INSIDER – Highlights from Draft Express Numbers Breakdown

Draft Express does terrific work with situational stats breakdowns.  Here are the highights


  •  Marcus Smart went to the line 31% of his possessions  in transition and 21% of his half court possessions.   Smart only ran the pick and roll 21% of his possessions.    However,  Smart  hit only 28% of his jump shots in the half court, 30.3% on catch and shoot and 28.8% off the dribble.  Smart is terrific at the rim, 57.3%.
  • Tyler Ennis pts per possession is the lowest of any guard in the draft.  20.5% of his shots are floaters and he only makes 28% of those shots and doesn’t get to the rim.
  • Elfrid Payton uses a very high 21 possessions a game.  5 of those possessions were in transition and shot 63% on the break.  Payton only takes 3 jump shots a game and hit just 26% of those shots and just 18% on catch and shoot.
  • Jordan Clarkson was in the pick and roll 6 times a game a game, 3rd most and was 5th in scoring at .92 pts per possessions.  He gets to the rim at a rate higher than anyone other than Payton.  Finished 56% at the rim
  • Shabazz Napier was 3rd among guards in pts per possession in halfcourt, .99 pts per possession.  54% of his possessions came in isolation and pick and roll.   Made 41% of his jump shots.   NBA average is 38%.   Napier is the best pull up jumper of the guards.   He is not good at the rim at 47%.



  • Nik Stauskas  1.124 pts per possession is 2nd best of shooting guards (Spencer Dinwiddie is best) .  Stauskas is the best on jump shot at 1.15 pts per shot.   49% shooting off the catch and shoot and 38% off the dribble.   Using the same system that Trey Burke used at Michigan Stauskas used nearly 30% of his possessions as the ball handler on the pick and roll.
  • Gary Harris 1.02 pts per possession is very average.  His .98 pts per shot at the rim is the 3rd lowest mark of the group.
  • Jordan Adams  ranks 5th in pts per possession.   He played off screens and transition.  2nd best finisher at the rim despite not dunking.   His jump shooting is the worst of the group at .85 pts per jump shot.
  •  PJ Hariston  34% on catch and shoots.
  • Zach Lavine  lowest usage rate in the group and the least efficient scorer in the pick and roll and isolation.   32% of his possessions in transition.
  • Spencer Dinwiddie played just 17 games before an ACL, his 1.17 pts per possession is only surpassed by Doug McDermott in the entire draft.   Dinwiddie is the best pick and roll players and isolation player and 2nd in spot up.  1.127 pts per jump shot.
  • CJ Wilcox is above average in both usage and efficiency.   Used heavily off the screen. Ranks third in at 1.16 pts per jump shot.


  •  Parker pts per possessions (.999)  Wiggins (.974)  Wiggins %FT (19.9% of possessions) and Parker (18.5% of possessions)
  • Wiggins 16% came in transition, 13.5% in isolation, 13% off pick and roll.  Wiggins 19.9% of possessions going line was 2nd highest of small forwards.    Average .72 pts per pull up jump shot.  26% of his attempts were off the bounce making 30%.    Made 37% of his catch and shoot chances.
  • Jabari Parker  18% of his  possessions came on post-ups, 1.06 pts per possession on post up was 2nd best of small forwards.    However, spot up was not good at .82 pts per possessions, 3rd worst of the group.  1.18 pts per catch and shoot 4th best in the group.
  • Doug McDermott used 22 possessions a game and scored 1.18 pts per possession.    He used 25% of his possessions in the post.  Averaged 1.31 pts per catch and shoot.
  • TJ Warren had the highest usage rate in the draft.   32.2% on jump shots but terrific at the rim at 70%.
  • Jerami Grant only 12 possessions per game.  Least good shooter in the draft.   62% of his shots in half court around the rim.
  • KJ McDaniels  top transition player in the draft.  3rd best finisher in the half court.
  • Cleanthony Early 1.11 pts per jump shot.  No isolation game.
  • Kyle Anderson worst small forward in transition .87 pts per possession.  1.41 pts per catch and shoot.
  • Rodney Hood most efficient pick and roll handler in the group.  Went to rim limited.



  • Noah Vonleh only used 11.5 possessions a game.  29% of his offense is post up.  Turned the ball over 15% of his possessions in the post up.  Took only 41 jump shots the entire season.   Pts per possession at 1.17 at the rim is not great.
  • Julius Randle 21% of his possessions are post ups, just average for power forwards.   Shot 39% on post up but drew fouls 26% on post up possessions.  Randle is great on the offensive glass at 2.4 possessions a game. Was used largely in isolation but only scored at .76 pts per isolation.   Shot just 17% on jump shots and .4 pts per possessions the worst of the power forwards.
  • Aaron Gordon 19% of his offense was in transition.  Shot 59% in transition.   11 half court possessions a game and one of the most efficient because 30% of offense came off cuts and put back.  1 isolation possession per game.   He shot just 29% on jump shots
  • Capela only took .3 jump shots a game, making just 21%
  • Adreian Payne 27% of his offense was post ups

INSIDER—Jazz comfortable at #5

With rumors swirling all around the Utah Jazz and the 2014 NBA Draft, Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said today: “If we stay at [pick #5] we know the group and we are comfortable with the group.”

In an interview with David James and Patrick Kinihan on 97.5 FM, Lindsey explained that whomever the Jazz draft, the key will be the work done after the draft—not before the draft.

“There is no perfect prospect; there are a bunch of very good prospects,” Lindsey said. “Much of this draft is how good you are as an organization developing the prospect you take. We’re going to have to do a really good diagnosis look under the hood, look at their skill set and support them because they are really young men.”


The group the Jazz will be choosing from at #5 will likely include some combination of 18-year-olds Noah Vonleh and Aaron Gordon, 19-year-old Julius Randle and 20-year-old Marcus Smart.

Lindsey also commented: “There are many different prospects that add different athletic attributes and mindsets.”

Lindsey would not comment on trade rumors or if the Jazz had any players in for an extra workout.

INSIDER—Could Marvin Williams be a Miami target?

Last season, Jazz forward Marvin Williams showed a sense of leadership that makes him appealing to be a part of Utah’s future. However, Williams may have other options in the upcoming seasons.

As a highly coveted stretch 4, teams will look closely at Williams. One team most experts anticipate making a run at Williams is the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, where Williams would fit their Matt Bonner-type role.

However, Grantland’s Zack Lowe mentions Marvin as a possibility to the vanquished Miami Heat in his piece about LeBron’s future.

marvin williams zack lowe

Teams being interested in a class act like Marvin Williams is not surprising. The surprise here is the mention of a full mid-level for Marvin Williams. Some execs I talked to late last year mentioned the idea of a three-year, $9 million dollar deal, and others mentioned nothing more than two years.

What’s clear is that Marvin earned the right last year to be a veteran leader for a young Jazz team if he so desires.

INSIDER—Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey talks of “Violent Disagreement”

Utah Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey is keeping all of his options open for Thursday’s NBA Draft. In an exclusive interview with Spence Checkets and Gordon Monsen on 97.5 FM, Lindsey made it clear the choices for the Utah Jazz are not cut-and-dried.

“When you order the players, that’s when you get violent disagreement (amongst basketball professionals). We (Jazz front office) are in the middle of lots of deliberations and conversations.”


A signature of R.C. Buford and Gregg Popovich’s front office in San Antonio is open discussion and strong, opinionated discussion. Lindsey has brought the same to the Utah Jazz.

If the Jazz hold tight at the #5 position, they are looking at the likes of Noah Vonleh, Dante Exum, Aaron Gordon, Marcus Smart and Julius Randle. When the players being discussed are ranging in age from 18 (until December) to 20, there’s a lot of room for opinions, because nothing is set in stone for these players.

INSIDER—Philly becoming a wild card for draft night

Orginally, it was the big three in the 2014 NBA Draft—Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid. With the injury to Embiid, we are down to two.

The Philadelphia 76ers, in a game of musical chairs, has had the music stop without a chair. It’s clear that general manager Sam Hinkie has been forced to hit the reset button.

Last night, reports surfaced (that I have not confirmed) that the Sixers were willing to move Michael Carter-Williams to the Lakers for the #7 pick, giving the Sixers the #3, #7 and #10 picks in this draft.

Now today:

spears smart

Sixers head coach Brett Brown has a relationship with Dante Exum from their time together in Australia. Smart at #3 is a new possibility. Orlando is supposedly desperate for a point guard but may have soured on Marcus Smart. If Smart were to go #3, most people believe that Exum would go #4.

However, a throwaway line in a Bleacher Report story about Aaron Gordon’s workout today in Los Angeles throws the Sixers plans into even more doubt.

gordon to philly

Is Aaron Gordon a possibility at #3, or is this a sign they may make the trade with the Lakers for the #7 pick, therefore making it almost certain the #3 pick would be Smart or Exum?

Much of how Utah’s night on Thursday develops will be predicated on what happens in Philly.

INSIDER – CBS Sports Zach Harper Mock Draft

Another mock draft is out post the Joel Embiid injury.  CBS Sports Zach Harper places Embiid in Philadelphia and this means the Jazz are still playing off Orlando pick at 4.

Under this scenario the Jazz are deciding between Smart, Vonleh, Gordon and Randle

Zach Harper mock draft

zach harper


LOCKE TAKE:  Vonleh is impressive and the national media seems to have zeroed in on this as the draft pick.  I think it is still a large discussion inside the Jazz office about Vonleh, Gordon, Smart or Randle.  No way is this a done deal in the Jazz front office

Zach Harper has the Jazz are #23 going with 3 and D Cleanothy Early

harper 23

LOCKE TAKE:  Interesting names around 23.  Early, Harrison, Wilcox all worked out for the Jazz.  Wilcox is the best shooter of the group.  Early is ready.  He and Wilcox are both older and both can shoot.  Wilcox is a natural 2 and Early is a 3

INSIDER—Basketball Insiders’ new mock drafts—who’s most likely to take Embiid

The news of the foot surgery for projected No. 1 pick Joel Embiid has rocked the NBA Draft. Mock drafts are being re-done everywhere.

The crew at Basketball Insiders re-did their mock drafts—and look who is most likely to take Joel Embiid.

basketball insiders

LOCKE’S TAKE—I have a hard time believing the Jazz can afford this type of risk. There is no question that a healthy Embiid is a franchise changer. However, an Embiid that never gets healthy for a franchise that must hit on the draft because free agency is not an option seems to be too big of a risk. This is also the first time we see the name Julius Randle lined to the Jazz. It’s worth nothing that Aaron Gordon is on the board for the Jazz pick and according to these men the team passes on Gordon every time.

INSIDER—Draft Express releases its latest mock draft

Draft Express released another mock draft after the stunning injury to Joel Embiid.

NBA Draft Express says ..

draft expressLOCKE’S TAKE—Same as below, I’m surprised that Orlando goes with Embiid. Focussing on the Jazz, the decision may come down to how the Jazz want to play. If they are going up-tempo with Quin Snyder and playing a lot of early offense, do they believe that Vonleh can run? If they are concerned, then the question becomes: Do they think Aaron Gordon can shoot enough to be an effective player? A stretch 4 is not only on the offensive end, it is also on the defensive end. Gordon may move more naturally for a defensive stretch 4, but at this point he doesn’t have the offensive skills that Vonleh does.

Marcus Smart is the wild card.