As much intrigue as Zion Williamson holds for his athletic tools, his question marks spark just as much debate. At a height of 6’7” and weighing 285 pounds Zion’s measurements cause real concern about his non traditional proportions.
Although not obese to our knowledge his BMI of 32 puts him in that range. Let’s take a look at some of the high BMI and high weight risk factors and the research on how much more prevalent injuries become.
A study in the American Journal of Medicine showed a potential link between obesity or high weight and a higher prevalence of injuries. This includes anything relatively minor for sake of context. In another study it was shown shin splints and ankle sprains were more common to anyone with a high weight and or BMI.
My bigger concern however are Zion’s knees his dependence on his athleticism means a knee injury would be devastating. Your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a key stabilizer of your knee and guides your tibia (shin bone) through a normal, stable range of motion.
The ACL is a broad, thick cord the size of your index finger with long collagen strands woven together in a way that allows it to withstand up to 500lbs of force.
A study in the Oxford journal of medicine shows that high weight can contribute to osteoarthritis a type of arthritis caused by heavy use of the joints and commonly seen in your 30’s. As far ligament damage ligament sprains seem to be more prevalent but could an ACL tear be more likely? Let’s keep digging.
Some risk factors that make ACL tears more prevalent are genetics, anatomy which can include weight and proportion, being female or obese. Zion is not female that we know of. Genetics definitely does play a role but for the purpose of this we don’t know Zion’s genetic profile.
It would seem his weight, proportions and the process of cutting, running and the strain playing basketball mean Zion is at a higher risk of an ACL tear. Zion’s weight is heavier than you would like for his height and it would seem increases his risk of a potential ACL tear.
We see a fairly strong chance Zion is injury prone. What do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Marvin Bagley III has unlimited potential; Zion Williamson is an athletic freak and Cassisus Stanley might have been made by a mad scientist in a laboratory.
All of these elite prospects have one thing in common they have been commits to Duke University.
Stanley has yet to make his collegiate debut however his potential is clear at 6’6” with a rangy wingspan and elite athleticism he has all the tools you want in a superstar NBA player. His high school stats at Sierra Canyon follow.
Most impressively were the 4 assists and 7 rebounds Stanley averaged in high school showing he could impact the game in multiple ways. His 18 points per game are more impressive when you appreciate his versatility.
Zion Williamson was just as impressive at Spartanburg Day High School his stats were 32 points 11 rebounds and 3 assists per game. Zion has always been a beast on defense in both high school and college and that’s never been the concerning side with how he’ll translate in the NBA.
Marvin Bagley III has everything you want in a modern NBA big man. Elite athleticism, good wingspan, great motor and the potential to be a knock down jump shooter.
Bagley also dominated in high school and college.
At Sierra Canyon High School Bagley’s stats were 25 points, 10 rebounds and 2 assists per game.
In college Bagley and Zion continued to perform.
Bagley Posted 21 points, 11 rebounds and 2 assists at Duke. Zion’s freshmen stats were 23 points, 9
rebounds and 2 assists per game.
My biggest concerns with Zion are lack of advanced handle, literally no jump shot and lack of length and height.
I do not have these concerns about Bagley.
We have yet to see what Cassius Stanley can do in college but I expect big things from him.
We here at Basketball Rehab see Bagley as a future superstar. You can read more about that here .
We are not as high on Zion .
Cassius Stanley is a wait and see as we don’t have his college performance to measure yet but for now our money is on Marvin Bagley III out of the three.
You watch Marvin Bagley jet up and down a basketball court and his athleticism reminds you of a young Blake Griffin. Shades of prime Amare Stoudamire also come to mind.
Bagley's athletic gifts and scoring ability tell you he'll be a perennial all star but other than potential what else supports this conclusion.
We will take a closer look at a statistical comparison of Marvin Bagley, Amare Stoudamire and Blake Griffin in an effort to more clearly define what Bagley's future may look like.
Bagley did not play as heavy of minutes so game stats will be displayed per 36 min intervals.
Bagley's rookie season saw him post 21 points, 11 rebounds 1 ast, 1 steal, 1 block
For proper context Stoudamire's per 36 was 16 points 10 REBS 1 AST, 1 steal, 1 block
and Blake Griffin's rookie per 36 was 21 points 11 rebs, 4 asts, 1 stl, 1 blk
Advanced stats tell a more clear picture
Bagley had a positive Vorp of 0.1 compared to a 0.6 for Stoudamire and a 4.0 for Griffin.
Bagley tied Griffin with a 111 offensive rating or above average offensive efficiency but his defensive rating was a relatively average 110.
Even more promising is the age context Bagley posted a comparable stat line at only 19. Stoudamire was 20 and Blake Griffin 21 in their rookie seasons.
These are among the reasons why it's easy to see Marvin Bagley as the next superstar big in the NBA.
Sports Illustrated released their top 100 and it was terrible. We are releasing ours because some atrocities must not be allowed.
A notable omission is Demarcus Cousins we are not sure he will be even a shell of his former self. Some these rankings may surprise as we took injuries and player recovery into account.
Here is our top 100:
1. Kawhi Leonard
3. James Harden
4. Stephen Curry
5. Lebron James
6. Nikola Jokic
7. Joel Embiid
8. Paul George
9. Russell Westbrook
10. Damian Lillard
11. Anthony Davis
12. Jimmy Butler
13. Victor Oladipo
14. Kyrie Irving
15. Kemba Walker
16. Blake Griffin
17. Donovan Mitchell
18. Bradley Beal
19. Kevin Durant
20. Rudy Gobert
21. Karl Anthony Towns
22. Nikola Vucevic
23. Pascal Siakim
24. Mike Conley
25. Jrue Holiday
26. Khris Middleton
27. De'Aaron Fox
28. Trae Young
29. Demar Derozan
30. Luka Doncic
31. Clint Capela
32. Ben Simmons
33. Julius Randle
34. Buddy Hield
35. Tobias Harris
36. Klay Thompson
37. D'Angelo Russell
38. Draymond Green
39. Danillo Gallinari
40. Eric Bledsoe
41. Andre Drummond
42. Al Horford
43. Kyle Lowry
44. Lamarcus Aldridge
45. Chris Paul
46. Cj McCollum
47. Jamal Murray
48. Devin Booker
49. John Collins
50. Zach Lavine
51. Lauri Marraken
52. Bojan Bogdanovic
53. Bogdan Bogdanovic
54. Myles Turner
55. Otto Porter Jr
56. Kristaps Porzingis
57. Malcom Brogdon
58. Marvin Bagley
59. Lou Williams
60. Derrick Favors
61. Mitchell Robinson
62. Marc Gasol
63. Gordon Hayward
64. Derrick Rose
65. Jeremy Lamb
66. Paul Millsap
67. Bam Adebayo
68. Caris Levert
69. Rudy Gay
70. Willie Cauley Stein
71. Serge Ibaka
72. DeAndre Jordan
73. Jonas Valancunias
74. Jayson Tatum
75. Thaddeus Young
76. Reggie Jackson
77. Taj Gibson
78. JJ Reddick
79. Richaun Holmes
80. DJ Augustin
81. Larry Nance Jr
82. Terrence Ross
83. Alex Len
84. Dwight Powell
85. Thomas Bryant
86. Spencer Dinwiddie
87. Aaron Gordon
88. Josh Richardson
89. Brook Lopez
90. Eric Bledsoe
91. Dewayne Dedmon
92. Tj Warren
93. Thomas Santorasky
94. Robert Covington
95. Delon Wright
96. Joe Ingles
97. Kyle Kuzma
98. Ivica Zubac
99. Tristan Thompson
100. RJ Barrett
We divided our list into tiers. Up to number 50 is all star caliber. 50 through 60 are fringe all stars and the rest are average starters.
Let us know your thoughts in comments,
Carmelo Anthony is one of the more polarizing players in Today's NBA his supporters swear he still has something left to give.
The detractors never really cared for his game and think he is washed.
We will attempt to argue why Carmelo Anthony could be a great 6th man in the right system due to his iso scoring ability. He's not a star anymore but we see real value in what he can offer.
For comparison sake Jamal Crawford and Eric Gordon are similar player types to what I envision for Anthony.
In Carmelo's last full season in a system that was a fit he averaged 22.4 points per game more than Klay Thompson, Devin Booker and Blake Griffin.
Carmelo performed at near replacement level in his brief Houston stint last season with a 0.3 VORP.
His 16 points per game was more than Aaron Gordon, Marcus Morris and Rudy Gay.
Statistically he posted very similar numbers to Jamal Crawford.
Defensively in the right system Carmelo is capable of performing near league average as he posted a 109 defensive rating in his last full season played. These are among the reasons we believe as a potent bench scorer he still belongs in the NBA.
John Wall was a star for 6 years for the Washington Wizards in the NBA.
No one is denying Wall's talent the issue is his health and the impact of his most recent injury.
On the surface you hope for a miracle recovery modern medicine has come a long way but Wall's prognosis is not good. A ruptured Achilles is not just devastating it can be career altering for any basketball player.
The Achilles tendon is a bandlike substance that attaches the calf muscle to the heel bone.
A major injury like this effects both coordination and future health as well.
For the Wizard's the question remains do you hope for a miracle or cut your losses?
Here are some of the reasons for optimism:
Wall is only 28, he'll be 29 when he's ready to return one of the youngest ever Achilles injury cases among pro basketball players.
Here are some reasons not to be optimistic:
Wall had a full Achilles rupture, the history of those doesn't have many examples who were even productive let alone a shell of themselves.
Wall looked overweight prior to his injury leading to concerns about his work ethic and conditioning.
On average an Achilles injury leads to a 20% decrease in production this would bring Wall down to league average.
Do you think Wall can defy the odds? Let us know in the comments.
Now that free agency has mostly drawn to a close let's take a look at this years winners and losers:
New York Knicks-
This will be a controversial opinion but here is what the Knicks accomplished this summer. They signed a 24 year old Julius Randle who I firmly believe can be a star. Bobby Portis is one of the best lunch pail bigs in the league and will make a great addition as well. Marcus Morris is a great veteran SF pickup additionally. New York after missing out on Durant could have chased B tier free agents and given out big money but they maintained long term financial flexibility instead.
The Clippers signed Kawhi Leonard a clear top 5 player and kept the core of a 48 win team. The Paul George trade was just icing on the cake.
The Miami Heat-
Although it was a sign and trade getting Jimmy Butler and solidifying their playoff chances is a clear win.
Bojan Bogdanovic is one of the most underrated players in the league. The Jazz with the Mike Conley trade now have three options on offense to pair with an elite defense. The stuff of nightmares once the playoffs begin.
Losing Bogdanovic hurts but adding Brogdon not only improves their shooting the TJ Warren trade likely replaces most of Bogdanovic scoring. The Pacers are even deeper in a much improved East.
Kyrie Irving is great not denying that but here is my worry. They have a post Achilles Kevin Durant on a max contract and punted on all star PG D'Angelo Russell. My other concern is Durant he's about to be 32 coming off an Achilles injury how well will he recover? That's Brooklyn's problem now.
The Hornets lost there only star for nothing and have a cap sheet that is literally tear inducing. Things are real dark in NC.
Kawhi Leonard left for nothing, a championship still doesn't change that. Although you can argue it was worth the cost.
Where do I even begin? The Suns paid Indiana to take Warren, signed Baynes instead of keeping the less expensive Holmes, paid Memphis to take former top 5 pick Josh Jackson. Even worse was anybody else going to pay Ricky Rubio 17 million long term? I seriously doubt it.
I spend a lot of time harping on what I feel is poor planning or execution. I will admit Blake Griffin is an elite offensive player and very talented. However with the exception of Tim Duncan winning with a big man as your best player isn't that effective. For it to have any prayer of working that big needs to be elite on both ends like Patrick Ewing or Tim Duncan. Griffin is an average at best defender.
However it gets worse Blake Griffin has played an average of 60 games a season over his career. He has had surgeries on both knees including a torn Meniscus, Broken Kneecap, Loose bodies cleared from both and missed time at the end of last season from knee inflammation.
Griffin is 30 years old playing on two surgically repaired knees how much longer can that last?
On top of the real concern as to whether Griffin has many seasons left. His supporting cast leaves much to be desired.
The Pistons have no one their roster who should be an NBA starter at either wing position. Luke Kennard is promising 2nd year player but other than praying he becomes Reddick 2.0 not much quality of young talent.
Reggie Jackson probably would be backup on over half the teams in the league and has his own injury concerns.
Andre Drummond is an all star caliber center but should not be your 2nd best player.
The FO and Management think they are "close". Close to what exactly?
Rj Barrett is a young superstar with James Harden level potential. The Knicks added a player with MVP level talent. Hard not to call that a win.
Cleveland Cavaliers- Kevin Porter Jr has star potential, Darius Garland could easily be a solid pro, Dylan Windler is one of the best shooters in the draft. Great haul overall.
Atlanta Hawks- Cam Reddish has star potential, DeAndre Hunter has the potential to be an excellent 3 and D player.
Phoenix Suns- Cameron Johnson is almost 24 and despite his role player potential their were better prospects on the board at 11. The Suns traded out of the better part of the draft for Dario Saric who I am not convinced is even an NBA player.
Tyler Herro might be a decent player but the Heat passed up on better prospects for him. I'm not sure the Heat have the luxury of drafting safer picks and ignoring upside.
Tyreke Evans sat in a hotel room in 2012. He was frustrated in his mind he was the next big thing but his body was failing him.
Evans had just had another knee surgery he could already tell it was was taking a toll. The former Rookie Of The Year had his head in his hands, he was depressed and felt like his career was slipping away. The first time he tried Cocaine was to try to manage the physical and emotional pain. He did a line and the rush came. The Euphoria helped him forget the pain and little did he know he was hooked.
A league source confided Tyreke began partying and doing so much cocaine that he needed black market Xanax to manage the anxiety and paranoia it caused. He was spiraling out of control but inside he just wanted the pain to end. Tyreke never wanted to try Heroin, that shit is scary he would say but the prescription opioids from his multiple knee surgeries where his introduction.
Tyreke Evans was an addict by the time he signed with the Indiana Pacers this year. He would come to practices high and many of his teammates were worried about his well being.
Then came the drug test. Tyreke would test positive for drugs of abuse and would be banned from the NBA. Hopefully he gets the help he needs and can resurrect his career.