Saturday, June 27, 2009

6 comments Ten Thoughts About Draft Night and My Draft Grades

I am clearly an expert so I am full prepared and capable of giving out meaningless draft grades, so that is what I will do today.

First, I want to give my 10 thoughts on draft night that have been bothering me:

1. I have no freaking clue what the hell the Minnesota Timberwolves are doing. You don't hedge your bets that Rubio won't come to America and play by drafting another point guard immediately after him in the draft. That's stupid. Now they have pretty much guaranteed either Rubio will want to be traded or won't come play for them. I defended their move to get the #5 and #6 picks assuming they didn't do anything stupid. What's wrong with drafting DeRozan or Curry at #6? Unless they do something else like trade one of those guys, it was just stupid.

2. I also didn't like that they drafted Ty Lawson and then traded him to Denver for a future 1st round pick. Denver should be pretty good for the next couple of years, they probably won't be drafting lower than 18th anytime soon...or maybe they will. My point is that the Wolves need to get better NOW...I guess there was no player they wanted at that point. Basically they had 4 1st round picks traded one, wasted another pending a trade and drafted Wayne Ellington. Here's what they could have had this year:

PG: Rubio
SG: DeRozan
SF: Gomes
PF: Love
C: Jefferson

Darren Collison
DeJuan Blair
Corey Brewer
Rodney Carney
Craig Smith
Sebastian Telfair

I would pay to watch that team. Except now they don't have that.

3. Tyler Hansbrough was going to be a great choice for a team who made the playoffs last year...but he is not a lottery pick.

4. I did not think OK City would take James Harden but they have an exciting team now. I just don't know how they will get everyone minutes because I like Harden and think he should play over Green...I hope that happens.

5. DeJuan Blair went to San Antonio. It's almost unfair that they just traded away rebounding players and then get a steal in the second round. I know he is undersized but I really, really like him for San Antonio.

6. I either really, really like Detroit's picks or I really, really hate them. It is going to take a few years until I find out. Daye is soft but has skill while DeJuan Summers has all the skill in the world, I just can't figure out what happened to all that skill last year.

7. Why draft Rubio and Flynn and NOT have another trade already in place? Don't make me agree with Bill Simmons Mr. David Kahn.

8. The Mavericks got a shorter Shawn Bradley. Congratulations and they didn't even have to choose #2 in the draft to get him. Smart move to trade him to the Thunder, though if he does pan out, man are the Thunder going to be good...but he won't pan out.

9. The Lakers traded their 1st round pick for cash so they can resign both Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza. I am not disagreeing with that, but the whole idea of them standing pat really bothers me. I don't think it is the right move. They could have had some good players at the spot they drafted, including Toney Douglas and DeJuan Blair.

10. I hated the Christian Eyenga pick for the Cavs. He may turn into an All-Star but for a team that may not have LeBron James in one year, traded for a center who only has a couple of good years left, and got burnt because they had no other scorers to help LeBron James right now, them choosing a guy who is a project makes no sense to me. I would literally have rather they chosen anyone who was chosen in the top 15 of the second round except two players over who they chose. It doesn't make sense at all.

Now for the grades for each team:

Atlanta: A-

Round 1: Jeff Teague

Round 2: Sergiy Gladyr

I know they probably wanted Lawson but he went a pick earlier. I like Teague even though I think he tries to go for the spectacular play too often but this is a great pick for Atlanta. I don't know anything about Gladyr and there is really no other player I would take instead based on my limited knowledge.

Boston: D

Round 2: Lester Hudson

I know the options were limited at this spot but with Leon Powe and Glen Davis as free agents and Bill Walker and JR Giddens slowly developing, why take a swing man?

Charlotte: C-

Round 1: Gerald Henderson

Round 2: Derrick Brown

I have said it's not always a bad thing when you know what you are getting from players in the draft. At some point the Bobcats have to stop drafting guys with limited upside who played well in college (May, Felton, Henderson, Okafor, Morrison) and start drafting players that can turn this franchise's fortunes around. It's not a bad pick at either spot here but I would prefer Budinger in the 2nd round and Holiday or Clark in the 1st round. It's that simple, you have to draft guys who can stars at some point and risk falling on your face. I don't see Brown having as much potential as others do.

Chicago: B-

Round 1: James Johnson, Taj Gibson

I like the James Johnson pick but Taj Gibson is not a first round pick. He is a great value in the 2nd round but if they are not going to resign Ben Gordon then Wayne Ellington or Toney Douglas should have been the pick. If you are going to insist on picking an inside player, then take Blair.

Cleveland: D

Round 1: Christian Eyenga

Round 2: Danny Green, Emir Preldzic

I am sorry, I hate that first round pick in Eyenga. The future is now in Cleveland. I am not saying they should panic but Big Z and Shaq are not getting younger and if they don't think Hickson is ready to contribute then they need to take someone here who has more height and isn't a project. Sam Young would have been a great choice if they want to take a wingman. I like Green and know nothing about Preldzic. It seems like Cleveland is going for broke in keeping LeBron around, there's no sense in drafting a guy who may develop in three years.

Dallas: C

Round 1: Rodrigue Beaubois

Round 2: Nick Calathes , Ahmad Nivins

Dallas pretty much drafted three foreign players since Calathes is going to play in Europe. I know almost nothing about Nivins but I think Calathes and Beaubois are pretty similar players and could help Dallas in a couple of years. I feel uninspired by these choices.

Denver: A

Round 1: Ty Lawson

The Nuggets are probably not going to draft any lower than 18th when the Timberwolves can use the pick, assuming they don't immediately regress, so they have already gotten great value. Throw in the fact they got the 3rd best point guard in a point guard strong draft, run a high tempo offense which Lawson excels in, and he won't have to contribute major minutes initially because of Billups and I love this pick...or trade.

Detroit: B-

Round 1: Austin Daye

Round 2: DaJuan Summers , Jonas Jerebko

I am giving the Pistons a B- based completely on the fact I have accepted their misguided idea that they already have a point guard. Otherwise I would be screaming for one of the point guards in the first round spot. I hate Austin Daye and think he will bust but I know my opinion is not shared. He does remind me a little of Prince, so maybe he will rub off on him. I like the Summers pick in the 2nd round, if we can figure out what happened to him last year at Georgetown.

Golden State: A-

Round 1: Stephen Curry

There is talk this pick could be traded but for now I like the pick for Golden State. I think they could have done better with a pure point guard but if Curry stays in Golden State you can't deny that he is going to have a great chance to succeed and score tons of points. The best part is that he won't be asked to defend by Don Nelson.

Houston: A-

Round 2: Jermaine Taylor , Sergio Llull , Chase Budinger

I actually want to give the Rockets a full A grade but we all know 2nd round picks don't always pan out. Either way, they got some good players in the 2nd round and the best part is they got guys who are ready to help the team out now. So if they move McGrady they could actually beat the Lakers this year in the playoffs.

Indiana: C

Round 1: Tyler Hansbrough

Round 2: A.J. Price

I would have loved these picks if they were by a team that made the playoffs last year. I don't know how I feel about them when talking about a team that is a borderline playoff team. Just like with the Bobcats at some point you have to draft a player that can change the team and there were a couple available here. I do like the A.J. Price pick but I thought Hansbrough was a reach.

Los Angeles Clippers: A

Round 1: Blake Griffin

They didn't screw the pick up. Now hopefully they won't screw the player up.

Los Angeles Lakers: D-

Round 2: Chinemelu Elonu

I would give them an F but I actually like Elonu for the future. Otherwise trading that 1st round pick is just very short sighted in my opinion. There were players that could have helped the Lakers out in defending their title and build for the future. There were guys available like Sam Young or Toney Douglas who have taken some pressure off Kobe to score or they could have added a guy in the middle to the rotation like Brockman or Pendergraph, who I think could thrive in the triangle. Epic fail in my mind.

Memphis: B

Round 1: Hasheem Thabeet, DeMarre Carroll

Round 2: Sam Young

I don't like the DeMarre Carroll pick as much as everyone else does. I should give the Grizzlies a lower score for not trading back and getting more picks where they could get a guy like Curry to complement Gay and Mayo, but they wanted a big man and they got one. The problem is that they did not want to draft a PG because they like Conley and they can't draft a swingman because they have Mayo and Gay, so a big man made sense. Not drafting Rubio because you have Conley is like not accepting a free BMW because you have a hybrid but no one really expected Memphis to get this pick completely right. I like the Sam Young pick as well. He'll be a great backup.

Miami: B

Round 2: Patrick Beverley, Robert Dozier

I like what little I have read about Beverly, but Dozier just sounds like a guy who pretty much resembles a couple of guys the Heat already have.

Milwaukee: A-

Round 1: Brandon Jennings

Round 2: Jodie Meeks

I like Milwaukee's draft. I am glad they selected a point guard because they may mean they won't resign Ramon Sessions for a ton of money. Jennings should be a great point guard and really in the second round they could have selected a guy to play in the middle but it would have been a reach at that point. Maybe they know what they are doing...

Minnesota: D

Round 1: Ricky Rubio , Jonny Flynn , Wayne Ellington

Round 2: Henk Norel

You don't trade for back to back picks in the NBA Draft and then select two players that play the exact same position. You especially don't do this if one of those players is nervous about playing in America to begin with and wanted to select his own team and your team plays in a shitty climate. Then you don't piss that player off by giving him a 5 foot 11 inch shooting guard who is really a point guard or tell him he will be guarding shooting guards and playing the 2 spot. Whatever Minnesota has planned for them, I don't understand it. I would give them an F if I did not think at least they picked two good players who could be traded and Ellington was a good value.

There were dozens of combinations the Wolves could have done here and they missed. Take Rubio or Flynn, not both and then put whichever one you draft in there with DeRozan, Curry, or any combination of any other player that is not a point guard. They may have some fascination with playing two point guards together and that is great. In that case, keep the #18 pick and take Lawson, Teague, or Maynor, which still doesn't make sense but at least it is not the cluster fuck that has now occurred where Minnesota has no shooting guard worth a crap.

New Jersey: B+

Round 1: Terrence Williams

I am not sure any other choice would have made sense for this team. They have a point guard, there is no big man worthy of being taken, so a swingman is natural and they chose the Swiss Army knife guy. He does everything but nothing really, really well. I would nitpick and say Earl Clark may have been a better pick but Williams is a more sure choice.

New Orleans: C

Round 1: Darren Collison

Round 2:: Marcus Thornton

I can accept the need to get a backup for Chris Paul and Collison was one of the last good PG to go. This I can accept. What I can't accept is the idea this was a need more than drafting a big man was a need. They need front court help and there were a number of players available to provide this. Patty Mills would have been a great backup for Chris Paul in the first round and they should have gone front court in the 1st round. Big mistake.

New York: B-

Round 1: Jordan Hill, Toney Douglas

I don't like Jordan Hill all that much, so that is why I downgrade the Knicks choices. Give them some credit for trying. I do like Douglas though.

Oklahoma City: A

Round 1: James Harden, B.J. Mullens

Round 2: Robert Vaden

I like the James Harden pick and though I don't like B.J. Mullens I have to say taking him late in the first round is a good move. I would probably have looked at Blair, but I am tired of saying that. Mullens will probably bust but if he doesn't its not like the Thunder drafted him too high. He was worth the pick here.

Philadelphia: A-

Round 1: Jrue Holiday

Would I have drafted a more proven point guard to run this team? I very well could have but there comes a point where a player has fallen to the point he is worth taking a chance on. It's a bit of a risk but I think at this point it was worth the risk. I may not have chosen Holiday here but I can't fault them.

Phoenix: B+

Round 1: Earl Clark

Round 2: Taylor Griffin

I like the Earl Clark choice here. He fits in well with the Suns. I don't like the Taylor Griffin choice that much. If his name was Taylor Brown he would have gone undrafted. What's the fascination the Suns have with taking the shittier of two brothers? Between Taylor Griffin and Robin Lopez they have gotten the crappier brother two years in a row...

Portland: C

Round 1: Victor Claver

Round 2: Jeff Pendergraph, Dante Cunningham, Patrick Mills

I like these picks, specifically Pendergraph and Mills but I can't help but get the feeling the Blazers don't need more role players/backups on that roster and could have made a move to get a better pick in the draft. They have tradeable assets and all three of these 2nd round picks won't make the roster, I just wish they had done more. I thought there was a better pick than Cunningham available.

Sacramento: B-

Round 1: Tyreke Evans, Omri Casspi

Round 2: Jon Brockman

I really like these choices the Kings made, especially Brockman in the second round, but I can't help but think if they had chosen Rubio this would have turned the team around 2 years down the road. I am sure they are thinking about now and what they can do to get a good team now but I think Rubio may turn out to be a better fit than Evans.

San Antonio: A+

Round 2: DeJuan Blair, Jack McClinton, Nando De Colo

It's almost not fair that the Spurs needed some rebounding and then one of the best rebounders, regardless of size, falls to them. Throw in the fact McClinton could end up being a steal for them and I love this draft. Sure they would have been stupid to pass on Blair but at least give them credit for being smart enough to not get scared about his knees.

Toronto: A-

Round 1: DeMar DeRozan

The Raptors need talent on the team, especially since Bosh will probably not stick around. DeRozan was the best chance to get a top flight talent and they made the move. I like it because they understood the need to take chances sometimes.

Utah: B-

Round 1: Eric Maynor

Round 2: Goran Suton

Maynor is going to be a great backup for Deron Williams and of course the Jazz could not go one draft without drafting a soft and uncapable white center. I don't know specifically what I wanted the Jazz to do but I think they needed to make a move in this draft in some way, maybe try to move up in some fashion. The team seems content to be the a middle of the pack playoff team.

Orlando and Washington did not have any draft choices. I am not a huge fan of the Vince Carter trade because I am not a huge fan of Vince Carter. I guess I have to credit them with trying to get better. What I don't understand about the Wizards trade with the Wolves is that they seem to have a logjam now at the 2 and 3 spot with Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson, Nick Young, Mike Miller, and Randy Foye. It does improve the team to an extent but I thought they may make a move to get a big man and let Jamison move to the 3 spot.

If anyone watches the BoSox-Atlanta game Saturday afternoon look for me. I will be the guy with the McCann jersey on down the right field line getting smacked in the face by either an embarrassed woman or an irate Red Sox fan.


ivn said...

I think OKC made a good choice with Harden over Rubio. Harden is a guy who can adjust his game depending on the other players on the floor, and I'm guessing OKC didn't want to roll the dice on a 180-pound PG who doesn't shoot or play defense well and doesn't want to play anywhere near Oklahoma.

that said the downside to Harden is that I get Julius Hodge vibes from him sometimes. maybe it's just from the fact that they both played from Herb Sendek, although I feel that Harden has more talent than Hodge did.

I also think Houston played the draft well this year. they used their normal picks to get Ron Artest and Kyle Lowry, then bought into the second round to get two guys who they felt fell a little too far (granted I'm not a huge fan of Budinger, but 44th overall is a good spot for him and maybe Rick Adelman can do something with him) and some Spanish guy they can stash in Europe (who they'll probably trade the rights to for another pick, if nothing else). pretty smart.

ivn said...

I also wonder how long it will take for Brandon Jennings to get Scott Skiles fired.

Jeremy Conlin said...

The pick that Minny got in the Lawson trade actually originally belonged to Charlotte (or that's at least what I heard), so it should be in the 10-16 range.

Bengoodfella said...

Harden was a decent choice over Rubio. I just hope for their sake it is not Darko over Bosh and Wade but that is the chance you take. He is a little bit bigger than Hodge and not to mention I think he is a better all around player. I can see the comparison though from being in Sendek's system and the fact they both could pass pretty well. I hope for their sake he is a good player.

Houston did very well in the second round, they really got some bench players to help them out. I would have given them an A but they are all second round picks and you never know how they will pan out...but they did great.

I actually can see Skiles and Jennings getting along for a season. So my answer is 2 years.

Thanks Jeremy, I did not know that. So maybe it did end up being a good trade for them. It still doesn't make sense the overall strategy. I understand Flynn was a backup for Rubio but I think they should have made sure Rubio would sign with them, if possible, or just drafted Flynn or Rubio and someone else in the 6 spot.

AJ said...

I dont know what Detroit is doing really...i mean all i'm hearing is this guy is just like Prince, but we already have Prince so why would we need two of him?

Hello, draft Lawson because you don't have a PG...duh.

I mean the Pistons are trying to make a push for Gordon, so maybe thats why they didn't draft a PG.

Bengoodfella said...

Austin Daye is a poor man's Prince...with a whole lot better potential. I am afraid he is going to be a bust though. He is tall but is afraid to mix it up and would rather shoot from the outside. I hope he proves me wrong. I would have liked to have seen the Pistons draft a PG as well but they think Stuckey is the guy so I know why they didn't draft one.

Ben Gordon is not a PG, so I hope they are not really counting on him. He has the size but I don't know if he could do it full time.