FanPost

Forecasting the Future of our Frontcourt. Also, Alliteration.

Jason Thompson. Spencer Hawes. Donté Greene.  This should be our frontcourt of the future.  We've caught glimpses of their potential this past season, and if they fulfill it, the future is very bright, especially considering we're getting some more young talent in the draft this year.  But just how good can each of them be?

 

 

Here are Jason Thompson's statistics for this last year at 22 going one 23.:

Year

Team

G

GS

MPG

FG%

3P%

FT%

OFF

DEF

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

TO

PF

PPG

08-09

SAC

82

56

28.1

0.497

0.000

0.692

2.9

4.5

7.4

1.1

0.6

0.7

1.78

3.80

11.1

That's a solid line for a rookie, especially one who had to deal with a coaching change, being introduced to the starting lineup, and the big shuffle at the trade deadline. We can all name a few things JT definitely needs to improve, including post defense, and ballhandling to name a couple.

I've always thought that JT has the potential to be as good as Antonio McDyess was back before he had an injury. So lets see Antonio's Rookie stats. He was drafted 2nd overall in the 1995 draft.

Year

Team

G

GS

MPG

FG%

3P%

FT%

OFF

DEF

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

TO

PF

PPG

95-96

DEN

76

75

30.0

0.485

0.000

0.683

3.0

4.5

7.5

1.0

0.7

1.5

2.03

3.30

13.4

Those stats are eerily similar. Antonio was a bit more of a scorer, and also was better at his defense then, as you can see by his 1.5 blocks. He was 21 going on 22 during his rookie year, and before the surgery had some really good seasons. Here's Antonio's seasons pre-injury (Note: 98-99 was only a 50 game season):

Year

Team

G

GS

MPG

FG%

3P%

FT%

OFF

DEF

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

TO

PF

PPG

95-96

DEN

76

75

30.0

0.485

0.000

0.683

3.0

4.5

7.5

1.0

0.7

1.5

2.03

3.30

13.4

96-97

DEN

74

73

34.7

0.463

0.171

0.708

2.1

5.2

7.3

1.4

0.8

1.7

2.69

3.70

18.3

97-98

PHO

81

81

30.1

0.536

0.000

0.702

2.5

5.0

7.6

1.3

1.2

1.7

1.75

3.60

15.1

98-99

DEN

50

50

38.7

0.471

0.111

0.680

3.4

7.4

10.7

1.6

1.5

2.3

2.76

3.50

21.2

99-00

DEN

81

81

33.3

0.507

0.000

0.626

2.9

5.6

8.5

2.0

0.9

1.7

2.84

3.90

19.1

00-01

DEN

70

70

36.5

0.495

0.000

0.700

3.4

8.6

12.1

2.1

0.6

1.5

2.31

3.10

20.8

If JT gets anywhere close to those numbers, I think we'll all be very happy campers.

***

Spencer is a different case. He's been given several different comparisons. We've compared him to Vlade and Brad Baby, and Draft Express has his best case scenario as being Andrew Bogut. So lets see how those comparisons stack up.

Here are Spence's Rookie (19) and Sophomore (20) stats:

Year

Team

G

GS

MPG

FG%

3P%

FT%

OFF

DEF

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

TO

PF

PPG

07-08

SAC

71

8

13.1

0.459

0.190

0.655

1.0

2.3

3.2

0.6

0.2

0.6

0.79

1.80

4.7

08-09

SAC

77

51

29.3

0.466

0.348

0.662

1.9

5.2

7.1

1.9

0.6

1.2

2.08

3.20

11.4

Those are nice increases for both, but most of the increase can be attributed to the big increase in playing time. Still, for a 20 year old Center those are nice numbers. So lets get on to the first comparison, Vlade Divac.

Vlade came to the NBA at 20 years old (he turned 21 in February of his rookie season.) knowing barely any English and playing a decent role for a good Lakers team that still featured Magic Johnson, who was on the downside of his career. Here are Vlade's Stats for Rookie and Sophomore year. He was the 26th pick of the 1989 draft.

REBOUNDS PER GAME

YEAR

TEAM

G

GS

MPG

FG%

3P%

FT%

OFF

DEF

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

TO

PF

PPG

89-90

LAL

82

5

19.6

.499

.000

.708

2.0

4.2

6.2

.9

.96

1.39

1.34

2.90

8.5

90-91

LAL

82

81

28.2

.565

.357

.703

2.5

5.6

8.1

1.1

1.29

1.55

1.78

3.00

11.2

An interesting thing to note is that like Spencer, Vlade also gained the Starting job in his Sophomore year. Both Spencer and Vlade scored around the same amount of points per 36 minutes, but Vlade was a better Rebounder and blocker. He also averaged 1.3 steals a game as well, which is great for a big guy. Surprisingly, Spencer averaged more assists than Vlade's sophomore year, but when you realize that Vlade is playing with Magic Johnson, you know why. Spencer's passing skills are very Vlade-esque and thats where the best comparison lies.

Vlade also was more efficient than Spencer at shooting, mainly because more of his points came at the rim, although he had a nice little jumper. Vlade's sophomore year was actually his best for field ggoal percentage, probably because later in life he took more of those jumpers as that developed. He was a career 49.5% from the field, and Spencer will need to attack the rim a lot more, and settle for less jumpers in order to get those numbers. Defense wise, Vlade was better than Spencer was at this age, at least statistically, averaging a block and a half a game.

A difference with Vlade and Spencer that I think will occur is that Vlade's defense deteriorated as he aged, but Spencer is more athletic than Vlade was and younger too, so I think he could be a better defender.

Now lets take a look at the second comparison, Brad Miller, who went undrafted. He was 22 and 23 in those years. :

Year

Team

G

GS

MPG

FG%

3P%

FT%

OFF

DEF

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

TO

PF

PPG

98-99

CHA

38

0

12.3

0.565

0.500

0.794

0.9

2.2

3.1

0.6

0.2

0.5

0.84

1.70

6.3

99-00

CHA

55

4

17.5

0.461

0.000

0.785

2.1

3.3

5.3

0.8

0.4

0.6

0.87

2.00

7.7

At first glance this comparison doesn't look too great. Brad was not as skilled at 22 and 23 as Spencer is at 19 and 20. Spencer is better in almost all the statistical categories. Looking through Brad Miller's entire career, he never averaged more than 1.2 blocks a game(which Spencer did as a Sophomore) and those were his first two years in Sacramento at the ages of 28 and 29. Brad also was never that great at rebounding, and the only year he averaged more than 10 was his first year in Sacramento, where he played mostly Power Forward to replace the oft-injured Chris Webber. For his career he averaged 7.8 rebounds. Passing wise, Miller is above average for a Center, but Spencer is at the level now that Brad was at near his 3rd or 4th year. Spencer will probably end up being better than Brad defensively and offensively.  And Brad was a two-time All-Star.

Now for Draft Express's comparison of Andrew Bogut. As you all remember, Bogut was the #1 pick of the 05 draft. Here are his Rookie (21) and Sophomore(22) Stats:

Year

Team

G

GS

MPG

FG%

3P%

FT%

OFF

DEF

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

TO

PF

PPG

05-06

MIL

82

77

28.6

0.533

0.000

0.629

2.3

4.7

7.0

2.3

0.6

0.8

1.52

3.20

9.4

06-07

MIL

66

66

34.2

0.553

0.200

0.577

2.5

6.3

8.8

3.0

0.7

0.5

2.27

3.30

12.3

Being the number 1 pick, Bogut got the starting job in Milwaukee almost immediately. Per 36 minutes, Bogut's rebounding and assist numbers were very similar to Spencer, as well as points per game. A big difference though is in blocks and FG%. Bogut is definitely more of an inside presence than Spencer, and doesn't have much of an outside game, but as such he has a very good FG%. Surprising to me is the fact that Spencer's last season block total is more than each of Bogut's years except his 3rd year when he averaged 1.7, but last year he was injured. Overall, I think Bogut is a decent comparison and I was surprised at Bogut's assist totals, I didn't know he was that good of a passer.

Spencer has a little bit of each of the players I compared with in him. He's more athletic than Vlade or Brad, and he's a better shooter than Bogut. I forsee that he'll be a better scoring, better defense version of Vlade. That's something to be happy about.

***

I've always envisioned one and only one comparison for Donté and that's Rashard Lewis. They're both very similar physical specimens: 6'10, 210 pound Small Forwards who can hit the 3 (that's debatable right now in Donté's case) and take you inside. But Rashard came to the NBA right out of high school at the age of 19.

Donté's stats for last season. He turned 21 in February.:

Year

Team

G

GS

MPG

FG%

3P%

FT%

OFF

DEF

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

TO

PF

PPG

08-09

SAC

55

4

13.2

0.326

0.260

0.853

0.3

1.2

1.6

0.5

0.3

0.2

0.67

1.20

3.8

Nothing mind blowing about these numbers. Donté did show some flashes of brilliance in games against New Orleans and Memphis, but he definitely needs some work. His 3P% is 26%, which could be forgiveable if he hadn't shot 100 3's in only 55 games. Overall his shooting percentage in games was pretty horrendous, and his defense wasn't that great either. He definitely has a lot of work in front of him.

Now here are Rashard's numbers for his first 3 years (I include 3 because he came straight out of high school and also barely played his rookie season):

Year

Team

G

GS

MPG

FG%

3P%

FT%

OFF

DEF

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

TO

PF

PPG

98-99

SEA

20

7

7.3

0.365

0.167

0.571

0.7

0.6

1.3

0.2

0.4

0.1

1.00

1.00

2.4

99-00

SEA

82

8

19.2

0.486

0.333

0.683

1.5

2.5

4.1

0.9

0.8

0.4

0.95

2.00

8.2

00-01

SEA

78

78

34.9

0.480

0.432

0.826

1.8

5.1

6.9

1.6

1.2

0.6

1.65

2.40

14.8

Rashard's rookie season statistics look very similar to Donté's especially when you make the minutes the same. But Rashard only played 20 games. (UPDATE: I forgot to factor in that 98-99 was lockout shortended. So Rashard played in 20 of 50 games while Donte played 55 of 82.  In other words, Rashard played 40% of his teams games, and Donte played about 69%. Still, the difference in games is big) He steadily improved though, increasing his rebounding, scoring, and field goal percentages, year by year. If Donté works hard and does the same thing, I don't see why he can't match Rashard's success in the league. Time, especially next year, will tell on how Donté will turn out. As a sidenote, I would like to say that the coach of the Sonics for the three years that Lewis began to blossom from raw talent to star was none other than Paul Westphal.

So there you have it folks. If you can envision a team with a young Antonio McDyess, Rashard Lewis, and Athleti-Vlade (new word?!?!) as our future, and then factor in our newest draft picks and Kevin Martin, the future looks very bright.

(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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