Mr Puddles wrote:I'm curious to see how people feel about a possible future onyeka okongwu / DeAndre Ayton pairing.
On the one hand, Okongwu looks like a possible Brandon Clarke type of player - and with Ayton's improved defense they could make a devastating pairing on that end of the floor.
On the other hand, we need less spacing in our starting lineup like we Tim Donaghy to be the referee of the first game in our return to the playoffs. Okongwu would have to make major strides as a shooter in order to be able to effectively play the power forward position.
A buddy and I were talking yesterday about Okongwu. Ayton may be able to guard the 4 as well as Okongwu, which probably wouldn't be a good thing. One of them would need to learn to shoot in any case. Even then, we'd probably stagger them as much as possible.
As deep with 4's as this draft is, none of them is a perfect fit for us. Toppin's probably closest, on the theory that Ayton and Bridges might be able to make up for some of his defensive deficiencies. In terms of prototype, Paul Reed's the best fit due to his length and defense, but that shot ain't getting fixed any time soon. And then there's Precious Achiuwa, who may have the highest ceiling and could be a great fit if he figures it out, but my question is how coachable he is and how likely he is to put in the work and pay his dues in his early years.
Okongwu's better than these guys, and I'd be very excited to bring him off the bench next season, but I really struggle to see how he and Ayton would be able to share the court in the future. Same thing with Devin Booker and Devin Vassel actually. Draftin' ain't easy!
As deep with 4's as this draft is, none of them is a perfect fit for us.
I'd actually have to disagree a bit here. There are actually some very nice fits for us that would compliment Ayton in the frontcourt. But we have to be willing to identify them accordingly, And secure a draft position to draft them. Here are a few really solid prospects for our 3 and D needs.
1- Jalen Smith
Smith is quite likely the perfect fit for us honestly with his elite athleticism, ELITE RIM PROTECTION, ELITE REBOUNDING, And most impressively, His 3 pt percentage being close to 37%. ( .368)
And his free throw percentage at 75% too. Other than his low assist numbers, he's pretty much a perfect fit!
2- Tyler Bey
He's 6'7 with a 7'2 wingspan. And has spent his college career as a 3/4. He's an absolutely ELITE REBOUNDER and is also an ELITE DEFENSIVE PLAYMAKER as well, with really solid shotblocking and lockdown perimeter defense. And although on a small sample size, He's shooting over 41% from three. He'd be a perfect small ball 4, And as close as we could possibly hope for as a viable replacement option to Oubre in terms of statistical production and defensive impact.
3- Paul Reed
Paul is an ELITE SHOTBLOCKER and an ELITE REBOUNDER and an awesome overall perimeter defender with elite ability to get steals/ deflections too. But he'll absolutely have to improve upon his perimeter shooting in order to be a starting caliber 3 and D power forward. Still, He'd allow Ayton to focus solely on his offense and rebounding. Making him a really solid fit alongside of him.
4- Reggie Perry
Reggie is a really strong and athletic versatile 4, With ELITE REBOUNDING and advanced playmaking ability for his size. He's very tough in the post, and has really solid ball handling abilities for a player his size. He's got the potential to become a Bam Adebayo 2.0). He's also a solid three point shooter as well.
5- Killian Tillie
Tillie has good size at 6'10 for a power forward, he's an ELITE FLOOR SPACING BIG, and he has an ELITE BASKETBALL IQ. He's also a very solid defender, as is fairly fast and athletic too. He's basically a rich man's Saric! He'd be a great floor spacing option next to Ayton.
6- Aleksev Pokusevski
Aleksev has ELITE PLAYMAKING ability and also ELITE BALLHANDLING SKILLS and is a very solid defender with near elite shotblocking skills too. He's got ELITE PERIMETER SHOOTING ability, But is majorly underweight and needs to add a ton of strength. But he'd be a great floor spacing, defensively versatile, playmaking option for us next to Ayton honestly.
7- Precious Achiuwa
Achiuwa is a really good option for us next to Ayton, In that he's actually an ELITE PERIMETER DEFENDER AND ELITE REBOUNDER as well. He's got advanced ballhandling skills for his size, is fast, mobile, and also is improving upon his 3 or shot too.
So actually we have quite a few options available to us throughout this draft. Most of the best fits, outside of the lottery anyways, Which would further benefit us in either a trade back scenario or through purchasing an additional pick potentially. But both Jalen Smith and Pokusevski would pretty much address all of our frontcourt needs thoroughly. And at a significantly lower pricetag than what we'd bid for in free agency too.