Following Potential *2020* Draftees

Yeah just starting to deep dive a bit into some of these prospects and Toppin really stands out as new age big. I'd be curious to what others think of his current handle/playmaking ability on-ball but to me looks like he has enough juice to at least be a threat to take the ball off the dribble and create with it. It's certainly not a strength right now, but I do think its something that can continue to be developed with him showing something in that area.

Shot looks decent enough and I like that he's added that to his arsenal this year hitting 36% on 2.7 attempts per game. Super smooth athlete thats runs the floor in transition with that real long wingspan is pretty enticing too. One of those athletes where everything on the floor looks easy and effortless.

If the shot is real, his PnR game with Fox could be out of this world good. Just has a great understanding of spacing and he's so quick at coming off the screen and has been a great finisher at the rim. Some really fun LU combinations you could do adding him to Holmes/Bagley/Bjelica
Good breakdown. The Kings need more athleticism, versatility, and BBIQ on both ends of the floor, so let’s hope the F.O. lands a prospect out of this draft that fits the bill. I realize that rookies rarely make an immediate impact, but it would be energizing for the fan base if the team got a player that looked like someone they could really get excited about!
 
I did this short write up on Toppin back in Dec:

A player that I'm sure many of you haven't seen play is Obi Toppin from Dayton. Regardless, he's likely to be a lottery pick in the next draft. I haven't quite decided what Toppin is, a PF or a SF. Probably both! He's a very good athlete and already has an NBA body. This season he's averaging 20.1 ppg in 31 minutes a game while shooting a sizzling 63.9% overall and 41.4% from the three. He also averages 8.1 rebounds, 1 steal and 1.3 blocked shots a game. He has a great motor and runs the floor extremely well. In a draft populated by PG's and not many wings, he's a player who might work his way up into the top five.



I liked him then and I still like him. He's shown the ability to have the ball run through him, and has displayed good handles. Frankly I would take him over some of those ranked above him. His hot 3pt shooting has tapered off a bit and is down to just under 36%, but of late he's been shooting the ball better, hitting over 37% of his three's the last 11 games. A lot of people see him as a small ball center, and he certainly has the body for it, but I think he could find his best position as a stretch four. I tinkered with the idea of him playing SF but now seriously doubt he's capable of guarding that position.

Personally, I think he's a top five pick, but when looking at the teams projected to be picking in the top five, I can see Toppin sliding down. Which could bode well for us. I still have Haliburton ranked above him, but would be happy with either player. A player that has worked his way out of my lottery choices is Jaden McDaniels, who has been playing absolutely terrible of late. Kid needs to get his head on straight.

Right now my favorite players for the Kings, and who may be available when the Kings pick are, in no particular order:

Obi Toppin: 6'9", PF/C, Dayton
Tyrese Haliburton: 6'5", PG, Iowa St. (currently out with a broken wrist)
Saddiq Bey: 6'8", SF, Villanova (One of the best defenders in college)
Killian Hays: 6'5", PG, European league
Tyrese Maxey: 6'3", SG/PG, Kentucky (terrific defender and athlete. More of a SG than a PG)
Jordan Nwora: 6'7", SF, Auburn (Another defender with a lot of dog in him)
Paul Reed: 6'9", PF, DePaul (He would be a bit of a reach, but he's a double/double machine who has shown the ability to hit the three)

All this is subject to change of course, and there are others that I like who are on the fringe of making this group. Most mocks have Reed going late first round or early second round. Other than he's older, I don't know why. He, Toppin, and Bey may be the most consistent players in college.
 
Lets talk a little bit about Nico Mannion. He was highly touted coming out of highschool and most mocks had him going somewhere between 4 and 8. I saw him play in the McDonalds All American and the Nike Hoops Classic, and he impressed. He started his college season off with a bang scoring around 20 or so points early in the year along with 8 to 10 assists. It's been all downhill since, and he's been sliding down draft boards as a result. Nico was born in Siena Italy and spent quite a bit of his youth there before his family moved to Salt Lake City, and finally Phoenix where he went to highschool.

His father is Pace Mannion who was a 6'7" SF who played for 6 different NBA teams before taking his career to Europe. NIco's mother Is Italian and played on Italy's National Volley Ball team. Nico is an interesting player who is a very talented ball handler with decent to good court vision. He's a good passer, but not in the same class with the J.Will's of the world. His major problem right now is his 3pt shot, which is extremely erratic. He's shooting around 33% from the three right now but he arrives at that figure erratically, going 4/7 and 3/7 in two games and following them up by going 1/4, 2/7, 1/5, and 0/3.

He's also playing on a talented team and leading them nowhere. They'll likely make the tournament, but will also likely go out in the first round. Having said all that, there's definitely something there. He plays with a confidence that belies his results. He's also a decent to good defender. But I can only judge on what I've seen, and trust me, I really want to like this kid, but, right now I don't see him as a starting PG in the NBA, and therefore I see him going somewhere between 15 and 25 in the draft. There's still plenty of time for him to turn things around.

His current stats are: 31.3 mpg - 13.9 ppg - 40.0% fgp - 33.1% 3pp - 82.1% ftp - 5.5 apg - 1.1 steals - 2.6 rpg.

 
I'm going to keep this one short and sweet. Sometimes your gut tells you that a player is going to be better than the stats you can show. You just love to watch him play to see what he'll do next. There's athleticism, and then there's athleticism. Ben McLemore was a terrific athlete, but it was a tool that seldom come out of his tool box. Isaac Okoro is a player that uses his athleticism to make an impact. He only scores 13 points a game, and is only shooting 26.7% from the three, but dang nabit, I think this kid is going to be a very good NBA player.

He's blessed with an NBA body and elite athleticism. He's one of the elite defenders in college and at 6'6" with long arms he's a tenacious defender. He runs the floor like a deer. While his 3pt percentage is nothing to write home about, his form looks fairly good. I think with a little tweaking, he can become a respectable shooter. Remember, he's only a freshman, and despite his poor outside shooting, he still finds a way to affect the game on offense. He can attack the basket with either hand, and has a nose for the ball.

I would advise anyone who is truly interested to take a peak at Auburn, a school that continues to produce very good defensive players. I think Okoro has a high ceiling and what you see now, is just the tip of the iceberg. Hey, I could be wrong, but my gut says I'm not.


Almost forgot, for those that requested it, his free throw percentage is 66.7%
 
I did this short write up on Toppin back in Dec:

A player that I'm sure many of you haven't seen play is Obi Toppin from Dayton. Regardless, he's likely to be a lottery pick in the next draft. I haven't quite decided what Toppin is, a PF or a SF. Probably both! He's a very good athlete and already has an NBA body. This season he's averaging 20.1 ppg in 31 minutes a game while shooting a sizzling 63.9% overall and 41.4% from the three. He also averages 8.1 rebounds, 1 steal and 1.3 blocked shots a game. He has a great motor and runs the floor extremely well. In a draft populated by PG's and not many wings, he's a player who might work his way up into the top five.



I liked him then and I still like him. He's shown the ability to have the ball run through him, and has displayed good handles. Frankly I would take him over some of those ranked above him. His hot 3pt shooting has tapered off a bit and is down to just under 36%, but of late he's been shooting the ball better, hitting over 37% of his three's the last 11 games. A lot of people see him as a small ball center, and he certainly has the body for it, but I think he could find his best position as a stretch four. I tinkered with the idea of him playing SF but now seriously doubt he's capable of guarding that position.

Personally, I think he's a top five pick, but when looking at the teams projected to be picking in the top five, I can see Toppin sliding down. Which could bode well for us. I still have Haliburton ranked above him, but would be happy with either player. A player that has worked his way out of my lottery choices is Jaden McDaniels, who has been playing absolutely terrible of late. Kid needs to get his head on straight.

Right now my favorite players for the Kings, and who may be available when the Kings pick are, in no particular order:

Obi Toppin: 6'9", PF/C, Dayton
Tyrese Haliburton: 6'5", PG, Iowa St. (currently out with a broken wrist)
Saddiq Bey: 6'8", SF, Villanova (One of the best defenders in college)
Killian Hays: 6'5", PG, European league
Tyrese Maxey: 6'3", SG/PG, Kentucky (terrific defender and athlete. More of a SG than a PG)
Jordan Nwora: 6'7", SF, Auburn (Another defender with a lot of dog in him)
Paul Reed: 6'9", PF, DePaul (He would be a bit of a reach, but he's a double/double machine who has shown the ability to hit the three)

All this is subject to change of course, and there are others that I like who are on the fringe of making this group. Most mocks have Reed going late first round or early second round. Other than he's older, I don't know why. He, Toppin, and Bey may be the most consistent players in college.
I mean one thing that could really benefit us is the fact that he's "old" and he's going to be 22 by the time the draft comes around. Teams did something similar to Brandon Clarke that despite being an incredible fit for the NBA now as a big and being incredibly productive in college, he fell way too far and the Grizzlies got an absolute steal by finding a building block piece with the 23rd pick. Get the feeling a lot of teams are going to be kicking themselves letting Obi fall the same way a bunch of teams are kicking themselves about Clarke falling way too far.
 
I'm going to keep this one short and sweet. Sometimes your gut tells you that a player is going to be better than the stats you can show. You just love to watch him play to see what he'll do next. There's athleticism, and then there's athleticism. Ben McLemore was a terrific athlete, but it was a tool that seldom come out of his tool box. Isaac Okoro is a player that uses his athleticism to make an impact. He only scores 13 points a game, and is only shooting 26.7% from the three, but dang nabit, I think this kid is going to be a very good NBA player.

He's blessed with an NBA body and elite athleticism. He's one of the elite defenders in college and at 6'6" with long arms he's a tenacious defender. He runs the floor like a deer. While his 3pt percentage is nothing to write home about, his form looks fairly good. I think with a little tweaking, he can become a respectable shooter. Remember, he's only a freshman, and despite his poor outside shooting, he still finds a way to affect the game on offense. He can attack the basket with either hand, and has a nose for the ball.

I would advise anyone who is truly interested to take a peak at Auburn, a school that continues to produce very good defensive players. I think Okoro has a high ceiling and what you see now, is just the tip of the iceberg. Hey, I could be wrong, but my gut says I'm not.


Almost forgot, for those that requested it, his free throw percentage is 66.7%
He seems left-hand dominant. Can he drive right?
 
Dani Avdija has been getting more playing time due to injuries of key players at Maccabi TA, and he has been playing quite well. It seems like his draft stock is rising.

For an in-depth look at him, and also to get a feel about the person, here's agreat film breakdown on youtubeon Avdija.
Yeah, this video is definitely worth the watch, but I didn't post it because of it's length. We tend to live in an instant gratification society, and holding peoples attention for 40 minutes or more is difficult. However, I think it's worth the watch. Obviously, Avdija is one of my favorites, but I'm sure he'll be a top five pick, and unless the Kings get lucky in the lottery again, they'll have no shot at him. But hey, stranger things have happened.
 
Yes, he has no problem driving right or finishing with either hand. Okoro is right handed. Here's a video that shows him finishing with his right hand.

From the highlights, it looks like he runs the floor very well and he seems to have a scorer’s mentality. He looks very fluid, plays under control, and is a great finisher. For only 18 years-old, his body is very well developed and he has a surprisingly well-rounded game. Being as good as he appears to be already at such a young age, one could imagine he only gets better from here. He certainly looks like the real McCoy to me. Thanks for posting the clip. Go KINGS!
 

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
Yeah, this video is definitely worth the watch, but I didn't post it because of it's length. We tend to live in an instant gratification society, and holding peoples attention for 40 minutes or more is difficult. However, I think it's worth the watch. Obviously, Avdija is one of my favorites, but I'm sure he'll be a top five pick, and unless the Kings get lucky in the lottery again, they'll have no shot at him. But hey, stranger things have happened.
Here's two minutes of just Avdija cutting:

 
To chime in, albeit with no contributions of my own, thestepin has a new evaluation of okoro up:

https://www.thestepien.com/2020/02/17/isaac-okoro-scouting-report-2/
Excellent breakdown of his game and I have few disagreements. He breaks down Okoro's shot better than I'm capable of doing since I don't have all the video capabilities he has, so that was interesting. I knew he had a left elbow flare out as he puts it, but I missed his right elbow jutting out a bit, although not enough to dramatically affect the shot. I don't think it will take that much to tweak Okoro's shot to where he has to be guarded. It's just a matter of him being coachable and putting in the work. And from all accounts, he is.

I agree that to some extent Auburn is wasting some of his talent by not utilizing his passing ability more. Okoro is a very smart basketball player with an excellent feel for the game. I don't like comp's, but if I had to comp him it would be with Olidipo. Less fanfare than Olidipo at the same point in time, but I see him on a similar career path. Okoro prides himself on his defense, as did Olidipo, and that's not a bad way to start your NBA career.
 
Dani Avdija is the no brainer pick for me. He could easily be a bust but he could also be a guy who fills up the stat sheet on a nightly basis and carries your team to victory often throughout a season. These guys that can score, rebound, pass and defend in Avdija's case are the guys that lead their teams to the playoffs. The Kings are in need of one of these types badly. They have to swing for the fences at this point.

Guys like Okoro are intriguing and could potentially be an Iguodola lite type player but the Kings aren't a high level roleplayer away from making the playoffs. They need something more than guys that can defend, spot shoot and give you straight line drives. They need a leader or co leader next to Fox.
 
Dani Avdija is the no brainer pick for me. He could easily be a bust but he could also be a guy who fills up the stat sheet on a nightly basis and carries your team to victory often throughout a season. These guys that can score, rebound, pass and defend in Avdija's case are the guys that lead their teams to the playoffs. The Kings are in need of one of these types badly. They have to swing for the fences at this point.

Guys like Okoro are intriguing and could potentially be an Iguodola lite type player but the Kings aren't a high level roleplayer away from making the playoffs. They need something more than guys that can defend, spot shoot and give you straight line drives. They need a leader or co leader next to Fox.
I don't disagree about Avdija, although I think his ceiling is below the Luka comparisons that are being made.

Having said that, I think what makes Avdija appealing is that his floor is probably quite high. He has many intangibles, is fearless, a hard worker with good BBIQ and fundamentals and a passion for the game and the big stage. At his worst, he can be a Joe Ingles type of guy, I think.
 
Lets talk a little bit about Nico Mannion. He was highly touted coming out of highschool and most mocks had him going somewhere between 4 and 8. I saw him play in the McDonalds All American and the Nike Hoops Classic, and he impressed. He started his college season off with a bang scoring around 20 or so points early in the year along with 8 to 10 assists. It's been all downhill since, and he's been sliding down draft boards as a result. Nico was born in Siena Italy and spent quite a bit of his youth there before his family moved to Salt Lake City, and finally Phoenix where he went to highschool.

His father is Pace Mannion who was a 6'7" SF who played for 6 different NBA teams before taking his career to Europe. NIco's mother Is Italian and played on Italy's National Volley Ball team. Nico is an interesting player who is a very talented ball handler with decent to good court vision. He's a good passer, but not in the same class with the J.Will's of the world. His major problem right now is his 3pt shot, which is extremely erratic. He's shooting around 33% from the three right now but he arrives at that figure erratically, going 4/7 and 3/7 in two games and following them up by going 1/4, 2/7, 1/5, and 0/3.

He's also playing on a talented team and leading them nowhere. They'll likely make the tournament, but will also likely go out in the first round. Having said all that, there's definitely something there. He plays with a confidence that belies his results. He's also a decent to good defender. But I can only judge on what I've seen, and trust me, I really want to like this kid, but, right now I don't see him as a starting PG in the NBA, and therefore I see him going somewhere between 15 and 25 in the draft. There's still plenty of time for him to turn things around.

His current stats are: 31.3 mpg - 13.9 ppg - 40.0% fgp - 33.1% 3pp - 82.1% ftp - 5.5 apg - 1.1 steals - 2.6 rpg.

Nico has definitely been a little disappointing after he started extremely hot. He reminds me of Jeremy Lin a little bit, but Lin was more athletic and a better finisher, whereas Mannion has better IQ and passing ability. I agree with you, I'm not sure if he's a starting PG in the NBA. But I think he should absolutely declare this year unless he's planning on spending 4yrs in Arizona. It almost feels like we say this every year, but he could really take advantage of this draft being weak.
 
Dani Avdija is the no brainer pick for me. He could easily be a bust but he could also be a guy who fills up the stat sheet on a nightly basis and carries your team to victory often throughout a season. These guys that can score, rebound, pass and defend in Avdija's case are the guys that lead their teams to the playoffs. The Kings are in need of one of these types badly. They have to swing for the fences at this point.

Guys like Okoro are intriguing and could potentially be an Iguodola lite type player but the Kings aren't a high level roleplayer away from making the playoffs. They need something more than guys that can defend, spot shoot and give you straight line drives. They need a leader or co leader next to Fox.
Do you believe the Kings should try to move up in the coming Draft to get Avdija? Several projections that I’ve seen have him going as early as #2, and it doesn't look likely right now that Sacramento will be selecting that high. Obviously, a lot can happen between now and then but the FO needs to play it smart and come away with some kind of asset.
 
Do you believe the Kings should try to move up in the coming Draft to get Avdija? Several projections that I’ve seen have him going as early as #2, and it doesn't look likely right now that Sacramento will be selecting that high. Obviously, a lot can happen between now and then but the FO needs to play it smart and come away with some kind of asset.
Moving up worked out well for Dallas a couple years ago.
It’s a little early for my conclusion but if Avdija continues to climb and looks like a real difference maker then yes, make the move.
 
yeah, as I said its a little early, meaning draft range and player potential, for me anyhow. Guess I’m advocating bold moves at this point to improve the Kings.
I think there’s no way we pick below 10 and I expect him to go top 6. I don’t think a protected 2021 1st is enough to move up and no way we unprotect it. Which leads to a protected 1st and a young guy but Bagley would be off limits to move up for him as I don’t think he has star potential
 
I don't disagree about Avdija, although I think his ceiling is below the Luka comparisons that are being made.

Having said that, I think what makes Avdija appealing is that his floor is probably quite high. He has many intangibles, is fearless, a hard worker with good BBIQ and fundamentals and a passion for the game and the big stage. At his worst, he can be a Joe Ingles type of guy, I think.
Yeah I don't see him averaging triple doubles on a nightly basis but I'll take a Joe Ingles over say a Tobias Harris type player any day. You don't have to put up 20, 10 and 10 to have an impact. If your secondary ball handler can give you 15, 7 and 5 on a nightly basis, that's a heck of a player.

Do you believe the Kings should try to move up in the coming Draft to get Avdija? Several projections that I’ve seen have him going as early as #2, and it doesn't look likely right now that Sacramento will be selecting that high. Obviously, a lot can happen between now and then but the FO needs to play it smart and come away with some kind of asset.
I didn't realize his draft stock had gone up that high. I thought he was still around 7th or 8th. I guess it depends on what the move is really. I think Vlade would have to be gone in order for them to make a move to move up near the top because that would require Vlade to have to trade one of his core pieces and I don't see him admitting failure like that. It also depends on where the Kings land in the draft. If they're high enough they could probably just swap picks and give up a future first....kind of like what Dallas did. But then you run the risk of if he doesn't turn out, that just wasted another full year of rebuilding. It's going to be tricky.