Monday, June 25, 2012

3 comments Scoop Jackson Thinks Michael Jordan Should Do Jedi Mind Tricks in Order to Draft Anthony Davis

Scoop Jackson wants to let Charlotte Bobcat fans know all is not lost. There is still time to find a way to draft Anthony Davis. All it will take is Michael Jordan convincing the New Orleans Hornets it is more in the Bobcats interest to draft Anthony Davis than it is in the Hornets' interest to draft him. That doesn't sound so hard does it? Many times NBA teams will not draft a player because another team needs that player. We've seen this happen all of between zero and zero times. Anyway, Scoop Jackson thinks the Hornets don't need Anthony Davis. After all, they have Jason Smith. What else do they need?

Charlotte Bobcats GM Rich Cho sent out a message not long after his team lost the chance to nab Anthony Davis with the No. 1 pick in next month's NBA draft.

"The last time we picked No. 2 we got Durant," he said.

This is a really good point and why Bobcats fans need to step away from the ledge a little bit. Brad Beal has all the potential to be a franchise guy and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has the characteristics of a great all-around player. If Andre Drummond decides he likes basketball he could very well make a huge impact in the NBA. I'm going all "Jon Gruden" on this draft. I love it. There is life after Anthony Davis. Having said that, I think he should be the #1 overall pick. Any team that doesn't already have an established power forward and center should choose Davis. He's not a guaranteed franchise guy, but he is still developing and has incredible instincts on the basketball court.

But this time, the No. 2 pick isn't going to help his squad the way Kevin Durant did in 2007 when Cho was assistant GM of the Sonics.

I disagree. I think Kidd-Gilchrist or Beal can be franchise guys. What's so funny is Scoop Jackson tells us the #2 pick isn't going to help the Bobcats squad like Durant helped the Sonics, yet he believes Kidd-Gilchrist could easily be the #1 overall pick. It seems weird Scoop thinks Kidd-Gilchrist couldn't help the Bobcats, but he also thinks he is worth the #1 overall pick. The Bobcats aren't that strong at the wing position to where they could pass up a franchise-type player who plays SG/SF. So I think taking Beal/Kidd-Gilchrist would be advisable.

Unless Cho's boss, Bobcats owner Michael Jordan, can convince the New Orleans Hornets that Davis is not the answer to their drama.

(moving a medallion back in forth like a pendulum in front of Dell Demps' face) "You are getting very sleepy. You do not want to draft Anthony Davis. He is young, skinny and not the answer to your problems. You want to draft Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and then trade for D.J. Augustin."

Like that's really going to happen. We all know the chances of hearing those words come out of David Stern's mouth are as likely as the chances were of hearing RG3's name come out of Roger Goodell's mouth after "Indianapolis Colts" a month ago.

It's so unlikely Scoop Jackson just had to write an entire column about what a good idea this seems to be.

But as crazy as it sounds, for the Hornets, Kidd-Gilchrist is the right pick.

As much as I like Kidd-Gilchrist, I don't believe this to be true. Anthony Davis provides defense and shot-blocking ability that can positively affect the entire team's defense. A center who can block shots makes defense easier for the entire rest of the team.

There's a gaunt line between a need and a want. Missing in all of the post-lottery uproar of league conspiracies concerning the top of the draft order is that teams are sometimes forced to choose between the two.

Anthony Davis is a need and a want. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (I prefer Brad Beal to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist) is a need and a want. Though it has sometimes bit teams in the ass to do this (and sometimes it hasn't), the tall and talented guy wins out.

This year that player is Davis, the NBA's can't-miss version of Andrew Luck. But the Hornets don't need him. He's a want, a desire.

The Hornets don't need Davis? They were tied for 20th in blocked shots this year and 24th in rebounds per game. Yes, they were 12th in rebounding differential, but more rebounding and blocked shots never hurt a team. Scoop wrote this before the Hornets traded Emeka Okafor to the Wizards, but they still needed Anthony Davis before they made this trade.

How the hell is Anthony Davis a want and not a need when the Hornets frontcourt consisted of:

Emeka Okafor
Jason Smith
Gustavo Ayon
Lance Thomas
Darryl Watkins

Yes, the Hornets could re-sign Carl Landry and/or Chris Kaman, but does this look like a frontcourt that could use Anthony Davis? I think so. It's not that the Hornets DON'T need Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, but they could sign restricted free agent Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Amiu is slowly learning to score in the NBA, and Jarrett Jack can also provide scoring. Some of the scoring issues for the Hornets arose last year because Gordon was out for most of this season. The Hornets also have the #10 overall pick, so it will be easier to find a scorer in that spot than it will be to find a guy like Anthony Davis. In short, they should pick Anthony Davis because he is a need and a want.

The Bobcats, on the other hand, and with almost desperate severity, need Davis.

Charlotte was tied for 5th in the NBA in blocks, 29th in rebounding, and 29th in rebounding differential. They definitely do need Anthony Davis, but I'm pretty sure the Hornets won't hold off on drafting him because the Bobcats really, really need him.

Not because they finished with the worst winning percentage in NBA history, but simply because no other player in the draft balances their roster like he would. No other player in the draft comes close to completing them.

Unfortunately for the Bobcats, Anthony Davis also fits the New Orleans Hornets roster.

Charlotte already has three players who can legitimately score at three different positions: D.J. Augustin at the point, Gerald Henderson at small forward and Kemba Walker off the bench.

Well they definitely don't need a franchise-type scorer and defender like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist then. They already have D.J. Augustin and Gerald Henderson. There's absolutely no need for either Beal or Kidd-Gilchrist to play the small forward position, no matter how good they may end up being in the NBA. Who even needs a small forward when you have D.J. Augustin on your roster?

The Bobcats' problem -- well, there are many, but for the sake of this column we'll just focus on one or two -- is that they can't stop other teams from scoring. Plus, they don't have one player who can make it difficult for opponents to score.

So why don't the Hornets just not draft Anthony Davis so the Bobcats can? It's just common courtesy.

Davis would change that for Charlotte. Immediately. No disrespect, but an upgrade from Bismack Biyombo in the middle is urgently necessary.

No disrespect to you but Bismack Biyombo is 20 years old and is a natural power forward. Let's not call him out since he's been playing organized basketball for a few years and had to play out of position this entire year because Michael Jordan is such a kick-ass owner.

With three centers and a 7-foot starting power forward (Jason Smith), the Hornets don't lack at Davis' position

Yes, but the three centers were Emeka Okafor, Darryl Watkins and Gustavo Ayon. If the Hornets didn't select Anthony Davis because they already have any of these players then Dell Demps should be fired immediately. You don't pass on Anthony Davis because you already have Jason least not if you expect to keep your job.

If they draft Davis, they'll have to make some deals or begin cutting players to make room.

The Hornets have already started doing this and it is a good thing. As painful as that may be, I'm pretty sure the Hornets could play Ayon at power forward and somehow manage to get the audacity to cut Darryl Watkins. I know keeping Darryl Watkins is a high priority and all, but I think to make room for Anthony Davis you cut some of the players that led the Hornets to the fourth worst record in the NBA during the 2011-2012 season.

If I'm Michael Jordan, this is what I'm selling.

If I'm Dell Demps, that's not what I'm buying. Let's see how this conversation would go...

(The phone rings and Dell Demps picks it up)

(Michael Jordan's voice in the background) "Oh shit, I just missed that putt! Here is the $10,000 I owe you! Double or nothing?"

(Dell Demps) "Hello? Anyone there?"

(Michael Jordan starts speaking) "Hold your horses, man. I'm getting to you."

(Dell Demps) "Is there anything I can do for you? You called me."

(Michael Jordan is yelling in the background at a golf cart girl who offered him Powerade over Gatorade) "You stupid excuse for a woman. I should have you banned from working at this course. Don't you know I'm a Gatorade man? You should know everything about me because I am so important."

(Dell Demps hangs up out of frustration...two hours later his phone rings again) "Hello?"

(Michael Jordan) "You hung up on me earlier. I hate you. Hey, don't draft Anthony Davis. We want him. Do this for me."

(Dell Demps) "I'm pretty sure we are drafting Davis. Why would I not draft him?"

(Michael Jordan) "Because Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is a better player. Plus you already have Jason Smith and three other centers on your rost---"

(Dell Demps begins laughing insanely to the point he begins choking and then hangs up the phone)

Not getting the No. 1 pick wouldn't bother me as much as not getting a shot at getting Anthony Davis.

Yes, but getting the #1 overall pick is the same thing as getting Anthony Davis. You get the #1 overall pick, you get Anthony Davis.

If I'm New Orleans -- and if it's the gospel Jordan is speaking -- I'm listening.

Well, there is a reason you aren't an NBA General Manager then.

Because contrary to what everyone else is saying, Davis is not the Hornets' answer, not in the way a player like MKG would be.

Really? I'd love to hear the logic behind this. I could agree with this if I heard good, informed logic behind this statement.

(Spoiler alert: There isn't good logic behind this statement.)

If the Hornets are serious about building a team that will make the playoffs in the near future, they need offense now at a position where they don't have anyone to score.

The Hornets could have Eric Gordon, the team's leading scorer last year, and a guy who could end up being a really nice #2 option on a playoff team. The Hornets could re-sign him, plus they could decide to draft a scorer with the #10 pick in the upcoming draft. I can think of a few guys that would fit the bill in that spot. So the Hornets really, really need some scoring, but drafting Anthony Davis will have a positive net effect on the defense, which in turn could help the offense. A full season of Eric Gordon and the #10 draft pick could also help the offense., so I'm not quite as concerned about the offense as Scoop Jackson seems to be. Besides, no one said the Hornets were going to turn it all around in one season. They draft a defensive presence this year and worry about offense at a later date.

They need explosiveness, not a defensive presence who is going to need time to find himself offensively.

I really think Eric Gordon can be this guy for explosiveness. My opinion is that it's easier to find a guy who can score than to find a defensive presence in the paint. A guy like Anthony Davis who can block shots helps to erase mistakes by the perimeter defense and helps to turn defense into offense.

They need a player who in the next few years might be the next Paul Pierce, not someone who before his career is over could the the next Tim Duncan.

Read that sentence again.

You've read it again now? Great. Scoop Jackson says the Hornets need a guy like Paul Pierce, not Tim Duncan. Mind you, Tim Duncan has four NBA titles to Paul Pierce's one NBA title. Also, please remember that Tim Duncan is in the running to be the best power forward to ever play in the NBA. I love Paul Pierce, but come on, every team needs a player who before his career is over could be the next Tim Duncan.

Notice how under Scoop's logic the Spurs would have never drafted Duncan because they already had David Robinson on the roster? It seems managing to make room for Duncan worked out for the Spurs, huh?

I think if you have the choice between the next Tim Duncan and the next Paul Pierce you really don't have bad options. Either way, saying Davis could be the next Tim Duncan is terrible reasoning for not drafting him. That sounds like great reasoning TO draft Anthony Davis.

That's going to be a hard, almost impossible sell with all the hyping of Davis' uniqueness and upside. Even for a team with a roster full of players at his position, what Davis brings may be worth clearing a table already set.

Yes, but Jordan just needs to tell the Hornets HE wants Anthony Davis and provide all the previous information that Scoop has provided. I'm sure Dell Demps will understand and let the Bobcats have a shot at drafting Davis.

Jordan needs to go deep, take the Hornets through his own personal history. Remind them of what happened in 1984 when a team with a higher pick (Portland) chose another great big man from Kentucky (Sam Bowie) and passed on a special shooting guard. (And then Jordan can have Cho follow that up and remind them about the Greg Oden-Durant outcome.)

Maybe Dell Demps can remind Jordan what happened when the Magic selected Dwight Howard over Emeka Okafor, David Robinson over Armen Gilliam, Tim Duncan over Keith Van Horn. I know these aren't directly analogous situations to the Jordan/Bowie or Oden/Durant decisions, but Davis hasn't had any injuries in college close to what Bowie and Oden had in college. Oden and Bowie had injuries in college, which weren't definite red flags necessarily, but showed in retrospect they could have injury issues that would affect their ability to play in the NBA. Anthony Davis has no such injury issues.

Jordan needs to remind the Hornets that only twice since he won his first NBA championship ring have there been teams (2004 Detroit Pistons and 2008 Boston Celtics) that won NBA championships without a player on the roster averaging 20 points.

So the key is to find a guy who can score 20 points in a game and a team has a shot to win an NBA title? You know what else these Pistons and Celtics teams had? Great defense supported by a power forward/center who could rebound and block shots. Anthony Davis seems to fit this description.

He needs to then fly to New Orleans, show them the six rings he collected and enlighten them how he did that without having a "can't-miss" center on any one of those teams.

Then the Hornets can remind Michael Jordan he didn't need a "can't-miss" center on any of those teams because he is the greatest basketball players of all-time. Then the the Hornets can remind Jordan the teams since 1990 that have won the NBA Title without an elite or Hall of Fame center are the 1990 Pistons, the Jordan-era Bulls, 2004 Pistons, and 2011 Mavericks. Take away the Jordan-era Bulls and 12 of the last 15 NBA Champions had an elite or Hall of Fame center. So as important as a 20 ppg scorer seems to be, an elite center is important as well.

So before you dismiss this and never read another one of my columns, remember that crazier things have happened. In 1993, the Orlando Magic traded the No. 1 overall pick, Chris Webber, to the Golden State Warriors for the No. 3 pick, Penny Hardaway, and three future first-round picks.

Yes, and how did that work out for the Magic? Think the Magic would have enjoyed Webber and Shaq playing beside each other rather than enjoying a few seasons of a healthy Penny Hardaway? I would venture to say they would like to have this trade back.

It comes down to how desperate/serious the Bobcats are in pursuing a dream. Does Jordan have enough Bishop Juan skill as an owner to persuade Hornets owner Tom Benson that Davis is not in his team's best interest?

Probably not. I don't think giving up a boatload of picks for Davis would be beneficial to Jordan either. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Brad Beal will be a really good player. I'd take Beal if I am Jordan.

Can the Hornets be persuaded to believe that MKG's career could at some point during the length of his rookie contract begin to replicate the original AD: Adrian Dantley?

It's possible they could be persuaded of this. Of course the Hornets could also be persuaded Anthony Davis could be another Tim Duncan and draft him #1 overall. As much as Scoop Jackson seems to think this is a bad thing, I don't see it that way.

The Bobcats' need has to supersede the Hornets' want.

Again, this is a need for the Hornets also. Maybe not as big of a need as the Bobcats have, but a need nonetheless. Also, the Hornets don't give a shit what the Bobcats' need is. The Hornets have to do what is wrong for their team.

There's a saying in the NBA when it comes to the draft: Always take the best player available. That player might not be Anthony Davis.

It might not be. Of course Davis may be the best player available. Either way, when the Hornets have the chance to draft a player with Davis' potential, whether he is a need or a want, I think they have to draft him. Re-sign Eric Gordon as the required 20 point scorer and draft a scoring-type guy with the 10th pick. I'm not sure Michael Jordan is good enough to convince Dell Demps to pass over Anthony Davis.


rich said...

But as crazy as it sounds, for the Hornets, Kidd-Gilchrist is the right pick.

New Orleans has two picks in the top 10: 1 and 10. If NO goes C/PF and SF/G in those two picks, then Favors is a no brainer.

The SF/G who may be around at 10: Rivers, Moss, Lamb.

The PF/C who may be around at 10: Jones, Henson, Leonard.

No offense to the three PF/C I listed, the disparity in talent between them and Davis is much larger than K-G and the rest of the SF/Gs.

Charlotte already has three players who can legitimately score at three different positions: D.J. Augustin

DJ Augustin with the 10.9 PPG average for his career? Substantial improvement last year to 11.1 though.

Those three "legitimate" scorers listed average just over 38 points a game last year... that's pretty bad.

When a team averages 87 points and allows over 100, your need is "everything."

You don't pass on Anthony Davis because you already have Jason Smith

::flashback to 1985::

Scout:Sir, Patrick Ewing is the concencious number 1 pick this year. He has it all, this is the easiest decision ever.

Dave DeBusschere: I see, but we already have five F/Cs and have you met Ron Cavenall? He's 7'1"!

Scout: Sir, Ewing is a much better player than anyone we have on the roster, he could turn this franchise around.

DeBusschere: Fiddlesticks! Cavenall is 7'1"!

Scout: He only played 12.5 minutes a game. I really think we need to take Ewing. We only won 24 games last year, we need the best player available.

DeBusschere: NO! Who is the next best player in the draft?

Scout: Well we could take Tisdale or Mullin.

Debusschere: How tall are they?

Scout: What?

DeBusschere: How tall are they?

Scout: 6'9" and 6'6" respectively.

DeBusschere: You're lucky I like you son. 6'9"? We might as well draft this Ewing guy and a 6'6" white guy with a funny name? We already have one in Ernie Grunfeld!

Scout: Well the highest rated guard we have is Alfredrick Hughes, but he's not projected as a top...

DeBusschere: Perfect. Great name: Alfredrick Hughes - now that name inspires confidence! "Patrick Ewing" sounds like a complete bust to me.

If I'm Michael Jordan, this is what I'm selling.

Ohhhhh now it makes sense. Only the man dumb enough to draft and then trade for Kwame Brown would decide to go with K-G over Davis. Well done Scoop.

they need offense now at a position where they don't have anyone to score.

It's a shame all the potential scorers will be long gone by the tenth pick.

Maybe Charlotte will part with DJ Augustin for the right price...

Anonymous said...

The fact that this garbage is written on the worldwide leader in sports is amazing, how can anyone take espn seriously

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, the drop off from Davis down is pretty far. I agree. The SG's are pretty tight together like you said. Kidd-Gilchrist isn't a #1 overall pick though. He doesn't really do anything extremely well and he isn't a great shooter. I know Scoop likes him and I like him, but Davis has to be the guy.

I don't get how the Bobcats have enough scorers, yet they didn't score but 87 points last year. Of course they need Davis, most teams need Davis.

That's about how it is. You don't pass on Anthony Davis if you have Jason Smith. At worst you have a logjam at a position and can make a trade. There are cases where you don't pass on a player b/c you have other players at that position. This is one of them. The Hornets are in a unique position in they can take a great defensive player and find offense in the same draft. Re-sign Eric Gordon and draft Davis and another player at #10, they are on the road in the right direction.

Jordan has been trying to trade out of that spot since he got the #2 pick. I'm afraid he'll screw it up.

Anon, I know. Does Scoop think the Hornets wouldn't draft Davis b/c the Bobcats need him?