Laker Scouting Reports

Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:00 am

Jordan Clarkson:
Position: SG
Height: 6' 5”
Weight: 186
Age: 22
Contract: N/A
Nickname: N/A
Years With Team: 0
Years With League: 0
Previous Teams: N/A
Acquired: 2014 NBA Draft (#46~trade with Washington Wizards for $1.8mil)

As a prospect, Clarkson just does not impress in any single area, and perhaps worse than that, has been absolutely misplaced by draft types who deem him to be a point guard in the NBA. He's absolutely not, with a cumulative assist rate of 0.17 in three years of college--typically, this mark needs to be above 0.2 to even lend credence to that, and Clarkson's assist to turnover rates were awful enough that I barely placed him as a shooting guard in terms of handles and vision.

So let's not mislabel Clarkson: what he really is--a self-creating scorer. Out of a 46-shooting guard draft prospect sample, only five guards had fewer shots assisted than he had last year. He's averaged over 19 points per game in college, on a comfortable 48.2% percentage across those three seasons. The past season he also re-invented his game to include more penetration--only two other players had more percent of shots at-rim and fewer percent of shots assisted. Clarkson slashed to the rim over 40% of his attempts this past season, and only 10% of his made shots there were assisted.

However, his "applied" athleticism, despite excellent conditioning (4.3% body fat) and leaping ability (38.5' vertical) is merely average; out of a 35-shooting guard draft prospect sample, he ranked only 17th. The only area where Clarkson shines, as mentioned, is creating shots; elsewhere, Clarkson struggles across the board. Despite the vertical and the propensity to attack the rim, Clarkson posts a dunk rate that is slightly below the NBA average for shooting guards, and considering he only dunked 0.8% at Tulsa two years ago, that's a poor sign. Clarkson is just awful at finishing, at 59.6%, a rate that is nothing out of the ordinary as he also shot 59% and 60% at rim his first two seasons at Tulsa; and given the at-rim frequency, he also posts a negative foul drawing rate (-0.02). Clarkson drew fouls better as a jumpshooter back at Tulsa, and given the awful finishing returns, he would play it smarter as a jumpshooter.

And that's the rub: he's also, somehow, become a poor jumpshooter, with diminishing returns with every passing season. His first year, he shot 38.1%, then a relatively OK 36.7%, and now...a pitiful 33.2%, a mark that would rank him 28th out of the 35-shooting guard sample. A huge chunk of the woes resides in his three point shooting: in three seasons, that mark has only been at 31.1%, a very poor mark for a guard, and there are also sample size concerns given that only a little over a quarter of his shots are from long range. That being said, a deeper look suggests that Clarkson is actually reasonable at pull-up jumpers, carrying a 37.4% aggregate across three seasons, and these comprise a third to two-fifths of his shots on average. In addition, he's shot an aggregate 80.3% from the free throw line in a good number of attempts overall, suggesting that there's more to him as a jumpshooter that could be fleshed out in the NBA.

To sum: offensively, the only aspect Clarkson is effective at is hitting mid-range jumpers off the dribble, and it's questionable whether he can cash in on his ability to hit free throws given his awful at-rim percentages. His passing is overrated and is at strict shooting guard levels, and not even combo guard levels; his handles barely cut shooting guard territory. His applied athleticism is strictly average despite an intriguing vertical. Largely, he's more style than substance: he can create shots and get to the rim at well, and is well conditioned, but he can't finish what he started, and that puts a significant damper on what he brings to the table on offense. Clarkson only procured the fifth best offensive efficiency for the Tigers this past season, and that's right in line with his offensive efficiency back at Tulsa. His style of play only has one strength, but he defers too often into his weaknesses to expand onto them, which takes a hit on the team's overall efficiency.

I'm also not exactly sure how Clarkson got branded as a good defender: this past season, Missouri was an abysmal 210th in defense, and Clarkson was their second worst defender. Even in Tulsa, while his teams still played questionable defense (105th, 161st), he was often their third or second worst defender. For a guard, he has an extremely low steal rate (1.17 across three seasons), which is a red flag because he neither shows the ability to gamble or play defense adequately. His rebound rate is on the poor side as well, and easily in the bottom rung of guards in defensive rebounding, and his ability to block shots by size is nondescript. There's a ton of evidence that he is a sieve defensively, in all aspects: rebounding, steal rate, team performance across three years.

Physically, Clarkson can fit in as an undersized shooting guard, but it's very questionable whether it can develop the combo guard skills on the fly in the NBA, when he didn't really display it in college (although a lot of draft types attribute that to bad coaching). While he's 6'5", his standing reach is small for a NBA SG--there are players who stand 6'2" or 6'3" who put similar reaches, such as Jeremy Lin and Monta Ellis, but those guys operate more like combo guards. If Clarkson truly isn't a combo guard, which I suspect, that narrows down the niche of players he can play with effectively, given his reach.

It seems like many scouts have made excuses about Clarkson's game in an attempt to convince themselves he's first round material: the Missouri Tigers suffered from awful coaching who underachieved with the players he was given, Clarkson shot better in the first half of the season and could revert to that form, and that Clarkson's measurables (height, vertical, conditioning) give him a chance to succeed in defense. That's all a bit wishful thinking, and hypotheticals. The simple stats just lay it out, and at age 22, he might be what he is. The only useful aspect is his ability to get to the rim and possibly draw fouls and hit pull-up mid-rangers with nondescript passing, but his general athleticism, finishing ability, handles and overall defense leave a ton to be desired. Having ranked him 64th in my final mock (outside of the top 60), I'm not convinced that he's an NBA material. He appears to be more style than substance.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby Lets Go Lakers on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:12 am

Regarding Clarkson, yeah, I saw some of his videos and he lacks sudden quickness and explosion. He's more of a head of steam kind of guy. He is pretty fluid but just lacks natural explosion/quickness, which is what you want. I see him as a shorter version of Jeremy Lamb. Lanky and fluid but not explosive.

His calling card definitely seems to be as a limited shot creator and ability to run in transition. His standing vertical of 33" is shocking, which is 2 inches better than Blake Griffin. LOL. That's why it's never a good idea to take these vertical numbers at face value. You have to look at the whole picture. I like his fluidity and ability to create his own shot at times though. And once he gets a head of steam, he is pretty darn athletic.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby Lets Go Lakers on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:28 am

Regarding Randle. If you want to break down his weaknesses, at least on paper, it has to be his below average standing reach, somewhat low release point, average wingspan and inability to shoot with his right hand. He definitely looks like Zo with his left handed, awkward release. It looks weird but it seems to be effective for both guys. But Zo has very long arms so those couple of inches do matter at the NBA level. He's going to have to develop a right handed shot in the post or he will have a lot of his shots rejected. Always coming back to his left even when the situation calls for him to go to his right won't cut it in the NBA. Most elite post players can finish with their off hand in the post. So he definitely has to work on his off hand to off set his weaknesses.

But he's got traits that might allow him to compensate for his weaknesses. First off, he's as strong as a bull. And I think people sometimes overlook the importance of strength. The ability to knock your opponent from a spot whether on offense or defense. When he gets that backside or chest into a defender, they should move, which will give him separation.

I also LOVE his lower body fluidity. He really has the fluidity of a SF. His feet are light, quick, coordinated and he moves laterally with ease. He isn't a pogo stick but he has functional athleticism, the type of athleticism that might be more important in basketball than just being able to jump high. The ability to stop and go, move laterally, etc. He's got all of that. I think people really overlook his lower body fluidity. It's bordering on special for a guy with his size and strength.

If his motor is as good as it was in college, he has the potential to be a pretty solid, on the ball defender. His quick feet and lateral movement will allow him to keep most 4s in front of him while his strength will allow him to push guys away from the rim. He will never be a rim protector but you shouldn't expect that anyways.

I really like the entire package. I think I am somewhat nitpicking his weaknesses. They are legit but still, if you look at his game from an overall perspective, he's got many more positives than negatives. I expect him to start from day 1 and have an impact on the boards and do the dirty stuff and expect his post game to slowly come together as he gains more experience. But he should be a double-double guy from day 1. I really expect that.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby Johnnyboy on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:43 am

I think developing a mid range jumpshot is crucial to randles success. People will play off him and he will get lots of offensive fouls without a jump shot. I think he will be fine. Hopefully he grows a bit too, since he's only 19.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby Lets Go Lakers on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:49 am

Johnnyboy wrote:I think developing a mid range jumpshot is crucial to randles success. People will play off him and he will get lots of offensive fouls without a jump shot. I think he will be fine. Hopefully he grows a bit too, since he's only 19.


Definitely. But I think his midrange will be fine. He shoots 70% from the line which is encouraging.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby Rooscooter on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:56 am

Johnnyboy wrote:I think developing a mid range jumpshot is crucial to randles success. People will play off him and he will get lots of offensive fouls without a jump shot. I think he will be fine. Hopefully he grows a bit too, since he's only 19.


It looks like that will be difficult initially. He's a fairly polished player for a 19 year old but he also has some bad habits that will get exploited at this level. While he has a nice post game that release point is problematic. Z-bo comparisons are there but he also had a great mid-range game to open up some of the "hip shots".

I like the pick overall from what I've seen. Seems to have a good attitude and is saying the right things.

Draft analysis are all conjecture for the first 2 years anyway. We'll all know what's going on with him when he laces them up at this level.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby therealdeal on Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:28 pm

Johnnyboy wrote:I think developing a mid range jumpshot is crucial to randles success. People will play off him and he will get lots of offensive fouls without a jump shot. I think he will be fine. Hopefully he grows a bit too, since he's only 19.

He'll have a great mid-post game in from about 16 feet. He'll show a decent mid-range jumper that will develop into a real weapon. By the end of the year he might even be shooting some corner threes.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:30 pm

Summer League:

Undrafted:

Anthony Ireland (5'10" 176 lb SG)--Undrafted out of Loyola Marymount, Ireland had one season of straight-up shooting guard gunning that likely puts him at scoring, combo guard material. However, his 7'4.5" standing reach suggests that he'll be extremely small, and that will likely deter him from getting real looks. That, in combination with poor 2-point and subpar 3-point percentages hurts. Throw-away, Europe type prospect.

DeAndre Kane (6'4" 200 lb SG)--Kane is reasonably but not exceptionally athletic--11th out of 35 shooting guard prospects--and finished at the rim well this past season, while also putting up positive rates in dunking, foul drawing and creating shots for himself. Reasonable scorer with a decent 2-point percentage (48.4%), buoyed by his ability to get to the rim and draw some fouls (45% of his shots were at the rim, a good number for a guard). He also fits the mold of the combo guard in today's NBA who can pinch point--with an assist rate just south of 0.3 and very good handles for a NBA shooting guard. Good rebounder and competent defensive rebounder. There is some ground-work for stat stuffing/triple-doubles here. He's also well conditioned (5% body fat). Now to the cons: perhaps the biggest one, Kane is already 25 years old, a huge reason why he wasn't considered draft-able; he ranked 70th in my final algorithm out of 101 prospects. Is what you see what you get? Kane also put in a somewhat subpar steal rate over four seasons of college stats, and is a very poor jumpshooter: he shot 33.0% on all jumpers this past season, a mark that would be 29th out of my 35-shooting guard sample, and career-wise, he's a 31.1% three point shooter. The fact that he's just a flat-out awful foul shooter (60.0% on large samples) spells little hope for his jumper in general. Kane has virtues as a reasonably athletic finisher who really pass, rebound and handle the rock, but he's not a freak athlete, and with a severe lack of predictive markers--age and steals--as well as what looks to be just a broken jumper, it's questionable just how much of his multi-dimensional game he can really tap into for the NBA.

LaQuinton Ross (6'8" 239 lb C)--Ross is listed as a small forward, but let's not fool ourselves: the guy puts up complete black-hole assist rates, and while he isn't turnover prone, those assist rates bring him all the way down to center levels. Can't imagine it's fun playing next to him, as he's a head-down scorer (20.6 points per game average across two seasons at OSU). Ross did shoot 50.1% on 2's throughout college, a healthy number, is in the slight positives in finishing and foul drawing, and his jumper appears decent (36.2% on threes for his career, 35.1% on all jumpers this past year, 75.4% cumulative free throw shooting). That's important, because over two-thirds of his shots the past season were jumpers, and while there's no severe weaknesses, considering his scoring game, it's questionable whether his lack of bread-and-butter offensively hurts him. But where we can put those Nick Young head down scoring comparisons to rest is on a strict athleticism scale: Ross is just woefully unathletic. He is 239 lbs and carrying 16.5% body fat, illustrating his lack of conditioning, and only carries a 31-inch vertical; pricing him among my center samples, he was 24th in hidden-athleticism out of 27 candidates, in particular having an abominable dunk rate (1.2%) for someone who stands 6'8". There are of course other problems besides zero passing, conditioning and athleticism, and the very likely positional issues that arise from those concerns: Ross carries an absolutely poor, negative-outlier type steal rate, and also doesn't bring much to the table as a rebounder. He did play for very stingy defensive teams the past two seasons, and did improve his defense from his 4th-worst defense the past year, but there have always been concerns surrounding his defense, and his lack of steals and rebounds override the team's success there. Like Nick Young, there are no assists, steals, or rebounds to his game, but even worse than Young is his complete lack of athleticism, conditioning, and at 239 lbs, possibly position. He ranked 95th out of 101 prospects in my algorithm, because there are way more questions than answers here.

Roscoe Smith (6'7" 184 lb C)--Smith has very woeful metrics offensively--he sports a 48.1% two-point percentage and a scoring rate of 11.5 per 40 minutes pace adjusted, both dreadful numbers for a center, because he's already 23 years old, there's likely very little room left for development. And yes, he's a 6'7" center--even within his low usage space, he can't pass or handle the ball. These are all huge red flag numbers. Smith rebounded extremely well the past season, especially for his size, but that appears to be an outlier given his rates the past two seasons, and he rounds out to being just an OK rebounder at best for a NBA center. The other thing--for a NBA center, Smith isn't very athletic: he ranked 21st out of 27 centers in "hidden athleticism" the past season, with the primary culprit being a very low dunk rate (5.1%), which is low even for NBA PF standards, but also a slight negative foul drawing rate. Elsewhere, Smith has a negative-outlier-y steal rate and awful block rates, not just by position, but even for his size, even if he doesn't foul much. Given his lack of athleticism coupled with a severe lack of weight, combined with the huge positional concerns, that's already enough not to make it to the NBA, especially with past finishing woes and the lack of predictive athletic markers. Instead, Smith uses his low-usage to get off mid-range jumpers: comprising nearly half his shots, he shot 38.8% on mid-range jumpers this past season, a good mark, and considering he shoots at a 68% aggregate in free throws, there is slight hope here. Smith was the third-best defender for the 46th best defensive team this past season and conditions himself well (4.7% body fat), so he might be more of a contain defender, but there's still very little worth for a 6'7" center who hits mid-range jumpers and might adequately play defense, when there are positional and broad-based athletic concerns in combination with age. He ranked as the absolute worst prospect in my algorithm (101st out of 101).

Former NBA Players:

Rodrigue Beaubois (6'2" 182 SG)--Back when teams were searching for the next Rajon Rondo circa 2009, Beaubois had it all: at 6'2", he had an absolutely gigantic 6'10" wingspan on top of a 39' inch vertical. Beyond his freakish measurements, there was the applied athleticism: prior to hitting the NBA, he had an excellent two-point percentage (a mark usually buoyed by excellent at-rim percentages), and racked up 1.9 steals and 1.05 blocks per 40 minutes pace adjusted, with the latter mark really illustrating great use of his wingspan. An overzealous defender who got into foul trouble, but there were great marks here. On offense, his game-plan was different from Rondo--Beaubois is a combo guard who really preferred to set up shop for jumpers, even though it seemed fairly average (35.9% 3's, 62.9% FTs across two seasons). Even worse than that was an absolutely pathetic foul drawing rate, for someone with that level of athleticism. Beaubois displayed the same tantalizing potential as a member of the Mavericks during his rookie year--he put up an excellent rookie PER of 18.6, showcased an ability to score inside and outside, while applying himself on defense. That shotblocking really held up. But he became unreliable, missing large chunks of games for the next three seasons while seeing his 2-point and 3-point percentages absolutely plummet. His injuries absolutely sunk his free agency chances a year ago and he's looking to bounce back. That being said, he gives the impression of a downward spiral: in twelve games in very low level competition in Belgium, he shot 35.1% from the field and 28.3% from three, with even worse assist, steal and block rates than before. He's rapidly losing steam. He still creates the impression, at age 26, that he's a sparkplug scorer with an ability to finish and hit jumpers very well, and you can't ignore those freakish tools on defense. There are enough concerns with his lack of foul drawing, injuries and how those injuries affect his inside-outside efficiency, and that downward spiral, however. But he has always been an interesting player, especially for the thievery and athleticism-at-point guard deprived Lakers. We're getting him at the lowest point of his career, but there's no risk involved here.

Others:

Jerome Jordan (7'0" 244 lb C)--A former Bucks second round draft pick, Jordan showcased an ability to score, rebound, block shots and even a semblance of free throw touch in his four years at college, but showcased a relatively low steal rate, was a non-passer for a scorer, played for a middling school and he was old-school in a league that wanted to move faster. Still, you can't deny he was a 7-footer with a 7-foot-5 wingspan. He toiled in the Adriatic League and even spent three seasons in the D-League, including a stint two seasons ago with the Lakers' farm team D-Fenders; he spent last season in the Italian League. He's developed into a robust, high teens scoring big, maintaining his general percentages and block rates, but his rebound rate has suffered somewhat. Still age 27, he'll need to firm up that rebounding, but he brings enough dimensions that with the right team, he can be of relative use, even with an old-school style.

Kevin Murphy (6'6" 185 lb PF)--Murphy is just a scorer. That's the end of his strengths. He did shoot over 40% from deep in two of his four college seasons, but didn't take as many of those as he could have, and had subpar free throw percentages. Even more than that--he developed major tunnel vision his last two years and his passing and handles are on par with NBA power forwards, his two-point percentage is poor and his steal rate is absymal. There's nothing to make up for his singular dimension. He played that gunner role well with the Idaho Stampede, and in fact shot well from 2's, 3's and from the line, but that appears to be a major aberration--he also had a stint with Strasbourg in Europe that had the same concerns exhibited in years past. Summer league fodder.

Trevor Mbakwe (6'8" 236 lb PF)--Mbakwe barely cut as a power forward, largely due to poor handles. He's had an eventful college career marred with injuries--in one three season span (roughly over a 100+ games), he only played 19, so he entered the NBA Draft last year at the age of 24 after constant red-shirting. Mbakwe's calling card is top notch rebounding, on both ends of the glass, although he's slightly better on the o-glass. Reasonable 2-pt %'s with good foul drawing rate, and fairly good shotblocking rate. Not a shooter. Iffy steal rate. Overall, an active defensive player who will rebound and a block a few shots, and draw fouls on offense, but undersized aspect, age and injury concerns might hold him back a bit. A warrior type.

Xavier Gibson (6'11" 267 lb C)--Gibson was a non-entity even at Florida State, never playing more than 18.5 minutes per game; even there, he displayed an inability to draw fouls, rebound, and later into his college career awful two-point percentages. Zero handles. He also displayed these weaknesses in a stint with the Greek League two years ago. He's likely considered an energy big, but he has little skill level and applied athleticism, and at age 25 he's easily fodder.

Drew Gordon (6'9" 239 lb C)--The older brother of almost-Laker Aaron Gordon, and one who played over a year at UCLA, Gordon's passing rates were at center levels in college, and he confirmed those rates this season splitting time between the Eurocup and the Italian Leagues. Gordon is an excellent rebounder, especially at the offensive glass but he also does well on the D-boards. Reasonably active hands, but not much of a shotblocker for his size, but trimmed down foul rate over the course of college. Relatively non-descript 2-pt percentages, free throw percentages and poor foul drawing rate, but puts up good scoring rates at nearly every stop he's been to. Rebounding and on-the-ball energy will likely be his calling card, with some scoring, but it's hard to see beyond that.
Last edited by rydjorker121 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby trodgers on Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:01 pm

Is Roscoe Smith really a 6'7, 182 pound center? :man10:
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby Battle Tested20 on Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:43 pm

trodgers wrote:Is Roscoe Smith really a 6'7, 182 pound center? :man10:

saw this too :man10:
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby Kou on Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:05 pm

Rydjorker do you have a link to your mock? Would be interesting to see.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby TIME on Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:17 pm

rydjorker121 wrote:Summer League:


Roscoe Smith (6'7" 184 lb C)--Smith has very woeful metrics offensively-- He ranked as the absolute worst prospect in my algorithm (101st out of 101).


:man10: :wow: :man10:

What's really sad, is that if we signed him right now he would be our 2nd best Center behind Sacre.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby Kou on Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:23 pm

TIME wrote:
rydjorker121 wrote:Summer League:


Roscoe Smith (6'7" 184 lb C)--Smith has very woeful metrics offensively-- He ranked as the absolute worst prospect in my algorithm (101st out of 101).


:man10: :wow: :man10:

What's really sad, is that if we signed him right now he would be our 2nd best Center behind Sacre.


Surely he is not a center at 6'7" and 184lbs :man4:
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby gcclaker on Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:27 pm

Kou wrote:
TIME wrote:
rydjorker121 wrote:Summer League:

Roscoe Smith (6'7" 184 lb C)--Smith has very woeful metrics offensively-- He ranked as the absolute worst prospect in my algorithm (101st out of 101).

:man10: :wow: :man10:

What's really sad, is that if we signed him right now he would be our 2nd best Center behind Sacre.

Surely he is not a center at 6'7" and 184lbs :man4:

Maybe he was... In Junior High.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:27 pm

See updated summer league profiles. Not as high on Beaubois as I once was--that guy's going down a free-fall in stats.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby trodgers on Wed Jul 02, 2014 6:34 am

Thanks for the updates, Ryd.

If you had to put money on your top three with a chance of making the squad, how would you rank them?
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby Lakers79 on Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:16 am

Johnnyboy wrote:I think developing a mid range jumpshot is crucial to randles success. People will play off him and he will get lots of offensive fouls without a jump shot. I think he will be fine. Hopefully he grows a bit too, since he's only 19.


He had a shot in High School, I don't think shooting will be an issue now that he's a full time basketball player. If he's allowed to play away from the rim a bit more, I think we'll see that shot come back. In order to do that though, we'll need a center who is able to move in and out of the post, aka Pau Gasol, as on offense they should compliment one another well, although defense will be another story.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:05 am

Trodgers, I like DeAndre Kane the most, followed by Jerome Jordan and Rodrigue Beaubois (assuming that Beaubois really, really rights the ship though). Sad, normally, I'd put Beaubois first on the list, but he's fallen relatively far IMO. Everyone else is varying degrees of fodder.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby abeer3 on Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:07 am

something about kane reminds me of Adrian griffin. I'd take that.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:50 pm

Jeremy Lin:
Position: PG
Height: 6' 3”
Weight: 200
Age: 25
Contract: $14,898,938 ('14-'15), but due to Gilbert Arenas provision only $8,374,646 would count against the Lakers' cap
Nickname: J-Lin
Years With Team: 0
Years With League: 3
Previous Teams: Golden State, New York, Houston
Acquired: July '14 trade with Houston Rockets (absorbed Jeremy's contract along with 2015 Houston Rockets' 1st round pick and 2nd round pick in 2015--2nd round pick via Clippers)

Lin has a very diversified offense--he takes roughly a third of his shots from three point range, mid-range and at the rim, so he's comfortable utilizing the entire length of the court. That, above anything, differentiates him from many of the lower-level point and combo guards in the league. At his best, Lin is penetrating deep to the basket for layups, drawing bushels of fouls, swishing spot-up and self-created mid-range shots, and hitting the occasional three, providing a viable source of offense. He is also playing good team defense and preventing teams from hitting money shots (layups and threes). At his worst, Lin stops short of the basket, displaying tunnel vision and missing open teammates as he flings up runners or takes tough fadeaway shots, or starts turning the ball over incessantly. He would also stop rebounding.

Lin's most unique asset is creating driving layups for himself: nearly 30% of his shots are driving layups, a rate in the fifth of all point guards, and he's also adept at utilizing reverse layups. It's also an excellent value play for him, because at 59.8%, he's well into the top third in conversion rate, and he does an excellent job of drawing fouls and finishing through contact, with a foul-drawing rate of 0.38 (a top six mark for points, and in line with what he's done career-wise). Another third of Lin's shots were from mid-range, and he's also an excellent value play here, with an above average percentage of 39.9%. Looking deeper, Lin in particular does well directly at the rim (63.2%) and from long mid-rangers (42.4%), his two hot-spots. In adapting to his hybrid guard role, Lin created his own shots at the rim roughly a third of the time, while his long mid-rangers were off a mix of assisted and self-created shots. Lin isn't great from long range, but posts somewhat respectable percentages (35.8% this year, 34.3% career) and there's definite hope given that he shoots a career 80.1% from the line on a large sample size.

The problem with Lin is not really about what he is, but what he isn't: one of the primary concerns is what position allows him to optimize his level of play while simultaneously elevating the team play. So far, the numbers paint his best position as shooting guard. If so, he lacks the next level athleticism to compensate for his lack of height: while his dunk rate (0.6%) is perfectly fine for a point guard, as a shooting guard that is a bottom quarter rate. Despite a diversified offense, Lin also lacks the next-level offensive skills: he is a face-up driver and does not utilize his sturdy frame for post-ups, having attempted zero hook shots this past year. He's also not effective in the wonky shots: his points per play on runners, pull-up jumpers and in particular fadeaway and turnaround type shots are quite poor. Lin takes nearly a fifth of his shots in the in-between zones (4-15 feet), but only shoots 33.3% on runners and an abysmal 31.9% from no-man's land.

The other issue is that Lin is not a pure point guard by any stretch: in adapting to the Rockets' depth this past season, he took on a fairly mediocre usage rate. Despite that, his assist rate was bottom third among point guards this past season, and to add insult to injury, he had the fourth worst turnover rate. He had the worst combination of turnover rate and assist rate among points, for players who played over twenty minutes per game.

As a result, Jeremy's offense was less than the sum of its parts this season--adjusted by position, real-plus minus puts him a subpar 231st in offensive effectiveness (out of 430 NBA players), which jibes with 82games' assessment that the Rockets' offense was three points worse with him on the court. Looking deeper, Jeremy played nearly two-thirds of his minutes as point guard, but really struggled to generate offense at that position. While his scoring rate was nearly four points less, his efficiency was nearly six percent worse, and even at point guard his assist rate and turnover rates were noticeably worse. Not surprisingly, Jeremy operates better as the de-facto shooting guard in a team's five-man configurations, as he is not a true point.

Overall, on offense, Lin has a very interesting set of skills, as his ability to pair his constant finishing and foul drawing ability with a good mid-range jumper and foul shooting is appealing, on top of a diversified offense with respectable three point shooting. He has an excellent scoring base coming off the highest true shooting percentage of his career, and excellent guard penetration is something that is arguably harder to find than a guard who can shoot, so there is that level of appeal to his game.

At only age 25, there's also that allure of what he did in the past, and whether he can recapture it: in Houston, he was operating under a clogged offense with alpha males who demand the ball like James Harden and Dwight Howard in Houston. He didn't fit that style, because he wasn't a spot-up type or floor spacer, and at times he operates the same at-rim real estate as those two, which was why he had a net negative offensive rating. While he certainly did not play like a point guard whatsoever the past year, there is evidence favoring that with a higher usage rate. During that 35-game stretch of Linsanity in New York, Lin carried a top-four usage rate, which resulted in a top ten assist rate. He also sported a positive offensive rating, the only time he's ever sported a positive rating here in the NBA. Granted, the sample space is smaller and he was playing uninhibited in former Laker coach Mike D'Antoni's offense, but there there appears to be a direct higher usage to higher efficiency and assist rate correlation with him. Lin needs an open floor, essentially, to tap into what was previously decent to good point guard ability. There is a possibility that he can combine a high usage scoring-passing combination, but it appears in particular a high usage is necessary for Lin to actually make a positive impact on the team's offense. At the very least, he's a very good bench scorer if he cannot hone in the passing to its prior levels. He could certainly also work on refining his ability to hit more complicated shots in the no-man's zones, as well as further improving his long ball and cutting down his turnovers.

On defense, Lin actually rates very well. After adjusting by position, Lin was 77th out of 430 NBA players by defensive RPM the past year, a very good mark; 82games also agrees with this idea, with the Rockets being nearly three points defensively with Lin on the court. nbawowy also agrees, with the Rockets being 0.01 points per possession better defensively with Lin on the court. Lin-based lineups defended layups better by nearly three percent, while defending threes better by 0.6%. These markers are not a fluke, given that Lin also played good team defense during the time of Linsanity. Lin is also an excellent shotblocker by position (7th out of 63 point guards), continuing excellent rates that were seen in college and illustrating his savvy in leveraging his height to make up for lack of length. Still, Lin's imposed-athletic markers really, really tailed off this past season, with a defensive rebound rate in the bottom fifth of all NBA point guards. Lin put up excellent rebounding numbers in college and had put up a top 15 rebound rate in New York. After years of top-notch thievery in college and in his first three years in the league, Lin was also in the bottom third in steal rate this past year, but this might normalize back to its past levels, and considering the very good defense he might have played more contain-level defense the past year.

Lin was better defending point guards than shooting guards, holding down their scoring rate by nearly five points while reducing the efficiency by nearly ten percent, and in general he allows opposing guards to score. The ideal scenario to prevent crossmatching, and optimizing Lin, would create an offense centralized around him to allow him to play point guard at a reasonable level, so he can defend point guards well while being a positive on the team's offense. Lin appears to really, really elevate his game on all facets when he has the ball in his hands, and this even extends to rebounding and stealing the ball. A Lin at past year's level would require crossmatching--a SG offensively, and a PG defensively.

Overall, Lin is a very useful player--while he's definitely overpaid at $15 million this year due to the poison pill contract the Rockets gave him, there is at least some rationale for giving him a large amount of money in the first place. He's still only age 25, and he is a two-way player who might have been suppressed somewhat in Houston's alpha-male offense the past year. His offensive skill at the point guard--ability to draw fouls at will and finish--is a unique trait, and coupled with a very good mid-range shot, an improving long ball and possible point skills with a larger usage, there is a ton to like here. He also couples that with good defensive ratings on top of a precedence for thievery, defensive rebounding and shotblocking, with good size for the point. He is also a good locker room presence, a true professional, and a marketing magnet, especially in Los Angeles where there is a sizeable Asian population. Lin has a real penchant for turnovers and can stand to improve his in-between shots, both of which are real sources of frustration, but few players even have a diversified offensive game in their arsenal, and he's taking those shots in an attempt to grow into them. At the worst, he's putting up very good scoring and defending off-the-bench value, but he might be more than that as a rock-solid starter if he rediscovers the passing ability.
Last edited by rydjorker121 on Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Sat Jul 12, 2014 6:54 pm

Lakers can obviously look to resign X and Wes Johnson to fill up the wings, but we need a rim protector out front.

Some free agents of interest (and good one to two year plays who might not attract big dollars)--my rankings (mostly focused on rim protectors and wings):

1) Al-Farouq Aminu (UFA-NOP)--As always, a fan, and I wanted him the last time he was a free agent, but NOH resigned him. This time around, I'm not srue they have that same level of investment. But he's classically underrated--an excellent rebounder, long-limbed defender who racks steals and blocks. His bane is a complete lack of a reliable shot and offensive ability, but as a youngish player he absolutely fits right into our plans. Wouldn't mind getting him as an athlete here--while Wes brings more threes into the mix, Aminu puts more oomph and gives more effort on the court as a 3/4 type swing guy.

2) Emeka Okafor (UFA--PHX)--Yeah. We're back here again. Stout defender, very strong, can patrol the paint reasonably when healthy. Good rebounder. Not an athlete and is always injured though. I do think he's sort of interesting, even though at age 32 there's a disconnect between his age and the fact that he will lose big next season.

3) Andray Blatche (UFA--BKN)--Blatche seriously lacks work ethic and might have conditioning issues on top of that, but he's a natural scorer for a 6'11" type who can score at mid-range and at the rim, with some length to rebound and block shots. He's not a natural rim protector though, but his height in combination with his athleticism could be somewhat useful here. He might be undervalued due to his baggage, and could be an interesting reclamation.

4) Jason Smith (UFA--NOP)--I put Okafor higher because I think it's more important to have some semblance of a defensive lynchpin, because face it, we're just an absolute sieve there now. Smith isn't that, despite being younger. He's had injury issues, but if he can stop taking mid-range J's and truly expand his range into consistent three point shooting, he can be a 7-footer stretch type with some length. He's very soft and won't amount to a Channing Frye for sure, but he's an interesting play to create some space for Randle and or Hill down low.

5) Darius Miller (UFA--NOP)--Stocky young swing who can pass the rock and shoot and defend to some degree. He's an interesting low level play if we're to stock up on these one-year contracts. He's a jumpshooter and not a slasher.

6) Jordan Hamilton (UFA--HOU)--Hamilton actually has the interest of a few teams, as he's a scoring machine with athleticism and a prototypical build that might translate to the defensive end if he gets focus. He's young as well, doesn't feel used, and might just need a chance. He's this low because we already have Nick Young and I think his skills kind of overlap with his, but without Young he'd be much higher on this list.

7) Ed Davis (UFA--MEM)--He's kind of redundant to Jordan Hill as an offensive-athletic type with some at-rim game and mid-range touch, as well as some rebounding, but in smaller doses than what Hill brings. Really lacks focus defensively, but young and has athletic tools.

8) Ekpe Udoh (UFA--MIL)--Udoh has been a complete disappointment--having a high center of gravity, being an awful rebounder and a just a complete inefficient/ineffective offensive player. But he has a bit of a shotblocking and defensive rep in the past and is young, and could be a flyer. I'm not confident he'll reach even half of his previous upside which is why he's this low though.

9) Greg Stiemsma (UFA--NOP)--Shotblocking defender who is somewhat overmatched strength-wise, and has absolutely zero offense despite attempts to develop a mid-range jumper. He's down this low because he's played for several quasi-contenders and I'm not sure he'd jump ship to a team like ours.

10) Evan Turner (UFA--IND)--He's an awful player on both ends who puts up numbers on the basis of sheer volume, but lacks efficiency and a go-to asset. He might get a longer deal and more $ than we could offer on the basis of the halo effect, and really, wouldn't prefer him, but he's the sort of reclamation 1 to 2-year type we might get if the market dries up for him.

11) Brandon Rush (UFA--UTA)--Awful injuries, but still south of 30, shot 48% from three in GS prior to the trade several years ago, good build, has a defensive rep, the Rush connection. We should prefer to go younger as with X, but he could be somewhat interesting.

12) Anthony Tolliver (UFA--CHA)--Undersized power forward who can space the floor and really competes on defense, and those two attributes are why he's listed. But he always feels like he's on the brink of falling out of the league despite those two somewhat useful skills. Maybe too tweener-ish, and at this stage getting a bit old for the Lakers' position.

13) Francisco Garcia (UFA--HOU)--Garcia's old, but he's a quasi 3's and D player. But being old probably means he's out of our plans, but he was interesting back in his mid-20s and still provide a facsimile of what he once did.

14) Ryan Hollins (UFA--LAC)--Way too skinny to play meaningful minutes, but very athletic and can block shots. Needs to improve rebounding and general feel for game on offense, and is already getting a bit long in the tooth for an athlete.

15) Jan Vesely (UFA--DEN)--Just a dunker. What a bust. But he's tall.

We can't use them, but the PG market is deep:

Mario Chalmers (UFA--MIA)--Not that we need anymore points, but he's still young-ish and can play a quasi threes and D role, even if he's a bit haphazard and unfocused in both areas. Immature attitude, but has very quick hands and is a good defensive presence in general, and when locked in plays the part of the spot-up three point shooter. Can be an interesting grab, if we weren't so stocked at PGs.

Rodney Stuckey (UFA--DET)--Stuckey's a below-the-rim slasher with some point skills, which is duplicative of JLin and Clarkson on our team. But he's interesting. Just confused why he isn't getting more hype out there.

Ramon Sessions (UFA--MIL)--I have a real soft spot for the guy given that he actually put up very good assist rates and even some shooting touch (48% from deep in small sample) back when we were still quasi-competent. I like his game too--he's a slasher--not a great finisher--but he draws fouls, and he's still south of 30. But Jeremy Lin is a better facsimile of him, and Sessions' lack of confidence in taking jumpers and sievish defense hurts him despite good PG size. I'm putting him here because it seems like he's forgotten in FA, largely. We also have a glut of quasi-points. Oh well.

Toney Douglas (UFA--MIA)--Low level Chalmers. 3s and D, but the D is more interesting than the 3's, as he's more of a volume gunner. Needs to discipline game.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby trodgers on Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:09 pm

Solid report on Lin. :jam2:
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby Doc Brown on Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:29 pm

Lin / Marshall / Nash
Kobe / _____ / Clarkson
____ / Young / _____
Randle / Kelly / ____
____ / Hill / Sacre

This is the roster right now.

PG - I'd drop Marshall for Chalmers (1st choice) or Sessions (2nd choice) in a second. I really fear Marshall is going to drop off and if he could be replaced by one of the above, I'd do it in a second. If we have any cap room or exemptions left to use, I'm using it here. Chalmers is a douche, but he gets the job done and he knows how to play with stars.

SG - Give me Brandon Rush as my sniper to replace Meeks and he's not undersized so that's a big plus.

SF - Give me Aminu as my defender at the 3, with Young backing him up. Bring X back as well and let him work his way back from injury. Kid showed a lot of potential last season and we need to really get his body healthy to handle a full season

PF - Ed Davis. Only 25 and I think he could be our next "bust" player that elevates his game

C - Okafor, he's really the only real center left in FA and if the neck pans out, it should be a no brainer.

Chalmers / Lin / Nash
Kobe / Rush / Clarkson
Aminu / Young / Henry
Randle / Kelly / Davis
Okafor / Hill / Sacre

Nash shouldn't be on the roster.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby lukewaltonsdad on Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:31 pm

Love the breakdown on all the remaining guys left; We need a rim protector badly, but I'd take a look at Al - Farouq Aminu. We need more defense to balance out this roster.

In totality, Re-sign Kelly, Xavier, Wes....sign Al - Farouq Aminu and Okafor.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby K76154 on Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:01 am

rydjorker121 wrote:The other issue is that Lin is not a pure point guard by any stretch: in adapting to the Rockets' depth this past season, he took on a fairly mediocre usage rate. Despite that, his assist rate was bottom third among point guards this past season, and to add insult to injury, he had the fourth worst turnover rate. He had the worst combination of turnover rate and assist rate among points, for players who played over twenty minutes per game.

As a result, Jeremy's offense was less than the sum of its parts this season--adjusted by position, real-plus minus puts him a subpar 231st in offensive effectiveness (out of 430 NBA players), which jibes with 82games' assessment that the Rockets' offense was three points worse with him on the court. Looking deeper, Jeremy played nearly two-thirds of his minutes as point guard, but really struggled to generate offense at that position. While his scoring rate was nearly four points less, his efficiency was nearly six percent worse, and even at point guard his assist rate and turnover rates were noticeably worse. Not surprisingly, Jeremy operates better as the de-facto shooting guard in a team's five-man configurations, as he is not a true point.



As a person who watched nearly every game of Lin's so far, I can tell you that Lin can certainly rediscover his passing game, because he never lost it. Lin was known for making his teammates better when he was with the Knicks. He can make one beautiful pass after another, and has very good vision. While he needs to work on this turnover rate, his passing and vision is definitely top 10 in the league among point guards.

So how come a well above average point guard became subpar on the paper in just two seasons? The reason why it doesn't show up in the number, especially in the last season, was because Lin was not only demoted to the bench, but also kicked out from McHale's offensive strategy. Even when Lin was on the court, Harden was the real point guard. In most possessions, what Lin did was just took the ball to the front court, passed to Harden and went to the corners waiting for C&S. He was not only not running the offense like other point guards do. He was simply not in the whole system. McHale's offensive strategy didn't have him. Even in practices he practiced with bench players, not starters. You can see he played like an odd man on the court. When he had the ball, all other teammates just stood still and watched. Oh, and Harden, DH and Parsons would wave their hands like crazy asking for the ball. No player can end up with good passing numbers playing in that situation, where he has a ball-hog backcourt partner playing with him, and has a coach who has a reputation of unable to use a point guard well. Even Chris Paul can't

So, the fact is, Lin was the top 10 passing point guard 2 years ago and he still is now, and is definitely above average at point guard position. Don't look at last season's number, because that's twisted and was played under extremely unfriendly and under-utilized situation.

One more thing. Anyone here know that Harden hated Lin so much that when Lin had the ball and called to run a plan, Harden would simply walk away, stand there and watch? I don't know who could run the offense effectively under that situation.
Last edited by K76154 on Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:04 am, edited 3 times in total.
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