Originally Posted by senelcoolidge
I don't think Theo Ratliff is worth a #1 pick. He had a few good years, but no where worth a first pick. This draft is not top heavy, but it's deep. For this draft I would not want the #1 pick, but after that it's not bad at all.
This is my opinion as well. I'd not want this top pick, but I do feel like there's a ton of depth in this draft.
I was listening to Chad Ford today ... I know, but I think he's gotten a lot more interesting and better since his Darko is a cross between Wilt Chamberlain, Pele, and Muhammad Ali days ... he said a few things that interested me.
He claims that the Cleveland doctors have, who are apparently some of the best in the league, and their leading team doc is also among the two or three best knee guys in the country, have given them the green light on Noel, and as far as they're concerned, the knees are not a reason to not take him.
Cleveland brass say they don't feel like they can get a player at one who can crack next years starting lineup, which is interesting. And if that's the case, Noel makes more sense than before, because if you truely believe you're gonna have to have a guy primarily sitting anyway, why not the guy with the most upside. I'm not sure I believe their theory, but it's what he's reporting.
They dug into Noel's advanced stats some, and he really does start to look like a better prospect than Len. He is really young. Genuinely still 18. He was realy starting to play well when he got hurt. The game Len beat him up in was his first game. His shooting numbers were every bit as good as Len's as the season went on.
They talked some about Len's teammates making him hard to grade. But also wondered about his disappearing for stretches in games. He said he actually reminds him a lot of Darko the prospect, which isn't a knock considering how highly regarded he was, but the one thing about Darko was he also had a habit of mysteriously disappearing for stretches. Also, one of the knocks on Len is something that has been a consistent translator from both college and overseas to the NBA, he's not a particularly good rebounder based on the advanced numbers, rebound rate and the like. And rebounding good or bad has pretty consistently translated.
At this point everyone pretty consistently feels the top 6 are Noel, Len, Olidipo, Porter, McLemore, and Burke, but the order is almost completely fluid. It floors me that Burke is in there. Particularly ahead of Bennett. Especially since we know flat out that there's absolutely no way Cleveland or Washington would take him.
Simmons loves Olidipo and would take him first. His logic is that if this draft is such a crapshoot at the top. If the upsides are as limited as we're saying, why roll the dice on a guy becoming Kenyon Martin even if everything goes really well, when you can take Olidipo, still get a shot at some upside, and know the floor is so high. At worst he says the guy is a better Tony Allen. And by all accounts his work ethic really is that great, where you will get the best player he can be.
They both have a few issues with Porter. They likened him to Tay Prince, but not quite as long, and probably not quite as skilled. Probably a better rebounder, but otherwise not as good in most other areas. Their issue seems to be that he doesn't have skill to hang his hat on. He's just sorta good at a lot of things. I disagree with this.
Ford also assembled this interesting concept:
Each year I talk to a number of NBA general managers and scouts to create my NBA draft Top 100 and Big Board. But this year I decided to go one step further: to ask those same GMs and scouts to actually rate the top 50 NBA prospects.
Below is our first "Secret NBA Draft Big Board" -- the results of the ratings and rankings from our most informed sources in the league.
We asked them to predict each player's NBA career, according to two questions: How good a prospect is he? What kind of career will he have?
About half of the NBA's 30 teams participated, rating prospects on a 0-to-10 scale. A rating of 0 meant that the player "won't make the league or will have a very minimal NBA career," while a score of 10 meant he was a "top-of-the-line, elite prospect." Our respondents were asked to rate each prospect against all such NBA prospects in recent years.
We took these scores, averaged them and prorated them on a 100-point scale. This created a consensus "wisdom of the crowd" effect, the same thing that drives our ESPN Forecast panel to great success in predicting NBA outcomes. In other words, the results below (a) are reflective of the opinion of NBA decision-makers about this year's prospects and (b) have predictive value in terms of the NBA careers of these prospects.
Olidipo wound up at the top of this list, in spite of getting no tens. That's because no one felt like he'd be less than a seven, and almost everyone felt he'd be an 8/9. So the guess is no bust potential, and a quality starter to all star by all accounted for. McLemore on the other hand had a 10, and also only went as low as 7, but he got more 7s, pushing his average down to third overall. Noel finished second, mainly because one GM gave him a four, who much really have concerns over the health.
Bennett was fourth ranging 6-9. Porter fifth ranging 6-10, but obviously got a few more toward the bottom end to push him below Bennett, however he Noel and McLemore were the only players to get 10s from anyone. Len was next ranging 9-4. Burke was 9, which makes him going top 6 feel like a reach, especially since he's only fractions ahead of MCW, who probably falls into the early teens.
Just felt like an interesting exercise.
Both guys also felt like this was a rare draft with enough limitations on upside, and enough parity among prospects, to make reaching for positional fit make much more sense than it normally does, something I completely agree with.
Jeff Withey and Mohammad are both plummetting down draft boards from their respective spots a month ago. Neither of which surprise me at all, because both were among my least favorite prospects coming in. Mohammad may even fall out of lotto, while Withey is just holding onto first round status.
Simmons' draft interview videos you can find on youtube, and they've been really interesting. You can get a sense of personality even from a fifteen minute edited interview, that you know these guys have been coached up for. Having the noodle to say the right thing, even if it's not what you believe, is at least a sign that you have the noodle to do that at least. Mohammad for instance just gave off a bad vibe.
I find myself really into this draft because of it's weirdness. I don't think it's a great draft, but the depth of potential rotational players makes this feel more interesting than most to me.