Draft Prospect Update

by Alex Boeder
Bucks.com Writer

Andrew Wiggins – 6’8” – 197 pounds – SG/SF – 19 years old – Kansas

Andrew Wiggins


YEAR G MINS FG% 3FG% FT% PTS REB AST STL BLK TO
2013-14 35 32.8 44.8 34.1 77.5 17.1 5.9 1.5 1.2 1 2.3

Background

Oh, Canada? — Born in Toronto, he might become the second consecutive Canadian to be drafted first overall (remember Anthony Bennett?). He is also probably the most hyped basketball prospect since LeBron James, the completely normal type of 13 year-old who had a mixtape… which now has nearly 5 million views. His father played in the NBA and his mother was an Olympic sprinter. That might have something to do with why he jumps like this.

Not in Kansas anymore — These titles. Sorry about them. Anyway. Wiggins played one up-and-down (usually up) season at Kansas, where he went from starring in an early win over Jabari Parker and Duke in one of the most anticipated regular season college games in recent history… to increasingly sharing the spotlight with fellow superstar freshman Joel Embiid…. to ending the season with a 1-6 shooting performance and second round tournament loss… to regaining consensus #1 prospect status.

 Numbers

7.9 — Despite not getting to the rim in the half court as magnetically or ferociously as someone like Dwyane Wade in his day, Wiggins still managed to attempt 7.9 free throws per 40 minutes (and he converts a healthy 77.5%). That is almost even with Jabari Parker (8.0), considered by virtually everyone to be the more polished and assertive offensive player. By the way: Wade, who went on to win an NBA ring at the line, averaged 6.6 free throw attempts per 40 minutes as a freshman at Marquette.

34.1% — Wiggins attempted at least one three-pointer in each of his 36 games at Kansas, averaging 3.6 three-point attempts per game. His shooting form is consistent and his mechanics are solid. Threes in the NBA are more important than ever, this season marked yet another record for most threes attempted, and Wiggins should be able to lift this 34.1% number soon.

Prospect Ranks


Draft Express ESPN NBADraft.net CBS Sports
#1 #1 #3 #1

Quote

"He is one of those guys that if the team didn’t have to have him do it, he, a lot of times, he deferred to let others do it. But at game point, he was right there.”

Fun in GIFs

http://giphy.com/gifs/is-prove-wiggins-U3tVTQzaKcXS

Why the Bucks should draft Wiggins

Two-way star quality — One way or another, Wiggins always seems to end up as the top-rated basketball prospect in the world. This has been going on for a while now, and that is a good sign. He would also be the splashiest draft pick, sell a lot of jerseys, bring some national exposure to the city, and perhaps reignite the local fan base at just the right time, coinciding with the ownership refresh. These are good things… but all that matters in the end is choosing the best player, the star (because there probably is one but not necessarily two in this group). Wiggins is already a top-shelf NBA athlete with a good-looking shot and two-way star potential. You could pass on anyone else and get away with it, but if you pass on Wiggins and he turns into something like Vince Carter With Defense, this will sting. Also: Best-case scenario, he fits the mold of star wing player, and the shooting guard position is short on stars.

Jabari Parker – 6’8” – 241 pounds – SF/PF – 19 years old – Duke

Jabari Parker


YEAR G MINS FG% 3FG% FT% PTS REB AST STL BLK TO
2013-14 35 32.8 44.8 34.1 77.5 17.1 5.9 1.5 1.2 1 2.3

Background

Parker and Recommendations — Way back in high school, Parker led Simeon High in Chicago to four straight state titles. After being courted by all the top schools, he committed to Duke and played one mostly breathtaking season, earning first-team consensus All-American status. A tailor-made one-and-done prospect, the confluence of Duke’s shocking first-round tournament loss to Mercer, Parker’s Mormon background (mission trips are custom), and Mike Krzyzewski’s counsel combined to make people like us sweat a bit. Alas, he declared for the draft via Sports Illustrated.

Knowledge his Power – Parker is regarded as a smart kid off the court and a polished talent on the court. Everyone seems to consider him the guy most ready to contribute on Day One in the NBA. He hit double-figures in points in 33 of 35 games at Duke, and showed off a diverse offensive game well beyond his years. There is some question about his position at the next level, but most people are now saying power forward.

Important Numbers

8.7 — Parker is known first and foremost as a pure scorer. Yet he didn’t lead the league in scoring, rather, he led the ACC in rebounding as a freshman with 8.7 per game. Defense is not considered his strong suit (to put it lightly), but if defensive rebounding counts as defense, he might have something here.

28.7 — PER is not nearly as useful in the college game as the pros because there is such a massive variation in strength of schedules in college. The competition varies way too much to make meaningful comparisons. That said, Parker’s 28.7 PER is a quick and easy reference to his impressive efficiency as a freshman. He ranked in the top 10 in the nation among players from major conferences.

Prospect Ranks


Draft Express ESPN NBADraft.net CBS Sports
#3 #3 #2 #2

Quote

"He's not only super-talented, but he's underrated as an athlete. He is the most polished young player in the world right now given his footwork and skill set with size. He reminds me of Paul Pierce and Carmelo Anthony — a big wing who does everything."

Fun in GIFs

http://www.sbnation.com/2013/11/13/5098746/jabari-parker-andrew-wiggins-duke-kansas-nba-draft-2014

Why the Bucks should draft Parker

High score — When people compare you (like Chris Collins above and seemingly everyone else everywhere) to an All-Star scoring champion who has been the best player on a playoff team almost every year in the pros, that is a very good sign. Yes, if you can get someone like Carmelo Anthony, you do it. Even if the comparisons are optimistic (and they are), few players since Anthony have looked like more sure bets to score 20+ per game by Year Two. By all accounts, Parker is a level-headed guy with a rare ability to create his own shot and adapt his game to any defense.

Joel Embiid – 7’0” – 241 pounds – C – 20 years old – Kansas

Joel Embiid


YEAR G MINS FG% 3FG% FT% PTS REB AST STL BLK TO
2013-14 28 23.1 62.6 20 68.5 11.2 8.1 1.4 0.9 2.6 2.4

Background

Cameroon to grow — Embiid grew up in Cameroon (like former Bucks forward Luc Mbah a Moute, who helped discover Embiid as a basketball player) and arrived in the United States at 16 years old with more soccer and volleyball experience than basketball, so the story goes. He was a quick study and transformed into an elite high school prospect, but arrived to Kansas firmly in the shadow of Andrew Wiggins. That changed quickly.

Dreaming — He blocked seven shots in the second half of a win over UTEP a few weeks into the regular season, and finished the year as the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. He projects as a very good defensive player, but what bumps him into number one overall pick candidacy is his fluid offensive footwork and touch in the post. This is the part of the biography where we inevitably note that Embiid patterns his game after Hakeem Olajuwon. Plenty of people have done the same, but few have looked near the part as Embiid.

Numbers

4.5 — A menace of defense already, Embiid averaged 2.6 blocks per game, including eight swats in a January win over Oklahoma State. But his per-game numbers only tell roughly half of the story, because he only averaged 23.1 minutes per game. True, Embiid probably won’t be ready to play more minutes than that as a rookie, but his 4.5 blocks per 40 minutes rate suggests good things.

68.5% — Embiid has only been playing basketball for a few years, and he is already rounding into a competent free throw stroke for a center. He got to the free throw line in every game he played, and made 17-21 (.774) to finish the season. Encouraging.

Prospect Ranks


Draft Express ESPN NBADraft.net CBS Sports
#2 #2 #1 #3

Quote

“I didn’t think I would be that good… I didn’t know I was going to improve at this rate.”

Fun in GIFs

http://giphy.com/gifs/V8ITDcFCrAJtS

Why the Bucks should draft Embiid

Center of attention — This one is pretty simple. Embiid is one of the best center prospects of the last 10 years. He is considered a good teammate, hard worker, receptive to coaching, and attentive. He moves well in the post on both ends of the floor. He is seven feet tall and could be a great defensive player and very good offensive player. How many of those do we have in the NBA?

 

Dante Exum – 6’6” – 196 pounds – PG/SG – 18 years old – Australia

Dante Exum


YEAR G MINS FG% 3FG% FT% PTS REB AST STL BLK TO
2013-14 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Background

Wizard of Oz — Like the last fellow the Bucks selected with the number one overall draft pick, Exum hails from Australia. His father, Cecil Exum, won an NCAA championship with Michael Jordan at North Carolina in the 1980s (and went on to play seven years in Australia’s NBL). Exum had considered playing college, but opted for the pros, and most recently played with Australian Institute of Sport, which previously produced NBAers such as Andrew Bogut, Luc Longley, Patty Mills, and Matthew Dellavedova.

Dante’s chic — At just 18 (he turns 19 in July), Exum is the youngest of the top five prospects. He is the mysterious pick, the fun pick.

Numbers

0 — Part of the fun with Exum is that we have so few stats. We do know that he averaged 18.2 points and 3.8 assists in nine games at the FIBA U19 tournament in 2013, earning All-Tournament Team honors.

6’9.5” — Exum reasserted at the NBA Combine in Chicago that he is a point guard, and he will be one of the longest in the league, with a 6’9.5” wingspan. For the sake of comparison, the good people at Draft Express likened his physical stature to that of 76ers point guard Michael Carter-Williams, though Exum is slightly ahead of Carter-Williams in height, weight, and wingspan.

Prospect Ranks


Draft Express ESPN NBADraft.net CBS Sports
#5 #4 #4 #6

Quote

"I'm a point guard… I like to lead a team. I've been put into position on all the teams I've been (on) to lead by example, on and off the floor. I'm a player that likes to beat a man off the dribble and make the defense have to help and open up players. I think that's where I excel in my game."

 

Fun in GIFs

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1731390-introducing-basketballs-best-kept-secret-australian-guard-dante-exum

Why the Bucks should draft Exum

Exum marks the spot — Exum knows more about the NBA than NBA writers know about him, so inevitably he was asked at the NBA Combine in Chicago recently whom he would compare himself to in the league. To Exum’s credit, he initially went out of his way to avoid comparing himself to established stars and simply didn’t answer the question, but after being pressed again, he mentioned Russell Westbrook and Manu Ginobili, focusing on their ability to get to the basket. Exum has an ultra-quick first step and great body control, and he just looks smooth as can be going to the rim. A real glide in his step.