Here is Part One of my 

Review of the 2016 Draft.

Part I.

SV=Standing Vert, MV=Max Vert + SR-Standing Reach = MVR Max Vert Reach.

Celtics Distain Trades For Brown.

So the Celtics fell in love with Jaylen Brown. That is not the worst thing in the world. They are looking to win a Championship. They are not looking to have a swell little Playoff team that can win two rounds and concede to the Cavs. They are looking for a team that can beat LaBron and get to the finals. They are looking to develop the three Nets picks into three Playoff Killers that could be a dynasty. But to do that takes time, patience, and a whole lotta luck.

Chris Dunn was never going to be a Celtic. Buddy Hield was never going to be a Celtic. This idea that they were anything the Celtics needed was ridiculous. And I like both players. I love how Hield shoots, and I love the fierce competitor Dunn is. But the Nets picks could put them into position to build a dynasty, not pick up a role player or two. They could have three straight top five picks being added to a Playoff caliber team. Is anybody paying attention? This is such a unique situation that with some luck, smarts, and patience they could add a triumphant of transcendent players that play for 15-20 years for the Celtics.

The misconceptions of the reality of basketball players is startling sometimes. It makes me want to punch twits in the face sometimes. Jamal Murray is a freak shooter. Guys his age just can't shoot like he can. Most college freshman are worse shooters than Brown. Dunn shot a pathetic 28.6% from Three as a freshman. And did you know what is funny? Do you know who shot a worse percentage than that as a freshman? That's right, Buddy Hield shot 23.8% from Three at the same age Brown shot 29% at Cal. 

The Celtics are trying to do something that has never been done. Take an average Playoff team and turn it into a dynasty with three lottery picks, and two Max Free Agents. But to do that you will be drafting teenagers who are not ready to be stars right away, and may never develop into a superstars. There is a ton of risk. But if Brown can turn his LaBron like body into a LaBron or Butler like player than you have the beginnings of another Celtic's like dynasty.  

Yes that is the absolute best case scenario. That is getting Harry Giles or Josh Jackson in the next Draft. That is getting the third piece in the 2018 Draft. Like I have been saying all alone this is a five year plan not a win it all next year plan (that is for free agency and Kevin). When the Celtic's say that Jaylen has an NBA body, they don't mean an average NBA body. They mean he has an elite NBA body like LaBron James when he came out of high school. James maximized his vast potential and turned himself into LaBron, the best basketball play in the world.

Brown has that kind of potential physically. "Danny and the staff feel that [he] has significant upside," Wyc said. "He's already an accomplished player at a young age. We feel that heís got the physique and the competitive drive and the motor, the skills and, really important, the character and the intelligence. Heís a very, very smart guy. [I'm] really impressed with Jaylen, A to Z, and looking forward to having him in Celtic green." But he has to turn his vast smarts into basketball smart, like LaBron did.

One alleged problem is his shooting (yes, this is the start of the sarcasm). He apparently committed a crime against humanity when he shot 29% from Three as an 18-19 year old freshman. So he obviously is a non-shooting shooter who will never be able to shoot for as long you shall live. He is now married to that stat. That is the fact of being a teenager, you can never improve at anything. All teenagers are not near the shooters they will be in the twenties and even thirties. Crapping on a kid for not be a great shooter is like hating water because it is wet.

When James was an 18-19 year old rookie he shot 29% from Three at the same age as Brown was last year (though it was from NBA Three). "In the workouts he shot it well here," Stevens said. "But to me what has been interesting is watching him shoot with the tempo he works with. When he was taking shots in our workouts he was taking game [paced] shots. And they looked good. And they hit the net well. When your talking about a guy who shot what he shot, certainly there are a lot of factors in that, especially when you are looking in the small sample size of one year. I think it is an important skill to have. It's going to be very important that he continues to work hard to develop that skill. But I think some of the things that he brings offensively to the table will allow him to utilize that. If he continues to grow in that area, because he can really fly in transition. He's got great athleticism. He's got a great first step. When he gets to the rim, he is going to win that battle more often than not with that athleticism." He has such elite burst to the basket that guys just can't stay in front of him. That is an elite offensive skill to have in the NBA. I know it seems impossible, but the teenage James improved his shooting almost every year of his young life.

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So when you have a shot at a young player who you think can develop into a transcendent player, you can't trade him away for a bag of magic beans. "But Iíll view this as people really care," Wyc said. "I'll view it as Iíve certainly had some of those reactions too when Iíve been at sporting events. Pay your money, you get to come in. Look, weíre a bunch of fans who bought the team. And being a fan means youíre emotional and youíre emotionally invested in the team. And no problem. But I actually believe that, if those fans knew what I knew and were in that room, I think most of them might have done the same thing. But no problem. Bring it on. They are Celtics fans and theyíve earned the right to say whatever they want." No matter how much it pisses of the twits twitting their way through life.

The Celtics set themselves up with all the talk about big deals. Big instant gratification deals to make the Celtics an instant contender. Jimmy Butler could cover LaBron in the East Finals, and maybe just maybe slow him down enough. They lack a true shooter, and suddenly they are in the running for Kris Middleton. Maybe he can't slow LaBron down, but he can at least hit a Three. They lack a true rim protector. And the 76ers were begging them to take Noel or Okafor, for more than was reported. 

Instead they pulled Just Another Rookie out of the hat (a JAR?). "In 14 years, thatís probably the worst [distain] Iíve gotten," Wyc said. But they weren't booing Brown. They were booing the promise that the twits twitting were promising. The deals where you give up five scraps of meat to a dumb dog for a transcendent player (when the only transcendent player is Celtic's wanna-be Kevin Durant).

Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither was any dynasty. "I believe in myself 100 percent," Brown said (and I swear I didn't do this on purpose, but great minds think alike). "I believe in my game and I believe in my work ethic. I donít think anybody works as hard as me, especially not in this draft class. So Iím going to go out and show what I can do. I mean, Rome wasnít built in a day. It will take time, but youíll see." I say this every year about the Patriots: the Draft is not about next year. It is about the next five to ten years, and in the NBA the next 10 to 20 years. 

Instead, they listen to the nattering nabobs of negativity, and twits who can't think past two sentences, and think they understand what long term planning is. If you can't think past two sentences than you don't understand long term strategy. So it's not shocking that the Garden crowd felt ripped-off. "None of [the alleged trades] were even in the mix," Wyc said. "If they were close, we might have stretched. We didnít feel anything was close. Not by half." When you have a player like Brown who has a LaBron James like body, you don't give him away the team that twits like the most. 

In Danny's brain, he didn't have the 3rd pick in the Draft. He had Jaylen Brown. Once that decision was made, it becomes a hell of lot more difficult to trade him. "He has an NBA body already and everyone loves that," an anonymous assistant GM said. "He has an aggressive going to the basket game. Heís not a very good shooter and he has to work on that. He has to become a better finisher in traffic. He is a good athlete with good length and size for his position." When you turn a pick into a player, you can't just give him away.

So they just got their first young piece in their five year plan, "We did improve," Wyc said. "Weíve got a young piece. Adding a veteran was certainly a consideration as we went into this draft day. Adding a veteran for the third pick was a consideration. We were willing to have those discussions, but nothing even came close." It will take longer. Their will be heartbreaks, and bubbling and stumbling. 

But the Celtics did the near impossible in this Draft age of twits and leaks, they kept it under wraps. "What was going through my mind?" Brown said. "I didnít think Boston was going to pick me for some reason. I donít know. I was sitting there and I was nervous as all get-out. II was sweating and I was nervous. But when they picked me, just a sigh of relief left me, and Iím happy Iím here." Management showed again they can be trusted. 

They showed that something different is happening here. It is ambitious, and can sound a little dumb when you say it out loud. But if you trade for veterans you can win a Championship if everything goes right. But if you can add three transcendent players, with three straight Lottery picks, to a team that is already a Playoff team than you can form a dynasty. But it is not a one or two year plan. It is a five year plan (unless Kevin signs up and then we are instantly battling LaBron for East supremacy). 

Ben Simmons

1. 76ers-  Ben Simmons- Point Forward, 6-10, 240, LSU, FR, 

19.2 PPG, 11.8 RPG, 4.8 APG, Shot 56.1% from the floor, 2 SPG,

The Team: I had this pick from the start. 

He is now not just the face of the Franchise, but the new savior of the Sixers massive incompetence. "Itís important that we donít put Ben in a position where he feels the weight of everything," GM Bryan Colangelo said. "I talk about us having a young, developing core. And we have talent on this team. So not all of the thrust will be on Ben Simmons. We have to make sure to distribute that effort across the board and build this thing with measured steps. As much as we want things to happen overnight, there has to be some patience in the process. And that has to be spread through the entire team. It should not be on Benís shoulders to carry all that weight." But he is still a kid, and it is going to take him 3 to 5 years to develop in a Playoff winner. 
Simmons is as good a freshman college basketball player I have ever seen. "This is really, truly is a transformational day for the organization, for the city of Philadelphia, for the fans and for everyone who is going to be affected by the new page in the book of the story of the Philadelphia 76ers," Colangelo said. "He is a player with special and unique talents." He is such a great passer, and anyone who said or wrote that he dominates the ball never saw him play.
He is one of the best and quickest passers I have ever seen. "I am the type of player who can be put anywhere on the court and contribute," Simmons said. "Going forward, they can put me anywhere from the one through the five, offensively and defensively." I think he is a Three who can dominate inside and outside. They can play him with two Bigs.
He instantly starts to make every one better in the Sixers' Organization."He impacts everything," Colangelo said. "I think heís going to impact the outlook for the organization, the outlook for fans. I think he gives them reason for hope. Heís going to make the players on the court that he plays with better. Thatís one of the key traits we liked about Ben." Everybody looks smart with an elite talent like Simmons on the floor.

The players score easier, the coach looks smarter, and the front office looks like they know what they're doing. "Benís going to improve everything across the board, including the bottom line," Colangelo said. "Heís a star figure in his own right at this age. If he does the things that are required from a basketball standpoint to continue to improve, the skyís the limit for him. Basketball, business, everything is being affected in a positive way." Everything just got better in Philly.
Pre Draft: 

Simmons is the man. Smartest player to come out since Anthony Davis. He is completely bust proof. In five or six years when LaBron is done winning Championships, you won't be able to talk about how he can't shoot the three. He will follow the arc of shooting that LaBron went through. Or maybe MJ. Jordan shot less than 20% from Three as a rookie. and became the best clutch 3-point shooter in the League.   

The Player: From Magic To LaBron: Ben Simmons.

Simmons is a freak. He is one of the hardest working players in the world. But just because he does it with a stone cold face, that somehow means he doesn't play hard. That is just such a dumb thing to say that it hurts my balls. It shows that you never watched him play a game. Every single guy you hear who says they are concerned about his effort never watched him play. He doesn't always look like he is going all out all the time. But then you look up and he has 20 point, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and a block.

What you want is a stone cold killer who keeps his emotions off his face. The Celtics need that more than anything. That's why I want Danny to miraculously turn the 3rd pick in the Draft into Paul George. Simmons instincts puts him in position on the floor better than anyone I've ever seen. He moves less than anyone I've ever seen, who still ends up in perfect position when a play needs to be made. And he is a smooth athlete running, who has an elite burst forward and to the ball.

He led his team in scoring and assists. That is impossible to do without working hard. But what makes him special is that he also led his team in rebounding (a hustle stat) and averaged about a block a game (a hustle stat), and two steals a game (another hustle stat). You cannot lead your team in scoring, passing, and rebounds, and not be the hardest working player on your team. Never mind steals as well. That is simply incredible. When have any of you haters ever heard of a player leading his team in those four stats. It's one thing to lead a team in rebounding and steals, or scoring and assists, but when was the last time you heard of a guy who lead a team in all four. It doesn't mean it hasn't happened, but I have never head of a guy leading his team in: PPG, APG, RPG, and SPG. 

His problem is that he is so hard to quantify. He could shoot 17.3% from Three as a rookie, but his driving and kicking could make the Sixers a better 3-point shooting team (Noooooo! That would be horrible). We have never seen a guy do things like he did at LSU. He passes obsessively in the 1st half and often should have ten assists by halftime. Then he shoots and scores more in the 2nd half. He can look like he is gliding sometimes, but then you notice he getting every rebound, playing defense, blocking shots, setting up teammates all over the floor, and scoring. There is a difference between being a smooth athlete and not playing hard.

While Simons is not the 3-point shooter that Ingram is, he is a much more versatile scorer. You can say that Ingram is a better shooter, but you cannot say that he is a better scorer or more versatile offensive player: Simmons was the consensus National Freshman of the Year and was named the SEC Freshman of the Year in what has been a phenomenal freshman campaign Ö He is the first LSU freshman to win the conference Freshman of the Year award since 2006 when Tyrus Thomas was honored Ö Averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game, which ranks in the top five in the SEC in each category ... He may become the first SEC player to finish the season in the top five in all three categories ... At the end of the regular season, Simmons was ranked fourth in points (19.6), first in rebounds (11.9), third in field goal percentage ( 206-367, 56.1 percent), fifth in assists per game (5.0) and second in steals per game (2.0) in the SEC ... His 11.8 rebounds per game led all Division I freshmen Ö One of just two freshmen in the country to average double-figure rebounds Ö Led all major conference players with 23 double-doubles on the year and ranked fifth nationally ... Became the fourth freshman in the past 20 years with 40 points and 10 rebounds in a game after his performance against North Florida on Dec. 2, 2015, where he also became the first major college player to have a game of 40 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals in a game in the last 20 years ... The first LSU player since Shaquille OíNeal to score at least 43 points in a game Ö One of six freshmen in LSU history to score 30 points in a game and joins Chris Jackson (Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf) and fellow freshman Antonio Blakeney as the only players to do it multiple times as he scored 36 at Vanderbilt on Jan. 2, 2016, and had 43 versus UNF on Dec. 2, 2015 Ö Posted six of the SECís eight 20-10-5 games this season Ö Crossed the 600-point mark at Kentucky on March 5, 2016Ö He became the sixth first-year LSU player to score 500 points in a season after a late free throw against Alabama on Jan. 17, 2016 Ö Became the fourth-fastest to pass 500 points in his first year of playing with the Tigers and was the second freshman to do so behind Jackson Ö Simmons had 18 20-point games this season, which was third in the SEC Ö Had an active streak of 28 games in double figure scoring Ö Had a five game streak of 20 points from Feb. 17 to March 1 Ö Had a double-double and 10 or more rebounds in seven straight contests from Nov. 19-Dec. 16 ... Had a double-double in the last four games to close out the regular season before the conference tournament Ö Became the first SEC freshman to record 20 points and 15 rebounds since Julius Randle of Kentucky in the 2013-14 season after posting 23 points and 16 rebounds against South Alabama.

The Reason: The most underrated aspect of Simmons game is that he is an elite rebounder, and could play some small ball center. "I think heís a facilitator, heís a distributor, heís a scorer, heís a rebounder," GM Bryan Colangelo said. "The way I look to look at building a basketball team, I look to put players into categories in terms of versatility, skill set, and who they might guard. Heís somewhere in between. But I do know this, heís going to have the ball in his hands a lot." I would love to see a big center chasing him down court in transition. 

He can guard four different positions. "For me itís always who do you guard," the HC Brett Brown said. "I feel like he is going to be able to guard four-men. He is going to be able to switch out on pick-and-rolls if we chose to do that. Call it a Ďpoint-four.í" The other question is who is going to cover him.

He has everything you want in a young basketball player. "Talent, size, heís got everything," Colangelo said. "Heís the full package as a basketball player. You talk about the things that heís capable of doing on the court, it can be special. If things go right, he should have a long career, he should have an impactful career. I think Philadelphia should be happy to have Ben Simmons. Fans are going to be thrilled with what they see." No one in this Draft can dominate a game in more ways than Simmons.
If you put a Big on him he'll drive right by him. If you put a guard on him he'll bully him in the Paint. "There are times that, if you caught me, I would think that I want to just treat him as a true point guard, just give him the ball," Brown said. "You can go back and forth, but I think itís the hardest position to play in the NBA. I think to just give him the ball in that capacity is borderline cruel. He needs to feel NBA basketball. Maybe he evolves there, but to start with, thatís not how weíll play him." Or just put shooters around him and let him hit them for open jumpers. 
He is great in transition. He is one of the fastest players I have seen with the ball in his hands. He is a more mature kid than he was given credit. "Simmons is going to handle it probably as well as anyone because heís been prepared for this for so long," Colangelo said. "I think he's ready to get on with the basketball part. Heís attentive, responsible, heís more mature than you realize. He almost seems bored, like heís ready to get on with this, and I think heís very anxious to start the journey." He is also underrated on defense.

Brandon Ingram

2. LA- Brandon Ingram- Duke, 18 years old, 6-9, 190,

17.3 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 2 APG and 1.4 blocks in 34.6 minutes a game.

The Team: This is such an odd Draft. There are so many 6-10 plus guys with point guard skills. "As you might imagine, thereís a lot of interest in the No. 2 pick," Kupchak said. "So much was made about a so-called 'cliff' between One and Two, then a drop. Thatís not always the case. There are a lot of good players in this draft. In particular if you looked at the top 10 players, itís a very, very talented group. Brandon was the one that came in and visited. We didnít know for sure until 10 minutes ago that Brandon would be available at No. 2. So up until 10 minutes ago, there was just a little bit of anticipation, although this is what was expected." There really wasn't a question, it was all made up nonsense. Brett Brown has known Ben Simmons his whole life. That is why he is coach of the Sixers today.

That doesn't mean that he is a PG. But he can pass, shoot, and rebound as well as anyone in this Draft. "I wouldnít say thereís one thing," Kupchak said. "I guess if I had to pick one thing, it would be potential. Weíre not picking a player that hasnít played much and kind of came off the bench and youíre kind of trying to project what he may turn into. Weíre picking a player that played at what some might say is a very established college basketball program. He played big minutes. He started in an excellent league with excellent competition. In that regard, thereís been a lot thatís already been proven. We look at him and his age and his body type and his willingness to work and be coached. We think his upside and the potential in him [is great]. Right now there is no ceiling on him. But to date, he has had a pretty good career in a pretty good conference for a one-year player." He has all the signs that you look.

They brought him into the facility for a test run. "The workouts were against nobody other than what we call a 'on eon zero workouts'," Kupchak said. "We had our assistant coaches [play with him], some of whom were young enough to still play. So they participated in the workout and provided a little bit of a 2-on-2 kind of atmosphere. But [we saw] his skill level, his length, his athleticism. We do a lot more than just play: a lot of individual skills, ball handling up and down, running, shooting the ball. You can only see so much in 1-on-1, 2-on-2 against your assistant coaches. We also do a battery of physical testing, 8-10 different tests designed to establish: quickness, foot speed, jumping, things that you might imagine would be important on the basketball court. We had two dinners. The first dinner was much more formal because itís the first time we met him. But at the second dinner, five or six of our players showed up somewhat unannounced. We mentioned to them at this building that we were going to have dinner that evening. They were free to come and join us. And Julius, DíAngelo, Jordan [Clarkson], Anthony Brown and Larry Nance all showed up for dinner. And they all sat around Brandon and the older people moved to the other side of the room and the younger people kind of hung out together. It looked like they all got along well. So that was good." So he has already shown that he can get along with his Lakers teammates a little as well.  

There are a lot of people who are comparing him the Durant, because of his bone thin length and shooting. but Durant was a better shooter in at Texas. "Obviously itís unfair," Kupchak said about the comparison. "I can see why people would make the comparison. I think theyíre both gifted players. If you look at their time in college as freshmen, the similarities are striking in terms of size, body build and body type. But beyond that, Brandon has a long, long way to go. Heís got a lot of work in front of him. Having said that, weíre ecstatic to have him. He visited with us about 10 days ago, worked out in this gym. We had a couple of dinners with him and got to know him, so weíre pleased. Iím excited about having him in Los Angeles, and weíre hopeful we can get him here in a week, introduce him [to LA-La land], and get him in Summer League." He is a sniper from the college Three.
The Lakers really need a new super star, and think Ingram might be it. "Despite the fact that weíre losing an icon thatís been with us for 20 years, this is a new chapter going forward," Kupchak. "Weíre going to miss Kobe to no end. I still look back on it and itís hard for me to imagine that heís not going to be on our roster and not on my board in our office. Having said that, we have to move on and we have a new coach. Weíre moving into a new facility about two blocks from here thatís going to make this facility look tiny. Itís going to be state-of-the-art. Our coaching staff and players got considerable experience last year. Brandon needs to work, get stronger and get himself progress as quick as possible. But I think the other players are ahead of schedule." He will take some time to fill out and get stronger.

The PlayerBrandon Ingram: Still Growing.

The Reason: They got the best player available, but he wasn't and isn't the best player from this Draft. "We got the player that I wanted in the draft," Luke Walton said. "I donít know if heís the best or not, but heís the player I wanted for sure. What he has the potential of doing and what he can already do at his age with his length and skill set is very impressive and unique." Only a fool would think Ingram is a better prospect than Simmons.

Ingram is still only 18, and while his skills shine, he is not who he is going to be. " His ability to make reads on the court defensively is one of the favorite things Iíve seen him do," Walton said. " Whether thatís switching onto different players or coming on the weak side and blocking shots. A lot of that is timing. Itís tough to coach. Kids that are really good at it kind of have a knack for doing it. We have a kid up in Golden State, Draymond, who we didnít coach to be such a phenomenal team defender. He just was because he sees the game like that. It means that the playerís pretty intelligent. And I think that Brandon fits that mold." But he just made them younger.
Though right now it looks like Ingram is in a better situations to win than Simmons. "I like it," Luke Walton said. "Itís a very important aspect to what causes winning in this league. You need leadership. You need cohesiveness. You need chemistry. And everything Iíve heard about this kid. He brings all those to the table along with his skill set. They have a nice young core.

Ingram is just lacking experience. "Iíve seen him play in college games and the Tournament," Walton said. "Iíve seen some highlights that [they] sent me and some highlights on the internet. You can tell pretty quickly, when a kid is that special, what he can do on a basketball court." He is a very unique player. 
But he is still too young to have a major impact this season. "Itís too early to say that," Walton said about the offense running through him. "I think eventually you can. But heís coming in as a young kid in a manís league. Obviously weíre gonna expect him to have an impact for us this season, but weíll kind of take that as it goes." The offense will run through Clarkson's hands.
First he has to get in the gym and add strength and muscle. "I donít see concerns about his weight," Walton said. "Heís young. Heíll naturally get stronger. Talking to some of the coaches that were here when he came and did his workout {they thought] even though heís skinny, he had strength to him in the individual workout that he did. So thatís good to hear and thatís not a concern of mine." He never lifted weights until he went to Duke.
So it is all about working to become the best he can be. "Hard work," Walton said. "Thatís how you succeed in anything. Weíre going to put together a great staff here. We have young players that are talented and, from what I understand by talking to them in the three days that Iíve been here and watching them show up every day, even though itís only June, getting there work in on the court and in the weight room, I expect them to get better individually and as a team." He has to get his young core working together.
He has to fit all those guys into one cohesive unit. "It is a young core," Walton said. "I think this now gives us seven players under contract. So thereís a lot that still needs to be filled out. But to me Iím putting the focus on: how hard weíre working, how the staff is helping improve them individually, how weíre getting them to buy in the system, and the culture that weíre trying to create here. Those are things that I feel if you focus on, the wins will just start coming." It is going to take a while with their young core that just got a lot younger.
They have to find some more veteran leadership to start winning now (Westbrook in a year). "You need some vets for sure, some leadership on the court," Walton said. "Even if itís vets that arenít playing big minutes. As a coaching staff itís our job to hold them accountable. As a player, you learn just as much if not more from the vets on your team when youíre young and trying to find your way on how to do things the right way and how to work and what should be done on long road trips to take care of yourself. And all these [kind of] things. A lot of that comes from veteran leadership. I think that we will be searching out some guys like that. Obviously with the cap space we have, weíll be searching out some All-Star caliber players as well. You kind of try to make a nice mixture of all that." Their kids are too young, and their veterans not good enough.
But they have some cash to get a big free agent (like Westbrook next year, that's why Durant wants out). "Thereís not an answer for that, I donít think," Walton said. "I think itís a feel thing. Weíre going to stress competition here. Weíre going to compete. If that means a young guy that weíre developing isnít out there developing the way he should be, then heís got to get out of the game. Thereí s no reason to let someone develop if theyíre not developing the right way. Weíll be sure to do that and do our best to win every game weíre in." Ingram is the second mostly likely player to reach his all-star potential. He was coached beautifully by Coach K last year. Smart athletic, and has elite length.

Jaylen Brown

3. Celtics- Jaylen Brown- Duke, Fr, 19-years old, 6-6.75, 222, Standing Reach 8' 6.5", 

Wingspan 6-11.75, 2.9 APG, 14.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 48.2% FG, 29.4% 3-P, 65.4% FT,

The TeamEven before the Celtics picked at three they just got better. Nets traded Thaddeus Young, their second best veteran for a 1st. It is a sign they are tanking, even though they have nothing to tank for. That just made them maybe the least talented team in the NBA. Without Thaddeus, how are they going to win 10 games? Now they just need to trade Lopez to get to single figure wins.

My first reaction to this pick was like every else's. Celtics shot 29% from Three last season, and just took a guy who shot 29% from the college Three last season. So he should fit right in with their shooters. Brown has vast potential, but he also has a ton more bust potential than Simmons. He is a super smart guy, who has massive brain farts on the floor sometimes. He looked dumb on the floor sometimes late last the season. When teams took away his drives to t he hoop, he looked looked terrible sometimes. 

He shot shot 31% on jumpers last year. "Shooting the ball 29% [from Three] leaving college and now coming to the NBA, I can see why people would have concerns," Brown said. "Thatís fair. My passion for the game, that kind of hurts that people critique that. I donít think Iíd be where I am if I didnít love basketball. Nobody loves it as much as I do. Iíve sacrificed so much and worked so hard to get here, thatís kind of a punch to the gut when people critique that. Thatís OK, Iím going to continue to do what I do and I love to play this game. Iím going to show everybody." So he has massive amounts of work to do on his jumpers, but so does every rookie. 

He has an NBA body. He has an elite NBA wing's body. He is a rim breaking dunker with either hand. "He can handle the ball," Cal HC Martin said. "He can shoot the ball. He gets to the rim. He posts up. He plays inside. He plays outside. More than anything, with all that talent, his mental approach is at a high level." There is so much more to basketball than shooting the Three.

He hit 76 out of 100 NBA threes in his work out for the Celtics, which was good enough for them, because of all the other skills he brings to the table. "Obviously, in this league right now, one of the deciding factors in being able to compete at a high level is to be able to do multiple things with one person," Stevens said. "Very few guys can move like Jaylen, at his size and at his length. So the defensive versatility is a big piece of that that should be transferrable right away." He might be the best player in this Draft taking it to the hole on the fastbreak.

He brings top versatility to the defensive end. "You look at the two best teams in the world, the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, they have guys who can guard multiple positions," Brown said. "Just following that mold and applying that to the Boston Celtics would be helpful. I have a strong body but I have to get stronger. That will come with age. Iím 19 and Iím 225 pounds. By the time Iím 24-25 I might be 250. Being able to guard a power forward would be pretty easy by then." He also brings position versatility to small ball.
The Celtics want to play with speed and fastbreaks, and he is great in transition. "The first time I ever saw him play," Ainge said.  "Itís hard for me to say 'wow' when I watch basketball players because Iíve been around so many great ones in my life. but he made me say 'wow' a few times." Defenders cannot stay in front of him when he wants to go to the basket.
But as you get higher and higher up the levels, skills and smarts become more and more important. "Youíre not just talking about a guy that wants to play basketball. He wants to be successful in the realm of life," Martin said. "A lot of these guys get a bad rap for one and done. Jaylen and Ivan never talk like that. They want to be college student-athletes. Whatever presents itself at the end of the season, thatís what happens." He looks like an NBA small forward already.
He needs to really work on his basketball skillset. But he does have skills that will transfer right away. "NBA is a faster pace, faster tempo, so itís a lot of transition, and I feel like thatís where I excel, thatís where I thrive," Brown said. "However, I do have to get a lot better. Decision-making has to get a lot better. But the NBA is a faster pace, a lot of versatility. Guys that can guard multiple positions are very valuable, and I think I add to that really well." He has shown he will put in the work.
Character and work ethic become the most important thing for guys with his body and athleticism. "I think Jaylen has a lot of confidence," Ainge said. "But I also think he has like a work ethic and character to live up to the feeling that he has of himself. He believes that he can be a very special player. I did sense that, but not in an arrogant way. I mean, I feel like he is willing to put in the work to what it takes to become a great player." He has a chance to be a top two player from this Draft.

Defensively he is the best of the top three. "If you look at kind of the way the league is progressing, you look at the best teams in the world, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, a lot of those guys can play multiple positions and lot of those guys are around the same size as me," Brown said. "You look at like Draymond Green, LeBron James, Harrison Barnes, Andre Iguodala, they play a lot of multiple positions and are able to defend multiple spots on the floor and it helps their team be extremely successful. So, following that [model] has been extremely helpful for me and I think thatís what Brad Stevens, and Iím willing to follow it." Though all three look like they can cover multiple positions.
It is hard to believe that this pick caused such a maelstrom of controversy. "Maybe the public expects more. No, I think thatís pretty obvious," Ainge said. "But not more than what we feel. I want to do a deal. But itís my job to oversee the Celtics and not do what makes me look really good and do something thatís instant gratification. Itís like weíre trying to build something. Itís a big responsibility and I take it very seriously. Weíre going to keep trying to do bigger deals that people will cheer instead of boo." The Draft is about the future and free agency is about the now. 

The Celtics are in such a unique spot, by they will be better in the Playoffs next year just with the experience their young veterans got against Atlanta. If they add a Max free agent like Horford, they are the second best team in the East. If they can snag Durant, they could be the best team in the East. But the Nets Lottery picks are about the future, not the instant. They are about a chance to build a dynasty, not trade for non-transcendent players.

But now Boston wants something more than draft picks. "The only thing that I donít like about that is that itís a reflection of Jaylen, instead of a reflection of me," Ainge said. "Like, 'we donít like your choice.' Thatís like OK to boo me. But give him a chance, would be the only thing I would say. Like, letís see. Letís wait a year, then boo me. Letís not boo the kid when his name is announced. As far as criticism in my position, I expect it, Iím used to it, and I donít think you guys can offend me. You can try, but I donít think itíll work." Now they have some young talent that has a chance to develop into a transcendent player. 

Maybe you don't think the odds are good enough to take him at Three. That's fair. But Ainge and Stevens clearly did. I said before the Draft that when two basketball minds like Ainge and Stevens come to a consensus on a player that I had to trust it. They know more about this kid, and what they want him to do, than you and me put together. 
The Player
Jalen Brown: Ambidextrous Dunker. 

The Reason: He does match one of the Celtics top four needs. He has the star power that the Celtics need in this Draft. "In this league right now, one of the deciding factors in being able to compete at a high level is to be able to do multiple things with one person," Stevens said. "Very few guys can move like Jaylen, can move at his size and at his length. The defensive versatility is a big piece of that. That should be transferable right away. The biggest needs as we look at it are continuing to grow ourselves on the offensive end and what we decide to do with regard to protecting the rim. You can protect the rim in a couple of different ways. No. 1 is you have somebody in there to protect it. No. 2 is you don't let the ball get there, and you need versatile guys at a bunch of different positions. You need to keep guys out of rotations. If you look at our team right now, No. 2 would be more of the option." He has a chance to be a star in the NBA.

He was one of the high school phenoms who struggled in college as a freshman, but was the number two guy behind Simmons as a high school recruit. He is not the first guy that has happened to. But it didn't hurt him in the Draft. He is a pure po-tential pick. 

He has as near as good and athletic a body as Ben Simmons. "I want to give props to Scal," Ainge said. "Scal was the only one of you media people that I heard, and I donít pay attention to you all the time, but occasionally Iím listening, and Scal made a comment about in the draft what an advantage it is to be able to play right away physically in the NBA. But if you look down this row right here, he is playing in a manís league. Look at every one of these guys, they are grown men that can play physically in the NBA." But they still need to growth.
They have more growing to do mentally and maturing as young men. "I think instead of having to get their bodies ready and get them emotionally and mentally prepared and learning to live life and show up on time and get a driverís license and buy groceries," Ainge said. "These things sound simple and silly but all these guys right here are capable. Wherever they go and wherever their journeys take them, theyíre ready to play, and I think that gives them an advantage in starting their careers." Well their careers will officially start next week in Vegas baby.
And he has an elite NBA body that he just has to add a few skills to. "Thatís going to play a role in deciding on anybody, and itís a hard league to play in from a physical standpoint," Stevens added. "Thereís different attributes we throw out to people and different buzz words that we give people, but thereís a minimum level of athletic ability you have to have to be able to function at this level. Thatís a big deal. Strength is never a negative. You have a ton of guys sitting in front of you who are strong guys. Thereís a good group in front of you, and theyíll continue to work hard on their bodies. Thatís something Jaylen clearly does. He works hard on his body. When he came through here, even noticing his nutrition choices, what he would eat post-workout, you know he puts a lot of time and thought into taking care of himself." You know fans don't want to hear this, but taking care of your body is a huge asset in the NBA grind.
He is a great physical talent. "Kid out of Cal, big strong wing, in the Stanley Johnson mold," Goodman said. "Stanley Johnson was a rookie in Detroit this year, not a great shooter. He fits because they need a big strong wing, right? But if you could have anything that they need right now it would be a younger Paul Pierce. Jaylen Brownís got that body, but he doesnít have the ability to score the ball. He doesnít have the high IQ yet in terms of decision-making with the ball and driving to the basket. He was kind of a mess last year at Cal at times, but I think heíll be in the mix." He also struggled to bring wins to Cal last year. 

But he has a great head on his shoulder. "I look at the basketball floor as a classroom, and Brad Stevens is my professor; Iím looking for him to teach me his ways," Brown said. "Theyíre already a really good team so Iím just trying to add defensively, grab some rebounds, and get out in transition, hit some opens shots, and swing the ball around. Play the game the right way." That is what the Celtics are banking on.

Dragan Bender

4. Phoenix- Dragan Bender- Croatia, PF/C 7-1-9, 215, 3-P% 36.9, FG% 46.6

.75 Assists, .61 SPG, 5.5 PPG, .89 BPG, 3 RPG, 14.5 Min,

The Team: The Suns said they they were deciding between Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss at Four. Turns out they got both of them. That is a great day at the office. "It was really close between those two guys with the fourth pick," their GM McDonough said. "We went back and forth on it. Theyíre both tremendous young players. Itís really hard to find talented, young big guys." I'm not as big a fan of Chriss, who doesn't rebound or play D.

Bender was the much better prospect because he has much more skill, and plays harder on defense. "I think itís a great thing for the Phoenix organization," Bender said. "Just to have young guys combined with older guys that can help us to adjust ourselves to the NBA as soon as possible. I guess itís going to be even better in the practices to compete against each other every day." Chriss is the more explosive athlete off the floor.
Last year the Suns took the 18-year old Booker who looked like a star in the making last season. Bender is actually younger than Devin was last year. "If he were born six weeks later he would not be eligible for this yearís draft," McDonough said. "He's a high school senior. So if you look at him like a high school senior, heís 7-foot-1 barefoot, heís got a 9-foot-3 standing reach, he shoots 36-37 percent from 3." It looks to me like the Suns now have the youngest pair of stars in the making in the NBA.

Both their two new power forwards have some versatility. "I could see either one of them playing three through five," McDonough said. "I know that might seem like a stretch to some but those guysí ball skills and their ability to move their feet on the perimeter, their length, their athletic ability at their size. Theyíre really versatile players." Chriss can't cover small forwards or centers. He doesn't bend his knees enough on defense.
But bender learned how to play defense low and wide when he was a point guard in Croatia. "For me as an 18-year-old guy it was really tough to find minutes on the court," Bender, who only averaged 5.5 PPG past season, said. "But I did find time to work individually and work on every aspect of my game to improve it." When he did get some minutes he showed a great skillset that had aspects of a PG's game and a center's game.
Suns just got the steal of the Draft. "When I heard myself, or my name, chosen by Phoenix Suns fourth [I was excited]," Bender said. "It just shows that all this hard work pays off in the end. And that we made the right choices leaving my hometown when I was 12, and then when I left Croatia to Maccabi." He could be the 2nd best player from this Draft.  
The Reason: Dragan Bender: Enter The Dragan.

The Reason: He is mature beyond his years. "Iíve been playing pro since I was 15-16 years old," Bender said. "Iím used to this kind of life. I think Iím ready for this step." He left home two years ago and has been living as a Pro for the past two years in Israel. 
He has been getting top notched coaching. "He has turned himself into a very good shooter," Chad Ford said. "He protects the rim, moves his feet well laterally. And though we didn't see it much at Maccabi, is also an excellent passer." He can pass like a point guard when they let him dribble the ball.

I think he has the feet to play a big small forward defensively like Durant in the NBA. "He's a blank canvas as well," the Suns HC Earl Watson said, "He's really skilled. He can play. He can move. He can shoot. I think heís still growing. I think he has the potential to play the 3 in the NBA." It is so rare to see a guy who play point guard and center, and to find where he can play in between. 

He is not the shooter that Durant is, but he still has room to grow. "He's 7-1, but so is Kevin Durant, [or rather Kevin] almost seven-feet tall," Watson said. "And what makes Kevin Durant unique at the 3 position is that he can shoot over most defenders at his position. But now we have a team. And we have a roster and a family that can compete at the highest level of basketball in the Western Conference and in the NBA overall." Bender has a chance to be a Durant like shooting Three on this team. Though he doesn't shoot on the move like Kevin.

I think he has some Toni Kukoc in him as a shooter. "People will always put comparison between European talents because of our very much same stories. Media will always do that, but I just need to take focus, stay on the ground, and be able to do everything in accordance to what coach and the team needs from me." He is a standstill 3-point shooter like Kukoc.

The Dragan even watched him play a little, when he was a kid in the old neighborhood. "He was a role model for me when I was growing up," Bender said abut Kukoc. "He was playing in the same park in Croatia [as I was]. So I was watching a lot of him. Even when he went to the NBA and won championships in Chicago." Now he is following him to the basketball Promise land. 

Kris Dunn

5. Minnesota-Kris Dunn- Providence, PG, 6-4.5, 220, Standing Reach 8-4", WS 6-9.5, 

6.2 APG, 16.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 45 FG%, 35.4 3-P%, 2.5 SPG,

The TeamThe drafting of Dunn was a clear signal that Rubio is done in Minnesota. "In the NBA itís so hard to find two-way players," Layden said. "And having Kris here and then combining him with coach Thibs is exciting for me and I think itís going to be exciting for our team." He is going to come in and back up Rubio.
He is an older rookie, but still needs a little time. "Whatever coach asks me to do, Iím going to go out there and do it," Dunn said. "Playing with Ricky Rubio? Heís a great point guard." He will learn behind Rubio for a little while, but they can probably play together as well.
Dunn has the size, defensive skills and smarts to cover 2s in the NBA. "I think everybody knows that Thibís a defensive coach," Dunn said. "I just canít wait to learn more on that side of the ball." He is a fierce defender when he wants to be.
My favorite part of Dunn's game is that he is tough and fierce on the court. "I come from a tough background, so you had to be tough," Dunn said. "Probably just in my genes, my bloodline. Weíre tough, weíre gritty." He is a mean and gritty defender.
He has the ability to make his teammates better, by getting them the ball in positions to score. "I think Kris, when you watched him play, he made others better," Layden said. "And when youíre leading a team thatís so important." It is the point guards job to run the team, and make his teammates better.
He was very successful doing that last year. "Heís a winner," Thibodeau said. "And thatís what weíre looking for." With Dunn's great defensive skills, it is not a surprise that Thibodeau loves him.
Though it will hurt their shooting, they are thinking about playing the two point guards together. "They have good size, they have good toughness," Thibodeau said. "It's a different look. I think youíre seeing more and more of that now where you have two point guards on the floor. Theyíre both capable of playing off each other." They do have Bigs who can spread the floor, and open up lanes for them to drive through inside.

Dunn is an all out all the time kind of guy. ''I'm a hard worker and nothing was ever given to me,'' Dunn said. He got better every year at providence. He makes his teammates better with his passing. "Heís always creating separation in pick-and-roll," Vanderbiltís Damian Jones said. "When you bring somebody two-on-two, he's always getting guys open. He plays the game really well." He is a beast in the open court on the fastbreak, and consistently gives easy shots to his teammates.

Dunn is a terrible shooter, who only hit 73 Threes in four years at Providence (though Celtics fans seem to love this non-shooter). But he still garnered 16.4 PPG, 6.2 APG, 5.1 RPG and 2.5 steals Last year. "Weíre both fast," Dunn said about some comparing him to John Wall. "We both can attack at the rim. Thatís one of our greatest strengths. And we can get people involved. Thatís what I like to do. I like to get people good shots. And John Wall, he's not a bad defender. He definitely works hard on the defensive end, and that's one of my strengths." I don't see that comparison.

The Player: He has one big ally in a former Providence college point guard. "I'm biased, but I really think heís a first-pick-caliber player," God Shammgod said. "I think Kris can be a guy who makes 13 to 14 All-Star appearances." I think that's little nuts.

But a lot of basketball people I respect, really go nuts for this kid. "Heís so talented on both ends of the floor and he does the little things that people donít notice too," Shammgod said. "He throws the advance pass as well as any player Iíve seen since Jason Kidd. That may not jump out to others, but little things like that separate him from other players. With his game, leadership and personality, heís a face-of-the-franchise type of player. Heís the guy you want to build a team around. Not only is he a great player, heís a great leader and great person off the court. Everyone loves who he is and loves his personality. When he sits down with NBA executives, theyíre going to be impressed." When he picks up a loose ball he attacks to the other side with some speed.

Loves to dish to teammates in the open court. Not a clutch shooter. Nice clutch passer, who can draw the double or triple and kick to an open teammate. He is expected to run the set in the clutch. He makes the right pass in the final seconds of the game. 
He has great size for a PG. He is 6-4 with a 6-9 wingspan, and has huge hands to control the ball. Great crossover, especially against bigger guys. Great quickness changing direction, like a much smaller player. "The reason people like Dunn so much is heís a big guard who can play point guard, and heís a terrific defensive player," a scout said. "Heís got tremendous activity. Plays very hard. Heís a factor on both ends of the court, and with a lot of younger players you canít really say that. With him, you can." He can make the 3/4 to full court pass look easy. He can bring chaos to the defense with his dribbling through traffic. He can post the other PG, and force the double that gives a teammate an open shot on the swing. 
Plays a lot of zone defense, but can be fierce when locked up in man to man defense. "I think my greatest strength is I'm a great defender," Dunn said. "I like to defend on the ball. I like to get after people. I like to get under people's skin." He had very long arms, which he uses well on defense. Plays a lot of 2-3 Zone, where he will take a rest sometimes and put his hands on his knees. 

He has great quick hands on defense. He does a good job guessing when the little PG tries to pass over him, and can leap up and find the ball with his quick hands. He also uses his great understanding of passes and passing lanes to steal passes on defense. 

Great long arms and quick feet make him a great defender. He can really get up on smaller PGs, and harass them with his feet. He does a good job not reaching in too much, and uses his position to take the options away from his opponent. But he certainly can use his long arms and quick hands to slap the ball out of a smaller PGs dribble. He is so terrific at slicing over the picker on the pick and roll. It is almost uncanny. It's like he baits and switches him. 
Good not great shooter, but we all know shooting can improve with simple repetition. Good range that has not reached the 3-point line yet. Knows how to get to his spots and gets nice height on his jumper. Nice consistent jumper form at the foul line. Used to shooting off the dribble. I'd like to see his feet set a little more on his jumpers. Snaps his wrist nicely on Threes. He is a little to used to shooting the pull up, as he is used to being covered by smaller PGs who cannot contest the great high release point of his Jumper. He is nice pull up jumper off the pick and roll. Seems like he is always shooting off the dribble. 

He reminds me of Brain Shaw as well, only he is much quicker. Very nice passer inside. So teams have to decided if he is going to be Brain Shaw or Walls. He has such great instincts for passing. He knows when and how to get the ball to his teammate. I think he has the widest variety of passes of anyone in this Draft. Elite vision and understanding of how to get the ball to a teammate. Which is why he goes from a little wild to out of control, because he expects his ability to pass to bail him a little too much. 
Knows how to set up the picker on the pick and roll. Terrific drop pass on the pick and roll. Terrific passer in traffic. I love how he gets into the Paint at will, and then finds a big for the layup. He has every kind of pass in the Paint that leads to easy baskets for his teammates. Quick almost casual passer sometimes. Terrific looking over the defense for the backdoor pass. He can tear apart a defense, just with passes, from the top of the key. He can get a little too fancy with the dribble, but when it works it is something to see. 
Terrific leaper on the offensive glass. He looks like he is NBA ready on the pick and roll. Terrific passer off the pick and roll offense. Great speed in the open court, but looses control sometimes. Understands how to hit the second or third trailers instead of just the first. Such great vision on the fastbreak. With his speed he can also be a one man fastbreak. 
Great athlete who can explode off the floor for the highlight dunk. Nice double pump layup that he can use on bigger guys. He can switch over and shot the ball going to hole with his left when a big guy comes over to block him. And not just lay it in with his left, but shoot a high-arcing off-balance hook with a Big on his shoulder. He has a strong left handed hook that he can shoot off the double bounce. He has a quick little floater inside the foul line. 
Very strong handle going left. He is a force going to his right, and then just jumping over the smaller PG for the easy layup. He can go left, and still pull up and hit the jumper. He can go to the hole righty, and when the big comes over, calmly glide to the left and put it in with a little lefty hook. 
He doesn't have to beat the PG with his dribble, he just gets to where he wants to go and shots over him. We have not seen a PG prospect like this since Walls. "The first thing I feel like I could bring the Wolves is my defense," Dunn said. "I always tell people thatís my greatest strength, and thatís one thing you can control every game. Someone is just coming in whoís having that dog mentality. Thatís what got me here, the hard work, playing with that grit and that toughness." He really does a great job running the offense.

He can really bully opponents PGs with his size. Terrific set up guy. He knows how to distribute the ball to keep the team going. Nice no bounce pass for the easy layup. "Thereís no doubt about it," Jay Williams said. "He is the best guard in this draft." And he was the first guard drafted in this Draft.
He decided to come back for his senior season even though his Dad and college coach told him to go. "I donít want to just be drafted," Dunn said. "I want to be a professional player, and Iím just not there yet, physically, skill level. Iíve seen a lot of players go [to the NBA], and are one and done and get lost in the NBA. And they felt like they should have stayed one more year. One more year never hurts anybody because youíre learning more about the game and youíre learning more about yourself." It doesn't always work when guys stay in school, but it worked for Dunn.

The ReasonHmmm, defensive HC, defensive PG. "There a lot of things I like about him," Thibodeau said. "What he was able to accomplish during his career at Providence. His competitiveness. Heís gotten better each year. He can execute pick-and-rolls. He can make plays. He can hit the three. He plays great defense." He will be their starting point guard by the start of next season, if not sooner.
But he could be fighting Rubio as the starter sooner than later. "When you make the pick, and then see how much attention that comes from other teams and how much activity there is," Minnesota GM Scott Layden said, "it gives you some idea of how he was valued." He was a senior, so he is more mature than all these one and done guys.

He really stepped up his game last year, and made himself one of the top winners in the country. "I feel like I learned more by coming back," Dunn said. "I learned more about the game. I learned more about myself. I think I became more mature mentally and physically, and I got to improve." and it paid off big time, as now he will get a top five pick's NBA contract.

Buddy Hield

6. New Orleans- Buddy Hield- Duke, Fr, 22-years old, 6-5, 212, Standing Reach 8-5, 

WS 6-9.25, 2.2 APG, 20 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 40.8 3-P% on 3.14 3-PPG 45.4 FG%, 1 SPG, 

The Team: This could be the perfect pick for the Pelicans. Hield is an older rookie who is more ready to step in than Murray. They need shooting and he is a pure shooter. "I think he's much more than a three-point shooter," Gentry said. "I think thatís where the misconception is. Heís a terrific scorer, but I think heís going to be a real solid defensive player. Heís a great shooter, but heís a basketball player. Heís going to be able to do a lot of things for us." He drives very well to the hole lefty, but is a better scorer with his right inside.
He also is a funny guy. "Buddy Love coming to New Orleans," Hield tweeted. "Iím going to bring a lot of love, a lot of high character, a lot of energy. But, of course, my main focus is going to be to win some games." He is a high character guy who helps with team as well.
He slacked off on defense a little too much last season. "I didnít show my defensive abilities [last year], but my freshman year I had to play defense to get on the court," Hield said. "In the NBA, guards are two-way players. If you want to be successful, you have to go get it." He had a lot of responsibilities as a senior, but slacking on defense is not okay.
Not only does he need to give equal effort on defense, he has other things to work on as well. "A lot of different areas," Hield said. "I can work on my post game, footwork, a lot of things. There is always something you can work on. You keep getting better. Michael Jordan [himself] still kept getting better. So you can never say that you canít better. Itís about how much work you put in." He has shown he will put in the work to improve.
He is also a smart guy who understands that everything has just changed. "When I was 12, 13 years old, I fell in love with the game," Hield said. "I saw Kobe Bryant play. I wanted to be a part of it. I was not the best, but I kept working and working. Every two-way guard. Every night there is somebody to face. Youíve got to compete all 82 games. There is no one you can take a night off against. You have to go after everyone if youíre trying to be the best in the league. You have to compete each and every night." Guys like him, who keep improving, tend to make it in the NBA.
Pre Draft:

After the top three their are four guys who have the talent to maybe reach an All-Star game or two, maybe. Then the dearth of talent in this Draft really takes over. Poeltl could slip into the top seven. He has a very low floor but also has the lowest ceiling in the top ten. Sabonis could make it a top eight, but he is a little slow, methodic, and robotic. Deyonta Davis sucks. Chriss has the upside, but he is like a stash and carry high school kid, who should be ready to contribute when his rookie contract is up. Labissiere has the Tyson Chandler body, but looks less develop than Chandler when he came out of high school (which is scary). Ellenson has a tragic lack of hops, but he moves around the court nicely. I like the French kid Timothe Luwawu and the kid from Spain Juan Hernangomez as stash guys. 

He will bring the ball up sometimes and shot the jumper without looking at a teammate, which I hate. "Been impressed from day one, his passion for the game, his ability to focus from a work ethic standpoint on things he needs to do to get better," the OK HC Kruger said. "That's from his freshman, sophomore year. Every day he would ask me, 'Coach, how can I get better? What do I need to work on? A lot of kids will say that, but then theyíll go work on the things theyíre most comfortable doing. In Buddyís case, you say, 'Hey, Buddy, left hand needs to be improved, need to take it to the bucket stronger.' Those are things he would work on. He was very focused on what he has to do to complete himself as a player." He is one of those guys who worked so hard on his lefty game that he now drives more to the left than right, which I love.

He makes plays shooting and scoring. Guys who can do both are the special ones. "Buddy is going to make plays for us," his teammate Ryan Spangler said. "We are going to have open shots because of Buddy. We are going to get the ball in good places because of Buddy, so he will make plays for us. I think thatís the most important thing. Itís just great to see him succeed, because I see him work hard and heís Ďs earned everything thatís coming his way, so itís just fun to watch." Tough as nails and is explosive going to the hole. You cannot let him drive right.

He also can lead the fastbreak and dish to a teammate. "Buddy plays at a special level," his teammate Jordan Woodard said. "I couldnít be more pleased for him, primarily because of the way heís handled it. Heís passing around the praise, complimenting his teammates, coming with enthusiasm and passion every day. Itís great to see." But it is his 3-point shooting that will get him drafted in the top seven.

He should develop into a solid 3-point shooting Number Three. "I think the guys recognize Buddy is at the core of everything we do," Kruger said. "Buddyís going to get that target on his back. I think the other guys, number one, they recognize what Buddy has done as being very special and theyíre comfortable with that. They also recognize, too, when defenses make it tough on Buddy, they've got to be able to step up and take advantage of additional opportunities." In the end, he was the guy that made his teammates better at Oklahoma. 
The Player: Buddy Hield: Pure Shooter.

The Reason: Hield is one of those glue guys off the court that teams need. "Thatís Buddy every day," Kruger said. "There are a lot of moments, but to better to describe Buddy, he is like that every day. Heíll walk into the office every day and say hello to everyone and 'How you doing?' and 'You having a good day?' Heís not just doing that. He likes that. Thatís who he is." He is now part of a team lives together on the road six month a year. That is one of reason why I believe that Durant will leave OK City (there are too many rumors that he isn't happy behind the scenes). 
He is a gym rat who helps teammates in the gym as well. "It doesnít take very long," Gentry said. "Heís a really extroverted kid that doesnít mind talking, feels confident about what heís saying. Heís a fun personality to be around." Team and team first players are so important on the road. 
Hield found the Pelicans as comfortable as they found him. "It felt like family, and I felt well-connected," Hield said. "I felt comfortable, and I told [ my agent] Rob, 'Man, thatís the place Iíd love to go to.' It was the perfect fit. It reminded me of home." So it was a match made in heaven.
He might be a little over confident. "Playing with a superstar like Anthony and a 3-point threat like me," Hield said, "Itís kind of hard to pick your poison." He is a rookie who is not going to be on floor as much as he thinks. "[There is an extreme] a learning curve," Gentry said. "Thereís very few players that just step right in and dominate the league. I think heís going to be a special player, but I think itís going to take a little bit of time to do that." He can shoot, but it is going to take some time to develop his other skills in the NBA.

Jamal Murray

7. Nuggets- Jamal Murray- Kentucky, PG/SG 6-4.25, 207, 

3-P 40.1%, 2-P 50.2%, FT 78.3%, 20.0 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 3.14 3-PPG and 2.2 APG 

The Team: Nuggets just got the elite shooter in this Draft. "He has a great knack for scoring the ball," an NBA exec said. "He can play two positions. He has international competition. So he would definitely fit the Sixers." He is like Devin Booker last year: he is too young, under skilled, and lacks a position, but he can shoot better than anyone else.
He is a Canadian shooter, who does have great size for a SG, and will never be a PG. "Jamal is one of the greatest kids," Calipari said. "The improvement he showed over the course of the season may be unmatched by anyone Iíve ever coached. He grew into a true winner and one of the most efficient scorers. What I love about Jamal is heís a great teammate who has a smile on his face every day. Iím going to really miss coaching him." By the end of his freshman year he was averaging 20 PPG as a 19-year old shooter.

Like Steph Curry didn't really have a position when he came out, but could shoot like few kids we had ever seen before. "There's no doubt in my mind," assistant coach Kenny Payne said. "Jamal Murray will be an NBA All-Star. Many times over. He had to process what was going on. Whenever the spurt hit, all he did was process what we were teaching. slowing down mentally, re-identifying his game." He is simply a shooter. 
All teams need scoring. "He's a great natural scorer," Payne said. "Naturally, he can put the ball in the hole. More than just jump shots. Floaters, runners, midrange, layups. Drawing fouls. He can do it all. He's so young and he's learning. He's just a baby. When he accepted the way coach Cal pushed him, accepted what we were trying to get him to do, the way we wanted him to slow down, things opened up for him." Not the best fit, but in three years he could be the best player on the team.

The Player: One reason teams are going to like this kid is because he can hit the Three. "I said it to everybody that I talked to before the game," Albany HC Brown said. "Jamal Murray is the best basketball player in the country. Nothing that happened tonight changed my mind. He was on cruise control. He was hanging out and picking his spots. In my opinion, heís a combination of Mark Jackson and Andre Miller with a jump shot. He plays at a great pace, has great feel, and great size. He can post up and can score from all three levels. Heís really good." What makes him so special is that he has an elite clutch jumper. 
But he still doesn't always trust it, and still has some learning to do. "Any inside out pass to him, weíre telling him to shoot it," Calipari said. "'Donít hesitate.' If itís inside and comes out to you, 'let it go'. If youíre coming off a screen, and you want to drive, 'drive it coming off a screen.' Weíre trying to tell him, 'do not back it out and do the And-One tape.' You just donít play that way. You donít get by anybody. Itís an offensive foul. Itís a turnover." But when the clock is running out of the Half, he is the guy who gets it done for them. Now he just has to mature as a person and basketball player.
He has some shake 'n bake in his jumper as well. He is a great 3-point shooter. He is terrific coming off the pick turning and shooting. Terrific catch and shooter from the corner. When he is not hitting Threes, he can pass a little. But when he gets hot from Three, he can take over the game. He can grab the rebound and bring it up court, but then will too often just shot it without even looking to pass. 
He is not a PG, and is small for an NBA SG. He has almost no PG passing instincts. But he is a great clutch shooter who can take over games in the final two minutes. Lead Canada to championship a Junior before he went to Kentucky. Took over the final game in the final two minutes. Continued to hit clutch shots at Kentucky. But he is still so young. He is still only 19. Which reads as vast potential. The question is can ge step in and play? Is he ore Booker or James Young, who still wasn't last year. 
Some have been comparing him to Steph Curry, because he has point guard skills and an unstoppable jumper. "I like him," Murray said about Curry. "I watch him a lot. My dad enjoys watching him. We study his shot. Coach Cal kind of restrained me from doing all the splitting the defense and all the dribbling, but I had fun this year. Iím not trying to think about Steph Curry or anybody like that. Iím just trying to be me." I like that comparison because both are pure shooters without a traditional NBA position.
He did not play the Point at Kentucky. He is a Wing shooter for Kentucky. He is getting a great education on defense at Kentucky. "I became more efficient and a skilled shooter," Murray said. "I found ways to get open when [other team's] scouting reports said donít let me catch the ball. I just had to work to get open and find different ways of doing that. Just playing winning basketball and learning how to play the two-guard." He plays tough defense. He is a Wing, who plays very good defense against bigger guys. He can really get up in defense. He is a sneaky good shot blocker. Nice sneaky rebounder. 

Murray is a player with NBA range on his Jumper already. "I said it to everybody that I talked to before the game," Brown, the HC of the Danes said. "Tyler Ulis is the best point guard in the country. Skal Labissiere will go number one or two in the NBA Draft, and Jamal Murray is the best basketball player in the country. Nothing that happened tonight changed my mind." He will over dribble annoying sometimes, as a lot of 18 and 19 year olds do, but he can play the point a little, as well as be a knockdown shooter coming off picks.

He is more a Ray Allen type shooter who needs picks and some help from his teammates to get open. "I became more efficient and a skilled shooter," Murray said. "I found ways to get open when scouting reports said donít let me catch the ball. I just had to work to get open and find different ways of doing that. Just playing winning basketball and learning how to play the two-guard." But he can also create for his teammates. He does a great job getting into the lane and dishing.

He was a great point guard in high school, but moved to shooting guard for Calipari. His decision making at the point is not great, as he tries to get too fancy sometimes. "He was on cruise control," Brown said. "He was hanging out and picking his spots. In my opinion, heís a combination of Mark Jackson and Andre Miller with a jump shot. He plays at a great pace, has great feel, and great size. He can post up and can score from all three levels. Heís really good." He still has work to do on defense.

He is another Canadian who came down to America (I love that ironic statement) to play basketball. "It was difficult at first, just to play off the ball so much and not have the ball in your hands," Murray said. "It's difficult to get in a rhythm when youíre not hitting shots, but I found ways to do that, and I played with a lot more energy than I normally do, and passion." In November and December, he really struggled with not playing the Point. 
But his story is that he is a guy who just kept getting better. "The people that have watched us at the beginning of the year know how much his game has changed," Calipari said. "And what's happened is he went from degree-of-difficulty shots, avoid the contract, and just throw a ball at the rim, not getting to the foul line, not shooting enough catch-and-shoots. Assist to turnover ratio was under water. And we just kept demanding. This is what the best version of you looks like. He's a great kid. He wants to be coached. And I was on him hard. Not as hard as I was on Karl Towns, but I've been on him really hard. All of a sudden, you're seeing an efficient player who's volume scoring." Plus, he has that clutch gene that you cannot teach. 

The Reason: He wants to play in Denver. "I always believe I'm the best player, and when a team really sees the No. 1 choice, like Denver did, then I just want to play for them more," Murray said. "I want to give them all I've got." Now he just has to go there and keep working.
He knows their big Lottery pick from last year, and thinks they will be great together. "Me and Mudiay, we played in the Hoops Summit together for one year," Murray said. "I kind of got to see what he's like. We'll be a good team. We'll be working together and playing off each other." We will see.