Let's discuss the NBA draft

It’s now less than a week away. And, while I really enjoy college basketball, I do have general fan interest in the NBA. I assume a couple of other people around here do, also.

What with trades and jockeying for position being fairly likely this year, I wouldn’t waste my own time trying to predict exactly who goes where. But, I would like to offer a few predictions.

  1. Milwaukee will take Andrew Bogut because it’s tougher to find a serviceable center on the free agent market than it is to find a good 3 or 4.
  2. Which feeds into #2, namely that the Hawks will take players that are a good 2-3 years from truly helping a team be a winner (Marvin Williams). Then, when the player is able to help, will somehow lose his services to another team. Gosh, the hometown team really gives us a reason to cheer.
  3. The Portland Trail Blazers will continue their trend of taking “The Best Headcase Available.” If they stay at 3, they will take a highly impressionable youth in Gerald Green so their current roster can taint him. If they trade down, they’ll end up with Charlie Villanueva.
  4. The Knicks will take players and then force them to play one position off due to the insane logjams at other positions. The small and finessy Channing Frye at center. Julius Hodge at the 3.
  5. Jerry West will make some sort of draft pick that leads every analyst to refer to his brilliance due to it’s out of leftfieldness and potential upside. The pick will ultimately be mediocre but noone will mention that in 3 years. Andray Blatche fits here.
  6. San Antonio will take a foreign player in the first round.
  7. Utah will take a foreign player in the first round.
  8. Miami will take power forwards a-plenty.
  9. Rashad McCants will fall further than expected, prompting anguished shots of him in the draft room.
  10. Francisco Garcia will win the rookie of the year award.

I think whomever can trade down and get the most value will probably win in the long run, since none of the picks at the top seem to be a sure thing.

Wherever Villanueva gets picked, it’s probably higher than it should be. Talk about a player who REALLY could have used another year in college.

I think whichever teams take Francisco Garcia, Jarret Jack, Sean May, and Hakim Warrick will come out very happy with their rookies, and since these will all be mid-late first round teams, the rich will get richer. More generally, I think this year will reinforce the recent trend of guys with a few years in college being the “safer” picks, while the teams that need help right away will end up with projects who round into form just in time to move out of town.

Golden State will take someone who sucks.

Actually Golden State has done pretty well the last 4-5 years in the draft getting, JRich, Biedrins, Dunleavy, Arenas and Pietrus.

My thoughts:

I love Villaneuva’s offensive game, athelticism and versatility but cringe at his defense and mentality. He is easily a top 5 talent in this draft but just doesn’t have the drive or mind set to succeed. Could be a steal in the 15-20 range.

Warrick is going to be a stud in the league. Ridiculous legnth, athleticism and hops for an NBA small foward (no way he is a PF). He is going to suprise people with a decent mid range game and will dominate SFs he gets in the post.

Deron Williams is going to be a better pg than Paul

Gerald Green isn’t going to make it through more than 40 games next year before breaking. He doesn’t have enough muscle at 6’8" 192 lbs to play with men.

Andriuskevicius is way to skinny to do anything in the league and shouldn’t be drafted until the mid second.

Simien, Diogu and May are going to drop becuase of height concerns but will be solid NBA players. Diogu especially has the athleticism and wingspan (like 7’2") to make up for his lack of height.

Bynum is going to trick some team into drafting him in the lottery on the basis of being 7’+ 270+, 20 minutes of all-star games and a workout against 6’7" scrubs.

I see Utah trading 6 and 27 for either 3 or 4 to get Paul or Williams.

I think if Diogu, Simien or May drop they will pick one of them. If not I think they will take a G/SF shooter such as Matt Walsh.

McCants probably won’t be invited to the green room but someone will drop to the 20s that was invited.

Oh boy.

Andrew Bogut, book it.

For a good mock draft website, I have always enjoyed www.nbadraft.net.

I really dig the Draft; much more than football’s draft because one player has a greater impact on basketball than one football player.

I agree with a lot of assessments made here. Especially about New York. That is tweener nation. Last night it was announced that Isiah traded Kurt Thomas for Q. Richardson of PHX.

I wonder now, with K. Thomas and Charlie Ward gone, how the Knicks will ever get Lebron James or Tim Duncan in a trade! :rolleyes:

There is also a lot of buzz that the Lakers have traded their pick plus a player (likely C. Butler) for Port’s #3 and that bad boy SF of theirs.

I imagine a lot of trades going down. Small trades that basically allow a team to better position themselves to take a guy they like. After the first 4 or 5 picks, there could be a lot of geniune disagreement as to who should go lottery and who should be a late first rounder. It makes for an exciting draft.

Here’s my current mock lottery:

  1. MIL- Andrew Bogut. He took Sen. Herb Kohl an actual resume when they met recently. Lock it up.
  2. CHAR (via ATL)- I think Char will give up #5 and #13 for the opportunity to take local product Marvin Williams. I’d like to see them get Chris Paul, but I think they want Williams more. ATL doesn’t need Williams as they have almost as many SF’s as the Knicks.
  3. LAL (via POR)- There are reports this trade is a done deal. The two players being discussed as Laker faves are Chris Paul and Gerald Green. I say BS. You don’t hire the Zne Master back and then draft a HS kid. And Paul doesn’t make sense in the triangle. It doesn’t need a pure PG. But if the deal is made, I’d have to say they go with Chris Paul. But it puzzles me…
  4. NO- Deron Williams. They take their PG to replace the traded Baron Davis.
  5. ATL (via CHAR)- Atl goes with size and takes the draft’s biggest climber, Danny Granger. If Paul goes to LAL and suffers in the triangle, I pick Granger as Rookie of the Year; narrowly edging out Bogut.
  6. UTAH- The Jazz are probably headed out to the barn with a length of rope at this point. They need a PG, but the two elite PGs are off the board. Because they put so much money into Boozer last season (Clev fans love how that’s worked out!), they can’t go for a big man. If they draft a big man, understand that later that night, Mike Tirico will announce a Boozer trade has been reached. Heck, maybe the Lakers will send Chris Paul for Boozer. But if that doesn’t work out, I predict they will be forced to reach down a bit and take Raymond Felton.
  7. NY (via TOR)- Toronto made the worst pick of the lottery last year. Center Rafeal Arujo is a true stinker. But they probably won’t grab another Center. But I think right now their flirtations with Arizona Senior Channing Frye is an effort to fleece the Knicks; who love and need him. So Toronto scares NY enough to trade one spot and get the #8 and #30. NY selects Frye.
  8. TOR (via NY)- Toronto laughs at NY and then selects the first HS or pure Intl. player of the draft (Bogut doesn’t count as he is the reigning NCAA player of the year) Gerald Green.
  9. GS- For the first time in many years, GS looks pretty darn good. If Baron Davis stays healthy (a big if), they are a .500 team at minimum. No real holes here, so I’d go best player available. Antoine Wright is a deadeye shooter, and that is always a nice option off the bench.
  10. POR (via LAL)- Figuring they are a few years away, POR adds high schooler Martell Webster. He goes straight from the green room to a crack house and murders a 13 year old, Dominican prostitute.
  11. ORL- Orl decides to take a player who can play right away. And despite being a bit undersized as a center, Sean May would complement Dwight Howard nicely. I think people are underestimating this guy. He has fire. At worst, he may be a career role player, but a guy with that much passion will not be a true disappointment. A good chance to be Rookie of the Year.
  12. CLIPS- There are reports that the Clips, who after several excellent drafts have no real needs, are going to draft Yaraslov Korlev (god bless Commissioner Stern on pronouncing that one!) and let him mature overseas (or the NBDL if that is part of the new CBA).
  13. ATL (via CHAR)- With the other pick of the trade, ATL curses Utah for taking Felton too soon and then picks HS Center Andrew Bynum.
  14. MINN- They don’t take Joe Smith. I know that for sure. I think they take a guy ready to step in and play. Joey Graham fits the bill.

So in my mock lottery (which is not perfect, but feasible), we see as many college seniors (3) as High Schoolers! Seven of the 14 spots are upper classmen! Ten are college players!

What a dream. Expect a thinner draft next year when the 19 and up rule goes into effect, but I think we can all enjoy a fairly interesting draft this year.

He also strikes me as most ready to do well in the NBA, possibly due to the fact that I think he is currently 85% of the player he can be, while most other players are 60% of what they can be. But, a couple of reasons I picked against him.

  1. Recent NBA history tends to dictate against pure posts winning the ROY, except in outstanding circumstances (Emeka on an expansion team). Tim Duncan in 1998 may be the closest comparison, but he was both more exceptional and on a team that improved 36 games from the previous year.
  2. Centers tend to get short shrift. Other than a pure superstar, most other centers tend to be viewed as part of a big pile of sameness. Bogut will be good, but the focus of the game is on guards and slashing forwards, meaning a center has to be really special to garner attention.
  3. Milwaukee just isn’t very good, but where they are good is in the wrong places. Being on a bad team never stopped someone from winning before, nor do I believe it should. But, Milwaukee’s strengths tend to lay on the perimeter. The top 3 scorers play the perimeter and there’s not a complete lack of talent on the inside which will also take away Bogut’s touches. I expect the Bucks will continue to work from the outside first.
  4. I guess it all depends on the coach. If they hire Flip Saunders, I don’t like Bogut’s chances. Flip has been successful with donut teams. The same can be said for Nate McMillan.

All of the above is moot if he drops to 2 and the Hawks take him. Then he won’t win because the Hawks are so horrible, no one will actually watch him play.

Assuming the Lakers move here, this pick just screams Deron Williams. He’s essentially a much upgraded version of Derek Fisher. He’s bigger than Paul which helps Kobe a bit on the defensive end, while giving pretty much the same pluses on the offensive end as Paul. They sacrifice quickness, but I think his size and how it helps Kobe rest on D a little more are a bigger plus.

On ESPN’s mock draft yesterday they had LA (from Charlotte) at 5 and Charlotte (from LA) at 10. It didn’t seem like just a mistake rather something that got updated before it should have.

Amare in '03, Gasol in '02 and Brand in '00 all won ROY.

If TJ and Redd comes back the Bucks will be pretty good.

TJ/Mo Williams

If they get another Decent SG/SF that could be a very good team. Unfortunately they are in a very good ocnference with Detroit, Indiana, Cleveland and Chicago.

Bogut’s strength won’t necessarily be in scoring either. He is a phenominal passer and will be like Sabonis, Webber or Miller dishing out assists from the posts.

More on the Lakers-Bobcats trade:

Look on the main photo. Below the warriors logo on the draft board in the background you see the Lakers at number 10.

Amare’s game works best when he can use his speed and athleticism (on the break, or slashing the lane). Neither of those fit the definition of a pure post, which is what Bogut will be.

Completely overlooked Brand. He’s actually an interesting match for Bogut.

Not getting to see many Grizzly games, I was under the impression Gasol was not a back to the basket type of player.

Amare did use his athleticism and strength to score but he still did it in the post. Gasol has both a post up and face up game. Bogut is going to be similar to Gasol but a much better passer. I think Brad Miller is a pretty good comparison to what he will be.

Anybody read Chad Ford on ESPN Insider? I swear I only subscribe to that thing because of the draft coverage…

Richardson and Arenas, sure. But Dunleavy has been just OK and the other two haven’t really had enough time to show if they were good picks or not.

Pietrus has shown he is a solid on ball defender.

Biedrens has shown flashes of brilliance.

In this day and age, that is enough to say they were solid draft picks! :slight_smile:

Some of you might find this assessment of the biggest draft busts interesting.

They have Sam Bowie at Number One, which I have some disagreement with. Yes, he was picked over Jordan, and I’m sure the Blazers would love to have that pick back, but its not Sam’s fault that he got hurt (and yes, I know he was hurt in college, and Blazers still picked him, but still…)

I think the biggest bust was the man at Number Two- the immortal Chris Washburn.

Regarding Bowie being #2. Sure, he was bad compared to MJ. But he had a decent career, despite the injuries. He was a bust, but there have been way bigger busts. Shouldn’t Bowie be judged on his own merits and not those who were drafted behind him?

[mini rant]
I can’t wait until a few years pass so that Michael Jordan obsession will die down.

Though I recognize he was the greatest player to lace them up, he dominates every list and poll that is out there.

When people were discussing whether Robert Horry was the greatest clutch playoff performer of all-time, sports radio callers AND hosts were foaming at the mouth. They were offended that anyone would consider anyone OTHER than MJ the greatest at ANYTHING.

I half expect to tune in one day and have the host ask who the greatest center of all-time was, and have some caller suggest it was Michael Jordan. :smack:
[/mini rant]

Twenty picks into the first round, we have a couple droppers, one pre-draft trade that slotted things into place nicely, a couple head scratchers, and a top five or so that looks much as predicted (once the trade was made). Warrick was the last guy out of the “green room” at 19th. Toronto may well have made the biggest lottery reach for the second year in a row with Villaneuva. Gerald Green is probably the biggest dropper so far, but I love that my C’s got him at 18.

I can’t believe Villaneuva went 7 to Toronto. I can understand reaching for need, but reaching for a guy at the one position where you are set at for the near future? Yesh just unbelievible.

A lot of odd picks and no major trades. Kind of a dull draft.

I liked Granger to IND, Green to BOS (I guess he should have worked out against other players!) and Roko Ukic in the second round.

Can you believe Chris Taft fell the the 2nd as well? One year ago, he was #1 on many mocks.

Might as well grade my predictions.

  1. Correct, although that wasn’t exactly going out on a limb on my part.
  2. Correct, in the sense that they took players 2-3 years from being really helpful. The losing them to another team when they become great part will have to wait.
  3. Well, Martell Webster isn’t a known headcase, but he is a high schooler. And getting Jarrett Jack in a trade is a move that will look brilliant in a few months. So, I’ll give myself half a point for drafting a corruptible high schooler, but I think they actually did a very good job.
  4. Got Channing Frye correct. Hodge was gone, but they did take another 6-9 4. And, kudos to Isiah for going as undersized as possible by acquiring Nate Robinson. He’ll really dominate those 3 available minutes not taken by the other 6 guards on his roster locked into huge, long-term contracts. Full point here.
  5. Called the wrong player, but I think the pick is quite smart. No points here, because I think this one ultimately works out and everyone will remember it.
  6. Check. And better yet, a foreign player no one had heard of.
  7. No points, but I should get a pat on the back. I fully believe their 27th pick would have gone foreign if they hadn’t traded. As it is, it was a foreigner anyway, just to a different team.
  8. Check. Wayne Simien, who I think will have a tremendous rookie impact.
  9. That was a whiff.
  10. Who knows. Bogut, Marvin Williams, Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Ray Felton, Ike Diogu, Danny Granger, Gerald Green, Jarrett Jack, Francisco Garcia, and Wayne Simien all have good playing time opportunities in front of them.

I don’t know why he was ever that high, he isn’t very skilled and doesn’t have that great of size or athleticism. Then he has one of the worst attitudes in the draft and 41 might even have been a little high for him.