Top 15 Point Guards Heading into Next Season

Top 15 Point Guards Heading into Next Season

The era of the point guard is here in today’s NBA, and the crop of players at this position have never been more talented. These are my predictions for the top 15 guys at the 1 heading into the 17-18 season.

*James Harden will be ranked in the shooting guard rankings due to the Rockets recent acquisition of Chris Paul.*

Just missed the cut:

George Hill

Jeff Teague

Patrick Beverley

Lonzo Ball

Derrick Rose

 

 

 

15. Jrue Holiday – New Orleans Pelicans

Photo Credit/www.bleacherreport.com

 

Holiday recently signed a huge new contract with New Orleans to continue to be the leader of their backcourt. His time in the Big Easy hasn’t exactly been ideal, though he’s shown he’s still an above average guard in the league. His efficient playmaking ability coupled with solid scoring ability, including the capability to knock down a 3 from time to time (35.6%) and quickness off the dribble to slash, make him an offensive threat every night. Don’t expect All-Star numbers from Holiday, but if healthy he could finally come into his own for the Pelicans.

16-17 Stats: PPG: 15.4   RPG: 3.0   APG: 7.3   SPG: 1.5

17-18 Projected Stats: PPG: 17.2  RPG: 3.6  APG: 7.8  SPG: 1.4

 

14. Markelle Fultz – Philadelphia 76ers

Photo Credit/www.celticshub.com

 

It’s rare that a rookie would make a list like this, but Fultz is the real deal. The former Washington star could come out putting up near All-Star numbers and majorly increase the Sixers win total from last year. If Fultz keeps his shot selection in check and trusts his teammates, expect a rookie of the year award to him and rookie point guard numbers that we haven’t seen since Lillard.

16-17 Stats: PPG: N/A   RPG: N/A   APG: N/A   SPG: N/A

17-18 Projected Stats: PPG: 17.9  RPG: 4.6  APG: 5.8  SPG: 1.4

 

13. Goran Dragic – Miami Heat

Photo Credit/www.cbssports.com

 

Dragic is the second piece of a star tandem in Miami with Hassan Whiteside. The team has assembled one of the best supporting casts in the league and should compete for an Eastern Conference playoff spot this season. Dragic hits threes at a pretty good rate for the Heat and is one of the best guards in the East driving to the rim. We’ll probably see a similar year from him this season.

16-17 Stats: PPG: 20.3   RPG: 3.8   APG: 5.8   SPG: 1.2

17-18 Projected Stats: PPG: 19.6  RPG: 4.1  APG: 6.3  SPG: 1.2

 

12. Dennis Schroeder – Atlanta Hawks

Photo Credit/www.sbnation.com

 

Schroeder comes into this year expected to have a breakout season. With Dwight Howard and Paul Millsap leaving the Hawks, Schroeder now becomes the team’s number one option and on his way to his prime, we should see his shooting percentages rise. It’s possible the young German posts career highs across the board in 17-18.

16-17 Stats: PPG: 17.9   RPG: 3.1   APG: 6.3   SPG: 0.9

17-18 Projected Stats: PPG: 20.6  RPG: 4.2  APG: 6.7  SPG: 1.2

 

11. Mike Conley – Memphis Grizzlies

Photo Credit/www.bleacherreport.com

 

Conley is coming off his best season as a pro, posting a career high PPG average. In my opinion he was one of the biggest MIP snubs last year. He and Marc Gasol will be carrying more of a load this season given the recent departure of Vince Carter and Zach Randolph to the Sacramento Kings. If the former Ohio State star is able to keep his percentages up, we could see Conley eclipse 20 points a game for the second straight season.

16-17 Stats: PPG: 20.5   RPG: 3.5   APG: 6.3   SPG: 1.3

17-18 Projected Stats: PPG: 21.4  RPG: 4.1  APG: 6.2  SPG: 1.7

 

10. Eric Bledsoe – Phoenix Suns

Photo Credit/www.brightsideofthesun.com

 

Bledsoe is now one of the older guys in the Phoenix starting lineup. He comes into this season paired with Devin Booker in the backcourt, which could end up being one of the best guard duos in the league this year. Bledsoe has been involved in trade rumors regarding Kyrie Irving, though I’d expect him to be in a Suns uniform this coming season none the less. If the Kentucky product is able to avoid injury unlike the past, expect another near All-Star caliber season from him.

16-17 Stats: PPG: 21.1   RPG: 4.8   APG: 6.3   SPG: 1.4

17-18 Projected Stats: PPG: 20.6  RPG: 5.3  APG: 6.7  SPG: 1.9

 

9. Isaiah Thomas – Boston Celtics

Photo Credit/www.si.com

 

Thomas has shown his offensive ability to be some of the best in the league and made himself a near MVP candidate last season. The  29-year old would be higher on this list if it weren’t for his two undeniable flaws, size and defense. He was ranked as one of the worst backcourt defenders last season and at just 5’9″ you can imagine how he has trouble keeping other guards under tabs. Thomas claims he had a “growth spurt” this summer, so we’ll see if this is true and if his defense improves, though he’s likely not a max player at this time.

16-17 Stats: PPG: 28.9   RPG: 2.7   APG: 5.9   SPG: 0.9

17-18 Projected Stats: PPG: 26.7  RPG: 3.3  APG: 6.5  SPG: 1.1

 

8. Kyle Lowry – Toronto Raptors

 

Photo Credit/www.si.com

 

Lowry recently signed a 3-year deal to stay in Toronto. The Raptors will again have most likely the best backcourt in the East with Lowry and Derozan, and have another shot at the conference finals this season. The former Villanova Wildcat is now on the wrong side of 30 and we could see his numbers drop just a tad over the next couple years, though he should still be putting up All-Star numbers. Where we’ve really seen Lowry struggle is in the playoffs, where he seems to always go ice cold. It’ll be important he finds his game come next postseason or the Raptors potential will continue to sit at a conference finals ceiling.

16-17 Stats: PPG: 22.4   RPG: 4.8   APG: 7.0   SPG: 1.5

17-18 Projected Stats: PPG: 21.7  RPG: 4.6  APG: 7.3  SPG: 1.9

 

7. Kemba Walker – Charlotte Hornets

Photo Credit/www.sportingnews.com

 

Kemba and the Hornets are coming off a disappointing year, missing the playoffs and not living up to preseason expectations. Their offseason additions of Malik Monk and Dwight Howard should help the team’s lone star, Walker, as we head into this season. The guard carries one of the largest loads of his teams offense in the league and has made himself into an All-Star with his unguardable ball-handling, solid outside jumper, and sweet slashing ability. Expect another 20+PPG season from Kemba and a playoff appearance for his Hornets.

16-17 Stats: PPG: 23.2   RPG: 3.9   APG: 5.5   SPG: 1.1

17-18 Projected Stats: PPG: 22.9  RPG: 4.2  APG: 5.7  SPG: 1.4

 

6. Kyrie Irving – Cleveland Cavaliers

Photo Credit/www.nypost.com

 

We’re all obviously hearing of all the rumors surrounding Irving, though as of now he is still a Cleveland Cavalier. Assuming he stays in the The Land, expect a similar season from him, though it’s not hard to see he looks to be out the door. Kyrie may just have the best handles in league history, though this will be debated for years, and has improved his jumpshot as his career has gone on. If Irving is still in Cleveland Cleveland come next June, it’s likely the Cavs are back in the Finals and Irving would’ve been coming off another 20+PPG season. We’ll see how this nightmare situation in Cleveland pans out.

16-17 Stats: PPG: 25.2   RPG: 3.2   APG: 5.8   SPG: 1.2

17-18 Projected Stats: PPG: 23.9  RPG: 3.8  APG: 5.7  SPG: 1.1

 

5. Chris Paul – Houston Rockets

Photo Credit/www.cbssports.com

 

Paul was involved in the first blockbuster move of the summer this offseason when he was granted a trade to the Houston Rockets. The new backcourt duo of James Harden and Chris Paul will be deadly in the West. With two elite ball-handlers and players now in the lineup, Houston could get back to the conference finals this year for a meeting with the Golden State Warriors. We’ll have to see how the two gel together, being that they were both considered point guards last year, and given his new team I’d say Paul’s numbers drop just a bit, though his importance doesn’t change.

16-17 Stats: PPG: 18.1   RPG: 5.0   APG: 9.2   SPG: 2.0

17-18 Projected Stats: PPG: 17.9  RPG: 4.8  APG: 10.3  SPG: 2.2

 

4. Damian Lillard – Portland Trail Blazers

Photo Credit/www.sportsonearth.com

 

Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum are coming off last season as the reigning top scoring backcourt in the league. The Blazers were previously in talks with the Knicks to acquire Carmelo Anthony to add to their star guard duo, though it seems these communications have stalled. Dame in my opinion is one of the most underrated players in the league and has done well leading Portland since the LaMarcus Aldridge departure. If he is again able to stay injury-free, look for big numbers from the Weber State product.

16-17 Stats: PPG: 27.0   RPG: 4.9   APG: 5.9   SPG: 0.9

17-18 Projected Stats: PPG: 27.6  RPG: 5.1  APG: 6.2  SPG: 1.3

 

3. John Wall – Washington Wizards

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Wall comes off a disappointing final game in last season’s playoffs, when his Wizards lost to the Boston Celtics in 7. Had the Wiz taken that decisive game, it would’ve been Wall’s first conference finals appearance, which he’s still now looking for. Washington re-signed young F Otto Porter this offseason, keeping help for Wall and Beal to lead the team. The one real flaw left in Wall’s game is his shooting from the outside. In my opinion, it’s the attribute that separated Chris Paul from him earlier in his career. If I were Scott Brooks I’d want to see at least a 37% mark from  Wall next year from deep. Even with this continued problem, the former Kentucky star has repeatedly shown his unbelievable playmaking ability and defense, slotting him in at #3 in my point guard rankings.

16-17 Stats: PPG: 23.1   RPG: 4.2   APG: 10.7   SPG: 2.0

17-18 Projected Stats: PPG: 23.4  RPG: 4.6  APG: 10.2  SPG: 2.3

 

2. Russell Westbrook – Oklahoma City Thunder

Photo Credit/www.si.com

 

Westbrook could easily be number one on this list for many reasons. My analysis really just came down to which player, between Russ and Steph, would I pick for a team I was looking to win a title with, and I’d take the latter. However, that’s no disrespect  to Westbrook. He could possibly be the best rebounding and athletically explosive guard in league history. A year after losing KD to the Bay, the former UCLA guard has a new superstar alongside him in OKC. With the Paul George trade, the Thunder get a guy to take some of the weight off Russ’ shoulders and create a new star duo in the league. Having to watch out for these two slashing to the rim and playing off each other will be a nightmare for NBA defenses. We’ll most likely see some dips in Westbrook’s numbers, but I predict more team success for Oklahoma City this season.

16-17 Stats: PPG: 31.6   RPG: 10.7   APG: 10.4   SPG: 1.6

17-18 Projected Stats: PPG: 28.7  RPG: 8.3  APG: 10.9  SPG: 1.8

 

1. Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors

Photo Credit/www.nytimes.com

 

Curry comes in at #1 in the point guard rankings. There will be guys who put up bigger numbers and throw down more thunderous dunks but much of what Steph does doesn’t show up in the box score. The two-time MVP  is one of the best screen-setting guards in the league and it’s not hard to realize the amount of space he opens up for Kevin Durant in the middle of the floor, drawing defenders attention out to the perimeter. His shooting percentages also illustrate his efficient offensive game. In my opinion, the biggest difference between Curry and Westbrook is their effect on their teams. Westbrook was there to do it all last season for the Thunder, not really allowing his teammates to have the ball in their hands or showcase their game. Curry has a much more positive effect on his team, mainly due to his ability to play off the ball. The way he commands attention on the court is easy to see even when he’s just running around in circles in the halfcourt, using his shooting prowess to make the game easier for others. It’s because of all these reasons that when trying to build a CHAMPIONSHIP team, Steph is the better bet.

16-17 Stats: PPG: 25.3   RPG: 4.5   APG: 6.6   SPG: 1.8

17-18 Projected Stats: PPG: 26.1  RPG: 5.2  APG: 6.9  SPG: 2.1

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Reports: Suns set to possibly make offer for Irving

Reports: Suns set to possibly make offer for Irving

According to Darren Wolfson of ESPN, the Phoenix Suns have decided on the assets to make a trade offer to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Phoenix is apparently willing to give up Eric Bledsoe, Dragan Bender, and a future 1st round pick for Kyrie Irving. Rumors on Irving to the Suns have been swirling for weeks now following the Kyrie trade request. It’s possible Cleveland still keeps their star point guard, but at this time it seems unlikely he’ll be with the team for training camp.

 

Photo Credit/www.si.com

 

After announcing his preferred destinations of New York, San Antonio, Minnesota, and Miami, Irving has since said that he will not commit to any team, for sure, once he is traded. Many believe this has hurt his trade value and the Cavs, who will now likely get less back for Kyrie than before. Despite this, the Suns seem very interested in trading for the PG, though have made a few of their young players untouchable for Cleveland. Both Devin Booker and Josh Jackson are seemingly off limits via trade and for good reason. Phoenix is, however, happy to trade other core pieces, Eric Bledsoe and Dragan Bender. Along with a pick, this is a pretty nice trade package, but will the Cavs accept it?

 

Photo Credit/www.theledgesports.com

 

Eric Bledsoe would be great for Cleveland, as he is a far superior perimeter defender compared to Irving, possibly a slightly better passer, and has a fantastic relationship with LeBron James. He isn’t nearly as explosive or crafty as Irving though, and Kyrie’s unguardable penetration and slashing are what the team could really miss. Bledsoe has some qualities that are ahead of Irving, but Kyrie is clearly the better point guard and has shown himself to be able to deliver in the clutch in important playoff games, something Bledsoe doesn’t have too much experience with, and coming to a team like Cleveland could mean it will be a new environment for him come playoff time.

 

Photo Credit/www.lakersnation.com

 

Dragan Bender has all the potential in the world, though entering his rookie season last year with low expectations, he still disappointed. The 19-year old averaged 3.4 ppg and 2.4 rpg last season for the Suns. No one expected him to come out and be Porzingis, but his play did not reflect where he was taken in the draft well. He certainly has value and could be a trade piece, but it would be shocking if the Cavs accept a trade with Bledsoe’s partner being Bender.

 

Photo Credit/www.bleacherreport.com

 

Really, this is just a rumor and if offered, will not likely be accepted. The Suns could eventually be the team Irving is dealt to, but Cleveland surely would love to add one of the Suns new star wingers to pair with LeBron in the land, and we’ll have to see if Phoenix is willing to take the risk of giving up an all-time talent for possibly a 2-year All-Star rental.

NBA Rookie Mini Scouting Reports and Stat Predictions: Picks 14-1

NBA Rookie Mini Scouting Reports and Stat Predictions: Picks 14-1

This draft class has been one of the most hyped in NBA history. How will the players selected in the lottery fare in their rookie seasons?

 

14. Bam Adebayo – Miami Heat

Photo Credit/www.si.com

 

Adebayo will likely start the season as a PF for the Heat, though could play some at the 5. What he’ll bring down low for Miami is mainly strength, rebounding, and lots of energy especially on defense. The Heat definitely needed more help in the post for Hassan Whiteside and they have it in Adebayo. He’s shown a solid ability to score in the post in college and if he finds even just a 15-footer, he’ll be dangerous for Miami on both ends.

PPG: 6.3   RPG: 5.9   APG: 0.7   SPG: 0.4   BPG: 1.3

NBA Comparison: Bismack Biyombo

 

13. Donovan Mitchell – Utah Jazz

Photo Credit/www.espn.com

 

Out of Louisville, Mitchell comes to a team who’s star just left which could mean more minutes, touches, and shots for the rookie. I was very impressed by Mitchell’s ball-handling and shot-making ability in the summer league and believe he’ll be a go-to scorer for the Jazz almost right away. His size will always be talked about but the volume scoring will be huge for Utah in a league that demands points in bunches.

PPG: 11.7   RPG: 2.1   APG: 3.4   SPG: 1.1   BPG: 0.2

NBA Comparison: Lou Williams

 

12. Luke Kennard – Detroit Pistons

Photo Credit/www.si.com

 

Outside shooting was a huge problem for Detroit last year, finishing 28th among the league in team 3pt%. Kennard will provide relief from this awful stat, having a great outside jumper and spacing the floor for Andre Drummond whenever he’s out there. The Former Duke G put up over 19 points a game for the Blue Devils last year and was clutch in tight moments. We saw a difference in his offensive mentality from his freshman to sophomore year and we should see his game expand as he begins his rookie year for the Pistons. Athleticism, speed especially, is not a positive about Kennard, but his ball-handling, size, and shooting will greatly improve the Detroit offense this season.

PPG: 8.6   RPG: 2.9   APG: 1.8   SPG: 0.9   BPG: 0.2

NBA Comparison: Marco Belinelli

 

11. Malik Monk – Charlotte Hornets

Photo Credit/www.seccountry.com

 

It was a surprise that Monk dropped this far to #11 but Charlotte took advantage when he was on the board at their pick. He put up almost 20 a game last year for Kentucky and was the Wildcats go-to scorer all year. The 19-year old comes to Charlotte to most likely backup Nic Batum at the 2. Monk’s playmaking and shot making ability will be great for the Hornets as they’re lacking a scoring guard off the bench.

PPG: 10.3   RPG: 2.2   APG: 2.7   SPG: 0.8   BPG: 0.1

NBA Comparison: Jamal Crawford

 

10. Zach Collins – Portland Trail Blazers

Photo Credit/www.sbnation.com

 

Collins comes to a Portland frontcourt bringing a solid back-to-the-basket game and elite shot blocking ability. He has the size and potential to consistently put up double-doubles, though could develop a jump shot to be able to stretch the floor and give Jusuf Nurkic room to work down low as well.

PPG: 6.8   RPG: 4.4   APG: 0.6   SPG: 0.2   BPG: 1.3

NBA Comparison: Cole Aldrich

 

9. Dennis Smith Jr. – Dallas Mavericks

Photo Credit/www.si.com

 

Smith Jr. is one of the best athletes we’ve seen coming into the league in this century. I think he’s one of the biggest ROTY sleepers taken this year. He’s shown a tendency to slash and penetrate easily in Vegas this summer and make plays for others by occasionally kicking out after a drive into the paint. Shot selection and turnover reduction are what Smith mainly needs to control to improve but he has the potential to be a perennial All-Star guard for Dallas in my opinion.

PPG: 12.7   RPG: 4.3   APG: 5.8   SPG: 1.6   BPG: 0.3

NBA Comparison: Derrick Rose

 

8. Frank Ntilikina – New York Knicks

Photo Credit/www.denverstiffs.com

 

Expect Ntilikina to be a bit of a project for the Knicks. He probably won’t start this year despite the departure of Derrick Rose. The French guard has tremendous defensive potential at 6’5″ and long arms, but must improve his offensive consistency and shot selection to be an efficient PG for New York.

PPG: 7.3   RPG: 2.8   APG: 3.5   SPG: 1.4   BPG: 0.3

NBA Comparison: George Hill/Tony Allen

 

7. Lauri Markkanen – Chicago Bulls

Photo Credit/www.si.com

 

Markkanen comes to the Bulls in the Minnesota trade for Jimmy Butler. He’s now a talented frontcourt piece for a Chicago team in rebuild mode. Markkanen’s outside shooting ability and size give him the potential to be a perfect stretch big if he polishes his game up a bit.

PPG: 10.6   RPG: 5.8   APG: 0.9   SPG: 0.4   BPG: 1.1

NBA Comparison: Kristaps Porzingis

 

6. Jonathan Isaac – Orlando Magic

Photo Credit/www.nba.com

 

Isaac may take a while to develop for the Magic, but his length and athleticism make him an intriguing young prospect. He should be 3/4 type forward who can play center in some situations. He showcased flashy defensive ability and solid efficiency scoring above the basket at Florida State. He needs to improve his outside jumper and work on getting stronger, but once he’s ready and healthy he could be one of the best defensive players in the game and one of the most versatile forwards in the league offensively.

PPG: 7.1   RPG: 4.8   APG: 0.9   SPG: 0.8   BPG: 1.2

NBA Comparison: Kevin Durant

 

Before we head into the top 5, although the draft has passed, take a look at this “2017 NBA Draft Preview” clip on the Sports Fan Entertainment Youtube Page to see our video creator’s thoughts on busts and sleepers in this class!

 

5. De’Aaron Fox – Sacramento Kings

Photo Credit/www.slamonline.com

 

Fox is clearly the point guard of the future for the Kings and will get veteran help on and off the court this season with George Hill. It’d be a surprise to see him start at the beginning of the season with the addition of Hill, however, he should get an opportunity to run the team off the bench and showcase his game before his name is called. Fox’s speed is his most enticing attribute, often compared to John Wall for mainly this ability. His playmaking and size are two more positives about him after averaging over 4 assists last season at Kentucky and having an impressive 7’0″ wingspan. Shooting is certainly a problem for Fox at the moment, and though he can hit a 3 from time to time, he mainly gets his points driving to the rim and putting in layups and runners. If a jump shot is fully developed he could easily be a multiple time All-Star someday.

PPG: 11.6   RPG: 3.9   APG: 5.3   SPG: 1.4   BPG: 0.2

NBA Comparison: John Wall

 

4. Josh Jackson – Phoenix Suns

Photo Credit/www.si.com

 

The Suns were lucky this draft was so deep for Jackson to drop to them at 4. After one year at Kansas averaging over 16 a game, Jackson joins a Suns team in dire need of defense on the wing. With T.J. Warren still playing in Phoenix, I’d doubt Jackson starts right away, but we could see him in the starting lineup later in the season. The 6’8″ forward is already a solid defender and slasher on the wing, finishing strong around the rim on offense and guarding multiple positions well on D. His inefficient shooting was noticeable during last college season though that will improve as his career kicks off. Rumors are swirling suggesting he would be in a potential Suns trade for Kyrie Irving, however, Phoenix has said multiple times he is pretty much untouchable. Expect him to make a solid defensive impact his rookie year and possibly develop into a superstar in the future.

PPG: 12.3   RPG: 5.7   APG: 2.2   SPG: 1.3  BPG: 1.1

NBA Comparison: Andrew Wiggins

 

3. Jayson Tatum – Boston Celtics

Photo Credit/www.celticsblog.com

 

The Celtics were able to grab Tatum at #3 after trading the #1 pick down to the Philadelphia 76ers. Tatum might just have the sweetest jumper in this draft and is one of the purest scorers in the class. He’s the wing scorer the Celtics need to possibly surpass the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East this year. Tatum is also capable of dropping off passes to big men after penetrating the paint, grabbing rebounds at his 6’8″ size, and playing good wing D when he wants to, though he’s nowhere near the defender Jackson is. With the massive depth Boston currently has at small forward with Jae Crowder and Jaylen Brown, it’s possible we see Tatum at the 4 when he’s on the court and maybe start some at power forward. His numbers could be down due to being drafted by a contender, though he has a shot at appearing in the finals as a top rookie, which is rare.

PPG: 10.8   RPG: 4.3   APG: 1.8   SPG: 0.5   BPG: 0.7

NBA Comparison: Carmelo Anthony

 

2. Lonzo Ball – Los Angeles Lakers

Photo Credit/www.nba.com

 

Ball joins the Lakers with about as high of expectations as a rookie can have. His playmaking ability is far ahead of any other player on the board and he has the size and instincts to become a good on-ball defender and make steals in the passing lanes. All this said, don’t expect him to give you mass amounts of points and take over like Kobe did. Zo’s jumper worked in college but it’s about as ugly as it can get and might cause trouble for him in the NBA. His release point is high but it takes him far too long to get it off, making it easier for defenders to get out on the perimeter and contest. If he’s able to speed up that shot with the help of the Laker coaching staff, that shouldn’t be a problem anymore because when he has time, it goes in. His size at 6’6″ with a 7’0″ wingspan gives him the ability to grab boards at the guard position, come up with steals, and easily contest shorter matchups. Lonzo’s defensive quickness might be his biggest problem right now, though he’ll learn to defend the drive and stay with his matchup on the pick-and-roll as he gains experience in LA. With his insane court vision and potential, Ball could lead the Lakers for a decade and more.

PPG: 13.7   RPG: 5.9   APG: 8.6   SPG: 1.7   BPG: 0.8

NBA Comparison: Jason Kidd

 

1. Markelle Fultz – Philadelphia 76ers

Photo Credit/www.celticshub.com

 

Out of Washington, Fultz is probably the most polished and ready player in this class. He’s able to score from anywhere on the floor, make plays for others efficiently, grab rebounds at 6’5″, and create turnovers on defense. His fit in Philly is perfect as he comes to a team primed for a playoff berth and will play beside veteran sharpshooter J.J. Redick where he’ll get leadership and a guy to kick it out to on the perimeter. Fultz’s numbers in his only year at Washington were ridiculous as he had one of the best freshman seasons of this century, despite not being able to grab his team a tournament bid. Where Fultz can really excel at the next level is on the pick-and-roll. He and Joel Embiid should be the duo on this play and could end up being more deadly than a Green-Curry pick-and-roll. Although he’s just a rookie and joining a team with a few great young players already on it, look for Fultz to be one of the go-to guys right away. He probably won’t make the Eastern All-Star team as a rookie, but expect Markelle to post rookie Curry/rookie Lillard like numbers in his first year.

PPG: 17.9   RPG: 4.6   APG: 5.8   SPG: 1.4   BPG: 0.6

NBA Comparison: Damian Lillard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NBA Rookie Mini Scouting Reports and Stat Predictions: Picks 44-31

This draft class has been one of the most hyped in NBA history. How will early second round sleepers perform in their rookie years?

 

44. Damyean Dotson – New York Knicks

Photo Credit/www.si.com

 

Dotson has inked a three-year deal with New York since his drafting. The 6’7″ guard has great long-range shooting ability that could end up getting him some cash as an NBA player. Quickness driving to the rim is something he’ll need to work on with the Knicks.

PPG: 2.3   RPG: 1.6   APG: 0.7   SPG: 0.2   BPG: 0.0

NBA Comparison: Rashad Vaughn

 

43. Isaiah Hartenstein – Houston Rockets

Photo Credit/www.spurstalk.com

 

Hartenstein is a very skilled 7-footer coming out of Germany. He’s got a pretty sweet stroke from long range along with the ability to make plays for others and rebound the ball. At this point, it’s unclear whether Hartenstein will play overseas or with the Rockets this season. The only contract they could offer would be a two-way, allowing him to develop in their G-League system.

PPG: N/A   RPG: N/A   APG: N/A   SPG: N/A   BPG: N/A

NBA Comparison: Zydrunas Ilgauskas

 

42. Thomas Bryant – Los Angeles Lakers

Photo Credit/www.247sports.com

 

Bryant recently signed a rookie contract with the Lakers. The Indiana product showed great energy and post strength in the Vegas summer league this year. Bryant joins a Los Angeles center rotation of Ivica Zubac and Brook Lopez.

PPG: 3.8   RPG: 2.9   APG: 0.2   SPG: 0.1   BPG: 0.7

NBA Comparison: Jordan Hill

 

41. Tyler Dorsey – Atlanta Hawks

Photo Credit/www.addictedtoquack.com

 

Dorsey signed a two-year guaranteed deal with the Hawks after being taken 41st overall. Out of Oregon, Dorsey brings shooting to the Hawk backcourt after the loss of Tim Hardaway Jr. If his defensive quickness on the ball can be improved, he could play off the bench in the league for a long time.

PPG: 5.2   RPG: 2.1   APG: 1.3   SPG: 0.7   BPG: 0.1

NBA Comparison: Nick Young

 

40. Dwayne Bacon – Charlotte Hornets

Photo Credit/www.charlotteobserver.com

 

The Hornets recently signed Bacon to a three-year deal. It’s likely he starts the season at 3rd in the shooting guard depth chart behind Nic Batum and Malik Monk. Bacon is a great outside shooter but lacks defensive intensity on the ball.

PPG: 2.1   RPG: 1.4   APG: 0.6   SPG: 0.4   BPG: 0.1

NBA Comparison: J.R. Smith

 

39. Jawun Evans – Los Angeles Clippers

Photo Credit/www.cowboysrideforfree.com

 

The 21-year old out of Oklahoma State has signed a three-year deal with LA. Evans was a star at Oklahoma State, averaging over 19 points a game last season. He could earn the backup point guard spot to play behind Patrick Beverley this year. While size is an issue, Evans’ scoring ability will make him a valuable player off the bench at the start of his career.

PPG: 5.2   RPG: 1.4   APG: 2.7   SPG: 0.8   BPG: 0.0

NBA Comparison: Lou Williams

 

38. Jordan Bell – Golden State Warriors

Photo Credit/www.goldenstateofmind.com

 

The Warriors appear to get a steal with this pick. Bell was mocked on some boards in the first round. His energy, defensive versatility, and I.Q. could prove worthy for Golden State off the bench in certain moments.

PPG: 2.3   RPG: 2.2   APG: 0.6   SPG: 0.8    BPG: 1.2

NBA Comparison: JaMychal Green

 

37. Semi Ojeleye – Boston Celtics

Photo Credit/www.cbssports.com

 

The Celtics find a great bench shooter in this pick. Ojeleye shot over 42% from 3 last year at SMU and will be counted on by Brad Stevens to spread the floor when he’s brought in, though it’s likely we see him play more power forward with the Celts being so deep at the 3.

PPG: 3.1   RPG: 1.7   APG: 0.6   SPG: 0.2   BPG: 0.3

NBA Comparison: Patrick Patterson

 

36. Jonah Bolden – Philadelphia 76ers

Photo Credit/www.libertyballers.com

 

Bolden will play in the EuroLeague this year instead of coming over to Philly in 17-18. The Australian forward does have a solid long-range jumpshot though he isn’t yet consistent on the offensive side of the ball. He could come play for the Sixers next year or a few years from now to back up Dario Saric.

PPG: N/A   RPG: N/A   APG: N/A   SPG: N/A   BPG: N/A

NBA Comparison: Anthony Tolliver

 

35. Ivan Rabb – Memphis Grizzlies

Photo Credit/www.barstool.com

 

Many thought Rabb would enter the draft last year, and deciding to stay at Cal for his sophomore season definitely hurt his draft stock. His rebounding and athleticism will get him minutes in Memphis, but he needs to expand his game in the paint in order to ever achieve a starting job in the NBA.

PPG: 4.3   RPG: 3.6   APG: 0.7   SPG: 0.4    BPG: 0.9

NBA Comparison: Gorgui Dieng

 

34. Frank Mason – Sacramento Kings

Photo Credit/www.247sports.com

 

The Kings have just recently signed former Kansas G Mason after selecting him 34th overall. The 23-year old is explosive and has a solid jumper which will help the Kings from 3 off the bench. Mason is able to run the floor efficiently and has experience in big games dating back to his years in college. He’ll likely be behind George Hill and De’Aaron Fox to start the season.

PPG: 5.4   RPG: 1.7   APG: 3.6   SPG: 0.8    BPG: 0.0

NBA Comparison: D.J. Augustin

 

33. Wesley Iwundu – Orlando Magic

Photo Credit/www.ridiculousupside.com

 

Iwundu is the do-it-all forward the Magic may need. His scoring, playmaking ability, rebounding, and solid defense make him a good fit for Orlando. Shooting remains in question but that could be the easiest fix for the Magic organization to tend to.

PPG: 7.2   RPG: 3.3   APG: 3.8   SPG: 1.2    BPG: 0.6

NBA Comparison: Andre Iguodala

 

32. Davon Reed – Phoenix Suns

Photo Credit/www.thescore.com

 

The Suns recently signed Reed to a 4-year deal. The former Miami guard is a solid playmaker and shooter at 6’6″, making him a possible backup for young offensive star Devin Booker. If Reed can be more explosive going to the basket he could give the Suns good minutes off the bench.

PPG: 1.3   RPG: 0.8   APG: 0.9   SPG: 0.6   BPG: 0.2

NBA Comparison: Reggie Bullock

 

31. Frank Jackson – New Orleans Pelicans

Photo Credit/www.si.com

 

Jackson has been signed to a three-year deal by the Pelicans. He adds to a New Orleans backcourt of Jrue Holiday, Rajon Rondo, and Ian Clark. He’ll start the year third on the depth chart at point guard behind Holiday and Rondo. Jackson’s explosiveness and shooting ability will be valuable for the Pels this year as their frontcourt needs as much help as it can get.

PPG: 3.8   RPG: 1.2   APG: 2.6   SPG: 0.9   BPG: 0.1

NBA Comparison: Jordan Clarkson

 

NBA Rookie Mini Scouting Reports and Stat Predictions: Picks 60-45

NBA Rookie Mini Scouting Reports and Stat Predictions: Picks 60-45

This draft class has been one of the most hyped in NBA history. What impact will some of the players at the back of the board have in their rookie seasons?

 

60. Alpha Kaba – Atlanta Hawks

Photo Credit/www.peachtreehoops.com

 

The 6’10” French forward was the absolute last pick in the draft by the Hawks. Kaba has tremendous defensive upside with a 7’5″ wingspan, though isn’t quite ready to play in the NBA just yet. He’ll be stashed in his home country of France for this season and possibly a few years more.

PPG: N/A   RPG: N/A   APG: N/A   SPG: N/A   BPG: N/A

NBA Comparison: Drew Gooden

 

59. Jaron Blossomgame – San Antonio Spurs

Photo Credit/www.247sports.com

 

San Antonio selected swingman Jaron Blossomgame with their second round pick this year. One of the best players in the ACC last college season, averaging nearly 18 points a game, he could become a solid bench scorer for San Antonio eventually. It’s likely Blossomgame plays for the Spurs G-League affiliate in his first year, the Austin Spurs.

PPG: N/A   RPG: N/A   APG: N/A   SPG: N/A   BPG: N/A

NBA Comparison: Caris Lavert

 

58. Ognjen Jaramaz – New York Knicks

Photo Credit:www.basketballcl.com

 

With this pick, the Knicks get a raw, explosive guard in Jaramaz who must make strides in his long range shooting and on-ball defense in order to make it in the league. It’s likely the 21-year old spends this year overseas in Serbia.

PPG: N/A   RPG: N/A   APG: N/A   SPG: N/A   BPG: N/A

NBA Comparison: Marquise Teague

 

57. Alexander Vezenkov – Brooklyn Nets

Photo Credit/www.netsdaily.com

 

The Nets are essentially getting an undersized stretch 4 with this pick. Vezenkov needs to improve his defense and learn to create for himself on offense more before he’s ready for the NBA. He’ll likely stay at FC Barcelona for the 17-18 season.

PPG: N/A   RPG: N/A   APG: N/A   SPG: N/A   BPG: N/A

NBA Comparison: Nemanja Bjelica

 

56. Jabari Bird – Boston Celtics

Photo Credit/www.celticsblog.com

 

Jabari will most likely not be the best Bird to ever wear a Celtic jersey but he is probably the first player on this list to see some NBA action as a rookie. Boston is reportedly very close to coming to terms for a two-way deal with Bird (per The Daily Californian). The G/F is an explosive athlete who can create his own shot and also has the potential to be a solid defensive player.

PPG: 2.2   RPG: 1.3   APG: 0.4   SPG: 0.3   BPG: 0.1

NBA Comparison: K.J. McDaniels

 

55. Nigel Williams-Goss – Utah Jazz

Photo Credit/www.seattletimes.com

 

The Gonzaga product will likely get a two-way contract from the Jazz before the start of the season. Williams-Goss is a do-it-all PG who has the ability to drive and score, be a floor leader, and grab rebounds at a solid height for his position, 6’3″. It could be tough for him to find minutes in Utah behind Dante Exum and Ricky Rubio.

PPG: 1.7   RPG: 1.1   APG: 1.2   SPG: 0.4  BPG: 0.0

NBA Comparison: Marcus Smart

 

54. Alec Peters – Phoenix Suns

Photo Credit/www.midmajormadness.com

 

The 6’9″ forward out of Valparaiso has recently been signed to a two-way deal by the Suns (per hoopsrumors.com). Peters is a great offensive player with shooting ability and an exciting post repertoire. He also has the ability to make plays for others from the post, something Phoenix doesn’t have much of. Defense will be the question for Peters going forward.

PPG: 2.9   RPG: 2.3   APG: 1.4   SPG: 0.1   BPG: 0.3

NBA Comparison: Markieff Morris

 

53. Kadeem Allen – Boston Celtics

Photo Credit:www.tucson.com

 

Allen recently signed a two-way contract with Boston just as Jabari Bird has. He’s really an undersized shooting guard at 6’3″ with solid athleticism and scoring ability that could be helpful if an injury occurs in the Celtic backcourt. Allen will struggle to see the floor in Boston just as Bird will but he should have the chance to get some NBA minutes in his first year.

PPG: o.9   RPG: 0.4   APG: 0.3   SPG: 0.2  BPG: 0.0

NBA Comparison: Gary Harris

 

52. Edmond Sumner – Indiana Pacers

Photo Credit/www.nbadraftroom.com

 

Like many of the guys taken down here, Sumner is currently on a two-way contract with the Pacers. The 21-year old played for Xavier before declaring for this past year’s draft. Sumner has the ability to create his own shot and is really a solid all-around guard. It’ll be interesting to see if he gets minutes in a below-average Pacer backcourt.

PPG: 2.8   RPG: 1.1   APG: 1.7   SPG: 0.3   BPG: 0.1

NBA Comparison: Spencer Dinwiddie

 

51. Monte Morris – Denver Nuggets

Photo Credit/www.twitter.com

 

Former Iowa State guard Monte Morris will play on a two-way contract with Denver this year. Morris isn’t exactly a TRUE point guard, though does have reliable playmaking ability. An intangible player with a good shooting stroke, Morris will need to defend better on the ball to get minutes in the league, but could see some court time at points this year.

PPG: 1.9   RPG: 0.8   APG: 1.4   SPG: 0.2   BPG: 0.0

NBA Comparison: D.J. Augustin

 

50. Mathias Lessort – Philadelphia 76ers

Photo Credit/www.deseretnews.com

 

Lessort will spend this next basketball season playing in his home country of France. The 6’9″ forward has a solid post arsenal and can finish around the rim with his athleticism. Shooting is where he must get better which is probably the easiest thing for an NBA team to develop in a young player. If Lessort finds a jumper his defensive potential and finishing ability could make him some money in the NBA.

PPG: N/A   RPG: N/A  APG: N/A   SPG: N/A   BPG: N/A

NBA Comparison: Jeff Green

 

49. Vlatko Cancar – Denver Nuggets

Photo Credit/www.denverstiffs.com

 

The Denver Nuggets plan since selecting Cancar was a draft and stash. We’ll see if or when he gets to Denver in the future. The forward is an extremely skilled shooter who is unexplosive and is hugely lacking of quickness off the dribble and on defense.

PPG: N/A   RPG: N/A   APG: N/A   SPG: N/A   BPG: N/A

NBA Comparison: Bojan Bogdanovic

 

48. Sindarius Thornwell – Los Angeles Clippers

Photo Credit/www.draftexpress.com

 

Thornwell signed a three-year deal with LA earlier in the summer. I’d look to see if he makes almost a Malcom Brogdon type impact in his first season with the Clips. I believe he has the playmaking and scoring ability to even play the point at times given the recent departure of Chris Paul.

PPG: 4.1   RPG: 3.2   APG: 1.9   SPG: 0.7   BPG: 0.1

NBA Comparison: Malcom Brogdon

 

47. Ike Anigbogu – Indiana Pacers

Photo Credit/www.peachtreehoops.com

 

Anigbogu was signed to a rookie contract by the Pacers shortly after he was drafted. The UCLA product’s shot blocking could be what gets him court time in Indiana. His low post strength is also a positive about him. His shooting and quickness can be improved to make him more of an all-around C for the Pacers.

PPG: 1.8   RPG: 2.3   APG: 0.3   SPG: 0.2   BPG: 0.9

NBA Comparison: Kyle O’Quinn

 

46. Sterling Brown – Milwaukee Bucks

Photo Credit/www.twitter.com

 

Brown was drafted by the Sixers before being dealt to Milwaukee. Out of SMU, Brown is an do-it-all 6’6″ guard who can score off the dribble and make plays for others. His lack of explosiveness could hinder him at the next level, but he should be a good addition to the Bucks backcourt.

PPG: 3.2   RPG: 1.4   APG: 1.5   SPG: 0.9   BPG: 0.2

NBA Comparison: Archie Goodwin

 

45. Dillon Brooks – Memphis Grizzlies

Photo Credit/www.247sports.com

 

Brooks was originally taken by Houston before being traded to the Griz. He’ll bring much needed shooting to Memphis after the departure of veteran Vince Carter. Though Brooks seems to get a little tunnel vision at times, his aggressiveness will surely benefit the team.

PPG: 4.7   RPG: 2.3   APG: 0.8   SPG: 0.7   BPG: 0.1

NBA Comparison: Shabazz Muhammed

 

 

Credit to @nbascoutinglive.com

 

Digging Deeper with Daniel: 7/24-7/30 Discussing CTE

Digging Deeper with Daniel: 7/24-7/30 Discussing CTE

99% of NFL players and over 20% of high school football players have CTE according to a Boston University study

If you haven’t heard, 110 out of 111 deceased NFL players studied , 48 out of 53 deceased college football football players studied, and 3 out of 14 deceased high school football players were found to have CTE (a brain disease caused by repetitive hits to the head) in a Boston University study released this week. This is a concerning study, but not as concerning as the main-stream media would have you think. What hasn’t been studied is the frequency of CTE in the players of other sports such as boxing, UFC, lacrosse, rugby, hockey, or even soccer, all of which are likely to produce high rates of CTE in their players. One important note is also that all of the brains studied are out of dead people, which means that the bodies studied are more likely to have CTE because……well…..they’re dead. Additionally we don’t know two important pieces of this study, which are: What level of brain regression is considered CTE and how much does each varying degree of CTE affect the brain? This is certainly a concerning study, but don’t focus exclusively on football, and learn more about CTE before believing the media narrative of football being uniquely violent.

Corey Davis and the last NFL rookies sign with their teams

We won’t have a Joey Bosa scenario this year. This is great for the NFL because all the rookies will be able to participate in most of training camp and get fully prepared for the NFL. Better player quality equals a better product to watch. Only a few more weeks to go boys, now let’s get to football.

Xavier Rhodes signs a massive contract

Great. He’s staying in Minnesota. Now let’s get to football.

Kyrie rumors

The Cavs are reportedly willing to trade Kyrie to the Suns for Eric Bledsoe, Josh Jackson, and pick(s), but the Suns don’t want to give up Jackson. Kyrie reportedly really wants to go to the Knicks. Nothing has actually happened though, so these reports are just gossip right now.

Da’Shawn Hand arrested

Hand was arrested for a DUI on Saturday. He was a highly touted draft prospect for this upcoming draft and this will obviously negatively impact his draft stock to an extent still to be determined.

 

Image credit to directorsblog.nih.gov

Kings Changing More Than Just Their Roster

Kings Changing More Than Just Their Roster

It has been 11 NBA seasons since the Sacramento Kings have last appeared in a playoff game. Continue reading