Future Friday AJ Griffin
[00:00:00] Dustin: all right, everybody. Welcome to the 280th edition of the holy Blackboard podcast. I’m Dustin here in rip city and I got my
[00:00:17] Dillon Sage: man Sage. Um, We just witnessed Dustin’s really, really, really bad top shot pack, not worth, really showing off because it was for commons. But, uh, I looked out on the top shot dropped today.
[00:00:31] So I’m very happy about that.
[00:00:34] Dustin: I’m sticking with my WMB moments. That’s my bread and butter. So this was a fun little lab venture, and I thought it might be worth the money that I had in the account, but it was not so present chance
[00:00:47] Dillon Sage: you make your money back. So.
[00:00:48] Dustin: Oh, no, I know I’m not. I’m gonna try and just get something back, but yeah, I’m going to stick with the WMB moments.
[00:00:55] Really good collector score, bump, uh, their new [00:01:00] ish. This’ll be seasoned CS series too. Um, so if you want to get a lot of series ones, they’re already out there and I’ve, I’ve made. A good ROI on the WVA moment. So I think that’s an untapped
[00:01:12] Dillon Sage: market. Yeah, man, finding that niche in anything like this, finding that 5% niche where you can carve out your home is, is a really smart, practical way of investing in this NFTE market.
[00:01:26] So I like it, but we really aren’t here to talk about my dub Topshop pack openings and your. Humongous L we’re here to talk about my favorite prospect in this draft, AGA Griffin.
[00:01:43] Dustin: That is high praise, as you mentioned, uh, AGA Griffin is up next for the, our future Friday series. A J is a six, six, two hundred and twenty two pounds.
[00:01:55] From duke university, rivals.com [00:02:00] had him as the 17th overall prospect in the class of 2021. He was a five star recruit. Um, clearly he chose duke, but he chose them over. Other blue bloods. He had offers from just about every school in America, but he chose duke over Kentucky, Kansas, and Villanova, uh, some fun facts about him, his father, Adrian Griffin, who some of our listeners may be familiar with.
[00:02:28] Uh, not only played 10 seasons in the NBA, but he’s currently an assistant coach with the Toronto Raptors and Sage. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is going to be making some short lists for upcoming head coach in vacancies. So that is a, a name to, uh, kind of keep in mind. And what’s kind of interesting about some of these prospects we’ve been discussing is their, their bloodlines and their DNA with, with the sports.
[00:02:54] Um, like a lot of our other prospects, uh, AIJ participated in the 2019 FIBA Americas, [00:03:00] uh, under 16 championship. Uh, he won a gold medal with team USA in 2019. He averaged a 13 and a half points, a team high 3.3. Uh, per game in those six contests, uh, he was the number one player in the state of New York. Uh, and New York is one of the basketball Mecca.
[00:03:19] So to be the number one player in that state, uh, says quite a bit currently on the year, uh, duke is 23 and four. They are ranked seventh in the AP poll in sixth and the coaches. Specifically for AAJ in 21.8 minutes per game. He’s averaging 10 points shooting 48.1% from 3 49 0.8 from the field 75% from the line grabbing 3.7 rebounds, uh, dishing out 1.1 assists also chipping in a half a block and 0.4 steals.
[00:03:58] In doing all of that [00:04:00] with a player efficiency rating of 21.7, the game we watched. So as we discussed on our Jaylen during an episode, Our YouTube channel that we would kind of go for, for full games, uh, was Mia for a couple of weeks. So you really had to kind of take it back old school and look in the TV guide and say, okay, when, when does a team with a prospect that we want to cover, actually come on, cable television.
[00:04:30] Well, it so happened to be that it was a rematch of a thriller, uh, earlier in the month against the university of Virginia. Uh, a game in which duke won a 61 65. It was a bit of a clunker, uh, Virginia, Virginia plays some of the quickest games. They don’t foul. They take a lot of time off the shot clock, very fast game, but very defensive oriented.
[00:04:54] Oh, just a grinder of a game. Uh, in 24 minutes, AIG finished with 13 [00:05:00] points, six rebounds, a block and a. Hit three, really big threes in the closing minutes of the game overall finished four of 11 from the field in a game in which I would say only Virginia’s point guard key. Hey Clark shined every everyone else.
[00:05:16] Mightily struggled in this game. So when we’re talking about AIJ and I’m sure you’ve done this age, I mean, we’ve seen duke play well, countless times, so we’ll reference this game, but you know, I’ve watched a scouting videos on him. We’ve seen him play against North Carolina in coach K’s last game and chapel hill.
[00:05:35] Uh, we’ve seen plenty of games from duke, so we’re not only just referencing this game, but other contests that, that we’ve seen from agent. And I would also just continue to champion the importance that don’t just watch a player once, because you don’t know one, if they’re having a good day for having a bad day, you don’t know the system.
[00:05:57] Uh, you don’t know the, just [00:06:00] the, the, all of the factors that go into a college game, like, as we were watching this specifically Sage, I was texting, I was like this coach, K not know what a pick and roll is. Everything was ISO and just run to the basket. Like there was no ball movement, no player movement.
[00:06:15] Like I said, it was a grinded out kind of just like slug Fest. Um, that really wasn’t a pretty basketball game to watch the spacing was horrendous. So. It’s really hard when you have players in certain systems to say, yes, they can do that. No, they can’t do that. You have to kind of take a leap of faith and say, I’m projecting that based upon a couple of plays or just flashes.
[00:06:40] I think they might be able to do this at the next level. That’s why scouting prospects is so difficult to do, especially freshmen, because they’re only getting in one year of college, uh, experience. And it’s why you kind of really put a lot of stock into the combine. If the player will actually go and play on those five on five games, do you mean you see [00:07:00] players rise because it’s more of a free-flowing NBA style of action.
[00:07:05] So it’s, that’s why it’s just so hard because there’s a few prospects in this class that I think jump off the tape, regardless of system scheme, whatever. I think that’s why they’re tier one prospects, but once you start getting into the middle lottery late lottery first round, You have to just kind of make some judgments and you have to kind of.
[00:07:25] Use your own eyes and what they’re telling you and what you’ve seen in other situations. And that, that was really hard for me with, with AIG, because you can tell he’s talented Sage, but the number one, when I was reading off of his statistics, the number that jumped out to me. It wasn’t the 48% from three.
[00:07:43] That’s fantastic. The number that jumped out at me the most is he’s playing less than 22 minutes per night. Uh, which is just kind of ridiculous because he’s clearly Duke’s first or second best player.
[00:07:55] Dillon Sage: Yeah, well, that, that leads into, um, a lot of people are gonna [00:08:00] worry about his injury history. And I kind of did some research on that injured his ankle when he was a junior in high school.
[00:08:10] And then returned for the playoffs and then the COVID season hit. And he just stayed in Tampa with his father, uh, recovering from the ankle and like learning how to play ball. And you can tell that he plays ball at a very high level, and then he sprained his knee at duke. So I think that the spring knee is a reason why that he started off the year.
[00:08:30] So, so a light on minutes and. He started playing. You saw that window more started. Cause I thought that there was a chance he was going to be the player, the player of the year in the beginning of the year. And then now it’s just like, Wendell’s not really part of the, the big five on that team. Really.
[00:08:49] He’s like the, uh, he’s like the sixth man. Cause, cause you gotta play Jay, you gotta play polo. It’s kind of a weird thing with him recovering from injury, [00:09:00] but then you see like when he’s in the game, it’s like, he’s one of the more smart players on duke, because what duke is doing is just like aggressively cutting to the basket during post ups.
[00:09:11] And he’s the one, like moving off ball, trying to get that spacing. So like the, the, the college game is just absolutely. The worst for a team like duke, where they’re just aggressive
[00:09:24] Dustin: cutter. When I watched the game, it was really awkward for me, knowing that coach K was actually using AGA Griffin and Mark Williams.
[00:09:32] I think two of his three best players to do office for defense.
[00:09:37] Dillon Sage: It was crazy because agent Griffin made the game winning.
[00:09:40] Dustin: And he just had the, he hit a three and he immediately got that taken out.
[00:09:44] Dillon Sage: So it was such a bad rotate, like Trevor Kiehl’s or
[00:09:48] Dustin: a road approach or window, more like those. I know people listening, probably roll their eyes and say, how can you critique coach cage?
[00:09:55] Probably one of the greatest culture coaches about. I’ll give him that you can still be [00:10:00] wrong. Gregg Popovich, probably the greatest coach of all time. He was wrong for having Tim Duncan on the bench in game six of the 2013 NBA finals. There was no Tim Duncan there to grab that rebound. We all know what happened.
[00:10:12] Every no one’s perfect. Everyone makes a mistake. I thought it was a really poor rotation by Mike Shashefski and. I don’t know why he continues without going off, off tangent. I don’t know why he continues to let Wendell Moore and Trevor keels and Jeremy Roach really try to initiate this offense because there is no rhyme or reason to what they’re trying to do.
[00:10:34] They’re winning games just based upon pure talent alone. It’s really shocking to see how poorly. This team is constructed, especially from a recruiting standpoint. Why wouldn’t you want to get a pure point guard? Like a tie tie Washington out there, like when duke won a Natty there there’s no. Surprised that they did it with Trey Jones or Titus Jones, excuse me.
[00:10:57] Like he was the floor general. He got the [00:11:00] ball to Winslow. He got the ball to OCA four and they wanted a guard play is so imperative at the collegiate level. And I would all, while I was watching AIG, I was thinking, you know, if I was a non point guard, I would go where there is a point guard there to make my life easier.
[00:11:16] A good point guard is just going to serve it up on a silver platter. It’s it’s just not there for duke. So it’s really hard for me personally, to evaluate, um, AAJ. Uh, you mentioned that. He is your favorite prospect in this draft class. And I just, my question is, tell me why.
[00:11:38] Dillon Sage: I think that he is one of those guys that just fits around everybody.
[00:11:44] And like, it’s like, he’s a universal wing player that fits around. Dame will fit around everybody. He has so many whom he has so much. That he can just fit in the rule that is there. And [00:12:00] he’s extremely talented. The shooting is awesome. The, the athleticism is awesome, but you see that he’s a good teammate.
[00:12:07] And like his teammates like congratulate him versus his successes. He even when he was getting taken out for, uh, Mark Williams, you saw him cheering on the sidelines. I feel like that’s a high character player with all of the athletes. Markers of him being elite with elite shooting. It’s just like the most interesting prospect.
[00:12:31] If you, if you can utilize all those skillsets, he could be, he could have one of the highest ceilings in the, in the, uh, in the class. So it’s just who he is as a person. Plus all of those gifts. I want that. I want that on my team. I want to cheer for that for 15 years. I want to see Damian Lillard, mentor them and turn them into that alpha alpha score that number one guy.
[00:12:57] Cause I think that he has a skillset for all of [00:13:00] it. It’s just that right now he’s being put as the secondary DePaulo and he’s succeeding in that role. He could have gone anywhere, but I think that he really enjoys that duke experience and I definitely. Like even when we watched that game one, I made that, that, that note he moves really well.
[00:13:20] He is, he understands the game. It’s probably because of all the high level coaching that he gets from his father. So he is definitely my number one and the tools are just incredible.
[00:13:34] Dustin: Yeah. What I would say is his role right now is primarily three and D at duke. Um, Just looking at his overall, um, attempts, basically 50% of his makes and his attempts come from three point range.
[00:13:52] And that number has only increased over the past five games. He has taken [00:14:00] per student he’s made 30 threes like of his last 49 field goals. So essentially 60% of all of his made field goals of the past five games. Excuse me, his. 60% of his attempts have came from downtown. So he’s already got that aspect there.
[00:14:18] I think there’s a lot to like with the jump shot, it’s very compact. There’s not a lot of movement, which is the reason for his 48%, uh, consistency. Uh, I think there are, there is room for improvement and. He needs to speed it up. There was a couple of times, especially early in the game where he was passing up opportunities that a quicker, quicker release get to that shot off would have been a good shot for, for AIG.
[00:14:45] So I think he needs to speed up the release. And I think he, I would love to be able to see at least flashes of movement shooting most of the time. Right now, it is. Uh, it’s catch and shoot. And that’s where you have to be able to project and say, [00:15:00] I think he’s going to be able to do it, or I’m not certain with the mechanics of the shot, because if the mechanics right now are ideal for catching shoot, because you, you know exactly it’s, there’s not a whole lot of movement there, which what you want to see.
[00:15:15] Dillon Sage: like the explosion from his legs to. On the Jumpshot. I think that his legs might be one of the best parts of AGA Griffin. It’s that? It’s that center that’s it’s the trunk we even saw in that Virginia game. When he got switched on to a big. His legs were the reason that there was no forward momentum for that posting big.
[00:15:37] He was standing still and, and, uh, stopped. So I, I, the explosion from his legs really is the interesting part because I don’t know if. He definitely does like step backs to create space, to shoot. But I don’t know if we’re like in the pros use of NERC hitch is going to set a screen for him running off ball [00:16:00] yet.
[00:16:00] I think that that, that the base of his shot and the, the, the speed in which he relieves his might be too.
[00:16:08] Dustin: What area? I do think we can see hopeful improvement as, as the season ends is the handle like right now it’s in youth work. I don’t think he has the handle of some of the other guards, uh, in his similar tier.
[00:16:24] So a lot of it could be because he hasn’t really played a lot of basketball. You mentioned the time off the injuries, the slow start to do. It’s a short college season. So you got to know that he, I think that’s like one of the first things I will tell him to work on. Like, I think. You have to be able to put the ball on the floor, even if it’s just to get into the mid range or just, uh, just to get to the lane off of a, you know, a quick curl action, not CJ McCollum type of ISO is not Kevin Duran where you’re dancing with the defender at the top of the key, but you know, you’re able to [00:17:00] hold your own a little bit.
[00:17:01] So I really want to see some improvement because he got, he got stripped pretty boy,
[00:17:08] Dillon Sage: but I would have. I think to set up his drives, his handle is pretty bad, but to set up the shot, I feel like he has a really big bag of getting that generating space, using like dribble combos and step backs and sidestep the bag to get the open three is good, but to get to the hoop is really like basic level.
[00:17:36] Across and go in one hand. I think that that is, yeah, he definitely needs to work on that. But at one point, like watching this duke team that takes so long to. Make that decision to see a guy that makes that quick, quick decision and goes is kind of like, oh my God, this is, this is actually a good player trying to figure out like [00:18:00] evaluate this duke team might be like, Toughest because you, if you’re looking at Asia, you see Paulo do something amazing or you see Mark Williams or you see Trevor keels do something.
[00:18:09] But the talent on this team is really hard to just stick on one Aja Griffin or one Pollo or one mark. It’s like, oh God, there there’s, there’s four pros on this team at bare minimum. Let’s, let’s keep an eye on everybody. But yeah, the, the handle for AAJ, especially going to the rim needs some help. I’m not, I’m not a dribble guy.
[00:18:31] Like, I don’t know, but like, I feel like developing a handle. Isn’t the most difficult thing in the world. Like it needs, you need to practice and his father’s a head coach. So I think they’re going to drill in a lot of moves. Right. His bag has a lot of, a lot of stuff in it to just get his space to rise up.
[00:18:54] He just needs to be able to attack the basket with that, that God given athletics.
[00:18:59] Dustin: [00:19:00] Speaking of attacking the basket, given his, his frame for a big guard. I, I would like to see him finish through contact a little bit more. It seems like he loves to kind of stop just short and he loves the, the push shot.
[00:19:15] It’s very similar to Benetech matter. And who loves that? That puts shot in, in, in the lane. Like I want to see, I don’t think he, he definitely doesn’t have Jayden IB athleticism, but that’s, I love that mentality that he’s going to go out the room and at six, six, I mean, these are collegiate defenders.
[00:19:33] There’s not every, not everyone is, is a Walker Kessler or, you know, Christian cocoa out there, like. Go at these defenders, they’re probably going to foul the shit out and you’re going to get to the line. So that’s another area that even if he only gets one to two dribble drives per game, is he settling for that push or is he kind of taking that, that next extension and going to the, the lane because his frame 6, 6, 2 22, [00:20:00] that is a man right now, especially on the collegiate level linebacker, you would expect him to play.
[00:20:07] With a little bit more physicality. And again, that could be because he’s still tentative from his injuries. Uh, but with that said, it is, you know, almost early March, she’s been playing, you know, almost three, four months now. And at some point I want to see more physicality from him, especially at, at the big guard position, because I think that is just so crucial to have know.
[00:20:30] He doesn’t have to average, you know, eight free throw attempts per game, but to know when he’s going to get the ball a true triple. I think one of those threats is getting, getting to the line, scoring with the clock stopped. You know, obviously you take momentum away from the home crowd. Um, you’re able to maybe stop the bleeding.
[00:20:48] Or you can continue just to slow grind, uh, your opponent down. So I, I think he’s capable of that, but that’s something where I’m looking at when I watched him going forward into the ACC [00:21:00] tournament and the NCA tournament.
[00:21:02] Dillon Sage: And I think that another reason that he’s not showing off the, uh, the handle, as much as this spacing’s fucking awful.
[00:21:10] So if he drives, there’s going to be. At least one hand poking at the ball, and then it’s going to lead into a double team. Cause Mark Williams, can’t not be in the paint in that dunker spot. So it’s not the Mo like I think in NBA spacing, we’re going to see NBA spacing that isn’t the trouble is there’s so many.
[00:21:28] NBA spacing is going to be able to give him more space to at least have a runway to score, because if he’s trying to drive to the lane, like Paula is going to be there. Mark Williams is going to be there, meaning that their two defenders are going to be there. So it’s going to be a much more difficult shot, like compared to like what a team can do with re with real spacing.
[00:21:50] He has an open lane to the. One thing that I found really interesting and that my math is wrong because he did have a turnover in, uh, the Virginia game, [00:22:00] but he takes care of the ball really well for a wing player. Like right now it’s 19 turnovers. It’s going to be 20 turnovers, but 20 turnovers, like that’s like less than a turnover, a game with how.
[00:22:15] Fast paced. The MBA is going to be someone that takes the time to at least make the right pass is going to be special.
[00:22:22] Dustin: So we’ve talked a lot about is authentic game defensively. What have you seen from me?
[00:22:28] Dillon Sage: Okay, so defensively on ball. I think that he is good. He, he, he forces the direction to the help. So he’ll force that driver and he has the legs to like block off a lot of the, uh, the, the driving angles.
[00:22:45] He forces it to the help of Trevor Kiehl’s or Mark Williams. So I really liked the way that he plays on ball defense off ball is kind. Have you noticed that he is. Really big floater. [00:23:00]
[00:23:00] Dustin: He plays off, he plays defense. Like I play defense stage in the sense of, if it’s five on five, I’m like, you know, when you you’re playing playground ball or, you know, playing in a city league and you’re like, oh, I got 25.
[00:23:10] You know, I got, you know, short shorts. Like I got that dude. And I’m just, I’m I’m zoning in on you. And I can just get to meet up in your biz and I’m just following one person. So I have noticed that in the past few games I’ve watched them. Hey, he plays defense. How I would play defense. Like almost he’s not scared to get beat, but it feels like, okay, like I just got to take care of my guy.
[00:23:33] So I want to see him grow into a more confident defender. Um, the communication is pretty terrible on duke and if that’s not just Aja, I saw one where he was sticking to his guy, his guy ran off of a curl and they. Followed the shooter and the big was wide open. Like it didn’t hurt them on that particular play, but I could tell like, okay, this team really is bad communicating at defense and [00:24:00] that’s not just Adrian Griffin’s fault.
[00:24:01] That’s that dude. Yeah, I
[00:24:04] Dillon Sage: have in my notes that he’s face Gardy.
[00:24:07] Dustin: Yeah, he that’s, he just, he doesn’t pay attention to the ball. Like he pays attention to his man. So I think. When we talked about Benedict Mather and, and him kind of not really given a shit about a defense at this stage in his career, you can at least tell the Aja cares.
[00:24:25] You just want to see a little bit more awareness
[00:24:28] Dillon Sage: concept, or is it AIG Griffin? Cause he’s either floaty as fell or he’s hugging his guy. So is there like a thing for duke saying I’ve
[00:24:39] Dustin: never, I mean, saying I’ve never is incorrect because. We don’t scout every year, like we’re scouting this year, but of all the prospects I’ve seen, he plays off ball.
[00:24:50] It’s the most unique off ball on ball. It’s just those unique individual defensive assignment.
[00:24:57] Dillon Sage: I think that his hands are really good. And we [00:25:00] saw it in that Virginia game where he poked out that the game winning
[00:25:03] Dustin: steel. Yeah. The game winning steel, very intelligent player. Yeah. I want to see his, I feel like, I feel like he just needs confidence stage.
[00:25:11] Like I know he has it when he’s willing to take the shot and he makes the shot, but I just feel like there’s, if, if it’s there, it’s going to be shown pre pretty soon. Like, I feel like he’s ready to shed another layer and like, Yeah, I’m actually the best fucking player on this team. Like that’s, that’s what I’m waiting for because you’ve everything you’ve outlined it’s there and you just want to see it.
[00:25:36] It’s almost like when we’re talking about shit home, grin and talk about the potential, you see the potential, but now he’s actually doing that and he’s taking over that, that does now check home grins team. And that’s why he is so close to that one or two, uh, on the big board. Maybe this could be a, a NCA tournament to remember for AIG and his stock continues to rise because, you know, we’ve seen [00:26:00] players have had big runs, uh, look at Campbell Walker.
[00:26:03] You know, he went high lottery because of that run with, with Yukon, you could kind of see, okay, this is the player we know we’re going to get. I don’t think whatever he does is going to significantly impact. Negatively his, his draft stock. I think he’s at least a guaranteed lottery pick barring his, he stays healthy.
[00:26:21] Uh, so knock on wood for, for his sake, but I think he could really challenge. Uh, three or four or five pick, if he is able to have a significant ACC and NCA tournament run work, he maybe take some shine away from Palo. It’s like, okay, we know what Paolo can do, but you see AIG, like he’s the real leader of that team.
[00:26:42] He’s, he’s their go-to player. He’s now scoring at the rim. He now is showing off a little bit more, um, picking it up on the defensive end, you know, just maybe initiating the offense. Uh, so I, I think, you know, if it’s going to have. She was wait and see, [00:27:00]
[00:27:00] Dillon Sage: I agree with everything. I just, it’s not the re like
[00:27:05] Dustin: it’s a terrible team.
[00:27:06] I wish she wouldn’t have gone to duke. Could
[00:27:08] Dillon Sage: you imagine, like if he had a li if he went to Kentucky with high tie, I think we’re talking about the third overall pick. It’s just damn this and we don’t, we feel this way with tare, like. If he wasn’t on LSU, he’s so much higher than the team that these, these college kids go to matter so much.
[00:27:30] And. Shit. Just go to Purdue, go to a team, go to Michigan, go to a team that has multiple actions because I don’t, I didn’t see any duke play where there was a secondary action. Like, you know, Mark Williams sets a screen for somebody and they, they do a back cut. It was none of that. It’s just like, I’m more athletic than you.
[00:27:51] I’m going to prove it here, here, and here.
[00:27:55] Dustin: And one thing that. [00:28:00] I’ve noticed over the course of the season is how my opinions and kind of judgments of prospects changes. It’s kind of a fluid process. Arizona was another team that just did not have a good point guard or at least a true pure table setter.
[00:28:18] What I’ve seen now. From, you know, just to take Benedict Mathern. As an example, we watched his game against Illinois. It was a lot of just, you know, off ball catch and shoot. That’s how he was getting his buckets. We were wondering, you know, is he a secondary Playmaker? Arizona has been on an absolute tear, probably going to be a one CNCA tournament and.
[00:28:39] What he is now doing. And I think it’s a lot of kudos to their, their head coach. Um, name is slipping my mind, but he was not the sweaty guy, Tommy boy, I think is his name something he used to coach at Gonzaga under mark. Phew. Now putting Mather in as the primary Playmaker and I watched every second of their match up against the Oregon ducks.
[00:28:59] And [00:29:00] I was texting. I was like, this, this guy is now getting into the lane and throwing LOBs. Like this is not the player that I saw just two months ago. I would love if coach K would let AIG handle the ball and work. So
[00:29:13] Dillon Sage: you see the whole, like he gets the rebound and waits for the guard to get it. They don’t
[00:29:19] Dustin: have good guard.
[00:29:21] He needs to, and he’s never going to be a primary Playmaker. I don’t think that’s what anyone is asking of him. But if you can start to even see a simple pick and pop with Paolo, you know, you know, simple, um, give and go run some, just run some high elbow, uh, post action, just even just initiating the offense, just grabbing the ball and taking it down the floor.
[00:29:41] Like we’ve seen Jabari and Chet do. It’s like, oh, Comfortable handing the ball. I get it. It co if coach, Katie says one thing, they’re going to do that thing. So it could all be for not, but that
[00:29:53] Dillon Sage: project man, like
[00:29:55] Dustin: that would ease my mind if we were going into the draft and it’s between [00:30:00] AGA and Benedict, I know where you would fall, but for me right now, I, I would lean towards Mathern because of what I’m seeing growth wise.
[00:30:07] It just means he’s getting an opportunity to do so. So it’s a little bit less projecting on my part. So that’s why it’s really so difficult when, when we’re sitting here and, you know, scouting players, because. Coaches college coaches, coach so much differently.
[00:30:20] Dillon Sage: You saw the way that AIJ smiled. When, when, uh, coach K like gave him props, it’s like, he is not gonna go.
[00:30:27] He’s not going to go rogue. He’s going to do exactly what coach K ass. So my question is, what are the comps that you have for AIG Griffin?
[00:30:37] Dustin: It was really hard to find. So I took right now, I think he has a supremely high flow. Lower ceiling type of guy. I think he is a safer prospect. I don’t know if I’m buying the top five hype just yet.
[00:30:53] Um, there are other guards on the board that I like a little bit more, but [00:31:00] I do think he reminds me of another Dukie. Wasn’t the fleet is the foot very intelligent, incredible three point shooter. If he can get anywhere, this, this, this players defensive capabilities, you’re going to be thankful. You took them to the top 10 and that Shane Battier.
[00:31:20] Dillon Sage: I like
[00:31:20] Dustin: that. That’s that’s who he reminds. Shane Battier was not the fastest, but he was the smartest and he made Portland’s life hell in that 2009 playoff series with he and our test, just hounding Brandon, Roy, I don’t think you necessarily want AIJ guarding smaller, quicker guards, but he can handle his own against bigger wings.
[00:31:41] He’s very strong. I love the intelligence. I love the fact that he’s an MBA shooter. I think you can speed up the release. I think you can do a lot of those things. Um, if he never gets a handle, uh, I think that’s fine. I would rather he become an elite level defender than a secondary Playmaker, I think a [00:32:00] high level three and D if so valuable, uh, especially if you’re able to guard winks.
[00:32:05] I mean, we saw. Just completely go to shit when they got rid of mold parklets and Alfred community, and they were never able to really replace those, those, uh, size and, you know, skill players. I think AIG has the ability to become if he, if he hits, I think you get Shane Battier and you maybe even look back and say that was one of the top five best picks that draft.
[00:32:27] I remember when. Uh, Memphis took Shane Battier. Everyone’s like, ah, it’s a bit high. I don’t know what the upside is. And Tommy brown went, number one in that draft, you think Washington would love to do over there? Absolutely. She came down here was a stud. So he hits that. That’s kind of where I see, um, the, my comp I think the 50% is just at least five to seven year, uh, NBA three and D player.
[00:32:53] But I think if he, if he gets that defensive down, you’re, you’re looking. Someone who’s going to get paid a lot of dollars,
[00:32:59] Dillon Sage: so, [00:33:00] okay. This is based on their legs and the trunk of their body. RJ Barrett though, they have this same powerful haunches and like their legs or their best assets. Um, I feel so weird talking about 19 year olds legs as much,
[00:33:24] Dustin: but you just said they’re best
[00:33:25] Dillon Sage: ass.
[00:33:26] Oh, good ones. But I think that they’re very similar. They’re both from New York. I think that the main difference between RJ and AJAG great combo of letters is RJ had point guard reps because he was the point guard of his team. AIG had a college level point guard next to him. So he didn’t have the playmates.
[00:33:49] He didn’t have to use. So we never know what it is. I think RJ is a really nice comp form because their bodies are the same. I think kinesthetically, I hate saying this, but I [00:34:00] think Jimmy Butler on the Tibbs Chicago bulls teams where he wasn’t the main Playmaker is a really good comp for him because Jimmy got the play-making down and now he’s one of the best.
[00:34:11] But like when he was on the bulls, he was just like the, the high-intensity high level player that just made everything worse. Do you think aging
[00:34:21] Dustin: has the three point possesses Jimmy’s intangibles?
[00:34:25] Dillon Sage: He has yet to have the chip on his shoulder that Jimmy has
[00:34:28] Dustin: three-day asshole, which works for him. But back to RJ, you better shooting RJ bear,
[00:34:37] Dillon Sage: substitute the Playmaker.
[00:34:39] Elite level shooting, but yeah, I can see, like, I’m just trying to base on like the body type, like the, the, the, the body type and the legs and like of Jimmy and RJ and like Jaylen brown would be much better shooting like that athlete that has skills is kind of [00:35:00] the, the archetype that I’m looking at with, uh, AIG.
[00:35:06] Because if he hits any has play-making skills, he has a chance of being like a all NBA player. If he, if he gets the play-making skills.
[00:35:18] Dustin: So we’ve been doing this for, I think almost two months now. So kudos to us where right now is ADJ on your big board.
[00:35:27] Dillon Sage: We obviously have Jabari, we have. Shall we have Paula, we have Jayden, I think he’s competing with Johnny Davis.
[00:35:37] So five, five or six where’d you have them?
[00:35:42] Dustin: I think we’re in agreement with one and two with Jabari and Chet. I’ve got Jayden IB three. Uh, I’ve got Johnny Davis four from Wisconsin and five. I’ve got Paolo, but. Where it gets dicey for me is if [00:36:00] it came down to draft day and Portland’s on the clock and they’re deciding between the Mather in an AGA Griffin that’s, that’s where I’m trying to decide where I’m leaning towards.
[00:36:10] I think, like I said, because I’ve seen it a little bit more, I would go, uh, Mather and at sixth and then Dave or Griffin, excuse me at seven. But you know, there’s also a shade in sharp who was not playing this year for Kentucky, but. Player, essentially in his class of 22, which, you know, we both need to find some film on because he could be better than all of the guards available right now.
[00:36:33] You know, John Calipari was saying, I’ve seen what number one picks look like, which he does in the end. This guy looks like a number one pick, but he, he could be pandering too sharp to come back to Kentucky for a next season saying he can be the number one pick in 20, 26. I from, from everything that I’ve read, it’s unlikely that he would go to Kentucky and turn down being a top 10, most likely a [00:37:00] top seven pick in the draft.
[00:37:02] So at the moment, you know, it’s just such a fun crop of big guards. Finally. I mean, I think it was finally a resurgent of big guards. And so, um, ADJ is definitely in my top 10 so far.
[00:37:17] Dillon Sage: I think that once draft day hits. I feel like the biggest riser has to be Jaylen Duran. Like you look at his, everything about him reads potential franchise center.
[00:37:30] So there’s there’s, there could be a lot of movement, right?
[00:37:33] Dustin: JJ and Duran, like we talked about Jaylen, Duran scares the hell out of me. Like there’s all these, he
[00:37:38] Dillon Sage: said they treat the intrigue of a franchise changing center. Like there could be a chance that age is there at nine or 10, because of all of the.
[00:37:49] And I, I
[00:37:49] Dustin: think. Y players like Jaylen turn out to be bust sometimes. And by players like that, I mean just like high ceiling, very low long-term, [00:38:00] uh, you need to be patient with them is when you’re in the lottery, probably top six, top five, you’re looking for a player that does everything. And that does have that, that huge ceiling.
[00:38:13] And so maybe some players are perceived that maybe they have to do everything, but I can get a home run with this player. And I think why you see so many, like late first round studs and even second round studs is because players are evaluated on what they can do instead of what they can’t do. And so teams feel more comforted.
[00:38:31] You know, they don’t feel like they’re, they feel like the opportunity costs at, you know, pick 22. The end of the draft is fine. Like, I don’t care if this guy is not the best defender. He is an excellent ball handler and a knockdown shooter. He’s going to fit perfectly with our team. I think if more teams.
[00:38:46] Took that approach in the mid to late lottery, instead of always trying to hit a home run, you’d see some of these players move up to the board and I think it may push a player like Jalen during down the board, but he would go to a team [00:39:00] that doesn’t need his services right off the bat, because the works, the better teams draft later in the, in the draft.
[00:39:05] He might go to a better situation. So I think that honestly has a lot to do with why you see players like bully call you the Stein, just kind of flame out. Like he doesn’t go to the right situation in Sacramento. He had a high ceiling, but the skill set was incredibly poor and he never hit. And now he’s out of the league, maybe had he got drafted to a better team later in the first round, like a Deandre Jordan who went second round of the Clippers and was able to get groomed with Blake and CP and JJ Redick and doc rivers.
[00:39:33] So that it’s just, it’s all about, not necessarily who saying this is actually the best player at the time. It’s like, what’s the fit? What are you willing to risk? And I just think Portland right now having two top 10 picks. They don’t need to hit grand slams the grand slams aren’t there is what I’m saying.
[00:39:53] And so I don’t maybe roll the dice because you have two picks with a Jalen Durran, but [00:40:00] I don’t think you necessarily have to say, we have to swing for the fences here. If you get two players that end up like Shane Battier like, you know, we’re talking about Adrian Griffin, that’s a fucking fantastic draft.
[00:40:10] So what’s a lot better than taking Zach Collins and Caleb’s won again. Like you, you know what I’m saying? Like, It doubles is okay. In the lottery. You don’t always have to get Dames.
[00:40:18] Dillon Sage: I don’t think age is a double. I think he’s bigger, but we knew what’s his fit with this current roster.
[00:40:26] Dustin: That’s a tough question because you’re assuming off of the bench with Lillard and, uh, Simons, at least getting a year together, Josh Hart or an a sear a little at the.
[00:40:43] Even if those players are, uh, off the bench, they’re ahead of AIG in the rotation. So you’re probably looking at fifth wing, fifth or six wing off of the it’s a tough right now. [00:41:00] It might be, I think it’s going to be tough for any guard on drafts, uh, because they’re going to try and go Lillard to end Simons, but I really liked.
[00:41:10] If he’s able to start at the two because of all of the catch and shoot opportunities that he would get. Like, one of the reasons I love Johnny Davis so much is his fit with the blazers because he is just has an impeccable feel for that offensive under the floor. Like he knows where the open spots are.
[00:41:26] And he’s going to get open when you have a guard as dynamic as Damian Lillard or someone who was rising to that level and Anthony Simons, they’re going to draw attention. They have a gravity they’re going to, then you need a AJJ Griffin. We can fuck all about his speeding up his release. If he is, you know, Pig picking teams apart from, yeah.
[00:41:47] It doesn’t matter how fast we’re slow his release is. I mean, you get a 50% shooter from downtown. That is a huge weapon to have in today’s NBA. So the fit is potentially incredible. It just depends on what Portland [00:42:00] does with their other guards. Like he needs time. Uh, but at 66 you do like the ability to pair him with Nasir or Josh Hart on, on the wing.
[00:42:09] Uh, I think they give you just enough, um, enough of. Thank you game winning players, smart players.
[00:42:16] Dillon Sage: I feel like he, in this year are they make up for each other’s deficiencies? Because I mean, I think the biggest thing within the Syrah is that he is not the greatest shooter in the world, but if you have him, if you have AIG balancing the other side, they can’t cheat as much because you have AGA Griffin on, on the court.
[00:42:37] So. I value them really high because of that shooting and because of what he can do for this team, like we are one of the worst spacing teams in the last five years to have another guy that shoots. So you have ant game age. Whoever, like it makes up for use of NERC. It’s not being a shooter. [00:43:00] It makes up for this year, little not being a shooter.
[00:43:02] We, we, I had this discussion on Twitter, like is AGA Griffin that much better than this year at a trend in and justice. And I was like, they don’t compare to AAJ because of the shooting. Those three are very similar because of the lack of.
[00:43:20] Dustin: Shootings and the most important skill set to happen. The modern NBA and
[00:43:23] Dillon Sage: an AIG has it.
[00:43:24] And those three don’t. So as a prospect, if I was Chauncey Billups, I’d be like Asia, you’re you gotta be in there to space this for when we have not the, not our best lineup, but you have to be there. So I think he would carve out, carve out time at the two or the three. So I, I think it’s. Because of that shooting, he has to be in that rotation.
[00:43:48] It’s just, we have so many non shooters he makes up for, he makes up for the deficiencies of a lot of our team right now who are assigned to multiple years. Like [00:44:00] I could be, he could be the one reason why. Uh, certain lineup structure works is because 40%, three point shooting, you can’t leave him open. And like with, with Dame, just think he’s driving to lay off a pick and roll with.
[00:44:15] You can’t cheat off of him. You can’t cheat off of AAJ. So Dame has a much easier time. AIG makes Dame’s life a lot easier just because of the threat, the threat of an open three from a guy that’s shooting the absolute cover off the ball. I I’m in. I think that that is a, uh, and like Chauncey is going to be intrigued by all the defensive tools.
[00:44:43] I, I would take AIJ in that position between him and Benedict. And I will admit I might be low in Benedict, but I will watch, I will watch some Arizona games with him as more of the lead
[00:44:55] Dustin: ball handler. You, you wouldn’t be both. I was very low on [00:45:00] Benedict. I had watched a few games even before we get our future Friday.
[00:45:03] And so I admit, I went into the game with a bit of a, an unconscious bias. It was just impossible not to be biased off of what I’d already seen. And then. I, I, like I said, I’m, the red flags are still there on defense, but, but I, I just love the maturation that he’s able to do as the secondary Playmaker. The shot’s been more consistent.
[00:45:24] That was a big concern of mine because he, he, like I said, he reminded me of Derek Anderson, very hot, very cold, very streaky shot has been looking absolutely butter. Um, and, and I do think you can get a player to be more active on the events. Like if you don’t play the adventure, you’re not gonna be. And in the league, but you can’t teach a player to be six, six, and slithery, and just have all these natural tools.
[00:45:47] So. There are some things, there are some things you have to say, what can this player do? And what can I teach them to do better? There are some things they’re just like, I can’t teach this player to do it. They’re not good at it. It’s [00:46:00] just not going to work. And so you really have to kind of break down the skillsets into those buckets and then kind of weigh it out and to see what what’s what’s the best
[00:46:07] Dillon Sage: bet would you put AIG on ball, on ball defending.
[00:46:16] Dustin: It depends. I mean, a regular two guard probably, but none of these fast point guards, like you don’t want him with anybody who’s more fast Twitch. I don’t think he’s there yet. In terms of his lateral speed, the, to stick with a point guard like a John Moran or, you know what I mean? Like that’s not, that’s not him.
[00:46:35] He’s probably better suited to defend the Chris Middleton’s and clay Thompson. I liked
[00:46:42] Dillon Sage: the way that he fought through all those screens against Virginia shooters. I mean, you know, the tools are super interesting and, uh, I think he’s one of the best prospects in this draft and, uh, I think that that wraps it up on a AIG Griffin.[00:47:00]
[00:47:01] So we are available on iTunes, Google play, Citra Himalaya podcast, dash rate, or nothing but net radio. And we will be back Sunday to talk about actual Portland, trailblazers, basketball, peace out, everybody. .