The top 4 of this draft has been set for a long time now. There has been flux in the top 3 more or less. Some think Green or Mobley should test Cunningham for the no1 spot, or they simply juggle Green and Mobley between 2 and 3. Jalen Suggs seems glued to the 4th spot.
That’s kinda odd. It scratched a part of my brain that I couldn’t ignore. Spending some time looking at advanced stats over at Bart Torvik’s amazing site, I looked at players who were drafted in the top 10 of previous drafts, who had a usage of over 20, made more than 50% of their 2s had a free throw rate close to 35 and had an OReb percentage close to Suggs’. I use that to look up self creation for draft prospects. What intrigued me the most was when Sam Vecinie and Matt Pennie were talking about Suggs, they said how weird it was that most people are talking about him as a creator, and all he did in college was score. And I found some interesting comps via my metrics:
A lot of these guys are 20 points per game or more in the NBA, some have even had over 25. Heck Beal and Harden have scored over 30 for a few seasons. Since there are no per 100 possession stats that reach until the days when harden was a freshman, I compared Suggs’ production per 40 with Eric Gordon, James Harden, Bradley Beal, Tyreke Evans and Antony Edwards.
While not having the most score heavy role, Suggs is the second most efficient scorer of the bunch, just behind harden. He is second in 2pt attempts and first in percentage. He is close to Beal and Eric Gordon in terms of 3 point percentage and volume, worse than Harden on larger volume . In terms of getting to the line and making his FTs he doesn’t really lag behind the rest all that much. Where he really separates himself is what most people were talking about when they were talking about Suggs, his passing. Apart from Evans he produces the most assists and his Ass/TO ratio is almost twice that of the rest of the prospects. So if we look for prospects who have a 1.5 assist to turnover ratio and an assist percentage around 25%, this is the group of guys that we get.
Most of them averaged 5 assists per game or more. Rose, Russell, Fox all had seasons with more than 7 assists per game. In terms of assist to turnover rate he is tied with Rose for second. Suggs has a lower assist percentage than most of them, but that is because he played with a lot of players capable of making passes. Timme and Ayayi had over 2 assists per game, and Nebhard had almost 5.
In summary, the Raptors with the fourth pick in the draft could get a player who can give them between 20-25 points and between 5-8 assists per game at his peak. When you add to that his defensive ability, being able to guard both guard spots, due to his strength and speed, along with all the intangibles, leadership, the Raptors might end up with the best player in this draft at the 4th spot.