Posted On: 07/2/20 8:00 AM

One of my favorite aspects of the NBA is the Draft and how the style of play affects lineups and player archetypes. The 2020 NBA Draft would’ve been about 2 weeks ago. So I decided to use the c/o 2021 from the Philadelphia area to construct  two modern NBA lineups. As a handicap, I omitted the state’s top two rising seniors – Franck KepnangFranckKepnang6'10" | CWesttown School | 2021State#13NationPA and Jalen WarleyJalenWarley6'4" | CGWesttown School | 2021State#23NationPA – in an effort to speak on a couple less-heralded prospects. I’ll be sure to write about them in the near future.

Lineup #1

PG – Jaylen StinsonJaylenStinson6'1" | PGArchbishop Wood | 2021StatePA 6’1 – Archbishop Wood/ Team Final

CG – Nisine PoplarNisinePoplar6'4" | CGMath, Civics & Science | 2021State#175NationPA 6’4 – Math, Civics & Science/ K-Low Elite

Wing – Ed HollandEdHolland6'5" | SFFriend's Central | 2021StatePA 6’6 – Friends Central/ Philly Pride

Wing – Gabe DorseyGabeDorsey6'6" | SFThe Hill School | 2021State#146NationPA 6’6 – Hill School/ Team Durant

Stretch Big – Anquan HillAnquanHill6'8" | PFArchbishop Carroll | 2021StatePA 6’8 – Archbishop Carroll/ K-Low Elite

This five truly reflects the league’s premium on spacing and everyone in this line up can certainly do that. Poplar, better known as “Wooga,” would be the primary offensive threat. One of the Philly’s most explosive prospects, Wooga consistently tilts the defense and finishes at the rim. When he can’t get in the lane he can create space for his own shot, find cutters and hit open shooters.

Stinson has proven with his high school and club teams that he can fit in beside other talented ball-handlers. Jaylen can create his own shot and spot up, so he can play on-ball and off-ball. His physical strength makes him difficult to push off his spots when driving and a tough defender. Jaylen is a jack-of-all trades as a guard.

Though he’s the primary option for his high school, Ed projects as a 3&D wing. But as a result of playing on-ball, he’s a really good ball-mover. Between his shot-making and defensive prowess, Holland can be a low-usage player who impacts the game without ever having to put the ball on the floor.

Gabe is one of the area’s more technically sound players. He’s mostly a 3&D player but his feel for the game, IQ and comfort with the ball in his hand hint at his potential to play more on-the-ball. His developed body gives him the versatility to defend on the perimeter and in the post some. 

Today’s game is decreasing the usefulness of plotting bigs, so Anquan’s package of skills makes him valuable in the modern NBA. He stretches the floor vertically as rim-runner and lob-threat. Due to his improving 3-pointer, a team won’t have to worry about him clogging the lane. And he can’t be played off the floor defensively because he can guard positions 3-5.

Lineup #2

PG – Rahsool DigginsRahsoolDiggins6'2" | PGArchbishop Wood | 2021State#62NationPA 6’2 – Archbishop Wood/ Team Final

SG – Jordan LonginoJordanLongino6'5" | CGGermantown Academy | 2021State#52NationPA 6’5 – Germantown Academy

Wing – John CamdenJohnCamden6'7" | SGArchbishop Carroll | 2021State#92NationPA 6’7 – Archbishop Carroll/ Team Final

PF – Philip ByrielPhilipByriel6'10" | PFPerkiomen | 2021StatePA 6’10 – Perkiomen School

C – Sam Ayomide OnuSamAyomide Onu6'11" | CThe Phelps School | 2021State#186NationPA 6’11 – Phelps School/ Team Durant

Not every NBA team is willing to sacrifice size for the sake of shooting the volume of 3s that analytics suggest. Sam has some old school offensive flavor to his game. He wants to play big and bang in the post, which I love. So his will and skill down there warrant him getting paint-touches. He’s slowly being expanding his shooting range too. Defensively, he protects the rim and can do some things again pick & roll.

Philip is a classic stretch 4, who fits well next to Onu. His defense is a work in progress yet makes up for it with his floor-spacing. The Perkiomen big lives on the perimeter but attacks close-outs and gets the ball to slashing wings. He’s comfortable with the ball that he can potentially be used in dribble hand-offs (DHO). 

Camden is another elite shooter that gets to his spots with ease and he has a ton of them. He can finish at the rim a little, but he doesn’t do it much. So be won’t clog the lane for anyone else. John has the physical tools to defend at the point of attack and be a quality team defender. 

The fourth member of this lineup is another top floor spacer. Longino spots up and shoots off of movement. His most important skill is his pull-up jumper. This ability opens the floor for other areas of his game and his teammates to get easy looks. Jordan’s built like a tank with 4-wheel drive so he’s a plus defender too.

Holding the keys to this squad is Sool Diggins. Quicker than fast, Diggins would pressure the rim, creating space for everyone else. And because Sool can get to and finish at the rim whenever he wants, he’s able to think the game at a pace beyond his opponents, making everyone better. Don’t sleep though; Diggins is an incredible shot-maker and team defender.

There are a few others who could have been in these lineups. That’s no doubt. I wanted to discuss prospects I haven’t written about yet. If you have your own ideas on Philly Starting 5s, lets talk about it on twitter @cgraham_sports.I want to know what you think. Maybe I’ll do another one of these.