NBA Roundtable

Live Blog: Draft Night

In Draft on June 24, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Important Note — I don’t watch college basketball. All opinions here are based off of other scouting reports that I have read and heard. I’ll know more about these players after summer league.

A lot of buzz about New Jersey trying to trade their draft pick. The idea at the moment is that they may draft Favors today and find a trade at a later date if they do not like what is on the table.

The Lottery

#1 Pick – Washington Wizards select John Wall

No surprises here.

John Wall is a terrific prospect. A well rounded player who plays defense, rebounds, is a very good playmaker and a very good scorer. Excellent quickness, long arms and great size.

John Wall is a better version of Derrick Rose.

#2 Pick – Philadelphia 76ers select Evan Turner

Best player in this draft. Excellent pickup for the Sixers.

An outstanding ball-handler, passer, defender and rebounder for his position + a very good scorer. A player capable of dominating games in multiple ways.

#3 Pick – New Jersey Nets select Derick Favors

Good case scenario: A 20-10 beast who is one of the best big men in the league for the next decade

Bad case scenario: An above average defender and rebounder but only a complementary offensive player. An elite role player and excellent glue guy.

A remarkable athlete who measured similar to Dwight Howard. Favors and Brook Lopez will create an imposing front-line that should dominate the East for several years to come.

The question marks are his scoring ability + scoring mentality. There is a lot of criticism over his guards in college and their inability to get him the ball though. So Favors may be a superior offensive player than he has shown. Either way, he has very good long term potential here due to his size + athleticism + touch.

#4 Pick – Minnesota Timberwolves select Wesley Johnson

Excellent potential defensively + on the backboards. A terrific athlete with great quickness, length (seven foot wingspan) and explosive leaping ability.

Offensively, Johnson has a nice post up game and is a very good shooter. His ball-handling, passing and shot-creation are rudimentary though. I think the Triangle offense will help him develop tremendously. I am delighted (for him) he ended up in Minnesota.

#5 Pick – Sacramento Kings select DeMarcus Cousins

A very good scorer + excellent rebounder but he needs a lot of work defensively.

How much he improves defensively will go a long way to deciding how good a pro he becomes. All-Star potential.

Has a good body. 6-11, long, lot of muscle. Strong as an ox. Similar to Eric Dampier athletically.

I love the direction Sacramento is heading in with Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins. Omri Casspi too who is the perfect role player alongside those two. The Kings have created an excellent foundation to build the club up from.

#6 Pick – Golden State Warriors select Ekpe Udoh

A good to very good defender + good rebounder + a very good passer + skilled offensive player who has a midrange jumper, a solid face up game and can finish in the paint.

Not prolific enough to be a go-to scorer but a Udoh is a player who makes quality contributions in each area and can have a very good impact on a game overall.

Hard worker who has improved every year and has a good basketball IQ.

#7 Pick – Detroit Pistons select Greg Monroe

A very skilled offensive player who is a terrific passer, a solid ball handler, has very good footwork and is a good scorer. Monroe did a poor job on the backboards as a freshman but he was much improved last season and looks capable of holding his own on the backboards.

In terms of athleticism, Monroe has good quickness and mobility but he lacks a little size + muscle and isn’t an explosive athlete.

Some questions about his defensive quality, should be serviceable but he’ll have to overcome some of these athletic issues with impressive defensive fundamentals + anticipation/reaction.

Monroe will likely be better off in a power lineup as a four rather than at the center position. That would eliminate his size issues and give him a small advantage there.

#8 Pick – Los Angeles Clippers select Al-Farouq Aminu

Not a small forward. I repeat, not a small forward. Aminu is an undersized power forward.

The player Aminu reminds me most of is Andrei Kirilenko. That disruptive influence defensively. Aminu uses his length, quickness, mobility and activity to create problems for opposing teams. A very good rebounder at the four.

Offensively, Aminu has a solid face up game at the four but is well below average as a small forward. Cannot create his own shot. Shooting is dubious. Ball-handling is unimpressive. Needs to play as a four to be effective. A terrific player in transition as a power forward.

The Clippers are going to screw this kid up. They’re going to use him as a small forward are ruin his game.

#9 Pick – Utah Jazz select Goran Hayward

Not sold on Hayward. He sounds like a guy who is solid at a lot of things but excellent at nothing. Consequently, more a complementary piece than a star, that is my expectations of him.

A playmaking small forward with solid scoring ability + good shooting ability. A good playmaker but not great. Has some nifty moves with the dribble but he isn’t a great athlete so he would likely struggle some against marquee defenders. A decent defender who plays good perimeter + position defense.

The one thing I really like about him is his nose for the ball. He has a great sense for loose balls and winning rebounds.

Note: I would have loved to have seen the Jazz take Xavier Henry here. This is a bit high for Henry but I love the idea of him and Deron playing together. A big burly backcourt with great athleticism and shooting ability. Also, Henry’s catch and shoot game would be utilized very well in Utah. I love that combination. Ah well.

#10 Pick – Indiana Pacers select Paul George

Excellent pick. Paul George has been a binkie of mine for many months ago long before he started shooting up the draft.

An excellent athlete with shooting ability, rebounding ability and defensive play.

George has huge potential.

Note: This doesn’t feel like a Larry Bird pick. He normally prefers accomplished players over high potential guys. I wouldn’t be surprised if this pick is part of a trade.

#11 Pick – New Orleans Hornets select Cole Aldrich

A double double + shot blocking machine in college. He projects to be a very good to elite role player in the NBA. An excellent pickup for the Hornets.

Note: Ric Bucher is reporting that Aldrich + Mo Pete are heading to Oklahoma in exchange for the #18 and #21 draft picks. Anyway, excellent addition for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

#12 Pick – Memphis Grizzlies select Xavier Henry

I don’t like this fit for Henry. OJ Mayo is in his way as a starter + if Mayo switches to the point, then neither Mayo, Henry or Gay provide enough playmaking ability.

Henry is a good prospect. An excellent athlete with major defensive potential and very good rebounding instincts. A great catch and shoot player especially coming off of screens. A better version of Brandon Rush.

Otherwise, a limited offensive player due to his lack of handles + passing ability + shot-creation ability.

Henry is a big two and projects to be a lot better at that position than at the three. His size advantage and rebounding for a SG are major pluses in contrast to his value as a quick forward.

#13 Pick – Toronto Raptors select Ed Davis

Goodbye Chris Bosh. Excellent selection for the Raptors.

Davis is similar to Bosh in some ways. A lanky power forward with great quickness. A terrific rebounder. A lefty with great length. A good face up shooter and driver. A limited post game.

A lot of questions about Davis’ ability to be a go-to scorer but he will be a very good rebounder + has good defensive potential + will be at the very least, a very good complementary player offensively.

#14 Pick – Houston Rockets select Patrick Patterson

Not wild about Patterson as a prospect.

A solid scorer, a fourth option type of scorer who is excellent at getting hustle baskets around the rim (transition, cuts, offensive rebounds) and has a solid post game. Is a solid all-round defender somewhat similar to a Thaddeus Young albeit not quite as good. A poor rebounder.

Patterson will look good in a quick lineup similar to how Houston used Carl Landry last season in the second unit. Let him isolate, post up or face up and attack with his quickness and strength. Push the tempo, get some easy garbage hoops. Both traits are tailor made to Patterson.

I am not wild about Patterson as a prospect but I have to say this is a terrific fit for him. I like this pick.

Rest Of First Round

#15 Pick – Milwaukee Bucks select Larry Sanders

Excellent draft pick.

Reminds me of an athletic version of Adonal Foyle. A defensive minded big man who pounds the backboards. Someone who enjoys doing the dirty work. Limited offensively but accepts his role and plays within his limitations. An excellent athlete with great quickness, strength, length and overall size. Capable of playing both big man positions.

I think Sanders will be a very valuable rotation player in the NBA for many years to come.

Note: Rumours of Portland reaching a deal with the Wolves for this pick to select Luke Babbitt.

#16 Pick – Minnesota Timberwolves select Luke Babbitt

I don’t know a lot about him but he sounds intriguing.

He measured out very well in the combine. A terrific shooter from two point range and three point range, catch and shoots and off the dribble, can drive and get to the rim. A pure scorer. A very good rebounder. Great engine, competitive, plays with energy. Scrappy. A lot of jab steps, hesitation dribbles and ball fakes. Good ball-handler and passer.

Babbitt may be one of the steals of the draft.

Note: Minnesota have traded Luke Babbitt + Ryan Gomes to the Portland Trailblazers in exchange for Martell Webster. Webster is an elite role player as a starting two guard due to his excellent defensive ability + solid rebounding + excellent complementary offense.

I don’t know enough about Babbitt to say whether this is a good trade or not though! A role player like Webster doesn’t have as much value to an early stages rebuilding team like the Blazers as a potential star talent in the draft. I am a bit wary of this trade for Minnesota + I am disappointed to see Portland move Webster but if Babbitt is the real deal this will work out well for them.

#17 Pick – Chicago Bulls select Kevin Seraphin

Largely an unknown. A 6-11 270lbs beast of a man. Posted some very good rebounding numbers in France. A lot of upside due to his athleticism + terrific body. A combo big man.

A little similar to Serge Ibaka or Larry Sanders? He could be.

Note: This pick is likely heading to Washington as part of a trade agreement for Kirk Hinrich.

#18 Pick – Miami Heat select Eric Bledsoe

A good athlete with very good quickness and length. A streaky shooter and decent finisher in the paint. A solid pressure defender.

Bledsoe didn’t show anything in college. Hard to say much about him. A possible bust.

There is more interesting talent on the board. This is a bad pick.

Note: This pick has been sent to New Orleans (via Oklahoma) in exchange for Cole Aldrich.

Note: Eric Bledsoe has been traded to the Clippers for a future first round pick. Bledsoe could be a nice backup point guard in LA. Hopefully that pick is well protected.

#19 Pick – Boston Celtics select Avery Bradley

Bradley is a terrific defender + very good catch and shoots scorer but limited otherwise as a scorer/shooter.

Bradley hasn’t shown the ability to run a team or to be a playmaker and create shots for others. He doesn’t get to the FT line.

I am very disappointed with this pick. I wanted to see Boston select Whiteside or Damion James. James would have been an excellent role player combo forward for them next season. Really strengthened their side. Bradley is a solid enough prospect but I felt Boston could have done better especially with Rondo already in place there.

On another note, this likely spells the end of Nate Robinson’s tenure in Boston.

Note: There is a chance this pick will get traded. A lot of rumours about Boston moving their pick. Boston taking a point guard when good talent at other positions on the board is a bit suspect.

Note: Some comparisons being made between Bradley and Monta Ellis.

Danny Ainge has come out and blamed the coaching staff in Texas for Bradley’s underwhelming performance last season after being the top ranked guard coming out of high school.

Also getting a lot of comparisons to Russell Westbrook for his quickness and the connection between his substandard college production relative to his NBA talent.

I am looking forward to seeing this guy in summer league. A lot of differing reports out there about his ability.

While he’s certainly not the most dynamic offensive threat at this point, Bradley was very solid in spot up situations. With a sizeable 30.5% of his touches coming from such opportunities, he shot a second ranked adjusted field goal percentage of 60.9%. The least prolific player running the pick and roll (.57 PPP) and a mediocre isolation player, Bradley was heavily reliant on his jump shot to score points.
Nearly 75.7% of his half court shots were jumpers, and he led all players with a 43.1% shooting percentage on such attempts.

Where Bradley really impressed though was the scrimmages, where his team rarely lost and he made great use of the floor’s spacing, getting to open spots of the floor with ease, showing no troubles getting separation from his man. With his excellent body control, balance, and elevation, Bradley just needs a glimmer of space to get his shot off, and he showed that especially playing the pick-and-roll game. Bradley hit a variety of pull-up jumpers from the mid-range and from behind the arc, many with a hand in his face, which didn’t seem to do much. He incorporated in some hesitation dribbles and fakes to get separation when his first move didn’t work, but mostly didn’t need it, just being so proficient out of simple pick-and-rolls

Definitely looking forward to seeing this guy for myself. At the very least he is a solid role player but from the sounds of some of these reports he may be special but the information available varies widely.

#20 Pick – San Antonio Spurs select James Anderson

I have heard a lot of mixed reports about this player.

Anderson has shown very good scoring skills; prolific, efficient and versatile. However, he has also displayed a lack of ability to impact a game outside of that. He is a poor defender with poor lateral quickness and bad effort. A selfish player.

On the plus side, San Antonio is about as good a place he’ll be able to find to work on his weaknesses.

Again, I thought there was better talent on the board that was passed up.

#21 Pick – Oklahoma City Thunder select Craig Brackins

I had this guy going in the second round and I thought he was a very good value pick in that range.

Here? Again, I think there is better players available.

Brackins has good size but poor lateral quickness and explosiveness which hurts him defensively and on the glass. Solid production (16/8).

He is an older player and and more ready to contribute, but even at that Brackins is only a borderline rotation player.

Note: This pick has been sent to New Orleans in exchange for Cole Aldrich.

#22 Pick – Portland Trailblazers select Elliot Williams

A guy I know absolutely nothing about. A big point guard who scored a lot in Memphis.

Portland have strongly linked to him for quite awhile now, they’re in love with him, so that is big vote of confidence.

#23 Pick – Minnesota Timberwolves select Trevor Booker

Booker was not on my radar at all. Not in this range. Minnesota have passed up on a number of talented players.

I’ll have to find out more about this kid.

Update: Appearently, Booker is an excellent athlete at 6-7. A combo forward with good length. A solid all-round player who rebounds and scores at a solid clip. Great first step. Has a very poor perimeter jump shot. Gets a lot of his offense out of the post and given his small size (relative to PFs) that is unlikely to translate. Has a very good first step. Can’t shoot free throws. Questions over his BBIQ and his ability to take advantage of his face up game overall. Defense is a mixed bag.

This sounds like a bad draft pick. A solid mid second round pick but way too high here.

#24 Pick – Atlanta Hawks select Damion James

Excellent selection. A combo forward who plays tough defense, is a very good athlete and a powerful rebounder. A decent spot up shooter who gets a good number of garbage baskets.

Projects to be an elite role player similar to James Posey if he continues to improve his jump shot.

#25 Pick – Memphis Grizzlies select Dominique Jones

A tough minded slashing shooting guard who gets to the line at a great clip. Good scorer. Sounds somewhat similar to Sam Young. Solid athlete.

Not wild about either of the Grizzlies picks.

Note: Dallas has acquired this pick from Memphis in exchange for cash considerations.

#26 Pick – Oklahoma City Thunder select Quincy Pondexter

I know some people who wax lyrically about this player and feel he has massive potential in the NBA. Similar to a Josh Howard years ago.

Pondexter is an incredible athlete. A rangy forward who can play both positions. Has a nice post up game and face up game. Very efficient scorer and was prolific in college. A good rebounder. An very good to excellent defender.

Pondexter has good value as a power three + undersized four. Excellent draft pick.

#27 Pick – New Jersey Nets select Jordan Crawford

A lot of rave reviews about Crawford’s time in Indiana and stories about how well he played Eric Gordon in one-on-ones.

Was a good scorer for Xavier with mediocre efficiency in college. A gym rat and solid shooter.

Note: This pick has been traded to the Atlanta Hawks for Damion James. The Hawks also receive the #31 pick (Tibor Pleiss).

#28 Pick – Memphis Grizzlies select Greivis Vasquez

I don’t like this pick.

A big point guard with suspect defensive ability + needs to dominate the ball which he won’t be able to do in the NBA + a sub-par athlete despite his terrific size (6-5 PG) + inconsistent floor general + streaky shooter.

#29 Pick – Orlando Magic select Daniel Orton

An unknown. Orton was an unproductive and highly moody player in Kentucky. He does have a good physique and is a good shot blocker who will play physical basketball.

A long term prospect that could either way. Most likely to fail though.

#30 Pick – Washington Wizards select Lazar Hayward

An undersized small forward with sub-par athleticism but possesses a solid skill level.

I know some people who liked him as a late second round pick and thought he could make the league … but this seems to high for Hayward. A low level bench player is the expectation.

Note: Minnesota traded the rights to  Trevor Booker (No. 23) and the rights to Hamady Ndiaye (No. 56) to Washington for the rights to Lazar Hayward (No. 30) and Nemanja Bjelica (No. 35).

The Wolves just wasted another first round draft pick.

Second Round

#31 Pick – New Jersey Nets select Tibor Pleiss

A very good rebounder but a limited offensive player, finesse offensive player, and a suspect defender. Questionable agility, lateral quickness and strength which effects on both ends of the court. Developing a steady midrange J but decent rather than great.

Still in the early stages of development.

Note: Pick traded twice — once to Atalanta as part of the Damion James trade and then onto Oklahoma in exchange for cash considerations.

#32 Pick – Oklahoma City Thunder select Dexter Pittman

A large man, 6-10 300lbs, who rebounds very well and is a solid player.

Not an NBA level player now but with some work on his body he could become a serviceable player.

Note: This pick is being sent to Miami as part of the Daequan Cook trade.

Note: Nobody has picked Hassan Whiteside yet. He is the best value pick available. Alabi is also available a good pickup at this stage too. David Ebanks is another good name. Willie Warren.

To a lesser degree, Armon Johnson, Gani Lawal and Stanley Robinson.

#33 Pick – Sacramento Kings select Hassan Whiteside

Excellent pickup at this stage but he is likely to fail in Sacramento.

Whiteside is an outstanding shot blocker (5.4 blocks per game) but the rest of his defensive game needs a lot of work. Despite having the best shot blocker in the country, his team ranked only 130th or so in defensive efficiency which clearly states he is not an NBA caliber defender. No seven footer who blocks shots at that clip should be apart of a college team that weak defensively.

The second issue for Whiteside is offense, despite being a skilled player with a nice midrange J … Whiteside posted underwhelming true shooting percentages. The only reason for that is shot selection.

So, on both ends of the court there are major question marks over his basketball IQ and fundamentals … but on the plus side, there is an enormous amount of raw talent and athleticism to work with.

In the right situation, Whiteside could blossom and become a very good pro.

#34 Pick – Portland Trailblazers select Armon Johnson

Nice selection

#35 Pick – Golden State Warriors select Nemanja Bjelica

A 6-10 guard described as a point guard trapped in a power forwards body.

Very good ball-handler, passer and rebounder. Average athleticism and so-so scoring ability. Struggles with his shot and lacks efficiency. Poor defender on the perimeter.

This guy doesn’t sound like he’ll pan out in the NBA.

Note: This pick will be sent to Minnesota (via Washington?)

#36 Pick – Detroit Pistons select Terrico White

A scoring combo guard with very good physical gifts

#37 Pick – Milwaukee Bucks select Darington Hobson

#38 Pick – New York Knicks select Andy Rautins

An excellent shooter and solid passer. A Travis Diener type of guard?

#39 Pick – New York Knicks select Landry Fields

Some interesting Steve Kerr quotes in the Arizona Republic where he compared Fields to Jared Dudley. Two guys who create possessions, make hustle plays. Fields was a very good rebounder too.

Sounds like a good pick but doubtful about the fit in NY. Needs more of a jump shot to get playing time there.

#40 Pick – Indiana Pacers select Lance Stephenson

A highly ranked player in high school but one who is wrought with problems. A lack of non-scoring contributions + inefficient selfish offensive play.

Stephenson made good progress last season but his lack of athleticism + continued need for development are major hurdles to overcome.

#41 Pick – Miami Heat select Jarvis Varnando

A very athletic shot blocking power forward.

Sounds quite similar to Stephane Lasme.

#42 Pick – Miami Heat select Da’Sean Butler

A good scorer in college and a solid defender but I am doubtful over his potential in the NBA. A solid athlete but lacks explosiveness. Below average rebounder.

#43 Pick – Los Angeles Lakers select David Ebanks

Nice selection here.

Ebanks is a very good defensive player with good versatility (can defend 1 through 4) + is a very good rebounding wing + has a solid handle, passing ability and post game.

His lack of a jump shot, poor shot-creation and lack of a scoring mentality have held him back. Another worrying sign has been his lack of progress over the past couple of years.

#44 Pick – Milwaukee Bucks select Jerome Jordan

A legitimate seven footer with a long wingspan who was very productive in college (15ppg, 9rpg, 2bpg). Good pickup.

#45 Pick – Minnesota Timberwolves select Paulao Prestes

His rebounding numbers are very impressive in the Spanish ACB but I don’t know anything about him.

#46 Pick – Phoenix Suns select Gani Lawal

Excellent pickup in the middle of the second round.

Lawal is a very productive, athletic + rangy power forward. He will make a nice reserve in the NBA.

#47 Pick – Milwaukee Bucks select Tiny Gallon

A big burly man who gave 7 and 7 in twenty minutes a game last season.

An undersized center with limited athleticism and poor offensive/defensive ability. Very good rebounder. Unlikely to pan out.

#48 Pick – Miami Heat select Latavious Williams

D-League player … a thin athletic small forward who rebounds very well.

Note: Miami trade Williams to Oklahoma for a protected 2011 second round pick.

#49 Pick – San Antonio Spurs select Ryan Richards

The English international big man. Unlikely to play in the NBA but you never know, a few years developing in Europe could do his game wonders. Still very raw but very athletic.

#50 Pick – Dallas Mavericks select Solomon Alabi

Excellent selection here. Alabi was the anchor to the best defense in college basketball and projects to be a quality defensive minded center at the next level.

His lack of rebounding and limited offensive game will forever limit his minutes in the NBA but he is a solid player to have on your bench. A legitimate seven footer with defensive ability.

Note: The Toronto Raptors have acquired Alabi in exchange for a future pick + cash considerations. Nice get by the Raptors.

#51 Pick – Oklahoma City Thunder select Magnum Rolle

Note: The Indiana Pacers have swapped picks with Oklahoma City to get Louisiana Tech’s Magnum Rolle in the second round of the NBA draft.

#52 Pick – Boston Celtics select Luke Harangody

I’ve heard a lot of good things about Harangody. A smart player, tough rebounder, skilled offensive player and smart albeit limited defensive player. A through “pro”.

Someone who will fight and claw his way into the NBA and make himself useful once he gets there. A good guy to have at the end of your bench.

#53 Pick – Atlanta Hawks select Pape Sy

#54 Pick – Los Angeles Clippers select Willie Warren

Warren had a bad season and needs to a lot of work on his game but has a solid talent base to build off of. Way too early to write him off.

An excellent late second round pick.

#55 Pick – Utah Jazz select Jeremy Evans

A 190lb power forward with no offensive game. A poor rebounder. A very good athlete who competes well defensively.

Sounds like a long shot to me.

#56 Pick – Minnesota Timberwolves select Hamady N’diaye

Solid athleticism and good activity defensively. A very good shot blocker. Very little offensive game and his rebounding is dodgy.

Not enough to work with here. Needs more defensive impact or more rebounding production.

#57 Pick – Indiana Pacers select Ryan Reid

Only averaged 6.8ppg as a senior in college. That is all I know about the man.

#58 Pick – Los Angeles Lakers select Derrick Caracter

Plagued by weight, conditioning, and attitude issues at Louisville, Caracter appears to have figured things out for the most part at UTEP, even if he still has room for improvement in many areas. His offensive profile still reads very similarly to what it was two years, if only for the difference that he’s seeing a lot more time on the floor each game and not getting suspended multiple times per season.

Talented but problematic young big man. Nice pick.

#59 Pick – Orlando Magic select Stanley Robinson

A rangy combo forward with terrific athleticism and good defensive ability. A weak rebounder and a so-so scorer.

#60 Pick – Phoenix Suns select Dwayne Collins

Undrafted Free Agents

Jonathon Givony’s list

Top undrafted free agents: Brian Zoubek, Samardo Samuels, Alexey Shved, Jeremy Wise, Mikhail Torrance, Sylven Landesberg, Manny Harris, Artsiom Parakhouski, Miroslav Raduljica, Aubrey Coleman, Matt Bouldin, Ben Uzoh, A.J. Ogilvy

Also, Manny Harris and Sherron Collins.

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