|Connelly’s Top Ten: RIP Cecil the Lion||David Krejci: The Most Interesting Man on the Bruins||Pedro Martinez Number Retired, Fenway Celebrates||(David) Price is Wrong for Red Sox|
Markieff is a strong explosive power forward, who stands at 6’10”, 235 lbs. He is very athletic and has a polished offensive game, something he did not have when he first came to Kansas. Another area where Morris has vastly improved is in his mid range jumper. This season, Morris connected on 42 percent of his three point attempts and 58.9 percent from the floor overall. His post game still needs work however. In college, he got by on talent and athleticism, but he will need to develop a few low post moves in order to get touches in the NBA.
On the defensive end, Morris has the ability to contribute. He will never be a game changer on that side of the ball, but he will give you 8-10 rebounds a game. Morris will not be a superstar, but he will be a quality player in the NBA. What separates him and Marcus and is the fact that Marcus is a bit more versatile. Markieff is more of a catch and shoot big man, whereas Marcus can put the ball on the floor.
NBA Comparison: Al Harrington
Thompson’s skill set is limited at this point. His athleticism will not wow you, his jump shot is a non-factor and his free-throw shooting is terrible at 48 percent. It is not all bad though for Thompson. He finishes around the rim nicely, draws contact and crashes the glass. On the defensive end he is not a game-changer, but will grab rebounds and stay in front of his man. With a bit of coaching he could become a guy who makes a consistent impact on the defensive end.
Thompson is very raw, but with this draft class being so weak, he will go in the top 20. If he can develop a jump shot and a couple of post moves, he could become a serviceable player in the NBA. Until that happens however, he will just be a role player.
NBA Comparison: DaJuan Blair
Harris is a dangerous player because at his size he can post a player up or put the ball on the floor. He is also a above average passer who can grab a rebound and bring the ball up. The biggest knock on Harris’ offensive game is his jump shot. He shot 30 precent from three and only 28 percent on jumpers. Another problem Harris has is that he struggles against bigger defenders. He lacks a go-to move in the post and is not explosive, which is the main reason he struggles in the post.
The fact that Harris is 6’8 and can play both positions will really benefit him. The problem is at this point he is not ready to guard faster forwards and is not strong enough to bang with bigger defenders. If Harris can develop a low-post game, he could turn out to be a solid player. Right now though, he is two or three years away from being a factor in the NBA.
NBA Comparison: Carl Landry
The biggest thing Thompson has going for him is the fact that he can flat out score. He shot 46.6 percent from two and 39.8 percent from three. His offensive game is versatile. He can also score off screens, off the dribble and runners. His size allows him to get into the lane despite not having great burst.
The biggest questions scouts have is his ability to score over bigger, more athletic defenders. The fact that he does not have a right hand could also become a problem. Defensively he is slow-footed; if he has to guard a faster player he stands no chance. Thompson will largely be a role player in the NBA. The fact that he can score and has size will help him land with a team. If he gets drafted to the right team, he could become a solid role player. With Thompson, it all comes down to what system he ends up in.
NBA Comparison: Reggie Williams
Reggie Jackson, really came out of left field this year. Going into the season, Jackson was not on anyone’s radar, and now he is going to be drafted in the first round.
At 6’3″, Jackson can play either point guard or shooting guard. This past season, his scoring jumped from 12.9 points to 18.2 points. He also became a much better three-point shooter this year, improving from 29 percent to 42 percent. Jackson is very athletic and can play in either a half-court offense or a up-and-down offense. He is an unselfish guard who has no problem giving the ball up to the open man.
Jackson has made huge improvements in all facets of his game. He has a great wingspan and good quickness to play at the next level. He finishes well in traffic and runs a offense nicely. The biggest question I have is, is Jackson a one year wonder? Playing in Steve Donahue’s system certainly benefited Jackson. If he can continue to develop and improve his jump shot and distribute the ball, then he could be the steal of the draft.
NBA Comparison: Devin Harris