FanPost

Making a case for Noah Vonleh

Joel Embiid I agree is a once in a generational talent yada yada yada but if that 'healed' stress fracture lingers - which isn't far fetched for a big man grinding day in and day out in the NBA - we've got problems. Throw in there the task of playing 2 young centers - one with almost no offensive game and another with limited game experience - and there's enough chemistry risk to pass on Embiid.

Over-Hype would have us believe Wiggins could someday be the next Lebron/Durant based on physical measurements and high school highlight reels. Maybe so, but was anyone as underwhelmed as I was after his freshman year and disappointing tourney performance? Oh, and if you look up Harrison Barnes' college scouting report on Draft Express the resemblance is striking: 6-8 with a 39.5 vertical, underwhelming scoring efficiency, poor finishing around the basket, game will benefit from a more isolated NBA style. While Wiggins is the far superior defensive stopper, are you truly convinced he's a sure fire star in the making? Nice smile but as the #1 prospect where's the Iverson-esque, would-kill-my-grandma-to-win killer instinct?

Jabari Parker. Most advanced offensive arsenal. Hard worker. Charismatic leader with a superior basketball IQ. I see all of that. But I also saw him benched late in the game in the tourney loss to Mercer b/c of his defensive/athletic limitations. You can't teach athleticism and lateral quickness. Can we agree that part of his game will only get worse at the next level? And is he a PF or SF? Reminds me of Glenn Robinson if we're lucky and Michael Beasley if we're not.

Dante Exum. Like most optimists I'm totally intrigued with pairing 2 athletic long slashing defensive point guards to see if we can replicate the success in Phoenix. But let's be real. Neither can shoot real well right now and do we really know if 2 young ball-dominant floor generals can effectively co-exist or even want to?

Which leads me to Mr. Vonleh. He isn't perfect but he's the one guy who I have the least reservations about. We could use a stretch 4 with above-peer measurables (7-4 wingspan, 37 inch vertical). Check. Someone with length and size who can rebound and block shots. Check. Someone who can complement our offensively-raw center with a developing post up game, mid range jumper, and occasional 3 pointer. Check. Someone who can trail a fast break and finish with authority. Check. Someone with a decent handle who can create his own shot with 5 seconds on the clock. Potentially check. A hard worker who can be coached up to his full potential. By all reports Check.

Yeah I've got pet peeves on him too. He reminds me of a mini-Roy Hibbert, more lumbering and methodical than explosive and flashy. His post- up footwork is OK but needs work. He's not a great passer. His defensive awareness could be better.

But those are minor and mostly fixable. I'll take proven substance over flash at the PF spot any day. We could probably talk Utah into trading into #3 for their #5 and #23. Orlando takes Exum at #4 and we get our (my) guy plus an extra pick. Would Utah go for it? I made the offer on their website and at least one guy would. No double centers, no dual PG experiments, no Melo 2.0. Just a hard working lunch pale-carrying big man with size/length you can't teach and enough upside to be a force at both ends of the floor.



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