Jordan Bell

PF/C Oregon Jordan Bell 6’9” 225 7’0” wingspan

Player Comparison: A more imposing Jerami Grant

Why here: Its doubtful Portland is the team picking 26th when the clock starts ticking, so I will presume their pick will be the best overall player in terms of trade value at this point. Either that or they will go for draft and stash. There are appealing foreign prospects but a lot of them have made it clear they would prefer to enter the league immediately. Regardless, Bell is a player with a lot of upside as one of the most versatile defenders in this draft. Despite being undersized, Bell has shown prowess as a rim protector and p&r threat on either side of the ball.

Strengths: A defensive enforcer whose presence was felt on that side of the floor regardless of the situation. Chase down blocks, weak side blocks, ISO blocks, you name it. Fantastic timing and ability to predict shots… caught several blocks. Best as a weak side or transition defender. Makes up for lack of height with strong base and athletic frame. Can handle switches on to guards because of quick feet, length, bounce, and lateral agility… recovers well when beat. Denies the ball on post entries… pokes out whimsy passes… stops over the top feeds. Is active in passing lanes with quick hands and arms, resulting in lots of steals and quick transitions.

Athletic freak… plays far above the rim… runs the floor smoothly and easily… impressive speed and agility… very imposing lob threat, especially in transition. Very comfortable on the fast break… fills lanes well… fluid when catching the ball with one dribble into elevation for dunks… finishes alleys and dunks from long distances… is very coordinated… can catch and finish with both hands.

Is very active and engaged offensively… floats in empty space ready for lobs at all times… not phased by contact in air… goes up strong and quick. Rolls effectively in p&r sets… is big target and finishes with consistency. Is an efficient offensive player despite lacking much of a post game… plays with intensity and has shown signs of a face up game… has a couple moves with baby hooks and drop steps. Footwork is improving and showed signs of being impressive.

Is good at finding shooters on p&r and when pressured… shows patience and level of vision for perimeter threats and other bigs when defenses collapse on him.

Aggressive offensive rebounder… effort and motor shine through… always in pursuit… rebounds with ferocity in traffic… tip slams on top of tip slams.

Is a winner.

Weaknesses: Other than being marginally undersized, most of Bell’s weak aspects of his game are amendable through proper direction and development.

The majority of his shortcomings are on the offensive end, as he has not yet developed a complete low post game or a dependable jumper. Outside of finishing at the rim his game is very stagnant and unproductive… doesn’t have post moves outside of a baby hook… doesn’t have touch or gentle feel on jumpshot… no approach shots or fadeaway/turnaround in his arsenal… his footwork has improved dramatically, but it is still raw and unpolished… he often goes off the wrong foot or just one foot instead of two. Picks up his dribble too early in most 1v1 scoring situations… has to force difficult shot attempt or pass out. Is prone to blocks due to the lack of fluidity of his moves.

Needs to improve his offensive skills on the perimeter… is strong when attacking the hoop despite not having good handling skills, but often is predictable and gets blockaded by the defense. Dribble into shot is smooth, but lacks touch and consistency- defenses often sag off.

Bigs with superior length and athleticism can score over the top, but overall his post defense is commendable. He will be best slated guarding fours, but will need to play with a stretch five for the offense to remain effective and spaced out properly.

Often in incorrect position on defense for rebounds because of his pursuit for blocks… doesn’t box out as frequently as would be preferred… gets most of his rebounds out of his own area.

Outlook: Bell will fit well in a scheme with a shooting five coming off the bench. If he can slot in as the four in a second unit he will mesh. Bell should enter the league with the ability to immediately affect the game in terms of defensive impact. His skills are transferrable in todays NBA, so major sole weakness of size shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Hopefully he can develop a more consistent face up game.

Random Prediction: Will be first in this class to win a championship. Will start four games this year.

Sindarious Thornwell

SG South Carolina Sindarious Thornwell 6’5” 215 6’10” wingspan

Player Comparison: Wesley Matthews

Why here: The Spurs need defensive players off their bench. Their downfall in the playoffs will come at the helm of three of their five starters being genuinely poor defenders. If not for Pop and a strong defensive scheme, the Spurs would be lost on D. With father time getting friendlier with Ginobili and Tony Parker in addition to Patty Mills getting paid bank to go elsewhere, their backcourt will be growing thin. Dejounte Murray looks like he will be a steal at this pick last draft- developing a complete game under the best development staff in the league. Thornwell will give the Spurs a unique player with the ability to defend at a high level while maintaining the threat of creating offense for himself and others. Dejounte and Sindarious is the coolest sounding backcourt in the NBA in 2021.

Strengths: Very strong… High IQ in regards to using weight off dribble and in traffic… bodies other guards on drive… ferocious rebounder (7.1 rpg including six double doubles, one of which was a magnificent 44pt and 21reb night). Is a very efficient player-PER of 30.6 while notching averages of 47%/39%/83%. Doesn’t force shots… creates space with dribble and use of body… dependable three point threat… has creative mid range game… depends on strength as ISO scorer… draws fouls intelligently, often getting and-ones. Dependable in clutch… has poise with double teams… makes big FTs… gets teammates and crowd into games… shows great leadership qualities.

Hard-nosed defender… lots of strips… doesn’t get bodied by bigger opponents.

Weaknesses: Senior (22.6 y/o). Despite appearing to be athletic, he is relatively slow, doesn’t explode much off dribble, can’t bounce out of the gym, and has a first step that isn’t too remarkable. Off hand dribbling and finishing at rim with both hands could use improvement. A lot of his dominant scoring was dependent on his strength in comparison to his competition, a gap that would be cinched at the next level.

Does weird stuff with his feet when he shoots. Doesn’t shoot frequently off the dribble, and seems to ineffective when he does. Shooting repertoire doesn’t include many moves… weak with step backs, fadeaways, spin jumpers etc.

Isn’t strong passer, plays best off ball. His ball handling is ok in short instances, but overall he doesn’t have an expansive enough dribbling arsenal. Turns the ball over when trying to dribble through traffic… picks up dribble and makes bad passes out of double teams.

Outlook: Despite Thornwell’s second round projected value, the Spurs will snag a gem here. Sindarious has NBA ready mindset and play, can contribute in correct role immediately. Has groundwork to be one of highest IQ players in draft, especially with the Spurs.

Random Prediction: 2x All NBA Defensive Second Team (2024-25). Falls asleep and gets drawn on team bus, resulting in lots of comical social media posts.

Ivan Rabb

PF California Ivan Rabb 6’10” 220 7’2” wingspan

Player Comparison: Chris Bosh

Why here: Rabb is a question mark in terms of his ability to transfer over and fit as a big in the current NBA. He is a scoring wing without three-point range and limited defensive upside, skills that aren’t highly toted in todays league. The Magic would benefit from bringing in another scoring option with the hope that he can develop into a plus defender to come off the bench for Aaron Gordon. Rabb has a unique skillset that if nurtured properly will be perplexing to defend and could bolster a weak second unit for the Magic. His athleticism and base as a ball handler could allow him to develop into a new age SF, but that is yet to be seen.

Strengths: Rabb has savvy as a scorer out of both the high and low post. Has good body control and finishing ability once his man is sealed… doesn’t need a perfect angle to finish buckets… has nice touch near the rim with baby hooks and up and unders. Face up scoring is his forte… has gentle jumper off the catch and out of post ups… uses step backs, jab steps, pump fakes, and head fakes… doesn’t need space to get shot up… is dependable shooter in traffic and through contact. Big hands provide impressive handling control while in the post… can warp dribbles to his desire… confuses defenders. Has good footwork in the low post… go to is drop-step, up fake, and finishing on the weak side… uses spins and lots of fakes… is creative and smart with using what the defense gives him. Has good touch with both hands.

Shows dependability as a pick and roll scorer… is creative and coordinated on the catch off the roll… gets the ball up quick and takes advantage of defensive lapses… has large catch radius. Ran good amount of high pick and roll at Cali… is impressive off one or two dribbles and avoiding blocks while attacking the rim… can contort body mid air.

His rebounding skills are one of his strongest attributes. Makes tricky bounces and impossible boards look easy with good use of lengths and clamping hands… frequently steals boards away from opponents… crashes with accuracy after predicting misses correctly. Is strong and confident rebounding in space… can board against contact and fouls. Not very often that he doesn’t find a body immediately once shots go up… isn’t caught watching the ball in the air.

Gets up and down the floor quickly… is a mobile and athletic big with ability to run the break and be a target for finishing in transition. Strong lob target. Beats slower bigs getting up the floor… fills lanes correctly.

Looks to have good overall IQ… doesn’t foul unnecessarily… doesn’t panic when under duress or double teamed… takes time with passes… doesn’t force shots or tricky passes… looks to have impressive vision in post, especially in finding other bigs or open shooters.

Defensive abilities are lacking but has shown glimpses of a strong foundation… understands verticality and timing on shot blocking… spaces the floor correctly and helps when necessary… is commendable as a switch defender in short spurts.

Weaknesses: Is very movable in the low post. Doesn’t have lower body strength necessary to handle imposing offensive threats on the block. Lack of vert and strength really limits his ability to block shots.

Is relatively flat footed when switched to defend guards… gets beat by explosive dribblers… doesn’t sit down enough on perimeter. Needs to improve a lot as a p&r defender.

His perimeter skills are lacking on the offensive end… doesn’t have a confident or consistent stroke from deep… lots of ugly misses from 18’ and further… although he is a savvy passer down low he struggles on the exterior… doesn’t have strong enough handle to put it on the floor through a defense. His touch could be improved upon after the dribble… often doesn’t elevate enough or rushes shots on dribble drive pull ups.

Low post moves aren’t versatile enough, especially against better talent… struggles to score or gain advantage over athleticism and length. Needs to improve his IQ for low post shot attempts… sometimes beats defenders but takes shot second too early or attempts the wrong shot rather than the easiest one. He is relatively weak against strength and contact… does not play through it often… gets stripped or bobbles ball instead of drawing fouls.

Isn’t explosive athlete… lacks vertical necessary to go up over contact.

Outlook: It will be interesting to see how Rabb fills out with more conditioning and weight added. He has the tools to be a unique player from a former age, but his defensive woes could hurt his ability to stay on the court early in his career. He should improve his conditioning, ball handling, and shooting stroke and just become a four with the ability to play big ball three. Obviously this is a long ways away.

Random Prediction: Gets mocked by Jimmy Kimmel. Airballs first shot attempt in the league. Wins dance battle against Ben Simmons in rookie sophomore game practice.

Bam Adebayo

C Kentucky Bam Adebayo 6’11” 255 7’3” wingspan

Player Comparison: Bismack Biyombo/ Adonal Foyle

Why here: The Nets are a dumpster fire. Pick the highest ceiling prospect at any level. Ideally they should trade Brook for more future assets so they can build towards a future where they are actually in control of their own destiny. Regardless, Bam should provide some frontcourt backbone for this squad. It would be extremely beneficial to build an identity of a scrappy and gritty grinding team focusing on the strengths of RHJ and Lavert. Bam should be a steal at this late in the first round.

Strengths: Muscle-man rim runner with dashes of traditional big man skills. Bam is exactly what his name induces. Elite size and athleticism for his position… surprisingly speedy, especially in the open court… impressive baseline to baseline IQ… plays above the rim… has no problems with contact in the post or in the air. Effective in the p&r… sets brick wall screens… rolls hard and intimidatingly. Has good body control and coordination in the air… imposing lob threat… big hands and large catch radius… can catch and tip with both hands accurately. Elite at sealing his man… always open on the block… enjoys catching over the top passes. Tries to break the hoop with dunks.

Offensive post game is limited but has shown glimpses of dependable hook and up and unders. Has an ok mid range game… didn’t have large sample size of face up or jump shots, but fundamentals are there. Uses evasive wiggles in low post face up situations.

Explosive rebounder… athleticism and strength shines through… timing and shiftiness round Bam out as a good rebounder off the glass on both ends of the floor. He shows strong IQ and instincts in terms of fighting for position and predicting bounces… is nearly impossible to swim or under cut for a better position. Tip slam enthusiast… goes over players… grabs ball early and at peak. Is very aggressive and physical in gaining position… can grab boards with both hands… showed prowess at rebounding while being held down. Is better offensive rebounder than defensive rebounder.

Is quick and agile as a switch defender… can contain guards on switches… is comfortable out on the perimeter. Has very active hands and is smart using his body to set ball handlers off balance. Plays high IQ D… doesn’t reach in on dribble drives… doesn’t swat excessively… avoids silly fouls. Is fast and intimidating in close outs… gets to shooters very quickly… impressive vertical and side-to-side leaping ability. Strong help defender… active in passing lanes… gets rip outs… pokes passes away… blocks over the top feeds.

Immovable interior post defender… is stronger and bigger than most opponents… has proper understanding of how to use body and footwork to keep opponent off balance and uncomfortable. Understands verticality. Has good timing when defending shots… isn’t prolific shot blocker but has shown signs.

Weaknesses: Offensive game is very reliant on power and strength… lacks finesse as a finisher and touch in his post game… has a very limited post arsenal, lacking creativity and much versatility. Sometimes becomes indecisive and forces bad attempts at rim… shoots shots not in his skill set. Doesn’t have much of any touch with his left hand. Despite strong defensive footwork, his footwork in the low post on offense is sloppy and jittery… he isn’t smooth or crafty. Despite his overwhelming strength and power he struggles when trapped or helped on in post.

Other than simple perimeter touch passes, Bam is a very weak passer… cannot be depended on to find open man or to maintain dribble for more than one or two bounces… his passes are very telegraphed and obvious, resulting in more turnovers than assists. Becomes lost and nervous in high post… waits too long to pass or make move for himself… takes bad shots or forces tricky passes.

Sometimes gets lost as defender… switch heavy offenses he stays too long or leaves too early… takes risks in passing lanes… is too reserved in defending low post situations.

Has tools to be a much better shot blocker… doesn’t get hands on as many shot attempts as would be assumed, which could be attributed to a reserved attitude as a rim protector.

Needs to improve his defensive rebounding. Loses ball to crashing players on their offensive glass. His IQ on the offensive boards disappears as a defensive rebounder… takes chances and guess wrong frequently… misreads positioning. Occasionally takes defensive rebounding possessions off.   Gives up after second chance boards.

Poor FT shooter.

Outlook: Bam should have minutes allotted immediately on this Nets team. I think a lineup that includes Brook and Bam would be mobile enough to defend other squads and would be versatile on offense to where movement would flow easily. Bam should enter the league as a great offensive rebounder and imposing threat as lob catcher and post defender.

Random Prediction: Bam becomes the most fun name to celebrate a successful play in the league. Dresses up as Santa at one of Coach Cal’s family parties.

Terrance Ferguson

SG Australia Terrance Ferguson 6’7’ 185 6’9” wingspan

Player Comparison: Terrance Ross/ James White

Why here: The Blazers have too many centers with not enough talent at the position and a top-heavy onslaught of guards in their backcourt. What they don’t have is a dependable swing up player to defend and challenge other teams defenses as a shooter. Turner and Crabbe are backing up Portland’s Brinks truck, but neither is properly sufficient in terms of the teams needs. Ferguson is a long shot at this goal, but shows promise to be an athletic wing scorer that has defensive upside. With the size to guard up a position, T$ap Ferg should be able to mesh well with lineups that have both Lillard and McCollum in them.

Strengths: Has superior bounce through the roof… bouncy in traffic… bouncy on the break… bouncy on alleys… bouncy off dribble drives. Very likely a participant in the Dunk Contest early in his career, TFerg shows creativity and flexibility in the air. Plays well on the break… fast and speedy in filling the right lanes… moves ball correctly… doesn’t force takes. Has an impressive first step… gets right to rim when he only has one guy to beat.

Has a nice touch and consistent form on his jumper… elite elevation helps him get shot off in space… quick release, especially on catch and shoots… best as off ball shooter. Range seems to extend to the three. Has high post ability… most moves are fadeaways or turnarounds where he can use his vertical to create space.

Shows signs as a strong rebounder… is relatively weak but shows smarts off the glass- always grabbing a body to box out. Crashes well from the perimeter.

Lateral quickness and overall athleticism have resulted in glimpses of a strong defender. Keeps guards in front… bounce helps to contest jumpers… reacts and recovers well when beaten, as he occasionally pins shots and swats layups from behind. Hard worker… tries very hard in defensive isolations… shown signs as strong help defender but consistency needs to be improved upon.

Weaknesses: Needs to beef up a lot… gets moved in most areas… cant defend bigger opponents… cant body on drive… struggles to use jumping skills to his advantage when there is lots of traffic… gets road-blocked on off ball screens. Gets eaten alive when switched onto bigs and larger threes. Sometimes forces on dribble drive. Despite flashes as help defender he is overall too glued to his own man, who he occasionally loses.

Weak passer… doesn’t have wherewithal or vision to find teammates off the dribble or touch passes. Panics when pressured to pick up his dribble, turns the ball over.

Uninspiring ball handler… doesn’t have many moves in his repertoire… cant handle in traffic… is commendable in straight line drives and on the break but bobbles and loses the ball frequently. Sloppy plays with one handed passes that are off target.

Overall IQ is pretty low… weak in terms of efficiency (barely 8 per)… makes head scratching decisions on both ends of the floor.

Not an isolation scorer… hasn’t developed dependable pull up jumper… dribble is loose and out of control… doesn’t find his spot… defenses choose where he shoots. Cant fight through contact on layups… doesn’t avoid contact… poor at drawing fouls…

Outlook: His skills fit well with the Blazer’s offense as a two off the bench. If he develops a tighter handle and more consistency shooting from the perimeter he will have a roster slot for a while. Hopefully Portland’s training staff can beef him up enough where he can be dependable on both ends of the floor.

Random Prediction: Has four highlights on ESPN’s top ten in the first two months of the season, but then spends December-February in the G-League. Misses windmill free throw line dunk in Dunk Contest.

Luke Kennard

SG Duke Luke Kennard 6’6” 200 6’6” wingspan

Player Comparison: Bigger Kirk Hinrich

Why here: The Bulls were the worst shooting team in the NBA last year. They need players with the ability to project as a playmaker and a shooter while having leadership qualities that wont bump heads with the minds of Rondo and Wade. Kennard is exactly this- an unselfish leader with point guard skills, shooting ability, and size to play one-three. This in addition to the looming trade rumors and departure of superstar Jimmy Butler, Kennard’s services would be greatly appreciated. His skills line up with a lottery selection, but his vibe aligns with players that slip past their value (apparently the Knicks are considering him at eight, which would be a mistake).

Strengths: Very efficient (53/44/86) and versatile scorer… high IQ on and off ball… moves through screens with intelligence… understands flow of transition and half court offenses… good with the catch and shoot… can create own shot with his shiftiness, especially in terms of pull up jumpers. Dependable step backs, floaters, and fade aways… frequently sprinkles in head fakes and hesitation moves. He led a Duke team in scoring that had one of this drafts best scorer’s in Tatum. Shows skill around the hoop with his finishing ability… is patient and takes what the defenses gives him… completes layups with both hands… can absorb contact for and-one chances but isn’t remarkably strong in the air, despite getting to the FT line consistently. Has great footwork in all aspects of his game.

Although inconsistent, he has shown brilliant glimpses as a playmaker, especially in the p&R… can find teammates through tight windows… enjoys throwing lobs although he didn’t toss a ton at Duke… passes with force and determination- a needle zipper if you will.

Has good defensive instincts despite lacking elite athleticism and length… strong base helps guarding up positions… is agile and has moderate lateral quickness… fights around screens and chases off ball like a horsefly. He doesn’t let up… takes getting beat personally, frequently gets his man back.

Impressive leadership skills and poise… kept mind right and teammates participating in games on task while distractions bounced everywhere last season at Duke. Despite falling a bit short in the NCAA tournament, he has proven to have the clutch gene and confidence as a scorer needed to survive a long time at the next level.

Showed great rebounding base for a guard… is aggressive around the hoop… fights for position and slithers to the ball… incredible at predicting bounces… rebounds his own misses… can box out bigs for short periods of time.

Weaknesses: Underwhelming athlete… doesn’t explode at the rim… first step and dribble moves are crafty rather than quick and speedy. Doesn’t have a vast dribbling arsenal. Cant finish over imposing length… struggles to capitalize on switches to bigger wings and fours/fives.

His length and frame aren’t impressive– will be guarding ones and twos.

Needs to improve his passing in terms of consistency, off the dribble, and post entries… doesn’t have incredible vision from all parts of the floor… can put blinders on when switched or guarded by smaller defenders. Only averaged 2.5 apg last season… doesn’t look to pass… resets offense or shoots rather than finding teammates for buckets.

Weakest aspect of game is defense… isn’t super fast or quick so he frequently gets beat by quicker ball handlers… bigger wings get inside position with ease… is easy to shoot over, especially because of his lack of length and vertical. Despite playing on offense with sense of urgency and intensity, he lacks those same traits on the defensive end.

Outlook: The Bulls snag the safest player available at this stage. An athlete with superior intellect and offensive promise on the court, Luke should be able to slide off the bench and make an impact for a long time. Everyone needs back up PGs that can guard multiple positions.

Random Prediction: Has longest career in this draft. Wins $1,000,000 for a charity in a fundraising shooting event.

Ike Anigbogu

C UCLA Ike Anigbogu 6’10” 250 7’6”

Player Comparison: Clint Capela/ Alonzo Mourning

Why here: The Hawks might be moving away from Dwight soon. Regardless they need potential back up bigs to fit in with a faster pace. Ike will mesh with an otherwise young and energizing core. Hawks should be looking to deal anyone with value for draft selections. Not moving Millsap before the deadline was a huge mistake. Now they’ll lose him, getting nothing in return, just like they lost Horford.

Strengths: Elite shot blocker… debatably biggest hands in draft… surprising leaper for a big… great timing on D… great P & R defender… spaces well as help defender, always close enough to block shot but far enough that closing out isn’t a problem. Can handle switches for short periods of time with his length and lateral agility. Defends intelligently in the post… uses length to advantage with verticality… stays grounded with strong base and is tricky to move or back down.

Rim runner… adept at catching lobs… good finisher on P & R… sets pretty opaque screens. Goes up with force when catching ball near hoop… uses pump fakes… powers through contact. Not much of a low post game, but there have been glimpses of a hook game.

Very athletic… fast and strong on the move… surprising leaper for a big… impressive motor and enthusiasm on the floor.

Needs improvement as a rebounder but has shown promise, especially as an offensive rebounder. Definitely a tip slam threat… gets his hands on lots of balls because of his length and athleticism… when he boxes out rebounding is very easy. Crashes glass with intensity from perimeter.

Very young and clearly a hard worker… thirst to learn and improve.

Weaknesses: Could improve rebounding skills… doesn’t position himself best in rebounding situations… often gets sealed. Would benefit from beefing up his lower half.

Very limited on the offensive end… no jumper… next to no post moves. Might be restricted to energy rim running big… doesn’t seem to have foundation to develop more versatile game. Struggles to fill lanes correctly on the break… fumbles passes because of confusion with timing of multi-tasking.

Boggle-minded passer… turns ball over… struggles to find open men even when they are close.

Defensive upside is contingent on his development of a greater awareness and IQ. His physicality and intensity needs to be harnessed and directed more subtly… is overaggressive- leading to numerous fouls. His p&r D is very inconsistent… too often off balanced… gets beat by quickness… inefficient with closes out. Handles post up defense situations well, but gets lost and confused in other situations. Doesn’t always commit to help, could communicate with teammates better.

Has slew of apparent leg and foot injuries… didn’t seem hindered at UCLA.

Outlook: Ike will develop mutually with a young PG looking to improve their playmaking ability. That’s Schroeder. He should get good advice of what not to do in terms of team habits and what to do in terms of defensive improvements from Dwight. I project his game will develop to fit well alongside the new era of hoops, especially as a backup big.

Random Prediction: He starts more games this year than Dwight Howard. Gets ejected for an unintentional flagrant 2 in the first week of the season.