FanPost

2014 NBA Draft Big Board and scouting reports Part 2.

This is part two of my draft big board. One note on this board is that I’ve watched several full games of almost every player in this draft, but I have not been able to find footage of Clint Capela’s games other than the Nike Hoops Summit. Capela’s physical tools and numbers seem extremely impressive, but I haven’t seen him play full games so I don’t have anything to say about him and thus don’t have him ranked.

Otherwise, I considered pretty much everyone else for these spots.

You can check out part 1 here.

10. Jordan Adams (SG, UCLA, Sophomore)

Jordan Adams didn’t really look the part of an NBA player at UCLA. His chubbiness and inability to jump were the traits that stood out first when anyone watched him at UCLA, neither of which are what you are looking for in an undersized SG. But while Adams may not have looked like an NBA player, he really did play like one.

Adams plays with incredible energy on the offensive end of the court as a jack-of-all-trades scorer. He will come off curls and shoot, he’ll spot up and shoot, he’ll post up, and he’ll attack the offensive glass. His toughness and willingness to try to score in those latter two situations bear more resemblance to a 6’10" player than 6’5" players. He doesn’t create that well out of traditional sets for scorers, but he can handle the ball and create in certain situations such as when he’s on the move and his defender overplays him. His ability to maneuver through traffic in these situations is terrific. He slides around and through the crevasses in the opponent’s defense to somehow get to the rim. And when he gets to the rim, he’s under control enough to be able to contort his body to get off a shot at a great angle and put it in. Despite being unable to jump, Adams is a very good finisher around the basket (he actually converted at the rim at a better rate than Wiggins this year). Perhaps these traits of coordination and aggression are what are reflected in Adams’s high steal rate. Regardless of what traits led to him amassing so many steals, his extremely high steal rate is another encouraging sign.

There are concerns. Again, Adams can’t jump and can look slow, and those are real concerns for a 6’5" scorer. Adams also can lose interest in defense sometimes and doesn’t play as hard as he does on offense. There are times when Adams will get locked in defensively and will play with great energy, but he sometimes drifts. His great hands and anticipation allow for him to potentially be effective on defense, but he may go either way in the NBA on that end. And while his shooting was good this past season, it still can be shaky and his first year percentages weren’t good. However, if his jumper is real and he gets with an NBA coach who can harness Adams’ energy on offense to get him to play consistently high level defense, Adams could be a great NBA player.

11. Elfrid Payton (PG, Louisiana-Lafayette, Junior)

Elfrid Payton is a guy to watch as a potential riser headed into draft season. His excellent statistics (5th on VJL’s model and comparable to John Wall and Derrick Rose) have gotten him some attention, but he still is projected too low in most mocks. Payton is a lightning quick, 6’4" PG with elite handles. The ball is just an extension of Payton’s self on the court. No matter the move or the amount of traffic around him, Payton always has complete control of the ball. Payton’s control is so great that behind the back crossovers with multiple defenders close to him are moves that help him get into the paint instead of "Not Top 10" moments. These handles are complemented by a good sense of pace. On his crossovers and attacks, he gives just enough hesitation to get his defender off-balance. Then, he crosses over and explodes around his man and into the paint for a floater (which he converts at a high rate) or free throw attempts (which he does not, more on that later).

Payton can score, but seems to prefer using his penetration ability to set up his teammates. Payton has the court vision to find the open man and the attitude to do so whenever there’s an opportunity. Payton also understands angles well and will throw creative passes that get around defenders and to his guys. His size obviously helps his vision as well.

For the other side of the ball, Payton’s excellent defensive numbers (2.5 STLs per 40 minutes, 11.7% DRB%) got him defensive player of the year honors in the Sun Belt. However, these numbers may do a better job of suggesting his potential than his actual performance on defense. Payton loses focuses too much on defense as of now. His ball watching and lapses in judgment are frequent even against elite three point shooters or when his man is close to the basket. Payton is still young (20 years old), but he has played college basketball for three years and should have slightly better defensive awareness than he does. If he does polish up his awareness, Payton could be a great defender because of his length, quickness, and anticipation. He can disrupt passing lanes and cut off players driving to the basket when he’s focused and playing well fundamentally. He just needs his talent to be harnessed productively.

Payton’s most severe weakness is his jumpshot. Payton can do great things in college with his penetration and playmaking, but whether or not he can bring that to the NBA effectively depends on his jumper. Payton is a terrible shooter as of now in almost every way. In results, Payton shot 25% on jumpers and 61% from the line this season. These numbers are consistent with his results in prior years. In form, Payton is as bad as those numbers. His shot appears to have a hitch in it that prevents smoothness and forces Payton to fling the ball at the basket on release. His footwork on his jumpshots is terrible in a variety of ways. He’ll sometimes have his feet too close together. Sometimes, he kicks his legs out too much. Sometimes, he fails to get proper elevation of his legs due to releasing the ball after an awkward dribble move. All of these situations lead to an off-balance release and a brick. Payton’s jumpshot is so poor that he is mostly ignored by defenders outside of 12 feet from the basket.

The myriad of problems with Payton’s jumpshot will be difficult to fix and will determine much of his future. If he can learn how to shoot, he’ll get into the paint at will in the NBA and will be an effective PG at both scoring and playmaking. If he doesn’t learn how to shoot, he’ll be ignored enough to cripple his team’s offense. Payton is a risky player because of the seriousness of his main weaknesses, but his potential is great enough to gamble on the possibility of him learning how to shoot. If he fixes his shot, he could be a star.

12. Tyler Ennis (PG, Syracuse, Freshman):

Ennis plays much older than he actually is, for better or worse. Ennis already has the mental makeup of an NBA player and has no problem with playing unselfishly or playing under pressure. Ennis moves the ball to the next option on offense whenever it appears and he would much rather look for a shot for a teammate than a shot for himself. Ennis finds the open man the majority of the time and can hit them with a variety of deceptively creative looks to get them the ball. Ennis knows how to angle his passes to get the ball to anyone when they’re in a good spot and will keep the offense moving. His accuracy and decision making for passing is also impressive and contributes largely to his excellent 3.2:1 assist to turnover ratio. In regards to arguably the main duty a PG has (that the offense run smoothly), Ennis grades out flawlessly.

Ennis is extremely flawed in other areas, however. While he might have the decision making of a guy who’s been in the NBA for twenty years, he also has the athleticism of a guy that old as well. Ennis is not a quick or explosive player. He can struggle at times to get to the rim and is just terrible once there (54.7% converted). There aren’t many NBA players who could run an offense like Ennis at 19 years old, but almost all of them were more gifted physically.

Ennis’ lack of athleticism could hurt him on defense as well. Ennis plays hard and has good anticipation, but it’s hard to see him keeping up in the NBA defensively with his well below average quickness. He could get overwhelmed in one-on-one situations while being ineffective in help situations. That he played in the Syracuse zone certainly won’t help him in his transition to the NBA either. Ennis’s first taste of man defense outside of high school coming against guys like Westbrook or CP3 is probably going to be a rough adjustment.

Ennis most of the time looks like a backup point guard whom NBA teams will send in just to make sure the team doesn’t implode while the stars are on the bench. He often seems too physically limited to score or defend, but smart enough to keep an offense running. However, this may understate Ennis’s future. Ennis can struggle to create efficient shots for himself, but his handle and tempo in attacking the basket seem advanced. He cannot utilize those talents as of now due to his lack of quickness, but he could in a few years if his skill level continues to improve. There are NBA players who can create well despite having limited athleticism and even some superstars (Stockton, Nash, and Curry among them though Ennis should certainly not be expected to reach that level).

What Ennis needs to reach the level of a guy who can create despite his athleticism is a better jumpshot. His form is fine and his percentages (35% from three, 77% from the line) are decent, but he needs to develop an elite jumpshot to be able to create in the NBA. Without an elite jumper, defenders will be able to sag off of him slightly and he probably won’t have the quickness to get around someone playing off of him. But if Ennis develops a great jumper, he will have to be defended closely at all times, and Ennis does have the handle to maneuver around players who give him little space. With a great jumpshot, Ennis could become a good scorer and great setup man. If his shooting stays at the level it currently is at, Ennis will probably lack the athleticism to create shots at a high level and may have to be a bench player. Ennis’ shooting is better than many other players in the draft, but it is still the critical area that he must improve for him to become a good or great NBA player.

13. Kristaps Porzingis (C/PF, Sevilla, 18 years old)

One of the youngest players in the draft, Porzingis is incredibly raw, but presents great potential. Porzingis is a true seven footer with incredibly long arms who moves really well for his size. Porzingis has the size, timing, and hand-eye coordination to protect the rim (3 blocks per 40 minutes in the ACB) while having the lateral quickness to keep up with any guard on the pick-and-roll. When Porzingis gets the ball in a good spot on offense, he can blow by his defender with a quick dribble move for a powerful dunk. If his PG gets him the ball near the basket, he has the potential to dunk over anyone (in the future, when he’s not as skinny). To go along with these physical traits, Porzingis also plays really hard and shows extreme comfort shooting the ball from three. It’s easy to see why Porzingis is such an intriguing prospect. Centers that can protect the rim on defense are near a prerequisite in the NBA for a good defense. Centers that can stretch the floor on defense are extremely valuable because they open spacing up. A center that can do both, while being good at the pick-and-roll on both ends, is a center that could transform a basketball team. If Porzingis reaches his potential, he could make his team elite offensively while keeping their defense solid.

Porzingis has one of the highest ceilings in the draft, but isn’t that close to reaching that ceiling right now. The most obvious aspect of how raw he is has to be his weight. Porzingis looks slightly bigger than the 215 pounds he’s listed at, but he still needs 20-25 more pounds before he has a chance of competing in the NBA in the paint. Porzingis is also a classically raw big in terms of his pick-and-roll action on both ends. On offense, Porzingis rushes through the pick-and-roll. He will often set a pick and then dive to the basket with little concept of spacing or timing. Because of his lack of awareness on the pick-and-roll, Porzingis can struggle to get open right now. On defense, Porzingis can lose track of what’s happening and will take bad angles on the pick-and-roll. And while Porzingis is extremely comfortable shooting from the perimeter, he is not that effective. Over the last three years, Porzingis has only shot 33% from three and only 66% from the line. He seems to lean too far back on his jumpshot, creating a slight slingshot problem in his shooting motion.

Size, awareness, and shooting are the most common problems for young players and Porzingis isn’t catastrophically poor in any aspect. It’s likely that any one of these given problems will be fixed by the time he leaves Spain in two years (which is my guess for when he’ll come to the NBA, he’s not ready right now) and heads to the NBA. The issue is that he may not reach his potential due to being so raw in so many different areas. The more problems a player has, the greater the probability that something will go wrong in their development, preventing them from reaching their potential. All of Porzingis’s issues are fixable and none are particularly uncommon for a player as young as he is. However, he has enough problems to wonder about the probability that he will develop through all of his issues.

Porzingis may not be likely to reach his potential, but his potential is great enough to make him a player who should go fairly high in the draft. Spacing is almost everything in the NBA and Porzingis could bring great spacing to his team while taking away the spacing of the opponent. If he reaches his potential, Porzingis will be valued by his coach as much as anyone else on the team while coaches of opposing teams will have headaches trying to figure out how to set up their defense against him. The potential reward Porzingis offers is enough to take him fairly high in the draft despite the poor odds of the reward paying out.

14. K.J. McDaniels (SF, Clemson, Junior):

Maybe the most explosive player in the draft, McDaniels dominated the ACC last year due to his physical superiority and should be able to translate some of that to the NBA. McDaniels is a terrific leaper who can not only get great verticality on his leaps, but excellent hang time as well. McDaniels uses his leaping ability and body control to maneuver in the air to get around defenders attempting to block him on offense (which leads to his great 70% conversion rate at the rim) and to send out several rejections of his own on defense (his 3.3 blocks per 40 minutes on a team that played at a slow pace is ridiculous for a wing player). Beyond his leaping, McDaniels has long arms and great lateral quickness, allowing him to lock up his man when he’s engaged. McDaniels also pursues through screens well and his length helps him contain drives to the basket. Plus, McDaniels’s combination of leaping, timing, and length allows him to contest any look that the man he’s defending may put up. McDaniels utilizes all of these talents to an even greater degree in help defense, where he’s a true rim protector, rebounder, and intimidator even at small forward. Sometimes, McDaniels can slip in awareness of man defense to try to get blocks, but that is likely to be expected from a young player so prolific at blocking shots. With more experience, McDaniels’s awareness should improve and he should become a versatile, effective defender.

Offensively, McDaniels’s gifts stand out less. McDaniels’s explosiveness makes him near automatic when he gets near the rim, but the journey to the rim is a struggle for him. McDaniels is an awful ball handler whose attempts to dribble rob him of the quickness he has without the ball. With his poor ball handling, McDaniels struggles to create his good shots of his own.

Because of his handles, McDaniels is going to be forced to rely on his jumper in the NBA (in both spotup threes and for the midrange jumpers that he’ll have to settle for against NBA defenders). How McDaniels’s stroke develops will determine much of his future in the NBA. McDaniels was an excellent free throw shooter in his last season of college (84%), possibly suggesting that he has some good touch that could develop into a good shot. However, his percentages from the floor disagree entirely with that assessment. McDaniels shot 31% from three in college and managed percentages of 36% and 24% from midrange in the two years he played heavy minutes. McDaniels seems to be in too much of a rush on his jumpshot and usually ends up releasing his shot with terrible footwork. He moves into jumpers seemingly too quickly and his feet end up too close and at incorrect angles too often. His hasty looking form also takes away from any elevation he can get, making his shot flat and way too similar in form to players like Josh Smith. He needs to fix his footwork if he wants to become a good shooter.

If McDaniels does become a good shooter, he becomes a fascinating 3 & D player. On offense, he could provide enough spacing to keep the defense honest, while being a great finisher off cuts, transition, and offensive rebounds. On defense, he could limit great perimeter players one-on-one while providing great help around the basket as well. McDaniels needs to improve his shot and needs to become consistently focused, but he has the potential to be a great complementary player in the NBA.

15. Aaron Gordon (PF, Arizona, Freshman)

Aaron Gordon has been compared to Blake Griffin, but he is more of a defensive prospect. Gordon was assigned to the best offensive wing player on the opposing team and proceeded to do a great deal in limiting their impact. His lateral quickness is terrific and allows him to stay with most penetrating guards while his size (excellent compared to wings) allows him to contest anything they put up. He is more patient than most college players as well and can ignore fakes while focusing in on what’s important on defense. Other players have these tools as well, but Gordon seems to love playing defense and plays with great energy. Gordon also can rebound at a strong clip.

Gordon was a dominant defensive player at Arizona, but I question if he’ll be able to carry that over to the NBA. Gordon has poor size (8’9" standing reach) for PF (which he will have to play in the NBA, guys who shoot 40% from the line don’t play SF in the NBA) and this could limit him in multiple ways. The most obvious is that he could be beaten in postup by larger players, but his ability to protect the paint is a bigger concern. Gordon was not much of a rim protector at Arizona, averaging only 1.3 blocks per 40 minutes with many of these blocks coming against his man and not off rotation. One of the main duties as a PF defensively is to clog up the paint and prevent guards from getting layups. If Gordon can’t protect the paint well, he won’t be able to have an elite impact on defense at PF. The idea that Gordon could play SF on defense and PF on offense (which is a common idea on Twitter) is also confusing to me. If Gordon switches onto a SF, then his team’s SF will be forced onto a PF and forced into the position of defending the paint, crippling his team’s rim protection and rebounding. Gordon’s motor and lateral quickness will provide him the ability to rebound and defend pick-and-roll in the NBA, and because of that, he will be a good NBA defender. However, with his size and paint protection limitations, I don’t think he will be a great NBA defensive player.

Offensively, Gordon is more clear-cut. Gordon can dunk with anyone in basketball and he is an above average passer in creativity, vision, and accuracy. The rest of his offensive game is miserable. Gordon shot 42% from the free throw line at Arizona and only 29% away from the rim despite mostly being left unguarded away from the rim. This level of shooting poverty collapsed Gordon down to a terrible 50.3% TS% which is dangerously low for any player but is especially so for a guy who has most of his offense come from dunks. Moving past the stats and ineffectiveness, Gordon also moves strangely on offense. His post game and ball handling attempts in the half-court see him failing to get anywhere close to the rim and he generally ends up out of control when he attempts to attack the basket off creating his own shot. If he does not end up out of control, it’s probably because he took a jumpshot. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, Gordon believes he is a good shooter and will go out of his way to prove it. Over 53% of his shots were away from the rim at Arizona as perhaps an experiment to show how negative reinforcement is an ineffective technique for teaching basketball players. However, this irrational confidence may go away as Gordon gets older as he seems to have a high BBIQ other than his shot selection.

Gordon’s strong Pac-12 and NCAA tournament runs have made me warm up to him slightly (as have VJL’s decent rankings for him recently), but I still don’t believe too much in Aaron Gordon. His touch is too poor to make me believe that he can ever become a threat away from the paint and I think he’s too small to dominate the paint. Because of those factors, I think he will be a limited to being a role player in the NBA. However, he could still be a valuable role player.

16. Julius Randle (PF, Kentucky, Freshman)

Randle led his team to the national championship game as only a Freshman and showed great tenacity during the season, but I’m more doubtful about his NBA future than most scouting websites are. The main problem I have with is his size. Randle’s average size (8’9.5" standing reach, the same as Millsap) is going to be an issue in the NBA for a variety of reasons. The first problems show up on defense, where Randle failed to provide much of a presence around the rim (just a block per 40 minutes at Kentucky). His size will also make it difficult for him to guard many top level PFs in the NBA such as LaMarcus Aldridge or Anthony Davis.

Offensively is where the issue with size becomes even more pressing for Randle. In college, Randle was physically developed enough to dominate players who tried to defend him. Randle’s size advantage led to him attempting 9.4 free throws per 40 minutes, a number large enough such that made free throws were a third of his total points scored in college. Going from a size advantage in college to a size disadvantage in the NBA could limit his offense greatly. Randle is mostly a faceup player, but he relied on his physical advantages overwhelmingly in college. Players couldn’t handle that strength rushing at them in college. In the NBA, defenders will be able to. As a faceup player in the NBA, Randle could struggle against players as big as him. Randle cannot use his right hand at all in scoring or ball handling, limiting the moves he can use. Randle is also a very poor shooter at this time. Randle’s touch on his jumpers is not good and his misses are wild and backboard shaking at times. Without a great skill level or physical tools, Randle may not be able to score well in the NBA. Since Randle’s main appeal is as a scorer, this is alarming. Also alarming is Randle’s .6 steals per 40 minutes rate as steals are predictive of NBA success.

But despite the many issues I have with Randle, I think he can still be a decent role player in the NBA. Randle plays with great effort on the court, attacking the glass and the paint whenever he can to try to get rebounds or open looks. Randle is tough enough to relish the contact he gets inside the paint and never shies away from it. His intangibles off the court seem impressive as well. During the season, he transitioned himself from a post player who was extremely selfish and turnover prone to an unselfish faceup player who limited his turnovers. This helped massively improved Kentucky’s offensive efficiency and helped transform Kentucky from a mediocre team to a contender. His development and willingness to take a smaller role on offense as the season progressed would seem to show how much he cares about his team’s success over his own individual performance as well as how strong his work ethic is.

I have major doubts of whether Randle will be able to be a great player in the NBA because of his questionable size and skill, but he does have a chance to be a solid role player in the league. Randle is tough and tenacious enough to rebound at a high level and would seem to have the work ethic to develop enough skills to be a decent offensive player in the NBA. However, the degree to which his skills would have to develop for him to become a star offensive player seems too large for me to be reasonably expected.

17. Nik Stauskas (G, Michigan, Sophomore)

Stauskas was asked to replace some of the impact of Trey Burke at Michigan and delivered admirably, leading Michigan to another excellent season. Stauskas’s appeal and effectiveness comes mostly from his superior shooting. His shot has perfect form and good touch, leading to his 44% from three and 83% from the line in college. He gets great elevation on his jumpshot as well, allowing him to get off attempts easily.

Unlike some other shooters, Stauskas is more of an on-ball player than off. He is obviously a threat as a spotup shooter, but he spends more time trying to create offense with the ball than he does from moving without it ala Korver. Most of Stauskas’s on-ball play comes in pick-and-roll. This area of the game is one where he shows good understanding. He takes solid angles to ward off his man using screens and knows when to accelerate after the screen. If Stauskas draws multiple defenders off the pick-and-roll, he usually finds the open man. Most of that is related to good court vision and unselfish play, but he is creative and advanced in his passing and can use wraparound and no look dishes to get the ball to the open man.

Stauskas will certainly be able to pass and shoot in the NBA, but whether he can make plays with the ball is more questionable. Stauskas was able to leverage his skill and the screen of teammates into penetration opportunities, but he could still struggle in that area in college. Stauskas was unable to consistently get to his spots against mediocre college athletes and frequently got his handle cut off. With his inconsistency in this area, and his bad athletic stats (.6 STLs per 40), it seems doubtful to me that he will be able to penetrate against NBA defenders. If Stauskas can’t be a consistent pick-and-roll playmaker, he will be more limited than in college, but will still bring enough to the table to be an above-average offensive threat.

The level that Stauskas reaches defensively will determine whether or not above-average offense is good enough to start. Stauskas has decent energy and awareness on defense to go along with not terrible quickness and so seems like he could be good enough to get by. However, despite his tools seeming average, Stauskas did not produce defensive statistics that suggested so. Stauskas’ .6 steals, .3 blocks, and 3.3 rebounds per 40 minutes are terrible and are not on the level of a future NBA SG. Stauskas was not as bad defensively as his stats, but his numbers may show some lack of defensive athleticism. If they do, Stauskas could be in trouble in the NBA.

Stauskas has the shooting and BBIQ to adapt to any number of valuable roles in the NBA and will probably stick in the league. The possibility of him becoming a high level starter is not great, however. Stauskas has a good chance of ending up a solid 6th man or an average starting guard, but seems to have poor odds of becoming a great player.

18. Gary Harris (SG, Michigan State, Sophomore)

Gay Harris projects as a role player, but he possibly end up as a role player that every team could use. Harris has a pure looking stroke, and has the off-ball savvy to get open for three frequently (8.1 threes per 40 minutes). Harris runs his routes hard and can find holes in the defense with not too much trouble. His high BBIQ leads to him taking mostly good shots and allows him to find and hit open teammates. Harris’s passing is not used as much as would be preferable, but that’s because he lacks the ability to get open off the dribble. While his passing is not too useful in combination with his other skills, his ability to pass does show the basketball intelligence that great role players need.

On defense, Harris competes. Despite being a star player in college, Harris played nearly as hard on defense as offense last year for the Spartans and was effective on defense. Harris has good lateral quickness and seems to have good fundamentals and awareness on defense. Those talents and Harris’s effort level on defense allowed Harris to be a good defender in college and could allow him to be a good defender in the NBA.

Harris has the makeup and some of the tools you want for a good role player, but his size and lack of skills may prevent him from reaching a level of being valuable to his team. Harris’s shot looks good, but he failed to connect with it last year, hitting just 35% from three. Harris did shoot a reasonably good 43% from midrange this year and shot 41% from three the year prior (though only 36% from midrange that year), but low percentages are always a concern for players who are shooters-only. And Harris really is only a shooter. In transition, he can break for dunks, but his half-court game is entirely jumpshots. Harris can’t dribble and his size prevents him from being a presence in the paint at all.

Harris’s size is the main weakness that could hold him back from being a starter in the NBA. At 6’3", 204 pounds and a simply dreadful 8’0" standing reach, Harris is a small SG. He’s so small that he may not be able to play quality defense in the NBA or be able to get off many shots. As Harris has to be a 3 & D guy in the NBA to be successful, this is a major concern. Harris has the intangibles and form to be a good role player in the NBA, but may not have the size or defined skills to allow him to reach that level.

19. Vasilije Micić (PG, Mega Vizura, 20 years old)

One of the most fun and frustrating players in the draft, Micić is a big (6’4") PG with great creativity and court vision. Micić is not a hugely explosive or quick athlete, but he gets where he wants to on offense with his combination of skill and savvy. Micić operates mostly out of pick-and-roll, where he uses screens exceptionally well to create space for his attack. Following a probe of the defense, Micić’s vision is excellent and he can find the open man, or a crease to attack for himself out of the pick-and-roll. Micić operates well out of the pick-and-roll, but his ability to work out of those sets is enabled by his timing and change of speed moves. He is a master of hesitation moves and can use hesitation to set up both blow-bys to the rim and to create passing windows for his teammates. At the rim, Micić is not particularly explosive, but his size and creativity allow him to finish or draw fouls.

Creativity is what distinguishes Micić both positively and negatively. Micić has the ability to both throw behind the back, no look, and oddly angled passes and he can fake each of those as well. He sees windows that many other point guards would miss or avoid. He can make passes that surprise the defense and just look spectacular. It sometimes feels like he has some of the moves that Chris Paul has, but is far bolder in trying them out. This boldness is frequently harmful, however. The windows that Micić sees sometimes just don’t exist, leading to him throwing the ball into the hands of waiting defenders. Micić’s creativity sometimes also seems like a test to see how cool he can look, leading to fancy, entirely ineffective passes that sail out of bounds. Micić will make six or seven terrific plays a game that take you by surprise to go along with a few horrible plays where you wonder how he could have thrown such a stupid pass. Overall, he needs to refine his decision making on offense.

Defense demonstrates even more of Micić’s strange decisions. Micić plays hard on defense and competes, but has awareness so poor that his effort may actually make things worse. Micić provides nonsensical help far too much right now on defense. If he enters the league next year, Micić will certainly be Coach Nick’s least favorite player as Micić is obsessed with helping off shooters that are one pass away no matter how good the shooter is. This help is confusing to tell the purpose of sometimes except as an exercise to gamble for steals. Micić’s gambling carries over to on-ball settings as well to where his opponent often demonstrates the teaching part of the saying after Micić reaches.

Micić’s NBA coach will have a lot of work to do to fix the dumb mistakes that Micić constantly makes, but Micić could be worth the frustration. His ability to work out of the pick-and-roll can just be awesome to watch with how well he uses screens and how well he times his attack. He can get to the rim and get his teammates open easily enough to think he has a good chance of being a starting point guard in the NBA.

Post-note: I would have Micić higher but he tore his ACL a few years ago and could possibly have bad knees.

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.

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