Mr.6000's Countdown to The Draft: 60 Prospects in 30 Days (20 & 19)
This report is gonna be kinda wordy, because these are 2 guys I'm very interested in. They both have questions about them that make them highly scrutinized prospects.
20: Avery Bradley, 6'3, 180, SG/PG, Texas
Bradley was a guy I wasn't high on at all until I saw George Hill, who he plays very similar too, and the impact he had for the Spurs in the absence of Tony Parker. I still have questions about Bradley that I'll try to answer myself in this report though. Bradley physically is alright. He's short for the SG he plays like, but if he were to play PG which is what he projects to play he'd he very solid height. He also has very good length, which helps his adjustments to defending both guard spots. Has a slight frame though, and he's not very strong at all. Athletically, Bradley is clearly above average. Solid leaper with very nice quickness and agility. Offensively, Bradley is solid in some areas, but he's not all that talented at all. His shooting is his best attribute. He is solid shooting 3's but he's downright excellent on mid-range shots off the dribble, spotting up, and/or with a hand in his face. As a slasher, he's got the quickness to get to the rim. He's not quite a solid ball-handler, which is definitely something that won't quite be tolerated very much at the next level, especially if he wants to be considered a starting PG. A huge cause for concern with Bradley besides the fact that he can get out of control on drives to the rim (probably a product of his mediocre handle for an NBA level guard), is the fact that Bradley was a poor finisher at the rim last season. That highlights his lack of strength the most, and is another problem if he wants to play extended time at SG for a good team. Bradley is not a true PG. He is kinda unselfish, unlike the teammates he played with at Texas, but he does have tunnel vision when slashing to the rim at times. Whenever Texas used a pick and roll or screen to free him for a shot or slash to the rim, it was EXTREMELY rare to see him pass the ball. He has to have the right kinda team in the NBA to be an effective PG. On D is where Bradley shines. He was probably the best perimeter defender in the nation, and definitely was the best defender I saw in the Big 12. His quickness allows him to stop dribble penetration against players his size, which will be good in his defends PG's. He contests everything, and understands how to go all out, yet play under control at the same time. I think he has the most value as a prospect.
All in all, I think Bradley needs to go to a team with legit scorers on the perimeter to be his best. Put him on a team with a ball-dominant scorer like Dwyane Wade or Tyreke Evans and he'll see the most success. Put him on the Indiana Pacers (a team said to have interest in him) or the Toronto Raptors, and he won't be more than average as a PG and he won't see legit results at SG either. It's IMPERATIVE to have the right kind of shot-creators for Bradley to succeed, because he's not the kind of playmaker that can make average shot-creators better.
19: Lance Stephenson, 6'6, 230, Cincinnati
Stephenson is one of my favorite prospects in this draft. I feel he was held back by some pretty bad coaching, the confused SG in a chubby PG's body that is Deonta Vaughn, and his own shaky decisions. I'll get in more depth. Stephenson is a burly wing player who has had some problems with Luther Vandross syndrome (fluctuating weight), with a very nice wingspan and prototypical height. Athletically, Stephenson has some good and bad. He's got very nice quickness for his size, the ability to change directions quickly, and pretty good feet. As a leaper, although in game situation his length is helpful somewhat, he's very mediocre. He doesn't have alot of explosiveness in his jump. Offensively, Stephenson has some serious NBA-level skills. He has some of the best handles of any player in this draft class regardless of position. This, along with his solid quickness, allow him to get the space necessary to get his shots off. He's got a more than decent mid-range game off the dribble, and he shows some ability to slither around guys taking charges and trying to block his shot better than he did at the beginning of the season. He doesn't have much range on his jump shot and can get WAYYYY too trigger happy at times, but when he gets hot shooting sometimes it just doesn't matter. He can't depend on that though, and his percentage from 3 this past season was pretty poor. He should look to improve that the most. Something that Stephenson didn't show in college that will be a weapon in the NBA is his post game. He has shown the ability to be a post threat in AAU circuit and in HS games, and I think he'll have the ability to do the same thing in the NBA with his advanced frame. He's also an underrated passer who can make some spectacular feeds in drive and dish. Not out of the question see him play PG in the NBA for spot minutes. On D, Stephenson is intense and has the feet, length and strength to deny penetration and contest jump shots. I think he will be a well above average defender in the NBA.
Stephenson production was a product of him not having the ball in his hands enough. I feel that Coach Cronin should've pulled a Coach Calipari and let Stephenson dominate the ball/be a "PG", when he saw that Deonta Vaughn was having a bad season trying to prove to scouts that he was a PG. I feel that putting Stephenson would've turned their season around similar to how Memphis' season turned around, and would've allowed them to show the results and promise that Cincy was showing at the beginning of the year. I feel that Stephenson will be a 1st option scorer in the NBA sooner or later, and I think he'll be one of the guys that slips too far in the draft, even if he goes at 24 to the Hawks. He lacks leaping ability and needs to control his weight and maintain a clean nose like he did at Cincy, but his leaping ability is aided by his length so it won't be a huge problem. I love this guys potential.
almost everyone has him 24 to atlanta, and i can see him slipping, any chance he goes higher than 24and i have bradley to the celtics, good fit in your opinion?
Bradley's a good fit for Boston, because they have some scorers necessary for him to be a solid back-up option. His jump shooting and defense also are solid compliments to Rondo's slashing and pure playmaking ability.
I doubt Stephenson goes higher than 24, but he has a chance of slipping. It would be crazy if he fell though. I see a team like New Jersey taking him in the late 1st though if he falls.
The thing about Avery Bradley is, the things he is bad at he just needs to work on. They can be improved. I think he will be able to finish at the rim alot better at the NBA levbel do to his superior athletisism.I also think on a team like the Raptors (not quite Indiana) he will be handed the keys to the offense with some room to create.His midrange game mixed with his athletisism is really gonna shine.
On top of that he is an amazing defender so there will always be a spot for him in the NBA. Dont sleep on great defenders because they are always kept around.75percent of the players in this draft will be out of the league in 5 years but lockdown defenders will always have a role.
I mean not quite Indiana because on Indiana he doesnt have the same support and mentors as with Toronto.
Barngani Pick and Roll
It was a pretty good report on Avery Bradley. As a Raptors fan, I don't like taking Bradley regardless of how "desperate" the Raptors want to get a PG. I don't see Bradley being better than Jack at least for the next 2 years. The Raptors need a big man that plays in the post and defend, not a combo guard that cannot pass. I actually think he compares to Bobbie Gibson with solid defense and the 3-pointers.
He would be best playing with DWade so I think he may go to Miami as he would make a good DWade sidekick.
He'd have to go on a team to fit him. His weaknesses are improveable, but that can be said about alot of guys in the NBA that don't improve their weaknesses. And his athleticism isn't that great that he'll all of a sudden be a good finisher. He has to get stronger, and a good deal stronger. And he has to gt his handle together.
I definitely agree:
In Indiana, I don't think he's better than TJ Ford or even Earl Watson. Nor do I see Bradley being better than them for at least a season and a half. He might be about the same level as AJ Price though right now.
He's not better than Jarrett Jack and he's DAMN sure not better than Calderon. I don't thnik Bradley should be a starter for a team that only has 1 legit scorer on their team (Bargs).
I think Miami will either take Bledsoe or Bradley at 18, and both of them would be in ideal situations if taken there, if Wade returns
Real GM what if the Raptors trade Bosh to Chicago for James Johnson Taj Gibson and the 17th Pick.Or Beasley and Miami's 18th Pick plus 2nd round picks.
Would you select say...Whiteside at 13 and Bradley at 17 or 18?The Raps are deep at the Wing Position and after adressing the Big Man problem maybe Bradley is the awnser.
Plus his former teamates and Canadian boys Tristan Thompson and Corey Joseph...It would be nice to get a solid foundation and core of good young players during this rebuilding stage.
Bradley is starting to remind me alot of Demar Derozan...Not in comparison like NBA game but just the position he's in.
He has all the tools just needs to know how to use them and get a little strength to be able to use them.
In comparison thou Derozan had a solid Rookie year was a contributor on the defensive end every night and showed flashes of offence especially slashing.His jumpshot is also improving.
These guys are coming out of School too soon IMO.
Bradley's problem is that he has to play with a certain backcourt mate to mask his weaknesses.
Derozan has a definite position. He just needed to polish his game enough to catch up somewhat with his athleticism.
do you think if philly takes evan turner and keeps him, a team like minny who is desperate for a quality 2 guard could take stephenson if x henry is gone? i was strongly considering lance at 16 to minny if they dont get evan turner.
I think if Philly keeps Turner and Henry's gone, the T'Wolves will take James Anderson. Stephenson and maybe even Terrico White would be candidates though I would think as well.
Stephenson would be the best fit in the triangle though I think out of all the SG's, so maybe Minnesota would take a long, hard look at him at 16.
MR. 6000 Yesterday you listed your top 4 prospects, why wasn't Favors listed in the top 4??????
I simply don't think Derrick Favors will be a better pro than Greg Monroe.
Everyone is entitled, don't get me wrong I like Monroe but I'm high on Favors
Eh, most are. I figured I'd be all alone in that thought. haha
Lance is moving up my board and so is Bradley
I think if someone believe he's Russell Westbrook 2.0, Bradley could go 10th to Indy or even 12th to Memphis
Lance is a scorer. Like we discussed before- He could be a more slashing Micheal Finley. I feel he went from being a pick in the 28-40 range to a player who could be considered in the 15 to 25 range.
Some team is going to be very upset with Avery Bradley if they think he's nearly a Russell Westbrook.
I dunno. Right now, Avery Bradley is the best defensive guard in the draft and on top of that, I think his offensive potential is really high.
I hate good of a player Bradley is, if he goes to Boston and will be back-up and won't be easy to showcase your talent with amazing players around you.
Definitely agree that BRadley is the best defensive guard in the draft... and he could definitely be Russell 2.0. Russell was behind where Bradley is now, but he put in the work to become a very good player. I think BRadley has that same upside, he just has to put in the work and get the opportunity
I see Bradley as a career backup, maybe winning a sixth man of the year, but still a great backup. I see alot of people having him picked in the lottery, but I think you want a starter for the lottery. #20 where you have him ranked is perfect IMO, right where you start drafting by need and get those energy guys that can change the game when they come in.
Nowhere near the athlete or playmaker Westbrook is. And he isn't as strong. Westbrook could be a starter on most teams in the NBA, Bradley will have to be paired with a ball-dominant SG or he won't be more than a backup.
I have a suggestion that you get your material copyrighted & send it out to ESPN etc. and try to get an internship since you finished school.
Lol, I'll see something. I'm about to start sending my stuff to some sites to get feedback.
J-Iggy 9, I know a perfect place to send your stuff.
Where? Oh where?
nowhere near the athlete?
Max Vertical: 36.5
lane agility: 10.98
Max Vertical: 37.5
lane agility: 11.47
Bradley has a slight edge in vertical, a slightly worse sprint, and is less agile.... i'd hardly say he's nowhere near the athlete Russ is. And nobody thought Russ was a playmaker when he entered the league,,, it's something he worked on
Westbrook averaged 4 apg the year he declared for the draft and showed the raw ability to be a decent PG down the line. Even saw time when Collison went down with an injury if I'm not mistaken. Bradley hasn't shown even raw playmaking ability, and was given ZERO time at PG, despite the fact that PG was Texas' weakest position this past season. Him being a PG will depend on who he's teamed with, and even then he'll never be a pure PG or more than a mediocre starter.
In actual games, Bradley doesn't show the ability to break down the defense or the ability to get in the lane and finish the way Westbrook does/did. He's doesn't make nearly as many plays with his athleticism as Westbrook either. There is a difference between Bradley and Westbrook's athleticism. 2 different levels in game situations.
I'm also looking to write there as well. It's a draft place that also talks NBA. It's cool. Also, uhhh- I need a partner for my podcast, I think you have experience in that lol
first of all, i'm westbrook's biggest fan so i've been watching a lot of him since his freshman year. i agree russ has a different ferocity attacking the hoop. i also know that when he was a freshman (like bradley was)he wasn't even close to playing on bradley's level. let's also not forget that bradley has a much better jumper than westbrook had (and possibly has now).
as for the 4 APG... westbrook started at PG against a bunch of cake teams early in the year with collison out- thats when he racked up most of those dimes. he also had a really good team playing with him, making 4 APG against inferior competition kind of irrelevant
I gotcha Knicksboy.
Maybe you watched Russell Westbrook so much that you didn't watch Bradley this year. Not Russell Westbrook-like at all. Not that kind of athlete in games, not as aggressive, and not that kind of playmaker. He is a better shooter though I'll say that. Avery Bradley is closer to a Kirk Hinrich or Mario Chalmers than he is to Westbrook.
avery bradley looked just like russell westbrook did hounding people defensively his freshman year.
how many times did you watch russell as a freshman? he looked nothing like he does now. it's called growth. working at your game....
Yea he's a great defender. That's not where a full comparison comes from though. He's ,once again, not the athlete in game situations, not as aggressive, doesn't possess the ability to break down the D like Westbrook. He's got alot to work on if he's to ever reach Westbrook, who's a top 10 PG in the NBA. Stuff that even a newcomer to the position like Westbrook didn't have to work on.
Bradley hasn't shown me anything near the upside that Westbrook has. Westbrook obviously is a super worker and a late bloomer due to the stuff about him not being able to dunk until his 12th grade year, and his seemingly overnight growth at UCLA. Bradley is much farther along and not at all a late bloomer, and thus has less upside. Don't see him being near as good as Westbrook.
"he's got a lot to work on if he's to ever reach Westbrook".... i understand that. but it's not like it's impossible, russell made HUGE strides every year, i don't see any reason why avery can't do the same.
and to say russell was a newcomer to the position is actually wrong. he ran point his whole high school career, and like you said he started the first half of his soph year as their PG.
drafting is about being able to see what a player can become, otherwise evan turner would be the number one pick in the draft. I'm not saying Avery Bradley is a lock to be a superstar, but I definitely think he could improve significantly, he's only like 19 years old.
I'd be shocked if Bradley ever was nearly as good as Westbrook is. He'd not only have to improve on his skills, he also has to develop a more aggressive mindset. I think Kirk Hinrich is his upside. He doesn't even play like Russell Westbrook other than how he plays D.
yea all i meant by russell 2.0 is tenacious defender that grows into the PG position. not necessarily that he'll play identically, or that he'll be as good. I don't think there is anyone that will be as good as Russ, personally. I'm biased though. not even john wall. i'd take russell of john wall all day. (ok maybe)
John Wall is much more comparable to Westbrook. Wall isn't quite the defender Westbrook is right now, but he's not a slouch on D at all. I think if you take Wall, you'll get a Westbrook type player. Other than Westbrook's superior D, they are nearly the same player
wall is a MUCH better playmaker than westbrook was coming into the league. and westbrook is a MUCH better defender than Wall. at least in college wall just went for the steal/block. westbrook has always been a terrific (and sound) defender whether its on the ball or chasing a guy around screens.