Andrew Wiggins compares to Tracy McGrady and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
Comparisons of top prospects to top players are never exact because the reality is no two players are exactly alike. That being said, the ability to spot similarities between top players and top prospects can be a high-value piece of the evaluation process. So with that, here is a look at who some top prospects compare to.
PROSPECT– Andrew Wiggins (6-8, 190-pound forward)
COMPARES TO – Tracy McGrady (6-8, 225-pound forward); Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (6-7, 232-pound forward)
BREAKDOWN – Will Wiggins ever be the prolific scorer McGrady was? That is fairly doubtful, but Wiggins has the length and amazing athleticism that McGrady once possessed. Bottom line is that Wiggins is tough to find a comparison for. Kidd-Gilchrist comes to mind as both are athletic utility players, but does Wiggins have the killer instinct and motor that Kidd-Gilchrist has? That is doubtful as well. The answer, though, is that Wiggins is a combination of both McGrady and Kidd-Gilchrist. The quest for Wiggins will be carving out an identity as both a go-to scorer and also an athletic utility player.
PROSPECT – Julius Randle (6-9, 250-pound forward)
COMPARES TO – Elton Brand (6-9, 254-pound forward); Chris Webber (6-10, 245-pound forward)
BREAKDOWN – I have a strong notion that Randle will have a similar game and impact as Brand and Webber had once he hits a college court. A physical imposing specimen, Randle also has the skill game to put up the numbers at the college and pro level that both Brand and Webber put up. In fact of all the comparisons for these top six prospects, I like the fit of Brand and Webber for Randle as much as any of them. That should bode well for Randle’s future.
PROSPECT – Aaron Harrison (6-4, 200-pound shooting guard)
COMPARES TO – Bradley Beal (6-3, 207-pound shooting guard); O.J. Mayo] (6-4, 210-pound shooting guard)
BREAKDOWN – With his physicality and strong all around game, Beal is a good comparison for Harrison. Both know how to use their strength to their advantage, they are quality shooters, they defend and they handle ball well. I’d argue that Harrison has a stronger all around game than O.J. Mayo, but Harrison’s physique and skills with the basketball as a scorer, resemble Mayo a great deal.
PROSPECT – Andrew Harrison (6-4, 200-pound point guard)
COMPARES TO – Chauncy Billups (6-3, 210-pound point guard); Jrue Holiday (6-4, 205-pound point guard)
BREAKDOWN – For years I have thought of Billups when I’ve watched Harrison play. Harrison loves to bully the opposition and is highly competitive. Holiday, who has come into his own as a star in the NBA, is also a quality comparison for Harrison. As a point guard, Harrison can generate points on his own while also having the ability to see the pass in advance. Deron Williams is another physical point guard who comes to mind as a comparison for Harrison.
PROSPECT – Aaron Gordon (6-8, 210-pound forward)
COMPARES TO – Shawn Marion[/b] (6-7, 228-pound forward); Blake Griffin (6-10, 251-pound forward)
BREAKDOWN – I list Griffin just because he is such a public favorite as a comparison for Gordon. Beyond the complexion of their skin and their leaping ability, I don’t find it a compelling comparison. Instead, I prefer Marion as a comparison for Gordon. Griffin is just too big as a comparison, and Gordon’s ball handling and athletic play all over the court more closely resembles Marion. Gordon projects as a small forward and has the ability to impact the game on the perimeter defensively and offensively much like Marion has the ability to do.
PROSPECT – Jabari Parker (6-8, 220-pound forward)
COMPARES TO – Harrison Barnes (6-8, 210-pound forward); Paul Pierce (6-7, 235-pound forward).
BREAKDOWN – Pierce and Carmelo Anthony are often thrown around as comparisons for Parker. Frankly, Anthony’s freakish strength and scoring ability doesn’t fit for Parker. At the same time, it is tough to see Parker turning into the type of explosive scorer Pierce is. A suitable comparison for Parker was tough to find, but Barnes fit the bill to me as much as anyone else. I envision Parker developing into primarily a jump shooter who has a mind for the game but doesn’t possess a dynamic skill set.