Sixers' Draft Profiles: Cole Aldrich

#1 - John Wall  

#2 - Evan Turner

#3 - Derrick Favors

#4 - DeMarcus Cousins

#5 - Wesley Johnson

#6 - Al-Farouq Aminu

#7 - Ed Davis

#8 - Cole Aldrich

#9 - Greg Monroe

#10 - Daniel Orton

#11 - Ekpe Udoh

#12 - Hassan Whiteside

#13 - Donatas Motiejunas

#14 - Patrick Patterson

A Cole Aldrich breakdown after the jump ...

Scouting Reports

DX:

Aldrich's numbers regressed in nearly every category. 

From a statistical standpoint, it's somewhat troubling to see the lack of progress Aldrich has made this past season. His numbers are down across the board, even when adjusting for the fact that he's playing 3 minutes less per game. Aldrich is scoring significantly less (16.3 per-40 pace adjusted compared to 19.9 last season), grabbing fewer rebounds, is substantially less efficient (converting 55% of his 2-pointers compared with 60% last season) and has seen his free throw percentage take a dramatic hit (from 79% to 68%).

What's Cole's upside?

The prevailing opinion amongst NBA scouts has always been that Aldrich is a likely role-player at the next level-a player who projects as a significant presence in the paint defensively and on the glass, but can't be expected to score much more than what his guards are able to create for him around the basket.

He has very little skills on offense.

Aldrich is the type of player who is best suited for having shots created for him, something that has happened with far less regularity this season according to the data we have at our disposal. He struggles to do much of anything if unable to establish position deep inside the paint, looking fairly mechanical with his movements at times and downright uncomfortable in others. He has a basic spin-move, a raw drop-step and a simple jump-hook in his arsenal, but lacks fluidity in his offensive game, is limited with his left hand and tends to just throw the ball up on the rim at times, hoping for the best.

Terrible form on his jumpshot.

Aldrich has always sported very unorthodox shooting mechanics, as the violent slingshot motion he shows, cocking ball way behind his back, was never going to be the optimal to get his shot off. While this didn't affect his effectiveness as a jump-shooter last year, it's really been a factor this year. His shooting woes have translated to the free throw line as well, where he's shooting 11% worse (from 79% to 68%) than he did last season. While no one will be drafting Aldrich for his jump-shooting ability, the fact that he could make defenses work a bit more by forcing them to respect his mid-range jumper was an added bonus that he can no longer claim as a part of his repertoire.

His game is strictly defense and rebounding, and he's pretty good at both.

His size and length allows him to go well out of his area at times for offensive rebounds, and he does a fine job boxing out on the defensive glass as well, something that should translate very effectively to the NBA.

... Aldrich has terrific lower body strength which renders him extremely difficult to back down in the post.

He uses his outstanding wingspan very effectively to contest shots in the paint, being very fundamentally sound in the way he gets his long arms right in his defender's face to deny good looks at the basket.

... a much better pick and roll defender than you might expect relative to most centers in his mold, as he does a tremendous job of stepping out, hedging screens and then recovering effectively, showing nice timing, solid effort and good fundamentals in the process.

He's the type of shot-blocker who stays out of foul trouble, rarely goal-tends and usually keeps balls in-bounds on top of that, often showing the wherewithal to tip it to a teammate and ignite the fast break ...

ESPN:

Ford had the Sixers taking Aldrich with the 6th pick in his first mock draft. 

Aldrich might never be a star, but he's a solid big man who rebounds, blocks shots, and scores from inside and out. With only one more season left on Samuel Dalembert's contract, Aldrich would provide some great insurance.

Bad news, if the Sixers draft him:

Aldrich is a system guy. He's not going to excel if the game really starts getting up and down.

I've seen some form of this statement about a million times, on why Aldrich will go in top 10.

Aldrich plays the most coveted position in the draft, so he already has a huge leg up on every other prospect in the draft.

With so few big men challenging Aldrich's position as a mid-lottery pick, he seems like a lock at this point.

His lack of explosive athleticism puts a bit of a ceiling on how high he can go, but given the dearth of centers out there right now, scouts believe he might be able to crack the top five.

With so few big men in the draft, a few NBA executives I spoke with this week had Aldrich ranked as a Top 10 pick.

The argument doesn't fall in line with my philosophy of drafting the best player available, regardless of position.

Cole Aldrich on Twitter

@colea45

Comparisons

DX: Best case - Rich man's Joel Pryzbilla

Worst case - Josh Boone

ESPN: Joel Przybilla with more offense

NBADraft.net - Joel Przybilla/Eric Montross

YouTube

Cole Aldrich Mix

My take:

I have nothing against Cole. I think he'll be a good NBA player, especially because large centers who rebound and play defense are so hard to come by these days. But given the Sixers situation (a struggling franchise with a ton of holes and no star power) I think selecting Aldrich with a pick in the 6-8 range is a waste. The Sixers need star potential, high-upside, and the best prospect available. Not a solid player with no star-power, little upside, who projects to be nothing more than a role player.

Up next: Greg Monroe

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