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Posted on June 23, 2010 | 8 Comments
NBA Draft day is one of my favourite days of the year. It’s the day that separates the optimists and the pessimists. Optimists see this as a a chance to get a future All-Star, pessimists simply see this as another chance for their GM to screw up. I’m guessing there aren’t a lot of pessimists whose favourite team is the Spurs.
Since I consider myself a realistic, I guess I’m somewhere in between.
So as always happens, there are more rumours flying around than at any other time of year. Some is misinformation spread by teams wanting to throw other teams off the scent, some is made up stuff that somehow gets mistaken for real stuff and some is the truth. Unfortunately, it’s virtually impossible to separate the truth from the rumours now, unless you bowl with Chad Ford’s brother-in-law and are in the loop. Unfortunately, I ‘m not, so I have no idea.
A couple of deals have gone down…
- The Thunder have acquired Miami’s 18th pick and Daequan Cook in exchange for their 38th pick. It pays to have cap space around draft time. And for all you Raptor fans that wonder why Colangelo couldn’t pull that off, it’s because the Raptors couldn’t have absorbed Cooks contract.
- The Bucks traded their 2012 second round pick to the Nets for Chris Douglas-Roberts. Between trading for Maggette and getting Douglas-Roberts, it’s appearing that they aren’t banking on bringing Salmons back.
Some of the more interesting rumours flying around include…
- Toronto trading their 13th pick to Portland for Rudy Fernandez and the 22nd pick. My take? If Paul George, Ed Davis or another surprise player doesn’t drop to 13, I’d take this deal. I’m not excited about who else is available and Fernandez is probably better than anyone available there. Of course they’d have to figure out how to play four SGs, but they did that last season with Wright. Well, not very well, I guess. Still, if Turkoglu is traded, DeRozan and Weems could play the 3 and Fernandez and Belinelli man the 2.
- Orlando trading Vince to Washington for Gilbert Arenas. My take? Wow, is this how far Vince has fallen, and is this how desperate the Magic are? What exactly does this mean for Jameer Nelson, who was easily the second best player for the Magic during the playoffs.
- The Clippers trading the 8th pick to the Bulls for Deng. Well, the Clippers would have to actually select for the Bulls, since the Clippers aren’t under the cap until July 1st. This would take them out of the LeBron sweepstakes, but Deng would be a nice piece for them.
- The Nets may surprise everyone and take Wesley Johnson instead of Derrick Favors at the 3rd spot. The thinking, apparently, is that the Nets could simply sign an All-Star free agent (Boozer) and pair him with Johnson. I like Favors a lot more than Johnson, but the rumour does make sense. This summer there are a plethora of All-Star PFs available (Bosh, Stoudamire, Boozer, Dirk and David Lee) so they could pick up an All Star PF and then draft a potential All Star at SF. Still, it’s always best to draft the best player and in my opinion, it’s Favors.
- The Thunder may trade Eric Maynor and their 18th and 21st picks to Indiana for their 10th pick. That would give the Thunder to draft a legit big man, like Udoh, Ed Davis or Cole Aldrich, basically exactly what they need to take the next step. Presti might very well be best GM in the NBA right now.
We’ll see how many of those rumours come to fruition, and how many more start flying around tomorrow.
As for the draft itself, I’m not going to do a mock draft since everyone does that and it’s all basically guesswork. I’m going to take a quick look at some of the players, including which ones I like and which one’s I don’t like.
THE SURE-FIRE ALL-STARS:
John Wall: No explanation needed.
Evan Turner: I think he’s going to be a special player in the NBA.
Derrick Favors: The last player I think is a can’t miss prospect. If he doesn’t go third, the Nets are going to regret it, in my opinion.
Wesley Johnson: He doesn’t excite me, but he’ll probably end up being a good pick.
Ed Davis: It wouldn’t surprise me if he ended up winning a Championship one day. He’s got a very high basketball IQ and an underrated game.
Paul George: He’s got some bust potential, but I’ve read he might end up being the best player from this draft 5 years from now. That’s saying something. If he falls to the Raptors, I’ll be thrilled.
PLAYERS I’M UNSURE ABOUT:
DeMarcus Cousins: He’s got the talent to be the best player in the draft, but might have motivational issues and be a knucklehead. These are the types of players that get coaches and GMs fired, get traded around as teams get enticed by his potential, and usually end up disappointing everyone. Yes, he scares me.
Greg Monroe: I was tempted to put him in the previous category, but there’s just something about him that makes me hesitate. He’s certainly got the talent, but is the desire and heart there?
Al-Farouq Aminu: Like the players above, he’s got loads of talent, but he seems so painfully shy and quiet, I wonder how he’ll do in the NBA.
Cole Aldrich: He’s never going to be an All-Star, but I can see him as a ten year starter and a guy who is going to be a solid defender and rebounder.
Xavier Henry: There’s little spectacular about him, but he’s a very good shooter who also players defense. I wouldn’t be upset in the least if the Raptors take him at 13.
MAYBE, JUST MAYBE:
Eric Bledsoe: He had to play off guard beside Wall, but he’s apparently a true PG with blazing speed, good defensive and half decent scoring ability. He’s one of my sleepers.
I’LL GET BACK TO YOU:
Luke Babbitt: He’s a 6’7 small forward whose game might be better suited for power forward, but not his body. Guys like this never seem to work out.
Ekpe Udoh: He’s a fairly raw 23 year old athletic big man who is best at the defensive end. If he was 3 years younger, I’d be more enthusiastic, but at 23, you have to wonder why he hasn’t polished his game more.
Patrick Patterson: He’s a tough, undersized PF who isn’t a great rebounder or defender. So if he isn’t a great rebounder or defender, who cares how tough he is?
Gordon Hayward: If he didn’t surprise everyone and lead his team to the final game of the NCAA’s, would he be rated as high as he is? Why can’t I get Luke Jackson out of my head?
Avery Bradley: The fact that his name is so often connected with the Raptors scares the hell out of me. He’s got no PG skills, is undersized at the 2 and doesn’t finish well or draw contact when he drives. People love his defense, but Marcus Banks plays great defense, too. And he barely got off the bench. Oh, and they’re about the same size.
Hassan Whiteside: He’s extremely long, blocked 5.4 shots per game last season and is pretty mobile. Of course, i’ve heard he couldn’t even get really motivated during workouts. How do you think he’s going to do once he’s paid?
Damion Jones: A tough, excellent rebounding, athletic SF who plays very good defense. He’s not great on the offensive end, but he brings some talent to the table.
Larry Sanders: He’s got great length and athleticism, but he’s painfully thin. And you have to wonder if Hank Kinglsey is going to be part of his entourage.
Solomon Alabi: Again, great length but very raw. Apparently he’s a great teammate and might motivate his teammates.
Kevin Seraphin: See Alabi, but he’s shorter but stronger.
Willie Warren: You think he kicks himself for not coming out last season? I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up being one of the top 15 players in the draft….or craps out after his rookie contract is done.
Well, I really have no clue who the Raptors are going to end up with. This draft seems to be far to difficult to gauge. I would be surprised if a big name falls in their laps, or if they end up trading the pick. If nothing else, I think the night will be more full of surprises than usual. And in the end, it’s all about entertainment, isn’t it?
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