NBA Draft Losers

This year’s NBA draft didn’t see as many crazy picks as usual. The lottery went as scripted, for the most part. And then by the middle of the first round, things got interesting. The Raptors took some guy named Bruno, who no one had heard of. And he was called “the Brazilian Kevin Durant!” Then the Thunder took a big man, who hadn’t played in over a year due to back surgery–a guy that we only know about because of two or three games in the NCAA tournament two years ago! The Grizzlies then took a shooting guard who may or may not be able to dunk. That was just the beginning of the madness. Here are the players, fans, and teams that lost the NBA draft.

Toronto Raptors
That’s what you get for drafting a guy 20th overall that wasn’t even on one of Chad Ford’s ten big boards. Bruno Caboclo could be really good. In like four or five years! For a team that finally turned itself around, winning 48 games, you’d think the Raptors would be looking for a player that is NBA-ready and could be in their rotation next year. Caboclo might never make their team. Continue reading

Top 75 NBA Trade Value (Part 3)

Here is part 1 and part 2 of the series.

Group M: “Come on! You Know This Guy Is One Of Our Cornerstones. Stop Laughing!”

48. Victor Oladipo
Usually the top rookies shoot up the trade value rankings. There’s almost always a few rookies who look good enough to be deemed untouchable by their team after the season. This past year’s rookie class may not really have anyone in that category. There are not any true stars. There were hardly any guys who will start for the majority of their careers. One of the only rookies to look halfway decent was Oladipo. He put 13-4-4, not exactly stellar. And he’s the same age as Favors and Valanciunas. He was the most athletic player in last year’s class, so that gives him a fair amount of potential. Hopefully the Magic won’t screw it up though, playing him at point guard any longer. Continue reading

Grading the Offseason Deals and More

As always on draft night, there were too many trades to count. We saw the top overall prospect traded, a 23 year old all star traded, two future Hall of Famers traded, and one of the worst contracts in the league traded. Since draft night, a flurry of other deals have been finalized as well. We’ve seen multiple trades in the past few days, and the top free agent in this year’s class resign. Already in this offseason, it looks like plenty of teams will be in full tanking mode in hopes of landing Andrew Wiggins in next year’s draft. The offseason is just beginning, but there are already plenty of deals to evaluate.

1. Celtics receive: Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries, Kris Joseph, Gerald Wallace, and 2014, 2016, and 2018 first round picks.i
The Celtics are in full-fledged rebuild on with this deal. Celtics fans may be upset to see KG and Pierce finally go, but it was time to move on. Whether it was necessary to take on a 3 year $30 million deal in the process is up for debate, but Celtics fans shouldn’t be bummed.

They made out with three future first rounders, and two of those could be lottery picks. The Nets will be good for the next year or two, but when KG and Pierce retire and Joe Johnson gets old, the Nets will be back near the lottery. The pick in 2016 and definitely the pick in 2018 will be useful assets for the Celtics. Celtics fans couldn’t expect much more than three first round picks for a 35 year old Pierce and 37 year old Garnett, who probably don’t have more than one year left in their NBA careers. If not for picking up Gerald Wallace’s abysmal contract, Celtics fans would be parading the streets in ecstasy for receiving three first round picks for guys about to retire anyway.

Grade: B+ Continue reading

NBA Draft Diary

We’re 15 minutes away from the 2013 NBA Draft, otherwise known as the Worst Draft Ever. We’ve been spending weeks trying to convince ourselves that this draft isn’t that bad, and Jay Bilas just put things into perspective: “if this draft started at 5, and the Cavs picked from there, we’d be talking about how deep this draft is.” So that’s where we are. Unfortunately the draft doesn’t start at 5. Heather Cox just interviews Alex Len, quizzing him about how his injury feels and how his rehab process is going, only to close the interview saying “enjoy every minute of tonight,” as if to tell him THIS IS THE PEAK OF YOUR NBA CAREER, IT’S NEVER GONNA GET BETTER THAN THIS. Heather Cox and I agree on that. The camera then cuts to Sergey Karasev, the Russian sweet shooting 6’7 guard, smiling as he’s most likely getting berated by the New York fans. Perhaps the most unbearable recurring theme of this draft, as always, is Fran Fraschilla giving us the low-down on every international prospect in the draft, telling us how each of them would’ve lit up the US and how they’ll all have nice long careers. GOOD GOD why is Shane Battier an ESPN correspondent tonight? Rece Davis just said Battier was taking care of ESPN’s Twitter, calling it “ShaneCenter.” I don’t know who thought this was a good idea.

It’s Draft time. Let’s get this thing under way. Get ready for a roller coaster of a night, folks.

7:30 p.m. ET — ESPN is going with an old-school theme, narrated by Magic Johnson. I kind of dig it, if not for the  fact that most of these guys they’re showing probably won’t be in the league in a few years! As always, David Stern is getting booed by everyone in the Barclays Center, and Stern loves it. I can’t wait until he steps down. He took way too much delight saying “the Heat took home the second straight title,” as the fans go nuts.

Continue reading

NBA Draft Bold Predictions

On the eve of what many people have called the worst draft of all time, we are hearing numerous trade rumors that could drastically alter where players are drafted. There’s a good chance the Cavaliers won’t make the first selection tomorrow night, as they continue to try to move the pick for a superstar like Kevin Love. After the Cavs, the Magic have been linked to trades too, looking to shop the pick if they can’t get Nerlens Noel. We have no idea who will be picking when, and in a draft lacking in franchise players, this is one of the most confusing drafts in recent memory. It may be more valuable this year to stockpile picks at the end of the first round than to have a pick at the top, considering the difference between the 6th and 26th pick could be minimal. Will there really be a huge difference between the career of Ben McLemore and Tim Hardaway Jr? We all know that fit matters as much or more as talent when it comes to the draft. This is the first year in a long time where the first pick is unknown the night before the draft. Predicting the order of the draft this year will be nearly impossible this year, but we will try to make a few bold predictions on what will happen tomorrow night.

1. The Cavaliers will make the first selection tomorrow night. Okay okay, this may not seem too bold, but given the number of trades linked to the Cavs recently, it would be a surprise if the Cavs keep the pick. They’ve tried to get Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Demarcus Cousins, but to this point, they’ve been unsuccessful. They shouldn’t feel pressured to trade the pick. Each of these players has all-star talent, but is also damaged goods to an extent. Love may be capable of putting up 25 and 15, but he also hasn’t played a full NBA season once in his career. Aldridge is an interesting player, but like Love, has never been to the playoffs and it’s not clear just how good he is since his team has been so bad. Cousins is the most intriguing player here, but his character issues would be enough to tear apart the Spurs. The Cavs should feel comfortable moving forward with a Kyrie, Waiters, Thompson, and Noel nucleus.

The Cavs have been trying to trade the top pick for Love.

The Cavs have been trying to trade the top pick for Love.

Continue reading

Rating NBA Draft Prospects’ Bust Potential

Kwame Brown. Darko Milicic. Adam Morrison. What do these guys all have in common? Well, besides the fact that two of them were drafted by Michael Jordan. They’re some of the biggest busts in NBA history, of course! Sometimes it’s easy to spot a potential bust, but other times they come completely out of left field. Take Adam Morrison for example. No disrespect to the WCC, but he was not exactly facing stiff competition. He dominated the NCAA his junior year, putting up over 28 points per game, but came up very small in the tournament. And then tried to spin that in a positive light. All of the comparisons to Larry Bird were based solely on Morrison being a far from athletic, white jump shooter. In retrospect, it’s absurd that Morrison was the #5 pick in the draft, just another one of MJ’s brilliant personnel decisions over the years. Hindsight is 20/20, but the Morrison pick should’ve been more obvious. He was a one tool player. He was a scorer, but he was used to touching the ball every possession and being the go-to-guy, a role he would clearly never have in the pros. Morrison couldn’t handle the ball, couldn’t rebound, couldn’t play ANY defense, and didn’t come close to making his teammates better.

Was it really a surprise that this guy was a bust?
Was it really a surprise that this guy was a bust?

And yet what makes the Morrison case so frightening was that he wasn’t even drafted on that dreaded word that gets GMs fired: potential. More often than not, GMs will salivate over super athletic players who’ve yet to completely translate their athleticism onto the court. In other words, they’ve underachieved and often look like they’ve never played Basketball before, yet teams still believe it’s just a matter of time before these guys figure it out. This is not to knock athleticism as a guiding principle of drafting players, but sometimes actual college production and talent are overlooked at the expense of athleticism. How do you know you’re dealing with one of these guys? Well, there’s a few key phrases are sure-fire signs. If you hear phrases like “he has an NBA body,” “he hasn’t figured it out yet,” “he’s a tweener,” or “he needs to improve his motor” then stop whatever you’re doing, cover your eyes, and run. Sometimes these guys pan out, but more often than not, their potential is nothing but a pipe dream.

Marvin Williams had no business being a top 3 pick, but his ideal athletic 6'9 frame was too enticing for scouts to ignore.
Marvin Williams had no business being a top 3 pick, but his ideal athletic 6’9 frame was too enticing for scouts to ignore.

 

This year’s draft has been called perhaps the worst ever. There are no obvious franchise players or even future perennial all-stars like most years. Most scouts though believe there are many rotation guys in this draft and that the 30th pick may not be much different from the 3rd pick. Let’s take a look at the some of the players projected to go in the first round to see who some of the safest picks are, as well as the most likely busts. We will evaluate each player’s bust potential on a scale from 0-10, with 10 being a definite bust.

Continue reading

Lottery Breakdown

Ahh, it’s that time of the year again. The time of the year when the most incompetent franchises in the NBA pray that they’ll be gifted the absolutely unearned right to draft a great player. The draft is supposed to be a plac

e to get promising players who are very cheap. Unfortunately, many of the same teams find themselves in the lottery year after year, and are either hindered by bad luck or by delusional incompetence. (See: 2008-2009 Washington Wizards) This a useful example, if only because it is so absurdly idiotic and illustrates why every Wizards fan feels like this whenever Ernie Grunfeld is about to make a decision. It would not surprise me if some fans have in fact “lost their eyes,” being forced to watch the likes of Oleksiy Pecherov and Jan Vesely in the past few years. Anyway, the 2008-2009 Wiz give us a textbook example of a GM and team that are impatient and ridiculously delusional. We’re talking about a team coming off a 19-63 campaign. What does a 19 win team look like you ask? Well, we’re talking about a team 1) whose best player was bringing guns into the locker-room, 2) had a soon-to-be convicted murderer, and perhaps the worst indictment of all, 3) started Darius Songaila.  We’re looking at a historically dysfunctional team that needed to be dismantled ASAP. So what did manageme

nt do when it had the 5th pick in the draft and the chance to draft Stephen Curry? They did what any competent team would do: they traded the pick for two mediocre role players, Randy Foye and Mike Miller! The Wizards may have been 19-63 and the punchline of the NBA, but they were going all-in next season! What’s the point of this example? The point is that patience is key and trading away top picks is rarely worth it, unless it’s possible to acquire a franchise player in return. Sort of like how the Wizards had a chance last year to trade the #3 pick used on Brad Beal for JAMES HARDEN, one of the ten best players on earth. This year’s draft has been called one of the weakest of all time, and while that may be true, there will inevitably be very good NBA players somewhere in this draft. Let’s look at the best and worst case scenarios for each of the lottery teams in this draft whose top prospect is a 206 pound center with a torn ACL!

e4701g88mmn7ehz2baynbs6e0 

1. Cleveland Cavaliers

Best-Case Scenario: Victor Oladipo
Worst-Case Scenario: Nerlens Noel

Continue reading

Which Lottery team in the East has the brightest future?

7. Charlotte Bobcats
Dallas Mavericks v Charlotte Bobcats
It’s hard to ever get excited about the Bobcats. They don’t have any true superstar to build around, they hardly have any cap room this summer, and the upcoming draft class is extremely weak. Not all is lost for the NBA’s worst team though. The Bobcats do have improving Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Bismack Biyombo to build around. Plus, as Chad Ford suggested, a weak draft may be Charlotte’s best friend. Charlotte certainly won’t be a playoff team, even with the addition of a top pick in the draft. Drafting a guy like Nerlens Noel, with his ACL tear wouldn’t be a bad plan, as they could let Noel take his time rehabbing, not having to worry about playing him. Then presumably after another terrible season, the Bobcats would be able to add another top 5 pick in 2014. Oh and by the way, the 2014 draft should be loaded, according to scouts who can’t wait until Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker get to the league. For the Bobcats, building around a Kemba, MKG, Nerlens, and a 2014 top 5 pick would be ideal. Also, to speed up the process, the ‘Cats will gain nearly $20million in cap space after this year when Ben Gordon and DeSagana Diop come off the books. While the Bobcats have a few pieces for the future, it’s just hard to get too excited about a team that is making 60-loss seasons a habit.

Continue reading