Dakari Johnson & Cliff Alexander
Anyone else keeping track on these two young bigs? Both are still just 22 (younger than many NCAA seniors) and were tearing up the d-league this year. They've been forgotten by most, but have been working to make it to the league.
Dakari Johnson was one of the best bigs in the d-league, averaging 18.5 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.3 apg and 1.3 bpg on 56% from the field and 68.5% from the FT line. He absolutely dominated in the playoffs posting 25&10 on 63% in 6 games.
Judging from the highlights, Dakari looks more polished than he was, he mostly scores easy baskets inside, but has some skills as a roll man and as a post up threat. His vision is much imporved.
Cliff Alexander was a beast after he started playing for the Knicks, he averaged 20&10, and finished the season very strong posting 25&12 in his final 10 games of the season. He looks like he's added a bit of a jumpshot to his game (went 8 for 27 from three in 21 games for the Knicks), and he seems even bigger and stronger.
Both guys are too big and strong for D-league bigs. They certainly won't be able to exploit most NBA bigs this way; still, both Alexander and Johnson are very young and have shown a lot of improvement since college. Both will get looks in the summer league, do you guys think one or both of them will be on some teams roster next year? Dakari was OKC's pick, but the Thunder really don't need him, another team might look to grab him though.
I haven't seen Alexander. Johnson has looked great. Barring injury I see him catching on with a team in need of some skilled post muscle. He has developed his offensive game significantly and he has become a stronger, smarter, rebounder. Only so many roster spots though, so he just needs to be patient and keep doing what he's doing. I think it is only a matter of time, and I could see him getting his break this summer.
Cliff has a ton of talent he was a top 3 recruit in his class for a reason, hopefully he was misused in college and can carve out a nice career somewhere.
By being stronger and more athletic than other HS kids. Once he got to KU is became clear that he had no idea what team defense, hedging on screens or help side defense is. He literally just ran around trying to block everything and let his man get offense rebound after offensive rebound.
It wasn't that he was missued in college. He couldn't be used. He was a complete liability. And this is coming from a Jayhawk fan who lives in Illinois. Everytime Self gets a player from IL, I'm their biggest fan. But he was useless in his one year.
If he ever learns HOW to play, then he will easily have a spot as a role player with his athleticism.