Picture credit to Shanna Lockwood | Credit: Shanna Lockwood/AU Athletics
[00:00:00] All right, everybody. Welcome to the 264th edition of the wholly backport podcast. I am Dustin here in rip city and I got my man Sage Dustin, before we started recording just burped and it was impressively loud. So just wanted to start off by being very transparent with our audience. Hey, Olga made a fantastic.
[00:00:33] Chile keyless with, uh, just a magnificent red sauce and for anybody who knows me, I love breakfast and I love Mexican and mostly a lot of text. So when you put breakfast and TexMex together, my world’s just combine and I am so happy. So. I’m in a great mood Sage. Like we are here discussing a fantastic idea that you came to me with, [00:01:00] uh, in the new year, thinking about, you know, the blazer season, isn’t going exactly how all of us had wanted to write.
[00:01:08] We’re probably without our superstar for a significant amount of time, the COVID protocols had made it really difficult to. Uh, see any con uh, chemistry and consistency with teams across the league. And you had a blazer team that got off to a slow start and have really never been able to pick it back up the bonus or silver lining to that is the blazers may actually keep their draft pick this year, which spurned this idea now for our listeners.
[00:01:39] Who may not be aware or just would like a refresher Portland traded their first round draft pick as part of that three team deal back in the summer with Chicago and Cleveland Cleveland assigned in trade Lowry market into Chicago. Portland sent Derek Jones Jr. And a lottery protected first round [00:02:00] pick to Chicago while Larry Nance Jr.
[00:02:03] Came back to Portland. So that pick is lottery protected until 2028. Meaning as long as Portland does not make the playoffs, the plan doesn’t count. They’d have to actually win those play in games to make the playoffs. If they don’t make the playoffs, Portland gets that pick a much needed pick, I would say.
[00:02:24] And I think you would say as well, the trailblazers have not had a first round pick since they selected in Sierra. Uh, in late in the draft in the 2019 draft. So it’s going to be potentially three years between first round picks and first small market teams. First round picks are the lifeblood of any organization.
[00:02:43] Not only are you getting a high potential player with a very big ceiling, you’re getting them on a cost control contract and you were hopefully. Going to strike gold, like Portland has done in their franchises history through the draft. So your [00:03:00] idea, Sage future Fridays, every Friday, every other Friday, however we get to it.
[00:03:06] We are going to talk about it prospects, and we may talk about a prospect multiple times, and here’s how it’s going to kind of work out. So you provided a link that showcased an individual game for said, prospect, we watch it, we take notes, we break it down. We discuss how that player could fit with Portland.
[00:03:26] Some player comps, how good or maybe average they could end up being, and kind of take it from there with some of the higher end prospects. You’re probably going to hear us record at least two to three episodes about them because. You want to see their growth? Like you take notes from early on in the season, a player, especially a young player is going to transition and mature and evolve.
[00:03:52] And you’re going to see a different product from, you know, February, March, March madness than you did October, November. [00:04:00] So without further ado, Up first is, is Jabari Smith. Now Jabari Smith for, for those of you who don’t know, he is a freshmen powerful word at Auburn university, six ten, two hundred and twenty pounds.
[00:04:14] He’s 18 years old. He’s born in may. So he will be 19 at the time of the draft. He’s from, uh, Tyrone, Georgia. Five-star by all of the major outlets, rivals had him as the number six player overall, nationally. He chose Auburn over the likes of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and so on, basically had the pick of the litter in terms of who he wanted to go play for.
[00:04:42] Uh, some other interesting tidbits I found when, when researching about him is his father actually played four years, Jabari Smith senior in the league. He played with Philadelphia, New Jersey and Sacramento. He’s also covering. To Kwame brown, who was the [00:05:00] former number one overall pick back in 2001. And you’re going to probably get a really good chance at seeing a lot of Jabari Smith, whether it’s on ESPN, CBS Fox, and the upcoming tournament, Auburn is doing fantastic this year.
[00:05:16] At the time of this recording, they are 12 and one ranked number nine in both the AP and a USA today, coaches, polls, and. He is the number one proxy prospect. Right now he has taken over that top spot by almost every mock draft we have seen. So ESPN has him at three and Bleacher report has them at three, the rest of them they’re dummies.
[00:05:41] So the reason you went to the reasoning went to. Is there a coach, Bruce Pearl recruited him in junior high school. That’s how long the, uh, recruitment process recruitment process for him took. They found him in junior high school. He’s been a great player for [00:06:00] a very long time. And it’s kind of crazy that if you’re a great prospect you’ve been recruited for like five years when you’re a high school senior, it’s kind of insane.
[00:06:10] I just wanted to quickly jump in and just mention his, his averages through the time of this recording, uh, played in 14 games. 1515 0.7 points, six and a half boards, 2.1 assists shoots the ball 44% from the field 44 and a half percent from 3 84 at the line, which is a great indicator of how they’re going to shoot at the next level.
[00:06:37] doing this in 27 minutes with a 25.6 player efficiency rating. So he is not just a player who has shown flashes of brilliance. Like you see some high prospects come in, he’s actually putting the productivity. On a consistent basis. And that’s really what you’d love to see out of highly touted freshmen.
[00:06:58] Um, [00:07:00] Sage, when I think of highly touted freshmen, uh, there’s two, there’s three, really that, that come to mind that lived up to the hype and you knew that they were going to be it right away. And I’m not saying Jabari Smith is that, but just as kind of a litmus test, I go back to Carmela when. At Syracuse, you know, he led them to a national championship.
[00:07:21] He was a man amongst boys and that single season at Syracuse, she could see that he was ready for prime time. Then you look at Kevin Durant who really was the future’s this freak of nature, 6 11, 7 footer shooting from all across the perimeter. Couldn’t bench 180 5 for squat. But that didn’t matter. I mean, he was showing what the future of the NBA.
[00:07:46] Looked like what the future of basketball was about to become. And then maybe more of a better comparison just given positional type, because point guard, shooting guard small forward at the collegiate level, they are always going to [00:08:00] take precedence. They have the ball in their hands. It’s a much different game.
[00:08:03] You don’t see a lot of posts up post ups, but Anthony Davis at Kentucky, you could see. The greatness in him leading Kentucky to a national championship, the two way threat that he showed on a nightly basis. Those, when I think of top three picks from highly touted, you know, fabulous freshmen, you kind of want to think about those three players, right?
[00:08:32] Could you envision them having that type of success. Otherwise you might get into, I’m not going to besmirch Jabari’s name, but then you might be getting into like Anthony Bennett territory. Okay. He’s a five-star guide, but he didn’t really put up good numbers. It’s not a great draft class, but let’s roll the dice on him.
[00:08:51] Like there is those, those kinds of two baskets you can get in. And I definitely see Jabari Smith in more of that elite type of [00:09:00] basket and Sage, as you mentioned, this was the second game of the season. It was all the way back on November 12th against Louisiana Monroe. And. I’m going to let you take it away from here because you’re the one that introduced me to Jabari Smith.
[00:09:16] Um, you came up with this fabulous content idea. So what was your thought process in coming up with this idea and what made you want to do Jabari Smith? Well, I watched the first Auburn game and it felt like, okay, this kid, Jabari Smith is dominant, but it wasn’t like a complete game of dominance. And then I watched this second game just randomly on, uh, YouTube TV.
[00:09:43] And I was like, okay, this is where we get to see the Jabari Smith game where he dominated on all fronts. Defensively passing, rebounding shooting, obviously shooting. Cause he’s probably the best shooter in the draft at six [00:10:00] 10. So you got to see the full facet of his game. And that’s when I started talking on the original Holly backport show, like.
[00:10:07] This kid is going to peeve a fantastic pairing with whoever we have on the trailblazers at the time. And he was dominant. He, what I loved about his performance was he filled up the box score. You’re looking at 23 points, did it on seven of 12 shooting, three of five from downtown, got to the line. Eight times converted, six of those pulled down 10 boards to assist for steals to block.
[00:10:38] Did that against a Louisiana Monroe team that was kind of being a bit pesky and was leading you out most, most of that first half. And then Auburn really blew it open. It was actually Jabari Smith who in the second, not quarter because they don’t play in quarters, but the second part of the first half.
[00:10:59] He scored the [00:11:00] last 10, we scored 10 straight points for Auburn to keep them in that game. As you know, Louisiana Monroe was really making, making their, their push. So he kind of kept them afloat offensively, and then he just kind of took over. But. It was really fun watching this game, you know, taking notes, Sage w what are some of the things that just kind of jumped out at you as you watch this game?
[00:11:22] Since this was my second time watching this game, of course, I knew that he was going to score at those points. But the thing that I noticed that I loved the most was his perimeter defense, his feet are so like, he has such active feet and he cuts off angles really well for a six, 10. Small Ford power forward, small ball center to have that ability to use your feet and your body to cut down angles.
[00:11:50] Like it wasn’t just one time it was like a consistent, I’m going to put an effort in and make you have to change what you’re doing multiple times or [00:12:00] pass it. You’re not scoring easy on me when I’m guarding you in the perimeter. You know, I think of him as kind of like a team defender, but. I wouldn’t be scared if his man said a screen and there was a full switch and he was going against some guard in the league.
[00:12:14] I mean, we just watched a game where the heats jumped players dominated that to ha like, I feel like Jabari Smith might be one of our best defenders. The second he comes onto the trailblazers. If that happens, I think when you have a prospect and you’re not certain whether office or defense is going to be their calling card, they’re both.
[00:12:36] So. That’s where you really get excited. That’s where I get excited because especially early out of the gates, the defense is going to be the calling card and the defense stood out to me as well. Uh, Bruce Pearl is actually doing him a gigantic favor with how he’s coaching him this year, because he was putting him at the top of the zone, 30, 35 feet away on an island at [00:13:00] times, playing, playing in space.
[00:13:02] He also was roaming. He was back there like a Rudy go bear, you know, as a free safety. So he he’s getting these, these chances to, like you said, play team defense, play individual defense. You can really see how the, how he. Project into the week, guarding a three, a four or five. Uh, I would say just from the second game, there were very few critiques that I had, I think obviously at two 20 there’s room to put a weight on that frame to get a little bit stronger.
[00:13:38] He doesn’t initially he does a really good job initially at closing out on the perimeter, but there’s a couple of dribbles and his, his defender can kind of lean into him and. You know, he can kind of lose his, his center of balance. That’s not something that you worry about with a prospect. They’re going to go and become best friends with the weight room.
[00:13:57] I did love that he is able to play really [00:14:00] good defense without fouling. That has been, I think, a big sticking point with a lot of young bigs in the league, especially drafted by the Portland trailblazers. You look at Zach Collins, even going back to Greg Oden, both players when they were healthy, had a really hard time playing defense without falling.
[00:14:19] And those are good habits to have. Early on because as we all know, MBA officials don’t tend to give rookies the benefit of the doubt and they kind of give them a little bit harder time. They have a stricter learning curve when it comes to some of those calls. So I was just really impressed with how he was able to conceptualize zone versus man moving all over, all around.
[00:14:43] Uh, He was really just like there do it all defender. There’s a couple of plays where he, he know, I think he has potential to become a really amazing weak side shot blocker. He had one, but I think that there’s more like he, he has the length that he has the [00:15:00] instincts. I think once he gets stronger and more.
[00:15:04] Experience in terms of where he’s at on the floor. He, he could be in a racer, uh, on the backend and it just, uh, just terror on the perimeter. And we were talking about one of the game changing defenders, almost like, you know, dream on greens, like six, eight, the students, six, 10. So if you can kind of fathom that if he gets the instincts that Dre Mont has, and they’re not bare yet.
[00:15:29] He has, I think, defensive player of the year potential. And that’s something I don’t say lightly. So I think that he got that humongous advantage, just like Evan Mobley with both of their fathers being high-level basketball coaches and players. So he got that experience of like going against a high level basketball player probably when they were 14 years old.
[00:15:52] So they just have such a, just such a advantage over. Other other, uh, players in their classes because of [00:16:00] the, what their fathers were able to impart on them. Defensively, of course, I mean, like Evan’s probably going to win defensive player of the year, at least once in his career. So having that, just background knowledge, it’s such a huge, huge advantage, and really think that he has a special skillset for defending.
[00:16:22] I’m very curious how. The, the plyometrics staff at, with the blazers or whoever can get him stronger, but not lose the fluidity, especially in his feet. Cause I think that is, I think that might be his calling card. Defensively is how fluid he moves at six, 10 to 20. What’s the first thing you look at when you’re scouting a big.
[00:16:50] Do they look awkward? Does it look smooth? Exactly. That’s the first thing that I was watching for with, with Jabari and he just has [00:17:00] incredible agility for a person. His size when he moves, it looks like a six foot tall. Person’s moving. It looks like a five foot five, you know, small guard, uh, Muggsy. Bogues like he.
[00:17:11] He looks natural in what he does. It’s not clunky, it’s not robotic. It’s his frame looks like it can handle 10 to 15 extra pounds. Like you don’t need him to bulk up too much, especially in the modern MBA, but just, you know, a couple extra pounds of muscle to take on the grind of an 82 game season and he’ll be there.
[00:17:32] So yeah, I would, I would caution him to. Stay on the line, the leaner side, I think that the staying lean will allow him to have a longer career in, in the league and will probably reduce the stress on those joints, those feet, those knees. I mean, these are the 1% of humankind in terms of their size. You don’t want all of that weight coming down on those joints and bones.
[00:17:58] So, um, whoever [00:18:00] drafts him, you know, really needs to take care of that body because. The future is really bright, but aside from how they move, one thing that I always look for is that, that like aha moment, like the flashes of brilliance, like, okay, this is what this player, this is their absolute ceiling.
[00:18:20] And there were two players. That I saw it. I was like, oh, damn, like we need the number one pick like th this, this guy is the real deal. Uh, and he had to play in each of the half. So in the first half he pulled down a rebound, just tripled the ball up. The court pulled up from three from the top of the.
[00:18:42] We’ll just was, it was so graceful and nothing, but I didn’t even hesitate on it. And I was like, that’s pretty damn amazing for a player of his size to be able to do, to be able to move and to be able to shoot like that. The second one, I mean, I was raving to you about this. I had to rewind it. [00:19:00] Yeah, it was coming.
[00:19:01] I had to rewind it a few times. Again, coming off the rebound dribbling coast to coast, a smaller defenders in his way out about the mid court line. He goes behind his back right to left in one motion, continues, dribbling up the court. There’s another defender at the cup yet. He’s able to outstretch over him with a nice layup and one.
[00:19:21] And I was telling you this, like the last big guy I remember like dribbling behind his back, like was a young shack coming into the league out of Louisiana state for the lawyer and the magic. And. Big men. Heart’s supposed to be able to move and dribble and have all of that hand-eye coordination. I mean, I couldn’t even do it.
[00:19:41] And I’m, you know, just regular guy, like six, 10 that not get pick-pocketed by it by another guard. Like I know he’s not going to be doing that every time down the floor, but hand-eye coordination is something that I look for, especially in the big man. [00:20:00] Um, it’s just. You do something you can’t teach? Like that’s what makes the, the, the cream of the crop, the cream of the crop.
[00:20:09] I think the rebounding was incredibly impressive to me. And if you look at a stat sheet, it’s like 10 rebounds a game every game. So, which is hard to do in a college you’re only getting power. Yeah, Chrysler Edwards is the center. So he’s playing power forward. Walker Kessler was blocker locker Kessler. I think I talked about it.
[00:20:32] Was that the guy from Pepperdine last year that I just mentioned. All right. He him playing power forward and contributing to that is pretty impressive because he had a knack for just getting into the right spot. He’s not the strongest player on the court, but I think he’s the, one of the smartest with getting his body to the right space and jumping.
[00:20:52] I don’t think he’s going to be an incredible above the rim athlete. So his anticipation has to be at a high level. [00:21:00] For him to get those rebounds. And I really do think that he’s in a rebound at a good level. I mean, once he puts on weight, understands what scheme he runs, he’s going to be a really good rebounder.
[00:21:10] And that’s why I think that there is a legitimate chance of him being a small ball five, especially in high leverage minutes. Like, just think about if the blazers play the Jack. You can put him at five and force Utah to react to that shooting because you can’t leave a guy that shoots 43% wide open.
[00:21:28] That’s just, it’s Terry Stotts against the warriors type of strategy. So you can’t Rudy obeyer only plays drop. So you’re going to have to force him to put in Rudy gay or somebody else. So it’s a huge advantage, especially in those high leverage minutes that he is such a good. Yeah. And you mentioned playing five or four.
[00:21:49] I love the pick and pop potential Jabari Smith. I think it’s absolutely through the roof. His, he had a three point. He had a three point or off [00:22:00] of a screen that just looked like it could have been ran hand over fist every time down the court. It’s a really nice form on his jump shot. It’s quick. It’s fluid.
[00:22:09] It doesn’t look like he is having to exert himself to get it to the. As I mentioned, he shoots 44% from three and 84% from the line. A lot of people who talk prospects in scouting and how players transition that they talk about that shot from the line. What you shoot at the line in college usually tends to project to how well they should.
[00:22:32] Um, from three in the professional. So that’s a really great sign for, for Jabari that he is going to be able to shoot the ball at a, at a high clip, at a consistent clip. And he’s a threat to the, to the defense. H I E. I saw him one place score off the bounce. He hits off movement. He hits off the bounce.
[00:22:54] Like it’s not very yet, but the, you can see [00:23:00] exactly it’s but being able to shoot it off the balance off the catch and in rhythm at six, 10, how many Michael Porter Jr. And who else can show. Oh, he doesn’t keep count, but yes, it’s a very select number of players that can, that can shoot in three different ways like that.
[00:23:26] That’s like Desmond Bain level of shooting. I mean, I would say. I think he projects more as a face up big rather than, uh, rather than a back to the basket. Big, I think he’s dunked five times this year. Yeah. And I just, I don’t, there’s two players in the entire world right now that get posted ups for, in, for them there’s Juul and bead and Nicole Yogesh.
[00:23:49] I don’t see him as that type of big, so. I, like I said, I project you more as more of like, uh, uh, LaMarcus Aldridge, Rasheed, Wallace, type of big in terms of their ability to pick and [00:24:00] pop, stretch the floor and do that sort of scoring, you know, adding to, to his, uh, repertoire. But we’ve gushed about him, Sage, what are some areas that he could work on, whether you call them weaknesses or just that he’s going to get better as he gets older?
[00:24:20] I think the number one thing is that a lot of his passing is very pre-bid determined. He sees somebody he’s going to pass it to that. Yeah, that was, uh, I noted that you play, there was a play where he had the ball on the break. He could have probably just took it for a dunk, laid it up. But yeah, he saw his teammate probably wanted to get the crowd.
[00:24:39] Through an unnecessary law pass that was just teleported to the defender and it was knocked out of bounds. So I absolutely agree with that. Even in some place where he was like trying to set something. You knew where the ball was going. Like the, the play design is meant for this, this action to [00:25:00] happen.
[00:25:00] If Jabari cannot get his shot, he’s passing it to the point guard who set something up. So I think, I feel like a lot of his passing and maybe some of his dribbling is predetermined. Obviously. There’s that amazing highlight? I don’t think that that’s going to happen often. So I would say that his play-making is the one real weakness other than the fact that.
[00:25:22] Kind of a skinny 18 year old, which there’s plenty of them. So once he is able to bulk that won’t be that big of an issue. I do like that. He doesn’t try to do too much, but. I agree with you on the handle. That’s something I also noted that he needs to tighten up the handle, especially if he’s going to be dribbling off of rebounds and essentially leading, you know, fast breaks or secondary fast breaks.
[00:25:47] If he’s going to try and score off the bounce, which you clearly want him to be able to do at the next level, uh, the handle’s going to need, you know, I think a lot more work, but again, we’re, we’re projecting. [00:26:00] 5 6, 7 years down, down the road here, like Kevin Durant didn’t come in right off the bat, able to do the things that he’s able to do now.
[00:26:07] Uh, it takes time repetition. And I would say maybe the biggest thing aside from play-making is finding a go-to move authentic. Especially for a big man, because yes, you are going to get those pick and pop opportunities, those pick and roll opportunities. But those are predicated to on somebody else doing their job.
[00:26:30] All of the great players are able to call for the ball and say, get the fuck out of the way I’m going to score on my man. One-on-one he needs to figure out what that, what that move is, uh, whether that’s a quick jab and then he pulls up for the jump shot, like a Kevin Garnett, uh, Tim Duncan had the bank shot, uh, Rashid had that incredible turnaround fade away, whatever it is.
[00:26:52] He’s going to need to, to find that I think that will help define how great he can be. So [00:27:00] with Evan Mobley, his brilliance and his ability to play the off forward, where do you project Jabari in his first contract? Positionality wise? Is he a four? Is the a five or is he a three? I think a great coach. Just throw them out there.
[00:27:18] I think he is the reason I have him. Number one of my board is every single NBA player fits Jabari Smith. And I think that is incredibly rare. When you go down the list of great players, even great players have, oh, you need this type of player to work with them. Allen Iverson immediately needed a certain type of player to work with them.
[00:27:43] Only the greats are like, yeah, he can play in any system in any. So I think it’s going to depend on what team he goes to, what is the roster construction, you know, kind of look like. And honestly, it probably will just depend on a matchup by, by matchup basis, you know, [00:28:00] every, every opponent. Yeah. You don’t want him to go against Joe Joe year one, Jabari Smith.
[00:28:05] I do think he can be a small ball five. I think he’s probably a four right out of the gate, but I would love to see. Uh, you know, how the warriors had their death lineup. I think you could have a large lineup with Jabari Smith as your three, because he’s able to defend on the perimeter is able to stretch the floor.
[00:28:22] I mean, he would absolutely dominate a lot of small forwards in this leak. And if you put two plus defenders at size behind him, I mean, you were just going to dominate the glass. Dominic dictate the tempo. Um, that’s just the, the position versatility. Is is through the roof. It’s it’s not like we haven’t seen since I think Anthony Davis is probably the last one that I can remember coming out of the league.
[00:28:50] I think mobiley is, is in those talks as well, but those players are so rare. That’s why, that’s why it is a big deal. That [00:29:00] Portland is given a puncher’s chance to try to acquire a player of this caliber. Obviously, this is predicated on a lot of things that we don’t know and it’s happening, but I have to feel like he is a perfect power forward for use of neurocircuits to pair with.
[00:29:16] And I mean, like let’s say that crone, and then he agreed to a fair contract offer. I think that Jabari would be the, one of the premier pairings with, with use of they make up for each other’s weaknesses. Like strength is one of Jabari’s biggest weaknesses. Well, we have a 300 pound bear that is pretty mobile.
[00:29:39] Like the ability to fit. Everybody, not just one player, like Xi’an needs the whole team, but Jabari can fit with everybody on our officer or, you know, like, he’d be good with miles Turner. Cause he can rebound the ball. Like there’s a lot of things he can do that make center’s jobs a lot easier. Okay. So [00:30:00] assume the blazers win the lottery.
[00:30:02] They take Jabari Smith, they resign use of NERC EJ. They have Norman Powell and Damien at the. Who’s that realistic, small forward. You have those four who’s that realistic, small forward. You want to round out that starting five that Jabari’s really going to collab with, and they’re going to have great chemistry.
[00:30:23] They’re going to just, you know, benefit one another in just a great way on the court. Honestly, I feel like he’s on our team in the sear, little like the Sears going to do the effort plays and just be that athlete that, you know, I don’t think Jabbar is that top peer athlete. So to have somebody that’s explosive and can jump out of the gym, I think the sear little would be a really great pairing.
[00:30:51] Three shooters. Might be a little bit of an issue with, uh, norm Jabari and Dame, but like, I feel like we can make it [00:31:00] work with within the sear and those four, if you were the blazers, you get the number one pick you’ve committed to Damian Lillard. Do you move it? It’s gotta be for something great. I don’t want like, Uh, demand is a bonus or something like that.
[00:31:20] It’s gotta be somebody that has some two way ability and able to fit with Dame. I honestly like Jabari Smith might be like a top five pairing at the power forward with Damian Lillard, so that that’s tough to. Think of like trading him after we get the first overall pick. If we get the first overall pick, he fits with him like a glove.
[00:31:46] So it’s really difficult to want to trade him when there’s just such a cheap contract and a really good player. It would be tough to want to trade them, but it would be like a top 15 player. And I don’t think they’re trading a top 15 [00:32:00] player for jar Jabari. Or the first overall pick. Yeah, I think it needs to be, it would have to be a player under 28 years old, top 10 to 12 in my book.
[00:32:10] I don’t think you trade number one, overall picks unless you’re getting a young proven player, multiple picks. It’s going to be a, it’s going to be a pretty big ransom for whoever gets first overall, if they’re willing to move it, you’re getting a lot of stuff from, from that team. Exactly. So I would want to continue to build around Jabari and I think he, like you said, he works like a glove with Dame.
[00:32:38] I think he would make Dame’s life so much easier, especially defensively, but let’s also. Talk about if Anthony Simons is the starting point guard, how would you feel going forward about a young nucleus of Anthony and this year in Jabari [00:33:00] and then whatever we get for Dame and CJ and all future tense. I feel the best about Jabari out of the three of those, obviously, but.
[00:33:12] I, I just go back to when Portland kind of tore it down and they had that, you know, magical draft night of oh six, getting Brandon, getting a Marcus, the, just the, the joy. And, you know, just, it’s just the joy we felt on draft night, getting Greg Oden, like having that, like that was the big three I know Jabari in this year.
[00:33:37] And Anthony wouldn’t be up to that point, but. All young, also a lot of potential and they think the best thing I do think they compliment one another. Yeah. I think the Sierra and Jabari would fit really well. And then the pick and pop between ant and, uh, uh, Jabari would be pretty lethal just because both of, both of them are great shooters and then [00:34:00] Jabari can make up for the defensive buyability of ant.
[00:34:04] So I think it would work, but I would love. And in the year to have a higher ceiling in my mind, because right now I feel like nods is going to be a good, good player, but I don’t think it will be a great and ant is really high variance. So either have a dramatic quarter or he’s going to be kind of a non-factor, but it’s a core to work with.
[00:34:29] I know you don’t like play or comps. I love them. It gives me something to envision how a player is doing to be who is Jabari’s floor in your mind from day one. So I’m trying to think, like I have one, but I feel like it’s very weird, uh, Kayvon, loony with a really good job. Would be his floor. I think his floor from what I’ve seen is current Jared Jackson Jr.[00:35:00]
[00:35:00] See, that’s that’s 75% from me that I think that’s his floor. I am. So the, the issues with Jaron, with him not being big enough as a five. And like being a tweener in a bad way. You see those issues that in his floor, his floor evaluation. When I think of, I think Jaron Jackson Jr. I loved him as a prospect.
[00:35:24] Unfortunately, the injury bug has caused that, uh, floor to drop a bit or the ceiling to drop a bit. Um, you also look at his inability to defend without following. He is a foul monster. Number one. And I, I just don’t think he’s taken that next step. I think he’s, I think if Jabari ends up as Jerry and Jack cause junior, you’re going to look at a player who’s a little bit inconsistent, kind of like Anthony Simons, he’s going to have those nights where he was, you know, he’s going to have nights where he goes like, oh nine from three, just missing wide open look.
[00:35:54] So just the inconsistencies and having 5,000 or something. Absolutely. So that’s where I kind of [00:36:00] said the floor for, for me, uh, the ceiling for the blacksmith.
[00:36:09] Prime Rashard Lewis in 2020. I mean, he got max salary. I see. I don’t think Rashard Lewis played a lick of defense. Okay. But it’s tough because I don’t want to say KB cause I don’t think that’s a possible, I don’t, I don’t think he’s, I don’t think he’s often civilly as good as to rant. My ceiling is, is Kevin Garnett with a little bit more range on his jump shot?
[00:36:37] I don’t know if he has the mental, then that switch is very hard to find exactly, but we don’t know until he gets out there. I mean, that’s why it’s a little bit of a dice roll for evaluators, but when they go in and make that final selection, but why I think that it’s there, their build is similar. I think they are kind of lean, lean player.
[00:36:59] What I [00:37:00] saw in game two of what he was being asked to do defensively was so impressive. Like I think that that is incredible for an 18 year old kid to be able to go do. Um, and Garnette was one of the best defenders versus that, that the game has seen. So if we’re talking ceiling, you’re talking a number one overall pick here.
[00:37:18] I’m not talking about, you know, some guy who has two or three good games in a row and might go late first round, we’re talking about five star number one. If I’m saying ceiling, I do think it’s Kevin Garnett with more range on his jump shot and kg was a knockdown mid-range jump, shoot, jump, shot a player.
[00:37:36] He just didn’t take threes because that wasn’t his era. Like, I mean, yeah. I, I kinda, I kind of get it. I actually do get it. It’s just, I know that that’s a hell of a player, but that’s stealing, that’s a hundred percent capacity ceiling. Let’s say Dame resigns. Would it be Dewberry’s team on a second? God. Oh, yeah.
[00:37:56] Yeah. Okay. Okay. And then, so we’ve [00:38:00] talked floor, we’ve talked to ceiling. Who is your player comp for just middle of the road, Michael Porter, Jr. With good defense and rebounding, which is more perennial all-star he’s really an interesting, good prospect. It that’s, that’s a really good comparison. I went back a little bit further, a little bit, uh, tied it into our, our rip city history.
[00:38:26] And what I’ve seen. He, I think mill cliff Robinson cliff Robinson was ahead of his time in terms of stretching the defense playing the three through five. We saw him in the finals, you know, play the play, the five. He defended David Robinson in the Western conference, semis when duck was hurt as a rookie, I think cliff Robinson in that.
[00:38:49] He was meant to be in this era like cliff Robinson Smith, if he was, he was a great defender, a great outside shooter. I think Jabari is better with the [00:39:00] ball in his hands. And, and I think he is a better prospect, but I think if cliff Robinson had played in this era, he has more than one off star, more than one, six man of the year award.
[00:39:12] That’s still cliff Robinson in the modern era is a hell of a player. I like it. I think your comps are very aggressive, but I actually do see it like obviously kgs, like, Ooh, but the two big weaknesses is passing. And dribbling at six 10, we’re not talking about a six, three guard that has trouble dribbling.
[00:39:37] We’re talking about a guy that’s six, 10. That, that is a huge thing. When you’re evaluating players, he’s six, 10 doing these things. He’s not, he’s not a guard doing it. I like that comp it’s it’s lofty, but I like it. I feel like mine might be a little too real realistic. But [00:40:00] I think the Jabari is the archetype that we’re going to see a lot.
[00:40:04] And he’s one of the first few. That is what he is. So as like in five years, we’re going to have the, the Jabari Smith archetype in our heads. Like, you know, like west Matthews was an archetype before its time. This is an archetype before its time as well. I like the stupendous shirt too.
[00:40:28] So is he number 1, 2, 3. What is he on your list right now for your, if you were the GM of the blazers and we happen to get numbers? He’s the number one pick on, on he is number one on my big board. I haven’t filled out a big board yet. Uh, I’ve seen bits and pieces of others. I think as we continue to do our future Fridays, we’ll get more and more Intel and insight on, on these players.
[00:40:56] Right now he’s he lives up to the number one, you [00:41:00] know, standard in, in most of the mock drafts. So easily. Number one, I think he’s the prize. I think he’s, he’s the reason right now. I’m hoping Portland loses as much as they can to get the best possible opportunity to pick him. Because for all of the things that we’ve said, that the potential, the fit archetype, like he is the future of where basketball is going in.
[00:41:24] To have a two way player at six, 10, like you can build around that. I’ll get, and like you could have use of NERC is doesn’t have to be our center. We can, we can have miles Turner. We can have basically anybody be the five and he’ll fit in perfectly. Like you can always use a tall shooter, always that can play defense like that, that the fit is just wonderful.
[00:41:49] Like. Chet. You’re going to have to have a specialized roster to utilize his immense talent. And I guess in my eyes, his 100% ceiling is better than [00:42:00] Jabari’s, but everything else, everything under the sun Jabari is the number one guy. And when you think of teams that are in this range, I feel like Jabari is the number one guy for most teams when you just like, think of needs and like what the NBA is going to it’s it’s like maybe there’s a few teams that would prefer chat or, uh Banchereau but Jabari is like the number one guy.
[00:42:25] I would imagine a lot of people’s boards. And you said it was going to be a 20 minute podcast, 40 minutes. That’s a short one by our standards. Yeah.
[00:42:38] Let’s let’s wrap this one up, let our listeners know who the next prospect will be and where they can find our, our continent. I think that our next one should be Paulo. Um, Benchero there are many games. I think we’re going to start out with the, uh, duke Kentucky game so we can see it. Multiple [00:43:00] prospect because duke has a lot of guys like Lindo more could be the player of the year.
[00:43:04] I definitely want to check out duke multiple times because, uh, they have so many prospects and so many guys that I think could really make an impact in league. So next week I expect to see podcast of, uh, us talking about that new Kentucky. So a peace out and a thank you for listening to this new part of the holy backward. .