Wednesday Bolts: 01.15.20
Sam Vecenie (The Athletic) published his latest mock draft and has the Thunder picking Zeke Nnaji from Arizona. “Still, Sam Presti does tend to value athleticism and upside in the draft. Nnaji has been one of the biggest risers in the pre-draft process thus far, to the point where most evaluators do believe he’ll hear his name called somewhere in the top-25, with most pegging his range in the post-lottery section if he decides to declare for the 2020 draft. He’s been extremely productive so far, averaging 16.6 points and 8.1 rebounds for Arizona so far. I’m not quite as high on him, as I’d have him currently near the end of the first round, but he’s unquestionably a great mix of athletic fluidity and touch.”
Chris Paul talked to Men’s Health magazine about his plant-based diet, and he also dished on where he wants to end his career. “Where I want to end my career is somewhere where you’re appreciated. It sounds like a weird answer, but that’s been the coolest part even right now in Oklahoma. I started my career there. Life happened and I ended up there, and it’s been great being back and around everyone.”
Ricky O’Donnell (SB Nation) makes it official that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is one of the NBA’s best young players. “Gilgeous-Alexander first made a name for himself attacking the rim in off-beat rhythms with advanced footwork. His ability to hit wrong-footed layups and prepare counters on drives made him a unique problem for NBA veterans to deal with as a rookie. In his second pro season, he’s turned into something else: a smooth scorer who can flow in-and-out of dribble pull-ups while maintaining his incredible flexibility and dexterity around the basket.”
Chris Vernon and Kevin O’Connor (The Ringer) talk about the rising stock of SGA on the latest The Ringer NBA Show podcast:
Ahead of Oklahoma City’s hosting of the Toronto Raptors tonight, the Toronto Star says that SGA is heating up just in time to face his hometown Raptors again. “The growth in Gilgeous-Alexander has been off the charts and culminated Monday in a 20-point, 20-rebound, 10-assist triple double, the first of his year-and-a-half NBA career. At 21 years, 185 days old, Gilgeous-Alexander became the youngest NBA player to record a triple-double that included 20 rebounds; he was about three months younger than Shaquille O’Neal when O’Neal did it in 1993. Gilgeous-Alexander also became the second Canadian-born NBAer with any kind of triple double. Steve Nash had three in his career.”
The Athletic’s NBA podcast, No Dunks, discusses SGA’s bright future on their latest episode.
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