Our Way Too Early Buy/Sell For The 2019 Rookies
We know. The rookie class of 2019 has not even played half of a season yet. Will that stop us from looking at the early returns? Nope. So check out where two cousins stand regarding some of your favorite NBA newcomers.
Nick Faggio on Cam Reddish: My cousin - a Reddish Truther - would love for me to say that I’m out on the rookie. Then, he would harangue me with film until my eyes needed a nap. Did this impact my decision to state publicly that I am buying Reddish stock? A tad.
Originally I was opting to sell Cam, looking at his splits of only eight points per game at just a 32 percent clip, while hauling a healthy 24.8 minutes per outing. His inconsistency had appeared to carry over from his Duke career. After reviewing his tapes my cousin would surely send me anyways, and seeing how he is scoring the rock, the Joe Johnson flashes are still there.
He is getting to his spots and creating space off of the dribble. For a 6-foot-8 small forward/shooting guard combo who could theoretically finish efficiently at the rim, his skill set projects to a high ceiling. That is why I am all in on Reddish. His accuracy will only improve with a few years service in the league and his quiet start should evolve into a lengthy, noisy career.
Don’t believe me? Check out some of Reddish’s off-the-dribble scoring ability as seen in the Hawks’ recent outing versus the Charlotte Hornets.
On display here is his separation and ability to hit shots over outstretched arms.
Matt Esposito on Cam Reddish: My cousin knows me. I have Reddish clips ready in the chamber, waiting to fire at any moment in the direction of the nearest Twitter naysayer. That being said, allow me to shed some more light on why I am buying Reddish.
His skill set translates well to where the League is heading. Reddish should play as a tall shooting guard and fly around pin downs or pick and pops to get off clean looks. During mismatches he can drive past slower forwards or simply shoot over smaller guards. I am not the only one to perceive how his feathery touch can lead to All-Star appearances.
While writing a scouting report for Reddish, I was impressed by how he fully buys into his strengths. Reddish has good IQ for a sniper. He routinely runs to his spots on breakouts and knows where to be during set offenses in order to take advantage of his gifts. His instincts are apparent, which can be seen when Reddish gets behind the defense before they match up. Not only does he demonstrate court geography but, Reddish displays his organic stroke as well.
Nick on Matisse Thybulle: For now I am buying but I may resell him on eBay later. Known as the best defensive player in his draft class, in just 16.7 minutes per game he is averaging 1.5 steals. Matisse’s offensive numbers may not stick out on paper, as he averages just 4.7 ppg in a struggling Philadelphia offense. Yet, he is shooting the 3-ball at a 44 percent clip, converting mostly on catch-and-shoot attempts.
Even though this is a small sample size, he has shown the blueprints of a 3 and D wing player; a style that is coveted more than ever in our modern game. The attributes from Thybulle that stand out the most to me is his ability to guard multiple positions on the wings. In a recent outing versus the Washington Wizards, Matisse most notably blocked 6-foot-11 Moritz Wagner’s 3-point attempt while closing out on him, then proceeded to block 6-foot-10 Davis Bertans on his 3-point attempt. Check out those clips below and you may be buying too!
And now for the Bertans block...
Matt on Matisse Thybulle: I hate agreeing with you Nick, but I’m buying too. Although, I am not spending too much money. Allow me to tell you why.
Thybulle projects not only as a perennial All-Defensive Team player but someone who could also be the best defender in the NBA. One day Thybulle will be playing near 36 minutes per game. We have an idea of what type of impact he will have when he does. His per-36 minutes are below and the defensive numbers are quite staggering.
I do have some questions, however. Firstly, the jury is still out on Thybulle’s 3-point shot. Is it for real? His college career saw his 3-point percentage fluctuate from the low thirties to the low forties. Considering he played four years of college ball, it is fair to question how much his shot will improve. Also, are we sure his last name will not be legally stolen by Carsen Edwards. Thybulle sound a lot like Thigh-Bull and we all know about Weird Celtics Twitter obsessions with Edward’s tree trunk legs...
Nick on Rui Hachimura: After the first month of the season, I’ll buy Rui Hachimura then buy him again, and again, and again. Rui is one of my favorite rookies. His grown man, aggressive playstyle is a talent rarely seen in 21-year-olds. He has no fear in his approach to the game, as he shoots 55 percent of his field goals within ten feet, and is averaging 14.2 points on 49 percent shooting.
Hachimura’s high flying antics compliment his consistent mid-range abilities nicely. His lack of fear was seen in their recent outing against the Los Angeles Lakers, as he put his head down and bullied LeBron James in the paint. Give me all the Rui stock.
Matt on Rui Hachimura: Call my broker. What little Rui stock I had is being sold. In other words, this draft skeptic is selling high. Oh and to my cousin - I’m right, you’re wrong, nana nana boo boo.
What bothers me about his game is that Hachimura averages less than 0.5 3-point makes per game. He never developed a 3-point game in college and did not really even show many flashes. This is a skill that will need serious work to get up to speed. Can a player like him truly compete in the league if he does not have a reliable perimeter shooting game?
Nick on Coby White: To finish off this spending spree, I’ll buy Coby White too.
After White’s barrage of seven fourth quarter 3-pointers against my pitiful New York Knicks, I knew he was the real deal. His quick release jumper and three level scoring abilities are sneakily similar similar to those of upcoming young star Trae Young.
The North Carolina product’s willingness to shoot the three ball 49 percent of the time shows his confidence behind the arc. His 8.5 3PA per 36 minutes demonstrates his confidence from range. The future combo guard of the Bulls organization looks like Gilbert Arenas and has the potential to be an eventual star in the league. Take a peak at his slipperiness.
Matt on Coby White: Am I controversial by selling White? I think he will play a long time in this league but I am unsure if he plays a style of ball conducive to winning. Let me explain.
Is the NBA more positionally fluid than ever? Yes. Dudes switch from big to playmaker to spacer like I switch channels during NFL replay reviews. This does not mean that positions, or roles, do not exist, however
What is White's role? He is not a primary facilitator and has much work to do before he becomes one. He seems to be a primary scorer and in full transparency, that scares me. Even as a rookie, White is taking 2.4 pull up triples per game and only hitting 28.6 percent of them. That's more attempts than Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler or Khris Middleton.
Is White someone that players will want to play with? Or will they grow frustrated with the pull up attempts? This may not be the year to do it, but I would eventually sell high on White to acquire a true point guard who can maximizes the talents of the rest of the young Bulls.