I take it that the Warriors would want to do this in order to draft Cousins... lol, unless they're want to pick up another wing AND get rid of a big! Assuming the Warriors take Cousins, the Kings would probably pick Wesley, and then... the Wolves? I imagine that Randolph would be their big for now, so maybe they'd go for Aminu. But with Brewer at the 3 and a glut at the 4, it looks like they need a jump shooter. Might Henry (or Babbitt) make more sense?
I notice that Aminu's stock seems to be dipping a bit, so he may still be there when our turn comes up. But would we still want him? We know that his outside shot isn't great, and others (Babbitt,...
This year's combine darling? Nevada forward Luke Babbitt. Babbitt measured around 6-9 in shoes with an 8-9 standing reach. That doesn't blow you away. However, he had an impressive 6-11 wingspan and essentially measures up with Griffin (6-10 in shoes, an 8-9 standing reach and a 6-11 wingspan). But Griffin is way more athletic, you say? Not according to the combine numbers. Babbitt had a 37.5-inch max vertical, a 3.2-second sprint and an impressive 10.98 lane agility score. Griffin's numbers were 35.5, 3.28 and 10.95, respectively. Griffin clearly had the strength advantage, benching a 185-pound bar 22 times to Babbitt's 15. But 15 reps is still an impressive number. What about production on the court? Griffin clearly had Babbitt bested here. Griffin averaged 22.2 ppg and 14.1 rpg in 32 mpg his sophomore season. Babbitt averaged 21.9 ppg and 9.0 rpg in 37 mpg as a sophomore. However, Babbitt does bring two things to the table that Griffin doesn't -- 3-point shooting and ball-handling ability. Babbitt shot a blazing 43 percent from beyond the arc this past season and showed excellent ball-handling skills for a big man in the combine. Of course, Babbitt isn't as good of a prospect as Griffin was. That's why we've had Babbitt No. 12 on our mock draft for two straight weeks. However, we might have him too low. Based on what I'm hearing, Babbitt could be in play as high as No. 9 to the Jazz.ESPN Insider
NBA draft measurables Luke Babbitt was really helped here. A 37.5-inch vertical, a 3.19 second sprint and an impressive 10.98 lane agility score blew away a few GMs I spoke with. The thinking was that he had poor lateral quickness. This measurement disputes that. We've had him No. 12 on our Mock Draft for two straight weeks. We might have him too low.ESPN Insider
Ford's Mock Draft, V. 3.0 Los Angeles Clippers: Gordon Hayward Position: SF Height: 6-8 Weight: 211 Age: 20 School: Butler Analysis: The Clippers could go in a lot of different directions with this pick and I keep getting mixed signals. The latest tip to come out of Chicago pointed in the direction of Hayward. He's one of the most versatile guys in the draft, and while he struggled a bit this season, he can really knock down shots. Given that the team plans to feature Blake Griffin next year, that's a big deal. With the loss of Marcus Camby, Ekpe Udoh is also a real possibility here, as is Xavier Henry.ESPN Insider
David Thorpe suggests that Minnesota may want Aminu... No. 4 Minnesota Timberwolves [Chad's work deals with figuring out what teams are going to do, but I'm more interested in what they should do]. Chad is going with Johnson currently, but I don't love his upside or his long-term prospects here [in Minni]. This is where the Chicago camp hurts Cousins. If he had shown up in great shape and with added polish, he'd be a lock for this spot, even if it's not a great fit. But he didn't, and now it's a scramble. Johnson would help the Wolves, but they'd still need a high-scoring wing. If they acquire one, Brewer and Johnson would battle it out at the 3, and Brewer has three years of experience and a better defensive future. Johnson would be an excellent backup, but that's a high price to pay for the No. 4 pick. Al-Farouq Aminu gets into the equation, as his ability to score around the basket gets utilized well in the triangle. His upside suggests more value here, so he'll have his chances at this spot.David Thorpe, ESPN Insider
Suppose that conventional wisdom holds true, and Wall, Turner, Favors, Cousins, and Johnson all go somewhere in the first five picks. Then let's suppose that the Warriors and Pistons divide up...
The standouts: Of the players who did show [at the NBA draft combine], only a handful really stood out one way or the other. Fresno State's Paul George received the most buzz. George shot the ball really well in the workout, and just looked like the smoothest, most skilled player on the floor. Virtually every GM I spoke with mentioned his name as a potential lottery pick. Kentucky's Eric Bledsoe also got a lot of love. He too was shooting well and, when paired with the other top point guards in the draft, looked like the best athlete on the floor. Butler's Gordon Hayward looked quicker and more athletic than many teams thought he would.Chad Ford, ESPN Insider
15th pick. Milwaukee (via Chicago) Gordon Hayward Position: SF Height: 6-8 Weight: 200 Age: 20 School: Butler Analysis: I hesitate to put Hayward this low, knowing that the Chicago draft combine is coming up and that he's going to measure better athletically than people think. Teams as high up as the Wizards, Clippers and Pacers are looking at him closely. But I doubt he'll slip past the Bucks, who can use Hayward at both the 2 and the 3. He needs to gain some strength, but there's really nothing else not to love about his game.Chad Ford's mock draft, ESPN Insider
Clearly, LOL, what we need now is a new post to continue hypothesizing about the June draft. I like how the lottery worked out, and I'm feeling optimistic about Aminu falling to us. I can't say I...
KA weighs in.
Ranking the NBA draft's best players: Here is what the top 30 of my Big Board would look like … 1. John Wall 2. Derrick Favors 3. Greg Monroe- Has a Chris Bosh feel to his game. He's bright, well-rounded and, though he's not a superstar, he's solid in most every aspect of his game despite playing just two years of college. Has been surrounded by average talent and his passing skills will be more pronounced with better players around him. 4. Evan Turner 5. Wesley Johnson 6. Ekpe Udoh 7. Al-Farouq Aminu 8. Luke Babbitt- Think Chris Mullin with a smaller Toni Kukoc-type of feel, and Babbitt will impress you. His array of step-backs, "Euro-steps" and range are different from anyone else in the draft. Babbitt is also a willing passer with a tremendous basketball IQ. Babbitt is the "favorite player" of at least five college recruiters I have spoken to and three scouts said the same thing. 9. Gordon Hayward- Handles like a 2, rebounds and defends like a 4 on the glass. Hayward is probably a year away in terms of strength and consistency in his shooting, but his Mike Miller-meets-Mike Dunleavy style makes him impressive, as does his ability to win. If you want a winner with upside, you want Hayward. 10. DeMarcus CousinsDoug Gottlieb, ESPN Insider
...when James is off his game the way he was on this particular Tuesday, the Cavs simply can't compete with Boston. So either James brings it in a big way Thursday, or we can bring on the educated guesses as to where he'll play next. And at this point, you'd have to rank Cleveland as the third choice on the morning line behind New York and Miami, maybe even fourth behind Chicago ...Chris Sheridan, ESPN Insider
Chad Ford's Mock Draft, Version 1.0 Los Angeles Clippers Al-Farouq Aminu Position: SF Height: 6-8 Weight: 205 Age: 19 School:Wake Forest Analysis: Aminu is one of the best athletes in the draft. The question is, what position does he play? If he continues to refine his perimeter game, he'd be a great fit next to Blake Griffin in the Clippers' frontcourt.ESPN Insider
Projecting draft-night steals ... Quincy Pondexter, senior, Sf/SG, Washington Pondexter is another guy who is all over mock draft boards, but his game is well-suited to make an impact next year in the NBA -- specifically his combination of a midrange game and his length and effort on defense. The midrange jump shot is the worst true-percentage shot in the NBA, but it's one that many teams settle for or are forced to take as a result of good defense. Having a player with the ability to make this shot, especially a young one, is a blessing. Most NBA coaches really don't care where a player is drafted; they just care about winning. So even a late first-round pick will get his chance to crack a rotation. There are some quality teams drafting late that could use a scorer/shooter like Pondexter off the bench. If he does get drafted late in the first round, I expect him to be one of the surprises of this draft, but I also suspect that he'll be one of the names I hear about most from other players in the pre-draft process. He might not win any athleticism contests, but he's going to be very difficult to guard in two-on-two and three-on-three contests. In the NBA, I think he can present similar problems. Think Rasual Butler (great midrange shooter) with more than a hint of Stephen Jackson (both second-round picks, by the way).ESPN Insider
Question: What do these four recent topics have in common? 1) The Turner vs Wall debate 2) The Baron-for-Eddie Curry trade proposal 3) The idea of forgoing this year's free agency for next year's...
ESPN Insider Scouting report: Gay is 6-9 with long arms and good leaping ability, so he should be an excellent defensive player. Instead, he's terrible, as his effort level fails to rival his talent level. His size grants him an edge in challenging shots and he'll pick up blocks and steals. However, he tends to give up as soon as he hits a screen, especially off the ball, and opponents beat him off the dribble much more easily than one would expect. Additionally, he's an unmotivated help defender who usually just hangs out on the weak side. The proof is in the pudding: The Grizzlies allowed 9.3 points more per 100 possessions with him on the court, even worse than his 8.0 differential from a year earlier. Offensively, Gay puts the "I" in "isolation," facing up on the left side and shooting come hell or high water. He has a high-arching shot that he can make off the dribble or off the catch, especially going to his right. His length means he can get the shot off against nearly anyone, but that can be a curse too -- he'll force it early in the clock instead of looking for better opportunities. Finally, Gay exhibits one of the worst cases of dribble blindness in league annals and only passes as a last resort. The result is that opponents feel free to leave their man and steal the ball whenever Gay heads into traffic.ESPN Insider
Ahem... Roses are Red Tulips are purple (?) and the Lakers are worse than glaucoma But no need to suffer our grumpy old neighbors when here comes the young Oklahoma! I never...
Scenario #1- Suppose that we get Wesley Johnson in the draft, and both James and Wade sign elsewhere. Not too implausible. Let's also suppose that most other free agents are still available,...
So I just hopped over to ClipperBlog, and in his Monday Roundup, Foster puts in a few enticing words for both Chris Bosh and Greg Monroe. I get the impression that Bosh is wide open about the...
I have this little fantasy going that Kobe will meet up with Durant in the upcoming first round. After the thrashing Oklahoma gave the Lakers a few days ago, I kind of think they have a chance in a...
Someone has to say it, right? If New York manages to land two max guys, then Lee becomes available, and if we strike out elsewhere, then we may be in a situation where we'll want to consider it....
Let's suppose for a moment that the Clips don't land James, but they do manage to sign a talented wing. Maybe he'll be Childress, or maybe we'll splurge for Gay. In any case, let's suppose that the...
Interesting read. Olshey seems sharp and articulate. He speaks well of DTS and those unlimited resources. There's also a brief mention of analysing the new guys, to see "who we want back."
A Knicks offer worries the Grizzlies- Rudy Gay will be one of the best free agents on the market starting in July and he gets a lot of questions from writers who cover teams with cap room. Gay, a restricted free agent, doesn't mind the inquiries. "It's just part of the business," Gay tells The Commercial-Appeal. "Like I've said, I'd like to be here. But, you know, this is the NBA. It's a business." There are at least eight teams that will have significant money to spend on free agents in the offseason. The Knicks are one of them and according to the New York Daily News, Memphis is worried the Knicks will make an offer that is "front-loaded." This means that it will pay Gay a significant amount of money for the first season and make it difficult for the Grizzlies to match. "We want to keep Rudy, but the question for us is, how far do we go?" a Memphis executive told the newspaper.ESPN Insider
14. Los Angeles Clippers | Future Power Rating: 506 PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT 200 (15th) 52 (25th) 137 (5th) 59 (11th) 58 (15th) Though the Clippers have made some moves to improve their future, they dropped from their top-10 perch in our rankings. Los Angeles replaced coach Mike Dunleavy, but left him in the GM chair, where he sent out Al Thornton at the trade deadline and created enough salary cap room to position the Clips to bring in a marquee free agent. Unfortunately, there are several issues hurting the Clips' ranking. For one thing, they're not the only ones in pursuit of high-profile free agents -- at least seven teams should have enough space this summer to lure a free agent with a max contract. While the L.A. market works in the Clippers' favor, the reputation of owner Donald Sterling looms as a huge drawback that will likely require them to overpay to win the rights of a second-tier free agent -- and if Sterling can't overcome his reluctance to pay top dollar, the Clips might have difficulty finding quality players to take their offers. Also, the Clippers slipped several notches in our draft rating, as their sporadic success this season makes them increasingly unlikely to win the lottery again this year and a first-round pick from Minnesota likely won't be theirs until 2012, at which point the Wolves may be respectable. Finally, Blake Griffin's season-eliminating knee injury and Baron Davis's continued inconsistency has us less bullish on L.A.'s current roster than we were before, as the team appears to need a big score in free agency just to contend for a playoff spot. (Previous rank: 10)ESPN.com, Future Power Rankings
Hey, GOOD NEWS! The last few games, and last night's Suns game in particular, have shed some light on where the Clippers need to be heading. This is important, obviously, because we have some big...
Something to consider. Also a mention of Josh Childress in there.
New business model: Stock options as salary, perhaps? If players have a vested interest in their team's financial fortunes, then where does that leave the Clips? LOL, wouldn't players then WANT to play for DTS? (Provided they can sign up for cheap, naturally...)
Maybe the Clips are a long shot, but do you suppose Lebron is really so adverse to sharing our super-sized city with Kobe??? Lebron's arrival would electrify LA, and no doubt the rivalry would make both men even larger giants. Can you imagine the billboards surrounding Staples?
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