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DNHQ Draft Tourney. G.G. Jackson (4) vs Bilal Coulibaly (13)
Very young American shot creator vs very young French shot creator
Our Draft Tournament
Yes, we are still having our FOURTH annual DNHQ Draft Tournament, where Dub Nation gets to vote on whom the Warriors should draft via head to head showdowns.
The draft will happen on Jun 22 2023, 5pm.
If the Warriors end up trading the pick, I’ll end the draft tournament early.
Draft and Stash
One of the attractions of Coulibaly in today’s round is that GSW could do a “draft and stash” where he continues to play pro in France, developing for another year. This kind of maneuver risks your pick never coming to the NBA, but might be attractive for Win Now teams who want to bet on a youngster but not use up the roster spot.
If the player is already under contract to, or signs a contract with a non-NBA team, the drafting team retains the player's draft rights for one year after the player's obligation to the non-NBA team ends. Essentially, the clock stops as long as the player plays pro ball outside the NBA. Players are not included in team salary during the regular season while the player is under contract with a non-NBA team.
Gregory “G.G.” Jackson | 6-9 forward | 18 years old | South Carolina
The Scout: One of the more difficult evaluations in this class. Along with Whitehead, his range is as wide as any player’s. Some evaluators are really intrigued with Jackson’s shot creation. Starting the past season at just 17 years old, Jackson showcased some really intriguing tricks in his bag, using his advanced handle. He is a legitimate midrange weapon, and his jumper looks translatable long term. But his overall production was a really rough, and his tape this season was not that of a first-round pick’s. He struggled immensely on defense and was among the worst passers and decision-makers in college hoops this season (averaging just 0.8 assists versus 2.7 turnovers with a ton of difficult, contested shots that acted in a similar effect to the turnovers). There are also some real questions about his maturity: His on-court body language was poor, and he publicly questioned his coaching staff on Instagram Live earlier this season. Jackson is clearly talented, though, and the context of his season is incredibly important to keep in mind with just how young he was.
Nimble Marcus Morris
Youngest player in the class and previously the top-ranked prospect in the 2023 high school class. Despite his youth, he already has a strong frame and the functional athleticism suited to handle the physicality of the NBA.
Hard worker on offense who cuts, screens, and crashes the boards. He seals off defenders for post-ups, fighting for low positioning, and he’ll sprint up the floor on the break, too. If he’s not rewarded with the ball, he won’t stop hustling.
Good spot-up shooter, though he’s making only 34.5 percent of spot-up 3s this season. Although he’s currently an inefficient shooter off the dribble, he sure looks the part with fluid crossovers that allow him to create tons of space. He comfortably gets into his shot, and with a soft touch near the basket on layups, he could someday become a reliable shooter.
Ambidextrous finisher who can convert contested shots from awkward angles. If his handle and decisive nature are factored in, he could end up an excellent slasher. At the least, he’s a constant threat to go coast-to-coast after ripping down boards.
He capitalizes on his physical tools by giving his all on defense. He battles through screens, calls out rotations, and boxes out. As long as his technique catches up, he should become a plus defender.
His game needs buffing. Shot selection is an issue, and he often forces wild layups. But it’s not all his fault since South Carolina’s offense lacks the type of stabilizing point guard he should have in the NBA, and there is a lack of spacing. So it’s often on him to take tough shots.
Lacks accuracy as a passer. If he’s running a pick-and-roll, sometimes his bounce pass to the roller will be too far ahead of them. Or his kickouts lack accuracy. He sees the pass, but he’s not always on target.
His free throw percentage has never been all that good dating to high school, which raises concerns about his shooting upside.
He has size but lacks the length or beef of a player who can moonlight as a small-ball center, making him more of a big wing.
Sometimes it matters to not just look at the individual on-off numbers for a prospect, but how they perform when certain teammates are on or off the court. If we head down to South Carolina to examine controversial freshman GG Jackson, there is a lineup partner who seemed to hinder Jackson’s impact quite a bit. 6’11” big man Josh Gray, who started the final 12 games of the season for the Gamecocks, and Jackson seemed to have poor chemistry together.
Gray is a complete non-entity on offense outside of the lane. He didn’t make a single jump shot this year, is a career 41% free throw shooter, and literally 100% of his makes this year were in the restricted area. It’s easy to conceptualize why a big man like that would have a negative impact on a 6’9” isolation scorer. But the numbers are pretty damning, perhaps in a way that aids Jackson’s draft stock ever so slightly.
When Gray and Jackson were on the court together, GG only took 21% of his field goal attempts at the rim, shooting 54% when there.
With Gray sitting, those numbers took a giant spike. Jackson got a healthy 30% of his FGA at the rim, and converted on 62% of them.
Those numbers matter. Jackson isn’t guaranteed to play with a stretch-5 in the NBA, but Gray’s minutes are certainly a potential indicator that Jackson with a more mobile big man (or at least a guy who doesn’t park himself at the hoop) could be just what he needs.
Bilal Coulibaly, 18, 6-6 SG/SF, Metropolitans 92
Coulibaly has long been known in scouting circles as one of the best European prospects in his age group. While he hadn’t played much with the senior team of Metropolitans 92 early in the season, he continued to improve and got his shot later on. As it relates to exposure, he had the luxury of NBA scouting departments being in town to watch Victor Wembanyama but also getting a glance at Coulibaly as well in these contests. With two-way potential and fantastic wing size, it makes sense why he’s a future NBA talent.
On the offensive end, he’s flashed the upside of being a guy who can lead team in scoring. He’s a smooth wing who is able to self-create, get to the rim and finish through contact at a good rate. It’s still early in his development and Coulibaly has very little high-level experience, but the flashes certainly make him a player worth tracking down for future drafts.
His natural feel for the game is impressive, especially at his age. He's also a very good athlete that uses his length and pop well.
On the flip side, he’s also showcased some impressive defensive tools that should translate to the NBA game. He's got a long way to go from a physical standpoint, but he should naturally get bigger and stronger as the years go on.
After being great in the U21 league, Coulibaly made the most of his senior team reps which has catapulted him into first-round conversations. It’s unclear whether he will end up staying in the draft pool to take the leap in the 2023 NBA Draft or wait another year, but there’s no question Coulibaly has the talent.
17. There’s a good chance Wembanyama won’t be the only player from the French league taken in the first round. His teammate, Coulibaly, came on late in the year, joining the main club after spending half a season destroying the French “Espoirs” junior league. U.S.-based scouts were upset when Coulibaly hardly played during the team’s two-game tour of Las Vegas in October, but his late-season playing time has made up for lost time.
Coulibaly still struggles with feel and shooting; he’s definitely a work in progress. However, he’s hit 60 percent on 2s in the French league since his call-up with a high free-throw rate, he’s rebounded over 10 percent of missed shots and has shown obvious NBA-caliber athleticism, especially in transition.
His mid-2004 birthdate also puts time on the side of the team drafting him, perhaps even to keep him in France another year. He’s not exactly crushing the league right now, but he’s made enough eye-opening impact plays to believe in him at the NBA level as a wing energy guy at the very least — and possibly as much more a few years down the road.
An evaluation of French wing Bilal Coulibaly from the viewpoint of a former NBA scout.
After evaluating 2023 NBA Draft prospect Bilal Coulibaly of France, Jason Filippi shared his evaluation and scouting report with Draft Digest Pro.
Team: Levallois-Boulogne Metropolitans (France) | Position: Guard/Forward | Class: International
Height: 6-6 | Weight: 230
Potential NBA Roles: Defender, Slasher, 3-and-D
Comparisons: Keldon Johnson
Draft Projection: late first – early second round
Length and athleticism and long arms
Defensive versatility – plays bigger than size
Athletic finisher at the rim
Open court skills
Needs to get stronger physically
May lack NBA three-point shooting range – slow release on shot
Needs to tighten his handle – he can be careless with the ball
Can he create his own shot at the NBA level?
Can he develop a better pull-up game?
Bilal Coulibaly is the one international prospect who has increased his draft stock the most this past season. He has not been the best player on any of his teams in the past. Still, everything started to come together last summer when he had a breakout performance at European U18 Championships. Coulibaly is a late bloomer, and I think he still has plenty of upside. He improved a lot throughout the season. He is much more confident and assertive after looking to defer to others so much in the past. Additionally, he seems to look to score much more now.
After tearing it up at the junior level early in the season, Coulibaly suddenly started to get regular minutes with the pro team in the second half of the season and made the most of the opportunity. And being a teammate of Victor Wembanyama obviously helped him gain extra exposure.
Coulibaly also appears to have grown another inch this season and has a long frame, possessing an impressive 7-foot-2 wingspan. Coulibaly's frame has begun to fill out as well. He is an excellent quick-twitch athlete and explosive leaper.
His offensive game is still a work in progress, but he has significantly improved this season. In general, he is more of a slasher than a shooter. At the pro level, Coulibaly has not shown much off the dribble. Still, he was an effective 1-on-1 player at the junior level, and there is no reason this should not translate to the pro level. He is a good slasher who likes to drive baseline. He elevates well and can make contested shots. He also showed the ability to post up smaller guards at the youth level but not as much at the pro level thus far.
Coulibaly moves well without the ball and is an athletic finisher at the rim off cuts to the basket. He has a knack for being in the right place at the right time and is a good system player. He is an opportunistic scorer and gets many points in the game's flow. He is an outstanding open-court player who is hard to stop in transition and can go the length of the court to score. Coulibaly is a team player. He's very unselfish and defers too much to others at times. He is willing to make an extra pass and feeds the post well. He can drive and dump the ball off to big men cutting to the basket.
He definitely needs to improve his perimeter shooting. At the junior level, he would often pass up on open three-point shots and try to drive to the basket instead. His three-point shooting is erratic, and he may need time to adapt to the deeper NBA three-point line. He is primarily a spot-up shooter from long-range and has a pretty slow release. He needs to develop a better pull-up game. Despite barely shooting 30% from three-point range at the junior level, he has shot the ball much better at the pro level, shooting 50% on limited volume from three. Coulibaly has shown that he has the potential to become a reliable long-range shooter and has displayed confidence shooting the corner three.
Routinely crashing the offensive glass, Coulibaly swoops in to snatch the ball away from opposing big men to score on putbacks. I have seen him throw down some impressive tip-in dunks too.
Coulibaly possesses good defensive abilities that should translate well to the pro level. He is a versatile defender who can help pressure the ball out on the perimeter, switch, and hold position against larger players. He deflects a lot of passes and can be pretty disruptive. He contests shots aggressively and is a good shot blocker for a wing player, and he seems to have a high motor in general.
Bilal Coulibaly is still raw, but he is a late bloomer with considerable margins for improvement. He needs to get stronger and work on his perimeter shot. Still, I like his potential, and I think he perfectly fits the mold of the prototypical 3&D wing player for the NBA level.
Fast-rising prospect who is luring in teams with his defense and intriguing offensive flashes.
O.G. Anunoby, Torrey Craig
Superb measurements, a long wingspan, and a wide frame give him elite defensive upside. But he also brings grit and a consistent approach, actively contesting hard on closeouts, jumping passing lanes, and flying in to help in the paint as a shot blocker.
Even at his young age, he’s got the strength to compete at the pro level as a defender who switches across positions.
Explosive at-rim finisher who takes long strides to the basket and needs little space to elevate for loud dunks.
He’s best as a straight-line driver and displays skill using an occasional change-of-pace move or Euro steps.
Plays within himself by keeping the ball moving and looking for cutting opportunities. A creative NBA offense could take advantage of his athleticism by using him as a screener to get him going to the basket.
Improved 3-point shooter off the catch (35.1 percent) and a solid free throw shooter (76.6 percent), both way up from his first season with the Mets 92.
Raw ball handler who often attacks the paint without a plan, leading to charges or sloppy passes. Early in his career, his team will ask him to stick to simple plays.
Unproven shooter who’s experienced streaky stretches. He has relatively stiff mechanics as he loads the ball up, so he’ll need to prove that it can translate.
Defenses don’t have to worry about him taking jumpers off the dribble, as he lacks fluidity and quickness going from his dribble into his shot.
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