By John Hooper
As the 2017 NBA Draft draws near, players' draft ranges have begun to solidify. With that in mind, here are the players who we feel are most likely to disappoint based on where they're being projected:
We've detailed Fox's draft profile in our head to head comparison of him and Lonzo Ball, so we'll keep this one brief.
Fox will be a very good scorer in the NBA. He's extremely quick and has great bounce. However, other than getting into the lane to score, what's unique about what he offers? He projects as a mediocre facilitator, he's a terrible shooter who most assume will become at least adequate, and he's an average rebounder. His defense is the one other area where he has a chance to be impactful. He's shown that he can be a pesky on-ball defender, pressuring opponents out of their comfort zone. Can he do that to NBA level point guards though? And will he get bullied because of his lean 170 pound frame? Something tells me the Kyle Lowrys of the league will feast on Fox when he tries to check them.
Fox is a high-character player with great athleticism. That's a great combination and he'll have a 10+ year career in the NBA. The problem is that if he's being drafted in the top five, he'll be expected to be a superstar, and won't be that.
Our Prediction: 12 year career. 0 all-star appearances. 32% career 3P%.
Jarrett Allen has been mocked in the 10-20 range throughout the past year, and it looks like that's still the window that he'll end up being selected within. In some ways that would make sense - he's a young, long center who produced against good competition. However, when you actually look as his body of work, it's much closer to that of an undrafted free agent than that of a borderline lottery prospect.
Allen is the twelfth rated center this year in our algorithm, coming in two spots behind the immortal Luke Kornet. There is nothing that he excelled at in his one year at Texas. Here are his rankings per category in the algorithm (which factors in age and strength of schedule) amongst the sixty centers in our database, :
- Scoring: 27th
- Shooting: 37th
- Passing: Last
- Defense: 34th
- Rebounding: 25th
The confusing part about Allen's current status as a first rounder is that there's an abundance of centers this year, many of which excel in at least one facet of the game. Looking for scoring on the block? Try Johnathan Motley. Want a stretch 5? How about Thomas Bryant? Searching for a rim protector? Jordan Bell can do that. Going high-risk, high-reward? Justin Patton has shown great flashes.
And the list goes on. Add in the general movement of the league away from classic centers and Allen's value should seemingly be even lower. The nail in the coffin here is the concern around Allen's motor and love for the game.
Yes he's young, has a huge wingspan, and has incredible hair, but let's just say our comp for Allen is Patrick O'Bryant.
Our Prediction: 3 year career. Career high of 14 minutes per game.
First off, shout out to Chris Ryan of The Ringer for the Frankie Smokes nickname. That alone was almost enough to change our tune here.
Frank's spot on this list has little to do with statistical analysis since we have no idea what to do with numbers from the European leagues. This is completely on the gut feeling that we've seen this movie before. Player with long, thin frame dominates younger international circuit. Player gets drafted, takes four years to become a contributor, but only after finding his niche once he's gotten used to facing bigger, more athletic competition.
What worries us about Frankie Smokes? Streaky shooting, a weak handle, the international transition, and high expectations. If he gets stashed for two more years by the Spurs before coming over, he's a future all-star. Right now it looks like he's going to the Knicks for the triangle's last gasp. Gulp.
Our Prediction: 8 year career. Evolves into Thabo Sefolosha. Returns France and leads a team there to a championship while back in a featured role.
Giles is likely to be selected in the 15-25 range, completely based on what he did in high school. Yes, he was the number one recruit in his class, but as his number of surgeries have climbed, he's stopped showing what made him that player. He had the seventh worst max vertical leap at this year's combine, being outshone by the likes of Moritz Wagner and Thomas Bryant. His explosion is not back, and it's not guaranteed that it ever will be.
In his short time at Duke, Giles played in 26 games and averaged 11.5 minutes per game. Most telling is that once it was tournament time and Giles was the healthiest he'd been all year, Coach K played Giles for only six and nine minutes in Duke's two games. If Giles wasn't trusted to play major minutes against Troy, how long will it take before he's ready for significant role in the NBA?
In the few minutes Giles did play, he did accumulate stats that forecast him as a plus rebounder and defender. If you're drafting him with the expectation that in four years he can be your dirty-work center, then you'll likely be satisfied. For those thinking they've taking a player who who'll be dominating like he's back at Forest Trail Academy, just remember that we warned you.
Our Prediction: 10 year career. 4 year starter. 2 years averaging a double-double.
Jackson was another freshman contributor this year at Duke, often taking on the point guard duties next to some combination of Luke Kennard, Grayson Allen, or Matt Jones. It was a bit of a surprise to see him as an early entry this year after an unspectacular season, but after a stellar performance on the athletic testing portion of the draft combine, he's now being projected as a late first rounder.
One of the main reasons teams like Jackson is his positional versatility, citing how he slid back and forth between the 1 and the 2 at Duke. Yes, Jackson is fully capable of dribbling the ball up the court and starting the offense, but he showed minimal ability as a creator or a distributor. His passing potential grade in our algorithm was 58.5, good for 49th out of the 86 shooting guards in our database. For context, his grade would've been the third worst of all point guards since 2011.
Let's say you don't care about whether or not Jackson can run your offense. He does project to be a good shooter, grading out at 87.6, good enough for 20th amongst all shooting guard prospects. That's great, but his defensive grade of 34.1 is also cause for concern. It's the fourth worst grade of the eighty-six shooting guards our database, and this is with the boost he receives for being young and having a good strength of schedule. Defensively he was bad across the board, generating minimal deflections while also posting a personal defensive rating that was 5.8 points worse than Duke's overall team defensive rating.
Jackson has potential. He's young, athletic, and a good shooter. It's just that at this point he doesn't offer anything else on the court. Think a better shooting Shannon Brown. But shout out to Shannon Brown! If Jackson has a highlight tape like this when it's all said and done, take him top five!
Our Prediction: 7 year career. 2 year starter. 0 dunks as good as number four in that Shannon Brown video.