2020 NBA Draft discussion

PedroKsBambino

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DannyDarwinism

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Rumor that the Celts target for a trade-up is actually Isaac Okoro.

https://nba.nbcsports.com/2020/11/13/rumor-boston-looking-to-trade-up-to-draft-isaac-okoro/

I can't say I love that idea but do acknowledge it fits the Ainge draft profile---draft defensively talented physical players and figure out shooting later. As with all these rumors, it's totally silly season and disinformation season so who knows?
I can't find it now, but there was a Twitter thread the other day on Okoro that went through just how rare it is for guys who shot like he did in college (FT% and 3PT%) to end up as good shooters in the NBA. Basically it's Jaylen Brown and one or two other guys. If it happens, it's a massive hit because Okoro has every other tool that you'd want- with a bunch of Jaylen's strengths, but much better vision, and probably a stronger team defender, which is why Butler and Iggy get mentioned as comps too- and any lineup with Okoro plus the Jays is just unfair for opposing offenses. One of the reasons I was initially skeptical of him as an early lottery pick was an article Sam Vecenie put out in the Athletic where he interviews opposing SEC coaches about Okoro, and they were pretty lukewarm, though at least one was really high on him:

https://theathletic.com/1991892/2020/08/14/2020-nba-draft-college-coaches-poll-should-isaac-okoro-be-the-top-wing/

A lot of the skepticism from the coaches is due to the shooting, Okoro's definitely one of the kids whose killer work ethic and motor is mentioned in every scouting report, which is definitely the type of kid that Ainge likes to bet on.

This rumor has me wondering if Ainge is really focusing in on wings again, and if it's true, I'd expect that should he strike out on Okoro, we might expect Vassell, S.Bey, Josh Green and Nesmith to be targets as well. It makes sense given Ainge’s proclivities; this draft is stocked with decent PG prospects and has a decent amount of sub-starter bigs, two positions that are very easy and cheap to find. I like, for example, Malachi Flynn and Zeke Nnaji, I just don’t know how much sense it makes to draft them.

Tangentially to the Vecenie Athletic series where he interviews opposing conference coaches about potential lottery prospects, which is great and really informative, I've listened to the Ringer's podcast a couple of times, and it's straight up weird how little work Tjarks seems to put into his job. He has a superficial understanding of what seems like half of the draft class, and can't even pronounce a lot of the guys' names right, which you'd think he'd be able to do if he'd watched actual game tape or spoken to coaches about the prospects he's writing and talking about. Compare that to Vecenie, Schmitz or Givony, who obviously put in a ton of leg work and can talk about what coaches think of a kid, or how they performed at the CP3 Academy three years ago, it's really striking. I never learn anything new or hear anything though-provoking from his stuff.
 
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Sox Puppet

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This is weird to me, considering we could have easily drafted Matisse Thybulle last year, a player with a similar profile.
 

DannyDarwinism

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Nah, Okoro can actually dribble and pass a basketball, and is good at getting to and finishing at the rim. He has secondary initiator upside, hence the Iggy and Butler comps. Thybulle is a pure spot up shooter on offense, if that. I don’t thinks Okoro is quite the defensive prospect that Thybulle was, but he’s stronger and a much better offense package, plus he is significantly younger than Thybulle was. It’s hard to overstate just how little Matisse provides on offense.

Just a couple of college stats to illustrate:

MT free throw rate = .21; 3PA rate = .52
IO is nearly inverted, at: .55 and .288
 
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Imbricus

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Jury is still out on Bender, don't forget.
I guess you can argue that, though he does turn 23 next week and is now playing for Maccabi. Which you don't really expect from a guy who was drafted fourth in a strong draft class.

Anyway, DD's upthread analysis strikes me as spot on. Ainge doesn't like the physical profile of guys like that. Though with Bender, there's the sense he just didn't want to get physical. If Poku is scrappier, even if he's underweight now, the outcome might be better.
 

Jimbodandy

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I guess you can argue that, though he does turn 23 next week and is now playing for Maccabi. Which you don't really expect from a guy who was drafted fourth in a strong draft class.

Anyway, DD's upthread analysis strikes me as spot on. Ainge doesn't like the physical profile of guys like that. Though with Bender, there's the sense he just didn't want to get physical. If Poku is scrappier, even if he's underweight now, the outcome might be better.
My bad for not being more obvious on my sarcasm. But you're right that Ainge does consider a guy's mental approach to self-development, not just his physique and skills.
 

Imbricus

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Ah. Of course. Usually I catch that, though thought you might be thinking that he could still pull off a Jimmy Butler-like transformation.

In any event, Monday could tell us something about whether we're even going to be able to use all these first-round picks. Trade season begins. It will be interesting to see what Danny does, or if he stands pat until draft night. My guess: he keeps the #14, but there's a good chance he trades the #26 or #30 before Wednesday.
 

Cellar-Door

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This is weird to me, considering we could have easily drafted Matisse Thybulle last year, a player with a similar profile.
Okoro is good at a lot of things Thybulle wasn't (dribbling, passing, finishing)

Thybulle projected as a guy who could be a really good defender who could maybe hit 3s off the catch, but had little else to his game.

Okoro is a guy who projects as a really good defender, who can do a lot on offense, but can't shoot.

Okoro is a 1 skill away guy, where the skill is shooting, if he ever shot 36% from 3 and 75-80% at the line he's a borderline star.

Thybulle was/is a guy who is unlikely to ever be a star because he lacks so many things. He's a specialist in the making.
 

nighthob

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Yeah, I like Thybulle as a pure defensive G that doesn't do much else. Okoro has a lot more to his game, but god the shooting motion is terrifyingly ugly. Ainge and Zarren must have supreme confidence in Larranaga if they're chasing Okoro. But defensively the Celtics would be a holy terror. Put Okoro and Smart out there with the Jay-Crew and Theis and who the heck do you hunt?
 

nighthob

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A ‘21 or ‘22 pick would be a lot more valuable than both #26 and #30 this year. I think Langford and #14 along with a future #1 is probably good value for #5.
 

nighthob

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I doubt Hayes goes top 4, but this draft is so roleplayer heavy that it’s tough to say. But allegedly their target is Okoro.
 

nighthob

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In a vacuum I like Okongwu, but he’s one of those guys that I see getting a max offer in free agency and I’m not sure he’s going to be worth it. He could be, though.
 

BigSoxFan

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I doubt Hayes goes top 4, but this draft is so roleplayer heavy that it’s tough to say. But allegedly their target is Okoro.
I’ll trust their judgment if they go all in for Okoro but that shot does concern me. The wing athleticism of he and the Jay’s would be off the charts. And he wouldn’t need to score much right away.
 

benhogan

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A ‘21 or ‘22 pick would be a lot more valuable than both #26 and #30 this year. I think Langford and #14 along with a future #1 is probably good value for #5.
I just don't get the Okoro hype. After looking at his highlight reels I just see a shiny, new Langford. I'm not sold on dealing Romeo + picks to move up in this flat draft. There will be wings available at 14.

I've seen the highlights of Jones hanging 40 on Auburn with Okoro guarding him a lot of the time. Couldn't stay in front of Jones, also fouled him on the 3pt head fake. It wasn't impressive for a guy with his rep

I'd rather see Danny take Vassell or Halliburton then Okoro

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdwLOj4CrrE
 
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Sam Ray Not

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Out of curiosity (asking for a friend) if you guys found yourself with a choice between Okongwu and Wiseman, whom would you pick?
 

Cellar-Door

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Out of curiosity (asking for a friend) if you guys found yourself with a choice between Okongwu and Wiseman, whom would you pick?
I lean towards Wiseman. Okongwu is more ready now, as he can probably defend on the perimeter at least right now. Wiseman though has the higher ceiling. If you told me in 5 years that there was an All-NBA player in this draft I'd say "oh Wiseman's shot was for real and he learned how to play within an NBA defense"

Also, I think I'm a bit lower on Okongwu than others. I know everyone loves the Bam comp but....
1. He doesn't have Bam's passing to me
2. He doesn't have Bam's handle
3. I am a bit dubious he's actually 6'9" with a 7'1" wingspan. Would have liked him to get official measurements. (looking it up, Bam has those measurements, but in college he was supposedly 6'10" with a 7'3" wingspan, I expect a real combine measurement would have similarly dropped Okongwu).

Okongwu is the high floor, rotation big who can do some of what Theis does, without the shooting.
Wiseman is the low floor guy who has the ceiling to be an actual star, and the size, to really play the Embiid;s and AD's of the league once he's had some NBA coaching.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I agree that the Bam comp missses primarily because of the passing---which is a unique and impactful part of his game.

Okongwu has some upside as an interior offensive weapon beyond Bam, but it's uncertain and the game isn't trending that way. I'd love his fit on the Celtics (and to a degree on Ws as well) but I think given his profile the distance between 'good role player' and 'impact guy' is pretty wide with him. There's some McDyess comps out there and I get it, but we haven't seen it yet either offensively.

I'd go for Wiseman so long as I believed in the personality---I have no real data on either of them on this. Though if I were Ws I'd probably look to trade back overall, as I think they need depth and unless they truly believe in one of the top 3 guys they are better off getting that depth and more bites at the apple this year.
 

benhogan

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I agree that the Bam comp missses primarily because of the passing---which is a unique and impactful part of his game.

Okongwu has some upside as an interior offensive weapon beyond Bam, but it's uncertain and the game isn't trending that way. I'd love his fit on the Celtics (and to a degree on Ws as well) but I think given his profile the distance between 'good role player' and 'impact guy' is pretty wide with him. There's some McDyess comps out there and I get it, but we haven't seen it yet either offensively.

I'd go for Wiseman so long as I believed in the personality---I have no real data on either of them on this. Though if I were Ws I'd probably look to trade back overall, as I think they need depth and unless they truly believe in one of the top 3 guys they are better off getting that depth and more bites at the apple this year.
they should staple #2 to Wiggins and get out of that albatross, while trying to get something that can help with the Splash Bros ... hit the Knicks hotline
 

PedroKsBambino

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The thing with Wiggins is that if you have unlimited money---and I think effectively they do---he's a rotation player with a bit of upside and a contract you might flip. So I tend to think they aren't desparate to get out of his deal, though I'm sure they are willing if they get value back.

As with the Celtics, assessing it depends hugely on what ownership is willing to spend and as with Celtics, while we have points of view we really have no data to answer that reliably.

My guess is they want to see Wiggins in their system for a while and then decide, absent a really interesting asset coming their way. We will see---I'm not a huge fan of his and I agree wtih you on the market perception of his value.
 

benhogan

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The thing with Wiggins is that if you have unlimited money---and I think effectively they do---he's a rotation player with a bit of upside and a contract you might flip. So I tend to think they aren't desparate to get out of his deal, though I'm sure they are willing if they get value back.

As with the Celtics, assessing it depends hugely on what ownership is willing to spend and as with Celtics, while we have points of view we really have no data to answer that reliably.

My guess is they want to see Wiggins in their system for a while and then decide, absent a really interesting asset coming their way. We will see---I'm not a huge fan of his and I agree wtih you on the market perception of his value.
It's a matter of fit. GSW needs a young, defensive wing (dawg) to partner with Steph/Klay. Wiggins is the opposite of a dawg

As far as the money/cap is concerned, as noted before, I believe we'll see some selling for cap space this season. Regardless of the play-in gimmick. Having that space, via the TPE (instead of Wiggins), will come in handy when teams sell good veteran role players to partner with Steph/Klay.
 

chilidawg

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Out of curiosity (asking for a friend) if you guys found yourself with a choice between Okongwu and Wiseman, whom would you pick?
Wiseman. GM's who take Edwards or Ball ahead of him are going to look pretty bad down the road. Didn't we just watch an NBA playoffs that showed the utility of mobile bigs like Davis and Adebayo? I like Okongwu, but the upside is not the same.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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Out of curiosity (asking for a friend) if you guys found yourself with a choice between Okongwu and Wiseman, whom would you pick?
Does your, uh, friend, also want opinions on LaMelo Ball?
ESPN's Jonathan Givony reported Monday that Wiseman "no longer appears to be a lock" for the Warriors after LaMelo Ball conducted an "impressive" [workout] for some members of the Warriors' front office and ownership group.

Rumors swirled last week that Warriors ownership might push for Golden State to draft Ball at No. 2 if Wiseman was off the board. But perhaps Ball's workout and his tantalizing potential have caused the Warriors to once again reshuffle their draft board.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Who knows, but man does Ball smell like a GS smokescreen. Hypothetically, if:

1. Minnesota is really high on either Ball or Edwards (but not both) and does not want Wiseman
2. GS and Charlotte both want Wiseman
3. Minnesota thinks it can extort something off Charlotte by trading down to #3

It behooves GS to make Minny think they might be interested in Edwards or Ball, And lo ... we’ve heard stories that they might really like both of them.

That’s my basic read on what’s happening now, though I could be 100% wrong. For all I know the Ws are about to swing a deal for Harden.
 

benhogan

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Who knows, but man does Ball smell like a GS smokescreen. Hypothetically, if:

1. Minnesota is really high on either Ball or Edwards (but not both) and does not want Wiseman
2. GS and Charlotte both want Wiseman
3. Minnesota thinks it can extort something off Charlotte by trading down to #3

It behooves GS to make Minny think they might be interested in Edwards or Ball, And lo ... we’ve heard stories that they might really like both of them.

That’s my basic read on what’s happening now, though I could be 100% wrong. For all I know the Ws are about to swing a deal for Harden.
I wonder if Wiggins + Looney + '20 #2 + Minnesota '21 #1 + pick swaps for Harden work for both?
 

DannyDarwinism

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nighthob

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I just don't get the Okoro hype. After looking at his highlight reels I just see a shiny, new Langford. I'm not sold on dealing Romeo + picks to move up in this flat draft. There will be wings available at 14.
I think I've made my wishlist public, with Hampton at #14, and then Tillman and one of Bey/Scrubb with the last two picks (and if Scrubb, a promise of a first round selection and all four years guaranteed if he agrees to spend a year in the NBL first).

However, as for Romeo v. Okoro, while I will admit that their games are somewhat similar, Okoro is the much better athlete and much brawnier. If Jay Larranaga can perform his second miracle, then Boston will have a heck of a wing alignment. And one that would give opponents nightmares. But obviously these are all giant ifs. Including Romeo becoming a quality starter.
 

BigSoxFan

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I think I've made my wishlist public, with Hampton at #14, and then Tillman and one of Bey/Scrubb with the last two picks (and if Scrubb, a promise of a first round selection and all four years guaranteed if he agrees to spend a year in the NBL first).

However, as for Romeo v. Okoro, while I will admit that their games are somewhat similar, Okoro is the much better athlete and much brawnier. If Jay Larranaga can perform his second miracle, then Boston will have a heck of a wing alignment. And one that would give opponents nightmares. But obviously these are all giant ifs. Including Romeo becoming a quality starter.
Where would you peg Romeo's value in the form of a pick in the 2020 draft?
 

nighthob

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He'd fit right in with this draft, because it's impossible to forecast. The first three guys are sort of set in stone. But from 4-40 it's sort of a mess. Romeo would probably be a mid to high lottery pick this year (say somewhere between 5 and 10).
 

benhogan

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I think I've made my wishlist public, with Hampton at #14, and then Tillman and one of Bey/Scrubb with the last two picks (and if Scrubb, a promise of a first round selection and all four years guaranteed if he agrees to spend a year in the NBL first).

However, as for Romeo v. Okoro, while I will admit that their games are somewhat similar, Okoro is the much better athlete and much brawnier. If Jay Larranaga can perform his second miracle, then Boston will have a heck of a wing alignment. And one that would give opponents nightmares. But obviously these are all giant ifs. Including Romeo becoming a quality starter.
Yea, you and DD have done a lot of work on the draft around here, much appreciation! Hampton/Tillman/Bey (Colo) would be a home run (just to get greedy I'll throw in Quickly in the 2nd round)

I kind of stumbled into the Jones/Arkansas highlights and was shocked to see Okoro getting beat by a strong (but not fast) guard. So I'm a little concerned and sometimes wonder if Bruce Pearl's used car salesmen skills trick some NBA draftniks.

BUT I do love the idea of surrounding the Jays with lots of young, aggressive, strong defenders so Danny pushing all his draft chips in on Okoro's rep makes sense.
 
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nighthob

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Mason Jones has moved to the top of my #47 wishlist. Until you watch the gametape you have no idea just how fucking nuts his offensive game is. He isn't an elite athlete at all, but he changes directions at top speed all the time. And he'll launch any shot against any defender at any time. He's the honey badger of guards, he just don't give a fuck.

If I were Boston I'd take him at #47 and tell Marcus "Your job is to terrorize MJ every minute of every scrimmage game," because by year two Jones will be torching opponents off the bench. And he'll laugh at every defender opponents throw at him with a "Marcus beats the crap out of me every practice, you expect me to fear a mere mortal defender?"
 

DannyDarwinism

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Mason Jones has moved to the top of my #47 wishlist. Until you watch the gametape you have no idea just how fucking nuts his offensive game is. He isn't an elite athlete at all, but he changes directions at top speed all the time. And he'll launch any shot against any defender at any time. He's the honey badger of guards, he just don't give a fuck.

If I were Boston I'd take him at #47 and tell Marcus "Your job is to terrorize MJ every minute of every scrimmage game," because by year two Jones will be torching opponents off the bench. And he'll laugh at every defender opponents throw at him with a "Marcus beats the crap out of me every practice, you expect me to fear a mere mortal defender?"
He definitely got some of that Luka/Manu herky-jerkyness.I’ve been pretty down on him ever becoming an average defender, but he looks way lighter and more explosive in the stuff he has posted on social media lately, so maybe there’s a chance. He’ll never be good laterally, but even if he never gets there, I think he can still be a bench piece that can get buckets and draw fouls.

He was the fat baby brother of two all-American siblings (bro Matt played for Duke, sis Jordan plays in the WNBA and was AA at A&M), so I think that’s where his craft comes from- playing a ton of ball while he was an obese and earthbound kid- but since he got in shape he’s been beasting like he has something to prove. Ever since you guys put me on I’ve been intrigued.
 
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nighthob

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I think he projects as offensive sparkplug off the bench, but he'll be absolutely lethal in the role.
 

Lazy vs Crazy

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New and ambitious. Is it getting involved in a 3 way deal with Houston and Charlotte with Westbrook going to the Hornets? Hayward to GSW? I can't think of anything that makes sense with Minnesota.
 

BigSoxFan

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New and ambitious. Is it getting involved in a 3 way deal with Houston and Charlotte with Westbrook going to the Hornets? Hayward to GSW? I can't think of anything that makes sense with Minnesota.
Yeah, I mean if we couldn't even get into mid-lotto, top 3 sounds impossible.
 

BigMike

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Yeah, I mean if we couldn't even get into mid-lotto, top 3 sounds impossible.
You would think so, but who knows. Unlike some other teams in the top 10 it has long been suggested GS might move their pick for veteran help to maximize their current window. Who would they even want? Ball?
 

Jed Zeppelin

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If anyone gets disappointed about not moving up tonight, just remember how we once agonized over the rumors of jumping into the top 3 to grab Jah Okafor, or moving up a few spots in the same draft to get Winslow.
 

RedOctober3829

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If anyone gets disappointed about not moving up tonight, just remember how we once agonized over the rumors of jumping into the top 3 to grab Jah Okafor, or moving up a few spots in the same draft to get Winslow.
I won't be disappointed if they can't move up into the late lottery if no one really wants to move down. I just want them to get a player or players that can help right now. Someone that has a skill set they are missing or lacking in(i.e. shooting or size).