NBA rookie of the year
Join Date: Jun 2006
My Crazy Draft Analysis
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: PF Anthony Bennett, UNLV
This is gonna be a tough one for me to explain, because I really like Bennett, but at the same time am really not crazy about this pick. This was one of the strangest top tiers in draft history. It got that way because you wound up with three pairs of top tier guys at three different positions, so the top tier to me really depended on what you wanted. I still think Bennett was the “gettinest buckets guy” in this draft. But he’s a mismatch nightmare. A guy you want to isolate on the block against smallers, and isolate on the perimeter against bigs. It’s gonna take a little work and attention to use him. My problem is that when you have an elite PG, and a free wheeling SG, and a big like Thompson who excels switching ends, you don’t want to be waiting for a mismatch guy you have to set up. That’s why I felt like Porter was the better fit. Certainly not the same level of scorer, but he could run with this team better, and his instincts to drift and pass just felt like a better fit with the personal they had. And his extra size and length, his rebounding prowess, to me meant you could use him as a small lineup four next to Thompson even. I suppose Bennett has some similar value.
So it’s not that I don’t like Bennett, and it’s not that I don’t like the idea of thinking outside the box, I just don’t like the fit.
2. Orlando Magic: SG Victor Oladipo, Indiana
This is a similar flip of my “Three Pairs of Tiers” notion at the top of this draft. And if I were this team, I’da liked my foundation of Vucevic, Tobi Harris, and a developing Andy Nicholson enough to pass on both the bigs as well. Had they been lower, Trey Burke woulda been the best fit, but they were just too high for that. The only weird thing about the two wings is that Aaron Afflalo was the only player of consequence they had on contract for any amount of time moving forward. Again, my preference of the two wings wound up being McLemore. I just felt like his jumper is an unteachable skill. Motor is important, but I feel like McLemore will continue to improve, and what he can do physically combined with that jumper is a different combination. But unlike the Bennett/Porter pairing, these guys were closer in terms of style to me, so I’m more than fine with this. And with the notion that Afflalo is possibly on his way out for a PG anyway, this looks even better.
3. Washington Wizards: SF Otto Porter Jr., Georgetown
I love this pick. I obviously developed a bit of a crush on Porter over the season. I was suggesting he go here when it looked like Cleveland would be picking, then when they moved up, I didn’t see any reason not to still go best fit, no one was separating themselves enough. He may never be a true star because he’s just too good a fitting in to stand out, but that’s a gift in it’s own way. This team is close, and this guy is a great fit.
4. Charlotte Bobcats: C Cody Zeller, Indiana
A little like Bennett, it’s tricky for me to assess this, because I liked Zeller seemingly more than most, but not to the tune of 4th overall. Especially with the other two concensus bigs, and the second premium wing still on the board. I get not loving Noel here. You’re still dicking around with Biyombo, so that rim protecting athlete you’ve already got. I felt like Len’s offense would’ve been a good fit. But most of all I liked McLemore. Last year’s take of MKG I liked, but the guy just can’t shoot. I touched on this in my mock, but pairing McLemore with him gives you two premium athletes at the wing, and allows you to really defend out there, but McLemore’s shooting lets you play him on the weekside across from MKG and Kemba, and help spread the floor for them. Zeller I just don’t get at all, and that’s even thinking he’s gonna be a decent long term player in the league.
5. Phoenix Suns: C Alex Len, Maryland
I really like this pick. They must’ve been shocked to have the options they had at five. The vaunted Phx training staff even fits well with possibly treating Len’s risky stress fracture issues that had concerned me during this process. I actually preferred Noel as a prospect, but the offensive fit here makes me like this more.
6. Philadelphia 76ers (via New Orleans Pelicans): C Nerlens Noel, Kentucky
I was initially excited to see how NO was gonna play Noel and Davis together. A 3 guard gamble defense, running people off the three point line, and helping with two defensive savants with elite length. It was fascinating to me. Seemed crazy, but still fascinating. Neither one can really post up. Both can run the floor like gazelle. Then the trade went down and they all of a sudden had a more conventional look. Probably better, but I was enjoying having my coaching hat on and thinking about what to do with these two long mobile bigs. Alas, Philly winds up with the guy with the most upside. Gets to sit him most of the season and stink for next years lotto. Gets away from Bynum. And had a pick later that they had to know would allow them to address giving up Holliday rather than fishing in the murcky wing water that was gonna be more likely down there. I thought this was a great, long game move.
7. Sacramento Kings: SG Ben McLemore, Kansas
So the most naturally talented player in this draft falls to 7. This sort of thing just doesn’t happen to the Kings. The question now is can his one weekness, what may be a deferential personality, be able to hold up in what is a rudderless situation in Sacramento. This is a great get for Sacramento, although probably not the best situation for McLemore.
8. Detroit Pistons: SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia
If you read my mock, I wasn’t crazy about KCP. For disclosure, he was certainly the guy I knew least about among the top dozen or so picks. And part of my reservation was just a matter of value. I liked more of those late pick wings than most people I suppose. For Detroit, they have a nice pairing up front, and I like Knight in the back court at either spot. By all accounts Pope is the best of the SG prospects. To me I’d still have probably rolled the dice with the other hyphen, Micheal Carter Williams, and run a pairing of PGs, with MCW’s size defending SG on the other end. Knight’s a better shooter than most at the one. And then you have two playmakers on the floor at once, along with Monroe who’s a plus passer, which allows you to use Drummond more, who needs things created for him. It would’ve been risky, but it was an idea I’d liked for a while.
9. Utah Jazz (via Minnesota Timberwolves): PG Trey Burke, Michigan
UPDATE: The Timberwolves traded this pick to the Utah Jazz for the Nos. 14 and 21 picks, USA TODAY Sports' Sam Amick reports. I like this trade for both teams. In my mock, I had Utah looking at PGs of all types. MCW lacked the shooting traditional of this team. I had hypothesized they’d reach for Shane Larkin even. By moving up for Burke they get the best fit for their team. Are two 1s worth it for Burke, I’d say in this draft sure. This is a team with good depth up front and young size. If they resign even one of their two big FAs, they weren’t gonna get much out of the crop of mid level bigs that would be available to them in the range they were picking anyway. And I like how it ended for Minnie too.
10. Portland Trail Blazers: SG C.J. McCollum, Lehigh
There were so many teams I liked McCollum for. I liked him for Detroit where they took Pope, where I felt he could playmake a bit like I was saying with MCW. I like him pairing with Rubio at the previous pick, doing all sorts of all court things with Love and Ricky and running around like a bunch of spacing and movement savants. I still have serious serious questions about him defensively. And of all the places he could’ve gone, I don’t like this spot. Lillard is too ball dominant for this guy to get great value out of all the things he can do. And the two of them are going to make for a terrible defensive backcourt. Lillard ranked out atrociously on defense last year. This to me is an unfortunate fit for a guy I really liked. However I know I’m in the minority here.
Last edited by Thorpesaurous : 06-30-2013 at 07:52 PM.