It appears that most still have Zeller & Noel as the top two bigs on the board. How I see it they may come off the board that way come June, but I believe that Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk will be the best and most productive big out of this class. Olynyk gives me that Joakim Noah feel about him the way he plays.
In what way does he remind you of Noah? Olynyk can't even play 30 mins for his college team while Joakim is averaging damn near 40 in the league. Joakim is non-stop, always moving defensive wiz and Olynyk has all kinds of offense with subpar athleticism and defense.
Maybe it is the long hair...because their games are pretty much nothing alike.
He is getting slept on if he goes after 5. I find he is painful to watch on defense, but that is his only weakness. Just needs to be more aggressive on D. He has a lot of advantages and skills like his passing that goes unnoticed. I think he is going to improve an NBA offense instantly. I would not argue taking him 1st.
Zeller is the safest, but one of the lowest ceilings. Noel looks the part of a true defensive force, but who knows how that knee is gonna hold up. Olynyk is the most skilled offensively, but slow footed and already 23. Alex Len looks like an athletic Brook Lopez one game and like Shawn Bradley the next. This is truly a 'beauty-is-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder' group. With that said I'm leaning toward sticking with Noel as my top big. He is already an excellent defender (not just a shot blocker) who will be able to contribute from the first day (he is healthy) and still has considerable upside.
Kelly doesn't play defense while Joakim is looking like the DPOY
"Kelly plays no defense".... what kind of BS is that?
Earlier this season i didnt think Zeller had the stuff that it takes be the 1st pick..But after seeing that nobody has emerged as the clear cut best player.....I dont have any gripes if he's chosen number 1....
Len has the talent and after all of the workouts he could become the 1st pick.....
Dewayne Dedmon havent blossomed as many had thought he would,but i think he can be a serviceable pro..He's a very good offensive rebounder,good athletic,nice defender and has good hands...USC didnt use him properly,there were some games when they had him out at the top of the key shooting jumpers..When you can clearly see he does his best work around the basket......
Olynyk might be moved to power forward at the next level..I expect him to go in the 14 to 25 range...
Anthoney Bennett gets no love. I'd take him over just about every one but zeller. Best combo of speed quickness and size is Bennett
It is possible it is Adreian Payne. The lung condition was an issue for him and limited his minutes for a lot of his time at Michigan State, but he has the athleticism, size, and skill level to compare with anyone. I do think teams will have to do their homework on whether he can be a starter minutes guy in the NBA, but the ability is there. The numbers are a little deflated because of the style Michigan State plays and the talent on that roster, but what he did relative to the pace and opportunities is quite impressive.
I like Payne as a college player and think he can contribute off the bench in the NBA but I don't think he should be in contention for the best big man in this years class. I would say Noel is the front runner even with his injury. If he comes back healthy you know you are getting an elite defender at worst. If he develops any kind of offensive game he should be the best. Zeller is a guy that will have a long NBA career and is the safest of the big guys. He is probably the second best big guy now but it is pretty close with a few others.
I think Alex Len is a guy I would take a chance on and could be the best two way big guy in this draft. Maryland was one of the best rebounding teams in the nation and Len was a big part of that. He took it too Mason Plumlee as the Terps beat Duke twice.
Olynyk certainly shouldn't be slept on either and I really like his skill set. The only thing that worries me is he hasn't been tested against major athletes playing in the WCC. He played great against Baylor and their two NBA bigs but got into foul trouble. The same can be said of the other Big 12 teams he played against in KSU and OK St. He had good #s offensively but was limited in his minutes. If he can defend NBA bigs and stay out of foul trouble he could end up the best big in the 2013 draft as well.
If you go up and down a list of what traits a big man has (length, strength, ability to move feet, rebounding, post scoring, athleticm, handling, passing, mid-range to perimeter shooting, free throw shooting etc), Payne would probably have the most check marks. He has put on 15 lbs and not only looks but is playing stronger. He has always had incredible length and athleticism. Defensively, I was really impressed with the job he did with Deshaun Thomas. He is obviously well taught on that end, and his length will always be an asset on that end. He was 83 percent from the line, 15-33 from three, and has showed a nice little jump hook. He was 4th in the Big Ten in rebounding and 10th in blocks despite only playing 28.5 minutes, and was 4th in field goal percentage. If people are going to apologize for Alex Len not getting touches, the fact is that Payne got fewer and did more with them against better defensive teams. Nerlens Noel is 215 lbs. shot blocker. I'm not going to argue that someone will take him highly, unless the surgery goes poorly it is going to happen, but take a look at the Bobcats and see how taking a smallish shot blocker with no other skills is working for them defensively (or overall). After having taken Noel's superior in every way last year, New Orleans has taken a step back defensively. Larry Sanders has supposedly had a breakout year, but those blocked shots are happening because teams are scoring in the paint on them left and right. Alex Len has had a few good games, and then there have been all the rest where he just isn't that good. Olynyk has been really impressive, but it is an open question as to how good he can be defensively. It is something that will certainly take a few years if it happens. My concern with Payne is one a doctor would have to answer, it isn't one of ability.