FanPost

2009 NBA DRAFT – (Post #3) Player Analysis, Part 2

(Click HERE to see the first post with the list of all the players)
(Click HERE to see the second post with analysis of the top 10 players)

In my last installment of player analysis for the 2009 draft based on my statistical system, I will be analyzing players that I feel are of the most interest to Kings fans. One thing I've noticed about this draft is that there are a lot of very athletic players this year. It should be a fun draft class. Is it Thursday yet?

Remember, these are still just my opinions, I don't pretend to be any "expert" on these players. I am just expanding on the findings of my system and adding my two cents.

(Note: You can click on the player’s name (score and height also where applicable) to see a highlight video of that player.)

Nick Calathes (91), 6'5" - Nick is a well-rounded, skillful and talented basketball player. If he had the athletic ablility of Brandon Jennings and the speed of Allen Iverson, he would probably be the #2 pick in this draft hands down. He pumps out 7.7 assists per game, grabs 6.4 rebounds and puts up 20.7 points. All this as a sophomore at the University of Florida. He's a pass first guard that has just under a 2/1 assist to turnover rate and shoots a fantastic 55.5% from 2-pt range. His 3-pt shooting is a solid 39% as well. Many people see him as a point guard, which he is, but may not know that he actually shared the point guard duties with fellow teammates (5'8") Erving Walker and (6'0") Walter Hodge. On defense he actually would guard the small forward many times. Speaking of defense, that is probably his biggest weakness. At only 185 pounds and with average speed, he will have tons of trouble staying in front of the smaller, quicker guards but also probably won't be able to handle the bigger, stronger ones either. The lack of any real explosiveness is going to be his biggest weakness in the NBA. Luckily he is such a good shooter. He has signed a one-year contract to play in Greece so he won't be available to the team that drafts him, but if he is on the board when the Kings pick at #31 and they didn't get Rubio, Flynn, Lawson, Collison or Maynor, I would be fine with it if they snap Calathes up. I feel he warrants being drafted anywhere in the last third of the first round.

Jonny Flynn (90.5), 6'0" - I don't see Flynn going at #4 but I think he is worth being drafted anytime after the 6th pick. He's fun to watch and should become a solid NBA pro PG. Flynn has a great motor, heart, athleticism and leadership skills.

OK, that's it for my opinions and now to the analysis. A bit smallish for a point guard in the NBA but Chris Paul and lesser players like T.J. Ford and Jameer Nelson have come into the league lately and done very well. Flynn's 7.2 assists per game is far better than average for a sophomore point guard and his 46% FG shooting is more than acceptable (but not fantastic) for his size. The biggest (though relatively minor) criticism I see with Flynn is not so much any particular statistic; it's that he barely improved at all over his freshman year. Other than points and assists which went up at a marginal level, his rebounds, assist/turnover ratio, FG% and steal rate all stayed exactly the same or was slightly worse. His 3-pt shooting percentage dropped from 35% to 32% even though he attempted fewer shots from long range. These negatives are not red flags but they are at best yellow flags. If you (or any GM) can find any good reason for the lack of improvement than I will concede the negatives moot, but I am always a little bit worried when a player does not improve significantly from his freshman season in at least a couple areas. Well, unless that player is LeBron James or something...

Brandon Jennings (90), 6'1" - The enigma of the first round. I really love his freakish quickness and athleticism but is that all he has?

Assists per game is way below par at 3.4 per game against the best players in Europe but in the Italian league it was a slightly better than average 5.4 per game. A 38.5% FG percentage is also bad but it's mainly due to the fact that he shoots 20.7% from 3-pt range and 37% of his FG attempts are from long range. That shows either bad decision making or a lack of being able to break his man down off the dribble. He only averages 3.9 free throw attempts per game. Even Jason Williams got to line around 4.7 times per game in college and we all know how much he loved body contact in the lane. Still, with all this said, Brandon averaged 15.5 ppg against the best pros in Europe as a rookie and had a decent assist/turnover rate of 1.5 in the Italian league. He has upside but the statistics (as too few as they are, I frustratingly admit) don't point to being a sure top 10 pick. Of all the players in the draft, he has the widest potential of anybody. I can see him being picked anywhere from 5 to 22 and he could end up a star or a bust. Personally I side somewhere inbetween.

Terrence Williams (89.5), 6'6" - I love his athleticism and overall basketball skills. Williams is a complete player that could become a superstar in the NBA but also could disappoint because statistically, his stats are either up or down. For a shooting guard/small forward, he has great numbers in steals (2.7), rebounding (10.1) and assists per game (5.8 - wow) but he also is very poor in other areas such as scoring (14.6), FG shooting (43.1%) and FT shooting (58.1%). I don't think his rebounding numbers will be anywhere near where his college numbers are and his assist numbers won't be that high when he's on a team with a true point guard, so his scoring output will be much more scrutinized and will need to improve at the next level. I hear that he is a very good 1 on 1 defender so maybe he will end up like a Tayshaun Prince type player in the NBA with more explosiveness. T-Will should be one of the players in this draft to come in and produce right away and is probably a bit underrated on most draft boards as I feel he should easily be a lottery pick.

DeMarre Carroll (89.5), 6'7" - Too undersized to play power forward in the NBA like he did mostly in college. I am always impressed with a player that improves significantly all four years in college and Carroll has done that. His scoring average (10.3, 14.8, 20.6 and 23.7) and FG% (50, 51.1, 53.6 and 55.8) are the most significant improvements as is his steal rate (1.5, 1.7, 1.8 and 2.2). He is solid rebounder (10.2) and a good back to the basket scorer with good shooting touch (57.9% from 2-pt range). DeMarre's lack of a reliable deep shot (18 feet and out) and lack of extraordinary speed will hamper him in the NBA as a small forward. He may not be agile enough to be able to guard the three position in the NBA or strong and tall enough to guard power forwards. I fear he is one of those players where he may excel in the minors but flop in the major leagues. It will all depend on him improving at the same rate he has been. I would not count him out though! I think Carroll should be drafted in the late first, early second round. 25-35 seems about right.

Darren Collison (87), 6'1" - Here is another very good PG in this draft under 6'2". Like Ty Lawson and Flynn, Collison is an above average shooter. I listed what to look for statwise for point guards in my Case for Ty Lawson post so how does the 6'1" Collison stack up? FG% over 50%? Yup! Over 15 points a game? Yah! Assists over 6 per game? Yes! Assist to TO ratio over 2.0? No, but close at 1.92. Steal rate of over 2.5 per game in 40 minutes? No (2.0).

As a smallish guard, weighing only 165, he needs to be super fast and very good defensively. He looks to be a good player at the point and if the Kings don't take Rubio, Curry or Flynn and Ty Lawson can't be had at 23, Collison will probably be available in the late first and would be a steal at #23 and a great pick for the Kings if they decide to go that route. Collison should be drafted in the first round at about 20-30.

Taj Gibson (86.5), 6'10" - First thing you notice statistically is the phenomenal 3.4 blocks per game. That's no fluke either due to his awesome 7'4" wingspan which is equal to the likes of Greg Oden. Gibson is an average but competent rebounder (10.7) and is smart around the basket on the offensive end and on mid range shots, finishing the season with a strong 60.0 FG% but is not a high volume scorer at only 17.8 ppg. I think Taj can be more than a competent defensive presence in the paint but I am not sure if he will be skilled enough to make it on the offensive end. He played for USC which has a good track record for players playing up to their scores in the NBA but power forwards that don't shoot or rebound exceptionally will have a tough time lasting in the NBA. A team needing defensive help from their bench should probably look his way. I think he could be a good second round pick and deserves to get drafted anywhere from #32 to #40.

Eric Maynor (86), 6'3" - Maynor isn't especially fast or athletic but he does have a good basketball IQ, toughness, a competitive spirit, is clutch and has NBA level talent. Statistically he is very impressive (7.0 apg, 4.1 rpg, 25.2 ppg), but that's playing for Virginia Commonwealth in a weaker NCAA conference. He can sure score! Reminds me a bit of Deron Williams (toughness, IQ and leadership) mixed with Rodney Stuckey (raw scoring ability and fearlessness) statwise. I have a feeling that Maynor could be one of the steals in the middle part of the draft. I doubt he will fall to #23, damn it, but I sure hope so. With his potential, I think he should be taken in the mid first round (15-23).

Tyler Hansbrough (85.5), 6'9" - If Tyler was a sophomore and putting up these numbers, or was showing big improvement every year, I would be more interested in him. VERY interested in fact. However, he is a senior and has shown only slight improvement since his sophomore year. He is tough and can shoot fairly well even out to the 3-pt line, on the college level. Even though his rebounding average (12.4) is solid, his size and lack of great leaping ability will probably hinder him in the NBA. Because he has solid numbers and has been doing it his whole college career at a top notch program, I think he will come into the NBA and be effective right away. I just don't see a high ceiling for him however. Being drafted in the 16-25 range seems about right.

Gerald Henderson (84.5), 6'5" - Very athletic, exciting and high profile shooting guard with decent passing skills (3.4 apg). Compared to all of the higher level shooting guards of the past, his FG shooting percentage (45%) is too low, especially for a player that likes to attack the basket and where only ¼ of his shots are 3-pt attempts. The plusses are his scoring ability (22.2 ppg), athleticism and his aggressiveness, including a solid 1.4 blocks per game average last season. Gerald needs to get to about 50% or better from the field in the NBA to be a consistent starter unless he can improve on his below average 33% 3-pt shooting like a Kevin Martin or really improve on his playmaking. For a quick comparison, let's look at Henderson and Tyreke Evans. Evans is not considered a very good shooter right? Well taking away the three point shots, Tyreke shoots 51% from 2-pt range while Henderson shoots 49%. Evans can do more than Henderson can (rebounding, ball handling and passing) and has two years less experience. The slightly overrated (my opinion) Henderson is projected to go within the first 8 - 15 picks and I am happy with that. Not that Gerald doesn't have the potential to be a solid NBA player, but each overrated player being picked before #23 means a better player may fall to the Kings. I think he should be taken anywhere from 14 to 24.

Jerel McNeal (84.5), 6'3" - What you see is what you get from Jerel: a good scorer (22.6 ppg). In four years at Marquette he has pretty much put up the same numbers though he is improving but not enough to talk about. His steal numbers are impressive (about 2.5 to 3 per game) but that's about the only thing I really like about his game. He is a streaky shooter that can light it up from time to time. I see him living up to his potential as a 6th man type coming off the bench, but as a 6'3" combo (mostly shooting) guard, that's not enough to take him at #23 or #31. 32-40 is about right.

Omri Casspi (84), 6'9" - A marksman from the 3-pt line (45%) and an above average athlete who likes to run the floor for easy dunks. Omri is a player that Petrie loves: The long range bombing Euro that can come off screens and catch and shoot and run the floor. I don't see much else in Omri's bag of tricks however. He snags a modest 7.1 rebounds and nets half a block per game. Not too exciting for a 220 pound 6'9 power forward. Omri is basically Peja lite and I am not sure if that's what the Kings need. He can be a role player on a good team however and does have that overused word (by me usually) = potential. He should be drafted anywhere from 25 to 40.

Sam Young (83), 6'6" - A great athletic scorer at Pittsburgh this year with 24.1 ppg. Young is a "shootist" as Jerry Reynolds likes to say. He knows what he is. He doesn't try to pass much (1.4 apg) and doesn't get a lot of steals or blocks but he rebounds at a solid 7.9 per game average. He is strong, creative and fearless. He is one of the players that I was surprised about when I saw his score. I feel he is a bit better than an 83 and I feel he will be drafted in the late first round where he should be.

Jeff Pendergraph (82.5), 6'10" - Quick leaper with good hands and athleticism. Jeff is not a great force in any one area but has one thing going for him that I really like: He is super efficient. He shot a whopping 66% from the field on 300 field goals last season and was #1 among all power forwards in points per possession. His points per game (17.8) and FG% have been increasing well each season. The problem with Pendergraph is that's about all he does great. He's a decent but still raw low post scorer with no 3-pt range. He is a good but nothing special rebounder (10.1) and is way below average in steals (0.6) and blocks (1.1). If he continues to improve as a scorer he may eek his way into a 6th man role but I see him ending up more like a better James Augustine from the 2006 draft. Role player potential and mid second round pick (40-50).

Dionte Christmas (82) - Like Jerel McNeal, what you see is what you get with Dionte. He is a smart, athletic player with a quick release and a sweeeeet stroke. As a 6'5" shooting guard, he takes nearly 60% of his FG attempts from 3-pt range and shoots a respectable 35% so can he be the next Allan Houston? Well, Allan shot 42.4% for 4 years at college. Also, Reggie Miller, Ray Allen and Mitch Richmond shot 43.9%, 46.4% and 46.9% respectively in college. To be a star 3-pt shooter, 35% usually will not cut it. It can happen, he can improve, and he has other skills (which have improved in his senior year) but shooting the 3 is really what Dionte is known for and his averages have been slowly declining not rising. He could turn out to be a bigtime 3-pt shooting sparkplug off the bench but I wouldn't want to bet on it. Not for the Kings at least. I see him being drafted late in the second round.

Patrick Mills (81), 6'0" - A very speedy player with his feet and hands. Snagging almost 3 steals a game per 40 minutes does show that he has good instincts and reflexes. However, as a PG, his assist/turnover rate of 1.25 (4.7 assists per game) is very poor even for the college level. Besides the steals and scoring (22.1 ppg), his stats are not outstanding and he plays for Saint Mary's in a slightly weaker conference. He is too much of a shooter/scorer for what the Kings need in a late round prospect at PG unless they are looking for a "water bug" off the bench. He has improved a decent amount from his freshman year however, so I can see him surpassing his potential and if he can improve his playmaking can become a solid backup PG.

Derrick Brown (81), 6'9 - Freak athleticism. He also has a fantastic 7'3" wingspan. That's about where all the accolades end. Is he statistically poor? Not really, but when you measure him up to all the small forwards in history, other than his height and 3-pt percentage he really doesn't stand out. For a junior, 18.6 ppg is good but not great. 8.3 rebounds per game is also just fine but not fantastic, especially for a player with the wingspan he has. Tyreke Evans had only one less rebound a game at 7.4 as a point guard. Another concern is that he only averages 1 steal per game. That is very poor for a tall small forward with his wingspan and quickness. If a small forward is a fairly good scorer and decent but average rebounder, historically he should have something else to add. That something else is usually great 3-pt range and even better, court vision. Read = assists. An assist average of 2.6 per game does not impress. Julian Wright from the 2007 draft had many similarities to Brown and many of Brown's same weaknesses. Wright has been a disappointment so far in the NBA. The good news is that while Wright is a poor 3-pt shooter, Brown is above average. His 3-pt shot has improved greatly this year. He shot a very good 43.3% (39-90, 26% of his total FG attempts). If Brown is going to be an impact player in the NBA I think it comes down to his outside shot and defensive prowess. If he can get his 3-pt percentage to a consistent 40% from NBA range he may find his way into the starting lineup sooner than later. Still, I think he should be drafted in the early second round.

Jon Brockman (78.5), 6'7" - Undersized power forward from Washington. This big guy leads the Huskies in career rebounds (15.1 per game this season) and scoring (19.6 per game) but he will have a hard time duplicating those numbers in the NBA due to his height and utter lack of leaping ability. He has good hustle and scrap and will throw his strong body around with anybody, but he shouldn't be anything more than an undersized low post banger in the NBA. Defensively he is too slow and has no chance of guarding faster, taller and more athletic NBA power forwards. He is absolutely no shot blocker (3 blocks TOTAL this season) and has no outside range. Maybe he could become today's version of Mark Olberding. Anybody remember Olberding??

Quickly let me name some players that I see being underrated and overrated. Again, you can click on the player's name (and team) to see a highlight video.

UNDERRATED:

  1. Leo Lyons - Missouri (86.5). In most mocks, he is projected to be drafted around 61st.  Really? Not drafted? Seriously? The dude played for one of the top teams in the nation and averaged 25.1 ppg, 10.5 rpg and 3.4 apg. With a career 53.0 FG% and gets to the line an astounding 11.3 times per 40 minutes.
  2. Austin Daye - Gonzaga (87.5) - Long and lean. As a sophomore, Austin is one of the players with the greatest potential in this draft and I could see him becoming a star in the NBA if he works hard and continues to improve. Reminding me a LOT like Anthony Randolph from last year's draft, but with a MUCH better 3-pt shot (42.9%). Austin blocks 3.1 shots per game and is a fluid athlete on both ends of the court. He is projected to be drafted anywhere from 12 to 25. If he is there at #23, even with JT and Green on the team, I think the Kings should strongly lean his way.
  3. Danny Green - North Carolina (86.5). Besides the great athleticism and quickness, I don't see much difference between Green and Gerald Henderson. Let's compare:

Danny Green-Se

North Carolina

GF

27.4

2.7

4.7

13.1

 4.0

6.9

19.1

47.1

41.8

 

 

 

 

Min

Asts

Reb

Pts

a/40

r/40

p/40

FG%

3%

 

Gerald Henderson-J

Duke

G

29.7

2.5

4.9

16.5

 3.4

6.6

22.2

45.0

33.6

Danny also has a much better steal (2.6 to 1.7) and blocks (2.0 to 1.0) per game average. Green may not be quite as explosive and exciting as Henderson but if Gerald is a top 15 pick, Green should be in the first round. Most mocks list him going in the mid to late second round. For a small forward that can shoot the three from 25 feet effortlessly, make clutch shots and defend, he should be a prime time candidate for a good team looking to pick up that great role player at the end of the first round. I would not be surprised to see San Antonio take him with the 37th pick. He would be the perfect fit for them.

4. A.J. Price - Connecticut (87.5). The forgotton point guard. With all the praise and attention that players like Teague, Collison, Maynor, Mills, Douglas and Beaubois are getting, A.J. seems to be the forgotten man. He starred for one of the top teams in the nation and averaged 18.5 points, 6 assists and shot 40% from 3-pt range. A.J. may not deserve to be drafted above the guards I mentioned above, mainly due to his inconsistency, but he deserves a good look in the early second round.

OVERRATED:

  1. Jordan Hill - Arizona (87.5). Some mocks have Hill going as high as 5th and I just don't see it. Hill should be a good player and he does have upside. He is improving fairly well each year but to me there are many players with better upside or are better players right now that also have upside. He is a solid rebounder (12.3) and scorer (20.5) but with his slightly better than average FG shooting and lack of any range from 15 feet and out, he better have some impressive defensive skills for a top 5 pick. He doesn't. There is no doubt he has potential, but with so many players that have been busts with his pedigree, it's a big risk to draft him in the top 10. Drafting him in the teens seems about right.
  2. Earl Clark - Louisville (84.5). I am sticking my neck far out on this one. I get a Jeff Green vibe from Clark except that Green was a MUCH better outside shooter than Clark. His 45.7 FG% has been decreasing each year as he shoots more and more 3-pointers. His greatest asset, similar to Jeff Green, is that he can play three positions fairly well. Besides his decent assist average of 3.7 per game, he does not impress in any area statistically. Many mock drafts have him going anywhere from 8th to 18th. I don't feel he should be taken before the 15th pick.

 If you read all this, thanks very much. You must love this stuff as much as I do. All I can say now is...

 GO KINGS!! (and good luck Petrie. The pressure is on)

Lastly, here is a little nugget just for you Section. I know how you love good ol' Joe Kleine. Remember him? The guy the Kings took with the high lottery (6th) pick in 1985? That Joe Kliene. Well, would you like to know what his score is in my system based on his college stats? Brace yourself:

82.

(This is a FanPost from a member of the Sactown Royalty community. The views expressed come from the member, and not Sactown Royalty staff.)

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