Masquerading Center, J.J. Hickson is having a statistically outstanding season and is part of a strong starting five for the Blazers. However, due to team needs and cap hold/space, it is unlikely that JJ will be brought back this off season. With glorious Center XYZ in the starting line up next season, how do we replace Hickson's size, rebounding and monster dunks?
The 2nd round of course!
Here are a handful of guys that should be available in the 2nd round, who should be able to be a version 2.0 LTE of JJ.
Trevor Mbakwe - 6'8" SR PF Minnesota
Trevor is physically a beast. 6'8" with a 7'4" wingspan and a 240lb body that is ready made to play in the NBA. His stats don't blow you away, but every game he seems to have a play or two that makes your jaw drop. He may never put up numbers like Hickson, but he can certainly fill some valuable minutes as a backup forward.
a similarly effortless athlete with a penchant for rebounding out of his area and finishing emphatically above the rim
Mbakwe will need return to the form that made him one of the top per-40 minute pace-adjusted rebounders in our database
Defensively, Mbakwe makes an impact with his length and leaping ability, but is still figuring out how to be a consistent presence on this end of the floor. He shows good quickness on the perimeter and has solid strength for his size defending the post, but looks most impressive when making the occasional highlight reel block or pulling down a rebound in traffic by virtue of his athleticism and length.
2. Patric Young - 6'9" JR PF/C Florida
Patric, similar to Trevor, is physically amazing. 6'9" with a solid 220lb frame to go with a 7'1" wingspan, Patric also underwhelmed statistically with what you would expect. His physical gifts say NBA big man, but he certainly will need to improve his energy level and consistency to make an impact at the next level.
equipped with freakish explosiveness around the basket and excellent lateral quickness, and showing outstanding speed in transition. While technically undersized for an NBA center, Young's elite physical and athletic profiles suggest that he can probably defend either post-position at the next level.
He runs the floor hard and throws down acrobatic dunks in transition while also showing the ability to finish off cuts to the basket. He is also a good offensive rebounder and he finds quite a few shots by outhustling his man in traffic and tipping in his teammates' misses
Defensively, Young's physical tools alone – his top-tier explosiveness, strength, lateral quickness, and length, in particular – allow him to be a competitive defender at this level, even if he is undersized for the NBA center position. Luckily, he also shows solid focus and energy on defense, guarding a variety of variety of NBA caliber post players and doing a fairly good job of holding his position and denying his man the ball.
3. Andre Roberson - 6'7" JR PF Colorado
Andre is the opposite of guys like Trevor and Patric. He is undersized for a PF at 6'7" 195lbs with only a 6'9" wingspan. Roberson however, is one of the best rebounders in the country, pulling in 11.2 a game this season. He may end up being more of a combo forward in the NBA, but he has the skill and effort to make an impact off the bench.
Roberson is an excellent athlete, possessing a combination of explosiveness, fluidity and quickness complemented by his energetic and relentless playing style.
he nonetheless ranked as one the top prospects in our top-100, showing an uncanny combination of fundamentals, instincts, and energy to collect rebounds within and beyond his immediate vicinity. Roberson is not a particularly skilled scorer down low, but he outhustles most bigger defenders and uses his soft touch and quickness to score inside.
Roberson once again stood out on the defensive end of the floor, showing remarkable versatility and lockdown potential at the collegiate level. His combination of excellent lateral quickness and outstanding timing situates him as a match-up nightmare on the perimeter, where he can stay in front of quicker guards, get his hands in passing lanes, and block shots all over the floor.
All three had better defensive statistics in college than Hickson did while he was at NC State. None of these 3 may ever average a double double in a NBA season, but all could be useful players at the next level, given the right situation and some development.
*Quotes from DraftExpress.com