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The Late Bloomer
Jarrett Allen was late to the party as it goes for top national prospects. He wasn’t always enamored with playing basketball, at least not until later in his high school career at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin, TX. He’s somewhat of a nerd and an old soul. Modifying and building computers continues to be a passionate hobby oh his. Jarrett is more cerebral than most kids his age. You can tell his family has a healthy influence on his personality and character. Perhaps they helped Jarrett recognize the potential of what basketball could provide him in life with his unique skill-set. So far, it’s paid off for him. Jarrett Allen was the top ranked Center in his graduating class, won a gold medal with USA Basketball, attended the University of Texas and is now about to be a first-round pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. It looks like the sky’s the limit for this humble kid.
Jarrett Allen is clearly a desired defensive commodity. The ceiling here is exciting and unknown. Majority of Allen’s upside is the intrigue behind his active presence and length in the paint. The lack of aggressive attitude is the reason his production wasn’t impressive until the end of his single season at Texas. But it’s hard not to get amped about the potential of a nearly 7’0 player who enjoys playing above the rim with skill. The Warriors provided a blueprint for all-around mobile weapons. The NBA is migrating that way and Allen showed at a national level that his perimeter on the ball defensive skill is coveted. He never displayed a sexy flash in the paint with his blocking ability and redirection of opposing offenses, but his presence caused B12 offenses to game-plan around his disruptive style (arguably best conference in CBB).
Texas big-man, Jarrett Allen, just might be the most physically gifted prospect coming out of college this year. At 1/2 an inch under 7’0, Allen sports an incredible wingspan of 7’6”. His length and mobility is truly a thing of rarity. Although his ball-skills don’t resemble a combo guard, his feet, movement and speed look like a solid imitation.
Allen never showed to be an offensive centerpiece. At times, he exposed fans to the motion of his noticeably slow shot. Concentrated shots for big men often equate to challenged shots. Allen has always practiced his midrange and outside attempts, but rarely did he flush contested shots from distance. His best bet is to land on a team that loves to run the pick and roll. You can’t teach size, length, mobility and ups. Sounds like a fun-fit for Carlisle.
The Raw Clay
Rawness is available in every single draft now. The term seems to be losing its luster due to the constant disappointment. Allen gave fans bursts of elite dominance with his flushing and footwork, but his consistency has lottery teams taking steps back. Allen needs to put on weight and get stronger if he wants to be a known starter in this league. This is where his most concerning attribute comes into play: aggressiveness. No matter how impressive his physical tools may be, he could easily be JaVale McGee 2.0.
Worthy of a Gamble
Lean, athletic Centers tend to be the hardest prospects to predict because more variables surround them than any other type of player. But if we look at another ex-Texas big man that resembles the same style, Myles Turner, we see promise. And Turner has turned into a very dangerous weapon within two short years. The new NBA has provided a platform for Centers that try to perform like Small Forwards. Not many players at the size/length of Turner and Allen can move or produce in a disruptive-fashion like they can. How much fun would this future be to watch as a Mavs fan:
Okay, yes, I threw wishful thinking into the starting lineup. But imagine a serious PG acquisition, like Jrue Holiday, to pair with two elite athletic-lengthy PF/C. This would be an entertaining, youthful core. The paint would be a nightmare zone for opposing teams. The following is my 2017 Draft Big Board:
1) Lonzo Ball
2) Markelle Fultz
3) Josh Jackson
4) Jonathan Issac
5) Dennis Smith Jr
6) Malik Monk
7) De’Aaron Fox
8) Jarrett Allen
9) Frank Ntilikina
10) Jason Tatum
There are plenty of reasons to draft the Texas native. Texas has an exceptional pipeline into the NBA right now: Kevin Durant, LaMarcus Aldridge, Avery Bradley, Myles Turner, Tristan Thompson, P.J. Tucker and more. Myles Turner wasn’t seen as a lasting player, and now he’s one of the budding young stars in the NBA. Seeing where the Mavericks draft, it wouldn’t be the worst thing to draft Jarrett Allen. What do you think MFFL?
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