Friday, June 3, 2011

Is Knight worthy of top-five talk? Plus Macvan, Djedovic reviews.

Will Milan Macvan be athletic enough
in 2015 to be in the NBA?
Milan Macvan was the MVP of the 2009 Hoop Summit. Ever since then I've wondered if he would ever sniff the NBA. Macvan is built like a Mack Truck. He is a powerful Forward with a shooting touch (over 80% from the line). In his impressive showing at the `09 Hoop Summit - he put up 23 points, grabbed 14 rebounded and handed out six assists. ...He has good hoop instincts. …He now plays for Maccabi Tel Aviv where he is under contract through 2014-15.  He has the skill but his athleticism is lacking and now he is in the the first six months of a five year contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv. He is 21 years old now and any team thinking of selecting him should really consider whether or not you think he can still be reasonably athletic by the time he is 26.

Madman, ala Olberding, gets
nasty on dunk!
Mark Madsen comes to mind. The Mad Man actually had some terrific 'above the rim' moments, especially on the offensive glass, at Stanford. But barely two years later - Madsen looked every bit like the guy who aged too fast and could no longer finish inside.

...Peeked into Nihad Djedovic's game today and here is what I learned. With a solid frame, a quick release on his shot, and a low center of gravity with solid ball-handling skills - Nihad Djedovic is a European Shooting Guard worth being aware of. …He is right handed with an unorthodox jump shot (released low and in front of his eyes, but also done every quickly). ...Crafty. He plays the game with high energy and is very aggressive. This leads to a turnover problem (this season 58 assists, 83 turnovers) - which you never like to see from a Guard. ...Djedovic is worth a look though for sure. Check out this highlight package to get a feel for how he plays:


In closing - some food for thought. Brandon Knight was in Sacramento yesterday to work out. It is widely believed he will be gone by the time the Kings select at number seven in June 23rd's NBA Draft. I really have to question why Knight is being talked about as a lottery pick. Of course, with me, the issue for Knight is overall efficiency as it relates to others in this draft and those players already in the NBA. Knight simply did not demonstrate in his freshman season at Kentucky or at the 2010 Nike Hoop Summit that he was dynamic enough to be so highly thought of.

Remember how most thought Jonny Flynn couldn't miss? How about Randy Foye, or Acie Law? All of those guys were selected inside the first eleven.

Is Knight dynamic enough to thrive in the
talent rich pool of NBA Point Guards?
Brandon Knight had some nice games down the stretch for Kentucky. He is smart, and he should get better. I get all that. But why is Knight really the only guy in the Draft right now where the science (or math or whatever you choose to call it) doesn't come close to justifying him being so highly ranked? He shot 42% FG in the SEC, and his assist-to-turnover numbers were okay only if he plays the TWO. As a Point Guard, Knight will really have to improve upon a 1.325 to 1 assist-to-turnover ratio. He will also need to distribute more and not jack so many shots. He put up the rock over 500 times last season as a Wildcat. The Kings have plenty of shot-jacking at Guard already in Tyreke Evans, and Marcus Thornton. ...I'm not saying Knight can't be a good NBA player. I AM saying the landscape at Point Guard right now in the NBA is very tough, and Knight's historical numbers should be a lot better if he is to be talked about as a top-five pick.

On top of Knight being a bad value relative to his historical data - there is no shortage of Point Guards in this draft that may prove to be better if not just as good as Knight. Chris Wright of Georgetown (who may not even be drafted) is only two one thousandths of a percentage point lower in efficiency than Knight. Ben Hansbrough, Antoine Diot, Charles Jenkins, Reggie Jackson, Kemba Walker, and even BYU's Jackson Emery posted higher efficiency ratings than Knight did. Iman Shumpert - while not as efficient as Knight - has a bigger upside.

Again - this is just food for thought.

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