2016 Fearless Predictions Updated
I think for the most part everyone expects either the San Antonio Spurs or the Golden State Warriors to win the championship this year. However lets not get too far ahead of ourselves, for now lets just discuss the Western Conference Finals, and for the most part there is a high probability that those 2 teams will meet. SportzPredict who sends out sports predictions every day predicted that their is a 85% chance that these two teams meet. We don’t know how to quantify these type of things but we can break it down.
Today they meet and the closer we get to the playoffs, the more we can tell from this match up. Both teams are healthy, although we are hearing that Bogut will be out, which is a key factor, however he only plays about 20 minutes a game.
Which lottery pick has the best chance to end up in the D-League? Who will be Rookie of the Year? Just how good will Gordon Hayward be?
On to the burning questions…
Five years from now, who from this draft class will have the highest PPG?
JK: Evan Turner. Turner is hardly a pure shooter, but he can quietly put points up in a hurry whether it be from mid-range or from the charity stripe. His 3-point shooting is going to improve when he gets in the league as well. I think Turner can average 23 ppg.
KH: Or think of it this way, “Which player has the best chance of leading the league in scoring in five years?” With no great natural scorers in the draft I would say Demarcus Cousins. He runs the floor, bangs at the basket and has the ability to hit his free throws. Cousins will be a 22ppg scorer in the NBA.
JK: If Cousins can stay out of major trouble, which I expect him to, he will become a force in this league averaging 20 and 10. I expect Favors to start his career slowly and in 2-3 years become an Al Horford like player with an lower upside than that of Cousins.
KH: To much has been said about Cousins attitude, he is only 19 years old and still maturing. Favors can be Dwight Howard or Kwame Brown, that is based on skill. Cousins already is a more athletic Zach Randolph and could be a Moses Malone type talent.
Who will be the 2011 NBA Rookie of the Year?
JK: DeMarcus Cousins, because he has the ability to have an instant impact in the NBA just like he did in college. He will go to Minnesota and become a force alongside Kevin Love, averaging 16 ppg and 8 rebounds as a rook.
KH: John Wall will be the favorite because the ball will be in his hands all season, but look for Gordon Hayward and Greg Monroe to challange him. It won’t be a runaway victory for Wall, but he will be the Rookie of the Year.
Where will Quincy Pondexter be drafted, and how will his NBA career pan out?
JK: Pondexter will be drafted by Minnesota with their final first round pick. He will turn out to be a Cedric Ceballos-like player that makes a career of scoring on putbacks and transition baskets.
KH: Pondexter can go anywhere from Boston at 19 to Washington at 30, I don’t think Oklahoma City will pass him up with three picks. He can provide an excellent backup for Kevin Durant and play a key roll for their bench. He is a team guy and a character guy which is valued by Oklahoma City the most.
JK: Not Orton. The safest pick would be Aldrich. The right answer, however, is Whiteside, who will have a 10-year career and end up being better than Theo Ratliff, who himself has been in the league forever, and a notch below Marcus Camby.
KH: Cole Aldrich is Joel Pryzbilla 2.0. Hassan Whiteside could be a Marcus Camby type. Daniel “3 and 3″ Orton is a mystery. I agree the safest pick is Aldrich, he can do a lot of things and is more athletic than advertised. Whiteside is not the best shot-blocker in the draft, he is just longer than Jarvis Varnado. I say pick Aldrich and you will be happy getting what he brings to the table.
How many All-Star games will Evan Turner play in during his NBA career?
JK: Six. He’s so well-rounded and will only improve his perimeter shooting when he gets in the league. Six sounds about right.
KH: I can see him playing in 1-2 all-star games, the skill is there for sure. He just plays the same position as about 20 other players vying for an all-star selection.
Avery Bradley… the next Russell Westbrook or the next Antonio Daniels?
JK: Definitely the next Westbrook. Bradley is an athletic freak who doesn’t shy away from having the ball in his hands. A lot will depend on which team he plays for, but if he ends up on a team like Indiana I think he will make a positive impact sooner than most people expect.
KH: Bradley will be a lockdown defender in the NBA and has the potential to be a good scorer; maybe not Westbrook potential though. Look for Bradley to be a better version of Daniels for his career.
Name your top 5 sleepers of the draft (3 non-lottery first-rounders, and 3 second-rounders).
KH: I have been a big fan of Darington Hobson, Da’Sean Butler, Larry Sanders, Elliot Williams, Omar Samhan, Ben Uzoh and Mikhail Torrance since the draft process began. Hobson and Sanders can be late first rounders and make a rotation, the others will have a chip on their shoulders as second round picks.
Is Wesley Johnson legit or is he another Corey Brewer?
JK: Johnson cannot put the ball on the floor, which isn’t a good sign for a guy pegged to be a sure Top 5 pick. I think he is a more polished version of Corey Brewer who, as a rookie, will have the impact that Brewer had after 3 years in the league. But I don’t think he’ll ever live up to being such a high selection.
KH: He is the offensive Brewer or Josh Smith with a jumper. I lean more towards Smith though, if he can dedicate himself to defense and keep that jumper he is Josh Smith 2.0.
What will DeMarcus Cousins’ MPG/PPG/RPG/APG/BPG/SPG be in 2010-11?
JK: 29 mpg, 16 ppg, 8 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1 bpg, .7 spg with the Wolves
KH: 30 mpg, 17 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 2 apg, 1.5 bpg and .5 spg playing Robin to Tyreke Evans Batman on the Kings.
Which current or past NBA player will Cole Aldrich’s game most resemble as a pro?
JK: A tall white guy who plays big, snaring rebounds on offense and blocking shots on defense… two words… Joel Pryzbilla!
KH: The Joel Pryzbilla case has been made, I like him as an Emeka Okafor type though. A strong defensive presence, slightly under-sized, not super athletic and a decent offensive game. Aldrich will be a solid rotational guy giving a team 10 ppg and 10 rpg.
Which player in this draft will end up being the top fantasy basketball player for next year?
JK: Evan Turner – Much like Brandon Roy, Turner can fill the stat sheet in so many ways. His assists, rebounds and steals will set him apart from other shooting guards who struggle in those areas, and only DeMarcus Cousins will come close to matching his fantasy production.
KH: Fantasy is much different than reality, a guy who does a little of everything and hits three’s is a fantasy owners dream. Paul George will be that guy, if he lands on Memphis where it is a jump shot contest every game, between each other, he will put up great numbers.
Name the 10 Players on the All-Rookie Team (by 1st and 2nd Teams).
JK: 1st – Wall, Turner, Cousins, Monroe, Johnson 2nd – Favors, George, Udoh, Patterson, Crawford
KH: Based on our Mock projections; 1st Team: John Wall, Jordan Crawford, Paul George, Greg Monroe and DeMarcus Cousins. 2nd Team: Eric Bledsoe, Evan Turner, Darrington Hobson, Larry Sanders and Jarvis Varnado.
Who is your favorite player in the draft, and why?
JK: Luke Babbitt, because he dominated so much in two quick years at Nevada that he turned himself into a potential Top 10 pick. As a high percentage shooter from the field and free throw line, the 6-9 forward reminds me of a poor man’s hybrid of Troy Murphy and Dirk Nowitzki. No pressure, kid.
KH: Can I name five? Other than my sleepers and a few others I am torn between Paul George and Larry Sanders. Sanders is an athlete who helped turn the VCU program around and has improved his game each year. George has the ability to be the best player in this draft with all of his offensive skills. I will say Paul George.
JK: It’s a roll of the dice to me, and this could burn me, but I’m going to go with James Anderson. Anderson is the safer pick, being the more experienced player, but he came up big so many times at OK State. Henry played just one season at Kansas and failed to live up to the tremendous hype, but he could easily figure it out and make me look foolish.
KH: Anderson is a proven scorer, he has done it for three years at Oklahoma State. Henry is a proven shooter, he did it for one year in Kansas. Henry has the edge as far as upside, but I like Anderson to be a contributer quicker than Henry will.
Which lottery pick is the most likely to hit a D-League roster near you?
JK: Ed Davis. Davis is coming off an injury plagued sophomore season at UNC, is slightly built and put up very poor fitness numbers in Chicago. Those don’t add up to a future star in my book. Unless he kicks it into gear and focuses on improving his conditioning and physique, he could be in for a rude NBA awakening.
KB: We saw it with Hassem Thabeet, we will see it with another unpolished big shot-blocker in Hassan Whiteside. Since Whiteside will not likely be in the lottery it will probably be Luke Babbitt. He has the skills to come into the NBA and contribute right away, but so did Luke Jackson and Joe Alexander.
Who will be the biggest steal in the draft, overperforming the spot they are drafted in?
JK: Jordan Crawford – He’s clutch and he has unlimited range. Shooters of his caliber last a long time in this league, and even if he ends up being an Eddie House or someone like that it will be a bargain for where he is drafted (late first round, early to mid second)
KH: Da’Sean Butler, hands down. It is not his or any teams fault as to why, his injury makes him a second round pick. Butler will be a very solid rotational player or even starter on a good team once he has healed fully. You can’t under value his leadership and “it” factor. The kid brings it every game and when the spotlights on him.
Gordon Hayward: Boom or Bust?
JK: Bust. I think Hayward is talented and an underrated athlete, but he’ll be drafted too high and face too much pressure to make an immediate impact. I think that could easily derail his promising pro career. We saw it happen to Joe Alexander and I think it will happen to Hayward.
KH: Can I stradle the fence on this one? I do not feel Hayward has All-Star potential, but he is going to be a very good role player for who drafts him. The kid is a winner, tougher than he looks and has legitimate NBA skills. If he puts all that together on the right team he will be an impact player.