Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Prospect Wrap-Up

Draft day is coming quick...and I did not finish the scouting reports I wanted too.  So instead, since the draft is close, I will combine all of the key ones into one post (and shorten the reports).  First one will be Kawhi Leonard.

Strengths: Extremely hard worker with lots of energy. Excellent wingspan (7'3'') and very good athleticism help him to be a good defender and a dominant rebounder.  A good passer and very good ball-handler for the position.  Excellent quickness which helps him on D and helps him to slash to the basket.  Decent shooter and post-up player.  Already a very good defensive player with room for improvement.

Weaknesses: A very inconsistent shot. Doesn't have the go-to scorer's mentality or skill set (doesn't stand out in any area of scoring).  Could use to add some strength, his frame is only average.  Shot selection can be very poor at times, taking too many off-balance shots.  Gambles too much on D.

Best Case/Worst Case:  Gerald Wallace/Jamario moon

Why the Cavs Should/Shouldn't take him (one sentence each):  The Cavs have a huge hole at the 3 and Leonard can play excellent D and is an improving shooter.  They need a big man more and Leonard doesn't have the upside, nor the polish to deserve the pick.

My Take:  Outside of Irving, there is not another player I am more confident that they reach their potential.  Its not a high ceiling, but Wallace is a very good player. Shooting touch is a thing that can be taught, even Lebron was a bad shooter as a rookie.  He is also a high character guy who won't fizzle out because he doesn't work hard.

(they will get shorter.  After this, the other guys aren't worth as many words)

Jan Vesely Strengths:  Amazing size and athleticism.  An improving shot and post-up game.  Physical attributes give him sky high potential.  He has the potential to be an excellent rebounder and shot blocker.  He is competitive and is solid defensively.

Weaknesses: Has a very slender frame and hasn't added a ton of muscle.  Not a very consistent player.  Very poor rebounder and mediocre shot blocker .  Very inefficient scorer and not much of a threat offensively.  Lateral quickness is average & he may have trouble finding a position.

Best Case/Worst Case: Andrei Kirilenko/Yi Jianlian

Why the Cavs Should/Shouldn't draft him:  He has excellent athleticism and length, two things this team was missing.  He is very raw and could easily be a bust.

My Take:  I think I see a lot more Yi in him than Kirilenko.  Coming out, Kirilenko was a better shooter, rebounder, and passer.  Yi is a flashy player with size and athleticism but he just can't really play basketball.  Both Yi and Vesely were mediocre euro players.

Bismack Biyombo Strengths:  Dominant defender and shot blocker.  Good size and incredible 7'6'' wingspan plus excellent athleticism for his size. Good quickness for his size. Had some success in the euro leagues. Potential to be an excellent rebounder.

Weaknesses:  Almost every part of his game is raw.  He has no polished post moves and his footwork in that area is downright awful at times.  Unless he is dunking, he really is not a good scorer at all.  He looks very lost out there sometimes and his overall awareness and basketball IQ is poor.  His rebounding fundamentals are poor.

Best/Worst Case:  Serge Ibaka/Adonal Foyle

Why the Cavs Should/Shouldn't take him:  They need a big man who can rebound and play D.  They do not need another offensively-challenged African player.

Take: I think he will end up being Adonal Foyle, though his body is closer to Ibaka. Ibaka has quickly improved his offensive game in a way that I don't think Biyombo will.  He will still be a good defense/rebounding C, but I doubt if he ever becomes an effective scorer.

Klay Thompson (SG/SF) Strengths:  Can shoot the ball like its nobody's business. 6'7'' with a nice wingspan and can play either wing position.  Very good feel for the game.  Can score a variety of ways and has good shot selection.  Solid defender.  Plays hard and is very level-headed  Excellent passer/ballhandler for his position.

Weaknesses:  Very average combination of strength/athleticism for the position.  A 2/3 tweener, too weak to play SF and too slow to play SG.  Cannot beat quicker defenders off the dribble.  He struggles guarding longer, or more athletic players.  Limited upside.

Best/Worst Case Scenarios:  Mike Miller/Marco Belinelli

Why the Cavs Should/Shouldn't draft him: An excellent shooter who would fit in well on a team devoid of any good shooters.  A tweener and the Cavs need more athleticism than he will bring.

Take:  He will be better than Belinelli, but will probably never be Miller.  He has a better frame than Belinelli and is a better passer, but is not as athletic as Miller in his prime.  He'll probably be just a tick below Miller, but he will not be worth the #4 pick.  

With the news that Valanciunas' contract is more complicated, there are not a lot of guys I like at #4 overall.  Leonard is really the only guy in this list that I would be happy with.  The rest I guess I can take if they traded down.  Guys I didn't cover are guys I doubt the Cavs will go after. They won't need another PG and they have enough PFs and SF/PF combo players. Others are not projected as lottery picks

I hope the Cavs go after Kanter or Leonard is Kanter isn't available.  I would like the upside of Valanciunas, but it doesn't sound like teams would want to spend a top 5 pick on him now.  Both guys have somewhat limited upside, but I have good confidence can step in and be starters from day one and very good contributors.

If you feel like I missed someone the Cavs might get, let me know.

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