Wednesday, June 22, 2011

NBA Draft: Position Breakdown-Big Men

This year's crop of big men have a lot of solid role players. There's a lot of youth in this group as my top 4 guys are all under 20 years old (there is speculation that Bismack Biyombo is actually 22 years old). Kanter is the top player but several guys should have an impact at the next level.

Here are my top big men rankings:

1. Enes Kanter-C-Turkey-INT. 6-11/259/9-2

NBA comparison: Marc Gasol/Al Horford
Like Gasol and Horford, Kanter has the body to bang inside but can also hit the 15 footer. Big men with his size and skill level are very rare.

Likely career role: starting center with star potential, possible 18 and 10 guy, a 2nd/3rd best player to compliment a superstar on a good team
2. Jonas Valanciunas-C-Lithuania-INT. 7-0/240
Last year's stats: 7.7ppg, 5.8rpg (Euroleague)
NBA comparison: Joakim Noah
A work in progress that can one day be the type of defender, rebounder and hustler that Noah is. He has the size to match Noah, if his heart can match Noah then he will be a very valuable player.

Likely career role: starting defensive center to pair alongside a star or scoring PF
3. Tristan Thompson-PF-Texas-Fr. 6-9/227/9-1
Last year's stats: 13.1ppg, 7.8rpg
NBA comparison: a stronger Tyrus Thomas
They have the same initials and both only spent one year in college. Tristan knows his role and does it well. He should be able to have a better career than Thomas because he's more mature.

Likely career role: starting PF and a team's top rebounder
4. Bismack Biyombo-C/F-Congo-INT. 6-9/243
NBA comparison: Ben Wallace/Joel Anthony
Like Wallace and Anthony, Biyombo has little to no offensive skill. Lukily for him he's HUGE. All the team that picks him will want him to do is rebound and block shots

Likely career role: role playing big that can eventually start
5. Markieff Morris-PF-Kansas-Jr. 6-9/241/8-11
Last year's stats: 13.6ppg, 8.3rpg
NBA comparison: Robin Lopez
Both players are slightly less skilled on the offensive end than their twin brothers. However both are a little tougher and like to do the dirty work.

Likely career role: starting PF on a bad/average team, backup on a playoff team
6. Kenneth Faried-PF-Morehead-Sr. 6-8/225/9-0
Last year's stats: 17.3ppg, 14.5rpg, 2.3bpg
NBA comparison: Udonis Haslem
You don't win championships without guys like Haslem and Faried. Comparing him to Dennis Rodman is a littel extreme right now. However there's no reason to believe he can't be the same type of role player that Haslem is for the Heat.
Likely career role: starting PF/specialty rebounder and defender
7. Nikola Vucevic-C-USC-Jr. 7-0/260/7-4
Last year's stats: 17.1ppg, 10.3rpg
NBA comparison: Mehmet Okur
Like Okur, Vucevic has a nice mid range game and is developing into a solid rebounded and defender. They both lack quickness and explosiveness, but when you're 7 feet with good bulk you don't need it
Likely career role: role playing starting center
8. Trey Thompkins-PF-Georgia-Jr. 6-10/239/9-0
Last year's stats: 16.4ppg, 7.6rpg, 48%-FG%
NBA comparison: Channing Frye
Like Frye, Thompkins has the size to bang inside but would rather hit open threes. The NBA always has a place for big man that can knock down open threes. Just ask Sam Perkins.

Likely career role: solid backup PF
9. Justin Harper-PF-Richmond-Sr. 6-9/228/8-10
Last year's stats: 17.9ppg, 6.9rpg, 48%-FG%
NBA comparison: poor man's David West
I could also compare Harper to Frye but he's a little tougher than Frye or Thompkins. I think he could eventually start at power forward but he would need a point guard like Chris Paul to make him look good. He ran a lot of pick and roll with Kevin Anderson at Richmond to he already has that skill. He's a very good sleeper in this draft.

Likely career role: solid backup PF
10. Jeremy Tyler-C/F-USA-INT. 6-11/262/9-3
Last year's stats: 9.9ppg, 6.4rpg (Japanese League)
NBA comparison: Kendrick Perkins/Jackie Butler
Butler was a talented high school player who was a stud in JUCO and had the size to play in the NBA. Perkins was a stud in high school who went straight to the NBA in 2004 and took time to develop. Perkins was the starting center on the 08 Celtics and is now the starting center on the Thunder. Bulter could never cut it in the NBA and who knows where he is now? Tyler will try to have a career like Perkins but may end up like Butler.

Likely career role: role playing big with boom/bust potential

Other possible 2nd round picks:

11. JuJuan Johnson-PF-Purdue-Sr. 6-10/220/9-0

12. Jon Leuer-PF-Wisconsin-Sr. 6-11/223/8-11

13. Jordan Williams-PF-Maryland-So. 6-9/247/8-11

14. Keith Benson-C/F-Oakland-Sr. 6-11/217/9-2

15. Malcolm Thomas-PF-San Diego St.-Sr. 6-9/223/9-0

16. Jamie Skeen-PF-VCU-Sr. 6-8/241/8-1

7. Greg Smith-C-Fresno St.-So. 6-9/253/8-11

18. Rick Jackson-PF-Syracuse-Sr. 6-9/242/8-11

19. Matthew Bryan-Amaning-PF-Washington-Sr. 6-9/232

20. Willie Reed-PF-St. Louis-Jr. 6-9/220

21. Josh Harrelsom-C-Kentucky-Sr. 6-10/280

22. Vernon Macklin-C/F-Florida-Sr. 6-9/243

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