This is the first of a five part series in which I analyze the 2017 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.
For several years now, the one position the Kings have seemed to be set at is the Center position. DeMarcus Cousins was the face of the franchise and it didn’t seem like he was going anywhere. Now though, the position is in flux. The Kings still have solid depth there with Willie Cauley-Stein, Kosta Koufos and Georgios Papagiannis, but there’s always the possibility of change.
As for this year’s group of centers, there aren’t too many standouts. The NBA is becoming more of a guard-oriented league with centers mainly existing to be solid roleplayers who can run the floor, protect the rim and make their open shots. Sometimes there are guys that can do all that and then some, but we’re usually talking about them as potential top overall picks like Karl-Anthony Towns. There aren’t any guys like that in this year’s draft, but there are some players who could fit well into today’s NBA game.
|Zach Collins||Fr.||17.3||10.0||.652||.476 (10/21)||.743||5.9||0.4||0.5||1.8||1.5||2.7|
|Jarrett Allen||Fr.||32.2||13.4||.566||0 (0/7)||.564||8.5||0.8||0.6||1.5||2.5||2.1|
|Justin Patton||Fr.||25.3||12.9||.676||.533 (8/15)||.517||6.2||1.2||0.9||1.4||1.7||2.7|
|Bam Adebayo||Fr.||30.1||13.0||.599||0 (0/1)||.653||8.0||0.8||0.7||1.5||1.7||2.6|
|Thomas Bryant||So.||28.1||12.6||.519||.383 (23/60)||.730||6.6||1.5||0.8||1.5||2.3||3.1|
|Luke Kornet||Sr.||31.5||13.2||.406||.327 (53/162)||.857||6.2||1.2||0.5||2.0||1.3||2.3|
|Eric Mika||So.||28.6||20.3||.528||0 (0/1)||.763||9.2||1.6||0.6||1.9||2.5||2.7|
Zach Collins seems to embody best the type of center most teams are interested in nowadays. While he only played about 17 minutes a game off the bench for Gonzaga, he had a big impact in that time. He had the highest defensive rebounding rate of anyone else in this group and also had the highest block rate at nearly 10%. His defensive rating of 79.4 is so much lower than the rest of the competition it’s unreal, but it still needs some context; Gonzaga as a team was the best defensive team in college basketball, with a team defensive rating of 86.5. Still, that means Collins made them even better on that end of the floor.
Collins also showed some skill on offense, sporting a 70+% True Shooting Percentage thanks to his extremely high overall FG%, a very solid 74.3% free throw percentage (he also had a very high free throw attempt rate) and 47.6% three point percentage. He only shot 21 attempts, but he hit them well enough to show that he has that range.
It’s not all roses for Collins however, as he posted a very high turnover and foul rate. Only Thomas Bryant turned the ball over at a higher rate, and Collins also had trouble staying in games due to foul trouble.
This group of prospects is rather interesting in how bland they are. Usually there is someone who at least is so good in one area that he stands out. Only Collins really does a little bit of everything. There aren’t any great passers in this group, with only BYU’s Eric Mika sporting a double-digit assist rate. There also aren’t any exceptional shot blockers, as Collins and UCLA’s Ike Anigbogu are the only players who sport a block rate above 6.8% (by comparison, last year’s center class had six players who had a block rate higher than that of Zach Collins).
Harry Giles is a name we’ve heard a little bit around here as he’s already come in to a workout in Sacramento, but his time at Duke was relatively unexciting. He was one of the better offensive rebounders in this group, but he played so little it’s hard too make too much of any of his statistics.
Overall, this is just a really unexciting group of center prospects. The Kings would probably be better served developing the ones they have instead of investing a pick into one of these players.
Coming Tomorrow: Power Forwards