View Full Version : Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #11: Best of the rest, and 2 draft sleepers I love for us later in the draft

06-19-2011, 07:00 PM
Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #11: Best of the rest, and 2 draft sleepers I love for us later in the draft
Written by thunderbird1245

Link (http://www.pacersdigest.com/wordpress/?p=516)

With the draft rapidly approaching just 4 days away, it is time to empty to the notebook on the remaining players I believe are in play for our Pacers at the #15 pick or somewhere either above or below them in the first round. I’ll try and provide some blurbs on players I have researched on that are projected somewhere in the first round. In a later article before the draft I will look at second round players I have an opinion on, and in a final pre draft article I will provide my mock draft and call my shot officially on who we should actually select.

So for now, these are the guys who are being discussed in the first round, somewhere in the first 30 picks, that I have studied, researched, and done film work on. If we end up with any of these players on our roster after draft night, a more in depth article will follow on them in the coming days. 2 years ago this actually happened, when I ran out of time to post anything more than a summary piece on Tyler Hansbrough before draft night. My in depth scouting report on him didn’t get posted until the draft had passed and we had selected him.

Obviously no one I couldnt get film on will be broken down. So that leaves out Bismack Biyombo, Enos Kanter, Jan Vesely. Jonas Valanciunas, David Bertans, and Jeremy Tyler.

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1. Josh Selby…..interesting young player, struggled mightily on tape at Kansas…..going there was a horrible fit for him style wise…..he would have been much more highly thought of if he had the ball in his hands alot more…..I think he fits as a scoring point guard, not an off guard (which is different than most people think). Questionable character guy but I actually think he will be better than most think. You just have to be someone who likes his type of player to like him best…..really defends hard on the ball…..plays with a brashness and intensity that I like…….if you want a traditional point man don’t take him, but for a ball dominant scoring type who plays hard I think he can be a player you’d like……needs the ball in his hands to be successful I think. One of the bigger boom/bust types in the draft. If I were the Knicks, this is who I would take I think……he could learn from Billups for a while, and I think Selby has the right kind of brashness to play well in the spotlight.

2. Kyrie Irving…..very nice player, clearly should be drafted #1. Not sure I totally buy the Chris Paul argument, I put him 1 rung below that, but the comparison is valid style wise……reminds me more of Kevin Johnson…I included him in this piece because I studied the guy below him on tape…..

3. Nolan Smith……looks like a nice backup point guard for somebody, probably will stick in the league 4 to 5 years at least. Don’t love him but don’t hate him either….probably a bottom of the first round early second type guy.

4. Darius Morris….. purely a point guard oriented guy….bigger guard for those who like that….not super quick or athletic but has good size….sees the floor well, plays with different speeds and understands pace well, I think he gets it, and understands how to play……not dynamic but steady…..I think he will be a nice back up point guard alot like the career of Steve Blake…..

5. Kyle Singler……can’t help you, not nearly athletic enough, no great defining skill to me, slow footed….my guess is he will be drafted near the end of the first round but I don’t see why…..will struggle to guard his position,lacks the great offensive skill to coverup his poor defense……

6. Markieff Morris…..enthusiastic tougher PF, lacks length and athleticism but plays with a cockiness and swagger that I like….wouldn’t be shocked if he ends up here with us actually, though I’d pass since I think Hansbrough is better than him…..love the attitude he brings to the table…physical defender and good screener……reminds me alot of Drew Gooden.

7. Jordan Williams….slow, out of shape, doesn’t impress me much. Very unsophisticated game offensively I thought…..if Gary Williams couldnt get him to work hard and be in shape, how will anyone else?

8. Iman Shumpert…..very good athlete, great measurables……way better as an athlete than a basketball player…..takes dumb shots, doesn’t see the floor well…..Georgia Tech was a train wreck mainly due to horrible guard play, which Shumpert of course was…….will survive in the league or not based on his defensive ability……if he can learn to play intense man to man defense he might be a 3rd point guard for someone….would make sense for an Eastern Conference team to gamble on him as a guy who maybe can be a Derrick Rose stopper someday, therefore if they keep the pick I can see a team moving up into the last part of the first to choose him just for that….but basically he doesn’t impress me much and I doubt he sticks for long.

9. Shelvin Mack…..Mack can score on a crossover pull up jumper, and plays very smart…..he is a bigger point guard, and he will survive on his intelligence, leadership, and ability to make big shots…….he will struggle with his ballhandling against quicker guards, and will be better in a halfcourt system that sets lots of ballscreens…..system of play will matter alot in his success, but to me he clearly is an NBA player……I view him as the next Anthony Johnson, a player many disliked here in Indianapolis but who I personally liked alot……

10. JuJuan Johnson….needs to get stronger….big man who can make a jumper, those are in demand these days in pick pop situations……good length, knows how to play…..but his lack of strength is a problem unless you have all world athleticism or some other great skill to bring to the table, and he doesn’t have that one major skill…..I think he sticks in the league as a guy like Josh Powell does……an 11-14th man on a roster.

11. Kenneth Faried…..all world rebounder, but little other skills beyond that. No threat offensively, but that isn’t the problem, the problem is being able to defend other bigs at his size, which I doubt he can do…….basically a 1 trick pony, but that one outstanding trick will let him stick in the league a while, but his lack of defense I think makes him undraftable anywhere before pick 25 or so…..no way would I pick him if I am Indiana at #15…..great personal story however, great New York Times article on him you can find if you look about his mother……interesting kid who seems like a good person, I hope he makes it……maybe he can, maybe he can’t, but Reggie Evans I think is is his absolute ceiling.

12. Reggie Jackson…..great name for an athlete…..very good physical specimen with gigantic 7’0 wingspan……to me offensively he isn’t a real point guard, though I think he can defend other point guards at a high level……set shot from 3 will be hard to get off at the next level…..not really any great offensive skills that seem to translate for me, but I do love his potential as a defender at the point guard, a very highly thought of skill for me personally….can’t pull up offensively, seems to crash into contact alot…..he and Shumpert are similar but I think Jackson has been coached better and is a smarter player, doesn’t see the floor well though……..if he could focus and really dedicate himself to being a great point guard defender, that would be what I would want him to do…….again, makes sense to me for a team in the east to pick him and hope he can stop Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, and Kyrie Irving for you someday….good chance I think he ends up in Portland at pick #21, New Jersey makes sense as well at #27.

13. Chandler Parsons….pick and pop big guy…..needs a great point guard to be useful I think…..really can stroke it off the catch though, and his footwork is good…..can’t really defend any NBA position I don’t think……reminds me of a Brian Scalabrine level player….other people like him alot though.

14. Keith Benson……big 7 footer from Oakland Michigan…..team made the big dance this year…..nice offensive skills potentially….slower than slow, but makes up for that by also being weak, can’t guard anyone decent at the NBA level….long term project.

15. Matt Howard…..nobody seals his man and has better offensive footwork before he caught the ball than Matt Howard…..will struggle defensively at this level though…..improved as a shooter but isn’t a dead eye at this point….sets great screens, rebounds fundamentally well…..lot to like about him offensively….high character winning player…..I think he can make somebody’s roster but not really ever be a contributor though….should make alot of money in Europe playing, all in all very good for a Connersville kid…..I think Boston might take him at #55.

16. Charles Jenkins…guard from Hofstra…..very efficient, high character guy who played for the best team in the country that no one saw play…..Hofstra beat many good teams in the Colonial Conference this year, including VCU……takes and makes big shots, really good scorer and steps up at the end of the game…..had his number retired……plays a physical style like a bull in the china shop…..if DeJuan Blair was a guard, he’d be Jenkins…..short arms and may struggle athletically at this level…..but if he gets on the right team he can play a role right away….reminds me a little of Mario Chalmers, except maybe not quite as talented, close though…….might surprise me and go in the first round……

OK, so there are 16 guys with a quick summary of their skills that have been discussed for us at various stages. Some of those I like, some of those I obviously didn’t. Below you will read about 2 guys who I think will or possibly would be very good selections for us IF we either acquire another pick at the bottom of the first round or especially for our second round selection.


1.* Kory Joseph, PG Texas

One of my favorite moments on tape in this process was watching Kory Joseph play, not because of anything he did particularly, but in just how he really drove and led his team. This was a freshman trying to lead a major program, despite not really being skilled enough to do it.

Joseph led more verbally like a true floor captain that anybody I saw all year. I loved watching him chew on guys like Jordan Hamilton who didn’t always give great effort, and I loved the charisma and leadership skills he seemed to naturally have. He talked in quiet tones to players who needed that, and ripped on the guys who needed a little more “tough love”. I thought he was a natural born leader on the floor for Texas.

Joseph is a really good shooter, and I think he projects to be very good in the pick/roll game. He attacks with decisiveness in transition, and has really good speed with the basketball in the open floor. Not very strong, skinny even at just 185 lbs, but he has NBA height at 6’3 1/2″.* Even in the cluster that is sometimes a Rick Barnes offense, he had an extremely good assist to turnover ratio, over 2 to 1.* More than that, I just thought he UNDERSTANDS how to play point guard…..keeping his teammates involved, knowing time/score situations, knowing who is hot and not for his team, etc.

Of course, where all PG young guys stand out to me was defensively, where Kory Joseph just digs deep and gets after it. He really pressured the basketball well, getting low in his stance and hanging on to the ballhandler like a junk yard dog. More than that, he was a tough son of a gun, banging people inside who dared cut in the paint across his face, and being willing to stick his nose in places where most point guards won’t. Really good PG screener too, another thing I loved about him on tape. This is the type of PG a coach like Jerry Sloan or Larry Brown would really like.

A tough minded point guard who screens, makes shots, knows how to lead and be a floor general, and defend his tail off? I’ll take that guy in the second round every day.

Now, he isn’t ready to help yet….he is a 3rd point guard for this year probably. He needs to improve in the weight room, get some more NBA level scoring skills down, and learn the game. But I think he projects to be a really important cog someday, a guy who for us replaces AJ Price down the road on a rookie contract, and who has the attitude, charisma, and leadership type skills to keep guys in line. I* really really like Kory Joseph in the second round for us. I think if he stayed in school one more year like he should have, that he had a chance to develop into a top 15 guy next year, maybe better than that even.

2. David Lighty, SG from Ohio State.

I was very disappointed yesterday to read that Jay Bilas also likes Lighty, as I thought he would be a diamond in the rough that only I would be aware of.

Kid is a winner, knows how to play, and defends the wing players in the big ten on tape like his life depended on it. He has very good defensive footwork, plays angles well, and plays with a high motor on that end of the floor. Best pick and roll defender in this draft not counting Chris Singleton.* Plays well without the ball offensively, really good shooter with his feet set. Not a slasher, but knows that and plays to his strengths. Understands his opponents well and is very coachable. Experienced, hard nosed kid who played the 4 for the Buckeyes some despite being undersized. Plays very mistake free….you can watch entire tape on Lighty and see very few technique mistakes from him….runs plays correctly, reads screens correctly on both ends, careful with the basketball.

Lighty reminds me a ton of Shane Battier, except maybe not quite the athlete. Lighty is older than some, and he has had some injury issues in the past, which is why he might be available for Indiana at pick # 42.

In my view, if we take a wing at #15, I probably would target Joseph at #42. If we take a point guard, then I’d target Lighty. If we take a frontcourt player, then I’d have a choice to make on what to do……both these guys are going to be good players someday and really good teams I think. I’d be happy and proud to have either one as a Pacer in the future.

As always, the above is just my opinion.


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06-20-2011, 12:41 AM
Thunderbird, you are the best.

06-20-2011, 12:43 AM
I'm ready to see how the draft unfolds. Thanks for the player analysis. I'm assuming your top picks are Burks and Singleton.

06-20-2011, 02:19 AM
Off topic but could someone please explain the reasons why people did not like Anthony Johnson when he was here. He was one of my favorite Pacers ever. Was it locker room issues or bad work ethic or something? Please fill me in thanks :cool:

06-20-2011, 02:56 AM
I still wouldn't mind getting Markief Morris for the exact reasons Tbird posted, physical defender, good screener and his swagger. Those are all things this team needs. Especially in the post.

06-20-2011, 10:11 AM
Yeah I have heard Lighty is a lot of columnist sleeper picks, I think him being able to hit open threes along with the very good perimeter defense. I think I never really got a chance to like him because I am such a Purdue fan but.

I have always heard that the big knock on Joesph was his athleticism, and that he wouldn't be able to play PG in the NBA but I'm glad to hear this analysis...

Also heard a lot of people like Etwuan Moore as a sleeper as well.

Trader Joe
06-20-2011, 03:15 PM
TBird, what do you mean when you say "will stick in the league for X years" does that mean have a big role for that time period or will only be in the NBA for that time period? For example, you say Nolan Smith will be a good backup point guard fro someone then say he will only stick in the league for 4 to 5 years, which IMO suggests a failed career.

Trader Joe
06-20-2011, 03:18 PM
Also, I'm not a huge fan of LIghty's game at OSU, but I just think that might be because he doesn't shine in a huge role, I'd be OK with him in the second as another defensive minded wing.

06-20-2011, 03:30 PM
I like Charles Jenkins, he's who I'd target if they move back in at the end of the first round. He seems like one of those mental and physically tough guys. Seems like a leader from everything I've read.

Also, Chandler Parsons is Dunleavy light, to me. He has a great looking shot, good handles, nice size, I'd take him over Singlar everytime. If he puts it together, he'll be a nice rotation guy on a good team.

06-20-2011, 03:44 PM
Tbird, what are your thoughts on Talor Battle from PSU? I have watched him very closely for 4 years and I believe he will land a job in the NBA. The kid can flat out score and did it consistently against Big Ten defenses without much help from his teammates. He is clutch as hell too. His range is as good as Jimmer's. He is small though. Certainly isn't a true PG. I think he can be a spark off the bench for any team just because he has a knack for scoring.