The college basketball season is over, but for NBA talent evaluators, the analysis is still a long way from complete. Over the next three months, NBA front-office personnel will commence the exhaustive process of vetting draft prospects, including conducting background checks, making countless phone calls to coaches around the country and, of course, watching a ton of film.
During my time in the front office with the Phoenix Suns, I always made it a point to watch film from beyond the current season, all the way back to high school and AAU if possible. I liked doing this because it gave me a clearer idea of the progression the player made from level to level, and it allowed me to track any continuous flaws that had not been corrected. One of the reasons I had such a strong opinion on Austin Rivers, for example, was because I watched him play in high school and AAU prior to his time at Duke.
Another advantage is watching the player handle adapting to different situations and expectations. How does he handle being asked to do more or less than he's used to? How does he handle playing for a new coach in a new system? How does he handle playing with more or less talent around him? These are all important questions that decisions-makers must be able to answer as they envision how potential draftees would fit on their teams next season and beyond.
Here's a look at five draft prospects who fit five teams' needs perfectly in terms of both position and style of play.
As we near completion of Year 1 of Orlando's rebuild, the Magic have done a good job of collecting young talent of varying levels of potential. Nikola Vucevic was an absolute steal as an elite rebounder in the Dwight Howard-Andrew Bynum deal; Maurice Harkless has come on strong over the past 10 games, showing a tantalizing mix of athleticism and versatility; and Tobias Harris has taken full advantage of the playing time afforded to him since being acquired from Milwaukee. The Magic have established a culture of character, hard work and effort (necessary in a rebuild), but lack a motor for their offense, which struggles to shoot efficiently (49 percent team eFG%) and doesn't get easy scoring opportunities (23rd in corner 3-point attempts and 29th in FTA rate).