16.1 PPG 3.0 RPG 49 3PT%
Draft Range: 9 to 15 | Teams Interested: Timberwolves, Sixers, Thunder, Mavs, Jazz, Bucks
The Russian sharpshooter shot up boards only in April after a stellar performance at the Nike Hoop Summit convinced scouts that his strong play in Russia this year wasn’t a fluke. Endowed with a lethal jump shot and basketball intelligence, he’s one of the more NBA-ready players in the draft.
Quick fact: Karasev held his opposing shooters to a 28.6 field goal percentage on spot-ups, which ranked in the 95th percentile in all European competition (min. 100 plays).
Obviously, he’s not a candidate for the Wolves #9, or even the Sixers at #11, but just to piggyback — this deep, if unspectacular, take on this year’s draft by Kevin Pelton…
These numbers support the more nuanced assessment of this year’s draft experts such as Ford have been trying to explain lately. The criticism of this year’s draft is mostly about the top handful of picks. This year’s top five would rate as the weakest in the past eight years, though 2006 (when Andrea Bargnani was the No. 1 pick) and 2010 (with low-rated Wesley Johnson and Evan Turner in the top five) score similarly.
Get outside that top group, however, and this draft looks fairly typical and perhaps even strong. If we limit our analysis to lottery picks, in fact, only 2010 scores better. That draft, which featured Greg Monroe at No. 7 and Paul George at No. 10, was a lot like this one in terms of depth — except with an obvious top choice at No. 1 in John Wall.
It’s enough to make you hope the Wolves keep their powder dry should any of their seemingly open-ended offers to anyone in the top-5 balk at an offer of number 9, 26 and Derrick Williams not be enough. There’s value to be had.