Understanding This Year’s NBA Draftees By Comparing Them To Millenial Comedies
Will Shabazz be more Tim and Eric or Pauly Shore?
There are 150 starting jobs in the NBA. Of those 150, about 24 players make the All-Star team. Just 10 All-Stars start, and at most 4 or 5 of those players are truly transcendent. Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how hard it is to be a great basketball player. The players drafted yesterday will join their respective teams after an endless binge of analytics, measurements, character scrutiny, and general surveillance, and only a few will be anything more than a role player in the NBA.
All those data points and all that uncertainty can make the draft results hard to comprehend. To simplify things, here are comparisons of each of the first 14 draftees to comedy movies from the past decade or so. Now you’ll be able to understand what your team is really getting.
1. Anthony Bennett – Cleveland Cavaliers
Athletic power forward out of the desert of UNLV.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: This is the End
For as big and complicated as it is, still manages to move very quickly and efficiently.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: Baby Mama
Undeniable potential, but never cashes in on its talented ingredients.
2. Victor Oladipo – Orlando Magic
Shooting Guard from Indiana with great locker-room-guy potential.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: Borat
A smart, savvy, hardworking contender with charisma, star-power, and all-around work ethic. Strengths in all the places you want strengths.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: Bruno
Seemingly all of that, but ultimately defined by its weaknesses.
3. Otto Porter – Washington Wizards
Perhaps the best small forward in the draft, Georgetown’s Otto Porter brings plenty of strength to back up his basketball IQ.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: In The Loop
A snarky, crafty powerhouse that’s fun to watch while remaining effective in dozens of more artful ways.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: Burn After Reading
Plenty of value in its own way, but you spend the rest of your week thinking about what you could’ve watched instead.
4. Cody Zeller – Charlotte Bobcats
An athletic 7-footer who can run the floor.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: The 40 Year Old Virgin
Really dynamic in unexpected ways. Don’t be fooled by how big and gawky it is.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: Drillbit Taylor
Just big and gawky.
5. Alex Len – Phoenix Suns
Young Ukranian center who brings a lot of upside out of Maryland.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: The Muppets
Utilizes undeniable star-power and a penchant for getting others involved to reimagine a role considered long dead.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: Elf
A giant white dude looking out of place.
6. Nerlens Noel – New Orleans Pelicans (Traded to the Philadelphia 76ers)
A lanky, athletic 7-footer out of Kentucky, coming off a nasty ACL injury.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: Tropic Thunder
Certainly not known for its nuance, but has just enough workable talent to keep us committed, and finishes as well as anything else you’ll see.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: Funny People
Yeah it’s long, but it’s also inconsistent, wafer-thin, and woefully insubstantial. The distinct whiff of entitlement doesn’t help either.
7. Ben McLemore – Sacremento Kings
A shooting guard from Kansas who thrives in transition.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: Anchorman
A powerful, self-contained force that excels at going for the big gag effectively and compulsively.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: Semi-Pro
Same reckless confidence, but with a lot more cringing.
8. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – Detroit Pistons
A solid jack-of-all-trades shooting guard with a sweet jump shot.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: Wedding Crashers
Nothing particularly game-changing, but equipped with a skillset that will make your day better in the simplest of ways.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: Norbit
Mostly just remembered for its name.
9. Trey Burke – Minnesota Timberwolves (Traded to the Utah Jazz)
The dynamic point guard you saw lead Michigan to the NCAA National Championship game.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: Bridesmaids
The rare breed who’s comfortable in being the headliner, with the ability to maximize all the surrounding talent.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: Scary Movie 4
It was a lot more exciting when you were in college.
10. C.J. McCollum – Portland Trail Blazers
Affable sharp-shooting point guard from a tiny Lehigh University.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: Little Miss Sunshine
The little engine that could. Gathers increasing indie-buzz as its name powers through the biz, and eventually lands among the best the world has to offer.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist
Still powers its way through the biz, but in a misleading, completely useless kind of way.
11. Michael Carter-Williams – Philadelphia 76ers’
Athletic guard from Syracuse with a knack for getting to the rim.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle
Yeah it might look a little rough and immature, but give it enough time and it develops into a minor classic.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: The Animal
Nope, will always be rough and immature.
12. Steven Adams – Oklahoma City Thunder
7-footer from New Zealand with high upside.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: A Hypothetical Flight of the Concords Movie
Though quirky and off-beat, worms its way into American hearts with subtly effective technique.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: A Hypothetical Flight of the Concords Movie That Never Gets off the Ground
We knew it was a longshot, but it’s still disappointing.
13. Kelly Olynyk – Dallas Mavericks (Traded to the Boston Celtics)
A big tall Canadian dude out of Gonzaga with ridiculous hair.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: Zoolander
Wild, funny, energetic, and only gets better with age.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: White Chicks
Completely unmemorable outside of the hair, but at least that was pretty good.
14. Shabazz Muhammad – Utah Jazz (Traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves)
A shooting guard/small forward from UCLA who can shoot all day and night.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie
Sure, some of the things about it might be a tad troubling, but it still does one thing well enough that you’re able to forgive the rest.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: Pauly Shore is Dead
Continues to tumble down an endless stream of vanity until it’s consumed whole.