A few November observations from a season that has gotten off to a pretty humdrum start, until it grew more depressing in the last few days:
- Derrick Rose's injury is a real downer, obviously. Rose is still young, so there is a chance he bounces back strong, but obviously the long-term outlook in Chicago just got much bleaker. That said, don't totally discount the idea of seeing a healthy, very productive Derrick Rose sometime in early 2015.
- I still don't think the Pacers will get through Miami, despite the great start. Paul George has really elevated his game so far this year, proving he deserved that big extension. But while Indiana looks great now, in the end I don't see this team winning a title. The offense, despite George's improvements, is still not on an elite level. Indiana is a team that no one wants to play, but at the same time they will have extreme difficulty winning four rounds of NBA playoff basketball.
- Brooklyn's horrible start is surprising, but given the injuries and age of its players should not come as a shock. The Nets might bounce back and be a team no one wants to play in May, or they could end up with less than 35 wins. Age and injuries are merciless.
- Portland's fast start is a fluke; they will cool down sooner or later. Meanwhile, San Antonio is killing everyone, and we just expect it at this point. The Spurs' system of success is the best in the league, and probably by a wide margin.
- News of Kobe Bryant's two year, $48.5 million extension seemed somewhat inevitable. While the Lakers are probably overpaying Bryant, it was a move which seemed destined to happen, given the circumstances. It is also worth remembering that Micheal Jordan was still damn good when he came back with Washington in his late thirties - realistically similar production is what the Lakers should hope for with Bryant. But that's a big gamble.
- The much maligned rookie class of 2013 has lived down to its reputation so far. Michael Carter-Williams has been phenomenal, and everyone else not so much. It's early, though. That said, Anthony Bennett appears to be a terrible first overall selection. We criticized Cleveland's choice in June, and it looks like an even poorer decision now.
I already went over the contenders, and I think Miami will be the champ again. If Miami does not three-peat I think Oklahoma City is the team most likely to replace them as champions. Here are my predicted regular season records for each team:
Miami Heat 57-25
Chicago Bulls 56-26
Brooklyn Nets 55-27
Indiana Pacers 51-31
New York Knicks 47-35
Detroit Pistons 42-40
Atlanta Hawks 41-41
Cleveland Cavaliers 40-42
Washington Wizards 38-44
Milwaukee Bucks 37-45
Toronto Raptors 33-49
Orlando Magic 28-54
Charlotte Bobcats 27-55
Boston Celtics 24-58
Philadephia 76ers 19-63
Los Angeles Clippers 58-24
Oklahoma City Thunder 55-27
San Antonio Spurs 55-27
Houston Rockets 54-28
Memphis Grizzlies 50-32
Golden State Warriors 47-35
Denver Nuggets 44-38
Minnesota Timberwolves 43-39
Los Angeles Lakers 41-41
Dallas Mavericks 40-42
New Orleans Hornets 37-45
Portland Trailblazers 36-46
Sacramento Kings 33-49
Utah Jazz 25-57
Phoenix Suns 21-61
I find myself agreeing with what a lot of the smart NBA prognosticators are saying about the upcoming season: There are going to be many very good teams, perhaps more than normal, and at the end of the day Miami still has to be considered the favorite to win the NBA Finals for the third straight year.
Yet, at the same time, I think many of us may be overemphasizing Miami as the favorite. As Zach Lowe pointed out recently, Miami always has been "on the precipice" of postseason failure the last three seasons. It took an absolutely amazing effort from LeBron James to carry them out of the depths last season, sprinkled in with some luck. Such individual dominance alone is difficult to sustain year after year in the postseason, even for somebody as profoundly great as James. If Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are as relatively ineffective in postseason play again this year, the Heat are really going to be in trouble. Let's briefly view the other main contenders besides Miami:
Oklahoma City: The Thunder have lost Russell Westbrook for the beginning of the season, setting off the panic button in some circles, but such fears are unwarranted. Westbrook should return healthy, and Kevin Durant is so great that any missteps the Thunder have should be minor. They might not have the best record in the West this year, but then again they might. Durant is entering his prime, and the offensive inefficiencies this team has will probably be masked by Durant's transcendence, particularly in the regular season.
The Clippers: Los Angeles retooled around Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, and it has people like Danny Ainge thinking they will win 65+ games. If Paul and Griffin are completely healthy, that number is not unrealistic, and Paul will probably win MVP. Los Angeles is banking on its two stars to bring the team to a new level this year, and the off-season imports - Doc Rivers, Jared Dudley, J.J. Redick etc. - were expressly brought in with this in mind. Paul has always been underrated - this is maybe the best normal sized point guard ever - and 2014 could be the year that it all clicks for him and his team.San Antonio: The Spurs, at the end of the day, blew it last year. They know this, and given the age of the team, it seems unlikely they can somehow bounce back and win it all this year. But San Antonio's system is superior to anybody else in the league, and this team is too well-coached to be discounted as a serious contender.
Chicago: By next Spring I expect Derrick Rose to be as great as ever, and the Bulls brutally effective style of play should serve them well in the postseason. The question is whether they will be able to generate enough offense around Rose to take down Miami, but this is a team no one will want to play in the postseason.Houston: The Rockets are harder to predict than these other teams because of the enormous addition of Dwight Howard, and in the very least they should be well above average. If things fall into place - if the defense can be almost as good as the offense - the Rockets will be in a prime position to beat anyone. Brooklyn: Like the Rockets, the Nets are difficult to project because of the major off-season additions of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. The potential upside of this team is high - essentially a more offensively talented version of recent Celtics' teams - but injuries and age could easily take that away. I expect Brooklyn to be very solid, but it will be tough for them to make it through four playoff rounds with their health intact.That is six real challengers to Miami in my opinion. I did not include Memphis or Indiana - two damn good teams - because ultimately I doubt they have the offensive starpower to go all the way. Regardless of the exact number, the league seems full of top-tier squads this season. So Miami will have their hands full if they want to three-peat. It looks to be a competitive year in the NBA.
A few players from the NBA Draft class of 2010 have signed max extensions recently. As I mention frequently, the timing of such deals is often perplexing.
Rookie scale max extensions are usually given earlier than warranted. John Wall, Paul George and DeMarcus Cousins have now all been extended, even though it is hard to understand the urgency from their teams' point of view to dole out such huge contracts before it is necessary.
The fear a team like Washington, Indiana or Sacramento must have is that their young star player will become alienated if not offered an extension a full season before they could hit restricted free agency. That seems to be overly pessimistic thinking to me, as most players are not great enough to use such leverage as a serious negotiating tactic.
If Wall, George or Cousins were dissatisfied with a lack of an extension before the start of the '13-14 regular season, they would still be bound to their current team when free agency hits in the Summer of 2014. They would become restricted free agents, and therefore their current franchises should not view them as assets that could potentially be "lost" next Summer. Any deal can be matched; any restricted player can be kept if so desired.
In my opinion a team should be able to explain to a player this fact. Waiting to extend a restricted player is not a personal offense, but just smart business that helps reduce risk. The player can be upset, but they really shouldn't be if anyone explains the situation to them clearly.
This is especially true with the players who were just extended. Wall is not Derrick Rose at the same point in his career, and Cousins is not Blake Griffin. Rose and Griffin's early max extensions at least made some sense because they were already superstars, but the same case cannot yet be made for Wall, George or Cousins.
It is also worth mentioning that Milwaukee's timing in extending Larry Sanders with a 4 year, $44 million contract is a totally different situation, and an understandable move by the Bucks. Sanders' deal hypothetically saves the Bucks money in the future because they will not have to commit a max extension to Sanders next Summer. Oklahoma City did the same thing with Serge Ibaka last year, and this is the whole point of signing such players early - to save money long-term on their contracts. It's certainly not the case with the three recent big extensions:
-Paul George became Indiana's designated player by signing a five year extension worth at least $80 million, and maybe more if he hits escalator clauses. George is obviously a superb player, particularly defensively, but the Pacers are probably being delusional if they think he can become a dominant superstar and perennial All-NBA player. George's PER topped off at a career high 16.8 last season, a number that will need to significantly improve if George is going to live up to making massive money over the next half decade. In the very least Indiana should have waited until next year to give George such a lavish contract.
-DeMarcus Cousins did not become Sacramento's designated player, but he did snag himself a 4 year max extension in the $60 million range. I have always loved Cousins' talent, but he has been an absolute space case in his first three seasons in the league. Apparently the new Kings' ownership believes enough in Cousins to extend him now instead of later, but again the timing is baffling. If Cousins has another chemistry flameout with his team, he might become untradeable because of his new contract. I would have waited as long as possible before committing so much money on a loose cannon. Let Cousins show he deserves it before you give it to him.
-I wrote about John Wall in April, and don't have much more to add. The timing and the designated player status of his new 5 year, $80+ million deal were perplexing, but in step with the Wizards' dysfunctional management style. Wall is a potentially great player who may end up being only good, and he has legitimate injury concerns. Committing a five year max extension before he has one single healthy All-Star season strikes me as erroneous.
We have already heard so much hullabaloo about the 2014 NBA Draft, even though it's a long 10 months away. Andrew Wiggins is the most touted high school wing prospect since LeBron James, and the rest of the draft class is expected to be loaded with future All-Stars. Given the explosion of internet coverage the last few years, we are bound to see an incredible amount of news and opinions concerning the top prospects, and probably a frightening amount of hyperbole.
All this is well and good, but I can't help but feel that we are going to be hearing too much blather about this draft, and not enough facts. The truth of the matter is that it is very hard to know how good a draft class will be, and that there are few guarantees.
That is not to say that I think this draft, or Wiggins, will disappoint us. It is just that people sometimes put too much of a label on something - in this case the extolled 2014 NBA Draft - and then are not patient enough to let it play out.
Most future stars are not immediately great right out of the gate. Superior prospects that turn into great NBA players usually take a few years to develop, and that transitional process can often be painful for a team. Teams like the 76ers, Suns, Magic, Bobcats and Celtics are currently going through obvious rebuilding processes, where they are trying to develop through talented youth. The developmental progress of such teams might look very ugly - and may cost coaches and executives their jobs, even if they are doing the right thing.
Often prospects who we think will be great end up being only good, and sometimes we undervalue a prospect who turns out to be an All-Star. Development is a tricky and uncertain thing, and if we are banking too much on a particular draft class to "save" a franchise, then in the very least we need to be patient. And we should fully understand that our expectations might be misguided.
Which brings us back to Wiggins. When a high school prospect is as highly regarded as Wiggins has been, he is almost certain to be good. Although the college basketball season is not even close to starting, Wiggins very likely will be the #1 pick in next year's draft. That is high praise for a wing prospect.
If Wiggins turns into a superstar, becoming a perennial first team All-NBA player, then it is unlikely another player in the 2014 Draft will join him in this elite stratosphere. That is not a bad thing, and at the same time it is worth noting that it is rare for two of the absolute best players in the league to be drafted in the same year. The one recent exception is the 2003 Draft, which the class of 2014 seems likely to be annoyingly compared to for the foreseeable future.
Let's look at the 9 best NBA players drafted from 1995 through 2007. These are the true "franchise-changing" players that Wiggins someday hopes to join:
1995: Kevin Garnett (drafted 5th)
1996: Kobe Bryant (13th)
1997: Tim Duncan (1st)
1998: Dirk Nowitzki (9th)
2003: LeBron James (1st) & Dwyane Wade (5th)
2004: Dwight Howard (1st)
2005: Chris Paul (4th)
2007: Kevin Durant (2nd)
This is an interesting list, and in my mind nicely simplifies things for us. The first 6 players have all been the best player on championship teams, and perennial top 5 players. Howard for a long stretch was the most dominant center in the league, and still might be. Chris Paul is maybe the best normal sized point guard ever. And Durant is clearly one of the best players of the last 15 years.
The point, simply, is that lightning does not usually strike twice in a draft class, and often it does not strike at all when it comes to drafting the best of the best. A draft class can be full of stars - like in 1999 when 9 future All-Stars were drafted - and still have no perennial superstars. That's obviously not a problem, but to hang too much hope on one "normal" star prospect developing and transforming a franchise is a little too risky for me.
Drafting well is the most important thing an executive can do to make his team better, but you usually need a few good drafts to truly turn a franchise around. So while the class of 2014 sounds great, let's not get too jacked about what it could mean for a franchise, and instead let the process develop organically. Even superstars - like Garnett, Duncan, Bryant, Nowitzki, James and Wade - needed a lot of help before they could become champions. This is doubly true for great players who are not quite on that elite level. Yes, there are probably at least a few tremendous players in this upcoming draft, but finding them and developing them successfully will take both time and luck.
One thing the new CBA definitely did is make it so NBA teams do not sign "non-star" players to massive contracts - but it did nothing to hinder some teams from signing such players to long-term, relatively expensive deals. The deals for Jose Calderon (four years, $29 million), Jarret Jack (four years, $25
million), Kyle Korver (four years, $24 million), Kevin Martin (four years, $30 million), J.J. Redick (four years, $27 million), J.R. Smith (four years, $25 million) and Jeff Teague (4 years, $32 million) all fall along these lines. I like some of those players a lot, but do they really deserve such long deals?In general, I don't believe in signing good - but not great - players to long-term deals. When you sign a player for three plus years there is always a lot of inherent risk involved, and it becomes more volatile the longer the non-star player is under contract. You want to feel confident the "supporting" player will be able to consistently give you substantial quality minutes over the life of the contract. J.J. Redick might look like a great signing now, but what happens if he can't even crack the regular rotation in a year or two? That said, these deals are safer than many of their precedents. Now let's look at some of the major deals that have occured in July, all contract numbers are approximate:-Chris Paul re-signed with the Clippers for 5 years, $107 million. This was a no-brainer for L.A., and a relatively healthy Paul is worth every penny of his max extension. He is the best point guard in the game, one of the best ever, and this contract should cover some of his prime years. However, Paul has injury concerns that are real - he will probably miss significant time at some point over the next few years - but when a player is this good it doesn't matter. I am surprised the Clippers traded away Eric Bledsoe, who seemed an excellent running mate/backup for Paul over the next half decade. Regardless, L.A.'s future shines bright, and a healthy Paul/Blake Griffin star combo should make the Clippers perrenial contenders.-Dwight Howard signed a 4 year, $88 million deal with Houston that was the biggest story of the free agency season. So much has been said about Howard's decision, but it comes down to this: If Howard is remotely healthy this is a great deal for the Rockets. Even last year, when Howard was far less than 100% and playing in a (largely self-created) terrible situation, he was one of the league's best centers. The only risk Houston runs with this deal is if Howard breaks down further, but at age 27 this concern strikes me as overblown. Howard does not need to be as great as he was a few years ago to still deserve this huge contract, and the chances are he has plenty of dominant years in front of him.- Josh Smith signed a 4 year, $54 million contract with Detroit. On paper, this seems just about right. We found out a long time ago that Smith would probably never develop into the All-NBA star that his talents suggested possible - but he nonetheless has been a productive top-50 player for years. He also has been durable. Maybe it's because Smith has "disappointed" me as a player by not developing as fully as possible, but I don't love this deal for the Pistons. I endorse it, though. Smith can be the third best player on a championship caliber club, and that is a valuable asset for Detroit to have. - Andre Iguodala signed a 4 year, $48 million deal with Golden State via a sign and trade. Iguodala's story seems similar to Smith's - an excellent player who never quite met high expectations, but nonetheless has had a superb career, and been very durable. However, I don't like this deal, especially when you factor in the multiple draft picks the Warriors gave up. Iguodala kind of disappeared after being traded to Denver last year, and I view that as a bad sign. If Golden State is smart they need to emphasize Iguodala as their second star behind Stephen Curry next season, if only to make certain that Iguodala does not get lost in the shuffle like he did in Denver. If Iguodala does not stand out for Golden State as a borderline All-Star the next few years - and I feel he won't - this is a bad deal for the Warriors.- Al Jefferson signed a 3 year, $41 million deal with Charlotte. I like this deal, and not just because the Bobcats finally spent some money on a free agent who was worth it. We always hear the negatives before the positives with Jefferson - yes, his defense ranges from adequate to bad - but we are still talking about one of the top offensive big men in the NBA. Not many current NBA players have a career PER over 20, as Jefferson does. He can dominante a game offensively, and transform a team's offense with his refined skillset. That is a legit asset, and for three years at this price the risk is relatively low.
- David West re-signed with Indiana for 3 years, $36 million. West, in my opinion, was Indiana's best player last year, and it's obvious why the Pacers wanted to retain him. Still, I would not sign off on this deal for a soon to be 33 year old grinder. I am just too concerned about injury risk with West given his age and style of play. Of course, I was worried about West's health two years ago when he initially signed with the Pacers, and he proved the skeptics completely wrong. Here's hoping he does it again, but I have some doubts.
- Tyreke Evans signed with New Orleans, via a 3 team trade, for 4 years, $44 million. The Pelicans traded away Robin Lopez and Greivis Vasquez in the deal, and acquired Jeff Withey along with Evans. I am not a fan of what the Pelicans are doing, starting with their stunning draft night trade. Lopez and Vasquez were quality, reasonably priced players, and New Orleans seemed a little too keen to rid themselves of them. Evans is a total enigma; his rookie year was magnificent, but all the improvements he has made since then have been marginal. Especially factoring in what they gave away, I would not have signed off on this deal. It only becomes worthwhile if Evans (or Withey) becomes a fringe All-Star type player, which appears unlikely. I think I understand the Pelicans' logic of trying to get slightly better quickly, and I strongly disagree with it.- Andrew Bynum agreed to a 2 year, $24 million deal with Cleveland, of which only $6 million is guaranteed. This is your basic low risk/high reward type deal, which we actually rarely see in the NBA. I have a feeling Bynum will not remain healthy, but I can agree with what the Cavs are doing here, and like it in theory. This does not make up for the fact they picked Anthony Bennett over Nerlens Noel and Victor Oladipo, though.- Paul Millsap signed a two year, $19 million contract with Atlanta. This deal is stunning - many of us thought Millsap would get one of the richest contracts of free agency, and deservingly so. He has been a top-50 player for years, and is in his prime. I am still blown away by the low numbers in this deal, expecially when you compare it to the Iguodala and Smith contracts. Millsap is probably better than either of those guys. Just a superb deal for the Hawks.
- Tiago Splitter re-signed with San Antonio for reportedly 4 years, $36 million. The advanced stats make Splitter look a little better than he actually is, probably, but he has always produced, and this deal is fair market value for a big man with Splitter's skills. To make this contract worthwhile he needs to be on the floor more. Overall, it's a pretty vanilla deal, which are sometimes the best kind of deals to make, as the Spurs know well.
Last night's draft and trades were so crazy it's hard to digest it all, but one thing is sure: The Atlantic Division just profoundly changed. Philadelphia needs to be commended for having an incredible night that potentially sets them up beautifully for the next decade. Noel plus another first rounder in 2014 is a steal for Jrue Holiday. I don't understand New Orleans' thinking at all, and I feel Pelicans' fans will long rue this day. It's absolutely stunning Noel dropped to #6, even if his health is in question, and Sam Hinkie absolutely nailed it last night with his moves. The Boston-Brooklyn deal was surprising, yet at the same time feels almost inevitable when you think about it. If Brooklyn can stay healthy the next two years they should be very good, but the Nets' payroll is insane, and they have pretty much mortgaged their future all for the hope of somehow being able to squeak by Miami the next year or two. This is how Billy King and the Nets operate, and while with their payroll it is somewhat understandable, it is also terrible long-term thinking, and the definition of high-risk management. If the Nets burn out in a few years, full of bloated contracts, they have forsaken the right to draft young players who potentially could ressurrect the franchise. And that is why Danny Ainge and the Celtics did this trade. It's not so much about the 2014 first round pick as it is the 2016, (potential) 2017 and 2018 picks. Gerald Wallace's big, bad contract is a serious price to pay, but the Celtics' thinking is that it is worth it given all the draft pick options they have been handed. So I laud Hinkie particularly, and also Ainge, for recognizing that there is no point in going half-way with a rebuild, and for understanding that when you want to become exceptional, you first usually have to weather through the muck. June 27, 2013 is going to be remembered for a long time.
I just posted on B/R my personal opinion on who the 20 best prospects are in the 2013 NBA Draft. And I don't have much to add. Some years I get very excited about players who are likely to drop deep into the second round, who I think in turn will become very good pros, but this year I have no such feelings. The 20 players I included in the article are the only players who really excite me, potential wise. They are, in order:
1. Nerlens Noel
2. Victor Oladipo
3. Otto Porter
4. Trey Burke
5. Ben McLemore
6. Steven Adams
7. C.J. McCollum
8. Michael Carter-Williams
9. Anthony Bennett
10. Rudy Gobert
11. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
12. Kelly Olynyk
13. Alex Len
14. Tony Mitchell
15. Cody Zeller
16. Jeff Withey
17. Giannis Adetokunbo
18. Archie Goodwin
19. Shane Larkin
20. Lucas Nogueira
Maybe all those players will be first round picks; at worst only one or two will drop past pick #35. After these top prospects I have a hard time ranking what players I prefer. There are the solid college veterans who will probably be decent pros (like Gorgui Dieng, Nate Wolters and Reggie Bullock), unknown foreign gambles (like Dennis Schroeder, Sergey Karasev and Livio Jean-Charles) and young college gambles (like Shabazz Muhammad and Ricky Ledo.) I don't have a firm opinion on many of these players - they may be good, they may be busts - and there is not much a difference between who I think the 25th best player is in this draft compared to the 45th. I will say I like two undersized power forwards - Arsalan Kazemi and Richard Howell - as potential late second round/undrafted gems. But that's about it. It's an interesting draft, and it's been fun watching it unfold the past eight months. Enjoy tomorrow night.
We are going to be hearing an awful lot about Spurs-Heat over the next few days, and let me quickly just share a few thoughts.
Miami was the favorite going into the year. They were certainly the favorite going into the playoffs. And I am too stubborn to reverse course now - I will stick with my season long prediction that they will win it all. Apparently so will the odds makers - Miami is a somewhat heavy favorite going into the series. But I would not be surprised in the least if San Antonio wins the Finals. And they might win rather easily.
Ever since the Summer of 2010 the Heat have been the story of the league. Their initial struggles, and eventual success, has been the talk of the NBA for three years now. And the Heat narrative continues to change. After rampaging through most of the regular season, Miami has looked off-kilter for much of the postseason. I don't mean to take anything away from the Pacers - who put up a valiant fight - but the Heat have not been the same since Dwyane Wade got injured. And on top of Wade's injury, Chris Bosh has played relatively poorly recently. This reality has meant that for much of the playoffs Miami's entire offense has completely revolved around LeBron James' greatness, not unlike how it was for James back in his Cleveland days.
I find all of this fascinating. James initially relocated to Miami to play with far superior talent, but three years later there are serious parallels to his old Cavaliers' teams. James' skills and on-court mindset have certainly matured since his time with the Cavs, but he now finds himself in a similar situation - one where he is part of an excellent defensive team, but one lacking in offensive firepower besides himself.
Obviously, it wasn't supposed to go down like this. Despite some ailments, Wade was still close to his normal All-NBA self for the regular season, and Bosh was an ideal third, complementary star. But all that has gone down the tubes in May and early June. Wade is hurt, and not close to being the player we expect him to be. And Bosh, after three years of taking a supporting role, seems unable to conjure up the alpha dominance needed to assert himself as the second strong offensive weapon that Miami needs behind James in place of the injured Wade. Like I said, the entire situation makes for a compelling storyline.
If the Heat are to beat the Spurs, LeBron James is going to have to be absolutely superior. The problem for Miami is that James could do that, and they still might lose. The Spurs are a great team. I could write 10,000 words on them if I had the time. Last year they looked great and then freakishly collapsed against OKC. This year is different. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are all still stars, the coaching and supporting players are superb, and San Antonio is much healthier than Miami. It should be a hell of a series. Enjoy.
I haven't had many profound thoughts lately; the playoffs have gone as expected (given Westbrook's injury, and then Griffin's) and there hasn't been any earth-shattering draft news. NBA Draft combine measurements were yesterday. A few things of note regarding some of the top prospects:
-Anthony Bennett is injured, was not present, and therefore was not measured. His actual height is still unknown as far as we know. That is a big deal. Bennett becomes a much better prospect if he's 6'7" without shoes - but I have a feeling he's closer to 6'5".
-Nerlens Noel weighed only 206 pounds. That is a skinny prospect, and actually should raise some concerns. Noel could add another 20 pounds and still be one of the thinner big men in the league. His weight might mean he is more naturally inclined to play power forward in the NBA as opposed to center. Injury and weight make Noel seem less of a surefire top prospect than he was in January. I would still probably take him first, but I can see why teams might be hestitant to do so.
-Both Victor Oladipo and Ben McLemore are less than 6'4" without shoes - not great size for a shooting guard. That's not a surprise, but it is somewhat significant. Oladipo has a huge wingspan, which should help make up for his height.
-Otto Porter, on the other hand, is really big for his position - almost 6'8" without shoes. I could see why a team would select him #1, although that appears unlikely.
-Rudy Gobert and Steven Adams, as expected, had great measurements. Both are big, big guys. You can't teach size, and each player has shown enough skill to make him worthy of being selected in the top ten.
-Michael Carter-Williams is almost 6'5" without shoes - huge for a point guard. That certainly helps his case for being drafted early.