Combine Notes – Here
Warriors – No picks, no problem. In my combine notes I had Jordan Bell as one of my standouts. He needs to work on his long distance shooting, weak hand handle and attacking closeouts. What I like about him was his defensive versatility, weak side help defense and off-ball offensive movement. He can switch 1 thru 5, play either frontcourt spot and be a screen-setting rim-running nightmare on offense. He just fits the Warriors system. Damian Jones, James Mcadoo and Draymond Green are the only “Bigs” under contract for next year. It was paramount that they secure a safeguard and Jordan Bell could be another steal.
Spurs – It always feels like the Spurs just know what they’re doing better than everyone else (except GSW). With Danny Green trade rumors, Tony Parker’s last year under contract and Dejounte Murrays up-and-down rookie season, a combo guard was needed. Derrick White was another one of my standouts at the combine. He can shoot threes, has pick-and-roll skills and has great off-ball awareness. He needs to stay focused on defense, talk on defense and toughen up threw hard picks. He’s more of a scoring guard than a traditional point guard.
The second to last pick in the draft seems like a throw away but not to the Spurs it is. Another one of my combine standouts, Jaron Blossomgame is 6’7 with a 6’10 wingspan and a defensive first player. He was great at timing his screens and dives and was able to guard 2-5 at the combine. He desperately needs to improve his offensive game, especially his long distance shooting. If he can become consistent with his shot then this pick has a chance to be a steal.
White is 23 years old. Blossomgame is about to be 24 years old. Even though they are older prospects, they are more likely to be pro-ready, which a team like the Spurs needs.
Suns – I think the Suns got the better from Jayson Tatum and Josh Jackson. I like both players a lot but Jackson is a better defender, tougher mentality and doesn’t need the ball in his hands on offense to be good. Getting Josh Jackson was the easy part.
At number 32 many people would say Davon Reed is a reach, not me. In my combine notes Davon Reed was my favorite player that week. He’s 6’6 with a 7’ wingspan, a consistent three point shooter, versatile defender, great at communicating on both ends, high IQ and great at timing his weak side help. He needs to improve attacking closeouts, his pick-and-roll skills and to develop change of direction dribble moves. Overall Josh Jackson, Davon Reed and Devin Booker are one of my favorite young wing combinations in the league.
Lakers – Lonzo Ball, yea he’s good. What about their other picks though? There wasn’t a Lakers pick I hated. In my mock draft, I compared Kyle Kuzma to Pascal Siakam since he was that prospect who before the combine was iffy to be drafted, to after the combine became a late first round pick. And sure enough the Lakers bit. Kyle Kuzma and Pascal Siakam are going to be starting a trend of nobodys one day to becoming first rounders after the combine.
I like Kuzma as a three point shooter, screen setter and diver. He needs to get tougher inside, better awareness and improve his pick-and-roll defense. Josh Hart was their next pick at 30. I don’t hate it but I don’t love it. I see the Malcolm Brogdon potential in his game but Brogdon was a great three point shooter and a hound dog defender at Virginia. Hart could be all those things but he was very inconsistent at Villanova for four years. Still, after trading Russell, a combo guard, they needed to fill that void and Hart is a good option.
Last at 42 they drafted Thomas Bryant. His skill is raw. Very raw. But his upside is that he’s 6’10 with a 7’6 wingspan, can step back for threes and has nimble feet on defense. It’s going to take time for Bryant to develop but he has as much upside as any “Big” in this draft due to his size and athleticism.
Bucks – What’s the Bucks M.O? Long, athletic players who can play multiple positions. DJ Wilson at 17, check. Sterling Brown at 46, check. Ok, so they’re long and athletic but can they play? Do they have skills? Wilson is a late-bloomer type due to injuries and a growth spurt. Wilson got better with every game for Michigan. He needs to get stronger, bang in the post better and up his awareness. But his skills are long distance shooting, versatility on defense and having a handle to attack the rim. Wilson and Thon Maker are a raw paring but have a lot of upside.
And what about Sterling Brown? He was a prolific shooter at SMU with a nice release, great at catch-and-shoot plays, hard nosed rebounder and a versatile defender. He needs to improve his weak hand, finishing around the rim and first step. Overall he has the coveted 3-and-D potential teams yearn for.