Bajaden's final 2022 mock draft: Part one

#31
I find it interesting that you would compare Banchero to Siakam. Siakam came into the league after his Junior season (6 months older than Murray) with almost no skills to speak of. He was athletic, could run the floor, rebound and hopefully defend. He was a poor ball handler, couldn't shoot and had shown zero vision as a passer.
You're not the first one to try and get me with this "gotcha". You guys keep thinking that I'm talking in absolutes here.

Did you make the prediction at draft time that Siakam would wind up being a 20+ppg scorer that could shoot the 3 and show point forward skills or did you think he would be a hustle guy like the rest of us? I don't remember you making that prediction but if you did, then I'd be the first to give you props. I personally didn't think he would develop into what he's developed into and his development certainly is not the norm. I would venture to guess the amount of people that properly predicted Siakam's ceiling is less than .01%.

I've never said that it's impossible to develop a skill that has never been shown. I'm just saying it's improbable. I don't understand why you guys keep conflating the two over and over.

If you think that players can just develop whatever skill out of thin air, then why even scout? Just pick any player and develop them into whatever you want.

For every Siakam, there's a whole bunch of Skals and Bagleys. Picking the one guy who miraculously developed skills he never had and then projecting that rarity onto random prospects is a losing battle and defeats the entire purpose of scouting. There is an entire league of G League players that just can't develop those skills no matter how hard they try.

Scouting obviously isn't black and white but just trying to wish a skill into existence for a player because another player developed that skill is going to make you wrong much more often than it'll make you right. They've got to show something in order for you to be able to make a somewhat accurate prediction. Anything else is just a pure guess.
 
#32
You're not the first one to try and get me with this "gotcha". You guys keep thinking that I'm talking in absolutes here.

Did you make the prediction at draft time that Siakam would wind up being a 20+ppg scorer that could shoot the 3 and show point forward skills or did you think he would be a hustle guy like the rest of us? I don't remember you making that prediction but if you did, then I'd be the first to give you props. I personally didn't think he would develop into what he's developed into and his development certainly is not the norm. I would venture to guess the amount of people that properly predicted Siakam's ceiling is less than .01%.

I've never said that it's impossible to develop a skill that has never been shown. I'm just saying it's improbable. I don't understand why you guys keep conflating the two over and over.

If you think that players can just develop whatever skill out of thin air, then why even scout? Just pick any player and develop them into whatever you want.

For every Siakam, there's a whole bunch of Skals and Bagleys. Picking the one guy who miraculously developed skills he never had and then projecting that rarity onto random prospects is a losing battle and defeats the entire purpose of scouting. There is an entire league of G League players that just can't develop those skills no matter how hard they try.

Scouting obviously isn't black and white but just trying to wish a skill into existence for a player because another player developed that skill is going to make you wrong much more often than it'll make you right. They've got to show something in order for you to be able to make a somewhat accurate prediction. Anything else is just a pure guess.
I agree with most of what you're saying. But your response earlier was that picking Murray over Banchero would be a mistake. I would counter that by saying that right now Keegan Murray is a better basketball player than Paulo Banchero. It's possible Banchero will develop into a better player and that's why so many have him projected in the top 3 this year but by your own argument, if it is improbable that players will develop skills that they've never shown, isn't that a reason to take Murray over Banchero? Murray is a better shooter by far. He's also a better defender by far. Banchero is a better isolation scorer and playmaker. For the team we're building, I like Murray's current skillset more.
 
#33
@bajaden Thanks for all the hard work! You've really outdone yourself this year.

There's really too much to respond to so I'll just go with the part that relates to our pick. As much as I like Keegan Murray, I've settled on Mathurin as the guy who I think is going to far exceed expectations in the league. Admittedly I didn't watch a lot of college basketball this year -- I've just been too busy and most of the games are on while I'm still working. I mostly get to watch the Pac 12 games because they start late and I was blown away by what Mathurin did in the second half of the season. He elevated himself from pretty good prospect to elite prospect in my eyes. If he does end up falling down to 10, I hope we can somehow work some magic and get a second pick in that range. Moving down to 5 and drafting Murray then flipping whatever assets we get in that trade to get Mathurin in the 9-11 range would be amazing.
 
#34
@bajaden Thanks for all the hard work! You've really outdone yourself this year.

There's really too much to respond to so I'll just go with the part that relates to our pick. As much as I like Keegan Murray, I've settled on Mathurin as the guy who I think is going to far exceed expectations in the league. Admittedly I didn't watch a lot of college basketball this year -- I've just been too busy and most of the games are on while I'm still working. I mostly get to watch the Pac 12 games because they start late and I was blown away by what Mathurin did in the second half of the season. He elevated himself from pretty good prospect to elite prospect in my eyes. If he does end up falling down to 10, I hope we can somehow work some magic and get a second pick in that range. Moving down to 5 and drafting Murray then flipping whatever assets we get in that trade to get Mathurin in the 9-11 range would be amazing.
I understand the geographic based bias when it comes to someone like Mathurin, as those of us on the west coast get to catch most, if not all, of Pac 12 games. But I think you're truly selling yourself short if someone like Mathurin is the one who will most likely blow you away. As I eluded in an earlier post, I actually believe that this year's draft may contain more value in the 10 - 20 pick range of the 1st round than in any other pick range.
 
#35
I understand the geographic based bias when it comes to someone like Mathurin, as those of us on the west coast get to catch most, if not all, of Pac 12 games. But I think you're truly selling yourself short if someone like Mathurin is the one who will most likely blow you away. As I eluded in an earlier post, I actually believe that this year's draft may contain more value in the 10 - 20 pick range of the 1st round than in any other pick range.
That's probably true. I just don't have infinite time so I can't watch everybody. Maybe Dyson Daniels and Marjon Beauchamp are steals. Maybe Nikola Jovic is a hidden gem. I really have no idea. And I'm okay with that, I like being surprised. :) I'm pretty sure that people are selling Ochai Agbaji short because of his age. Some of the top big guys from the past year are projected to go in the late first or second round and they will probably be steals for somebody too. I think this is actually a really deep draft for solid NBA talent.

It isn't that I've exhaustively looked at everyone and settled on Mathurin -- I can only go by what I've seen. He came into the Galen Center to play a USC team that was 25-4 at the time and basically stole their souls. That game was over within the first 10 minutes and he displayed all of the skills that people said he didn't have -- he was driving to the basket, making pinpoint passes, playing suffocating defense. It was one of the best individual performances I've ever seen and I've seen Westbrook, Love, DeRozan, and Harden play in that building. I kept following him the rest of the season and I think a lot of the draft evaluators who don't follow the Pac 12 as much probably made up their minds on him 6 months ago and have him ranked based on outdated information.
 
#36
I agree with most of what you're saying. But your response earlier was that picking Murray over Banchero would be a mistake. I would counter that by saying that right now Keegan Murray is a better basketball player than Paulo Banchero. It's possible Banchero will develop into a better player and that's why so many have him projected in the top 3 this year but by your own argument, if it is improbable that players will develop skills that they've never shown, isn't that a reason to take Murray over Banchero? Murray is a better shooter by far. He's also a better defender by far. Banchero is a better isolation scorer and playmaker. For the team we're building, I like Murray's current skillset more.
If Banchero shot like Sochan or Daniels, then I would be right there with you but he showed the ability to hit shots, especially when he shot with confidence and no hesitation. He showed the ability to be a 3 level scorer with point forward ability and I thought his defense was adequate and has been exaggerated quite a bit by people saying that he can't defend at all. I believe he had the highest defensive BPM or something like that out of all the draft eligible players. Obviously he's not the best defender but usually poor defenders don't wind up at the top of defensive metrics unless they're just a rotating door that get a lot of steals like Rondo does. He also has better measurements than Murray.

If you value what a guy can give you in year 1 and 2 over the value you get over the course of their careers, then Murray should probably be up there in the top 2. Possibly even the #1 pick. I try to balance everything out. Does even a neutered version of Murray fit pretty well here? Yes, of course. If he winds up being Jae Crowder, is that enough to get us to the playoffs? I don't think it is. We would need another Murray or two to get there.

I'd pick Banchero every day of the week because not only do I think he will be able to produce adequately right away, but I think he could wind up being the best or 2nd best player on the team. While I think Keegan is more of a long shot to do that. I think Banchero's interior game will translate better than Keegan's and his point forward skills are a premium in the NBA and that skill can dominate games and lead teams to the playoffs. To me, Banchero has a much higher ceiling and has shown the ability to do most everything and that's why I would take him.
 
#37
If Banchero shot like Sochan or Daniels, then I would be right there with you but he showed the ability to hit shots, especially when he shot with confidence and no hesitation. He showed the ability to be a 3 level scorer with point forward ability and I thought his defense was adequate and has been exaggerated quite a bit by people saying that he can't defend at all. I believe he had the highest defensive BPM or something like that out of all the draft eligible players. Obviously he's not the best defender but usually poor defenders don't wind up at the top of defensive metrics unless they're just a rotating door that get a lot of steals like Rondo does. He also has better measurements than Murray.

If you value what a guy can give you in year 1 and 2 over the value you get over the course of their careers, then Murray should probably be up there in the top 2. Possibly even the #1 pick. I try to balance everything out. Does even a neutered version of Murray fit pretty well here? Yes, of course. If he winds up being Jae Crowder, is that enough to get us to the playoffs? I don't think it is. We would need another Murray or two to get there.

I'd pick Banchero every day of the week because not only do I think he will be able to produce adequately right away, but I think he could wind up being the best or 2nd best player on the team. While I think Keegan is more of a long shot to do that. I think Banchero's interior game will translate better than Keegan's and his point forward skills are a premium in the NBA and that skill can dominate games and lead teams to the playoffs. To me, Banchero has a much higher ceiling and has shown the ability to do most everything and that's why I would take him.
I actually think Banchero will end up going down as the best player to come out of this draft class.
 
#38
You're not the first one to try and get me with this "gotcha". You guys keep thinking that I'm talking in absolutes here.

Did you make the prediction at draft time that Siakam would wind up being a 20+ppg scorer that could shoot the 3 and show point forward skills or did you think he would be a hustle guy like the rest of us? I don't remember you making that prediction but if you did, then I'd be the first to give you props. I personally didn't think he would develop into what he's developed into and his development certainly is not the norm. I would venture to guess the amount of people that properly predicted Siakam's ceiling is less than .01%.

I've never said that it's impossible to develop a skill that has never been shown. I'm just saying it's improbable. I don't understand why you guys keep conflating the two over and over.

If you think that players can just develop whatever skill out of thin air, then why even scout? Just pick any player and develop them into whatever you want.

For every Siakam, there's a whole bunch of Skals and Bagleys. Picking the one guy who miraculously developed skills he never had and then projecting that rarity onto random prospects is a losing battle and defeats the entire purpose of scouting. There is an entire league of G League players that just can't develop those skills no matter how hard they try.

Scouting obviously isn't black and white but just trying to wish a skill into existence for a player because another player developed that skill is going to make you wrong much more often than it'll make you right. They've got to show something in order for you to be able to make a somewhat accurate prediction. Anything else is just a pure guess.
Wasn't making a gotcha, just pointing out how you like a player who improved a great deal in the NBA after showing none in college. Murray just made massive improvements across the board between his Freshman year and his Sophomore year, and now I'm to believe he can't improve anymore? That just doesn't make any sense. This is a guy was was 5'11 his Junior year of HS before growing almost a foot in a year and a half. There is a reason he is a late bloomer.

One thing I have observed over the years. Players that generally continue to improve have two traits: 1. BBIQ 2. Hard work. Murray has shown both. That tells me the odds are in his favor that he improve quite a bit.