I'm looking at this group of Centers that will likely come out this year and it's hard to tell who will become the best NBA player out of the bunch. They all have some serious flaws. I'm talking about Cody Zeller, Alex Len, Kelly Olynyk, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Mason Plumlee. Some flaws for each player that I have seen include
Cody Zeller: Skinny, hasn't really improved this year, struggles when he has gone against good sized defenders.
Alex Len: Inconsistent, tendency to disappear at times, needs to bulk up
Kelly Olynyk: Not very athletic, doesn't rebound the ball very well, hasn't gone up against the best competition this year
Mason Plumlee: Not a very high ceiling, not very athletic, hasn't really had an impact until his junior and senior seasons where he was a "man among boys"
Willie Cauley-Stein: Very raw, perhaps the most bust potential out of the bunch.
Anyways how would you rank these centers coming into the draft and who do you think will end up the best NBA player?
if i had to rank these guys right now it would be something like this...and keep in mind that it is my personal opinion and who I would take not necasarally the best to worst 1-5
1.) Mason Plumlee
2.) Alex Len
I truly believe that zeller was hyped up way too early. Plumlee, as of right now is the only 1 who i can see holding his own in the NBA, Len has a world of potential and then id take olynyk over wcs only from what ive seen thus far
first i would like to say that's an interesting group you have there. would you consider jeff withey in this group with his tournament emergence? also, i have to strongly disagree with the assessment of mason plumlee as being not athletic. he may not be the perfect prospect. but athleticism is not is weakness:
i like zeller of those prospects the best. no he is not a star, but there is no star in this draft. he is as good as any prospect and plays with a lot of heart. but even zeller has some big holes in his game.
personally, i would go:
that's just me though, i'm sure many could debate that order, which is fine but it's how i would put them.
Thricethefun--Have you ever watched him play? Not very skilled, sure, but not athletic? Huh?
yea i agree with theprophet about withey being in there....if you throw him in there i would take him before all of them....my top 5 big men off the board would look like this
i'm not big on noel, but i assumed he was being considered a pf. if he's in there, i put him one above withey on my list.
and i forgot about adriene payne, i would take him right after plumlee for sure
Zeller and Plumlee will play PF in the NBA.
I also think half of the names mentioned in this thread would be better served as PFs.
Mine would go:
I really hope the Thunder can get their hands on Len with the Toronto pick. He is almost the ideal prospect for them imo. I doubt Zeller will slip out of the top ten to get a hand on which would be also a great pickup for Okc.
I know Len is kind of a project but add him and Tibor Pleiss next year to the Thunder and their frontcourt depth gets from Collison and Thabeet to one of the deepest in the league. Len is athletic enough to run with this team. I don't say he is the best prospect at the 5 in this years draft but he seems to be a perfect fit for a team picking around 10-12.
I still don't know what to think of Olynik. If he is really a 6'11" Version of Louis Scola I think he can crack the lottery.
Double post sorry
I like Withey and Payne as the top two bigs not named Nerlens Noel.
Then I have Cody Zeller who looks like a guy who can be a third big man or even a starting center if you have an athletic tough power forward next to him.
I like Plumlee after that as a guy who can play the four or five as sort of a bigger, more athletic Nick Collison.
Not a whole lot of separation here. It's just that you get more value taking one of these guys at 15 as opposed to taking the same guy (or a similar guy) at 5.
I think OKC needs low post scoring more than anything. So if Alex Len is there and he can score then he should be the pick.
I would like Withey as a shot blocker and a finisher around the rim, plus he is a smart player. They can't expect him to score much though. With Harden gone, they need a long-term third weapon on offense. A low post guy would help but it doesn't have to be a center.
Noel is a top 5 pick. So I don't think he needs to be included in a "middle of first round" discussion.
That said, my list of how I see the others:
Willie Cauley-Stein (most underrated player in this draft)
Adrien Payne (but more of a PF at the next level but I'd draft him just for his motor)
Jeff Withey (also underrated but I think he will measure in at 6'9" and may go second round due to that)
I think Kelly Olynyk and Willie Cauley-Stein could end up being two really good picks late in the lottery (assuming Cauley-Stein declares). I think Cauley-Stein looked better than Noel at times last year and isn't too far behind him as a prospect. Cauley-Stein is even stronger and more physical than Noel and looks like he has better touch.
And Olynyk is just a really solid player. I think he could become a long time starter in the league. He is underrated on defense, as he moves better than some may think and works hard to deny post position. And he just has an excellent all-around offensive game. He is effective in the high or low post, he passes well, he has a consistent jumpshot with range, and he can face-up and take bigs off the dribble a little bit. He may lack great athleticism, but he knows how to draw contact. And while he isnt an explosive finisher, he has excellent touch. His shot may be blocked more than some, but he generally doesn't miss many bunnies.