Kawhi Leonard wants out of San Antonio and the Sixers are one of the few teams with the cap space and trade assets to make a run at him. Meanwhile, David Griffin thinks Philadelphia is looking to move up into the top 5 of the draft. Draft night is just 5 days away and things are getting hot and heavy in the sports league that never sleeps. For now, let’s keep plugging away with our Community Big Board. Last time, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was selected #12, beating a crowded field where Kevin Knox, Collin Sexton, and Zhaire Smith all also received a substantial amount of votes.
For a detailed look at Gilgeous-Alexander’s game, I highly recommend you check out Jackson Frank’s recent prospect breakdown of the Kentucky freshman. Although he comes from the Calipari NBA pipeline, SGA isn’t the typical Wildcat prospect. Gilgeous-Alexander was a four-star recruit on a Wildcats squad loaded with blue-chip talent, who didn’t even start consistently until January, but simply forced his way into an established consensus as the best player on the Kentucky team. You have to love a story where hard work and determination trump paper credentials.
A guy Gilgeous-Alexander is often compared to is Shaun Livingston, as they’re both long point guards who play the game at a slightly different rhythm than everyone. His athleticism doesn’t blow you away (and he didn’t perform agility tests at the combine), but the former Wildcat’s unpredictable style enables him to get where he wants to go on the court offensively. The 19-year-old attacks the basket aggressively, getting to the free throw line consistently as a result, and he displays good playmaking chops with the ball in his hands.
While his shooting numbers were strong (40.4% from three and 81.7% from the foul line) in his freshman season, many people question how Gilgeous-Alexander’s shot will translate in the NBA. Simply put, his shooting mechanics are out of whack, featuring a push shot of sorts coming off a low release. For Sixers fans who have dealt with Markelle Fultz having shooting amnesia and Ben Simmons possibly trying to develop his jumper with the wrong hand, drafting yet another guard with weird shot issues might be a bridge too far. Other teams with more shooting in the backcourt might be more inclined to try and correct that area of Gilgeous-Alexander’s game in light of everything else he brings to the table.
Defensively, Gilgeous-Alexander has the tools to shine. He stands 6’6” with a 6’11.5” wingspan, and has shown good lateral movement to stay with his man when he’s keyed in on that end. SGA averaged 1.6 steals per game and was a fiend in terms of deflections and getting into passing lanes. Like many young players, his focus could occasionally wander on the defensive end, but he’s a beautiful piece of raw clay for a defensive-minded coach to mold within a modern, switching scheme.
The vote for lucky #13 is next. Aaron Holiday and Kevin Huerter have been added to the list.
Who would you select at #13?
This poll is closed
Troy Brown Jr.
Liberty Ballers Community Big Board:
- Luka Dončić - PG/SG, Real Madrid
- DeAndre Ayton - C, Arizona
- Jaren Jackson Jr. - PF/C, Michigan State
- Marvin Bagley III - PF, Duke
- Michael Porter Jr. - F, Missouri
- Mo Bamba - C, Texas
- Trae Young - PG, Oklahoma
- Mikal Bridges, SF, Villanova
- Wendell Carter Jr., PF/C, Duke
- Miles Bridges, F, Michigan State
- Lonnie Walker, SG, Miami
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, G, Kentucky
- To be determined