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2022 NBA Draft Prelude


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My always fluid top 3:

1)Jabari Smith - Excellent defender who can guard the 3/4 and switch 1-4.  That is a big skill in todays perimeter happy game.  Also shoots 42% from three on high volume, 5.5 attempts per game.  Has some warts though, like all of this years prospects.  His is a total lack of game going to the rim.  Zero handle, I mean he barely even dribbles.

2) Bennedict Mathurin - This wont be popular at all.  But we are trying to predict who is the best player 5 years from now, not today.  He has that size you want in a wing at 6'7" 195 pounds.  Athletic and explosive.  Only shooting 37% from three which isn't very good for college.  But he has a really pretty jump shot.  He takes some bad/forced shots being the teams #1 option.  Clean that up and the shooting% goes up a bit.  Knock on him is he isn't the hottest defender and can not create for others.  He is a good shot creator for himself though and an excellent cutter.  Moves extremely well off the ball.  He will get Cade another assist or two each game just with his cutting.  Did I mention explosive?

 

3 - Nobody,  yet.  You could put 5 different guys here.  All have intriguing upside and all have massive bust potential.  

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Shaedon Sharpe is the wildcard in this draft.  Attends Kentucky, and attends is the key word there.  He reclassified to enroll early and hasn't played.  Nobody knows if he will be eligible for the draft and nobody knows if he will declare even if he is.  He would jump into my top 3 if he is eligible and he declares.

Sam Vecenie currently has him at #5 on his big board.  Here is some things he says about him.

What’s next for Kentucky, Shaedon Sharpe with NBA Draft decision looming?

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Sharpe is a 6-foot-6 wing with long arms and all sorts of explosive athleticism. He’s twitchy, and looks every bit like the kind of shot creator wing that NBA teams covet.  He plays above the rim with real vertical pop (particularly off of two feet), manifesting itself in Sharpe living on the highlight reel by catching lobs and running out in transition for easy finishes. But he’s also quick and laterally adept as an athlete, in addition to having real body control and fluidity. He doesn’t just possess that athleticism: He actually gets a lot out of it on the court. He has a good first step, and can drive to the rim in a straight line with ease. He has good contact balance, for the most part, for his age. He’s not quite in the Anthony Edwards class of powerful, and not quite in the Jalen Green class in terms of quick-twitch. But he’s a real, above-average NBA athlete even as a shot creator.

The place where Sharpe has most matured over the years, though, is as a pull-up shot creator. He has a ton of craft getting to his 3-point shot off the bounce, with all sorts of different footwork improvements that allow him to stay balanced while separating from defenders. He’ll pull out side-step, step-back 3s off of crossovers to both his left or (for righties, the more difficult side) his right. He has a soft touch, and the ball comes out of his hand cleanly. Per Synergy Sports, in Sharpe’s 12 games at Peach Jam this past year, he scored a pretty ridiculous 81 points on an awesome 47.5 effective field goal percentage – especially given the average difficulty of his attempts. His 6.8 points per game off of pull-ups in the half court led Peach Jam, and he was the sixth-most efficient player on such shots out of the 25 who took at least 40 over the course of the event. On top of that, he also made 72.2 percent of his shots at the rim in half-court settings at the event, a better mark than any other player who competed at the 17U level at the event who took at least 30 such shots, including the bigs. Basically, Sharpe puts pressure on the rim as a cutter and driver, as well as makes pull-up shots. It’s hard to overestimate how impressive it is to find a combination of those skills at the teenage level.

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Hongbit said:

Interested to get thoughts on Ivey vs Mathurin.   I don’t have a solid opinion yet of which I like better.  

Not a huge fan of Ivey in the top 5.  Not great size, not much of a handle, low BBIQ.  Gets tunnel vision a bit and just tries to get to the hoop no matter what, and I understand that with his athletic ability.  He shot below 30% from three in Big Ten play.  Doesn't play much defense.  I like him better if Detroit falls a bit.

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4 minutes ago, RandyMarsh said:

I don't know what to make of Paulo and how his game will translate to the NBA but after watching him yesterday against State it just left me wondering "How can he not be the number 1 pick?" 

He would have been if he was born 30 years earlier.  Teams don't value his skillset as much as they do a perimeter guy.  He cant shoot the three, will never be a defensive anchor and his back to the basket game will slow your offense to a crawl.  His midrange is nice, but that is the worst spot on the floor to take a shot from.

Not a bad player.  Just born in the wrong era.  

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8 minutes ago, buddha said:

whither chet holmgren?

shaun bradley 2.0 or evan mobley with a handle?

Probably somewhere in-between.

He has some legit skills but I wonder if his frame will ever let him showcase them in the NBA.  Look at Mobley and how much he struggles with heavier centers right now.  I don't mean Embiid or Jokic, I'm talking average guys like Horford.  And Mobley has a good 20 pounds on Chet.  Plus Mobley is in a totally different universe when it comes to perimeter mobility.  When Cleveland is completely healthy he is guarding the opposing teams SF every night.  That is pretty crazy for a legit seven footer.

 

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In regards to the race, with Orlando's win last night they now tied us in the win column for the 2nd spot. Okc is in the 4th with 1 more win than both of them and Houston is in the pole position with 2 less wins. I don't know if Houston will even win 2 more games the rest of the way so I think they will safely finish with the worst record. 

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I've been watching most of the Madness games with the top prospects and right now my board looks like:

#1 - Jabari Smith Jr - Could be the best shooter in the entire first round with real NBA range right now. Solid defender, but I saw him getting blown by on the perimeter more than once so I'm not sure about his lateral footspeed on switches. I don't think he'll be a lock down defender, but I'd project him as above average overall. Plays more like a SF in a PFs body, so don't expect a rim-runner, slasher, or paint player. People love the KD comparison due to body type and shooting, but I think a 6'10" version of Klay might be the comp I'd go with. I'm not sure he projects as a superstar (not sure anyone in this draft does, although history says there will probably be one), but I think he has a very high floor and an All-Star (though not All-Star starter) ceiling.

#2 - Jaden Ivey - Explosive speed and lift. Can get to the bucket for a foul or drive and kick at will. Shooting improved a lot this year, but still streaky. Went from 25% from three last year to 36% this year - very similar numbers to Donovan Mitchell and Ja Morant in college. Better shooter off the catch than off the dribble. Not a lead guard (unlike Ja), but we don't need that since we have Cade. He's 6'4" with nice length, strength, and elite athleticism to guard the other team's best perimeter player and take the defensive pressure off of Cade. Defense is a mixed bag right now, but has the potential and shows it when he locks in on a player (reminds me of Hami a bit in that way). Lower floor than Jabari Smith, but higher upside. He's a better version of Hami right with his shooting and skills as a secondary creator - and that's his floor in my eyes. His ceiling is a 3" taller version of Donovan Mitchell, and that's the intrigue for me next to Cade - Fire and Ice.

#3 - Benedict Mathurin - Again, this team needs athleticism in a big way. Mathurin projects as a good shooter and tremendous athlete. I need to watch more before I can form a deeper opinion than that, but I'll take his upside over the remaining players for many of the same reasons I gave for Ivey.

#4 - Still thinking about this...

Others:

Chet - I don't buy him as an NBA player and I'd rather let someone else take the chance. If Jabari is off the board and I'm staring at Chet, I'm trading down to collect more assets and grab Ivey or Mathurin instead. Let's just start with: Who does he guard in the NBA? You can't play him at Center because he's going to get eaten alive. Watch his minutes against Jalen Duren in the last game and you'll get a sample of what's going to happen against NBA bodies. Nearly all of Chet's stats came when Duren was on the bench. The only way he's successful is if you can play him at the 4 or the 3 like Giannis/KD where his length is an asset. Problem is, he doesn't have the kind of athleticism or footspeed to guard the perimeter like those guys. When I watch him play I just see a lot of "tall guy in college" stats. I also look at draft history for the past 10 years and see very few All-Star big men taken in the top 3. I don't want to be the team that takes Bagley over Luka or Trey because big guys can make it look so easy in college. Even a guy like Garza can dominate in college just through sheer size and tenacity.

Banchero - Another guy I'm not sure translates fully to the NBA. That strength is nothing compared to NBA players, so he loses that advantage. What's left? He's not a lights-out shooter. He's slow on the defensive end. He has high usage for his position. He's not a great athlete. I'd rather take a shot on someone like Ivey, Mathurin, or others.

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The Pistons should be concentrating on one thing in this draft and that is shooting.  Do not draft anyone that can't stroke it at a decent rate.  We have our star now surround him players that will punish opposing teams for doubling him.

The Pistons are currently the second worst 3PT shooting team in the league at 32.9%.  It gets worse.   On 3PTA's where the closest defender is 6+ feet away, basically a wide open 3PTA, they are dead last in the league at 33.9%.

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Hate to say that the Pistons are in a good position, but there seems to be a tier for the top (bottom) 4 spots and then a mosh pit at 5 through 12.  A 5 game cushion between 2/3 & 5 with 20 games is looking pretty decent.

Oklahoma City is doing as a good job lately.

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I loosely follow college basketball and follow it a lot more now that it's tourney time. I know the consensus seems to be that this team needs shooters in the worst way possible and also another superstar to pair with Cade. If the Pistons get the #1 pick overall who is the player that best fills the need of being a potential game changer/superstar and can give us the shooting we desperately need?

Looking at the stats and what highlight clips I've seen of him on YouTube, Auburn Forward Jabari Smith seems to be our best bet no? He seems like a well rounded scorer, who isn't just a volume guy, but can create his own scoring opportunities by getting open and can knock down the three. Looking at the stat line for Smith he is 43.3% 3PAr, 40.2% from three-point range. Is this our guy? Do we take Smith over Banchero, Holmgren or Ivey? Does Smith have the type of game that pairs well with Cade's game? It seems like he does based on my very amateur opinion. 

Edited by Mr.TaterSalad
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There are a few guys that could potentially be stars in this draft.  But there are no guys like last year where I was confident they will be stars, like Cade, Green, and Mobley.

That doesn't make it a bad draft.  Just look at last year outside of the big 3.  Guys who are already doing more than expected like Barnes, Giddey, and Wagner.  And he isn't there yet because he was always a three year project, bug Kuminga is further ahead than expected.  

So you will probably get a couple of guys that pop from this draft.  It might just be more difficult to find them.  James Edwards III wrote an article for The Athletic saying the Pistons big board in order is Chet, Jabari, Keegan Murray, Paolo, Ivey, Griffin, and Mathurin.

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3 hours ago, Deleterious said:

It probably doesn't impact Detroit at all.  But Portland announced they are shutting Dame down for the remained of the season.

It matters because they play the Rockets and Thunder each two more times this season.

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4 minutes ago, Deleterious said:

James Edwards III wrote an article for The Athletic saying the Pistons big board in order is Chet, Jabari, Keegan Murray, Paolo, Ivey, Griffin, and Mathurin.

I heard this as well, but not sure how much stock I put in it at this point in the year or that they'd allow someone to just announce their real big board.

However, if it is true, I hope we get a pick in the 5-7 range if we don't get #1 overall.

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