Probable Lottery picks in the 2021 Draft:

Well sure, but that's not what I'm asking. I know Green is an incredible prospect. My question is do people feel he's on a different tier over a guy like Kuminga, or even Barnes that it's worth potential fit problems down the line with our 2 franchise cornerstones being guards?

The consensus so far seems to be yes.
Barnes is no where close to Green. Kuminga is interesting. He may jump up in the workout. But Green is ahead of Kuminga right now. Green projects to be a very high level scorer to me.
 
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bajaden

Hall of Famer
Well sure, but that's not what I'm asking. I know Green is an incredible prospect. My question is do people feel he's on a different tier over a guy like Kuminga, or even Barnes that it's worth potential fit problems down the line with our 2 franchise cornerstones being guards?

The consensus so far seems to be yes.
I would have Cunningham at 1A, and I would have Green, Mobley, and Suggs at 1B. I think those three are very equal in ability, while each brings a little something different to the table. I think whomever is picking at two will pick whoever fills their team need the most. In the Kings case, if they had the 2nd choice in the draft I would take Mobley. I think Kuminga is a slight notch below the top four, but still a player who likely would have been the first pick in last years draft.

As far as your question of fit, with Green being a shooting guard, I guess I would ask if you would still question him as our pick if his name was Kobe Bryant? Obviously he's not, and there's no guarantee he'll be that good, but in my humble opinion, barring injury, he's going to be a star, and possibly a superstar. So yes, I think there's a drop off from Green to Kuminga, and a much larger gap between Green and Barnes.
 
I would have Cunningham at 1A, and I would have Green, Mobley, and Suggs at 1B. I think those three are very equal in ability, while each brings a little something different to the table. I think whomever is picking at two will pick whoever fills their team need the most. In the Kings case, if they had the 2nd choice in the draft I would take Mobley. I think Kuminga is a slight notch below the top four, but still a player who likely would have been the first pick in last years draft.

As far as your question of fit, with Green being a shooting guard, I guess I would ask if you would still question him as our pick if his name was Kobe Bryant? Obviously he's not, and there's no guarantee he'll be that good, but in my humble opinion, barring injury, he's going to be a star, and possibly a superstar. So yes, I think there's a drop off from Green to Kuminga, and a much larger gap between Green and Barnes.
Good points. Suggs is a bit of a harder sell to the fanbase right now while our best two players are playmaking guards, but I don't see any reason to pass on Green if he's available to us. Looking at the state of the league right now, I think there's a pretty good chance he ends up being the best NBA player in this draft. He can play the 2 or the 3 and his ability to score off the dribble is tailor-made for playoff basketball. We still need wing depth regardless considering our timeline has been pushed back and Barnes and Hield aren't really part of the core anymore.

If we do end up in the top 4, picking between Cunningham. Mobley, Green, and Suggs is an embarrassment of riches. Maybe at #4 Kuminga enters the conversation if we really don't want to double up on PGs but we've missed on elite prospects for pretty much every reason under the sun over the last decade so if we do pass on Suggs it better be because we don't think he's the 4th best player in the draft not because we're already happy with our guard rotation. A lot can happen in 4 years and elite players are a whole lot more valuable as trade assets than prospects who never panned out.
 
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Good points. Suggs is a bit of a harder sell to the fanbase right now while our best two players are playmaking guards, but I don't see any reason to pass on Green if he's available to us. Looking at the state of the league right now, I think there's a pretty good chance he ends up being the best NBA player in this draft. He can play the 2 or the 3 and his ability to score off the dribble is tailor-made for playoff basketball. We still need wing depth regardless considering our timeline has been pushed back and Barnes and Hield aren't really part of the core anymore.

If we do end up in the top 4, picking between Cunningham. Mobley, Green, and Suggs is an embarrassment of riches. Maybe at #4 Kuminga enters the conversation if we really don't want to double up on PGs but we've missed on elite prospects for pretty much every reason under the sun over the last decade so if we do pass on Suggs it better be because we don't think he's the 4th best player in the draft not because we're already happy with our guard rotation. A lot can happen in 4 years and elite players are a whole lot more valuable as trade assets than prospects who never panned out.
I think Jalen Green has a very good chance of being the best player to come out of this draft. His high end athleticism and advanced shot creation make it hard for me to see him not being a good to great NBA player. Word is that he has a strong work ethic as well. He even offers some secondary playmaking.

Cade Cunningham is also a high floor player to me just due to how he operates in the pick & roll and his improved three point shot. His average athleticism is the only real concern and he doesn't have Luka's bulk to make up for not being able to turn the corner on quicker defenders. Still I wouldn't bet against him as he's already shown himself to be a clutch player and competitor.

Mobley scares me a bit. If he hits his potential he's a defensive anchor that changes the whole team dynamic on that end of the floor. A modern big who can do a bit of everything - shooting, passing, handling, and who also can block shots and switch and contain smaller players on the perimeter. But not only does he need to add weight/strength but despite his skillet his offensive game is more raw than I'm comfortable with and I don't think he'll ever be a go to scorer. If he doesn't make strides in the weight room (and right now he's both light and has a high center of gravity) and on offense #2 or #3 is pretty high if he is primarily a defensive specialist who can't hold position in the paint.

I like Suggs and you might have to take him at #4 if the Kings land in that spot and the other kids are gone just based on talent but I don't like the fit at all.

Suggs to me also seems ideal on a situation where he's the 2nd or 3rd best player and is given the reins to run the team vs being the best player and/or being asked to share a backcourt with another PG like he would with Fox (and to a lesser extent Hali).

New Orleans actually seems like an ideal fit for Suggs if they got lucky in the lottery. Maybe Toronto as well.
 
I think Jalen Green has a very good chance of being the best player to come out of this draft. His high end athleticism and advanced shot creation make it hard for me to see him not being a good to great NBA player. Word is that he has a strong work ethic as well. He even offers some secondary playmaking.

Cade Cunningham is also a high floor player to me just due to how he operates in the pick & roll and his improved three point shot. His average athleticism is the only real concern and he doesn't have Luka's bulk to make up for not being able to turn the corner on quicker defenders. Still I wouldn't bet against him as he's already shown himself to be a clutch player and competitor.

Mobley scares me a bit. If he hits his potential he's a defensive anchor that changes the whole team dynamic on that end of the floor. A modern big who can do a bit of everything - shooting, passing, handling, and who also can block shots and switch and contain smaller players on the perimeter. But not only does he need to add weight/strength but despite his skillet his offensive game is more raw than I'm comfortable with and I don't think he'll ever be a go to scorer. If he doesn't make strides in the weight room (and right now he's both light and has a high center of gravity) and on offense #2 or #3 is pretty high if he is primarily a defensive specialist who can't hold position in the paint.

I like Suggs and you might have to take him at #4 if the Kings land in that spot and the other kids are gone just based on talent but I don't like the fit at all.

Suggs to me also seems ideal on a situation where he's the 2nd or 3rd best player and is given the reins to run the team vs being the best player and/or being asked to share a backcourt with another PG like he would with Fox (and to a lesser extent Hali).

New Orleans actually seems like an ideal fit for Suggs if they got lucky in the lottery. Maybe Toronto as well.
I'd be happy with any of the top 3 and all of them are so different that it's hard for me to even rank them. I agree about Jalen Green. He's so quick and explosive and advanced enough as a ballhandler and a passer that I don't see how he could miss being a high-level All Star for a long time. He'd be an easy pick for #1 except that Cade Cunningham has unbelievable poise and vision for a guy his age. Combine that with his size and shotmaking ability on the perimeter and he's a player that is very very hard to pass on even for Jalen Green.

I disagree slightly about Mobley though. I think he's got a very good offensive skillset he's mostly just lacking in assertiveness. See if you can find the footage of his back-to-back 26 point games in the Pac 12 tournament. The biggest issue for him offensively this season was just getting the ball from the guards. Better spacing in the NBA will help with that and we have guards who know how to break down defenses and pass into the post. His jumper looks good, it's easy to see him expanding his range out to the three point line within a couple of years and he's already a very good passer out of double teams. He's skinny but he should be able to put on weight and his potential impact on defense -- not just in the post but all over the floor -- is so good I would be tempted to take him first overall too, especially given our weakness in that area. He can have the same type of impact Whiteside had this past season while also being able to rotate and cover the perimeter which is an essential skill in the modern NBA.

So it's 1A, 1B, and 1C for me and I feel so strongly about all three that it really is a three-way tie.

There's also a bunch of guys I like at #9 so the only real question mark for me is what I would do at #4 if my top 3 picks are all gone. I think it has to be Suggs even though he's redundant with Fox. I see the argument for Kuminga -- but he's the one player in the consensus top 5 who makes me nervous. I want to like him because he looks like a great positional fit for us but I already had questions about his shot selection coming out of high school and his G-League shooting splits (.387/.246/.685) are not top-5 worthy in a draft this deep. Jalen Johnson, Keon Johnson, and Davion Mitchell all offer a similar combination of athleticism, playmaking, and defensive impact and produced at a higher level this season. Granted the sample size is small and that's college vs. G-League. It's easy to get excited about his potential when you watch his highlights but I really think he needs to end up with the right coach or he could wind up being another cautionary tale of hype getting in the way of development.
 

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
I disagree slightly about Mobley though. I think he's got a very good offensive skillset he's mostly just lacking in assertiveness. See if you can find the footage of his back-to-back 26 point games in the Pac 12 tournament. The biggest issue for him offensively this season was just getting the ball from the guards. Better spacing in the NBA will help with that and we have guards who know how to break down defenses and pass into the post.
This is my concern about Mobley. He had 7 games at USC where he played 30+ minutes and had 8 or fewer FGA (one game with 0!!!). Now maybe Andy Enfield is just a complete bonehead and can't teach his guards to pass to their top-of-the-lotto big man, but there's definitely some assertiveness that's lacking there. If Mobley can't demand the ball from Tahj Eaddy and Drew Peterson, how in the world is he going to get any touches at the next level, and how does he become worthy of a top-4 pick? The skills are there, but if he doesn't go out there and comport himself like an all-star, if he defers to everybody else...I'll say that the two guys whose floor I worry about in the top-5 are Mobley and Kuminga, and this is the entire reason I worry about Mobley's floor.
 
This is my concern about Mobley. He had 7 games at USC where he played 30+ minutes and had 8 or fewer FGA (one game with 0!!!). Now maybe Andy Enfield is just a complete bonehead and can't teach his guards to pass to their top-of-the-lotto big man, but there's definitely some assertiveness that's lacking there. If Mobley can't demand the ball from Tahj Eaddy and Drew Peterson, how in the world is he going to get any touches at the next level, and how does he become worthy of a top-4 pick? The skills are there, but if he doesn't go out there and comport himself like an all-star, if he defers to everybody else...I'll say that the two guys whose floor I worry about in the top-5 are Mobley and Kuminga, and this is the entire reason I worry about Mobley's floor.
That USC team was a jumbled mess. Hard to get a good read on any the payers.
 
This is my concern about Mobley. He had 7 games at USC where he played 30+ minutes and had 8 or fewer FGA (one game with 0!!!). Now maybe Andy Enfield is just a complete bonehead and can't teach his guards to pass to their top-of-the-lotto big man, but there's definitely some assertiveness that's lacking there. If Mobley can't demand the ball from Tahj Eaddy and Drew Peterson, how in the world is he going to get any touches at the next level, and how does he become worthy of a top-4 pick? The skills are there, but if he doesn't go out there and comport himself like an all-star, if he defers to everybody else...I'll say that the two guys whose floor I worry about in the top-5 are Mobley and Kuminga, and this is the entire reason I worry about Mobley's floor.
That USC team was a jumbled mess. Hard to get a good read on any the payers.
I said at the beginning of the season that USC was probably going to have a bad season and they actually had a very good season, so that shows what I know, but I think it's worth pointing out that it was an entirely new rotation. They didn't return any starters from the 2019 team (and only 3 rotation players returned) so offensive cohesion was a problem in general. Since Andy Enfield took over we're used to seeing guard-heavy teams with one or two mobile bigs cleaning up the boards. If Mobley had been lucky enough to play with Jordan McLaughlin, DeAnthony Melton, or Kevin Porter it would have been a different story but this year's team was patched together with transfer players. It was incredibly frustrating watching the guards freeze out Mobley for huge chunks of the game even in the tournament.

That USC team also went 25-8 though and made it to the Elite 8 almost entirely because of Evan Mobley's impact on defense and how much attention he attracted on offense. When a guy steps in as a Freshman and leads the NCAA in Win Shares, that's got to tell you something. He averaged 34 minutes a night in 40 min games and only took 10 shots a game. I do wish he was more assertive but while demanding the ball and forcing plays through double-teams might have shown us more about his ego and his NBA potential, it wasn't the right thing to do for the team. Nor is that really his game.

I do think it's fair to point out that big men are not dominating the NBA landscape right now while players like Jalen Green and Cade Cunningham are. But I also want to remind you that we were dismal on defense this year and have been for some time and nobody in this draft is going to help us more on defense than Mobley will. I see your point about Mobley's lack of assertiveness on offense lowering his overall floor as an NBA player but I think his defensive impact is so good that the floor is still very high. Guys with legit DPOY potential don't come around very often.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
I said at the beginning of the season that USC was probably going to have a bad season and they actually had a very good season, so that shows what I know, but I think it's worth pointing out that it was an entirely new rotation. They didn't return any starters from the 2019 team (and only 3 rotation players returned) so offensive cohesion was a problem in general. Since Andy Enfield took over we're used to seeing guard-heavy teams with one or two mobile bigs cleaning up the boards. If Mobley had been lucky enough to play with Jordan McLaughlin, DeAnthony Melton, or Kevin Porter it would have been a different story but this year's team was patched together with transfer players. It was incredibly frustrating watching the guards freeze out Mobley for huge chunks of the game even in the tournament.

That USC team also went 25-8 though and made it to the Elite 8 almost entirely because of Evan Mobley's impact on defense and how much attention he attracted on offense. When a guy steps in as a Freshman and leads the NCAA in Win Shares, that's got to tell you something. He averaged 34 minutes a night in 40 min games and only took 10 shots a game. I do wish he was more assertive but while demanding the ball and forcing plays through double-teams might have shown us more about his ego and his NBA potential, it wasn't the right thing to do for the team. Nor is that really his game.

I do think it's fair to point out that big men are not dominating the NBA landscape right now while players like Jalen Green and Cade Cunningham are. But I also want to remind you that we were dismal on defense this year and have been for some time and nobody in this draft is going to help us more on defense than Mobley will. I see your point about Mobley's lack of assertiveness on offense lowering his overall floor as an NBA player but I think his defensive impact is so good that the floor is still very high. Guys with legit DPOY potential don't come around very often.
The guard play for USC was horrible this year. Take Mobley off the USC team and stick him in the middle of the Gonzaga team, and the difference would be amazing. How many P&R's did USC run with Mobley? I saw Mobley post up, get position and be waving for the ball, and he might has well been in China. He has a nice mid-range jumpshot which should project out to the 3 pt line in time. Despite his lack of weight or muscle, he's a good rebounder, which should get 10 pt's a game on just put backs.

He's also a smart player knowing when and where to switch. Put him on the right team, get him in the weight room, and I think the kid will eventually be a star. He has all the tools. It reminds me of when Derrick Favors was at Georgia Tech and he never touched the ball.
 
The more I look into Davion Mitchell, the more I don't like. I'm thinking his career is going to look more like Jevon Carter than anything.
 
I said at the beginning of the season that USC was probably going to have a bad season and they actually had a very good season, so that shows what I know, but I think it's worth pointing out that it was an entirely new rotation. They didn't return any starters from the 2019 team (and only 3 rotation players returned) so offensive cohesion was a problem in general. Since Andy Enfield took over we're used to seeing guard-heavy teams with one or two mobile bigs cleaning up the boards. If Mobley had been lucky enough to play with Jordan McLaughlin, DeAnthony Melton, or Kevin Porter it would have been a different story but this year's team was patched together with transfer players. It was incredibly frustrating watching the guards freeze out Mobley for huge chunks of the game even in the tournament.

That USC team also went 25-8 though and made it to the Elite 8 almost entirely because of Evan Mobley's impact on defense and how much attention he attracted on offense. When a guy steps in as a Freshman and leads the NCAA in Win Shares, that's got to tell you something. He averaged 34 minutes a night in 40 min games and only took 10 shots a game. I do wish he was more assertive but while demanding the ball and forcing plays through double-teams might have shown us more about his ego and his NBA potential, it wasn't the right thing to do for the team. Nor is that really his game.

I do think it's fair to point out that big men are not dominating the NBA landscape right now while players like Jalen Green and Cade Cunningham are. But I also want to remind you that we were dismal on defense this year and have been for some time and nobody in this draft is going to help us more on defense than Mobley will. I see your point about Mobley's lack of assertiveness on offense lowering his overall floor as an NBA player but I think his defensive impact is so good that the floor is still very high. Guys with legit DPOY potential don't come around very often.
I would take Mobley #1. I think he has the highest floor of the projected top 10 lottery picks, who played in college. I haven't seen enough of Green or Kuminga to have an opinion on either right now.

Excluding the G-Leaguers, I don't see any generational players from this draft class. I wouldn't take Suggs ahead of Fox or someone like Baron Davis. I wouldn't take Cade ahead of someone like TMac or Grant Hill. I wouldn't take Mobley ahead of Cwebb...
 
I would take Mobley #1. I think he has the highest floor of the projected top 10 lottery picks, who played in college. I haven't seen enough of Green or Kuminga to have an opinion on either right now.

Excluding the G-Leaguers, I don't see any generational players from this draft class. I wouldn't take Suggs ahead of Fox or someone like Baron Davis. I wouldn't take Cade ahead of someone like TMac or Grant Hill. I wouldn't take Mobley ahead of Cwebb...
I don't remember any of those guys in college so it would be tough for me to make those comparisons. I do remember Westbrook, Harden, Durant, Curry, etc. and aside from Durant (who still went wasn't picked first overall) none of those guys was seen as a can't miss prospect. I think the top 5 this year compares favorably to those recent MVPs when they were prospects. I don't see a Lebron here, sadly, but Cade could be a TMac or Grant Hill type. Jalen Green could be a James Harden or Russell Westbrook caliber of scorer/playmaker. I don't know who to compare Mobley to. He doesn't have the body type of DeAndre Ayton but he has a similar offensive skillset and had way more impact as a defender despite his slim frame. Giannis was just as skinny and awkward looking as Mobley when he was a prospect. I'm not going to project that level of growth, but his success does illustrate why it pays to be patient with big guys.
 
I don't remember any of those guys in college so it would be tough for me to make those comparisons. I do remember Westbrook, Harden, Durant, Curry, etc. and aside from Durant (who still went wasn't picked first overall) none of those guys was seen as a can't miss prospect. I think the top 5 this year compares favorably to those recent MVPs when they were prospects. I don't see a Lebron here, sadly, but Cade could be a TMac or Grant Hill type. Jalen Green could be a James Harden or Russell Westbrook caliber of scorer/playmaker. I don't know who to compare Mobley to. He doesn't have the body type of DeAndre Ayton but he has a similar offensive skillset and had way more impact as a defender despite his slim frame. Giannis was just as skinny and awkward looking as Mobley when he was a prospect. I'm not going to project that level of growth, but his success does illustrate why it pays to be patient with big guys.
Westbrook was a late bloomer, who’s athleticism jumped from his freshman season to his sophmore year. Then it took another jump once he entered the pros. Harden produced from the jump as a freshman, but his game was under appreciated by most, because of his elite handles. I would rate Suggs near where both players were coming out. None of them would go before Baron Davis or DRose. Watch film of a young Baron or a young DRose and you’d be shocked at how they jump off the screen relative to Suggs.

Steph changed the game with his shooting. Plus his handles and athleticism jumped once he was a full time pro.
Mobley reminds me of a young Aldridge. Watch his Texas film. Same body type, same defensive presence.
 

Here's clip from Bob Myers (a couple of years old) arguing that you evaluate players in the playoffs, not the regular season.

Does this mean we should consider looking away from Franz Wagner and Corey Kispert and towards Davion Mitchell, Jared Butler, and...Johnny Juzang?
This is a great point to make and I think the same methodology could be applied to explain why some teams are consistent in the regular season and others rise and fall to the level of competition. Everybody is physically talented at this level, the biggest factor in separating the stars from the journeymen is the mental component of focus, preparation, discipline, etc.

The tournament being single-elimination makes it hard to get a decent sample on the college guys unless they stay for multiple seasons, but I don't think it's completely irrelevant. Performing well under pressure and against tougher competition tells you something about their mental toughness at least. The tricky thing with prospects though is that everyone develops at a different rate so just because a guy isn't ready at 19 doesn't mean he won't be at 25. I think the most important element of scouting is to look not just at the results but how each player is achieving those results and then project which skills will translate to the current NBA. For example, maybe they're shooting a poor percentage but they're creating good looks, shooting from a balanced base, and repeating the same shame shot mechanics consistently. It's harder to project the mental component and it's always going to be a guessing game but those high pressure situations give you a small window into a player's will to compete and I absolutely think that should be taken into consideration.
 
This is a great point to make and I think the same methodology could be applied to explain why some teams are consistent in the regular season and others rise and fall to the level of competition. Everybody is physically talented at this level, the biggest factor in separating the stars from the journeymen is the mental component of focus, preparation, discipline, etc.

The tournament being single-elimination makes it hard to get a decent sample on the college guys unless they stay for multiple seasons, but I don't think it's completely irrelevant. Performing well under pressure and against tougher competition tells you something about their mental toughness at least. The tricky thing with prospects though is that everyone develops at a different rate so just because a guy isn't ready at 19 doesn't mean he won't be at 25. I think the most important element of scouting is to look not just at the results but how each player is achieving those results and then project which skills will translate to the current NBA. For example, maybe they're shooting a poor percentage but they're creating good looks, shooting from a balanced base, and repeating the same shame shot mechanics consistently. It's harder to project the mental component and it's always going to be a guessing game but those high pressure situations give you a small window into a player's will to compete and I absolutely think that should be taken into consideration.
There’s a reason why sons of former NBA players have a higher chance of making and staying in the league: genetics and they know the work ethic and mindset to survive.
 

Here's clip from Bob Myers (a couple of years old) arguing that you evaluate players in the playoffs, not the regular season.

Does this mean we should consider looking away from Franz Wagner and Corey Kispert and towards Davion Mitchell, Jared Butler, and...Johnny Juzang?
We should look away from Kispert, because the other players are simply better than him.
As for Wagoner, he just got exposed as the role player that he’s destined to be in the league.
 
That Bob Myers clip is great. But I wouldn’t extrapolate that what he’s talking about with regard to the NBA playoffs applies to the NCAA tourney. Big difference between a series and a one-and-done tourney.