If you could combine Jared Dudley’s toughness, smarts and confidence with Sean Williams’ body and athleticism, you’d have the best prospect in the history of the NBA. But these guys are not perfect and both enter the draft as potential first rounders with real questions. I hope both do well, but will be rooting especially hard for Dudley. If I were an NBA GM I would put my money on Dudley. I think he’ll carve out a nice NBA career and still be in the league 10 years from now. Sean Williams…I have no idea. Here are my breakdowns on each guy’s prospects.
Age: 21 (he’ll be 22 in July)
Natural Position: Small Forward
Potential Positions: Power Forward and Shooting Guard
Strengths: Great understanding of basketball. Natural leader. Good passer for a big man. Understands spacing and where everyone should be. Great low post touch. Good outside shooter. Can handle the ball in traffic. Opportunistic defender. Good rebounder. Very productive college career.
Weaknesses: Inconsistent defense. Trouble with stronger players. Has to give smaller, faster players plenty of space on the perimeter. Streaky from the line.
Where he would fit best: San Antonio, Phoenix, Cleveland, Dallas, Utah, New Jersey, and Minnesota.
Bad fits: Detroit, LA Lakers, Atlanta, Miami, and Houston.
I think Jared needs to be on a team with a sound offensive philosophy and players who are looking to find the best shot, not hog the ball. I also don’t want to see him go to a team that is already heavy on offensive wing players.
Where I think he’ll end up: Philadelphia. Partly because of the Sixers’ numerous picks and partially because they’ve consistently expressed interest in him.
Five years from now: Jared will be a borderline All Star in the NBA. I fear that he might be like a Chauncey Billups or Matt Harpring and bounce around a few teams before he finds a system and team where he can excel. But I will never count Jared out and expect him to keep fighting until he gets his chance to play.
Natural Position: Power Forward
Potential Position: Center
Strengths: World class shot blocker. Good one on one defender. Good finisher. Solid from the FT line. Still raw with potential to round out his game.
Weaknesses: Immature and prone to pot suspensions. Seemingly lacks concentration and motivation. Limited offensive game. Limited rebounder.
Where he would fit best: Cleveland, Miami, New Jersey, Phoenix, LA Lakers and Philadelphia.
Bad fits: San Antonio, Dallas, Utah, and Chicago.
Sean needs to go to a team where he can come in and be a shot blocker. He won’t contribute much offensively at first so any team with too much structure would probably not use him well. I also think he’ll struggle on a young, deep team like the Bulls (since every guy on the team is already fighting for playing time).
Where I think he’ll end up: New York. Say what you will about Isiah Thomas, but the guy has a good eye for draft picks. He’ll take a chance on Sean because Williams has the potential to change games and has the upside Thomas covets.
Five years from now: I think Sean will be out of the league. I hope I am wrong, but I just don’t see the drive he’ll need to succeed. Every guy in the NBA is very good. To hang around you need to be either uniquely skilled and/or extremely driven. I just don’t see it in Sean Williams.