#1 - John Wall
#2 - Evan Turner
#3 - Derrick Favors
#4 - DeMarcus Cousins
#5 - Wesley Johnson
On to the most tenured Sixer -- according to our experiemnt -- Al-Farouq "Acid" Aminu ...
What position will he play?
Mostly asked to operate last year a raw and awkward looking small forward, likely due to assurances that were made on the recruiting trail, Aminu has looked far more comfortable as a face-up power forward this season. This appears to be his likely position in today's hyper-athletic and increasingly small-ball oriented NBA as well, playing a similar role to that of Jo sh Smith, Thaddeus Young, Gerald Wallace, Jeff Green and many many other combo forwards.
What makes him different from Thaddeus Young?
His rebounding numbers have skyrocketed in turn, up from a solid 10.3 per-40 minutes pace adjusted last season to an outstanding 13. He's also using his terrific length and athleticism to make more plays on the defensive end, averaging more blocks and steals than he did in the past. Wake Forest head coach Dino Gaudio gives him the freedom to grab a rebound and initiate the fast break himself, and some of Aminu's most impressive moments come in these sequences.
How raw is Aminu on offense?
Offensively, it's still difficult to describe Aminu as being an overly skilled player. Although capable of beating his defender off the dribble and getting to the basket in a straight line thanks to his quick first step and tremendously long strides, his ball-skills are still fairly rudimentary. He often loses the ball or is called for traveling immediately upon making his initial move, and really struggles to change directions or pull-up off the dribble if a defender rotates into the lane. His turnover rate (3.7 per-40p) is, as you would expect, extremely high in turn, and his 2-point percentage (50%) is a bit lower than you might expect.
He's very raw on offense, but manages to get to the free throw line.
Aminu's lack of strength and at times toughness, combined with the fact that he's often already out of control by the time he gets into the paint makes him just an average finisher around the rim in traffic. The incredibly impressive manner in which he finishes in transition (often in highlight reel fashion) leaves a lot of room for optimism in this regard, though. He does manage to draw quite a few fouls thanks to his sheer athleticism and aggressiveness, which is obviously a big plus.
Since the Sixers are collecting freakish athletes who can't shoot ...
He's made just 23% of the 79 total jump-shots he's taken on the season according to Synergy Sports Technology (down from 27% last year), converting 29% of his 3-point attempts. His shooting off the dribble (1/19) has been abysmal, as he's struggled badly to make pull-up jumpers from mid-range all season long.
Aminu's defense and defensive potential are the deal-breakers.
Defensively, Aminu continues to impress, as he not only has outstanding physical tools to help get the job done, but he also seems extremely committed to the task. Aminu's freakish wingspan makes it nearly impossible to shoot over him in the post, as he appears to alter pretty much everything that is in his area thanks to his length. Improving his lower body strength will help him even more, as at times he tends to give up position too deep in the post to stronger big men.
Unlike on the offensive end, he is equally effective as a small forward or power forward, and is versatile enough to switch onto pretty much any type of player in pick and roll situations, making him extremely valuable in today's NBA. Oftentimes Wake Forest's coaching staff elects to put him on the opposing team's point guard for short stretches, something he's capable of doing thanks to his terrific length and lateral quickness. Even when he gets beat off the dribble, he's often athletic enough to just recover and come up with a big block from behind.
The p-word will get you every time.
A year younger than most players in his class, Aminu still has considerable amount of upside he's yet to tap into. As it is, he's already a potentially valuable contributor thanks to his tremendous physical tools, which should make him a useful and highly versatile rebounder, defender and transition finisher at the very least. He still has plenty of room to grow on the offensive end as well, which should define exactly how successful a pro he ends up becoming.
Aminu is spanish for potential.
The Good: Aminu is all about potential. He is a superathletic combo forward who excels in transition and getting garbage points. This season he has moved to the 4 and has improved his rebounding and defense.
The Bad: In terms of skills, Aminu still lacks a lot. He isn't a great shooter, struggles as a ball handler and can look like a tweener on both ends of the floor.
The Upside: It's all about upside with Aminu. There just aren't many prospects with his combination of freakish athleticism, length (he has a 7-foot-4 wingspan) and motor. Teams are hoping that the skill set comes around and he becomes a Josh Smith-like player in the pros.
What does our resident shot doctor think of Aminu's form?
He gets good height, and keeps the ball high, but his mechanics look off, with his elbow out to the side and the ball hand not centered on the ball. Someone needs to completely deconstruct his shot and have him start over with more fundamentally sound mechanics.
Al-Farouq Aminu on Twitter
DX: Best case - Josh Smith
Worst case - Thaddeus Young
NBADraft.net - Marvin Williams
Aminu's not my favorite prospect, but he's a good value at 6. Acid (is the coolest nickname in the draft) is only 19 years old and full of potential on both ends. When he reaches said potential -- if ever -- remains to be seen, but he can come in right away, run with Andre and Jrue, rebound, and play defense. The offense might come -- and he'll turn into a stud -- or it might not, but either way he'll remain an athletic defender and rebounder. Most arguments I've seen against drafting Aminu is because the Sixers already have too many athletic "tweeners" who can't shoot. This may be true, but they should take the best prospect available, regardless of need. (He's a better prospect than Thad, in my opinion.) The Sixers have too many holes to worry about what they have and don't have. If you feel like Aminu has the most upside left, you take him.
Next up: Ed Davis