Click on the link to see part I.
I’ll take a look at four additional players that may be available when New York selects at #17. As in the previous version, stats per season courtesy draftexpress.com.
Numbers that matter: true shooting (55%, 52), ft/fg (47%, 30), Rebs* (9.6, 8.1), Asts* (4, 3.2), TOs* (3.6, 3.4)
* pace-adjusted per 40 minutes
Honeycutt is a very intriguing and perplexing player to me. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him slide to round 2. Nor would it surprise me to see him as a consensus lottery selection in next week’s mock drafts. He fits the profile of a fast-riser in the draft: athletic wing player, long-limbed, with three-point range.
For reasons that are unclear to me Honeycutt transformed himself from a slasher to a three-point gunner after his freshman season. He dramatically increased his three-point attempts with a slight increase in accuracy, but his declining ft/fg more than offset any efficiency gains from becoming a gunner. I don’t know if Honeycutt’s transformation came at the request of his coach or by his own assessment of his draft prospects. Either way, he became less efficient as a sophomore.
Still, there’s a lot to like about Honeycutt (and I like him a lot). He has length, and he has a frame that should hold more weight. He has plenty of athleticism and he has skill. He even set the offense for UCLA at times. If I have a criticism in the handful of times I have seen him play, it is that he will at times forsake the simple play for something more grandiose. (For instance, he missed a layup in UCLA’s tournament game versus Florida trying to avoid contact and make a spectacular finish rather than absorbing contact and shooting free throws.)
Numbers that matter: true shooting (55%, 60, 62, 59), ft/fg (20%, 36, 51, 37), Asts* (3.6, 5, 5.7, 4.5), TOs* (2.4, 3.1, 3.3, 3.7)
I first saw Fredette when he dropped almost 50 on my beloved Arizona Wildcats as a junior. He put the ball on the floor and drove past solid perimeter defenders. He shot from range. He got to the line. I think it’s interesting that he is so polarizing as a prospect. I don’t think it’s about his game, which translates fairly straightforwardly to the NBA I think. He’s a college star whose limitations will keep him from NBA stardom, but who could become a very good NBA player–eventually a candidate for 6th man of the year even–in a reduced role. It is unlikely that he can be a primary scorer for a playoff-caliber NBA team. He is a backup combo guard for a screen and roll oriented team whose bread-and-butter is his jump shot. Fredette probably fits best in a structured offense where he is not the only ball handler, where he can space the floor and can come off screens. I suspect Utah’s highly-choreographed offense is the best fit (assuming they keep it). However, I think he could play for D’Antoni and contribute. My fear about New York drafting him is the out-sized rhetoric coming from both his supporters and his detractors.
Numbers that matter: N/A
Right now, some question exists about whether Noguiera will remain in the draft. Even if he does, some questions remain about whether he is ready and/or willing to come to the NBA this coming season. He is an intriguing but uber-raw prospect; all arms, legs, and potential.
Numbers that matter: true shooting (54%, 52, 57, 64), ft/fg (21%, 28, 25, 26), Rebs (6.4, 8.3, 8.7, 9.1), TOs* (2.1, 2.7, 2.2, 2.0)
Do you judge a prospect by what he does or what he should be expected to do? That is the question, and Harper is the proverbial prospect that polarizes people on the question. Harper has been an efficient offensive player, particularly over his last two seasons at Richmond (a quality program that improved in large part because of him). He’s been a steadily improving, if unspectacular rebounder. He improved his free-throw shooting from wretched to quite good. He stands a shade under 6’9” with long arms. He is a jump shooting combo forward, not unlike Kyle Singler but better. A good pro comparison is probably Extra E. He has the kind of size and shooting ability that would be welcome in New York. He is a quintessential stretch four.
So what’s not to like? Well, unlike Kenneth Faried, Harper may have actually suffered from the standard college practice of adding an inch (or two) to a player’s height. I saw Harper listed everywhere from 6’9”- 6’11” while at Richmond, and when combined with his chiseled frame and long arms he suffered the type-casting that comes with that kind of perceived size. According to combine measures Harper is in fact heavier and taller than Faried (though it is worth noting that Faried is a smidgen longer-armed). But their games couldn’t be more different. People look at Harper, then look at Faried and think, “If Harper only played with Faried’s intensity…” Scouts and analysts have continuously questioned Harper’s motor, but I think most of that is a function of their expectations that he should be a more physical player.
Right now, Harper is one of my favorite prospects in terms of potential and fit for New York. The only reason he’s not higher on this list is that I am hoping people continue to see him as a late first/early second pick. That way New York may be able to trade down, pick up a second, and still get him.