Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Seven Potential Sleepers

Seven Potential Sleepers

1. Dee Brown. I think I’m on the ever-shortening list of people who still like Brown. People worry about his size and abilities to run the point in a half-court offense. However, Brown will be the fastest guy on the court at all times, is a strong defender both on and off the ball, and has improved his jumper. This past season wasn’t a good one for Brown to show his NBA skills, as he had to be a lead scorer (not his forte) on a young squad. However, he’ll make a good substitute point guard. Phoenix should take a good look at him to back up Steve Nash and push the tempo, as Leandro Barbosa is likely to leave after this season.

2. Kevin Pittsnogle. If there’s room in the NBA for Matt Bonner as a 3-point shooting center, there’s room for Pittsnogle on someone’s bench.

3. Leon Powe. He was a big-time college player at Cal, and those are the guys I like. He’s athletic and skilled, and has an NBA body. He can score facing the basket and with his back to it. Scouts worry he’s not big enough to play the 4, since he’s only a hair taller than 6’7”. However, his 7’2” wingspan should alleviate those concerns. If Powe’s knee holds up, he’ll be a steal in the late first or early second round.

4. Quincy Douby. This guy can really fill up the hoop, averaging 25.4 points for Rutgers last season. He has a very, very sweet long-range jumper, and a pretty floater. He can provide offense off the bench for a team, or be a good supplemental scorer at the 2 position. He’s projected to go in the bottom of the first round, but with his ability to create his own shot, he might end up being better than Redick.

5. David Noel. He was a key contributor to the 2005 North Carolina national championship team that was one of the best college squads in recent history, and I think he can contribute in the NBA. I love guys who can play at big programs. He showed perhaps the most athleticism of any prospect at the combine, and is willing to do the dirty work. He doesn’t do anything exceptionally, but he’s just a basketball player, and he’ll be able to help out a team off the bench.

6 and 7. Mike Hall and Pops Mensah-Bonsu. Gotta show some love to my alma mater. These guys are both extraordinary athletes, and they can play some ball, too. Hall can hit the NBA 3 and lock up a good wing player on D. Pops is less skilled, but can jump out the gym and likes to bang down low. Both, but especially Hall, have potential to be contributors off the bench in the NBA.

Adam’s Comments. Get out of here with that GW stuff. Come on! (Best G.O.B. from “Arrested Development” voice.) I like the Powe call and would add a few more names to the list: Mo Ager (wildly underrated), Kyle Lowry (much better shooter than people realize – I contend that he’s already better than Devin Harris), Shannon Brown (as mentioned earlier), and Will Blalock (I also like Iowa State’s Curtis Stinson, but I’m not sure if he stayed in the draft and I’m too lazy to look it up.)

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