ALT GRIND

2020 Lottery Big Board Update (Bubble World Edition)

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The Bubble is here.  The NBA is back.

Here is my updated Lottery Big Board.

If you guys want to move this to Off Topic or something, that's cool.

I am kinda bummed about Winslow being out.  So maybe we can talk about something else for a minute.  We still have a ton of perimeter depth, but less so.  Who is gonna guard LeBron?  And, guys like that?  Who knows... I think we are gonna go with an optimized starting lineup that also takes into account our bench players (who is best used in a five-man bench mob).  Not even sure we go with a classic 6th man off the bench.  Might just be the starters, then flip it over to the B side.  I think we ride the hot hands, taking into account potential mis-matches as much as possible.  I don't think we will overthink it -- I think.

Back to the draft -- we are stuck at 40.  And, it looks like our favorite sleeper guys are moving up.  Our DEEP sleeper picks are probably moving up to.  Upside: still a deep draft and there should be some semi-decent options at 40.  It's a role player/utility player draft too so maybe we won't miss our  1st round pick that much (conveyed to Boston, around 17 or so).

Lotto

1.  Deni Avdija:  high end play maker might be his baseline.  Sketchy shooting stats have turned around a bit.  Looks solid from 3 now.  Good form.  Maybe not an uber-volume 3 point shooter a la Jaren Jackson, Jr. (hopefully) but if he shoots high-30's on 4ish attempts a night then that will open up the rest of his game.  Like Jaren, he practices the Lost Art of ALT GRIND BASKETBALL.  He gets out of the way on offense and IN the way on defense.  His defense ain't great but he competes ok.  Looks like a decent rebounder, and a grab-and-go guy.  That's a sneaky swing skill now.  Comparisons: shades of Toni Kukoc, the guy Coach K thought Christian Laettner was, hints of Lamar Odom with flashes of Ben Simmons.  He gets the Danilo Gallinari comp which isn't a bad player.  Probably a top 3-5ish pick in most drafts.  Upside: a cross between an ABA version of Larry Bird and John Wick.  

2. James Wiseman: good athlete.  Freakish hops when he gets going.  Bouncy, but I am not sure if the second jump is elite or just super solid.  Volume rebounder.  Blocks a lot of shots.  Probably the best shot blocker in the draft.  And as a legit 7 footer with a 7'6 wing span I think his shot blocking skills transfer.  Maybe not as quick footed as Mitchell Robinson but I think he is a really good rim runner option off the pick and roll or just as a weak-side lob threat.  Hits on enough foul shots to keep the defense honest.  Don't love his jumper/3 pointer.  Kind of a slow, awkward lineup from super-deep (shades of Bill Cartwright but Cartwright might be the awkward shooting motion GOAT).  That being said, he reminds me of some of my favorite centers growing up.  Even ones I heard about before my time.  Comparisons from retro to semi-retro to modern day: Globetrotter young Wilt, Nate Thurmond, Artis Gilmore, Bill Walton, Robert Parish, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Dwight Howard, the guy we all hoped Greg Oden would be (but more of an athlete, better build).  

3. LaMelo Ball: can't shoot.  Can't run.  Can't jump.  IF he could he would be a top 2 pick.  Wonderful passer. Can handle the ball.  Critics would say that he is just a slower, less athletic, worse-shooting Pistol Pete Maravich with worse shot selection, less discipline, and a more over-bearing father than Pete.  I would say that too (just did).  Even so ... a really good pick for the Knicks if they end up at 3.  I think he can get RJ Barrett some good shots -- and he could form a potentially EPIC pick/roll alley-oop combo with Mitch Rob.  ... or, I think the T Wolves' best bet would be to trade KAT to the Warriors for their 1st (plus other assets) and draft BOTH Wiseman and LaMelo.  Shades of Blue Chips in that case.  Potentially the BEST outcome for both young studs, too.  T Wolves win the draft if they do this.

4. Aleksej Pokusevski.  Highlights are fun.  Super skinny though but he kinda looks like an over-stretched point guard.  He has all-around skills and might top out as a jack-of-all-trades 7 footer with a good (but not jaw dropping for his height) 7'3 wing span.  Stretch Steve Nash needs to put on weight, muscle and work on his explosiveness but he flashes some Arvydas Sabonis potential.

5.  Cassius Stanley: freakish hops.  Awesome straight line speed.  More of a Brandon Clarke of wing players than the next Michael Jordan, but that is one heck of a player.  Broke Duke's vertical jump record (held by Zion).  In a conference with historically great leapers like MJ, Zion, David Thompson, and Vince Carter, Cassius acquits himself nicely.  Not really long so I think he is more of a 2 than a 3/2, but I still like his skill set.  Projects as a high end role player but he had better frosh stats than MJ did at UNC.  Good rebounder for his size.  Probably my fave highlights out of any guy in the draft.  His advanced stats aren't super awesome but they aren't alarming.  I think he can be a prototype 2 with his mid-level comp being something like a Dahntay Jones (but more athletic with a better 3 ball) and Brandon Clarke-esque 2 guard hybrid.  Harold Miner might have been the original Baby Jordan, so maybe Cassius Stanley is Baby David Thompson.

6.  Devin Vassell: played the classic 2-way swing man role on a deep FSU team.  Lanky but he might be able to put on weight.  And, just because he is lanky doesn't mean he can't be a stout wing defender.  Looks somewhat like Scottie Pippen (although I think Pip was a bit taller and longer), or even a Michael Cooper.  IF Michael Cooper is Vassell's floor I think teams get a really good value pick here at 6.  AND, if he is closer to Pippen (without the high end primary/secondary play making skills) with shades of video game Danny Green beast mode then you might get one of the best picks in the draft.  If he fills out he looks like a prototype wing player who finds his way on to a few All Star teams.  Iggy might ben another solid comparison in terms of play style/outright skill/talent archetype.

7.  Malachi Flynn: gamer.  Can run an offense.  Shoot.  Score and his defensive stats are decent.  He might be a tier below Deni/LaMelo in terms of Play Making but he looks like a good player.  Shades of Steve Nash, hints of Steph Curry with flashes of Jerry West vibes.  

8.  Precious Achuiwa: high end role player upside.  He could actually be the Dennis Rodman of this draft class given his potential as a high end all-around defender since he has the skills, talent and chops to (possibly) defend all 5 spots at least for short bursts.  Good rebounder.  Great competitor inside on the glass.  Good dunker.  Not a freakish jumper but looks solidly quick off the floor.  Runs the floor well.  Actually has some great high light real passes on the break.  7'3 wing span or so.  Decent rim protector.  Actually had some awesome late-game shot blocks this year for the Memphis Tigers (even though one was called for goal tending).  So... maybe an ideal secondary rim protector/high end weak side shot blocker.  Decent dribbler, but his passing isn't there yet.  Hit a couple of jumpers but his shoot stats are in the Rodman/TA territory.  If he cleans up his shooting mechanics, picks his spots, and gains confidence he could show flashes of Kawhi or PG13 on offense.

9.  Anthony Edwards: not sure where to put a guy who reminds me of a cross between Dajuan Wagner and Mike Tyson.  Probably right here in the middle of the 8-10 range.  Might need a great fit for him to do well, but he is confident.  Explosive scoring potential and could turn into a high volume 3 point shooter down the road.  His high end outcome might be as a Russell Westbrook/Bernard King hybrid.  Might be an ideal 1a option on a team like the Grizzlies next to Ja Morant but we would probably have to go "ALL IN" (and then some) to get him.

10.  Tyrese Haliburton: skinny, high center of gravity, funky push shot... yeah, but he still looks like a solid all-around role player either on the ball as a replacement level quarterback or as a high end (off ball) secondary play maker.  Shades of J Will, Shaun Livingston and a fancier Brian Shaw.  Probably the MoneyBall Version of LaMelo Ball.  LONZO Ball might be another solid comp.

11.  Tre Jones: gamer.  Can defend.  Run a team.  Threw absolutely beautiful alley-oop passes to Zion Williamson and Cassius Stanley the past couple of years.  Improved from 3.  Could turn into a Money Ball Trae Young on offense but with far superior defense.  This might be too LOW for him.  If his floor is Video Game Tyus Jones I still think you are getting solid value at 11.

12.  Onyeka Okongwu: bad passing stats.  Not huge.  Or, super long.  I think he is a 4 on the next level.  So, maybe we are looking at Amare Stoudemire potential (but with better rebounding and shot blocking/defense) than the next Hakeem Olajuwon.  Not much range, or at least he didn't show it in college.  Downside: gives me Olden Polynice/Bo Outlaw vibes.  Still not bad, but not a high end outcome.  I think he most likely turns into the next Horace Grant but with maybe a bit more range and ball handling skills.  More of a rim protector than Ho Grant but Horace had solid blocks numbers throughout his career.

13.  Mason Jones: He can shoot.  He can score.  In bunches in lots of games.  He has potential as a high volume 3 point shooter.  Good advanced stats, and all-around better Money Ball numbers than guys like Anthony Edwards.  He lost a lot of weight awhile back so I guess he is still sculpting his body.  What are mock drafts missing here?  Also gets to the line.  Shades of James Harden.

14.  Markus Howard: best Money Ball bomber in the business. Pint-sized and not long, but you take Chris Jackson 2.0 potential in the mid-first round.  Not strong or long but can jump (look up YouTube vids of him dunking in practice).  Will be targeted on defense but which point guards aren't?  It actually looks like he has a better build than a guy like Trae Young.  I think he is probably best used as a long-term 6th man gunner, but I also like his potential in mega small ball lineups.  Ironically, I like a potential small ball pairing with Ja Morant.  They faced each other in the 2018 Tourney so they should be familiar with each other.  Neither guy looked guardable.  You basically have to game plan and double team then.  And, send in the TRIPLE team when they get going.  Decent ball handling.  I saw exactly ONE high light of him getting an assist, but he only projects as a high end shooting specialist.  I think the league is heading for a FEW guys taking upwards of 9 or 10 3 pointers per game.  I think Markus Howard can be one of those guys.  

Next 5:

Josh Green: looks like a 3 and D version of Dillon Brooks.  Shooting stats actually weren't that great but he is a good athlete who can pass a bit.  Might actually have top 5-10 potential in this draft.

Paul Reed: lanky, athletic big/small ball 5.  Can defend with good defensive metrics and steals/blocks numbers.  Good rebounder too.  Probably a secondary big.

Killian Hayes: still don't get what this guy does.  Looks like a replacement level lead playmaker, but still has mid-first round potential.  Maybe he gives you a bit more....  My internal mock draft (taking team need into account) has him going to the Pistons at 8 (the CBS mock has him also going to Detroit but at 6).  

Tyler Bey: utility wing defender who can also rebound.  Good dunker.  Looks a bit Ivan Rabb-ish to me.  

Obi Toppin: volume scorer, good motor, runs floor well.  Probably overrated over-all but mid-first round is a good spot for him.  Maybe not the best defender but halfway decent blocks/steals numbers.  High light dunks give him value too.  Ideal small ball backup center, but he can be a new age 4 if he gains strength and toughness and refines his defensive stance/overall play on the far side of the ball.  Why do most 4's in this draft remind me of the Grant twins?

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it feel good that i,m not looking forward to the Lottery , i,m looking forward for F,E coming to memphis 

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13 minutes ago, lions said:

it feel good that i,m not looking forward to the Lottery , i,m looking forward for F,E coming to memphis 

I am looking for the playoff push too.  Have been for months.  "Beat the Lakers" has been my mantra.

I'm still interested in the draft.  Usually am.  Even though we only have 40 we have multiple assets we can move.  Maybe we chase players on draft night THIS year instead of next year's draft (or 2022).

Not even sure we CAN trade our 2021 pick on draft night (assuming we convey this year).  Although I think you can trade a first rounder on draft night to move up.  Not 100% sure though.

There might be a few players worth trading up for.  Other than that, we might want to look at guys worth trading DOWN for (deep sleepers).

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Just now, ALT GRIND said:

I am looking for the playoff push too.  Have been for months.  "Beat the Lakers" has been my mantra.

I'm still interested in the draft.  Usually am.  Even though we only have 40 we have multiple assets we can move.  Maybe we chase players on draft night THIS year instead of next year's draft (or 2022).

Not even sure we CAN trade our 2021 pick on draft night (assuming we convey this year).  Although I think you can trade a first rounder on draft night to move up.  Not 100% sure though.

There might be a few players worth trading up for.  Other than that, we might want to look at guys worth trading DOWN for (deep sleepers).

we need a #3wing on this team who can score at will 

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1 minute ago, lions said:

we need a #3wing on this team who can score at will 

So does every other team in the league.  haha.

Oh... I am not even sure that that guy is in this draft.  This isn't the draft for high scoring small forwards.  Deni and Devin Vassell are two of my top wings and even they are not to be confused with Kevin Durant or even Carmelo Anthony.  DV is more of an athletic 3 and D wing with Deni being a deluxe playmaking combo forward with an improving 3 point shot.

Our best scoring/3 point shooting option at the wing (specifically the 2) might just be Mason Jones.  I am super high on him but he might be there at 40.

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10 minutes ago, ALT GRIND said:

So does every other team in the league.  haha.

Oh... I am not even sure that that guy is in this draft.  This isn't the draft for high scoring small forwards.  Deni and Devin Vassell are two of my top wings and even they are not to be confused with Kevin Durant or even Carmelo Anthony.  DV is more of an athletic 3 and D wing with Deni being a deluxe playmaking combo forward with an improving 3 point shot.

Our best scoring/3 point shooting option at the wing (specifically the 2) might just be Mason Jones.  I am super high on him but he might be there at 40.

i,m not looking for a rookie to fill that need , i,m looking for a vet who wants to play with a young team to help put us over the top

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1 minute ago, lions said:

i,m not looking for a rookie to fill that need , i,m looking for a vet who wants to play with a young team to help put us over the top

andrew wiggins 

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5 minutes ago, fanboyslim said:

I thought you said “a vet who wants to play”

i feel he is young and can score he needs the right fit and memphis may be that fit with coach jenkins 

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We might be able to get Andrew Wiggins fairly “cheap”.  I think the Warriors should trade for KAT on draft night and send their pick to the T Wolves. T Wolves win the draft by pairing stud big man James Wiseman aka 3 Games James with passing guru LaMelo Ball.  We get in the trade by packaging 40/Grayson Allen/Dieng and get Andrew Wiggins from the Warriors. Maybe we can get Marquis Chriss from the Warriors to be a good backup center.  

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We might have to start looking at “deep sleepers”.  I am really intrigued by Precious Achiuwa.  Could be the only guy in the draft who can possibly defend guards, wings and bigs.  He can also rebound, block a few shots and dunk off drop offs, fast breaks and lobs.  He’s more of a guy that needs open space and an empty runway but that’s still worth something.  Not a great shooter, and an abysmal jump shooter when someone’s in his face (1-24 or something like that) but I think he eventually gets a decent face up jumper (if only from 15 to 16 feet).  Each shot looks different but even if he only hits 30% from 3 (which Tankathon predicts him to do) then that is passable (still better than Tony Allen).  Doesn’t post up much or well but I think he hit a few floaters.  

Upside: he has a great build so maybe Rodman’s defense, rebounding and motor with a bit better shooting.  Rodman/larger TA on defense and Rudy Gay (dunks, cuts, mid-range jumpers, etc.) on offense is a top 5 or so player in this draft.  

His draft stock is all over the place but I think he goes fairly high.  He might be a guy we need to trade up for though.  

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I love falling in love with scrubs who are deep sleepers

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7 hours ago, grizzgolf said:

I love falling in love with scrubs who are deep sleepers

Then you try to filter them out by crunching advanced stats and they just look BETTER.  Like, I am about to put Duke’s Jack White in the 50-55 range.  His teammate Javin deLaurier might also be worth a look in the late second round.  I am actually a Vernon Carey Jr. agnostic (he could be the guy we thought Eddy Curry was) but I probably have Cassius Stanley as well as Tre Jones as high or higher than anyone.  I guess we could do worse than going after Duke guys.  

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^^^ 

It’s an interesting draft. Might be my favorite draft in years. Maybe ever. Lacks Big Hype guys like Zion or Luka or Ja or RJ Barrett but that’s doesn’t mean it’s bad.  On paper and using the “look test” (plus “it factor”) my current top 3 of Deni/Wiseman/LaMelo looks nice — two prototype playmakers with legit size and a high usage shot blocker/high volume rebounding dunk artist in James Wiseman.  4-15 or 20 is kind of a blur (to me) but there are some high quality role players types and I can see a few of those guys breaking out to be stars.  The other (secondary?) archetypes look well represented too: 3 and D wings, prototype point guards, shooters/scorers, and niche rotation bigs.  

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I'm no draft expert, but I know a great writer when I see one. Your draft commentaries are amazing. Your spelling and grammar are impeccable. I'd swear that your day job is that of a professional basketball sports writer. 

Thanks for your lotto big board update.

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11 hours ago, GameOn said:

I'm no draft expert, but I know a great writer when I see one. Your draft commentaries are amazing. Your spelling and grammar are impeccable. I'd swear that your day job is that of a professional basketball sports writer. 

Thanks for your lotto big board update.

Wow, thanks!  I really like to write and I love basketball so draft write-ups are right down my alley.   When I have something to say (and often times when I don’t) I write to get my point across, and if I self-edit then it’s on the fly.  I usually don’t reread what I write.  

Thankfully the Bubble is here and we have lineups and scrimmages to talk about. Let’s see how we do today. We need to hit the ground running when the 8 games start.  Bubble World Mania might mark the end of super-small ball and an attempt to get “bigger”.  “Deep depth” could be another team.  Maybe most teams have a “big” lineup and a small lineup.  We will see.  

I have looked into the advanced stats of over 80 guys. If someone can find me good advanced stats of the Euros/imports let me know.  I’ve also watched plenty of highlights.  It’s an interesting draft.  Not as many “hyped” guys as the last few years but that’s not necessarily a BAD thing.

I will probably post my next Brave New Lottery aka Bubble Mania Lotto 2.0 once they decide the draft order.  I might take team need into account.  I can also see some teams wheeling and dealing at the top.  The Warriors might trade in their top pick.

I will do a 30 player big board closer to the draft and a 2020 Mother of All Big Board 2 rounder a day or two before the draft.

 

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The guy I think is an undeniable fit for us would be Antony edwards. Looks like the next Victor Oladipo imo. Strong guard and compact, but very athletic. Jump shot should improve with better shot selection. 

Aaron Nesmith is my next choice. An absolute knock down shooter with good size. He shot 52% on 8.2 attempts per game last year, though with a relatively small sample size. I doubt he'll be a great defender, but he should be at least above average. Not a great passer at this stage, but if he can replicate that shooting, who cares. 

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2 hours ago, Rdk4121 said:

The guy I think is an undeniable fit for us would be Antony edwards. Looks like the next Victor Oladipo imo. Strong guard and compact, but very athletic. Jump shot should improve with better shot selection. 

Aaron Nesmith is my next choice. An absolute knock down shooter with good size. He shot 52% on 8.2 attempts per game last year, though with a relatively small sample size. I doubt he'll be a great defender, but he should be at least above average. Not a great passer at this stage, but if he can replicate that shooting, who cares. 

He could be good. I think Edwards might be best used as a high volume Option 1a. I actually like him for the Hawks in a backcourt with Trae even thought both guys have flaws.  And, similar flaws (shot selection at times and lackluster defense).  But, with those 2 the Hawks have their main two options for a decade with Cam Reddish being their third option.  The Hawks would just have to go all-in on that gimmick.

Ja/Edwards would present a similar scenario for the good guys.  Ja as Batman. Anthony Edwards as Superman. That’s actually the comic book super hero dynamic.  Batman is the Alpha Superstar. Superman is the 1a Superstar.  

Deni Avdija has a good mix of high-ish floor as a secondary playmaker with some scoring skills and a potentially “high ceiling”.  He also seems like a low maintenance type guy.   Depending on how the rest of Bubble Mania goes we might wanna trade half our “core/rotation” to the Warriors for their first round pick.  I think we need our Superman.  Batman and 2 1/2 Robins ain’t gonna get it done — long-term.

Also, I think that whichever team is crazy enough to put LaMelo Ball and James Wiseman on the same team wins the draft.  Both are flashy, high upside “name” guys with pedigree and a Q factor.  Each has flaws but I think they could really complement each other.  

Most of the rest of the draft is good for high quality role player types.  

The up and coming teams show promise but might all have fatal flaws.  The wheels might fall off the “veteran contender” teams sooner rather than (relatively) later.  The Bubble will not hold.  I think the Bucks could be headed for a 3peat the old fashioned way — every other team stinks.  

The Brave New New Look Memphis Grizzlies is coming to a theatre near you.

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Is Makur Maker staying in this draft?  I am not sure.  Haven’t heard anything either way but he is on a list of guys who might be invited to the draft combine.

He and Aleksej Pokusevski could be the top two “deluxe stretch bigs” in this draft.  Poku might move up a bit more — or a lot of he has great measurements/workouts/interviews.  Makur Maker might be easier to get. Also, he has better size/build and basketball DNA (Thon and Matur) are his cousins.  If Makur Maker stays in be could be a draft-night game changer.  I think he has Poku-esque mediocre 3 point shooting numbers but he has good highlights, maybe better than Poku.  If you think Wiseman/Okongwu/Poku are overrated then Makur Maker might be underrated.  

Last year I had Bol Bol at 6 on my board (although I had him both lower AND higher at different times leading up to D Night).  I now have Makur Maker/Poku in that range basically — I like that archetype going forward although Bol Bol had better numbers (in a truly limited sample size) and pedigree/buzz/basketball genes.  

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^^^

I guess Makur Maker is gonna stay at Howard.  Definitely gonna be a player to keep an eye on!!!  Moussa Cisse should do well at Memphis.  Those two might be my two favorite bigs going into college next season (Evan Mobley looks legit too).  ... Badji is a freakishly long Dikembe type shot blocker who should also be in the 2021 draft. So if we don’t go big at 40 that could still be option in 2021.

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2 hours ago, ALT GRIND said:

^^^

I guess Makur Maker is gonna stay at Howard.  Definitely gonna be a player to keep an eye on!!!  Moussa Cisse should do well at Memphis.  Those two might be my two favorite bigs going into college next season (Evan Mobley looks legit too).  ... Badji is a freakishly long Dikembe type shot blocker who should also be in the 2021 draft. So if we don’t go big at 40 that could still be option in 2021.

Dikembe looks pretty decent. Just googled him. 

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Anyone seen this guy? This is a terrific sleeper prospect who will certainly end up in the lottery. 

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On 7/25/2020 at 11:46 PM, GameOn said:

I'm no draft expert, but I know a great writer when I see one. Your draft commentaries are amazing. Your spelling and grammar are impeccable. I'd swear that your day job is that of a professional basketball sports writer. 

Thanks for your lotto big board update.

Agreed. I don’t really get too much into the prospects aspect, but the writing and continuous effort you put into each post is amazing. There’s a handful of posters here that provide content that’s worthy of paying for and I count you among them. That doesn’t mean I agree with everything that’s written by those posters, but the posts are enviable and much appreciated. Thanks!

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