payitforward wrote:doclinkin wrote:On Nathan Knight. I spent a bit of time watching game-by-game highlights of Wm&Mry, watching for him not only in his own highlights but in others on both teams (does he defend, is he setting screens, etc). It's the offseason in the COVID era, what are you gonna do.
He's smart, he's groundbound for sure and takes short steps up and down the court which keeps him balanced and in control but limits his speed. At times he is floating around watching the action. Mentally active more than physically instinctive in some cases. But really a solid player, and in big games like against Oklahoma he raised his game and came up with some remarkably skillful plays. Ball handling while doubled, long ranged shooting while tightly guarded, etc.
As for fitness. He is not a high energy hustler. Battling for loose balls etc. He boxes out but does not try to rebound outside his area. Just plays fundamentally sound positional defense on that end, with heads up play when the action comes his way. He's not out of shape, but I get the feeling with big time training staff he could develop. It's the area of greatest potential improvement in his game from what I can see. If he gets stronger he can assert his skills better. He's by no means an above the rim player, and is not an anthropometric marvel in other dimensions (standing reach, wingspan, huge hands, etc). But he's a damn good player. Already Strong. Solid. With a frame that can take more muscle.
Otherwise he thinks the game. Rises to the occasion. Doesn't try to do too much. He won't dominate his matchup in the NBA but any coach would be confident to call his number when he glances to his bench.
Good for you for giving this kid such close attention, doc.
I believe I read somewhere that he's got a 7'2" reach -- quite good for a 6'10" kid. You use the word "skillful" about him; I did see that as well &, concomitantly, quite a high BBIQ. Worth noting that this kid is all of 6 weeks younger than Thomas Bryant, so you expect him to understand the game.
I'll try to look at that Oklahoma game.
Nathan Knight in that class of 4-year prospects, occasionally 3-year players, especially those from non-elite schools, that I see as seriously under-valued. Fred Van Vleet is the current poster child. These guys usually play significant minutes as Freshmen, then a whole lot of minutes the other 3 years. I don't usually pay much attention to their Freshman numbers, but to interest me they have to play well as Sophomores & also improve in each of their Junior & Senior years.
Because of the cap, the lottery, & other factors, it is extremely difficult for a team to improve vis a vis its competitors unless its FO is just plain smarter than theirs about this category of players. I don't just mean at the bottom of the draft or among undrafted players. In fact, Steph Curry is another poster child for this class of prospects, even though he was the #7 pick in the draft: the 6 guys who went before him -- Blake Griffin, Hasheem Thabeet, James Harden, Tyreke Evans, Ricky Rubio & Jonny Flynn -- include only 1 player who became a real star plus 2 very very good players. But, it also includes 2 outright busts & Evans who was extremely disappointing for a #4 pick.
Like Steph, Draymond is another of those underrated guys. Now imagine the Warriors over the last decade without those 2 guys, & it becomes painfully clear what I mean about having to be smarter than other teams about this particular category of player.
Obviously, I'm not comparing Nathan Knight to Draymond or Steph! But, if you can consistently add players who are worth more than what it costs you to acquire them, that will power your improvement very significantly.
(In our case, if you want, just think about Thomas Bryant, Isaac Bonga, Davis Bertans, Garrison Mathews, & Moritz Wagner -- 3 good players, one potentially good player, & one guy who doesn't seem to good -- all of whom came to us effectively at no cost.
End of screed... sorry if boring.
On Mays, I read he has a 6'7 wingspan - can't imagine at 6'4 that he has a 7'2 reach. He's on the small side for a 2 - considering he's probably fully grown at 23. But at a fully mature 23, he'll probably be able to contribute earlier than a lot of 1st rounders. Good sleeper pick. I always get his name mixed up with Desmond Bane's, for some reason. I like Bane better from that group, but Mays is certainly one to consider.