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It’s the calm before the storm in the NBA. The 2015 NBA Draft has been completed and the free agency period is set to begin really soon. But for now, the buzz is surrounding the NBA prospects selected in Thursday’s draft. For a lot of them, the 2015 NBA Summer League will be their next stop.
With this in mind, we will be throwing you a mix bag of things in these draft reviews:
- We will be breaking down everything with the teams who will be participating in the 2015 NBA Summer League in mind,
- We will be doing a quick, 10-year reunion (check out our historical review of the 2004 NBA Draft) and see which players these teams drafted have reached “graduation” status from the 2011 draft,
- We will be comparing the consensus mock drafts from a few, select websites with the real picks,
- We will see what bballbreakdown.com thought was every teams’ needs coming into the draft,
- We take a look back at the last 10 drafts to see the last time a player of similar position, weight, and height were selected in similar draft spots,
- and we take a look at the best and worst things mentioned by the scouting reports at NBAdraft.net or Draft Express.
As far as the bballbreakdown.com team needs, they don’t go by the traditional positions (i.e. point guard, small forward, etc), rather they refer to “player type.” For example, instead of saying point guard, they refer to “traditional pg” (like Chris Paul) or scoring pg (like Russell Westbrook). You can check their page for more details, but we will try to explain as we go here as this model offers a more accurate look at NBA positions in today’s game.
Orlando Pro Summer League
We first take a look at a few teams participating in the Orlando, Florida stop of the NBA Summer League.
The host team received the fifth pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
In the 2005 draft, the Magic selected Fran Vazquez of Spain, Travis Diener of Marquette, and acquired Marcin Gortat in a trade with the Phoenix Suns. Selected 57th overall in the draft, Gortat is one of the better big men in the league and owns a pet pig and has an impressive “Abe Lincoln” beard.
After four seasons in the NBA, the Magic have nothing to show for their efforts in 2011. Justin Harper out of Richmond was projected to be a mainstay in the league because of his shooting, but flunked out after one season.
Mario Hezonja–6’8″, 200 lbs shooting guard from Spain. He’s considered to be a Two-Way Wing (i.e. Jimmy Butler) and though he does not appear to fit the Magic’s needs, he was the third best prospect per Kevin O’Connor of SB Nation.
Mock drafts had the Magic picking the other big, European name in Kristaps Porzingis or Justise Winslow. Obviously, the New York Knicks ruined any chance of the Magic acquiring Porzingis and Winslow would continue to drop in the draft. It’s clear to see the Magic thought highly of Hezonja.
Scouting Report (per NBAdraft.net)
NBA Comparison: Rex Chapman
Similar Demos/Position: In the last 10 years, two other players of similar height and weight, either shooting guard or small forward were drafted in the top five of the draft:
Good: “…He combines good size with amazing body control, athleticism and leaping abilities, showing a quick first step and explosiveness…”
Bad: “…He has worked a lot on his temper, but his fiery nature and cocky attitude is still his trademark, and can get him in trouble at times…”
Thoughts: He’s a good shooter who looks to score all the time and is highly confident. But he has some attitude issues and can be too aggressive on defense. He lacks strength so he will be pushed around on both sides of the court.
In the second round (51st overall), Orlando picked Tyler Harvey (6’4″, 181 lbs, guard, Eastern Washington). Draft Express describes him as a great shooter who lacks size and strength, posing as a defensive liability. Harvey led college basketball in scoring last season.
Detroit owned both eighth and 38th overall picks in this year’s draft.
Stanley Johnson–6’7″, 242 lbs, guard from Arizona. Unlike Hezonja, not only does he have strength, but he also fits a need the Pistons needed to plug as a Two-Way Wing. Although, not many agree with this pick:
@chadfordinsider mistake? I don’t see it?
Mistakes will be made as SB Nation had him ranked as the 11th best prospect in the draft, although bballbreakdown.com ranked him ninth. The Mock Drafts had either Devin Booker or maybe Hezonja dropping. Nevertheless, Johnson appears to be the right choice for Detroit.
Scouting Report (per NBAdraft.net)
NBA Comps: Ron Artest and Kawhi Leonard
Good: “…Both upper and lower body are rock solid … Combines speed, quickness, power at a high level…”
Bad: “…Often relies too much on overpowering and going through defenders on the dribble drive…”
Thoughts: The potential is high and can be a lot better offensively. But what he has in body makeup, he lacks in polish as his inexperience will be apparent, especially with the ball in his hands.
Pistons use their second round pick on Darrun Hilliard, 6’6″, 220 lbs. swingman from Villanova. A good shooter from beyond-the-arc, Hilliard was lauded for his unselfishness and basketball smarts. What he has in fundamentals, he lacks in athleticism and explosiveness. Previous players drafted in the past like Hilliard:
- Derrick Byars, 42nd overall, 2007
- Orlando Johnson, 36th, 2012
- Glenn Robinson, 40th, 2014
Michael Jordan would end up with one drafted player in pick number nine. But as we will find out, he had a chance for a lot more.
Coming off a national championship and the chance to garner local interest, the Charlotte team formerly known as the Bobcats selected both Ray Felton (fifth) and Sean May (13th). Unfortunately, they couldn’t duplicate the success they had at Chapel Hill to the pro team.
The Hornets had a busy 2011 Draft. First, they were able to acquire Bismack Biyombo via trade (heralded for his physical attributes, but had very little to no skill), and Kemba Walker. One of two isn’t bad.
Scoring Point Guard, Facilitating Shooting Guard (James Harden), or Help Five
Frank Kaminsky–7’1″, 231 lbs, power forward from Wisconsin. “Frank the Tank” does not really fill a need, but it appears Jordan coveted the established senior. It was reported the Boston Celtics were ready to trade as many as six picks for the ninth spot. But Charlotte stayed put and have been the butt of jokes since news broke out:
— Felipe M (@pathological_h8) June 26, 2015
A lot of mock drafts had Kaminsky going at this spot, with Devin Booker and Willie Cauley-Stein being alternate options. Kaminsky ranked anywhere between ninth and 12th overall.
Scouting Report (per NBAdraft.net)
NBA Comps: Nenad Kristic and Sean Marks
Good: “…can post up on either block, shoot from the mid-range, consistently knock down 3’s and even attack you from off the dribble…”
Bad: “…The most obvious one is his subpar level of athleticism and lateral movement…”
Thoughts: A finished product, Kaminsky has the fundamentals and skill-set to be a good offensive player. A lot of questions center around his lack of strength and quickness, especially on defense as he will be guarding bigger and quicker power forwards in the NBA.
Similar Demos/Position: Saer Sene, 10th pick in 2006.
None, the Hornets were content with Kaminsky and did not need the other six picks the Celtics were offering.
The Heat come into the offseason with a lot of questions marks, but they were able to pull off the greatest heist of the 2015 draft.
Former Kansas standout, Wayne Simien ended up going 29th overall in 2005. He lasted two seasons in the league, averaging 9.9 minutes per game.
Everybody’s favorite sleeper floor general of 2011, “Moochie” Norris Cole was probably ecstatic he was going to play alongside LeBron James. Individually, there’s nothing to brag about, but he does have two championship rings to show off.
High Usage Shooting Guard (DeMar DeRozan), Two-Way Wing, and Help Five.
Justise Winslow–6’7″, 222 lbs, small forward from Duke. Many thought Kaminsky would fall to the Heat. A nice consolation prize for picking 10th in the draft. They could not have imagined getting a top seven prospect in Winslow as many mocks had him long gone.
Yet, there he was at number 10. Pat Riley can especially thank one team in particular for this for refusing to take six draft picks for the ninth overall pick in this draft. Michael Jordan loves cigars if anyone is asking for gift suggestions.
Scouting Report (per NBAdraft.net)
NBA Comps: James Harden and Wilson Chandler
Good: “…Can finish at the rim with highlight dunks, and does a good job of utilizing his great body strength to absorb contact…”
Bad: “…struggled to sustain a high level of consistency…”
Thoughts: Winslow is an NBA specimen and knows how to use his strength on offense and defense. He’s also fast enough to be a versatile defender, which would’ve had Riley salivating when he found out this kid was available. He’s a work in progress on offense as he will need others to create for him, but GMs dream about prospects like Winslow.
- Xavier Henry, 12th, 2010
- DeMar DeRozan, ninth, 2009
- Terrence Williams, 11th, 2009
- Thabo Sefolosha, 13th, 2006
Josh Richardson, 6’6″, 200 lbs, guard from Tennessee was picked 40th overall. Unlike Winslow, Richardson lacks size and has been known to avoid contact on offense. But he does a better job at creating his own shot. His other question marks surround his outside shooting and sloppiness with the ball. Other players with similar demographics include:
And this takes care of the first four teams of the Orlando League. We still have five more teams to go as we continue to review the prospects of this year’s NBA draft.
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