The KnickerBlogger staff has decided to spend the 8 days prior to the draft discussing the upcoming event. Each day will feature a different question that we will attempt to answer. Feel free to join us in the comment section!
Of Kristaps Porzingis, Justise Winslow, Mario Hezonja, Trey Lyles, Willie Cauley-Stein, Frank Kaminksy, and Stanley Johnson, which is going to have the best NBA career?
Kurylo: I‘m going off the list. Myles Turner’s stats have me drooling: 11.8reb/40 and 4.7 blk/40. Both of those numbers are right in-line with Karl Towns (12.7/4.2). He also hits 83.9% of his free throws as well, and he’s no stranger from the 3 point line (3.3 3PA/40), but only at 27.4%. So at worst offensively he should be OK with the pick & pop, and he’s got a shot at being able to stretch the floor offensively. Defensively I think he’ll be good given his numbers and size (7-0).
Silverman: Justise. At worst, he’ll be defensive stopper about on par with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. I think there’s so, so much more there, in particular a Jimmy Butler-esque ability to draw fouls. I do agree with my colleague Mr. Gibberman, namely that Willie Trill’s number two with a bullet. A legit center that can out to the perimeter to smother wings is such a vital skill given the direction that the NBA is #goink as a whole.
Gibberman: Justise Winslow with Willie Cauley-Stein a close second. Winslow will have the ability to defend one through four despite not measuring as tall as you would have liked. His wingspan more than made up for it. I’d bet on his shot creation skills improving with time and that’s what puts him ahead of WCS for me. WCS is a potential defensive player of the year and can create shots in a different way on offense (diving in the PnR), but his offensive impact won’t be that of Winslow.
Fisher-Cohen: If these were my options at #4, I’d probably go with one of the two Euros with Hezonja coming out ahead due to his NBA body. Hezonja has the size, agility and length to fit the new “positionless NBA” that Spoelstra talked about and that Golden State has fulfilled. He can already shoot and seems to be extremely athletic. All he has to do is improve his ball handling and learn how to draw contact, which is something numerous wings with similar athleticism and length have learned to do (Paul George, Gallinari, Klay Thompson, Hayward).
Topaz: Winslow, please and thank you. Porzingis is very appealing — partly because of his athleticism and shooting ability, partly because of the undeserved verbal thrashing he’d receive from well-lubricated Knicks fans at Barclay’s. But I have to agree with Robert, here. Winslow seems special. I don’t see many weaknesses, other than a little lack of polish on the offensive end. He’s strong, athletic, extremely tough, and an excellent defender at multiple positions whose game improved considerably on both ends as the college season went on.
Cronin: I think the most likely scenario is that WInslow has the best NBA career. But Cauley-Stein and Zinger could easily outperform him. Their likelihood of doing so, though, is not as great. I disagree, though, with the assertion that Winslow will be at worst as good as Kidd-Gilchrist on defense. He might be that good, but that’s an awfully high bar to expect a guy to hit as an “at worst.”