Draft watch: Projections mixed on Vonleh’s landing spot

  • 06/25/2014 12:53 pm in

We’re just a little more than 24 hours away from the 2014 NBA draft and also from learning where Indiana’s Noah Vonleh will play at the next level.

Vonleh is already in New York for the draft, which takes place tomorrow at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. In our final edition of draft watch, we’ll take a look at the latest mock draft projections, where Vonleh thinks he may land and more:

Current projections (as of 6/25/14, 12:30 p.m. ET)

· ESPN’s Chad Ford: No. 4 to Orlando
· ESPN’s Jeff Goodman: No. 3 to Philadelphia 
· Yahoo! Sports Marc Spears: No. 5 to Utah
· Sports Illustrated’s composite: No. 5 to Utah
· Draft Express: No. 5 to Utah
· NBADraft.net: No. 5 to Utah

The injury news regarding Joel Embiid has caused a shake up at the top of the draft, with both Ford and Goodman moving Vonleh into the top four picks.

The latest scenario laid out by Goodman has Vonleh moving up to No. 3 to Philadelphia and Ford has Embiid sliding all the way down to No. 6 with Dante Exum moving up to No. 3 and Vonleh at No. 4.

In an interview with Andy Katz of ESPN.com on Wednesday afternoon, Vonleh said he believes he’ll be picked in the top four. Considering Vonleh only worked out for six teams that we know of — Philadelphia, Orlando, Utah, Boston, the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento — he appears to be a lock to be drafted in the No. 3 to No. 8 range.

The complete order for the lottery is as follows:

1. Cleveland Cavaliers; 2. Milwaukee Bucks; 3. Philadelphia 76ers; 4. Orlando Magic; 5. Utah Jazz; 6. Boston Celtics; 7. Los Angeles Lakers; 8. Sacramento Kings;9. Charlotte Hornets (via Detroit Pistons); 10. Philadelphia 76ers (via New Orleans Pelicans); 11. Denver Nuggets; 12. Orlando Magic (via New York Knicks); 13. Minnesota Timberwolves; 14. Phoenix Suns

Latest buzz

A couple of interesting reads have come out since our last edition of draft watch, one from Ryen Russillo at Grantland and one from Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated, that have candid observations on all of the top draft prospects, including Vonleh.

Both pieces have quite a bit of information if you’d like to study up on the draft, but we’ve blockquoted a few of the more interesting takeaways below. First, from the Davis piece, an interview with “Finch,” an NBA scout:

“He’s not super explosive, but he will absolutely rebound the basketball. He plays with passion. He’ll be a very solid NBA player for years. He’s a little short for a four but he makes up for it with incredible length and big hands. He’s a really thick human being. Why didn’t he dominate at Indiana is a huge question, because he scores in a lot of ways.”

And from the Russillo piece via “Scout 1,” an unidentified talent evaluator:

His NBA team needs to let him dribble. Don’t think he’ll be a star. It’s not his personality. He’s a starter but has to be your third- or fourth-best player.

I like him — [I’m] not goo-goo-ga-ga over him. Work ethic is a question because he wasn’t in great shape when I saw him. How is that possible? June 26 is the biggest night of your life. He said he was hurt, which I get … but does that mean you can’t get on a bike? This is an audition. It’s not an overriding factor, but you consider it.

Like him as a kid, not sure what happened at Indiana. He didn’t get a lot of minutes, and I’m not sure he wanted to leave. Too good of a kid not to figure it out.

Our friends at CityLeagueHoops also put together footage of Vonleh from his high school days on the heels of his entry into the NBA:

Coverage of the 2014 NBA draft begins at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday on ESPN.

Filed to:

  • Crazy to think how good we could have been if Noah were to stay and Exum would have attended.

  • inLinE6

    “Why didn’t he dominate at Indiana is a huge question, because he scores in a lot of ways”

    I’m puzzled by this statement. No doubt that Noah can score in a lot of ways and has huge upside, but he did expose many weaknesses in his freshman season.

  • Aiken_Hoosier

    Definitely curious about the “not sure he wanted to leave” quote.

    I don’t believe in constantly looking in the rear view mirror and am looking forward to the coming season already, but this quote definitely caught my attention.

  • CreamandCrimson

    The Grantland piece by Ryen Russillo is really, really interesting. There are so many interesting quotes from high-level NBA scouts. I won’t put a bunch of quotes on here because you really should take a few minutes and read the article…it’s great. But here’s a few that stood out to me.

    -“Don’t think he’ll be a star. It’s not his personality. He’s a starter but has to be your third- or fourth-best player.”
    -“Work ethic is a question because he wasn’t in great shape when I saw him. How is that possible? June 26 is the biggest night of your life. He said he was hurt, which I get … but does that mean you can’t get on a bike? This is an audition.”
    -“He didn’t get a lot of minutes, and I’m not sure he wanted to leave.”
    -“You always worry about a guy who shows more in workouts than he did while actually playing.”
    -“I’ve heard conflicting reports about his conditioning. At 18 years old it’s not a big deal, but I just like Randle’s motor and competitiveness more.”

  • CreamandCrimson

    That definitely stood out to me as well. If he didn’t want to leave, then why did he? Was he forced out by IU for some reason? Did he leave because his stock was so high and he felt that he just couldn’t risk going back even if he wanted to? We never heard any mention of this at any other time so maybe this particular scout just got that impression…still, it’s interesting to see that mentioned.

  • Gregory Spera

    My personal favorite is “Not sure what happened at Indiana.” No kidding. Me either.

  • ForeverIU

    Am I the only one disgusted at how some of these scouts talk about future draftees?

  • CreamandCrimson

    What are you disgusted by? I’m not saying you are wrong but I’m not sure what exactly “disgusts” you about what they are saying.

  • IUDan

    That’s my guess C & C – I really believe he saw himself as a 2 year player but as his draft stock continued to rise he just felt he had to go … I’m sure Crean would’ve loved to have him this year…

  • ForeverIU

    I would rather not elaborate too much, because I am going to get into a political discussion, lol. But things like “He’s a really thick human being” etc. etc. It’s just the tone. I mean, of course he’s a human being.

  • CreamandCrimson

    That quote is not in the article at all and the tone is very similar to how many of us write about recruits and potential prospects (and we aren’t paid to have opinions about them). But, if you don’t want to go into it, I can understand that and we’ll leave it there.

  • ForeverIU

    I honestly just wanted to know if anyone felt uncomfortable like I did.

  • CreamandCrimson

    That’s fine and perfectly understandable. I’m sure there are some that agree with you and you certainly don’t need to justify any feelings to me. I was just curious “why” you were disgusted by it and like I said, we can leave it there.

  • SCHoosier

    How about playing out of best position..no outside shooting to open the post….no consistent effort to get him the ball despite the coach allegedly making it a priority. Go figure.

  • N71

    Sounds like he’s on Randle’s payroll. Noah’s work ethic would be the least of my concerns. Foul trouble, lowering his head, and not demanding the ball more would be of greater concern.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Those quotes are from multiple people (3 from a scout, 1 from another scout, 1 from Ryen Russillo). I don’t have an opinion about Randle vs. Vonleh in the NBA but there are apparently multiple people with concerns about Noah’s conditioning/work ethic (not that it’s applicable to IU anymore). Your “not demanding the ball more” concern is shared by the scouts it seems.

  • Gregory Spera

    Not sure how he should have “demanded” that his teammates pass him the ball more. Sounds like a demand the coach should make to me.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    What really catches me are the comments about conditioning, and that first scout’s comment about work ethic. I’m thinking “Seriously? The kid who wouldn’t go to Disneyland without knowing there was a gym nearby he could practice at?”

    The conditioning comments left me wondering what the heck the scouts were seeing to make them give even “conflicting” reports about what shape he was in. And the first scout’s “?” over work ethic made me really wonder what he was comparing against.

    All that said, I’m actually not displeased that scouts are passing evenhanded judgements. Too many times I get really concerned when I read a Nothing But Good series of reports because it makes me wonder if people are so blinded by a couple of aspects of a player that they don’t see things realistically. While the shots may puncture Noah’s feelings a bit, I don’t see him being drafted to be a franchise’s savior and have unreasonable expectations thrown on him. And that right there might spare him suffering a quick career burnout in the NBA. If folks are right and people do put him in a second or third option role where he can contribute and grow at a good pace, he might just have a nice, long career in the league.

  • CreamandCrimson

    No point in rehashing the horrors of last season but I don’t disagree with you at all. I was just reading what the scouts said and at least one of them (plus N71) thought he wasn’t demanding enough. Believe me, I’m no fan of how we have used a couple of elite post players. At least we won’t have that problem this season!

  • Bryce Kepner

    I dont think scouts got conflicting reports about his condition but it seemed that he didnt go to the pre draft workouts in chicago ready to compete and that he showed up slow and looked to be a little out of shape

  • Hoosier1158

    That comment has always baffled me a little bit as well. Coach should have been telling the guards, get the ball inside and take advantage of a player like Noah.

  • hgdownunder

    And also the bit just before, about him not getting that many minutes – what’s up with that?

  • The problem with that logic is… The guy has in fact o be working to get open.. and asking for the ball. You don’t just throw it iin there of he’s not ready for it, or not asking for it. It’s amatter of how comfortable he is acting and does he want it. NOT just what the coach tells the guards what to do. When it comes to execution, it can be quite a different matter. So you can boil this down and try to assess blame any way you want.. He has to be asking for the ball. Did you ever play at anything ther than ‘playground’ basketball? If so, you’d realize this. Doesn’t matter what the coach says.. the guards have to feel comfortable that he is ready for the ball..

  • They’re paid to scout for various teams. they aren’t paid to please the fans of the players. It’s a dollars and cents world out there.. they really don’t care about your feelings of the feelings of the draftee to be.

  • THey are describing in their opinion what type of human being they have him categorized as…. Not sure why you’d want to take offense at that. It’s their opinion.

  • ForeverIU

    Scout 1 sounds idiotic. Example: “Don’t think he’ll be a star. It’s not his personality.”

  • IUDan

    I think, honestly, it’s a bit of ignorance … Someone reading the box score but not watching games … Maybe they didn’t realize he was injured … I know these guys have to keep tabs on a lot of players…

  • Hoosier1158

    So you’re saying Noah did not work to get open? The games I watched I saw him working for inside position. If you got a big guy fighting inside for position, with the talent Noah has, he shouldn’t have to demand the ball.

  • HoosierGrampy

    Based upon the tone of his comments, I don’t think HoosierKen73 watched the same games we did last year. In virtually every game he played, NV worked to get open, and on more than a few occasions, never received so much as a look–let alone a pass–from the guards. I think that as the season wore on, he got a little frustrated with the way the flow of the game kept drifting away from him. It would wear on anyone to realize that his best chance of getting his hands on the rock was via an offensive rebound. Every “noted” deficiency and/or shortcoming in his game could have been addressed and resolved in this phenomenon called PRACTICE. I’m not saying that time wasn’t allocated to teach NV how to become more forceful/assertive when he flashed into the paint, but if it was, the lessons of practice didn’t translate in any positive way onto the court. It’s not my purpose to point fingers and try to fix blame…just hope that this coming season will not be a mirror image of the 2013-14 edition.

  • Hoosier Hall

    I agree with IUDan, he saw his stock rise as a top 5 pick so that would be hard to pass up. There is no way in hell Crean or anyone forced him to go. If he had returned, we could be a top 10 team.

  • Hoosier Hall

    Although this guy did seem kind of ignorant, I have to agree with that assessment. I think Noah will be a great power forward for a long time and a critical piece to a successful team but I don’t think he has that “superstar” quality. It’s a kind of aggressiveness or attitude that those guys have and he just hasn’t shown that yet. A double double guy for sure, but an all star? I don’t think so.

  • Candy Striped Kid