|Probably best to just move.|Sim Bhullar
, New Mexico State, Sophomore, 7'5 355lbs2013/14 stats:
26.3 mpg, 10.4 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 3.4 bpg, 1.4 apg, 0.1 spg, 2.8 fpg, 2.1 TOpg, 64.8% FG, 53.8% FT
Bhullar is the biggest player on this list, and it is not especially close. Alex Kirk is probably the closest to him, yet Alex Kirk, as large as he is, is four inches and about 100lbs lighter than Bhullar. Bhullar's size is spoken about with such inevitability and reverence because it the most noticeable thing about not just him, but about any player he is up against, about quite how small they are in his shadow. And it is also the first and only thing spoken about his game because his size absolutely defines his game, both positively and negatively.
Being so bloody massive automatically brings conditioning concerns, a big concern for Bhullar. He has not helped himself in the past with a supposedly rather unmotivated approach to his conditioning, yet even as a sophomore, when he looked slightly trimmer and received some fluff pieces documenting his better eating and training habits, he still struggled to play big minutes against front courts he should otherwise be dominating. The size also greatly inhibits him when he does play. Bhullar is not completely immobile in the way that other giants - say, Sun Ming Ming - have been in the past, but he cannot jump, struggles to change direction quickly, and fatigues easily. He is not a complete stiff, but he's pretty stiff. (And to be blunt, he's fat. Although given that it probably hurts like hell to run, this is understandable.)
This, up to a point, is fine. Dominant size is dominant size, and Bhullar's size is dominant at every level, even the very highest. He is a defensive wall without needing to be a skilled defender to do it - slashers are afraid to take it at him because they know it will hurt if they do. On offense, size is just as useful - he cannot be pushed away from the rim should he get there. It's all so very simple, but it's effective - on one end he seals off position and can always be thrown over the top to, whilst on the other, he need not move to be an obstacle.
What the size does not negate, however, is a lack of skill. There's a lot of things Bhullar cannot do, and those that he can all need work. Bhullar cannot run the court, shoot jumpers, shoot foul shots, rebound, defend the perimeter even slightly, leave the paint, or stop fouling. He doesn't even have all that toned of size, still a bit fat and still not as strong in the stance as he need be. The fouling is prolific and often of the needless touch foul variety, and while Bhullar's size and fatiguing mean he is never going to a big minutes player anyway, he cannot just spend his all time fouling, otherwise he is no help at all. And against perimeter orientated bigs, he is already is no help at all. While Bhullar's sheer size makes players feel as though they have to shoot jumpshots, there is also nothing he can do to hinder or prevent them.
Moreover, for all his size, Bhullar is not the best rebounder. He cannot rebound outside of his area - his area is big, of course, but he is far too slow to effectively pursue the ball. If it comes his way, he can reach over everyone else, but if it doesn't, he can only stand there.
This is, however, some offensive effectiveness there, if not a great deal of skill being developed. Bhullar has big and fairly soft hands, and can of course catch and shoot over anyone. If doubled, he is not bad at passing back out to the perimeter, better than would be expected from someone so raw in other areas. He has little in the way of post moves, not creating any space, and pretty much just catching the ball and going up to shoot. It works, though. Bhullar does not bend his knees on foul shots, is not even used all that much in screen action because he takes so long to set them (and cannot exactly set them by surprise), doesn't read defenses well, and doesn't even finish through contact especially well, contorting his body awkwardly rather than using the power he so obviously yes. And yet somehow, it works for him. A bit.
As a player, Bhullar isn't ready. He isn't especially close to being ready. And he may never be. But he has declared anyway, because time is short. Whoever acquires Bhullar acquires a player needing a lot of long term development but who might not realistically have the time to commit it to him. He needs nurture on both his skills and his body of the highest calibre, and plenty of patience. And yet he is not good enough for the NBA, which would be his best chance of getting such. Time with a D-League franchise with a close affiliation to his parent club makes plenty of sense on paper, but with a shortened career window, can Bhullar afford to ever play for so little?