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2019 NBA Draft Massive Board: Tier Three

One other day, one other tier. That is Tier Three of my 2019 NBA Draft Massive Board (try Tier Four right here), which I’ve labeled “excessive likelihood rotation gamers, doable starters, tail star outcomes.” Tier Three is the sturdy level of the 2019 Draft. It’s maybe slightly weak on the prime, however the expertise is flat all through with gamers I’d really feel snug taking within the mid-teens from different draft courses. As inside any tier, I see the rankings as fluid—I may see an argument for the next 12 gamers being ranked in any order, however that is the one I’ve settled on. Earlier than studying, you should definitely try Tier Four and the philosophies underlying these rankings.

10. PJ Washington, Ahead

One thing I’ve come to understand in regards to the Celtics of the final couple years is the worth of gamers with out obtrusive flaws. In a collection just like the 2019 first-round match-up with Indiana, you see how giant a bonus it’s to have guys who can’t be exploited on both finish in distinction with guys who can all be exploited in a method or one other.

With that mentioned, PJ Washington doesn’t have any obtrusive flaws.

He has nice dimension for a combo ahead at 6’eight” with a 7’2.25” wingspan. He makes use of that dimension properly, getting vertical on the rim and serving as a serious deterrent. Washington marries that dimension with sturdy motion abilities, which allow him to be an impactful defender in each side of the sport.

Washington emerged as a dependable Three-point shooter in his sophomore season at Kentucky, hitting 42.Three% of his 2.2 Three-point makes an attempt per sport. However vary isn’t actually a brand new discovery for him. It’s extra a reprisal of a job he crammed previous to his freshman 12 months with the Wildcats (learn this glorious piece from Ross Homan at The Stepien for extra on that). And delving into that historical past reveals some hidden upside for Washington, who may have some authentic off-the-dribble capturing capacity.


Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports activities

He excels, maybe much more, as a passer. Washington can move on the transfer, hit cutters and shooters out of the submit, and is an excellent inside passer, throwing eye-popping little darts to his entrance courtroom companions. He’s an excellent finisher and equally snug doing so with both hand. He’s a really succesful ball-handler who’s extremely efficient attacking closeouts.

Some persons are slightly extra enamored with Washington’s self-creation upside than I’m, however he doesn’t want that prime ceiling to be price a lottery choose on this draft. If I needed to nitpick, Washington’s vertical explosion across the rim isn’t the best, and he’s not some basketball genius, however general he’s simply tremendous stable at most basketball issues that matter.

11. Cam Reddish, Wing/Ahead

I used to be so in on Reddish coming into the 12 months. I hadn’t seen a ton, however in just a few prep video games and the All-Star circuit, he seemed particular. He was huge with intimidating vary and actual passing imaginative and prescient. I had hopes of Reddish as a 6’eight” level ahead and one of the best or second-best prospect within the draft. I couldn’t have been extra incorrect.

In these settings, he overwhelmed with dimension, and flashes obscured general ineffectiveness. Reddish was totally uncovered in his 12 months at Duke.

I believe the very first false impression about Reddish that have to be addressed earlier than now we have any rational dialogue of his outlook is “upside.” It nonetheless appears to be the case that lots of people are tantalized by the Reddish I used to be enchanted by a 12 months in the past. Nevertheless, Reddish is the furthest factor from an “upside” play.

Reddish’s remarkably poor play at Duke was not a product of a scarcity of optimization or an ill-fitting position. Reddish struggled as a result of he legitimately may not be an NBA-caliber athlete. It’s not that he’s not an excellent athlete by NBA requirements, Reddish genuinely is perhaps such a clumsy athlete that he can’t survive within the NBA.

Statistically, his full lack of burst and vertical explosion offered themselves in his rim try frequency and effectivity. Simply 17% of Reddish’s halfcourt shot makes an attempt got here on the rim, and he completed within the 29th percentile. He’s sluggish and has zero vertical pop by any means:

Reddish is a non-threat as a driver to an extent few gamers are, which suggests he’s virtually fully reliant on his bounce shot for offense. In that respect, Reddish, relationship again to highschool, has at all times been extra prepared than in a position. He took an absolute boatload of three’s at Duke (7.Four per sport), however hit at simply 33.Three% and had issue sustaining constant mechanics.

I’m optimistic on Reddish’s capturing, not in that I anticipate him to be nice percentage-wise, however within the sense that I believe there’s worth in taking plenty of Three’s of assorted kind and hitting at a good sufficient share to matter to the protection.

The principle cause I haven’t offloaded the rest of my Reddish inventory is his defensive affect. Whereas he’s totally bereft of explosion, Reddish is a clean mover who ought to deliver on-ball positional versatility. As a workforce defender, he’s way more thrilling. Reddish stands 6’eight” with a 7’zero.5” wingspan, which he interprets to defensive affect across the rim:

He’s undoubtedly liable to off-ball lapses, however his off-ball consciousness is mostly fairly good and leads to constant high-impact performs on the rim and in passing lanes. For all of the statistical considerations with Reddish (and there are borderline-disqualifying numbers on his ending, general effectivity, and decision-making), the one space by which he excelled at Duke (aside from Three-point try fee) was steal share, signaling his intelligence and the flexibility to persistently apply his size.

A 12 months after falling for Cam Reddish, I’m nonetheless in on him, however the impetus couldn’t be extra completely different. I’ve realized he’s far too bodily restricted to ever reside as much as my delusions of conventional stardom, however Reddish has nice attraction as a high-value position participant. Outsized wings who can defend a number of positions, create vital affect as workforce defenders, and launch a excessive quantity of inauspicious Three-point makes an attempt are each intensely priceless and arduous to return by.

12. Romeo Langford, Wing

I’ve a foul Romeo Langford behavior I simply can’t give up. I see his shot mechanics and 27.2% Three-point share, however imagine in his contact translating to satisfactory Three-point capturing ultimately. I see unhealthy off-ball lapses by which he surrenders again cuts for uncontested layups, however imagine within the occasional out-of-area play he makes across the rim because of a spark of defensive consciousness. I see loads of missed passes, however imagine within the occasional pocket move to the roll man or kick out whereas attacking a closeout.

Langford has appreciable flaws. Most damaging is his capturing (if I may pitch the optimistic perspective on that, he has wonderful contact and was 65th percentile within the halfcourt on off-the-dribble jumpers, proficiency which probably stems from his choice to shoot with backward momentum). However his strengths are actual:

Langford’s an superior on-ball defender with wonderful bodily instruments (peak, size, energy). I anticipate him to be a really plus on-ball wing defender with authentic positional versatility.

As a slasher, Langford’s highly effective. I’m involved that he gained an excessive amount of with energy and never sufficient together with his deal with or explosion, however he needs to be sturdy even by NBA requirements, and he is aware of easy methods to apply that energy to dislodge defenders on the rim and create area to capitalize on his elite contact.

I’ve a suspicion Langford has some semblance of athletic upside, too. Langford subjected himself to each anthropological measurement on the NBA mix apart from weight and physique fats share. My guess could be this was a not-so-subtle try to cover the truth that he’s a bit chubby.

Whereas portraying fats as a constructive may seem to be a stretch, take into account that these are 19-year-old males who’ve by no means dedicated to rigorous energy and conditioning applications. Once you’re not carrying as a lot weight, it takes much less power to beat gravity to get your physique off the bottom, and with the identical power, you will get farther off the bottom. Take, for instance, Luka Doncic. Watch Doncic at the start of the 2018-19 season; he was fats. By the center of the 12 months, he had performed himself into form and was notably faster. It’s removed from a assure, however Langford may have some extra athletic capacity hidden underneath that child fats.

There are different areas I imagine Langford might need some unexplored upside:

Do not know if this could technically be logged as a post-up, however Romeo hasn’t actually labored within the submit in any respect this 12 months. Good technique to make use of his energy and contact, particularly on the 2, although pic.twitter.com/09T4O4PSS3

— Max Carlin (@maxacarlin) January 12, 2019

Power and contact is a potent mixture, and submit offense might be one more avenue for Langford to create for his workforce. It’s a throwback suggestion, however I imagine Langford is a little bit of a throwback participant. I purchase these type of low-end star outcomes, the place Langford can shoot off-the-dribble, destroy as a slasher, create within the submit, wreak havoc on-ball defensively, and create occasions off-ball.

With all that optimism and perception and charitable interpretation in thoughts, Langford remains to be a really flawed prospect. His lapses in defensive consciousness are actual, he has no actual capacity to generate area as a result of a restricted deal with and underwhelming explosiveness, and he misses all kinds of makeable passes when his workforce asks him to create. I is perhaps overthinking this fully. This may simply be a case of “if he shoots, he’s stable, and if not, he’s barely an NBA man.” Ultimately, although, I simply can’t give up him. There are too many points of Langford’s sport that make sense and too many indicators that there is perhaps extra there.

13. Talen Horton-Tucker, Wing/Initiator

I bear in mind the primary time I noticed Talen Horton-Tucker. Not the primary time I noticed him play, however the first time I noticed a nonetheless picture of him. That, in and of itself, was an expertise. THT stands 6’Four” in footwear, weighs 235.Four kilos, and boasts a 7’1.25” wingspan. These numbers are correct.

Bodily, Horton-Tucker is nothing wanting hilarious. He’s a fridge, and applies that to basketball. His defensive versatility noticed him begin video games with Marcus Sensible-like defensive assignments on gamers with half a foot on him (notably in opposition to 6’10” Kansas State star Dean Wade). THT applies his size and energy as a workforce defender, too, creating affect performs:

Dimension isn’t at all times a constructive for Horton-Tucker, although, as he’s carrying a lot weight, it may be actually robust for him to maintain up with smaller, quicker guards. He’ll undoubtedly have to drop a great deal of weight within the NBA, however he’s one other main candidate for fats upside (measured in with a really excessive eight.Four% physique fats share on the mix). Lack of explosion is an actual challenge for THT, so a rating like this does hinge upon a few of that upside being buried there, however Horton-Tucker’s age (he gained’t be 19 till late November) conjures up much more confidence that his physique merely hasn’t matured but.

Horton-Tucker has one other doubtlessly ruinous flaw. He shot 30.eight% from Three, 21.9% on 2-point jumpers, and 62.5% from the road in his lone season with Iowa State. He was prepared shooter, however that was one more drawback: he’s a somewhat daring decision-maker, to place it diplomatically.

Regardless of all that, Horton-Tucker’s a extremely attention-grabbing prospect. A good quantity of the attraction has its roots in his physique, but it surely’s the performs his physique permits his thoughts to make which have me entranced. THT’s liable to typical younger defender off-ball lapses, however he flashes as an extremely conscious and sensible participant:

That intelligence interprets to the offensive finish, the place Horton-Tucker might be an bold shot-taker, however wows as a playmaker:

Lengthy shot, I am guessing, however does anybody have passing charts for NCAA? Looks as if a disproportionate variety of THT’s potential assists are to the inside pic.twitter.com/yzNSo1IdWk

— Max Carlin (@maxacarlin) Could 30, 2019

I’m an enormous believer in THT’s passing. His imaginative and prescient is nice and his borderline elite contact is as obvious on passes because it as across the rim as a finisher.

Horton-Tucker could be very a lot a flash participant. He flashes as a possible major ball-handler, robust shot-maker, versatile on-ball defender, and affect workforce defender. It’s completely authentic to not purchase these flashes, to get caught on the muck in between the flashes. In my eyes, the sparks, if they’re sustained and change into a constant gentle, are doubtlessly game-changing sufficient to gamble on.

14. Coby White, Combo

There have been few faculty basketball occasions this 12 months extra enjoyable than Coby White video games. Each every so often, White would begin feeling himself and he’d hit a catch-and-shoot Three after which a stepback after which he’d get away an outrageous dribble transfer on a foray to the rim. When it was lastly over, when you can lastly sit again, you’d examine the field rating and then you definately’d examine it once more, ready for it to accurately show 40 factors on good capturing. Nevertheless it by no means would, as a result of it was a mirage.

In actuality, it was an excellent sport, an environment friendly 26, but it surely seemed spectacular. That’s Coby White.

You watch White, and he’s creating tons of area off-the-dribble and simply draining completely the whole lot, and then you definately examine the stats and see he’s a 27th percentile off-the-dribble shooter within the half courtroom. You watch White, and he’s this speedy little factor with often eye-popping handles, and then you definately examine the stats and see he’s tried an ungodly-low 19.7% of his half courtroom photographs on the rim.

White’s moments of brilliance are intoxicating, however they’re mere moments. His space-creation’s actual, I believe, however the pull-up jumper clearly isn’t proper now. His deal with does flash at jaw-dropping ranges, however on the entire, it’s a serious hindrance to his driving capacity. He’ll throw a move that’ll have you ever obsessively refreshing Twitter ready for the replay to grace your timeline, however that second will make you neglect the seven instances he did this:

Fairly good single-possession encapsulation of Coby White. Splits the D then launches himself into two defenders on the rim with Cam Johnson open one move away pic.twitter.com/KdkNfDvWbD

— Max Carlin (@maxacarlin) Could 29, 2019

White is not only a flash participant. He’s an elite catch-and-shoot shooter with beautiful off-the-catch mechanics, rating within the 93rd percentile in half courtroom catch-and-shoot jumper effectivity. He’s a hounding point-of-attack defender, too.

Coby White’s an excellent participant, however he’s a restricted one. As a result of his lack of ability to penetrate the protection and make selections as a ball-handler, he’s probably an off guard on offense. On protection, he’s a robust point-of-attack defender, however he’s hampered by his 6’5” wingspan regardless of his 6’Four.75” height–it’s troublesome to see White defending anybody however level guards.

So White’s not going to be your lead guard, which suggests you continue to want a type of. And he’s going to defend the opposing workforce’s smallest participant, so that you’re going to wish a lead guard with sufficient dimension and energy to defend up a place. White places you in a team-building predicament. Constructing a workforce round Zion Williamson necessitates that your different gamers should be capable of shoot; that’s a team-building dilemma, too. For Zion Williamson, you gladly shoulder that burden. For Coby White, meh. Within the late lottery, the calculus may work out, however the place he’s being mocked? Completely not.

15. Jontay Porter, Massive

For an enormous man to be a constructive offensive participant within the fashionable NBA, he ought to excel in two of the three following areas: dribbling, passing, capturing. Porter is borderline elite in any respect three:

The specter of his shot forces a tough closeout and entices the defender to go away his ft, his dribbling capacity will get him into the paint, and his passing creates a straightforward bucket. Offensively, Porter has all of it. He’s a high-end Three-point shooter, the uncommon massive with authentic shot versatility. He’s terribly fluid dealing with the ball. He’s an excellent passer, diming up teammates on the roll, selecting aside defenses from the submit, and delivering superior inside passes:

Physique and repute have earned Porter a foul title defensively, however in faculty, it wasn’t warranted. As a freshman, Porter was in poor form and was severely restricted as a vertical athlete. By way of overwhelming intelligence and dimension (and superior palms), Porter was a significant constructive defensively. And this isn’t simply nebulous “affect,” it confirmed up within the field rating. Porter was a prolific shot-blocker, posting the next block share (7.Three%) as a freshman than Bruno Fernando, who’s widely-perceived as rather more attention-grabbing defensive prospect, did as a sophomore (7%).

Porter additionally strikes pretty properly laterally, although his change of course is poor and his weight shifting at instances seems to be downright violent as a result of his physique merely can’t catch as much as his thoughts, particularly on the weight he performed at his freshman 12 months.

After all, I’m referencing Porter’s freshman efficiency for a cause, and that’s the tremendous miserable elephant within the room: Porter’s torn his ACL twice within the final eight months. I don’t know the way a lot inventory to place in it, however there’s the added layer of Porter’s sister, Cierra, whose basketball profession was derailed by knee injures and brother Michael, the 14th choose within the 2018 NBA Draft, who has had a collection of extreme backbone accidents and whose profession is in flux.

Had Porter not re-torn his ACL in March, I’d have him comfortably in Tier 2. However we should at the least confront the likelihood that Porter’s physique is basically flawed. If he’s wholesome, Porter’s an superior prospect, an ideal fashionable massive. I’ve no clue what the probabilities of which can be, so this rating is the purpose at which I can tolerate the uncertainty chasing what we all know is there.

16. Chuma Okeke, Ahead

Okeke’s attraction rests virtually fully upon his really feel. He has a preternatural sense for the place to be. Paired together with his 6’7” construct and plus wingspan, that really feel permits Okeke to generate immense defensive affect off the ball:

On-ball, Okeke is stable. He’s not the best lateral mover, making him barely prone to blow-bys and limiting his positional versatility–he’s extra NBA Four-man than wing and won’t be an elite swap defender.

Okeke’s really feel manifests itself offensively, too, the place he’s a very nice on-the-move passer, excelling on dump offs when attacking closeouts. In two seasons with Auburn, he was a constant spot-up shooter, too, connecting on 38.9% of his Three.2 Three-point makes an attempt per sport.

I’m not apprehensive in regards to the long-term implications of the torn ACL Okeke suffered throughout Auburn’s NCAA Match run, but it surely’s a hurdle that have to be acknowledged and can sideline him for some portion of his rookie season. That mentioned, Okeke is an excellent basketball participant who produces affect in a low-usage position that can scale very properly to good groups.

17. Kevin Porter Jr., Wing/Initiator

Oh, KPJ. For a very long time, Porter Jr. was essentially the most complicated prospect within the draft for me. He’s 6’5.5” 212.6 kilos with a 6’9” wingspan, however I really feel that understates his dimension. He’s sturdy and performs massive on each ends, flashing as a bodily one-on-one defender for transient moments in USC’s zone protection. He’s an elite space-creator on offense, probably one of the best within the draft, with a step again that generates huge home windows for him to get to his pull-up.

As I combed by means of increasingly more movie and stats, my opinion slowly crystalized: KPJ may not be any good. His physique is wonderful, however he has such an aversion to seizing driving lanes, as an alternative choosing the step again, it not often issues. He creates miles of area for his pull-up, however his shot is fairly rattling questionable. His set level is mainly on his shoulder, he pushes the ball, and his launch level is tremendous low. Mechanical points in thoughts, Porter’s 52.2% free-throw share doesn’t encourage confidence that his 41.2% Three-point share on 68 faculty makes an attempt was actual.

And it doesn’t finish there. Whereas KPJ flashes high-level defensive consciousness now and again (and has the bodily instruments to make an affect), his consciousness is fairly poor within the combination. He’s additionally a tough decision-maker on each ends, who can’t be trusted to make the proper play. If that weren’t sufficient, Porter Jr. has in depth off-court considerations and was topic to team-imposed suspension for private conduct violations at USC.

With an strategy correction, a dedication to getting downhill, KPJ might be a monster slasher, which might solely make his step again extra lethal. With decision-making enchancment, he may leverage the specter of his pull-up and ending to compromise the protection and feed teammates. With higher focus, he might be an impactful on-ball and workforce defender.

It’s arduous to label any of the above “probably,” and all of the noise I’ve heard about Porter Jr. off the courtroom together with the way in which he performs on is very, extremely regarding. But, it’s arduous to rule out any of the above because of KPJ’s foundational instruments. If all of it comes collectively, and people uncooked abilities match synergistically the way in which they conceivably may, yielding a wing initiator with plus protection, Porter Jr. might be one of many best non-Zion gamers within the draft. I don’t suppose it’s probably, so I can’t get too excessive on him, however the path is there.

18. De’Andre Hunter, Ahead/Wing

I simply don’t get it. Hunter’s a wonderful mover and superb on-ball defender with authentic versatility. He shoots a excessive share on spot-up Three-pointers. He’s tall.

In two years at Virginia, he made 67 threes, and 64 of them had been assisted. Sure, he linked on 41.9% of his makes an attempt over these two years, however these had been straightforward, straightforward makes an attempt, and he wasn’t precisely wanting to take them. Hunter’s hesitance stems from insecurity, absolutely, but in addition lack of capacity:

You’ve virtually undoubtedly seen this earlier than. It’s the beginning of one of many extra ridiculous Zion highlights of the season, but it surely’s additionally a reasonably damning indictment of Hunter’s shot. Zion makes an absurd Zion play, but it surely’s solely doable as a result of Hunter’s launch is so rattling sluggish. Within the NBA, I don’t belief him to get that factor off in any respect.

The remainder of Hunter’s offensive sport is questionable at finest. He succeeded capturing excessive in face-ups quite a bit, however I don’t actually see that as a viable choice within the NBA, seeing as opponents will know he doesn’t have the burst to blow by. He’s possibly a bit higher as a playmaker than he’s given credit score for, however he’s in all probability not ok to really be tasked with any ball-handling tasks.

Defensively, I believe Hunter’s billing as one of the best within the class is flat-out incorrect. Amongst forwards alone, Zion and Brandon Clarke are each higher with out query. Amongst wings, Charles Matthews, prior to ripping his ACL in his Celtics exercise, was undoubtedly higher each on-ball and as a workforce defender.

Hunter’s superb on-ball, and shall be within the NBA. Whereas I acknowledge Virginia’s defensive scheme is conservative, Hunter’s off-ball protection merely isn’t good. It’s not only a lack of wonderful out-of-area performs, he misses fundamental rotations. He isn’t a excessive really feel or IQ participant.

I see Hunter as a helpful and versatile on-ball defender with vastly overstated defensive affect and extremely questionable offensive capacity. Mix that together with his startling lack of enchancment between his freshman and sophomore seasons and age–Hunter is older than Jayson Tatum and shall be 22 in December–and you have got an okay, but fully unremarkable prospect.

19. Bol Bol, Massive

Every thing about Bol Bol is silly, man. He’s 7’Three” and one of many three or 4 finest shooters within the draft. His deal with is outrageously, obnoxiously fluid. He blocks so many photographs on the perimeter, he makes Robert Williams appear like a standard human being. I imply, take a look at this:

Sadly, the whole lot about Bol Bol is silly:

Bol is remarkably unaware. He’ll let guys drive proper by him to an unprotected rim. He exists in a everlasting purposeless haze, floating round, impacting nothing. His spectacular block numbers (2.7 per sport) overstate his defensive affect too, since so lots of them got here as a one-on-one defender, usually on the perimeter, as an alternative of as a assist defender. He isn’t a lot of a rim deterrent in the meanwhile, and never simply due to his lack of intelligence:

Power, positioning, effort: they’re all huge, crippling points for Bol. And essentially the most insane, silly factor is these may not even be Bol’s largest weak point:

I like to recommend clicking by means of that complete thread. It’s a Hindenburg-level catastrophe of cease/begin, weight-shifting, decision-making, method, and energy. Bol merely can’t transfer.

Whereas Bol is successfully an offensive specialist at this stage, he has considerations on that finish because of his IQ deficiency. In 9 video games with Oregon, Bol tallied 9 assists and 18 turnovers. Sure, a 1:2 assist-to-turnover ratio.

In response to Synergy, he did really move out of submit doubles a handful of instances this season, however I’m skeptical. The Houston sport within the above clip was an impressive catastrophe. On a number of events, Bol was doubled, had straightforward passes out–keep in thoughts, this man is 7’Three” and may simply be capable of see out of a double–and took turnarounds from behind the backboard. A number of instances. Greater than as soon as.

On prime of all that, Bol is a 7’Three” human being with a fractured navicular bone in his foot, and foot accidents have traditionally been extremely problematic for males as giant as Bol as a result of restricted blood circulation to the ft.

I actually would perceive if you happen to informed me Bol Bol is undraftable. He’s so unhealthy at a lot of what issues on a basketball courtroom. Add to that questions on his love for basketball, which are sometimes unfairly attributed to gamers his dimension, however appear authentic given how lengthy they’ve been requested of him and the absence of power and motor with which he performs, and Bol is a tricky prospect to purchase.

Alternatively, I wouldn’t have any qualms if you happen to informed me Bol’s a top-10 expertise on this draft. Bol’s fluidity with the ball, his dimension, his capturing, and his contact are stupidly particular. For all his points, Bol is hyper, hyper elite at just a few issues. You may’t say that about some other non-Zion prospect on this draft. For me, there are too many outcomes the place Bol provides you completely nothing, and even when he does obtain an excellent consequence, I’m skeptical of his viability on the highest ranges of competitors, however the tail outcomes the place he’s one thing silly and particular that we’ve by no means seen earlier than are price playing on.

20. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Combo/Wing

Alexander-Walker is an outsized 6’5.5” ball-handler who’s somewhat devoid of the explosion essential to persistently win on the perimeter. At Virginia Tech, he compensated by leaning on guile, dimension, and capturing.

There may be an indelible and great funk to Alexander-Walker’s sport:

He isn’t his cousin Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, however he has a few of these herky-jerky mannerisms that make SGA such a pleasure to observe. In faculty, that translated to very sturdy half courtroom rim frequency numbers (36%). That funk sufficiently compensating for Alexander-Walker’s athletic limitations sufficient for him to be an NBA lead guard appears extremely unlikely, although.

Then there’s the problem of his passing. Alexander-Walker is an effective passer, a educated passer, however I at all times get the sense that his selections are pre-made. He can hit the weak facet nook, but it surely’s when he’s determined he’s going to do this all alongside. I don’t imagine he has the best imaginative and prescient or really feel, which might be an issue for an NBA lead guard.

All which means Alexander-Walker shall be transitioning to a extra off-ball offensive position within the NBA, which shouldn’t be an issue given his dimension and 38.Three% Three-point share on Four.5 makes an attempt per sport throughout two seasons with the Hokies, together with 40% on 120 makes an attempt from behind the NBA line this 12 months alone.

Defensively, Alexander-Walker is pesky as all hell on-ball, with energetic palms that disturb ball-handlers and create steals. Off-ball, his consciousness is very spectacular:

A possible avenue of added worth might be derived from Alexander-Walker’s dimension, too. At 6’5.5” with a 6’9.5” wingspan, I consider Alexander-Walker as at the least wing-adjacent. In faculty, he was usually tasked with guarding NBA wings/forwards, like Cam Johnson and De’Andre Hunter. Whereas he’s too weak for the position in the meanwhile, with some added bulk, I’m optimistic Alexander-Walker may slot in on the wing.

There’s nothing spectacular about Alexander-Walker (defensive consciousness in all probability comes closest), however there’s plenty of good. Extra importantly, that good ought to translate properly to quite a lot of NBA roles (bench handler, off guard, wing). Versatile, sensible, and well-rounded, Alexander-Walker needs to be a very nice NBA piece.

21. Cam Johnson, Wing

Johnson is a 6’eight.5” wing who’s one of the best shooter within the draft. I really feel like that’s a reasonably concise and convincing abstract of Cam Johnson, NBA prospect. He shot 45.7% on 5.eight Three-pointers per sport this 12 months. He’s a fully nasty off-movement shooter, extremely able to squaring his physique mid-air. He has vary properly past the NBA line–162 of his 210 Three-point makes an attempt this season would have been behind the NBA line, and he shot 46.Three% on these makes an attempt.

The promoting level for Johnson is doubtlessly particular capturing in an enormous body, however he additionally presents a bit extra secondary creation than he’s given credit score for:

There are questions as to who precisely Johnson guards within the NBA. He undoubtedly performs smaller than his peak, as a result of a scarcity of energy, restricted size, and a common lack of power to his sport. Although he’s improved all through faculty, he has some fairly severe motion/change of course points:

I’m involved about Johnson defensively, each vs. major assignments and as a possible goal of mismatch looking. Nonetheless, it’s arduous to ascertain a shooter of his caliber with plus dimension failing as an NBA rotation participant. If his motion abilities proceed to enhance, Johnson might be as a lot as an excellent starter on an excellent workforce.

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