It has been a while since we checked in on the Development Power Rankings. Here’s where I ranked them in the last article (about a quarter of the way through the season) and frankly, I haven’t seen anything that changes this order:
- Grant Williams
- Romeo Langford
- Payton Pritchard
- Aaron Nesmith
- Bruno Fernand
- (2-way) Sam Hauser & Broderic Thomas
- (overseas) Yam Madar & Juhann Begarin
Theoretically, you could quibble about how you rank Langford and Pritchard, but frankly, neither appears to be a big part of Ime’s rotation. So, until either of them (or Nesmith) separates themselves from the pack more, I’m not sure if it matters how I rank them.
I thought I’d do something different this time. Let’s talk about trade value. ‘Tis the season after all. At some point, this team will either need to lean into a younger roster or package a few guys together to upgrade the top end talent. So, do any of these guys have significant trade value?
Well, no. But that would make a boring column, so I’ll elaborate just a bit more.
Grant Williams has established himself as a contributor in the rotation. Some (like me) would argue that he deserves a shot at a long-term starting position on this team. His shooting has been streaky over the course of his career, but this year appears to represent a big step forward. He has stepped up his defense and has gotten back to making heady plays.
With all that said, his best case projection is that of a solid veteran role player. A valuable player that would fit on just about any team, but not a guy you build a blockbuster trade around.
Romeo Langford is a good enough defensive player who has shown some ability to hit corner three pointers and aggressively cut into the lane. To this point, he hasn’t shown himself to be a creative scorer or distributor.
It feels like Romeo could top out as a 3-and-D wing. Those have become increasingly valuable in today’s NBA, but he’s going to have to develop consistency in both the 3 and the D to generate any trade value.
Payton Pritchard on the other hand has an established 3 point shot with legit range a few feet beyond the arc. He also has reliable handles and gritty attitude that doesn’t back down from anyone. Unfortunately, he’s just not big enough to be much more than a defensive pest.
I think he should have a long, productive career as a backup point guard in this league. Combine that with his shooting ability and he might be the most valuable trade asset on this list.
Aaron Nesmith also has the shooting chops to attract attention as a trade option. At least in theory. He hasn’t shot well this year, but he’s also played so few minutes that I don’t think he’s out of the “small sample size” caveat yet. He just needs more run on the court to prove that he’s more than a one trick pony. The good news is that in limited minutes he has brought the energy and effort (if not always well thought out energy and effort).
Given enough time, I think he’ll find his rhythm and stroke and provide enough elsewhere on the court. Again, if you can shoot the ball and hold your own on defense, there’s going to be a role for you in this NBA.
Bottom Line: If you were simply looking to move one of these guys in a vacuum, I doubt you would get more than a 2nd rounder for any of them.
I see them more as sweeteners (or perhaps fillers) in a larger trade with multiple pieces moving. Williams and Pritchard would probably be the ones teams would prefer to include. Nesmith would probably have the edge on Romeo if only for the promise of potential shooting.
Will any of them be moved in a trade before the deadline next month? Who do you think has the highest ceiling (and therefore the biggest “why did we let him go?” potential)?