Teams looking for bigs early in the draft will have a lot of options and a difficult choice. As the season goes on I find myself taking Willie Caullie-Stein over any other big. Reminds me of Tyson Chandler with an offensive touch, and could possibly develop a nice offensive game. Early in the year I thought he looked lost too often and questioned his effort sometimes but he is playing better in those areas later in the season. I am sure Cal has helped his game, plus he is only 19. I was never a fan of Zeller, and would rank Olynyk and Plumlee over him. The first time I saw UK play I liked WCS movement, body, strength, effort, and feel for the game better than Noel. Len is the most polished right now and has the most potential on the offensive end but I like WCS overall potential, and defensive abilities better than Len.
So I think I'm going with WCS in the top 4 or 5 (Smart, McLemore, Bazz, Porter or Bennett) and the first true big off the board , who would you take?
Nerlens Noel, I am a big fan of WCS, but if Noel can return to fitness his impact on the defensive end could be very high. I think at worst Noel becomes a Chandler type player, a defensive force and great hustler, who only scores mainly off dunks and put-backs
It depends on the team's situation. I'm a Cavs fan so for them I would hope they'd grab Noel. His rim defense is exactly what they need, and his offense will grow significantly as he works with Zydrunas behind the scenes. I don't think his injury will affect him all that much assuming there isn't any kind of odd complication.
I think WCS has a great chance to rise up the draft boards, now that he's taken Noel's role. If he can have a strong March to end the year, he could sneak up into the top 10 or maybe top 5.
I wouldn't take Willie over Nerlens, Olynyk, Zeller or Len. Maybe even Plumlee. To me, I see end of the bench prospect who ends up still being a "project" at like 27, especially if he comes out this year. He doesn't score like almost any of these guys and his D isnt on Nerlens' level. I just don't see it. Maybe if he stayed another and developed...
I've already went on record saying I think WCS has the potential to be the first pick in the draft. And he's clearly learning very quickly on the fly. What if he averages 17ppg, 12rpg, 3bpg shooting over 60% from the field in March and just basically looks like he's put it together? With his physical tools and athleticism there's no way teams wouldn't consider him with the first pick his potential is through the roof.
I think WCS has a ton of untapped potential and the work ethic to achieve it. I became convinced of his potential after watching highlights of him playing WR in high school. For anybody who hasn't saw that footage go on YouTube and check it out. WCS is like 7'1" and moves with such fluidity, grace, and power. His being able to take hits in football and still make the catch speaks volumes for his ability to finish through traffic in basketball.
Noels biggest attribute was his freakish athleticism and unfortunatly his injury has put that in jeopardy. Noels easily had a 40" vert now it could be tough to regain all that, not saying he won't, just saying it's breeding doubt.
What isn't breeding doubt is WCS's production, and Kentucky winning games since Noels went down.
And Isiaih Austin needs more love. I know everybody saying he's so skinny, but he's so freakishly long. I really think he may be closer to 7'2". Theres a great pic on ESPN photos section of him that I don't know how to copy from of Austin blocking that foreign dudes shot from West Virginia from the ground. The picture shows the WV dude fully elevated towards the rim with two hands and massively strong arms, and Austin reaching higher on his tippy toes sending the shot backwards. I really don't think weight is a huge problem with Austin because he's so tall and long, like I said before John Henson isn't really having much problems because he's so long, Austin is the same way.