View Poll Results: Of the rookies coming into the NBA this year, who will be the best player in 5 years?

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  • Anthony Davis

    16 36.36%
  • Jonas Valanciunas

    16 36.36%
  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

    3 6.82%
  • Brad Beal

    5 11.36%
  • Thomas Robinson

    1 2.27%
  • Other

    3 6.82%
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Thread: Let The Valanciunas, Anthony Davis Comparisons Begin

  1. #1
    Raptors Republic Starter IROR's Avatar
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    Default Let The Valanciunas, Anthony Davis Comparisons Begin

    Here's a conversation starter -- is this a fair comparison? What do you expect from JV and the Unibro this year? Does this suggest that JV is considered to be one of the top two rookies this year? Who's the better player in 5 years? Let's hear your thoughts, because it's the dog days of RR summer and training camp is less than 2 months away.
    Personally, I'm not sure you can make this comparison just yet...but an interesting read nonetheless.

    By: Jonathan Tjarks
    Aug 06, 2012 10:38 AM EDT

    Neither Anthony Davis nor Jonas Valanciunas, the two youngest basketball players in the Olympics, were much of a factor in Team USAís narrow 99-95 victory over Lithuania. Valanciunas, despite starting for Lithuania, played nine minutes while Davis stayed on the bench in the Americans' first tight game in London.

    If David Stern and Mark Cuban donít get their way, that could be a very different story in 2016 (when Valanciunas would be 24 and Davis would be 23), 2020 and maybe even 2024, where they would both be younger than Kobe Bryant is now. Teenagers donít arenít generally involved in high-level international competitions, an indication of what Hubie Brown would call their ďtremendous upside potentialĒ.

    But while they both wound up as top NBA lottery picks, they took radically different paths to get there. Itís very Rocky IV: Valanciunas is the Ivan Drago character, signed to a professional contract at the age of 16. Davis is the raw American, emerging essentially from nowhere as a high school junior to become the best player in the country.

    Before his late growth spurt, Davis was an unheralded 6í4 perimeter player being recruited by mid-major colleges. Then he suddenly grew to 6í10 without losing any of his foot-speed. The result was the ideal combination of a centerís size and a guardís quickness.

    Valanciunas is a more conventional big man, with excellent athleticism for a 6í11, 240 center. He was identified at an extremely young age as a promising prospect, a pro by the age of 16. Two years later, he was playing for Lietuvos Rytas in the Euroleague, the second best pro league in the world.

    At Kentucky, Davis was the defensive lynchpin of one of the most talented collegiate teams in a long time. The Wildcats had the No. 1, 2, 18, 29, 42 and 46 selections in the 2012 NBA Draft, and they were far too talented for most of their opponents. Their final record speaks for itself: 38-2, with only three of those wins (and none in the NCAA Tournament) coming by fewer than five points.

    Valanciunas, meanwhile, was playing with players twice his age. As a result, he was a role player, rarely creating his own shot. In that context, his 2012 Eurocup stats are fairly impressive: 10.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks on 63% shooting in 23 minutes a night.

    Davis was dominant at Kentucky -- 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 4.7 (!) blocks on 65% shooting -- but itís hard to imagine him having more success than Valanciunas if their roles had been reversed. When adjusted for pace and per-40 minutes, Valanciunas averaged 18.9 points, 13.4 rebounds and 2.7 blocks a game in 2012.

    He would have adapted easily to the role Davis had for Kentucky - running the floor, moving the ball and catching lobs at the rim. The talent gap between the Wildcats and the other 11 teams in the SEC was about as wide as the one between Team USA and the other 11 teams in London. Valanciunas, Terrence Jones, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Darius Miller, Doron Lamb and Marquis Teague would still have been a huge favorite to win the Final Four.

    Davis, a more fluid athlete, is the better defensive prospect. At 6í11, 220 with a 7í6 wingspan, his quickness, length and defensive timing allow him to be a dominant shot-blocker without getting in foul trouble (only 2.4 a game at Kentucky). In contrast, Valanciunasí biggest problem next year will be his rate of 5.6 fouls per 40 minutes, an improvement from 8.2 per 40 in 2011.

    On the other side of the floor, Valanciunas has developed some basic post moves, which is all a player with his size and length (7í4 wingspan) needs to score. He used a jump hook to shoot over the top of Tyson Chandler and Ronny Turiaf in London, and while it didnít always go in, all they could do was wave at the ball and hope he missed. Davis, meanwhile, will struggle establishing deep post position next year, so heíll have to either get stronger or refine his perimeter jumper.

    Both are part of a new wave of big men of small-ball centers, making up for what they lack in pure strength with great length and lateral quickness. Neither has the bulk to bang with mammoth centers like Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum, but theyíre well suited to the more perimeter-oriented game the NBA is moving towards.

    Where they go from here is unclear: just because a 20-year old could grow into something doesnít necessarily mean they will. Maybe Davis never adds any weight and drifts out on the perimeter, where his skill-set is less valuable. Maybe Valanciunas maxes out as a more skilled version of Andris Biedrins, a big man not good enough to dominate offensively or athletic enough to dominate defensively.

    Like almost all young centers, their development will depend heavily on the environment their team puts them in. Davis has a higher ceiling than Valanciunas, but the difference between the two isnít nearly as high as their pre-draft publicity would suggest.


    Read more: http://basketball.realgm.com/article...#ixzz22mUSp5xQ

  2. #2
    Raptors Republic Starter omgsomuchpotential's Avatar
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    I'm a huge supporter of JV, but I still voted for Anthony Davis. Gotta be objective. JV might be a better / more effective & efficient center than Davis in 5 years, but the question asks for a 'player' and it seems that Davis might shift more towards the PF and become an overally slightly better player.
    Last edited by omgsomuchpotential; Mon Aug 6th, 2012 at 02:05 PM.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Red and White's Avatar
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    I think Anthony Davis has the best chance at being the best player out of all the guys coming in, and I think JV will be very solid as well, but I picked MKG.

    He has the talent, skill,and all the intangibles he needs, but then again, all these guys do. What makes MKG different (to me at least) is he will be going to a team (the Bobcats) that has far less talent than the Raps or Hornets. He will need to play well for them as soon as possible, and I think because of the situation he is going to, he will develop faster than JV or Davis. He is not undersized (Davis is 220 compared to MKG being 230) and will not deal with some of those problems like Davis will, and he will not have to deal with foul trouble as much as JV will.

  4. #4
    Raptors Republic Veteran white men can't jump's Avatar
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    I had to vote for Davis. I voted for potential. Davis just has a bit more, partly because he can fill more roles since he's quicker and grew up playing on the perimeter. JV may have an easier time adapting to playing the C position, but doesn't have quite as many tools. In the long run, I think it will be hard to compare them in any way other than team success because I don't know if I see their games being that similar.

  5. #5
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    I can see Beal becoming a superstar in 3 years.

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    I voted Beal as well. Since the SG crop is weak right now, and seeing his skill set, I can see him being a top 3 SG and a 25 ppg scorer in 5 years. He fits in really well with Washington and I see him and wall forming a great backcourt.

  7. #7
    Raptors Republic All-Star hateslosing's Avatar
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    Depends on how well they are coached, both have a long way to go once they get here. I personally like Val because he is a true center in terms of his height and build. Athletic power forwards are a dime a dozen (Ed Davis is like a light version of Anthony Davis) but athletic centers that are actually 7 feet tall are hard to find. As long as Val puts on the weight by his fifth year he'll be ideally built for the center spot which in my opinion is a harder position to fill than power forward.
    "When Life gives you lemons, you clone those Lemons to make super lemons!"
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    Super Moderator ReubenJRD's Avatar
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    As of now, Anthony Davis is the better player. A perimeter player, grown into the center role. A big man who can play on the perimeter like a prototypical power forward, and dominant defensively. So, in terms of now, I'd say Davis.

    But the question is, who will be better in 5 years..

    I will stay say Davis, because his game will translate well with not so much worry on his offensive skill-set, just trying to get stronger and develop a post offense. Defensively is ability to block shots is tremendous, and has no trouble getting into foul trouble.

    Jonas needs to get stronger, improve his ability to play fundamental defense and help-side. He's quite raw offensively, but from what I've seen in both, Jonas is the much more athletic player than Davis, and is more experienced.

    In my opinion as well, Jonas has the higher basement, and lower ceiling. Davis has the lower basement, but higher ceiling.

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    Super Moderator ReubenJRD's Avatar
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    Quote hateslosing wrote: View Post
    Depends on how well they are coached, both have a long way to go once they get here. I personally like Val because he is a true center in terms of his height and build. Athletic power forwards are a dime a dozen (Ed Davis is like a light version of Anthony Davis) but athletic centers that are actually 7 feet tall are hard to find. As long as Val puts on the weight by his fifth year he'll be ideally built for the center spot which in my opinion is a harder position to fill than power forward.
    I agree. Finding a solid power forward in the league right now is not too hard to find. The last couple drafts have brought in some power forwards that are fairly solid.

  10. #10
    Raptors Republic Starter theycallmeZZ's Avatar
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    I picked other. I think a guy like Lillard will surprise everyone...


    Also, this is Jonathan Tjarks

    TORONTOOOOOO RAPTORSSSSSS

  11. #11
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    Davis will be the better player in five years because he will be allowed to grow offensively and defensively, his team wants him and needs Davis to become an offensive threat. JV on the other hand will only be getting better defensively because raptors will have at least 2 scoring options more reliable than JV. But again it is still possible that JV becomes a pretty decent offensive player, in tournaments with people his own age he takes over games offensively, he is not afraid to post up and score. Remember the gold medal game for the under 19 championship, he demanded the ball in the post at the end of games.

  12. #12
    Raptors Republic Starter omgsomuchpotential's Avatar
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    Quote MyTEAM4Life wrote: View Post
    Davis will be the better player in five years because he will be allowed to grow offensively and defensively, his team wants him and needs Davis to become an offensive threat. JV on the other hand will only be getting better defensively because raptors will have at least 2 scoring options more reliable than JV. But again it is still possible that JV becomes a pretty decent offensive player, in tournaments with people his own age he takes over games offensively, he is not afraid to post up and score. Remember the gold medal game for the under 19 championship, he demanded the ball in the post at the end of games.
    Not to mention JV might actually pick up some moves from Bargs offensively although they do indeed play very different styles.

  13. #13
    Raptors Republic Starter theycallmeZZ's Avatar
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    Quote omgsomuchpotential wrote: View Post
    Not to mention JV might actually pick up some moves from Bargs offensively although they do indeed play very different styles.

    We'll be starting to see more of this


    TORONTOOOOOO RAPTORSSSSSS

  14. #14
    Raptors Republic Superstar Puffer's Avatar
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    JV has the early skill set, nose for the ball, quickness and attitude that could turn him into a dominant center in the league in five years. Five years is a long time. He seems to have the will and drive to continue to work. Davis seems to have more raw talent. From here on in, it's all about how hard are you willing to work. I believe JV could become Duncanesque in his ability. Sure that is putting the bar up there, but I think he has the size, speed, footwork and desire.

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    Raptors Republic Rookie 10 000 Hours's Avatar
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    Quote theycallmeZZ wrote: View Post
    We'll be starting to see more of this


    My vote for Jonas was heavily influenced by him playing with Andrea. Pending another calf (or other) injury to Bargs, I see him getting a lot of double teams this year, which will hopefully lead to JV being wide open at times to rack up some easy dunks.

    I think it also depends on when Jonas gets put into the starting 5. I assume Davis will be given the keys on day 1, but I'm still not sure about Jonas. And after that of course, can he stay on the court? Will Casey let him play through some early foul trouble to get a rhythm going?

    Jonas also has to deal with the unavoidable culture shock and language barriers. He can speak English, but it's going to take time. That could sway more advantage to Anthony Davis.

    In the end, there's so many factors, but if developed properly, I think Jonas has the pieces around him to fuel him to stardom.
    Walking like I'm already there.

  16. #16
    Raptors Republic Superstar isaacthompson's Avatar
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    although I think Val will be more of an asset to his team than Davis, I still voted for Anthony because of what he means to his team now. Our main offensive focus will still be on Barg and DeRozan in a couple of years; meanwhile in New Orleans the team will be circling around Davis. I think from a statistical standpoint Davis will hold the torch
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    [QUOTE=isaacthompson;149797]although I think Val will be more of an asset to his team than Davis, I still voted for Anthony because of what he means to his team now. .../QUOTE]

    I think the survey said in five years form now. Davis getting the keys to the team early could actually hurt his development, if he takes on an "entitlement" mentality. No obvious indications that he will, but I like the fact that Jonas is going to have to fight for playing time, fight to stop foul troubles, fight to develop a low post game as a classical "big man." Better to be required to claim your position than have it handed to you.

  18. #18
    Super Moderator ReubenJRD's Avatar
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    Quote theycallmeZZ wrote: View Post
    We'll be starting to see more of this


    Wow, I wouldn't be surprised if he could hit outside shots with that shooting stroke. More skilled than I thought?

  19. #19
    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Not sure the JV/AD comparison is fair.

    Position perspective: JV is a C; AD is a PF.

    Statistics perspective: Euro game and NCAA are the same game with different rules and style.

    Competitions perspective: JV played against men; Davis played against boys.


    A question/thought with no answer we'll ever know:

    What would Anthony Davis do in EuroLeague/EuroBasket/Baltic League/Lithuanian League?
    At the very least we have an idea of what JV would do with his own age group based on U16/18/19 competitions.


    To answer the question of the thread: I have no idea. Look at the draft boards from 5 and 6 years ago. It is easy to look back now and grade the picks but in real time?

  20. #20
    Super Moderator ReubenJRD's Avatar
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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    Not sure the JV/AD comparison is fair.

    Position perspective: JV is a C; AD is a PF.

    Statistics perspective: Euro game and NCAA are the same game with different rules and style.

    Competitions perspective: JV played against men; Davis played against boys.


    A question/thought with no answer we'll ever know:

    What would Anthony Davis do in EuroLeague/EuroBasket/Baltic League/Lithuanian League?
    At the very least we have an idea of what JV would do with his own age group based on U16/18/19 competitions.


    To answer the question of the thread: I have no idea. Look at the draft boards from 5 and 6 years ago. It is easy to look back now and grade the picks but in real time?
    Not too mention two different styles in individual game-play. Pre-mature thread.

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