So here's the deal. I am totally in the dark when it comes to Alex Len. Not that I dont recognize him as a talent, but because I know very little about him and his game. I can get on ESPN and check out his game stats and see his a very solid rebounder and shot blocker. But then I see his points can fluctuate from 23 against Kentucky in the season opener going against Nerlens Noel, to scoring 4 points against Boston College last week.
Here are my questions:
How does his game translate to the NBA? This site has his player comparison to Jonas, a foreign rookie that has been injured for a chunk of the season. So that personally doesnt help me much.
What does he need to improve on? Rebounding and shot blocking are great at the college level. Will it follow him to the league? Does he need to add muscle? What is his basketball IQ like?
Is he a franchise player? I can sometimes be biased towards prospects because my team (Cleveland) is routinely in the lottery. So I know who I want and dont want on my team. But if Len progresses to a franchise player in the near future, I want the Cavs to jump all over him. So does he have franchise center capabilities? What is his floor and ceiling?
Thanks to everyone in advance to your insight and answers.
I said on one of threads a few weeks back that Alex Len has the most upside of any player in this draft, and was badly neg for it. People don't realize that players his size 7'1 255lbs, combine with his athletecism, dexterity don't come around often. And he's no stiff offensively, he is fairly refined as an offensive center and has only scratch the surface. I liken him to Meyers Leonard of last year but Len is actually even more refined skills wise. I see him as a top 5 pick, and I see his stock rising even more during private workouts once teams get a closer look of his size and mobility.
I don't catch all of Maryland's games, so I can help you with his game to game jumps, but he looks closer to 7'2'' when you see him compared next to other players, and although he needs to add some muscle, I thnk because of his length and mobility, his rebounding and shot blocking will translate to the next level.
My favorite part about his game is his shooting touch and post moves. In an era where most bigs don't have back to the basket games and are drafted raw in hopes of developing, Len does have a very solid foundation in that area. He's no Hakeem, but he's light years ahead of most 7 footers his age. He can shoot over either shoulder, and has a very high arching shot that with his release point is near un blockable.
He actually reminds me of a young Zydrunas Ilgaskus (before his injuries). Although he runs the floor better than Ilgauskus ever can.
Yeah, I see that too, I'm reluctant to use it because Big Z ran like he couldn't lift his knees to a 90 degree angle if he were stretching, so I don't want to make people think Len can't move, but skill wise I do see where you're coming from.
I also respect him a lot for enrolling in an American University. He came over with limited English and went to school, when he had the opportunity to play for pay in any European league. Smart decision IMO, since he's playing with his peers suppose to grown veterans of the game.
I would say from seeing him for a while he plays very little like Jonas, he has good range and seems to play better when challenged. The one thing I would say is he is real fast for a 7 footer and covers the court so quickly his blocks per minute have lead the ACC this year and last year, he seems to have a natural feel for shot-blocking. The way he plays I can't think of a great comparison but I get annoyed when people just lazily compare him to another white European 7 footer, best comparision I can think of is a Javale Mcgee with a brain, the athleticism, shot-blocking and ok scoring presence are similar to Mcgee.
I dont think he's that good of an athlete.
I dont think his post game is refined
I don think his rebounding is all that good.
I dont think he has a good jumper
I dont think he is as good as advertised defensively
Overall, decent at everything, not particularly good at anything.
Would not take him in the top 10.
I think we have to take into consideration the team he's playing on. They're pretty mediocre with a poor collective bball IQ, that lacks PG play. Their coach ain't all that either and seems more like a guy who coaches "effort." Turgeon said that the emphasis offensively this yr was to play inside out through Len. Yet you still see them fail to make decent post entries or even look for him.
I think he's a very solid C prospect who has tremendous physical tools. Already 255 with a long wingspan, fluid athleticism and a solid base of skills. He's got a nice looking stroke, good touch, is a willing passer and has the basics of post play down. Defensively he's long and mobile. Still a project as most guys his size are, but his project-ability is very good. Maybe not All-Star type talent, but starting C with 2 way capability. That's worth top 5-6 in this draft IMO.
To answer some of the questions in the OP. He does need to improve his rebounding. His fundamentals are strong but sometimes he just boxes and instead of boxing out and going to get the ball.
He needs to get stronger, but I think he'll get there. 255 already? He's already got the frame.
He could be more aggressive. He doesn't get as many touches as he should, so he should look to take advantage of the touches that he does get. There is no re-posting at Maryland. Once he passes the ball out, he likely won't get it back on a repost.
His IQ is very solid. He's sound but can be a little too unselfish.
No he is not a franchise player. There are no franchise players in this draft.
I think he can be like a more mobile Z.Ilgauskas.
People say that he doesnt get fed in the post, but he is someone who will post up and raise his arms up but doesnt really fight for position and doesnt seem like he wants the ball.
He'll post up and start flailing his arms but doest realize that if he gets the pass the ball is gonna get stolen or something. Not to mention he'll pass it to shooters as soon as he gets the ball.
Tony Mitchell was doing the same on his last ESPN game. I REALLY HATE THAT.
posting up with no purpose, just waving your arms.
havent been able to catch any maryland games myself, so i'm just asking for an around the ball park comparison. is he closer to Brook Lopez or Robin Lopez? Chris Kaman or Kosta Koufus? Pekovic or Asik? Gortat or Splitter?
I like Len a lot. He has a nice touch. Is a legit 7'2 is a good athlete. Runs the floor great. Can defend. He needs to gain a bit more weight and be more assertive. Definitely a top 8 pick in a weak draft