I took the day off of work to get some stuff done and be ready to get out of dodge for the weekend tomorrow, but instead I found myself watching draftexpress scouting reports on youtube. Being that I didn't want it to be a complete waste of my morning I've decided to post some impressions. As most if not all of you know the videos go over a players strengths and weaknesses making them look both like the best player on the planet and the worst all within 10 minutes.
So here are my thoughts on likely Pistons targets:
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: The first half, or I should just say the whole video, is comprised of him taking 3's. You'd come away thinking it is the only shot he took all year. You look at the stats and realize he took 8 threes a game, so that's not far off. He shoots 37% on 3's and 42% overall, but because he takes so many 3's, and 37% is actually an above average percentage, he has a phenomenal 59% TS%. His defense and anticipation are as good as advertised. He loves to dunk in transition, but he's pretty horrible around the rim in the half court. He should probably just stick to shooting 3's and playing defense and dunking on the break. Dude can't make a layup in this video to save his life. I have no idea how he shot 50% on 2-point shots. Must have all been dunks in transition.
Michael Carter-Williams: He can make all the passes! Over the top, lobs, behind his back, across the court, in mid-air doing somersaults while knotting up his laces. He can make all the steals! On the ball, off the ball, between his legs, standing on his head, you can't get a ball by this man. His defense is pretty good both on and off the ball. He can get into the lane with ease. And then reality hits. For all the amazing passes he makes he takes so many chances that you end up with a highlight of great plays and one of bad plays. He can get into the lane, but he can't do much once he gets there hitting only 42% of his 2-point shots. Also a 26% turnover rate, which is 3rd worst for prospects. 29% 3-point shooter. To say Carter-Williams can't shoot is an exaggeration.
C.J. McCollum: Honestly this is just one awesome highlight reel. I can see why Sawyer's likes him. He came into the combine with a 38.5" vertical and you can see it. He really rises up on his shots. He's about a foot or more off the ground when he releases. Pretty impressive. He can drive, lay it up, dunk, fadeaway, finger roll, floater, shoot the 3, get to the line, crossover, dribble, this man is the deadliest offensive weapon in the draft. Hands down. He's like a Curry, Iverson, Ellis all wrapped into one. He has Iverson/Ellis style with the crossover and quick step and ability to get into the lane like there's nobody in front of him, but he has Curry's ability to shoot. He's a machine. He IS NOT a PG. He cannot see open men. He's too geared toward scoring. And for all the agility he shows on offense it's like his feet are stuck in cement on defense. I'm not sure what he's even looking at because the ball handler will have already made one or two steps to get past him before he even turns his hips to make a move. It's like he's one step ahead on offense and one behind on defense.
Shabazz Muhammad: 26% of his offense came in transition. He loves to get out and run, and loves to throw it down even more. Definitely an above the rim type player, and when you consider his 6'11" wingspan and 37" vertical at the combine you can see why. The fact that so much offense came in transition on a Ben Howland half-court slow it down team is interesting. The NBA is more open and the tempo is higher in general. People suspect that Howland held him down and I can instantly see what they mean. He can score in the post and he's pretty exceptional taking contact and making the bucket. He can hit the 3. Like KCP he dunks in transition but not on drives. He settles for jumpers or contested layups on his drives and only drives left, as he is left handed. Doesn't pass much. Doesn't create turnovers. Doesn't look good at defense, but doesn't look as horrible as McCollum did. Take away the highlight reel dunks and he looks pretty average.
Anthony Bennett: He is a dunking machine. Shot 74% at the rim which was top 10 in all of college basketball. Obvious athleticism is obvious right away. Also like to get out and run. He's pretty skilled. Rises up on his shots and has good form. Face up post game that is kind of old school, which would be fun to watch. He pump fakes on the perimeter and then drives. Out of all the videos I've watched today Bennett's game looks like the most prototypical NBA game. He's solid at just about everything and even things NBA players don't practice much these days like facing up in the post or pump faking and has a great mid-range shot. He's 19 years old. Just thought I'd throw that out there. Doesn't seem to take contact too well though. Not great at scoring with his back to the basket. And then there's the whole height thing. If he was 1 or 2 inches taller he'd be going #1 overall and there wouldn't be a discussion to the contrary.
(Update) Cody Zeller: I caved and watched the video even though I've predisposed myself to be opposed to taking him. He's a 7 foot white guy that runs as fast as Lebron and jumps as high as a guard. I'm already impressed. More? He hedges really great on P/R's. He's got cat like quickness and can jump out quick halting any PG's path around him. His offensive game is a lot better with his back to the basket. Both he and Bennett look to have the most skilled offensive games of big men I've seen. Bennett's is more outside in and face up. Zeller can face up but he's not a mid-range shooter. He only attempted 24 jump shots the whole year. He's kind of a wuss though. Half the video is of him getting pushed around by Payne/Sims or McGary/Morgan pretty much the only legit front courts he played against all year and then there's that whole Syracuse debacle where every shot he took was blocked. He turns it over quite a bit when a dude bodies him up he loses control. He just gets way too many shots blocked. Whatever vertical he showed up with at the combine he doesn't look to have in games.
Ok so overall impressions: Pick your poison? I was impressed with all of them, but KCP, McCollum, and Bennett would be my top 3. I like KCP's willingness to jack it up from outside and play tough defense and rebound. That would really help stretch the floor on offense for our big men down low. McCollum just looks fantastic on offense. He can't play PG and trying to force that would just be a disaster, but he could be a more efficient Ellis/Iverson at SG, and a definite upgrade over Knight. I don't know what to say about Bennett. I love his game. It's so old school and he dunks it every chance he gets. There is no pussy-footing around when he's by the rim. I wish he was a little bit taller, but I don't have to wish that he was a baller. (update) I'm coming around on Zeller, but his agent is telling people he's a stretch 4 for some reason I'm not understanding. He would need to not be such a pansy though and I'm not sure how a team would go about fixing that.
I can't decide.