The most frustrating thing about the draft is trying to compare prospects to All-Star players.
Go back to when some recent players were drafted, and think about their comparisons. Bradley Beal could be Ray Allen or Dwayne Wade? Ricky Rubio and Pistol Pete? Victor Oladipo and Michael Jordan? Nerlens Noel and Marcus Camby? Derrick Williams and David West? It all makes your head spin.
How about comparing this year's prospects with recent prospects? I think there are some similarities that are obvious, and thought this might be an interesting way to re-calibrate our thinking in a draft that is iffy at best. Full disclosure here: I will show my bias towards Otto Porter and Alex Len, and against Anthony (Tony!) Bennett. I am also throwing out the guards, so my apologies to lovers of Oladipo, Ben McLemore and Trey Burke. Also keep in mind I am trying to compare in a vacuum of how players were viewed leading up to the draft.
1. Nerlens Noel: JaVale McGee. Obvious differences are the programs the two came from and high draft status for Noel, but they are both extremely tall and long and can jump out of the gym. JaVale had much better offensive skills. Both are excellent shot blockers, but Noel appears to be a more judicious jumper. Good defender with extremely limited offense. Other candidates: Larry Sanders, Ed Davis.
2. Otto Porter: Kawhi Leonard. Prototypical small forward in size, length and skills. Limited record to analyze. Good 3 and D guy. Not super sexy though. I mean, Leonard went 15th! SMH. Gym rat, mature kid. Other candidates: Michael Kidd Gilcrest, Chris Singleton, Harrison Barnes.
3. Alex Len: Enes Kanter. Euro player with limited history and injury history. Prototypical center who has the size and weight to bang and develop a post game, good rebounder. Other candidates: Cole Aldrich, Greg Monroe, Roy Hibbert.
4. Anthony Bennett: Derrick Williams. Excellent offensive game and rebounding. Questionable defense. A bit of a tweener but good weight to bang with the big boys. Other candidates: Andray Blatche (couldn't resist), Markieff Morris, Anthony Randolph.
The most interesting comparisons to me are Derrick Williams and Enes Kanter, because they remind me so much of Bennett and Len.