2020 NBA Draft

#53
Not the expert but believe it is a little early to make projections about either Ayo or Kofi. Coaches are much more prepared for Ayo this year but Kofi pretty much of a surprise. Schemes will be adapted to counter him and it is a long season. That may give Ayo a little room. Have to be impressed with OA and his development of Black, then Giorgi and now Kofi.
 
#54
Illini optimist
Charleston
Agreed. I think most evaluators misjudged his mobility, shot blocking, and rebounding. I thought we were getting a project. If that was the case, this project is way ahead of schedule. He obviously has a NBA body. (NBA scouts can just ask Lewis Garrison if he needs more time in the weight room...) He literally seems to improve every game.
I was really excited to pencil him in the starting 5 for the next few years, but his potential is impossible to hide. If he had a jumper, he’d be a lottery pick this year.
If the staff hasn’t been thinking of how to potentially replace him for 2020, they may be miscalculating... I’m happy he is kind of our little secret right now, but he keeps making all kinds of noise. I think NBA scouts are going to fall in love with his potential.
All of this is true. However, in HIS best interest, staying AT LEAST two years can only benefit Kofi. He will be matched up against guys with his size and skill level who CAN shoot an 18 footer. Time is only going to make him better.
 
#55
Winged Warrior
I hope I'm not sounding like I'm ragging on Kofi, he's amazing....I think he may end up being the best big man in Illini history.....he's just so raw. Another year and his footwork and his hands will make him a POY favorite next season.

If the NBA comes calling and it's in his and his family's best interests, I hope he gets a great look and a genuine opportunity to grow. That said, the NBA has a trail of big men washouts that couldn't adjust. I would hate to see a physical specimen like him go to waste.

Hell even Shaq spent two years at LSU. Two time All American. Think about that. Kofi could be on that track for sure if he keeps this up!
 
#58
Orange Krush '04 & '05
Would you rather:

A) Have Kofi be one and done, drafted around pick 20, with a loss to a #1 seed in the Round of 32 this March (8-seed)

or

B) Kofi stays for two seasons, with no tourney guarantee either season (win the title, miss the tourney, anywhere in between both seasons)
 
#62
Kofi 15 years ago would he a sure fire lottery pick.

Kofi now? Not so sure. He doesn't really fit the 5 of the current NBA trend.
This. Plus, if Kofi goes pro he's probably sitting and developing his skills for a couple of years. He's not going in the draft, starting right away, and throwing down 20/10 every night in the NBA next year. At least not IMO, not in today's NBA.

BUT....If I'm Kofi, why not get paid to develop rather than doing it for free in college? He and Giorgi better be having a LOT of (legal) fun.

I think a lot of people tend to equate "drafted" with "playing/contributing". Not necessarily the case. Just ask THT how that declaring after 1 year is going. Nothing is for sure.
 
#63

Deleted member 8632

D
Guest
Yeah I almost think he is having so much fun, especially with GB, he may stay. If he does, the potential of next years team is very high. However I will really miss Feliz.
I hope your right! Although once Curbelo takes the court you maybe saying "Feliz who?"
 
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#65
This. Plus, if Kofi goes pro he's probably sitting and developing his skills for a couple of years. He's not going in the draft, starting right away, and throwing down 20/10 every night in the NBA next year. At least not IMO, not in today's NBA.

BUT....If I'm Kofi, why not get paid to develop rather than doing it for free in college? He and Giorgi better be having a LOT of (legal) fun.

I think a lot of people tend to equate "drafted" with "playing/contributing". Not necessarily the case. Just ask THT how that declaring after 1 year is going. Nothing is for sure.
Talen Horton Tucker has a roster spot on the Lakers, making 900 grand a year, and that is a hell of an accomplishment however you cut it. That is a dream come true, and he was smart for going after 1 year, even as a 2nd round pick. Had he come back and not had a stellar year/improved his draft stock, he likely wouldn't be drafted this year. When it comes to the draft, you need to strike while the iron is hot. This is the same case with Ayo: he will likely declare and go no matter what this year because he still has stock. Draft stock is very fleeting. I think Kofi is a great candidate for another year to develop, as a lot of kids are, but the strategy only works assuming the player in question actually develops.
 
#66
Talen Horton Tucker has a roster spot on the Lakers, making 900 grand a year, and that is a hell of an accomplishment however you cut it. That is a dream come true, and he was smart for going after 1 year, even as a 2nd round pick. Had he come back and not had a stellar year/improved his draft stock, he likely wouldn't be drafted this year. When it comes to the draft, you need to strike while the iron is hot. This is the same case with Ayo: he will likely declare and go no matter what this year because he still has stock. Draft stock is very fleeting. I think Kofi is a great candidate for another year to develop, as a lot of kids are, but the strategy only works assuming the player in question actually develops.
He wouldnt have the roster spot if the Lakers didnt have salary cap problems & needed to fill the roster out with cheap salaries. We can agree to disagree but he would have been better to stay in school. $900k is a fortune to most of us, but it is chump change in the NBA. I understand Leron Black's situation but he would have been better to stay the senior year & get 1st or 2nd round money compared to what he is probably making now.
 
#67
He wouldnt have the roster spot if the Lakers didnt have salary cap problems & needed to fill the roster out with cheap salaries. We can agree to disagree but he would have been better to stay in school. $900k is a fortune to most of us, but it is chump change in the NBA. I understand Leron Black's situation but he would have been better to stay the senior year & get 1st or 2nd round money compared to what he is probably making now.
But he's still on a roster. With a $2.4 million dollar guaranteed contract. And I don't think Leron could have improved his situation by coming back another year. He had a great year his last year at Illinois and it wasn't enough to sniff the NBA.
 
#68
All of this is true. However, in HIS best interest, staying AT LEAST two years can only benefit Kofi. He will be matched up against guys with his size and skill level who CAN shoot an 18 footer. Time is only going to make him better.
If we're being honest and unbiased about what's in his best interest, then it is in his best interest to go if he believes he'll be among the top 40 picks, and definitely if he's in the first round. He is already 20, so the clock is ticking on his stock. Seeing what is currently happening with Ayo, and the potential for his stock to be lower this year than it was last year, should only make this more clear to us fans.

Kofi is a MUCH better prospect than Bruno Fernando, both size- and skill-wise, and he went 34th last year. Kofi may be 15 years late in terms of NBA big man trends, but there are still tons of non-shooting big men getting tick in the NBA. Free throw shooting tends to be what teams look at more for projecting shooting ability anyways (amongst players that don't take tons of jump shots in college), and Kofi has been very impressive there so far. He doesn't appear to be hopeless with his shooting touch, unlike a Capela or Deandre Jordan. And if Kofi can continue to block shots like he did against Michigan, then GMs will have an easier time overlooking his mobility on the perimeter.

Non-shooting big men are the NBA's running backs. Are they getting giant contracts anymore (relatively)? No. But would a team like the Celtics or Raptors love to have a serviceable big that can rebound, block shots, and hit his FTs for ~$1.5 million/year for 4 years, with the upside for more production down the road? Of course they would.
 
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#69
He wouldnt have the roster spot if the Lakers didnt have salary cap problems & needed to fill the roster out with cheap salaries. We can agree to disagree but he would have been better to stay in school. $900k is a fortune to most of us, but it is chump change in the NBA. I understand Leron Black's situation but he would have been better to stay the senior year & get 1st or 2nd round money compared to what he is probably making now.
For what reason? What would have happened that would have led to a better outcome? Playing second fiddle to Haliburton?

I get that the ideal outcome would be to come back, vastly improve, and go in the lottery (just like Haliburton). But what happens if he comes back and again shoots 40% from the field, 30% from three, and 65% from the line? Think he still gets drafted? He was able to go in the second round to focus full-time on skill development -- for the NBA's game, not for college's very different game -- while getting the opportunity to learn from 2 of the best 5 players in the NBA. I don't understand how this was a bad life decision on his part.
 
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#70
He wouldnt have the roster spot if the Lakers didnt have salary cap problems & needed to fill the roster out with cheap salaries. We can agree to disagree but he would have been better to stay in school. $900k is a fortune to most of us, but it is chump change in the NBA. I understand Leron Black's situation but he would have been better to stay the senior year & get 1st or 2nd round money compared to what he is probably making now.
I personally believe that THT would have gone undrafted. In a very ironic way, I think Illinois gave him his chance. That game against us shot him up in the draft charts and like those high school sophomores with 5 stars he never shook the overrating. It finally caught up to him on draft day when he dropped to the second round.

As I noted above, Sullinger is a classic example of guy who stayed another year and probably cost himself. There's no automatic answer to any of these.
 
#71
For what reason? What would have happened that would have led to a better outcome? Playing second fiddle to Haliburton?

I get that the ideal outcome would be to come back, vastly improve, and go in the lottery (just like Haliburton). But what happens if he comes back and again shoots 40% from the field, 30% from three, and 65% from the line? Think he still gets drafted? He was able to go in the second round to focus full-time on skill development -- for the NBA's game, not for college's very different game -- while getting the opportunity to learn from 2 of the best 5 players in the NBA. I don't understand how this was a bad life decision on his part.
Guess we will find out. Has played all of 2 minutes in 1 game this year so hope he's learning a lot in practice & while getting splinters on the bench.
 
#72
No one on the team gets to the rim like him right now. Curbelo is going to be an assist machine but we should really appreciate AF the next 20 some games.
Hopefully he can hit his free throws in crunch time...3 misses were big against Fichigan...fortunately team held on.
 
#73
He wouldnt have the roster spot if the Lakers didnt have salary cap problems & needed to fill the roster out with cheap salaries. We can agree to disagree but he would have been better to stay in school. $900k is a fortune to most of us, but it is chump change in the NBA. I understand Leron Black's situation but he would have been better to stay the senior year & get 1st or 2nd round money compared to what he is probably making now.
Sorry, but that’s nonsense.
 
#74
IU's Trayce Jackson-Davis with 25 pts and 15 rbs in IU's OT win against Nebraska.
 
#75
Ayo is a 3 or 4 year college player i know i am in the minority on this, Kofi is a 2 or 3 year college player. I hope Miller comes anyway but if he does not i will take a JR/SR Ayo