I think Willie Cauley-Stein will be a better pro than Nerlens Noel
The more I watch Kentucky play, the more I really see WCS as the more effective pro player. Willie's passion and desire to just dunk on anyone in his way, his ability to put the ball on the floor, and effectiveness altering the game on defense really look, in my opinion, to be more effective in the NBA.
If Cauley-Stein were playing as many minutes per game as Nerlens Noel he'd be averaging 11.7 ppg 8.9 rpg 3.2 bpg which are very comparable to the stats Noel is putting up. I don't dislike Noel, and I am certain he will be drafted higher because Cauley-Stein is as raw as they come, but big men with that kind of fire, paired with the fact he's taller and has a more NBA ready body makes me believe he is going to be the better pro at the next level.
Cauley is a project, but he is very similar a player ( player not leaper) to Kenyon Martin, when I first saw him as a super raw, super mean college freshman, only about 3 inches taller. Martin put some serious work into his game, and I don't think Cauley-Stein will ever have the mid-range game as K-Mart because he'll be playing center but give this kid a few years and I think he'll be a serious factor.
This post isn't anti Noel. Noel is clearly farther in his development as a player, and I think he'll have a slow road to prominance, like Chandler, because of the need for bulk, but I think he'll be a very good defensive starter in the league. I just think WCS and his size, attitude and fire will make him more unique and give him an easier transition to playing against 6'11'' 260 lb guys every night.
I agree with most of your thoughts heres to hooping WCS stays at least another yr at least so he doesnt rot on a bench or in the Dleague.
I do think he'd benefit from another year too. He could be top 3 next year, with Wiggins still probably the favorite for #1.
I see WCS as more of a Ryan Hollins type player but time will tell.
Very Impressed with WCS' ability to defend on the perimeter. I think he could develop into a premier NBA defender
I don't agree, especially if Noel is drafted as a PF and WCS is drafted as a C. WCS plays a more physical brand of ball and his build allows him to. He's simply more willing and able to play physically. I also think that WCS is slightly more advanced in terms of fundamentals (just in terms of stuff like block outs and seals) . I don't see the instincts from either that makes great players though. Both are still extremely raw and are able to produce on physical ability alone.
He's more of a disruptive defender than a very good defender at this point, but Noel's defensive potential is immense. His ability to cover ground in a hurry and move laterally, combined with his quick hands and super quick leaping ability surpasses even Anthony Davis in those areas. Noel just doesn''t have AD's basketball mind which is a pretty big difference. IMO his physical tools and athleticism are better at the PF position than WCS' tools are at the C position. It'll depend on how receptive he is to coaching, but I think Noel has the potential to be a better off the ball defender than Ibaka because of his better lateral quickness. I think he's a long ways away in terms of understanding the game, but Noel's feet (lateral quicks, speed, quick leaping ability) are some. of the best I've seen in a while.
I don't even think WCS has more potential as a C than Steven Adams, but that's for another post.
Noel might be suited to play PF defensively but he is way too raw offensively and I don't see him developing a midrange jump-shot that many power forwards are almost required to have in the league these days. Noel is not nearly as fluid as and athlete as Davis nor WCS. He's quick and has leaping ability but he needs to add weight.
All frontcourt players should be required to hit a mid-range jumpshot. I don't think that trait is more required by PFs. Now if he's paired up with another frontcourt player who can't hit the mid-range jumper, then it'd be more problematic. It'd be just as problematic if WCS , who hasn't shown any signs of a mid-range jumper either (while showing an awful FT stroke, not a good sign), is paired up with a PF who can't consistently hit the mid-range jumper.
I'll have to disagree that Noel isn't nearly as fluid of an athlete as Davis. I think he's every bit the athlete that Davis is and more. He might not appear as fluid as AD, on offense especially, because he's not as skilled (although he looks quicker putting the ball on the deck), but defensively he covers just as much ground with similar quickness. What he lacks is fundamentals. He's also behind Davis in terms of anticipation, which is a function of bball IQ/awareness. Players who anticipate better appear smoother or more fluid. Since they're more often in the right place to begin with, they are less reliant on explosiveness and recovery ability. Noel is currently more of a reaction defender, but his ability to recover is superb due to his athleticism/tools.
with Noel is his lack of hands. He is not great catching the rock and has limited touch around the hoop. WCS has much better hands (and was a HS wide receiver) and much better touch. If anyone saw the Kentucky Blue-White game before the season, they'll know that WCS worked Noel over in the post time and time again.
Using an exhibition game as a point of reference?
I'll agree with your point about their hands.
Also, WCS working over Noel in the post shouldn't be a surprise. WCS is bigger, stronger, more physical and Noel is not currently a good post defender.
I'm talking about an intra-squad game during which the two players being discussed played one another man-up. I understand that it isn't the same as, say, WCS guarding Noel in the championship game, but since that will not happen the intra-squad game will have to suffice. Now, conclusions can certainly be drawn from that exhibition, including one that you pointed out in your reply. WCS IS bigger, stronger AND more physical... all of which go to Joe Wolf's point about an NBA future. Noel won't be guarding 1's, 2's, or 3's. He will be in the post.
You don't need to watch an exhibition game to know that WCS is bigger and stronger than Noel.
Drawing any conclusions from a preseason intra-squad scrimmage is like drawing conclusions from a summer league or an all-star game. It's a low intensity game, with very little real defense being played. It's just a show for fans.
WCS is bigger and stronger, which is more suitable for checking Cs, post defense and maybe post offense if WCS ever develops the necessary skill and feel. Noel is quicker laterally, faster in straight lines, the more explosive leaper with quicker hands, which, if he eventually learns how to use those tools could lead to him being an elite help defender, while also being more of a face up, roller, transition big, o-rebounder.
Different body types, different types of athleticism for different positions. I could understand the argument if they were both projected to be C's at the next level, but they're not. I think Noel's best position given his build is clearly PF.
I think you and I are doing different things with similar observations. I don't disagree that they are different positions, I was saying that in terms of NBA potential, as per the OP, WCS' size, power, build, and, yes, hands, will serve to help him carve out a better pro career. I understand what you are saying, and I'm not projecting out based solely on ONE EXHIBITION GAME. I have seen many, many of each players games both individually in HS and AAU and now together in college. The exhibition game simply helped to reinforce why I think that WCS will have a stronger NBA career, regardless of the fact they play different positions. Have I been wrong before? More times than I care to count. but isn't that the fun of watching, learning, researching and posting? In two years, I honestly hope to get to hear you say, "I told you so!". Peace! - Chris
I think WCS is Deandre Jordan, with the potential to be better. Both freakish athletes, both with a lot of defensive potential. I think that worst case WCS becomes a 3rd or 4th bigman on a playoff team or starter on a lottery team.
Thank god Siggy explained what I wanted to say about this topic I didnt feel lile typing another long post from my phone.
Noels quickness laterally and jumping is off the charts. I view him as another Noah but even slightly more athletic.
WCS reminds me of Javelle McGee with a better body and way more fire and passion.
WCS is who im rooting for the Thunder to draft, KD will be hitting his prime by the tie hes ready and a frontcourt of KD, Ibaka, PJ3, and WCS is about as athletic, long, and imposing as any could imagine.
If the raptors keeping playing like they have been 8-2 in the last ten. they will be a playoff team and the Thunder won't have a pick in the lottery this year.
i think its so hard to tell who is going to be better, especially because in high school WCS was very underrated and nerlens hasnt exactly played great thus far. its still all up in the air. i think both will be good players in the nba, neither will start anytime soon but nerlens could start down the road maybe. idk i feel like nerlens will be a better nba player but thats just my opinion. its really up in the air. neither of them seperate themself like anthony davis did last year
i got your point and it's nice don't get me wrong..i mean i have WCS as high as #7 on my mock but..
Nerlens is just too unique, i believe people really really underrates him on THIS site..
Stein is a very good shot blocker, but Noel is GREAT..
Stein could be very versitile defender but Noel is something unique(i mean what's the last center freshmen who avg 2.6steals)
i still believe Noel's passing is something that will shine brightly one day
Noel is still more explosive athlete for me with unstoppable first step for any center and plus his handles shows that he can be dangerous in this aspect..
"i still believe Noel's passing is something that will shine brightly one day"
you may be right, but I was really impressed by WCS' passing earlier in the season as opposed to lately where it seems he has become more aggressive offensively.
on another note, I still think out of this bunch, Poythress has the potential to be the best if he gets his motor up.
yea i agree with lalaila, noel wasnt ranked that high in high school for no reason