ESPN Insider's Chad Ford and Kevin Pelton return to provide the kind of discussions that are happening in front offices around the NBA -- where scouts and statistical experts are breaking down NBA draft prospects using their "eyes, ears and numbers."
Question: Does Myles Turner deserve consideration as a top-5 pick in the 2015 draft?
Kevin Pelton: The last two weeks, we've talked about the consensus top-2 big men prospects in college basketball, Jahlil Okafor and Karl-Anthony Towns. As I mentioned last week, however, another freshman post player ranks ahead of both of them in my WARP projections: Myles Turner of the Texas Longhorns. Per 40 minutes, Turner is averaging 20.9 points, 12.0 rebounds and 4.9 blocks. He's shown college 3-point range, making 13 triples at a 35.1 percent clip. And Turner won't turn 19 until midway through the NCAA tournament. So, Chad, should teams consider him in the same echelon as Okafor and Towns?
Chad Ford: He's a pretty polarizing player among scouts. Some absolutely love him and see him as a contender for a top-5 pick. Others are very wary. The upside is clearly there -- he's an athletic 7-footer who can stretch the floor, rebound and protect the rim. Those guys don't come along every day. But Turner has been inconsistent, especially against elite teams, and so many scouts can't get over the awkward way that he runs the floor -- sort of like an old man with two bad knees playing pickup ball at the YMCA.
Pelton: Performance against elite teams is an understandable concern. Turner has been a different player against better opponents. Here's how his performance breaks down by opponents ranked in the top 100 by KenPom.com, and all others.