Zavier Simpson has Michigan playing gritty and pretty

Enjoyed this article. These two parts stuck out for me:

“Simpson? He gives this self-scouting report: ‘I’m not quick enough, I’m not fast enough. My finishes are above average. My shooting is average. My ballhandling is average. My court vision is above average. Strength is definitely there. But overall I feel I’m pretty average.’”

“Beilein, 64, has a reputation for being as orderly as the silverware he places in the dishwasher—he has been to known to demonstrate the proper technique to his family—and as clean the dishes he pulls out. (When his wife, Kathleen, wanted him to autograph a basketball for his own doctor, Beilein made her go through the university’s compliance office.)”

The last part on Beilein there is unsurprising, but made me laugh.

Do we agree with this?

At least five Wolverines have a better chance at an NBA career than Simpson does. Sophomore 6’5" shooting guard Jordan Poole, who sank a buzzer-beater to oust Houston in the second round of the 2018 NCAA tournament, could play himself into a first-round pick. Freshman Ignas Brazdeikis, the team’s leading scorer at 14.5 points per game, has the body (6’7", 215 pounds) and skill set of a 25-year-old. Junior Charles Matthews has NBA athleticism and defensive ability at 6’6", though not an NBA shooting stroke. Jon Teske, a 7’1" center, would have been a first-rounder a generation ago; even in this small-ball era, he may get drafted. Sophomore Isaiah Livers is a tantalizing talent at forward.

Buy or sell five players on Michigan’s roster with better NBA chances?

I’ve also mentioned that I don’t get the “generation ago” thing with Teske. I think he’s a better fit for modern basketball than some prehistoric era of post play.


I buy on those five having better NBA chances, yup. I also agree with you on Teske – he is definitely a better fit for modern basketball than that of a “generation” ago.


Considering I think Simpson has 0.1% chance at the NBA, yeah I’d take all 5 of those, plus Johns and Castleton.


Simpson has a 0.1% chance because he’s small and can’t shoot? What if he shoots 40% from 3-point range as a senior? Could he not carve out a TJ McConnell type role?

What are the chances he shoots 40% from three as a senior? TJ McConnell is also bigger than X, although I doubt he is the full 6’2 he is listed.

That being said, there is no chance Simpson is 6’0 (as it says on MGoBlue). To be under 6 feet and play, much less succeed, in the NBA, you have to be an elite athlete or an amazing shooter, in my opinion. I don’t think Simpson qualifies for either. I just do not see it, personally.

Edit: apparently McConnell was measured at a true 6’1.5 according to Draft Express.


Chances he carves out a TJ McConnell role? Yeah I’d stick with that being an almost certainty to not happen. Literally .1% may be an exaggeration, but if Zavier ever gets anything other than a 10 day contract in the NBA I’d be flat out shocked. Pumped for him, but completely shocked. A TJ McConnell role (role player on top 10 team) is more than Stauskas and Burke have even achieved.

I agree with everything Eric said

I guess I meant more the role (defense-first pass-first point guard) than the actual team, etc. They are just similar players in a lot of ways to my eye.

Not really trying to tout his NBA chances by any means, but I guess I’m not really sold on Isaiah Livers’ NBA stock being crazy high either.

Beilein said he made some insane number of three from all spots on the court a few days ago in practice, “Duncan Robinson numbers,” I think he said. Ya never know. Would certainly love to think he could make it!

1 Like

I am not high on Livers as a pro, either… but just based on the outline of who he is as a player, he definitively has a better chance, in my opinion.

I am not super high on Teske making it, too, although I do think he has a chance if he can improve the consistency of his jump shot, as that would give him a positive offensive skill at the next level (he has been a very good P&R finisher this season, but not sure how well that will translate against NBA length, if we are being honest). Still, both have a greater chance than Simpson.

1 Like

I’ll buy that with all five, and then potentially Johns and/or Castleton depending on their development. That said, it’s tough to imagine Simpson doesn’t at least get a Summer League look as well.

Or maybe he just goes full-Walton next season and sneaks his way into a roster spot in 2020/21. Who knows?

Am I the only one who thinks Livers has more NBA potential than Teske? At least Livers is a pretty good shooter and is athletic. Teske definitely has the height but he’s not really a good rebounder, isn’t particularly built/strong or particularly fast. Don’t get me wrong, he’s turned himself into a very solid college player but we’ve seen many times that even some stud college players can’t play in the NBA (Mateen Cleaves comes to mind).

For those thinking Teske can play in the NBA, which current NBA player would you compare him to? I’m not seeing it.

1 Like

I don’t think anybody would say that Livers doesn’t have more potential than Teske. But the latter is closer to his at this moment. I view Teske as a high floor, low ceiling NBA prospect. I could definitely see him sticking around the league for a while as a third center due to his ability to alter shots, shoot and defend in space. But he’s never going to be a starter. Teams might be more inclined to take a project at center over him. Whereas with development, Livers could be your prototypical 3&D rotation player in the NBA because he has a good looking shot and can guard multiple positions. But he does have a longer road to reach his ceiling IMO.


Teske’s always reminded me a bit of Meyers Leonard for some reason, although Leonard is a career 38% shooter from the NBA line.

Z nominated for Naismith Defensive POY–Dylan nailed it. “Z-fence! Z-fence! Z-fence!”

I’ve stood next to Simpson. He can’t be any taller than 5’10”.

Also, how many NBA-level PGs has he defended the past two years? White from UNC is one off the top of my head and he had a pretty standard game against X with an O rating of 110.

Matthews has defended well against elite wing prospects like Langford so he has that to show NBA execs. Does Simpson?

Simpson didn’t defend White very much if at all, as I can recall. White isn’t a pg either. Def a shooting guard.

X did a commendable job against Brunson from Villanova.

PG from UCLA, Holiday, was a first round pic of Pacers. X didn’t start that game, I don’t believe, but he bothered the hell out of Holiday late in the game.

I’m not saying this to proclaim X NBA worthy, just answering your question.

He made 82 out of 100 threes while on the move.

1 Like

The most “defensive conference” in the nation has only one nominee?
I guess that means he’s DPOY in B1G now.

1 Like