Re: New Mock Draft
DriveIn, I don't have much time, but I will try to address some of your questions and stuff.
I think Batum is different from Korolev in that I don't think Korolev ever had his heart in being an NBA player. I think there were a lot of agents and other people that could gain a lot from him, but he is just a European type of player, and wants to be a European player. The same thing happened with Fran Vazquez. Batum is an NBA type of player, and is really like the OJ Mayo or something of France. He has the hype as the next great French player. He wants to come over and play against the best in the world. The biggest thing for him to put all of his talents together and turn himself into a complete player. He has a ton of talent and natural abilities, and can do very well in certain aspects of the game, as you pointed out, the biggest thing for him is to fill in the gaps and get ready for 30 minutes a game against physical players. There will be a big adjustment for him, but he has the tools to be a special player. Korolev is the typical European player, and if he had his heart in it, may have been able to a lesser Peja or Turkolglu, but he just wants to be in Europe I think.
Budinger is about the same player he was last year. He has improved his shooting a bit, and that is why his scoring is up some. I don't know the numbers, but he has to be among the leading scorers in the Pac-10 at 17 a game. The thing that has killed him is having Bayless come in. I think most people expected Bayless to score about half what he has, and have about double the assists. Maybe not that big of a difference, but I certainly expected closer to 12 and 6 than 20 and 4 for Bayless. Budinger still has athletic ability, an improving shot, and can defend. He is such an explosive scorer though. You take away the 4 and 6 point games, you see a lot of 20+ games for him. He is probably averaging 22 a game if he doesn't have such severe off games. That is exactly what a team like Houston needs because outside of Wells and sometimes Head, Houston has no one that can explode with McGrady out of the lineup. Budinger actually might be a real steal becuase if he continues to improve on his shooting he won't have so many off games and will be much more consistant. Of course he also needs to add some weight, but he should be okay.
I will finish with the other questions later today probably.