Friday, May 28, 2010

Early Draft Musings

The NBA Draft is fast approaching and we just wanted to make a few quick observations about the top end of the draft.

1) What are the Wolves Gonna Do?:
The TWolves were put in a tough spot when they were awarded the 4th pick. If everything goes to form with Wall-Turner-Favors going 1-2-3, DeMarcus Cousins will be the best player left on the board. He just might not be the best player for the TWolves.

It's not so much Cousins' mental makeup that should give GM David Kahn pause, but that Cousins would likely be overkill with Al Jefferson and Kevin Love already in place. Even if they don't take Cousins, Kahn really needs to make a decision on moving Jefferson or Love since they can't play together because they make for a lousy defensive backline. Which shouldn't have been a surprise to anyone when they drafted Love.

Don't forget they have the rights to 6-11 Nikola Pekovic and he might be on his way to the NBA for next season. Pekovic is probably the most dominant post scorer currently in Europe, but is not really any great shakes as a defender.

If they take Cousins, it would give Minny four quality post scorers. The problem is none of these guys is known to be much of a defender. Keeping Darko around is a smart move considering the defensive shortcoming of their other bigs.

The one positive for Kahn is the Wolves have a wealth of tradeable assets. The TWolves also have the 16th and 23rd pick in this year's draft. Kahn will also have to make a call between Rubio and Johnny Flynn since playing them together makes no sense. But Kahn has a few years before he has to make that decision.

Need to flip some these excess bigs and PGs for help on the wings where they are extremely thin. Some type of move to grab Evan Turner might be their best bet on draft day. Syracuse's Wesley Johnson might be the best fit if the TWolves keep the 4th-pick. Whatever the case, the Wolves have a lot of options and you hope Kahn makes the best of them.

2) Does Philly go with Turner or Favors at #2?
Evan Turner would seem to be the consensus second-best player in the draft, but PF Derrick Favors could be a better choice for the Sixers with the 2nd pick. Turner is not really what the Sixers need right now if they intend to stick with Andre Iguodala.

Turner's game overlaps with Iggy's skills and the last thing Philly needs is another perimeter player with an erratic jumpshot. Not sure playing Turner and Iggy together would work since you would have two shaky deep shooters on the wings.

Not sold on Jrue Holiday being that good of shooter either (Let's wait & see if Jrue can string multiple good shooting years together before we anoint him a quality shooter). The Sixers need a marksmen between Jrue & Iggy. If Philly does take Turner, they should be prepared that he won't co-exist well with Iggy.

Picking Derrick Favors probably makes the most sense since E. Brand's game is slowly deteriorating. Favors seems to be rising after measuring out well and possibly having a higher ceiling than Turner.

3) John Wall in, Arenas out: Wall to the Wiz looks like a lock, like it should be. But what does this mean for Arenas? Some feel a Arenas-Wall backcourt can work, some feel it's not a good idea. Count us in the bad idea camp. Think it's in the Wizards' best interest to continue the rebuilding project that started with the ouster of A. Jamison, C. Butler & B. Haywood.

Wall and Arenas fit together from a physical standpoint since Wall's length can allow the Wizards to cross-match when needed. Arenas can easily slide over to the 2-guard since that's his natural position. We just don't think it's an ideal fit.

Wall needs to be paired with a 2-guard that is there just to knock down open shots off of the extra attention Wall (and Blatche) draw. Don't need a 2-guard who likes to handle the ball and initiate offense like Gil next to Wall. We think Wall should be controlling the ball as much as possible. With Arenas around, it would place Wall off-the-ball more than he should.

We don't think Arenas is that bad of guy and the chances that he will negatively influence Wall are slim. But Gil's "quirkiness" is just annoying enough where it could give management pause to put him in a locker room with Wall. And it seems the Wizards are currently trying to dump Gil, which makes a ton of sense.


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