This is the first of a five part series in which I analyze the 2016 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.
If there's one position that the Sacramento Kings seem set on, it has to be Center. Normally a position without much depth in today's NBA, the Kings feature three players in DeMarcus Cousins, Willie Cauley-Stein and Kosta Koufos who could all more than capably handle the spot and have done so throughout their careers. Cousins of course, is Sacramento's best player and handles most of the minutes at the position.
With that in mind, would the Kings seriously consider adding yet another Center to the roster with their lottery pick? To make matters worse, there aren't really too many stand out options at the position in this year's draft.
|Stephen Zimmerman||Fr.||26.2||10.5||.477||.294 (5/17)||.624||8.7||0.8||0.5||2.0||2.1||3|
|A.J. Hammons||Sr.||24.6||15.0||.592||.545 (6/11)||.709||8.2||1.1||0.3||2.5||2.0||2.4|
|Shawn Long||Sr.||30.6||18.9||.524||.269 (18/67)||.681||12.1||1.4||0.7||1.8||2.7||2.8|
Of all the centers in this year's class, Utah's Jakob Poeltl stands out as perhaps the most well rounded. He's definitely the most offensively gifted, leading all centers in scoring aside from Shawn Long, and also has extremely high scoring efficiency with a 66.6% True Shooting Percentage and a 67.1% Free Throw Rate. He's not just a scorer either, posting solid rebounding rates and the highest assist rate of any other center in the draft. Poeltl is one of the weaker defensive prospects among this group though, posting the highest defensive rating (the lower the defensive rating the better the team performs defensively with a player on the floor) and the lowest block rate.
The other top rated Centers in the draft offer more potential on the defensive end of the court but at the cost of offensive polish. Both Skal Labissiere and Deyonta Davis had most of their impact on the defensive side of the court. Neither scored much for their respective teams, but both posted block rates of above 10%. Davis was the better rebounder by a sizeable margin however, and Labissiere attacked the basket more, resulting in more Free Throw Attempts.
Louisville's Chinanu Onuaku intrigues me as a prospect due to his intriguing combination of rebounding, blocking and passing. Onuaku might be the best rebounder in this group, and he also has the best assist rate next to Poeltl while still posting a near 10% block rate. His 84.9 defensive rating is also rather incredible, but also understandable given that Louisville's defense was ranked 2nd in the country. His passing ability is still a work in progress as evidenced by his high turnover rate, but he should be a solid pick up for some team in the second round.
Shawn Long and A.J. Hammons are the best seniors of the bunch in my mind, showing off well-rounded skillsets. Both Long and Hammons are excellent rebounders, and showed off developed offensive games, with both players being the only real center prospects on the board to showcase any real range.
Prince Ibeh seems to be a very limited player, with a very high block rate and offensive rebound rate but extremely poor turnover rate and scoring efficiency. His extremely high free throw rate is likely due to the fact that he shoots sub-50% from the line and was targeted for intentional fouls. As a senior you'd hope someone like Ibeh would be a bit more polished.
Given this group of players, I'd be very surprised if the Kings opted to take one of them. Even if DeMarcus Cousins were somehow traded (a scenario that I find extremely unlikely), this isn't a premiere group of big men like we had last year where guys like Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor, Willie Cauley-Stein, Myles Turner and Frank Kaminsky were all snapped up in the lottery. This group has some potential, but it's hard to point at any one and see a future star.
Coming Tomorrow: Power Forwards