LibertyBallers Big Board v1

We've been doing the user-voted big board for months, which you can view on the left-hand side of the site.  Since we're at least twice as far down the big board as the Sixers will be drafting (and, with any luck, 4 times as far down), we decided to make a big board voted on just by the four of us.  Expect this big board to go through at least two more iterations, once after the deadline for underclassmen to declare, and finally after the withdrawal deadline when the final field is set.

Below is the lottery big board, sorted by composite ranking, an average of our four votes.  Check after the jump for some comments as we discuss some of our more controversial selections.

One note, players listed as n/a didn't make that person's individual top 14, but did make the composite.  Players who did not make the top 14 in an individual's mock were given a value relative to the 17th pick.

How much this changes on future iterations will certainly be interesting.  For now, this is our big boards (until we change our mind).

 

Composite Player Jordan Mike Tanner Derek
1 John Wall 1 1 1 1
2 Evan Turner 2 2 2 2
3 Derrick Favors 3 4 3 3
4 DeMarcus Cousins 6 3 5 5
5 Wesley Johnson 7 5 4 4
6 Xavier Henry 10 6 6 7
7 Greg Monroe 9 8 7 8
8 Al-Farouq Aminu 5 10 9 11
9 Cole Aldrich 12 11 8 6
10 Ed Davis 4 n/a 11 9
11 Patrick Patterson n/a 9 10 12
12 Donatas Motiejunas 14 7 13 n/a
13 Hassan Whiteside 8 n/a n/a 14
14 Ekpe Udoh n/a 14 n/a 10

Others receiving votes:

Paul George
Jan Vesely
Avery Bradley
James Anderson
Larry Sanders

Jordan's comments

Defense, rebounding, potential and team need were the areas I focused on with my big board. 

I dropped Cousins because of his attitude, lack of defense, and how unimpressed I've been the few times I've watched him. We already have a power forward who can score, plays no defense and has a bad attitude. I don't want two. That said, I couldn't drop him below 6.

I dropped Cole Aldrich to 12 because I think he's peaked already. He's slow, awkward, and doesn't wow me. I don't see his game translating to the NBA. He might stick around a while as a role player, but that's not what I'm looking for with a top 10 pick. I need more potential.

Vessely and Motiejunas I basically know nothing about. They got the last 2 spots by default.

Mike

I came into the season really excited about Favors and was wholly unimpressed for the first 5 months. I thought he fell asleep too much offensively, looked confused on off-the-ball assignments on the defensive end and let too many rebounds go despite having the most talented rebounding front line in the nation with Gani Lawal. All of those things are fine and to be expected out of a freshman. I just didn't see the dominance Cousins showed me. He stepped up big time in the ACC tournament especially on defense. He's a high-character guy with great work ethic and I'm a big fan. If he continues working on his midrange game, he could be exceptional. But I'm still going with Cousins ahead of him.

Henry at 6.  Reach? Sure. For his production this season on a stacked Kansas team, taking him at 6 may be a little early. But he's got the sweetest lefty stroke I've seen since Damon Stoudamire and as a 6'6 thick shooting guard, won't be getting pushed around anytime soon. He's knocking down treys at a 42% clip, getting his hands on some balls defensively (1.5 steals, 0.5 blocks), and running the fast break consistently well. X started the season hot, and slumped in the first few games of conference play, but stepped it up again for the final third of the season. The knock against him is his athleticism which I don't particularly buy into – I just think he plays under control. He'd be the first shooting guard that could shoot we've had since I'm gonna say Andrew Toney and you know what, that's a long time ago. If he can keep his crazy dad away from the media, X is gon' give it to ya.

I've done some flip-flopping in the past few weeks with Monroe and Aminu, but a strong 4 day stretch where I seemingly did nothing but watch Greg Monroe gives him the nod over AFA. Monroe is crafty, smart, patient, under control, and stronger than you think. He's got a nice post up game that he can take slower defenders off his quick first step, and a decent turnaround that's a work in progress. Another lefty (God I wish I was lefty), but this one may be the best passer in the nation. Nothing gets me more excited than big man interior passing (Webber-Divac, Rick Jackson-Arinze Onuaku, Lavoy Allen-Michael Eric what up?) and Monroe can find the open man with the best of them. He's sexy, he's money, and if we get the top spot, I'd love to trade down somehow and pick up 2 in the top 10, swooping up Monroe and Xavier. Pipe dream alert.

James Anderson another reach?! A bit. The Big 12 Player of the Year is another solid solid shooting guard that would look really nice on the wing across from Andre Iguodala. He's got some slashing ability and can move up and down the court pretty well, but his best attribute is definitely his jump shot. He's got great size for a 2-guard and rebounds the ball well for his position. I'm a fan.

Tanner

 

About four days ago I would have put Favors at the 5 spot, swapping with Cousins.  That was until the conference tournament started and Favors really showed what he could bring to the NBA.  His athleticism, shot blocking ability, and jumper in progress are more appealing to me than the project of a player that is Cousins (47% FT, reports of bad attitude, work ethic questions).

X Henry is higher on my list than on mock drafts because I really like his shooting stroke especially for the Sixers who need a shooter.  Merge that ability with his good NBA body for a SG and ability to get in the lane and to the free throw line, he becomes my highest rated pure SG.

I put Paul George much higher than most people would put him because when I see his tapes I just think Danny Granger over and over again.  He can soot the j, he can rebound with the bigs, has great length, he's unselfish, he's smart, and screams potential.  I think he could end up being an all-star in the league if he works at refining his weaknesses (drive more, improve dribbling ability, play with scorer's mentality).

Derek

For the record, despite popular media, I still don't think Wall vs Turner is a debate.  Nor do I think Favors vs Cousins would be a debate if I were picking.   I would take Favors with nary a second thought.  Even throwing out Cousins' maturity red flags, I have a lot of questions about him on the defensive side of the ball, and a post-scorer with average defense and without the passing ability (or mindset) to take advantage of the defensive attention he receives isn't a franchise player to me.  Favors, on the other hand, I see developing into a great all-around defender, and perhaps the most dominant two-way big man since Dwight Howard.

That being said, Cousins is too talented to drop too far.  At some point, the reward outweighs the risk, and it will likely happen fairly early in the draft.

I believe Wesley Johnson is both the best talent remaining and the best fit based on team needs, so he goes #5 without much hesitation.  After #5, however, is where the draft starts getting interesting.  The can't miss prospects are off the board, and a fair amount of projection and risk assessment is going to need to be done.

Cole Aldrich may be a little high (particularly when you look at this team, and figure he may never be more than an opportunistic scorer), but I tend to overvalue defensive bigs.  Is there some concern perimeter oriented bigs will be able to take him off the dribble?  Sure.  But a good post defender, that provides weakside help defense, can defend the pick and roll and has the size and technique to be a good defensive rebounder will always have an impact on the game.  Add in good decision making and I view Aldrich as a valuable piece.

Xavier Henry is perhaps overvalued to the Sixers because of his skillset.  A little disappointing in how little he showed off the dribble -- perhaps exacerbated by the depth on that Kansas squad -- and perhaps a little slow laterally to be a great defender at the shooting guard, Henry's not perfect.  That being said, being able to put a shooter who can run the break, make good decisions, and play at least competent defense next to Iguodala and Holiday presents an interesting combination of skills to build around.

As you can see from my rankings, I'm not a fan of Aminu, and even less of a fan of Aminu on the Sixers.  I don't see immediate success for Aminu on the offensive end, and it's sometimes hard to expect players that athletic, but with that poor of ballhandling, to ever reach the level of proficiency to fully utilize their physical gifts.  A bad overall fit with the Sixers, and I don't see him being a can't miss prospect that you have to throw fit out the window.

The possibility of Hassan Whiteside declaring has made him a high riser on the draft boards, and I'd be lying to deny his intrigue.  The overall team defense, both with weakside shotblocking and outstanding pick and roll defense, make him a potentially game changing defender, and he shows a pulse offensively with a surprisingly effective jump shot.  That being said, he's a definite project (turns the ball over frequently in the post, not much in the way of passing, suspect man-man defense), and he reportedly has character and maturity red flags.  Overall, I'll gamble on Ekpe Udoh putting it together before Whiteside.  Wesley Johnson's transfer from Iowa State has garnered the most attention (and rightfully so, as he's become an impact player making Syracuse legitimate contenders), but I'm not sure if it wasn't Udoh's transfer that has helped his stock the most.

Quick blurbs on notables I left off my list:
I was excited when I got my hands on a few full tapes of Motiejunas this year, but disappointed when I saw him play.  I have a hard time seeing him ever becoming even below average defensively and on the glass.  Avery Bradley, while tempting to put on because of his shooting and defense, is really limited off the dribble and lacks ideal size to play shooting guard.  James Anderson could have the ideal offensive arsenal to play shooting guard on this team, but his defensive deficiencies would prevent him from being a real impact player.

Remember, this is version 1.0 of the LibertyBallers mock draft.  Much will happen between now and June, and expect this to be updated to reflect that in time.

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