The 2014 draft class was loaded with elite athletes such as Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon, but how do the futures look for guys like Elfrid Payton, Marcus Smart, Nikola Mirotic and Bojan Bogdanovic?
“Future 120” is our new and improved way of assessing the league’s top young prospects. These are Top 30 Player Rankings (plus honorable mentions) for each of the past 4 Rookie classes, determined by analyzing them in three key areas: their projected role for 2016-17, their star potential/fantasy upside and their physical/mental readiness.
Now let’s compare these two Euro shooters…
#12. Nikola Mirotic (Bulls)
Role on Team: 4.0, Potential: 4.0, Readiness: 4.0, Impact Score: 12.0
The role of “supporting starter” fits Mirotic perfectly, because he’s quite content to just spot up and shoot threes, or give a pump fake and awkwardly attack the rim. Nikola made 2 treys per game on 5.2 attempts in under 25 mpg last year, and could easily drain 2.5 triples per game if given a few more minutes. Mirotic is also well seasoned due to his age (25 years old) and international experience (played well for Spain in the Olympics).
Niko comes in 12th in our 2014 rankings, but teammate Bobby Portis also ranks 12th in our 2015 rankings: are there enough minutes in Chicago for both guys to flourish? Now take this performance with a grain of salt because it’s the final game of the season and it’s against Philly, but watch Mirotic catch fire from behind the arc.
#13. Bojan Bogdanovic (Nets)
Role on Team: 4.0, Potential: 3.5, Readiness: 4.5, Impact Score: 12.0
Speaking of catching fire, we’ll watch Bojan match his jersey number and drop 44 on the 76ers next, where he nails a deep “heat check and a half” three and runs the floor like the former Euroleague star that he is. After a strong finish to last season, Bogdanovic carried his momentum into the Olympics, where he led the tournament in scoring at 25.3 points and 3 threes per game on 50.6% FG.
Now a well seasoned 27 years old and brimming with confidence, Bojan is more than ready to continue his NBA ascent. Unfortunately, his stat potential simply isn’t that high, as his rebound, assist, steal and block rates are all well below average. But Bojan Bogdanovic knows how to get Buckets!
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