Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Draft thoughts from a non-college fan

First things first: I do not watch college basketball. I just don't. Hence my knowledge of the players in the draft consists of things I've read/heard in the last couple weeks about 10 or so guys. I was blown away by Al Horford, Brandon Roy, Chris Paul, et al. because I had no idea. The only reason I knew who Dwyane Wade was before his rookie year was because he had that whole NCAA tournament hero thing going and his name made him sound like a character on A Different World. Anyways, I'm going to comment regardless, because why the hell not?
  1. Kosta Koufous has to be the funniest running storyline of the draft. He's an American, but his name makes him sound like an international player. Along with the Lakers getting crushed in Game 6 of the finals and the Lakers finals loss being blamed on LA's soft Euros being unable to handle the all-American beef on Boston's frontline (sports fans have uber-short memories, since everyone has forgotten that -- duh -- LA won 57 games and got to the finals without their starting center), Kost Koufos may be the first collegian ever to drop draft spots and lose millions of dollars because of his name. How many teams are worried about looking like they drafted a Euro?
  2. I really feel like Brandon Rush is going to win the award for best player in the draft who people will still think was a bust throughout his career. You know, one of those guys who always ends up playing for good teams but people think it's despite him rather than partly because of him. Recent entrants for this award include Joakim Noah. Past winners include James Posey (before the most recent Celtics run). Also, with a lot of teams relying on swing positions for dynamic athleticism, slashing, and scoring, doesn't it seem like Rush could find a place and thrive alongside a small point guard and a scoring big?
  3. My pick for rookie of the year is Michael Beasley. I know, really going out on a limb, right? But I wonder/worry if he's more of an Amare Stoudemire rookie of the year (with an added jumpshot out to the three point line) -- ie outrageous highlights and great offensive production and maybe some weakside blocked shots but a huge inside defensive liability that keeps the team from running any good defensive schemes.
  4. And just as I finished writing the above, I see draftexpress has Beasley's best case scenario listed as: "Amare Stoudemire Meets Antawn Jamison." I'm better than I thought!
  5. Danilo Galinari is going to be continually compared to only European players for no particular reason. It's the corollary to "you only compare white players to other white players, and black players to other black players": you only compare foreign players to other foreign players. Is he Hedo Turkoglu? Toni Kukoc? A swing-Dirk? Or, will he turn out like Bargnani? Life is limited as a Euro.
  6. Russel Westbrook seems to be getting a lot of attention as a solid defensive point guard. My feeling, as I've said before, is that he's benefiting a great deal from Rajon Rondo's championship season -- length and big hands, people! But, um, beyond the length and big hands (and solid defense), is he really anything like Rondo? He doesn't appear to be the same level rebounder, and he doesn't get all that many assists. Hmmmmmn. I will say, as a Lakers fan, that recent experience seems to show that the defensive skills of UCLA perimeter players do seem to translate to the NBA (Farmar and Ariza, what!). However, on average, last year PG was the worst spot defensively in the league, and even the best defensive point guards didn't seem to make as much of an impact as, say, a defensively average power forward (for instance, Deron Williams had about the same defensive impact as Dirk Nowitzki last year). Given that, would you draft a PG in the lottery whose offensive skills you were unsure about solely for his defense? He seems more and more like one of those guys who seems like a steal at the end of the first round (Rondo?!).
  7. Given the above commentary on PG defense, why not take a chance on DJ Augustin? draftexpress has him slated to go at #11 to the Pacers, a couple spots behind Westbrook and four spots behind Bayless. We shall see.
  8. One final note on "I like him but I don't know why": I like O.J. Mayo.
And now for some random comments on people's names:
  1. Does Eric Gordon get compared to Ben Gordon because they have the same last name?
  2. I irrationally dislike Jerryd Bayless because he shares a name with a particulary obnoxious columnist.
  3. Mario Chalmers sounds like the name of a comic book business tycoon/villain.
So, what do you think?

1 comment:

  1. skip bayless belongs in the cheap guy hall of fame!