NBA Draft Impressions

Monday, 27 June 2011, 22:16 | Category : NBA
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With this year’s NBA draft being such a week one, the jury is still out on who the real winners and losers are.  Only time will tell, but unfortunately there’s likely too much time before we even get to see these players begin their careers.  So I’m not going to pretend to pronounce the winners and losers of the draft, just my feelings on how my teams did.  All three of my teams (Pistons, Jazz, and Wizards) had lottery picks.  All three are in various stages of the rebuilding process.  All three agree it was a bad year to have such good picks.

Utah Jazz: For the 3rd pick, Utah basically had it narrowed down to either Brandon Knight or Enes Kanter.  Both would fill the most important needs for the Jazz and both were the consensus best players left on board, not just in their respective positions.  As the draft drew closer, the thought of drafting Knight grew on me, but I believe the Jazz probably made the best choice.  Scouts believe that Knight’s ceiling is probably around the level of Devin Harris.  Well, they already have Harris.  There can be arguments that he’s a younger version who can shoot better, but he still probably isn’t the long term answer Utah needs at the point.

On the contrary, while PGs of Knight’s projected skill level are fairly easy to come by (unless you’re the Hawks), it’s hard to find skilled big men.  Nobody really knows how good Kanter is, but he has shown the potential.  He’s like a younger version of Memo in that he can shoot, but he doesn’t appear to be another “soft Euro”, which is definitely not like Memo.  He’s probably worth the gamble, especially in this draft.  If he turns out to be a bust, he’s still a big body you can stick in the middle.  You just have to hope that the pick from the Deron Williams trade turns out to be the right one.

I’ve read mixed reactions on Burks, but Chad Ford had him ranked as the top shooting guard and tenth overall in this draft.  Jimmy is also really high on Burks.  I don’t know much about him, but I did have the Jazz drafting him.  It also looked like the best pick available once the Jazz were on the clock.  And I’m sure they were relieved Jimmer was not on the board at that point, because they weren’t going to take him.  Utah still has some needs to fill, but had a good start on draft night.

Washington Wizards: So Kanter isn’t going to end up in our nation’s capital with his buddy John Wall, but it’s maybe for the best.  I wasn’t ever sold on Kanter for Washington.  I know very little about Jan Vesely, but from what everyone is saying, it sounds like he’ll be a good fit.  He’s almost 7 feet but plays the 3.  He appears to be fast and can dunk.  I told myself I wouldn’t make a joke about his hot girlfriend or the awkward kiss because it’s been way overdone, so I won’t.

Chris Singleton brings toughness and defense to the team.  I think he was a steal at 18.  Shelvin Mack took his school to back-to-back national championship games.  He should be a competant backup to Wall.  It’s reassuring that the Wizards are using this rebuilding process to change the culture of the team.

Detroit Pistons: By the time the Pistons were up with the 8th pick, none of the players they were expected to be interested in were left on the board thanks to  Charlotte trading up.  I like that Dumars didn’t panic and just draft some other big that didn’t have any business going at 8.  He drafted the best talent available, which the Blazers over the years have taught us is the way teams should do it.  Although, I did hear that one of the Morris brothers really impressed Detroit, but they must have felt that Knight’s talent trumped theirs.

Knight does add to the logjam the Pistons have, but he’s a building block of the future.  The Pistons are working to get rid of many of the players currently on the roster, many of whom are guards.  Knight is a building block of the future.  And it’s hard not to like a kid that smart.  It says a lot about him.  It sounds like the type of person Detroit needs to start filling it’s roster with.  Plus the Knight and Daye comments should keep us entertained for a while, although it’s still not as great as what almost became the Gay-Love Era.

Kyle Singler and Vernon Macklin also seem to add to the logjam problem in Detroit, but both were considered steals for where they were drafted.  Singler seems to be another high character addition.  I don’t know much about Macklin, but Dumars assures us he is also a tough, high character guy.  Then again, he said that about Darko too.

While I have zero affiliation with the Bucks, I also want to give them a little recognition.  They took on three really bad contracts last season and were able to get rid of two of them in one trade.  They also brought in a few other assets.  All they had to do is move don nine spots in a bad draft.  Even then they managed to draft Tobias Harris, who Ford has ranked at 14, with the 19th pick.  Clearing out those bad contracts was huge for the Bucks.  Big night for them.

All things considered, my teams did a nice job on draft night.  Both the Pistons and Jazz have found unexpected talent in previous drafts, I hope this year was no different.  With all three of my teams rebuilding, the future can’t come fast enough.  I just hope we don’t have to wait too long to witness the fruits of this draft.

Live chat during the NBA draft

Saturday, 25 June 2011, 18:41 | Category : NBA
Tags :

Kyrie Irving, Brandon Knight, Derrick Williams

Trevor and I chatted during the NBA Draft.  It includes our predictions as things progressed as well as additional commentary.  For the record, Trevor is “me”.

5:32 PM  Jimmy: I’m trying to get it up but I pick Irving for the Cavs if I’m not there in time

5:34 PM me: your first 5 was what my plan B looks like

Jimmy: who do you have for Minnesota?

5:45 PM I have Williams

Jimmy: This is where it gets interesting

me: yeah

i wonder if they’ll flip Williams now for a vet

no one believed it when they said they were picking Kanter

Jimmy: I think they should. They need a veteran backcourt player

5:47 PM me: agreed, plus people are saying he’s more of a 4 and they already have Love

5:47 PM Jimmy: Yep. Some think he can play the 3 but I don’t see it. It takes him a long time to shoot a jumper

5:48 PM For the Jazz, I wasn’t sold on Knight for a long time, but he started growing on me and now they’re talking about drafting another Memo

5:49 PM Jimmy: I don’t think Knight is worth a #3 pick but I could be wrong

I think they should go with Kanter. There are enough point guards in this draft who are similar to Knight

Jimmy: How many times are we going to hear people say they are here because they are a hard worker?

5:50 PM me: Nice pick, you must be a hard worker.

5:51 PM me: That’s true. Plus they have some room cleared up with their current situation

5:51 PM Too bad Jimmer won’t be on the board at 12 anymore

5:53 PM Jimmy: I’m glad. Playing for Utah would bring too many expectation for the Jimmer

Why do they cheer in the draft room? Aren’t they the only ones who aren’t surprised?

me: I was thinking the same thing

I’m not sold on Sactown for Jimmer though

5:54 PM I just don’t like the team, plus Evans is a shooting guard

Since they traded their PG is Jimmer going to start at point?

5:53 PM Jimmy: why are you not sold on Sacramento for Jimmer?

5:55 PM Jimmy: I kind of like the fact that Evans and Jimmer are both combo guards. They can both play at the same time and play with matchups

Jimmy: haha. Van Gundy just mentioned the clapping

me: Will Jimmer start in SAC?   Did you hear the Jazz tried to trade with the Pistons? Maybe they wanted to move up for the Jimmer.

Jimmy: I don’t think he would

5:57 PM me: I lost all the windows I had opened!

5:58 PM Jimmy: my internet just froze but I think the cavs just picked Tristan Thompson

me: they took Thompson?! That messes everything up

5:59 PM I think that makes it more likely DET trades with HOU so they can take Morris (Markkief?).

6:01 PM me: I now think Knight will go to Raptors

Jimmy: I thought the cavs said they were definitely taking that other euro big guy

I do too

me: Washington will take Jan Vesely.  me: Dumars said he’s got the green light to take Jonas if their other picks aren’t there

6:02 PM CHA will take Bismack

Jimmy: oof- Valanciunas to Toronto

Jimmy: They like the Euro centers

6:03 PM me: Yeah, but I thought they’d stay away from it this time not to tick of the fans

6:04 PM Jimmy: I may start turning the volume off during player interviews.

6:05 PM me: You don’t find this informative?

6:06 PM Jimmy: I guess I learned that he moves fast

me: I also thought the Raptors were going to go with defense, but I have heard Jonas may turn out to be the best player in the draft

6:07 PM Jimmy: I still think the Wizards take Leonard

me: I think they’re taking Vesely, but I like Leonard

Jimmy: rats… Vessely

that was an awkward kiss

me: Oh, I think I’m a little behind

6:08 PM Jimmy: They are saying he is a future dunk contest champion. Another Nate Robinson?

6:09 PM me: except over a foot taller

Jimmy: Being a dunk contest champion shouldn’t be confused with MVP

me: Not at all. There are a lot of good looking Czech models

6:10 PM Jimmy: I like your Biyombo pick for Charlotte

me: Either way he’s likely a step above whoever the Wiz have playing SF. Rashard Lweis?

6:11 PM Jimmy: They may take Knight though

me: True, they really need a PG but they can take one at 9

Jimmy: Good one

me: if they wait for BB he’ll likely be gone

6:12 PM Jimmy: They like DJ Augustine at point guard but they should still try to get better

me: For sure. Are you ready for another insightful interview?

6:13 PM Jimmy: ha. 4 foreign guys already

me: I hope he sounds like Mutombo

Jimmy: What does that say about the draft when a guy with absolutely no offensive ability goes #7?

6:14 PM me: What does it say for the Bobcats’ other PFs?

Jimmy: Shouldn’t he be wearing a bobcats hat?

me: I guess the trade isn’t finalized?

6:16 PM Jimmy: who do you have for the Pistons, Trevor?

me: I guess Knight

Jimmy: Don’t they have to take Knight now?

me: but I think they want to go big

6:17 PM They could still trade and allow Houston to move up and get two picks later

6:18 PM Jimmy: Hmm. He doesn’t look too happy. never a good sign. maybe that’s the style

me: Well he was supposed to be 3. I wouldn’t want to go to the Pistons right now either

6:19 PM Pistons don’t really need MORE combo guards

If he doesn’t get a lot of steals why is that the highlight they show?

6:20 PM Jimmy: I think I learned more from the foreign player interviews

6:21 PM me: He just said this isn’t really Charlotte’s pick? Wrong.

6:22 PM Jimmy: they are a little confused. Who does Charlotte take?

6:23 PM me: I would take Leonard but they could go for Walker. I say Leonard

Jimmy: I say Leonard too. Your first 8 picks are all gone

6:24 PM Walker is probably the right pick

6:25 PM me: Yeah, I mean they’ve got Maggette to hold down the fort at SF which is reassuring…

Jimmy: right

6:26 PM I think Walker may be a little too small for the NBA though

He really didn’t shoot that great in college

me: It seems to me he should be a good backup

6:27 PM Jimmy: I agree

Guess what? He just said he is a hard worker

me: him too?!

Plus he has a big heart!

6:28 PM Jimmy: Jimmer time

me: I think we all agree on that

6:29 PM Jimmy: woohoooooooo

me: I think we see 3 SGs (counting Jimmer)

Jimmy: I got nervous when they announce the Bucks

Does that little jingle they do at the beginning sound like the Harry Potter music to you?

6:31 PM me: It’s because magic is happening tonight

Jimmy: niiiiiice

me: it’s the best I could do

6:32 PM Jimmy: Who’s next. Klay Thompson or Alec Burks?

me: GS loves Klay

6:33 PM I bet Jimmer and Cousins will probably hang out a lot off the court. I think they have a lot in common.

Jimmy: haha. Maybe Cousins will like TJ’s rap music

6:35 PM me: Who are you taking here?

Jimmy: Klay

me: By the way, we’re tied right now.

6:36 PM Jimmy: It seems like you are killing me

6:37 PM me: I would be if I had gone with my plan B with the Jazz taking Kanter

6:38 PM I say Burks here

Jimmy: The Jazz may get a steal with Burks. I’m high on him

me: but I wouldn’t be too disappointed with Leonard or Singleton

Jimmy: I’d be disappointed with Leonard

6:39 PM me: they need some defense to replace AK, but I think they should go Burks

6:40 PM I love Sports Center commercials

Jimmy: they really are awesome

6:41 PM I still can’t believe Tristan Thompson went so high

maybe that had something to do with both of our internet connections locking up

me: Hollinger scored him high

6:43 PM Jimmy: This next pick is a tough one

me: I’m glad the Jazz didn’t have to worry about drafting the Jimmer

I have to stick with my original pick of Leonard, but I really have no idea

6:44 PM Jimmy: I think they should take Singleton. Get a defender for once

I can definitely see them taking Leonard though

me: They do need help on d

Jimmy: He gives them that needed toughness

me: Singleton is probably the better pick

6:45 PM because they need some scoring

Is it just me, or does “hand down, man down” make no sense at all?

Jimmy: Singleton won’t be much of a scorer either though

and yeah that makes no sense, but you don’t need to make sense if it rhymes

6:46 PM me: anything sounds good sitting next to Van Gundy

What are the chances they don’t trade Ellis now?…this year

Jimmy: They should do everything they can to trade him

He is a good player on a bad team or a headache on a good team

6:48 PM me: Markieff Morris???!!!

Jimmy: what????

6:49 PM Maybe the suns really like the lesser brothers

They should trade for Marc Gasol

me: they take all the lesser twins

Marc isn’t the lesser anymore

I think he’s supposed to be the defender though

Jimmy: The commentators are struggling with this

me: They didn’t have notes on him yet

6:50 PM I think Houston likes Marcus

maybe PHX was being polite or they made a secret deal

6:51 PM Jimmy: I hope Houston takes Marcus. Although he reminds me too much of Drew Gooden

me: ewww

Jimmy: I can’t handle these interviews

me: I think they’ll take him

How do they expect these guys to answer questions like that?

6:52 PM Jimmy: That’s true. These questions are horrible

How did you get here? There is only one answer for that

6:53 PM I think it is smart that Leonard has dropped a lot

He was projected to go high because he has big hands. But not much else…

6:56 PM good pick

me: I’ll say

6:57 PM Who does Indiana take? They need help at PF and have shopped their wings a bit too

Jimmy: I had them taking Chris Singleton originally and I stand by it

6:58 PM Although for the 10th time, They may take Leonard

me: That’s a good pick

Morris said he wanted to play for Houston a minute ago, why’s that? maybe because their the next team drafting

Jimmy: He said they don’t have a scorer at forward

Jimmy: Not the best way to make friends with teammates

7:25 PM me: Wow, I missed a lot

7:59 PM Did you see that Ron Artest wants to legally change his name to Metta World Peace?

me: Yeah, he’s crazy

Mock Drafts

Thursday, 23 June 2011, 16:45 | Category : NBA
Tags :

Here are Jimmy’s and my mock drafts.  We’ll be chatting during the draft (at least the lottery) to continue to make a pick while the teams are on the clock.  Here we go…

Trevor Jimmy
CLE Kyrie Irving Kyrie Irving
MIN Derrick Williams Derrick Williams
UTA Brandon Knight Enes Kanter
CLE Jonas Valanciunas Jonas Valanciunas
TOR Jan Vesely Brandon Knight
WAS Enes Kanter Kawhi Leonard
CHA Bismack Biyombo Jan Vesely
DET Tristan Thompson Kemba Walker
CHA Chris Singleton Klay Thompson
SAC Jimmer Jimmer
GWS Klay Thompson Bismack Biyombo
UTA Alec Burks Alec Burks
PHX Kawhi Leonard Tristan Thompson
HOU Marcus Morris Marcus Morris
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