2018 Mid-Season NBA IPRs
After some internal discussion about previous seasons’ on-again/off-again evaluations posted on Facebook we decided to attempt to be more consistent and transparent by posting evaluations for each athlete being released on the blog. This will also allow all of you to tell us how stupid we were in hindsight and hopefully help you see things from another perspective. Remember, we are just giving our own opinion and in-depth analysis as if we were traders and doing the same evaluations that you would do yourself. These evaluations are not intended to be your sole resource but to possibly show you a viewpoint that you might not have considered yourself.
We will be using a grading system that is like what you had in school, A, B, C, D, F and grade in three categories, Bonus Potential, HOF Potential, and Sleeper Potential. Bonus potential and HOF should be pretty self explanatory but Sleeper Potential is what we think the chances that you might be able to get them for a better price than they are actually worth in the IPR auction. Please do not change your bids solely on our opinion as we are wrong as much as anyone else. We will try to give some pros and cons for each as well but some athletes we may have less info so we might have less to say about them, good or bad.
In the future we might have some guest evaluations but for now they will be from a collaboration of the Jockbrokers staff and presented from the perspective of the Jockbrokers CEO. If you have some interest in sharing your opinions publicly contact customer service at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This was decided at the last minute so I apologize up front for being behind on it. Check back each day on this same list as more will be added daily until all are released.
Donovan Mitchell – Coming into the league at 21 neither helps nor hurts him. He is getting 31.1 mpg so far and putting up 18.2 ppg with a TS% of 0.546. These are all more than solid indication that he is off to a solid start. Classically we find that the SG position is the hardest from which to make bonuses/HOF because they don’t handle the ball as much, rebound as much, or have the STL/BLK numbers of the other guys. Mitchell does very well in the categories where SG’s tend to thrive which are 3’s and points. If he maintains his solid TS% he can be a force for a long time. He was also named Rookie of the Month in December, so he is definitely trending upward.
Pro – Good FT% will carry his TS% throughout his career. Solid defender.
Con – He is a short SG, who turns the ball over a lot and fouls a lot. Playing for Utah is going to hurt his PO Minutes for HOF
Bobby Portis – He came into the league at 20 but has only had 17 GS in two and a half years. He is a tall PF who has show 33.6% from beyond the arc for his career and surprisingly his rebounding has gotten better over that time as well as his TS% and FT%. This year alone he is 36% from three and 83.6 from the FT line. We think that Portis needs a new home where he can start at PF and it would be great for him if it were on a contender. As a starter with 30+ minutes we think Portis could be a consistent earner and getting him now could be a boon for a trader. On the other hand he is trending as a backup and getting boxed out in Chicago.
Pro: His numbers trend up even though his mpg haven’t changed all that much. He is quick for a big guy.
Con: He is the odd man out in Chicago. Trending down in the last 30 days. Might never break through or reach his potential.
Jayson Tatum – This guy is the clear #1 athlete in the first day’s group. He was named Rookie of the Month in December and he is ON FIRE lately. He is on a great team and he is just 19. He went to a big college, and was drafted 3rd overall. This kid is the real deal. His TS% is an outstanding 0.631. If you want this guy you better be willing to shell out a ton. There are a lot of traders from the Boston area and everyone knows about his guy. If you don’t, you shouldn’t be investing in NBA. His starting age, fast start, and being on a great team make him a high level HOF prospect. He will go down as the best player in the 2017 Draft.
Pro: Started every game so far with 31.1 mpg. He is over 45% from three and 82.6% from FT. He rebounds well for a SF. Fills the box score. Think Paul Pierce with higher %’s.
Con: He should shoot more to take advantage of his great decision making.
Dennis Smith – In short, this kid is a bust who was over drafted at 9th overall. Dallas has a lot of problems and their biggest is in the GM’s office. This kid should not have been on the radar as a first rounder let alone top 10. The little fella is getting all the starts and 27.7 mpg right now but with a weak TS% of 0.474 on plenty of shots. His numbers are weak across the board, even in the categories that a PG should thrive.
Pro: Dallas is a crappy organization, which might play to his strength because he will get a much longer look than he would elsewhere. On most teams he would be playing off the bench. He is only 20 so if he can get it together he has better HOF potential. He is getting solid playing time based on his performance. With all that said, just about anyone is worth a $1 flyer bid as a 20 year old starter.
Con: This kid is all Con. He will be out of the league by Age 27.
Dario Saric – He is similar to Portis but came into the league at 22. We fear that when Markelle Fultz is back that Saric goes to the bench. He needs a new team but with a 0.533 TS% and almost 7 rpg we think he catches on somewhere making him a solid sleeper play. Clearly worth $1 flyer but will surely go higher than that.
Pro: Solid %’s across the board.
Con: High TOV and current situation in Philly.
John Collins – Think Mutombo. Shorter and without the blocks, charisma, or confidence. Seems like a lot missing but this kid is only 20 and he has a lot of potential. He probably should have been a top 10 pick and considering his so-so start most people are not looking at him, so he should go much cheaper than his true worth. We like him because his high TS% and playing for one of the worst teams in the league will ensure a long look and lots of minutes. Rebounding 7.1 rpg on just 22.8 minutes makes him attractive with a ton of upside too. Since he is playing PF maybe a better comparison is Rodman, without the baggage. Being just 20 helps him in the HOF of course.
Pro: Solid TS%. Keeps his ass in the right position (not beyond the arc), which insures that his rebounds should only get better and his TS% should hold or get better. He should also have over 1 steal per game with ~30 minutes. Having only 4 starts and 22.8 minutes means there is a ton of upside.
Con: Playing in Atlanta has some advantages but will hurt badly for HOF. He isn’t getting the blocks that you would expect. Atlanta seems to have a leash on him and considering their season was over before it started that makes no sense to us. The piss poor organization might ruin him. At his current state of play he is far superior to his competition for the starting job (Luke Babbitt, Ersan Ilyasova, Miles Plumlee, you get the picture)
DeAaron Fox – This punk should have been a late draft flyer pick but Sacramento has proven to be a failed organization for decades. Seeing them overdraft him was no surprise. A PG that cannot shoot 3’s or FTs is completely worthless unless his steals are around 2 per game and he handles the ball BETTER than Jason Kidd or Steve Nash. Fox has none of that. He will be a flop the rank of Ryan Leaf considering his #5 draft slot in a pretty solid draft class. He shot 73.6% FTs at Kentucky. Did they think that he would suddenly learn to shoot from the stripe? His 68.4% FT is real. This kid will be the most overpriced IPR in quite some time. Probably not even worth $1 unless you are thinking this is just a slow start and with age he will come around.
Pro: Being in Sacramento gives him more playing time that he would get elsewhere. He is just 20 so if we are wrong about him he will rack up some early numbers.
Con: Just about everything from his name, hair, attitude, to ALL his numbers. This guy has no business in the NBA.
Josh Jackson – He got a lot of Kawhi comparisons going into the draft but so far he has not shown anything near that. The 4th pick overall is getting 21.7 minutes and a TS% of just .450. He has a ton of room for improvement and the good news is that he is going to do so, at least to some degree. He was over-drafted at #4 but he does look good at times so there is hope that he gets better. He clearly left college too early. On the job training in the NBA is much harder. No matter whether he gets better or not, he is and never will be good enough to be compared to Kawhi. I would compare him more to Tashaun Prince but probably not quite as good and will never be as good from the stripe. There he is comparable to Shaq. Expect him to be overpriced due to his high draft position.
Pro: 20 years old helps his HOF prospects. Phoenix is getting better, which also helps his HOF opportunity. He cannot possibly look any worse than he has.
Con: He cannot make FTs so his TS% will always be low. He might be a backup his entire career. He is playing behind TJ Warren who is an adequate starter.
Kyle Kuzma – We like this kid and think that he was under-drafted at #27 overall. He looks extremely smooth and polished for a rookie but that could be due to being 22 and having 3 years of college under his belt. His numbers might not improve all that much over the years and he will never get a top tier bonus but we expect him to get a full time starting job and offer consistent play over the years, having a full career with solid numbers. Think Rick Fox without the pretty face.
Pro: He is pro-ready and not afraid to chuck it up and makes quality decisions.
Con: He doesn’t play much defense, which is why Larry Nance is still in the picture. He needs to learn how to make a FT to ever have a shot at hitting 0.600 TS% and to ensure he keeps his minutes over 30 per game.
Lauri Markkanen – This 7 foot PF is the barrier for Bobby Portis being on the court more and for good reason. Portis does cut into Markkanen’s minutes a little pushing him just below 30 mpg. We never like to see PF or C playing out of position beyond the arc and think that if he would stop that crap he would be over 10 rpg. He could also maintain his points and have a TS% over 0.600 but as it is he is at 0.544 and that will probably be around the norm for him. Sadly, with the state of the NBA he will probably see even more time in the perimeter.
Pro: His high FT% for a PF is real and will carry his TS%. He doesn’t turn the ball over much nor foul much but that is due to him playing the SG position instead of that of a true PF.
Con: His blocks are a joke and his offensive rebounding is too. Both are because he wants to shoot threes rather than play in the paint.
Delon Wright – I have no gotten the chance to see Delon play this year so I’m going to ride mostly with previous years and the advice of our staff members that have watched him. The consensus about this guy is that he should have been given the starting PG position in Toronto rather than bringing in Kyle Lowry. Now that Lowry is there Wright needs to be moved if he is ever going to reach his potential. If Toronto keeps him and giving him 20 mpg off the bench for 2 more years he will have a short career. Coming into the league at 23 and having only 1 start in 2.5 years means that his HOF prospects are bleak. His very best case is the $2 level. What you should look at is his stats per 36 minutes. He doesn’t set the world on fire in any category but his percentages are very good for a PG and he fills the stat sheet. His defense is fantastic, he handles the ball well, and rebounds well for a PG. We think those stats indicate that all he needs is more minutes. All of that without fouling much or turning it over. Toronto has him as a RFA through 2020 so his grades will consider that.
Pro: Good Percentages will keep him in the NBA and maybe get him a starting role.
Con: Toronto doesn’t seem to have any confidence in him and without 30 mpg he cannot reach his potential, but at least he has some.
T. J. McConnell – You have heard the term “A Poor Man’s” such and such, but I’m going to take that one step further to call McConnell a Homeless Man’s John Stockton. He doesn’t do a lot other than AST/STL but his decision making is good and he is only 6’2″. Another comparison might be Ricky Rubio. No matter what you think of McConnell now you have to agree that he will never be much in Philly playing behind Markelle Fultz and even Ben Simmons shifts from PF to PG/ball-handler before McConnnell. The Sixers have an option on him for next year for just $1.1 m so they will surely cash that in. He also came into the league at 23 and has spent 2.5 seasons averaging 23.3 mpg with pretty empty numbers so his HOF prospect is zero. If he could get a starting job and keep his percentages high he might be able to make some bonuses but that seems pretty far fetched to us. Expect him to continue as a backup even if he is traded and to be out of the league before 32. If not for Bacon he would be the worst of this IPR class.
Pro: He is on a team that seems to always have injuries and they are still trying to find a lineup that works.
Con: He started way too late and too slow so even the $2 HOF is out of the question. Most players with a full career can get there but not McConnell.
Dwayne Bacon – Everyone likes bacon so at least he has that going for him. He was over 20 minutes a month ago but now down to 15.1 and he spent 5 days over Christmas in the G-League. He is back up now but buried on the bench. If you cannot crack the starting lineup in Charlotte it seems unlikely that he would anywhere else. He has Lamb and Kidd-Gilchrist in front of him at SF but he can play SG as well, which is probably all that keeps him getting the minutes he is. Only his mamma would bid more than $1 on this guy.
Pro: He’s tasty
Con: Everything else
Lonzo Ball – First, let it be known that if we owned a basketball team we would not want this selfish, poisonous, out of control athlete anywhere near our team but the Lakers are in the unique position of being either loved or hated anyway and their team is known for dysfunction so he will fit right in. He does have some talent but his out of control style and poor decision making will haunt you his entire career. His atrocious FT% (48%) and 30.5% from the arc translate into a TS% of just 0.455. His numbers at UCLA were better but still far too low for a PG. At 6’6″ he does rebound well, which is going to help him throughout his career. He is just 20 and will have a full career but he is not a star and will be a backup after age 30. He is sloppy, over-rated, and should have stayed in college. He was well over-drafted at #2 overall.
Pro: Rebounding as a PG is an anomaly but valuable. Maybe he is just young and will come around.
Con: His attitude and the drama surrounding him make it almost impossible to see him learning the game at the NBA level. He needs discipline and as a multi-millionaire on the NBA scene at 20 years old just isn’t the place for that. He is more likely out of the league by 30 than he is a top 30 player in the NBA.