This is the fourth in a five part series in which I analyze the 2014 NBA Draft by position. As a source I used DraftExpress's mock draft and for statistics I used both DraftExpress and Sports-Reference. All statistics used are for the prior college basketball season. Because of the lack of advanced statistic information and difference in playstyle for international leagues, I have only included NCAA players in this analysis. For information such as player position, school, height, etc. please click on the player's name and it will take you to their DraftExpress page with all that information.
The last few years have seen the Kings acquire quite the collection of Power Forwards from Carl Landry to J.J. Hickson to Patrick Patterson to Carl Landry (again). For the Kings, the PF spot is widely viewed through the lens of "can he complement DeMarcus Cousins". The qualities that are most desired from a frontcourt partner for Cousins are often some variety of athleticism, defense (particularly rim protection), rebounding and the ability to hit a shot outside of the paint.
In essence, the Kings don't really need a star Power Forward, so long as that player can do some of things that Cousins can't do and help the team in other ways. He also probably doesn't need to contribute immediately given Sacramento's depth at the position with Jason Thompson, Carl Landry, Reggie Evans and Quincy Acy all currently on the roster.
|Julius Randle||Fr.||30.8||15.0||.501||.167 (3/18)||.706||10.4||1.4||0.5||0.8||2.5||2.3|
|Noah Vonleh||Fr.||26.5||11.3||.523||.485 (16/33)||.716||9.0||0.6||0.9||1.4||2.1||2.7|
|Aaron Gordon||Fr.||31.2||12.4||.495||.356 (16/45)||.422||8.0||2.0||0.9||1.0||1.4||2.4|
|Doug McDermott||Sr.||33.7||26.7||.526||.449 (96/214)||.864||7.0||1.6||0.2||0.1||1.8||1.9|
|T.J. Warren||So.||35.4||24.9||.525||.267 (31/116)||.690||7.1||1.1||1.8||0.6||2.4||2.8|
|Adreian Payne||Sr.||28.1||16.4||.503||.423 (44/104)||.790||7.3||1.3||0.5||0.9||13.1||2.6|
|Jarnell Stokes||Jr.||32.4||15.1||.531||.000 (0/0)||.696||10.6||2.0||0.7||0.9||2.1||2|
|Patric Young||Sr.||26.1||11.0||.541||.000 (0/0)||.596||6.2||0.8||0.6||1.1||1.3||2.6|
|Dwight Powell||Sr.||32.4||14.0||.462||.256 (10/39)||.687||6.9||3.1||1.3||0.8||2.9||3.1|
|Khem Birch||Jr.||31.4||11.5||.510||.000 (0/0)||.693||10.2||1.2||0.6||3.8||1.3||2.3|
|James McAdoo||Jr.||30.1||14.2||.458||.000 (0/7)||.537||6.8||1.7||1.3||0.9||1.4||2.7|
|Cory Jefferson||Sr.||29.0||13.7||.500||.368 (14/38)||.640||8.2||1.0||0.4||1.3||1.3||2.2|
|Chane Behanan||Jr.||18.6||7.6||.636||.000 (0/0)||.447||6.3||1.0||0.9||0.3||1.3||1.8|
|Eric Moreland||Sr.||29.4||8.9||.508||.500 (1/2)||.556||10.3||1.4||0.7||2.0||2.3||2.5|
The Power Forward class in this draft is pretty deep, with some good names throughout. The biggest names of course are Randle, Vonleh, Gordon and McDermott.
Randle and Vonleh are the more prototypical PFs of that group. Randle was the focal point of Kentucky's offense as a freshman and was able to score at an efficient rate. He was phenomenal at getting to the line with a .739 Free Throw Attempt Rate, and did an excellent job on both the offensive and defensive glass. He also showed a willingness and ability to pass the ball, although he was by no means exceptional in that area. The biggest cause for concern with regards to Randle lie in the fact that he doesn't really have the physical gifts to be a great defender. Both his steal and block rates were pretty low for a big man.
Vonleh is much more physically gifted than Randle, and is an even better defensive rebounder (although slightly worse on the offensive glass). Offensively he shows greater range with a well developed outside shot, potentially signaling that he could become a stretch 4 in the NBA. His block rate of 5.4% was good in college, but likely won't translate into excellence in the pros, even though his wingspan is long enough that he could be a good shotblocker if he put his mind to it. Shotblockers tend to be instinctive though and I don't see that from Vonleh. Vonleh's also a horrific passer, with an absurdly low 4.9% assist rate and an 18.6% turnover rate. The assist rate is lower than anyone else in this group and the turnover rate is second to just Eric Moreland.
Gordon and McDermott are more "Forwards" than PF or SF. Both can probably play different positions depending on the team makeup. Gordon is the defensive wunderkind of the draft, comparable perhaps to a Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Kawhi Leonard for recent comparisons. He was the lynchpin of a fantastic Arizona defense as a freshman, using his length and athleticism to disrupt opponents. He also was able to contribute on the other end of the court, although that's the area he needs to work on the most. While he's a fantastic finisher around the basket, anything outside of that needs work. He did hit 35.6% of his threes, but not on a great sample size, and he shot an awful 42.2% from the Free Throw line. Still, he's a guy that can do a little bit of everything and should he put the work in, he could be one of those super-role players that every team seems to need.
McDermott is the polar opposite of Gordon. He's a shooter and scorer. In fact, I don't believe I've seen a shooter as good as McDermott enter the draft in the last five years I've been covering it, and that includes guys like Stephen Curry and Jimmer Fredette. I like to say that McDermott is "stupid good" at shooting, and he is. He shot an extremely high percentage from three (44.9%) on almost 6 attempts a game. He never shot below 40% from three over four years in college, and his sophomore and junior years were right around 49%. He's not just a three point shooter though as he displayed the ability to score from just about anywhere, averaging a 55.0% overall FG% over four years and 58.7% on his two pointers, all while averaging about 14 attempts a game and being the sole focus of the team's offense. He's not a great rebounder for a PF, but he would be for a SF. The big problem with McDermott is the other end of the floor where he's got lower steal and block rates than most guards. In fact, over four years and 145 games, he totaled just 34 steals and 14 blocks.
T.J. Warren's also a fantastic scorer and might himself transition over to SF in the NBA as he's one of the worst rebounders, if not the worst, of the group. He also doesn't do much else other than score, and his outside shot isn't great at just 26.7% from three.
Adreian Payne is one of my favorite prospects, especially should the Kings trade back in the draft. Payne is an athletic freak, with great size and a developed offensive game and defensive potential. Payne worked hard to develop his outside shot and hit them at a very good rate this year, but this did affect his offensive rebounding numbers, which fell by almost half in his senior year. He did improve year to year as a defensive rebounder though. Payne's shotblocking numbers have also dropped year over year, although in his first two seasons when he wasn't as big of an offensive threat, he had an average block rate of about 7%, a fantastic number. He's a guy that I could see complementing Cousins really well.
Beyond those guys it's a little bit of a grab bag. Patric Young seems like a Carl Landry type in that he's an efficient scorer inside but not a good defensive rebounder, although he has some decent defensive potential. Jarnell Stokes is a monster on the offensive glass with a very good 15.3% offensive rebound rate, second to just Chane Behanan's 17.6%. Khem Birch is easily the best shotblocker.
As for James Michael McAdoo, what a fall from grace. When I checked the latest mock draft on DraftExpress, he wasn't even projected to be drafted. This was a guy who just a couple years ago was a projected lottery pick. He kept going back to school because everyone felt he needed to prove he was more than just an athlete, and over three years he hasn't really improve enough to live up to those previous expectations.
Coming Tomorrow: Centers