Laker Scouting Reports

Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby karacha on Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:19 pm

^

But definitely an NBA player and not a total bust, right?

That's what I was trying to say when we signed him. He's not going to be a star. But he can play. If he can work on his shot & defense, he could be a solid bench player.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby trodgers on Mon Jan 06, 2014 5:02 pm

69 assists in his first 5 starts.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:38 am

Updated Ryan Kelly and a little of Jodie Meeks' scouting report.

I know keeping Ryan Kelly over Shawne Williams was a "seeing what you have with your young guys" type move, but I don't really like what I'm seeing with Kelly so far. Williams at least had defense and could pass the ball when he touched it. Kelly has neither. I don't think Kelly will amount to much in general.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby abeer3 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:18 am

rydjorker121 wrote:Updated Ryan Kelly and a little of Jodie Meeks' scouting report.

I know keeping Ryan Kelly over Shawne Williams was a "seeing what you have with your young guys" type move, but I don't really like what I'm seeing with Kelly so far. Williams at least had defense and could pass the ball when he touched it. Kelly has neither. I don't think Kelly will amount to much in general.


yeah, i don't see anything there, either. very slow release on the jumper makes it sort of useless, and defenders recover easily when he puts the ball on the floor. defensively, he's smart but just so slow. williams was a better player and probably will continue to be for as long as either plays.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:38 pm

Manny Harris:
Position: SG
Height: 6’5”
Weight: 185
Age: 24
Contract: 10-day contract (’13-14)
Nickname: N/A
Years With Team: 0
Years With League: 2
Previous Teams: Cleveland
Acquired: Free Agent '14

In the D-League, Harris continued his high usage slashing mentality from his college days, but became more selfish than he was in college, oftentimes looking to score for himself. His shots are always heavily weighted towards at-rim shots; for example, with the D-Fenders, he took nearly two-thirds of his shots from inside sixteen feet of the basket, and over half of them within eight feet of the rim. He's a surprisingly effective offensive rebounder, a trait seen in virtually every stop he's been in. A bit unfortunately, though, he plays a style of game (slashing) that requires length, athleticism and strength to be fully optimized in the NBA, but he has precisely none of it. He only has a wingspan two inches taller than his height, he has a super paltry dunk rate (over an 80 game span with Cleveland, he only had six dunks--for his height, that's very poor) and well prefers the layup in his drives, and he has narrow shoulders and clearly lacks strength, as he always has since his college days. He has to compensate for that via resourcefulness--he has an aggressive first step, is shifty, and generally handles the ball well (with in particular excellent handles in his D-Fenders stint) to get to the rim, and while he's severely affected by the finishing, he knows how to leverage his poor frame and sell contact to draw fouls. In effect, he's kind of like a slashing Jamal Crawford--with a very similar style of frame and athleticism--who does not have the jumper.

But beyond drawing fouls, his finishing is somewhat spotty. Harris sported a treasure trove of sub-50% 2-point shooting throughout his college career, shot only a 54% aggregate at the rim in Cleveland even despite his tendency to slash there, and while he improved his finishing to decent in his current D-League stint, he was fairly average in his last stint with Canton. The loss of passing could be key: Harris was somewhat of a combo guard in his first several years of college, but somewhere along the way completely lost the narrative, between his third year, his two years with the Cavs, and his two years in the D-League, where he's more or less put up generic assist rates for a shooting guard. This gives defenses another option where they can just play him straight up on his drives. That, and his body frame, might lead his finishing to only suffer more with the better defenses of the NBA. The reality is, his primary source of generating points is selling contact in his drives to get to the charity stripe, which he's generally money from him, as has been the case throughout his career.

Even beyond that, he has three other major weaknesses: (1) while he's hitting his mid-range jumpers this year, at 47%, it is at a really, really small sample size, and that comes with a ton of previous concerns. Harris's D-League stint with Canton in 2010-11 saw an absolutely broke mid-range jumper, and his mid-range game in Cleveland was equally broken, seeing percentages in the low 20s there, so it is absolutely correct to be a skeptic here. Harris also has major issues hitting threes with the D-Fenders (at around 25% this season), and he also struggles with very small sample sizes here, which raises the concern whether he does have reliable NBA three point range. Harris did shoot a 35% aggregate in low samples with Cleveland, and surprisingly over 40% with Canton, but his percentages in college were more or less in the low 30s; he might simply be a 30% three point shooter accounting for the low volume here, which simply is not good enough to be respected. (2) Harris is noticeably more effective taking shots from the right than he is from the left; he's adequate at right wing mid-range pull-ups and right wing threes, but his shot is really sketchy when forced to take shots from the left, something the scouting report will easily pick up on. (3) He's just not a role player type. For two years, the Cavs tried that with him, giving him generic usage rates, but he just does not have the aforementioned shooting, and even his off-the-ball shooting performances are lacking, as evidenced by his complete ineffectiveness in corner three pointers with the D-Fenders. He fought against that box but only became more turnover prone in the process to get his points. It's kind of a Ricky Davis all-or-nothing syndrome with him: he needs the usage.

So, to summarize: in the NBA, teams can easily force Harris to drive left, will go under screens daring him to shoot jumpers, and perhaps force him to move off the ball more, all things that he appears to struggle with. Even if he gets to the rim, though, he's not a sure thing: teams can play him properly because in recent years, he does not look to pass much and his track record for actually finishing is iffy. The reality is, running an offense through him just is not wise, because he's a bit smoke and mirrors as teams have picked up on his weaknesses here: nine D-Fenders players who played over ten games so far has had a higher offensive impact than he has; similarly, with the Cavs, they were 3-4 points better offensively with him off the court in both his seasons. That might be the most damning piece of evidence: his high usage game is not a winning game. Empty stats.

Defensively, Harris is a little more interesting, but still very inconsistent. Harris has been an excellent defensive rebounder for his size in virtually every stop, from college to his two seasons with the Cavs. He's just an OK defensive playmaker who did get over two steals a game, but in very heavy minutes in his two D-League stints. The overall track record for his actual defense is more mixed: he did put up a good defensive rating in his last year in college, and also recovered in man-to-man and team defense in his second year with the Cavs. At the same time, he was completely overmatched in man-to-man and team defense in his first year with the Cavs, and his most recent history has been very spotty: with the D-Fenders, he was at the lower end of the ladder team-wise, and even among D-League guards was just fairly average as a whole. His splits are really alarming: at D-Fenders home games, he's actually an excellent defender; at road games, he's flat out atrocious, suggesting he has an on and off switch here. He has some potential, but he's just very inconsistent.

The overall picture suggests what I like to call a "hot air" player: a player to gets the numbers, but just does not get it done in the bottom line, on both ends, kind of in the Ricky Davis, Jordan Crawford-ian type aspect. He's only 24, but his game-face is more or less set, and there's little deviation from what he can do. He's probably more fun to watch in person due to combination of ballhandling and penetration, but in general he just has a lot of cold zones when it comes to personal offense, even at the rim. On defense, he's just unreliable, and he's likely set in his ways of not improving the untapped potential there is here because he's just so invested on offense.

For the Lakers on a 10-day, he kind of fills Xavier Henry's role somewhat, but might bring a lot more of the iffy finishing that we saw with Xavier earlier in the season, although unlike Xavier, he hits his foul shots. Just like with the D-Fenders' past pace, D'Antoni's fast pace and green light for guards who are able to dribble the ball will help him get his numbers, no matter how artificial they are. It will be scary to watch defenses sag off of Harris-Marshall lineups, knowing both of those guys have very iffy jumpers. Defenders just won't play him honestly, and Harris will put up his share of awful shooting nights.
Last edited by rydjorker121 on Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:26 am

Updated Manny Harris and Kendall Marshall scouting reports
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby revgen on Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:06 am

While I agree with your POV of Marshall having a laissez faire attitude on defense, IMO if he actually tried to play defense he'll just end up like a PG version of Sasha. He doesn't have the athleticism or the proper instincts to be an effective team defense player even if he tried.

I'd like to see how he plays D when Farmar or Blake come back and he can afford to take chances and be more aggressive.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:35 am

Farmar and Blake played far better defense than Marshall has this season. And probably in general too--Marshall has a track record of awful defense. Farmar's defense ranges from average to subpar, but I still trust it better than Marshall's. Blake's is decent.

It's what's between the ears at this stage. One thing about Sasha you can never discount on defense (at least when he was with us) is effort. Even if it's misplaced effort. Sasha's team defense is awful, but you can tell he really cares on that end. Re-read his scouting report again for reference. For Kendall, it's early, but I don't get the sense he has much fire on the court in general. You can tell; it's something that you either have or you don't. For someone as limited athletically and in lateral quickness as he is, more fire (or resourcefulness) is needed for D. He's surprisingly OK man to man so far, but I'm really curious to see if that can hold up.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby sister golden hair on Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:51 pm

rydjorker121 wrote:Farmar and Blake played far better defense than Marshall has this season. And probably in general too--Marshall has a track record of awful defense. Farmar's defense ranges from average to subpar, but I still trust it better than Marshall's. Blake's is decent.

It's what's between the ears at this stage. One thing about Sasha you can never discount on defense (at least when he was with us) is effort. Even if it's misplaced effort. Sasha's team defense is awful, but you can tell he really cares on that end. Re-read his scouting report again for reference. For Kendall, it's early, but I don't get the sense he has much fire on the court in general. You can tell; it's something that you either have or you don't. For someone as limited athletically and in lateral quickness as he is, more fire (or resourcefulness) is needed for D. He's surprisingly OK man to man so far, but I'm really curious to see if that can hold up.


Not sure where you're going with this ...you don't get the sense that Marshall has "much fire on the court in general"? In what way? He's passing very well. Should he high-five himself after each assist? His man defense, per your observation, is "surprisingly okay." What else should he be doing ... shutting down the PG speed demons of the league?

I think Marshall has played far above what most people expected of him. At the G position, I want a guy who plays under control and keeps his cool. Firebrands are the types of guys given to burnout and inconsistent performance.

I think Marshall is a keeper. if I were him, I'd spend the summer shooting jumpers, losing 10-15 pounds of fat, work on my mid-body core, and get hands-on tutoring (from someone like the Glove) on playing smart defensive angles. I think the guy can play in this league, and I wouldn't necessarily say he's bench fodder, either. In the right system (and I don't even think MDA's system is that system), this guy is a significant contributor. Pass first PGs like him -- with elite court vision and delivery -- just don't come around every day.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:54 am

Yeah, I thought about changing it--probably a reactionary change after the Nick Young incident. He seems more low key than the Nate Robinsons, Ty Lawsons and Rondos of the world, but that's not a bad thing. I'll revise it.

As for Marshall himself--he's really impressed me. I mean, I knew he could pass, but it takes an innate knowledge of evolving defenses, inner confidence and ability to change those defenses to rack up assists, on top of just having excellent court vision and handles, and he has all of that. It really, really helps a lot that his jumper from deep is really working--we're still working with a dozen games here, but it proves that his 47% three point shooting with the 87ers wasn't a fluke. His shot is funky, but needs to be respected more. Overall, that passing is insane. He reminds me of the Pacers' Jamaal Tinsley, who had a similar offensive game frame out of college, without the weight, attitude problems, and the defense. He isn't a top of the top PG, but a very serviceable one. We can certainly use that passing. If we keep him, getting a defensive PG (preferably able to shoot as well, if Marshall can't sustain this) is a must.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:37 pm

Updated many players with incorporating nbawowy and nba.com/stats particularly for their defense.

Updated players:
Jodie Meeks
Jordan Hill
Kendall Marshall
Pau Gasol
Ryan Kelly
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby LTLakerFan on Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:59 pm

rydjorker121 wrote:Yeah, I thought about changing it--probably a reactionary change after the Nick Young incident. He seems more low key than the Nate Robinsons, Ty Lawsons and Rondos of the world, but that's not a bad thing. I'll revise it.

As for Marshall himself--he's really impressed me. I mean, I knew he could pass, but it takes an innate knowledge of evolving defenses, inner confidence and ability to change those defenses to rack up assists, on top of just having excellent court vision and handles, and he has all of that. It really, really helps a lot that his jumper from deep is really working--we're still working with a dozen games here, but it proves that his 47% three point shooting with the 87ers wasn't a fluke. His shot is funky, but needs to be respected more. Overall, that passing is insane. He reminds me of the Pacers' Jamaal Tinsley, who had a similar offensive game frame out of college, without the weight, attitude problems, and the defense. He isn't a top of the top PG, but a very serviceable one. We can certainly use that passing. If we keep him, getting a defensive PG (preferably able to shoot as well, if Marshall can't sustain this) is a must.


I was puzzled by this quote below the first time I read it and still am.

"68% of Marshall's passes are stolen, and as the Lakers are last in the league at giving up fastbreak points, he plays a key role in giving opponents easy points."

Is that a typo? Are you really saying almost 7 out of every 10 passes he throws are picked off?
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:34 pm

My bad. 68% of his turnovers are bad passes that are stolen by the other team.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby LTLakerFan on Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:40 pm

Ahh ….thanks for clarification
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby V.V.V.V.V. on Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:05 pm

Yep, that would be pretty bad. Any PG who has 68% of his passes stolen needs to retire. :man11:
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:46 pm

Kent Bazemore:
Position: SG
Height: 6’5”
Weight: 201
Age: 25
Contract: $788,872 (’13-14); $1,115,243 ('14-'15--qualifying offer)
Nickname: N/A
Years With Team: 0
Years With League: 1
Previous Teams: Golden State
Acquired: Trade involving Steve Blake and MarShon Brooks (Feb '14)

Bazemore is a very athletic and aggressive reasonable usage southpaw, in the top third of all SGs, who utilizes that usage to be a driving layup machine (6th among SGs in attempts; over 80% of those attempts are drives), with side dunks (top fifth of SGs), and with an equally insane foul drawing rate (4th). He's an excellent finisher off layups (8th). He's very decisive, changes direction well, has a good first step and really fills the lane in the open court with blazing speed (hence the nickname "Blazemore" some have given him).

There a ton of cracks: Bazemore's dribble tends to get out of control, with a turnover rate in the bottom eighth of SGs. He's also an awful foul shooter for a guard, at a shade below 60% this season and career-wise, so he doesn't completely optimize all those free throw attempts. He also doesn't finish through contact, and doesn't have much of a runner to speak of. There's no pull-up game, or mid-range game whatsoever to give defenses another look in his slashing ventures: He's in the bottom 10% of SGs in attempts here, but here's the catch: only 1 SG has hit those shots worse this season. A side quibble is that Bazemore, an active offensive rebounder in college, doesn't contest these at the NBA level, and his steadily decreasing rates have fell well into the bottom fifth of all SGs. Still, his innate ability to finish and draw fouls off his constant penetration is a major gift few players have, but improving on his turnover, free throw conversion, and runner/mid-range pull-up issues could really help to optimize them more. Thankfully, for him, those are issues that are correctable. He has the base ingredients, now he just needs to work around the edges.

Bazemore combines his zest for attacking with a love of three pointers--over two-fifths of his shots are threes, and to boot, over a quarter of them are off the dribble. The lefty is shooting a sizzling 42% of them this season and has been extremely reliable, but with a career three point percentage of 33%, subpar percentages in college, no mid-range game and a poor foul shot, it's still a bit of a gray area despite the massive improvement. The improvement is to be commended, especially since he makes them off the dribble as well, but there are times where it looks like he breaks offense for off-the-dribble shots. His ability to play the point has been wildly overstated by both the Lakers and Golden State prior: he's more or less average as a passer this season and career-wise, and has more selfish streaks than even the typical SG.

On defense, Bazemore is a bundle of activity in making plays. He puts his 7-foot wingspan and general athleticism to great use, ranking within the top fifth of SGs in steal rate, continuing a trend of excellent thievery seen since college, and giving a Lakers team some well-needed ability to force turnovers. In addition, he's a very good shotblocker, in the top quarter with the Lakers by position. He's also sharply cut down his fouls--while still on the slightly foul prone end, he's moving towards average on this end, a major sign of development especially with the newfangled minutes. Bazemore's newfound offensive breakout with the Lakers has had a toll on his defensive rebounding: once in the upper 20% of shooting guards, his numbers are now more or less average, continuing a trend of Lakers not pulling their weight in this category. Bazemore's defensive rep has not exactly translated to the pros: he makes a bunch of plays, but the actual substance was not there in Golden State, and even with the Lakers, the team has been about three points worse defensively with him on the court at this juncture. He has all the tools to be a stopper, but with the added offensive arsenal he seems less invested in this area.

Bazemore has the offensive game-frame that's a dream for the modern stats-based NBA: he attacks the rim with power, manufactures free throws, and currently makes threes, which makes him far more appealing than someone who primarily plays in-between those zones. The weaknesses surrounding his slashes are all correctable, which gave him further potential and kind of offset the questions on whether his long range shot can hold up a high level. But if it can, combined with his activity defensively and past defensive rep, that gives him a world of potential. Despite being 25, he seems to be a late bloomer only starting to scratch the surface. He's improved mightily on a lot of areas, showing a great work ethic, even within a small sample space: reduced his fouls, really improved his long range shot, and finished and scored at a rate far better than he has ever done in college. And he has all the intangibles to make it happen: he is an excellent teammate who routinely cheers from the sidelines in the ways that former Lakers Mark Madsen, Ronny Turiaf and current Laker Robert Sacre do, and he has a fun-loving personality. He gets teammate vote-of-approval stamps from anonymous executive sources. His combination of work ethic, intangibles and two-way potential should make him an NBA mainstay for a long time.

Spoiler:
What Bazemore largely brings is defense: he had high defensive rating scores consistently throughout college, and having the best among his team in all three years at Old Dominion. He wreaks havoc in the passing lanes, a major asset for a Laker team that's just bereft of this ability: on a per 40 minute pace adjusted level, he routinely made over three defensive plays a game, an excellent mark for a guard, and something that's not only helped by his intensity, but also his spider arms (a 6'5" guard with a near 7-foot wingspan). Bazemore does a very good job of clearing the defensive glass as well, especially for his position. About the only quibble here is that he could reign in his fouls a bit. Otherwise, he brings the triple whammy on defense: clears the glass, makes the plays, and most of all, defends very well. That's very intriguing.

It's hard to tell due to the fact that he's mostly playing garbage time, but not much has translated so far. In two seasons, Bazemore has put up horrible man-defense numbers on top of extremely high foul rates, and also rebounding and making fewer defensive plays than one would expect given his college pedigree. His team defense appears furthest longer, on the behest of good numbers there his rookie year. Given his college pedigree, those numbers will likely normalize and these numbers could be attributed to finding his bearings, but his high foul rate could be something to monitor.

On offense, Bazemore's personal offense is an all-around mess, from two's, three's and free throws. He shot an aggregate 48.92% on two-pointers in college, an very poor mark, and in particular there's a very tight correlation between his usage and shooting efficiency: as his usage rate kept going up, his two-point efficiency kept going down. His senior year in college saw him shoot an awful 45.3% on twos as he established himself as the clear leader on Old Dominion's offense. For a guard, though, he does a very good job grabbing offensive rebounds, but in the NBA he's been far less vested in this area. Bazemore also shot an aggregate 32.8% on college threes, also a poor mark, but even more than that, did it on a limited sample space. Finally, Bazemore's 55.8% free throw aggregate is just flat-out awful for a guard, corroborating his poor shooting ability.

Not surprisingly, in the NBA, his shot is extremely broken: he's currently shooting 29.9%--on all jumpers, and 27.3% on threes. Those are numbers that make Josh Smith look like a sharpshooter. And the problem? Someone told him to shoot jumpers--77% of his shots are jumpers, and it's killing his percentages. At this stage his long mid-range J's, on a percentage basis, are further along than his deep shots, for improvement, but the free throw problems might give that shot little upside for improvement. With all those jumpers, his dunk rate is only 28th among SGs, and might be masquerading some athleticism. While his finishing is just OK (28th among SGs) as it also was in college, it's also improving the fastest, and it would be wise to shift his shot selection over.

There's also a correlation between usage and passing: Bazemore passed the rock like a combo guard in his first three seasons in college, but as the usage went, he became more of a traditional shooting guard. Still, the constant is that he's always been turnover prone: under a lower usage rate, he'd force passes to avoid shooting, but with a higher one, he'd force the issue and expose his lack of handles. In the NBA, no one's going to run offense through him with his huge personal offensive deficiencies, but he has to beware not to overpass just to avoid shooting.

By every account, Bazemore is an excellent teammate who routinely cheers from the sidelines in the ways that former Lakers Mark Madsen, Ronny Turiaf and current Laker Robert Sacre do, and he has a fun-loving personality. He gets teammate vote-of-approval stamps from anonymous executive sources. But he just doesn't want to be known for that, and his early signs in the NBA are troubling: he's distributed his offense into unsurprisingly brick-heavy jumpers, and he's not holding mustard on defense. In D-League games, he followed up a very promising D-League stint last year with rebounds, steals, and even threes--with a 2-game stint this year that saw piles of bricks and regression elsewhere. There's a sense he doesn't know how to play offense in particular, playing outside of his limitations in his attempt to expand into them. The reality is, he offers zero floor spacing, and needs to re-jigger is shot selection into mid-range in shots in an attempt to Tony Allen-ize the process as he invests far more on defense. However, under D'Antoni, a professed three point shot lover, the shot distribution change might not happen. He needs to work on his game and less on his cheerleading antics to stick.
Last edited by rydjorker121 on Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:14 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby trodgers on Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:54 pm

I wasn't even sure you'd do these, but I was hoping you would. Thanks, Ryd. BTW - that's what GSW fans were saying when he left. No one saw him as a player; they saw him as a cheerleader.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby karacha on Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:06 pm

From what I know about Bazemore -- he's a very nice guy, with good athleticism and an elite defensive potential who has absolutely no offensive skills, or perhaps he has no offensive IQ/awareness. I think our young guys are going to like him, but... in this offesne, I don't see any spots for him. On some teams, maybe he could be a defensive doberman off the bench in limited minutes... yeah, but we're not that type of team and I don't think we will be any time soon.

Maybe I'm wrong. But I was high on Marshall right away, and he did turn out to be pretty solid (I think I can generally evaluate guards pretty well because I used to be one). I'm not so convinced about Bazemore, but what the hell -- I'm always for giving people a chance. Besides, we're tanking anyway and trying to see who stays and who leaves after the season. What could possibly go wrong here, right? :man1:

I wish him luck, that's for sure.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:08 pm

MarShon Brooks:
Position: SG
Height: 6’5”
Weight: 195
Age: 25
Contract: $1,210,080 (’13-14)
Nickname: N/A
Years With Team: 0
Years With League: 2
Previous Teams: New Jersey, Boston, Golden State
Acquired: Trade involving Steve Blake and MarShon Brooks (Feb '14)

MarShon's a scorer who has carved out a moderate-usage space to get points, and is a good ballhandler who can get off his shot anytime. He has a great knack for scoring in areas mid-range in--he attacks the basket more frequently than the typical shooting guard. In recent years he has shelved off some of his mid-range attempts for more attacks, and he's a good finisher, with a decent dunk rate (20th among SGs). The only quibble here is that he doesn't really draw fouls, a continuation of his inability to do so since his Providence days, and the offensive rebounding he displayed in college isn't quite there at the NBA level.

On top of the finishing, he has a great knack for wonky shots--the runner, and the "lost art" 10-15 foot jumper. These are shots that one normally doesn't take or make, unless you have a great feel for scoring. He takes runners over twice as much as the typical shooting guard, with excellent percentages there (43.7% and 45.5%) and similarly takes and makes a few more "lost art" J's than other SGs. It's quite possible that shorter mid-range J's are easier for him than longer mid-range J's, as the longer's percentages dropped significantly after his rookie year. But, considering he's hit them before and with free throw percentages in the mid-70s, he should be able to improve on that shot. Overall, that in-between game is very robust, (38.2% aggregate, and 38.4% his rookie year). He's excellent at creating these runners and mid-rangers--only 22.7% of them, for his career, have been assisted.

With hotspots in finishing, shooting runners, and all sorts of mid-range pull ups while limiting turnovers, one would think a player of his caliber would be a ballhog, but think again; while he had non-passing numbers through college, he's vastly improved in this area and has become respectable for a NBA guard. The only quibble is with the long range shot--MarShon hasn't really bothered with threes at the NBA level, and on top of that, his three pointer has never been much to snuff (30.3% careerwise), as seen with a career 33.3% college three point percentage. With the aforementioned free throw percentages, there isn't great upside to improve on this shot, especially he's far more comfortable scoring off the dribble than in standstill.

Defensively, MarShon is better at core defense than he is doing the little things, but even that core defense is still a work in progress. More importantly, it feels like a waste he's not doing those little things, because he has a top 20 NBA athlete's body--the guy has a 7'1" wingspan and 38" inch vertical. First, he's just OK from a defensive playmaking standpoint, which has translated to somewhat poor metrics in his first two seasons in the NBA. For someone with that wingspan, he's very underwhelming in making plays, and similarly very underwhelming as a defensive rebounder. On actual defense, he's mixed--the Providence teams he resided in were absolutely awful on that end, of which he was middle in the pack among his teammates. He improved in his second year on team defense, especially once New Jersey slotted him to defend shooting guards full time permanently, which he is significantly better at defending (particularly with contesting shots) than he is with small forwards. His team defense is mixed as well, but at least, there's some potential with the "steak" defense at shooting guard, even though the "sizzle" (rebounding, defensive playmaking) is very underwhelming.

MarShon has a lot of wonkiness to his game offensively that's been compared to the likes of Jamal Crawford and current Lakers Kobe Bryant and Nick Young. He's extremely polished at core scoring traits like finishing, hitting runners and lost/regular art mid-range jumpers, and can get that shot off due to his good ballhandling ability. For someone with that pedigree, he's not selfish at all either and will have some passing games. He's a very smooth offensive player who in his best nights will hit mid-range jumpers, swish wonky runners, finish at the rim, rack a few side assists and defend shooting guards ably. That's a ton of selling points right there. Perhaps the concern is that MarShon lacks brownie point type play on both ends, which is why he's working on his fourth!!! team while still on his rookie contract. As mentioned, while he attacks, he doesn't draw fouls well, and he doesn't add value with the three pointer, and on defense you'd expect someone of his profile to rebound and deflect the ball more. That being said, it's amazing how someone so polished mid-range in with a top twenty NBA athlete body is left languishing like that--Jamal Crawford has a poor NBA body and has done a ton with a similar gameframe. It might not even be that necessary to add the three pointer to his game given his value in the other areas. We'll see if MarShon's expiring contract desperation and D'Antoni's free flowing offense can tap into some of his better strengths, because he certainly has talent.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:52 pm

Julius Randle:
Position: PF
Height: 6' 9”
Weight: 248
Age: 19
Contract: N/A
Nickname: N/A
Years With Team: 0
Years With League: 0
Previous Teams: N/A
Acquired: 2014 NBA Draft (#7)

Randle's a bit of a polarizing player with several negative-outlier weaknesses that have been somewhat predictive of NBA potential, but he also has several synergistic strengths, and much more athleticism than one would assume given those outlier weaknesses.

First: Randle's just an awesome, elite rebounder. I have 484 college players in my database starting from the 2004 draft: Randle ranks 11th among those 484 in rebound rate, and he's only 19 years old. Randle's active on both ends of the glass, with slightly better work on the defensive glass (8th among NCAA PFs the past season) compared to the offensive glass (12th). Even non-rebounding wise, he's also much more athletic than given credit for: I've created a "hidden athleticism" which accounts for four factors which go beyond the box score: percent of shots assisted, dunk rate, foul drawing rate relative to at-rim attempts, and at-rim attempts. In all four of these metrics, Randle rates above average by position; in fact, out of a sample size of 24 power forward draft prospects, he ranked an impressive fifth.

The southpaw finds a lot of success offensively due to this athleticism: he's first among those 24 PFs in creating shots, with only 30.9% of his shots assisted, and specifically at the rim, only two power forward draft prospects have fewer shots assisted. Besides creating shots, Randle also excels at drawing fouls: Randle could not completely occupy the paint due to the presence of teammate Willie Cauley-Stein, so "only" 46% of his shots came directly at the rim. Given that, he has a net gain of nearly 0.3 free throw attempts per foul, 2nd among the PF sample. Randle also converted a very good 70% of his attempts at the rim, made even more impressive given how rarely his at-rim shots were assisted. As mentioned, his success at the rim is due off self-creation through post-ups using his sturdy frame but also through excellent offensive rebounding.

Randle did dunk below the power forward sample set average (9.9% compared to 12.9% for PFs), but that is still over two percent above the dunk average for NBA power forwards, suggesting that his in-game dunk rate should be reasonable. To sum up, Randle's ability to finish and draw fouls via self-creation or offensive rebounding is impressive, and in terms of in-game dunking he should still be decent at that. He also has a certain "take-no-prisoners" sort of competitive streak, personality-wise, which could enhance his ability here. Overall, he's an absolute beast in the low block, and for someone who carries that much weight, a 35.5 inch vertical is quite impressive.

There is a bit of concern about the level of at-rim scoring translation, even in spite of Randle's latent skills, subliminal athleticism, and competitive streak. It is because standing-reach wise, Randle's 8'9.5" reach is on the small side as far as PFs are concerned; there are several players who stand 6'7" who put up the same standing reach. With many NBA power forwards who have a reach within 8'11" or past 9", he might struggle to score against length.

Defensively, as mentioned, Randle is absolutely elite in clearing the defensive glass. He also does an excellent job of avoiding fouls. For what it's worth, Randle also had the second best defensive rating for Kentucky this past season, although Kentucky's defensive rating was only 81st in the country, worse than it had been in recent seasons. And that gets to the crux of Randle's problem: incredibly low steal and block rates for a big. Randle only got 0.6 steals and 1 block per 40 minutes pace adjusted, both numbers that are huge negative outliers, and with his team not being much of a defensive outfit, that puts his lack of fouling in a negative light. Considering the high predictive value of these metrics in NBA success, it puts quite a bit of damper on Randle's ability to succeed defensively, since these are typically awareness metrics. As mentioned, his lack of standing reach, just as it might work against him on offense, might work even worse against him on defense, when combined with the severe lack of those awareness metrics. Randle did mention that he wasn't coached to play defense until college, but given what he's presented, and his frame, there appears to be a great learning curve to become average, even accounting for his competitive streak.

The second issue is the jumper: Randle took over half of his shots as primarily off-the-dribble jumpers (only 20.9% of his mid-rangers were assisted), and across all jumpers, he shot a woeful 33.0% (which would rank 21st in the 24-PF sample space). There is hope though: he shot 70.6% on a large number of free throw attempts, suggesting his jumper would improve; secondly, he won't be forced to take off the dribble jumpers as much in the NBA, so taking more spot-up ones should improve his percentages. Given this information, his extremely low 51.6% two-point percentage is a bit of a facade; he's an excellent finisher and bricks an equal amount of jumpers that brings down that percentage, but that percentage has good hope to improve.

Possibly the biggest issue is with Randle's foot, and there is speculation he would need further surgery on it which could sideline him for six months, or all the way to the start of training camp. Randle had surgery on that foot 18 months ago, and there are mixed messages on how he should proceed. It is something to monitor, especially since footwork will likely be a critical part of his game.

Overall, Randle is a low-post bully who can finish, draw fouls, offensive rebound and create shots for himself en masse, and the southpaw also appears to have a jumper that should develop at a reasonable rate, which could make him a good inside-outside threat. He also clears the defensive glass extremely well. There are issues with his small stature which might hamper his production on both ends of the court, especially defensively where his lack of team and awareness metrics are especially, especially concerning. But at 19, and given a great competitive-streak like personality, he might find a medium between that and be able to put his inside-outside offense and rebounding to the forefront without severely hampering the team on defense. The injury concerns are something to look at, but it's considered a "common basketball" injury. The Lakers' interior scoring and rebounding, two major weaknesses the past season, should be shored up significantly in one fell swoop here.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby Battle Tested20 on Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:12 am

Great breakdown!

At 19 years old and already showing better shooting ability and range in Lakers workouts I'm not too worried. Heck I Blake Griffin has a questioned outside shot and people say he is improved a lot in that category. Whether you believe that or not it doesn't matter, the point I am making is Blake Griffin is 25 years old and Julius Randle hasn't even turned 20 yet.

I think he'll become a good, maybe great outside mid range shooter in his career. He sure has the work ethic, motor to make it happen. And with the like of Kobe pushing him in these last couple of years I am sure will only do wonders for him and his psyche.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby KareemTheGreat33 on Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:04 am

I love him before he was drafted...I absolutely adore him now as a Laker. Great breakdown as usual
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby JSM on Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:16 am

Great report, as expected. One of the primary things I like about Randle is that competitive streak, that edge he has. You cannot teach that, you either have it or you don't. And if you have it; you're more often than not going to be a competitor, possess a strong work ethic and hunger to improve, and a willingness to do whatever it takes. These are my favorite type of players in the game. They're easy to root for, quickly become fan favorites, and immediately get the approval of the Mamba.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby Magic Skywalker on Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:39 am

Awesome scouting. Thanks, rydjorker121
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby therealdeal on Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:15 am

JSM wrote:Great report, as expected. One of the primary things I like about Randle is that competitive streak, that edge he has. You cannot teach that, you either have it or you don't. And if you have it; you're more often than not going to be a competitor, possess a strong work ethic and hunger to improve, and a willingness to do whatever it takes. These are my favorite type of players in the game. They're easy to root for, quickly become fan favorites, and immediately get the approval of the Mamba.

This. After listening to his interview after his workout here, I knew this kid had it. He's confident. He knows what he's doing and he puts the work into his game.

Kobe is going to love this guy and he's going to turn him into something really special.
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