Dub Nation HQ Draft Tourney Semifinals: #7 Moses Moody vs #3 James Bouknight
Long 3-and-D wing vs dynamic scorer
The whole tournament is at 2021 Dub Nation HQ Draft Tournament.
Your mission is to decide which of these two you would prefer the Warriors draft at #7 this year. I’ll bring the scouting reports, you bring the vote.
And if you don’t want either one at #7? Yeah yeah I get it. You can still help us choose between them or just let the rest of us pick.
How The Candidates Got Here
Dub Nation Speaks
Doc (3 ♡):
Bouknight. Here's the deal - I see a potential All-Star in Bouknight. Watch those videos of him at UConn - you'll see two, three, four defenders around him. That type of gravity is Steph-ish. Can he pass? Who knows?!? He wasn't asked to pass at UConn. He was asked to get buckets because no one else could. He's fluid the way great players are fluid. The shot looks good and the FT% back up the potential for a good 3P % in the NBA. He can attack the rim and finish (unlike Moody, who missed open dunks in his highly produced pro-day video). What separates Bouknight from score-only 6th men is his on-ball defense. Think Jordan Clarkson who can defend. That's a great floor. And if he learns to pass? Look out.
Does Bouknight overlap with Poole? Sure. As a Michigan grad, I love Poole. I'd be sad to see Poole take a backseat. Warriors may feel they've invested in Poole too much to draft someone who overlaps. But come on, you can't let that sentiment sway you. Remember when we said LaMelo would be a bad "fit" for the W's, and now many of us (including me) regret it? Pick the guy with the highest potential for All-Star status at 7. By picking Bouknight at 7, it will have a cascade effect, and plenty of "fit" guys will likely be available at 14, including one or two of: Wagner, Mitchell, Moody, Williams, Giddey or Duarte. Giddey is a fun idea. Not a serious idea at 7 though. No defense.
Duby Dub Dubs (6 ♡):
> I see a potential All-Star in Bouknight
For me, this is what it's all coming down to. Just gimme that top end consideration.
Seems to me that next season's success will be like 80% Steph, Klay and Dray. If we can get McCaw a ring, we can carry all sorts of non-impact players. It helps me deal with the emotions of it all if I look further ahead for these picks, rather than how much they help right away
belilaugh (7 ♡):
As for the reasoning, it's entirely because of this picture of Moody from his mom
Goofus (3 ♡):
🚨VOTE CHANGE ALERT🚨
I’ve listened to all the arguments and went back and watched more film and Moody is jumping out at me more. The Mussellman PnR tweet Beli shared is interesting. Also, this footage of his pro day with Klutch has me believing more in his size and athleticism; he looks bigger now and he was looking really bouncy.
Even if the team acquires no one else, a 2nd string of Poole, Lee, Moody, JTA and Wiseman is pretty solid, has some developing youngsters, a lot of BBIQ and shooting.
A future with Poole-Moody-Wiggins-Wiseman-Looney-Chriss-#14 would seem pretty bright and not worth throwing away for whatever upgrade Wiggins to someone like Beale, Siakam or Simmons gets you.
Nate P (3 ♡):
When I first saw this article title, I thought, "Damn ... I see Eric is choosing violence on a Saturday morning!"
These were definitely two of my favorites from the first round and, as a Michigan guy, I think I have a stronger opinion about Wagner than anyone else. Ultimately though, I think that this exercise was clarifying: my choice between these two is definitely Moody.
The thing about Wagner that doesn't come out well in quick highlight films is that he seems to disappear from/struggle to impose his will on games for long stretches of time. Of course, watching the game with fan googles on rather than through the lens of an analyst might make some of his defensive contributions easy to overlook... but it's just hard to easily project him into the NBA game given that lingering feeling. It seems like anyone else who has watched him also picks up on this ("lack of assertiveness" seems to be a frequent description).
If I were to reduce those concerns down to a single statistic, it would be his usage rate (19.6% last season). Usually a low usage rate in college means that a prospect is either passive or has a real challenge creating their own shot/is heavily reliant on others to create shots. So whenever I see a draft prospect with a usage rate under 20%, I try to look for a more comforting statistic elsewhere to counterbalance that -- TS%, efficiency scoring at the rim, high assist rate...anything suggesting that he has a skill that might be readily transferable. Wagner just doesn't have that -- in addition to the low usage, he's a mediocre shooter, has some concerns about shot mechanics/footwork, struggles to dribble with his left, and is extremely indecisive for someone that is being considered a lottery prospect.
[If anyone has examples of players with similar usage/efficiency as Wagner who have really made it in the league and counter my position on Wagner, please share -- I've done some looking and there are some interesting examples, but this is a comment that is already getting long as-is so I'm leaving that out.]
To be clear, I'm not at all saying that Wagner will be a bust... but if I was in a position in the lottery where I had a choice between a player whose offensive potential seems like largely a matter of faith than demonstrated skill and one who might be roughly equivalent defensively and clearly more ready offensively... I'm going with the latter.
All that said, I'm voting Moody here, but I totally see the case for the Warriors drafting Wagner given the FT% and everything he might offer defensively... I would just be a bit disappointed if they drafted Wagner #7. But #GoBlue and all that.
Ando (3 ♡):
Moody, by a bunch. Wagner's release is too slow, his dribble is too high/slow in traffic (going to get slapped away a lot), and in the tape he's getting beat by guards way too often, and then trying to recover for a block. Moody is faster, will cover wings better, better scorer/shooter. Wagner is a slow 3/mobile 4 who can't really guard 1's, fast 2's, or 5's. Moody is a shooting 3 with long enough arms to cover 1-3 well and pester a 4 until help gets there.
A couple fun clips to get people in the, er, Mood…
Profile from Sports-Reference.com
Per 40. Malik Beasley, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Cameron Thomas, Josh Okogie, Bradley Beal, Terrence Shannon Jr., Bryant Stith, Harold Miner, Andrew Wiggins
Advanced. James Young, Kevon Looney, Aaron Gordon, Jerami Grant, Keldon Johnson, Kevin Knox, Malik Beasley, Kelly Oubre, Trey Lyles
Jon Chepkevich: Statistical best comparisons are
NBA Draft Room Comp: Allan Houston
Kyle Boone, CBS Sports: With Stephen Curry still playing at an MVP level and Klay Thompson set to return next season, the Warriors would do well to add a high-level role player who can maximize this roster. Moody fits the mold. He's a 3-and-D talent who shot 35.8% from 3-point range on high volume (162 attempts) and who would give the Warriors' current backcourt a real boost with his shooting and ability to make an impact off the ball.
Jeremy Woo, SI. While a bad run in the NCAA tournament shouldn’t impact Moody unfairly, it did bring to light some of the primary concerns scouts have held surrounding his athletic toolbox and overall readiness for the NBA. Granted, he’s 18, so some of this is to be expected, but Moody’s efficiency can vary wildly from game to game as a player who’s heavily reliant on shooting jumpers to be effective. He has a good frame and looks the part, but he lacks the explosiveness and struggles to finish regularly in traffic. There’s appealing upside here and Moody had a solid freshman year on the whole. But his range looks more likely to be late-lottery and onward than top 10 at this point.
Sam Vecenie, The Athletic: The excitement surrounding Moody has dampened a bit following an inefficient NCAA Tournament, but I think some people are overthinking it. Moody is a terrific 3-and-D wing option with real size at 6-6 with a 7-foot wingspan. He is switchable on defense, with really good feet and a tough mindset. Offensively, he hits shots with a smooth stroke off the catch. He took a ton of contested shots this season as Arkansas’ go-to guy, which led to some of his inefficiencies. But he also showcased some difficult shotmaking ability, too, off the move. The big things to work on here are his passing ability and finishing — and he’s not a wild athlete by any stretch. But it’s tough to find teenagers who are this good at shooting and defending with a platform to improve his other aspects as well.
Kevin O’Connor, The Ringer: SHADES OF Mikal Bridges, OG Anunoby, Morris Peterson
Safe bet to be a productive player for years. His ceiling, however, is unknown.
Excellent physical dimensions. Uses his strong frame and long arms to alter shots as a help defender near the rim or harass opponents man-to-man on the perimeter.
Good stationary shooter, but needs to speed up his release on 3s off screens and handoffs.
Unselfish player who excelled in an off-ball role. Does a good job of reading the floor off the dribble to make simple passes using either hand. Has intriguing potential as a screener who can thrive on the short roll.
Capable of pulling up from midrange after one or two dribbles.
Anticipatory rebounder with a nose for the ball, especially on offense.
Versatile on-ball defender who invites contact from larger players and has the agility to contain smaller, quicker perimeter scorers.
Intelligent off-ball defender who always seems to be in the right position.
Struggled to generate open shots against better defenders. Doesn’t project as a primary scorer unless his handle dramatically improves, and lacks the fluidity of players who develop that skill.
Lacks a floater.
Draws a lot of fouls but doesn’t finish well inside. A below-the-rim finisher. Needs to add more touch on finishes.
Lives in the midrange off the dribble. Needs to extend his range to 3 to hit more one-dribble side-step shots like high-level role players can.
Hollinger, The Athletic: Watching Moody’s tape, the two things that immediately strike you are that 1) he has a really good chance of carving out a career as a plus 3-and-D guy, and 2) he has fairly little chance of popping as anything more than that.
Moody has good size and length at 6-foot-6 with a 6-foot-11 wingspan and a smooth outside shot. His 3-point rate wasn’t off the charts, however, as he didn’t show the kind of ability to run off screens and fire on the move that you’d want to see from a high-level gunner. He also rarely gets to the basket and doesn’t wow you with athleticism.
Where he did show well is on the defensive end. While he wasn’t disruptive off the ball, he gets in a stance, slides his feet and uses his length to distract shooters. He’s also young even for a freshman, and has some instincts as a scorer, so there’s a chance some untapped upside remains.
He shapes up as a high-floor, low-ceiling type in spite of his youth, one who makes for a good pick around this point in the draft.
Dean On Draft: (#12) Moody is a prototypical 3 + D prospect, as he made 35.8% 3P and 81.2% at age 18, as he turned 19 recently in late May. He complements this with a 7’0.75″ wingspan that should help him hang defensively in the pros.
He is fairly limited as a shot creator, but he does have some interesting perks to his game. He is a good offensive rebounder (6.3%) for a SG, he has low turnover rate and about a 1:1 assist:TOV. And he has a surprisingly high FT rate for a non-creator at 0.482– higher than all of Cade Cunningham (.39), Jalen Suggs (.367), and Scottie Barnes (.339). This makes him both an effective spacer and efficient overall offensive player.
If there is one gripe to be had is that he uses his length surprising not well to generate steals, as he had a disappointing 1.6% steal rate– easily the lowest of Arkansas’s top 6 players. This leaves some questions about how much D he actually comes equipped with, but nevertheless he has an easy path to useful role player.
Dub Nation Speaks
belilaugh on Jun 23:
A couple random Moody facts:
NBA combine was today and the official measurements were taken. Moody has a +8.5 wingspan compared to his height without shoes, truly has freakish arms. Below is his placement among other guys with freak wingspans (holy shit THT) although it should be noted that this had assumed he was +8.25 and not +8.5. Kelly Oubre also has a +8.5, and no matter what you think of him everyone agrees his arms are absurdly long and help him have defensive versatility.
Also at today's combine his hand length measured 9 inches and his hand width measured 10 inches, both tops among all players in the combine 6'6 or shorter (also had the highest standing reach of that pool). The guy has big hands.
Also, people call Moody a "3 and D" guy and low upside, but how many guys have this polished of a footwork game at age 18 in college? Was Klay doing this back then (perhaps he was, I didn't watch him in his freshman season at Washington State)?
Moody averaged 6 free throws a game as a freshman, that's not common for "3 and D" guys. Klay took 1 a game as a freshman (upped it in future seasons), Middleton around 2, Danny Green never got to the line too much, etc. I think Moody would be a pure 3 and D guy next season, but I think he has serious secondary scoring option potential down the line once as he works on some of his weaknesses (like finishing, shout out Klay).
Some of these 3 and D guys like Mikal Bridges are pretty stationary (although Bridges is obviously way more athletic), whereas Moody's film shows a guy who has high movement shooting potential imo.
Moody averaged 7 rebounds per 40 minutes, those arms of his help him get to a lot of loose balls. You can also find multiple incidents of him diving on the floor for them, he's a competitor.
Profile from Sports-Reference.com
Per 40: Jarrett Culver, Kenny Anderson, Richard Hamilton, Dwayne Bacon, Gerald Henderson, Anthony Edwards, Bracey Wright, Jason Sasser, Joseph Forte,
Advanced: Dwayne Bacon, Jarrett Culver, Tony Carr, Carsen Edwards, Kemba Walker, Cole Anthony, Kevin Murphy, Shabazz Muhammad, Anthony Edwards,
Jon Chepkevich: Statistical best comparisons are
Bucket-getters galore. Some good, some bad, some ugly…
NBA Draft Room Comp: Derek Anderson, Jamal Murray
Kyle Boone, CBS Sports: An in-season elbow injury and subsequent surgery derailed Bouknight's breakout sophomore season, as he returned for UConn but wasn't quite the same player. Still, he's an electric scorer with fantastic leaping ability who can create looks for himself by getting to the tin, pulling up off the bounce, moving smartly off the ball and generally being a bucket-getter.
The lack of shot-making and shot-creation on Golden State's roster was glaring by season's end, with Stephen Curry ultimately shouldering a massive workload on both fronts. And while Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins have their roles for the future, and Klay Thompson's return should help, Bouknight can give this team a nice scoring addition. He's a savvy creator with good size and length who can make plays anywhere on the court and profiles as a nice offensive weapon in any system.
Sam Vecenie, The Athletic: Bouknight is an athlete more in the vein of Zach LaVine, a smooth, floating explosiveness mixed with an authoritative finishing skill. He’s not quite as elite an athlete as young LaVine, but he’s going to throw down some monster dunks that raise eyebrows as a rookie. In general, the best skill Bouknight brings to the table is his shot creation. He averaged nearly 19 points per game this past season. He has a strong first step and has real finishing craft around the basket. He hit 62.7 percent of his shots at the rim in half-court settings, in part because he was able to also get a lot of shots at the basket off cuts due to his intelligent off-ball movement. He needs to get better on defense and as a passer, but there is a real gift for getting buckets.
Kevin O’Connor, The Ringer: SHADES OF Donovan Mitchell, CJ McCollum, Jordan Clarkson
Spark-plug scorer whose silky ballhandling and competitive edge are tailor-made for the pros.
Explosive athlete with a quick first step to pressure the paint and the hops to play above the rim.
Finishes acrobatically inside by leaping off either foot and using either hand for touch layups or loud dunks. Also draws a lot of fouls with deceptive moves and body control.
Slippery ball handler who loves using hesitations to generate space for his jumpers. Can hit tough, contested shots off the dribble.
Instinctual player who relocates and cuts.
Speedy defender who could become an effective stopper against opposing guards and some wings. Made strides as a sophomore, especially focusing off-ball and making an impact in the passing lanes.
Playmaking instincts: He forces some passes that aren’t there and misses some open opportunities. And he too often kills his dribble.
Streaky spot-up shooter whose issues could be due to his mechanics. Has a relatively stiff shot out of stationary positions.
Inconsistent on-ball defender.
Suffered a torn meniscus as a junior in high school.
IndyCornRows (very extensive dive): James Bouknight is exactly the type of player I would be willing to draft with the Pacers first round pick. He has the potential and ability to hit a very high outcome that results in him becoming an elite off-ball scorer with on-ball equity that doesn’t get you killed on defense at the wing: the Pacers need to take as many shots as possible at wings with the chance to create. You’re not drafting any surefire primary creators in the late lottery, but there are some “maybe if” guys, and Bouknight is one of them. The flashes are so bright with him and if the Pacers can find a way to bring along their first lottery pick in half a decade, he could be an extraordinary player if drafted by Indiana
I also don’t want to make it sound as though he’s a bonafide star, If the handle really doesn’t improve (I’m confident it will due to what I discussed earlier in relation to core strength and stability) then he projects more as an off-ball wing who struggles to create his own shot and is mostly a play finisher in an NBA offense.
Hollinger, The Athletic: Pronounced “Bucket.” OK, it’s not, but it should be. He’s a bit undersized for a shooting guard and a bit greedy for a point, but Bouknight’s ability to get this own shot stands out in this class.
Bouknight averaged an eye-popping 39.3 points per 100 possessions in nine Big East games as a sophomore at UConn this season, despite a midseason injury that seemed to affect his shooting once he came back. He can take it to the cup and finish with long strides and length (54.5 percent on 2s in the Big East with a high free throw rate), plus he gets off the floor on his jumper and is comfortable shooting pull-ups off the dribble.
That doesn’t make him wart-free. You’d like to see more consistency in his perimeter stroke (29.3 percent from 3 this year, 32 percent career, although he’s an 80 percent foul shooter); opponents may just go under screens on him and dare him to bomb way. Bouknight also needs to increase his feel as a passer if he wants to play a prominent on-ball role. His rate of 3.2 assists per 100 was unacceptable for a high-volume guard.
Bouknight needs to show a bit more verve defensively. He shows good lateral quickness, has decent length and competes when he’s guarding on the ball, but he also chills out off the ball and doesn’t anticipate plays. He also needs to build up his skinny frame, as opposing 2s will likely try to take him on the block. One encouraging sign: He does rebound, with 10.2 boards per 100 in Big East play.
The value proposition here is that high-level shot creation still matters. Bouknight has a lot of Jordan Clarkson in him, both for good and bad, but it’s not hard to imagine him becoming an annual Sixth Man winner.
Dean On Draft: (comparing Bouknight and Grimes) Bouknight may be best served to make a similar adjustment to his offensive approach. While he is capable of creating his own shot at the rim and finishing, he is not particularly efficient at it as he has a rudimentary handle and is prone to playing slightly out of control.
He nevertheless creates an impressive volume of 2PA that he converts at a good %, but this is largely due to cuts, putbacks, and transition play. If he is collectively creating an extra 7 2PA and 3 FTA compared to Quentin Grimes at a higher %, but at the cost of ~2 TOV and ~6 3PA without any additional assists is that really a favorable tradeoff? Do you really want your tunnel visioned and slight framed 6’5″ guard consistently trying to score inside arc against NBA defenses instead of playing within the flow of the offense and getting off a massive volume of 3PA?
It’s a difficult question to answer. Bouknight still is a more natural scorer with a better career FT% than Grimes (80% vs. 70%). And he does play well off ball. If he is willing to transition to more of an off ball player in the NBA, and finds a way to get off a big volume of 3PA, he should surpass Grimes offensively.
Bouknight could also make his shot creation work, but that is an extremely dicey proposition for a guy who had such a poor assist:TOV ratio at age 20 and is merely a good athlete as opposed to nuclear like Jalen Green or Keon Johnson. At this stage, his on ball play is more likely to be a bug than a feature.
Bouknight is a confusing guy, as he does a number of things well and it is easy to see him being useful to an NBA team. But it is hard to see a big upside tail for him, and things can go wrong if he tries to force the issue too much against bigger and more athletic NBA defenders.
Grimes gets a tiny edge on defense, and has figured out how to play an offensively style tailor made for an NBA role player which makes him a safer bet on offense. Bouknight has more longterm upside on offense, but is currently a chaotic ball of energy that needs to be refined and could prove to be frustrating on that end as well.
Ultimately, Bouknight is a weird guy who is difficult to pin down. It is difficult to know how his offense will translate to the NBA, and how good he can really be in his best case. But it is tough to see his star upside, and it is unclear whether he is actually a better prospect than Grimes.
The safest thing to say here is– why pick Bouknight in the mid-lottery when you can have Grimes in the late 1st?
I would currently rank these two not too far behind Springer and Johnson as the #4 and #5 SGs in the draft that belong somewhere in the mid-1st.
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