James Ennis, Forward, Long Beach State (from Portsmouth Invitational) 6’7″ 210 lbs
- Top 3 athlete here
- Very good in transition with the ball but gets locked in on the rim right away. Not a bad thing but not a structured break player.
- Good feel for the game offensively and when to attack with NBA burst to the rim.
- Better passer than I thought. Good vision hard to have great chemistry with teammates here but he’s been willing to share. Great sign.
- Push jump shot. Starts the ball very low. Good rotation with some range but low rise susceptible to slap aways and steals.
- Often shoots off his left foot when a solid rise up of two feet will give him proper balance and release. Bad habit. Makes shooting harder when it doesn’t need to be.
- NBA length (6’10 width) but needs work with footwork especially defensively.
- Loses site of the ball and his man as he tries to get in the passing lane to create steals and transition opportunities. He wants to run and dunk more than wanting to end a possession. Will get exposed immediately defensively.
Conclusion: There are a lot of very good to great athletes in this draft. Does Ennis do enough all around to deserve a selection? His passing and improved range are pluses but his lack of defensive fundamentals make me leery especially if you’re looking for an impact playoff rotation player. I’d say late second rounder for a team looking to add offensive punch and athleticism during regular season.
Brandon Paul, Guard, Illinois 6’4″ 200 lbs
- Watched him closely for 4 years and very impressed by his decision making starting with choosing to stay and develop -used to see a lot of Jamal Crawford in his game the good and the bad.
- Easy player to lose track of based on program flux but he’s really a very solid, sound combo guard that can play and defend both positions.
- Underrated toughness. Have to be a real sonofabitch to compete 4 years in the Big 10.
- Good separation with the dribble mid range. His length helps him get past smaller guards and he smartly utilizes his quickness against bigger defenders. Translates well at the NBA level.
- Improved vision. From the start he had little trouble getting his shot but he struggled pulling the right ones. His shot selection matured through the years as did his ability to get teammates involved.
- Much improved defensively. Used to be a liability now is adequate. Again can defend the 1 and the 2 in my mind at the NBA level.
- Not a pure scorer all around but unlike many highly touted guards he didn’t improve his game or attempt to at the expense of his teammates. At least he didn’t seem to in my eyes.
Conclusion: Outside rotation guard right away. Solid Euro career/development guard. Anywhere from 35-50
Kenny Hadji, Forward, Miami
6’10” 240 lbs
- Don’t have much on Hadji but an intriguing and very skilled big man.
- Unheralded player on a very strong Miami team that looks to be a perfect stretch 4 with size and strength -usually stretch 4s are long SFs that lack bulk but Hadji carries 240 very well with sound athleticism.
Conclusion: haven’t seen enough to properly gauge but it’s obvious there is potential to stretch forwards out to the perimeter. That’s a definite need for the Knicks.
Reggie Bullock, Forward, UNC
6’7″ 205 lbs
- NBA frame
- Great feel offensively. Knows where he wants to get the ball and thinks a step ahead.
- Great shooter but not a great athlete. His moxy and feel in transition make him a potential marksman in this league for some time. He will make open looks and can hide himself when the ball moves.
- Quick trigger. Can shoot 3s and guard 4s. Killer instinct with the jumper. Sort of like Chuck Person. That type of game is timeless and always translates. Strong, and fearless from range.
- Rashard Lewis-type release
- Can he guard NBA 3s in small lineups or his he strictly a PF defender?
- Outstanding off set screens and pin downs but off the dribble? Not much but that may be product of the system. He’s going to have to learn to create at the next level late in the shot clock.
Conclusion: will fit a definite need for the Knicks if they stay at 24. I have him anywhere from 20-30. Sturdy, playoff ready body and pedigree. Instant rotation player for the Knicks.