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Thread: Tbird 2017 NBA Draft Analysis #9: Ike Anigbogu

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    Default Tbird 2017 NBA Draft Analysis #9: Ike Anigbogu

    The beat goes on here as we get near 100 hours left until draft night 2017. The 9th profile in this year’s rundown is of Ike (pronounced “Eee-kay”) Anigbogu from UCLA, via Corona California and Nigeria. In previous editions this year, we have analyzed Bam Adebayo, T.J. Leaf, Semi Ojeleye, OG Anunoby, Luke Kennard, Derrick White, John Collins, and Donovan Mitchell….prospects all who should be drafted somewhere in the neighborhood of our current first pick as I type this of #18. You can find all of those articles elsewhere on Pacersdigest.com, and with some searching you can find profiles from previous drafts as well.



    One of the youngest draft profiles I have ever done, Anigbogu will not turn 19 until October 22 of this year, right before the season begins. The son of Chris and Veronica therefore offers a certain amount of uncertainty into what he might eventually turn into, and there isn’t a ton of tape available on him either, as he played less than 400 college minutes in his single year in Westwood, playing for Indiana natives Steve Alford and Ed Schilling. In limited action for the Bruins, Anigbogu put up rather pedestrian numbers of 4.7ppg, 4.0 rpg, and shot just 53.5% from the foul line. Still, his body, intelligence, (he was a brilliant student, among the very best in this draft, at a young age), and youth all make him someone you can dream on for his future.

    Anigbogu measured in at the NBA combine at 6’9 ¾, but has a mammoth wingspan of 7’6 ¼, with a no step vertical of 29.5 and a max vertical of 32.5. Having been an athletic freak from a young age, his game is still clearly catching up to his body. Most young bigs will need to add strength to be able to play, but at a chiseled 252lbs with big calves and very low body fat, Anigbogu is, on paper, right out of central casting for what the next generation of NBA bigs will look like.



    Let’s discuss the pros and cons to Christopher Ike Anigbogu.

    I am going to go out of order for my norms and talk about some negatives first. Everyone thing I talk about here has to be thought about what I see Anigbogu as RIGHT NOW. Let me tell you, Anigbogu has much more variance to his potential outcomes than most kids due to his extremely young age, lack of experience, previous injuries, and raw game. You couldn’t be more raw than Anigbogu is right now…..if you compare him to a New York Strip, he’d be so raw that he’d crawl off your plate when you tried to cut it...that’s how raw he is.

    First and foremost, I would be worried about his medicals. Preliminary research shows that he had some knee issues in high school, had a torn meniscus and arthroscopic surgery in October (missing 5 games early this year), missed another game with “lingering knee pain”, and missed an NCAA tournament game with a foot sprain. Not worried about the foot really, but a history of knee issues is scary for me, and has to be examined carefully by the Pacers medical staff. He has even missed workouts with some of the NBA teams due to knee pain, so major red flags are waving for me here. Buyer beware.

    Assuming he passes your medical, then you have to really be committed to a long term developmental program for him, because in my judgment, Anigbogu is a long way away from being able to step on an NBA floor with any success. Fran Fraschilla’s famous line about being “2 years away from being 2 years away” might be a little extreme for him, but not by much in my view.

    At the moment, Anigbogu is EXTREMELY limited offensively. His footwork is messy, sloppy, and it doesn’t appear that he knows much of anything about how to play with his back to the basket. He has a rudimentary jump hook, but no face up game, no turnaround jumper, and no ability to pass out of the post at all...he is a non entity as a passer, with just 6 assists recorded all season long. Any double team just turns him over at this point, and UCLA knew that, so they rarely threw it to him on the block. Even in workouts against folding chairs and air, he doesn’t look good to me, as everything he does is mechanical and awkward. I don’t think he has naturally quick feet, and he definitely hasn’t been taught anything advanced in his post game. It’s all at a high school level at best. He doesn’t have that advanced skill of getting a foot between the defenders feet, so he can gain leverage. When he makes a move, he is just guessing, and doesn’t seem to feel the defense on his hip/back.

    His shot form in games, on the few token jumpers he took, looked stiff and unrepeatable. I will grant you that in some workout video I have seen it has looked marginally better, and at just 18, he has plenty of room to grow and groove a jumper. He has the ability and work ethic to do that…..but it is a long way away I think.




    While he has a big catch radius for lobs, he doesn’t have very good hands yet. You see alot of fumbles by Anigbogu, at least a couple in every film you see. Furthermore, he has had really bad hands throughout his career on the summer circuit and in high school from what I have studied there, so it isn’t a new problem. Not saying it is permanent, but hours of good old fundamental hand eye and ballhandling/passing drills remain in his future.




    What he can do offensively is provide you energy in specific ways. He can run the floor well, and he plays extremely hard. I thought he was a good screener for UCLA, especially when they ran Bryce Alford off baseline screens in their 2 out 3 under motion. Ike can be an offensive rebound/tip in/keep balls alive guy, as he crashes hard to the glass and has much better than average reach. I don’t think he is a above the rim guy long term though, as he isn’t super high flying now and, as mentioned above, he already has some lingering doubts about his knees. Plus, I do think he is a bit heavy legged and big framed. I think he ends up being fairly ground bound in time. But for now he hustles, keeps balls alive, is very strong in his trunk so he blocks out well, and he has a quicker than you’d think second jump. He already is and projects to be in the future an above average rebounder.

    What you think of Anigbogu really comes down to this: “how much upside does he have, can we get it out of him, and can he be a future defensive anchor for us?” No question, defense is where the team that drafts him believes he can make a difference as a potential elite rim protector.

    “Potential”.....a word all coaches hate. For now, Anigbogu can’t play effective defense against anyone competent. He flails away for shot blocks, therefore falling for every fake and fouling a ton. While he has elite reaction and recovery skills, he is out of position constantly in their man to man, playing too low to the ball and not being in the proper place in their helpside schemes. Off the ball screens confuse him greatly, as he doesn’t really understand what is going on around him….he doesn’t hedge, doesn’t bump cutters, allows flash cuts, lets people seal him, really just is bad all the way around. Only his mammoth leap and natural athleticism help him, as he does block shots occasionally, and his very presence provides a deterrent. Even with his “supposed” strength as a shotblocker though, I have to provide a word of caution, in that he tends to only block shots with his right hand, and not both hands as preferred by me. Because of that he has to turn his body around sometimes, which lets players get shots off around him you wouldn’t think they could.

    Still, you can squint your eyes and stare into the distance, and see him becoming a strong NBA post defender. He definitely is strong enough even at age 18 to hold his ground in the post, and you won’t need to bring double team help his way against anyone I don’t think. He can’t play in a switching system defensively on ballscreens I don’t believe, but if you have a more conservative scheme I think he can hang back, protect the rim well, and close back out on a pick/pop guy well enough to win with eventually. For now though, if you put him in an NBA game, you’d bleed points profusely and he’d foul out of the game in 10 minutes or less.

    He is just very, very inexperienced. His high school coach, Josh Giles, did a great job of coaching him I think after he transferred to Corona High. Unlike most top prospects, Anigbogu’s parents were focused much more on academics than in making sure their son made the NBA. He transferred to Corona to be in their International Baccalaureate Program, not to play basketball. That was just a happy coincidence for Coach Giles, who had him be his cadet teacher in high school P.E. class, just so he could get extra time in the gymnasium. Anigbogu is extremely intelligent and well spoken, and I am sure he is interviewing well with teams.



    So, what do we have in Ike Anigbogu?

    To me, we have a major project with moderate upside. I think his future role is really only one thing: an energy 5 man who has to play in a conservative defensive system, and who really needs to play in a spread pick/roll system as a dive man only. To get to that point, he will need to overcome some medical red flags waving brightly in the air, and he will need years of slow and steady development. Whoever gets him this year better not be counting on him at all in 2017/18, and he will be better served to spend his year in the G-League just learning how to play. His age is his in his favor, and so is his NBA ready body, extreme length, and high IQ and character.
    But you are going to have to let him marinate a long time before he helps you. If you can wait, fine. If you need someone to contribute this year, it isn’t going to be Anigbogu in my opinion.

    To me, this is the kind of player who ends up playing sparingly for you, then getting huge speculative money from someone else after you’ve developed him from almost scratch. You’d rather be the second team who ends up with him more than the first, who gets very little return on your investment.

    His rawness, medical risks, and incompatibility with Myles Turner in my opinion make him an easy pass for me, despite the fact that he has worked out for us, and is a favorite of some in the Indy media. I think he has a chance to make it and be a reasonably good NBA center, but I’d go another direction.

    To me, the obvious fits for him are Houston, where he could eventually replace Clint Kapela in theory…..except they don’t pick until #43. I could see them buying in late to get him though, maybe with the Blazers. Brooklyn also makes sense, where they are terrible and could afford to bring him along slowly, plus they have multiple picks this year. San Antonio, for him, would be a great place to learn and develop slowly in their system just for his overall development as a long term project. At the end of the day, I think Brooklyn is the most likely scenario, so I’ll give him to the Nets at pick # 22.



    NBA comparable: Festus Ezeli, with a Bismack Biyombo ceiling. Ezeli I think is more likely based on his build and body type.

    As always, the above is just my opinion. Lots of things in the writing pipeline this week, so stay tuned…..

    Tbird


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    Formerly PacerFanInAZ Cactus Jax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tbird 2017 NBA Draft Analysis #9: Ike Anigbogu

    Easy pass, especially with the PG news now.
    "It's just unfortunate that we've been penalized so much this year and nothing has happened to the Pistons, the Palace or the city of Detroit," he said. "It's almost like it's always our fault. The league knows it. They should be ashamed of themselves to let the security be as lax as it is around here."

    ----------------- Reggie Miller

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    Default Re: Tbird 2017 NBA Draft Analysis #9: Ike Anigbogu

    So how come he left school so early? Seems like the type that would value a college education.

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    #Biggie4NPOY Heisenberg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tbird 2017 NBA Draft Analysis #9: Ike Anigbogu

    Quote Originally Posted by Strummer View Post
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    So how come he left school so early? Seems like the type that would value a college education.
    college isn't going anywhere anytime soon, pro career doesn't work out he can get a degree when he's 27. he can't be a first round pick at 27.

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    Default Re: Tbird 2017 NBA Draft Analysis #9: Ike Anigbogu

    Under the current CBA, I'd NEVER take a prospect who will not be expected to produce during his cost-controlled 1st four years. The advances in having draftees is in a value they give while being underpaid. The era of drafting projects is gone. So, no thnaks for Anigbogu and (while not yet analyzed) same goes for Justin Patton.

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    Default Re: Tbird 2017 NBA Draft Analysis #9: Ike Anigbogu

    Quote Originally Posted by PetPaima View Post
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    Under the current CBA, I'd NEVER take a prospect who will not be expected to produce during his cost-controlled 1st four years. The advances in having draftees is in a value they give while being underpaid. The era of drafting projects is gone. So, no thnaks for Anigbogu and (while not yet analyzed) same goes for Justin Patton.
    I agree, with one exception. If the draftee is a top 20 type player, when he finally learns how to play, then you go ahead and draft him. That way you will get some value for your time spent teaching the guy how to play. But absent that, which is the case here, drafting a project is a waste. I also would pass on Anigbogu. In spite of his physical talent.

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    The Dude Abides pizza guy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tbird 2017 NBA Draft Analysis #9: Ike Anigbogu

    I had been high on Ike's potential, but I was not aware of those medical issues. Unfortunate because I was much more sold on his potential to develop than Tbird seems to be here, but given the state of our team, we need our draft picks to work out right away. Taking a guy who may bust because of a known injury problem is just not wise in our position.
    It's a new day for Pacers Basketball.

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    Default Re: Tbird 2017 NBA Draft Analysis #9: Ike Anigbogu

    I wouldn't hate this pick, but would be disappointed. I don't mind the medical concerns especially since pick 18 is where you take risks anyway.

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    Member PetPaima's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tbird 2017 NBA Draft Analysis #9: Ike Anigbogu

    Quote Originally Posted by xIndyFan View Post
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    I agree, with one exception. If the draftee is a top 20 type player, when he finally learns how to play, then you go ahead and draft him. That way you will get some value for your time spent teaching the guy how to play. But absent that, which is the case here, drafting a project is a waste. I also would pass on Anigbogu. In spite of his physical talent.
    Too little of guarantee that such a project will be yours when he learns how to play. Drafting team only gets 4 guaranteed years - if a player has not seen a court during those (or even if he starts to see the court on 4th year) - it is more than likely he will sign his first non-rookie contract with some other team. That makes you the teacher, but not the one who benefits.

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    Default Re: Tbird 2017 NBA Draft Analysis #9: Ike Anigbogu

    Thunderbird, are you going to evaluate Caleb Swanigan?
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    Default Re: Tbird 2017 NBA Draft Analysis #9: Ike Anigbogu

    Quote Originally Posted by owl View Post
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    Thunderbird, are you going to evaluate Caleb Swanigan?

    YES YES, please do!!!!

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    Default Re: Tbird 2017 NBA Draft Analysis #9: Ike Anigbogu

    Bump

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    Default Re: Tbird 2017 NBA Draft Analysis #9: Ike Anigbogu

    Quote Originally Posted by PetPaima View Post
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    Too little of guarantee that such a project will be yours when he learns how to play. Drafting team only gets 4 guaranteed years - if a player has not seen a court during those (or even if he starts to see the court on 4th year) - it is more than likely he will sign his first non-rookie contract with some other team. That makes you the teacher, but not the one who benefits.
    Given this Team's penchant for developing Players by sitting them on a bench at a game and the requirement that Ike needs to develop the right way.....I'm guessing that Ike won't develop the way that he has to in order to contribute before his rookie contract expires.
    Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.

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    Default Re: Tbird 2017 NBA Draft Analysis #9: Ike Anigbogu

    Interesting review especially after the draft. Getting him so late in the second round seems like a good spot to reach out for a player with potential.

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