Gafford makes his debut on ESPN's Top 100 prospects

[url:1hdm9zmu]http://www.espn.com/nba/insider/story/_/id/21743548/nba-draft-stock-watch-biggest-risers-fallers-new-top-100[/url:1hdm9zmu]

He jumped from outside the top 100 to No. 39 in the span of two weeks. I’m honestly a little surprised he didn’t debut after Portland.

There are still 13 bigs ranked ahead of him and the NBA doesn’t value 5s like it once did, but I could see him getting into late teen/early 20 discussion by the end of the year if he keeps progressing.

He’ll have a decision to make at the end of this year.

[quote=“JimmyCarter”]
[url:1x9tidxf]http://www.espn.com/nba/insider/story/_/id/21743548/nba-draft-stock-watch-biggest-risers-fallers-new-top-100[/url:1x9tidxf]

He jumped from outside the top 100 to No. 39 in the span of two weeks. I’m honestly a little surprised he didn’t debut after Portland.

There are still 13 bigs ranked ahead of him and the NBA doesn’t value 5s like it once did, but I could see him getting into late teen/early 20 discussion by the end of the year if he keeps progressing.

He’ll have a decision to make at the end of this year.[/quote:1x9tidxf]

Selfishly want him to return. 20 to 30 lbs of weight gain+natural progression (and he is a hard worker) and he could be a lottery player next year. Big difference in money if he comes back one more year IMO.

[quote=“JimmyCarter”]
[url:18ylhe72]http://www.espn.com/nba/insider/story/_/id/21743548/nba-draft-stock-watch-biggest-risers-fallers-new-top-100[/url:18ylhe72]

He jumped from outside the top 100 to No. 39 in the span of two weeks. I’m honestly a little surprised he didn’t debut after Portland.

There are still 13 bigs ranked ahead of him and the NBA doesn’t value 5s like it once did, but I could see him getting into late teen/early 20 discussion by the end of the year if he keeps progressing.

He’ll have a decision to make at the end of this year.[/quote:18ylhe72]

Agree with that. Barring an injury, he has the look of a one and done.

[quote=“NavyHog”]

Selfishly want him to return. 20 to 30 lbs of weight gain+natural progression (and he is a hard worker) and he could be a lottery player next year. Big difference in money if he comes back one more year IMO.[/quote:2zuy8w95]

This is a discussion I find really interesting.

You’re right that if he comes back another year, he could likely be a lottery pick. If he was the last pick in the lottery (using last year’s scale), he’d make about $11.9 million over the first four years of his rookie contract. If he was the 30th pick in the first round, he’d make a little more than $7 million over that same time frame, but by leaving a year earlier he’d also be getting to his second, potentially much larger, contract quicker and adding a year to his earning potential. You make the ‘big’ money in the NBA beginning with your second deal, if you are good enough to get there.

And honestly I’d rather be developed in the NBA than at college. That may be an unpopular opinion on this board, but nothing prepares you for the NBA game like the NBA. The game is completely different and so is everything at that level, from training to coaching to nutrition. It’s basketball 24-7 if you want it to be. Ben Simmons had to sit out a year, but was part of an NBA franchise and is so far ahead of where he was a year ago and where the other rookies, younger or older, are as a result.

Even if you’re not good enough to contribute every night right away, which Daniel probably wouldn’t be, the G-League has become a much more viable and attractive option. Almost every NBA franchise has their own franchise and can control everything that goes on with them. Draft picks will practice with the NBA team even if they’re getting run down there. A guy like Dakari Johnson got picked in the second round by my Thunder, but is by all accounts a hard worker, did two years in the G-League and is on the NBA roster now. He doesn’t have nearly the upside or ability Gafford does.

Obviously it would be huge if Gafford does come back. He may. But he’s going to have an interesting decision to make.

That’s a good argument, and I understand all of it, but I also think there is benefit to “being the man” for a year. In the G League, or as the 12th man playing garbage time for a NBA team, you are not going to get the kind of “stress” minutes (the difference between a save opportunity and garbage time for a reliever) he would get as the starting 5 for 25 to 30 minutes a night next year. Where the offense runs through you, the last shot opportunities and pressure FTs. I think that is valuable.

Now I get that in the NBA, or if they invested a lot into in the G League, that it is a full-time job and you are going to improve because that’s your job. The nutrition, the weight training and the specified drills are all going to be on point (or should be).

It’s going to be an interesting decision because I don’t see him regressing and only getting better (note the 15 foot jumper he hit last game).

[quote=“NavyHog”]
That’s a good argument, and I understand all of it, but I also think there is benefit to “being the man” for a year. In the G League, or as the 12th man playing garbage time for a NBA team, you are not going to get the kind of “stress” minutes (the difference between a save opportunity and garbage time for a reliever) he would get as the starting 5 for 25 to 30 minutes a night next year. Where the offense runs through you, the last shot opportunities and pressure FTs. I think that is valuable.

Now I get that in the NBA, or if they invested a lot into in the G League, that it is a full-time job and you are going to improve because that’s your job. The nutrition, the weight training and the specified drills are all going to be on point (or should be).

It’s going to be an interesting decision because I don’t see him regressing and only getting better (note the 15 foot jumper he hit last game).[/quote:3vtbx8o2]

Valid points. My only argument to that would be that he isn’t going to be asked to be ‘the man’ in the NBA. I’d imagine he’ll be a complimentary piece.

That said, yeah, the wing jumper and the one-dribble spin and finish were both more impressive than the dunks to me. We all knew he was an athletic freak, but the rapid progression of his skill set has been the biggest thing. In early September, there were people saying they weren’t sure if he’d shoot 50 percent from the line (which led me to predict either he or Adrio wouldn’t, looks like I’ll be wrong on both). How far he’s come in a few months has been astonishing.

So, in that sense, who knows what he winds up being. But the ceiling is really high, way higher than Bobby’s just because of the physical tools he has.

[quote=“JimmyCarter”]

[quote=“NavyHog”]

Selfishly want him to return. 20 to 30 lbs of weight gain+natural progression (and he is a hard worker) and he could be a lottery player next year. Big difference in money if he comes back one more year IMO.[/quote:18vc4o4o]

This is a discussion I find really interesting.

You’re right that if he comes back another year, he could likely be a lottery pick. If he was the last pick in the lottery (using last year’s scale), he’d make about $11.9 million over the first four years of his rookie contract. If he was the 30th pick in the first round, he’d make a little more than $7 million over that same time frame, but by leaving a year earlier he’d also be getting to his second, potentially much larger, contract quicker and adding a year to his earning potential. You make the ‘big’ money in the NBA beginning with your second deal, if you are good enough to get there.

And honestly I’d rather be developed in the NBA than at college. That may be an unpopular opinion on this board, but nothing prepares you for the NBA game like the NBA. The game is completely different and so is everything at that level, from training to coaching to nutrition. It’s basketball 24-7 if you want it to be. Ben Simmons had to sit out a year, but was part of an NBA franchise and is so far ahead of where he was a year ago and where the other rookies, younger or older, are as a result.

Even if you’re not good enough to contribute every night right away, which Daniel probably wouldn’t be, the G-League has become a much more viable and attractive option. Almost every NBA franchise has their own franchise and can control everything that goes on with them. Draft picks will practice with the NBA team even if they’re getting run down there. A guy like Dakari Johnson got picked in the second round by my Thunder, but is by all accounts a hard worker, did two years in the G-League and is on the NBA roster now. He doesn’t have nearly the upside or ability Gafford does.

Obviously it would be huge if Gafford does come back. He may. But he’s going to have an interesting decision to make.[/quote:18vc4o4o]

I remember lots and lots of discussion about this type of decision when Bobby left. I don’t know the answer, but to me, the critical factor would be (and this is an unknown for a particular person, and maybe an unknown all together, not sure) is whether a guy who comes out after his first year more likely to have one more year in his NBA career than the guy who stays in college the extra year? My thought is, what if the critical factor as to when a player is done is NOT his age (a factor for sure) but the wear and tear of playing in the NBA. So, IF player X is going to have Y number of years in the NBA without regard to if he comes into the league at age 19 or age 20, then he is better off to wait until he is 20 (assuming his first contract will be much bigger at age 20 than at age 19). If however, the guy that comes out at 19 is most likely going to have one more year in the league than the guy who comes out at 20 (if age is the critical factor, not wear and tear), then the sooner the better it would appear to me. I don’t know if there is a way to figure that out.

Players with similar strengths and weaknesses last year were Bam Adebayo (#14), John Collins (#19), and Jarrett Allen (#22). My guess is that Arkansas would have to do something spectacular in terms of team success for him to get above the high teens this season unless he starts knocking down jumpers with regularity, but his current trajectory could easily land him in the late first round.

It is going to be very interesting to see how teams defend him going forward. I think it’s going to be tough for most teams to have a big defender play behind him, as he has shown plenty of offensive game going one on one. The ability to move with the ball and either elevate for short shots or attack the basket makes him a tough match up. We shoot the three too well for the opposition to consistently send guards diving down to double, and playing a packed in zone against us is really risky for the same reason.

I kind of expect teams with good length to try fronting him more. and then running a defender to double off of a lob. Not sure how well it well work, but it’s become pretty obvious you can’t let him just catch the ball in the paint and defend one on one.

[quote=“StillGregHog”]

I remember lots and lots of discussion about this type of decision when Bobby left. I don’t know the answer, but to me, the critical factor would be (and this is an unknown for a particular person, and maybe an unknown all together, not sure) is whether a guy who comes out after his first year more likely to have one more year in his NBA career than the guy who stays in college the extra year? My thought is, what if the critical factor as to when a player is done is NOT his age (a factor for sure) but the wear and tear of playing in the NBA. So, IF player X is going to have Y number of years in the NBA without regard to if he comes into the league at age 19 or age 20, then he is better off to wait until he is 20 (assuming his first contract will be much bigger at age 20 than at age 19). If however, the guy that comes out at 19 is most likely going to have one more year in the league than the guy who comes out at 20 (if age is the critical factor, not wear and tear), then the sooner the better it would appear to me. I don’t know if there is a way to figure that out.[/quote:tvmndet1]

Interesting argument. Surely some analytics-driven study could be done about this haha.

[quote=“JimmyCarter”]
[url:1hj061k9]http://www.espn.com/nba/insider/story/_/id/21743548/nba-draft-stock-watch-biggest-risers-fallers-new-top-100[/url:1hj061k9]

He jumped from outside the top 100 to No. 39 in the span of two weeks. I’m honestly a little surprised he didn’t debut after Portland.

There are still 13 bigs ranked ahead of him and the NBA doesn’t value 5s like it once did, but I could see him getting into late teen/early 20 discussion by the end of the year if he keeps progressing.

He’ll have a decision to make at the end of this year.[/quote:1hj061k9]

I hope Big Man Dan leads us to a very successful year and the team accomplishes something that hasn’t happened at Arkansas since the early to mid-90’s if he indeed is NBA bound after one year. I also hope that the coaches are recruiting a big time big that went unsigned in the early signing period for next year.

Here is another point to consider. Gafford definitely benefits from a plethora
of senior guards (Macon, Barford, & Beard). These guys are knocking down
shots in a manner which prevents defenses from collapsing down and clogging
up the paint. Gafford certainly takes advantage of that. At this point, I do not
see the same set-up in the making for next year. CJ Jones will be here, and I
don’t see much else. Garland was thought to help give guard transition but
health issues have prevented that and he might never play here. Gafford might
lose ground if he is constantly facing a crowded paint. He might have his best
opportunity to shine bright this year while we have those guards. There is a
chance without that guard play he stock just drops.

Now I am totally selfish and want him to return, but sometimes you strike when
the poker is the hottest. That may be at the end of this year, as it may be much
more difficult next year.

Just a thought.

GMs are smart and look at every little thing. His stock is not going to drop because he draws more attention because senior guards aren’t there anymore. It’s not just about stats or how many points he scores. It’s more about how his skills are going to translate to the NBA. For example, Robert Williams of Texas A&M, played for a bad team last year with horrible guard play. Yet when scouts seen his length, athleticism, and potential he had on defense his stock went up. Similar thing is happening with Gafford this year.

Also, I was saying in another thread we’re jumping the gun on Gafford being a one and done. I still think it’s too early to claim he’s a one and done guy. But, he’s taken the first step and got on a mock draft board, which is good news. #39 pick would be around a early-mid second rounder right now. I don’t think you leave early unless your guaranteed to be a least a mid first rounder if your only a freshman and stock is rising. Now if we’re here in March and they are talking about him being a potential lottery pick, then that’s when I think we start sweating about him returning. But, as of right now, I think it’s good news he’s getting some attention, can really setup him up well for next year and possibly be next year’s Robert Williams of the SEC.

Poor Gafford. He’s played 8 games and the expectations are already through the roof. He hasn’t even made it to Christmas in his first year of college. Some kids just want to enjoy the moment. He’s got a lot of growing and may just enjoy doing that in the sweet 16 for a couple years.

You are underestimating our next class. The guard rotation next year will have less experience, but higher skills. CJ, Garland, Embery, Joe, Harris and Sills. And in Harris, we will have a true PG that we’ve don’t have today. Imagine what Gafford can do with a true PG.

“And in Harris, we will have a true PG that we’ve don’t have today. Imagine what Gafford can do with a true PG.”
This may have some merit but did all happen to notice what Macon did last game?

He was No. 29 on Bleacher Report’s updated big board. Lot of momentum for him.

You’re right, he was fantastic. Been really good at distributing at times this year, but that was his best.

gafford is the most talented big ever to play at Arkansas. He’ll have a great NBA career. Let’s enjoy him while we have him…& then follow him at the next level.

Yep he’s getting some serious attention now.

NBAdraft.net put him in their 2019 draft as a lottery pick at #14
http://www.nbadraft.net/2019mock_draft

And here’s the link to the Bleacher Report for those that are interested.
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2748 … cbb-season