Saturday, March 12, 2011

10 comments I Don't Think This Year's Draft Is Going To Be That Bad

It's that time of the year again. The time when we get to hear about how this year's NBA Draft isn't going to be so great. I don't believe this year's draft is full of guys who are going to be Hall of Fame players, but I also don't believe this year's draft is as bad some are saying. We all are entitled to our opinion of course, but I thought I would run down the list of some players who are projected to be taken in the first round of 2011 NBA mock drafts and explain why I think this draft won't be so bad. It may not be the best ever, but I don't know if I would call it terrible. There may not be franchise guys in here, but there are guys who I would consider to be contributors on a good team.

The key point is nobody knows much about the NBA Draft, myself included, and how good these players drafted will end up being. Mostly, I would encourage you to never listen to Bill Simmons about college players. In two months he goes from this statement about Cole Aldrich to saying the following in one of his columns:

In the words of Denny Green, Cole Aldrich was who we thought he was: a complementary center who challenges shots, rebounds and scores if he gets good position. He's Joel Przybilla 2.0. And you wouldn't want Joel Przybilla trying to save you from the biggest upset in 16 years … right?

In two months Bill has gone from having Cole Aldrich in the Top 5 of the draft to calling him a backup center. Of course Bill would never bring this back up in any of his comments on Aldrich, he would prefer to scrub them from your memory. My point is that opinions change, and I think opinions are going to change about the 2011 NBA Draft. I think the opinion of this draft will get better.

It is early, so most mock drafts are not in agreement or even close to each other because we don't know who has declared and who has not declared. Plus, NCAA Tournament performance affects a player's draft stock as well. Not to mention, everyone's opinion will change based on these player's actual performance. So I am going to go with Walter Football's mock draft and give my opinion on what these players will be in the NBA. I will probably be wrong about many of these, but it is my dedicated job to defend the quality of the NBA Draft every year, so here I go.

I rank players in 7 categories that determines where they fit best in the NBA (some players will start on bad teams, but are better fits as a bench player. I will predict that player as a bench player because that is what I think he is. I don't want this to get too convoluted so I won't explain further):

1. Bust (out of the league in 3 years)
2. Role player (will be 9th/10th man off bench)
3. Bench player (6th/7th guy off bench)
4. Mediocre starter (will start on an average/bad team)
5. Starter (will start on good team)
6. Quality starter (will start on an excellent team)
7. All-Star (one of the best players at his position)

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

I have heard the rumors that Irving's draft stock may fall due to his injured toe. I can understand these, but as long as the toe injury doesn't appear to be chronic, this isn't a Greg Oden situation. Irving is easily the best point guard in this class and he is also a natural leader. I am admittedly biased, but I firmly believe he is ready (toe-permitting) to go to the NBA and be an All-Star. It doesn't matter to me that he hasn't played much in college. He will be an All-Star in the NBA and I see no, other than chronic toe problems, he shouldn't be the #1 overall pick. He can shoot, pass and lead a team in the NBA.

Future: All-Star

2. Minnesota Timberwolves: Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State, 6-9, Fr.

I don't think Minnesota should take Sullinger, but that's a different story. Sullinger has a basketball IQ that other players in this draft can't match. He's not like DeJuan Blair physically, but his basketball IQ reminds me of Blair's. He just knows where he needs to be on the court and knows when the double team is coming to pass out of it. Sullinger knows how to use his body to get position and keep position in the low blocks. I don't think Sullinger will be a perennial All-Star but he can be the third best player on a championship team.

Future: Starter

3. Sacramento Kings: Derrick Williams, PF, Arizona, 6-9, So.

I am torn on Williams. Athletically, he can put it all together and be a good player. Any power forward that has a scouting report (like Williams has) that says he needs to learn to guard bigger guys in the paint and should become stronger makes me wary. Every year there is a guy that comes out of the draft who looks like a great player, but if you take the time to look you can see it just won't happen (Jordan Hill, Hasheem Thabeet). Williams will be serviceable in spurts and I think Sacramento is a bad place for him to be drafted. His ceiling is incredibly high, but I don't know if he will ever reach that ceiling.

Future: Role-player/Bust

4. Toronto Raptors: Enes Kanter, PF, Kentucky, 6-10, Fr.

I haven't seen Kanter play except on YouTube videos. I know he rebounds well and has a good feel for the game. What I don't know if how he matches up against better talent, outside of the 34 points and 13 rebound performance he put up against the USA team at the Nike Hoops Summit. Is that one game or an indicator of his future prospects in the NBA? My question lies in whether he will be a power forward or a center at the NBA level. I think he will be a power forward, but play some center. If he is a power forward will he be able to guard NBA power forwards? I am not sure, but I do know a center with a skill set like Kanter will fit somewhere in the NBA.

Future: Starter---though this is a guess since I haven't seen him play other than on YouTube.

5. Washington Wizards: Harrison Barnes, G/F, North Carolina, 6-6, Fr.

Harrison Barnes hasn't shot the ball well this year, so he is being labeled a disappointment...which is a disappointment because I think people are being hard on him. He came into UNC with the perception he would be "the man" immediately. He has a knack for hitting big shots and has improved once the dreadful Larry Drew II left the UNC program. He won't declare for the draft this year, so this is a moot point, but the comparisons to Sean Elliott are apt. Is this a bad thing though? Elliott had a really good career until health issues forced him to retire. Barnes will be an NBA starter when he declares after his sophomore year. If he improves his game even more, then he could be an All-Star.

Future: Mediocre starter (I hate caveats, but at this point this is what I see for him. If he plays in college one more year, this will probably change)

6. New Jersey Nets: Terrence Jones, F, Kentucky, 6-9, Fr.

I like Terrence Jones' game a lot. When John Calipari is on your ass about your attitude at times though that can't be a good thing. I think Jones has all the talent in the world but I don't think he is going to be able to harness that talent. I think he shoots from the outside too much and though he is a good passer he doesn't do enough of it. Still, I think he has a good NBA game if he can get some good coaching in the NBA so he doesn't end up launching 200 three-points shots at a 27% clip in the NBA.

Future: Starter/All-Star

7. Detroit Pistons: Perry Jones, PF, Baylor, 6-9, Fr.

I don't expect Jones to go this low in the draft. I keep watching Perry Jones play and I keep wanting him to give me a feel that he will be good in the NBA. It's all I want for Christmas. It just didn't happen. He seems to have a ton of talent and his statistics as a freshman look really good, but when he goes against "true" power forwards like Jared Sullinger he has been beaten in the past. He is a really tall wing man in the body of a power forward. He could be an All-Star or he could be a complete bust. I vote bust.

Future: Bust

8. Los Angeles Clippers: Jonas Valanciunas, PF/C, Lithuania, 6-10, 1992

I know less about him than I do any other prospect in the 1st round. I can't predict his future because it would be a huge guess until I see him play more.

9. Milwaukee Bucks: Jordan Hamilton, SF, Texas, 6-7, So.

I don't care about the problems some have with where he will play in the NBA, at SG or SF, it doesn't matter because he can score and he has improved between his freshman and sophomore year. He may never win a defensive competition, but whoever drafts him is going to get a guy who can score, but maybe not do too much else. What I like about him is he could have gone to the NBA last year and he chose to stay and has come back to Texas as a much better player. Not sure he will ever be a star, but he will be a good pick for some team who needs scoring from a wing player and player who shows the will to get better.

Future: Mediocre starter

10. Charlotte Bobcats: Jan Vesely, F, Czech Republic, 6-11, 1989

Again, given my extreme hatred for foreigners I have only seen some YouTube video of Vesely so I don't know if I would consider myself too knowledgeable about him. From what I have seen he is an athletic guy who is going to have trouble guarding his position at the NBA level. He hasn't seemed to increase his production from last year like I think he should have. I am not sure he can be anything more than a high-energy guy off the bench.

Future: Role player

11. Golden State Warriors: Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Diego State, 6-6, So.

This may be the right spot for him. He seems to have the physical skills to compete at the NBA level and he is a great rebounder for his size. Still, I am not sure a wing player who shoots 27% from three point range is a player who translates well to the NBA. He shoots 43% overall. I think his ability to rebound is going to get him drafted in the early-to-middle first round, but I don't know how well his game translates to the NBA. He uses his athletic skill to rebound in college and that just won't fly as well at the next level.

Future: Role player

12. Houston Rockets: Donatas Motiejunas, F, Lithuania, 7-0, 1990

He is so damn skinny. That's the first thing I notice. I don't know if Motiejunas declares for the NBA this year or not. When I think of a stereotypical European player, this is who I think of. He isn't going to be able to guard his position at the NBA level. He has potential, which to a jaded asshole like me means he is 22 years old and we don't know what kind of player he will be and that is not a good thing.

Future: Bust

13. Phoenix Suns: Kemba Walker, PG, UConn, 6-1, Jr.

Kemba Walker is going to be an NBA player who can score, but he is too "short" to play at the NBA level. Whatever that means. I have a feeling he will be drafted by the Pacers...not sure why. I like Walker, but right now he is going to be a score-first point guard. It will be good for a while until his NBA team realizes he doesn't make his teammates better at this point. I would feel a lot better if Walker could grown a couple of inches or was taken later in the first round. Of course, the way he takes late game shots and seems to come through, it doesn't matter how tall he is, it looks like he could be a player in the NBA.

Future: Mediocre starter

14. Memphis Grizzlies: Jimmer Fredette, G, BYU, 6-2, Sr.

Somewhere 100 college basketball analysts started drooling at the mere mention of Fredette's name. If you have paid attention to college basketball, then you know what many people think about him. Yes, he is a great shooter, but the one thing that has been learned this year is if you put an athletic guy on him who can deny him the ball he will struggle. I think he will have a place in the NBA and I am afraid he will be the equivalent of David Eckstein and be seen as a try-hard player, which means he will be the subject of many a fluff piece. He's got talent and he is strong, but he can't start in the NBA on a good team.

Future: Role player

15. Indiana Pacers: Alec Burks, SG, Colorado, 6-6, So.

It makes me nervous his FG% has taken a dive in his sophomore year and he isn't much of a three-point shooter. I would like my shooting guard to be a good three-point shooter and to not go from 45% to 53% from his freshman to sophomore year. To succeed in the NBA he will have to work on his jump shot, but I think if he ends with the right team he could be an NBA starter.

Future: Bench player

16. Philadelphia 76ers: Chris Singleton, SF, Florida State, 6-9, Jr.

Singleton is the type of player that thrives on a championship team. He can be the 5th best player on a championship team because he is a defensive stopper, but he isn't going to be the 5th starter on a team that doesn't have 2-3 high quality players around him. In other words, I think he would fit in well with the Heat this year. He is the kind of guy a contender will like to put on the other team's best player in order to shut them down. That being said, even the best defensive player has to have some offensive ability to get on the court. I am not sure he will ever have a great jump shot, but if he does then he be a quality NBA player.

Future: Role player/Bust

17. New York Knicks: Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky, 6-3, Fr.

I like Brandon Knight. There was a time he was considered in the same breath as Kyrie Irving. For me, he is the Eric Bledsoe/Ty Lawson point guard in this draft. A guy who will be taken too late and will be better than other players drafted before him. He is not a finished product by any means, but Calipari has already recruited over him with Marquis Teague so I see Knight going to the NBA. Some team is going to get a quality point/shooting guard later in the first round of this draft. Knight isn't a great passer yet, but I think that is an area where he can and will improve. He may never be an All-Star, but he could very well end up being close.

Future: Quality starter

18. Utah Jazz: Marcus Morris, PF, Kansas, 6-9, Jr.

Here is another guy I like. Morris is a bit of a tweener though. He looks like a power forward, but he may not have the arm length to be one and he can play outside the paint. The comparisons to Al Harrington are fairly accurate. He is an excellent offensive rebounder and really was part of the Kansas big man that helped make Cole Aldrich look good last year. I think there will be a place for a guy like Morris on an NBA roster. I can see him bouncing around the league a little bit though.

Future: Mediocre starter

19. Denver Nuggets: Kyle Singler, SF, Duke, 6-9, Sr.

I want to like Singler's prospects in the NBA, but I just don't. He is productive in college because he is bigger than most small forwards he faces and he is a smart player. Put an athletic guy on him though and he starts to drift out to the three-point line which takes away a lot of the matchup advantages he can provide at the small forward position. He will defend well enough to play at the NBA level, but I doubt he is going to be able to score inside by overpowering defenders like he can at the college level. I am also afraid he has reached his ceiling in terms of potential. There isn't one thing he does really, really well so that also concerns me.

Future: Role player

20. Portland Blazers: Trey Thompkins, F, Georgia, 6-9, Jr.

This is a guy I may be overrating. I like him more than a lot of other people could. I see him on a team like Orlando coming off the bench and making a difference in two years. If he can get an NBA coach who will electro-shock him every time he wants to shoot a three-point shot then he will be successful. He is a good post player who is going to come off the bench for a contender and be successful. I have put him as a role player, but I could see him being a guy who comes off the bench, but is in the game at crunch time.

Future: Role player

21. Portland Blazers: Josh Selby, G, Kansas, 6-3, Fr.

Selby won't come out this year. He hasn't had the freshman year he was anticipated to have. So Selby should not come out. If he does, he shouldn't go this high. I hear criticism of Brandon Knight about not having a position at the NBA level, well that really describes Josh Selby. He isn't a good enough passer at this point to play point guard and he is an inch shorter than Knight so he would struggle a bit to play shooting guard. He is a great shooter but will need a staff that can help him learn the point guard position better.

Future: Bust (if he comes out this year)

22. Phoenix Suns: William Buford, SG, Ohio State, 6-5, Jr.

I think Buford is a second round pick. He won't go in the first round unless he has a great NCAA Tournament. Even then, I don't think I like his potential in the NBA. He can shoot, but other than three-point percentage he hasn't improved too much between his sophomore and junior year. I believe at this point Buford would be better off not taken in the first round.

Future: Bust

23. Atlanta Hawks: Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas, 6-10, Jr.

I think I like Markieff Morris better than his brother. I rank Marcus higher, but Markieff is going to have lower expectations for himself and he is a great rebounder. Whether he is actually improving or has learned to play better off of the other Kansas players on the roster, I don't know. His ceiling is limited, but he is a great rebounder with athleticism and there is a place in the NBA for a guy like that.

Future: Role player

24. Oklahoma City Thunder: Kris Joseph, SF, Syracuse, 6-7, Jr.

Joseph really developed an outside shot over the last year or so. He is athletic and has the skills to make in the NBA. So why don't I like him at all? I think it is because before any scouting report I have read on him starts going into his actual ability to play they talk about his athleticism. That makes me nervous he is a guy who gets by on being athletic. I have noticed this a bit in the Syracuse games as well. I feel like Joseph could be better while on the court and I don't know if he wants to be better.

Future: Bust

25. New Jersey Nets: Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas, 6-9, So.

Robinson needs to go back to college. I know it is tempting to come out to help support his family, but he took strides between his freshman and sophomore year. If he makes similar strides to his junior year then he could be close to a lottery pick. As it stands now, I see no reason he should be a first round pick. He's too inconsistent at this point.

Future: Bust (if he comes out this year)

26. Chicago Bulls: Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead State, 6-8, Sr.

There is an adage that if a player can do one thing well then he can make it in the NBA. Well, Ken Faried is an incredible rebounder. He can play in the NBA. Faried played at a small school but he put up 18 rebounds against Florida and 15 against Ohio State this year. 40% of his rebounds are offensive rebounds. The comparison to Ben Wallace is interesting, but I do think he can be a better scorer than Wallace. He'll never be a star, but he knows how to rebound and that will give him a place in the NBA. He's a guy who will be greatly served to be on a team that allows him to play his role. He can straight rebound though.

Future: Mediocre starter

27. Dallas Mavericks: Nolan Smith, G, Duke, 6-3, Sr.

Smith is the definition of a tweener. He isn't that great of a passer to be a point guard and he is sort of small (in terms of frame) to be a shooting guard. That being said, there isn't a shot he can't hit on the floor. He has a mid-range game, a long-range game and he can get to the basket. The question remains whether he will be able to get to the basket at the NBA level or not. Smith is a willing and able defender, often being stuck on the opposing team's best player. He doesn't have a high ceiling, but I believe with his leadership and the fact he has improved dramatically every year in college he could be an NBA player. I can see Smith falling to the second round.

Future: Role player

28. Toronto Raptors: JaJuan Johnson, PF, Purdue, 6-10, Sr.

I really like JuJuan Johnson. He can play inside and outside, though I somewhat doubt his ability to score inside at the NBA level. I don't know if he has a wide enough base and is strong enough to score. The comparisons to Channing Frye are accurate, though I think Johnson is a little better rebounder and not as good of a three point shooter as Frye. I don't know if Johnson will be out of the league in a few years, but I also don't know if he can ever be a starter either.

Future: Role player

29. Boston Celtics: Jeffery Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt, 6-7, Jr.

Taylor won't come out this year, or at least he shouldn't. He's a great athlete but I don't know if he does anything really well. He also hasn't seemed to improve as much as I would have liked to see him improve between his sophomore and junior year. If he comes to the draft, we won't hear much of him after that.

Future: Bust

30. San Antonio Spurs: Marshon Brooks, SG, Providence, 6-5, Sr.

He is the most improved player in the country. He hoists up tons of shots and teams focus hard on him, yet he is shooting nearly 50% from the field and grabbing 7 rebounds as a shooting guard. Brooks is a guy who could have his draft stock skyrocket after the NCAA Tournament when it gets to the workouts. He can score, that's for sure. Can he score when he offensive doesn't revolve around him though?

Future: Bust

I will probably end up doing a full mock draft closer to the NBA Draft once the picks are set and I know who is picking where. Clearly, the little exercise I did today isn't scientific since it is all based on my opinion and many of these players are going to show something that will make them regress/improve in my mind. Still, I don't think this is going to be a terrible NBA Draft like others may. It will be short on All-Stars, but a team with two Top-10 picks could have a shot at players like Kyrie Irving and Terrence Jones.

I personally am more of a quality over quantity person when determining how good a draft is. I only have two guys projected as All-Stars at this point, but for teams drafting in the first round there are guys who can contribute in there. So it is not a great draft, but I think terrible is overstating it a little bit.

10 comments:

Rich said...

16. Philadelphia 76ers: Chris Singleton, SF, Florida State, 6-9, Jr.

Another SF type player? Between Evan Turner, Iggy and Thad Young, do the Sixers need another guy to play the 3?

I get that they play Turner at the 2 quite a bit, but seriously?


Another guy who relies on a jump shot and doesn't handle the paint really well... just like the SFs the Sixers already have.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, I didn't actually place these players in these spots. I want to make this doubly clear. I didn't agree with the placements, so yes, I don't like the selection for the 76ers at that spot at all. It's way too early for me to do an NBA mock draft.

I think Singleton isn't a good fit for the 76ers and for your sake I hope they don't draft him.

Arjun Chandrasekhar said...

i agree with some of your analysis. kyrie irving and terrence jones look like the only future all-stars in this group; perry jones has by far the most potential, he could become a kevin-durant type of player, a sort of cross between tracy mcgrady and kevin garnett, but he's so inconsistent that its hard to see him becoming more than a quality starter that occasionally has great games.

i think people are underselling terrence jones. he is definitely one of the top three players in this class. he can swing between either forward position, can pretty much do it all on the basketball court. he reminds me of a bulked up tayshaun prince, or josh smith with a better jumper. i'd be shocked if he isn't at least an above-average starter. obviously irving and sullinger are sure things; i think when people say that this is a weak class they mean that there aren't a lot of guys who will definitely stick, just a lot of unknowns, not a ton of guys with the requisite potential/body/athleticism AND production to match.

my favorite part about your simmons quote was that he was using the fact that aldrich = pryzbilla 2.0 to say that aldrich shouldn't have tried to step up in the northern iowa game. so should cole have stood up in the huddle and said "hey guys i know i'm an all-american and all that but i'm only going to be a role player in the nba, so i should let you guys handle this" yes he's a role-player in the NBA, but the fact that he's going to the nba means he's an exceptional player at the college level!!!! what should he do, hand the reigns over to his other teammates who aren't going to be making all-star games either? according to his logic, john wall, evan turner, demarcus cousins, wesley johnson, and derrick favors were the only guys who should have been trying to take over games last year because they were the only guys being projected to be future all-stars; no other player should have tried to step up in big games at all; it doesn't matter if you're a senior or the best player on your team, if you're a projected NBA role player then you can't try to take over games at the college level. i guess that's why tyler hansbrough and north carolina failed so miserably in 2009, they put their fate in the hands of an nba bench player.

Bengoodfella said...

I think Irving and Terrence Jones are future All-Stars. I can see Perry Jones succeeding greatly, but I also don't know if he is a guy whose production will ever match the perceived talent level. I do like Kemba Walker a lot at the pro level, but I just don't know if there is a position for him. He's not a point guard and as good as a shooting guard as he is,

I do like Terrence Jones but I also think he has a few habits he has to break before he can succeed in the NBA. The comparisons to Josh Smith I think are fairly good, but he can be better than Smith if he gets rid of some of the habits.

Simmons loved himself some Cole Aldrich until he watched more than one game and realized Aldrich isn't anything special. That is true, Simmons was sort of saying Aldrich shouldn't step up b/c he was going to be a role player in the NBA. Though, at the time of the Northern Iowa game I think Aldrich was projected to be a Top 10 pick or something really close. He "fell" to the Top 15, but even at the time there were those who liked Aldrich in the NBA. So his comment fails on a couple of levels. I try not to be a college basketball snob, but Bill Simmons tends to not know what he is talking about when it comes to college basketball. He has gotten better though, no doubt. He still, I believe, portrays himself as having slightly more insight about it than he does.

rich said...

Ben,

I understand that you didn't place these players in those slots, if you had I wouldn't have been so rude...

Here's what WalterFootball said last year about the Turner pick:

"isn't the ideal fit alongside Andre Iguodala on the wing since neither are great outside shooters, but head coach Doug Collins wants to win right away and Turner will help that cause."

Not an ideal fit alongside Iggy and not a great outside shooter and this year the Sixers should select a guy who isn't a great fit alongside Iggy and isn't a great outside shooter?

With the "emergence" of Jrue and Jodie, the Turner is the 4th option at Guard (2nd at SG) and now the Sixers should pick up another SF?

If they draft Singleton, the Sixers will have to trade someone, severely limit someone's minutes or go with the smallest lineup in basketball.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, I figured you knew that. I just wanted to make sure. I question where these players were put, like Perry Jones was too far down in my mind. I think a team will take him earlier.

I don't think Singleton is a good pick up for them. You are right, I didn't like them taking Turner, though they had to really, last year. Another SG/SF doesn't seem like something they should take. That being said I like Singleton.

Arjun Chandrasekhar said...

the annoying thing is that simmons talks about college players with such arrogance. good college players ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS become good pro players...except when they don't, but even then simmons and only simmons always knows the exceptions as experienced by his brilliant march madness column last year. he says GM's are idiots for passing on guys that produced even though there are clear examples of his favorite guys not panning out.

at this point the mock drafts aren't really about the teams as much as they are about the players. we can't really factor in team needs at this point because we don't know how the lottery will play out. the important questions are which players belong in which range and how we think the players are going to fare, especially in regards to which players will have enough future to stick as legitimate starters/all-stars. so i would say don't get too caught up on the specific pick that the sixers make in this mock draft. also, even though everything that you said rich is true, if singleton is far and away more talented than the other guys available at that spot (i personally wouldn't know, the only time i watch college ball is to watch the guys who are projected top ten picks; i don't know anything about singleton) then you always always always go with talent over need in the draft - there's too much of a drop-off between nba prospects.

Victor Nash said...

So you're claiming that there is only going to be 2 All-Star/"best player at their position" type players in this draft? Sorry, but that would make this one of the worst drafts in history.

In 2000, which is considered one of the worst drafts ever, there have been 3 All-Star players. All of these players (Kenyon Martin, Michael Redd, Jamaal Magloire) were the best in the business at their position at some point, hence the All-Star selection.

You also labeled 10 players busts. That's a third of the first round, buddy. You might want to change that title there.

Martin F. said...

No Victor, it only means that those three guys were voted/selected for an All Star Team. It has nothing to do with if they are "All Star players" which almost always means a Top 20 player in the League, and is in fact the way Ben and the others are using it here.

Mo Williams made an All Star Team too, and everybody knows he wasn't the "best at his position" by any stretch of the imagination. And yes, I've heard several pundits state that they think this is one of the weakest drafts in memory, but I think its because there is a lack of star power in this draft. It will be a useful draft for a lot of teams, but not one with any game changers available this year.

Bengoodfella said...

Victor, compared to the gnashing of teeth over what a terrible draft this will be, I don't think 10 busts will be such a bad thing. Even the 2003 draft had 10 guys that could be considered busts and the 1996 draft was terrible on the back end. I think this draft doesn't have the top end guys other drafts may have had, but there are players who will contribute to a team. Is this the best draft ever? No, it isn't.

Perhaps I didn't make it clear enough the criteria I was using. I think Irving and Jones will be All-Stars 5-6 times through their career, not just a one-hit All-Star.

When I say a player will be a mediocre starter, it means he will be a good starter on a mediocre team. A quality starter will be a starter on a quality team and that is the level that player can reach. I realize I didn't use the best criteria or most clear criteria possible. I was attempting to project and say this draft isn't full of top end guys, but there will also be guys like Brandon Knight who will be a quality starter and available late.

This doesn't include if a guy like John Henson, or another player who hasn't appeared to be leaving college at this point, comes out. It is not a top-heavy draft but there are quality players available. That's what I was trying to say. Yes, there will be busts, but it isn't a talent-deficient draft as I have read a few places.

Martin F, you got what I was attempting to say. You are right, there isn't a lot of top-end talent, or at least top-end talent that I think will succeed in the NBA. A guy like Perry Jones has the talent to be an All-Star for years but I don't think he reaches that level. A team drafting in the first round can get a guy who will be a part of a championship team, but not the leader or best player on that team.