Making player comparisons is major component of how professional sports teams view players and prospects. Comparisons are made at draft time, during contract negotiations, and in other sports during contract arbitration cases where both sides (team and player/agent) make comparisons.
During the scouting process, it's easy to project high with 19-20 year old prospects. You see their physical tools and think the sky is the limit. Which to a certain extent it is with nearly every young maturing adult. The problem however is that most times these prospects never reach 80% of their potential, making it more difficult to project 5-6 years into the future.
Another issue with comparisons is that people, especially the major draft websites tend to only compare within the same race or origin. If it's a European player, he gets compared to another Euro, a white to another white guy, and so on and so forth.
Here are some of my comparisons for this year's prospects, with a little explanation as to why:
- Nerlens Noel/Joakim Noah- You're talking about two high energy guys that are the mortar or glue to their team's defense, with a per game stat line of around 12 and 12, with nearly 3 bpg.
- Ben McLemore/Bradley Beal- Both players played off the ball in college and both drew Ray Allen comps in regards to their shooting. Beal's just getting started, but I see the same type of impact and potential in McLemore. I think he's going to be pretty good, just not sure what his ceiling is, which is how I feel with Beal as well.
- Otto Porter/Jeff Green- School, system, size, skills, and potential all seem to be parallel.
- Anthony Bennett/Michael Beasley- Both have the physical tools to be all star caliber players, but both lack that engine that runs non-stop to take their game to that next level.
- Shabazz Muhammad/Caron Butler- Physically they're very similar and both like to use their weight/strength to their advantage in muscling their defender down.
- Alex Len/ Brendon Haywood- These are two seven foot tall guys that can clog the paint and make an impact due to their legit size alone. True seven footers are great when they're healthy, but more often than not, they're getting banged up throughout their careers.
- Victor Oladipo/ Lance Stephenson- Can guard multiple positions, uber athletic, and still a work in progress on offense.
- CJ McCollum/Eric Gordon- Versatile combo guard that can shoot and curl off screens all day long.
- Cody Zeller/Clifford Robinson- Bigs that can score, step outside and shoot, but not great defensively or on the glass, despite their size.