BackseatGM Rates The Draft Prospects
Everyone once in a while we get an extremely insightful, well thought out forum post. Here is BackseatGM’s contribution to scouting the draft prospects for the 2010 NBA draft….
I don’t necessarily have any better opinions than anyone else on here but I’m damn sure a lot more plugged in than Kawakami, and he actually gets paid for the worthless junk we read here a couple weeks ago. I’m offering up comparisons for the sake of anyone who knows the pro game but didn’t watch any college (people like Tim K.). The comparisons mean I see similarities in their game and body type. They DON’T mean I think they’re ******’ carbon copies. If you think I’m out to lunch, say so, but don’t nitpick me because one guy’s an inch taller or a little better shooter, okay.
John Wall (a PG version of Dwayne Wade, rookie year) – This guy is the one true potential superstar of this draft and he’s been the #1 pick since last year’s Nike game. The league has never seen his combination of speed, quickness, length, handle, court vision, freakish athleticism, and confidence. In the NBA no one will be able to guard him. They’ll have to pack the middle and hope he doesn’t become a better shooter. On the break it’ll be hopeless. Drafting anyone ahead of him would be like taking Marvin Williams over DWill and CPaul. It’d get someone fired.
Evan Turner (Brandon Roy, senior year) – Not the shooter or defender Roy was but probably a better handle. A little taller. While he has no deep range, he’s decent from 15-18. You can’t leave him open. Not a high flyer but his game doesn’t need it. He plays under control and makes his teammates better. To me, he’s the clear #2 though I think it’ll take him part of his first year to adapt to the NBA game, kinda like Curry.
Derrick Favors (Al Horford, freshman year) – He was the best player at last year’s MacDonald’s game (Wall not being there helped). He’s got a nice body for a PF and at his age you know he’ll fill out. In today’s NBA he’ll likely see plenty of time at the 5 once he gets his feet wet. He’s got all the tools and he should really flourish once he gets some experience under his belt. But laying Amare and DHoward comparisons on him is unreasonable. Their athleticism is at a whole other level. But he should be a solid player for years.
Demarcus Cousins (Eddie Curry) – Lord knows he has the size, he’s got great hands, a bit of a mean streak. His upside is high. But so was Curry’s. He needs to mature and learn how to play for the right reasons. Frankly, if I was a GM he’d scare the hell out of me. I’d hate to bet my franchise on him. I also think he’ll disappoint a little when he’s measured. I don’t think his 6’11 is as tall as Aldrich’s 6’11. Shouldn’t matter too much but he’s not gonna tower over people in the NBA.
Wesley Johnson (Rudy Gay, coming out of college) – Wes is long, smooth, athletic, has a sweet stroke; everything you’d want in a SF. He played in Syracuse’s zone for a year but I suspect he has the skills to play man okay. The thing I always notice when I watched Syracuse is that the team played good when Rautins played good, not Johnson. Wes will fill some team’s 3-spot for years to come but he’ll always be a complimentary player, IMO.
Al-Farouq Aminu (Luol Deng) – Me and Al had bad chemistry. Every time I watched him play he was mediocre or worse. I saw him get shutout, that’s never impressive. And his body language was terrible; you’d think he just heard his mom died. But obviously he’s better than what I saw. He will defend and he uses his length well. He’ll give 3’s some problems but I don’t see him having much success against true PF types. He’s thin and he doesn’t look like that will change. He rebounds well in college but in the league that’ll get harder. Nothing he does on offense gets me excited except finishing on the break. I’ll be really surprised if he’s more than a handy player down the line.
Cole Aldrich (Robert Parish, coming out of college) – I think a lot of fans are sleeping on this guy because he’s white but I doubt that many GM’s are looking past him. He’s the most talented big in college right now. He’s a full-sized center with Kirilenko arms, wide shoulders, and surprising mobility for a big white guy. He can score down low with either hand, has a jumper out to 15′ or so, rebounds tenaciously, and blocks shots with ease. He hits 2/3 of his freethrows; not great but not terrible. So, the Parish comparison? If you didn’t see Parish play as a Warrior you’re not qualified to shit on me for that. He was a very similar player back then, even down to the awkward though somewhat effective release on his free throws and jumpers. No, I don’t think Aldridge will play 20 years and become a HOF’er, but lets face it, Parish landed in the sweetest spot this side of Alba’s ******.
Greg Monroe (Chris Webber in college, with glue on his shoes) – He’s not Webber but he might be the best passing big man since Webber. This is a guy you can run your offense through because he has great court vision and he can deliver the ball right where you need it. He can also shoot it if you back off him or go to the rim if you crowd him. He’s very left handed and he plays below the rim. Both those things would limit him if he wasn’t so damn good at finding other people. In the right offensive system he’ll be a real asset. On the other end he blocks some shots and gets some boards because he’s tall and mobile, but he’s definitely not an intimidator.
Patrick Patterson (David West, in college) – Like West, Patterson’s considered a little undersized for a 4 but that just means he won’t have to play any 5. He’s a smart player with some decent skills who knows his limitations. It’s unlikely he’ll improve as much as West did once he reached the league but Patterson should be a contributor for years to come.
Ekpe Udoh (Tyrus Thomas, hopefully with a better attitude) – Udoh is long, thin, and springy, and he will block a lot of shots when he’s on the floor. He can handle and shoot a little, too, so he’s not a one trick pony but I think he’ll disappoint a little when they measure him. Bottom line, I don’t see a center in him, even as a backup. He can be a useful player but I don’t think he’s 20-30 spots better than Jarvis Varnado.
Donatas Montiejunas (every tall, skinny, perimeter oriented big that’s come from Europe since Dirk) – I saw him in the Nike game and I saw nothing that made me think he could have an impact in the league. Time will tell but I’m gun shy when it comes to these guys.
Hassan Whiteside - I’ve never seen him, not even a highlight. I know he’s tall, thin, and blocks a lot of shots. I also know he has a low bball IQ. IMO, let someone else gamble on a guy who has one skill and needs to learn most everything else. But, then again, I’ve never seen him. My opinion is based on the past history of inexperienced players who block shots because they can touch the rim on tiptoes. That’s not fair to him but I don’t really care.
Gordon Hayward (skilled white guys) – I hate “white hate” and yet I think Hayward is being overrated because he had a nice tournament. Does he have enough skill to compete against more athletic players on the wing? Well, he’s sure as hell is not the scorer that Adam Morrison was in college and we all know how well Morrison has done (I’m still shocked that Morrison couldn’t at least score in the NBA. I pimped him hard – shows what I know).
Avery Bradley (Monta Ellis, rookie year) – Bradley is an exciting, high wire act but he’ll never be more of a PG than Ellis, IMO. If a GM takes him hoping that he can develop into a point I think he’ll be disappointed. Good player, though. Too bad he’s so small.
Quincy Pondexter (Pietrus, with a brain) – Quincy is a running, jumping machine who really improved over his 4 years. He defends well and is a strong rebounder for his size but his competition is about to get a lot bigger and stronger. He can play some one on one and has a developing shot but I think he’ll be limited to a valuable energy guy off the bench. Great attitude. A steal if he slips to the 2nd round.
Devin Ebanks (Scottie Pippen, in body type only) – I’ve seen WV play in 4 tourney game and I never once saw Ebanks stand out from the pack. He’s got a great body for a 3 but he’s nowhere near as good a bball player as his teammate, DeSean Butler. If someone wants to gamble he’s all yours. He does seem to be dropping on the mocks. Maybe they’ve seen what I saw (or didn’t see).
DeSean Butler (Caron Butler, but not as good) – Like Caron, DeSean is a smaller, not overly athletic SF who can score in a lot of ways. Unlike Caron, he’s not gonna dominate a game, though his 6 game winning shots prove he can step up when it matters. His knee injury is gonna cost him a lot of money. It’s too bad ’cause he’s good guy. He still might become a player because his game isn’t predicated on athleticism.
My two 2nd round sleepers:
Kevin Seraphin (Antonio McDyess, in college) – I said I wouldn’t mention him again for awhile but I can’t leave him out here. Anyone who saw last year’s Nike game had to circle his name. For one thing he’s a physical specimen. In the Nike game he blocked like 4 shots in the 2nd half, including twice on John Wall’s acrobatics, and threw down some thunderous dunks. The world team doesn’t win that game without his defensive effort. The thing I can’t shake from my head is that he looked as impressive in the Nike game as Favors did in the MacDonald game. He’s got plenty to add to his offense but he can defend and rebound in the league right now. At worst I see a Ronny Turiaf. At best, sky’s the limit. He seems to be stuck in the middle of the 2nd round right now. I’d take that gamble in a heartbeat.
Charles Garcia (sorry, I got no one) – I’m probably the only guy here who’s seen Garcia, yet I still don’t know what to think. Actually, I think Draftexpress’ new profile hits the nail on the head. He started the year as the 2nd coming and then it really changed, at least in most the games. Playing at a low division one school it’s hard to get a good feel for what he’ll be able to do at the next level. He looks to be every bit of 6’9 barefoot and he’s built like Favors, maybe a little thinner in the legs. He’s got some low post skills but he can also step out with a nice looking jumper, all the way to the NBA 3. The thing that really stands out is his handle. He can take his defender off a live dribble at will and go straight to the rim. No problem using his left hand. He’ll often rip a defensive board and dribble full speed left handed the length of the court. As aggressive as he is off the dribble I wish he’d finish stronger. He’ll often go off the backboard when he should just ram it. As great as his handle is he’s not really a passer. He drives to score like a SG. Also, as the season progressed his shot selection got terrible. Part of that was probably due to the fact that he was by far the best player but it actually hurt the team. Bottom line, he’s got an NBA body and NBA skills; I just don’t know how he’ll fit in.
So, the Warriors:
My take assumes Nellie will be the coach next year and that Riley will be the GM. At the very least, there’s not much time to get a new group in here for this draft. Nellie says he’ll coach one more year. If there’s a sale and Riley keeps his job for the time being, he has to look at next year as an audition. In other words, both guys are only interested in winning. IMO, forget about projects like Favors or Cousins. They’ll have little value next year. I’ve been around Nellie long enough that I think I know what he likes, and I think their guy has always been Greg Monroe. Nellie still drools over what he could have done running his offense through Webber. Monroe is the closest he’ll get to that. The kid can flat out pass and I can just see Nellie fantasizing about him hitting open cutters or passing back to Curry, Morrow, etc, for the open J. He won’t lessen Curry’s value as a PG; he’ll improve it. Monroe is mature enough to step on the court next year, and with either AR or BW playing alongside him, we’d still have a shot blocker on the floor.
I won’t argue with anyone who says the Warriors should be building for the future but if Nellie and Riley are making the pick, the future is now. Thing is, if Monroe can facilitate the offense the way I think he can, that’s not a bad thing. It’s not like Cousins is guaranteed to be Shaq and Favors will be Howard or Amare. When it’s all said and done, Monroe could turn out to be the best of the 3 anyway.
With Monroe in place we can look to dump Biedrins. Not saying it would be easy but I think his value to us is all in the past. Monta is also an interesting trade chip and someone Nellie/Riley would be fine with losing for the right return.
Of course, if we jump to #1 we take Wall. #2 is Turner. That’s obvious. But, IMO, anywhere from 3 on, Monroe will be the pick. In fact, I think that’s why they weren’t overly concerned about winning a few more games. Nellie may be a lot of things but stupid is not one of them. I think next year might be a real turning point for us. Nellie’s last year, a new owner’s first, adding at least one more talented player; those all sound like good things to me.