Following 2021 Prospects:

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#61
USC hoops is not in a good place this year. The guards who probably should have been leading this team -- Elijah Weaver and Derryck Thornton -- both decided to transfer and Coach Enfield wasn't able to replace them with comparable talent. It's not an ideal situation for Mobley, it's certainly not what he was promised when he committed to become a Trojan a couple years ago, but I expect he'll get more assertive as the season goes on once he becomes more comfortable with this group. It will be interesting to see if he steps into that leadership void and becomes the vocal on the court captain this squad needs him to be.

Regardless, it's going to be a weird season. The campus is empty except for athletes and a small group of international students and staff. There won't be fans at any of the home games. Basketball is still basketball but there isn't really any campus atmosphere to speak of and that's such a big part of how these kids grow and develop. I feel particularly sorry for the one and done guys this year who are probably going to miss out on that experience entirely.
Typically all big men are at the mercy of their guards. I remember Derrick Favors in college hardly ever touching the ball. Ditto Myles Turner! It's a shame, but it is what it is. Mobley is going to have to demand the ball more forcefully. He's a talented player, but we won't know how talented if he doesn't touch the ball more. And it's not just about getting the ball more, it's about getting at the right moment. I don't think that's going to happen with this group.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#62
Ziaire Williams has gone for 13/7/3 in the first half of his Stanford debut. Was 3-3 from three, none hit the rim (but I think he'll get credit for getting a three blocked at the halftime buzzer). Has created and hit his own midrange off the dribble going both left and right. Very, very unselfish and has made the right pass probably 10 times, including some nifty pocket passes to cutters, would have 6-7 assists but his guys either missed bunnies or got fouled. He's terribly skinny at 6'7" and is getting pushed around on D, but gives the effort and is crashing the boards, using his length to get to the ball. Looking VERY good in his first half, and there's another half on ESPN2 if you hurry.
Williams was a player I was really looking forward to seeing play, and I wasn't disappointed. He would be a perfect fit on the Kings. Great looking perimeter shot, the ability to create on his own. Good passer with obvious good BBIQ. He needs to get into a weight room and put in some serious work, but aside from that, very impressive player. Can't wait to see him going forward.
 
#63
Typically all big men are at the mercy of their guards. I remember Derrick Favors in college hardly ever touching the ball. Ditto Myles Turner! It's a shame, but it is what it is. Mobley is going to have to demand the ball more forcefully. He's a talented player, but we won't know how talented if he doesn't touch the ball more. And it's not just about getting the ball more, it's about getting at the right moment. I don't think that's going to happen with this group.
I was listening to Chad Ford’s podcast and he has Mobley as a 4/5, which I find incredulous. I think Ford has really refined his evaluations, but I don’t see Mobley as a 4, at all, in today’s game. I think he’s the very rare guy who can play with his back to the basket, but still cover any type of 5 on the other end, and excel in P&R defense. He’s an intriguing player because today’s big man really seems to hate covering true 5s—he could cause a lot of problems if he develops his post game.
 
#64
More regarding Mobley—Ford had the Athletic’s Tony Jones on and both men rated Mobley as their #3 overall prospect, but they also both have him as a PF. It seems that, in their opinion, since Mobley can handle a little bit and the offense can be run through him, he is de rigeur a PF. It seems a bizarre supposition, but I wonder if other evaluators and NBA teams have the same approach. “Can this guy do anything other than sit in the dunker spot? Yes...okay he’s a PF”. It’s like basketball never even existed prior to the 5 out era. One wonders how much damage a commanding post operator could do in today’s era. Will all the switchability on defense circle back around to the switch-proof big man with exquisite footwork in the paint?
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#65
More regarding Mobley—Ford had the Athletic’s Tony Jones on and both men rated Mobley as their #3 overall prospect, but they also both have him as a PF. It seems that, in their opinion, since Mobley can handle a little bit and the offense can be run through him, he is de rigeur a PF. It seems a bizarre supposition, but I wonder if other evaluators and NBA teams have the same approach. “Can this guy do anything other than sit in the dunker spot? Yes...okay he’s a PF”. It’s like basketball never even existed prior to the 5 out era. One wonders how much damage a commanding post operator could do in today’s era. Will all the switchability on defense circle back around to the switch-proof big man with exquisite footwork in the paint?
At the moment, I tend to agree with you about Mobley. However, that's based on what I've seen so far. I'm waiting to see if he has any game away from the basket, which he may have, I just haven't seen it yet. He a very good athlete who can defend in the post and on the perimeter, so as far as guarding 4's, I don't think that's a problem. He looks to me as a player who can guard multiple positions. So it's his offense that will define him, and he has plenty of time to develop in that area.

I realize that national pundits have to rate college players, it's what they do for a living. But the idea of who will go where in next years draft is ridiculous. You probably can't go too wrong predicting that Cunningham will go number one based on everything so far, but other than him being a top three player, who knows what things will look like 3 or 4 months from now. Ziaire Williams is a terrific prospect, but if he can't get his shot to fall more consistently, he'll slide a bit. On the other hand, if he starts hitting those shots, he might push someone else out of the top five. Point being, who knows. Ditto B.J. Boston, who looks like a stud except for his perimeter shot not falling.

Right now I would have Mobley as a top five player. Hard to ignore a 7 foot player with his skill level and athleticism. But we have a long way to go, so we'll see. One thing I do know, is that your going to get a very, very good basketball player if your picking in the top 8, and probably in the top 10 or 11. We haven't had a chance to see Jonathan Kuminga or Jalen Green play, and both players are projected as top five players. Some scouts are talking about Kuminga as the next Lebron.

And lets not forget about Terrence Clark, Greg Brown, Scottie Barnes, Jalen Johnson, Josh Christopher, Scottie Lewis, Caleb Love, and Ayo Dosunmu, all of whom are projected as possible lottery picks. You might want to keep your eye on Keon Johnson, Jeremiah-Robinson Earl, and Corey Kispert, who are all capable of making a splash. And of course, there's that player that night after night puts up 25 pt's and grabs 10 to 12 boards , but is ignored because he's just a big white stiff. Yes, I'm talking about the great Luka Garza from Iowa. It's going to be a fun year.
 

Tetsujin

The Game Thread Dude
#66
BJ Boston thus far looking like the biggest dropper in draft rankings since the start of the college season. Part of it might be him being on a cold streak but the man has looked down right bad for long stretches of this Wildcat 1-4 start. Clarke hasn't looked much better but at least has seemed capable of passing.
 
#67
BJ Boston thus far looking like the biggest dropper in draft rankings since the start of the college season. Part of it might be him being on a cold streak but the man has looked down right bad for long stretches of this Wildcat 1-4 start. Clarke hasn't looked much better but at least has seemed capable of passing.
Boston is definitely struggling along with the rest of this year's Kentucky team. A big part of that is poor spacing that is largely a result of bad outside shooting.
 
#68
Watching the last 15 mins of the Ok St game. Cunningham looks good, 6'7, NBA ready body, solid handles, plays within the team. Can go either way. But on first viewing, I don't see a generational player. Need to see a few more times to make sure my eyes are not deceiving me.
 
#69
I hope our esteemed @bajaden does not mind me responding to one of his posts in this thread. However, as a Central Valley (California) Kings and NBA fan, and one of a handful I believe on this forum, I feel a great sense of shock, and great pride, that a “Central Valley” kid is being referred to by many, including Bajaden, as a possible number 1 pick!
Jalen was born in small town Merced (Mercy in Spanish), CA (population 83,000+), which relies on agriculture and the Castle Air Force Base to sustain it’s economy. His family moved to Fresno, CA when he was three. He attended high school at San Joaquin Memorial in Fresno, CA ( as did Brook and Robin Lopez, Bucks; Cliff Pondexter, Bulls; Quincy Pondexter, Spurs).
He won three gold medals with the United States at the junior level and was named most valuable player (MVP) of the 2018 FIBA Under-17 World Cup.
He was the first high school player to go straight to the G league.
The Central Valley is not known as a hotbed for potential NBA players, and in particular, players who have the potential to be the number one pick in the NBA draft! (Since 1947, there have only been two players from the entire State who have been number one picks, Lew Alcindor out of UCLA in 1969, and Bill Walton in 1974 also out of UCLA).
As a Central Valley Kings fan, I am extremely proud of what Jalen has accomplished, and am honored Bajaden, and others, consider him so highly. I wish Jalen continued success, and I can’t wait to see him as an NBA player!
For more, see:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jalen_Green
Just seeing this now, but wanted to comment on Merced. The following players were born there or grew up there:

1. Ray Allen
2. Bruce Bowen
3. Gerald Madkins (UCLA)
4. And now Green.

Not bad for a tiny town in the valley.
 

Tetsujin

The Game Thread Dude
#70
Old news at this point but Cade’s defense at the end of Oklahoma State’s upset win over Kansas was absolutely magnificent.
The stats don’t really show it but he’s been every bit as good as advertised and unlike Ben Simmons has taken his random unspectacular college team and turned it into a legitimate winning squad.
 
#71
Old news at this point but Cade’s defense at the end of Oklahoma State’s upset win over Kansas was absolutely magnificent.
The stats don’t really show it but he’s been every bit as good as advertised and unlike Ben Simmons has taken his random unspectacular college team and turned it into a legitimate winning squad.
Nah we dont need him. Lets ride Joseph, GRIII, Holmes, Buddy, Barnes, Bjelica and Whiteside so we can pick the 9th best prospect to be a pretty good backup for the next few years
 

Tetsujin

The Game Thread Dude
#72
Nah we dont need him. Lets ride Joseph, GRIII, Holmes, Buddy, Barnes, Bjelica and Whiteside so we can pick the 9th best prospect to be a pretty good backup for the next few years
9th best prospect in this draft is still a potential star but I get your point lol
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#73
Just a note for those that may be wondering about my lack of posts. I've been up in Sacramento for a while now for a series of medical procedures. Had my last on on the 14th of Jan. A operation on my left hand. Not to serious or life threatening, but it turns me into a hunt and pecker at the keyboard. Previously, I had an operation on my right hand, which created the same problem. The rest of the procedures were a bit more invasive, but, all is well now. So soon, I'll be headed back to my beloved Baja and my beach. In the meantime, I'll do my best to post when I feel I have something important to say.

While I'm not posting much, I'am however watching a lot of games. So I will have some catching up to do once I can freely type again.
 
#74
If we believe we have found our PG, SG and PF of the future that leaves Center and SF as the biggest needs on the team. It's too early to know where we will pick of course but I still expect the Bulls, Rockets, Wolves, Pistons to be worse than us at the very least. The Magic, Cavs, Thunder, Knicks and Hornets are also in the mix for a top pick. My best guess is we will be somewhere in the 7-11 range. The only two small forwards rated in the top 10 are Jalen Johnson and Kuminga. Im liking Scottie Barnes a lot as well. I suppose you could move Bags to the 5 if Barnes was a guy you like and available.

Who have we liked so far?
 

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
#75
The only two small forwards rated in the top 10 are Jalen Johnson and Kuminga. Im liking Scottie Barnes a lot as well. I suppose you could move Bags to the 5 if Barnes was a guy you like and available.
I would add Ziaire Williams to that list. Skinny as all get out right now, but clearly has the size for the SF, particularly in today's game.
 

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
#76
I would add Ziaire Williams to that list. Skinny as all get out right now, but clearly has the size for the SF, particularly in today's game.
To follow up on this, I have no idea what Kuminga looks like, hopefully there will be G-League games at some point to get a look at him. Jalen Johnson, who has been a bit hurt and has frankly looked lost on the court most of the season looked REALLY GOOD today, going for 24p/15r/7a/2s/3b and just standing out as the best player on the floor like you expect a top-10 guy to do. I really wanted to see him control a game like that, and he did, and I'm entirely open to changing my mind about him for the better.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#77
To follow up on this, I have no idea what Kuminga looks like, hopefully there will be G-League games at some point to get a look at him. Jalen Johnson, who has been a bit hurt and has frankly looked lost on the court most of the season looked REALLY GOOD today, going for 24p/15r/7a/2s/3b and just standing out as the best player on the floor like you expect a top-10 guy to do. I really wanted to see him control a game like that, and he did, and I'm entirely open to changing my mind about him for the better.
I know It would take a bit of luck, but don't rule out Cunningham, who at 6'8" can certainly play SF. All we need is the first pick in the draft... Not a problem... I'm Also hopeful to get a look at Kuminga. I agree on Williams. Talented kid whose shot is starting to come around.
 
#79
To follow up on this, I have no idea what Kuminga looks like, hopefully there will be G-League games at some point to get a look at him. Jalen Johnson, who has been a bit hurt and has frankly looked lost on the court most of the season looked REALLY GOOD today, going for 24p/15r/7a/2s/3b and just standing out as the best player on the floor like you expect a top-10 guy to do. I really wanted to see him control a game like that, and he did, and I'm entirely open to changing my mind about him for the better.
That (along with a lack of a consistent outside shot) has long been a knock on Jalen Johnson - that he drifts far too often for a player of his physical gifts and talent.

I'm a big fan of his game when he's locked in but he's got to show more consistent effort. That along with staying healthy and being able to knock down 3's would make him a monster. We'll see.
 
#81
Watching the last 15 mins of the Ok St game. Cunningham looks good, 6'7, NBA ready body, solid handles, plays within the team. Can go either way. But on first viewing, I don't see a generational player. Need to see a few more times to make sure my eyes are not deceiving me.
He’s not the generational player he was touted to be
 
#82
Evan Mobley is another player who would look good in a King's uniform. He's a good athlete, 7 ft, runs the floor well & is really good defensively.
He’s number 1 for us on my board he’s a new era big with defense and shooting


If we believe we have found our PG, SG and PF of the future that leaves Center and SF as the biggest needs on the team. It's too early to know where we will pick of course but I still expect the Bulls, Rockets, Wolves, Pistons to be worse than us at the very least. The Magic, Cavs, Thunder, Knicks and Hornets are also in the mix for a top pick. My best guess is we will be somewhere in the 7-11 range. The only two small forwards rated in the top 10 are Jalen Johnson and Kuminga. Im liking Scottie Barnes a lot as well. I suppose you could move Bags to the 5 if Barnes was a guy you like and available.

Who have we liked so far?
We have our PG/SG that’s about it
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#83
One nice thing about Ziaire Williams (beyond his two way potential) is that he's equally effective off ball or as the ball handler in the pick & roll.
Been following Ziaire pretty closely, and I see a lot of potential there. He's shot 41.6% from the three in his last five games. He's a good free throw shooter, so I'm not that concerned about his shooting. He needs to get stronger, but other than that, there's a lot to like.
 
#85
I think it's a bit early to be predicting a 19 year old's future. I would take Cunningham in a heart beat if he's sitting there. He comes with a lot of the intangibles Haliburton comes with. He plays with that air of confidence you look for. I'm still very high on him...
And it just so turns out he is really good friends with Ty
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#86
This draft is going to be fairly deep with some very good players going in the 2nd rd. I'm not going to predict who just yet, but I will list some players that I think are 1st rd talent who could end up in the 2nd rd. One such player is John Petty from Alabama.

John Petty: SG, 6'5", 185 lbs, Senior, Alabama.
30.3 mpg - 14.3 ppg - 49.0% fgp - 42.4% 3pp - 70.4% ftp - 5.2 rpg - 2.2 apg - 1.1 stl's

Petty is a lights out shooter, particularly when left open on a catch and shoot. However, he's capable of creating his own shot, and is almost as deadly off the dribble. He gets a little loose with his handle and turns the ball over a little more than I like, but his plusses more than make up for it. He's a willing and capable defender, but needs to get a little stronger. I won't call him a ball stopper, but he does like to shoot the ball. I'd like to see him attack the basket a bit more, but improved handles and added strength should help in that dept.

 
#87
Watched the USC vs. Cal game last night. Mobley reminds me of a young LaMarcus Aldridge. He’s a legit 7 Ft, long, with bounce and touch, but will struggle at the 4/5 spot initially because of a lack of muscle. Definitely a top 3 pick on physical tools alone, but think fans may be a bit disappointed when they realize they’re getting Aldridge rather than Giannis.

Cal has an interesting second round prospect in Antecivich. Can hit the three, can drive and rise, think Joe Ingles.
 

Tetsujin

The Game Thread Dude
#88
Watched the USC vs. Cal game last night. Mobley reminds me of a young LaMarcus Aldridge. He’s a legit 7 Ft, long, with bounce and touch, but will struggle at the 4/5 spot initially because of a lack of muscle. Definitely a top 3 pick on physical tools alone, but think fans may be a bit disappointed when they realize they’re getting Aldridge rather than Giannis.

Cal has an interesting second round prospect in Antecivich. Can hit the three, can drive and rise, think Joe Ingles.
The thing that makes Mobley a better prospect than LMA is that he’s got serious defensive upside though. Even in his prime, Aldridge was never a rim protector and Mobley already sorta is.
 
#89
The thing that makes Mobley a better prospect than LMA is that he’s got serious defensive upside though. Even in his prime, Aldridge was never a rim protector and Mobley already sorta is.
You may be right, but I don’t see a young Garnett. I tried to, but I don’t see that type of defensive upside. Metu, example, was a more impressive defender as a USC Frosh than Mobley is. It’s one viewing though, so we’ll see if my perception changes.
 
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