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thunderbird1245
06-15-2008, 05:47 PM
Today I profile the 10th player in this series, forward Anthony Randolph from LSU.

The young freshman wing player from LSU is only 18 years old, not turning 19 until July 15th. Because of his extreme lack of experience, gauging how good of a pro player Randolph may become is going to be a matter of predicting the future, as the young "4" man is far from a finished product.

There is little argument that Randolph has huge potential to be an impact forward in the league. Randolph looks like a potential starting caliber player in time, if he continues his current upward path as a player.
However, that word in the previous sentence, "if", is a gigantic question, because it may be just as likely that Randolph ends up being much more sizzle than steak. Randolph carries with his selection a lot of potential, but a huge amount of risk.

Admittedly, I am pre disposed to like left handed players who are multi faceted in their game. I really liked watching Jalen Rose and Calbert Cheaney play the game, and I feel like Lamar Odom and Manu Ginobili are both very entertaining to watch play today. Randolph has the potential and profile to be similar to the above mentioned Odom if he turns out to be as good as many of the talent evaluators project him to be.

Most of the experts have a higher opinion of Randolph than I do however. I don't mind so much waiting on pure post players to develop their games and talents, as history tells us that pure centers take longer to grow into their bodies and games. However, regardless of where he is projected to be drafted, I see no reason why a lottery team, such as the Knicks for example, would have interest in taking a flyer on a player who even when he develops will be slotted at a position that is the easiest to fill in basketball.

Randolph projects to be a classic "face up 4" in my opinion. I don't see him being a low post factor on either end, as his super thin frame at this point will limit him to playing on the perimeter. I see his potential as an offensive player in time, but I fail to see who Anthony Randolph will ever be able to guard, even giving him a huge benefit of the doubt.

As I said, I see potential for growth as an offensive player, but let it also be said that as of right now today, Randolph will have a difficulty contributing on the offensive end. You cannot be a perimeter playing "4" man like Shawn Marion unless you can consistently make outside shots, and Randolph cannot currently do that. The most troubling thing I see about him and his potential is his shooting form itself, which is awkward, slow, and inaccurate. He seems to lack the decision making prowess (maybe it is lack of experience, maybe it isn't) to know what a good shot is and what one isn't.

The inability to be a good shooter will enable slower defending forwards who potentially would have match up problems against him to be able to lay back from him, negating his single biggest weapon, which is a really good first step. He really covers a bunch of ground with it, and it has to be what the experts are drooling over watching him play. Without the ability to make the open jumper however, Randolph will find his biggest asset to be useless.

Defensively, Randolph, as I said, looks like a sieve. He can't hold his spot against people posting him up, and he can't defend quickness without putting his hands all over people. He is the type of defender who may look more impressive than he actually is, as occasionally he will make a great steal or big block that wows the fans, but when you examine closely he is also the guy who loafs back on defense, gets screened too easily, fails to help his teammate on a drive, and gets pushed underneath the rim while trying to box out. I don't see, even if Randolph fulfills his highest potential, who he consistently can defend at the next level.

There are things about Randolph that trouble me as an analyst. I see the athletic ability no question, and I see the raw potential. But I have real concerns about why his team was so pitiful in college, why his potential doesn't match his production, and whether he seems like the kind of player who will continue to work on his game after recieving the big checks. Being an NBA player takes a huge commitment playing against real professional men who take their craft seriously, and Anthony Randolph is completely not ready, in my judgment, to deal with that currently.

Randolph looks like a player who has always been the biggest and best player his whole life, so he has never had to learn the nuances of the game, or the fundamentals of how to really play. He looks totally and completely reliant on his natural talents, which at the NBA level won't be enough to make it long term.

Randolph would be a great player I think for some team that is totally loaded, and that has a winning culture and lockerroom, to draft and then bring along slowly, and if you did that, perhaps in three years or so you might have a really quality player. But I don't see how Randolph helps anyone this year or probably next, and the fact that he may be drafted as high as 5th or 6th is starting to convince me that this draft and its talent may be a bit overrated. The best thing for Randolph and his long term future would to be drafted by someone like Jerry Sloan, just to teach him how to play and to toughen him up, but instead Randolph looks to me much more likely to be drafted by a team that is a cesspool of losing, selfish play, or incompetence, such as Memphis, New Jersey, or perhaps the Clippers.

While I suspect that it is likely he will be drafted in the top 10, I would not be at all surprised to see Randolph drop as the draft gets closer. The huge risk he carries with him, and the lack of ability to help this season in my opinion makes him a tough sell to a losing organizations fanbase.

We have seen Larry Bird already pick a very similar player in Shawne Williams, so I would be shocked to the core if Bird selected his left handed clone in Randolph. Williams may or may not eventually be a major contributor, the jury is still out on that. But remember, Williams was picked much lower in the pecking order than Randolph will be a few days from now. Remember also that Williams can actually shoot, where as Randolph can't, at least right now, from outside of 10 feet.

As is my custom, I am trying to think of a good comparable player to Randolph that played in the eighties or nineties, but I really can't. Guys as raw and as limited as Randolph is couldn't make it in the league back then.....they stayed in college and honed their games. I guess the best I can think of is a much bigger version of Harold Minor, who looked athletically superior in warmups, but once the games started he looked more like the journeyman that he actually was.

If in the unlikely event Randolph slips to 11, the Pacers should either pass altogether and choose someone else or attempt to find a team to trade down with. Randolph cannot help us and would be a really bad fit for us and our current situation.

As always, the above is just my opinion.

Tbird

croz24
06-15-2008, 07:48 PM
when evaluating randolph, one must take into account the coaching situation there concerning john brady and his firing.

count55
06-15-2008, 07:57 PM
God, he does sound like Bender (except for the shooting part, which doesn't exactly give me warm fuzzies).

croz24
06-15-2008, 08:16 PM
God, he does sound like Bender (except for the shooting part, which doesn't exactly give me warm fuzzies).

you talk as though bender was an untalented scrub...? without his knee issues, i'm willing to bet bender would have become our best player within 2 years time.

Rajah Brown
06-15-2008, 09:14 PM
Bender's knees notwithstanding, I always thought his biggest hiderance
was his head, or more specifically, his seemingly almost complete lack
of hoops-IQ. The kid not only had no in-between game whatsoever,
he seemed to not even grasp the possibility of it's usefullness.

He was an athletic freak though. I'll give him that.

No opinion on Randolph. I've never seen him play in game
action and in fact, didn't even know he existed until the draft
speculation got underway. But, croz24 has a point, Brady couldn't
coach his way out if a paper bag.

DisplacedKnick
06-15-2008, 09:27 PM
Bender's knees notwithstanding, I always thought his biggest hiderance
was his head, or more specifically, his seemingly almost complete lack
of hoops-IQ. The kid not only had no in-between game whatsoever,
he seemed to not even grasp the possibility of it's usefullness.

He was an athletic freak though. I'll give him that.


He was athletic but had almost no basketball skills. Should have been a high jumper.

I'll be very curious to see where Randolph goes - I know as much about him as I do the Italian player, Gallinari.

However, once you get past Rose, Beasley, Bayless and Mayo nobody knocks my socks off in this draft, so I could see him being taken as early as 5 just because of the upside. Lopez is a legit NBA big man so he may get a top 5 spot by default but I don't see him making a bunch of all-star games either.

I've never seen less of a difference between the 5th best player and about 25th than I have this year. I don't think it would be any more surprising if, say, CDR (picked in the 20's) was an impact player rather than Gordon (probably 7-10).

Young
06-15-2008, 10:22 PM
you talk as though bender was an untalented scrub...? without his knee issues, i'm willing to bet bender would have become our best player within 2 years time.

Hell yes I would love to see what Bender could do if he was able to be healthy. It's a damn shame.

Bender, I thought, showed some signs of life he just wasn't able to get out on the court much which is a damn shame.

Anyways I think Randolph can be a pretty good player. I think he could end up being a lot like Lamar Odom and not just in skills but in terms of the best role for him too. I think like Odom Randolph is best being the third opition on a team. Which really ain't so bad.

The problem with this is that it is hard to judge where to select him. He is too good to slide out of the top 10 but really will probably never be the man on his team.

Infinite MAN_force
06-15-2008, 10:25 PM
Two guys I have been very skeptical of in this draft have been CDR and Randolph, So the fact that you don't like either one is very comforting to me.

PR07
06-15-2008, 11:17 PM
Randolph is a twig right now. Wait until he hits the weight room and begins an NBA training regime until passing judgment on whether he can play the 4. I'd love to get Randolph. You could groom him behind JO for two seasons, and after that, you might be looking at your next franchise player. He's obviously not going to be a guy that can come in right away and play starter's minutes, but if you wait, I think you could easily be looking at a Lamar Odom or maybe even a Chris Bosh type player (Did anyone see Bosh at GTech? Skinny as a rail).

Mr. Sobchak
06-15-2008, 11:19 PM
Randolph is a twig right now. Wait until he hits the weight room and begins an NBA training regime until passing judgment on whether he can play the 4. I'd love to get Randolph. You could groom him behind JO for two seasons, and after that, you might be looking at your next franchise player. He's obviously not going to be a guy that can come in right away and play starter's minutes, but if you wait, I think you could easily be looking at a Lamar Odom or maybe even a Chris Bosh type player (Did anyone see Bosh at GTech? Skinny as a rail).


QFT. The guy has a 7'3'' wingspan and runs the floor like a guard. He is a one man fast break.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CRtna5iDFc

croz24
06-15-2008, 11:26 PM
basically, after mayo, rose, and bayless, the only player i desperately want on the pacers and who would be a joy to watch is joe alexander. some call me crazy for wanting him because he's a tweener sf/pf, but not only can you not teach athleticism, you also can't teach desire, intensity, and unrivaled work ethic.

Anthem
06-15-2008, 11:28 PM
Bosh was pretty skinny.

So was JO, for that matter.

PR07
06-15-2008, 11:35 PM
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Major Cold
06-15-2008, 11:41 PM
Who is next? I am really enjoying these assessments.

Suaveness
06-16-2008, 01:21 AM
You should put a link to your previous 9 profiles, and continue to add to it as you make each analysis. Thanks for doing these, they're fun reads.

imawhat
06-16-2008, 01:59 AM
asdfasdfasdfasdf

croz24
06-16-2008, 02:19 AM
somewhat curious as to where people on here are getting their stats from...this is the third or fourth time i've heard that 41% number when in actuality he shot 46.4% from the floor...

AesopRockOn
06-16-2008, 03:52 AM
asdfasdfasdfasdf

In what way?

Taterhead
06-16-2008, 03:53 AM
you talk as though bender was an untalented scrub...? without his knee issues, i'm willing to bet bender would have become our best player within 2 years time.

I agree, Bender was just about to break out when he retired. It's a shame. I don't get the constant bashing of him, but I have noticed people on here seem downright offended by players health problems. Anyways, the kid had some great skills for a 7 footer. There was a time I was absolutely drooling over an Artest, Bender, O'neal front line being the Pacers core for the next 7-8 years. It could have been something really special. We put a lot of time into Bender, and him reitring has hurt us just as much as the injuries and the off the court problems, IMO.

As for Randolph, I actually like him a lot as a SF and a PF prospect. However I agree he's not a 4, especially for the next 3-4 years. But he could probably play some SF until then.

count55
06-16-2008, 08:22 AM
Bender's knees notwithstanding, I always thought his biggest hiderance
was his head, or more specifically, his seemingly almost complete lack
of hoops-IQ. The kid not only had no in-between game whatsoever,
he seemed to not even grasp the possibility of it's usefullness.

He was an athletic freak though. I'll give him that.

No opinion on Randolph. I've never seen him play in game
action and in fact, didn't even know he existed until the draft
speculation got underway. But, croz24 has a point, Brady couldn't
coach his way out if a paper bag.


This pretty much sums up what I thought of Bender. Could shoot. Could Jump. Could run (until his knees gave out). Had no idea how to play basketball. Though lacking the size and the freakish athletic ability, Shawne Williams showed more understanding of the game in his pro debut at Chicago than Bender did his entire career. (And we all know that Shawne Williams still has a ton to learn about the game even today.)

This is the exact quote that made me think of Bender:


Randolph looks like a player who has always been the biggest and best player his whole life, so he has never had to learn the nuances of the game, or the fundamentals of how to really play. He looks totally and completely reliant on his natural talents, which at the NBA level won't be enough to make it long term.

Bender was a spectacular bust. I never really thought he was going to amount to much more than a rotational player, so I never thought of the knee problems as the reason he was a bust. I always thought that he was an athlete, not a basketball player. I didn't see any kind of learning curve demonstrating that would've changed had he remained healthy.

Justin Tyme
06-16-2008, 09:07 AM
basically, after mayo, rose, and bayless, the only player i desperately want on the pacers and who would be a joy to watch is joe alexander. some call me crazy for wanting him because he's a tweener sf/pf, but not only can you not teach athleticism, you also can't teach desire, intensity, and unrivaled work ethic.


We are of the same thought concerning Alexander. I'd trade both Shawne and Ike in a heartbeat to get him! I can't wait to watch his growth over the next few years, and I'd love it to be in a Pacers' uni. That chance is slim and next to none, for he won't slide to 11.

Mr. Sobchak
06-16-2008, 09:17 AM
We are of the same thought concerning Alexander. I'd trade both Shawne and Ike in a heartbeat to get him! I can't wait to watch his growth over the next few years, and I'd love it to be in a Pacers' uni. That chance is slim and next to none, for he won't slide to 11.


I like him a lot as a player but I don't really understand why you guys want him for this team. I am a believer in drafting the bpa in most scenarios but our two most consistent players are small forwards. I don't think adding another one would help us that much. I just don't see Alexander playing the 4 spot because he is only 6'8" which is basically Ike size without Ike's long wingspan.

Tom White
06-16-2008, 10:27 AM
...some call me crazy...

Some?
:D

Rajah Brown
06-16-2008, 10:56 AM
Peskoe97-

Just playing devil's advocate, an arguement could be made that,
if Alexander is the best player left at #11, you take him and
ultimately give yourself more flexibility down the road when
making a deal. If he comes to Indy and pans out, either he,
DG or Williams would then be pretty expendable.

At this point, any and every valuable/attractive asset the Pacers
can acquire is a plus as at this point, that cupboard is pretty bare.

croz24
06-16-2008, 01:14 PM
I like him a lot as a player but I don't really understand why you guys want him for this team. I am a believer in drafting the bpa in most scenarios but our two most consistent players are small forwards. I don't think adding another one would help us that much. I just don't see Alexander playing the 4 spot because he is only 6'8" which is basically Ike size without Ike's long wingspan.

i want him regardless of who's on my team just because of the way he plays and approaches the game, as well as his freakish athleticism. he'd be much more of a joy to watch imo than anybody else to be had at that #11 slot. the pacers have no clear stregths. as good as many think granger is, there are still 15+ sfs in the game you'd rather have than him. as a player, regardless of position, there is nobody at #11 i want more.

Trader Joe
06-16-2008, 01:42 PM
i want him regardless of who's on my team just because of the way he plays and approaches the game, as well as his freakish athleticism. he'd be much more of a joy to watch imo than anybody else to be had at that #11 slot. the pacers have no clear stregths. as good as many think granger is, there are still 15+ sfs in the game you'd rather have than him. as a player, regardless of position, there is nobody at #11 i want more.

Fifteen? Care to compile a list. I'm willing to listen, but 15 is half of the starting SFs in the league.

croz24
06-16-2008, 02:04 PM
james, pierce, anthony, jefferson, prince, mcgrady, durant, gay, iguodala, howard, smith, wallace, butler, deng, marion, martin, richardson, beasley.....maggette, odom, redd.....peja, miller

Trader Joe
06-16-2008, 02:31 PM
Is Martin, Kevin Martin? Cause I don't agree with that. Especially cause I see him as a SG.
I also see Michael Redd as a SG. Same could be said for Igoudala.
Prince? I don't know, to me thats debatable, but then again I'm open to the possibilty that maybe my Pacers glasses are clouding my view.
I definetely think Danny is better than Maggz, Peja, Miller. I also think he is probably a more complete player than JRich at this point in time. He's also at least as good if not better than Josh Howard. I would have said Deng was clearly better than him, but then he went and had a stinker of a season. Odom's been playing mostly PF this season, but assuming the Lakers stay the same going into next year he'll slide over to SF so I'll give that to you. Gay is better, and Durant will be better. Gerald Wallace? Too injury prone. Josh Smith is better. James, McGrady, Pierce, Anthony, and Jefferson are all better.
So I guess taking into all accounts talent, salary, and age these are the guys I'd take over Danny no questions asked (Also I am a Pacer fan, so maybe I'm biased)...
James
Pierce
Anthony
Jefferson (Though I'm not sure about that one)
Durant
Gay
McGrady
Smith
Butler (I like him a lot, but I know some won't agree with me)
Beasley(Assuming he ends up a SF, and just going off potential)
Odom (Although his contract is a turn off compared to Danny's)

So thats eleven SFs that I would take over Granger.

Major Cold
06-16-2008, 08:47 PM
croz your man crush is clouding your view.

croz24
06-16-2008, 11:47 PM
croz your man crush is clouding your view.

my man crush on who, joe? sure i love him as a player, and really want him on the pacers, but i do understand the pacers position as a team. all things being equal, of course they take the pg, sg, pf, or c over the sf. i'd just hate to pass up on such an exciting kid for a westbrook or augustin who don't excite me to the least bit.