RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Cole AldrichPosted by nvr1983 on June 21st, 2010
Over the course of the next month until the NBA Draft on June 24, RTC will be rolling out comprehensive profiles of the 30-35 collegians we feel have the best chance to hear their names called by David Stern in the first round that night. There won’t be any particular order to the list, but you can scroll back through all the finished profiles by clicking here.
Player Name: Cole Aldrich
Height/Weight: 6’10”, 236 lbs
NBA Position: Center
Projected Draft Position: Mid- to Late Lottery
Overview: We have discussed our reservations about Aldrich before namely that although he was productive he never dominated games the way we would have liked him to do during his time at Kansas. We usually say that you should look beyond the numbers, but in Aldrich’s case we think the numbers tell you a lot about his game. As a sophomore Aldrich averaged 14.9 PPG (on 59.8% FG), 11.1 RPG, and 2.7 BPG, but as a junior averaged 11.3 PPG (on 56.2% FG), 9.8 RPG, and 3.5 BPG. Some might argue that is due to more limited touches, but his 40-minute numbers are down across the board except for his BPG. What is even more concerning is the drop in his free throw shooting–down from an extremely solid 79% as a sophomore to a more mediocre 68% last year. Having said that as his BPG and efficiency numbers indicate Aldrich is a player who can contribute even if he will never dominate a game (didn’t have a single game where he scored 20 points or more last year).
Will Translate to the NBA: A solid role player. I haven’t really seen any site/pundit claim that Aldrich will morph into a superstar even at the start of last season when some considered him a top 5 pick. Now with one more year of playing time allowing scouts and opposing coaches to dissect his game more thoroughly he is no longer a potential top 5 pick, but more where you would expect someone who with his limited upside. Before the Kansas fans pile on to the comment section let’s be clear on one thing: Aldrich could become a good NBA player. We just don’t think he has a legitimate chance of becoming someone you can build your franchise around (or even a national title contender as Jayhawk fans are all too aware after the Northern Iowa game). Aldrich is the type of guy who could average 10 PPG, 8 RPG, and 2 BPG in the right situation, but we can’t see him doing much more than that.
Needs Work: Like we said before we sometimes wonder about Aldrich’s motor. While that might seem like an insult to some (“questioning his heart”) we often watch Aldrich and wonder what he could be if he wanted to dominate games. Aldrich will never be Kevin McHale or Hakeem Olajuwon in the post, but his game is fairly limited in terms of post moves and with a bit more work he could become a much more effective post player. If he develops a solid post game to complement his already solid defense and rebounding Aldrich could stick around the league for a while.
Comparison Players: Unfortunately this is where it starts to get ugly. The names you most often hear thrown around are Brendan Haywood, Joel Przybilla, and Eric Montross. None of those names is what you would call enticing for NBA GMs with a top 10 pick, but given the lack of depth into terms of sure things in the draft and the absence of another top-flight true center Aldrich might slip into the top 10.
Best Case Scenario: Like we said before Aldrich could turn into a very solid back-up center or a decent starter on a good team that doesn’t rely on its center to have a great inside game. Ideally Aldrich would find a home on a team with a dominant power forward and Aldrich could feed off the easy looks while holding down the fort on the defensive end. If that happens Aldrich could contribute to a contending team, but once again he would be a complimentary player rather than the guy opposing teams prep for when his team comes into town.
2013 Projection: Aldrich could hit his peak earlier than most players as we think his game is pretty well-developed for where we think it is going to be. After 3 years in the NBA we would expect to see Aldrich averaging just about his peak numbers (10 PPG, 8 RPG, and 2 BPG) with an early plateau. In the right situation Aldrich could be starting on a solid team and his teammates will love playing with him as they will appreciate his toughness (see his long-standing dental issues).
Best NBA Fit: Fortunately for Aldrich the teams picking in the #8, 9, and 11 spots could work out well for him as they all have some big selling points: LA Clippers (playing alongside Blake Griffin; could replace Chris Kaman); Utah Jazz (might play alongside Carlos Boozer and/or Mehmet Okur while getting passes from Deron Williams); and New Orleans Hornets (getting passes from Chris Paul). Honestly if I’m in the Aldrich household (or represent him) I would be satisfied with any of those destinations.