Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Your Handy-Dandy Guide to NBA Draft-Speak 2016 Edition

There's a lot of coded languaged that gets used to describe NBA draft prospects, the sort of deliberately obfuscutory phrasing designed to make it sound like the people who are getting paid to be experts are, well, experts. That being said, it is possible to parse actual meaning from some of the more commonly used phrases. To wit:

If they say: "Can't spread the floor"
They mean: "Can't shoot the ball from further than six inches."

If they say: "That's an upside pick"
They mean: "He's not actually capable of playing NBA-level basketball right now"

If they say: "Stash pick"
They mean: "They're going to let this guy play in Europe for a while because he'd get eaten alive over here, and this way they don't have to pay his salary or waste a roster spot on him"

If they say: "Future 3 and D player"
They mean: "For the moment, just "D". Couldn't drive the lane behind the wheel of a Mac truck, can only shoot from outside with nobody guarding him"

If they say: "Inconsistent motor"
They mean: "Only plays defense if the coach is looking directly at him. Sometimes."

If they say: "I'm not sure he's a good fit"
They mean: "They already have four guys who play that same position."

If they say: "Great character"
They mean: "We've run out of things to say about how he plays basketball"

If they say: "Rim protector"
They mean: "Very good at standing in front of the basket and being tall. Not so good at "moving""

If they say: "His age is a concern."
They mean: "He's 22 years old."

If they say: "He needs to get more mature."
They mean: "He's a 19 year old kid who's been told he's a star his whole life and who's about to have a giant dump truck full of money backed up to his house. Oddly enough, he's not acting like Mr. Spock."

If they say: "Stretch four"
They mean: "Tall guy who can shoot from outside but is allergic to paint"

If they say: "Great at creating for others"
They mean: "Can't actually shoot."

If they say: "Great at creating his own shot"
They mean: "Can't actually pass"

If they say: "Offense-first player"
They mean: "Can't actually defend."

If they say: "Raw but talented"
They mean: "The kid played 8 minutes a game for a second division team in the Turkish league but somebody at ESPN saw his YouTube video and now we're all supposed to be excited."

If they say: "Lacks projection"
They mean: "We've been watching him play college ball for 3-4 years and we know exactly what he can and can't do, which is much less fun than imagining him suddenly turning into one of the X-Men."

If they say: "I give their draft a B"
They mean: "I have no idea what to think of their draft but I have to say something."

If they say: "I give their draft between a B= and a B+"
They mean: "I'm actually Mel Kiper Jr."

(special thanks to friend of the blog Zack Cooper for gut-checking these)

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