Tomorrow, I look forward to declaring my ideal Cavs draft. Today though, I’ll continue to trek through my Draft Board into Tiers 4 and 5. Let’s say that Tier 4 means players with 80th percentile career equal to “top-50 NBA player” and 25th percentile of “fine rotation player”. Tier 5 equates to “this guy looks like a really solid bench player”.
Kevin’s Draft Board
- Anthony Davis (tier 1)
- MKG (tier 2)
- Robinson (tier 2)
- Beal (tier 2)
- Drummond (tier 2)
- Barnes (tier 3)
- Waiters (tier 3)
- Zeller (tier 3)
- Henson (tier 3)
- Marshall (tier 3)
- Fournier (tier 3)
- T. Jones (tier 3)
- Sullinger (tier 3)
- M. Leonard (tier 3)
- J. Lamb (tier 3)
- PJ3 (tier 3)
Tier 4 (players 17 – 26)
- Marquis Teague – One year ago, Kentucky’s PG ranked as the seventh best high-school player from a loaded group. Since then, leading the NCAA champions in minutes and assists ensued. A great athlete whose numbers improved as the season progressed; a solid NBA career waits for Teague.
- Terrence Ross - Great size for an NBA wing and a talented perimeter game finds Ross in the top-twenty.
- Will Barton – The ninth-ranked high school player from the class of 2010, who in his sophomore year posted a PER higher than every other first-round-projected wing, can not drop below twenty.
- Quincy Miller – Before his ACL injury, Quincy Miller ranked as the fifth best prospect in the stacked high school class of 2011 behind Davis, Rivers, Kidd-Gilchrist and Beal. Standing 6’ – 10” with a potentially diverse offensive game, a team drafting for upside will take a chance on the freshman small forward. Maybe Clevleand.
- Damian Lillard – Probably nit-picking; but his pure-point rating falls below Teague, Waiters and obviously Marshall, despite being the oldest of the group. His foot-speed clocked in the bottom-third of draftable point guards. Given his scoring came as a fourth-year-player against the NCAA’s 296th most difficult schedule, I want to be blown away by everything else. I ask myself; how would Marquis Teague look playing for Weber State in three years? Pretty awesome, probably, and I rank Lillard behind him.
- Moe Harkless – Many compare his NBA impact to Trevor Ariza. That works for me.
- Austin Rivers – Finding reasons for excitement about Rivers is difficult for me.
- Jae Crowder – This may be obvious, but I am a sucker for this type of player. Originally, he fell below Jeff Taylor on my list. Eventually though, the fact that Crowder measures longer, stronger and more agile than Taylor dawned on me. The truth about him scoring, rebounding, and passing better than Taylor at 14 months younger hit me like a bombshell. The percentage of possessions he ended with a steal ranked 21st in the NCAA. Sometimes you need to rank the younger player who is better at everything further up on your draft board.
- Arnett Moultrie – Hopefully I don’t upset the boss, but Moultrie’s rebounding and shooting are respectable enough to be deceptive, and he needs a serious defensive mind-set adjustment.
- Tony Wroten- Another player with a huge range from “floor” to “ceiling”; I like closing my tiers with that type of talent.
Tier 5 (players 27 – 37)
- Draymond Green – Ranking as the NCAA’s seventh-best defensive rebounder against the second-toughest schedule, draining 39% of his threes, and playing a high IQ-style of ball; he overcomes his “tweener” status.
- Doron Lamb – Lamb plays quick and made 47% from long-distance.
- Andrew Nicholson – His jump shooting is not enough to rank higher than this. He plays slow and needs to increase his toughness. I don’t think he poses a low post threat in the NBA or blocks shots at the rate shown at St. Bonaventure.
- Jeff Taylor – Taylor fully-displayed his athleticism at the combine; his career as a three-and-D guy goes as far as his ability to drain jumpers.
- John Jenkins - Defense presents an issue, but this man can shoot. Extremely fast and accurate – while chucking nine threes per game, he converted 44%. As a bench scorer on a good team, he has value.
- Festus Ezeli – Watching Ezeli in March, I came away impressed with his physicality. His numbers slumped this year after starting with a knee injury and a suspension, but massive, aggessive, and athletic big men need snapped up at #34 in the draft.
- Mike Scott – Rumor says his skill level and motor have shown well in workouts. Three weeks ago, I espoused a scenario where Cleveland trades into the later part of the second round and drafts him. Now he is climbing draft boards, but his “veteran” presence as a 24-year-old rookie may be a strong influence on an otherwise young Cavs team.
- Royce White – Definitely in the minority here; White does not rate highly for me – and little of the reason relies on his anxiety. A horrid shooter, combined with an isolation game marred by four turnovers per game, and marginal defense, makes him an ummmm…rebounder? Statsheet.com logs on-court, off-court information for college games; according to their data, Iowa State outscored opponents by 133 points when White played and 77 while sitting. White played over thirty minutes per game…I have not taken a math class in a few years, but didn’t that make the Cyclones better with him on the bench?
- Fab Melo – To me, Melo rates as a one-trick pony, and his flaming-hoop-jump fails. While taking notes on two games, a pair of goal-tends and one scold-inducing bonehead play ensued. No thanks.
- Marcus Denmon – The Missouri Senior’s 127 offensive rating on 22 usage against a quality schedule looks really strong. In athletic testing, he ranked top-ten percent in both the speed and agility drills. Last season, draftexpress described his defense as demonstrating “very good lateral quickness, which combined with his toughness and aggressiveness, allows him to guard all backcourt positions at the collegiate level.” As a ceiling, how about 2008 – 2009 Delonte West?
- Scott Machado – Machado notches the second highest Pure Point Rating in ten years of the draftexpress database. Possessing NBA shooting range, he knocked down 40% from deep this year. Despite defensive struggles as a surety, capably managing a second-string offense seems probable.
Whew – this is wearing me out! Two days until the draft and I’m ready to learn the future of the Cavs franchise!