Dub Nation HQ Draft Tourney Wrap-up / Revisiting My 2021 Draft Takes / Open Thread
It's good to have some humility
Results will be updated at the master index for the 2022 Dub Nation HQ Draft Tournament.
If you want to vote on the DNHQ Big Board…
Super commenter void has made (again) a wep where you can record your Big Board for our limited pool of “Might Fall To #28” Tourney participants.
void’s DNHQ Big Board Vote Site
The winner of our 2022 DNHQ Draft Tournament is…
E.J. Liddell 37% WINNER
Jalen Williams 35%
Wendall Moore 15%
Christian Braun 13%
It was a close race between Jalen Williams and E.J. Liddell. The Twitter poll winner incidentally was Braun.
E.J. Liddell, and whether he’s Eric Paschall 2022 Edition
Liddell is definitely my pick out of this group -- I would be absolutely THRILLED if he was around at 28.
In addition to everything everyone said previously, Liddell put up some numbers that translate to the pros really well -- efficient scorer at a high usage rate, high assist rate for his position, really strong block rate, solid free throw percentage and good 3-point percentage.
It's really hard to imagine this guy falls to 28. but if he does it would be silly to pass on him.
Knowing next to nothing about Liddell, I can’t get the Eric Paschall comp out of my head. In what ways is he better?
Paschall had a great frame, and athleticism, but it never really all translated in college. He'd have some moments particularly offensively, but he wasn't a "great" college player. Didn't improve that much year over year, was never a good rebounder, and didn't have much in the way of blocks or steals. What made him an interesting prospect was a guy who's got that dribble pull up game at his size.... If you can turn him into an NBA defender and 3 point shooter you could have something really interesting. That didn't happen.
Liddell was an excellent college player. He was a great, versatile defender. (He had 3.2 Steals+Blocks to Paschall's 1.2). He improved every year in per game averages, per 40 averages and shooting efficiency.
In short, I'd say the main similarity is their frame. Paschall had the better athleticism. Liddell was clearly the better player in college, and showed much more consistent improvement. So you're betting he'll keep on improving just like he always has, and not stall out like Paschall did.
Paschall actually put up pretty good numbers for the Jazz, albeit in limited playing time. He hit 37% of his 3s, had an eFG of 56% and a TS% of 61 all good numbers. I'm guessing defense was still a problem but I didn't watch any team except the Warriors enough to know. If Liddell can do that, he is a pretty good player. if he can do that and play defense he is a starter on most teams. Because of that, I don't see Liddell being available at 28.
That's a good step forward on 3's, but the D is the more important piece for him. Being an average shooter doesn't mean anything if you aren't any better on D then a 3P specialist type like Duncan Robinson. His upside was all about whether he could translate his physical tools into being a solid versatile defender.
For me this is between Williams and Moore.
I suppose Williams has higher ceiling with the shot creation and better length/size but I do think Moore is the better fit stylistically with the off-ball cutting, rebounding, and defense.
That said, I suppose you could convince me that with a lesser offensive role on the Warriors he could re-direct that energy to his defense, and ultimately, you can't teach size, and that 8'9.5" standing reach definitely catches my eye
So yeah, Jalen Williams gets my vote, seems like most mocks have him gone before the Warriors are up though.
In a perfect world where they were all available I'd take Williams I think. 7'2 wingspan on a shooter who can pass? Sign me up.
It doesn’t pay to be too sure of yourself in examining the Draft.
The same person who wrote my favorite piece on Sengun and who was colossally right on the 2014 draft, also completely blew other drafts (e.g. was convinced that it was an “unequivocal error” to not draft Dragan Bender below #3). Another draft analyst I enjoy was right on LaMelo but also was convinced that Aleksej Pokuševski was an elite prospect.
So scratch that: it obviously does pay to be too sure of yourself — just look at every single person on ESPN — but if you don’t just want to be a blowhard for attention, humility is a must.
Discount every Draft opinion that is convinced or certain. Being wrong is part of the job, but being loudly wrong and certain about it is discourse pollution.
In fact, every draft commenter should be required to do a regular retrospective on their past takes. So…
Revisiting the 2021 draft, DNHQ takes
Here are links to our previous Draft Tournaments.
Here are last year’s DNHQ votes with very brief comments by me:
#3 James Bouknight vs #6 Josh Giddey. (52% - 48%). Giddey had a very mixed year with flashes of goodness before OKC shut him down to go full Tank Commander mode. Bouknight had a bad year and quickly lost all playing time.
#9 Alperen Sengun vs #13 Chris Duarte (83% - 17%). They ended up playing fairly similar minutes for bad teams with decent contributions, so I don’t think this is a terrible vote either way. Duarte showed he was ready to contribute right away, and Sengun showed lots of flashes of cool play and dazzling passwork in a discouraging situation.
#7 Moses Moody vs #3 James Bouknight. (81% - 19%) A close call for many voters, but in the end, they broke hard for Moody, especially in the comments. Even though Moody took a long time to get off the bench, I don’t think there’s a question that he did better than Bouknight.
#7 Moses Moody vs #9 Alperen Sengun (61% - 39%). Sengun played way more minutes, but for a team that was trying to lose. I can’t say this was a bad vote, though time will tell which has a better career.
Scottie Barnes and Jonathan Kuminga, The "What If They Fall" Showdown. People want Barnes (78%) and Kuminga (67%) over the field if available, and in the unlikely event both are available, 64% - 24% Barnes over Kuminga.
DNHQ was definitely right about Barnes.
It’s not completely clear Kuminga is better than the field, but JFK was entertaining and dazzling enough to have most of Dub Nation eager to see more from him, instead of whining about his selection, even during the regular season when we didn’t know it would end so well.
Revisiting my own 2021 draft takes
Here was my 2021 Draft Big Board as can be seen at void’s 2021 DNHQ Big Board Collector
Evan Mobley - very right
Jalen Suggs - wrong for now
Moses Moody - maybe a little too high?
Alperen Sengun - can’t tell if wrong or HOU just horribly misused him
Usman Garuba - can’t tell if VERY wrong or HOU just VERY horribly misused him
Scottie Barnes - obviously had him a little too low; I guess a jumper can come together fast after all.
Josh Giddey - no idea how to evaluate his rookie season, but I’m comfortable with this ranking
Trey Murphy III
Jared Butler - not a lot of playing time, but not a bust either according to the local paper so, this ranking might be tolerable
James Bouknight - I was rightfully low on him, but even I didn’t expect him to basically DNP the entire season
Davion Mitchell - maybe he impressed more than this?
I have to admit my experience with admiring Onyeka Okongwu in 2020 and Usman Garuba in 2021 has made me think I overvalue really athletic, great college defenders who have passing sense. My first instinct is, what team wouldn’t want that? How can that not transfer? But it’s clearly not such an easy transfer.
So that’s cooled my feelings for players like Christian Koloko.
A keen observer may notice that I did not list Jonathan Kuminga on my Board. To be completely honest, I just knew it would take a lot of work to watch all Kuminga’s film to get a real opinion about him, so I just abstained from ranking him at all. I also was pretty sure he would fall to #7 and that GSW would draft him and I didn’t want to send any energy into the world reinforcing that.
After we drafted him, I admit I was quite un-thrilled as I had been told by many sources that he was a terrible lazy defender and was a many-years project. So when I watched his G-League video before preseason, I was really happily surprised and wrote these two pieces and videos.
I was one of the first people to suggest he was going to be an engaged, plus defender, which became obvious once he actually got playing time. Since then, I take with a big grain of salt any draft assessment of a prospect being lazy at defense. As I wrote:
Confusion and messing up on switches on first glance looks a lot like lazy indifference.