Jonathan Givony who used to run Draft Express is now the ESPN NBA draft insider. His stuff is pretty accurate every year in terms of where guys are slotted. In his latest he has Gafford at 25th. Sure he is still a millionaire, but it’s not lottery money.
This is their scouting report which IMO is spot on:
Mobile, bouncy center with solid length.
Can play above the rim with ease. Threat as a vertical spacer. Good offensive rebounder. Soft hands and overall touch…
Protects the rim when fully engaged, posted 3.8 blocks per 40 minutes as a freshman. Flashes of defensive energy.
Motor fluctuates. Doesn’t like physicality on either end of the floor. Allows duck-ins. Doesn’t always find a body on the defensive glass. Blends in at times.
Defensive fundamentals are still a work in progress. Not the perimeter defender his tools suggest.
Limited to mostly finishes and offensive rebounds to score. Not a reliable playmaker or scorer at this stage.
Who knows? I do know this…he is a better player this year than last year. He is still learning and improving with his footwork, positioning and his shooting. He doesn’t appear to be much bigger or stronger. I have never understood why Mike Anderson does not stress strength training. Being strong as or stronger than your opponent is a huge advantage…basketball, football or most any sport. Tennessee and Rick Barnes are emphatic about strength training and one could see a big difference in the physical play of each team.
With Reggie Chaney being the exception…our guys are not very muscular looking.
Heard through the grapevine that big dan didn’t work hard in the offseason. I didn’t believe it… until now. Not judging too hard. Hard enough for a teenage kid to understand the importance of hard work - especially when everything comes so easy with skills like that. But I think he sees what everyone else sees now. As Sir Charles Barkley told me one day when I was lucky enough to meet him and ask for an autograph, “GET IN THE WEIGHT ROOM KID”
I don’t know if there is a way to evaluate whether he hurt himself because he didn’t go through the pre-draft process last year. I don’t think he would have been a lottery pick in 2018 based on the other players in the draft class, particularly the bigs.
I think he can still be a lottery pick. All it takes is for one team to see potential that others don’t. That’s why Kyler Murray was the ninth selection in the MLB Draft last year when most mock drafts had him in the second or third rounds.
Hard to know if he hurt himself coming back this year draftwise. Is he fully NBA ready-No, but it’s all about potentential & upside these days anyway.
He is better this year. Would he have been a lot better now if working year round in the NBA, Yes.
The only thing that may have hurt him is not putting in the work needed that reveals a noticeable body change & movement.
He may have just listened to the hype and took to much for granted.
Wonder if he is in contact with Portis any to get advice?
Appears to me that Gafford’s biggest challenge the remainder of the season will be mental. As this season wears on and we continue to loose games due to erratic play from our young players and, quite frankly, some poor coaching, it will be harder for him to consistently bring his best game. Case in point is today’s game against Ole Miss. Clearly a below average performance from Gafford. At times he appears to be almost disinterested. At the very least he appears to be increasingly frustrated. CMA needs to help him in this regard. Not sure that’s going to happen.
It didn’t hurt Gafford to come back. The pros knew he wouldn’t play this year and would have paid him accordingly. And, even if he ends up making a couple million less, he will still be a multi-millionaire. The difference will not affect his lifestyle one iota. And, this year he is enjoying playing a whole lot more then he would have just watching. That is worth a lot.
Sure he hurt himself. Should have been encouraged to check his draft status, rather than “hotboxed” to stay. Had he left, possibly he spends a year in d league improving his skills. One Q : Who on this staff has responsibility ( skill set and experience) for developing positions 4 & 5 ??
Gafford is my favorite player since Joe Johnson, and he is a great athlete, but his fitness level is not great. I will be sad to see him leave. I hope seeing the hogs and big dan not exceed expectations this year is a lesson for all about hard work. I’m not saying big dan didn’t work hard in the offseason. I’m saying he didn’t work hard enough to make the difference between winning and losing against top talent in the final minutes. It’s never easy.
I don’t care if he worked hard in the off-season or not. I agree completely that his fitness level is off. You either have endurance to play the game or you don’t. He doesn’t have it to the level he needs. It’s a simple as that. I’ve seen it multiple times.
Everyone, including Daniel and his family will know the answer to this question when he gets drafted and how many NBA contracts he actually gets for his career.
Everything else is just pure speculation.
Wish him all the best.