Draft Comparisons: Leonard, Marshall, Zeller and Rivers





HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – As Draft time rolls around and we learn about the next class of NBA rookies, there’s a desire to compare each to players we’re already familiar with.

No two players are exactly alike and some players are more unique than others. But you can find comparisons by watching video, crunching stats or matching measurements. For this exercise, we did the latter two.

Listed below are four of the top picks, along with the current NBA players they compare with most. For this exercise, we looked at 10 stats from each player’s last season in college, and eight measurements taken at the annual pre-draft combine.

Because we used college numbers and combine numbers, the only current players we could compare this year’s prospects to were the ones who played in college (so no LeBron James or Dwight Howard) and participated in the combine since 2000 (Rajon Rondo is one notable name missing in that respect).

The following comparisons aren’t gospel, of course, but they’re one way to get ready for the Draft on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

More comparisons:

Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois

Statistical comparisons
1. Charlie Villanueva, UConn, 2005
2. Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech, 2010
3. Aaron Gray, Pittsburgh, 2007

Villanueva seems like a strange comparison, but he didn’t take many 3-pointers in his final year at UConn. In the league, he’s been more of a perimeter player.

Measurement comparisons
1. Channing Frye, Arizona, 2005
2. Patrick Patterson, Kentucky, 2010
3. Byron Mullens, Ohio State, 2009

Frye and Leonard had the same wingspan and had similar scores in the agility drills.

Stats + measurement comparisons
1. Channing Frye, Arizona, 2005
2. Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech, 2010
3. Patrick Patterson, Kentucky, 2010
4. Charlie Villanueva, UConn, 2005
5. Al Horford, Florida, 2007

Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina

Statistical comparisons
1. Deron Williams, Illinois, 2005
2. Chris Duhon, Duke, 2004
3. Eric Bledsoe, Kentucky, 2010

Marshall is a unique player, because he had more assists (351) than he had attempts from the field (225) and trips to the line (79) combined. No current player was even close to that kind of ratio in college.

Measurement comparisons
1. Willie Green, Detroit, 2003
2. Josh Selby, Kansas, 2011
3. Ramon Sessions, Nevada, 2007

When it comes to height, weight and body fat, Green and Marshall are like twins.

Stats + measurement comparisons
1. Deron Williams, Illinois, 2005
2. Jrue Holiday, UCLA, 2009
3. Eric Bledsoe, Kentucky, 2010
4. Jonny Flynn, Syracuse, 2009
5. Ramon Sessions, Nevada, 2007

Tyler Zeller, PF/C, North Carolina

Statistical comparisons
1. DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky, 2010
2. Brandon Bass, LSU, 2005
3. Jordan Williams, Maryland, 2011

No. 1 on the statistical comparison list (but no longer in the NBA) was actually another Tar Heel: Sean May. But Cousins’ stats were pretty comparable across the board.

Measurement comparisons
1. Jason Smith, Colorado State, 2007
2. Jon Leuer, Wisconsin, 2011
3. Luke Babbitt, Nevada, 2010

Zeller is close to Smith in height, has the same wingspan as Leuer, and the same standing reach as Babbitt.

Stats + measurement comparisons
1. Jason Smith, Colorado State, 2007
2. Brandon Bass, LSU, 2005
3. Taj Gibson, USC, 2009
4. Luke Babbitt, Nevada, 2010
5. Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina, 2009

Austin Rivers, G, Duke

Statistical comparisons
1. Malcolm Lee, UCLA, 2011
2. Shelvin Mack, Butler, 2011
3. Brandon Knight, Kentucky, 2011

Three guys from last year’s class. Rivers and Lee were very similar in their ability to get to the line and what percentage of their shots came from 3-point range.

Measurement comparisons
1. Daequan Cook, Ohio State, 2007
2. Ramon Sessions, Nevada, 2007
3. Avery Bradley, Texas, 2010

Cook and Rivers had the same weight and were close in height, wingspan and body fat.

Stats + measurement comparisons
1. Mo Williams, Alabama, 2003
2. Daequan Cook, Ohio State, 2007
3. Shelvin Mack, Butler, 2011
4. Jordan Crawford, Xavier, 2010
5. Malcolm Lee, UCLA, 2011

Comments are closed.