2017 Sixers Big Board 1.0

Updated: Tuesday, May 30, 2017 03:47 PM

This is the first iteration of my Philadelphia 76ers big board.

That qualification is more important than ever, as how a prospect fits with the 76ers’ current personnel (namely, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid) had a serious impact on these rankings.

That is, in part, because outside of Markelle Fultz I don’t have any of these guys rated in the same category of a prospect as either Simmons or Embiid. The two cornerstones the Sixers already have on their roster are likely to be the two most important players even after this draft, and as long as that’s the case how well the remaining players fit with Simmons and Embiid can’t be overlooked.

If I thought, say, De’Aaron Fox or Josh Jackson would be better served as offensive focal points than Simmons I’d be more willing to go with a strict adherence to best player available. But I don’t give either of those players that kind of grade.

Below I have the prospects broken down into various tiers. In the past (and in what I typically view as the correct way to do this) tiers have been defined as when I see a major change in the potential of the prospect. In this iteration, however, it’s defined as a significant change in the interest level I have in them as a prospect for this team. Typically, I would be very hesitant to jump a player into a higher (or lower) tier because of fit, but because the Sixers have two long-term fixtures still in their early 20’s and on rookie scale deals, that is the case here.

Pick Player Position College Class
1 Markelle Fultz PG Washington Freshman
  The best prospect in this draft, and the best fit for the 76ers in this draft. He has the talent to challenge Simmons as the primary half-court initiator, but also a game diversified enough to succeed off the ball as Simmons creates. Even his weaknesses (defense) are correctable (if you can get him to buy in) thanks to his physical profile.
— End tier 1 —
2 Lonzo Ball PG UCLA Freshman
  This is where my 76ers big board starts to diverge, and quite significantly. I have concerns about Lonzo Ball’s game, specifically his man-to-man defense and his ability to create off the bounce in the half court. Both of those concerns are pretty serious, at least to most teams, and at least in the context of whether or not Ball can become a star player. But on the 76ers, those can be overcome. Thanks to his 6’6″ height, he can legitimately be hidden defensively on the weakest backcourt player. His touch passing and off-the-catch shooting can help while Simmons creates. And his elite transition play gives the 76ers yet another option in transition. Ball isn’t ball dominant at all, and that helps his fit with Simmons as a co-creator. He’s one of the rare combinations of upside and fit at the top of this draft for the Sixers.
— End tier 2 —
3 Jonathan Isaac F Florida State  Freshman
  “Are you okay with going for a double in this draft?” It was a question recently posed to me about Isaac, in reference to his limited offensive ceiling. It’s a notion I don’t necessarily disagree with, either, as I’d be somewhat surprised if Isaac ever developed beyond a 13-16 point per game scorer. My answer, though, was I’m okay with hitting a double if the ability to defend 4 positions comes with it. Simply put, Isaac might have the most defensive versatility in the draft, the most defensive potential in the draft, and his catch-and-shoot game is the one I’m most confident in among the forwards available at the top. He doesn’t need to become a high level shot creator to add immense value to the Sixers, and if that shot translates (which I think it will) he fits in very well with Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, et al. I’d be less willing to “give up” the chance at a high usage shot creator with this pick if the Sixers didn’t have Embiid and Simmons already on the roster, and if I had more confidence in the potential high level shot creators still left on the board.
4 Josh Jackson SF Kansas Freshman
  I’m very, very concerned about Josh Jackson’s shot. And I’m very concerned how much defenders not having to respect that shot could diminish his other legitimate skills (specifically shot creation and isolation scoring). If that shot doesn’t translate, I’m very concerned with how he’d fit a Ben Simmons led offense. Yet even with those concerns he stays in my top 5 because of how much potential his well-rounded game would have if he is able to figure out that shot. This is, in part, a low probability bet, but missing out on what Jackson could be if he improves more than the typical curve would be difficult, and it’s also a bet that his work ethic and competitiveness might give him a better chance to exceed that curve. But I do believe there is inherent risk in this ranking, and the 76ers may not be the right team to take that gamble.
5 Dennis Smith Jr PG N.C. State  Freshman
  I have gone back and forth on Dennis Smith Jr throughout the season. His offensive talent is unquestionable, with the ability to get to the rim, to be a menace in the pick and roll, an improving perimeter shot, and underrated court vision. His indifference to playing defense, his questionable decision making in terms of shot selection and risky passes, and his poor body language (at times) were just as evident, unfortunately. But in terms of sheer upside and potential fit, there are few who tick both boxes more than Smith. The lack of players available who have both upside and fit make me more willing to gamble on Smith’s talent given the 76ers’ situation.
6 Malik Monk SG Kentucky  Freshman
  There are a couple of players in this draft who I question whether the 76ers are the right team to gamble on them improving their weaknesses, but Monk is the opposite. Because the 76ers have a natural forward slotted to be their primary shot creator in the half court, they can instead slot Monk in as the nominal “point guard”, aka the smallest 76ers player on the court. That gives the 6’3″ Monk the advantage of, 1) being able to guard opposing point guards, which he has a better chance of doing at an acceptable level than he would if forced to play at the 2 because of his limited ability to run an offense, 2) be defended by opposing point guards, which should make it easier to get his shot off than if a 6’7″ defender were sticking a hand in his face. If both of these are true, if his defensive weaknesses are minimized and his offensive strengths given the highest probability of success, you can overcome the other limitations in his game.
— End tier 3 —
7 De’Aaron Fox PG Kentucky Freshman
  This is the “no, I know I have these guys ranked low, but I actually do like them, just not for the Sixers” portion of the draft.  For as quick as Fox is, I think Ben Simmons is the better half court shot creator, as his court vision and instincts are much more advanced than Fox’s. Because of that, I don’t think Fox is good enough to supplant Simmons as the primary half court ball handler, and in that context his shooting becomes an even greater concern. There are some reasons (FT%, mainly) to be optimistic in his shot, at least that his shot will improve over the dreadful output at Kentucky (24.6% from 3 and 20% on catch-and-shoot attempts). The question is how much, and there are some things in his form (an occasional two-motion shot and inconsistencies in his footwork) that make me question how reliable his three-point shot from NBA range will ever become. For a lot of teams, the talent is high enough to take this gamble. For the Sixers that’s a much more difficult bet to make.
8 Jayson Tatum F Duke Freshman
  Jayson Tatum may be the safest bet among the three small forwards in this draft, but I have less confidence in his three-point shot than Isaac, less confidence he can become a secondary creator than Jackson, and he has less defensive versatility than either. I like Tatum as a talent, just not particularly as a fit as the third most talented member of the 76ers.
— End tier 4 —
9 Frank Ntilikina PG Strasbourg Intl
  Elite defensive potential (and versatility), drastically improved efficiency and confidence in his outside shot combine to make him a really good fit with the 76ers. He doesn’t project as much of a shot creator or offensive initiator, but he fits in well with what the 76ers need alongside Ben Simmons.
10 Donovan Mitchell SG Louisville Sophomore
  Really good defensive profile despite his 6’3″ size, and improved his shooting in a big way as a sophomore. He has some ticks in his shot which make me wonder if he’ll have some growing pains to the NBA three-point line, and he’s higher on my Sixers list than he is my league-wide list, but he has enough going his way to make him a worthwhile gamble if the Sixers get another pick in the first round.
— End tier 5 —
11 Zach Collins PF/C Gonzaga Freshman
  This part of the draft becomes very big man heavy, and Zach Collins is my favorite of the group. His defensive fundamentals and discipline still need quite a bit of work, but he can block shots, pursue rebounds, has the capability to get down in a stance, the showing of a good jump shot, and the potential to take guys off the dribble down the line if they overplay his jumper. He has to get stronger, which is likely to limit his playing time early in his career, but some of the tools are there if he can.
12 OG Anunoby F Indiana Sophomore
  Still has some work to do in order to become reliable on the offensive end, but is right there with Jonathan Isaac as one of the more versatile defenders.
— End tier 6 —
13 Lauri Markkanen PF/C Arizona Freshman
  I do like his shooting quite a bit, and think it translates. I also think that would make him valuable next to Embiid. But he’d push Simmons even more to the small forward spot defensively, and I think there’s the chance he gets run off the floor in playoff basketball because of his defensive limitations.
14 Ike Anigbogu C UCLA Freshman
  This is mostly an upside play. Anigbogu’s still really young, has a lot of physical tools and athletic gifts, and a lot of room to grow. If Okafor is traded, adding a 3rd big is a worthwhile investment considering Embiid’s injury history / possible playing time restraints.
15 Luke Kennard SG Duke Sophomore
  Fit pick. His size makes me a little worried whether he’s going to be able to get shots off at the same volume he did at Duke, and his defense is (and likely always will be) a very real concern that you’ll have to work to hide and might limit him to a bench role. But his release is quick, pure, and accurate.

Derek Bodner

Derek Bodner is a credentialed reporter covering the Philadelphia 76ers independently for DerekBodner.com. He is also a college basketball scout for DraftExpress.com, and an NBA contributor for The Ringer. Contact Information: derek.bodner@draftexpress.com / @DerekBodnerNBA

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  • bubqr

    Exactly the same rankings up to 6 (Ball #2/Isaac #3 are non-conventional rankings but I think your analysis is spot on). But then, Fox. I’m so worried about his shooting that I think I would roll the dice on French Frank, Tatum or even Donovan Mitchell ahead of him (Sixers big board).

    • eric_doan

      Fox’s shooting form looks fine. You can’t teach speed and he has a great attitude. I would take Fox over Ball.

  • Fufina

    My problem with “hit a double” Isaac is not with him on a rookie deal, but the deals he will command down the line.

    If he is a top 20 NBA defender and a 15ppg 3 point scorer are you comfortable giving him a max contract? If not then he could well walk away in RFA. If you do give him a max contract, alongside Embiid and Simmons is that the 3 man core that is going to be championship tier? Not sure Simmons without a shot projects to be high scoring star player, and Isaac is the same. You are in that scenario asking Embiid to carry the offensive load, and the last Center to carry a team to a championship was Shaq, in a very different era of Basketball.

    If Simmons/Embiid become elite players you are going to be able to find a better offensive fit via free agency or trade than Isaac, which is makes spending the #3 pick on Isaac seem to be questionable.

    I also do not agree with drafting or team building alongside the assumption that Simmons is a star. I think you have to see an Embiid like season from him before you start putting all your eggs in that basket. If Simmons is a disappointment i would feel a lot more happy with a Jackson than Isaac.

    • 1) That’s 4 years away, and you’ll have rofr
      2) I think how we define stars is stacked in favor of offense to the point of being borderline silly. If Isaac reaches his defensive ceiling and can make spot 3’s, he’ll be a “star role player” (call it whatever you want).
      3) High priced role players are inevitable if they fit your core. It’s not going to be 100% stars.
      4) My assumption isn’t Simmons being a star, it’s Simmons more likely to be a star than the prospects available.

      • Fufina

        I guess my thinking on this is that the true market inefficiency in the NBA (other than elite young talent) are top 20 players, who are all hugely underpaid due to max contracts. Players in the 25-75 range are some of the worst contracts in the NBA because there are not enough good players in the NBA to spend cap on inflating their value.

        Isaac seems to me destined to fall into that range, a very good player not a great one. The best case scenario for the sixers with him is that they find a way to acquire another star player either via FA or trade, are already capped out in 2021 and go into the tax to keep Isaac.

        I would personally take a bigger risk on a Jackson or Smith, and be comfortable that they could easily bust/under achieve, and be willing to move on from them if that happens.

        • I think there’s a lot to be said about the dearth of 3-and-d prospects and the difficulty it is to find them as well, and I think the odds of Smith/Jackson becoming a top-20 player is pretty low.

          • RC5000

            It remains to be seen if Isaac is a good 3 and D player. He feasted on early schedule (12 for 24 threes in his first 6 games vs mostly cake teams , that’s almost like going by high school numbers).

            He was 19 for 65 (29.2%) against the rest of the schedule and only had 5 games outside that first 6 with more than 1 made three and it was 2 made threes in those 5 games.

            I know but the 78% FTs may be an indicator of NBA 3 point success.

            What happened to his 3 point shot and confidence in it? There was almost none after November.

            This is the 3rd pick in the draft…

      • RC5000

        You’re against Josh Jackson because of his lack of offense (shooting) but offensive issues, it’s not a problem for Isaac. Lets take the guy with defense over the guy with defense and offense?

        At any rate, You’re saying take the lesser skilled, more of a role player because we have Embiid who hasn’t proven he could hold up and Simmons. That is a very dangerous philosophy for me.

        Shoot why not take Jordan Bell in the 2nd or trade up for him if you want a great defender and Jackson has great defensive potential.

        • I have significantly more faith in Isaac’s jump shot than I do in Jackson’s, and I don’t think Jackson’s going to be the effective, skilled offensive player you believe he is without it.

          And the fun thing with defense is we never talk about degrees. “Hey, Jordan Bell’s a good defender, same thing as Isaac.” No.

  • Ben Ulferd

    Not an Isaac guy and would take the risk with Jackson and his shot. You mentioned it with Jackson, but his competitiveness is what separates him from other guys, especially with Isaac, who has a reluctance to his game that may change over time with confidence and development, but he just seems laid back. I’ll take a guy that wants to be the best, is going to work at it like crazy, and gets after it more than any other prospect in this draft.

  • PSG

    I’m an Isaac guy, so I’d be satisfied with him at 3. In a perfect world, you trade down and get him, but it’s a risky play.

    I think the analogy of “hitting a double” in drafting Isaac is underselling his potential a bit. Even if he doesn’t develop a strong off-the-dribble game, he can still be a max player and I still think there is quite a bit to work with. I think it’s more reasonable to see Isaac develop shot creation than Jackson develop a consistent jump shot. Jackson has the higher upside, but Isaac is more likely to reach his upside in my opinion.

    I also look at the potential of having a Simmons-Isaac front court when Embiid is off the floor and think about how much that could help in the regular season when you need to limit his minutes.

    I just look around the league at all of the teams that are desperate for competent wing help. Guys who can play with anybody and contribute for 35-40 minutes in the playoffs against any matchup. How much better would the Clippers or Thunder have been with simply a good 3&D guy like Covington? I don’t want the Sixers to always feel like they’re one good wing guy away because they’re the hardest to get. Just keep adding to the stockpile (TLC, Covington, Korkmaz, Stauskas, Anderson) and hope 2-3 of them become key contributors. Getting a wing like Isaac gives them a good chance of walking away with at least that number and probably more.

    • “I think the analogy of “hitting a double” in drafting Isaac is underselling his potential a bit.”

      “Hitting a double” was more a comment on how we rate upside, which usually gives little more than a passing thought to defense (except for centers). It wasn’t meant as a serious representation of his potential impact.

      • PSG

        I think I just see more offensive upside in Isaac than most people. I feel like he’s the type of guy who helps a team early in his career with his defense and shooting, but continues to add things like playmaking and shot creation as he reaches his mid 20s.

      • eric_doan

        Did you not watch the tournament? Isaac disappeared whereas Jackson put the team on his back and put away the opponent I believe was sweet 16 game. I believe Ingram is a better prospect than Isaac and he struggled mightily in his first season.
        Fultz, Josh Jackson, Fox, Smith Jr, Tatum, then Monk, then Isaac. ZERO interest in Ball. The circus, the way he carries himself, poor defense, inability to create own shot.

        • “Did you not watch the tournament?”

          I watched both Isaac and Jackson play 25 times. I don’t base my evaluation off of one NCAA tournament game.

          • eric_doan

            Isaac in his 6 tournament games ( conference and NCAA, excluding FGCU- not a real powerhouse) he averaged 7 pts 1 assist and 10 rebounds. He is way too talented to perform like that when it matters most. Jackson shot very well from 3 the last 2 months. I would put the odds of Jackson being a top 30 player at 50% where I give Isaac a 10%.

          • peteike

            I really liked Justin Jackson throughout the tourney and then he just stunk up the place in final game. So he is probably late first or late teens I think. Be interested to see how his game translates to NBA if at all. Would love an article on late first/2nd rounders at some point.

  • Matty Mac

    Hi Derek,
    Why is everybody so low on Jayson Tatum? He can be go to scorer at end of games, shot ~35% from 3PT and form looks to be on the up, has the tools to be a good defender (9 ft standing reach, good per 40 BLKS and STLS numbers), can rebound the ball (~8 per game) and has great intangibles per his HS and college coaches.. Isn’t his floor NBA comparison Granger/Gay and his ceiling Pierce/Carmelo?

    With all the visible floors for each prospect other than Fultz, why live with a broken jumper (Jackson/Fox), lack of dominant offensive personality (Isaac), poor measurable and defensive potential (Smith/Monk) at 3 when Tatum’s floor appears to be good enough to still be a potential all star? He appears to have 20+ ppg potential and could be the 3rd best player on a championship team.
    Alternatively, thoughts on blowing it up and trading e.g. 3, Saric, Lakers pick for Jimmy Butler and signing Kyle Lowry? Could lock up Butler in 2 years at age 29 and Lowry comes off the books in 4 years when we know for sure if Embiid/Simmons is the way to go. Still get the Kings pick in 2 years, but a core of Embiid/Simmons/Covington/Butler/Lowry would have the Sixers in contention for the East as soon as next year and we’d basically be locking in Butler for the next 7 years if we max him in 2019.

    Thoughts? BTW loving the blog and Sixers Beat pods keep it coming!

  • RC5000

    Jackson is better than Isaac. He’s a better ball handler, passer, slasher, finisher and shooter. Jackson has great stamina. Isaac has asthma. Jackson can defend guards. I don’t see Isaac at SG. PF some but maybe not full time. Covington is better at 3.

    Jackson shot 34 for 90 from 3 (25 for last 52. Isaac was 31 for 89 and 10 for his last 31. Imagine if Jackson gets better shooting, wow.

    So Jackson came on in bigger games while Isaac stagnated.

    Jackson is quicker.

    Isaac has no elite NBA skill unless his rebounding translates.

    You’re basically going for a Noel level player over a Wiggins level player who fits better. Very odd but okay.

    • IMO, you:
      – Overvalue 3pt% in your evaluation of projectable shooting ability.
      – Undervalue Isaac’s defense
      – Undervalue the chance Jackson’s shot doesn’t translate
      – Undervalue the impact that will have on Jackson’s ability to do the ball handling/passing/slashing things you mention.

      Which is fine. We can reasonably disagree.

      • PhillyFinest

        Jackson is a bulldog defensively as well, so for me both Jackson and Isaac have elite defensive upside. The difference is that Jackson profiles as a stopper against the ball dominant wings and big guards who have FRIED the sixers for years. Harden, Westbrook, Lebron, derozan, kawhi have all had their way. Cov can’t do it alone. Isaac to me is more a defensive 4 who can thrive on switches like a Nerlens. Problem there is Simmons and saric are destined for that role out of necessity. If we are talking pure defensive impact, both players may be similar but Jackson fits a bigger need imho.

        Major props for doing open discussion btw, that’s the extra effort I appreciate! Keep it up bodner, I’m a big fan..

  • PhillyFinest

    There are absolute mechanical flaws in Jacksons shot and more poor footwork as well as a general reluctance/comfortability issue with Fox (relied on blow by speed his whole life). But the NBA has proven that young players can develop a shot.
    Jackson shot better than Kawhi as a frosh against better comp and playing at higher stakes (go to guy on a contender). He compares nicely to Kawhi and Paul George across the board even fg% and 3pt% surprisingly. FT% is scary, and goes back to his poor form. But his finishing, all around defense/versitilty, transition ability as Simmons running mate, and shear will power screams stud NBA player. Offensively, if his deep range never develops he still has derozan potential if that’s the case because his mid range and driving foundation is already in place.

    Fox is more footwork and just getting comfortable as a shooter in general. The kid came into Kentucky never needing to rely on his shot. He flashed better shot making ability later in the year after his mid season injury. Maybe coach cal got in his ear about taking open shots, but he was more confident and began hitting open jumpers which helped him explode late in the season.

    Bottom line both guys improved throughout the season and both showed more confidence in their jumpers. This is a common issue for young players, and many current NBA stars were not great shooters at 18-19 yrs old but rounded out their skill sets as they matured. Isaac has a nice skill set in theory but I never watched an FSU game where I thought he took over as a premier go to guy. He is a bit shy, his game comes in spurts and he had a tendency to run a good shift then disappear for the rest of the game. Perhaps it was fsu’s deep rotation which held him back, but he is too much of a question mark for me at 3. Plus isaac has a Nerlens Noel contract dilemma written all over him down the road.

    Now if sixers see an opportunity to trade back into the #5-9 range and snag Isaac as another piece I’d love that move! But I think your almost pushing too hard for fit in these rankings, great players find ways to fit and impact ball games. Btw Jackson may not stretch the floor for the sixers but if they are playing embiid at the top of the key, Simmons with the ball, and 2 other shooters (guys like korver and jj reddick are avail every year); Jackson will have ample opportunities to slash/drive/back door to the hoop and finish like the stud he is.

    • “Bottom line both guys improved throughout the season and both showed more confidence in their jumpers. This is a common issue for young players, and many current NBA stars were not great shooters at 18-19 yrs old but rounded out their skill sets as they matured.”

      What’s also common is those “improvements” (specifically in efficiency of a shot) are far from a guarantee that they’ll carry over to a pro career (see Winslow, Justise). When a young player “improves” in the second half of a season, we assume it’s improvement, and not just a hot stretch. When a 10 year vet has a 2 month stretch where he shoots better than normal, we call it a hot stretch. Actually differentiating whether Jackson had a hot stretch or magically figured out his biggest Achilles heel in the second half of the season is tougher to discern than we give it credit for, but all other indicators (form, ft%, his career up to that point) make me skeptical it will carry over.

      “I never watched an FSU game where I thought he took over as a premier go to guy”

      There’s more to basketball than just this.

  • PhillyFinest

    Any realistic chance the sixers take a guy like Jackson whose a traditional star upside guy you look for in the top 3. THEN dangle next years lakers pick, along with a okafor/cov type package and trade back into the #4-8 range to find their role player sniper (Isaac, monk)? Next years draft seems to be top heavy with bigs..

  • Justin Vavala

    Great article. I love your podcast as well. Sorry for the mini book I’m about to write, but here goes.

    Fultz is obviously the prize of the draft. If somehow Ball fell to 3, while off the court stuff (his father) concerns me, you’d have to take him as he is the second best player in the draft and would fit with Simmons really well and give us some much needed shooting.

    I find Issac’s length intriguing and understand your points but respectfully disagree. I think Jackson is the obvious 3rd choice in this draft, with the sixers or anyone else. He does so many things so well, and while his ft percentage is extremely worrying (as I find that is a solid indicator for how players will shoot in the NBA), I do think there’s just as much hope there for him as Issac. While I keep hearing his second half to the year is too small a sample size, he did drastically improve his shot down the stretch, and absolutely has the drive and passion to put the same work that Covington, Saric, and Embiid have all put into their shot and saw marked improvements.

    I think Jackson could be an elite defender, and on a team where we could see Embiid, Simmons, Covington, and Jackson defending and working Bret Brown’s system, I think we could see something special.

    Lebron has the East locked down for at least a couple more years, so we certainly have time to find shooting before we are really going to be contending for anything. The prospect of having a team full of players who can switch effectively on defense, play multiple positions, and contribute in multiple facets of the game is very exciting to me.

    4. Monk. Instant offense. I am going with the exact opposite mind set I just described and if you’re going to go with offense, I like Monk just barely over Dennis Smith Jr who I would put at 5. Guys like Monk who could legitimately end up shooting 40-42% from 3 in the NBA are rare and he is your opportunity for what could be an (albeit one dimensional) genuine scorer and create space for Embiid and Simmons to do what they do best.

    5. Dennis Smith Jr. He’s crazy explosive. Probably a better athlete than Jackson making him the best pure athlete in the draft. Will probably shoot pretty well from 3, can create his own shot, and goes hard in the paint. Not quite as high a ceiling offensively as Monk, but also not the risk he is on defense (but just really not that much better). He reminds me of a junior varsity Derrick Rose when he first came into the league but most likely has a better outside shot but doubtful he’s winning any MVPs.

    6. Issac
    7. Fox
    8. Tatum

    Truth be told, I’ll be thrilled with any of the first 7 of those players in all reality. Tatum reminds me of the SF version of Jahlil Okafor and while he is definitely a talented player, just doesn’t excite me in the least.

  • Token

    im not sure why you draft Jackson. I feel you are basically getting Covington without the shot. I just dont see the point. How many guys who shoot that poorly from the line end up fixing their shot at the pro level? Like 1% of players? If im taking the risk on a long athletic guy itd be Issac.

    But overall I take Fox. Breaking down a defense with driving ability is undervalued. That creates opportunity as much as shooting IMO. Hes a left handed speed demon with ball handling to go with it. He can create his own shot easily unlike Jackson. Tho he too must get much more consistent on the jumper. How often do you see the combo of elite speed, very good ball handling and very willing defense in a top guard?

    The idea of fit is flawed. Simmons will have the ball a lot, no doubt. But far from always. And the idea that he cant guard NBA PGs is absurd. PG is still a massive need.

    • While I agree with the general sentiment about being concerned over Jackson’s shot, he’s not “basically Covington”. He has far more skills with the ball in his hands and is far more diversified of a scorer where if his shot comes around, the offensive upside is significantly more than Covington.

      I disagree on Fox’s shooting form, but I’ll get to that in a post on its own.

      Also disagree on “the idea of fit is flawed”. PG can still be a need (I agree), but fit is important. When we talk about fit, we’re essentially asking “can he hit a shot with enough consistency to not allow his man to sag far off of him when he doesn’t have the ball.” If that’s a no, it’s going to be much more difficult for Simmons to create, and that’s a big problem.

  • Kevin Herman

    Come on Derek.

    • Believe it or not, Kev, it’s possible to disagree with out resorting to “come on”.

    • Oh, look, you edited it.

      I’m not going to continue to debate someone who mistakes “preference” for “bias”.

      Have a good one.

  • peteike

    I was all about JJ and Fox for a while but Ive completely switched to DSJ now. You can mature and improve decision making and demeanor more than some of the other weaknesses.

  • Ryan


    Honest non-argumentative question: What gives you greater confidence in Isaac’s 3 PT shot translating to NBA over Tatum’s? Both have nearly equivalent raw shooting %s from both 3PT and FT. Tatum has exhibited a strong ability to stroke in the mid range. Doesn’t he just need to expand that stroke out a little? (obviously not a given, but neither is Isaac it seems) Neither player seems to have bad mechanics like Jackson or Ball do. Teach me your wisdom in what you see in Isaac’s shot that gives you a greater belief in his shot over Tatum. Thanks.

  • Brent Green

    I’m actually totally in agreement with that top 5. I wouldn’t be upset at all if we got Isaacs because of his defensive and rebounding abilities at the 3.