Indiana Pacers: The Best of the Pacers

By Josh Morgan: VP and Director of Content

Best Player: David West

When healthy this is an obvious choice, Paul George. We all know that PG won’t see the court in a Pacers uniform this season because of that horrific injury however and because of that David West is the best player on this team. The two time All Star during his time with the Hornets has averaged 15.9 points over his career, 14.7 during his three seasons in Indianapolis, 7.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and just under a block per game on 49.5 percent shooting. His effort is unquestionable and he is the emotional, vocal and physical leader of the team. There are plenty of rumors that West could be moved if this team isn’t competing for a playoff spot but as a unabashed fan of the Indiana Pacers I hope this does not happen.

Best Perimeter Scorer: CJ Miles

Another category that would have gone to George, Miles, who was just signed this offseason, is now the Pacers best healthy perimeter scorer. Over the past two seasons in Cleveland Miles shot 38.8 percent from beyond the three point line attempting 4.6 per game in 20 minutes, extended out over 36 minutes he attempted 8.3 per game. Shooting that kind of percentage on 8 attempts per game is incredibly efficient. Rodney Stuckey was an option here as well but with his very poor three point shooting, 28.6 percent for his career, Miles gets the nod in my opinion.

Best Big Man Scorer: Luis Scola

Scola just had his worst season as a professional, scoring just 7.6 points per game on 47 percent shooting, but despite this aberrational season Scola is still the most talented big man scorer for the Pacers. He has a variety of moves from either block, mostly up and unders, turnarounds, bank shots and other finesse moves but when guarded by a smaller player will back them down, can hit jumpers from the top of the key and either elbow and from time to time puts the ball on the floor to drive past defenders when they get up on him to take away said jumper. He is coming off an impressive World Cup performance for Argentina, averaging 19.5 points per game on 48.2 percent shooting. Hopefully for the Pacers’ sake this can carry over to the NBA season as he will likely see an increased role in the offense.

Best Offensive Player: David West

So, if West wasn’t the best big man scorer then how is he the best offensive player? Well he may not have the moves and overall offensive talent that Scola does but he just has a knack for putting the ball in the basket. I mentioned his averages above and though his shots rarely, if ever, look pretty they have a way of bouncing once or twice and dropping through the net. West also sets solid screens and has an understanding of where everyone should be on the floor, kind of like a point guard in a big man’s body. Over his career he has committed fewer than two turnovers per game, which isn’t any kind of record or anything, but in today’s NBA of rather careless basketball at times it is a nice change of pace.

Best Perimeter Defender: George Hill?

Yet again another category that would have gone to PG and in reality he is the only option to this question on the roster, healthy or not; since I can’t use him though I have to choose the only other player here that even puts in a noticeable amount of effort on the defensive end in George Hill. Hill is an offensive guard that Frank Vogel has tried to mold into a defensive player and he does show flashes of some ability on this end, staying down in a stance very well and moving his feet against opponents of a similar foot speed, sticking his hand into the passing lane for steals and even blocking a shot here and there, mostly from behind, he just cannot keep up with the faster point guards in the league, case in point being Jeff Teague. Hill had an immense amount of trouble keeping up with Teague and put the Pacers’ bigs, namely Roy Hibbert in bad positions time after time. Hill is the only choice here but I write that begrudgingly and with a question mark.

Best Big Man Defender: David West

I had a tough time making this choice between West and Roy Hibbert because when they are each at their best they are very good defenders in the paint. I chose West because of his relative versatility in this area as he is able to stretch out more than Hibbert and cover the more athletic bigs in the league for a possession or two, something that Hibbert just can’t do. In the post West has a great build to bang with anyone that decides to try and back him down and he may not have the ideal size or length to play against post up players he keeps them from getting the best position and forces them to take shots farther away from the rim than they want to.

Best Defender: Roy Hibbert

Hibbert however is the best defender on this team because his presence around the rim can change the game, just ask Carmelo Anthony about that. He has no foot speed to speak of to account for the athletic bigs and stretch fours but when he is matched up against a more traditional center he can dominate them. At 7’2 and with great length it is a tough task to get shots up over him in one on one situations and he is more than willing to make a rotation in helpside to deter a driver at the rim and either block them or force them to kick it out. For the majority of last season Hibbert was the favorite to win the Defensive Player of the Year and even despite his collapse late in the season finished second in the voting. When Hibbert has his mind right and is focused on defending, he is among the best in basketball.

Best Rebounder: David West

Over his career West has averaged 7.2 boards per game, narrowly edging out Roy Hibbert at 6.7, and though Hibbert has had better rebounding seasons per game this mostly due to his sheer size. West puts in the better effort, boxing out and showing the ability to grab misses out side of his area a time or two as well.

Best Shooter: CJ Miles

I mentioned Miles’ percentages above, 38.8 percent shooting from beyond the three point line on just over 8 attempts, but he can shoot from inside the arc as well, 46 percent for his career and at least 40 percent from everywhere on the floor inside the line. If Miles had been on this team last season the spacing would have been so much better and the offense could have looked so much better with him either spotting up for a three or mid range jumper when Lance or Paul decided to put on a dribbling exhibition and eventually get stopped.

Best Shot Blocker: Roy Hibbert

In the words of the World’s Strongest Man Mark Henry, that’s what Roy Hibbert does. He has averaged over 2 blocks per game each of the past three seasons, top five in the league per game and total each season including second in the league in total blocks in 2012-13. Hibbert can change the game in this facet and it is easily his best skill as a player.

Best Five Players: West, Hill, Hibbert, Miles, Stuckey

Phoenix Suns: Morris Twins Extension Grades

By Josh Morgan: VP and Director of Content

Contracts: Markieff; 4 years, 32 million

Marcus; 4 years, 20 million

The Suns have been one of the most active teams in the league this offseason and their signings continue with the extensions of both Morris twins. Coming off of career years and with their contracts expiring after this season, locking them up long term was a smart move by general manager Ryan McDonough and the rest of their front office when they have made some interesting decisions to say the least. Maybe they have learned their lesson from this whole Eric Bledsoe mess.

Markieff got the larger portion of the 52 million dollars allocated for the Morris’s and for good reason. While they are both efficient scorers, Markieff is better in this area even with an increase in his attempts from the previous season of nearly 200 shots, making 51.2 percent of his field goals from inside the arc and though he shot his poorest percentage from three in his career he was still over 30 percent at 31.8. These percentages were good for 13.8 points per game, up 5 points per game from 2012-13 in just 4 more minutes per game. That kind of offensive production from inside the three point line to help balance Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic on the perimeter made for one of the better scoring teams in the league last season, ranking seventh in the league at 105.2 points per game. He also improved his rebounding numbers, averaging 6 per game up from 4.8 last season to round out his best statistical season as a professional where he would finish third in the voting for Sixth Man of the Year and 10th in the voting for Most Improved Player. Locking up one of the best sixth men in the league long term now before other teams had the opportunity to get in the running is a smart business decision and the money is in line with other similar players in the league such as Taj Gibson who is better yes, but they have similar roles and production.

Grade: A

In the case of Marcus Morris this is another good move by the Suns. Among their wheeling’s and dealings this offseason they decided to let Channing Frye move on after he got a ridiculous contract from Orlando for 4 years and 32 million dollars because they could have his replacement on their roster for 3 million dollars less per season in Morris. While Frye does have a much longer track record as a stretch four type player, Morris just shot 38.1 percent from beyond the arc last season and over his career he shoots 36.7 percent, just 2 tenths of a percentage less than Frye. He is also six years younger than their former big man at just 25 years old, entering the prime of his career. It may have been difficult allowing a veteran that had been rather productive for them over his four years in Phoenix to move on but with his age and the money they would be paying him it just didn’t make sense when they had someone like Marcus waiting in the wings to take his place. It is a little bit of a gamble in the fact that he has only started 24 games during his career but I believe it is a chance worth taking. While some of their other additions and decisions have not made much sense; resigning Eric Bledsoe to go along with signing Isaiah Thomas and drafting Tyler Ennis to only muddy up their point guard situation further, these two extensions are sound basketball moves in my eyes. You could argue maybe the money in this deal is a little bit more than his market value but it’s not like they paid some exorbitant price, it is a reasonable agreement for a player with plenty of potential and room to grow.

Grade: A

New York Knicks: RESPECT Carmelo Anthony!

By Mike Elworth: Owner and Publisher/Hoopstuff…

Carmelo Anthony has stated that publically he isn’t valued enough and while many will laugh at those statements, I think that he is correct and that the public and media isn’t valuing him as he deserves. He is one of the 10 best players in the NBA, one of the few players that can carry a team on his shoulders for a season and with Kevin Durant is one of the 2 best scorers in the NBA. He makes a lot of money and he hasn’t won a title or even his conference, but neither has Chris Paul, LaMarcus Aldridge or Marc Gasol, 3 players about his age and with much better reputations. There isn’t one player in this league that can win a title on his own, but with the right players, the Knicks can win a title with Carmelo Anthony as their best player.

So why is Carmelo Anthony continuously maligned when his peers aren’t? There are reasons; the money, his celebrity wife, his big numbers and his lack of defense and leadership on his teams, but he has become much more than just an elite scorer. He is still one of the league’s best scorers, but he has become an excellent rebounder and is now a ridiculously efficient scorer for how much he shoots. He also gets his teammates the ball, blocks shots, gets steals and is one of only a few players in the league that can single handedly win his team any game. Yes he won’t become a 6 assist per game player or an excellent defender, but he has become a better player and I personally believe he has earned each dollar of the 124 million dollar contract he signed in the offseason.

Carmelo Anthony deserves more respect as an NBA player, there is no doubting that. How many players can have a 30-10 game 10 times in a season? Less than 10. How many players can score 40 points with little effort? Maybe 5. My point is Carmelo Anthony is one of the NBA’s elite players, yet he gets more flak than respect and that isn’t right. Yes, a title will help his reputation, but the same can be said for dozens of players.

It isn’t his fault the best players he has played with in NYC are Tyson Chandler (excellent), Amar’e Stoudemire (they cannot play well together), Raymond Felton (nice?), J.R. Smith (he had that 1 strong season) and Andrea Bargnani (ick). Carmelo Anthony is the least appreciated and respected elite NBA player and he is right to say so. Give them ma what he deserves people and that is to be treated and talked about as the player he is, one of the best in this league.

San Antonio Spurs: The Best Of The Spurs

By Ciaran Mills: Staff Writer/Hoopstuff…

Best Player- Tim Duncan

 He may be starting in his 18th season in the association, but Tim Duncan is still one of the best players in the league, nevermind just on his team. It says a lot about a player when a stat line of 15.1 points and 9.7 rebounds per game is considered one of their worst seasons. A 1st ballot Hall of Famer, he will be leading his team in search of his 6th ring. Of course he wouldn’t be half the player he is without his supporting teammates, notably Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.

Best PG-Perimeter Scorer- Tony Parker

 Tony Parker has played as option 1b to Duncan’s 1a for a decade, but for 2 straight seasons he has averaged the most points for the Spurs and likely will this season.

Best Big Man Scorer- Tim Duncan

 If he were on another roster, Tiago Splitter would have had an excellent shot at winning this award, but unfortunately for him he shares a locker room with Tim Duncan. The 6’11” power forward from the Virgin Islands has a career average of 19.9 points per game, shooting over 50%. He may be taking fewer shots in the more team-orientated offense the Spurs now play, but he is still as clinical as ever and one of the best offensive players in the history of this league.

Best Offensive Player/Coach- Gregg Popovich

 It’s impossible to pick a player out of what is a team effort. The Spurs are known for their slick passing and dazzling plays where each player is pivotal. The credit has to go to head coach Gregg Popovich for setting up these playbooks.

Best PG-Perimeter Defender- Kawhi Leonard

 The 2014 Finals MVP won the award partly due to his defensive efforts, keeping the regular season MVP LeBron James relatively quiet. This proves that his performance against LeBron in the 2013 Finals was not a fluke. Expect this defensive prowess to continue this year and for him to be considered one of the best in the league.

Best Big Man Defender- Tim Duncan

- This is a no brainer. He has a record 14 All-Defensive Team appearances for a reason. However, Tiago Splitter deserves an honorable mention here as well, for his vast improvements on defense. He will soon be the premier defender at the Spurs, but for now he has to play second fiddle to Duncan.

Best Defender- Tim Duncan

 The only argument you can use against this decision is that the Big Fundamental has never won the Defensive Player of the Year award, but 8 All-Defensive first team appearances, as well as the highest defensive rating of all time answers any objections.

Best Rebounder- Tim Duncan

 Without wanting to sound like a broken record, Tim Duncan is at it again. The Spurs aren’t brilliant at rebounding, since they were only 12th in the league with 43.3 per game, however Duncan is the exception to the rule, grabbing 9.7 boards in 29.2 minutes per game.

Best Shooter- Manu Ginobili

 There’s so much competition for this award between the Spurs – Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard and even Matt Bonner could all be considered, but Manu gets the nod due to his incredible consistency over the 12 years he’s been a Spur.

Best Shot-Blocker- Tim Duncan

– You guessed it. No one really comes near Tim Duncan in terms of blocks. He averaged 2.3 blocks per 36 minutes last season, with his closest competition coming from Danny Green and Austin Daye with 1.3 blocks each. He may be lacking in athleticism, but his technique allows him to be one of the best shot blockers in the league.

5 Best Spurs -Duncan – Parker – Leonard – Green – Splitter

Washington Wizards: The Best of the Wizards

By Brandon Hartman: Lead Writer at Hoopstuff…

Best Player: John Wall

-Wall has earned rave reviews since his days at Kentucky for his dynamic speed and ability to change a game in the blink of an eye, but there is no question that last season was the year a star was born in Washington. A combination of gained experience, a better supporting cast, and an improved jump shot led Wall to having his best year yet, leading his team to a birth in the second round of the Playoffs en-route to earning his first ever All Star appearance. The do-it-all point guard truly blossomed into a super star for a team and city in desperate need of one. Great things are in store for the key cog in the league’s most exciting backcourt.

Best PG-Perimeter scorer: Bradley Beal

-Real Deal Beal averaged about 17 points per game last season, much of them coming off hitting .402 from three point range, but will look to take the next step towards stardom. Playing alongside a future Hall of Famer and an All Star point guard should help the young guard in his development, and it will be interesting to see which of the three will be the team’s first option on offense.

Best Big Man Scorer: Nene Hilario

-Nene’s production is a product of his health. When healthy, as he was in the Playoffs, the Big Brazilian is a lot to handle and can bully his way inside to dominate almost any defender. When banged up, usually due to his long standing battle with Plantar Fasciitis, Nene often is a shell of his full potential, an issue that leaves many fans frustrated and scratching their heads. The Wizards did well to bring in new depth to the big men positions as well as Paul Pierce, who can play the power forward from time to time, which will help to keep Nene fresh as the season rolls on. If they can manage his minutes and keep him healthy, Nene’s offense can be a huge part of their plans. He is undoubtedly their most talented inside option.

Best Offensive Player: John Wall

-Beal is the top scoring threat and Nene gets things done in the paint, but it is Wall who runs the show. Always considered a jump shot away from being one of the most dangerous offensive players in the league, Wall found confidence in his stroke last season and started to knock down shots from distance. With a field goal percentage of .433, the speedy point guard became the all around threat that most people believed he could be, hitting shots as well as scoring from his patented reckless drive to the basket. Throw in the fact that he finished as the second best distributor in the league last season with 8.8 assists per game and finally started to find a semblance of a three point shot (hitting 108 compared to the previous year’s 12), John Wall is not only the team’s best offensive players but one of the leagues as well.

Best PG-Perimeter Defender: John Wall

-Wall has the tools to replace Trevor Ariza as the Wizard’s top defensive stopper. In the top ten in steals per game last season, he has the instincts and skill sets to be one of the most disruptive forces in the league on the defensive side of the ball.

Best Big Man Defender: Marcin Gortat

-You need size and strength to be a presence in the paint and on the glass, and the Polish Hammer has both in his repertoire. The big man has enough steel and grit to bang bodies on the inside and enough mobility to stay in front of man. His rebounding and blocks totals might not be near the top of the league, but Gortat does enough to remain a safe choice as the team’s top big man defender.

Best Defender: John Wall

-Lightning fast and boasting a 6’9” wingspan despite his 6’4” frame, Wall is undoubtedly the prototype of what a champion defender should look like. With a knack for finding the ball for a steal and a quick enough first step to stick with almost anyone in the league, John Wall is an NBA guard’s worst nightmare when they lineup across from him. His team defense will need to improve as the team looks to replace the departed Ariza, but Wall’s intangibles are a coach’s dream, as you can’t teach speed and length.

Best Rebounder: Kris Humphries

-Washington ended the season totaling nearly as many rebounds as they gave up, so it was no surprise they came into the offseason looking to find an advantage on the boards. Enter Kris “the Hump” Humphries, a 6’9” beast on the boards who has the physical tools to clean the glass on a nightly basis. In Boston last season, playing in a similar role off the bench as he will in DC, Humphries averaged around 6 rebounds per game, one more than his predecessor Trevor Booker did despite him playing more minutes. With Hump figuring to see minutes at the four and the five, a bump in his rebound totals is to be expected.

Best Shooter: Bradley Beal

-The kid is compared to Ray Allen, enough said; the 21 year old’s stroke is as pure as they come and he put it on full display last year in the Playoffs, shooting .415 from beyond the three point line. He has struggled with his decision making inside the arc at times while shooting the long two, hitting a surprisingly weak .364 from 10-16 feet out, but with another year under his belt his percentages should raise as his shot selection improves.

Best Shot Blocker: Marcin Gortat

-With a shout out to Humphries, who averaged nearly a block per game off the bench and 1.6 when playing 36 minutes, Gortat once again should be the Wizards leading blocker come season’s end. The Pole has averaged about a block and a half per game for the last three years and will play an important role as the team’s primary rim protector.

Philadelphia 76ers: The Best Of This Year’s 76ers

By Mike Elworth: Owner and Publisher/Hoopstuff…

Best Player- Michael Carter Williams

– I would like to say Joel Embiid because he will be one of the very best centers in the NBA and will make a number of All Star teams, but MCW will make All Star Games too and has played in the NBA, was just the Rookie of the Year and he is going to have a big season, mainly because Embiid won’t be playing for at least part of the season and this team is pathetic. Carter Williams is an excellent scorer, distributor, defender and rebounder and should become one of the best guards in the league.

Best Point Guard-Perimeter Scorer- Michael Carter Williams

– MCW will average 20+ points this season, mainly because of a lack of talent on this team, as he would be best as a 17-18 point per game scorer, while being an 8+ assist per game player, but MCW will average 5+ points per game more than any 1-3 on this team.

Best Big Man Scorer- Joel Embiid

– Yes Embiid may sit this season as he has a broken foot and hasn’t played 1 NBA game, but he is still the best big man scorer on this team. He was excellent in college and should be in the NBA and it isn’t like Arnett Moultrie or Nerlens Noel are going to be scoring better than 10-12 points per game.

Best Shooter- Jason Richardson

– The 76ers lack an elite 3 point talent, but Jason Richardson has played 12 NBA seasons and has an average of 37.1 percent from 3, shooting 5.1 per game and making 1.9. The man shoots a lot of 3’s and he makes a lot of 3’s and is efficient, which means that he is the best shooter on the 76ers.

Best Offensive Player- Michael Carter Williams

– MCW will average 20+ points and 6+ assists and nobody will get close to either of those numbers. In a couple of seasons Embiid could be an elite NBA big man, however this season their best offensive player is MCW.

Best Defensive Point Guard-Perimeter Scorer- Michael Carter Williams

– MCW as a rookie was 6th in the NBA in steals per game and has a nice combination of size and athleticism to be an elite defender at point guard.

Best Defensive Big Man- Nerlens Noel

– Embiid and Noel are each big time defensive talents, but Noel was almost the 1st pick in the draft because of his incredible defensive talents, giving him the win.

Best Rebounder- Joel Embiid

– Embiid and Noel haven’t played a game in the NBA, but each can average 10+ rebounds per game in the league, however Embiid was the better college rebounder and could be one of the best in the NBA.

Best Shot Blocker- Nerlens Noel

– Embiid is an excellent shot-blocker, but Noel was one of the best the NCAA has seen, averaging 4.4 per game in his 1 college season. Noel should become one of the NBA’s best shot-blockers.

Best Defender- Nerlens Noel

– With Noel’s size, athleticism and defensive talents, he should become an elite NBA defender, although MCW and Embiid can each be excellent too, as can rookie small forward K.J. McDaniels. This team has a lot of talent on defense.

Best 5 Players- Michael Carter Williams-Joel Embiid-Nerlens Noel-Jason Richardson-Tony Wroten

Boston Celtics: The Best Of The Celtics

By Mike Elworth: Owner and Publisher/Hoopstuff…

Best Player- Rajon Rondo

– There is no doubt that Rondo is the best player on the Boston Celtics, but it is difficult to see him on the Celtics at the trade deadline. He isn’t a fit with their young core and they have Marcus Smart to take the point guard spot, so a trade is likely, but here is a mention by me for Smart as their 2nd best player today. Yes, he is 20 and hasn’t played an NBA game, but he is an excellent scorer, defender, rebounder, competitor and will be the franchise player when they trade Rajon. However, with Rondo still a part of the Boston Celtics he is the man on this team.

Best Point Guard-Perimeter Scorer- Jeff Green

– This is kind of pathetic, as Jeff Green isn’t even one of the 10 best players at his position, but Green is their best perimeter scorer. He just averaged a team best 16.9 points per game and he is somewhat efficient, however if Rondo tried he could score 16+ points per game easy and if given the role and shots Smart would average similar numbers. Regardless, for now Jeff Green is their best 1-3 scorer.

Best Big Man Scorer- Jared Sullinger

– Sullinger just averaged 13.5 points per game and 17.3 points per 36 minutes in just his 2nd season and if healthy, he should play more and get more shots this season and 16-18 points per game isn’t that much to ask from him. He has to get more efficient, as he just shot a porous 42.7 percent from the field, but he should be closer to the 49.3 percent he shot as a rookie this season. He is likely to be their number 1 scorer this season and is an excellent big man scorer despite being just 6’9.

Best Offensive Player- Rajon Rondo

– As one of the league’s 2 best distributors, with 2 assist titles and with an 11.1 points per game average in his 8 NBA seasons, Rondo is easily the best offensive player on this team and one of the better offensive players in the league.

Best Point Guard-Perimeter Defender- Rajon Rondo

– Avery Bradley is an excellent, maybe elite man to man defender on guards and it is very tempting to have him here, but Rondo has made 4 All NBA Defensive Teams and each season is in the running for the most steals. Marcus Smart and Jeff Green are also each strong-excellent, but Rondo is this team’s best defender at positions 1-3.

Best Big Man Defender- Joel Anthony

– I hate writing this, but it’s Anthony. Sullinger-Olynyk-Zeller are each average at best, while Anthony is a capable defender in the paint. I won’t write more on this because it’s Joel Anthony.

Best Defender- Rajon Rondo

– Rondo has the numbers and the awards, so he wins this one too.

Best Shooter- Avery Bradley

– Who would have thought that Bradley would become their best shooter, but by just shooting 39.5 percent from 3 he has this title? Will he shoot at 40 percent again this season? It isn’t likely and rookie James Young could have this title by mid season, but Bradley has become an excellent 3 point shooter.

Best Shot-Blocker- Joel Anthony

– With 2.6 per 36 minutes in 7 NBA seasons, Anthony is easily their best shot-blocker. I apologize for having to write Joel Anthony twice.

Best 5 Players: Rondo-Smart-Sullinger-Bradley-Green

The Best Of The Chicago Bulls

Posted: September 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

The Best Of The Chicago Bulls

By Mike Elworth: Owner and Publisher/Hoopstuff…

Best Player- Joakim Noah

– With Derrick Rose injured for 2 seasons, this team has become Joakim Noah’s. He was just the 1st Team All NBA Center, is arguably the best center in the NBA and also just won the Defensive Player of the Year. He is the heart of the Bulls and their captain and although Derrick Rose is an MVP and the best player when healthy, he must prove himself.

Best PG-Perimeter Scorer- Derrick Rose

– This is no contest, as Rose has 5 season NBA averages of 20.8 points and 6.8 assists and an MVP season where he averaged 25 points and 7.7 assists per game. Rose will average 20-24 points per game this season and 6-8 assists and there likely isn’t going to be another 1-3 on the Bulls with 16 points per game, although Jimmy Butler and Doug McDermott could each average 14-15 points per game.

Best Big Man Scorer- Pau Gasol

– In 13 NBA seasons, Gasol was the 2nd best player on 2 NBA Champion Laker teams and has an NBA average of 18.3 points per game. No Bulls big man is in the same neighborhood as him. He is also still very effective as he just averaged 17.4 points on a porous Lakers team and the Bulls can expect 16-18 points per game. He is also one of the best big man distributors in the league and although he isn’t as strong as Noah, he has averaged 3.3 assists in the NBA, just averaged 3.4 per game and 1 season averaged 4.6. He will be the 2nd offensive option for the Bulls and provides them with the elite offensive big man they have lacked for 15 years.

Best Scorer- Derrick Rose

– Gasol is excellent and if we are going by the biggest offensive impact in the league it would be Gasol, but if healthy, Derrick Rose is by far the best offensive player on the Bulls.

Best PG-Perimeter Defender- Jimmy Butler

– Kirk Hinrich is a very strong defender on point guards and shooting guards, but Jimmy Butler is an elite perimeter defender, one of the best in the league and will take the role of guarding the opponent’s best 2-3.

Best Big Man Defender- Joakim Noah

– Gasol is solid, Taj Gibson is elite, but Noah was just the DPOY.

Best Defender- Joaim Noah

– He is the captain of the NBA’s best defense and is only the DPOY!

Best Rebounder- Joakim Noah

– Hey another category won by Noah. He is one of the NBA’s best rebounders too, as he just averaged 11.3 rebounds per game which was 6th in the league and 3.5 offensive rebounds which was 4th in the league. Gasol is also an excellent rebounder too, but Noah is the best.

Best Shooter- Mike Dunleavy Jr.

– Doug McDermott was an elite college shooter and he should be a 40 percent 3 point shooter in the NBA, but Dunleavy already has shot 40 percent 3 times, he just averaged 38 percent and in 12 seasons has averaged 37.3 percent.

Best Shot-Blocker- Taj Gibson

– Per 36 minutes Noah just blocked 1.5, Pau Gasol just blocked 1.5 and Gibson just blocked 1.7 and he has a 2.0 per 36 minute average in the NBA, which makes him the winner.

5 Best Bulls- Noah-Rose-Gasol-Butler-Gibson

Hoopstuff 2015 NBA Mock Draft

Posted: September 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

Hoopstuff 2015 NBA Mock Draft

By Mike Elworth and Josh Morgan

1. Philadelphia 76ers- Jahill Okafor- C- Duke

Okafor’s post game is extremely polished for a 19 year old and with his build and basketball IQ he is an elite prospect. Okafor is considered by most experts to be the best player in this draft and it seems that there are only 3 players with a chance to be selected 1st, Okafor, Emmanuel Mudiay and Karl Towns, however there are is a problem with Philadelphia having the 1st pick, point guard and center are the only two positions where they have elite talent and there is zero reason for them to draft these 3 players. Kelly Oubre is by far the best fit for the 76ers, but they aren’t going to take a 4-6 prospect 1st and if the 76ers get the 1st pick a trade is likely.

2. Milwaukee Bucks- Emmanuel Mudiay- PG- China/Congo

A true point guard with great size, athleticism and foot speed, Mudiay decided to sign in China instead of going through getting declared eligible, or more likely ineligible, at SMU. He needs to work on becoming a more consistent shooter and make some adjustments on the defensive end, but regardless of what happens in China, barring a significant injury, Mudiay has the talent to be the 1st pick. If Okafor isn’t the 1st pick, it will be Mudiay, but the Bucks won’t complain if he is there at 2 as they are one of the few teams that lack a franchise point guard, which Mudiay is.

3. Magic- Stanley Johnson- SF- Arizona

Johnson is a long, athletic wing defender with a great build and is ultra competitive. He showed improvement in his jumper during the Adidas Nationals and if he can continue to grow his offensive game he is likely 1 of the 1st 5 picks. The Magic’s core is Aaron Gordon, Victor Oladipo, Elfrid Payton and Nikola Vucevic, the first three excellent defenders and Johnson would fit their defensive 1st mentality and small forward is the one position where they could use a young elite prospect.

4. Utah Jazz- Karl Towns- C- Kentucky

Long, lean and athletic with incredible talents not normally seen in a player his size, including a very nice handle and jumper beyond the college three point line, Towns has ridiculous upside and with a good season in Lexington could easily find himself higher on the board. If Towns is there for the Jazz, they won’t hesitate to draft him, as Enes Kanter is going to be a free agent and still hasn’t found his place on this team. A Favors-Towns big man duo would be incredible.

5. Sacramento Kings- Cliff Alexander- PF- Kansas

Built more like a football player, Alexander is a physical specimen with a relentless motor on the boards. He needs to develop a consistent post game, but he catches and finishes just about everything around the rim and with some work could be a nice complement to franchise player, center DeMarcus Cousins in the frontcourt.

6. Boston Celtics- Kelly Oubre- SF- Kansas

Oubre is one of the most athletic perimeter players in the country, has a smooth outside jump shot and he will score plenty of points in Lawrence. He has to improve defensively and in the mid range, but his great potential warrants the draft position. The Celtics have excellent young talent at point guard, shooting guard and power forward and if somehow Towns is here, he would be the pick, but getting arguably the best small forward in the draft, which is a position where they lack a strong young talent would still be a coup for the Celtics.

7. Minnesota Timberwolves- Kristaps Porzingis- PF- Latvia

Even with his great height and length, Porzingis prefers to play on the perimeter due to his wiry thin frame and excellent mobility and athleticism. He desperately needs to add some muscle to be most effective in the league, but he has phenomenal potential and is still very young. The Timberwolves have Thaddeus Young for a season or 2 at power forward, but they have to find a young power forward and Porzingis is too talented to say no to at 7.

8. Phoenix Suns (From Lakers)- Wayne Selden- SG – Kansas

Selden is a very versatile player on the perimeter with adept passing ability to go with his talent to space the floor on the offensive end, while also defending the opposition’s best player. The Jayhawks’ perimeter may be very deep, but Selden has a chance to fulfill all of the potential he has this season and should be a lottery selection. The Suns have a lot of talent, but they still lack a starting talent at shooting guard and although they like to play 2 point guards, Selden could become a starter for them or an elite sixth man.

9. Detroit Pistons- Mario Hezonja- SG- Croatia

Hezonja has great size for a two guard at 6’8 and is an impressive athlete with an all around game, as he is a good passer who can see over just about anyone to find open teammates and his aggressive nature and length make him a solid rebounder too. With Kentavious Caldwell Pope and Hezonja the Pistons would have 2 excellent young perimeter players.

10. New Orleans Pelicans- Kevon Looney- SF- UCLA

Looney is a bit of a tweener position wise, but he is a tough, hard working player who can guard multiple positions and is a game changer in this facet. He needs to figure things out on the offensive end to solidify this position in the draft, but his defensive abilities are too much to overlook as a draft prospect. The Pelicans are building one very strong young team, but they lack an actual starter at small forward and Looney can become a key part of their core and his defense fits the mentality of the franchise. A Looney-Davis-Asik frontcourt would be elite defensively and make them a team that nobody would like to play.

11. Indiana Pacers- Terry Rozier- PG – Louisville

Rozier has a NBA ready build and is an explosive athlete with great quickness, easily comparable to Eric Bledsoe. He was seen as more of a combo guard coming into Louisville but a 3/1 assist to turnover ratio in nearly 20 minutes a game as a freshmen shows the potential to transition to a full time point guard. It is no secret that the Pacers have to find a franchise point guard and Rozier is a perfect fit.

12. Denver Nuggets- Rondae Hollis-Jefferson- SF- Arizona

Kenneth Faried has proven that energy and hustle are a skill and in Hollis-Jefferson the Nuggets are getting another high motor player that outworks and outplays seemingly everyone else on the floor. He may not be a polished offensive player, far from it really, but he changes the game with that aforementioned energy and relentlessness and the work ethic is there to improve his game on offense.

13. New York Knicks- Myles Turner- C- Texas

Turner has great height, bulk and length for a center, with a nice shooting touch out to the three point line and plenty of upside overall offensively. He also puts in plenty of effort on defense. He is a jack of all trades and master of none, but he has plenty of potential to warrant a lottery slot. The Knicks have traded Tyson Chandler and have to find a franchise center and if Turner is there for the Knicks, he will be playing in NYC.

14. Phoenix Suns- Bobby Portis- PF- Arkansas

Portis is a strong and physical post player with a good frame and length. He may not be a great athlete, but his aggressive nature and competitiveness make up for that on both ends. The Suns may have a lot of power forwards, but besides Markieff Morris, there isn’t a starting talent. Portis-Morris Twins-Plumee-Len would be an excellent rotation of big men.

15. Toronto Raptors- Justin Jackson- SF- UNC

Justin Jackson is a terrific all around scorer on the perimeter with a great feel for the game and is very mature and unselfish on the court. He really has to fill out his frame, but his scoring instincts look to translate well to the NBA. The Raptors still lack a strong starting 3, as they are starting a shooting guard Terrence Ross there and being able to draft a pure 3 and put Ross on the bench would make them a better team.

16. Brooklyn Nets- Justise Winslow- SF- Duke

Winslow is a big-motored perimeter player with a great build and is an overall team player, extremely competitive on the defensive end and a very good passer. The Nets should just pick the best player they can, as they have to find youth and a Justise-Mason Plumlee-Brook Lopez frontcourt would give them a nice young foundation, as Kevin Garnett, Andrei Kirilenko and Joe Johnson won’t be there in a season or 2.

17. Charlotte Hornets- Caris LeVert- SF- Michigan

A versatile two way player, Caris LeVert is considered the Wolverines’ best defender by coach Beilein and has developed physically and on the court over his two seasons at Michigan. The Hornets have a lot of young talent on this roster and should just pick the best player that fits, which is LaVert, who could become a starter if Michael Kidd Gilchrist cannot become a better offensive player.

18. Atlanta Hawks- Sam Dekker- SF- Wisconsin

The darling of the advanced statistics community, Dekker is a well rounded player on the offensive end, with a high basketball IQ, but he has to start to assert himself more. Regardless, he is an intriguing prospect due to his versatility and the Hawks have to find perimeter help and Dekker is a strong fit with this franchise.

19. Houston Rockets- Tyus Jones- PG- Duke

Jones is an excellent offensive point guard who can distribute and score equally well and is mature for his age. The Rockets have only Patrick Beverley and Isaiah Canaan at point guard and if they are able to get one of the 3 best point guards in this draft, they should draft him with a smile, as neither should be starting on a team that fancies themselves contenders in this league.

20.Washington Wizards- Montrezl Harrell- PF- Louisville

Harrell has excellent length, strength and athleticism which he takes advantage of on both ends of the floor, battling for rebounds and blocking shots while catching and finishing around the rim. He is still a work in progress offensively, but the physical tools are impressive. The Wizards have a roster that is slowly becoming a contender, but they could use a young energy big man off their bench and he could start for them when they likely lose Nene as a free agent.

21. Dallas Mavericks- Chris Walker- F- Florida

Walker developed his long, wiry frame this offseason with an impressive workout regimen to transform his body and become much more imposing in the post. If he can turn into any kind of offensive threat, that along with his impressive athleticism and build could make him a much better prospect. If properly coached he can become a starter and Rick Carlisle is one of the NBA’s best.

22. Memphis Grizzlies- Illimane Diop- C- Senegal

– Diop is a 7 foot athlete, who can rebound and block shots which is common for big man prospects, however he also a mid range game on offense, which means that he is developing a 2 way game. The Grizzlies’ franchise player is center Marc Gasol, but he and 2nd string center Kosta Koufas will be free agents in the offseason and although they will likely re-sign Gasol, they will have to find a 2nd center, making Diop an excellent fit.

23. Portland Trail Blazers- Terran Petteway- F- Nebraska

Petteway is versatile and efficient on offense and would give Portland another athletic defender on the perimeter along with the energy and toughness they are sorely lacking on their bench. The Blazers have an elite starting 5, but they have to find better depth, making Petteway a nice fit.

24. Miami Heat- Sindarius Thornwell- SG- South Carolina

With excellent scoring instincts and hyper-aggressive, Thornwell is creative with the ball too. This season could be a breakout one for him and push him into the first round due to his ability to score in a variety of ways even when his shot isn’t falling for him. The Heat have Dwayne Wade at shooting guard, but they lack bench scoring, which Thornwell can provide a lot of.

25. Golden State Warriors- Brice Johnson- PF- UNC

Athletic, agile four who is very efficient and intelligent on the offensive end. Another in a long list of players who needs to develop his frame but even despite this he can finish around the rim even with contact thanks to his jumping ability. The Warriors are very weak when it comes to their big man depth and they could be losing David Lee in free agency, so bringing in a talented offensive big man, just makes sense for this team.

26. Oklahoma City Thunder- Norman Powell- SG- UCLA

Powell is an elite athlete who has a phenomenal frame and an overall understanding of the game. Has really improved his shooting touch and has the potential to become a defensive stopper on the perimeter even despite his lack of height. The Thunder like to draft role players who fit the team and with just Jeremy Lamb and Andre Roberson at shooting guard, Powell could become a starter for the Thunder.

27. Los Angeles Clippers- Andrew Harrison- PG- Kentucky

Harrison is a big and physical guard who plays to contact, either drawing fouls or finding a way to finish around the rim. He’s not the sure-fire lottery pick that he was touted to be out of high school, but he has a ton of potential still if he can get his attitude right and with the improvement he showed down the stretch of last season there is hope that he can do just that. The Clippers’ 2nd point guard is Jordan Farmar, so they could use a big time talent like Harrison and although he has to get better as a distributor, he would be a very nice pick at 27.

28. Chicago Bulls- Willie Cauley-Stein- C- Kentucky

WCS is an excellent defensive center with good height and length, who has very good hands from his days as a receiver in high school and it shows offensively with him catching and finishing around the bucket. The Bulls signed Nazr Muhammad to be their 2nd center, but they have to find someone younger and better, as one of their 2 franchise players Joakim Noah is the starter.

29. Cleveland Cavaliers- Dakari Johnson- C- Kentucky

Dakari has elite size and strength even from a center, is a beast on the offensive boards and even with a limited offensive game he can score through contact very well due to his solid frame. The Cavaliers’ biggest weakness is big man depth and Johnson would be a nice prospect to groom to be a franchise center.

30. San Antonio Spurs- Egemen Guven- PF- Turkey

This is very high praise, but Guven is compared to Pau Gasol due to his excellent skill in the paint on offense. This is just the Spurs picking another elite foreign prospect, which is a big, big part of the winning formula of the Spurs.

31. Philadelphia 76ers- RJ Hunter- SG- Georgia State

– Hunter is a shooter and scorer and is very strong value here. The 76ers have to find offense and they would get it with the small school prospect,  who would be an excellent fit with Michael Carter Williams because of his shooting and scoring and MCW’s elite distribution abilities.

32. Milwaukee Bucks- Delon Wright- PG- Utah

– Wright is a very efficienct scorer and distributor and also an excellent rebounder who can play the 1 or 2 in the NBA because of his size. He cannot shoot though, but for Milwaukee he can give them a very productive sixth man.

33. Magic- Buddy Hield- SG- Oklahoma

– An excellent shooter and athlete who can be a big time scorer in the NBA. The Magic lack offense and he can be a big weapon for them playing off their bench.

34. Utah Jazz- Alex Poythress- SF- Kentucky

– Poythress isn’t the college player that most expected him to be, but he is a defense 1st player who took a smaller role on Kentucky, yet still was able to produce for them. He is an athletic perimeter player, an excellent defender, a capable scorer and a strong rebounder who can be an elite NBA role player. The Jazz could use a player like him, as they have enough premier talents taking shots.

35. Sacramento Kings- AJ Hammons- C- Purdue

–  AJ Hammons is an efficient scoring big man, who is a strong rebounder and an elite shot-blocker. The Kings could use a better 2nd center and he is a very nice fit.

36. Boston Celtics- Jarrell Martin- F- LSU

– An athletic and tall combo forward who has a lot of potential, Jerrell Martin would be another strong piece for the Celtics and could be a 1st round pick, so he is nice value at 36.

37. Minnesota Timberwolves- Marc Garcia- SG- Spain

– He is just 18, but he is one very talented teen. He is a shooter and scorer with elite offensive potential and playing with countryman Ricky Rubio is kind of perfect.

38. Los Angeles Lakers- Aaron Harrison- SG- Kentucky

– He is less thought of than his twin brother Andrew, but he gets who he is and that is a scorer. He was excellent in the NCAA Tournament and was arguably Kentucky’s 2nd best player and if he plays like that this season, he could be drafted in the mid 1st round. He can be a starting NBA shooting guard and he seems to have the flash to flourish in LA.

39. Detroit Pistons- Branden Dawson- SF- Michigan State

– He is ridiculously efficient, very productive and looks like an NBA role player. The Pistons could use a team 1st forward in their rotation who rebounds, defends and is so efficient on offense.

40. New Orleans Pelicans- Juwan Staten- PG- West Virginia

– Size and shooting range limits Staten’s upside, but his point guard skills and overall scoring ability, 18.6 points and 5.8 assists per game, make him an intriguing player. He could make the Pelicans’ bench even better and give them the solid 2nd point guard they lack.

41. Indiana Pacers- Jerian Grant- PG- Notre Dame

– Jerian Grant is an elite and efficient scoring guard who can become an excellent NBA sixth man. The Pacers have to find help at guard and bench scoring and Grant fits well.

42. Denver Nuggets- Marcus Paige- PG- UNC

– An athletic and efficient scoring point guard, he is a very strong fit with the Nuggets who like short scoring guards and their 2nd string point guard Nate Robinson will be a free agent in the offseason.

43. New York Knicks- Jordan Mickey- PF- LSU

– Mickey is an excellent athlete, an elite shot-blocker, a strong rebounder and a capable scorer who would give the Knicks a solid young big man that could be a Taj Gibson-like player.

44. Phoenix Suns- Treveon Graham- SG- Virginia Commonwealth

– Graham is a strong scorer and an excellent rebounder at guard who can give Phoenix more depth at the 2/3, which they lack.

45. Toronto Raptors- Ron Baker- G- Wichita St.

– Baker is an excellent shooter who also has the ability to run an offense and he can be a very strong offensive weapon to bring off the bench for the Raptors.

46. Brooklyn Nets-Frank Kaminsky- C- Wisconsin

– High basketball IQ, a very good shooter and a tough player, Kaminsky would be a nice complement to Plumlee, Lopez and the rest of the Brooklyn big men.

47. Charlotte Hornets- Yankuba Siba- C- Spain

– A very athletic and young big man who can defend, rebound and shot-block. The Hornets will lack a 2nd center as Bismack Biyombo is a free agent in the offseason and Siba has a lot of his talents and is excellent value in the 2nd round.

48. Atlanta Hawks- Rashad Vaughn- SG- UNLV

– A very young and athletic scorer, Vaughn can be a 1st round pick and is excellent value here. The Hawks have to find perimeter scoring if they would like to become a contender in the Eastern Conference.

49. Houston Rockets- Shawn Long-PF- Louisiana Lafayette

– A shooting big man that blocks shots? Very unique. Kevin McHale could use him well.

50. Washington Wizards- Kenan Sipahi- PG- Turkey

–  Sipahi is a speedy, athletic point guard with good size. Washington needs a young backup point behind John Wall and Sipahi is an intriguing prospect who has produced in Europe.

51. Dallas Mavericks- Andzejs Pasecniks- C- Latvia

Great size and very mobile, Paseniks is a project, as he is very thin at 7’1, but with his improvements in limited experience he could be a nice stash project for the Mavericks. Size cannot be taught.

52. Memphis Grizzlies- Olivier Hanlon- SG- Boston College

– A shooter and scorer, who at 6’4 could be an NBA sixth man.

53. Portland Trail Blazers- Jabari Bird- SG- California

– He is 20 and is still mostly potential, but that potential is excellent. The Blazers have to find depth and Bird would be a nice value for the Blazers, as he could become an excellent sixth man.

54. Miami Heat- Rasheed Sulaimon- G- Duke

– An elite shooter who has played as a role player for 2 seasons could play a bigger role for Duke. The Heat have to find depth, shooting and scoring and Sulaimon is a nice fit who gets how to play a role for an excellent team.

55. Golden State Warriors- Damion Jones- C- Vanderbilt

– A defensive big man who is also a capable and efficient scorer. The Warriors have to find frontcourt depth.

56. Oklahoma City Thunder- Isaiah Talyor- PG- Texas

– Taylor is a distribution 1st point guard, who has to become a more efficient scorer, but he is an NBA talent at point guard and the Thunder like to play 3 point guards.

57. Los Angeles Clippers- Marko Arapovic- C- Croatia

– He is just 18, but is a very talented offensive player and is a shooting big man. The Clippers would let him grow in Europe, but he is a nice prospect.

58. Chicago Bulls- Joseph Young- SG- Oregon

– He is short, but he is an excellent and efficient scorer who could be an NBA sixth man. The Bulls love guards that can score and Young would fit well with Derrick Rose and Tom Thibodeau.

59. Cleveland Cavaliers- Jamari Taylor- PF- Kansas

– A very efficient scorer, an excellent rebounder and a strong shot-blocker, who can give the Cavaliers more depth in the frontcourt, which is a weakness.

60. San Antonio Spurs- Kasey Hill- PG- Florida

– A classic point guard, he should have a big role with an elite college team and if he plays well, he should get drafted and is a Spurs type of role player that could help them.

Milwaukee Bucks: Why Jabari Parker Will Be The Rookie of the Year

By Mike Elworth: Owner and Publisher/Hoopstuff…

This isn’t just because I think that Jabari Parker was the best player in this draft, but Jabari Parker will be the Rookie of the Year this season and it won’t be close. The 2nd pick in an elite draft, Parker is the best offensive player from this draft and is the 1 player that is basically in each draft that is ready from day one to be the man for his team. The Bucks coveted him and he coveted playing in Milwaukee, close to his home of Chicago. He actually loved the idea of playing for the Bucks and as the very second he was drafted by the Bucks he became their franchise player, the Bucks have a franchise player that actually is content in Milwaukee, which they haven’t seen in some time.

The Bucks are in a favorable situation when it comes to Parker, but why am I certain that he is going to be the Rookie of the Year? There are multiple reasons besides him being the best player in this draft (to me), the 1st is that he is in the best situation. The second he walks into the locker room, he will be the best player on the Bucks and he will have a featured role. He is going to be the go-to scorer for the Bucks and although I dislike that he will likely start at power forward, he will be annoying opposing 4’s each game, as they have to try and guard him from the mid-range/perimeter, so him playing at the 4 could be favorable for the Bucks. With his size, when he is playing at the 3, which should be for 10-15 minutes per game, he will thrive, since he is far too big and physical for the average small forward to guard. He will also get all the shots he pleases and there is zero reason why he shouldn’t average 20 points per game, elite for a rookie and as he is an excellent rebounder, he should average 7+ per game. 20 and 7 for a rookie makes for a unanimous ROY award winner.

This is simple, no rookie will have as big of a role or as big of numbers as Jabari Parker and he will be the Rookie of the Year. Parker will be the ROY, become their best player as a rookie and become one of the league’s best players in 2-4 seasons. Milwaukee fans have a reason to cheer again and that reason is their excellent rookie.