By Max Feldman
The swiss army knife – the prototype that I believe will be the glue to every NBA champion moving forward. As the prominence of this build grows in the association, a chain reaction goes off and more alike prospects continue to pop up. FOG will take a deep dive into the top two way options in the 2020 draft field using a few key factors.
Both off-guards and wings were included in the breakdown as both spots have a growing importance of defensive production rather than simply pure scoring ability. For example, the Lakers, Bucks, Clippers and Celtics, 4 of the top teams in the NBA, all have elite scoring weapons on their wings. These offensive dynamos were forced to turn into defensive stoppers with versatility which eventually led to an evolved roster. Wings who can produce in volume on both ends make roster construction extremely less complicated for GM’s and front office figures.
The analytical factors involved in the breakdown of two-way wings was effective FG%, defensive win shares and minutes played.
Effective FG% adjusts for the fact that a 3-point field goal is worth one more point than a 2-point field goal.
Defensive Win Shares are a metric that estimates the number of wins a player produces for his team due to his defensive ability. This number is generally calculated using full-season statistics.
The combination of the two advanced analytics builds a map of the off-guards and wings who can blend offensive output with defensive winning impact.
*Corey Kispert will return to Gonzaga for his Senior campaign and will jump onto FOG’s 2021 NBA Draft Big Board*
Anthony Edwards’ impact on the defensive end is a legitimate concern. A massive usage rate of 30% still gave him the lowest eFG% on his team among players with at least one game started. A defensive plus/minus of just 0.7, placing 8th on Georgia, raises more concerns of both his effort and IQ on the defensive end.
Aaron Nesmith also was on an awful defensive team, leaving a ton of projection in terms of his defensive outlook. An astounding 66 eFG% on a 26% usage rate should lend a glaring light on what he will be offensively. Nesmith is the most efficient offensive wing/off-guard in the 2020 NBA draft.
Deni Avdija‘s versatility is no joke. The concern over athleticism is overshot, as his motor, instincts and guard-like footwork make him an extremely versatile defender. He is extremely intelligent resulting in a high effective field goal percentage and prominent defensive rating.
Devin Vassell, Desmond Bane, Jahmi’us Ramsey and Skylar Mays are the safest bets to produce on both ends, besides Avdija. Vassell has a unique blend on both ends with the most balanced balanced outlook of the bunch. Bane is developed on both ends and while he is not as versatile as Vassell because of his size, he should be a sturdy defender on guards. Ramsey is my favorite player in the field of course, but he still gets shot down as a poor defender. He had his mistakes but still produced the second best defensive win shares while carrying a 26.2% usage rate, the highest on Texas Tech, on the offensive end. As pressure is taken off Ramsey in terms of offensive load, he should grown into the best back court defender in this draft with his blend of athleticism and strength. Mays falls in right about the middle of the plot which seems about right for a prospect you can just count on offensively and defensively.
Saddiq Bey‘s outlook might be a bit foggier than we previously thought. Jay Wright’s prolific offense and defensive schemes have skewed some numbers for prospects in the past, making it difficult to sort Bey’s case as a prospect. He is a bit of a tweener as a below average athlete at the four and while he did rate pretty well on the defensive end, he was surrounded by 3 or 4 very strong and versatile defenders each and every possession. Bey placed 6th on Villanova in defensive plus minus, 5th in rebound percentage and 8th in steal percentage. I like his outlook as a face up four man who can knock down perimeter shots and score with physicality and touch inside the arc, but I don’t think he is the defender some have touted him to be. He might just be more of a Jeff Green than a Robert Covington or Harrison Barnes.
Isaac Okoro is further ahead as a two-way wing than the other one and dones by a large margin. Okoro placed in the top four in both offensive and defensive win shares for the Tigers. He was not a go-to guy, but Okoro showed a strong ability to get to his spots.
Corey Kispert is going to be a fantastic fit in the NBA and would have been a headliner second round wing option in the 2020 Draft. If his defense continues to improve, he could solidify himself as a top tier two-way wing option in 2021.