Thursday, June 23, 2011

Draft Amendments

I am not going to waste my time making a whole new mock draft, but I feel like some of the top spots have changed, and I am gonna try to tweak those

3. Enes Kanter, C, Utah Jazz - Apparently, Kanter has moved ahead of Knight here, and Knight may fall a long way because of it. If they stay here, they might be in a spot to get a good PG at 12

4. Jonas Valunciunas, C, Cleveland Cavaliers - There are all kinds of teams plotting how to get him right now. The Cavs want him, but don't wanna take him at 4. Almost certainly, somebody will trade up, or down, to get him

5. Brandon Knight, PG, Toronto Raptors- This pick is still unsettled. I would think the Raps would be happy if Knight falls here, but Biyombo is still a dark horse to go here.

12. Kemba Walker, PG, Utah Jazz - Maybe I moved Kemba here just to make things work out, but I think they would consider him if they actually take Kanter at 3. If Fredette is still on the board, he will definitely be hugely in the talks as well. Chris Singleton is also a name to look at here

Here are some other random draft tidbits I'm finding all over the web....

  • Julyan Stone, a name unfamiliar to many, has many suitors in the second round. I could see the Lakers picking him
  • Charlotte is said to covet Tristan Thompson, but Detroit may get to him first. These two teams are involved in cat and mouse trade talks with Cleveland, who wants Valunciunas, but not at 4
  • 76ers may consider Donatas Motiejunas at 16, or Jordan Hamilton
  • Sacramento seems almost certain that they will move pick #7. Perhaps they are eyeing a veteran PG, like Tony Parker or Ray Felton
  • Miami loves Reggie Jackson
  • Dallas may be looking at Isiah Thomas
  • Jimmy Butler might get a look from the Celtics in the first round
  • If Miami can trade back into the second round, they may choose Jon Leuer
  • In my mock draft, I have Jackson going to OKC. Now they are said to be either trading the pick or looking for a hard worker. This is not Jackson....maybe Kyle Singler or Nolan Smith
  • BREAKING NEWS: Charlotte has acquired the 7th pick for Stephen Jackson in a three way. Maybe they take Tristan Thompson now, or they package the 7 and 9 and move up?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Mock Draft 2011

If any year's mock drafts are an exercise in futility, 2011 tops the list. When all is said and done, I wouldn't be surprised if 10-15 of the first round picks get traded. For this mock draft, I am not going to try to predict these moves. Also, I have just stuck to the first round, as most of the second round picks get moved as well.

Many analysts have described this as a two star draft. Almost every player beyond Kyrie Irving and Derrick Wiliams have major flaws or question marks. With that said, this is being the worst draft in years. Interestingly, this draft has a heavy international flavor, as 5 of these players will likely be drafted in the top 20.

Without further ado...

1. Kyrie Irving, PG, Cleveland Cavaliers This seems like a no brainer here. The Cavs obviously don't have Baron Davis in their future plans, and only have one "untouchable" in J.J. Hickson. What is interesting is how the times have changed. 5 years ago, it was almost imperative to go big with a number 1 pick. Coming off a year where former number 1 Derrick Rose won the MVP, teams now realize that just because a player may be the best big man in the draft class doesn't mean they need to go first. While I don't see Irving as being as explosive as Rose, I could definitely see him as an All-Star in 3-4 years.

2. Derrick Williams, F, Minnesota Timberwolves If Minnesota holds this pick, it will be Williams. Of course, this would mean that Michael Beasley needs to get traded again. Williams, an athletic monster, would become part of an interesting core with Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love. What I am not sold on is Williams' jumpshot. I see him as a more powerful Josh Smith, who would be better at the 4, where he is not expected to shoot 15 times a game.

3. Brandon Knight, PG, Utah Jazz Utah has two options here, Knight or Enes Kanter. I personally don't see the dire need for another big man. If there was an elite SG in this draft, I have to believe that is who the Jazz would be taking. However, it is understood that the Jazz brass don't see Devin Harris as their franchise point, so Knight steps into this role. Keep in mind that the Jazz have a second lottery pick, which makes for interesting trade scenarios.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Shot in the Dark: 2010 Offseason Predictions

After years of waiting, franchises that have tanked purposely over the past couple of seasons have finally reached their day of salvation, July 1, 2010. It all started with LeBron....the two time MVP all-world small forward has had several franchises drooling ever since teams began to realize that the possibility of him leaving his home state was all too real. Soon, other free agents noticed how much general managers were targeting this summer, and began setting plans on getting in on the fun. The question is, with all of the talk lately about summits and collaborations of James, Wade, Johnson, Stoudemire, Bosh, and whoever else, is it really about forming a super team and creating a dynasty.
For James, I dont think it is. I dont think he wants to go to Miami and play with Wade, where they will be considered a duo, not James as the leader. I also dont think he really wants to go to Chicago, which would invite constant comparisons to MJ, which at this point in his career would be hard to live up to. I also dont see him returning to Cleveland, because in all honesty, they arent going to be able to put a much better team around him than the one that just lost in the second round. This leaves a few teams....the Knicks and Nets...and the outsiders with no cap room, Dallas and Houston. I dont see the Nets being big enough of a market for LBJ, so my prediction: LeBron James signs with the New York Knicks.
Dwyane Wade is the obvious number 2 in this class. To me, his free agency has only two real options....his current team, the Heat, or his hometown Chicago Bulls. The determining factor for him is who he will be playing with.....he wants another ring.....I dont see the Heat walking away from this offseason without at least two top 10 free agents. For this reason, Dwyane Wade re-signs with the Miami Heat.
If your GM says you are probably headed out of town, then you probably are. Chris Bosh has a big list of options. I dont see the Knicks having a huge pursuit of him, and I dont think he wants to play in a small market like New Jersey. Bosh wants to go back to playing power forward, and the issue with Heat is that they currently do not have a legitimate center on the roster.....the Bulls have Joakim Noah, as well as rising point guard Derrick Rose. This should tip the scales, and Chris Bosh signs with the Chicago Bulls.

NBA Draft 2010 Grades

For the record....I dont grade teams that dont end up with any prospects

Washington: B John Wall, Kevin Seraphin, Trevor Booker, Hamady N'Diaye

John Wall is the no brainer here, even if you already have a franchise point guard. I like Trevor Booker as a player, but I think they reached on him. N'Diaye is not a bad pick at 56, but I doubt he ever makes the roster. The question mark is Kevin Seraphin, who was acquired alongside Kirk Hinrich. Lots of people are knocking this trade for setting up a potential Chicago dynasty, but Hinrich brings leadership, something this franchise needs to improve their image.

Philadelphia: B+ Evan Turner

I do think Turner is the better player than Favors at the 2 spot, but I dont see him fitting in all that well in Philadelphia with Igoudala. They really didnt have a better option here, and I dont see the Sixers making the playoffs next year...but Turner is a good building block.

New Jersey: A- Derrick Favors, Damion James

I think Favors will eventually turn into a very solid PF, but it will take 2-3 years....The Nets may be able to find someone to teach him through free agency though, possibly David Lee or Carlos Boozer. Even as a Texas fan, Damion James doesnt strike me a difference-maker. With that said, he should be be able to contribute on a team that may not have money left to spend on a bench when all is said and done.