Sunday, June 26, 2005

Draft Central (Updated)


Bynum's stock
is soaring
The second half of the Draft Preview should be up tomorrow over at WhatifSports.com, so it seemed like a good time to refresh the draft chatter. Trade rumors are flying, promises are being made to awful players, and the Blazers and Clippers both appear poised to screw things up (again). Weigh in with all opinions, questions, and debates right here.

20 comments:

Adam Hoff said...

I'm going to take a run at predicting the lottery, for the record:

1. Milwaukee - Andrew Bogut. The Bucks will live to regret this pick, but oh well.

2. Atlanta - Chris Paul. I know that Marvin Williams is supposed to go here, but I've got a feeling on this one. Paul is local and a terrific point guard prospect. The Hawks don't need another SF, so I think this makes sense. Either that, or they deal this pick.

3. Utah (from Portland) - Deron Williams. Forget trying to do a mock draft with the Blazers picking third, it isn't going to happen. I'm calling a Jazz trade to snag Williams, with the Blazers picking up the #6 and #27 picks and Kirk Snyder.

4. New Orleans - Marvin Williams. Imagine the Hornets glee when the guy widely considered to be the best prospect in the draft drops to them at #4.

5. Charlotte - Danny Granger. They got screwed when the ping pong balls bounced the wrong way, but Granger will be a solid starter right away and they can hope for Felton later at #13.

6. LA Lakers (from Portland) - Gerald Green. I know, I know, two trades for Portland. They like Green, but not as much as the Lakers do. Also, not as much as they like Caron Butler and the #10 pick for #6 and Ruben Patterson.

7. Toronto - Martell Webster. The Raptors want Granger, but he'll be gone. They'll go for a big time shooter at the 2 rather than reach for either a project (Bynum) or another rail (Frye) at center.

8. New York - Channing Frye. Isiah gets his guy.

9. Golden State - Ike Diogu. The word on the street is that the Warriors are leaning toward Warrick, but I bet they go with Ike in the end.

10. Portland (from LA) - Andrew Bynum. The Blazers get the guy they want (if he's still there) and Caron Butler AND another pick in a deep draft.

11. Orlando Magic - Sean May. They want Webster, but this is a better pick. Howard is the perfect PF to team with May in the post.

12. LA Clippers - Antoine Wright. I know they supposedly promised to take some Euro stiff, but I bet that promise was conditional and that one condition was "only if Wright isn't there at #12." Well, he is.

13. Charlotte - Raymond Felton. See how well that worked out?

14. Minnesota - Joey Graham. This is a great pick. They can reach on talent like Villenueva or they can go with a college stud like Graham or Warrick.

Hurry and weigh in with your predictions before tomorrow night!

Anonymous said...

Why do you say Howard is perfect with May? I'm not arguing the point, but I don't really see the reason behind it. Also, what about McCants to the Wolves to replace Spree?

Mike said...

Why would Martell Webster go ahead of Antoine Wright. One is a big strong shooter with high school experience and the other is a big strong shooter who has gone for 20+ in college. Wright seems like the easy choice.

Adam Hoff said...

1. The reason that I say Howard is perfect to team with May is that Dwight is tall and athletic while May is shorter for this position and more, um, anchored. May has the size and footwork to leverage a 7-footer in the lane, but he needs a weakside shot blocker like Howard to be able to double and provide help. The two should work very well in tandem together with May giving Orlando the bulk and low post bruising and Howard the length and athleticism.

2. Webster is being rated higher than Wright for two reasons, as I see it: first, he's supposedly a better athlete in a Paul Pierce sort of way. Not jump out of the gym type of hops, but smooth and agile. Wright is explosive but tested poorly in Chicago during the combine. The other reason is that Webster is younger. You see his lack of college experience as a negative, which may be true. However, it also means that he could have more potential and that he'll be better for longer. I guess they are just assuming that had Webster gone to UW, he could have put up the same numbers as Wright. Production only matters so much to these people. I say they are about even and I'd probably flip a coin if I had to choose one.

Jeff Dritz said...

I think the thinking on Webster vs. Wright is that Wright wasn't that hot of a prospect when he went to college, so he's really a lot closer to his potential now, having had a chance to develop. Webster's "upside" is greater, even though he's not overly athletic.

Another good suitor for May would be Charlotte. Besides the fact that drafting a local player would attract fans, he and Okafor would complement each other well, since Okafor blocks shots well. Charlotte would immediately have a mature frontcourt capable of causing a lot of problems. However, it looks like May might not drop to #13.

Adam Hoff said...

Boom! Chalk me up with one prediction nailed ... and the draft is still 5 hours away. The Jazz did indeed trade up to #3. The only thing I missed is that the Blazers got not only the #6 and #27 picks in this draft, but a first round pick in 2006 as well. Granted, it was originally Detroit's pick so it won't be that great, but this was a terrific trade by Portland. Now we'll see if they snag Gerald Green or if the Lakers are willing to spend to the tune of Caron Butler and the #10 pick for the high school stud.

Adam Hoff said...

Well, the prediction streak came to an end, thanks to the Hawks. They were supposedly down on Williams because of his workout, but still opted to add yet another small forward to their roster. Now it looks like Paul will go to the Hornets and that Dan Dickau will be signing with someone else. Cleveland maybe?

p.s. Utah will forever rue the day they took Deron Williams over Chris Paul.

Adam Hoff said...

I can't believe the Bobcats just panicked and took Felton at #5. He's going to be good, but they could have had him at #13 and grabbed Granger or Gerald Green here. What a choke job by Charlotte. Very similar to Portland taking Telfair at #13 last year when they could have just waited and snagged him with their second pick at #23.

Mike said...

Did Villenueva just go #7 or was that a misprint on ESPN? What happened to Gerald Green? Danny Granger? Did they die?

Jack said...

Anyone besides me think that Andrew Bynum looks just like Gary Coleman? Besides being 5 times his size, that is.

Jeff Dritz said...

You could randomly choose any taxpayer in America, and he/she would make a better GM than Pete Babcock. How could they take Villanueva at #7, and then pass on Granger and take the poor man's Granger (Joey Graham) at #16. Amazing. At least Isiah Thomas won't be the worst GM this time around.

By the way, Charlotte's making out like a bandit.

Adam Hoff said...

Amen. The Raptors are morons. I love going with the May-Felton combo, although I would have gone Green-Granger myself. Those two guys are going to be legendary steals from this draft. The C's are going to be sick in a few years. Gerald Green and Al Jefferson are going to be like Duncan and Ginobili, but without all the whining. Okay, maybe not that good, but good.

Great draft. Entertaining, bizarre, and my boy Alex Acker goes to the Pistons with the last pick. Dritz and I will be grading the teams in the coming days, so be sure to check that out on WIS.

Anonymous said...

We gonna get a new post to break down the draft now that it has happened? I'm sure I won't be the only person ready to rail on the Raptors!

Adam Hoff said...

A new column is going up on Tuesday with grades for Eastern Conference teams. There will be an accompanying blog entry to break down the draft. We'll also be talking about all of the NBA free agents, so check back then.

Andrew Lipsman said...

Jeff, you fashion yourself a "guru" and then throw bouquets at nearly every team? Picking apart your grades would take all day, so here's an abridged version of my beef...

The Knicks are clearly retarded and deserve nothing higher than a D+. Channing Frye is a big body with a decent touch, and yet all you have to do is look at his past four years (and the fact that Isiah picked him) to realize why he will have absolutely no impact in this league. Isiah is the king of snatching up the "looks good on paper, not in the win column" player, and Frye fits the bill. A soft big man on an already painfully soft team is a recipe for disaster. (I always wonder how it is that Isiah won titles playing for the Bad Boy Pistons and continues to recruit players that would never have survived a single practice with that team.) I'm actually a fan of David Lee, but unfortunately this pick does not work for the Knicks for the same reason -- they just don't have room for more another soft big man.

Andray Blatche is a bad pick wherever he goes. The kid is tall, THAT'S IT. His skill level is non-existant at this point and he still won't be ready to contribute 4 years from now. Not even worth the gamble of a late 2nd round pick. This kid is AT BEST the next Steven Hunter, and more likely the next Casey Sanders. Think about that one for a second... Casey Sanders, had he decided he was ready for the NBA out of HS, would have been a 2nd round pick. Everyone would've looked at him and said "this kid's an amazing athlete and he's 6'11 with long arms... his skills will develop." Even with 4 years of great college coaching and development, his lack of natural ability demonstrated why he should never have been considered an NBA prospect. There is such a tendency to look at HS big men and only project out their positive traits and assume the rest will develop. Get a clue GMs, skills only develop in college and in most cases not enough to become an NBA talent. What is the point of going out on such a limb with these guys? If they were really so great, why don't we hear anything about them until a month before the draft?

Ok, the Pistons get a B?! For drafting Jason Maxiell, well, 2 rounds too early? This was a wasted 1st round pick for a guy who will play less than 20 games in the NBA. This "B" seems like a "let's give Joe D. the benefit of the doubt" draft grade. But I don't understand how Joe D. justifies this benefit of the doubt anymore after his less-than-inspired Darko selection?

Adam Hoff said...

In a matter of hours, we'll have a new draft thread, so you may want to cut and paste that rant. Good stuff though. I would disagree about Blatche though. He was the #1 player in NY, the #1 power forward in high school basketball last year, the MVP of the Jordan Classic, and he put up 24/18 a night during his senior year. He's no Casey Sanders. In fact, it is performance and skill level that got him hype, not his frame. If anything, his major weakness is his build and lack of interest in going inside. He may very well wind up being a bust, but it will be for other reasons than lack of skills. He's got those - it is just a question of whether he has the toughness and intensity to go with it.

Jeff Dritz said...

I think Channing Frye will be a solid player in the league, and at an athletic 6'11", he's not a bad pick at 8. He can block shots on D, and has a good inside game and scoring touch. He was a beast in the NCAA tournament this year, especially the 24/12/6 blk game he had against Illinois. With the Knicks fielding an undersized team, he will help them sith much-needed size.

Jason Maxiell is athletic, strong, and tough. He may be a bit short for a power forward at 6'7", but Ben Wallace is a bit short for a center at 6'9". He's got a wide wingspan and crazy hops, and works hard. He's the sort of player Isiah likes, and he'll fit into that system well.

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