Hoop Vids – Antoine Walker

Mikan Drill – 10 June 2010

  1. How the mighty can fall…
    “The feat? Isiah Thomas’ fiscal irresponsibility became so extreme during his time as Knicks president from 2003-08 that he paid $120 million for a total of 82 games played. ” Tom Haberstroh.
  2. I once had the privilege of having JJ Redick destroy my UGA Dawgs.  A look at his year.  Underrated?  Yes.
  3. Ray Allen…
    “Allen’s 0-for-13 performance ranked as the second-worst oh-fer in Finals history, falling one miss short of the record of 0-for-14 shared by Seattle’s Dennis Johnson in 1978 and Baltimore’s Chick Reiser in 1948.” Chris Forsberg.
  4. Patty Mills will be playing for Australia against Argentina.
  5. Derek Fisher – seems before every series he’s described as the “weak link”, then we end up calling him Clutch by the series’ end.  So how does he rate?  HoopSpeak.
  6. Take the best NBA players who can play football, and enter them in the World Cup…  Round Ball Fever.
  7. Gary Payton as a Coach?  Excellent interview with The Glove.  On Lebron James:
    “I would make everybody wait. My opinion, where you’re at right now, you’re not going to win anymore basketball games if you go to another team. The only place you could do that would be if you went to Boston or the Lakers. You’re with a team that needs something to help them out.”

NBA Guff – Mock Draft 3.0

Hey Guffers,

Been a few changes with some workouts and team chatter…

  1. Washington John Wall. Still the right choice here we think.  And he’s already come out in the press talking about if he goes to Washington, Gilbert Arenas may have to do what’s best for the team and move to the SG spot.  The kid is already taking leadership of a team he hasn’t been drafted by….love it!!!
  2. Philadelphia Evan Turner. A lot of talk around this pick…Favors?  Turner?  Even Wesley Johnson would be a good selection…but do you pass up on Turner?  Probably not in the end, unless you are trading picks or something.
  3. New Jersey Derrick Favors. Teams are loving the guy.  Not as much potential or athleticism than Cousins, but a much better attitude.  He may not be a better pick than Wes Johnson either, but NJ will still take a big because taking a SG or SF sends the wrong message to Lebron, Joe Johnson, etc.  Favors is not a bad pick at all, he has all the physical gifts, huge wingspan, has a standing 9-1 reach. 9-1!!! But GMs are all caught up in his physical traits, which he lived off to beat guys in college.  Teams love Favors, but still don’t think he can contribute straight away, you may see him come off the bench as a rook.
  4. Minnesota Wesley Johnson. Did you see the video of a workout of his the other day….wow.    
  5. Sacramento DeMarcus Cousins. Sac have some good players, but with the 5th pick at their disposal and coming off a 25-57 season, all bets are off and they are taking the best player available at this point in the draft. We think Evans & Casspi’s positions are safe, but if the Kings have to upset Spencer Hawes, Nocioni or Beno Udrih, then so be it.  Cousins is apparently difficult to coach and GMs haven’t gotten a great personal vibe from him.  But the guy’s got all the physical talent, a bit of a mean-streak and is determined. Hope it turns into hard work in the NBA. Not great fitness, but when he’s out there, he’ll get it done. Number 1 in the NCAA in rebounds per 48 minutes. He has all the tools, possibly the most NBA-ready centre in the draft.
  6. Golden State Patrick Patterson. One word…UNDERRATED.  He’s a good pick-and-roll player, which with Baron Davis & Steve Blake out there is very valuable.  AND has a high basketball IQ.  The 6-9 SF/PF and has looked awesome in workouts.  Team love his NBA-ready body & his attitude. But (sorry GSW fans) this organisation sucks balls and Nelson can’t go past a nice guard.  I can see them taking Xavier Henry and they usually have draft some good players (e.g – Steph Curry), but never appropriate for what their team actually needs. 
  7. Detroit Greg Monroe. Word is he’s currently fallen a bit out of favour due to his 11.2% body fat, whereas other guys are measuring in the 5s & 6s. Still, he’s a solid rebounder, defender and a great team-mate. Averaged 1.5blk & 1.2stl, very quick hands, hard worker, decent physical strength and size.  Just not enough FAHO (NB – FAHO is Freakish Athleticism Hard On, Gms and execs get that a lot this time of year).  But here we go…are you ready?  ……we’re saying it here.  If ANY team can or will take the Sixers Elton Brand in a trade for that number 2 pick with Philadelpia….it’s Detroit.  Brand isn’t over the hill yet.  He’s played injured for a season and a half, and could still add value (albeit not $51M of value over 3 years), but the Pistons like a bruising undersized PF/C (McDyess, Ben Wallace, Jason Maxiell) and Brand is VERY Detroit we think.  Sixers are really keen to move Brand and still think they’ll get a good player down the line (they’ve worked out Patrick Patterson, Cousins, Favors, Monroe), and if anyone can pull this, we think it’s the Pistons.  If not, we’re going with Monroe even though he’ll likely fall past here.  
  8. LA Clippers      Paul George. Paul George is a 6-8 SF who could slot in nicely with a team that already has a lot of scoring options.  George’s strengths are defence, running the floor, and he was in the league leaders in assists for all SFs in college.  Nice player, not a tonne of offence in college, but looking awesome in workouts and with some work could be very effective. 
  9. Utah Cole Aldrich. He’s big, solid, plays with his back to the basket, has great footwork in the post and whilst he can step out and hit a jumper, prefers to live in the paint. Think Kevin Love with better defence (averaged around 3 blocks a game in college). Boozer is going and Fesenko is ordinary.  Milsap is the PF of the future for the Jazz, so they desperately need a centre.  Aldrich could still be snapped up higher, but with no FAHO, will likely fall.  Even past here perhaps.  Would be a good selection at 9 and is a very Jerry Sloan kind of player. 
  10. Indiana Luke Babbitt. The guy can shoot!!  And shoot!  And shoot!  And showed in the recent combine that he has some freakish strength & athleticism for a 6-9 PF.  Was the biggest surprise in the athletics combine results for sure.  Could be a more athletic, stronger Troy Murphy.  Word is that Larry Bird has a player-crush on Gordon Hayward, but at pick 10?!?!  We don’t see it. 
  11. New Orleans Hassan Whiteside. They need some help in the paint, and Whiteside’s interior presence would be a good addition to this Hornets team.
  12. Memphis Ekpe Udoh. Udoh is a lean 235 at 6-10, but is strong and has amazing shot-blocking ability.  Will be able to step in and defend NBA power-forwards & most centres straight away.  Huge FAHO right here.  Has been great in workouts and teams are loving his fire & competitive spirit, the guy plays hard every second he’s on the floor.  Talent-wise there are better guys here at pick 12, but you can’t teach energy & effort.   
  13. Toronto Al-Farouq Aminu. The Raptors are sure to take a big.  Aminu is getting the ‘soft’ tag a bit…Gms think he could be soft, not a hard worker, etc… Still very early, but not wowing right now.  Aminu is a great defender, can guard 4 positions, blocks alot of shots for a guy who is 6-8. Great athletisicm, great on a fast break.
  14. Houston Donatas Motiejunas. Potential is through the roof, will be as good as he wants to be, and pending workouts, could go as high as 3 or 4.  One of those wild-card players where you just don’t know how much effort he’s going to give.  Great talent though, 7-0 PF who can knock down outside shots, but also has a bit of mongrel and likes to beat guys in the paint.  Could go higher for sure.  Could also be a jerk?
  15. Milwaukee Ed Davis. This 6-9 PF in a few years time could be a steal!  The knocks on his game are he’s not strong enough, and needs a bit of range…..that’s all.  Everything else is there, just no real wow-factor like some of the guys above, but looks great in workouts and whilst the Bucks are liking a lot of the combo guards out there, we are hoping they pick smart and take a PF with some offensive ability (sorry, Bah Moute, we like you a lot, you just can’t score points to save yourself!).
  16. Minnesota Xavier Henry. Henry is a nice player and good shooter.  He’s been reasonably inoffensive, does what is needed of him, plays good ball…seems very much Coach Rambis kinda player and would give Minnesota another decent offensive option.
  17. Chicago.          Armon Johnson. Johnson could become a very good back-up PG.  Has all the tools, the size, and does everything well….just not great…yet.  He’s a pretty fearless little dude, so could thrive with the challenges in the NBA.  Was one of the best shooters at the recent combine aswell and for a Chicago team with no real backup PG (Lindsay Hunter is due to retire & Flip Murray isn’t a permanent solution), Johnson could help.
  18. Miami Larry Sanders. We really like Damion James here, but think the Heat would be more inclined to take someone with a bit more height & length considering they had no-one over 7-0 on their roster last year and their biggest guy under contract so far is Michael Beasley, who’s a 6-9 SF.  We’re sure the Heat would LOVE to be just a few more picks up the board to have the option of an Ed Davis, Aminu or Udoh.  Hopefully one of those guys will fall because Sanders is more of a work in progress.
  19. Boston Terrico White. Has torn it up in workouts, looking like the most athletic guy out there (one of the fastest in ¾ court sprints, and hit a maximum 11”9 in his vertical touch…which was good for 12th out of the 30 draftees that did the test.  Not bad for a guy 6-5.  YEP.  6-5, and he gets up to 11”9 on the run.  Crazy.  Scouts keep commenting on his natural feel for the game.  White could be something special.
  20. San Antonio James Anderson. He’s a gun-slinging lock-down defender at 6-6.  Didn’t shoot the ball real well in the combine, but had one of the quickest releases out there.  Could very well be a shooter who’s a game shooter, not a practice shooter.  We like Anderson in Boston, but think Terrico White is probably a better player and achieving better results in workouts to date.
  21. OKC                 Damion James. The 6-7 combo forward outta Texas likely won’t go this high, but we are a fan.  Damion James at 6-7 averaged 11.2 boards a game…read that again…what a monster!!!  And is super-quick and pretty fit, playing over 30 minutes a game in college and whilst undersized, you can’t look past the effort it takes to pull down 11.2 boards when you are only 6-7 in shoes.
  22. Portland Devin Ebanks. The 6-7 Ebanks has looked pretty good in workouts so far.  Doesn’t need plays drawn for him to score, gets a lot of offensive glass, takes good shots, good basketball mind and one rare quality….he gets fired up about defense!  May go higher for sure, but his lack of ‘superstardom’ will drop him to the 20s.
  23. Minnesota Nemanja Bjelica. 6-10 SF from Serbia has great versatility, passing, size, and experience in a professional league in Serbia.  But crosses against him are defence, quickness, strength, etc.  It’s terrible to say, he’s a typical young Euro kid that needs time to develop.  Coach Rambis has been to Serbia in the last few days though, and is a fan.
  24. Atlanta Gani Lawal. He pulled out of the draft last year to spend another year at Georgia Tech to work on his game.  He’s a 6-9 PF who can score & rebound, that would help this Atlanta team who desperately need more interior presence.  Word is though that the Hawks are looking to sell this pick because whomever they draft has guaranteed money…which means the Hawks have guaranteed luxury tax, which they don’t want/can’t afford when they are focusing all their $$$ to try and keep Joe Johnson.
  25. Memphis Solomon Alabi. Was predicted to be around the low 20s, but teams are looking at that 7-1 kid that only pulls down 6.0 rebounds a game in college…if you’re 7-1, and only getting 6 boards a game in college then you’re a lazy-ass.  But in saying that, the Celtics recently put Alabi through his paces and in his mental aptitude test, he recorded the highest score ever for the Celts.  Other teams have also interviewed & worked out Alabi and really like him, so could be a first rounder.
  26. OKC                 Daniel Orton. 6-10 & 255 with great potential make this guy a good pick for an OKC team that can give the kid a bit of time.  He wasn’t very polished in workouts so far, looking a little out of his depth, and at the end of the day, only played 13 mins a game off the bench in college.  Teams like him, but know he needs a few years to work on his game.  Could in time be a very solid backup big.
  27. New Jersey Avery Bradley. Bradley could go a lot higher, but being only 6-2, NBA execs will look past him.  But if Bradley is still available, the 6-2 SG from Texas would be a nice addition off the bench.  Not a PG at all, as he goes for his own shot all the time, but would suit a role as firepower off the bench (ala Eddie House or Bobby Jackson).
  28. Memphis Elliot Williams. 6-4 shooting guard out of Memphis who’s a great on the ball defender and rebounds well for a guard too.  Has great quickness off the dribble, and showed some wicked athleticism.  Bledsoe is also a possibility here, but Williams has a bit more size and length.
  29. Orlando Quincy Pondexter. Pondexter (6-7 SF) is another guy who does a lot of good things, is a sound player and person, but is already 22 years old, so scouts won’t get the whole ‘potential’, ‘upside’ and FAHO.  So he’ll drop, maybe even to the second round, but a polished guy who averaged 19 points & 7 boards in college is worth a pick here for sure.
  30. Washington Jordan Crawford.  Remember the stories about the kid who dunked on Lebron and the tapes were confiscated, etc….well, that’s this 6-4 SG out of Xavier.  Crawford showed that he can shoot the rock aswell, lighting it up at the recent shooting drills combine.  He was the 6th best shooter on the day, including tops in three point shooting, hitting 20 of 25 from NBA three range.

Just outside our first round

Craig Brakens 6-10, plays PF and also moves to the 3 spot.  Is big, long, but not strong.  Doesn’t play either forward spot overly well, but could blossom.  Hasn’t looked great so far and teams think he’s more a mid-second rounder.

Kevin Seraphin.                      The 6-9 PF/C from France has all the tools for the NBA, but just injured knee very similar to the injury Lakers centre Andrew Bynum is nursing.  Could put him into the mid-late second round now.

Stanley Robinson. The 6-8 combo forward from UCONN isn’t getting heaps of love, and whilst we liked him as a late-first-rounder the love affair is wavering after some so-so showings at the combine.  He’s a strong, long, fit (played 35 mins a game in college) defensive-minded guy who would still be a decent early second-round pick.  A guy who can compete & defend against good competition in college for 35 mins a game is worth taking a chance on.

Domonique Jones. The dude has NBA scoring ability.  He’s a SG who seems to me like Chris Douglas-Roberts two years ago, had that NBA ability, but with the systems they run in college, you don’t always get to see it.  He’s probably not a first-rounder, but could sneak in late first.

Willie Warren. There is no question Warren has an NBA game, but attitude concerns are there.

Eric Bledsoe. Could be much better than anticipated, but teams are looking at his height and only a year in college…thinking he may not really be ready for the NBA just yet.

Mikan Drill – links from around the net

  1. Celtics vs Lakers in the finals… if you’re a fan of wither team you HAVE to check out the head to heads from this past season: FORUM BLUE & GOLD
  2. Truehoop’s awesome Top 10 Possessions of the NBA Playoffs 2010.
  3. Players that improved their draft stock these last few weeks.  If you’re organising your fantasy leagues, this is key information for you.
  4. Australian Basketball is making a comeback, and so is media coverage, with the rebirth of a once-fallen online magazine.
  5. Argentina travels to Australia for a pre-World Championships clash.
  6. Indonesian basketball is back!
    “After years of declining interest, the Indonesian Basketball League hopes a new name and a new approach will revamp its fortunes.
    The IBL was relaunched as the National Basketball League on Tuesday, boasting a theme of “New Season, New Hope for Indonesia” for its first season.”
  7. Bill Simmons on Lebron’s future.
    “I always thought his ceiling looked like this: Jordan’s DNA crossed with Magic’s DNA crossed with Bo Jackson. Nope. Take the Jordan DNA out. Have to. Jordan was a ruthless mother******. Jordan was a killer. Jordan didn’t care if his teammates despised him. Jordan never, ever, not in a million years, would have allowed his team to quit in the final two minutes of Thursday night’s game the way LeBron did. His teammates feared him, loathed him, revered him and played accordingly. Bird had that same quality. In the second half of his career, so did Magic. Winning meant so much to those guys that their teammates almost didn’t have a choice; they had to follow suit. Or else.”
  8. A terrible week for NCAA basketball
  9. Will this be Coach Phil Jackson’s last season?
    “Phoenix guard Steve Nash was conducting a quick post-game interview in a congested hallway when a golf cart, stymied by camera wires and other mobile equipment, tried to get by but had to stop. Nash politely stepped to the side, his small smile turning wide when he saw that the passenger was none other than Lakers coach Phil Jackson. The moment suggested the unwashed multitudes making way for the pope. ”
    From Jack McCallum.
  10. Andrew Gaze; Australia’s MJ, NBL and NBA (remember the Spurs?) championship winner, all-around great guy… and posteriser? (Dear dictionary manufacturers, please insert new word.  Thank you.)

NBA Guff – Mock Draft 2.0

Hey Guffers,

Been a few changes with some workouts and team chatter…

  1. Washington John Wall. I still don’t see them passing on Wall.  You don’t pass on a quality PG like this…you just don’t.  They may then be able to trade Gilbert to a team with the cap room, and not be too fussed about getting equal talent in return.
  2. Philadelphia Evan Turner. I am nearly excited enough to take Turner over Wall.  Turner played SG/SF and at 6-7 occasionally PF in college, then when their PG went down with an injury, he stepped in and ran the point!  The dude has talent and can do everything.
  3. New Jersey Derrick Favors. Teams are loving the guy.  Not as much potential or athleticism than Cousins, but a much better attitude!  He may not be a better pick than Wes Johnson either, but NJ will still take a big because taking a SG or SF sends the wrong message to Lebron, Joe Johnson, etc.  Favors is not a bad pick at all, he has all the physical gifts, huge wingspan, has a standing 9-1 reach. 9-1!!! But GMs are all caught up in his physical traits, which he lived off to beat guys in college.  Teams love Favors, but still don’t think he can contribute straight away, you may see him come off the bench as a rook.
  4. Minnesota Wesley Johnson. Minnesota are starting Ryan Gomes and sometimes Corey Brewer at SF.  Both nice players, but Johnson would be an upgrade and the Wolves have already said they want an athletic SF/SG.  I think Rambis will like Johnson… no problems with his attitude, effort and most importantly, consistency. He only scored in single-digits 3 times last year for Syracuse (averaged 16.5ppg), and all the games he only scored in single digits, they blew out the other team so he got alot of assists getting his team-mates some love. He’s already 23 years old, so quite mature….but this could be his downfall as NBA teams see this is a negative on his ‘potential’, that P word that GMs & execs get such a hard-on over in May & June every year….
  5. Sacramento DeMarcus Cousins. Sac have some good players, but with the 5th pick at their disposal and coming off a 25-57 season, all bets are off and they are taking the best player available at this point in the draft.  I think Evans & Casspi are safe, but if the Kings have to upset Spencer Hawes, Nocioni or Beno Udrih then so be it.  Cousins is apparently difficult to coach and GMs haven’t gotten a great personal vibe from him.  But the guy’s got all the physical talent, a bit of a mean-streak and is determined. Hope it turns into hard work in the NBA. Not great fitness, but when he’s out there, he’ll get it done. Number 1 in the NCAA in rebounds per 48 minutes. Has all the tools, possibly the most NBA-ready centre in the draft.
  6. Golden State Xavier Henry. Henry is a nice player, but I personally think they need a C or PF, as they started 3 PGs and two SFs for most of last season.  But they will likely take someone like Henry who can shoot the lights out because (sorry GSW fans) this organisation sucks balls and Nelson can’t go past a nice guard.  They have drafted some good players, but never appropriate for what their team actually needs.  I think they may even draft Tony ‘The Bear’ Ronaldson and play him at the point…. and I hate Don Nelson… that is all.
  7. Detroit Hassan Whiteside. I think this Pistons pick at number 7 is the most interesting in the top 10.  Joey D has already come out and said he wants his Pistons team to be tougher….now _I_ think it’s as much to do with their coach (John Kuester) as the team.  But they still allowed teams to shoot 48% against them last year (5th worst in league) …by comparison, the Don Nelson-led Warriors allowed 48.5%…that says a lot!  They also had the second-worst perimeter defence, allowing teams to shoot 37.5% from three and they were 4th worst in blocks per game.  They need toughness in the paint!!!  A 37 year old Ben Wallace can only do so much so Whiteside’s energy & shot-blocking would be a great addition. Whiteside loves the game, and makes more out of his physical gifts (7-0 with 7-6 wingspan) than anyone else in the draft, averaging 5.4 blocks per game in college.  BUT, I still think that Joe Dumars will work something to get up into the top-5 territory to nab Cousins or Favors.
  8. LA Clippers      Patrick Patterson. Would be great in Clipper-Land.  One word…UNDERRATED.  He’s a good pick-and-roll player, which with Baron Davis out there is very valuable, and has a high basketball IQ.  Is a 6-9 SF/PF and has looked awesome in workouts.  Team love his NBA-ready body & his attitude.
  9. Utah Cole Aldrich. He’s big, solid, plays with his back to the basket, has great footwork in the post and whilst he can step out and hit a jumper, prefers to live in the paint. Think Kevin Love with better defence (averaged around 3 blocks a game in college). Boozer is going and Fesenko is ordinary.  Milsap is the PF of the future for the Jazz, so they desperately need a centre.  Aldrich could still be snapped up higher, but with no FAHO, will likely fall.  Even past here perhaps.  Would be a good selection at 9 and is a very Jerry Sloan kind of player.  Greg Monroe is a possibility, but I think guys like Jerry Sloan & Larry Bird (pick 10) will cross Monroe off the list because of perceived work ethic (his 11.2% body fat).
  10. Indiana Ed Davis. This 6-9 PF in a few years time could be a steal!  The knocks on his game are he’s not strong enough, and needs a bit of range…..that’s all.  Everything else is there, just no real wow-factor like some of the guys above, but looks great in workouts and the Pacers will likely need a big to replace the departing Troy Murphy.  BUT, Larry Bird will take a Larry-Bird style of player.  Word is, Bird is a big fan of Baylor’s Gordon Hayward, but doesn’t think he’s a no. 10 pick.  So the Pacers could still trade this pick to get the guy they want further down the board.
  11. New Orleans Greg Monroe. I really like this 6-10 lefty outta Georgetown, but the word is he’s currently fallen a bit out of favour due to his 11.2% body fat.  Yep, 11.2%.  Whereas other guys are measuring in the 5s & 6s. Still, he’s a solid rebounder, defender and a great team-mate. Averaged 1.5blk & 1.2stl, very quick hands, hard worker, decent physical strength and size.  Just not enough FAHO.
  12. Memphis Paul George. Paul George is a 6-8 SF who could slot in nicely with a team that already has a lot of scoring options.  George’s strengths are defence, running the floor, and he was in the league leaders in assists for all SFs in college.  Nice player, not a tonne of offence in college, but looking awesome in workouts and with some work could be very effective. 
  13. Toronto Ekpe Udoh. The Raptors are sure to take a big.  Bosh could be leaving and that leaves a 7-0 SF (Bargnani) as your centre?  Udoh is a lean 235 at 6-10, but is strong and has amazing shot-blocking ability.  Will be able to step in and defend NBA power-forwards & most centres straight away.  Huge FAHO right here.
  14. Houston Donatas Motiejunas. Potential is through the roof, will be as good as he wants to be, and pending workouts, could go as high as 3 or 4.  One of those wild-card players where you just don’t know how much effort he’s going to give.  Great talent though, 7-0 PF who can knock down outside shots, but also has a bit of mongrel and likes to beat guys in the paint.  Could go higher for sure.  Could also be a jerk?
  15. Milwaukee Al-Farouq Aminu. He’s getting the ‘soft’ tag a bit…Gms think he could be soft, not a hard worker, etc… Still very early, but not wowing right now.  Aminu is a great defender, can guard 4 positions, blocks alot of shots for a guy who is 6-8. Great athletisicm, great on a fast break.  Bucks would really be getting another Luc Richard Bah Moute here…and whilst Bah Moute is a GUN of a defender, they really need some more scoring in the paint to complement Bogut.  Would be better for them if Greg Monroe or Ed Davis fell here for them to snap up.
  16. Minnesota Avery Bradley. I think the Wolves will likely trade their 16th or 23rd pick…or maybe both.  They have another two picks in the second round aswell as the 4th pick above.  But if they keep it, and Bradley is still available, the 6-2 SG from Texas would be a nice addition off the bench.  Not a PG at all, as he goes for his own shot all the time, but could suit a role as firepower off the bench (ala Eddie House or Bobby Jackson).
  17. Chicago Daniel Orton. 6-10 & 255 with great potential make this guy a good pick for a Chicago team that can give the kid a bit of time.  He wasn’t very polished in workouts so far, looking a little out of his depth.  But John Paxson likes good kids from good schools, and drafts people just as much on character as potential or talent.  Orton would fit in well in Chicago.
  18. Miami Damion James. The 6-7 combo forward outta Texas likely won’t go this high, but I am a fan.  The Heat needed some defensive presence against teams this year.  Udonis Haslem deserves some sort of award as the most underrated & underappreciated player in the NBA, being the Heat’s only solid defender other than Wade.  And at the same time, Q-Rich can’t defend a lamp-post, Beasley is more interested in his jumper and J-O’Neal keeps fouling out.  Damion James at 6-7 averaged 11.2 boards a game…read that again…what a monster!!!  And is super-quick and pretty fit, playing over 30 minutes a game in college.  He’d be great for the Heat and whilst undersized (for an already small team) you can’t look past the effort it takes to pull down 11.2 boards when you are only 6-7.             
  19. Boston James Anderson. He’s a gun-slinging lock-down defender at 6-6 who could be a good addition to a Boston team that’s getting older and lacked defenders at times during 2009-10, especially at the 3 spot where Anderson can slot into, but also cause problems on offence with his flat-out shooting.  Not very polished and can’t handle the ball well, or pass/create well…so will be a late teens or maybe early 20s pick, pending workouts.
  20. San Antonio Gani Lawal. He pulled out of the draft last year to spend another year at Georgia Tech to work on his game.  The reason I think the Spurs will take him?  He runs the floor hard, works hard, and has a great attitude.  Coach Popp can’t handle immature kids who won’t put in the work, Lawal isn’t one of those.  And he’s a 6-9 PF who can score & rebound, that helps too!
  21. OKC                 Gordon Hayward. The 6-8 SF from NCAA Finalist from Baylor can score in a number of ways and is also a very effective rebounder (8.3rpg in college) that could be another weapon for an already awesome OKC team.  Knock on Hayward is a lack of fire & aggression…but passion & fire is something this OKC certainly doesn’t lack, so he would definitely rise to it. 
  22. Portland Luke Babbitt. The guy can shoot!!  And shoot!  And shoot!  Babbitt is polished offensively but could be the next Adam Morrison….for Portland he would be some great shooting off the bench for a Blazers team that struggled for offence at times last year.     
  23. Minnesota Armon Johnson. That’s if the T-Wolves even keep this pick.  Johnson could become a very good back-up PG.  Has all the tools, the size, and does everything well….just not great…yet.  He’s a pretty fearless little dude, so could thrive with the challenges in the NBA.        
  24. Atlanta Larry Sanders. If he’s still here, the PF/C from VCU will be snapped up.  He has work to do, but a good defender, good size, and is a nice guy who is coachable.  Even though he’s far from a finished product, would give Atlanta another interior defender they desperately need.
  25. Memphis Devin Ebanks. The 6-7 Ebanks has looked pretty good in workouts so far.  Doesn’t need plays drawn for him to score, gets a lot of offensive glass, takes good shots, good basketball mind and one rare quality….he gets fired up about defense!  May go higher for sure, but his lack of ‘superstardom’ will drop him to the 20s.
  26. OKC                 Kevin Seraphin.  The 6-9 PF/C from France has all the tools for the NBA.  He’s similar to a young Nene Hilario at a fit, chiselled 258 pounds, and has been playing in the French National League.  Only played 16 mins a game, but with that size, great timing & great hands, he’s screaming out for some NBA training! 
  27. New Jersey Quincy Pondexter. Pondexter (6-7 SF) is another guy who does a lot of good things, is a sound player and person, but is already 22 years old, so scouts won’t get the whole ‘potential’, ‘upside’ and FAHO.  So he’ll drop, maybe even to the second round, but a polished guy who averaged 19 points & 7 boards in college is worth a pick here for sure.
  28. Memphis Elliot Williams. It’d be nice to see Memphis draft the home-town Memphis boy.  6-4 shooting guard who’s a great on the ball defender and rebounds well for a guard too.
  29. Orlando Nemanja Bjelica. 6-10 SF from Serbia has great versatility, passing, size, and experience in a professional league in Serbia.  But crosses against him are defence, quickness, strength, etc.  It’s terrible to say, he’s a typical young Euro kid. 
  30. Washington Stanley Robinson. The 6-8 combo forward from UCONN isn’t getting heaps of love, but I like him.  He’s a strong, long, fit (played 35 mins a game in college) defensive-minded guy who doesn’t have a huge range of offence.  But defensively, rebounding & touch around the basket is right up there.

Rumours

  • Apparently you can have the Sixers no.2 pick…you just need to be able to put up a top 10 pick of your own and take back Elton Brand and his $51M over the next 3 years.
  • Pick 23 (Minnesota), 25 & 28 (Memphis) and 29 (Orlando) are ALL up for grabs, as all of these teams don’t want to commit to a pick that they are only going to have to pay luxury tax on.  Look for the teams without first round picks AND money (Charlotte, New York) and to a lesser extent, the teams without picks who are already well-over the cap (Dallas, Denver, LA Lakers, Phoenix) to still try and trade up for a first-rounder.
  • The lesser-known dudes who are looking good to be decent 2nd rounders or sneak into the late first – Domonique Jones (SF), Jordan Crawford (SG) & Trevor Booker (PF).
  • I LOVE that Wade, Lebron, Joe Johnson & Bosh are all going to get together to talk about where they are going to go this off-season….
  • Rudy Fernandez used a bad word when talking about the Blazers organisation last season…deceived…  He said he was disappointed and deceived with his playing time, etc.  If he doesn’t go on his own accord, I reckon the Blazers should boot his a$$ out the door for saying that sh*t.

Falling out of Favour

Solomon Alabi Was predicted to be around the low 20s, but teams are looking at that 7-1 kid that only pulls down 6.0 rebounds a game in college…if you’re 7-1, and only getting 6 boards a game in college then you’re a lazy-a$$.

Craig Brakens 6-10, plays PF and also moves to the 3 spot.  Is big, long, but not strong.  Doesn’t play either forward spot overly well, but could blossom.  Hasn’t looked great so far and teams think he’s more a mid-second rounder.