Saturday, June 19, 2010

2010 NBA Draft: Collegiate Power Forward Prospects

Disclosure: Previous draft analysis, both insightful and woeful: 2009 NBA Draft, 2008 NBA Draft, 2007 NBA Draft preview, 2007 NBA Draft analysis, 2006 NBA Draft preview, 2006 NBA Draft analysis/live blog, 2005 NBA Draft preview, 2005 NBA Draft grades


1. Derrick Favors
2. Ed Davis
3. Ekpe Udoh
4. Patrick Patterson
5. Larry Sanders
6. Craig Brackins
-----1st ROUND-----
7. Gani Lawal
8. Trevor Booker
9. Wayne Chism
10. Stanley Robinson
11. Luke Harangody
12. Samardo Samuels
13. Dwayne Collins
14. Charles Garcia
15. Tiny Gallon
-----2nd ROUND-----

It's not probable but I wouldn't be shocked if Derrick Favors turned out to be the best player in this draft. He wasn't a hugely productive scorer in his lone season at Georgia Tech but he was pretty efficient despite playing alongside the similar Gani Lawal and one of the worst collections of guards I can remember seeing on a team that made the NCAA Tournament. As with John Wall, turnovers were his biggest weakness as a freshman and that's the least worrisome weakness a young player can have.

As with Favors, there's some concern as to why the younger, more talented Ed Davis took a smaller offensive role than his older teammate, in this case Deon Thompson. It's a greater concern with Davis because his three years older than Favors and Davis played for a coach whose offense is centered around getting high quality shots for big men so it was more likely down to player passivity or heretofore unrecognized limitations than poor coaching. Davis lacks inspiring upside but he's a solid bet to rebound, blocks shots, and finish the opportunities others create for him around the basket.

Ekpe Udoh was a sleeper before Baylor's NCAA Tournament run but he's fairly overrated at this point as teams and fans appear to hope for the opportunity to take a player with similar skills to Cole Aldrich but smaller, older, and less productive. Udoh's, at worst, the third best defensive big man in the draft but his offensive game is very limited.

In 2009-10 Patrick Patterson didn't get anywhere near the touches he received the previous season but even as the volume of his production shrank he remained an efficient offensive player. Worrisome was the hit his rebound rate took in his Junior season. Playing alongside DeMarcus Cousins isn't a convincing excuse. One need only look at Favors and Lawal to see that teammates are fully capable of both posting 12%/20% rebound rates. The cautionary tale (and this is only in respect to rebounding, Patterson's a far better offensive player) here is Spencer Hawes who had his low collegiate rebounding rates explained away by Jon Brockman's presence. Turned out that Hawes just wasn't a good rebounder. Patterson can succeed despite this weakness but it impacts his ranking.

Larry Sanders isn't much different than Ed Davis and his lower ranking here could be down to an unfair level of competition bias. Sanders scored more than Davis but was less efficient, both from the field and the line. That Sanders scored more without much of a post game can be judged either impressive or concerning for his development. He can finish and should be a serviceable backup at the 4 as a rookie, could provide good minutes off the bench as a backup center in smaller lineups, and is certain to inspire Hank Kingsley references wherever he goes.

Craig Brackins was considered a great prospect this time last year. He returned to Iowa State and had a fairly similar season, being less productive but a little more efficient. The result: a drop of about 30 places on everybody's draft board. He was probably too high last year and sits too low this year. He's a finesse power forward who attacks the defensive glass and has never played with a good guard. An improved jump shot would make him highly useful in pick-and-pop situations. Think Ryan Anderson with less range.

Gani Lawal has size and strength going for him. If he goes to a good team, they'll likely make use of those attributes without asking him to develop his offensive game. If he goes to a bad team, they may give up on him ever developing an offensive game. He's raw, but as a rebounding aficionado I like what he can do.

Neither Trevor Booker nor Wayne Chism were quite as productive as seniors as DeMarre Carroll was the previous season and Carroll's struggles as a rookie in Memphis don't figure to make NBA teams eager to get in on high-energy, 3/4 tweeners from pressing programs. Booker and Chism are both bigger than Carroll, blocked more shots, and committed more turnovers so if you squint you can see more upside. Chism might could develop into a stretch four.

Stanley Robinson took on a bigger offensive role last season but that said more about UConn's limited options than that Robinson took a major step forward. He did improve, though, most encouragingly by making 27-79 three-pointers. He doesn't rebound well enough to project as a full-time power forward but it's a open question as to whether or not he can defend in space on the wing. I'm surprised more teams haven't tried to get production out of the plentiful Louis Amundson types who populate the basketball world. Robinson should hope that changes.

Luke Harangody was a poor-man's Nick Fazekas in college. One might think the three- or four-inch height advantage Fazekas had would have worked in his favor, but playing at Notre Dame will probably give Harangody a better chance to prove himself in the NBA though he's no more (and quite possibly less) athletic than Fazekas. The dividing line for the necessary athleticism to succeed as an undersized 4 in the NBA figures to be drawn somewhere between Harangody and the similarly shaped Craig Smith.

Samardo Samuels posted DR% of 10.1 and 14.7 in his two seasons at Louisville which suggests that his lack of athleticism prevents him from rebounding in more than one spot even at the college level. He is strong and can use that strength to get good position on the block and in anticipation of offensive rebounds but finishing could be a problem against NBA post players.

Solid on the glass and in the paint, it remains to be seen if Dwayne Collins can get out on the floor as necessitated by the modern definition of NBA power forwards. If he can't, he'll have to leverage his strength into a vagabond career as a fifth big man specializing in aggressive, annoying post defense.

Once one adjusts for pace (Seattle averaged almost 80 possessions per game last season, 13 more than an average college team), Charles Garcia's production appears far less impressive. Per on-court possession, the only real comp he has in terms of blocks and steals is Luke Harangody, only Dwayne Collins and Tiny Gallon come within 75% of his turnover rate, his offensive rebound rate is below average (though his defensive rebound rate is strong), and he's a below average shooter inside the arc, outside the arc, and from the free throw line. A year in the D-League is likely his best case scenario.

Tiny Gallon is a) not tiny at all and b) probably not missing much by turning his basketball development over to someone other than Jeff Capel. Other than tracking down missed shots, he has no idea what he's doing: turnover-prone, jump shot-enamored, and defensively indifferent. If a team thinks they can get him in shape, he's a decent risk of a second-round pick but it will be a couple of years before he should be expected to fulfill his modest promise.

DRAFT BOARD (Guards,Wings, and Power Forwards)
1. John Wall

2. Derrick Favors
3. Evan Turner

4. Wesley Johnson


5. Ed Davis
6. Ekpe Udoh
7. Paul George

8. Damion James

9. Xavier Henry

10. Patrick Patterson
11. Avery Bradley

12. James Anderson

13. Al-Farouq Aminu

14. Luke Babbitt

15. Larry Sanders
16. Eric Bledsoe

17. Elliot Williams

18. Craig Brackins
19. Willie Warren

20. Jordan Crawford

21. Quincy Pondexter

-----1st ROUND-----

22. Gordon Hayward

23. Gani Lawal
24. Devin Ebanks

25. Lazar Hayward

26. Lance Stephenson

27. Marqus Blakely

28. Trevor Booker
29. Wayne Chism
30. Mikhail Torrance

31. Stanley Robinson
32. Manny Harris

33. Jerome Randle
34. Greivis Vasquez

35. Ben Uzoh

36. Luke Harangody
37. Terrico White

38. Sylven Landesberg

39. Jon Scheyer

40. Dominique Jones

41. Sherron Collins

42. Marquis Gilstrap

43. Samardo Samuels
44. Dwayne Collins
45. Scottie Reynolds

46. Charles Garcia
47. Tiny Gallon
48. Devan Downey

-----2nd ROUND-----


Keith Box said...

Larry Sanders has been a guy I have had on my radar for a couple of weeks now with the Hawks. Reports are surfacing that he may have a promise to be picked by the Bucks. The Bucks are denying this. At one time, I thought Sanders would be a possibility for the Hawks. Now, it is looking like he will go in the 15-20 range. I really feel he would be an interesting 4/5 hybrid player for the Hawks that could give them some minutes behind Josh and behind the Al/Zaza combo at center. At one time, Larry Sanders was going to work out for Atlanta, but he's no longer on their workout list.

What do you make of the report that the Hawks really like Gani Lawal? I think he's probably one of the few players who could come in and actually contribute for this team. His skill as a rebounder will be his calling card.

Michael Cunningham mentioned that along with Lawal, the Hawks are considering 5 players with the 24th pick. I wonder who those five players are. They have openly talked about needing a wing/guard that can guard on the perimeter as well as a center.

Bret LaGree said...

I think the Hawks could pick up something (and extra 2nd round pick or a future first round pick) and trade down to get get Lawal. That, or buy a high second-round pick to get him. I think he's too limited to just take at 24.

I hope the 5 would be something like: Lawal, Seraphin, Alabi, and a two of Damion James, James Anderson, Eliot Williams, and Jordan Crawford.

Keith Box said...

Do you have any concerns over Alabi's weak defensive rebounding rate? Of the others you mentioned, both Jordan Crawford and Elliot Williams pulled out of their workouts with the Hawks. It doesn't necessarily mean they won't consider them, but I think it does lessen the chances that they will get picked.

Kevin Seraphin is interesting. Rick Sund has shown a strong propensity towards drafting international players in the past. Kevin recently measured out at 6'9" in shoes with a 7'3.5" wingspan.

jrauch said...

I'd have to disagree with your placement of Ed Davis so highly on the draft board Bret.
Davis never had a full healthy season at Carolina, and his offensive game is still remarkably limited. While he's a natural shot blocker with some freakish athletic ability, he's going to get beat up his first few years in the league until he gets some bulk on that 6'10, 210lb frame.

This may just be the bitter Carolina fan talking, but its a little startling how thin the draft is at PF. Basically Favors and nothing else.