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In looking at NBA sophomore class, ESPN offers praise for Nets’ Jarrett Allen

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Brooklyn Nets v Denver Nuggets Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

It’s not quite a “redraft” of the 2017 NBA Draft, but Mike Schmitz and Kevin Pelton of ESPN broke down the league’s sophomore class by “star potential” and both liked where Jarrett Allen is and where he’s headed. Schmitz, in fact, ranked Allen, taken at No. 22 by the Nets, as the player with the eighth best chance for stardom.

Schmitz writes in the ESPN Insider feature...

Allen is here thanks to his agility, length, soft hands, touch and potential as a rim protector, ranking 37th overall in ESPN’s defensive real plus-minus. Though the value of centers is certainly trending in the wrong direction, Allen’s ability to change shots around the rim and space the floor vertically makes him valuable in today’s game at the ripe age of 20. The Nets rookie has also shown flashes as a passer and corner-3 shooter, which would go a long way toward modernizing his offensive game.

Schmitz’s top five included Jayson Tatum, Donovan Mitchell, De’Aaron Fox, Lonzo Ball, and Lauri Markanen. The two others Schmitz ranked above Allen are Kyle Kuzma and Markelle Fultz, the latter two taken with picks at one point owned by the Nets.

Pelton doesn’t have Allen in his top 10, but notes that he considered him before putting two other bigs, John Collins and OG Anunoby, on his list. Pelton also didn’t rank Fultz, the overall No. 1 pick, at all.

Allen is averaging 12.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks so far this season. The Nets took him with a pick acquired in a February 2017 salary dump with the Wizards. The Nets traded Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough, both expiring deals, to Washington for the 22nd pick, another expiring in Marcus Thornton and Andrew Nicholson, who was owed $19.9 million over three. Bogdanovic is the only player still in the league.