Mr.6000's Countdown to The Draft: 60 Prospects in 30 Days (26 & 25)
26: Devin Ebanks, 6'8 208, SG/SF, WVU
One of the more interesting prospects in this draft is Devin Ebanks, a long armed and smooth player who could have the most defensive potential in this class. Physically, he has great size for both the SG and SF spots and he has super length too. He does, however, need to get bigger and stronger though. Athletically, he's not as athletic as he's made out to be. While he's more smooth than explosive, and he has good body control, he's not any more than mediocre as a leaper and he's not all that quick either. Offensively, Ebanks isn't a big talent. He mostly scores off of offensive rebounds, transition baskets, and the occasional straight line slash. As a shooter, he has poor range. He wasn't a threat from college 3-point range, so he's not likely at all to be a threat from the NBA 3. He does have a potentially decent mid-range shot from the 15 ft area, but it's not really consistent and he's not confident in it yet. He seems to fancy himself as something like a point-forward at times and even though he's a poor ball-handler, he would make some truly nice passes in just about all the WVU games I watched. Maybe if he improves his handle to NBA respectability, he could play a point-forward type role in the NBA. That is a HUUUGGGEE if though. On D, he has big-time potential. He could be an elite defender in the NBA in a few years. His size, energy and length on D will probably make him a valuable guy even if he offense stays at a relatively low level, because he could be used to defend the elite wings that the NBA has to offer. When WVU ran that 1-3-1 with Ebanks up top, they were nearly impossible to score on and Ebanks was the engine that made that defense work like it did. He's one of the absolute best defenders in this class, and he probably will be THE best once he gets more experience and NBA coaching. He's a good rebounder as well from the wing, which is an added bonus. All in all, if Ebanks' offense doesn't reach respectability he could still have value as a potential shotdown defender. It wouldn't surprise me if Ebanks developed into one of the 3 best perimeter defenders in the NBA, that's just how good he could be on that end. On offense, he has to pretty much work on everything though. I see Ebanks as a taller Thabo Sefolosha. He would be a good fit for a team like San Antonio or New Jersey.
25: Nemanja Bjelica, 6'10 210, PG-SF, BC Red Star Belgrade (Serbia)
An unknown even to most avid basketball fans, Bjelica is a guy I'm crazily interested in as a prospect. I watched about 6 games on him about a month ago after I saw him play on NBATV, and man does he have nice long-term potential. Physically, he's tall for the perimeter, has mediocre strength and only has a decent frame. He also doesn't have great length. Bjelica can play PG-SF, and he plays the game at his own pace. He's not very quick, but in Hedo Turkoglu fashion (a player he's very comparable to) he knows how to attack at angles to get to the rim and he times his 1st step well. He would be a good pick and roll player too, so the fact that he can't get a guy clean off the dribble consistently in isos isn't as bad because of the amount of pick-and-roll NBA teams play. Super smooth and fluid as a player. He needs the ball to be his best (which may be something that he also could improve on) and he can operate as a PG for spurts creating shots for his teammates in impressive fashion. A 6'10 guy that can be a PG is always fun to watch for me. His passing ability is probably his best skill, but he's honestly as versatile an offensive prospect as there is in this draft. As a shooter, he needs improvement though. He's below average from 3 point range but he does have potential here. He can score from mid-range both off the dribble and spotting up, so it's not out of the question for him to get a consistent 3 ball. On D is where he'll probably have problems. He's not quick laterally, and he got beat off the dribble more than the average prospect I watch does. I don't think he'll be a liability, but he's got a chance to be whatever the level slightly under a liability is. All in all, I think Bjelica is a sleeper. He could be a very good pick if a coach is willing to give that kind of freedom. I think he falls to the late 1st and I think Orlando will be the team that picks him up. He has the potential to give them the type of player that they had in their Finals run in Turkoglu. Look out for this guy!
Ebanks at 26 is a solid projection
Bjelica at 25 im not sure about. The thing about him is that he doesnt seem to have a good role player game to him. His offense is one that is only effective with the ball sort of like Turkoglu or adam Morrison. If he doesnt get the ball then all that versatility and playmaking skills is for not he just becomes a tall set shooter.
If he goes to the Nets (who are looking for International talent, have no versatile scorers and are completly empty at SF) he could possibly handle the rock alot of the time setting his teams offense and the sky could be the limit.
I like Bjelica alot more than Donatas Motiejunas
Orlanda doesnt have time to develop him they need someone to be effective now just like Utah and Whiteside
Bjelica would be a good fit for a team like Orlando or New Jersey, I agree with the New Jersey one too. I think that yes, he needs the ball to be effective, but he would be perfect for a team that has alot of pick-and-roll plays at the top of the key and he could potentially be a 3rd option if developed right. He has to play with a certain team to be his best, but teams that like to use their SF as a pseudo point forward would be a perfect fit for him. I also think he'd be a good fit for the Trail Blazers as well.
He's not really raw though like Whiteside, he can contribute some early on. He's not likely to be a rookie starter, but he would be a rotation player in the right system.The Magic aren't in the same situation as the Jazz though. The Jazz can get early contributor in the draft because they have a top 10 pick. The Magic basically are going to just after the best fit. They probably don't expect an immediate starter with the 29th pick. They could trade up, but I have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than for them to trade up.
Im thinking the Nets need to create an identity right now and after last years horrible floor general performance by Harris they are willing to flip there offensive stratagies upside down. Weve seen how well the pick and roll has worked for Amare Stoudimire, Kevin Garnett, Chris Bosh and most dominate bigs and PFs. With (potentially) Favors, Humphries, (Gani Lawal?), Lopez and Boone as a very solid frontcourt for the future and some capable outside shooters and slashers on PG and the wing aquiring a versatile playmaker for the 3 position to be somewhat ball dominate and create a nice tempo to the game could be very good for NJ NETS.
Im actaully gonna change my mock draft
the kid has got good hops as well and is ok at finishing three point plays, i saw him play when i went to serbia this year, when he played FMP, and he is too underrated, once again i am saying that he is a point guard in a power forwards body and i think he would be a solid pick for miami at 18
Mr. 6000 tell me if I'm way off base here.
I feel Devin Ebanks has potential to be the best defender out of this draft. He has potential to be the best defender in the NBA.
He definitely has the potential to be the best defender in this draft.
Look out for Wesley Witherspoon next year though, and potentially Durand Scott for Miami if he declares too. They both could be elite defenders in the future. Ebanks could very well be the best though.