Daniel Gafford's latest draft projections

The draft, which is tomorrow night, snuck up on me a little bit this year. Here’s a look at Daniel Gafford’s latest projections.

Sam Vecenie of The Athletic has Gafford going No. 39 to New Orleans. Rationale:

“The Pelicans just traded away a center, and currently only have Jahlil Okafor on the roster at the position. Gafford is an interesting screen-and-roll rim runner who can also block shots, the kind of player who would run the floor well in the uptempo Gentry scheme while also providing some rim protection in a low usage role next to a large group of players now that like to have the ball in their hands in Lonzo Ball, Jrue Holiday, Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson.”

Jonathan Givony of ESPN has Gafford going No. 40 to the Sacramento Kings.

Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated has Gafford as the 37th best player on his big board. More:

“For better or worse, Gafford has been more or less the same player as last season, just with additional offensive volume, and he’s seen his stock slip a bit. He could end up in the late first round, or he could potentially slip into this range, where he’s more appealing under what would be a smaller financial investment. Gafford plays an increasingly replaceable NBA role and may not be quite skilled or athletic enough to truly set himself apart. His length, fluidity and finishing will make him of interest to teams that like to spread the floor around their five-men, but Gafford is more smooth and lanky than he is functionally explosive, and his feet and hands are just average. Still, Gafford won’t need heavy post-up touches to be effective as a finisher, rebounds the ball well, and will have a chance to add value through those strengths.”

As I said at the time, Gafford needed to come back at least for his junior year, if not senior year also.

Should’ve left after his freshman year

Completely agree with this PJ! Seems as the year has gone on he is falling farther down the board!!!

Agree with this. He would have been a sure 1st rounder and perhaps on the edge of the lottery. I’m glad he stayed and appreciate his loyalty to the Razorbacks. It looks like he cost himself a considerable amount of dollars though. And he would probably be a considerably better NBA player as a 2nd year player this coming season than he will be as a rookie this year.

It appears to me that, unless a freshman draftee makes a huge jump his sophomore season, he will always drop in his draft spot after that 2nd season.

What I thought I saw from Gafford’s demeanor was a guy frustrated at the level of physicality he saw. No one there to take away the double and triple teams. IMHO

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Exactly,he has never ever developed a post up game and nobody fault but his,I loved his passion for the game but still could be soo much better with post moves and a soft touch around the goal.

The Gafford hype was probably overblown for this season. It helped inflate expectations beyond what was reasonable with eight frosh and a raw talent at center. We probably would have been better on O if we hadn’t featured him so much as the undisputed first option in the post. He wasn’t ready for that, and we didn’t have the outside shooting to keep the D off him. Barford and Macon made him look better than he was on O. He didn’t have the skill or ballhandling yet to beat the extra defensive attention, and we had players who were most effective as drivers and cutters standing on the perimeter looking at half the defense parked in the lane. The O didn’t suit the personnel, and I think CMA felt obligated to feature Gafford. It didn’t help either of them or the team.

I mentioned this before. I cringed every time I heard a fan yell “give it to him, give it to him”. I sensed something bad was going to happen. Human nature is such that our guards and even Mike at times succumbed to fan pressure, The emphasis on feeding Gafford (old school ball preferred by many fans) is directly responsible for some losses and Mike losing his job. Fans had turned Gafford into a Joe Klein or Bobby Portis, which he clearly wasn’t.

Here’s a rumor that has Gafford going in the first round:

https://www.nbcsports.com/washington/wi … nd-options

I get what you are saying PJ and agree with you to an extent but I always felt the ball should run through him as much as possible. He didn’t have a turnaround jumper but his talent was enough that at times teams would double him and leave someone open. What frustrated me was when it finally did go through him it seemed as though our players just stood and watched him. We were horrible at finding space on the 3 to get open for a shot or having guys constantly cut to bucket for him. When it didn’t happen it left him at times trying to figure it out and sometimes those were not good results. You would always here the announcers talk about him not getting touches as well. I just don’t think we had very good set plays when it went to him or very good teaching of finding open spaces it seems. These are things I think we will learn under Muss along with much better design of plays to exploit certain players. Oh well, we will never know now. Have a great one!

We didn’t have any problem finding an open three. That was one of the problems. Everyone else but Jones and Joe were sometimes left unguarded, while their defenders were doubling and tripling Gafford and shading towards the two guys that could make a three. Gafford was usually at the restricted circle. Else, he wasn’t much of a scoring threat. If you have three defenders in the lane, it doesn’t do much good to cut. A wall is formed aroung the rim there to guard Gafford. We had spacing but not enough shooters to make the defense pay for the spacing.

Gafford didn’t pass or handle well out of double teams and wasn’t reliable at the FT line if he drew contact. We had a ton of TOs because the D knew where to find Gafford at the rim and Joe, who didn’t do a lot off the dribble, on the perimeter. There was nowhere to go with the ball except shots that fans screamed about like wide-open treys for Harris and Gabe… We fell from 15th in the nation in TOs per possession (typical for a CMA team) the previous year to 154th (very atypical for a CMA team) this season. TOs and poor FT shooting torpedoed any chance for this team to be very efficient on O.

That team didn’t have the requisite complementary talent to be a good offensive team, no matter what CMA did. Even Duke struggled in the halfcourt despite two of the better drivers in recent memory and three NBA first-round picks because they didn’t have enough shooting. However, I think we might have had better scoring distribution if we had used Gafford more as a screener away from the basket. The O had a lot better movement in the NIT. The defense was more spread out without Gafford parked in the lane. That said, if Embery and Phillips could have had full summer programs and camps, that roster might have looked different. Getting more from Sills on O than either probaby wasn’t what CMA was expecting in the Spring.

All solid points sir!

This is an interesting thread with lots of different opinions that seem to have some truth and some pure speculation in them.
From a monetary view point he should have gone after his first season. He wasn’t close to being ready and we don’t know for sure when he would be taken.
Then he came back and in very few games did he have good point guard or power forward play. Both of these plagued CMA’s teams and last season was the worst and cost the coach his job. I don’t believe you can win with all shooting guards and a single big man unless the guards are all NBA caliber which this group may not be.
CMA’s best teams all had multiple players with size and at least one person who could run the team. Last season the play at the 4 was dismal and Harris looked promising at the point in the beginning but pulled the team down the second half of the season. Gafford simply had no help.
The final betrayal was all the “experts” speculating that Gafford was a sure first round draft pick and sadly the player believed it and was not selected even close to the first round. So clearly the NBA did not consider him ready and he should have come back for another season with perhaps a better team.
He should have asked Ryan Pulley how the draft can not go your way when you over estimate your value and have plenty of people around you supporting the hype.

I would refer all of you to go back to read my post from November 10, 2018 titled “Gafford and NBA”.
What you will find is many of the “Experts” make the case for him entering the draft and me making the case that he and those around him do their due diligence and make the best long term business decision.
I felt then and still do today that the HYPE was far to much with this young player and his overall skill set. Many were quick to dismiss the lack of skill set because the NBA would take him either as a lottery pick or most certainly in the first round on his “Potential” alone.
That certainly did not play out the way many thought it would last night and now Daniel will have to hope that the Bulls are patient with him and his development.
Huge risk/Reward decision which I stated you get no do-overs.
As I’ve stated I wish nothing but the best for Daniel and hope that he can have a long, lucrative and productive career, but it just got a little less certain last night.

Go Hogs!

I would refer all of you to go back to read my post from November 10, 2018 titled “Gafford and NBA”.
What you will find is many of the “Experts” make the case for him entering the draft and me making the case that he and those around him do their due diligence and make the best long term business decision.
I felt then and still do today that the HYPE was far to much with this young player and his overall skill set. Many were quick to dismiss the lack of skill set because the NBA would take him either as a lottery pick or most certainly in the first round on his “Potential” alone.
That certainly did not play out the way many thought it would last night and now Daniel will have to hope that the Bulls are patient with him and his development.
Huge risk/Reward decision which I stated you get no do-overs.
As I’ve stated I wish nothing but the best for Daniel and hope that he can have a long, lucrative and productive career, but it just got a little less certain last night.

Go Hogs!

A lot of people are making an assumption that Gafford would have been drafted in the first round if he had turned pro after the freshman season. Don’t think that is valid when you consider the fact that his stock fell as he worked out for the teams. Same thing could have happened after the freshman season. Where it went wrong is when he knew his stock was falling, he decided to stay in anyway.

Gafford just got drafted in the NBA. I’d say he has done well.