Friday, June 24, 2011

BDT -- NBA Draft Review Part II: Western Conference (June 24)

You're finally free my Utah?
In case you missed it, here’s Part I of my draft review. In Part I, I recapped each Eastern Conference teams’ draft. In Part II, I’ll do the same for the Western Conference.

Dallas Mavericks
No Picks

Dallas traded away #26 overall (Jordan Hamilton) to Denver in a three team deal that netted them Rudy Fernandez. Rudy immediately inherits all playing time from the now deceased Peja Stojakovic. As much as I love Jordan Hamilton, Fernandez is a much safer bet here and I have a feeling the change of scenery will be good for his career.

Denver Nuggets
PF Kenneth Faried (#22)
SF Jordan Hamilton (#26, from DAL)
PF Chukwudiebere Maduabum

The answer is, yes; I’m extremely bitter at Denver for taking Kenneth Faried. People can talk about his weaknesses and shortcomings all they want, but I’d kill to have a guy like Faried on my frontcourt. It just doesn’t make sense that an unproven, highly risky prospect like Bismack Biyombo would go 15 spots higher than the player Charlotte hopes Biyombo turns into. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

The bigger news for Denver though, was the three team deal that netted them Andre Miller and Jordan Hamilton in exchange for Ray Felton. On the surface, this seems like a dumb deal…and then you really think hard about it and it’s still a pretty dumb deal. Let’s see, Ray Felton is better than Andre Miller and Jordan Hamilton is probably not going to see the floor on a Nuggets team loaded with wings…yep, it’s officially dumb!

Final thought; who the heck is this Chukwoldfkgsaldkghsdgk Madlksoabgoasidug guy?

Golden State Warriors
SG Klay Thompson (#11)
C Jeremy Tyler (#39, from CHA)
PG Charles Jenkins (#44 from PHO)

This seems like another example of a team thinking way too hard. You already have Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis; both studs. You’re worried about playing them both together because you’ll be too small; so you go and give undersized David Lee a massive deal. Now, you’re saddled with a hodgepodge mixture of undersized players with no one to defend the rim because you wasted a ton of money on David Lee and panic drafted Ekpe Udoh. What’s the logical next move? That’s right; actively seek to replace your best player (Monta Ellis) instead of fixing the real problem.

Look, Klay Thompson may very well turn into a nice player, but I’d be shocked if he was ever as good as Monta Ellis. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to draft Kawhi Leonard since he rebounds, blocks shots, and plays defense? Wouldn’t that address more problems than willingly downgrading at SG? On the bright side, I love what Golden State did in the second round. Tyler is a great gamble at #39 and Jenkins could be a fantastic backup for Steph Curry.

Houston Rockets
PF Marcus Morris (#14)
PF Dontas Motiejunas (#20, from MIN)
SF Chandler Parsons (#38, from LAC)

I have Morris listed as a PF, but it seems likely Houston isn’t thinking the same thing. After all, they already have Luis Scola, Jordan Hill, and Patrick Patterson to play the PF position! My initial impression is to scoff at this pick, but Houston rarely messes up the draft. Still, I’ve seen Morris play a lot over the last three years, and I have significant doubts about him as a SF. To me, it would have made a lot more sense to draft Kawhi Leonard, or even Jordan Hamilton.

Los Angeles Clippers
PF Trey Thompkins (#37, from DET)
SG Travis Leslie (#47, from HOU)

It’s definitely gotta be rough for Clippers fans to see Kyrie Irving wearing that Cleveland hat because their owner, Donald Sterling, is the cheapest piece of crap in sports. Still, for a team who walked away with only two second round picks, I think they did pretty well. I mentioned both Thompkins and Leslie (teammates at Georgia) on my sleeper list and if LAC hits on one of them then they will have done pretty well. Leslie is the bigger question mark of the two, as he has a ton of work to put in before he’s even serviceable as anything more than a Dunk Contest contestant. Thompkins, though, could very well establish himself as a solid backup to Blake Griffin by next year.

Los Angeles Lakers
PG Darius Morris (#41, from GS)
SG Andrew Goudelock (#46, from NY)
PF Ater Majok (#58, from MIA)

Darius Morris could end up being a nice find for the Lakers. Now that they’ll be moving away from the triangle, the point guard position takes on added importance. Given his ability to create for others without needing shots for himself, Morris could be an excellent fit. As I mentioned before, many thought Morris could have been a lottery pick next year, so the talent is definitely there.

Memphis Grizzlies
PG Josh Selby (#49)

Look, I understand why teams wouldn’t want to take a chance on Selby early in the draft. Given his medical history, his character questions, and his subpar performance for Kansas last year; his freefall makes complete sense. But really, #49? This guy has serious talent and no one wanted to take a flier on him late in the first or early in the second? If there’s any one guy in the second round who could be the next Monta Ellis or Gilbert Arenas, it’s this guy. Good pick Memphis.

Minnesota Timberwolves
PF Derrick Williams (#2)
PG Malcolm Lee (#43, from UTA)
SF Targuy Ngombo (#57, from DAL)

Even though this was such an easy pick, it’s difficult to trust David Kahn. As Laney and I were playing our annual draft day prediction game, we had to account for the Kahn factor by throwing out the most ridiculous ideas possible. That’s how bad he is. Yet, against all odds, he made the right call and took Williams. Whether he keeps him or not remains to be seen.

At this point, I still have yet to hear anything to convince me that Williams isn’t the best player in the draft. I know Minnesota has a giant logjam on the wings and at the 4, but I don’t care. Williams is the best player, you have to take him, end of story. Now comes the unenviable task of unloading Michael Beasley and his marijuana smoking ways.

New Orleans Hornets
No Picks

New Orleans traded away their pick earlier in the season and eventually landed Jarrett Jack. Given what’s in this draft, that doesn’t sound all that bad.

Oklahoma City Thunder
PG Reggie Jackson (#24)

I find this to be an extremely odd pick. First, Jackson did no workouts for anyone, presumably so he would fall to Miami. Rumor had it that Miami guaranteed they would take him at #31 (and play him since they have nobody else) and Jackson’s agents’ hid medical records and did no workouts in order to drop him to that point. Apparently, that didn’t work.

Second, what are they going to do with Jackson? Don’t they already have Eric Maynor as a backup? Isn’t he pretty good? What am I missing? There were strong rumors prior to the draft that OKC was actively shopping Eric Maynor for a pick, so perhaps they saw Jackson, an excellent shooter, as a better fit. It’s hard for me to comment on that since I’ve not seen much of him. If he really is the superior shooter that he’s billed to be, then perhaps this is a steal for OKC.

Phoenix Suns
PF Markieff Morris (#13)

I find it endlessly entertaining that Phoenix continually ends up with the lesser of twins. Thus far, they’ve already ended up with Robin Lopez and Taylor Griffin. The difference is, they had their pick of the twins this time! And they still chose the worst one! All they need is to offer Jarron Collins a ten day contract and they’re set!

In all seriousness though, I’m really confused by this pick. They already have enough mediocre PF’s to last themselves an eternity! I understand the need for defense, rebounding, and toughness; but #13 is just too high for Markieff Morris. Like I’ve mentioned before, Kawhi Leonard would have been a nice pick here; providing the exact same things Markieff does while offering a much higher ceiling.

Portland Trail Blazers
PG Nolan Smith (#21)
SG Jon Diebler (#51)

Wow, just wow. Nolan may or may not be an NBA player. Please, don’t just disregard that as Duke hate…you know there’s truth in it. He has no position, he’s really small, he doesn’t handle particularly well, and his court vision is below average. In reality, he’s a volume shooter with three point specialist talent.

Speaking of three point specialists…Jon Diebler=Europe.

Sacramento Kings
PG Jimmer Fredette (#10, from MIL)
SG Tyler Honeycutt (#35)
PG Isaiah Thomas (#60, from CHI)

Everyone is gushing over Jimmer’s selection and how wonderful a fit he is in Sacramento. Someone’s gonna have to explain that one to me, because I don’t get it. Let’s try this again and see if anyone listens; Jimmer is not a PG! He wants to shoot way too much! Throwing Jimmer Fredette and Tyreke Evans on the floor together has disaster written all over it, as both are extremely high usage rate players. Also, Jimmer doesn’t play any defense! How is he an NBA star?!

So, let’s recap for those who need numbers to help:

Sacramento ranked 26th in the NBA in offensive efficiency, but it’s all going to be OK because they took an inefficient, high usage rate combo guard to play the point. Makes sense.

Sacramento ranked 19th in the NBA in defensive efficiency, but that should improve after adding the worst defensive guard in the draft. Sure.

Sacramento ranked 27th in the NBA in turnover ratio, but should make huge strides after adding a “PG” who averaged 3.5 TO/game last year and who’s AST/TO ratio was a meager 1.22. Got it.

You know what; this pick is starting to make sense now that I really think about it…

One quick note; I love the Tyler Honeycutt selection. He’s wildly undervalued for some reason, and I think he can be an outstanding player if they ever give him a chance.

San Antonio Spurs
SF Kawhi Leonard (#15, from IND)
PG Corey Joseph (#29)
SF Davis Bertans (#42, from IND)
SG Adam Hanga (#59)

I’m still trying to digest the George Hill trade from San Antonio’s side of things. On one hand, landing Kawhi Leonard at #15 and Euro-stash Davis Bertans (a possible stud down the road) at #42 is pretty good value. On the other, Hill was one of the few young up and comers on their ever aging roster. Some have suggested they were worried about retaining Hill once he hit free agency. If that’s the case, then you have to applaud their proactive approach in getting good value. The truth is, it’s hard to question anything San Antonio does anymore.

Kawhi Leonard seems like he’ll be a great fit in San Antonio’s system and they desperately need an upgrade over Richard Jefferson. I’m absolutely shocked he lasted that far in the draft, especially after some people had him going as high as #6 to Washington. If he ever learns to shoot; watch out.

By the way, while I’m NOT questioning San Antonio’s decisions…Corey Joseph at #29? Huh?

Utah Jazz
C Enes Kanter (#3, from NJ)
SG Alec Burks (#12)

I love, love, love the Enes Kanter pick. The consensus was for them to take Brandon Knight because they needed a PG. You know how I feel about need vs. BPA…bravo to Utah for having a backbone and taking the guy you thought was the better prospect. I really wish I had more to say about Kanter, but I just haven’t seen enough. I’ll just go ahead and be a dumb NBA GM for a second…”those ten second clips of him dunking over short guys looked great! He’s the next Wilt Chamberlain!” Better?

As for Burks, I don’t expect him to amount to anything. SG’s who can’t shoot and are indifferent on defense usually don’t last long in the NBA. It’s one thing to finish at the basket against Iowa State, it’s another to finish against Dwight Howard. Best of luck to you Alec!


Not sure I’ll have time today, but I’ll try to get my honorary post draft awards up later in the day.


  1. Trade Scenario: Derrick Williams for Monta Ellis.

    With GS already drafting his replacement, Ellis' stock has to be down a little bit. I'm not sure what each team would also have to throw in to make it work. But Minnesota isn't winning anytime soon, they might as well be entertaining and a backcourt of Rubio and Ellis would be awesome will Love, Beasley and (gulp) Darko. Williams would be able to be a beast for the new team philosophy in GS as they shy away from the fun and gun of Don Nelson.

  2. Well, I guess it is officially Jimmer time in Sacramento. I wish the Kings would have just finished it this year and moved away, but now they have to torture the fans one more year with this garbage. But Jon, you know perfectly well why they drafted him - it wasn't to make the Kings better (we're going to suck no matter what because the Maloofs are a couple of clowns) - it was to sell a few tickets to those Sactoites who have heard of the Stormin' Mormon but lack the basketball knowledge to understand that he will suck in the NBA.

  3. Jeremy, that trade makes too much sense for Kahn to even consider it. Perhaps Dorell Wright and whatever backup PG Golden State has would be more appropriate.

  4. Everyone, the Jimmer Era has begun! Glad to hear you're on board Casey!