Mr. 6000's Countdown to The Draft: 60 Prospects in 30 Days (16 & 15)
16: James Anderson, 6’6 210, SG/SF, Oklahoma State
The Big 12 Conference Player of The Year, aka the C.P.O.Y in the best conference, James Anderson saw his stock rise a lot after a dominating Junior year. Anderson has good size for a SG, and a nice frame and average length. He’s an average athlete which OK leaping ability and quickness, even though he’s kinda stiff in his lower body (which I’ll vicariously talk about in the defensive part). Offensively it’s tough to talk about James Anderson without talking about his jump shot. He went from spot-up shooter with very poor handles to versatile shooter who can score off screens, off the dribble, and is deadly spotting up. OK State ran a system that was fitting for him, and allowed him freedom to take shots that were considered a success as long he had his feet set and shoulders squared. Really understands how to do different things to get space and quicken his release. As a slasher he, as I mentioned, he improved his handle to mediocrity. Still, he is better the less dribbles he takes. He rarely tries to get all the way to the rim, and prefers to pull up for a jumper than get close range most times. He’s not really turnover prone for how much he had the ball, so that’s a plus. Not likely to pass the ball much. On D, Anderson struggles. He’s has a high waist, which makes it harder for him to slide and bend to effectively deny penetration. He wasn’t as much of an effort defender as he was in year’s past either, but that was probably to conserve energy for offense. He’s never going to be a very good defender, but he will have to show more effort than he did this past season in the L.
Anderson’s improved shooting versatility as a Junior makes him a valuable prospect. He emerged as a lotto prospect before the 1st round exit to Georgia Tech, but he’s slid some and is probably top 20 range now. I feel that GT threw all kinds of gimmicks to stop him that he’ll likely never see in the NBA, so I feel that game should’ve been taken with a grain of salt with his body of work outweighing it. I think Anderson has 3rd or even 2nd option (on a bad team) potential with his shooting ability, and would be a good fit for any team in need of a shooter like New Orleans, Milwaukee, or Chicago.
15: Hassan Whiteside, 7’0 227, C/PF, Marshall
Arguably the biggest boom or bust prospects in this class is the gangling Center from Marshall, Hassan Whiteside. Physically, Whiteside has a lot to like. He’s got prototypical height for an NBA C, a crazy long wingspan that will be one of the longest in the NBA immediately, and a nice frame. He is painfully skinny and weak right now though. Athletically, he’s smooth and has good agility and speed for a big man. Also a pretty good leaper. Nice athlete for a big guy. On offense, Whiteside is very unpolished. He will make nice moves sometimes that make fans wet their pants. Other times he’ll trip over his own feet or try too do stuff that elite offensive big men IN THE PRO’s don’t even try (1 game I watched he tried to 180 right and then 180 spin left real quick…but he traveled, and got dizzy and shook his head real fast to get the cobwebs out). Post game is raw, but he does have a jump hook that he uses that’s unblockable due to his athleticism and length. Has a raw, but decent mid-range shot, and he has shown some ability to face up and dribble a little. Very good offensive rebounder. He shows some interesting skills for someone his, but it’s questionable he has the IQ, attitude or work ethic to put it together all the way. The worst passer in this draft, which is a testament to his low IQ, awareness, and selfishness. On D, Whiteside is a crazy good shot-blocker. His length, athleticism, and timing make him the best shot-blocker in this draft point blank period. He does however have a problem giving up position just to block shots, sometimes he’ll play off of his man (even if his man HAS the ball) to get the necessary space to pick up blocks. NBA coaches aren’t gonna like that. Man-to-man down low, Whiteside is terrible. Derrick Caracter and Jerome Jordan can vouch for that. He can be totally ineffective if his man gets their body into him and has the strength and explosiveness to finish at the basket effectively. It’s obvious that if you want to negate his shot-blocking, you just have to get a guy with decent enough strength and athleticism and get into his body. Not all that good a defensive rebounder at all for his physical tools.
All in all I think Whiteside has the potential to be an All-Star, if he willing to polish his post game and put weight on his promising frame. Both are big if’s though, considering he’s old as hell for a guy that declared after his Freshman season (he’ll be 21 by draft day), and he’s not exactly known as a guy that has a great work ethic or attitude. I tend to think Whiteside will be in the middle of that Samuel Dalembert and Marcus Camby line, as he’s agile, smooth, and has decent potential in his mid-range game like Camby; but he’s Dalembert-esque in his attitude, post defense, and IQ. He’s going to take some time as it is, and I think he’ll develop into a serviceable big man, but not the All-Star he could be.
I like both these breakdowns.
I see bench player all the way for James Anderson however. I think he should go 19 to Boston. He needs someone to help him defend and that defensive culture is huge. I think Rondo would love to have him as a 6th man who could come in and score 8-12 points in a heat check.
Whiteside- I feel he could be a superstar if his head is on straight and he wants it. I think his defensive presence could rival Greg Oden when's he's healthy. I don't know how many post moves he have but if he could play the 4, I don't see him slipping past 12.
Whiteside does have superstar potential, and I would love to be wrong (this time) if he exceeds my expectations. If he fills out his frame to say 250 or 260 he could be one of, if not, the best defensive presence in the game.
Disagree on Anderson being a bench player. His offensive game is so well-rounded that he has the potential to make all-star games if he has the right point guard.
Knicksfan7 can post again!
He can post on other peoples threads but he cannot post his own MR.6000
Whiteside reminds me of Dwight Howard in some ways. Dwight was a twig coming into the league but he's grown to be one of the best players. I think Whiteside being older might be a disadvantage though.
Love the countdown. Keep it going. I will only disagree with one thing. I wouldn't say "He is painfully skinny and weak right now". He needs to fill out, sure, but if you check out his combine numbers, he's a lot stronger than you'd guess.
Hey man I appreciate that alot.
I have seen Whiteside's combine numbers and those bench numbers were decent, but if you watch him play and see how easily he can be pushed around, how much he falls to the floor for a big man, and see that guys he's play against will weight more than the 185 he threw up on the bench press, and you have to agree that Whiteside is not a strong player.
The bench press is a worthless way to measure how strong a basketball player is...
Anyway, I agree with everything that Mr. 6000 said in his original post. Great stuff.