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NBA Draft Grades

June 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

Atlanta Hawks: D-

The Hawks traded away their first round pick (18th overall) as part of the deal for Kirk Hinrich. In the second round they landed center Keith Benson, but unless they make some moves they might not have room for him on the roster.

Although you'd think Hinrich would make this draft look better, remember the 18th pick was only a part of that deal as they traded Jordan Crawford and Mike Bibby (whom was bought out meaning cap space) as well. They overpaid, and now they are without even a solid player from this draft class.

Boston Celtics: B

Boston swapped 1st round picks and ended up with PF JaJuan Johnson and a future 2nd rounder. They also picked up E'Twaun Moore in 2nd round.

Overall I thought Boston did really well, instead of reaching for a player they moved back and picked up a future pick, and still landed a guy that makes sense for them. Johnson helps add to the lack of size in beantown right now, and he is a solid defender. Moore was a great pickup in the late 2nd round. While most teams were going with Euroleague reaches at that point, hoping they'd develop into something 3-4 years from now, the Celtics took a guy who can play this year. Moore will never be a starter, but he can be a solid role player and should be like a 4th guard on the team. Given the importance of their starting guards having that quality depth is important so you can rest them more in blowouts.

Charlotte Bobcats: B

Despite having two top 10 picks and saving some money in their trade, I hesitate to give Charlotte an A for this draft. Overall I like both Bismark Biyombo and Kemba Walker, but Brandon Knight was sitting there at number 7, and I think he is better than both Walker and Biyombo. If the Bobcats took Knight at 7, they would only have to hope the Pistons don't take Biyombo at 8, to land him as well. And even if the Pistons took Biyombo, you still have a number of promising players on the board, like say one of the Morris twins.

To me both Biyombo and Walker were slight reaches and the Bobcats didn't roll the dice on Knight, which is enough of a knock in my book. I also didn't understand dealing their 2nd rounder Jeremy Tyler for just cash considerations. I absolutely hate that as a rebuilding team, especially when Tyler could have some upside (and def. has size) which is lacking on this roster.

Chicago Bulls: B-

I like the Bulls trading up to get a high upside guy in Nikola Mirotic, but I worry it might be 3+ years before he comes over. If it is just one season that is fine, but any longer than that and I don't really get it. Adding Jimmy Butler gives them a capable wing player who can guard both the 2 and the 3. It's a solid draft considering they were drafting so late.

Cleveland Cavaliers: C+

I know the Cavs had two of the top 4 picks, but I thought their draft strategy was flawed from the very beginning. Sure they landed PG Kyrie Irving and PF Tristan Thompson, but I think they could have done so much better. For me Derrick Williams was the best player in this draft and considering that the Cavs had nothing at SF, he made the most sense. By taking him at 1 the Cavs ensured themselves that they would either get a PG (Irving or Brandon Knight) or a Center (Enes Kanter) at 4. Instead by taking Irving they had to reach for Thompson over Knight since he was no longer a need.

I also don't like it because if you currently look at the Cavs roster their 4 best players are PG's Baron Davis and Ramon Sessions and PF's J.J. Hickson and Antwan Jamison, and those are the two positions you addressed with the 1st and 4th picks. Now Irving should be better than Sessions and Davis, and they can now go on the trade block, as will Jamison, but the point is the upgrade won't be too much next season. And this is still a team without any real production from their SG, SF and C.

Although not as important their 2nd round strategy was also really bad. They traded away a quality player in Justin Harper (while he was another 4, he could be a stretch 3 as well) for two 2nd rounders. And while they traded a redundant guy, they could have taken a guy like Kyle Singler, Tyler Honeycutt, Jeremy Tyler etc. who would have filled an actual need. Maybe they wouldn't be starters, but I think they could crack the rotation. As for the other 2nd rounder they took a Euro guy who might not ever come over. With again guys who could maybe crack the least talented roster in the NBA still on the board.

Dallas Mavericks: B

While I like the pickup of Rudy Fernandez for them, I was a big fan of Jordan Hamilton and would have just kept him as a quality role player. Fernandez is more of a sure thing, but I don't see this as anything but an average move for Dallas.

Denver Nuggets: B+

Not only did the Nuggets swap an unhappy player, for one that should be a better fit in the Raymond Felton-Andre Miller swap, but they picked up an extra 1st rounder. I love both of the Nuggets 1st rounders Kenneth Faried and Jordan Hamilton so they get high marks for me. The one thing I don't understand is how Hamilton fits in, as Denver is quite deep at the 3. Regardless it is a good player to pick up, that should give them trade flexibility later this season.

Detroit Pistons: A-

I love the Brandon Knight pick in the first round as I think he is an impact player in this league. By taking him the Pistons can move Rodney Stuckey to the 2, and now have a nice little core with Greg Monroe as well. I wasn't as impressed with Singler at the top of the 2nd, but he has some ability and has a low floor (he won't be a bust).

Golden State Warriors: A-

I'm a huge fan of their draft overall. I love Klay Thompson and think that he and Stephen Curry will basically have a 3-point shooting contest each night. While some people don't like Thompson, because they don't see the upside, I really disagree. He's not exceptionally quick or athletic, but he is an excellent shooter with outstanding basketball intelligence. In the 2nd round they landed Charles Jenkins and traded cash for Jeremy Tyler, adding a PG and a big man, which I thought was great. The additions of Jenkins and Thompson will likely allow the Warriors to deal Monte Ellis this season for hopefully another piece.

Houston Rockets: B

I really liked all three of the Rockets picks in F Marcus Morris, PF Donatas Motiejunas, and SF Chandler Parsons, and I like the acquisition of Johnny Flynn as well (though they gave up a future protected 1st round pick). What I don't understand is where are all these guys going to play. The Rockets were pretty set at SF and PF (not to mention PG), so I just don't know where they all fit in. Maybe they will look to make current PF Jordan Hill more of a center and possibly Motiejunas as well, but that could be a reach of a projection. The Rockets have a ton of good players, but could be best served by packing some for a more impact player or a true center.

Indiana Pacers: B

I like their trade for George Hill, but they gave up both of their draft picks to do it. There will be some risk involved, but this was a playoff team, so who knows it could pan out.

LA Clippers: C

I know the loss of the top pick stings for the Clippers, but they had no way of knowing that would happen and they had to rid themselves of Baron Davis. LA did redeem themselves with a pair of solid 2nd rounders in Travis Leslie and Trey Tompkins (who were teammates at Georgia). Both have some solid upside and should be good role players for the Clippers.

LA Lakers: C+

The Lakers had 4 2nd round picks, but only the first two deserve a mention (they did pick up a future 2nd rounder for one), in PG Darius Morris and SG Andrew Goudelock. Morris has some legitimate upside and could develop into a solid starter 3 years from now, but Goudelock is likely a 12th man at best. It would have been better if the Lakers added some size, and they might regret that.

Memphis Grizzlies: B+

The Grizzlies only had a 2nd rounder, but they might have hit a homerun in Josh Selby, who is a combo guard with quality starting upside. He could end up a steal of this draft class, so great move by Memphis.

Miami Heat: B

The Heat traded up from the 2nd round to land PG Norris Cole and I think they made a smart move. A lot of guards were off the board and getting the guy they wanted was key. Cole could develop into a better guy to run this offense than Chalmers and gives them some decent upside.

Milwaukee Bucks: B

They added some talent in 3-way trade and still landed a quality prospect in Tobias Harris. Add that with a solid 2nd rounder in Jon Leuer and I'd call it a pretty good day for them.

Minnesota Timberwolves: B+

Mainly this grade is due to landing Williams, but their multiple trade backs, brought them value in a future 1st rounder and a ton of cash. Also they netted Malcolm Lee who should replace Johnny Flynn.

New Jersey Nets: B

I like the Nets pick of Marshon Brooks, despite it not being the biggest need, and Jordan Williams was great value in the 2nd round. The pick I don't get was the 31st pick, as he is a good Euro player, but won't be over in the next few years. The Nets need to show they can win right now and I think there were role players on the board that could have helped.

New York Knicks: C

I like both Iman Shumpert and Josh Harrellson (and just giving up cash to get the latter), but thought that there were way to many better options on the board at 17 than Shumpert. This was a big risk and one that could come back to bite them.

New Orleans Hornets: F

They didn't have a pick in this draft and the trades they made didn't net them any big pieces.

Oklahoma City Thunder: B

I like the Reggie Jackson pick, but he is really redundant on this team. Maybe that means Maynor is on his way out, but right now it is a bit of a head scratcher. Good value for the pick though.

Orlando Magic: B-

While they didn't have a 1st rounder I thought the Magic did good in acquiring two young role players in Justin Harper and DeAndre Liggins. Both should give them good bench depth and help this team out going forward.

Philadelphia 76ers: D+

I see Nikola Vucevic as a huge reach for the 16th pick and feel that LaVory Allen was not even worth being drafted in the 2nd round. I really question this draft and feel that it was a huge misstep.

Phoenix Suns: B

I really like the Suns pick of Marikeff Morris and thinks he will be an instant upgrade on this team.

Portland Trailblazers: B-

I actually like the Nolan Smith pick, and feel that he can be a solid backup guard for Portland. This wasn't a great draft, but I thought Smith had 1st round value.

Sacramento Kings: C+

Their part in the 3 way trade made zero sense, since they lost draft position and in my book the better player, but afterwards I thought they rebounded. Jimmer Fredette is a bit of a risk, but I also am a believer in him. I think he can play and compliments Tyreke Evans very well. I also liked adding a pair of solid 2nd rounders in Honeycutt and Isiah Thomas.

San Antonio Spurs: A-

They gave up George Hill for Kawhi Leonard and David Bertans, but I think it was worth it. Leonard helps them this year, and Bertans is a great stash player, even if it takes 2 years. In addition they picked up a young PG in Cory Joseph who will replace Hill as the backup to Tony Parker.

Toronto Raptors: B

Jonas Valanciunas should make this pick an A, but there is at least some question as to whether or not he can be bought out this year. If the Raptors need to wait a year than this pick was a bit of a waste.

Utah Jazz: A-

I thought the Jazz did well in playing the field and taking the top center and waiting to see what PG would fall to them. I really like Kanter and thinks he gives Utah another legit big. While I'm sure the Jazz were hoping for Jimmer or Kemba, landing Alec Burks is pretty good. Utah came out of this draft with two guys who should be quality starters by year two and that is a win.

Washington Wizards: B+

The Wizards did well landing 3 quality players in this draft in PF Jan Vesely, SF Chris Singleton and PG Shelvin Mack, but I don't see this as an overall win. Vesely has some real holes in his game, and he at times looks like a SF in a PF's body. Singleton is a great defender, but the Wizards needed a scorer that Wall could distribute to. And while Mack is a good pick, he will be only a bench player in Washington. I would have liked to have seen them possibly go for Hamilton or Tyler with their 18th and 34th picks. It's not an awful draft, but I don't know if it is a great one either.

NBA Draft Rumors:

June 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

Thunder looking to move Eric Maynor to jump into the lottery:

It is an interesting move for the Thunder as they look to add another impact talent to their roster, but I don't know if Maynor and the 24th pick will be enough to move up into the top 10. I like Eric Maynor than most, and think that he could start for a handful of teams, but there are a lot of point guards with upside in this draft, that a team could prefer instead. As it stands now I don't see a deal happening, but if the Thunder sweeten their offer a deal could get done.

76ers looking to deal Andre Iguodala Potentially for the 2nd overall pick:

The Timberwolves have long been after acquiring a veteran player for their 2nd overall selection, and Iguodala would be a good addition for them. There seem to be other suitors as well so I don't know if this deal gets done tonight. If I'm the 76ers though I'd make the deal so they could select Derrick Williams.

Spurs looking to deal either George Hill or Tony Parker to move up in the draft:

The real sticking point seems to be the Spurs wanting to include Richard Jefferson in any trade proposal. I understand they want to get younger (though then why deal Hill), but Jefferson has negative trade value at this point. I would look to do the best deal possible for Parker or Hill and move on from there. Trying to add Jefferson to the deal means their return for a quality point guard will be minimal and that just doesn't make sense. Yes I know they would free up money, but it doesn't seem worth it.

Kings could flip the 7th pick for PG Raymond Felton:

This would be a smart trade for the Nuggets because it would bring another 1st rounder from the Carmelo Anthony trade. For the Kings it gives them a veteran PG, as opposed to hoping to develop someone. I think it is a risky move for the Kings, but I can at least understand it.

 

 

2011 NBA Mock Draft 2nd Round

June 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

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1st Round

31. Miami Heat (via Minnesota): PG Shelvin Mack, 6'2" Butler

The Heat need PG help, and while Mack isn't they most dynamic PG on the board, he has plenty of veteran leadership and is capable of distributing the ball effectively.

32. Cleveland Cavaliers: SF Chandler Parsons, 6'10" Florida

The Cavs didn't address their needs at SF, and Parsons should at least be a solid role player, making this a good fit.

33. Detroit Pistons: (via Toronto): SF Kyle Singler, 6'8" Duke

The Pistons could use a SF if Prince leaves, and they should value Singler's veteran presence and leadership, as well as his deadly shooting ability.

34. Washington Wizards: C/PF Jeremy Tyler, 6'11" International-

The Wizards add another big man here with the once heralded Tyler. Tyler was once thought to possess lottery talent, but his decision to play overseas backfired on him.  He's a capable big though and still has an extremely bright future. He could be a steal at this spot and should give the Wizards depth at the 4 and the 5.

35. Sacramento Kings: SF Nikola Mirotic, 6'10" Montenegro

Mirotic is a player who is rumored to be of consideration in the first round, and he offers size, talent and potential here for the Kings.

36. New Jersey Nets: PG Norris Cole, 6'1" Cleveland State

Cole has some legitimate NBA potential though he could slide given his weaker competition level. He'd be a nice backup PG to Williams, and infuse some much needed youth into this team.

37. Los Angeles Clippers (via Detroit): SG Travis Leslie, 6'4" Georgia

Leslie is a high upside player, with great penetrating ability. He should be a valuable role player, and give good minutes as a rookie.

38. Houston Rockets: SG Scotty Hopson, 6'5" Tennessee

There is a chance the Rockets double up on centers here, but I could see them taking a long look at Hopson. I'm thinking the Rockets might try to trade one of their guards/small forwards, which would allow Hopson to be a valuable contributor off the bench.

39. Charlotte Bobcats: SF Jereme Richmond, 6'6" Illinois

Richmond has big time upside, and while he should have waited another year, he has starting ability. The Bobcats have a pretty thin roster so I'm sure they can find some good minutes for him next year.

40. Milwaukee: PF Jon Leuer 6'10" Wisconsin

A couple years ago Tyler was talked about being a potential top pick overall in this draft class. Unfortunately he decided to play professionally instead of going to college and it set him back. He has excellent size and potential, and could be a steal in the 2nd round for the Bucks.

41. Los Angeles Lakers (via Golden State): SF Jeff Taylor, 6'7" Vanderbilt

The Lakers will take the top player on the board with their first of 4 2nd round picks. Taylor fits the bill here and is a player with a good bit of upside.

42. Indiana Pacers: C Nikola Vucevic 7'0" USC

Indiana could use another big and Vucevic offers them great size and potential here.

43. Chicago Bulls (via Phoenix): G Malcolm Lee, 6'4" UCLA

The Bulls might have already taken one combo guard, but that doesn't mean they won't double up. Their SG production was horrible last season, and it needs to get better for them to win the Finals. Lee is a good value pick here and could be a starter down the road.

44. Golden State (via Utah): PF Justin Harper 6'10" Richmond

Golden State loves long athletic big men, and Harper gives them yet another to mix into their front court.

45. New Orleans Hornets: SG John Jenkins, 6'5" Vanderbilt

Jenkins is an absolute sniper from the 3-point line, and is just the type of role player the Hornets could use.

46. LA Lakers (via New York): C Greg Smith, 6'10" Fresno State

Smith offers the Lakers some size, depth, and decent value for this pick. In all likelihood the Lakers will trade/sell one of these 2nd rounders and this could very well be the one that is moved.

47. LA Clippers: PG Darius Morris, 6'3" Michigan

Morris has developed into a pretty good young point guard in college, and his game could translate well to the NBA. He would be a good value and fills a nice backup need for the Clippers.

48. Atlanta Hawks: PF Malcolm Thomas, 6'9" San Diego State

Thomas has some upside here, but he also helps toughen up the Hawks on defense and on the boards.

49. Memphis Grizzlies: PG Cory Joseph, 6'3" Texas

Memphis doesn't have a huge need for a PG, but I love Joseph's upside and he can help out at the 2 as well. He's got a lot of potential and gives them yet another good young bench player.

50. Philadelphia 76ers (via NO): SG David Lighty, 6'6" Ohio State

Shooting guard isn't a huge need for Philly, but Lighty is a smart heady player that I think will fit in well with their rotation. His upside is a bit limited, but he also is a high probability for being a solid contributor.

51. Portland Trailblazers: SG Bojan Bogdanovic 6'7" Croatia

Look for the Trailblazers to maybe take a Euro player whom they can keep overseas for a year or two.

52. Denver Nuggets: PF Rick Jackson, 6'9" Syracuse

The Nuggets could use some size down low this season, and Jackson is easily a guy who could be taken 10-15 picks higher, making him a good value here.

53. Orlando Magic: PF/C Mouphtaou Yarou, 6'10" Villanova

The Magic need some depth along their front court. Yarou doesn't have a great offensive game, but he should be an asset on defense and on the boards.

54. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Oklahoma City): SG/SF DeAndre Liggins 6'7" Kentucky

Liggins looks to be a role player/ defensive stopper at the next level. His offensive game has yet to take off, but he is an advanced defender and is capable of playing both the 2 and the 3.

55. Boston Celtics: SF Jamine Peterson, 6'7" D-League

There are some off the court issues that need looking into, but Peterson showed last year that he can play in the developmental league and he could be ready to contribute this season.

56. LA Lakers (via Miami): PG Isaiah Thomas, 5'9" Washington

Thomas might end up being the smallest player drafted, but you have to like his heart and competitive fire. Great bench pick up by the Lakers here, and someone who will come in and give some energy to the Lakers bench.

57. Dallas Mavericks: PG Jacob Pullen, 6'0" Kansas State

Pullen isn't the greatest passer or the most athletic player, but he could be a good fit for Dallas as a backup combo guard. He plays with a lot of intensity and is an excellent 3 point shooter. He makes a great option off the bench for an aging Dallas team, and would be a smart pick late in the 2nd round.

58. Los Angeles Lakers: PF/C Gus Gilchrist, 6'10" South Florida

Look for the Lakers to add another big man with this late pick, and Gilchrist to be among their top choices. Gilchrist's career has been somewhat sidetracked by injuries of late, but the Lakers could easily take a flyer on him with a late 2nd rounder. When healthy Gilchrist shows the ability to be at least a backup NBA center, so this could end up being a steal here.

59. San Antonio Spurs: G Iman Shumpet, 6'4" Georgia Tech

Do the Spurs need another combo guard? No not at all, but this is a team that takes a certain type of player and Shumpet fits that bill. This need could be increased if Tony Parker is dealt on draft day, and if so I think it is a good fit. Shumpet has some upside and is a pretty advanced defender.

60. Sacramento Kings (via Chicago): PF/SF Jamie Skeen, 6'8" VCU

Skeen has led VCU in their Final Four run and has completely increased his draft stock 10-fold. He does have some potential and can help out at multiple positions which is a big plus.

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2011 NBA Mock Draft 6/23

June 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

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2nd Round

1. Cleveland Cavaliers:  PG Kyrie Irving, 6'2" Duke-

It's a tough call for the Cavs, they can take the top PG, whom many believe is the top player or the star wing they desperately need. I think they will lean towards Irving even though that is a bit of a mistake. I think Williams is simply too good to pass up, and they can fill their need at PG later in this draft. Irving looks like the pick though so they will sink or swim with him.

2. Minnesota Timberwolves: SF Derrick Williams, 6'8" Arizona-

If Irving is on the board here they are likely to trade this pick as it looks like Ricky Rubio will be making his way to the U.S. this season. With Irving off the board this comes down to Derrick Williams and Enes Kanter. I think the T-wolves end up dealing this selection, but I'll put Williams here since I think that is who will be selected in this spot.

3. Utah Jazz : PG Brandon Knight, 6'3" Kentucky -

The Jazz could look to take Enes Kanter here, or trade this pick for an established player, but Knight is probably the best fit. I love his PG potential, and think he can quickly replace Deron Williams as Utah's PG.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers: PF-C Enes Kanter, 6'10" Turkey-

The Cavs luck out here as the 2nd player the covet is still on the board. Cleveland adds both a PG and C in this draft and should quickly enable their rebuild. There is some talk that they might be more interested in another European big, so don't be shocked if they trade back. I'd personally go Kanter, but if they can pick up another 1st for moving back a few slots I can't fault them.

5. Toronto Raptors: PF Donatas Motiejunas, 7'0" Lithuania-

The Raptors will likely take one of the Euro players with this pick. I know Motiejunas isn't rated as high, but I think he fits better. There also appear to be less questions involving his buyout, making him a safer pick for the Raptors.

6. Washington Wizards: F Jordan Hamilton, 6'7" Texas-

This will be considered by some to be a bit of a reach pick by Washington, but I love Hamilton's upside (and his ability to contribute this season). He fits a need for the Wizards and while he's not the 6th ranked player right now, I'm willing to bet he'd be in this area when you look back at this draft 3-4 years from now.The team desperately wants either Williams or Kanter so they should be looking to move up, but if a deal doesn't get done maybe they look to trade back.

7. Sacramento Kings: F Jan Vessely, 6'11" Czech Republic-

Vessely gives the Kings another quality big to play alongside Cousins in the Kings front court. He looks to be a solid two-way player and he has some serious upside.

8. Detroit Pistons: PG Kemba Walker, 6'0" Connecticut-

The Pistons don't really need a PG, but that's alright because Walker isn't a true PG. Walker is a competitor and a winner and is a great fit for a team like Detroit. He can help the Pistons move on from some of their veteran players, and get younger. If the Pistons end up dealing this selection Walker could be in for a free fall in this draft.

9. Charlotte Bobcats: SF Kawhi Leonard, 6'7" San Diego St.-

Leonard isn't a star, but he is a quality 3 and could fill Gerald Wallace's shoes quite nicely. He's tough on the glass and is the ultimate competitor and complimentary player.

10. Milwaukee Bucks: SG Klay Thompson, 6'6" Washington St.-

This could be a spot for Burks or a big man, but I like the idea of Thompson here. His range on his 3-pointer is unreal and he will give Milwaukee a great option beyond the arc. He should be the perfect compliment to Brandon Jennings and give the Bucks a good back court.

11. Golden St. Warriors: PG/SG Josh Selby, 6'3" Kansas-

Selby is an extremely gifted athlete who I think will challenge for a lottery spot. He can back up both guard positions and he has the type of speed that the Warriors build their offense around. Put him as the 3rd guard to go along with Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry and the Warriors back court is now extremely dangerous.

12. Utah Jazz: PF Bismark Biyombo, 6'9" Spain-

The Jazz should use their 2nd 1st rounder to add some size to their front court. Biyombo is a raw talent, but he looks to be an excellent rebounder and has plenty of upside.

13. Phoenix Suns: PG/SG Alec Burks, 6'6" Colorado-

Burks isn't a perfect fit in Phoenix as he is more of a slasher than a shooter, but he has excellent potential, is highly athletic and can play multiple positions. And with Vince Carter likely on his way out the door this pick makes some sense.

14. Houston Rockets: C Jonas Valanciunas, 7'0" Lithuania-

Houston is a team to watch in moving up, but if they stay here this is a smart pick for them.Valanciunas might be the best European player, but his buyout will likely make him slide in this draft. He has excellent size though and would be a nice fit in Houston whenever they can bring him over.

15. Indiana Pacers: SG Jimmer Fredette, 6'2" BYU-

Jimmer Fredette comes right out of the cast of Hoosiers so in some ways he was born to be a Pacer. He is a fantastic shooter, who uses heart and determination to overcome lack of athletic ability or size. While he is a pick that comes with a fair share of risks, I also believe that he can be a very valuable player in the long haul. He's got a little Reggie Miller in him, in his fearless shooting ability so I don't see him lasting past this pick.

16. Philadelphia 76ers: SF/PF Marcus Morris, 6'9" Kansas-

The 76ers need some help to their front court and grabbing a Morris twin here makes sense. Marcus is the better offensive player and would be a nice fit in Philly.

17. New York Knicks: PG Reggie Jackson, 6'3" Boston College-

The Knicks look to be looking for a young point guard and Jackson would be a good fit here. I know a lot of names are flying around here, but I really like Jackson for the Knicks. I think he is more refined than people give him credit for, and he will give good minutes as a rookie.

18. Washington Wizards: PF Kenneth Faried, 6'8" Morehead St.-

Does Washington need another PF, no not by any means. But the Wizards shouldn't pass up one of the most productive players in college basketball. Now Faried will need to at least have some semblance of a jumper to be a starter, but he should be an excellent role player for the Wizards. The Wizards could potentially use this pick to move up, but it looks like Minnesota wants a veteran to move the 2nd pick.

19. Charlotte Bobcats: G Marshon Brooks 6'5" Providence-

With their two picks the Bobcats should look to add a G and a forward, with landing Leonard earlier the Bobcats will be quite happy to see Brooks still on the board. Brooks can be the point guard they are looking for or he can fill in at SG. He's got great versatility and upside. He should be a at worst a 6th man as a rookie, and should provide Charlotte with a boost to their backcourt.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves:  PF Tristian Thompson, 6'9" Texas-

A lot could depend on what the Wolves do with their first pick, but regardless Thompson would represent excellent value here. He's got front line potential and could be a good starter down the road. He's a tough rebounder with an impressive offensive skill set.

21. Portland Trailblazers: PF/C Markieff Morris, 6'10" Kansas-

The Trailblazers could use another power forward here, and while Morris isn't a great all-around player he fits here. He's got excellent size and can play both the 4 and the 5, with a strong defensive game and an increasing offensive game. He can come in as a role player early and hopefully develop a defensive presence down the road.

22. Denver Nuggets: SF Chris Singleton, 6'8" Florida St.-

Singleton is moving up draft boards, and he could help fill the large shoes of Carmelo in Denver. The Nuggets could look at more of a big man here, but I like Singleton's upside.

23. Houston Rockets: PG/SG Nolan Smith, 6'3" Duke-

This might be high for Nolan Smith, but I really like his game. I think he is a smart player who gets the most out of his abilities. He probably will peak as a 6th man type of guy, but he should offer the Rockets good depth at both guard positions.

24. Oklahoma City Thunder: F Tobias Harris, 6'8" Tennessee-

Harris gives the Thunder additional front court help, and is a good value pick at this spot. Given their talented roster they are likely to move this selection for a future 1st rounder, but if they stay on the board than Harris makes sense. He should be able to give them solid play as a rookie off the bench. He's got starting potential, and on a number of other teams would be relied upon as a 25 min guy as a rookie, so the skill set is there.

25. Boston Celtics: C Lucas Noguiera, 6'11" Brazil-

Boston needs to add some size, and whether they decide to keep Noguiera overseas or not this is a good value pick for them here.

26. Dallas Mavericks: G/F Tyler Honeycutt, 6'8" UCLA-

The Mavericks don't have one major position of need so I think they will look for the best player available. Honeycutt fits that bill, and he is the type of guy who can be a solid role player off the bench before developing into a potential starter.

27. New Jersey Nets: F/C Jordan Williams, 6'10" Maryland-

Williams seems to be moving up draft boards and its easy to see why. He is a legit big man who has the bulk to take on almost all 4's and 5's. While his game hasn't reached his potential yet, his size alone will make him valuable. He would be a nice fit next to Lopez in the middle.

28. Chicago Bulls: PF Trey Tompkins, 6'10" Georgia-

While the Bulls have Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson, they could use some extra size in their front court, especially come playoff time. Tompkins is a guy who seems to get underrated in a lot of circles, but I really think he can play. He's also more of a veteran player, so he will probably be more adaptable to a bench role than some younger guys who might not be as mature.

29. San Antonio Spurs: PF JaJuan Johnson, 6'10" Purdue-

The Spurs need to add some size here, while they are getting old all over, their inside game is extremely vulnerable when Duncan isn't in there. Johnson is a nice safe addition here.

30. Chicago Bulls: G Charles Jenkins, 6'3" Hofstra-

The Bulls need to improve their SG talent in this draft and while Jenkins is more of a combo guard, I think he is a great fit here. He's an extremely good shooter, who is not afraid to drive to the basket. He's a smart basketball player who can handle point for the 5-10 minutes that Derrick Rose will be on the bench.

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2011 NBA Draft Big Board Top 50 Updated 6/22

June 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

Click HERE for full NBA Draft Coverage, including Mock Drafts, Position Rankings, Polls & More!

Also we'll be hosting a LIVE Chat for fans during the ENTIRE NBA Draft!

1. Derrick Williams, SF, Arizona:

2. Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke:

3. Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky:

4. Enes Kanter, C-F, Turkey:

5. Tristan Thompson, PF, Texas:

6. Jan Vessley, C-F, Czech Republic:

7. Jonas Valanciunas, PF, Lithuania:

8. Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Diego State:

9. Donatas Motiejunas, PF, Lithuania:

10. Alec Burks, SG, Colorado:

11. Bismark Biyombo, PF, Spain:

12. Jordan Hamilton, SF, Texas:

13. Marcus Morris, PF, Kansas:

14. Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State:

15. Markieff Morris, PF-C, Kansas:

16. Kemba Walker, PG, Connecticut:

17. Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead St.:

18. Tobias Harris, PF, Tennessee:

19. Jimmer Fredette, PG, BYU:

20. Josh Selby, PG-SG, Kansas:

21. Chris Singleton, SF, Florida State:

22. Reggie Jackson, PG, Boston College:

23. Tyler Honeycutt, SF, UCLA:

24. Lucas Nogueira, C, Brazil:

25. Jordan Williams, C, Maryland:

26. Darius Morris, PG, Michigan:

27. Justin Harper, PF, Richmond:

28. JaJuan Johnson, PF, Purdue:

29. Marshon Brooks, PG, Providence:

30. Nikola Mirotic, SF, Serbia:

31. Charles Jenkins, PG, Hofstra:

32. Nolan Smith, PG-SG, Duke:

33. Trey Thompkins, PF, Geogia:

34. Malcolm Lee, PG, UCLA:

35. Chandler Parsons, SF, Florida:

36. Travis Leslie, SG, Georgia:

37. Shelvin Mack, PG, Butler:

38. Jereme Richmond, SF, Illinois:

39. Davis Bertans, SF, Latvia:

40. Jon Leuer, PF, Wisconsin:

41. Jeremy Tyler, PF, International:

42. Norris Cole, PG, Cleveland St.:

43. Kyle Singler, SF, Duke:

44. Cory Joseph, PG, Texas:

45. Nikola Vucevic, PF, USC:

46. Keith Benson, C, Oakland:

47. Iman Shumpert, PG, Georgia Tech:

48. Scotty Hopson, SG, Tennessee:

49. Jimmy Butler, SF, Marquette:

50. Andrew Goudelock, SG, College of Charleston:

NBA Draft Roundtable Debate

June 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

By Guest Blogger John Manuel & friends:

NBA Draft question to the "Supreme Court" of Fanspeak.com:

If you are the GM of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the NBA draft lottery
was just rigged for you to win…Who are you taking?

Bob – Does it even matter. Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams, and Brandon
Knight are no Kevin Durant or Derrick Rose. Kyrie Irving will probably go
first and Cleveland will continue to be horrible. Let’s see, we have an
injury prone Duke player going #1. Hmmm. What could possibly go wrong? I
think the best player in the draft, but not saying he should go first, is
Chris Singleton, Florida State. He will have a long career in the NBA.

Gib – The knee jerk move might be to take Kyrie Irving, but I would take
Derrick Williams with the #1 pick. The guy is a winner and has a good
blend of speed and strength that should translate well to the pro
game. With the fourth pick I would take Kemba Walker. Really, I think
Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams are pretty close in terms of who to pick
#1, but if you have the opportunity to get a point guard like Kemba with
#4, it makes it easy to go for Williams at the top of the draft instead of
Irving.

Stinger – I would go with Kyrie Irving. He was pretty dominant as a
Freshman in the 10 or so games he actually played in. Derek Williams
should also be good but I would feel that Irving is the safer pick. Much
like when Chicago had to make the decision of Derrick Rose or Michael
Beasley. At the time it was pretty close, but obviously they made the
right call. I wouldn’t go with Enes Kantor. Nothing about his skills or
talent. It’s solely based on his judgments. The guy was begging to play
for the Wizards. He can’t be that bright. If Cleveland could pull off
that trade with Detroit and Minnesota and get 1 and 2, that would be ideal
for them and this question is a waste. It will probably happen since
David Kahn is a complete buffoon of a GM and Joe Dumars has seemed to lost
his magic touch.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?  WHO SHOULD CLEVELAND TAKE WITH THE FIRST OVERALL PICK IN THE NBA DRAFT?

 

 

 

2011 NBA Draft Scouting Report: PG Brandon Knight

June 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

PG Brandon Knight, Kentucky:

Measurables: 6'4" 180 lbs.

Pros:

  • Very quick, capable of beating most NBA guards to the hole
  • Good size and length for a PG
  • Smart basketball player, knows how to gain position, both offensively and defensively
  • Very advanced defender, makes a lot of big plays on that side of the ball
  • Highly competitive and just a real clutch player.
  • Has good 3-point range
  • Capable of taking the ball to the basket

Cons:

  • Not a pure PG, more of a combo guard who's solid at the PG position
  • Might not fit into all systems
  • Disappeared at times for the majority of the game
  • Can be a bit streaky at times
  • Shot selection needs more improvement, especially on 3-pointers
  • Passing needs some work

Analysis:

Knight is battling Kemba Walker for the 2nd PG spot in this draft, but I personally believe he has it all wrapped up. I love his athletic ability and potential going forward. I also see him as more advanced than you typically see 19 year olds. He still needs to work on some areas of his game, but he should be the type of guard who can be a quality starter by year 2 or 3 (i.e. top 15 in the league). He's not the purest of passers, which could make him a bad fit for some teams, but I think the overall package is there, and there is an outside chance he even surpasses Kyrie Irving. While he gets a lot of John Wall comparisons, and they are somewhat valid, I see him as more of a Brandon Jennings or Russell Westbrook type of guard.

2011 NBA Draft Scouting Reports: PG Kyrie Irving

June 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke-

Measurables: 6'4" 191 lbs.

Pros:

  • Best point guard in this class and makes a strong case for top overall prospect
  • He's a good passer, and uses his scoring ability as a feint to find the open man
  • Top notch shooter, with good 3-point range
  • Very apt as a slasher as well, able to drive to the basket and get points (and force fouls) in the paint
  • Lights out free throw shooter, putting him on the line is basically free points
  • Is a pretty advanced defender and should create a lot of turnovers
  • Good athleticism and speed

Cons:

  • Played in just 11 college games, and is really tough to get a handle of how advanced he is
  • Can be sloppy with his passes, needs to work on being more efficient
  • his speed and quickness will probably never be up there with the top PG's in the league, will he be able to guard faster guards
  • He's got great potential, but probably not as high as some other recent PG's

Overview:

There is little doubt that Irving is one of the finest prospects in this class and a day one starter, but I think overall he is slightly over-hyped. When I compare him to recent highly drafted PG's like John Wall and Derrick Rose, I think he is a notch below them. I just don't see him becoming the next Chris Paul or Deron Williams, and think his ceiling while high is limited. Irving might never be a top 5 caliber PG, and will probably be more in that 8-12 range. While that is extremely good, it would give me some pause if I were Cleveland with the number 1 overall pick. It is still a great prospect portfolio overall, but one that might not be worthy of the top pick.

2011 NBA Draft Scouting Report: F Derrick Williams

June 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

Derrick Williams, SF/PF, Arizona-

Measurables: 6'8" 246 lbs.

Pros:

  • Comes up big when needed most, Williams was a key component of the Wildcats Tourney run
  • Smart basketball player, understands the nuances of the game
  • Great range, can be a good NBA 3-point shooter and can pull up from anywhere inside the arc
  • Very good penetrator, capable of playing above the rim
  • Good decision maker, won't force shots if they aren't there
  • Very good rebounder, comes up with a lot of boards despite playing out of the paint a lot
  • excellent shot blocker, uses his impressive leaping ability to swat down shots
  • Improving all around defender, can force a number of bad shots
  • extremely quick for his size, he's capable of running the break, and can work in any offense
  • Somewhat versatile

Cons:

  • Versatility could be overstated, doesn't have great size to guard most 4's in the NBA
  • Defense needs to be tighter, he will face quicker and stronger opponents than in college, and can't give them room to operate
  • While a good shooter, he can be streaky at times and go cold for entire halves or games

Overview:

Williams is not only the best forward in this draft, but I believe he is the best all-around player. His inside-outside game is pretty much NBA ready and compares favorably to guys like LeBron James and Kevin Durant. He might not be as elite as those two stars, but he is closer than most people give him credit for. Really refined his game and showed vast improvements his second year in college, and still has even more potential. Within 3 years, I think he will become one of the NBA elite players and is a legitimate franchise prospect.

2011 NBA Mock Draft 6/08

June 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

Click HERE for full NBA Draft Coverage, including Mock Drafts, Position Rankings, Polls & More!

Also we'll be hosting a LIVE Chat for fans during the ENTIRE NBA Draft!

1. Cleveland Cavaliers: SF Derrick Williams, 6'7" Arizona-

It's a tough call for the Cavs, they can take the top PG, whom many believe is the top player or the star wing they desperately need. I think they will lean towards Irving even though that is a bit of a mistake. I think Williams is simply too good to pass up, and they can fill their need at PG later in this draft.

2. Minnesota Timberwolves: PG Kyrie Irving, 6'2" Duke-

If Irving is on the board here they are likely to trade this pick as it looks like Ricky Rubio will be making his way to the U.S.Regardless of who has this pick Irving will be the pick here. He's an elite PG and will start from day one.

3. Utah Jazz : PG Brandon Knight, 6'3" Kentucky -

The Jazz could look to take Enes Kanter here, or trade this pick for an established player, but Knight is probably the best fit. I love his PG potential, and think he can quickly replace Deron Williams as Utah's PG.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers: PF-C Enes Kanter, 6'10" Turkey-

The Cavs luck out here as the 2nd player the covet is still on the board. Cleveland adds both a PG and C in this draft and should quickly enable their rebuild. The options aren't good after the Williams and Kanter go, but i could see the Wizards grabbing a European big man who has the upside to be a star. Motiejunas isn't a great rebounder, but he is still developing and the Wizards already have bigs like Booker and McGee who are more defensive-minded.

5. Toronto Raptors: PF Donatas Motiejunas, 7'0" Lithuania-

The Raptors will likely take one of the Euro players with this pick. I know Motiejunas isn't rated as high, but I think he fits better. There also appear to be less questions involving his buyout, making him a safer pick for the Raptors.

6. Washington Wizards: F Tristan Thompson, 6'9" Texas-

The Wizards need to add some size and should take a long look at Thompson. Thompson has unlimited potential and he could make an early impact for the Wizards. The team desperately wants either Williams or Kanter so they should be looking to move up.

7. Sacramento Kings: F Jan Vessely, 6'11" Czech Republic-

Vessely gives the Kings another quality big to play alongside Cousins in the Kings front court. He looks to be a solid two-way player and he has some serious upside.

8. Detroit Pistons: PG Kemba Walker, 6'0" Connecticut-

The Pistons don't really need a PG, but that's alright because Walker isn't a true PG. Walker is a competitor and a winner and is a great fit for a team like Detroit. He can help the Pistons move on from some of their veteran players, and get younger.

9. Charlotte Bobcats: SF Kawhi Leonard, 6'7" San Diego St.-

Leonard isn't a star, but he is a quality 3 and could fill Gerald Wallace's shoes quite nicely.

10. Milwaukee Bucks: SG Jimmer Fredette, 6'2" BYU-

This could be a spot for Burks or a big man, but I like the idea of Fredette here. His range on his 3-pointer is unreal and he will give Milwaukee a great option beyond the arc.

11. Golden St. Warriors: PG/SG Josh Selby, 6'3" Kansas-

Selby is an extremely gifted athlete who I think will challenge for a lottery spot. He can back up both guard positions and he has the type of speed that the Warriors build their offense around.

12. Utah Jazz: PF Bismark Biyombo, 6'9" Spain-

The Jazz should use their 2nd 1st rounder to add some size to their front court. Biyombo is a raw talent, but he looks to be an excellent rebounder and has plenty of upside.

13. Phoenix Suns: PG/SG Alec Burks, 6'6" Colorado-

Burks isn't a perfect fit in Phoenix as he is more of a slasher than a shooter, but he has excellent potential, is highly athletic and can play multiple positions.

14. Houston Rockets: C Jonas Valanciunas, 7'0" Lithuania-

Houston is a team to watch in moving up, but if they stay here this is a smart pick for them.Valanciunas might be the best European player, but his buyout will likely make him slide in this draft. He has excellent size though and would be a nice fit in Houston whenever they can bring him over.

15. Indiana Pacers: F Tobias Harris, 6'8" Tennessee-

Forward isn't the biggest need, but Harris is moving up draft boards and looks to be the best player here. Harris has a ton of potential and could be a very good starter in a couple of years. Ideally though I think the Pacers might trade out of this pick, and try to acquire a late first and a first next year. The Pacers could look to move up to grab either Derrick Williams, Brandon Knight or Enes Kanter, but if they stay here this is solid value for them.

16. Philadelphia 76ers: SF/PF Marcus Morris, 6'9" Kansas-

The 76ers need some help to their front court and grabbing a Morris twin here makes sense. Marcus is the better offensive player and would be a nice fit in Philly.

17. New York Knicks: PG Reggie Jackson, 6'3" Boston College-

The Knicks look to be looking for a young point guard and Jackson would be a good fit here.

18. Washington Wizards: PF Kenneth Faried, 6'8" Morehead St.-

Does Washington need another PF, no not by any means. But the Wizards shouldn't pass up one of the most productive players in college basketball. Now Faried will need to at least have some semblance of a jumper to be a starter, but he should be an excellent role player for the Wizards. The Wizards could potentially use this pick to move up, but it looks like Minnesota wants a veteran to move the 2nd pick.

19. Charlotte Bobcats: G Marshon Brooks 6'5" Providence-

With their two picks the Bobcats should look to add a G and a forward, with landing Leonard earlier the Bobcats will be quite happy to see Brooks still on the board. Brooks can be the point guard they are looking for or he can fill in at SG. He's got great versatility and upside. He should be a at worst a 6th man as a rookie, and should provide Charlotte with a boost to their backcourt.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves: Jordan Hamilton , 6'7" Texas-

If the T-wolves pass on Derrick Williams with the top pick, I think they will look to take the top wing player available. Hamilton is a steal if he slides this far, as he is one of the best scorers in college. This pick really depends on what the Timberwolves do at the top. If they draft Williams this is a guard or a center, but if they go with Kanter or trade back a SF could be in play.

21. Portland Trailblazers: PF/C Markieff Morris, 6'10" Kansas-

The Trailblazers could use another power forward here, and while Morris isn't a great all-around player he fits here. He's got excellent size and can play both the 4 and the 5, with a strong defensive game and an increasing offensive game. He can come in as a role player early and hopefully develop a defensive presence down the road.

22. Denver Nuggets: SF Chris Singleton, 6'8" Florida St.-

Singleton is moving up draft boards, and he could help fill the large shoes of Carmelo in Denver. The Nuggets could look at more of a big man here, but I like Singleton's upside.

23. Houston Rockets: PG/SG Nolan Smith, 6'3" Duke-

This might be high for Nolan Smith, but I really like his game. I think he is a smart player who gets the most out of his abilities. He probably will peak as a 6th man type of guy, but he should offer the Rockets good depth at both guard positions.

24. Oklahoma City Thunder: PF Trey Tompkins, 6'10" Georgia-

Tompkins gives the Thunder another young big man. He isn't exceptional in any one area, but he should give them good minutes and be a quality role player on that team. He's also a junior so he is more refined than some of these underclassmen/international players, which should allow him to contribute more early.

25. Boston Celtics: C Lucas Noguiera, 6'11" Brazil-

Boston needs to add some size, and whether they decide to keep Noguiera overseas or not this is a good value pick for them here.

26. Dallas Mavericks: G/F Tyler Honeycutt, 6'8" UCLA-

The Mavericks don't have one major position of need so I think they will look for the best player available. Honeycutt fits that bill, and he is the type of guy who can be a solid role player off the bench before developing into a potential starter.

27. New Jersey Nets: F/C Jordan Williams, 6'10" Maryland-

Williams seems to be moving up draft boards and its easy to see why. He is a legit big man who has the bulk to take on almost all 4's and 5's. While his game hasn't reached his potential yet, his size alone will make him valuable. He would be a nice fit next to Lopez in the middle.

28. Chicago Bulls: SG Klay Thompson, 6'6" Washington St.-

If the Bulls just had quality play from the SG they could really be an elite team. Thompson gives Chicago an excellent shooter and a 3-point sniper for Rose to find when the defense collapses around him.Thompson is a smart ballplayer and should get the most out of his abilities. He isn't a penetrator, but his shooting more than compensates for that.

29. San Antonio Spurs: PF JaJuan Johnson, 6'10" Purdue-

The Spurs need to add some size here, while they are getting old all over, their inside game is extremely vulnerable when Duncan isn't in there. Johnson is a nice safe addition here.

30. Chicago Bulls: SF Chandler Parsons, 6'10" Florida-

Parsons has been flying up the draft boards and now looks to be in the late 1st round mix. I think this could be slightly high for him still, but he gives Chicago a smart backup forward, who should get solid minutes. He might never be a starter (though the potential is there), but he will likely be a significant contributor and should be a nice role player for Chicago.

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