FanPost

The Draft Prospect Primer

For the purposes of developing your own opinions about this years draft prospects, I've written this draft primer.

I started by compiling a list of the top 16 spots on 8 big boards (in no particular order, ESPN, SI, NBADraft.net, SBNation, NBA.com, Draft Express, CBS Sports, and The Bleacher Report). Once I had the 31 players mentioned in the top 16 of these big boards, I assigned a score to each of them. The scoring system awards 16 points for a #1 spot on the board, 15 for a #2, etc... I added all the scores up, and the following list is how the national sports writers rank the talent in the upcoming draft.

Player Score Avg. Position
Joel Embiid 124 1.5
Jabari Parker 119 2.125
Andrew Wiggins 115 2.625
Dante Exum 96 5
Julius Randle 93 5.375
Marcus Smart 85 6.375
Noah Vonleh 76 7.5
Aaron Gordon 69 8.375
Gary Harris 52 10.5
Rodney Hood 38 12.25
Tyler Ennis 33 12.875
Dario Saric 32 13
Willy Cauley-Stein 29 13.375
Zach LaVine 25 13.875
Doug McDermott 21 14.375
James Young 17 14.875
Adreian Payne 13 15.375
Jordan Clarkson 10 15.75
Isaiah Austin 8 16
Jerami Grant 8 16
TJ Warren 4 16.5
Jusuf Nurkic 4 16.5
Montrezl Harrell 3 16.625
Wayne Selden 3 16.625
Mario Hezonja 3 16.625
Jerami Grant 2 16.75
Kyle Anderson 2 16.75
Clint Capela 2 16.75
Nik Stauskas 1 16.875
Dorian Finney-Smith 1 16.875
PJ Hairston 1 16.875

While this is insightful, it's certainly not the whole story. If you choose to keep reading, I've included NBADraft.net's most recent writeup for each of the top 12 scoring players, and a link back to Draft Express' page for each of the players, where you can find scouting video, etc...

First up, Mr. Joel Embiid.

NBA Comparison: Tim Duncan/Akeem Olajuwon

Strengths: A seven footer with an exceptionally high ceiling... What is most striking about Embiid is how advanced his game is given that he reportedly only started playing basketball in 2011. The former volleyball and soccer player is clearly a naturally gifted athlete, and his length and fluidity both translate very well to basketball... He keeps good balance offensively both with his back to the basket and, more impressively, facing the hoop... His body control and lateral movement for a seven footer are both exceptional... Although his leaping ability is somewhat average, Embiid is able to dunk the ball between his legs with ease -- a testament to his body control and good hands... Offensively, Embiid's game is quickly expanding, but he can already score in a variety of ways. Going forward, he will likely rely on mid-range jumpers and back to the basket post moves. However, he is already confident taking face up shots out to the college three point line with decent (but not great) form. While at Kansas it will be interesting to see if Bill Self expands on this aspect of his game or (more likely) asks him to be strictly an interior presence... Embiid's post game is a work in progress, but he does show the ability to take short jump hooks off of a clean drop step with good balance... Embiid possesses very good hands and a soft touch, both on the catch and his shot... He is a willing passer -- he mentioned in an interview with a Kansas recruiting site that he believes passing is a strength to his game.

Weaknesses: As with most high school seven footers, there is plenty for Embiid to work on... Embiid's moves are fluid, but can be slow, especially vertically. He is not an especially quick leaper, and spends a long time gathering himself before jumping... Embiid could use some work keeping the ball high in the post, and keeping his hands high in general, especially for shot blocking and rebounding purposes -- not especially difficult to do, just takes practice... Should polish his back-to-the-basket moves... His frame is very good for a 17 year old, but he will need to continue to work on his body and strength to compete physically in the post at the next level... You would like to see him develop more of a "beast mode," or nasty streak, as many great centers have... He reportedly averaged only 1.9 blocks per game his senior season at the Rock School in Gainesville, Florida, which is difficult to imagine given his great length and athleticism. He should pursue shot blocking opportunities more actively, as well as improve his timing... To this same point, Embiid should focus on being very loud defensively and becoming an "anchor" a la Kevin Garnet, Tyson Chandler, and other impact defensive bigs. He is in a unique position where he possesses the physical tools to do so.

Notes: Embiid, whose father was a professional team handball player, grew up playing volleyball and soccer in his central-western African home country of Cameroon... Will play his college ball at University of Kansas under Bill Self. He will begin his college career with only two years of organized basketball under his belt, and is likely to spend at least a couple of years developing in school before declaring for the NBA draft.

Second, Jabari Parker

NBA Comparison: Carmelo Anthony

Strengths: Ultra-skilled forward with an innate, natural ability to play basketball ... Remarkably advanced basketball IQ for a player his age ... Already possesses many of the intangible qualities that NBA teams covet ... Strong competitor that plays hard on both ends of the floor. Rarely fails to "show up" for games ... Moves around the court well with or without the ball ... Good overall shot-selection ... Hard worker, who appears to respect the game ... Has good size for a small forward (measured recently at 6'8.5" in shoes), and still has some time to grow ... Appears to have a wingspan of 7'0" or close to it ... He makes up for his lack of elite athleticism by being an aggressive athlete that takes advantage of any opportunities the defense gives to him ... Has shown the ability to rise up and emphatically dunk over the top of the defense ... Footspeed is fairly average, but he’s still a very fluid runner, particularly in the open court ... Knows how to take advantage of "sleeping" defenders, showing great activity off the ball with an understanding of back-cuts and spotting-up from the corner ... Is a pure shooter that displays a soft touch out to the NBA three-point line ... Has the size, touch and footwork to become a very capable player in the post, which would make him a big-time mismatch threat from the wing position ... Capable in the mid-range with a rapidly improving pull-up jumper that is already extremely difficult to defend ... Dangerous when taking players off the dribble ... Uses hesitations, fakes and crossovers to throw his defender off balance ... Combines a refined offensive awareness with an unselfish nature to always find his teammates when they are open ... Solid defender that works hard to bother his man ... Has the length and instincts to make an impact on the glass as well ... High-character player and a member of the LDS church ... Still very young and has a lot of room to improve ... Likely the top high school player in the country and has superstar potential ...

Weaknesses: While Parker is a good all-around athlete, he won't be much of a stand-out as far as the NBA is concerned ... His first-step lacks the explosion of some of the other elite-level prospects he's often compared to, and he won't be labeled by many as a "high flyer" either ... If he works hard on his strength and conditioning, he should be able to maximize his potential athletically as he grows into his height, but even for a player with a reputation like Parker, this is still an "if" ... Parker's outside shot can be inconsistent, though at only 16 years of age, this is a common issue, and can be rectified with practice and experience ... He's drawn comparisons to players like Paul Pierce and Carmelo Anthony, and those kinds of expectations can weigh heavily on younger players ...

Overall: Jabari Parker is an extremely intriguing NBA prospect ... He displays a rare versatility and polish for a player as young as he is along with the potential to get a lot better with time ... While it is awfully early to start making predictions on the 2014 draft, Parker (if eligible) is my favorite for the first overall pick ...

Third Andrew Wiggins,

NBA Comparison: Rudy Gay

Strengths: A freakishly gifted athlete with a remarkably smooth offensive game ... Just about impossible to guard at this level, due to his athletic ability ... Can effortlessly glide around any defender that plays up on him ... Quick first step, and very long strides ... Explosive athleticism ... Once in the paint he either leaps over the defense for a soft runner, or throws down an electric dunk; either way, it's generally a high-percentage shot ... Has great size for either wing position, with a frame that is capable of holding a good amount of weight ... Long wingspan, recently measured at 6'11" ... Fantastic shooter on the perimeter ... Already has NBA range ... Quick trigger, with beautiful shot mechanics ... If the ball isn't in his hands, he likes to spot up in the corner, where he can get off an open shot on cut the baseline for an alley-oop play ... Also has the ability to create separation off the dribble for a pull-up jumper ... Good passing instincts and court vision ... Defensively, he gets a lot of deflections ... Uses length and anticipation to come up with a lot of steals and blocks ... Father played in the NBA ... Extremely young, and will only get better in time ...

Weaknesses: Despite having immense skill and athletic abilities for a player of his age, there are still several concerns from people who watch him with regularity ... Looks complacent at times on the court ... Inconsistent motor ... Needs to add more strength, though his body looks very good for a player his age, and this shouldn't be a problem in a few years ... Ball-handling ability is unrefined, but has a lot of potential ... Doesn't display a lot of toughness and isn't a very physical player ... He's been receiving a considerable amount of hype on a multi-national scale since he was 13 years of age, which can derail the development of a prospect as it can lead to him trying to be a big celebrity instead of a great basketball player ...

Overall: Wiggins has an unreal amount of potential and he'll be under the eye of every scout over the next few years ... Considered the top player in his class by most recruiting services, and has 1st overall pick potential whenever he enters the NBA draft ...

Notes: Measured 6'7 (in shoes) 190 lbs, with a 6'11 wingspan at the 2011 LeBron James Skills Academy ... Measured 6'7 (in shoes) 196 lbs, with a 6'11 wingspan at the 2012 LeBron James Skills Academy

Next up, Dante Exum,

NBA Comparison: Penny Hardaway

Strengths: Lightning quick combo guard with a deadly first step ... Plays an incredibly controlled and smooth game, especially considering he is routinely the quickest guy on the court ... Gets where he wants to off the dribble at will; has good ability to change direction ... Very positive reports about his leadership ability, strong character, and work ethic ... An unselfish and heady player ... Has an uncanny ability to draw fouls, both in the open- and half-court...At 6'6" is more than capable of playing both guard positions; "natural" position may actually be PG... A good and willing passer... Has great length ... Can score in a variety of ways around the basket ... Has good finishing ability ... Good overall feel for the game ... One of the top prospects not just in Australia, but in the world ... Strong character kid, with strong desire to win and improve his game ...

Weaknesses: An inconsistent, but improving, shooter. Shot tends to be flat and needs more arch ... Slight build, will need to work on absorbing contact on both ends of the floor ... Although a strong on-ball defender, strength may be an issue, as he does not fight through screens effectively ... Does not currently have much of a mid range game to speak of, although it is easy to make the argument he has no opportunity to show one given how easily he gets to the rack ...

Notes: Had a dominant performance for Australia at 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship in Prague ... Has the option to declare for the 2014 NBA draft, but is likely to play NCAA ball first; Indiana University is currently thought to be atop his list ... His father, Cecil Exum, grew up in North Carolina; after winning a NCAA championship alongside Michael Jordan at UNC, Cecil moved to Australia to play professional basketball ... Currently attends the Australian Institute of Sport, where he will graduate in November, 2013. This is the same institution that produced fellow Aussies Luc Longley, Andrew Bogut, Patty Mills, and Matthew Dellavedova ...

Next up, Julius Randle,

NBA Comparison: Derrick Coleman

Strengths: Strong body ... Has a high skill level for a high school sophomore ... Excels at facing up and putting the ball on the floor ... Very good finisher around the basket ... Can step out and hit shots all the way to college 3pt. range ... Can play with his back to the basket but prefers face up game ... A good kid with a great work ethic ...

Weaknesses: While very solid, especially considering his age, not a jaw dropping physical specimen type of athlete ... Doesn't play on the box as much as he should, too perimeter oriented. Should focus a little more on refining his post game which will really be his bread and butter as he gets older ... Settles for too many jumpers at times instead of imposing his will inside ... Too left hand dominant. Needs to work at using his right hand better ...

Notes: Considered by many to be the top player in the 2013 class ... Measured 6'9 (in shoes) 243 lbs, with a 6'10 wingspan at the 2011 LeBron James Skills Academy ... Measured 6'10 (in shoes) 240 lbs, with a 6'11 wingspan at the 2012 LeBron James Skills Academy ... Measured 6'9 (in shoes) 248 lbs, with a 6'11 wingspan and 8'9.5 reach at the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit

Next up, Marcus Smart,

NBA Comparison: Dwyane Wade/Jason Kidd

Strengths: Combo guard with a team oriented, winner's mentality. A strong, determined competitor ... Tremendous versatility and feel for the game ... Creativity. Great vision and passing ability. A natural playmaker. Strong one on one skills. Adept at creating shots for himself and others ... Strong shooting ability with a polished pull up jumper. Textbook form on his shot. Generates a nice rhythm on catch and shoot getting good elevation. Elbow extended. High release point. Consistent mechanics. Deep range ... Consumate leader ... Unselfish passer .... Seems to always be a step ahead of his competition. Great anticipation ... Extremely confident ... A tank. Strong frame and enjoys using his physicality to overpower opponents ... Can take the ball into traffic and finish with contact ... Explosive leaping off 2 feet ... Shows a willingness to get after it on the defensive end. Takes pride in being a guy that can lock you down defensively. Quick hands lead to a lot of steals ... Polished and advanced all around skills. Has a chance to be a difference maker the instant he steps on the floor for the Cowboys ...

Weaknesses: Solid athlete, but not spectacular. Not the quickest or most explosive guard ... Not likely to finish above the rim in traffic, but utilizes his athleticism well ... Uses hustle, brains and will power over sheer athletic prowess ... Lateral speed isn't the best ... Doesn't have a precise fit at either guard position. Undersized at the 2 and not a pure PG. A combo guard in every sense ... Can be a little too ball dominant at times. But that comes with the territory in high school when you're the star player ... Needs to learn how to run off of screens and play off the ball a little better, for times when he's asked to play the 2 position ...

Notes: Developed a reputation in high school for being one of the strongest competitors and top guard prospects ...

Next up, Noah Vonleh,

NBA Comparison: Jamal Mashburn/Wayman Tisdale

Strengths: High upside. Possesses NBA All Star potential ... Combo forward in the mold of a Jamal Mashburn who shows the ability to face the basket as well as play in the post ... Huge 7'3 wingspan gives him the ability to play bigger and more athletic ... Solid kid with strong work ethic ... Good touch on his shot ... Developing some quality offensive moves ... Very good handle for a forward ... Strong frame with short, thick legs giving him excellent balance and low center of gravity ... Should fill out to 240-250 lbs and be able to muscle opponents after his body fills out ... Just a junior in high school and already has excellent body strength ... High character individual. Extremely coachable ...

Weaknesses: Becoming a star is just a matter of confidence and believing in himself ... A very nice kid. Needs to learn to develop a little more swagger on the court ... Can learn to become a more vocal leader ... Not the most explosive leaper ... Not a natural fit at either forward position but has the length and versatility to ultimately play either position ...

Notes: Proved to be extremely clutch, knocking down a game winning 3 pointer to win the adidas Nations event in August (2012) ... NBA scouts that were in attendance (at adidas Nations) were very impressed with him ... Measured 6'7 (in shoes) 190 lbs, with a 7'3 wingspan at the 2011 LeBron James Skills Academy. Re-classified from the HS Class of 2013 to the HS Class of 2014 ... Measured 6'9 (in shoes) 222 lbs, with a 7'3 wingspan at the 2012 LeBron James Skills Academy ... Measured 6'9.75 (in shoes) 242 lbs, with a 7'4 wingspan and 8'10 reach at the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit ... Measured 6'9 (with shoes) 236 lbs with a 7'3 wingspan at the 2013 Nike Big Man Skills Academy

Next up, Aaron Gordon,

NBA Comparison: Kenneth Faried

Strengths: A freakish athlete with incredible explosiveness who has been dominant throughout his HS career ... Has rare physical gifts with his great length, leaping ability and body control ... Huge, strong hands allow him to grab rebounds and corral ally oops with ease, a skill that is underrated and many NBA players lack ... Has an excellent basketball body and is well developed physically with broad, cut shoulders and arms ... Good conditioning. Capable of playing an entire HS game and barely appears winded ... Well spoken kid who seems to have a solid understanding of what he does well and plays to his strengths ... Does a solid job of forcing the issue and drawing contact to get to the line ... Has some back to the basket skills with the ability to gain position on the block and create a wide target and overpower opponents, outclassing them with his great size, strength and athleticism ... Shows some ability to handle the ball in the open floor and has decent speed when he gets a head of steam ...

Weaknesses: His game shows a lot of potential, but he's far from a finished product ... His shooting ability is troublesome. He shoots roughly 50% from the FT line and has no consistency outside of the paint ... Tweener. Doesn't have a well defined NBA position at this point. While he has tremendous explosiveness, he lacks perimeter skills (shooting, passing) and great foot speed. Lack of foot speed hurts him on both ends of the floor as it limits his on ball perimeter defensive efficiency as well as his ability to get by opponents off the dribble ... Foot work is not very good for a high level athlete ... While he is an elite athlete, his general quickness is not at an elite level ... Shows some developed ball handling ability but his lack of foot speed negates that ability to some degree. He gets nearly all of his points playing as a 4, and there are major questions about his ability to create offense for himself facing the basket. Granted, he's by far the tallest player on his high school team, so playing anything other than center is irrational from a team standpoint ... Plays too upright defensively. Looks a little stiff in his movements. While his physical strength is good, he appears to lack some flexibility in his body. Ankles and hips lack fluidity as he appears to run and move more like a 4 than a 3 ... Has been called "California soft" by some observers, but to his credit doesn't shy away from contact. He'll need to get a lot tougher if he decides that PF is his best position for the NBA level ...

Notes: Is coming off a broken foot which sidelined him for the majority of the summer. So his athleticism/fluidity may not be back to 100% ... How much that injury is still affecting him is a consideration ... Younger brother of former New Mexico PF Drew Gordon ... His recruitment is down to 3 schools: Kentucky, Washington and Arizona ... Having gone to a prep school for his senior year probably would have helped in his one and done aspirations (level of competition), although he seems to be focused and has played high level competition throughout the summers in AAU ball ... Measured 6'8 (in shoes) 207 lbs, with a 6'11 wingspan at the 2011 LeBron James Skills Academy ... Measured 6'9 (in shoes) 212 lbs, with a 6'11.5 wingspan and 8'10.5 reach at the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit

Next up, Gary Harris,

NBA Comparison: OJ Mayo

Strengths: Extremely polished, well-rounded player for a college sophomore ... Very active hands. Averaged 1.3 SPG last season ... Extremely versatile offensive player who can shoot and drive effectively, shows some combo skills ... Harris hit the weights during his freshman year and now has a muscular frame for shooting guard, making him hard to stop in the lane ... It also makes him a good rebounder for a guard ... Harris is a good shot creator who can accelerate past defenders and finish at the rim ... Very effective off the catch-and-shoot ... Very good perimeter defender thanks to his lateral quickness, long arms, and instincts. Does a lot of little things on the defensive end ... Excellent transition player who takes the ball to the hoop with force and aggression ... Has a good burst, with explosive foot speed off the dribble ... Great athlete and a very smooth and fluid player on the court ... Deadly three-point shooter who will likely continue to improve as a shooter as he ages ... Shot 41% from distance last season ... Very hard worker...Good attitude. Won't create any negative chemistry issues for his team ... Solid length with a 6'6.5 wingspan, helping to make up for his lack of great height ... Young for his class, Harris does not turn 19 until September, which gives him even more upside ...

Weaknesses: Needs to improve as a ball handler. Often has a loose handle ... At 6'4", is a bit undersized for a shooting guard, his most natural position ... Could improve his efficiency inside the three-point line and become more consistent on mid-range jumpers ... Not a great off-the-ball player, Harris needs to use screens better to get open for shots ... While being a very solid prospect without a sizable basement, his ceiling is not as great as some other prospects ...

Overall: Harris is a well-rounded player who can do numerous things to help his team win on both ends of the court. His game is very advanced for a 19-year-old and if he raises his game to be one of the top players in college basketball next season, he could be right up at the top of this promising draft class...

Notes: Measured Ht w/ shoes: 6’4, Hgt w/o shoes: 6’3, Wgt: 210, W-Span: 6’6.5, Reach: 8’3.5 at 2012 Nike Hoop Summit ... Measured 6'5 (in shoes) 205 lbs, with a 6'7 wingspan at the 2013 Kevin Durant Skills Academy ... Named 2012 Indiana Mr. Basketball ... Named Big Ten Freshman of the Year last season... Was a star wide receiver on his high school football team, Harris shows a hard-nosed mentality when he is on the court ...

Next up, Rodney Hood, who, unfortunately, does not have a writeup at NBADraft.net. Soooo, we'll just have to rely on the inestimable Tyler Lashbrook, who wrote recently on several late lottery possibilities for the Orlando Magic.

13. Rodney Hood; 6-foot-8 wing; Duke
RODNEY HOOD IS A KNOCK-DOWN SHOOTER AND HE CAN SCORE IN A VARIETY OF WAYS.

Jabari Parker gets most of Duke's attention from opposing teams and NBA eyes, but Hood is a fine, versatile scorer and should get a lot of looks come Draft time. He's a knock-down shooter--netting nearly 45 percent of his threes--and he can score in a variety of ways. That said, he doesn't really have 3-and-D potential because he is only slightly above average athletically and his wingspan is pretty underwhelming. Still, shooting, and scoring in general, is something that almost any NBA team could use.

Almost done, and at a player near and dear to my heart, Tyler Ennis,

NBA Comparison: Jrue Holiday/George Hill

Strengths: Extremely cerebral and unselfish point guard. Competitive desire to win and very team oriented ... A clever floor general. Makes great decisions, mature, always under control ... Has a great attitude, very coachable, has been described as a sponge ... Quick first step, very good at changing speeds, and uses it well to get by opponents and into the lane ... Good outside shooter, currently shooting 43% from deep on a high volume of threes ... Aggressive defender. Gets a lot of steals playing the passing lanes ... Great vision in transition. Often finds the open man halfway down the court ... Can drive and finish with either hand ... Good rebounding guard ... Has been remarkably careful with the ball for a freshman point guard. Has no more than two turnovers in any of Syracuse's games this season ... Turns it over once every 26 minutes ... Perfectionist. Shows a lot of attention to detail. At 19 years old, Ennis is still a very young prospect with many years of potential growth ahead of him. Being such a cerebral kid, there's reason to believe he will continue to improve well into his mid / late 20s ... 6'5" wingspan helps make him the disruptive defender that he is and his wingspan helps make up for his mediocre height ... Versatile scorer. Can make shots off the dribble or the catch-and-shoot at a high rate ... Very mature overall player for being so young. He shouldn't have too much trouble transitioning to the NBA compared to other players his age ... Very adept running the pick-and-roll ... Also shows solid ability defending the pick and roll ...

Weaknesses: Lacks elite level speed and athleticism. Though he will at times surprise with both ... Ennis gets a lot of steals, but he's not the best or most fundamentally sound perimeter defender ... Playing in Syracuse's system, he will have to learn one on one defensive techniques at the next level ... Has always had a cast of great teammates around him and could be less impressive when playing against defenders on par with his teammates ... He's a decent athlete and his IQ and instincts help him tremendously, but he's ultimately not the most athletic point guard ... Thin frame ...

Notes: Measured 6'2 (in shoes) 180 lbs, with a 6'5 wingspan at the 2012 Deron Williams Skills Academy ... 20th-ranked recruit in his class via ESPN…Leads all Division I freshmen in steals…

Overall: There's not a lot to dislike about this young point guard. He's already a mature distributor, a great finisher, a very deadly outside shooter, and an efficient ball handler. Has the look of a future NBA starter at the PG position. He could ultimately become a lottery pick if he enters this year's draft and he has a great chance to make an impact early on in the pros ... Pretty incredible when you consider Syracuse wasn't sure he would start as a freshman when he first arrived on campus ...

Finally, an international prospect, Dario Saric.

NBA Comparison: Boris Diaw/Dejan Bodiroga

Strength: At 6’10 it is very hard to find anyone in the world with the skills he possesses to play with or without the ball anywhere on the court ... He can push it in transition as well as posting up with good results ... His feel for the game is what really separates him from many other "Point forwards" ... In Europe he can easily play as a 3 or 4 thanks to his court vision and decision making, very rare for a player of his height ... Perhaps his 2nd greatest strength is his aggressiveness on the boards ... He really is able to capture rebounds and quickly transform those rebounds in transition opportunity directly pushing the ball or making accurate outlet passes to teammates ... Another really underrated quality of Saric is his IQ and understanding of spacing, on both ends of the floor. His development as a point guard early in his basketball career have given him a tremendous feel for the game ... He is able to overcome his lack of athleticism many times being in the right spot in the right moment ... Obviously his versatility is attractive to scouts, as he seems to have many ways to impact games, not having to rely on one skill ... While his shooting mechanics need work, his percentages are much higher with his feet set ... His determination and basketball IQ are really what makes him such an attractive prospect, and the hope will be that he can overcome his limitations through desire, hard work and dedication ...

Weaknesses: Saric would have a much better NBA outlook if not for his lack of foot speed and athleticism ... His quickness and elevation might be enough to finish in Europe, but without the ability to finish above the rim, things will likely prove more difficult for him in the NBA ... He is quick and mobile for a player his height but clearly lacks the foot speed to stay in front of NBA wing forwards ... In addition he lacks ideal strength to battle NBA PFs on the block ... He projects as a 4, despite his excellent face the basket skills, due to his size and lack of foot speed. Sort of a stretch 4 without great shooting ability ... The best way to describe Saric's game is a jack of all trades, master of nothing type ... His lack of quickness will not allow him to beat anybody off the dribble 1 on 1, and the inconsistent shooting will not help in creating offense ... In transition he will still be able to create but despite a good use of both ends his lack of explosiveness above the rim makes every lay-up very blockable ... 3 turnovers per game are way too much for a player like him and it shows his lack of good decision making on a consistent base. In the NBA facing better athletes, it will be harder and harder for him to be effective in offense ... Things get worse if we take a look at his shooting percentages. The mechanics are not one of a pure shooter, and he is making only 30% of his 3 pointers right now ... With a longer NBA 3 point line it is safe to assume those percentages will not go up, though to his credit when he is in rhythm and his feet are set he can make around 40% at FIBA level ... Defensively as we said, he struggles to defend both the 3 and the 4 positions. His wingspan is just 6’10 so he will be much harder for him to recover from his lack of foot speed ... He does play really hard, and seems to have an aggressive mentality on every play but he will have to overcome many weaknesses and really develop as a player and as an athlete in the next couple of years to have a legitimate impact in the NBA ...

Notes: For the past few years Dario Saric has been regarded as one of the best European talents of the new millennium. Following the great tradition of Croatian basketball players, like Drazen Petrovic and Tony Kukoc, Saric started to play real minutes in the professional league when he was just 17. He also lead Croatia to a back to back gold medal finishes in the u16 and u18 Fiba European championships, leading his team in pretty much every statistical category. By 2013 when he was eligible to declare for the draft he was already a well-known talent around NBA scouting circles. However due to some contractual issues with his team and injuries he decided to do not declare for the draft. He took part in the u19 world championships in Prague un the summer of 2013 where Croatia lost in the quarter-finals and he again was the best scorer and rebounder of his team. He also played around 18 minutes per game in the Croatian Senior National team that arrived 4th in Slovenia last summer qualifying for this World Cup.

This FanPost was made by a member of the Orlando Pinstriped Post community, and is to be treated as the opinions and views of its author, not that of the blogger or blog community as a whole.

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