NBA Draft 2014 Scouting Reports
My Scouting Reports for the 2014 NBA Draft. I followed 12 prospects throughout the season and have intricately broken down their strengths and weaknesses.
NBA 2014 DraftBinuk KodituwakkuNBA Scouting Reportsbinukkodituwakku@gmail.comTable of ContentsAbstract2Aaron Gordon3Adreian Payne6Andrew Wiggins9Gary Harris13Jabari Parker16James Young19Joel Embiid22Julius Randle26Marcus Smart29Nik Stauskas32Noah Vonleh35Zach Lavine38AbstractThese scouting reports were made after carefully watching these 12 prospects throughout the season. Their development was monitored and tracked. All these observations are exclusively mine. After reading an interview with Indiana Pacers Scout Kevin Mackey, I focused on the following skills and assessed how a player will be able to translate their ability in these areas to the NBA: 1. Shooting2. Ability to get open3. Rebounding 4. Passing5. HandleThese profiles are intended to be used in addition to advanced metrics. The reason I did not include any advanced stats is because teams emphasize importance on different metrics because of their roster construction. These profiles provide an insight into the basketball skills of these prospects from a scouting perspective. An ideal scouting report would add the specific advanced metrics that teams are looking for to the scouting perspective. Finally, I only focused on 12 prospects because I wanted to provide in-depth analysis and I did not watch enough games of other prospects to analyze them with the desired level of detail. Aaron GordonBasic Stats 69 and 220 pounds 611.75 wingspan Season Averages: 12.4 Points, 8 Rebounds, 2 Assists and 1 Block. Field Goal Percentage 49.5% 3 Point Field Goal Percentage 35.6% (45 shots) Free Throw Percentage 42.2% 33 Inch Standing Vertical 39 Inch Maximum Vertical 10.81 seconds for lane agility test (fastest of any Power Forward at the combine) Fastest shuttle run at combine 2.76 seconds, measuring ability to change directionOffensive StrengthsSummary Explosive finisher Has ability to hit 3 pointer Shown glimpses of post moves against smaller defenders Fights for second chance points Sets good screens Can get to the rim from top of the key consistently Passes well out of the postExplanation Gordon is an explosive player, with very good finishing ability at the rim on penetrations. He fights for second chance points but his rebounding ferocity is not as evident as other prospects in this class. He has the ability to hit a 3, although his shooting stroke is not consistent. Has shown glimpses of post moves but they have largely been on smaller opponents that he has been able to bully. Has shown nice vision from the post. He can get to the basket in a matter of steps when he gets the ball at the top of the key and this is where he is most comfortable, despite the fact that he sits out on the perimeter far too often. Gordon sets good screens, both high and low. He is a very raw offensive prospect. Offensive WeaknessesSummary No post moves Doesnt establish post position early Easily contained Cant beat defenders off the dribble Ball handling skills Easily boxed out Struggles grasping the ball Free throw shootingExplanation Gordon does not have the post skills to play power forward in the NBA at this stage. Unfortunately he doesnt have the speed or ball handling ability to play the small forward position. Gordon was far too comfortable sitting out on the perimeter rather than establishing low post position. Gordon is generally easily contained on penetrations and he cant consistently beat defenders off the dribble. He is also prone to losing the ball or travelling on penetrations. Even when Gordon does get into the post, his first instinct is to put the ball on the floor and face up. He needs to desperately work on post moves. He struggles to grasp the ball, he has the smallest hand length (8.75 inches) of all the power forward/centers measured at the combine. Gordon has to get into better offensive rebounding positions as he is easily boxed out at this stage. Finally, Gordon needs to improve his free throw shooting, 42% is a liability in the NBA.Defensive Strengths Summary Length Ability to recover and make plays Good work ethic Willing to take charges Quick to switch Can contain bigger bodied perimeter players. ExplanationLength and athleticism make Gordon a tantalizing defensive prospect. He has the potential be a very good rim protector. He has shown the ability to recover on opponents that have blown past him to block shots. He doesnt give up on plays, even when he is beaten. His ability to quickly change directions helps him to recover. He is very quick to roll over to help and to make switches. He does a good job containing the penetration of bigger bodied players (3s and stretch 4s), they find it very difficult to get passed Gordons quick feet. Finally, he is not afraid of contact and puts his body on the line to take charges. Defensive WeaknessesSummary Poor rebounding positioning Boxing out Cant contain smaller players Speed in transition is questionable Post Defense ExplanationGordon does not box out well at all and his poor positioning costs him a lot of rebounds. A lot of his rebounds in college were a result of his athleticism, he wont be able to do this as much in the NBA. Although he is athletic, he can appear cumbersome when trying to guard smaller players and they often blow by him. He needs to improve his footwork in the post, he is prone to standing up too early and giving away fouls. He needs to make sure that when he is defending he is well balanced, he often guards the perimeter too upright. Also he isnt very quick in transition defense. Athletic AttributesSummary Explosive with a great vertical leap Quick feet Good lateral quickness Good ability to change direction Relatively small hand span Slow in transitionExplanationGordon is an explosive athlete and his athletic traits have been discussed above. However he cant rely on athleticism in the NBA and he needs to begin working on his fundamentals as soon as possible. Character AssessmentExplanationDescribed as being of the highest character by Scott Miller. Gordon was never pushed to become a basketball player and had no pressure on him from his family. In fact, he played ice hockey growing up. Has never been affected by the media attention and has dealt with it very well. Adreian PayneBasic Stats 610 and 245 pounds 74 Wingspan (3rd at combine) Season Averages: 16.4 Points, 7.3 Rebounds, 1.3 Assists and 0.9 Blocks Field Goal Percentage 50.3% 3 Point Field Goal Percentage 42.3% Free Throw Percentage 79%Offensive StrengthsSummary Has 3 point range Can drive to the rim with either hand Gets post position Aggressive rebounder Can finish with contact Explanation Payne has the offensive attributes of a prototypical stretch 4. He can hit an open 3 pointer and is very good at hitting 3 pointers when he is trailing the ball carrier. Due to his long stride he can get to the rim very quickly and he can finish well with contact. He can penetrate with both hands. Needs to penetrate quickly because if he dribbles too much on the perimeter he loses possession. As a senior, his body is physically mature. He can establish good post position and has good vision in the post. He is also a very aggressive rebounder and fights for offensive rebounds. Offensive WeaknessesSummary 3 point shot release Settles for too many 3s No reliable post move Cant shoot over either shoulder Doesnt look to pass when driving to the rim Fouls when facing up in postExplanation Payne has no post game, he cannot shoot over either shoulder in the post. This means that he must always face up in the post and create separation for himself, in his attempts to do so he is prone to offensive fouling in the post. The problem is, he is comfortable backing players down into the post but once he gets in a position where he should make a post move to score, he needs to dribble out and face up or pass out. His 3 point shot release is low and often he settles for these shots too easily. Often on penetration he has his head down so he misses open teammates that he should kick the ball too. Defensive Strengths Summary Long strides help him contain opponents Can guard smaller players on the perimeter Asset in pick and roll defense Denies entry passes into the post Good weak side help ExplanationHe is very good at using his length to deny entry passes into the post. Payne is very apt at providing weak side help. His long strides allow him to stay in front of guards while penetrating. This will make him a good asset in pick and roll situations as you can be confident in his ability to guard the ball handler. Defensive WeaknessesSummary Speed when trailing opponents Slow reactions Rebounding positioning Block timing Footwork in the postExplanationPayne needs to improve his footwork for his post defense, he is prone to fouling and losing position. He is slow chasing opponents around the floor, which is surprising given his long stride. Payne needs to improve his timing on blocks, for a player with a 74 wingspan, less than one block per game is unacceptable, especially for someone with Paynes athleticism. He is often too late when trying to protect the rim, he needs to jump earlier. Payne being late to block shots is in line with his slow speed in getting into rebounding positions. His rebounding numbers went down from his junior year. Payne doesnt react to a shot going up quick enough. Athletic AttributesSummary Wingspan 74 Explosive off both feet Long strides Quick movement with ball Muscular frameExplanationPayne has some great athletic tools but he does not use them well enough. He needs to improve his shot blocking and rebounding. He has very good lateral movement for a player his size and can explode to finish at the rim. However he is under-utilizing his physical assets. Payne projects to be a reserve role player in the NBA and in order to ensure a long career, he needs to come in and make an impact on the defense end, improving his rim protecting ability will do this. Character AssessmentExplanationA very high character individual who became a role model for a young cancer sufferer. Paynes mother died when he was 13 years old in his arms, he was raised by his grandmother. He steered clear of drugs and gangs. He has a cognitive disability that stops him from learning at a normal pace, he has had to overcome this in order to become eligible for college. He studied relentlessly in order to achieve the minimum standards expected by the NCAA. He reaches out to kids who he believes needs his help and guidance. Andrew WigginsBasic Statistics: 68 and 200 pounds Season Averages: 17.1 Points, 5.9 Rebounds, 1.5 Assists, 1 block Field Goal Percentage 44.8% 3 Point Field Goal Percentage 34.1% Free Throw Percentage 77.5% 44 inch Vertical leap. Offensive StrengthsSummary Quick first step Good cutting ability Can finish with guard contact Potential to be a good offensive rebounder Jump shot mechanics improved throughout the year Comfortable to make plays from the high post Willing passerExplanation Wiggins is a work in progress on the offensive end. At the start of the season he was primarily relying on his athleticism to score but as the season progressed he made giant strides with respect to the fluidity of his jump shot and ability to finish in contact. By the end of the season, Wiggins had a balanced jump shot (with 3 point range), which he utilised both off the dribble and in catch and shoot situations. Wiggins lightning quick first step allows him to create separation for himself to take a step back jump shot or to drive to the rim. Wiggins looks very good when he makes calculated decisions to drive to the rim (prone to being reckless though) and he has shown the ability to finish against the contact of smaller guard players. He needs to build his strength to be able to finish with contact against the bigger bodied players in the NBA. Wiggins makes very good cuts to the rim off the ball. In fact, he looked very comfortable playing from the elbow/high post area where he was able to make decisions as to whether he was going to shoot, penetrate or pass. Wiggins is a willing passer, although some passes are ill-advised. When he is locked in, Wiggins is aggressive on offensive rebounds, particularly off his own missed shots. Wiggins handle still has room for improvement but throughout the year, his spin move was quite compact and used effectively to get around defenders. Offensive WeaknessesSummary Ball security Shot selection Consistent Shot mechanics Coasts for long periods in games Doesnt demand the ball Basketball IQ Defers too much Reckless attack on the rim Needs to develop a post game Needs to develop a EurostepExplanation The biggest criticism of Wiggins offensive game is that he floats in and out of games too often and can go missing for large stretches. Wiggins needs to demand the ball more. Although his shot improved, Wiggins took far too many ill-advised, contested shots and long 2 point shots. Also when he gets tired or is trying to force things he has no follow through on his jump shots, until his mechanics become automatic he needs to be very deliberate when taking jump shots. When he loses confidence, his shot release is slow, allowing opponents time to close out. When he makes calculated moves, Wiggins is very efficient at getting to the rim; however at this stage of his career he makes too many reckless moves to the rim resulting in him playing out of control and turning the ball over. When things arent going his way, he tries to force things, leading to more turnovers. Wiggins dribble is much too high, which makes it easier for opponents to steal the ball and put him under pressure. Also, he cannot consistently beat defenders off the dribble, particular smaller defenders with active hands (Marcus Smart was able to shut him down). He tends to over dribble as well. Although he is a willing passer, too often he makes errant passes (passing into double teams or missing open teammates), often with no pressure on him. His basketball IQ is not as high as you would like from a top pick, again going back to his reckless attacks at the rim and careless passing. Wiggins has to work on a back to the basket game because at present there are no signs of a good post offense. He needs to put on size. He also needs to develop a reliable eurostep which would limit his turnovers when driving in the paint. Defensive Strengths Summary Consistent on-ball defensive pressure Can contain perimeter players Timing on blocks Transition defense Length allows him to break up passing lanes Speed allows him to recoverExplanationDespite coasting in games on the offensive end, the same cannot be said for Wiggins defensive effort. He always plays hard on defense, is quick to get back on transition, has the speed to execute transition blocks and always fights for loose balls. Wiggins length, speed and athleticism will always make him a factor on defense and he has the potential of becoming an elite defender. For the majority of plays, Wiggins does a good job staying in front of slashing players and containing players off the dribble. His on ball pressure is constant and players find it difficult to get passed him. Wiggins also has excellent timing on his blocks at the rim, either when he is guarding a driving player or when he has to rotate. He has been able to recover after gambling on steals due to his speed. His defensive IQ is far superior to his offensive IQ at the moment. Defensive WeaknessesSummary Close out defense Contesting shots on the perimeter Footwork isnt elite Rebounding Fighting through screensExplanationWiggins defensive prowess has largely been a product of his length and athleticism. He can realise his defensive potential in the NBA by improving his footwork on the perimeter. Even though he was very adept at containing penetration at the college level, NBA players will be less hesitant to drive against his length and he will need to make sure that his lateral movement is fluid and that he wont get caught off balance. A few smaller guards caused him to lose his balance. Wiggins was a touch slow to close out opponents and to get his hand in a shooters face, either due to a slow close out or a slow read. He needs to be aware of when player is going to shoot and immediately contest that shot. He needs to fight through screens more consistently and not be knocked off balance by them, this will come as he puts on more weight. Finally, when he puts on more weight, he will become a better rebounder as he will be able to box out and scrap in the post. Athletic AttributesSummary Length Quick across the floor Explosive Huge vertical leap Quick first step Needs to improve strength Slight frameExplanationFor all his athletic prowess, it is imperative that Wiggins put on more muscle and add strength, currently he weighs in at only 200 pounds. He was often manhandled by bigger players in the post, this was no more evident than against Stanford in the NCAA tournament. Wiggins has the highest vertical leap (44 inches) of anyone measured at the combine and he is an absolutely explosive athlete. He is exceptionally quick and can cover the length of the floor in a matter of moments, which will make him a major asset in transition defense. His length will also make him a defensive nightmare. If Wiggins can harness his athletic gifts he will become a special player in the NBA. His quick first step will help him create separation and Character AssessmentExplanationWiggins laughed at the mention of Chasson Randle of Stanford before their NCAA tournament match-up. Stanford came out and stated that they used this as motivation in order to beat the Jayhawks, a game in which Wiggins had 4 points in that game and shot 1 of 6. Maturity is an area of concern with Wiggins and he needs to learn to respect opponents. During the loss to Stanford, he had his hands on his hips and did not talk to teammates or be a vocal leader. Also when Wiggins starts slowly he is prone to drifting out of games and you can see a discernible change in his body language. This is a cause for concern and supports the notion that Wiggins should not be drafted with the idea of having him as the marquee player, Wiggins is an apt side kick and I do not think he will ever be the leader on a championship team. After a physical altercation against Georgetown, Wiggins had one of his best stretches of the season, where he was active, aggressive and was hitting his jump shot. He needs to find this motivation internally and not rely on external factors for inspiration. Gary HarrisBasic Stats 64 and 205 pounds 66 wingspan Season Averages: 16.7 Points, 4 Rebounds, 2.7 Assists, 1.8 Steals Field Goal Percentage 42.9% 3 Point Field Goal Percentage 35.2% Free Throw Percentage 81%Offensive StrengthsSummary Reliable jump shot Creates separation Developing floater Can make contested and off balance shots Moves well without the ball Can handle the ball Quick Hesitation moves to get to the rim Can draw contact Smart in transitionExplanation Harris is a very good jump shooter who can catch and shoot or create for himself off the dribble. He possesses NBA 3 point range. He moves well without the ball in order to get open. Harris moves well in transition to get to the corner, creating plenty of open shot attempts. He has a very good step back jump shot that he utilises well to create separation get out of trouble, he has shown the ability to make contested shots. Harris has good body control and can finish while off-balance. Harris is very quick with the ball although he hasnt shown an ability to consistently get to the rim, he has had to rely on a variety of hesitation moves to beat his defender. His finishing around the rim is not great but he has shown an impressive floater, which he will need to solidify once he gets to the NBA because he will struggle to finish around outstretched defenders at the rim. Harris ability to get contact when getting to the rim has served him well. Harris has the ability to handle the ball, especially in pick and roll/pop situations. His ball handle is quite compact and he protects the ball well, allowing him to split defenders; however he struggles to run more complex plays. He also possesses a nice vertical leap for his size. Offensive WeaknessesSummary Playmaking/passing ability Getting to the rim consistently Ill-advised shots Jump shot form Finishing at the rim Assertiveness Cant see over defensesExplanation Despite possessing a very reliable mid-range jumper, Harris takes too many ill-advised shots. This is a product of his inability to make creative passes. His passing ability is not up to scratch. Harris struggles to see over defenses as an undersized two, which further accentuates his passing problems. He cannot consistently get to the rim and there are too many occasions where he dribbles the ball laterally, wasting seconds of the shot clock without moving the ball. When he does get to the rim he struggles to finish over taller defenders (this is why his floater is so important) and with more no-calls in the NBA, could lead to more empty trips. Harris gets into open positions but doesnt demand the ball enough, he needs to become more assertive. Also, an issue to monitor is that his jump shot release has a tendency of being too low, although his form deviates on his jump shot, it has been reliable in college. Defensive Strengths Active hands On ball pressure Contains penetration Has strength to hold position ExplanationHarris is a very active defender and has busy hands when pressuring the ball. He had 1.8 steals per game this season, which also came about through his disruption of passing lanes. Harris also does a good job preventing his opponents from getting the ball one the perimeter. The quickness of his feet allows him to stay in front of opposing players and contain penetration. His body strength and balance also allows him to stay in front of players. Harris also shows great effort to fight through screens and get to the ball handler. Defensive WeaknessesSummary Defensive awareness Transition defense Ball-watching Wingspan Tough defenderExplanationWhilst being an active defender, Harriss defensive awareness is often lacking. In transition, he lets opponents get behind him too easily and loses track of their positioning. In half court sets, he focuses too much on the ball, which gives his opponent plenty of time for a back door cut, he got beaten in this manner plenty of times this season. He struggles against repeat efforts and multiple cuts by his opponents also. Finally, due to a relatively small wingspan 66 he will struggle to bother shooters once he gets his hands in their face and he will have minimal effectiveness in close out situations. Athletic AttributesSummary Small for a shooting guard Small wingspan Explosive leaper Quick Good lateral movement Strong for a guardExplanationStanding only 64, with a 66 wingspan, Harris is undersized for a shooting guard. However he is quite strong and balanced. He has a very good vertical leap; however he doesnt get to the rim enough to showcase it. His speed and lateral movement will always make him a factor on defense. Character AssessmentExplanationHarris is very composed and mature. Although not vocal, he leads by example. He is hard working and has not caused any off-court problems.Jabari ParkerBasic Stats: 69 and 240 pounds Season Averages: 19.1 Points, 8.7 Rebounds, 1.2 Assists, 1.2 Blocks and 1.1 Steals. Field Goal Percentage 47.3% 3 Point Field Goal Percentage 35.8% Free Throw Percentage 74.8%Offensive StrengthsSummary Complete face up game Fluid jump shot Spaces the floor Can make shots under pressure Impressive ball handling Can finish in contact (with both hands) Good post footwork Strength in post Can elevate over defenders Offensive rebounding 3 point rangeExplanation Parker shows great poise and maturity on the offensive end. He has a very fluid jump shot (with 3 point range) and plenty of moves to create separation for himself to get enough time to get his jump shot off. He has a very good face to the basket game, he has an effective jab step, fade away, turnaround jumper and step back jumper. Parker has a good ability to draw defenders into the air with his fake and then drive past them. Parker has very good ball handling abilities for a player of his size and can split defenders on his way to the rim. Parker has the body control and strength to finish in contact (with both hands). Has underrated athleticism which allows him to elevate and finish over defenders. He is very crafty at the rim and can finish amidst the outstretched arms of defenders. He has very good footwork in the post that he uses to get around bigger opponents. He uses his strength to get beat smaller defenders in the post. Parker spreads the floor well and the fact that he is prone to being double teamed allows teammates to get open. He has shown an ability to hit shots whilst being contested and under pressure. Parkers competitiveness is showcased on offense as he always contests offensive rebounds after positioning himself well. Despite the number of opponents around him, Parker will always fight for loose balls. Offensive WeaknessesSummary Height in post Blowing by defenders Catching the ball below the knees Getting to the rim consistently Loses ball on penetration Troubled by zone defense. Explanation Parkers height might be an issue in the post in the NBA, he did use his footwork to manoeuvre around taller players in college but the additional strength of NBA defenders coupled with their height may make it more difficult for Parker to score in the post. Parker fumbled a lot of balls which were thrown below his knees. With the increased pace of the NBA, this could be an issue monitor. Even though Parker can get by defenders after faking them out, he struggles to blow by defenders off the dribble, although he has an impressive jump shot arsenal but even the most elite shooters have off nights. While having a solid handle, when penetrating and trying to blow by defenders he loses the ball on his way to the rim. Finally, for someone with such a high basketball IQ, he struggled to pass the ball against zone defenses. Defensive Strengths Summary Rebounding Post entry denial Footwork in post D Ability to block shots CompetitivenessExplanationParker is a hardworking and willing defender. He is a strong rebounder and puts himself into good positions to rebound the ball. He does a good job of denying entry passes into the post. His footwork in the post has been solid during his college career but there is a worry that he will be over matched in the post in the NBA. He has shown an ability to get up and block shots at the rim. Defensive WeaknessesSummary Speed Height in post Outbodied in the post Lateral movements No ideal match up on defensive endExplanationParkers size is often cited as a worry for NBA teams, although being a very good defensive rebounder (23.1% of all defensive rebounds available) he has shown instances where he is outbodied by bigger opponents in the post, like against Tony Parker of UCLA. Parkers height wont let him defend 4s in the NBA but his speed and lateral quickness will make it difficult for him to guard the perimeter. He was slow on close outs and seemed lost on rotations. Opponents can also blow by him on the perimeter as his footwork isnt clean and his body movements are a little slow. NBA Stretch 4s will cause him trouble, especially if they have a post-game, he will struggle to close them out in pick and pop situations and will get over powered in the post. Athletic AttributesSummary Weight needs to be monitored Underrated explosion and vertical leap. Height to play the 4 Speed to play the 3ExplanationParker has drawn apt comparisons to Paul Pierce as not being as athletically gifted as other players; however Parker does possess underrated explosion and a vertical leap. He can elevate above defenders and dunk strongly, he also can protect the rim. Parkers weight needs to be monitored as he is quite bottom heavy. The biggest problems for Parker are going to be that he is too small to guard 4s in the NBA but he doesnt have the speed to guard 3s. Character AssessmentExplanationDespite having attention on him since the 8th grade, Parker is incredibly humble and focused. He is reported to wanting to become the best basketball player he can be but more importantly he wants to be a leader, both on the court and in his community. He is a very mature young man who will provide no issues in the locker room. He is devoted to his Mormon faith and has yet to complete his mission, which might cause him to take a year off at some point in his NBA career. James YoungBasic Stats: 66 and 215 pounds 70 Wingspan Season Averages: 14.3 Points, 4.3 Rebounds and 1.7 Assists Field Goal Percentage 40.7% 3 Point Field Goal Percentage 34.9% Free Throw Percentage 70.6%Offensive StrengthsSummary Nice looking jump shot Active off the ball Strong left hand penetration Finishes well at the rim in a variety of ways Can make off balanced shot Assertive with game on the line Length Body control Trusted in big moments Looks for open teammatesExplanation Young has a very nice looking balanced shot, with a fluid release. He is comfortable from 3 point range; however at the start of the season, the 3 point shot wasnt falling, his percentages did go up in the second half of the season with increased confidence. Youngs movement off the ball lets get open mid-range shots, which he knocks down with confidence. Young has a very good ability of getting to the rim with his left hand (he showed glimpses with his right hand). He penetrates well and can finish with a lot of contact. He uses his length and body control to manoeuvre in traffic and can finish using scoop shots, off balance runners and floaters. He can also change shot whilst in the air. He also has the athleticism and strength to dunk in traffic. Developed ability to avoid defenders when penetrating towards end of season. An extension of Youngs ability to finish at the rim with contact is that he can hit his jump shot while taking contact. Young makes a lot of shots under duress and will work hard after a fumble to recover and make the shot. Although he doesnt have great passing skills, he dribbles with his eyes up, looking for the open man, even when driving to the rim. Young his an impressive rebounder and fights hard for them, Julius Randle was one of the best rebounders in college basketball and had Young played on a different team, his rebounding numbers would be far higher. Young is assertive when the game is on the line and is not afraid to take the big shot or penetrate to the rim. He hit big shots in the SEC Championship game against Florida, in the game against Baylor and in every tight game, Young would get possession of the ball on almost every possession down the stretch. Even though he made mistakes in tight games he wasnt afraid of the moment. Offensive WeaknessesSummary Elevation on jump shot Penetrating with right hand Wastes dribbles Reckless penetration Shot selection Passing Free throw shootingExplanation Youngs shooting stroke might look almost flawless but he had a lot of trouble with his shot at the start of the season. His shot wouldnt often fall short and hit the front of the rim. This improved throughout the year. The problem at the start of the season was that he wasnt getting enough elevation on his shot, this needs to be monitored in the NBA. Young is not comfortable going to his right hand when penetrating and this will make it easy for NBA teams to cut him off. He also wastes a lot of dribbles when he cant penetrate to his left hand side. When his penetration is stopped, instead of looking to make a pass, Young will force up a shot regardless of the degree of difficulty. At times he can be reckless when driving to the rim and take reckless shots. Although as the year progressed, he was called for less charges. He needs to become a better passer, although he looks for open men, he preferences shooting over passing the basketball. His Free throw shooting needs to improve, 70% is not good enough.Defensive Strengths Summary Hustle Fights for loose balls Rebounding Closes out shooters Length Contains penetration to left hand sideExplanationYoung is a hard worker on defense. He will run back hard on transition defense. His length makes it easy for him to contest shooters and to close out the 3 point line. He does a good job of containing penetration to his left hand side. Young works hard to close out open shooters and does rotate to help teammates. Again, a very good rebounder for his size and numbers would be much higher if he didnt play with Randle.Defensive WeaknessesSummary Cannot guard right hand side of body Lazy footwork Post Defense Bad decision making Mistimed rotationsExplanationYoungs footwork when opponents go to his right hand side is very poor. Opponents can easily blow by him when they cross over to his right hand side, he gets his feet tangled and gets himself off balance. This is an area that needs urgent attention. Young also struggles to defend post mismatches, this will continue in the NBA. He was prone to fouling in the post and not moving his post, even when his opponents were smaller than him. Overall his defensive footwork is lazy. Even though he works hard and helps to double team, he often makes poor decisions, leaves at the wrong time. He makes some bad read of the play on occasions, for instance when an opponent is hot, he will go under a screen, giving them an open look. When Young gets back in transition defense he is very reluctant to put his body in front of his opponent and take the contact. Much more content to go for steal on driving opponent. Needs to improve toughness.Athletic AttributesSummary Good height Above average wingspan 611 Adequate vertical leap Lacks quicknessExplanationWhile Young does not have freakish athleticism, he has the ability to elevate when required. He isnt the fastest player but his body control and shooting stroke means that he doesnt need raw athleticism to be a force on offense. His length and height provide him with nice tools to work with in order to become a defensive presence. Character AssessmentExplanationNo off court character concerns. On the court, he is competitive and wants to have the ball in his hands with the game on the line. Good to see such initiative and assertiveness from a young kid. Joel EmbiidMeasurables: 70 feet, 250 lbs Season Averages: 11.2 Points, 8.1 Rebounds and 2.6 Blocks. Field Goal Percentage 62.6% Free Throw Percentage 68.5% Season Averages: 2.4 Turnovers and 3.4 Personal Fouls. Offensive StrengthsSummary Great footwork in post Has a reliable go to post spin move Developing a range of other post moves Reliable elbow jumper Can manoeuvre around larger opponents with footwork Sets good screens A threat in pick and roll and pick and pop situations Needs to keep improving post passing Good handle Explanation Embiid has one of the most complete offensive post games that I have ever seen from someone at the college level. It is difficult to fathom that Embiid has only played 3 years of organised basketball. Embiid has a variety of post moves in his arsenal, but his go to move and most consistent scoring option is his spin move. His footwork in the post is his most impressive asset, which allows him to get around bigger opponents. His display against Josh Smith of Georgetown showed that despite being at a strength and weight disadvantage, his nimbleness with his feet allows him to manoeuvre around bigger opponents and still score. I would still like to see him put on more muscle though. Another aspect of his post-game which improved over the year was his vision. Early on in the season, Embiid would make errant passes; however as the year went on he began making smarter decisions both with outlet passes and drop off passes. Embiid has a reliable mid-range jump shot, both face up and turnaround. This will create hesitation for defenders on pick and pop situations. His ball handling ability also makes him a threat in all aspects of pick and roll situations. Furthermore, Embiid sets good screens with his feet in position early. Embiids offensive repertoire is going further expand as he develops and in a league where there is a clear lack of low post scoring threats, Embiid will be in rarefied air. Embiid is going to be a match up nightmare for opponents on switches and in situations after setting very reliable screens. Offensive WeaknessesSummary Vision in post needs to continue improving Struggles to finish with contact Inconsistent offensive rebounder ExplanationAs complete as Embiids scoring ability has the potential to be, there are other facets that he needs to improve upon on the offensive side of the ball. Embiid relied on his footwork to manoeuvre around opponents in college and he was able to draw fouls. However in the NBA there are a lot more no calls and I would like to see Embiid put on more strength so that he can finish strong at the rim after taking contact. I did not see this enough in college. Embiids aggressiveness on the offense glass has been inconsistent. He needs to make sure that he is locked in every time he goes for an offensive rebound. Also, he is prone to going up with one hand for rebounds, he will miss a lot of opportunities in the NBA if he continues to do this. Finally, although his passing in the post improved throughout the year, it will be good to see further development in this area. Defensive Strengths Summary One on one shot blocking improved throughout the year Length helps him disrupt passing lanes Quick feet helps him to move laterally Recovers after opponents go past himExplanationEmbiids quickness of foot allows him to move well laterally but also to recover after an opponent beats him off the dribble. Numerous times, he was beaten by an opponent only to recover and make a steal or block. When playing one on one defense in the post, Embiid uses high length to get into position to block and affect shots at the rim. In one on one post play, Embiids timing on his blocks improved throughout the season, early on during the year, he was jumping too early and biting on fakes. However, there was a marked improvement in this area. Length is an asset that he uses to disrupt passing lanes although his read of plays can improve, in college he tried to use length and quickness to make up for lapses in defensive awareness. Defensive WeaknessesSummary Defensive awareness Boxing out needs to improve Susceptible to perceived pressure on rebounds Prone to getting caught out on fakes Fouls too much Hesitant to close out on pick and pops Timing on help defense needs to improve Footwork in postExplanationDue to his relative inexperience Embiid was prone to fouling, in fact per 40 minutes Embiid would have averaged 5.8 fouls a game. This is a worry going into the NBA, which could hurt his development. A lot of fouls were created by him getting into bad positions and gambling when trying to create steals. Embiid is hesitant on closing out shooters on pick and pop situations and also needs to work on his timing when rolling over to double team. Due to his hesitation, he creates space and time for his opponents. Building trust and confidence in Embiid should help to overcome these deficiencies. Embiids defensive rebounding may be a cause for concern. He needs to improve his ability to box out because he is often outbodied by bigger players. When he was faced with pressure (both real and perceived) from behind while he was going for defensive rebounds, he would lose balance and turn the ball over or simply miss the rebound. Needs to continue to improve his timing on blocks and ensure that he doesnt get caught out on fakes in the post. Also he fouled a lot of the bigger opponents backing him down in the post. Needs to improve his defensive post footwork. Should develop with more coaching and confidence in his defensive ability. Athletic AttributesSummary Great length and wingspan Needs to improve fitness. Slow in transition Deceptively quick on pick and rolls Injury prone Needs to add strength ExplanationStanding at 70 feet tall, with a 75 foot reach, Embiid has the physical tools to become an elite defender and shot blocker. Embiid needs to add some muscle to his frame to avoid getting outbodied in rebounding contests and to ensure that he doesnt get beaten up and bullied in the post by bigger players in the NBA.Embiid is quite slow on transition and because of this he will need to ensure that his effort doesnt waiver throughout a game. Embiids footwork on the perimeter while defending is very deliberate and lacks a little fluidity but this will come with experience. Embiid also needs to improve his endurance in order to ensure he can last the rigours of an NBA game. He made a lot of fouls while tired. The biggest concern with Embiid is durability. After back troubles caused him to miss the second half of the season, Embiid has suffered another setback in the form of a stress fracture in his foot. The stress fracture requires surgery and is said to be in his navicular bone.Character AssessmentExplanationEmbiid is a high character individual with a penchant for hard work and a thirst to learn. Both his high school coach, Kevin Boyle, and college coach, Bill Self, praised Embiids ability to pick up information and quickly apply it to his game. He has never shied away from teaching and continues to watch footage of great players to try and emulate aspects of their games. Believes that he still has a long way to go in development and even though he has been touted as a top 3 pick, he understands that he needs to continually improve. The one aspect of Embiids character that is concerning is that he seems visibly frustrated if he is not involved in the offense. Early in his NBA career (especially if he slips out of the top 5 after this injury) he wont be getting many plays run through him and he will need to create his own offensive opportunities through hard work.Julius RandleBasic Statistics: 6 9 and 250 pounds Wingspan 611 Season Averages: 15.0 Points, 10.4 Rebounds, 1.4 Assists, 0.8 Blocks. Field Goal Percentage 50.1% Free Throw Percentage 70.6% 11.45 seconds in lane agility test (7th amongst PFs) 3.27 seconds in three quarter length sprint (4th amongst PFs). 29 inch standing vertical (29th overall at combine). Offensive StrengthsSummary Powerful in the post Ferocious rebounder Second chance points Can get to the rim and finish Can catch the ball in motion Makes good lead passers When he makes quick decisions, he is very effective Explanation Randle is extremely powerful and overpowered many defenders in the post in college. However this was due more to his strength and size rather than his footwork. He wont be able to do this in the NBA. Randle is a ferocious offensive rebounder, with an incredible motor and his lack of finesse at the rim is compensated for by his desire and hustle on the offensive glass. Very smart with revound positioning. When he makes no hesitation decisions, he can get to the rim effectively. He can finish in contact even though his touch at the rim isnt ideal. In one on one situations Randle makes some very good passes and has good vision, he finds it more difficult when he is double teamed. In transition, Randle can make good lead passes and he is also very adept at catching the ball in motion and can continue on towards the basket without having to change his stride. Offensive WeaknessesSummary Limited footwork in the post No mid-range game Ball security Inconsistent handle Slow decision-making Touch at rim Careless Passing visionExplanation Randle has relied on his strength to score in the post and as a result hasnt developed good footwork. He is prone to travelling and double dribbling in the post, especially when players rotate to help over on him. Randles offensive IQ is not up to NBA standard. Too often he makes careless plays and passes. He uses a spin move, but constantly spins into traffic when there is a clearer lane to the basket. Randle can play out of control especially when he doubts himself. Randle wastes too many seconds off the shot clock as he works out what to do. Also Randles driving ability with his right hand is severely lacking.Randle doesnt have a soft touch at the rim and exposes too much of the ball to opponents leading to his shots being block or heavily affected. Even on dribbling plays, Randles dribble is not compact enough and can easily be knocked out of his hands. He also struggles to score outside of the paint, meaning that he is ineffective in pick and pop situations and cannot be a reliable face to the basket threat. Misses a lot of 5-8 foot floaters also. Doesnt have the offensive versatility to worry opposing teams. Randles ball handle is often shaky at best but when the speed of the game increases, he becomes even more prone to losing the ball. This does not bode well for him in the NBA. Defensive Strengths Summary Repeat efforts Rebounding Rotation Defense Protecting Paint with strengthExplanationRandles penchant for hard work serves him well on the defensive end. He works hard to make up for his questionable footwork on the perimeter and in the post. He consistently contests shots and his effort can never be questioned. His rebounding positioning is elite and hauls in a quarter of available rebounds per game. Randles motor and effort allow him to provide valuable help defense. Despite not having a great vertical leap or explosion, Randle uses his upper body strength to protect the rim and to trouble opponents. Again, he struggles with his footwork which will be an issue in the NBA. Defensive WeaknessesSummary Gambles Defense Footwork Can get caught out on hesitation and other double moves Watches the ball - reactionary. Doesnt fight through screensExplanationRandle will get beaten by nimble post players in the NBA as his footwork sloppy and he often finds himself off balance. Due to his lack of effective footwork, Randle often gets beaten by hesitation, spin moves and jab steps. He is doesnt recognise these moves and commits too hard on the initial motion. Randle also gets caught watching the ball and not recognizing sophisticated offensive sets and struggles to keep track of who he is meant to be guarding. This problem is compounded by the fact that Randle doesnt fight through screens and loses track of who is supposed to guard on pick and rolls. Athletic AttributesSummary Strong upper body Undersized power forward Wingspan is only 611 Speed in question Lack of explosion Good motor Weight fluctuates ExplanationRandles strength is immediately noticeable and he knows how to use his body well to both score and protect the paint, despite his lack of footwork on both ends. However, at only 69 Randle is an undersized power forward and this is compounded by his below average wingspan of 611, to put this in perspective, Serge Ibakas wingspan is 72 . Randle has a distinct lack of explosion and speed, which is going to make it difficult for him to match up against the new wave of athletic stretch power forwards in the NBA.Another concern for Randle is that his weight fluctuated throughout the season and it would be prudent of him to tone his body and add some muscle mass to his thick frame. Randles fitness to handle the rigours of the NBA schedule may be a concern, in the National Title game, Randle seemed visibly tired 5 minutes into the game. Character AssessmentExplanationRandle has taken on board all the suggestions that the Kentucky coaching staff gave him throughout the year. Coach Calipari challenged him to expand his offensive game and all reports say that Randle has worked relentlessly to try and improve. Randle has been a star throughout his basketball career and people around him said he lost a lot of his confidence and swagger when he was asked to expand his game. As it is unlikely that Randle will be a star in the NBA, he will need to be willing to accept his role and play with the same level of ferocity and aggression that he did in college when he could dominate players. Randle received overrated chants when he played against North Carolina but he maintained his composure and wasnt visibly affected. Marcus SmartBasic Stats 63 and 227 pounds Season Averages: 18 Points, 4.8 Assists, 5.9 Rebounds, 3.9 Steals, 2.6 Turnovers, 2.9 Fouls. Field Goal Percentage 42.2% Three Point Field Goal Percentage 29.9% Free Throw Percentage 72.8% 2.96 seconds in the shuttle run at the draft combine (14th amongst guards) measures ability to change directions. 10.82 seconds in the lane agility test (8th amongst guards) measures lateral quickness. Offensive StrengthsSummary Good poise, ball control Strength and size is immediately noticeable Post up threat on smaller guards Can draw fouls when getting to paint Positions himself well without the ball Looks very good when driving and kicking rather than taking jump shots Can deal with contact well while finishing at the rim, good balance at the rim Explanation The first thing you notice about Smart is his overpowering size for a point guard. This size allows him to get to the rim, draw contact and still finish. Smart can get to the rim with his very compact dribble and his balance allows him to contort his body whilst finishing to avoid blocks and outstretched defenders. When he takes to it to the rim he also makes smart decisions and an underrated feature of his game is his ability to drive and kick out to an open man. Smarts size also allows him to back down smaller defenders and he made quite a few plays out of the post. Due to the fact that he didnt play point guard until he got to Oklahoma State, Smart can position himself very well without the basketball. He works well off screens and makes some nice cuts in order to get open. Even though he may lead with his eyes, his passes are often bullet-like which means even though defenders can read his eyes, they will still need to be quick when disrupting a passing lane. Offensive WeaknessesSummary Takes ill-advised shots Jump shot mechanics are inconsistent Jump shot is not fluid Lack of range on jump shot Slow in transition, gets caught Slow decision making Need to get a lot of separation coming off screens due to slow shot release Vast difference between right hand and left hand finishing and handle Takes too much time to make passes, leads defenders with his eyes. Explanation The most glaring weakness in Smarts game is his jump shot. He has a very slow release and his mechanics are poor (he pushes through too much with his right hand and he releases the ball too far above his head). Smart does not have deep range but he continues to take ill-advised shots, even when he is open he can miss shots badly. When he begins to lose confidence in his shot or he rushes things, he goes back to his bad habits and any work trying to rectify his jump shot are for vain.As he did not play point guard in high school, he is still learning the position and his play making ability is lacking. Smart often takes too long to make decisions, he also needs to stare at a teammate before making a pass, which allows opponents to rotate over and create pressure or intercept the ball, despite the trajectory and ball speed of his passes. His slow decision making also causes him to get into trouble and create confusion in pick and roll situations. Smarts handle on his right hand is adequate for the NBA level; however he does not have a reliable left hand handle and cannot go left. Also, he struggles to finish at the rim with his left hand. Smart is not quick and in transition he often gets caught by other players running the floor. He can make cross court passes in transition however. Defensive Strengths Summary Strong rebounder Boxes out well for a guard Active hands, pressures the ball Good vision on breaking up passing lanes Can shut down and contain bigger opponents (Wiggins) Good 2nd efforts after losing ball or getting beaten Fights through screensExplanationSmarts biggest defensive strength is his ability to guard players that are bigger than him. Twice this season he was able to shut down Andrew Wiggins. Smarts body size and strength makes it harder for bigger players to get into the paint against him and even in the paint he wont be pushed over. Smart has very active hands on D and pressures the ball, he disrupts passing lanes with his active hands and read of the play. Even if he is beaten by a quicker guard, Smart will always try to recover. His second efforts are a strength, as are his hustle plays for loose balls. Defensive WeaknessesSummary Lateral movement is slow Quicker guards blow by him Prone to getting lost in pick and rolls. Slow in transitionExplanationSmarts biggest problem on the defensive end is going to result due to his lack of quickness and lateral movement. Even the guards with average speed in the NBA will be able to beat Smart off the dribble and he definitely wont be able to catch up with them in the open court. This is a massive problem facing any team contemplating drafting him. Teams may need to play him on small forwards, similar to how Andre Miller is utilised at times. Additionally, Smart has been found wanting when he has to switch on defense, his slow first step can result in opponents creating separation. Athletic AttributesSummary Slow Big body Muscular No lateral quickness Big wingspan Lack of explosionExplanationSmart is a big bodied point guard, weighing in at 227 pounds, which is 27 pounds heavier than Russell Westbrook. He can use his size to stop bigger players penetrating; however his lack of quickness is going to prevent him from guarding the quicker point guards. Smarts wingspan is 68, which helps him to disrupt passing lanes and recover when out of position. He doesnt have a great vertical leap either due to a lack of explosion and athleticism. Overall he is a below average athlete, who is going to need to rely on his size and basketball nous to become a long term starting point guard.Character AssessmentExplanationThe first thing to discuss here is the three game suspension he received for shoving a fan. It was alleged that there were racist comments made but Smart needs to understand that he cannot react to the vilification he receives from the crowd. Smart is prone to reacting to the crowd, after Kansas State fans started chanting flopper he began to engage with fans and taunt them. Smart needs to have learnt from his mistakes and remember to focus on the game and not worry about peripheral distractions when on the court. Smarts leadership and toughness has constantly been praised by his former coaches and NBA personnel alike. It is his toughness and grit which will allow him to have a long career in the NBA, it will be up to Smart to decide whether this career will be as a starter or a role player. Smart has a lot of deficiencies in his game that he needs to overcome and this can only be done with tenacity and a relentless work ethic. Nik StauskasBasic Stats: 66 and 207 pounds Season Averages: 17.5 Points, 2.9 Rebounds, 3.3 Assists Field Goal Percentage 47% 3 Point Field Goal Percentage 44.2% Free Throw Percentage 82.4% 10.8 seconds in lane agility test, measuring lateral quickness (6th fastest at combine) 35.5 inch max vertical leap. Offensive StrengthsSummary Very impressive 3 point shooting Good passing vision Can penetrate off both hands Good use of screens Lateral movement to score Quick and fluid shot release Can shoot over defenders Threat in pick and rolls Good movement off the ball Explanation Stauskas is an elite perimeter scorer, he is effective in catch and shoot situations, creating off the dribble and in pick and rolls. His height allows him to shoot over most players who are guarding him. His favourite play is to use a screen to create separation and hit a three. His favourite spot to shoot from on the floor is at the top of the key. He has a very quick, fluid release which is difficult to guard. Over and over again he showed the ability to hit contested threes. He is very active off the ball and creates many open catch and shoot situations for himself. Due to his work off the ball he also creates a lot of easy layups for himself. His passing improved throughout the season, which makes him an even bigger threat in pick and roll situations. In fact he showed a propensity to pass over penetrating. He is a very good penetrator of both hands and his vision in these situations is also very good, he is prone to drawing defenders and finding open men, he is also very good at drop off passes. He can split defenders with his dribble. He is a match up nightmare because he has the length to score over opposing two guards but has the dribbling and penetrating ability to get around opposing threes. His strength allows him to bully other guards to the rim. Offensive WeaknessesSummary Finishing at the rim Plays stop with him Shot selection Makes too many passes in the air Decision making in trafficExplanation Stauskas combination of good lateral movement and good three point shooting leads him to dribble around the perimeter a lot before pulling up for a three. The ball doesnt move as much as it should when he is committed to shooting a three. Even though he hit contested three point shots, his propensity to take these ill-advised shots slows down the offense. He takes deep threes with a lot of time remaining on the shot clock. Even though he can penetrate well his finishing at the rim is inconsistent. Although his passing improved, he makes a lot of passes whilst in the air, this leads to a lot of turnovers and him forcing bad passes. In traffic, he can make good passes but sometimes he will put up bad shots, regardless of the pressure he is facing. Defensive Strengths Summary On ball pressure is good Stronger than he looksExplanationHis defensive abilities are greatly dwarfed by his offensive skillset. His on ball pressure is quite good until he is screened, he struggles to fight through them. Stauskas is stronger than he looks and can stay with an opponent as they penetrate. Defensive WeaknessesSummary Defensive awareness Slow to close out Doesnt get hands in air quick enough Struggles to contain penetration Forced to gambleExplanationToo many times Stauskas would not contest a shot. He would be too slow to put his hands in the air. This happens on floaters in the lane and jump shots. He struggles to prevent penetration and contain an opponent, although he can stay with them. He often makes bad decisions on who to cover and is late closing. He is affected by screens and doesnt fight through them. He is forced to gamble on defense because he is often caught out of position. Even on his gambles, he doesnt make good enough reads to disrupt passing lanes. Athletic AttributesSummary Height for a shooting guard Below average wingspan 67.75 Average vertical leap Good lateral movementExplanationStauskas game doesnt depend heavily on his athleticism. He has the height to shoot over opponents and his lateral movement will help him to become a better perimeter defender. He will never be a shot blocker or mass rebounder but if he can improve his perimter defense, his athletic deficiencies will be masked. A lack of athleticism isnt fatal to him improving his finishing at the rim, he needs to improve his body control and be willing to take more contact. This will be helped by putting on more muscle. Character AssessmentExplanationStauskas was never a highly touted prospect coming into college, in fact he was the 86th ranked player according to Scout.com in his senior season of high school basketball. In his junior campaign, Stauskas not even ranked in the top 100. He has worked hard to get into the position he is in. In between his freshman and sophomore seasons at Michigan he put on 21 pounds. This shows that he is not afraid of hard work. Stauskas leadership credentials have also been praised by teammates and coaches alike. Noah VonlehBasic Stats 69 and 247 pounds 74.25 wingspan (2nd at combine) Season Averages: 11.3 Points, 9 Rebounds and 1.3 Blocks Field Goal Percentage 52.3% 3 Point Field Goal Percentage 48.5% (33 shots) Free Throw Percentage 71.6% 37 inch max vertical leap at draft combine 11.45 seconds in lane agility test 3.29 seconds in shuttle run (slower time than Randle)Offensive StrengthsSummary Gets good post position Good handle Can beat opponents off the dribble 3 point range Set good screens Active rebounder Offensive IQExplanation Vonleh is very active on offense and even if he doesnt get involved in scoring, he still sets good picks and is relentless on the glass. He establishes position in the post well but is still developing his post game and footwork in that area. Vonleh is not afraid to put the ball on the floor and he is confident in beating opponents off the dribble. He has 3 point range and projects to be a very good stretch 4 in the NBA. His read of the play and second efforts allows him to always get involved even if he doesnt put up many shots. Offensive WeaknessesSummary Demanding the ball Post footwork Post passingExplanation Despite improving his post game throughout the college season, Vonleh needs to become more confident with his footwork and make more definitive moves. Currently his hesitant making post moves. Vonleh also needs to improve his passing out of the post. Due to him being hesitant with his footwork, his eyes are too focused on what his feet are doing and he misses open men. Finally, while Vonleh gets into good positions in the post he is not assertive enough and he doesnt demand the ball. Defensive Strengths Summary Footwork in post Shot blocking Rim protection 2nd efforts Shot blocking is underrated and impressive timing is great Impressive 2nd efforts ExplanationVonleh uses his length very well in rim protection, he has great timing on his block either has a one on one defender or when he rotates over to help. As with his offense, Vonleh displays great second efforts after he is beaten. Vonleh is also very smart with his rebounding positioning and uses his length effectively in this regard. For a player without a great offensive post game, Vonlehs post defense is very good, his footwork allows him to stay with opponents and harass opponents in the post. He is very patient and can force bad shots with his footwork and ball pressure. Vonleh times his shot contests very well and makes it very difficult to score against him in the post. Defensive WeaknessesSummary Guarding perimeter Switching on pick and rolls Disrupting passing lanesExplanationDespite having nimble feet, Vonleh found it difficult to stay in front of players when he was guarding the perimeter. Tthis was compounded by the fact that he was hesitant to switch on pick and rolls and he was far too content to hang back in the paint. Finally, although he uses his length well to affect shots, Vonleh needs to learn how to disrupt passing lanes using his length and to deny entry passes into the post. Athletic AttributesSummary Needs to put on more muscle Good length Below average agility Adequate leaping ability ExplanationThe most obvious thing watching Vonleh play is that he needs to immediately add muscle to his frame. Although he is not an explosive leaper, he can elevate over defenders on offense and can be a force in rim protection using his combination of length and timing. Vonlehs lack of agility is a worry for him guarding stretch fours and guards on the perimeter.Character AssessmentExplanationNo character concerns, a high intangibles guy who works hard in the gym and both ends of the floor. Zach LavineBasic Statistics: 66 and 180 pounds Season Averages: 24.4 Minutes, 9.4 Points, 2.5 Rebounds, 1.8 assists Field Goal Percentage 44.1% 3 Point Field Goal Percentage 37.5% Free Throw Percentage 69.1% 10.42 seconds in lane agility test (best at combine, next best time was 10.75) measures lateral quickness 2.80 second shuttle run (best for a guard) measures ability to change direction 33.5 inch standing vertical leap (4th at combine) 41.5 inch max vertical leap (3rd at combine)Offensive StrengthsSummary Good shot, quick release, well balanced. Can shoot off dribble Moves well without ball Best hop step in college Great ability to get to the rim Can run plays A great athlete with rapid pace Quick with ball in hand Transition offenseExplanation Lavine possesses good balance on all of his shots, even turnaround 3 pointers. His quick release lets him get shots up in almost any situation, he is a very good shooter off the dribble. His most impressive talent is his ability to get to the rim, he possesses a quick first step and the best hop step in college. In fact, he has the best ability of any guard in this class to get to the rim. His spin move in traffic is very effective. Lavine can get open and he works hard off the ball. Lavine has the ability to run plays but he needs to tighten his handle if he wants to be a combo guard in the NBA. Lavine is going to be near impossible to catch in transition, with or without the ball. His speed and athleticism, mixed with his good shooting stroke is going to make him a match up nightmare on offense. Offensive WeaknessesSummary Finishing at rim with contact Shot selection takes some ill-advised shots Free throw shooting Mid-range game Handle and ability to create for teammatesExplanation Although Lavine possesses an incredible ability to get to the rim, he struggles to finish in contact. At only 180 pounds, it is imperative that he puts on more weight so he can take contact in the paint and still finish. Lavine needs to work on his shot selection, too often he was reluctant to take open shots but then on other occasions he would take ill-advised contested shots with plenty of time left on the shot clock. Lavines free throw percentage of less than 70% is not good enough for a NBA shooting guard, this needs to improve. Furthermore, there has been no evidence of a mid-range game from Lavine. Lavine is touted as having the potential of being a combo guard in the NBA. Although he has showed glimpses of an ability to run plays, he needs to improve his ball control in the open court and in half court sets. Lavine hasnt showed a consistent ability to consistently create for teammates. Defensive Strengths Summary Can guard point guards Length to disrupt passes TransitionExplanationLavines defensive game is not up to NBA standards at the moment. He has the potential to become a very good defender due to his length and athleticism. He has shown an ability to contain point guards and with his length he can disrupt passing lanes and make it hard for opponents to get shots and make passes over him. Lavine is also the first back in transition and with some added strength will be able to be a real factor on defense. Defensive WeaknessesSummary Defensive IQ Rebounding Timing on blocksExplanationToo many times Lavine looked lost on defense and failed to get to the correct positions in UCLAs zone structure. He also did not rotate and double team at the correct times. For a guard with such explosive athleticism, Lavines rebounding numbers were underwhelming (4.2 rebounds per 40 minutes). He needs to position himself better and this will all come with a better understanding of the game and his role. This also applies to his shot blocking ability, Lavine has the potential to become a destructive defensive force. Athletic AttributesSummary 180 pounds needs to add strength Explosive athlete Very quick Good lateral movement Very good vertical leapExplanationLavine has very impressive athletic tools. His powerful explosion, speed and vertical leap are the best combination of any guard in this draft. He needs to add muscle to his skinny frame immediately in order to be able to play meaningful minutes in the NBA and handle the contact. Character AssessmentExplanationLavine has confidence in his ability, believing that he will become one of the best young players in the NBA. From all reports, Lavine has a great work ethic and is a gym rat. However he is going to need patience because there are a lot of areas of his game which need improvement. Lavine left UCLA because he was unhappy with his role as an off ball guard. There is a chance that this impatience will translate to the NBA. However it is difficult to read too much into his reasons for leaving UCLA because the allure of being a lottery pick is very strong. 20