Friday, June 27, 2008

The NBA Draft - Thoughts

Sometimes I think analyzing professional sports drafts immediately after they happen is a waste - we don't know who deserves an A+ or a D until these players have had some time in the league and we can see how they progress. That being said, I think articles and analysis immediately after the draft is fun, so here are some of my thoughts and projections.

Chicago and Derrick Rose - I think Rose is a really good player and should become one of the 5 best point guards in the league pretty quickly. He is not a good outside shooter, but he can penetrate, finish with strength, and has the potential to be an elite defender. Comparing him to Chris Paul and Deron Williams when they came out, I liked Paul and Williams better than I do Rose. Both were more polished when they turned pro, but they each had longer college careers too, so it's a tough comparison. I think Rose is a good fit for Chicago and he might do for Tyrus Thomas what Chris Paul does for Tyson Chandler.

Miami and Michael Beasley - Why on earth was there any debate about this pick? Were the Heat seriously considering Mayo at #2 over Beasley? I hope not. Beasley is a stud and will be a fixture in the All-Star game in the future. From what I have seen of Beasley I think he is better now than Kevin Durant was last year. Beasley has a good outside shot and a solid post game. He gets so many And-1s it's crazy. He's strong and can take a hard foul and still finish. People dog on his defense, but I don't see why. He's not Marcus Camby, but he has all the tools to defend well in the NBA. Miami also got a steal in the early second round in Mario Chalmers. Chalmers is a great defender who can develop into a nice team leader in Miami. Chalmers, Wade, and Beasley can be a good nucleus for the future. Also, when Marion is gone and they can spend that money somewhere else, they could be contending again soon.

The Eternal Losers and Eric Gordon - I think Gordon is a good player who will eventually be a good scorer in the NBA, but he won't be a superstar. He reminds me a bit of Michael Redd or Ben Gordon. He's a great shooter but there isn't anything else he does all that well. If Shaun Livingston comes back and ever comes close to reaching his potential, Gordon could be a solid backcourt-mate for him, but I don't see Gordon ever being a number-one option in the league.

Memphis, Minnesota, Kevin Love, and OJ Mayo - I watched a ton of Pac-10 basketball this year and I can't stress this enough - Kevin Love will never dominate in the NBA. He was a stud of a college player, and he will be a solid pro because he is so fundamental, but he is just not athletic enough to dominate the pro game. I just don't see him as a futute star. He kind of reminds me of Andrew Bogut - someone who will be good but not someone you build a franchise around. Mayo, on the other hand, has huge upside. I don't know that he'll be amazing right away (or ever), but his ceiling is really high. He's a good defender and knows how to score. As he progressed and got better last year, USC really improved. Some people say that Mayo is selfish, but he was a good facilitator within the scheme of the offense last year.

Joe Alexander and Milwaukee - Alexander is a good player and an impressive athlete, but why this pick after picking up Richard Jefferson? I wonder if they are looking at Alexander to play the 4. Otherwise, I don't really like this pick.

Brook Lopez and New Jersey - Lopez is a good post scorer and the Nets haven't had that in, well, maybe ever. Derrick Coleman I guess? Lopez can be a good offensive contributor, but he isn't very athletic and he doesn't play great defense. I see him similar to Kevin Love - really good college player who won't be amazing in the NBA.

Jerryd Bayless and Portland - My goodness the Blazers might be good in the future - the near future. Bayless has loads of talent. If he can learn to defer a bit more, he could be downright scary in Portland. Look at all the young talent - Bayless, Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Oden, Martell Webster, Travis Outlaw, and Sergio Rodriguez. The only player on that team making over 5 million is Raef LaFrentz. His contract comes off the books soon and they can sign Roy and Aldridge to deals and maybe add some more pieces. This team could be very scary very soon.

Russell Westbrook and Seattle - Many people have been dogging this pick, but I think Westbrook is a stud. I don't know that I see him as a point guard, but I think he can be really good at the 2 if he plays there. His defense is awesome - he's probably the best defensive perimeter player in this draft (Chalmers might be a good argument) and his athletecism is crazy. If you haven't seen him throw it down, look at THIS and THIS. Westbrook is a good selection because, as we saw with the Celtics this year, perimeter defense can win championships (i.e., Kobe and LeBron).

Anyway, those are a few of my thoughts on the draft. If you don't agree, let me know...


G said...

Please use the word "stud" less. Thank you.

Taylor said...

Three times is a bit much for you, huh?

Anonymous said...

What a stud.

Anonymous said...

You're right. Westbrook is such a stud. Rose is even studdier (more studdish?)than Westbrook. And after Big Brown is done racing, he will be put out to stud.

BTW, I agree with most of what you said except Love was much better in college than Lopez.