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Seth Davis Talked to Scouts and NBA GM’s About Our Guys

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Over on SI.com today, Seth Davis talked about interviewing four NBA Scouts and two General Managers about the top-50 college prospects heading into the NBA Draft. He calls the collection of people ‘Finch’ offering them anonymity to openly discuss these guys. What is said about each player is a combination of all six guys interviews as if it’s coming from just one mouth. Here’s what is said about our Kentucky guys:

Devin Booker

“He has a chance to be really good. He can handle the ball but doesn’t do anything with it right now. He has great size for a wing. I don’t know if it was by design, but when he was at Kentucky, he never dribbled and never passed. He’ll probably be drafted higher than he should because he can shoot.”

This is a little weird to see as many people have been high on Booker since his hot streak during SEC play. The note about him not dribbling or never passing at Kentucky is a little head-scratching as he dribbled quite a bit, usually helping bringing the ball up the court against a press. The passing, sure I can understand as he usually ran off screens for a designed shot.

Willie Cauley-Stein

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“People talk about him like he’s this raw guy who just learned how to play, but he’s further ahead than that. He’s a freak of nature athletically, but he takes a lot of possessions off. He can guard all five positions, which is invaluable. I think he’s a little better offensively than he showed. His first two years, he was a below-50% free throw shooter, and then this year it went up to 62. That’s a big jump.”

Finally someone who knows what we all know about Willie – the fact he’s further ahead than most people give him credit for. This might be the most spot-on scouting report on Cauley-Stein, taking in account how much his free throw shooting improved while he’s better offensively than most know/he showed, which again was more of a design feature by Kentucky than anything else. 

Aaron Harrison

“I was really disappointed in him at the Combine. I hear his workouts have been just average. He’s a slightly above average shooter. He’s an Aaron Afflalo-type, but he doesn’t have the same instincts as a scorer. I don’t know if he gets drafted. I don’t think he does anything special. He hasn’t proven to be a reliable shooter, and that’s what he needs to be.”

A rather dark scouting report on Aaron Harrison, but hard to argue if you watched the Combine. As our Drew Franklin wrote during the NBA Combine, Aaron looked like he was pressing and trying to do too much. Again, not getting drafted might be a positive for Harrison as he can pick the team that he fits in the best opposed to being just a late draft pick. 

andrew-squint

Andrew Harrison

“He’s not a first-round pick, but he’s a 6’6″ point guard who can handle it and defends. He’s a point guard so there’s some value there. Ones and fives, we’re always dying to find. He’s not going to put a lot of pressure on the defense because he’s an inconsistent shooter. He gets by with his strength and size, but that’s a hard transition because NBA point guards are some of the best athletes in the world.”

Kind of a mixed bag here for Andrew as he’s a borderline first-round pick on most mock drafts. Yeah, he’s a 6’6″ point guard and has been vastly underrated as a passer and true point guard during his two years in Lexington. The biggest disagreement I have with this report is his shooting. From the midrange Andrew was deadly, shooting over 50 percent from the free throw line extended during his freshman year. 

Dakari Johnson

“He’s not a sexy athlete at all. He’ll be a backup big in the NBA for a long time. In the second round, he’s a no-brainer. He’s not the quickest twitch guy in the world, but his energy is high and he’ll go rebound the ball. He needs to work on his body and agility, but from what I’m hearing he just doesn’t have the work ethic to make that happen.”

Woah, aggressive calling Dakari not sexy. It looked like a strong scouting report for Dakari – being a backup big in the NBA for a long time is a great gig, just look around the league. Very concerning and scary to hear he doesn’t have a strong work ethic, something that was never really talked about during his time at Kentucky. 

Trey Lyles

“That’s a high-level talent right there. When they were running those platoons, he was the one getting screwed. He’s a good all-around player, although I thought he was average defensively. Very coachable, good character, defends fairly well. He’s not great at anything, but he has good size.”

If there was one person who could have benefited coming back to Kentucky for another year it was Trey Lyles. Not necessarily to work on his game, but the fact he would have been the centerpiece of the team and likely a top-five pick in 2016. Only took six scouting reports for platoons to be mentioned and ironically enough it was about Lyles being screwed. It sounds like Finch is incredibly high on Lyles, which should make him interesting come Thursday night.

Karl-Anthony Towns

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“I’d take him No. 1. He’s a great player on both ends. There’s a huge gap between him and Okafor defensively. Towns can stretch out to the three, but Okafor only plays inside. I don’t know that he’ll be a dominant player on the block like Okafor will be.”

Karl-Anthony Towns is a better defender than Okafor but Okafor is better on the block than Towns. Rinse, wash, repeat. 

Article written by Bobby Reagan

One time representative of UK at SEC 3v3 basketball championships. Northern Yankee living the Kentucky dream. Follow me @uklefty22

1 Comment for Seth Davis Talked to Scouts and NBA GM’s About Our Guys



  1. catdaddyd
    7:29 pm June 22, 2015 Permalink

    I love Karl, but it’s hard to imagine the #1 overall pick going scoreless in a ncaa tournament game.