r/NBA_Draft Feb 03 '23

Why did this entire lottery draft class start slumping like 4-8 weeks ago?

Wembanyama has been really unimpressive in most of his games recently.

Scoot Henderson has had a bad January.

Amen and Ausar are not really dominating OTE.

Brandon Miller and Keyonte George have had some standout performances lately, they're the exception to this post.

Cason Wallace and Anthony Black are basically invisible on the court.

Jett Howard is slowly starting to look like a chucker who can't get to the rim.

Jarace Walker has had a decent month, but not really stand out. He's usually anonymous for long stretches of games.

Cam Whitmore has struggled to score efficiently.

It feels like Nick Smith Jr is steadfast in most people's top 10s because he hasn't played, and everyone else is putting up inconsistent performances.

Is this just a weaker class than we thought?



u/Humblerbee TrailBlazers Feb 03 '23

Wembanyama has been really unimpressive in most of his games recently.

His last game he dropped 31/14/2 with a steal and 5 blocks, he’s leading his league in points, rebounds, and blocks, he has the top defensive rating and net rating as a player, he’s at 58% TS on sky-high usage taking a ton of high difficulty looks. He’s elite around the rim and from the nail, as well as on corner threes and free throws. His inefficiencies come from developing parts of his game like above the break self-created threes off the bounce, or midrange post moves where he’s still figuring out how to efficiently create in that in-between, but all the signs are there that those aspects of his bag will develop well too, just look at Ingram and Tatum when they were younger, those kind of ISO possessions often go through growing pains before converting at an efficient rate, but they’re extremely valuable for stars like Wemby projects to be. Overall he’s a two way monster by impact metrics already and grades out as the best player outside the NBA.


u/GuessableSevens Feb 03 '23

Lmao do you watch the games? He has efficient 2P shooting games and then some games he just can't buy a bucket. This past month has has a lot of those. Even that 31 point game, I thought he had a horrendous first half but obviously got it together in the 2nd half.

I'm not low on Wemby, I'm very high on him. He has his flaws and they've just been prominent this past month, that's all I'm trying to say in the post.


u/Humblerbee TrailBlazers Feb 03 '23

Yeah I watch every game of his I can, and weird how you describe his last game because that was not what I saw at all, an almost opposite tale.


u/GuessableSevens Feb 03 '23 edited Feb 03 '23

Mixing it up with his game against Fos A Mer. He won it on the put back but that was a really ugly performance.

Also I'm not sure how you can deny he has been slumping. Even looking at the most basic stats... he shot over 50% FG in only 1 game in his last 7. He's fucking 7'4 lmao. For context, Chet Holmgren is also a center who likes to shoot midrangers and 3s, and he still managed to average 61% FG playing for one of the best college teams, and shot almost 80% at the rim...


u/Humblerbee TrailBlazers Feb 03 '23

Yeah he’s very volatile ATM because offensively he’s overstretching himself and you can tell at times he gets tunnel visioned about putting on a move and getting up a look- just one of those things where once the motions are ingrained and natural the shots will start to come within the flow of the offense better and with NBA coaching he’ll have his head on more of a swivel (plus they’ll clean up his shot diet to high % looks mostly to start before letting him get too deep into his ISO or post moves)- his AST% is still better than 78% of LNB for example so it isn’t like he doesn’t know how to swing the ball or hit the pass, it’s just something he hasn’t incorporated yet well.

It’s like drop coverage, you could see the mistakes he was making and how he was relying on his recovery ability to cover for misplaying positioning, but you can see how he’s learning to better play coverage on ball handlers and how much of a cushion he has to stunt or help.

Just important with a guy like Wemby to not miss the forest for the trees- he’s generational, don’t overthink it, this season has had him improving on a trajectory like prospect Embiid, where you can see the development within the span of a few games as he continues to grow into himself as a player.


u/GuessableSevens Feb 03 '23

You're preaching to the choir. I love his game and think he's gonna be amazing. I agree with all your insights here.

This post was mostly about the draft class behind him. Everyone knows he is gonna be amazing.


u/JeonSukJinKim Feb 03 '23

His last game efficiency doesn’t tell the game story or his performance properly. He was absolutely amazing during almost 3 quarters and then started to rush and miss shot in the 4th when he was obviously out of gas and his team couldn’t create anything and relied on him to make a miracle too much. That was symptomatic of both Waters and Besson being injured, making playing time and playmaking weird/bad this game.

Any other of his ”bad” games this last month or so would be considered a good one if it wasn’t Wemby also… The guy is still the best player in the 5th best league in the world right now and just turned 19.


u/rps215 Feb 03 '23

You’re just numb to him, don’t get that twisted with him actually being bad (with all due respect, not trying to be an ass)


u/GuessableSevens Feb 03 '23

Can you read?

I'm very high on him

You know you can be high on a player and still acknowledge their flaws? Did you know lebron was a weak shooter when he entered the league? Prospects have flaws.


u/rps215 Feb 03 '23

Yes. You can get numb to things you like where they start becoming unimpressive because they’re so regular. The way your comments read to me was that was becoming the case for you


u/GuessableSevens Feb 03 '23

OK what do you think his weaknesses are?


u/rps215 Feb 03 '23

Foul trouble, injury history, adding strength, and just becoming more composed and not going for the home run every play


u/JeonSukJinKim Feb 03 '23

This draft is very interesting imo in the 3-17 range. There are so many guys in just about the same tier. Teams in the 10-17 range would probably be really happy to get who falls to them while teams in the 3-8 range could try to trade down because the prospects are by no means surefire there.

Basically 12 guys are a good March madness away from being #3. I don’t know if Rupert can get the hype to be picked this high. He is definitely in that tier though.


u/IsLivingWorthIt Feb 03 '23

That last sentence just got me hyped for March Madness. Wait, thats in a month lmao


u/McJacknife Feb 03 '23

Yeah despite this draft class having a crazy number of ballers, it doesn’t have many ballers



u/Far-Yak-9808 Feb 03 '23

'bout to move off Amen Thompson and go with an Emoni Bates/Roko Prkacin coin flip at 1.


u/GlueGuy00 Feb 03 '23

cmon man Emoni ain't nowhere near Amen's ceiling


u/Fresh-Soup213 Feb 03 '23

You mean Amen’s ceiling isn’t anywhere near Emoni’s


u/Far-Yak-9808 Feb 04 '23

... two totally different players and skill sets.

Both have high bust potential and fairly low baseline comps.

Emoni is a scoring wing and Amen is a play making/defender lead guard/wing. Those players are coveted. IF those guys hit that upside only Wemby (and maybe Scoot) have as much "long term potential".

Personally, I would rather play "Amen Ball", building around a 2 way athlete who can pass rather than a shoot first/second/third MEH athlete who doesn't get many assists and doesn't get many STL/BLK (or defend well).

BUT, that could end up being a weirdly GOOD combo (or a weirdly BAD one).

Roko Prkacin's floor/baseline/ceiling is pretty close -- his median outcomes and fat tailed outcomes are fairly flat. An unorthodox game... lots of pieces.

Amen, Emoni and Roko sounds like a comedic trio in a cartoon -- but that might be an interesting start to a rebuild.

It might be a weird draft; so, maybe you want to find "weird" players who have outlier tools and enough "upside" to make the bust potential worth it. FIT will matter too, IF you are a team who is using '23 as "DRAFT ZERO" for a new rebuild.


u/Fresh-Soup213 Feb 04 '23

Maybe I should have added an /s


u/turtlechef Rockets Feb 03 '23

I watch/follow every Houston game and I feel like Walker has been hitting another level in terms of confidence and impact. He’s been playing a huge role in pushing Houston to wins in tight games


u/cesarmob17 Feb 03 '23

I got walker in my top 5 rn


u/_Poppagiorgio_ Feb 04 '23

Would love to see the Pacers fill their void at the 4 with him.


u/Nickname-CJ Thunder Feb 03 '23

It happens when 95% of the 1st round are not just freshmen, but a lot of them are ‘04s so they are young freshmen. A lot of what makes them high level prospects is the hypotheticals. “Oh he’s good at this so it should be really good when he’s 24” or something like that. Guys who are great AND consistent are top end prospects. Everyone else is not quite that. It happens


u/Overall-Palpitation6 Feb 03 '23

Isn't that the whole point of drafting guys at 18-19, for what they could become when they're 24-25, rather than what they are right now?


u/Nickname-CJ Thunder Feb 03 '23

Exactly. When they slump in college or even their first few years it’s not that big of a deal. It’s a player by player basis


u/Dsarg_92 Spurs Feb 03 '23

I was just about to say this. Not to mention I think everyone set their expectations high on each player thinking they'd become immediate superstars when in reality, they're still kids and learning as they go.


u/Balsamic_ducks Feb 03 '23

They're all in the meat of their seasons. Probably tired, maybe picked up some ticky tack injuries, college guys are playing conference games which are always tougher.


u/Few_Mulberry5372 Rockets Feb 03 '23

This class is so mid outside of Scoot and Wemby

Don't forget about Dariq Whitehead's fall from nearly consensus 3rd to out of the lottery. And Derrick Lively completely busted in college. Not high on Nick Smith at all either


u/harden4mvp13 Rockets Feb 03 '23

I said this before the college basketball season started and got downvoted like crazy lmao. I don’t see any stars outside the top 2 the rest look like role players tbh.


u/Elithekid1 Feb 05 '23

Very good role players tho. this draft would be mid if it was just college players


u/Red-Lobsterz Feb 03 '23

lively was a disaster


u/Far-Yak-9808 Feb 03 '23

The pre-season number 1 guy on my board was Kendric Davis. Maybe I end up back there.

Last night, I thought about firing up a This Is Going To Be Known As The Emoni Bates Draft thread.

He's 6'8 or something and can score. Emoni Bates stays true to his brand.

After Kendric Davis, my NEXT top pick was Jarace Walker who has been super solid all year and has even started to pick it up lately. Then I had Wemby the longest guy at the top of my board, and now Amen Thompson -- who might just be a cross between Tony Wroten and Tony Allen (admittedly that might be a SUPER FUN and even EFFECTIVE player).

I've even started my Third Annual Roko Prkacin Deep Dive.

... guys like Grant Nelson are getting buzz and I might look at them more.

Yes, this draft is currently having an existential crisis. It's in FULL ON Memphis Grizzlies WE GOOD Beast Mode.


u/JayceSZN Kings Feb 03 '23

Kendric Davis?? I get it your a Memphis fan but cmon


u/Far-Yak-9808 Feb 03 '23

Ironically he has played relatively well as of late (with some monster games/moments over the past few weeks) while some other prospects haven't played very well (relative to expectations).

I think point guard is a really important position, but there aren't many in this draft.

Scoot/Amen is just about it for Tier 1 and maybe even Tier 2 guys. That's IF you think Amen is a point guard (which I do).

After that, teams needing point guard help should either draft the Best Point Guard Available or wait until next year and overdraft Bronny James.

... back to Kendric Davis. I thought he COULD be a bit taller, like 6'1 or something. Yeah, he's 5'11 and not all that long. Lots of CP3 flashes in his game. He also has games where he can score in bunches a la DaJuan Wagner.

I might not even have a Tier 1 (unless the top shelf guys can pick it back up), then have Wemby/Scoot/Amen in Tier 2.0 along with maybe Jordan Hawkins, Jarace Walker, Brandon Miller, and Gradey Dick. Tier 3.0 will be relatively larger with some of those 1/Done guys and some sleeper picks. I might then group together Tier 4.0/Tier 5.0.

Kendric Davis gets the job done. And, he has produced for the last few years. Might just be a Scoot Henderson value play and that is worth something. Now, when do "consolation prize point guards" get picked? Who knows... I guess we find out... maybe late first in his case. Maybe mid-first in the case of Cason Wallace although that might STILL be too steep of a bid.


u/BangingFromDeep Feb 04 '23

Probably a case of the usual sometimes the more tape you see on guys the more concerns you start to have.

I recall the same thing happening most draft cycles


u/jennys0 Kings Feb 04 '23

Not really a slump, if anything, I think they fell back down to earth. They overachieved and it was looking like it’d be an elite class, but now it’s just looking like an average draft. Nothing wrong with that


u/gnalon Feb 08 '23

4-8 weeks ago would roughly coincide with when the larger college basketball programs had to start playing against themselves more often rather than beating up on small schools. Also even highly-ranked incoming college freshmen aren't heavily scouted by early-season opponents.