Since the season is over I thought it would be nice to break down the upcoming draft by position. A lot is going to change over the up coming weeks as drafting positions, combine, players declare, etc all start to happen. That being said, there is no time like the present to begin looking ahead. After all, it'll at least give us something to look forward to now that the season is over.
I'm going to break down several players by round, starting with the strongest at the position and working back. This particular post (as the title says) will be looking at Point Guards. Obviously this has probably been the most looked at position by Jazz fans over the last year (and maybe even since Deron Williams was traded.) Hopefully, this will be of some help and maybe even give you a few players too watch for as the Combine and team workouts approach.
Strengths- Scoring, Ball handling, Pick and Roll, Passing, Speed.
Weaknesses- Size, Finishing around Rim, Defense.
Synopsis- Overall, Burke should be the number one point guard taken in the draft. With Marcus Smart decided to return for his sophomore season the spotlight will be on Burke. Michigan had a great tourney and Burke played himself into the spotlight.
Burke is the best all around PG in the draft. He has many of the things you look for in a PG. He's quick, can score, handles the ball well, and is great at passing. Perhaps his most dangerous attribute is his ability to run the Pick and Roll. Something I know all Jazz fans have been craving since Deron Williams left. He has a quick first step and is able to penetrate or dish when needed. He's not scared of stepping back and hitting the 3 either. The main issue is going to be Burke's size. His stature is slightly small for today's NBA. His larger than normal wingspan helps him make up for that.
All this being said. Burke is out of our range. I imagine he goes top 5 in the draft barring something drastic happening. I know some are holding out hope that we can trade up for him. I just don't see it. Your best bet is praying that somehow we end up with a top 3 pick in the lotto. The odds are certainly not in our favor though.
Strengths- Ball handling, Passing, Around the Rim
Weaknesses- Scoring, Defense, Skinny
Synopsis- I started the year with my eye on MCW. I thought he was exactly what the Jazz would be looking for. Big body, passing ability, and decent ball handle. My opinion changed though the few times I saw him play. I wasn't as impressed.
What MCW has going for him is his passing ability. I believe he's probably the best floor general in the draft. He always seemed to be looking to pass and while that's a good trait. It caused from what I saw, him to force things. He has the ability to score around the rim but seemed to struggle to do it consistently. His shooting percentages also worry me. Apparently, he was a scorer coming out of high school so maybe his pedigree is better than what I saw. He has the size and lateral quickness to be a decent defender but is inconsistent. I don't think it would be wise to look at his steals total and assume he is a good defender.
I think the Combine is really going to make or break MCW. If his scoring ability comes out then combined with his passing ability I think he'll be the next PG in the draft. It'll be interesting to see where he goes. I could see him going in the 8-12 range but, maybe teams go BPA and he drops. If the Jazz want him, I think they could move up enough to get him. He might even fall. That being said. I'd probably pass on him.
*MAN CRUSH ALERT*
Strengths- Scoring, Rebounding, Scoring (Yea, I listed it twice), Handle, Basketball IQ
Weaknesses- Coming off injury, PG or SG, Defense, Turnovers
Synopsis- This is the kid I want. I want him so bad. If you follow me on Twitter you know I like him. I think CJ is the best scoring PG in this draft. Yea, I know he came from a small school but he's show the ability to score against anyone, including beating Duke in last years tourney. He has the ability to pull up and shoot from anywhere. He can get to the rim and finish with contact. His offensive skill set makes me drool.
That being said, his passing numbers aren't impressive. (WE NEED A PASS FIRST PG FTL YOU MORON). Can he pass? Yes, I think he can. He wasn't asked to be and that's why his numbers are what they are. He was the entire Lehigh offense. Does he have the pass first mentality? That I couldn't tell you. I think if you placed him in the right system he could be. It's a risk though. He could just end up being an undersized SG (not the worst thing in the world). His rebounding for a guard is great. That's something we sorely missed from our back court.
Well if he's so great FTL why isn't he going #1? Answer. He's coming off an injury that made him miss the majority of the season. His passing numbers are mediocre. His defense isn't amazing. ( I think the skill set is there to be a good on ball defender, his help defense is great though as he reads passing lanes well.) He also turns the ball over too much. That could be because he handles the ball so much for Lehigh and is their go to guy.
I hope this guy is available at our first pick. I would certainly take him if his workouts are decent. Think he goes in the 10-15 range. (SHUT UP FTL) Ok, moving on.
Shane Larkin: (hasn't declared yet but leaning that way)
School- Miami Florida
Strengths- Passing, Floor General, Scoring, Basketball IQ
Synopsis- I can't find much info on Shane Larkin. Sorry. I only know that Chad Ford and some others think he's first round talent.
Here is my problem with him. His size and wingspan. They terrify me. The combination of being short and having a small wingspan is worrying. I think he'll be a liability on defense and will be able to be bullied on offense. What I've seen from highlights though is that he has the ability to score. He passes well and he runs an offense well.
I think Larkin will be available at both our picks. I see him going in the 15-25 range. I'm not a huge fan though.
*HIDDEN GEM ALERT*
Dennis Schroeder: (who? I'll explain)
Wingspan- 6'7 (whoaaaaaa)
Games- 31. Mins- 25. PPG- 12. Avg- 43.6%. 3p%- 40%. FT%- 84%. RBs- 2.5. Assist- 3.3. PF- 1.9. ST- .9. TO- 2.5
Strengths- Quickness, Scoring ability, Swaaager, Defense, Basketball IQ
Weaknesses- Size, Turnovers, Maturity
Synopsis- If you're following the NBA Hoops Summit, you've heard this kids name. The game was today and for the first time ever the World team beat the US team (Edit: Misread a tweet and was corrected by many fans. Man you guys are great. Apparently it was the first time the World team won games back to back.) Yea, a team with Jabari Parker. Still lost. (Edit: I thought Andrew Wiggins was American. Nope, he played for the world squad. Thanks for the correction Nuno.)
You need to get to know this kids name. Chad Ford said he has played himself into the first round. From what I've read, Schroeder's strength is how fast he is. Apparently he's speedy Gonzalez. Even better is how he uses his speed. He is able to change gears and directions which really shakes off defenders. He loves to drive and attack the paint. His defense is also interesting. He's smaller and needs to put on upper body strength but his huge wingspan, quickness, and attacking mentality all add up to mean he could be a good defender.
Right now his main issue is maturity. He likes to go for highlight reel moves and plays out of control at times. With a little maturity, coaching, he could be great. He has been named the best german youth player under 24 and was the German leagues most improved player.
I think he could be a late first early second. If we pass on a PG with our first pick, I think this guy is really intriguing though he might be a reach at our GSW pick.
I'll include tape just so you all can get a peek.
Dennis Schroeder Video
Strengths- Scoring, Ball Handling, Speed, Driving, Defense
Weaknesses- Jumpshot, PG ability, Size, Playing in control
Synopsis- If you watched any of the tourney this year you probably saw Russ Smith and Louisville's crazy defense. That's what makes Russ Smith such an interesting prospect.
Smith has a great scoring ability and he does most of it by driving. He's great around the rim and his speed really helps him. What also makes him great is his defense. He's very active and if you saw Louisville's full ourt press than you probably saw a lot of Smith putting pressure on PGs to get it across the half court line.
The questions are is how good of PG can he be. He was usually on the court with Siva and Siva was more of the ball handling/passing guard. Smith wasn't asked to facilitate and he's not very natural at it. He's much better at scoring.
I think Russ goes late first or early second. His scoring and defense will be good enough that a team will take a chance on him. He could be a great off the bench PG or a great PG to start when paired with a facilitating SG or SF with him.
Strengths- Passing, Size, BBall IQ, Rebounding
Weaknesses- Scoring, Ball Security
Synopsis- By now you've heard about Kabongo. Amar has mentioned him a ton over the last year and a half. Kabongo was poised to have a stand out season but ran into a little NCAA trouble which cut his season.
I feel like Kabongo is the poster child of raw talent. He could be something amazing but it'll probably take a lot of work. High risk, High reward is what my opinion is of Myck. Which makes me wary in a lot of ways.
Kabongo is the pass first kind of PG that so many Jazz fans have been clamoring for. He likes to facilitate and has a good bball IQ. He is unselfish and loves to feed his teammates with his excellent vision. He is good rebounder and also is a decent defender because of his IQ and long wingspan.
Kabongo struggles at creating and shooting off the dribble. He's not a great scorer but the potential is there if he fixes his shooting mechanics. He's much better at scoring off the ball where he can set up. He also struggles to take care of the ball and has a high turnover rate. When playing defense he has the tendency to gamble too often.
I think out of all the PGs in this draft Kabongo's workouts will influence his draft position the most. With the right coaching and a little maturity he could be a good starting PG. I see Kabongo going anywhere from the 20th pick int he first round to the middle of the second. In my honest opinion I think he should have gone back to school for a year where is draft stock could have improved with a full season under his belt.
School-South Dakota St
Strengths- Scoring, Size, Score inside, Creating off Dribble, Basketball IQ
Weaknesses- Quickness, Athleticism, Defense.
Synopsis- Wolters is another small school dominating scorer like CJ McCollum. He doesn't have the pedigree of big games that McCollum does but the ability is there. He is great at finishing inside and has the ability to hit shots outside. He is great at passing and has excellent vision. He's not very quick so he uses his basketball IQ and size to score.
The biggest issue is whether or not he can defend. He doesn't have the quickness to keep in front of quicker guards. He's not very athletic. He did play in a weaker conference and it'll be interesting to see how that affects him. He also didn't have that great of a showing in the Tourney.
Where he gets drafted will depend on worksouts IMO. I think he's an early to mid second round pick.
School- Virginia Tech
Strengths- Scoring, Speed, Ball handling, Jumpshot
Weaknesses- Defense, Finishing at Rim, Strength
Synopsis- There is a lot to like about Green. He has decent size, a long wingspan, and he's quick. He has the ability to score but a lot of that depends on how well he hits jump shots. He handles the ball well and has improved his passing ability. His strengths are distributing in the Pick and Roll or on the break.
To succeed in the NBA he's going to have to bulk up. He's really skinny and wiry and needs to add some muscle. This will also probably help his other weakness which is finishing at the rim. There is some question on whether he is a PG or a SG. He'll likely be a decent back up PG. Think he'll be early to mid second.
School- NC State
Strengths- Size, Passing, taking care of the ball
Weaknesses- Athleticism, Scoring,
Synopsis- Lorenzo Brown was set up to have a break out year but that didn't happen. Instead his game seemed to get worse. His shooting ability is less than stellar. He lacks the athleticism you'd like from a PG. He struggles with his mechanics on his jumpshots.
Brown is decent at scoring around rim when he's attacking. He's best scoring off the dribble. What makes him intriguing is his size and his passing ability. He is a great passer and facilitates teammates well. He takes care of the ball well and can handle the rock. He has the quickness and size to be a decent defender but needs to remain engaged.
Early to mid second round pick.
Strengths- Athleticism, Speed, Ball handling, Passing, PnR
Weaknesses- Size, Turnovers, Shot selection
Synopsis- What's going to kill Pierre Jackson is his height. He's tiny. Ok, glad we got that out of the way. Pierre makes up for his tiny stature by being quick. Real quick and really athletic. He has a diverse skill set and is able to score in the PnR with ease. His ball handling skills let him take on defenders and his quick first step lets him blow by them. He's a good scorer from the outside and has decent mechanics. He also has good passing skills.
He plays out of control though. Which causes him to force the issue and makes him very turnover prone. He also has poor shot selection causing him to take bad shots. His size is a major issue on the defensive end. With his speed he should be able to stay in front of opposing guards but he struggles in that area as well.
He is a mid second to late second pick.
Strengths- Passing, Ball handling, Quickness
Weaknesses- Scoring, Size, Shot Selection
Synopsis- Like a few other guards in this draft, Pressey's size is an issue. His span isn't very impressive either and doesn't make up for his short stature. He also struggles to score efficiently. His shot selection is poor but his shooting mechanics are decent. He struggles to be consistent.
Pressey is a great floor general though and passes well. He loves looking for teammates and takes advantage of having his teammates around him. He's at his best when he's driving and kicking the ball out. He has good handles for a point guard but sometimes struggles with turnovers. His defense is questionable as he gambles too much and lacks size and strength.
Pressey should be a mid to late second round pick.
Well. There you have it. My point guard draft preview. I'lI just summarize this up by listing the Jazz's picks and who I think would be good value and who I would like to see picked there if the option is there.
14th pick- Trey Burke and CJ McCollum (I'd pass on MCW)
21st pick- Myck Kabongo, Dennis Schroeder, Russ Smith
46th- Nate Wolters, Erick Green, Lorenzo Brown
I hope that this was able to provide some information that you didn't know previously and gives you the chance to keep your eye out for some of these guys during the Combine. I got all my information from Draft Express and give them full credit for all their hard work.