Re: Serge Ibaka, why no draft hype? He should go top 5 IMO
Ibaka could really rise up the draft boards with workouts. He is tall, has long arms, is athletic, and really has some skills developing. The only thing about his game that I don't like is that he is NBA-ized. He really has no fundamentals. It is like he has seen tapes of KG, LeBron, and a younger Shaq highlights, and that is how he plays the game. He really needs some good coaching to teach him the basics of the game so that those flashy moves he has can be put into use in an NBA game. I would call him the Jason Williams of big men.
The biggest problem with him in terms of the draft is that he is a 4 or 5 year project. Things have changed in the draft over the last 5 or so years where teams are looking for guys to help them in year 1 or 2 more and more. Ibaka needs a year or two more overseas, and then another year or two in the D-League. Then at 22 or 23 you can start talking about him playing in some NBA games before he really starts to enter his prime at 25 or so.
The best thing about adding a guy like this is that you can actually bring him over and get him in the D-League right away. I'm not sure how teams would want him to learn the game, but I think both have their advantages. I think he would get better coaching over here, but then you also have him working more with the average American players who have a lot of bad habits. In Europe he could get the fundamentals taught to him, but you have to wonder about playing time, him getting tricked into signing a long term deal, and if the coaches are going to train him the way he needs to be trained. If you bring him over here you can control these things more.
Back in Novemeber, I did a mock draft where I had him going to Portland with the 14th pick. I could still see them taking him the 13th pick because Oden's health needs to thought about, Channing Frye may not be around long, and you never know what a guy like Aldridge will do if the Blazers can't offer him too much money because they have a few other guys they need to re-sign as well. Plus the Blazers have enough young guys that you may not want to take up a roster spot by picking up a guy like Marreese Speights or Anthony Randolph who are too good just to put in the D-League, but not good enough to really amount to much in the first couple years.
After the Blazers, I don't see a lot of teams that have that kind of time to wait on a pick. The Raptors are always a wildcard because they seem set on drafting international guys. New Jersey does have a nice pick at 21 and could be looking to go into full re-building mode. Houston has picked up some young international guys in the past, but mostly in the 2nd round. San Antonio is always a threat to take a guy like this as well. Memphis could take a risk on a guy like this because they badly need a steal, and Detroit and Boston may not want to tie up more salary on a rookie. I think he has plenty of options in the 1st round, just not a lot in the late lottery/mid-1st round.