Insider request

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Insider request

Now with Vegas beeing over and JV of the Raptors beeing named MVP I would like to take a look at others as Tony Snell. (sorry mobile url)


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Players better than their

Players better than their numbers
Taylor, Baynes, Snell and Goodwin have potential to get better
Updated: July 23, 2013, 8:12 AM ET
By Bradford Doolittle | ESPN Insider
Tony Snell
Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bulls' Tony Snell has improved during his week in Vegas.
Summer league rosters are full of the unproven and unwanted, so not many players stand out as impact players in a projection system. Mostly there are a lot of guys whose translated non-NBA performance marks them as fringe candidates (at best) to play in the league. In Las Vegas, a handful of standouts gained some attention, though no one really emerged in quite the way that Portland's Damian Lillard did last season. Some players showed development over a previous weakness. Others showed some physical development, or suggested that they can fill a particular role for an NBA team.

Last week I covered a handful of such players, and will go over a few more today. While I'll be referring to several different metrics, the key one to remember is individual winning percentage, which is the theoretical level of the team with the player, plus four average teammates. A team of .500 players could be expected to go 41-41. In the summer league, almost all players fall into a projected range from .300 to about .490.

Jeffery Taylor
Taylor was one of the most impressive players of the Vegas summer league, showing a fully array of skills that could portend a breakout sophomore NBA season. He led the Bobcats with 20.3 points per game and helped Charlotte to an appearance in the league semifinals, though Taylor and the team's other contract players sat out a loss to Golden State. Taylor's ability to create havoc in the lane off the dribble was the standout part of his performance, and while it won't be as easy against a regular NBA roster, it's progress. He's an excellent athlete and runs the court well, finishing breakouts with an array of highlight reel dunks.

Second-year forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist averaged just over 10 points in Vegas and showed little progress with his raw offensive game. Taylor doesn't have nearly as much raw athletic ability as Kidd-Gilchrist, nor does he have the same kind of potential impact on defense. Taylor, though, is more polished at this stage and is a better offensive option. He still needs to learn how to find others when he gets into the paint, but a solid outside stroke is a nice indicator that those driving opportunities will continue to present themselves against better competition. It also suggests good positional versatility, which should get Taylor on the floor in a variety of lineup configurations.

Taylor's second-year projection is for a .394 winning percentage, which leaves him a little below replacement level. However, he looks like a player who will get over replacement level and then some. He can fill several roles for the Bobcats -- as a starting wing in the event Gerald Henderson leaves as a restricted free agent, as a sixth man or even as a position-sharing arrangement with Kidd-Gilchrist.

Aron Baynes
Baynes was an under-the-radar signing last season by San Antonio, quietly coming over from Australia midway through the season. He spent time in the D-League, played a few minutes here and there, then watched San Antonio's run to the Finals from the bench. Las Vegas was the first chance many of us had to watch Baynes in extensive action, and I was impressed. He's a solid athlete and brings an active, energetic body to the court. Baynes doesn't have a high ceiling -- he'll be 27 by the end of the 2013-14 season -- and is likely already what he is. That's not a bad thing, though, because Baynes can play a role in San Antonio.

We all know that Gregg Popovich doesn't emphasize offensive rebounding. It's not that he's against it per se, it's just that he prefers to emphasize other facets of the game, like floor spacing, offensive execution and floor balance. However, in certain situations Popovich played, even started, DeJuan Blair during the last few seasons, and offensive board work is Blair's calling card. Well, Baynes is also very active on the offensive glass, and really has a nose for the ball. What's more, he projects to have the same offensive rebound percentage as Blair, only Baynes has a more prototypical power-forward/center body.

Tony Snell
Snell improved during his week in Vegas, after looking thin and waifish in his initial outings. (Yes, waifish. His reticence and ultra-slight build somehow reminded me of a Dickens character.) However, Snell grew more comfortable with each game and in doing so, his decision-making sped up and allowed him to show off his athleticism. His long reach and quickness on defense have the potential to make him a disruptive perimeter stopper down the line as he adds strength. His defense was amoeba-like at times in Vegas. In one game, Chicago had only one healthy big man, leaving Snell to guard burly Blazers forward Thomas Robinson. Robinson predictably muscled Snell in the lane -- like Gilligan guarding the Skipper -- but Snell hung in and competed.

On offense, Snell has a soft stroke, though he needs to quicken the pace on his release if he eventually wants to carve out a niche as a floor spacer. He likes to pause to set his feet and zero in on the bucket, but when rushed, he was off balance and usually off target. He was 8-for-23 from the arc, but got better as the week progressed. His 15-for-17 performance from the line underscored both his shooting touch and his potential as a dual threat who can put the ball on the floor when crowded on the perimeter.

Snell projects below replacement level for his first season, and given the Bulls' typical player development method, this may be a de facto redshirt season. However, it's not hard to see why the Bulls liked him for their system.

Archie Goodwin
Last season, the Suns selected Kendall Marshall in the lottery over the protest of analytical models, which didn't see anything in his game to suggest useful NBA production. Marshall didn't have a very good rookie season, and in his second go-round in the Vegas league, Marshall still didn't look like a future NBA starter. Phoenix took Goodwin at the end of the first round this year, and his projection is pessimistic, though not to the degree that Marshall's was. Goodwin isn't consistent in terms of production, but you can see the potential.

Goodwin is an impressive athlete, though not a mini-Kevin Durant as one overzealous Suns fan described him to me. He uses his length to good effect and has a body that should grow into a protypical shooting guard frame. He works hard on defense, contests shots and has excellent body control. Shooting was a bugaboo at Kentucky, but he's hit around half his shots in Vegas (he had hit 7-of-11 from deep entering Monday's final). Also impressive: He's earned seven free throw attempts per game. He'll be one of the younger players in the league this season, but there is reason for optimism for this Suns pick of potential over production.

Meditated States
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Is Taylor

Better than MKG? I was not sold on MKG being number 2. I just dont see the O to warrant that.

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You could definitely argue

You could definitely argue that Taylor is the better all around player right now, and possibly even in the future. However, MKG is not even 20 years old yet and Taylor is already 24. Taylor took a few years to develop any kind of shot at Vandy. He started out an athlete and progressed into a good all around player. Idt MKG will ever be a good shooter, but he is already a really good athlete, defender, rebounder, and his level of passion and work ethic are great. I still believe in MKG being a really good pro, but I do like Taylor a lot.

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Snell was not the guy I wanted the Bulls to select, but, neither was Jimmy Butler, and look how that turned out! I think that Snell will get most of his run when any of the guards get hurt. He could also play some backup SG mins in the tune of 6-10 minutes a game. I'm interested to see if his shooting and intensity will outweigh his... well... weight! I certainly trust Thibs and co. in their draft scouting prowess, so we'll see how it goes!

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Archie Goodwin

I think the Suns got a steal. He really moves well without the ball. He needs work on all aspects of the game, but none of those aspects are nearly as bad as was advertised. Plus he is still only 18, he is 6'5 and still has some time to grow from there. Watching a few of these SL games I think this draft is looking better and better all the time. There is really some great talent that got overlooked.

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There are guys who were rated

There are guys who were rated good in high school who go to college get drafted later than expected and then do better than they were expected when they were drafted because they are so young and they need time to develop. Like Avery Bradley, tobias harris, and jared sullinger. I know some guys still bomb out like josh selby. But I dont think we know how good a player is or will be until he is 23 or 24 and with the big age differences in players coming out it is hard to tell how guys compare like Jeff taylor and MKG, I would think it is fair to say MKG will be better than jeff taylor but it will take for him to develop a jumper and a complete game like taylor has now

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