Lacking the normal luster of Classics past without Giles, Tatum and Bolden for Duke, and missing the rare opportunity to see two elite wings match up in Jackson and Tatum, the Classic didn’t blow anyone away this year. It was still a prime gathering of multiple lottery picks in the ’17 draft however, and is definitely worth exploring in deeper fashion than most games considering the competition level and stage. The following are my prospect observations from Tuesday night. Continue reading
This goes without saying, but take any preseason big board in terms of precise order with a grain of salt. This is better utilized as an initial purview into players and a general outline of my thoughts on this class overall.
I view this draft as incredibly strong at the top with an elite first tier filled with potential all-stars. You can make a legitimate case for 4 or 5 guys at the #1 overall spot, and that is rare for a draft class.
I feel most strongly about the top 4, which is why they comprise tier 1. Some players in tier 2 can easily vault into that top tier; I’m just not as confident in their translation at this juncture.
Tier 2 is comprised of the other 3 players I’m confident have a high level floor with legitimate translatable high-level skills, rendering there a top 7 right now on my board that I feel best about.
Tier 3 is comprised of 13 players that I need to see improvement from in various capacities to feel more confident in their respective floors. I ranked those I feel more strongly about in the lottery range, but the precise order is very fluid.
Overall, this is a tremendously strong class at the top in terms of potential all-stars, but might not have the same level of depth as last year. Guys almost always emerge onto the scene unexpectedly and of course players improve, so commenting with any kind of authority on the depth of the class is somewhat premature. That being said, this is my first stab at projecting this class. For a description of what constitutes the various NBA position titles, click HERE.
Category 12 Wings: 1 Position Defenders + 1 Skill Shooters
(Skills: Generational Spot Up and Off Screen Shooting With Scheme Changing High Frequency Off Screen Ability)
- J.J. Redick (Senior) #11
- Kyle Korver (Sophomore) #51
Category 11 Wings: “Wing Fours”
(Skills: Size and Frame to Play the 4, Off-Ball Shooting, Situational Post Ups)
Category 11A: Some On Ball Skill/Post Up
- Harrison Barnes (Sophomore) #7
- Jeff Green (Junior) #5
- Marcus Morris (Junior) #14
Category 11B: Off-Ball
- Otto Porter JR (Sophomore) #3
- Maurice Harkless (Freshman) #15
- Solomon Hill (Senior) #23
*Also in Category 11B: Current versions of Jared Dudley, Luol Deng and PJ Tucker; Lance Thomas.
*Potential Rookies: Paul Zipser
Category 10 Wings: Offensive Skilled Combo-Forwards
(Skills: On Ball Usage/Scoring Versatility Creation: Iso, PNR, Post Up, Off-Ball Shooting, Defensive Size)
Category 10A: Creation for Others Oriented
- Chandler Parsons (Senior) #38
Category 10B: Self Creation Oriented
- Danilo Gallinari (International) #6
- Rudy Gay (Sophomore) #8
- Tobias Harris (Freshman) #19
Category 9 Wings: Defensive Versatile
(Skills: Elite Defense + Switching Versatility, Ability to Swing to the 4, Rebounding, Transition, Off-Ball Cutting, Finishing)
Category 9A: Added Handling Ability
- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Freshman) #2
- Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Sophomore) #23
Category 9B: Non-Dribblers
- Tony Allen (Sophomore) #25
- Al Farouq-Aminu (Sophomore) #8
- Andre Roberson (Junior) #26
Others Players in this Category: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Potentially Justin Anderson
Category 8 Wings: Offensive/Scoring Secondary Handlers
(Skills: High Usage On-Ball Handling/Self Shot Creation, Iso/PNR Secondary Creation, Off The Dribble Shooting, Off Ball 3pt Shooting)
- C.J. McCollum (Senior) #10
- Rodney Hood (Sophomore) #23
- DeMar DeRozan(Freshman) #9
- Bradley Beal (Freshman) #3
- Brandon Knight (Freshman) #8
- Eric Gordon (Freshman) #7
- Evan Fournier (International) #20
- Zach LaVine (Freshman) #13
- Tyreke Evans (Freshman) #4
- Jordan Clarkson (Junior) #46
- *Devin Booker (Freshman) #13
Others Players in this Category: Jamal Crawford, Monta Ellis (Amongst Others)
Rookies Also Included: Denzel Valentine (Senior) #14, Jamal Murray (Freshman) #7