Interersting Top 5 article from The Athletic. Strauss makes a case for valuing efficiency and production over upside. His top 5: Hayes, Toppin, Haliburton, Okongwu, Okoro. I like the way he thinks, but tough to leave Wiseman and Edwards out of there.
Geez, and I thought I
was the world’s biggest TS% fetishist! Excluding Anthony Edwards from the top 5 based on the .520 TS he put up in 30 college games *as a young 18 year old* is next-level fetishism. (Ethan used to hang out in the now quasi-defunct Golden State of Mind blog where I was a mod; he may have caught the same TS bug I did).
Here are Edwards’ rankings in the most recent HoopsHype 5.0 aggregate mock draft:
1, 1, 1, 1, 3, 1, 1, 2. There may be a bit of an echo chamber effect therein, but by and large the people making those lists are a lot more knowledgeable and experienced with player projection than Ethan Strauss.
Meanwhile, here are the TS% of some notable teenagers:
LeBron age 19: .488
Durant age 19: .519
Beal age 19-20: .515, .507
Jaylen age 19 (at Cal): .518
Klay age 18 (at WSU): .527
Ethan also hoists himself on his own petard a bit by noting (correctly) that FT% in young players tends to correlate well to future shooting ability. Edwards has put up 77% from the stripe at age 18, and 84% since January. He also — eye test alert — has a great-looking shooting stroke, compact and very natural looking.
Not be the “watch the games” guy — I’m a terrible eye-test judge, for one thing — but I don’t know how anyone can watch ten minutes’ worth of Edwards highlights at age 18 and Haliburton at age 20 and conclude that Haliburton is the better NBA prospect. Beyond looking like a totally different caliber of athlete — much stronger, smoother, more explosive — Edwards also has a much more natural-looking shooting stroke. Haliburton has great efficiency results, but at low volume, and with a slow, low release that does not look very projectable.
In any case, thanks for link. Ethan’s always a good read, and is honest about the fact that he’s being “unconventional” with his list. But I’m glad he’s not the one making decisions for the Warriors (at least as far as I know?)