Well folks. It happened. Whether you like the results or not, Oklahoma City stuck to four rookies, three of them being guards. With the selection of Josh Giddey over the supposedly consensus choice at pick 6 James Bouknight, it is clear that Oklahoma City is still building toward the future instead of drafting a player who can help us win now. However, one of the prospects we drafted was one of my favorite prospects in the whole draft. He’s a guy who can come in and contribute immediately by bringing in such a deep offensive bag. And that player is Mr. Tre Mann, a 6’4″ PG from Florida.
Microwave Offensive Abilities
Tre Mann is not scared to take shots. Averaging 16 points per game over the course of 24 games played with Florida, he is no stranger to being in the spotlight and making buckets in the clutch. Coming off of two seasons played with the Gators, his numbers improve drastically from his freshman season to his sophomore. His amount of minutes played went up from about 17 to 32.4, and his efficiency in each category went up as well. In his freshman season at FU, Mann shot a mere 35.6% from the field, 27.5% from the three, and 65.5% from the free throw line. At the end of this season, Mann shot 46% from the field, 40.2% from the three, and 83.1% from the three point line. And the best part? These stats aren’t empty… they contributed to a winning culture at Florida, as Mann led the squad to a 15-10 record on a squad that simply had no other bright spots other than Mann himself. I fully expect Mann to come off the bench this season and play Dennis Schroder type minutes with Oklahoma City. And even then, with all these Kemba Walker rumors heating up, we very well could see a starting lineup with Mann in it. Providing a scoring punch we need desperately, expect Mann to receive tons of playing time this season.
As far as playmaking abilities go, Mann has all the potential in the world to be one of the best playmakers in this draft, and I mean that. Despite averaging only around 3.5 assists per game, one has to take into account the level of the players he was passing the ball to. The only real scoring threat outside of himself was Scottie Lewis, who was drafted at 57 by the Charlotte Hornets and is primarily known for his play on the defensive end. Mann had to step up and be that three level scorer that nobody else could be on that Florida squad.
Tre Mann is arguably the shiftiest player in this draft, using his unique size and unmatched speed to create space against the toughest of defenders. He even has comparisons to the likes of Kemba Walker, which I find ironic and also a little bit uncoincidental. If Kemba is kept, who better to mentor the young guard on his strengths than the very guy who has done what Mann is projected to do? I don’t mind trading Kemba for assets at all, but I would love to see Mann taught by a vet who has seen and can do it all.
We all know that Mann is a three-level scorer and anyone can see just how dominant he is with the ball. However, almost anybody can put up his numbers and then not win games. What makes Mann stand out are his exceptional advanced stats. This kid impacts his team better than most of the top 10 players that were drafted this year. Here are just a few of those stats:
26% usage rate. This is insane. The only player in the top 10 with a higher usage rate is Cade Cunningham at an absurd 28.1% USG, and Mann is just as efficient from the field than Cade. Not making a statement saying Mann is better, but just shedding light on the comparison.
57.9% true shooting percentage. Again, going back to that efficiency thing. Mann improved drastically heading into his sophomore season and really proved that he belongs out there on the court.
21.1% player efficiency rating. For reference, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had a PER of 21.6, which was good for 20th best in the league. If you haven’t gotten the message already, Tre Mann is consistent and efficient.
Defense Defense Defense… Does He Have What It Takes?
Tre Mann, as previously stated about a hundred million times, is a lights out offensive weapon. But as far as defense goes, he has a lot to improve upon, especially considering he’s lengthier than most guards and should be able to create matchup problems with his opponents. He’s good at picking pockets though, leading his team with 1.4 steals per game. There’s just that hump he has to get over with playing off-ball defense, as he is seen occasionally having defensive lapses, whether physically or mentally. But that’s something we can develop in him, especially with a guard like Lu Dort teaching Tre his ways.
Adrenaline had to have been pumping through Mann’s body after having been selected by a young, budding team like Oklahoma City. I mean come on, your lifelong dream has been fulfilled at that point! However, just six hours after the draft, guess where Tre is… that’s right, the gym. The 20 year old hit the court for a workout right after getting drafted. His head is in the right place and I’m all for it.
Still Not Sold?
If you still aren’t sold, I’m not sure what to tell you. So I hope this video can help with whatever difficulty you’re having in seeing the potential of this kid. 🙂
Potential Lineup Involving Mann
There’s two potential lineups I can see Daigneault trying this season. Both work very well and to Mann’s favor, and in either rotation he will be receiving lots of playing time.
PG: Tre Mann
SF: Josh Giddey
PF: Darius Bazley
C: Derrick Favors?
6th: Lu Dort
This is a MASSIVE lineup, with Mann being the shortest at nearly 6’5″ and a 6’8″ wingspan. I expect Poku and Bazley to be interchangeable on this one though, and Derrick Favors is literally the only guy I can put at the center position at the moment.
PG: Josh Giddey
SF: Lu Dort
This is yet another big lineup, but with Mann coming off the bench and being a microwave-type scorer in this situation. I don’t really see how any other lineup could be plausible given who we have currently. The ONLY way things could be shaken up is if Kemba isn’t traded, but I highly doubt we’ll be seeing him play in our uniform. I’d love to keep him and get rid of some younger guards though. We’ll see what Presti has in mind regarding that very… awkward guard situation.
Regardless of what happens, expect big things from this kid. Young, talented and has all the makings of a potential star, it really seems like Presti and the Thunder have found their mann… get it? Yeah, of course you do. 😉