Yesterday, we took a look at two internationally born players that the Hornets could consider in the second round. Today, we focus on two more players.
The move for Dwight Howard has brought back two second round picks which includes this season’s 45th pick. With that in mind, let’s dive in.
Deng Adel has a lot of national recognition after four years of playing at the investigative capital of the world: Louisville University. With all the controversy and speculation that occurred on the outer shell of the university over the past couple of years, Adel became the focal leader of the inner shell: the identity of the basketball program.
Adel’s strengths include athleticism, shooting, and defensive versatility. At 6’7, 200 pounds, he has the physical tools to be an effective and quick wing player. Whether by cutting inside or off of a screen, Adel has the ability to blow by his defender off ball and catch the alley-oop lob inside. His athleticism is also seen in his transition game — from grabbing the offensive rebound to catching the ball off a fastbreak, Adel has been able to capitalize on transition opportunities.
Here’s one example.
Shooting is also a strength of his. Adel’s four years at Louisville allowed him to establish effective scoring at all three levels of the halfcourt. He has an impressive inside game for his size. He can beat defenders with spin moves and fades from the restricted area, as well as from midrange. His 3-point shot is pretty impressive as well and is a career 35 percent shooter from downtown. This offensive ability from all three levels is a big plus in today’s NBA.
His defensive ability is also stellar. From blocking shots to playing tight defense when the shot clock is winding down, Adel has a knack for following his assignment at a very high level.
Adel’s weaknesses include his aggressiveness and ball handling. For a player who scores in transition so often, he only averaged three free throws attempts per game in college. His ball handling isn’t the greatest either. Often times Adel has trouble rising up with a pull-up mid-range and 3-pointer and has been known to become nonaggressive when the shot clock is winding down. These issues are major red flags because if he doesn’t fix them, he would become just a spot up shooter, a skill that there is a large supply of in the NBA.
A direct comparison that can be made with Adel is Milwaukee Bucks wing, Tony Snell. Both have the same physical nature and skillset. Both aren’t aggressive driving inside and often settle for outside shots. But, they both have the skill set of a modern NBA three-and-D player, which is always a positive.
Todd Withers is the biggest mystery out of the players listed here because he didn’t play at a recognizable school. He played his four years at Division II Queens University in Charlotte, NC. You must be thinking why the Hornets should draft someone who played below average competition? Well, the answer lies in history. NBA greats George Iceman Gervin and Charles Oakley have both played their collegiate careers in Division II conferences. Furthermore, there are dozens of other DII players who have played long NBA careers, so it’s not that must of an unrealistic chance that Todd Withers can play in the association because of his college affiliation.
On the court, Withers established a defensive-first mentality. He was able to smother opposing players on the perimeter time and time again. At 6’8, 215 pounds, Withers has the defensive profile of the modern day small forward. His quick lateral movement allows him to become a great perimeter defender, a trait that every team in the NBA needs. On the offensive end, Withers displays a willingness inside. Whether that’s through contact dunks or put-backs after a missed shot, he has shown a key sense for the attacking the rim at any given notice. But Withers’ main weapon of choice is the 3-point shot, as he shot a very impressive 38 percent from 3 during his senior season. This was off of a ridiculous 5.8 3-point attempts per game. This efficiency at such a large sample size can further prove NBA teams that he can space the floor whenever called upon to.
He does need to improve his free throw shooting. Wilkins shot a combined rate of 67 percent from the line in all four years of college. This seems like an outlier as the traditional rule is that whatever the free throw effectiveness of a collegiate player is, then the true shooting percentage when that player turns pro should replicate that. However, Wilkins shot a modest 47 percent from the floor. Hopefully, those free throw numbers can improve as he develops in the NBA.
A realistic comparison that can be made is current Philadelphia 76ers small forward Robert Covington. Both Withers and Covington have a larger body frame than other forwards and use that to their advantage in both perimeter and interior defense. Both are also able to consistently knock down three-point shots.
Out of these two domestic players, who should the Hornets draft?
This poll is closed