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VALENTINE'S DAY BIG BOARD

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Here is my Valentine's Day Big Board. 

Not much clarity at the top, but some familiar faces plus some new guys.  Although the depth of this draft looks solid, even in the top 4-8 range.  

Are there any LEGIT Tier 1 guys at this point?  I am really not sure.  Although I think there are quite a few Tier 2 guys and maybe even a Tier 1.5 guy even if this draft turns out to be mediocre.

I think it is a good draft and could be VERY good.  

When in doubt, go with play makers.  Decent big man depth too.  Not too many top tier rim runners/shot blockers but there are a few second rate/utility rim runners/shot blockers, and that could be a good place to find value.

So... here is my first round.  

I will do a TWO ROUND big board during March Madness.

Thanks.

First Round

1.  Matt Mitchell.  IF Zion Williamson is CLOSER to the next Karl Malone -- which I think he is -- then Matt Mitchell out of SDSU might be the next Sir Charles.  Awesome, emphatic highlight dunk the other night!!!

2. Onyeka Okongwu.  Might be "Mister Ceiling" in this year's draft.  Looks to be able to make defensive stops/plays at different parts of the floor, whether to blow up a pick and roll/pick and pop OR at the rim/inside where he looks to be effective.  Could be a 4.  Could be a small ball 5.  Might depend on a team's offense and point guard.  Looks to be quick and a good all-around athlete.   His floor projection is a solid, secondary big man who is low usage/low maintenance and might not even have to TOUCH the ball to be relatively effective.  Should have really good advanced stats on defense, and projects to be a competitor on the boards and a vertical floor spacer.

3. James Wiseman.  Kind of a mystery man.  Two years ago I thought he was the poor man's Mitchell Robinson.  Could still be that guy, although he could still be a good one.  I think he projects as a bouncier/more athletic Greg Oden (hopefully with a clean bill of health and better alignment).

4. Deni Avdija.  Looks solid.  An import guy that shows flashes of potential.  Looks like he can make plays without dominating the ball.  Even if Luka Doncic is a far-better prospect, this Deni dude looks more like Larry Bird.

5. LaMelo Ball.  Rec league Magic.  You take that at 5.

6. Tyrese Haliburton.  Could end up being the LaMelo Ball of our generation.  Good player.  Should be a solid franchise quarterback at the next level ESPECIALLY if his shot is legit.  Ironically, could end up being a less-hyped version of LaMelo Ball's bro Lonzo.

7. Tre Jones.  Utility point guard but really good on defense.  Can run a team.  Might be the prototype "backup quarterback" but he can be a solid starter on a high level team.

8.  Markus Howard.  Small.  Tiny even given his slight frame.  Not even shooting that great from 3 ball land in terms of percentages but he is a legit flame thrower with a Steph/Trae shooting/scoring skill set.  

9. Obi Toppin.  Supposedly not a defender but a high motor guy who loves to dunk.  Looks to be a great threat as a 4 or a 3 or even a small ball 3.  He just produces.  

10. Anthony Edwards.  SHOULD be a good scorer/shooter.  LOOKS like a good shooter/scorer.  But, he has been erratic and enigmatic at best.  But, this still looks like good value at 10 even if his UPSIDE or even his baseline never really gets matched.

11. Makur Maker.  Almost forgot about this guy.  Questions are gonna be about his motor, explosiveness and intensity but his highlights look promising.  Can handle the ball and shoot it and given his 6'11 or 7 foot frame then that is an interesting prospect.  Looks well built too, and can probably add some muscle which wouldn't take away from his speed and could probably make him more explosive.  He has top 5 potential but this could also be 25 spots too high.

12. Xavier Tillman.  Utility five tool big man.

13. Cole Anthony.  Lost season.  

14. Borisa Simanic.  Is tall and can shoot.  Upside: you can keep him/stash him overseas for another year or two (maybe).  

15.  Precious Achiuwa.  Combo forward tweener.  Needs to go to a good system with a good ponit guard.  Should put up nice hustle stats.  If his ball skills and shot improve could turn into a muscular Siakam.  Or, a Broke Man's LeBron.

16. Vernon Carey, Jr.  Big man who can score/board.  Needs to go to a good scheme.  Could be a Z Bo type who blocks shots and passes.  You roll the dice on that sort of potential at 16.

17.  Isaac Okoro.  Defender in a basketball world without defense.  IF he can guard Zion as well as some other dudes (Luka/LeBron) then he could go higher up (mid-lotto) even if he never projects as a shooter or a primary scorer.

18.  Naji Marshall.  Good solid wing.  The Stepien likes him.  Passed the "look test" when I watched him.

19.  Josh Green.  Another wing with two-way potential.

20. Ashton Hagans. The Tre Jones of the SEC.  Might project better on defense, but I am not sure about the rest of the package.  Could turn into a better pro than Tre Jones.

21. Tyrese Maxey.  Combo guard.  Can get hot.  OR shoot your team out of the gym.  Although maybe you put him on the ball and make him a high octane dual-threat quarterback.

22.  Nick Richards.  Rim runner/shot blocker.  Javale potential and you go with that at 22 if that is what you need.  

23.  Nico Mannion.  Has had some bad games.  Maybe he goes back to school.  BUT, at the very least he is a top tier backup point guard who can also spot up (play off the ball).  

24.  Isaiah Stewart.  Gets it done.  Great size.  Not super explosive, athletic or dynamic.  Otherwise, he looks like Karl Malone.

25. Shareef O'Neal.  Gonna transfer to LSU but if you can get him to come out, I think you wanna take a chance on the upside, the genes, and the ability to shoot/score along with rebound/dunk/block shots as a prototype 4 "in today's NBA" and also offers small-ball 5 potential.  BUT, if he continues to fill out and gain muscle he wouldn't even be a "small" five.  

26. Tres Tinkle.  Not an athlete.  Good floor game, and produces.  Solid baseline guy even if his ceiling looms low.  I had him higher earlier in the season, and had him higher on this board but I forgot about Makur Maker.  Not even sure if Maker comes out since he is in HS at the moment.

27.  Chandler Lawson.  UPSIDE guy.  Raw.  But, prototype size, length, athleticism for the 3.  Not sure if he comes out this year (probably not) since he really isn't even on the radar, but not a TON of guys with prototype small forward size.

28.  Payton Pritchard.  I have liked watching this guy this year.  Or, at least his highlights.  Trying to think of a comp, and just thought of one -- has a Kyle Lowry-esque mentality if not game.  

29.  Antwann Jones.  Upside.  Sitting out the year and headed to Creighton but he is a good-sized playmaker (6'5 or 6'6) with some flair and scoring versatility.  Also shows flashes of good/really good defense.  I could see him moving up my boards even if he never shows up on the radar (this season).

30.  Jericho Sims.  Solid rim running type who can get up quick and also block shots.  Probably a broke man's Brandon Clarke (at best) but I think you take that.  

 

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