Thunder Draft Preview (Four More)
By Randy Renner
With the NBA Draft now just a day away we thought we would briefly look at a couple of other guys who might be of interest to the Thunder either at #21 or #29.
The Thunder are also rumored to be involved in discussions with several teams on possible deals and pretty much any possibility remains open.
Should be fascinating to watch it all unfold Thursday night and our InsideThunder.com crew will be at the INTEGRIS Health Thunder Development Center providing live updates via Twitter (check out the feed page on our website) and we will post a few photos and maybe a video or two during the evening.
You’ve seen most if not all of the profiles we’ve already done so here are a couple more to wrap things up.
K.J. McDANIELS (Small Forward, Clemson)
McDaniels has really started gaining a lot of attention in the last few weeks and he might already be gone when the Thunder pick at #21. He’s 6-6, 200 and perhaps still growing. His wingspan at the NBA Combine was measured at 6-11, about an inch and a half longer than the year before at the LeBron James Camp.
McDaniels is very athletic and the top scorer in transition last season among small forwards in the draft. According to advanced stats from Synergy Sports Technologies he averaged a whopping 1.49 points on fast break possessions. He’s #3 in his group at finishing around the rim, scoring 1.36 points per possession.
Last season at Clemson he averaged 33.7 minutes, scoring 17.1 points a game on 45.9 percent shooting overall but just 30.4 percent from deep. He was solid at the line hitting 84.2 percent of his free throws and he pulled down 7.1 rebounds (2.5 coming off the offensive glass). And he averaged 2.8 blocks a game.
So as you can tell he’s outstanding down low, very athletic but needs to work on his perimeter game. He has shown tremendous improvement and is projected to just get better.
BOGDAN BOGDANOVIC (Shooting Guard, Serbia)
Bogdanovich pulled himself out of the draft last year but he’s ready to at least test the NBA waters now and he’s played some of his best basketball in the last few days. Friday he scored 36 points in a Serbian League Finals game and averaged 30.8 points in the series.
He’s mostly played shooting guard and at 6-6, 200, he’s about the perfect size. He’s also played some at the point too in Europe. This season he played in both the Euro League and the Adriatic League and averaged just about the same numbers in each. 31 minutes and 15 points a game on 40 percent shooting overall, 35.5 percent on threes and 75 percent on free throws. He also averaged about four rebounds and four assists per game.
He turns 22 in a couple of months and is developing into a very exciting player.
JAMES YOUNG (Shooting Guard/Small Forward, Kentucky)
Coming out of school after a solid freshman season is nothing new for a player at Kentucky, it’s pretty much been the norm lately. The 6-7, 213, shooting guard/small forward had a good season overall but when you dig deeper into situational numbers that’s when the deficiencies start showing up.
Young averaged playing 32.4 minutes a game and scored 14.3 points on 40.7 percent shooting (34.9 on 3-pointers) and he hit 70.6 percent of his free throw attempts. He also averaged 4.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 0.8 steals a game for the Wildcats.
Examining his numbers more closely thanks to advanced stats from Synergy Sports Technologies he led the nation in spot-up possessions used but managed to score a below average 0.93 points on those possessions. Young fired up a higher percentage of jump shots than any other player in the group of shooting guards and small forwards but again didn’t take advantage of the volume, scoring just slightly above the average at 1.01 points per jump shot.
He was big time in certain situations finishing at the rim with some highlight dunks but his overall numbers down there weren’t all that great, scoring 1.13 points per possession at the rim, which put him near the bottom on that category.
But James Young is, well YOUNG. He’s just 18 and won’t be 19 for another couple of months so scouts believe his raw talent can be molded into a very good basketball player over the next couple of years.
GLENN ROBINSON (Small Forward, Michigan)
Little “Big Dog” has some big time talent even though he was overshadowed a bit in Ann Arbor this past year by a couple of teammates. Scouts still love Robinson’s current abilities and his future prospects because of his outstanding athleticism.
Robinson measured 6-7, 211 at the NBA Draft Combine with a wingspan of 6-10 and a max vertical jump of 41.5 inches.
Last season at Michigan he averaged 32.3 minutes, scoring 13.1 points on 48.8 percent shooting overall but just 30.8 percent on 3-pointers. He was a 75.7 percent shooter from the stripe. He started every game for the Wolverines and was Honorable mention All-Big 10. But scouts were hoping too a bit more improvement in Robinson’s game from the season before.
His physical tools allow him to be a strong, highlight reel type finisher at the rim but he seems to have trouble figuring out some of the fine points of the game, his basketball IQ isn’t as high as it probably should be having been around the game all his life.
When he gets inside he can be deadly, hitting 63 percent of his shots from in close last season, but get him out on the perimeter, force him into a jump shot and he’s not nearly as good, hitting just 35.4 percent of his jump shots with his feet set.
Defensively he’s got all the physical tools he needs to become a solid, if not elite defender. But some scouts say he lacks a little in the toughness category. For his size, he doesn’t grab as many rebounds as he should, ranking near the bottom among small forwards.
His father, Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson, also left college after his sophomore year but he averaged a double-double for Purdue, 30 points and 10 rebounds, and went on to become a 2-Time All-Star in the NBA. Little Big Dog has a lot of the same physical tools his father had, he just needs to learn how to take full advantage of them.