Here is the OLD SCHOOL comparison list. I don't have a great comparison for everyone, but I have a few.
Nerlens Noel -- this is the toughest one. If this were the 1960's you could say he would be the next Bill Russell. Same height, length, weight, and springiness. Same great shot blocking skills. BUT it is a new era. And, Noel is not even close to being the same sort of shot blocker. Noel is mostly a shot blocker and an athletic type. The Larry Sanders and Theo Ratliff comparisons are pretty good, but I think Keon Clark could be a bit better. Keon Clark was a raw 7 footer who gave you blocks, dunks, and "potential" but that was about it.
Going farther back, Nerlens Noel looks like he has Keith Lee's hype, bad knees, fragility, and 4/5 questions plus Kenny "Sky" Walker's explosiveness, lack of true scoring ability, dunking skills, great hair, and Kentucky pedigree.
In the end though I am settling on another comparison. A solid, high end role player who can play both inside positions, block shots at a very good rate, run the floor, dunk and score inside with limited range, rebound fairly well, and provide some decent defense. I think Nerlens Noel compares best to John Salley. Salley was not a first option inside, maybe not even the second guy inside, but an ideal third big man. A guy who could play and defend power forwards and centers. A guy who could block shots, use his athleticism, as well as dunk and rebound. And, like any big man, he could use 6 fouls a game. Salley had the nickname "Spider". That sounds like a good nickname for Nerlens Noel too...
Alex Len -- Brad Daugherty. I think Len will be a decent, above average center. I have him going number one to the Cavs. I even think that Len can make a couple of all-star appearances even though I don't see him being a superstar. Len's skillset is that he is a solid, legit center who can score and board. Well, this is basically what Brad Daugherty gave the Cavs. He was a top pick that ended up in Cleveland on a team with a hot shooting star point guard (Mark Price) and some young weapons around them.
Ben McLemore -- Byron Scott. Run BMc can hit the three, run the floor, and dunk. He can use his solid 2 guard size and his good hops to finish strong. He has good 2 guard size but not freakish size or length. Closer to around 6'4. Might not be a superstar but should be above average for years plus a core guy. Well, this also fits Byron Scott. Scott could throw down some dunks, run the floor, use his explosiveness, shoot three pointers and even make some clutch shots. Scott made all rookie first team, hit 43% on 3's in his second season, had a career high of 21.7 points per game in 1987-1988, and finished with career averages of 14.1 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.1 steals.
Here are some Byron Scott highlights on youtube. See if you can see some Run BMc in there:
Byron Scott throws down: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUdYa5hdMPw (this is pretty sweet)
Byron Scott hits a game winning 3 pointer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGhaTjEeR9E
Highlight mix of Byron Scott along with Michael Cooper: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZBFW5bB8hc
Anthony Bennett -- Charles Barkley. Bennett has "potential". He has size and skill but is not a true 4 or a true 3. Good finisher. Has range, but he might take too many jumpers. Can rebound, but he might not be all there on defense. Sometimes he doesn't hustle back. Might wind up at Phoenix at 5 or fall down to Philly at 11. Could even go top 4. He is a guy that could rise or fall on draft night depending on how things go. Bennett probably has as much talent as anyone in the draft.
Victor Oladipo -- David Thompson. This may be a huge stretch, but Dipo is very very explosive with awesome hops. Can throw down dunks, run the floor, and get up as fast as anyone. He can score and even handle, but his calling guard is his motor and athleticism. Also about 6'5 so he can play some 3 but doesn't have the ideal size for the small forward spot. But, I think Oladipo can guard anyone on the wing. I think Oladipo's upside is there.
Trey Burke -- Rod Strickland. Probably not the best comparison as Rod was really good and creative on finishing around the rim. But, both guys had moxie, scoring ability, big time skills, and the ability to score, pass, handle, and shoot. Neither had great size or great athleticism.
Mason Plumlee -- Bill Wennington. Mason is a big guy who can throw it down. Probably can't do everything but he can play the 4 as well as the 5. With all his size and athleticism he still isn't the best shot blocker. Solid rebounder though. Success in the league will depend on him being able to hit 15 foot jumpers. Plumlee looks like a solid 4th big man for the next decade.
Kelly Olynyk -- love that comparison thread that compared Kelly to Christian Laettner. Think that's great, and I can't do better than that. But, I need to find an old school comparison. So Kelly is a decent big man who can play either the four or 5. He can score and rebound. Not the quickest guy, best athlete or shot blocker but he has a good basketball IQ and he looks like a guy who can stick around in the league. He also has range, so his best role may be as a center who can hit the 3 as well as bang inside and rebound. What about Bill Laimbeer?
Rudy Gobert -- Sam Bowie. Looks like Sam. Has an awkward running motion too. I wouldn't doubt if he gets injured. Great length and size. Can probably make wide open dunks. What about a taller Sam Bowie?
Cody Zeller -- Man, I wish he could be an awesome shot blocker. I wish he could always use his hops to throw down alley-oops and get up quick for put back dunks. But, I am not sure it is there. If it were I could see him as the next Birdman. Ironically, Cody looks like Chris Dudley. Same look, about the same size too, but their games are completely opposite. Dudley was a hard nosed rebounder and defender. Not the best athlete and he had no range, especially on free throws. While Zeller is more of an athlete with some range, but a guy who doesn't rebound or defend as well as he should. Zeller dunks more when he uses his athleticism. I am going with Cody Zeller's comparison as a Bizarro Chris Dudley. ... or, if that doesn't work then if you want to find a comparison to a 7 foot guy with a decent motor (at times), good hops and athleticism, plus a very solid skill set that is not always utilized then I would make another less old school comparison of Cody Zeller to Elden Campbell.
Nate Wolters -- 6'5 white guy who can run the offense, handle, pass, and shoot some. If I didn't say Danny Ainge then something wouldn't feel right...
Peyton Siva -- Elliott Perry. EP was a very good career backup. Speedy guy with no size but I actually went to a game where EP dunked. It was cool. Not a shooter, but he could run the offense, handle, and get steals. Good energy guy for a backup point guard. Just a solid guy.
Ryan Kelly -- big, tall guy. Went to Duke. More of a shooter than a banger. Ok, you had me at Danny Ferry.
Seth Curry -- Might not get drafted. But, if he does get drafted a team is going to get a 6'3 guy who can shoot the 3. Did I mention he can shoot the 3? Not a pure point guard or a pure 2 guard, but he can shoot the 3. Sounds like Steve Kerr to me.
Michael Carter-Williams -- Fat Lever. MCW is a great name. Almost as good as Fat Lever (ok, ok, not even close). But, Lever was a 6'5 playmaker who could really fill a stat sheet. Not the best shooter or athlete though. You also hope that MCW (MC Fat?) can use his height and length to get some steals...
Trevor Mbakwe -- Larry Smith. Mbakwe is a 6'8 guy who can rebound, rebound, and umm, that's about it. He's also about 40. The new Larry Smith everybody!
D.J. Stephens -- Kenny "Sky" Walker. Ok, I am a HUGE Stephens fan. I think he is the best dunker ever, and one of the most thrilling acrobats in the history of basketball. He has a Dr. J thing going. Oh, with Dennis Rodman's rebounding skills and out-of-nowhere/Texas lineage. And, if Dr. J and Dennis Rodman had an asthmatic baby they would probably name him D.J. (standing for Dennis and Julius obviously). But, I think a Dr. J/Rodman combo may be farfetched who might not even get drafted in the first round of the Harlem Globetrotters draft, so I am going with D.J. being the next Kenny "Sky" Walker. Sky Walker could jump, dunk, dodge, dunk, and dodge. Could rebound too, and even blocked some shots, but he was skinny, raw, and a tweener. But, he was put on this earth to win the dunk contest. I think the same thing of D.J. Stephens. Ohbytheway, take a look at Kenny Walker's dunks from his dunk title. They are sick!!!!
Sky dunks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wILcwr67oUg
+1 on effort alone.
Watched a lot of Chicago Bulls basketball and Wennington was nothing like Plumlee. Wennington was a faceup 5 with quick feet and an unathletic but bulky build. Bill never averaged more than .5 blocks per game during his NBA career and was best known for his 18 foot face up jumper. His high post scoring found him a home in Chicago in the triangle, but Plumlee is a freak athlete with translatable skills like rebounding and shot blocking...Don't really see it.
I'd go Dale Davis.
Hopefully Mason Plumlee throws down some vintage dunks and busts a few back boards so we can go with the extreme old school comparison of Mason Plumlee to Darryl Dawkins.
Size? Yes. Height? Yes. Hops? Yes. Dunking skills? Yes. Basketball IQ? TBD.
Very nice effort. I like these comparisonsBut MCW is a better athlete than you think.
I'll have to check out his highlights
Stephens is one of the best pure athletes I can remember playing college basketball, but he lacks the skill or size of his position. He is essentially a slim 6'5'' power forward, and yes he's blessed with great length and athletic ability that may help him make up for his lack of weight and height, it's going to be an uphill battle for him to play in the NBA next season.
Undrafted free agent, Ken Bazemore ended up getting signed by Golden State, as a defender, but he also had the ability to handle the ball, as he played guard in college. The big knock on Stephens is his lack of position at an NBA level. His athletic ability will raise some interest and he'll probably be asked to play some 3 during summer league, but I suspect it may take a year or two for D.J. to make an NBA roster, and if he does get drafted or signed, I suspect he'll be a D-Leaguer next year.
I'll have to check out his highlights
MCW is a better athlete than Lever but a worse shooter. Fat wasn't a great shooter by any means but he was solid and could attack the rim much better than MCW. I think a better comparison might be Michael Ray Richardson.
Gobert, alot like Shaun Bradley, long, skinny, not very good offensively. not all that likely to gain weight and become a star.
Giannis , has had people mention Dr J with the way he palms the ball and finishes on the breatk, some have said he is like a young Durrant, posture while dribbling and attacking, build, thin frame, long and athletic but not super athletic.
Nate Wolters, for you old school comparison and who i compare him to is Bob Sura
definetly fun to read. A nice change from all the comparisons of this guy and that guy to be the next tony allen or ray allen
I really like the McLemore comparison with Byron Scott. My comp for Oladipo has been Sidney Moncrief, if you were looking old school. Sticking strictly with the typical 'white guy" comparisons, if Cody Zeller could harness some of that springiness into a Tom Chambers like impact, that would be a pretty nice ceiling. My guess is that he is something lower than that in the end, maybe somewhat Kent Benson like journeyman.