Zeller’s feel for the game is more underwhelming than his reputation, is a nuance I wouldn’t have seen last year. . I expect next year my ratings are more consistent from the start of the year to the end based on the methods I have now. But for the most part the most important change was just more time, also allowing me to rate more prospects

Thanks for reading! Enjoy the draft, the best day of the year!

2013 NBA Draft Talent Grades: The Power Forwards

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2013 NBA Draft Rankings: The Small Forwards

2013 NBA Draft Rankings: The Shooting Guards

2013 NBA Draft Rankings: The Point Guards

Here are my grades for the Power Forwards in the 2013 NBA Draft. The PFs I felt worth it or comfortable ranking were Anthony Bennett, Cody Zeller, Kelly Olynyk, Tony Mitchell, C.J. Leslie, Jackie Carmichael, Erik Murphy, James Southerland, Deshaun Thomas, Grant Jerrett, Kenny Kadji, Brandon Davies, D.J. Stephens, Dario Saric, Livio Jean-Charles, Richard Howell. (Nerlens Noel, Jeff Withey, Mason Plumlee, Gorgui Dieng, Lucas Nogueira, Mike Muscala, Ryan Kelly are among the debatable position players included as Cs)

My grades are from 1 to 11 in 3 categories: Physical impact talent, skill impact (shoot, post, pass) talent and feel for the game talent. The grades go by this rubric:

11: Transcendent, 10: Incredible 9: Elite, 8: Great, 7: Very good, 6: Decent, 5: Average, 4: Lacking, 3: Weak, 2: Very poor, 1: Awful

What the overall grades mean:

25+: Perennial all-star talent, 23-24: Blue Chip starter to Perennial all-star talent, 19-22: Blue Chip starter talent, 17-18: Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent, 14-16: Rotation player talent, 12-13: Deep bench to rotation player talent, 11 or lower: Deep bench player talent

Here are my grades in the 3 categories first, before getting to individual breakdowns:

Physical impact talent grades:

Anthony Bennett: 9 / Elite

Jackie Carmichael: 7 / Very good

C.J. Leslie: 7 / Very good

D.J. Stephens: 7 / Very good

Kenny Kadji: 7 / Very good

Kelly Olynyk: 6 / Decent

Tony Mitchell: 6 / Decent

Cody Zeller: 5 / Average

Livio Jean-Charles: 3 / Weak

Richard Howell: 3 / Weak

James Southerland: 3 / Weak

Dario Saric: 2 / Very poor

Grant Jerrett: 2 / Very poor

Brandon Davies: 2 / Very poor

Erik Murphy: 1 / Awful

Deshaun Thomas: 1 / Awful

Bennett leads the way for physical impact with his elite explosiveness, strength and the ballhandling to attack the basket off the dribble. Leslie and Stephens are arguably the two most explosive athletes of the group, but their skinny frames hurt their finishing talent. Carmichael has an impressive all around combination of explosiveness and strength. Kadji, Olynyk can get to the rim. Zeller slightly trails them due to ballhandling problems. Mitchell has a vertical, strength and length. The rest of the PFs are below the rim or stretch bigs.

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grades:

Anthony Bennett: 8 / Great

Deshaun Thomas: 8 / Great

Erik Murphy: 8 / Great

Grant Jerrett: 8 / Great

James Southerland: 8 / Great

Kelly Olynyk: 7 / Very good

Jackie Carmichael: 7 / Very good

Cody Zeller: 7 / Very good

Kenny Kadji: 7 / Very good

Tony Mitchell: 5 / Average

Dario Saric: 5 / Average

Livio Jean-Charles: 5 / Average

Brandon Davies: 5 / Average

Richard Howell: 4 / Lacking

C.J. Leslie: 4 / Lacking

D.J. Stephens: 3 / Weak

There are a slew of PFs with NCAA 3pt range such as Bennett, Thomas, Murphy, Jerrett, Southerland, Bennett is the least trustworthy shooter of the group but having the most post potential. Olynyk has solid midrange shooting and touch around the basket. Zeller likewise appears to have midrange potential, along with post touch. Carmichael has an excellent post game and signs of a solid shooting game. Kadji hit NCAA 3s and post touch, though his FT shooting put some doubt into whether he can hit NBA 3s. While I hesitate to give any players too low a grade in skill impact (shoot, post, pass) talent due to development, the rest of the PFs are a work in progress. Saric, Jean-Charles, Davies, Howell, Leslie appear to have touch but not range. Stephens is the most raw skill player of the group, only finishing around the rim.

Feel for the Game talent grades:

Dario Saric: 10 / Incredible

Kelly Olynyk: 9 / Elite

Brandon Davies: 9 / Elite

Anthony Bennett: 8 / Great

Deshaun Thomas: 8 / Great

Erik Murphy: 8 / Great

Kenny Kadji: 7 / Very good

Cody Zeller: 7 / Very good

Jackie Carmichael: 7 / Very good

Grant Jerrett: 7 / Very good

James Southerland: 7 / Very good

Richard Howell: 7 / Very good

Livio Jean-Charles: 7 / Very good

C.J. Leslie – 7 / Very good

Tony Mitchell: 2 / Very poor

D.J. Stephens: 2/ Very poor

Saric leads the way in feel for the game, along with Porter the only player in the class I’ve given a feel for the game grade of 10 or higher to, as a rare, rare brand of special talent in the category. Olynyk and Davies are the next most impressive with their endlessly smooth, crafty games. Bennett, Thomas, Murphy, Kadji, Zeller, Carmichael, Jerrett, Southerland, Howell, Jean-Charles, Leslie all impress me in the category, showing fluidity and natural offensive feel. Mitchell and Stephens are the weak links, as largely stiff and raw athletes.

Individual rankings

Perennial all-star talent grades (Grades 25 or higher)

Anthony Bennett

Physical impact talent grade: 9 / Elite

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 8 / Great

Feel for the Game talent grade: 8 / Great

Total talent grade: 25 (Perennial all-star talent grade)

My highest grading player in the draft, Bennett performs strongly in all three categories. His physical impact talent is significant with a combination of explosiveness, ballhandling, strength and length. This gives him a dynamic upside attacking the basket off the dribble and finishing.

Bennett is a smooth, fluid offensive player with a degree of craftiness off the dribble. His feel for the game is clear cut above average.

Finally, Bennett has shooting range out to the NCAA 3pt. With good FT%, he should at least be a midrange shooter in the NBA with developing 3pt range in play. In addition to this he has all the tools to add a post game later in his career with a huge strength level, low center of gravity and excellent touch. If he adds a 3pt shot, post game or both, my prsent skill impact (shoot, post, pass) talent grade would be too low. It’d be too high if he only ended up an inconsistent midrange shooter.

With the upside to attack the basket, hit the perimeter shot and play in the post, Bennett has a huge offensive upside. In my opinion he’s the biggest star material in this draft. In addition I see him as the most surefire starter. Even if his shooting and post game ends up underhwelming, his athleticism, strength, feel and ballhandling make him a near surefire starting PF.

Blue Chip starter talent grades (Grades between 19-22)

Kelly Olynyk

Physical impact talent grade: 6 / Decent

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 7 / Very good

Feel for the Game talent grade: 9 / Elite

Total talent grade: 22 (Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Olynyk’s strength is his elite feel for the game. A tremendously smooth, fluid and crafty player, he makes everything look easy and natural.

Kelly’s skill impact (shoot, post, pass) talent is also impressive. He has a perimeter jumpshot, can create jumpshots off the dribble and excellent touch around the rim. It’s unclear whether he has NBA 3pt shooting potential, but he should have some semblance of a perimeter jumpshot, enough for an above average skill impact (shoot, post, past) talent grade for a PF.

Olynyk also has the ability to attack the basket off the dribble with a strong first step and ballhandling ability. His speed in transition and ability to finish vertically also shows his athleticism.

If the ability to attack the basket off the dribble and his shooting game translates, with his feel it should make him a starting PF in the NBA. With an NBA 3 which would push my skill impact (shoot, post, pass) talent grade higher it’d push him near star status, while his status as a starter may get dicey if he doesn’t have a perimeter jumpshot in the NBA. I see Olynyk as one of the best prospects in the draft.

Jackie Carmichael

Physical impact talent grade: 7 / Very good

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 7 / Very good

Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good

Total talent grade: 21 (Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Jackie Carmichael has an impressive combination of explosiveness and strength, allowing him to attack the basket with force. Better ballhandling could help him physically impact the game more. With respectable size for a PF, Carmichael’s physical impact talent to me is at least decent.

Carmichael’s strength and touch gives him an effective back the basket and mid-post skill game. He has a semblance of a perimeter shot, but needs to improve his range. Carmichael has the touch, signs of a shot and post game to get an above average skill impact (shoot, post, pass) talent grade. If his post and shooting game doesn’t translate, his skill impact may be closer to average than this grade. However it could also be more impressive if he established a legitimate 15-20 foot game.

Carmichael also has an above average feel for the game, showing real craftiness around the basket and adjusting his plays, along with defensive instincts.

Jackie Carmichael has an excellent chance at starting at PF. He has strength, athleticism, a post game, signs of a shot and a good feel. In addition, his toughness and intangibles seems a strength.

Kenny Kadji

Physical impact talent grade: 7 / Very good

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 7 / Very good

Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good

Total talent grade: 21 (Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Kadji is a nice all around talent. He had the 3 point shot as a weapon in the NCAA, albeit a 66.1% FT gives some worry to his mechanics. Still, it makes midrange shooting likely. Kadji also has the size to make some plays in the post and develop in that area in the NBA. Overall, it’s worthy of a decent skill impact (shoot, post, pass) talent grade.

Kenny also has a solid ability to attack the basket thanks to his first step. Solid strength also helps him finish at the basket. I see this as worth as solid physical talent impact grade.

Finally, Kadji is also a relatively smooth, feel for the game friendly player.

Kadji isn’t dominant in any category, but with athleticism and strength, a perimeter shot, some post potential and a feel for the game, I see his chance at starting at PF as solid. He’d fall short of that if I overestimated his shooting skill or ability to attack the basket off the dribble.

Cody Zeller

Physical impact talent grade: 5 / Average

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 7 / Very good

Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good

Total talent grade: 19 (Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Zeller has quick feet, though a skinny frame and average ballhandling diminishes his ability to attack the basket off the dribble and physically impact the game. Nevertheless, average to decent physical impact talent seems fair.

Cody has excellent touch around the rim and the length to have a post game at PF. While his jumpshot is unproven, solid FT mechanics shows he has the potential to add a midrange shot.

Finally Zeller also has an above average feel for the game with instincts and ability to recognize space well.

Zeller has the skill, feel and athleticism to be a starter in the NBA. To lock up that status, he needs either his post game, shooting or both to translate well. If just a finisher at the rim he may struggle to hold his starting spot.

Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grades (Grades between 17-18)

C.J. Leslie

Physical impact talent grade: 7 / Very good

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 4 / Lacking

Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good

Total talent grade: 18 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Leslie is one of the best athletes in the draft. He has an incredible first step and excellent agility for a power forward. However while this helps him get to the rim, he’s also skinny for a PF which may hurt his finishing.

C.J. also has an above average feel for the game. He is a fluid and natural offensive player who recognizes space well when attacking.

Leslie has problems as a skill player. Aside from a lack of a post game because of his frame, he also has a lack of a perimeter shooting game. His touch around the rim however is solid.

Leslie is an impressive talent because of his rare combination of explosiveness and feel. If his perimeter skill develops he can establish himself as a long term starting PF in the NBA. There are concerns about whether Leslie sees himself as more of a SF and may shy away from attacking the basket and he is known as having an enigmatic motor. However I see his talent as legitimate.

James Southerland

Physical impact talent grade: 3 / Weak

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 8 / Great

Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good

Total talent grade: 18 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Deshaun Thomas

Physical impact talent grade: 1 / Awful

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 8 / Great

Feel for the Game talent grade: 8 / Great

Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Erik Murphy

Physical impact: 1 / Awful

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 8 / Great

Feel for the Game talent grade: 8 / Great

Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Grant Jerrett

Physical impact talent grade: 2 / Very poor

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 8 / Great

Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good

Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Southerland, Thomas, Murphy, Jerrett are similar prospects. All are stretch 4s, with range out to the NCAA 3pt in college and impressive FT% near 80% for bigs, a good sign for their range translating. All also have a smooth, fluid feel for the game. However, in classic stretch 4 fashion, their weakness is lacking the ability to create offense attacking the basket off the dribble. If their perimeter shooting translates, I expect very solid rotation players in the NBA. Elite 3 point shooting may even make them starters. However if their shooting falls off, their minutes and consistent place on a team could be in more jeopardy.

Dario Saric

Physical impact talent grade: 2 / Very poor

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 5 / Average

Feel for the Game talent grade: 10 / Incredible

Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Saric is an absolutely amazing feel for the game. He has a fluidity, instincts, anticipation and recognition of other players borderline on “basketball genius” territory.

However he is to an extent a one trick pony. His athleticism and strength level is poor and he’s used to playing on the perimeter, making it unlikely he physically impacts the game well at PF. Furthermore he also has a poor jumpshot even for a big man, albeit is a good passer. Giving his development the benefit of the doubt I don’t give him a rock bottom skill impact (shoot, post, pass) talent grade, instead settling on average.

If Saric can get his perimeter shooting game in order to become more of a stretch big, he can approach starting status in the NBA because of the feel to compliment it. However if his skill game ends up near broken and lower than I graded him, he may be a stricter bench player. He is an intriguing player but I’m hesitant to say more than that, despite his amazing feel for the game.

Rotation player talent grades (Grades between 14-16)

Brandon Davies

Physical impact talent grade: 2 / Very poor

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 5 / Average

Feel for the Game talent grade: 9 / Elite

Total: 16 (Rotation player talent grade)

Davies has an elite feel for the game only surpassed by Saric and matching Olynyk’s. One of those players who’s smoothness and easy, watery nature to his game jumps off the screen.

The rest of his talent is not great. He does have strong touch around the rim, though a lack of strength may prevent a consistent post game and he’s yet to prove he can be a perimeter shooter. His touch is enough for an average skill impact (shoot, post, pass) grade.

His weakness is physical impact talent with unimpressive athleticism and strength making him a likely below the rim PF.

Davies feel makes him a likely rotation player in the NBA. If he can develop a perimeter shooting game, he has a chance to make a run at a starting spot at the NBA.

Livio Jean-Charles

Physical impact talent grade: 3 / Weak

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 5 / Average

Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good

Total talent grade: 15 (Rotation player talent grade)

Richard Howell

Physical impact talent grade: 3 / Weak

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 4 / Lacking

Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good

Total talent grade: 14 (Rotation player talent grade)

These two prospects look to be similar to Davies, highlighted by a smooth feel to their games but struggling to showcase talent after that. Both are below the rim athletes and have untested skill games outside of finishing around the rim. The instincts and touch should keep them in the NBA.

Deep bench to rotation player talent grades (Grades between 12-13)

Tony Mitchell

Physical impact talent grade: 6 / Decent

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 5 / Average

Feel for the Game talent grade: 2 / Very poor

Total talent grade: 13 (Deep bench to rotation player talent grades)

Tony Mitchell’s reputation is that of an elite athlete, but he’s one of those players who looks exceptionally athletic in out of game dunks, but his in-game athleticism disappointed me. His first step, agility and quickness off his feet look mediocre. With that said especially when his strength and length is considered, a grade below decent in physical impact talent seems unfounded.

Mitchell appears to love taking perimeter shots, but it’s yet to be seen whether he has the mechanics to translate that game at the next level. His post game and touch appears raw.

His weakness is a poor feel for the game. He is not a natural, smooth player and plays a low IQ game.

I still see Mitchell as having upside to be better than this, if he develops a strong perimeter shooting game or if my low physical impact grade for his reputation, ends up inaccurate. However reported poor intangibles are another reason to be cool on Mitchell. Overall Mitchell has enough flaws that I wouldn’t be interested in him.

D.J. Stephens

Physical impact talent grade: 7 / Very good

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 3 / Weak

Feel for the Game talent grade: 2 / Very poor

Total talent grade: 12 (Deep bench to rotation player talent grade)

Stephens may the best athlete in the draft, his explosiveness is otherworldly. That’s where his strengths end. Physically he is undersized in height and weight. He doesn’t appear to have a natural feel for the game. Finally his skill game is untested outside of finishing garbage buckets at the rim, which may be difficult at his height and weight.

Stephens is so athletic that such as a player like Jeremy Evans, it may be enough for him to land a roster spot for a number of years. However I expect his inevitable dunk contest appearance will be a bigger highlight than any of his on-court minutes.

Total talent grade: 12

Factors outside of talent grades: Bennett has been banged up in high school and college. Leslie and Mitchell are known as having an enigmatic motor and possibly preferring to play PF. Jean-Charles and Saric may have buyout issues bringing them to the NBA. I have seen little of Jean-Charles and Jerrett and don’t have great confidence in my grades of them. Of these players Davies seems the only one unlikely to have a shot at playing another position, everyone else potentially getting minutes at SF or C.

If ranking these PFs by upside, I would order it: 1. Anthony Bennett 2. Kelly Olynyk 3. C.J. Leslie 4. Kenny Kadji 5. Cody Zeller 6. Jackie Carmichael 7. Dario Saric 8. James Southerland 9. Grant Jerrett 10. Tony Mitchell 11. Livio Jean-Charles 12. Brandon Davies 13. Deshaun Thomas 14. Erik Murphy 15. D.J. Stephens 16. Richard Howell. Leslie and Mitchell’s raw brand of athleticism does well here, while Saric, Jean-Charles, Jarrett are relative winners here due to unpredictability as I don’t have the greatest grasp on them. If ranking by downside (A high ranking is better), I’d order it: 1. Anthony Bennett 2. Kelly Olynyk 3. Jackie Carmichael 4. Kenny Kadji 5. Cody Zeller 6. Erik Murphy 7. Deshaun Thomas 8. Brandon Davies 9. James Southerland 10. Dario Saric 11. Grant Jerrett 12. C.J. Leslie 13. Richard Howell 14. Livio Jean-Charles 15. D.J. Stephens 16. Tony Mitchell. I feel relatively confident in what Murphy, Thomas, Davis, Southerland will do in the NBA, so they rate well in my downside rankings.

My final rankings of the PFs and where I’d consider taking them:

1. Anthony Bennett (top 3)
2. Kelly Olynyk (top 3)
3. Kenny Kadji (top 10)
4. Jackie Carmichael (top 10)
5. Cody Zeller (top 14)
6. C.J. Leslie (top 20)
7. James Southerland (top 30)
8. Grant Jerrett (top 30)
9. Deshaun Thomas (top 30)
10. Erik Murphy (top 30)
11. Dario Saric (top 30)
12. Brandon Davies (top 30)
13. Livio Jean-Charles (top 40)
14. Richard Howell (top 40)
15. Tony Mitchell (top 50)
16. D.J. Stephens (top 60)

My cumulative rankings (I’ve ranked PGs, SGs, SF and PFs so far) and where I’d consider taking them:

1. PF Anthony Bennett (top 3)
2. SG Victor Oladipo (top 3)
3. PF Kelly Olynyk (top 3)
4. PF Kenny Kadji (top 10)
5. PG C.J. McCollum (top 10)
6. PF Jackie Carmichael (top 10)
7. SG Ben McLemore (top 10)
8. SF Tony Snell (top 10)
9. SF Otto Porter (top 10)
10. SF Sergey Karasev (top 10)
11. PG Trey Burke (top 10)
12. PG Lorenzo Brown (top 14)
13. PF Cody Zeller (top 14)
14. PG Matthew Dellavedova (top 14)
15. SF Solomon Hill (top 14)
16. PG Myck Kabongo (top 20)
17. SG B.J. Young (top 20)
18. PF C.J. Leslie (top 20)
19. SG Jamaal Franklin (top 20)
20. SF Giannis Antetokoumpo (top 20)
21. SG Seth Curry (top 20)
22. PG Erick Green (top 20)
23. PG Shane Larkin (top 20)
24. PG Nate Wolters (top 20)
25. PG Isaiah Canaan (top 20)
26. PG Pierre Jackson (top 20)
27. PF James Southerland (top 30)
28. SG Glen Rice, Jr. (top 30)
29. SG Tim Hardaway, Jr. (top 30)
30. SF Shabazz Muhammad (top 30)
31. PF Grant Jerrett (top 30)
32. PF Deshaun Thomas (top 30)
33. PF Erik Murphy (top 30)
34. PF Dario Saric (top 30)
35. PF Brandon Davies (top 30)
36. SF Adonis Thomas (top 30)
37. SG Ricardo Ledo (top 30)
38. PG Michael Carter-Williams (top 40)
39. PG Dennis Schroeder (top 40)
40. SF Reggie Bullock (top 40)
41. SG Archie Goodwin (top 40)
42. SG Allen Crabbe (top 40)
43. SG Alex Abrines (top 40)
44. PF Livio Jean-Charles (top 40)
45. PF Richard Howell (top 40)
46. PF Tony Mitchell (top 50)
47. PG Phil Pressey (top 50)
48. PG Ray McCallum (top 50)
49. SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (top 50)
50. PF D.J. Stephens (top 60)
51. SG Brandon Paul (undrafted)

Do Gorgui Dieng and Kelly Olynyk have star potential?

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USD Toreros vs Gonzaga Bulldogs 02-02-13 Kelly...

USD Toreros vs Gonzaga Bulldogs 02-02-13 Kelly Olynyk (Photo credit: SD Dirk)

When making my early draft rankings this year, two players I neglected to grade are Gorgui Dieng and Kelly Olynyk. I don’t have an excuse other than I didn’t go out of my way to scout and grade them because I bought the assumption they weren’t good enough.

After looking closer at them, I’m convinced both are outstanding prospects. Enough to rank in my top 5 for this draft.

Breaking it down:

Gorgui Dieng

Physical impact: Dieng is impressive here. At 6’10 with a 7’4 wingspan, he has the length to be a shotblocker at either PF or C. He has impressive mobility and explosiveness and a solid frame, increasing his chance of playing C. Due to the rarity of athletic shotblockers who can play in the frontcourt, I see his physical impact talent as cleanly above average, if not elite in the NBA.

Skill impact: Labelled an anti-skill player, I find his toolset more promising. The key is he has a jumpshot with 20 foot range, similar to Serge Ibaka’s shot. He also can make turnaround jumpshots and a few hooks in the post, albeit without great size to hold position may struggle in the post in the NBA. Not a great finisher around the rim. Excellent passer for a C. I wouldn’t call Gorgui a standout skill player at the next level, but if his shot and passing translates I’d call him a respectable skill player.

Feel for the Game: Arguably more of a strength than his physical talents. Among the NCAA’s most intelligent defenders and plays a smooth and natural offensive game. His excellent feel and instincts is why I wouldn’t call him a raw offensive player.

Here is a standout game for Dieng this year

At 0:07 he shows smooth feel by driving to the basket after a fake, then finishing

At 0:15, 0:55 and 1:40 he shows his passing talent

At 0:21 and 1:16 he hits a long 2 point jumpshot

At 0:38, 1:00, 1:10, 1:47 and 2:03 he shows his athletic tools by blocking shots

At 1:31 he executes an impressive turnaround jumper out of the post

At 1:50 he shows some speed and feel driving the basket, albeit needs 2 attempts to finish

Dieng has an impressive combination of talents. I give him a grade of 8 in physical impact talent due to his athleticism and shotblocking, 5 in skill impact talent due to his reasonable perimeter shot and moves inside and 9 in feel for the game for his instincts and smoothness. This adds up to 22 – which is a terrific number, one near perennial all-star status. In fact since the C position isn’t known for its skills, if he plays there and has a consistent perimeter shot – my grading for him in skill could be undercutting him. On the other end, if his shotblocking doesn’t project like I expect, he may have less of a physical impact than I see right now.

Looking past how he’s been ignored for his age (23) and lack of points per game in college, the tools are there for Dieng. He has impact athleticism and shotblocking potential, an intelligent feel and the makings of an inside-outside skill game, which when added to his feel and fluidity, could be deadly. That’s a huge package of tools.

Kelly Olynyk

Physical impact: Known as Olynyk’s weakness. But while he’s not hulking in strength, Olynyk’s speed is impressive. One of the fastest bigs up the court and has blow-by ability in the halfcourt due to his first step and ballhandling. Underrated vertical explosiveness, he is capable of a poster above the rim. If he can use his ability to attack the basket facing the basket, he can physically impact the game at the pro level at a respectable level.

Skill impact: Has a terrific perimeter shooting game for a PF/C, with a chance to extend his range to the 3 point line. He is just as good a post player, but with his frame I wouldn’t expect him to hold position well in the post. Superb finisher around the rim however. Perimeter shooting bigs grade very well in skill impact for their position, thus Olynyk looks quite good here.

Feel for the Game: Olynyk’s strongest category. Among the league’s smoothest offensive players and a natural carving up space against defenses. Makes a lot of plays off instincts and playing at an easy pace.

Here is draftexpress.com’s video of Olynyk

From 0:53 to 1:20, the “Running the Floor” section, it shows Olynyk’s speed up the court and finishing

From 1:20 to 3:17, the “Off the Dribble” and “Pick and Roll sections, it shows Olynyk’s first step in the halfcourt as he blows by defenders to the rim

At 3:12, he has his most impressive athletic play of the season, a huge one handed poster

3:17 to 6:28 shows a variety of Olynyk’s scores around the rim. Much of these plays don’t look like they’re be effective against NBA competition physically, but their smoothness is evidence of excellent feel for the game

6:28 to 7:20 shows Olynyk’s very good perimeter shooting ability

I give Olynyk a grade of 6 in physical impact for his ability to blow-by defenders and attack the basket. I grade him an 8 in skill impact for his perimeter shooting game, seemingly a good bet for knockdown midrange ability if not 3 point range – as well as skill around the basket. Finally, I confidently grade him a 9 in feel for the game due to his natural instincts and fluidity. This score is 23. Like Dieng, a superb number. If Olynyk became a knockdown 3 point shooter, I’d likely bump that skill impact grade up. His potential slashing using his blow-by ability, may also be better than I gave him the grade for. His most likely scenario of falling below my project is my physical impact grade ending up too high and Olynyk sticking to perimeter jumpshots, or his shooting game somehow not translating. I’d say Olynyk has conceivable star potential. His perimeter skill and feel looks so good, that if he can take defenders off the dribble attacking the basket, he’d have a complete offensive game.

This will be far from the last I say of Dieng and Olynyk – these are unique, great prospects! Olynyk looks to be getting enough buzz to go in the lottery or top 10, but it remains to be seen whether Dieng’s buzz picks up. With the NBA’s love affari with athletic bigs and shotblockers, surely someone will have interest or notice he also has offensive potential? Perhaps his low ranking on mock drafts, is from teams not revealing information about how they high are on him.

Written by jr.

March 25, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Posted in Basketball, NBA Draft

Tagged with , ,