Friday, June 26, 2009

Tyler Hansbrough, Lottery Pick = Lousy Draft

Per Wikipedia: The NBA draft is an annual North American event in which the National Basketball Association's (NBA) thirty teams (29 in the United States and one in Toronto, Canada) can select players who wish to join the league.

Ok, cool.

Last night, players were chosen.

The experts are telling me it's the worst draft since 2000 -- and as much as I'd love to disagree with them, I can't. This draft was embarrassingly low on talent.

Blake Griffin, I love; Jrue Holiday, DeMar DeRozen and Brandon Jennings were good picks because they at least have All Star ability; Jeff Teague will be a scoring point at the next level if he can develop a consistent jumper. And that's about it.

This draft was awful. Tyler Hansbrough, Darren Collison and Wayne Ellington all went in the first round. To me, that sounds like the start of a good joke. DeJuan Blair went in the second round and nobody could believe how far he "slipped." What seemed to be misremembered is that Blair is a 6'6 rebounder, with no post moves...HE'S SUPPOSED TO GO IN THE SECOND ROUND! That's why the second round was invented, to draft guys like Blair.

Oh yeah, Hasheem Thabeet went No. 2 overall. Number Two! You might remember Thabeet as a gigantic, semi-uncoordinated foreigner who has horrible balance and no offensive game to speak of. And he's kind of soft. He's annoying, too, but that shouldn't be held against him (although I absolutely hold it against him). Is he an effective enough defender to have a spot on an NBA roster? Yes. But I think we can agree that the No. 2 overall pick should be able to score, right? Right?

Even Stephen Curry, who I'd follow into hell, shouldn't be going anywhere near the lottery. But he did. Seventh overall. I still can't believe it.

James Harden didn't give a crap during Arizona State's two tourney games in March, so how am I supposed to believe he'll give maximum effort for an 82-game season? Plus, he's slow.

Austin Daye makes Boris Diaw look like the toughest mother fucker around. Soft. Skinny. Not all that athletic. Decent shooter. And please, let's stop with the Tayshaun Prince comparisons. I'm begging you.

As for pretty much everyone else in the draft -- save for James Johnson, Eric Maynor and a few others -- I can't believe they heard their name as early as they did...or that they were drafted at all.


Back to the 2000 draft. Yes, it was pathetic. But a few gems were uncovered, as well -- none bigger than Michael Redd at pick No. 43.

And why am I telling you this? Because this draft will have its gems, too. It might come from the list of names I just pooped on, or it might be some dude from overseas with a difficult name to pronounce.

But I think it's going to be DaJuan Summers, combo forward from Georgetown. He's got an NBA body (6'9, 245 lbs.), NBA athleticism (words in parentheses) and a pretty stroke from long range. I don't know a thing about the effort he put forward at G'Town -- and if he's a punk like that, he won't last -- but he has All Star ability and I love the idea of him stretching defenses at the four position.

I also love the fact that both Summers and Daye were drafted by Detroit. Trust me, the available minutes will go to Summers.


A few other draft thoughts...

In a draft so short on talent why did Josh Heytvelt, Jerel McNeal and AJ Abrams go undrafted? Neither are great, but all offer a specific skill that all teams crave.

With Heytvelt's, yeah, he's a knucklehead. And he never really tried hard. But he's 6'11. And he's not a stiff. And he can shoot. Seems to me like he could be a nice pick-and-pop player.

McNeal can guard the perimeter and knock down corner threes. I'd rather have him over Collison or Ellington.

And AJ Abrams...God, do I love watching him. He's really small (listed at 5'11), but he can shoot from distance better than anyone in this draft besides Steph Curry. And his release is so quick that his shot never gets blocked. I think he can stick in the league in an Eddie House role.

End of words.

(By the way, I posted a new podcast about Craig getting kicked out of a softball league for arguing with an umpire. If you're keeping score at home, he's now been kicked out of two fantasy leagues, a basketball league and now a softball league. And it's never is fault.)

-Brad Spieser (


Daniel Phillips said...

Not a very good draft in the first round. There was definately alot of value with the second round picks though. This draft was full of role players, not outstanding players. I don't even think Griffin will live up to the hype. Hansbrough will have a long solid career because he knows the game so well and tries harder than everyone on the court. I think the T-wolves should just fold as a team, terrible draft for that team.