2020 Player Breakdowns

2020 NBA Draft Team Fit Breakdown

(Reminder this is before free agency so certain players team fit can change asap)

Atlanta Hawks – #6 Onyeka Okongwu USC PF/C, #50 Skylar Mays LSU G

The Hawks already have John Collins and Clint Capela so I wonder what their plan is.  Capela has 3 years left on his deal while Collins will be a RFA in 2021.  Is Okongwu insurance for a Collins departure?  Hopefully Okongwu doesn’t get lost in a front court logjam since he has more upside then either player.  Mays fits in as a nice combo guard next to Trae Young or as a backup ball handler.  He needs to improve his defense if he wants to maintain steady minutes. 


Boston Celtics – #14 Aaron Nesmith Vanderbilt SG, #26 Payton Pritchard Oregon G, #47 Yam Madar Israel G

Even though the Celtics needed a center Nesmith provides a steady outside shooter and another potential (key word: potential) switchable wing.  I wonder what happens to Gordon Hayward now?  I was surprised they didn’t draft a big with their next pick and instead got another backup ball handler in Pritchard.  Does that mean bye-bye to Brad Wanamaker?  They must not have much faith in Carsen Edwards whom they drafted last year.


Brooklyn Nets – #57 Reggie Perry Mississpi st C

Perry is a big who can shoot.  He offers a different skill set compared to Deandre Jordan and Jarrett Allen.  The Nets also traded for Landry Shamet and Bruce Brown.  Both players offer decent role player potential around two (maybe three) stars.


Charlotte Hornets – #3 LaMelo Ball USA G, #32 Vernon Carey Duke C, #42 Nick Richards Kentucky C, #56 Grant Riller College of Charleston G

I just wonder with Terry Rozier, Devonte’ Graham and Malik Monk how does Ball fit into that.  Rozier has 2 years left on his deal and Graham/Monk both have a year left before they hit RFA.  Ball clearly offers more upside then any of them but Graham/Rozier aren’t really the off-ball type.  I’m assuming that means Graham might be the odd man out, otherwise it’s an eyebrow raising trio.  Cody Zeller has a year left on his deal so drafting another big in Carey was fine.  However drafting another big in Richards looks like overkill.  I don’t get the Riller selection.  Was he the best player available on their big board?  I just don’t see how he gets any minutes even though he has major offensive upside.


Chicago Bulls – #4 Patrick Williams Florida st F, #44 Marko Simonovic C, Undrafted Devon Dotson Kansas G

Otto Porter, Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter and now Patrick Williams.  Contrary to popular opinion Willams is more suited to play the four rather than the three.  Porter is an UFA next season while Markkanen is a RFA.  I personally would favor keeping Carter at center and Williams at the four and think that has the greatest fit potential that offers more two-way upside.  If they let Porter walk next off-season and re-sign Markkanen I’m skeptical of Carter at the five, Markkanen at the four and Williams at the three fit.


Cleveland Cavs – #5 Isaac Okoro Auburn F 

It’s tough to comment on fit while the Cavs have no identity as a team.  Technically they needed a perimeter defender so Okoro fits that bill.  The Cavs also have a questionable player development staff.  I wish Okoro the best.


Dallas Mavs – #18 Josh Green Arizona G, #31 Tyrell Terry Stanford G, #36 Tyler Bey Colorado F, Undrafted Nate Hinton Houston G/F

3-and-D wing: check.  Ball handler that can play alongside Luka: check.  Versatile defensive forward that can rebound: check.  Do the little things role player: check.  The Mavs also traded for Josh Richardson.  These are the types of drafts that can change the trajectory of a franchise.


Denver Nuggets – #22 Zeke Nnaji Arizona C, #24 RJ Hampton USA G

Mason Plumlee, Jerami Grant and Paul Milsap are all UFA this off-season.  With that amount of uncertainty moving forward getting another big was important.  Zeke Nnaji can fill the Plumlee role.  Hampton offers the upside that Monte Morris (who is an UFA next off-season) doesn’t have.  Hampton needs to be a better shooter however if he wants to carve out a sizable role in the NBA.


Detroit Pistons – #7 Killian Hayes France G, #16 Isaiah Stewart Washington C, #19 Saddiq Bey Villanova F, #38 Saben Lee Vanderbilt G

The Pistons also traded away Bruce Brown and Luke Kennard.  Hayes should step right into the starting point guard role.  Stewart offers some Christian Wood insurance in the event he leaves in free agency this off-season.  Bey was someone they have desperately needed for a while now.  And Saben Lee offers some backup scoring ability with a super quick first step.  I’m still skeptical of the Pistons player development system but this draft looks like it knocked out needs and fit.


Golden State – #2 James Wiseman Memphis C, #48 Nico Mannion Arizona G, #51 Justinian Jessup Boise st, G

Terrible news about Klay.  Hopefully it isn’t serious but as of writing this I’m expecting the worst.  Wiseman’s fit next to Draymond Green is still a question mark for me even though Wiseman offers a ton of upside as a player.  Usually come playoff time the Warriors identity is Draymond at the five, so are they changing their style?  Can Wiseman develop an outside shot and off the dribble game?  Wiseman has the potential to be a defensive versatile player which fits well with the Warriors switching style.  Wiseman is still raw and with no summer league plus no extended off-season I wonder how much of an impact he makes outside of the paint.  Mannion could be an upgrade at backup guard too.


Houston Rockets – #52 Kenyon Martin jr USA F, Undrafted Mason Jones Arkansas G/F

I’ve only seen limited tape on Martin so I can’t speak to what value he brings.  Jones is more of a on-ball shot creator.  I wonder if Harden/Westbrook come back what role would Jones bring.


Indiana Pacers – #54 Cassius Stanley Duke G/F

Stanley has the potential to be an athletic 3-and-D role player.  He’s pretty thin which is a concern.  Adding muscle will be a must. 


Los Angeles Clippers – #33 Daniel Oturu Minnesota C, #55 Jay Scrubb John A Logan College G

The Clippers also traded for Luke Kennard.  Even though he’s not a defensive orientated player he’s a ball handling scorer who can space the floor which the Clippers need.  He has to stay healthy though to provide any impact.  Oturu might be Montrezl Harrell insurance and has the potential to overtake Zubac since Oturu can attack a closeout, drive off the dribble in a straight line and pick-and-pop.  Oturu offers better rim protection potential too.


Los Angeles Lakers – No one


Memphis Griz – #30 Desmond Bane TCU G, #35 Xavier Tillman Michigan st C, Undrafted Killian Tillie Gonzaga C

The Grizzlies sure didn’t care about athletic ability and drafted smart, fundamentally driven players.  Bane is a floor spacing guard and a good decision maker.  I am concerned about his driving ability even though his role won’t be secondary/tertiary ball handler.  Tillman is a smart big who can manipulate angles on dribble-hand-offs, pass and defend at a high level.  Tillie becomes another undrafted injury prone big for Memphis but the skill both Jontay Porter and Tillie possess is clearly worth a roster spot.  The amount of skill the Grizzlies are amassing in the frontcourt is quite impressive with Jaren Jackson, Brandon Clarke, Porter, Tillman and Tillie.


Miami Heat – #20 Precious Achiuwa Memphis PF/C

The fit next to Bam is evident.  Precious is an energy big who rebounds, annoys and defends.  The issue becomes his shooting.  He shot 59.9% from the line and 21.4% on 2pt jumpers.  I wonder how much he can do outside of the paint and I question his feel.  The Heat were a great team last season in part because of their off-ball movement.  They have savoy players who can relocate for 3, flash to the right spots and cut in space.  Precious had a 1-2.9 assist-to-turnover ratio which is terrible.  Miami does have one of the best player development staffs in the league but improving ‘feel’ is a tricky business.  


Milwaukee Bucks – #45 Jordan Nwora Louisville F, #60 Sam Merrill Utah St G

Nwora is a good shooter but is a questionable decision maker.  Merrill is a good shooter and a much better decision maker.  Both players don’t offer much upside due to lack of athletic ability.  But they do provide spacing for Giannis.


Minnesota Timberwolves – #1 Anthony Edwards SG Georgia, #23 Leandro Bolmaro G, #28 Jaden McDaniels Washington F

It sucks having the first overall pick in a draft with no true star prospect but at least Edwards provides high level upside.  With D’Angelo Russell and Karl Anthony-Towns the TWolves were in the market for a potential 3-and-D wing with scoring ability.  Edwards can be that guy.  McDaniels is a high upside pick due to his size, length and baseline skill.  He didn’t get to the rim as much as he should’ve and shot a bunch of 1-2 plant long two pull ups.  He drew fouls at a decent clip due to his pump faking ability as well.  Overall if he adds strength and becomes better at defense the fit next to Towns can be a solid modern day frontcourt pairing.  The TWolves have an interesting young core with Russell, Towns, Edwards, Culver, Okogie, McDaniels, Jacob Evans, Omari Spellman, Jarred Vanderbilt and Naz Reid.


New Orleans – #13 Kira Lewis Alabama G, Undrafted Naji Marshall Xavier F

The Pelicans now have Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Kira Lewis.  So I take it that means they’re not re-signing E’Twaun Moore, Frank Jackson or Kenrich Williams?  Lewis has the ability to play off-ball but clearly offers most of his utility on-ball creating.  His vision, first step and shooting fit well with Zion especially as a pick-and-roll partner.  I’m just curious as to what this means for Lonzo Ball?  Marshall is a decent play making 6’7 forward.  He must improve his outside shot but has a chance at becoming a nice fit next to Zion on the frontcourt.  


New York Knicks – #8 Obi Toppin Dayton C, #25 Immanuel Quickley Kentucky G

As long as they play Toppin at center and as long as he has a pick-and-roll partner then Toppin is a good fit.  The question becomes do the Knicks view Toppin as a center or power forward?  And do they even have that ball handler who can play pick-and-roll with Toppin?  What becomes of Mitchell Robinson?  Quickley doesn’t offer much else outside of his shooting ability but you can carve out a role in today’s NBA with just good shooting.


Oklahoma City – #17 Aleksej Pokusevski F/C, #34 Theo Maledon France G, #37 Vit Krejci G

With the amount of draft picks the Thunder have it seems as if they’ve gone the draft-and-stash route.  Pokusevski’s mobility and raw ability at his size gives him massive upside.


Orlando Magic – #15 Cole Anthony North Carolina G

Sorry to Markelle Fultz but Anthony should be taking over primary ball handling duties.  Anthony may start off on the bench in a secondary role but has more than enough potential to take over the primary role.  His shot creation ability should become a breath of fresh air in Orlando. 


Philadelphia – #21 Tyrese Maxey Kentucky G, #49 Isaiah Joe Arkansas G, #58 Paul Reed DePaul C

The Sixers were busy.  They traded away Al Horford and Josh Richardson while taking back Seth Curry and Danny Green.  Maxey represents another ball handler who can create his own shot and as long as his outside shot improves can play next to Simmons/Embiid.  Joe is a movement shooter and good team defender.  He has the ability to take on the JJ Reddick role.  It’ll be fun to watch Embiid play with another movement shooter again.   And Paul Reed is raw but has the length, touch, defensive creation ability and rebounding to either be a nice backup big or even play alongside Embiid.


Phoenix Suns – #10 Jalen Smith Maryland C

With Aron Baynes potentially being on his way out Smith looks to be his replacement.  Even though he has questionable feel, athletic bigs who can shoot threes that possess upside don’t come around often.


Portland – #46 CJ Elleby Washington st G/F

Elleby has the capability to become a scoring wing that can play defense.  Keyword: capability.  This has been a perpetual need for Portland.


Sacramento Kings – #12 Tyrese Haliburton Iowa st G, #40 Robert Woodard Mississippi st F, #43 Jahmi’us Ramsey Texas Tech G

If the Kings end up trading Buddy Hield then drafting Haliburton makes more sense.  I’m just not sure that starting Fox, Hield and Haliburton would be a good fit on defense.  The Kings don’t have the luxury to be drafting potential backups at pick 12, they need starters and Haliburton has the potential to be a star glue-guy.  I really thought the Kings might draft a big at some point but they didn’t.  Woodard and Ramsey are kind of in the same boat.  Both fill needs.  Woodard fills the 3-and-D swing forward role while Ramsey checks the tertiary ball handler role.  But both need to improve greatly if they want to maintain those roles.  Both players have displayed a baseline of pro level skill.  Combine that with a great physical profile and their ceiling becomes pretty high.  Unfortunately it’s tough to trust Sacramento’s player development system.


San Antonio Spurs – #11 Devin Vassell Florida st G, #41 Tre Jones Duke G

The Spurs don’t have any true 3-and-D wings on their roster which makes Vassell a perfect fit.  He might not have tremendous upside but surrounded by the right parts and he’ll flourish in that role.  The Spurs also have had problems with their young guards staying healthy and progressing.  Tre Jones offers a steady backup ball handler plus room to eventually become a starter.  Nothing flashy but both players fill roles and fit the team concept.


Utah Jazz – #27 Udoka Azubuike Kansas C, #39 Elijah Hughes Syracuse G/F

One would think the Jazz would want to modernize their center position after watching Gobert reach his peak playoff after playoff after playoff.  Pairing Donovan Mitchell with a more skilled big that can do more things outside the paint would be best.  Azubuike ain’t that guy and it seems redundant at this point even though he can serve as a nice backup big.  Hughes didn’t get to the rim as much as he probably could’ve but did a solid job making off the bounce jumpers.  Hughes possesses a level of shot creation that would suit a bench scoring role.  With Jordan Clarkson possibly leaving Hughes can maybe fill that spot.


Washington Wiz – #9 Deni Avdija Israel F, #53 Cassius Winston Michigan st G

It remains to be seen what the Bradley Beal and John Wall Wizards will look like next season but it’s safe to say both players are high usage guys.  That means Avdija would be relegated to the corner for spot up jumpers.  Avdija wasn’t a good shooter overseas and didn’t shoot particularly well from the line either.  He’s a big ball handler who’s at his best with the ball in his hands even though he cut well off-ball.  The fit is concerning to say the least.  Now Winston on the other hand is a great shooter that can spot up or round screens.  Him and Jerome Robinson are kind of redundant but I guess you can never have too much shooting.


2020 Player Breakdowns

Tyrese Maxey Breakdown


Maxey might have a deceptively misleading 29% three point shooting percentage.  Although his percentage was bad and his points per possession on catch-and-shoot opportunities was below average (.75 ppp) he’s still more than capable of having long range shooting success at the next level.  Two of the big area he needs improving on are his shot selection and lower body strength.  He has a solid frame that will fill out over time and when that happens it’ll affect his body control and core stability.  His tough shot making ability might be a byproduct of his poor shot selection but nevertheless he can still pull up from deep, take off-balance leaning jumpers and falling out of bounds tear drops.  But he might be at his best as a pick-and-roll scorer.  His quick first step, advanced dribble drive moves and off-timed gathering help off the bounce but his ability to attack the outside shoulder of a corralling big and initiate the contact help carry his pick-and-roll scoring.  He can draw fouls at the rim, attack closeouts and change his direction down hill to win drives at a solid rate.  He can finish through contact at the rim but at times will get bumped, display poor control and throw up an errant shot.  But since he’s solid at driving down the lane Maxey will draw in help defenders and pass on the move to the cutting dunker with anticipation.  He wasn’t really a peripheral passer and was mostly dynamic passing to bigs.  A strong play maker and stout scorer his three point shooting will be the key at the next level.


Maxey actually has pretty solid defensive on-ball fundamentals.  He plays on his toes, busy toes, cutting off angles, getting his chest into his man and gaining leverage.  He’ll sit in his stance with clean slides and a strong arm bar.  He can get overpowered at times or isn’t in ready-to-slide position fast enough but overall as long as he maintains integrity at the point of attack Maxey does a fine job staying attached.  A major worry was his lack of defensive creation and spatial awareness.  It felt like too many times he got turned around and missed an off ball switch assignment.  He’ll play good team defense with a nice weak side stunt at the down hill ball handler but can lose his position recovering to his own.  The lack of steals or blocks is pretty concerning especially since his role might be more of a combo guard rather than lead ball handler.  His overall team defense was a mixed bag.  He will at times have a one track mind and can’t read the layers of a play but other times will vertical contest a drive at the rim making the second level rotation.  Sometimes he’ll be too locked in on his man, needs to be coiled ready more often.

2020 Player Breakdowns

Cole Anthony Breakdown


Not a prolific movement shooter.  More of an on-ball creator.  But did display the capability to come off screen, curl and make a play.  Also at times can find the open space in the defense, run to the spot, catch and shoot at a solid clip.  Shown that he can be a diverse on-ball creator with step back off-dribble jumpers, spot ups, rim attacks, floaters and deep 3 pull ups.  Needs to be more consistent with efficiency but has the makings of a solid portfolio entering the draft.  Quick release, one shot motion but has different launch angles, needs more lower body strength.  Needs to do a better job of working the defense for a better shot.  Will settle for first solid look.  Makes his shot selection very questionable.  But as a result of his questionable shot selection takes fallaway jumpers, falling out of bounds lay ins, leaner pull ups and off balance threes.  His ability to make tough unassisted shots probably gives him the confidence to keep taking these risky shots but needs to hone in a selective attitude at the next level.  Average pick-and-roll scorer that can split hedges, work the pocket jumper or take step behind threes.  With his explosion and great first step however he should be better than what he displayed at college. 

Has an array of gather finishes that make him one of the tops in the class.  Whether it’s inside foot, off foot, off hand, two step gathers, he has shown the ability to make defenders guess their timing while defending the shot.  I would like to see more left hand finishes however, especially on the left side.  Can draw fouls at a decent clip but has trouble at times finishing over size at the rim.  If it’s someone his size he can mange to shed the blow but anyone bigger and he struggles or stops short to finish through/over the body.  Needs to be better around the rim overall.  Has one of the best first steps in the class.  Although while he might aimlessly attack the rim his burst off the dribble is great.  Usually uses a right to left hand crossover to come off live-dribble but has a wide variety of dribble drive moves including push crosses, double crosses, behind back into between leg combo crosses.  Can change direction downhill with a little change of speed.  Ultimately a good driver but when he wins drives needs to be more decisive.  He’s a solid creator too.  Keeps head up on drives, feels help climbing and makes correct read.  Can pass with anticipation at times but doesn’t find players on the margins as often as he soon.


Anthony plays good enough help defense but can linger off-man or sink too far from his assignment at times searching for a block/steal.  It feels like when he’s defending off-ball he’s more worried about creating a block or steal rather than remaining sound on his man.  Since he isn’t a prolific creator on defense that trade off doesn’t work in his favor.  With his speed and quickness can cover ground pretty fast but doesn’t have the length or elite processing speed to pick up recoveries in a consistent manner.  He can get back into action by plugging up gaps and cutting off angles.  His size however can be a problem.  Not just with pick-and-roll switchability but containing dribble penetration.  His wide shoulders and strong frame does help verse players his size but does get blown off point of attack often although he fights to stay attached to the ball handlers hip.  His size and attention to detail could be major issues at the next level.

2020 Player Breakdowns

Mason Jones Breakdown


If you look at the past season Mason Jones had he’s a top five pick.  But whether it’s do to defensive issues, fundamental issues, athletic ability or skill his grade doesn’t mirror his stats.  The main reason why Jones could succeed at the next level is his ability to draw fouls at an absurd clip.  He posted a .688 free throw rate (which is ridiculous) and got fouled in a multitude of ways.  He drew fouls on the gather, at the rim, at point of attack, downhill or on a jump shot attempt.  He tends to initiate the contact and force the defender into a difficult situation.  If he can translate even just a fraction of his ability to draw fouls at the next level than that alone is pro worthy.  But he also takes and makes a lot of tough shots. 

He almost seems better taking guarded shots rather than open shots sporting a 1.21 points per possession on guarded catch-and-shoot opportunities and a .643 points per possession on open catch-and-shoot takes.  His tough shot making ability and overall shooting portfolio raises his floor at the next level.  With all that said though he doesn’t have the greatest of first steps.  He doesn’t have the greatest control on his handle or many dribble drive counters.  His gathering ability is pretty predictable for a guy who gets fouled a lot.  He doesn’t have the greatest of instincts but can still take advantage of his shot making ability and leverage that into play making.  His weak off ball ability caps off another reason why his stats don’t mirror his grade.


To keep it simple for Jones: he plays the game too upright.  He started his basketball career late in high school so maybe he’s a ‘late bloomer’ but as of now his defensive fundamentals are worrisome at the next level.  His defensive creation and help defense are the main reasons why his grade isn’t drastically lower.  He can wall off drives from low man position, tag the roll man, return home and pick up off-ball rotations.  But we’re still talking slightly above average.  With no center of gravity his on-ball defense is too hunched over with his chest in front of his toes.  His strength is the biggest reason why he didn’t grade way lower on-ball either.  His strength does help with body resistance and rerouting drives.  Being disengaged at times doesn’t help either.  His effort needs to be on point 100% next level.

2020 Player Breakdowns

Isaiah Joe Breakdown


One of the best movement shooters in the class.  He can out-cut off wide pins, straight curl into a catch-and-shoot or fade in the corner for 3.  As we’ve seen in the NBA being good at movement shooting is a highly sought after commodity.  So even if Joe was below average at ever other offensive skill he’d still have a role in today’s NBA.  Even with me giving added weight to Joe’s movement shooting he didn’t grade out highly on offense.  Most of that had to do with the fact he rarely got to the rim, the line or drove into the paint.  He can make long two pull ups from dribbling off ball screens, attacking closeouts or spot up situations.  But overall has shown only tiny tidbits of rim attacking success.  If you can’t win drives from perimeter to rim you’re probably not going to grade that well.  He isn’t a risk taker either, safe with the ball and tends to make solid decisions.  But that doesn’t translate into play making since at best he’s a hockey assist type playmaker.  As a movement shooter however if you can’t put the ball on the floor then being a good decision maker will be important for Joe at the next level.


Joe can be summed up on defense pretty easily: good team defender and so-so on-ball defender.  He’s not afraid to take charges, has solid timing on his fills and stays sound on his team assignment.  His ability to cycle through rotations on team defense really is a translatable pro level talent.  His on-ball defense on the other hand is an issue.  For starters that means his switchability is highly questionable.  He doesn’t seem to know when to cushion his man or jam him with an arm bar.  His lack of strength and frame hurts containing dribble penetration.  He for the most part stays sound on defense and has solid timing on steals and when to cut off passing angles.  His ability to get steals, create and play team defense are big reasons why his defense is better than one would assume.

2020 Player Breakdowns

Grant Riller Breakdown


One of the best shot creators in this draft class with a high graded shooting portfolio.  He can make off the bounce off-balance pull ups, falling out of bounds corner threes, quick jab pull ups, step back contested jump shots and basic spot up jumpers.  He has a great handle and first step to beat his man at the point of attack using an array of combo crossovers, in-and-outs, hang dribbles or just attacking the defenders outside shoulder and putting them in vulnerable positions.  He can be either crafty or physical on his drives with change-of-direction and change-of-pace moves or just leverage leading downhill drives.  One of his most impressive drives I saw was versus Drexel.  It was the right wing, ball screen and he dribbles off the screen left.  He drives with his left hand into the paint when a defender slides into great position at the restricted area looking to draw a charge.  Riller stops all his forward momentum on a dime, two step gathers, leaps off his left foot and draws the foul for an and-1 opportunity.  That ability to control his momentum on a dime was outstanding.

He ended up taking a bunch of tough shots which he was efficient at nonetheless but he still generated a questionable shot selection.  At times he will drive with a predetermined mindset of scoring.  He has the ability to draw in defenders collapsing at rim but instead of dropping it off to the dunker he will force tough shots between 2-3 defenders.  It’s not like Riller didn’t utilize his scoring ability and create off those gains because he did.  He just didn’t do it as often even though he has the potential to do it much more frequently.  And yet overall he was still a solid playmaker making sound one man away passes, throw ahead passes in transition, backaction passes off ball screens and finding dive men off the pick-and-roll.  One of the best shot makers in this class but he did do this against lesser competition so it’s tough to tell if it will translate at the next level.  If you’re just looking at the tape however it’s pretty darn dazzling.


Needs better discipline.  Too many times did I see Riller wildly run at the line and fly by the closeout.  He’ll put the defense in a 4-on-5 situation or just commit a silly shooting foul.  He’ll let down his guard off-ball, not stay locked in and as a result becomes late to recognize.  His defensive creation was by far the best thing about his defense.  He did a great job reading the ball handler’s eyes like a hawk and intercepting the pass covering a huge chunk of space in the process.  He also had fine hand eye coordination swiping balls away while playing on-ball defense.  Riller might’ve had active hands defending dribble penetration but had poor positioning, weak mirroring and lacked a center of gravity.  When he played on his toes, got his feet underneath his body, had a strong armbar and used his chest Riller would do a decent job flattening out drives but that didn’t happen as often as it needed to. A lot of times he’ll lose a beat live-dribble just to attempt a back tap for steal.  He’ll shoot gaps on defense instead of staying connected.  Instead of being even on his slides he’ll gallop (or twist) and waste motion giving the ball handler better driving lanes.  He also was upright commonly and needed to sit in his stance. 

Riller did an alright job on team defense at times.  He’ll crash down on the roll man from the weak side, slide over one man away after his teammate blundered an assignment and play 2-on-1 weak side defense like a free safety.  That doesn’t excuse what he did poorly.  He needs better ball-and-man principles.  He was slow to react to oncoming drives in his zone.  He was late to process his man cutting right in front of his face or lifting for three.  Riller did have a 33.6 usage percentage so maybe he wasn’t giving defense his full attention but he needs to be coiled ready at all times at the next level.

2020 Player Breakdowns

Isaac Okoro Breakdown


Unfortunately Okoro falls into the “only if he can shoot” category.  He wasn’t good at catch-and-shoot opportunities sporting a .733 points per possession which ranks 18th percentile.  A lot of his missed threes were bad misses that weren’t straight on.  He didn’t take many intermediate shots or floaters.  He rarely took any off the dribble, off balance and midrange jump shots.  He shot 67% from the free throw line.  And the only major indicator of shooting success that I saw was his touch around the rim.  It’s tricky grading players like Okoro because they do so well at everything else but without shooting it’s tough to thrive in the NBA. 

Okoro was one of the best wings in this class at drawing fouls at the rim.  He’s tough to contain live-dribble due to his good first step, strong push crossover, leverage and strength.  He’ll use his chest to jostle for space on his drives, get underneath the defender, hold off his man then shed the defender at the rim.  He was however mostly a straight line driver with not much shiftiness in the lane which could get him in trouble at times committing charges.  He also needs to be more verse in his approach to finishing whether that’s more off-speed or one step gathering.  He really liked to leap off two feet at the rim since it contributed to more power even though he was still a powerful finisher jumping off his left foot.  Okoro was also a pretty versatile passer creating out of the pick-and-roll, on the move downhill or with anticipation.  He could sense the opening on the margins, freeze defenders with his drive and pass with vision to the short corner.  Ultimately Okoro will need to put a lot of time into improving his jump shot.


Probably one of the best on ball defenders in this class.  He may struggle at times verse jitterbug guards but outside of that is pretty sound.  He has good overall fundamentals by staying low, using his powerful base/butt as an anchor, nice mirroring, sturdy armbar, good center of gravity, stays active and flips hips.  He does a good job redirecting, funneling and flattening out drives.  He can force a player who thinks they have a driving angle to pick up their dribble, pass out and reset the offense.  He has great potential to be a 1 through 5 defender due to his on-ball prowess.  He’ll also maintain his discipline to finish off the possessions by not biting on fakes and timing his jump for a block.  He was really good at staying connected to dribble penetration then getting blocks at the rim.  It’s not like Okoro has a massive wingspan either, he blocks well through strength, broad shoulders, leverage and timing.  His team defense is positive but can be muddled at times.  He’ll drop too far from his man looking to disrupt the action without adjusting for subsequent help or just over helping the ball handler’s side becoming late on the recovery in the process.  He’ll stick to his own on the perimeter becoming a split second behind on his rotation or he won’t fill middle all together.  Fortunately he has the straight line speed to recover end to end in a timely fashion.  Okoro still makes good team defense reads like seamlessly making off-ball switches, covering his teammates failed assignment or making third level defensive rotations.  Overall he needs to be more conscientious of secondary actions and retaining ball-and-man principles.

2020 Player Breakdowns

Devin Vassell Breakdown


One of Vassell’s biggest impediments at the next level will be his live-dribble and overall dribble drive game.  He doesn’t get to the rim that often, doesn’t draw many fouls, has an average at best first step and mostly drives in straight lines.  He’s a good enough shooter to warrant a hard closeout and Vassell takes advantage with ball fakes and rip-and-go’s but tends to mostly take deep two’s.  A positive is he can drive with his left and right hand and he likes to spin move down hill in the lane typically leading to a fadeaway paint jumper.  Vassell doesn’t have much shake in lane either and is a drive on a rope type player unless it’s his spin move.  Pretty standard finisher with not much finesse.  Can display off speed gathers from time to time but that’s being generous.  Uses two foot leaps or leap off left foot finish with right hand type of finisher.  He struggles to finish over contact and his thin frame is a concern.  His spot up shooting, transition game, off ball cutting and overall floor spacing ability are his best attributes on offense.  He tends to settle for long two’s but he does shoot fairly well from that area even though that’s a disadvantageous shot.  He really isn’t a playmaker either but does make sound passes within the offensive structure.  Won’t overthink a play and make well timed hockey assists, find the mismatch or the weak side shooter.


Not having fluid hips and strength are holding back Vassell’s defensive upside.  The lack of strength hurts his potential as a 1 through 5 defender.  What also hurts his switchability potential at the next level is the fact he’ll open up his hips too early versus point of attack giving the ball handler better driving angles.  His perpendicular slides funneling drives downhill can get twisted and needs to be more leveled.  Vassell will have poor shading from time to time in which he’ll drop the wrong foot, give up middle and lose a beat to the ball handler.  Luckily for Vassell he’s long limbed with a wide base and good hand eye coordination.  He’ll still be attached to the drivers hip and time his leaps from behind for blocks, steals and deflections.  Defensive creation is one of Vassell’s best attributes on defense.  He’s not afraid to leave his off-ball assignment to disrupt the on-ball action and create on defense.  He then has the recovery speed to climb back to his own.  He jumps passing lanes like a cornerback breaking on their route and strips ball handlers who let down their guard.  Vassell isn’t a perfect team defender being late on help, slow to recognize and ball watching.  However overall he’s a pretty good team defender crashing down on third level help defense, plugging up drives, chipping-and-recovering and making weak side rotations.

2020 Player Breakdowns

Tyrell Terry Breakdown


Most likely doesn’t have the burst, size or driving function needed to become an elite all-around offensive threat in the NBA but his shooting ability is the great equalizer.  He’s the type of player that if you sag off his pick-and-roll he’ll make you pay from deep.  He has the potential to command pressure instantly off the ball screen which in turn has a massive effect on spacing and defensive support.  It forces ‘bigs’ to come out of the paint, challenge the defensive identity and expose backline weaknesses.  That one skill alone can drastically guide his career.  He isn’t someone who can just spot up or shoot well out of ball screens but shoot off movement too.  He wasn’t a prolific movement shooter but he would misdirect defenders off ball, round corners off screen, catch-and-release enough times to warrant quality prowess.  Unfortunately his height is a negative in terms of becoming a Duncan Robinson-esque type movement shooter.  That’s why at the next level he’ll have to improve his off the dribble game.  He was pretty average shooting off the dribble and at times settled for 1-2 plant pull ups or floaters.  The lack of strength/pop hurts on floaters and off balance shots since he doesn’t get enough extension and lift.  Becoming stronger and adding more momentum behind his shot should help with off the bounce buckets. 

Even though Terry doesn’t have the greatest of first steps he uses jabs and shot fakes to get defenders to step off.  He can then decelerate and accelerate downhill or use change of direction crossovers to alter his path and finish with off foot, wrong hand lay ins.  His craft off the bounce and gathering ability help draw fouls but his body control needs to be more consistent when bumped on vertical contests.  As for play making he’s a smart passer.  Can anticipate when cutters are about to break open, pass on the margins and pass on the move.  However at times he’ll overpass, jump pass with no plan and take a bunch of risky passes.  Overall still has good passing instincts.


His lack of size becomes an even bigger problem on defense.  He can get hung up on screens but shows solid pursuit on the recovery even though he might overcompensate at times and rush with his hands.  He does have the quickness to stay in front of certain ball handlers but can get bumped off pretty easily with lack of strength.  Even if he gets beat at the point of attack he has the quickness to reattach but the problem being he lacks the length to force a truly contested shot.  His stance can be too hunched over and needs a better anchor.  He’ll shade players poorly at times, like shading a player heavily middle giving up baseline with no help.  He has a decent armbar but lack of strength counters the perceived leverage.  Can be too active with hands on closeout, on-ball contests and sometimes will lazily have a hand on the players back while attempting a shot, makes an easy call for ref.  He does a good job off-ball reading passing lanes and intercepting the ball but doesn’t stay coiled ready enough and can be late getting into stance at the mesh point.  At times he’ll be late to recognize his man lifting off-ball but shows good effort returning home.  Overall does do a good job on initial rotations even though if the contest is on someone with size the effectiveness might be lackluster.  Getting stronger and filling out his frame will be a must.

2020 Player Breakdowns

Obi Toppin Breakdown


If you look up the definition of ‘vertical spacer’ in the dictionary a picture of Obi Toppin will be staring back at you.  He has great explosion, massive catch radius around the rim, great body control and soft hands.  His screen setting can be soft at times but that’s because he likes to leave early on his rolls and dive on a tightrope.  Sometimes when he dives off ball screens he’ll waste motion by opening up his body in the wrong direction, as if he’s caught in between wanting to dive or pop.  Most of his offensive possessions  were in the post or transition but displayed some pick-and-pop ability and can be a floor spacer.  When he doesn’t put enough sway into his shot release he can have accuracy issues but for a ‘big’ he has workable mechanics for the next level.  If he’s going to be a floor spacer he’s going to have to be better attacking closeouts; he can ball fake or rip-and-go but typically takes a couple of dribbles with minimal scoring variety.  Really doesn’t attack off the bounce.  He can fake dribble hand-off at the wing, turn, take a couple of pound dribbles, cover space quickly, hop step and finish with off hand.  He can put his head down and drive in a straight line, have wide strides on his gather and finish with touch at the rim.  His driving ability and handle definitely need improving but his gathering ability is pretty verse for someone his size.  One of the better ‘big’ passers in the draft.  Off a short drive he can pass on the move and find baseline cutters with help drawing in.  When he was in the post he would find opposite side shooters, opposite block ‘bigs’ or slot cutters.  Although, at times he’d force the issue and not find open players breaking free and be more zoned into scoring.  The way the NBA is trending being able to pass as a big could be a differentiating factor for Toppin.


Toppin’s defense can be summed up pretty easily: too upright.  He has such great athletic ability but relies too heavily on his natural quickness and explosion.  The issue could be how narrow his lower body is, not having wide hips, a strong butt or a stable anchor.  You can see it in the post when he gets overpowered or you can see it when he’s corralling the pick-and-roll with no center of gravity.  He can get away with it because he’s tall with long arms, good athleticism, solid timing and most importantly, quick off the ground.  He’s so quick off the ground and has such a good second jump to the point that he can cover up his low playing style.  And since he doesn’t play defense low enough his angles he’ll take can be off line.  Maintaining a strong armbar was one of the major ways he was still able to funnel any dribble penetration on-ball.  It also helped him stay attached to quicker players and getting blocks from behind.  A lot of times instead of setting up verticality at rim he’ll brace for block or he won’t leave his man unless he sees a clear block/steal opportunity.  Toppin can jump the passing while playing 3/4 denial defense on the post but becomes out of position too easily, happens more than what I like to see.  That need to create on defense puts him in a poor position at times.  Every now and then when he did play on his toes and showed good fundamentals he showed the potential to be a 1 through 5 defender but due to lack of strength and anchor Toppin just might be a 2 through 4 defender.