Here we go again, with Goorjian showing his pose when the final siren went at the SANFL Grand Final. This week the questions were a little more vague, but that means we have a lot of differing answers which is good. We have Luke Thomas joining us for the first time, primed for a Donovan Mitchell like rookie outing.
How this works is I pose a number of questions, and collate everyone’s answers together here. Sounds easy, right?
At the round table today we have Luke Thomas (UTA), Jarrod Cotton (BOS), Troy Goostrey (IND), David Ashman (DEN), Dan Kelly (LAL), Jesse Cotton (ATL) and Ryan Spears (GSW).
Who is the most disappointing current NBA player?
Dwight Howard. 6-11, 265lb, 12’6” leaping reach (highest documented in NBA history.)
I reckon the most disappointing player is Andrew Wiggins. He did have Jimmy Butler last year that took some minutes away from his game but even still, he should be dominating. He has the skills, the speed, the quickness and the athleticism to do it. I think he is just so complacent that he doesn’t want to be too aggressive it seems. If he had that killer instinct he could lead the league in scoring. His jump shot and 3 ball could improve but I think it just comes down to being more aggressive I suppose. With Jimmy Buckets in the team last season he had the perfect opportunity to take over when team defenses collapse on the Butler. And with Butler being the alpha dog, Wiggins could have still co-existed with him on the court but his numbers certainly didn’t show it which is a shame. Such potential there and with 4 seasons under his belt, he should be comfortable. Instead his numbers are down from the year before. Maybe with Jimmy moving on he may get back to 23 point a game a season or more before buckets was in town.
Picking him for a different reason and that’s Kawhi. By all reports, cleared to play for Spurs and took easy/soft option, the whole saga didn’t quite add up. Don’t doubt his talent for a second but has a lot to prove this season…and then yes, he can join us in 2019.
Andrew Wiggins. Came in with so much hype as the next generation-level talent with great athleticism and elite defense.
So far, 4 years in and there isn’t any part of his game which can be described as better than slightly-above-average. He’s a high volume, low efficiency chucker, his rebounding is terrible, he’s got Carmelo-like passing, his team (and my fantasy team) has not improved by having him, and arguably the worst part about his game is his highly touted defense.
Chandler Parsons – It is not his fault receiving such an awesome contract, but his output for in the last two seasons has been 7.9 and 6.2 points per game in just under 20 minutes or play, and this for $94 million dollars. Even in a market that needs to overpay for start, this output in underwhelming.
Hey, this is what google tells me the answer is
Who is the most underrated current NBA player?
JR Smith. Just joking. I reckon Clint Capela is very good, and doesn’t get the kudos he deserves with CP3 and the Beard on the team. Pains me to say it, but he won his battle with Gobert in the playoffs last year which is no mean feat. Last season – 14 points, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks, shoots over 60% from the field. And he’s still young, only 24.
Marc Gasol. A do it all competitor who has no real weaknesses to exploit in his game for his size. In 59 playoff games for the Grizzlies he has produced, averaging 17.2 points, 8.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 0.9 steals and 1.7 blocks, also shooting at around an 80% from the line.
Took a while on this one. Eventually, I’ll pick Al Horford. You never hear of him in conversations about the best few bigs in the league over the last decade or so. His stats don’t jump off the page but teams he’s been on have consistently performed well (playoffs every season) and that is usually because they are anchored by his solid and dependable keyway presence. That is often overlooked for flashy, 3-ball shooting bigs (even Horford added this his past 3 seasons). Instead of reaching for Dwight Howard like so many tried, maybe Horford should have been chased harder over the years??
The most underrated player for me are a couple. Guys like Joe Ingles are great for the team especially on defense. His 3 shooter is exceptional and he is always getting in the passing lanes and creating turnovers. A very deceptive player who’s slo mo play fools a lot of players and he is certainly underrated. Another player who comes to mind who would certainly be get more attention in bigger market teams is Kemba Walker. He is quick, has great scoring abilities and is a great passer and floor general. Playing in Charlotte seems to hind him from the league a bit but I think he is still their best player and a top PG in the East.
This might not seem “underrated” to some but I am going with Klay Thompson. I know he has the trophies, all stars etc, but playing with Curry, Durant and now Cousins. Would love to see him at the Lakers, possible in 2019? I do also rate Eric Gordon puts up solid numbers and considering the Harden/CP3 duo take a lot of the ball.
I’ll go with a couple of current teammates – Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley.
Avery Bradley is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league, and on top of that he shoots a respectable 37.5% from 3, making 2 a game, and averages around 15ppg.
Tobias Harris is only 26 and has steadily improved every year, to the point of averaging 18.6ppg last season (more than Dragic, Melo and that disappointing Wiggins), shooting 40+% from 3.
Neither have superstar numbers, but the reason I call them underrated is because it seems like they are always trade bait and never a team’s answer at their respective position. In Harris’s 7 seasons, he has been traded mid-season in 3 of them.
With Butler wanting to go to the Clippers, I’d be going for a package of these two in return because you’ll probably also get a couple of 1st round picks as well.
Name your teams best chance at winning MVP, Sixth Man, Most Improved and Defensive Player of the Year in 2018/19
Kyrie Irving has a realistic chance at the MVP this year mainly because of Boston’s predicted record. In my view this will only be possible if he tries to stop the odd dude at the other end.
Nuggets MVP would be Jokic as the big man has skills. He should be an allstar.
Will Barton would be sixth man and he is also underrated. He could have gone in my underrated section come to think of I but didn’t want to be too Nuggets centric.
Most Improved would be Jamal Murray as he is now in a position to cement his starting role and shine this season. He has the tools and hopefully the brain to go with it.
Defensive player, mmmmm Nuggets and Defence two words that are synonymous. I might have to get back to you on that one. I knew the Nuggets should have traded for Melo in the offseason again for that defensive intensity.
MVP – Oh god. Do I have to answer this one? Vince Carter? Honestly, no player from last year could make that sort of leap, so I’m going to have to go with the unknown and pick Trae Young.
It would be unprecedented (only Wilt and Unseld have won MVP as rookies), but if he comes in averaging 30ppg and 10apg and the Hawks make the playoffs, then it could happen. I guess. After the SANFL I’m not writing anything off!
Sixth Man – Alex Len. He could take on an Enes Kanter in OKC sort of role as a scorer/rebounder off the bench. He led all bench players in offensive rebounds per game last season (16th overall in the league in just 20mpg), and on a per-36 minute basis his points and rebounds are equivalent to Gobert. With only Dewayne Dedmon as the starter, there’s no reason the minutes and opportunity won’t be available.
MIP – John Collins. This is by far the most likely of all 4 categories.
I can see Collins going from 10ppg to nearly doubling that due to him adding some outside touch and versatility to his game instead of just being the guy on the end of pick and rolls, and especially so if Trae is more Steve Nash than Steph Curry.
DPOY – It’s either Kent Bazemore or Taurean Prince, but I’m going to go with Prince. Bazemore is probably the better defender, but you know what you’re going to get from him next season already, and that’s not DPOY material.
Prince has the tools to be a good defender, and if that is something he has focused on improving in the offseason, he could make that his niche. I also spoke to Russell’s mate Caleb, he loves telling everyone how good a basketball player Prince is, so I was convinced.
Steph Curry – It is difficult to choose between Steph and KD, but it is evident that when Curry is missing that that Warriors don’t look as good as the team is developed around that spacing that his three-point shooting provides, so I would have to pick Steph. That being said, they are both so good that they water down each other’s opportunity to win the MVP.
Old man Iggy does not put up amazing statistics during the season, but his value in the big moments or the big games, coupled with his ability to guard the other team’s best players means that his is the most important and best of the Golden States reserves.
With the absence of Boogie Cousins until Christmas, there are several young centres that will get important playing time. I believe that the stand out will be Damian Jones, as he has the height and length to catch lobs, finish close to the rim and defend the opponent’s big men. The only question will be his ability to defend the opponent’s smalls on switches.
Defensive Player of the Year
Last year, KD’s defense improved dramatically. He displayed the ability put in the effort to guard all positions on the floor and became an elite rim defender, so I would have to pick Draymond Green as the most likely GS player to win the defensive player of the year award 😉