2019 Prediction Contest Winner
I'm higher on him than that. I was critical of him because he was passive in a couple games this year against UNC. But you remember when people used to say, "Man, Ben Simmons, if that guy ever develops a jump shot, he's going to be like a top-5 MVP candidate." I'm close to there on Paolo. Not quite, but close. His ceiling could be a top-5 MVP candidate. I think he's better than on-the-ball-Blake. He's more fluid, and he's a better shooter for sure.
The only question is how valuable this player-type is. He's going to be just a beast in the post.
I can see people choosing Jabari Smith #1. It's simple. The guy can just raise up and drill 3pt jumpers like the defender isn't even there. Plus, he's a defensive presence and he's got potential to develop an in-between game. The issue is that at the end of the day, you want your franchise player to be an unstoppable offensive force. Paolo can do an awful lot offensively, and he can create it all for himself. You can just give him the ball and tell the other team--okay, try and stop this. So much of the game these days is scoring in isolation or driving and kicking out to shooters. I can see Paolo being really, really strong at both of those things.
This was my take on Paolo last year. I thought he should go #1.