(for basic rating framework read the original SSAT ratings)
The last time I did these ratings was 2010. It was a strange time where the economy was worse than bad (badderist?), gay marriage was illegal, scientists discovered that humans not only mated with Neanderthals in ancient times but that Neanderthal DNA still exists in some humans today (which should come as no surprise if you’ve ever seen Ryan Lochte get interviewed), the junk drawer was a thing, and basketball draft analysis was often too clichéd to be of any value. A lot has changed since then. For instance the economy is… better? Gay marriage is still illegal for some reason. And actually basketball analysis hasn't really gotten much better either. We have more stats, but still too often analysts fall into cliché’s like upside and toughness. So actually, not very much has changed since 2010 (well besides the whole John Cusack saving us from the apocalypse thing).
One thing that has changed though is the SSAT ratings! We here at the SSAT headquarters (also known as my studio apartment) believe that as time goes on it’s important to learn and grow with your analysis. So without further a due here are those changes:
First off we had some shuffling around in the scouting department. As I noted last time, I don’t feel comfortable rating players on their attractiveness (even though it is undoubtedly an important part of a player’s future success) so I have to bring in an expert to do that part of the analysis for me. Last time I used portlandgirl, and she did a great job, but I felt like 2013 needed new blood. So I have commissioned (re: asked and offered no money) @lindsaymills aka Roybot aka #djLindzdawggot$wag300 to do it this year. To go along with her ratings she has added short blurbs to describe some of her decisions. I suggest you read them, because they are equal parts catty and harshly accurate. Or in other words, amazing!
Another new feature this year is that I have done away with the "two first names rule" (or as I’m calling it the "Paul George Punctuation"), because as it was pointed out in the comments of the last ratings, it doesn't make any sense. In fact, if anything having two first names seems to be a common indicator of future NBA success. Just ask Michael Jordan. Or Chris Paul. Or Rueben Boumtje-Boumtje. Simply put, I let my jealousy of people with two first names when I have no first names get the best of me. I’m sorry for that. Being petty and childish is not what this rating system is about. It’s about looking at pictures of future millionaires that are perfectly timed to make that person look ridiculous so that we feel better about our life decisions. Please accept this silly picture of a Duke Basketball player apparently deflating at the sight of Shane Larkin’s bellybutton as my formal apology.
Thank you for your acceptance. Now let's move on.
Another new addition to the system is the added variable of tattoos. I put this in at the suggestion of a co-worker of mine and I think it’s pretty appropriate. Almost every NBA player has a tattoo. Some of them are ridiculous and some of them are pretty cool, but regardless of how you feel about them tattoos and the NBA go hand in hand. The NBA and tattoos are like Meyers Leonard and poorly edited Vine videos. Like Paul Allen and awkwardly wearing hats during draft workouts. Like LaMarcus Aldridge and saying "you know" in interviews. So ignoring them in a rating system like this was dumb of me.
As far as the actual number I rated them on a scale from 1-5 with 1 being a player who has tattoos that just aren’t ready for the pro game, and a 5 being a player who, like Rasheed Wallace and his magical sun/sword shoulder tattoo, are only made stronger by their tats. For example here is a picture of Ben McLemore and some Kansas fans:
There are a lot of amazing things going on in this picture. For instance the guy in the bottom right who appears to have seen something horrible and his friend above him who appears to be enjoying this horrible sight, the guys who decided to do three goggles even though this is clearly a promotional photo that has nothing to do with an actual game, and my favorite, the girl to the right of Ben who decided to one up all the other people pointing by doing the ever rare two hand point. But if you can somehow look past all of that you can see that Ben has some serious and very pro ready tats. And not just a couple here and there, but both arms covered in what I can only imagine are ancient Japanese murals.
On the other end of the spectrum here we have a picture of Trey Burke:
Notice how he has some tats but they are scattered and show no cohesion to an overall scheme or pattern. Now as time passes he can compensate for that by adding more tattoos, but the real issue here is the wings poking out of his sleeves. I have to believe that it was intentional that they would do that, and I think it would be fun or cool if he just had those wings and not a bunch of other scattered tattoos, but it makes me wonder how this projects to the pros. As he fills out more those wings are going to be less and less obvious until they simply blend in with the rest of his tattoos completely taking away from the effect. You also can’t see it in this photo but he has added onto his ridiculous tattoo collection with this masterpiece:
That is a full forearm Columbus Clippers logo (a minor league baseball team from Columbus, Ohio) with a backdrop that I can only assume is the skyline of Columbus. Of course this makes some sense as Trey is from Columbus, but still whoa. In honor of this tattoo I have decided to get my own hometown tattoo based off my parent’s former hometown. It’s going to be a full forearm tattoo of the skyline of Pendleton, Oregon with an accompanying logo of their disbanded minor league baseball team the Pendleton Ho Hos. (http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/team.cgi?id=7beda215)
( Side note: Every team in their league had names there were better than anything in sports today. Especially, the Walla Walla Walla Wallas. http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/league.cgi?id=02770cd2).
For players who don’t have any tattoos I gave them a rating of three. There is nothing wrong with being a rebel and not having any tattoos, it just doesn’t always project well to the pros. For instance, I myself don’t have any tattoos and I am sure that is the only reason I’m not in the NBA today. Players can also develop tats later in their career. So overall it’s a pretty neutral position.
One last note I wanted to make before I get to the actual ratings is that I have come to realize that this rating system tends to favor big men. The reason behind this is because I like higher numbers and they often have higher numbers. I have made a note of this but also I don’t really care because >#’s><#’s. You know what I’m saying?
Okay now that we’ve gotten that out of the way we can get to the actual ratings. Since this is a Blazers themed website, and I’ve already wasted two pages worth of your attention span on back story, I’m only going to breakdown the players that have been linked to them or are widely seen as being in the Blazers draft range. Here are those players:
(Maybe it’s just me but it doesn’t appear by this image that he makes it to the hoop.)
CJ McCollum is basketball oatmeal. And not the maple and brown sugar oatmeal that is amazing but rather plain, flavorless oatmeal. His name doesn’t exactly scream "can’t miss superstar," though the first name CJ is at least different. He doesn’t appear to dunk much but when he does his face doesn’t exactly exude confidence. He doesn’t have any tats and he keeps his hair really short. Sometimes he shows flashes of a mustache but it comes off as more George Michael Bluth, than Magnum PI. His best feature seems to be that he’s an average looking dude, but any potential you can gain from that is taken away by him wearing a t-shirt during games. It also very much doesn'thelp that his college team’s jerseys were brown. That’s not taken into account in the ratings but seriously why would any team outside of Wyoming do that?
Overall CJ isn’t a very exciting prospect as it stands now, and he lacks the sort of features that lead you to believe he will fill out further. Could he get a better number in the pros? Sure. Could he grow a sweet afro out of nowhere? I suppose. But don’t hold your breath on things happening.
7(15)-8-10-6-2-6.5(disturbing acne on chin)-5-44.5
Shabazz Muhammad. The man’s name is Shabazz. Muhammad. Do I even need to explain more?
No. No I don’t.
But also I guess maybe I should.
His number is solid seeing as how it is higher than 10 and odd. As you can see he sports a mean dunk face with the only real qualm being the awkward position of his offhand (which if you stare at it long enough will challenge your very existence). But we’ve all been there when we just don’t know what to do with our hands. It’s why some people pick up smoking, and it’s pretty fixable. His hair is short and boring but sometimes he rocks a solid beard that it isn’t unreasonable to believe will go full James Harden in a few years. His tattoos are patchy but again that is fixable. Lindsey notes that he has some "disturbing" acne on his chin that hopefully he grows out of or covers with his beard. Overall he’s a stud in the making with nothing but fixable problems.
(Steven Adams wants you to look him in the eyes while he shames you.)
Steven Adams is a bit of a project at this point. He’s got a solid number (but one that could be a lot bigger seeing as how he is a big man). His name is pretty generic (even though a guy named Steven Adams sounds like he would be a solid dude), and he doesn't have the nickname yet to make up for it. Also I don’t have a joke for this but Steven Adams = Adam Stevens. Think about it.
His hair is alright. He does have a pretty sweet chest tattoo that shows it’s not all about the quantity of tattoos but rather the quality. His dunkface is inconsistent as he looks like a beast in the above picture, while looking like a drunk holding onto the rim for dear life in this one.
He also apparently isn't very good looking. I wasn't given anything on the subject but I trust my scouts, and they say he’s not pulling him off. Also you can see in the linked image above that he sometimes wears t-shirts. Tisk tisk. If he can develop a consistent dunkface and maybe a sweet nickname (which shouldn't be hard given his New Zealand heritage) he could overcome his issues and be a really solid NBA player. In the mean time though there is some work to be done.
I have to write about Cody Zeller because the Blazers are reportedly interested in Cody Zeller. That being said there isn’t anything to be said about Cody Zeller that hasn't already been said or snickered about. So I’ll just leave you with what my scout had to say about Cody Zeller:
"Last name Zeller. Enough said."
Couldn't have said it better myself. Thanks again Lindsey. You’re a treasure.
(This is just a disaster.)
Where do we begin with Kentavious? Probably with Kentavious. That’s his name, and it’s pretty fun to say. Also I’m a fan of the dash names ever since Joseph Gordon-Levitt rocked my socks off in Brick. They say a college player needs one tangible NBA skill to stay in the league and Kentavious’s name is certainly his. The question is can he contribute any other way in the world’s greatest basketball league?
According to these ratings, the answer is not really. His number is awful and generic. His hair is short and boring. His tattoos aren't significant and are spotty. He isn't very attractive. If he didn't avoid wearing t-shirts he would be a surefire bust in the making. And that’s not even bringing up his biggest weakness, his dunkface. I could write a dissertation on everything that is wrong with that image above as it’s a train wreck. I understand though that one dunk does not an NBA player not-make so I looked further to see if he redeemed himself in another image. He didn’t.
Overall, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is a lot like Luke Babbitt (bet you didn't see that comparison coming). Luke can shoot. There is no questioning that. Kentavious has an undoubtedly interesting name. Outside of that though, neither has much to offer an NBA team at the moment.
7(13)-2-3-2-3-1(Gross long hair)-5-23
(attached is the full ratings based off the first round on DX's mock draft)
|College Number||Dunk Face||Name Rating||Hair||Tattoos||Attractiveness||Linds Notes:||T-Shirt||Total|
|Nerlens Noel||4 (3)||10||10||10||3||3||Giant mouth and teeth||5||45|
|Ben McLemore||2 (23)||9||7||7||5||6.5||adorable babyface||5||41.5|
|Otto Porter||6 (22)||6||7||5||3||4.5||5||36.5|
|Alex Len||8 (25)||8||4||4||3||4||0||31|
|Victor Oladipo||4 (4)||7||6||5||3||4||5||34|
|Anthony Bennett||7 (15)||7||7||6||4||5||5||41|
|Trey Burke||4 (3)||5||9||5||1||8.5||5||37.5|
|C.J. McCollum||4 (3)||5||5||4||3||5.5||0||26.5|
|Shabazz Muhammad||7 (15)||8||10||6||2||6.5||disturbing acne on chin||5||44.5|
|Steven Adams||7 (13)||7||5||6||4||3||0||32|
|Cody Zeller||8 (40)||4||4||2||3||2||Last name Zeller. Enough said.||5||28|
|Kentavious Caldwell-Pope||1 (1)||2||7||5||2||4||5||26|
|Michael Carter-Williams||1 (1)||3||5||3||3||3||http://www.doctorramey.com/wp- content/uploads/2012/02/horse- mouth-260x300.gif||0||18|
|Shane Larkin||7 (0)||6||5||6||4||5||5||38|
|Dennis Schroeder||7 (17)||5||6||7||3||3||5||36|
|Giannis Adetokunbo||4 (4)||4||6||5||3||7||5||34|
|Kelly Olynyk||7 (13)||2||3||2||3||1||Gross long hair||5||23|
|Mason Plumlee||4 (5)||7||2||5||3||3||5||29|
|Rudy Gobert||7 (15)||5||5||4||3||2.5||Pointy face||5||31.5|
|Gorgui Dieng||6 (10)||8||7||5||3||6||5||40|
|Jamaal Franklin||7 (21)||7||4||6||4||5||0||33|
|Sergey Karasev||6 (7)||3||5||6||3||3||5||31|
|Tim Hardaway Jr.||6 (10)||9||7||7||3||7||0||39|
|Reggie Bullock||9 (35)||7||6||6||4||8||5||45|
|Allen Crabbe||1 (1)||6||3||5||4||3||Big aXX ears||0||22|
|Tony Mitchell||7 (13)||6||4||3||3||3||5||31|
|Lucas Nogueira||9 (35)||6||8||9||4||4.5||5||45.5|
|Isaiah Canaan||4 (3)||6||6||4||4||5||5||34|
|Jeff Withey||4 (5)||4||1||3||3||3.5||5||23.5|
|Ricky Ledo||1 (1)||5||6||5||2||4||3||26|