Ole Dirty Klondike

ESPN Sophomore Rankings? Where's JJJ?

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How do you guys feel about the rankings below? Jaren comes in at #4 on one list and #5 on the other list:

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Top-10 Rankings

RANK PELTON SCHMITZ
1 Luka Doncic Luka Doncic
2 Trae Young Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
3 Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Trae Young
4 Jaren Jackson Jr. Deandre Ayton
5 Deandre Ayton Jaren Jackson Jr.
6 Devonte' Graham Mitchell Robinson
7 Mitchell Robinson Collin Sexton
8 Donte DiVincenzo Devonte' Graham
9 Duncan Robinson Donte DiVincenzo
10 Mikal Bridges

Marvin Bagley III

 

 

Quote

Assessing the big men

Schmitz: KP, would you rank Shai third overall? If so, who comes after that?

Pelton: I would, yeah. Admittedly, I didn't see it with Gilgeous-Alexander at the college level, and wasn't completely sold on him as an elite prospect even after a rookie season that beat expectations, but his growth in Year 2 has been enormous and shown major star potential. The Thunder have to be thrilled with getting Gilgeous-Alexander as a down payment in the Paul George trade, with multiple draft picks still to come.

I think the choice gets a bit more difficult when we move to the fourth spot on the list. There's a legitimate case in my mind to be made for Devonte' Graham, my pick for Most Improved Player, but this probably comes down to the top frontcourt player between 2018 No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton and 2018 No. 4 selection Jaren Jackson Jr.

 

Despite the progress Ayton made in improving his weaknesses during Year 2, I'm still inclined to go with Jackson because of his rare skill set. After showing promise as a 3-point shooter as a rookie, Jackson has become a legit threat, making 40% of his 6.3 attempts per game.

Among other players listed at 6-foot-11 and taller, only Karl-Anthony Towns has ever had a season like that. I've been pleasantly surprised by Jackson's ability to ramp up his usage rate in the NBA, and though he's not as stout a rebounder as Ayton, he's likely to become the more versatile defender.

Where do you go fourth, Mike?

Schmitz: I would still give Ayton the edge over Jackson, which is how I saw it on draft night in 2018. Although there's still work to be done, Ayton has started to turn the corner defensively, particularly as a rim-protector, while posting almost unprecedented box score stats for his age. He almost doubled his block percentage from his rookie (2.6) to sophomore seasons (4.5), has the foot speed to step out and guard the perimeter when he's fully engaged, and is still a force on the glass, even if he's not yet an elite box-out big. So, if Ayton is able to eventually become the same caliber rim-protector as Jackson and is already a far superior rebounder with more natural size, then Jackson's only real advantage is as a floor-spacer.

In addition to his superior shooting, Jackson's ball handling is much more fluid. He's also more than a year younger. I definitely understand the argument for JJJ given his age, shooting, agility, switchability and glimpses as a shot-blocker. But I worry about him becoming a bit one-dimensional offensively, as there were questions about his toughness on the interior prior to college. I think becoming a more reliable playmaker could help him take his game to the next level.

Ayton also has a lot of room to improve offensively. His efficiency took a hit this season in the 30 games he played. He also finished with more turnovers than assists at Arizona and during his first two seasons, and he has yet to tap into the floor-spacing potential he showed at the NCAA level (0-for-7 career 3s in NBA).

Jackson's game is a bit flashier and easier for basketball Twitter to get excited about, so I do think there was an overreaction early on in their respective NBA careers that JJJ was clearly a superior prospect to Ayton, and I don't see that being the case.

I find it funny that the guy's argument is that people thought that JJJ's game was superior to Ayton, yet Ayton was the #1 pick and JJJ was the #4 pick. Makes no sense. 

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52 minutes ago, I❤️JV said:

Ayton's sealing is Drummond ....Jaren's sealing is Giannis with a 42% 3 point shot.

*ceiling

But you're right to an extent. I think Ayton can be better on offense than Drummond, mostly because he can at least shoot a mid range jumper. Jaren can and should improve his playmaking ability to help really take his game to the next level. 

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add 10/15 pounds, start  posting up ,after 2 years he should jump up to 1or 2 

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starting to look bright for the Grizzlies,

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11 minutes ago, grizz09 said:

divincenzo is a good role player, but top 10?  nahhh

So who in his class is better than him?

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46 minutes ago, grizz09 said:

divincenzo is a good role player, but top 10?  nahhh

Donte Inferno’s advanced stats are nuts.  Trae’s are bipolar. Jaren is Mr. Average on offense but super bad on defense.

Luka is a stud by any metric.  

Ayton and Mitch Rob are good and have upside.  

What is SGA’s ceiling? Is he there yet?

I am keeping my eye on Mitch Rob and Donte Inferno. I would LOVE to sign these two. Would be perfect fits on the Grizzlies.

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6 hours ago, Ole Dirty Klondike said:

So who in his class is better than him?

The only two guys they have listed below DiVincenzo who I'd personally prefer over him are Marvin Bagley III and Michael Porter Jr., and I acknowledge they've both had their injury history, so wouldn't fault someone for preferring DD over them.

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37 minutes ago, ACGrizz said:

The only two guys they have listed below DiVincenzo who I'd personally prefer over him are Marvin Bagley III and Michael Porter Jr., and I acknowledge they've both had their injury history, so wouldn't fault someone for preferring DD over them.

The Bag Man and MPJ just seem like injury risks. I don’t think their “ceilings” on defense are that high either.  I would have both over Wendell Carter (Low ceiling?) and probably Mo Bamba (low floor? Injury risk).

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Jaren is about 3rd or 4th in my view, so pretty close, no way is Ayton above him

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I'm just a biased Grizz fan, but I think I'd still take JJJ's long term upside over Gilgeous-Alexander.  SGA is a good player who increased his scoring in his 2nd year, but his assist and steal rates went down, and I just think JJJ's unique fit in the modern nba is pretty valuable.  I'd personally put JJJ at third behind Doncic and Trae.

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1 minute ago, grizzknob said:

I'm just a biased Grizz fan, but I think I'd still take JJJ's long term upside over Gilgeous-Alexander.  SGA is a good player who increased his scoring in his 2nd year, but his assist and steal rates went down, and I just think JJJ's unique fit in the modern nba is pretty valuable.  I'd personally put JJJ at third behind Doncic and Trae.

yeah that's how I feel now, and felt when COVID halted play. Things may change when they start up again....hopefully for the better

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An argument could be made that since we have Ja on the team, we don't need a Trae, therefore value to the team would put Jaren at 2nd but I get that the list is not created to be viewed like that

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1 hour ago, BigHunkALove said:

An argument could be made that since we have Ja on the team, we don't need a Trae, therefore value to the team would put Jaren at 2nd but I get that the list is not created to be viewed like that

Ja and Luka along with Zion were the top three archetypes of the past couple of drafts and they were in a class by themselves.  

Jaren and Ayton and Mitch Rob are also really good archetypes (a tier below Ja/Luka/Zion) especially for big men.  Who’s the best? Depends on the team/fit/system although 3’s are worth more than 2’s so Jaren’s shooting has tons of value.  Mitch Rob is probably the better rim protector and rim runner of the 3.  Ayton is more well-rounded and probably the better rebounder overall.  Ideally, you pair a big man like Jaren with an elite rim runner/rim protector who can also rebound (like Mitch Rob).   Jaren (wow it auto-filled Karen!) and Ayton would be an ideal big man combo too.

Trae’s defense is abysmal, I think SGA might be overrated and the jury is still out on Sexton, but Mikal Bridges, Donte Inferno and Duncan Robinson each seems like an ideal archetypal role player.  

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1 3/4 seasons in and JJJ is looking like he was selected in the right place for his class, which is a good thing. Ayton was overvalued at one, Bagley was overvalued at 2 (but has had injuries), Luka was vastly undervalued at 3, JJJ was just right at 4 and Trae Young was undervalued at 5 and SGA was a great pick at 11, vastly undervalued.

I think there are probably tiers, I would place Luka on his own tier and then on that next tier, it would be Young, JJJ, SGA, Ayton and Robinson. After that, you can throw them in whatever tier, it doesn't matter but I think those are the top 2 tiers. Young puts up a lot of stats, mainly offensive production with points and assists but he does nothing to help the team win. Luka helps his team win. In the games I've watched with Young, it almost seemed like it was the "Trae Young exhibition show" as opposed to an Atlanta Hawks game, now granted, they don't have much talent (although John Collins did avg 20 and 10 and they have a couple of more high lottery picks on the team) but it seems like a  1 man show. I don't know if he will ever be a leader of a winning team. He seems like a guy who likes to put up stats more than winning but that's just my observation at this point. 

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IMHO player like Young is a disaster...He is exiting gets his stats, but probably the worst defender in the NBA....You can't win with him, you MUST max him out can't trade him (because fans will burn the building down)...just a complete nightmare of a player...so happy we have Ja.  

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1 hour ago, I❤️JV said:

IMHO player like Young is a disaster...He is exiting gets his stats, but probably the worst defender in the NBA....You can't win with him, you MUST max him out can't trade him (because fans will burn the building down)...just a complete nightmare of a player...so happy we have Ja.  

I agree, Trae Young is the epitome of a "me" player. His team can win when the talent level of the opponents isn't that great but at the NBA level he is flash not substance. 

AS far as JJJ is concerned, his play this past season showed sparks of offensive potential but overall he didn't improve that much despite his young age which leads people to justifiably question if he will reach his potential. 

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NBA is a game of runs, these teams play at max effort for like 20% of the game. So no matter what your stat line is, a good team needs their star to turn up when the heat is turned up.  Luka and Ja do that.  When the heat turns on, Trae Young just starts throwing up wild threes and making errant passes and his team follows.  That's why the Hawks lose so much, while Luka and Ja have made rosters that would be bottom 3 in the league without them playoff teams. 

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4 hours ago, chipc3 said:

I agree, Trae Young is the epitome of a "me" player. His team can win when the talent level of the opponents isn't that great but at the NBA level he is flash not substance. 

AS far as JJJ is concerned, his play this past season showed sparks of offensive potential but overall he didn't improve that much despite his young age which leads people to justifiably question if he will reach his potential. 

What do you think his potential is?

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4 hours ago, Dwash said:

NBA is a game of runs, these teams play at max effort for like 20% of the game. So no matter what your stat line is, a good team needs their star to turn up when the heat is turned up.  Luka and Ja do that.  When the heat turns on, Trae Young just starts throwing up wild threes and making errant passes and his team follows.  That's why the Hawks lose so much, while Luka and Ja have made rosters that would be bottom 3 in the league without them playoff teams. 

Are there any stats that actually bear this out? I remember towards the end of last season, Trae's "clutch time" stats were actually very good for a rookie. Curious if that changed or the stats are misleading due to the definition of clutch time.

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2 minutes ago, Ole Dirty Klondike said:

What do you think his potential is?

In my opinion JJJ's potential is a 20/10 player with 2.5 BPG and up to 4.0 APG.

His potential is that high in my opinion. However I don't see him tracking at that pace yet. His rebounds actually went down last season from his rookie year. His three point shooting went up but his shots inside the perimeter went down, his FG% went down, his FT attempts went down, his FT% went down.

I am well documented in saying I didn't feel he came into camp prepared for the season and  and that he didn't work on the weaker parts of his game in off season, preferring to be the "face" of the team and running around doing PR events rather than work on his game. I was told then that I was premature in that assessment. Now that the season is a mere 8 games away from completion I think people should take a strong look at what JJJ has actually done to improve his game. 

 

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8 minutes ago, ACGrizz said:

Are there any stats that actually bear this out? I remember towards the end of last season, Trae's "clutch time" stats were actually very good for a rookie. Curious if that changed or the stats are misleading due to the definition of clutch time.

https://stats.nba.com/players/clutch-traditional/?sort=GP&dir=-1&Season=2019-20&SeasonType=Regular Season&TeamID=1610612737

If you only want to look at sophomore guards for their crunch time stats you'll find that Young still isn't that good in crunch time. 

 https://stats.nba.com/players/clutch-traditional/?sort=FGA&dir=-1&Season=2019-20&SeasonType=Regular Season&PlayerPosition=G&StarterBench=Starters&PlayerExperience=Sophomore

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10 minutes ago, ACGrizz said:

Are there any stats that actually bear this out? I remember towards the end of last season, Trae's "clutch time" stats were actually very good for a rookie. Curious if that changed or the stats are misleading due to the definition of clutch time.

http://www.82games.com/1920/19ATL1.HTM

Clutch time means closer than 5 points with less than 5 minutes. I would have to say however thar the Hawks "clutch time" was often a period of time in the 2nd and 3rd quarter when the other team would go on a massive run and put the game away... atleast in many of the games I saw. 

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