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In a draft headlined by Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley and Michael Porter Jr this sentence looks like blasphemy but being a good or great NBA player is decided by more than freak physical tools or jaw dropping raw athleticism.
Too often we ignore basketball IQ, intangibles, work ethic and character when evaluating a prospect. Now I am not saying talent doesn't matter merely that it is only part of the formula for finding a good or great NBA player.
Deandre Ayton is the best pure talent in this draft and his ceiling could be a star or even superstar level. However I worry that he doesn't really care if he reaches his ceiling. His demeanor and work ethic make me worry he will get paid and stop trying to improve. Against a Buffalo team that he had huge physical advantages over he completely disappeared. In the NBA with his subpar defense if he starts taking nights off he will quickly become a net negative and a liability.
Marvin Bagley has superstar talent and elite physical tools but his poor understanding of defensive concepts is a huge hurdle. He also will need to refine his offensive game as his advantages will be less pronounced at the next level. Unlike Ayton it's not for lack of effort but poor execution so the hope remains that the right coaching staff can fix this.
Michael Porter Jr makes this list because I think he is better suited as a PF.
He seems to not really care about defense, his handle is average at best and this was against mostly High School competition. On top of these gaping flaws , he has had a lingering back injury and chronic hip issues we are supposed to believe are not a long term problem. I would not let my worst enemy waste a 1st round pick on him.
Wendell Carter Jr is not perfect by any means but here are his flaws. He is not an elite athlete and at six foot ten he is a bit short for the center position that is it. He possess an elite basketball IQ, strong passing ability for a big, solid rim protection ability and an array of post moves as well as a jump shot out to the 3 point line. He rebounds well at 13 per 40 minutes and the tape looks like a love child of Zach Randolph, Al Horford and Marc Gasol. Wendell Carter will be a perennial all star and probably a star without much growth and a top 10 center. The other bigs you have to do some hoping and quite a bit of projecting to think they will get there.
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