I was high on Shumpert, Faried, Marshon Brooks, Charles Jenkins, Lillard, Drummond, Royce White, Sullinger, and Henson. 2013: I say draft Shabazz.

To be honest it took Lillard’s workout vids to sway me but by draft day I was saying do what you got to do to get him Drummond and White. Also I would have drafted MKG over Lillard. I still think MKG is going to be an allstar. Looks like I also missed on Babbitt though that draft was kinda weak.It is a pretty decent list of players. That's probably a playoff team.

My talent prognostication has improved. There was a time when I thought Lawrence Moten was a future Allstar.

I’ve become a better study. My talent eye started to sharpen after I started editing rosters for nba 2k9 and 10. I simply wanted to base the speed and vertical jumps on the player on combine stats. I was convinced that while the game did have some weird catchup stuff that made big men run faster in certain situations that the speed ratings were baseless. They were based on position, race, and reputation. Having played football at the college level I knew that some big guys were just flat out fast and that white men could jump. Mind you this was before the Brits and Russians took gold in the long and high jump.

The combine numbers at draftexpress was about as sweet a dose of confirmation as I have ever swallowed. I could see clearly that yes some big guys run like guards, and white guys can jump. Here’s a somewhat chubby Kevin Love with a 35 inch vert and a faster recorded sprint than Chris Paul. That wasn’t what really moved me though. It was wingspan measurements. My mom once said while watching an NBA game that damn these guys are lanky. I could see it then. Here were the numbers as clear and obvious as I could ask for and in these numbers was an obvious reality that basketball players have a specific shape. There were quite a few that didn’t adhere so I looked for a pattern and found three obvious measures. Guys that lack a long wingspan height ratio had best be highly skilled in other areas to succeed or really tall, most of the game’s elite have large wingpsans, and it’s an obvious trait for the overachiever .

It’s the number one overachiever trait. It’s one of the reasons I warmed up to Lillard. Oh 6’8 wingspan and he can shoot… Draft HIM

As the Trail Blazer roster hit the injury skid I begin to look for other overachiever traits and this is what I found.

Players with baseless or exaggerated negative reputations. Guys that have bad reps for stuff that might not apply, doesn't pass the logic test or it’s something that they can reasonably overcome.

Players that didn’t fit their system.

Players that want it really bad. This is often reflected in rebounds and year to year improvement.

Players with a strong fundamental base. This stood out with Faried. His footwork was underrated. He was a top five pick.

Freshmen with obvious room and tools to improve. Steven Adams grades high here.

Players that already know how to shoot. This is the lesser of them all however it combines well with the others.

Players that know the game.

I see Shabazz Muhammad in those traits. The only thing I would doubt is his desire after starting his college career out of shape. That’s not a red flag since he did well in the athletic test. Maybe a pink flag?

He seems like an underrated fit once you get past the BPA angle.
Marson Brooks averaged 1.5 assist in four years at Providence. Low assist totals while playing off-ball isnt nearly as moving as low rebound totals especially with someone like Bazz who didnt turn the ball over and shot well. that fits nicely next to Batum who is improving rapidly as a playmaker. Bazz didnt just play off ball he played hard off ball. He moved and he banged for his space in the post.

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