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Thread: Bird Sees Impact Player Available in NBA Draft

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    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Bird Sees Impact Player Available in NBA Draft

    http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/bird_draft_050622.html

    Bird Sees Impact Player
    Available in NBA Draft


    By Conrad Brunner | June 22, 2005
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    He isn't giving any indication as to who, but Larry Bird is supremely confident about what the Pacers will be able to acquire with the 17th pick in the NBA Draft on Tuesday night: not just a talented player, but one that could play right away.
    "I feel there's going to be at least four guys I think can make an impact on our team," he said, "and that's all you can ask for."

    The team President met with the media for an informal pre-draft briefing Wednesday in Conseco Fieldhouse, revealing little about which players are on the Pacers' radar but making it very clear of his belief in the quality of the talent available.

    "I think we'll get a kid that, hopefully after the All-Star break, if you put him in the lineup, he's going to be able to do the things the coach wants him to do," Bird said. "I mean, I really think he's going to help us We're confident enough the guy we get is not only going to make our team but he's going to play even if I have to coach him."

    Because the Pacers have 13 veteran players under contract, are expected to retain restricted free agent James Jones and are attempting to re-sign free agent Dale Davis, there would appear to be little room on the roster - let alone the rotation for an unproven rookie. That has led to speculation the Pacers might prefer to draft an international player who could remain overseas for a year or two before joining the team.

    But Bird offered a strong reminder of his belief in the value of players with multiple years of college experience, particularly those that are available this year.

    "You look at the guys that have gone to college a few years and compare them to some of these young kids coming out who think they should be playing 40 minutes a game; it's a little different," he said. "At one time we had two high school players here, great guys, great work ethic, and they always wanted to play more and do more. Whereas a guy like James Jones comes in and you don't have to worry about him. He wants to play all the time but he accepts whatever role he's in.

    "I always think if you can get a college player that goes to school three or four years, it's to your advantage to probably look at him and probably draft him. If Gerald Green (a 6-7 high school forward from Texas widely projected as a top-five pick) is there, we will take him at 17. But other than that, we'll be looking for somebody with great talent and somebody who went to college for a few years."

    Bird's analysis of this draft is that, beyond the projected top five picks Utah center Andrew Bogut, North Carolina small forward Marvin Williams, Wake Forest point guard Chris Paul, Illinois point guard Deron Williams and Green the talent level is relatively even through the 20th pick. Therein lies the source of his confidence about the quality of player that will be available at No. 17.

    "There'll be some steals in this draft," he said. "It's a little different. There's no real clear-cut after No. 5. You could draft a guy at 17 that could be better than the sixth pick in the draft."

    Because of that, Bird downplayed the team's interest in considering a trade to move up in the first round.

    "I don't want to give up too much. I like our team," he said. "Obviously I think we've got some needs and we've got to get better in some areas, but I don't want to give up a good player that's really helped us out in the last couple of years just to move up four or five spots in the draft, because I know next year that player will be very valuable to us.

    "You don't know how valuable they are until you let 'em go. It's important for us to just try to add pieces and make ourselves better instead of trading away some of the guys and move up and get a guy at 14 you could probably get at 17."



    McCants

    Two North Carolina teammates that have created quite a bit of intrigue in the middle of the first round are power forward Sean May and shooting guard Rashad McCants. A dominant player at the college level, May's draft stock has slipped because of concern about his relative lack of height (6-8). McCants is a considered a premium talent but has dropped out of the lottery because of questions about his attitude.

    "Like Rick Carlisle says, we don't want a bunch of milk-drinkers here," Bird said of McCants. "We'll take the good with the bad. I've known Rashad for a couple of years, I've talked to him, I've been down to watch him practice, and he's a very, very talented player. So we'll see what happens."

    Bird also spoke positively of May.



    May

    "He's got all the tools, the ability to rebound, intelligent player, has great hands," he said. "The only problem he may have in this league, but I doubt it, is his ability to get shots off as easy as he did in college. They'll be contested almost every time. Smart players and good players with the ability to adjust their games can overcome that and I think he's one of those players."

    Though 50 early-entry players withdrew their names from draft consideration Tuesday, Bird said that had little effect on the Pacers' plans. Two of the names have been linked with the team in various mock drafts: Spanish shooting guard Rudy Fernandez and Brazilian power forward Tiago Splitter.

    "Rudy Fernandez is going to be a very good NBA player in the future but he's just not strong enough yet," Bird said. "If we would've taken a player like that we would've had to wait two or three years before he could come in and help us. Tiago Splitter is another kid, a couple of years in Europe and he'll be fine. In my mind, they're not ready to play here yet but they're very talented."

    Bird acknowledged interest in Marko Tomas, a 6-6 shooting guard from Croatia. But his withdrawal from the draft further minimized the chances the Pacers would select an international talent.

  2. #2
    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird Sees Impact Player Available in NBA Draft

    "I think we'll get a kid that, hopefully after the All-Star break, if you put him in the lineup, he's going to be able to do the things the coach wants him to do," Bird said. "I mean, I really think he's going to help us We're confident enough the guy we get is not only going to make our team but he's going to play even if I have to coach him."

    That's a warning to Rick that he better play the young guys if I ever saw one.


    "You don't know how valuable they are until you let 'em go.

    Brad Miller reference?

    "Like Rick Carlisle says, we don't want a bunch of milk-drinkers here," Bird said of McCants. "We'll take the good with the bad."

    Anybody still think Ron will be traded?

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    Default Re: Bird Sees Impact Player Available in NBA Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Galen
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    "I think we'll get a kid that, hopefully after the All-Star break, if you put him in the lineup, he's going to be able to do the things the coach wants him to do," Bird said. "I mean, I really think he's going to help us We're confident enough the guy we get is not only going to make our team but he's going to play even if I have to coach him."

    That's a warning to Rick that he better play the young guys if I ever saw one.
    Alternatively, he could be alluding to the fact that someone is out there with the raw talent to become something special, and Bird himself will aid him on his way to becoming a great player.

    In other words, he may not be anything special on draft night, but give him some time, and Bird can make him into a great player. If that's Bird's mode of thinking then I'm a little worried. I don't need another Bender situation.

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    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird Sees Impact Player Available in NBA Draft

    [QUOTE=rcarey]Alternatively, he could be alluding to the fact that someone is out there with the raw talent to become something special, and Bird himself will aid him on his way to becoming a great player.
    QUOTE]

    I didn't think of that. Your reasoning appears as good as mine.

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    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird Sees Impact Player Available in NBA Draft

    Because the Pacers have 13 veteran players under contract, are expected to retain restricted free agent James Jones and are attempting to re-sign free agent Dale Davis, there would appear to be little room on the roster - let alone the rotation for an unproven rookie.

    I don't see it that way. If JJ and Davis are resigned and Edwards isn't, this is who we have.

    PF-C] JO,
    PF-C] Cro
    PF-C] Davis
    C-PF] Foster
    C-PF] Pollard
    C] Harrison
    PF-SF] Bender
    SF] Artest
    SF] JJ
    SG-SF] Jax
    SG-SF] Fred
    PG] Tins
    PG] Gill
    PG-SG] Johnson

    That's 14 players. A rookie would make 15. If we would sign Sarunas J. We could cut Gill.

    Plus if we do a trade it will probably be a two for one deal, quantity for quality, so we could keep Gill, or resign Edwards.

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    Expect Delays blanket's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird Sees Impact Player Available in NBA Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Galen
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    Because the Pacers have 13 veteran players under contract, are expected to retain restricted free agent James Jones and are attempting to re-sign free agent Dale Davis, there would appear to be little room on the roster - let alone the rotation for an unproven rookie.

    I don't see it that way. If JJ and Davis are resigned and Edwards isn't, this is who we have.

    PF-C] JO,
    PF-C] Cro
    PF-C] Davis
    C-PF] Foster
    C-PF] Pollard
    C] Harrison
    PF-SF] Bender
    SF] Artest
    SF] JJ
    SG-SF] Jax
    SG-SF] Fred
    PG] Tins
    PG] Gill
    PG-SG] Johnson

    That's 14 players. A rookie would make 15. If we would sign Sarunas J. We could cut Gill.

    Plus if we do a trade it will probably be a two for one deal, quantity for quality, so we could keep Gill, or resign Edwards.
    yeah, that was my take, too. unless I'm missing something here, it looks like their math is off -- you'd think they would know what they're talking about, but...
    "I'll always be a part of Donnie Walsh."
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    Expect Delays blanket's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird Sees Impact Player Available in NBA Draft

    "At one time we had two high school players here, great guys, great work ethic, and they always wanted to play more and do more. Whereas a guy like James Jones comes in and you don't have to worry about him. He wants to play all the time but he accepts whatever role he's in.
    This really caught my eye.

    Which two is he talking about? The only HS players I could think of were Harrington, Bender and O'Neal. So that's three. Then he's talking about them in the past-tense ("At one time we had two high school players here"), while two of those three are still on the team. I don't get it. Is he foreshadowing a trade of Bender?!?
    "I'll always be a part of Donnie Walsh."
    -Ron Artest, Denver Post, 12.28.05

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    How are you here? Kegboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird Sees Impact Player Available in NBA Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by blanket
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    yeah, that was my take, too. unless I'm missing something here, it looks like their math is off -- you'd think they would know what they're talking about, but...
    I assume he's counting Reggie, who we still have under contract, but will not be on our roster.
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    Default Re: Bird Sees Impact Player Available in NBA Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by blanket
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    This really caught my eye.

    Which two is he talking about? The only HS players I could think of were Harrington, Bender and O'Neal. So that's three. Then he's talking about them in the past-tense ("At one time we had two high school players here"), while two of those three are still on the team. I don't get it. Is he foreshadowing a trade of Bender?!?
    Perhaps he was referring to the 99-00 season when Jonathan and Al were the two...when he was coaching still.

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    Expect Delays blanket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kegboy
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    I assume he's counting Reggie, who we still have under contract, but will not be on our roster.
    Quote Originally Posted by MSA2CF
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    Perhaps he was referring to the 99-00 season when Jonathan and Al were the two...when he was coaching still.
    You're both probably right. Makes most sense.

    The other thing that caught my eye was Bird's reference to the draft that "there's going to be at least four guys I think can make an impact on our team."

    Which for players do people think he's referring to? Here are my guesses:

    Rashad McCants
    Francisco Garcia
    Sean May
    Ike Diogu

    Other possibilities might be Jarrett Jack, Julius Hodge, Kennedy Winston or Ryan Gomes.

    Thoughts?
    "I'll always be a part of Donnie Walsh."
    -Ron Artest, Denver Post, 12.28.05

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    Default Re: Bird Sees Impact Player Available in NBA Draft

    If Gerald Green (a 6-7 high school forward from Texas widely projected as a top-five pick) is there, we will take him at 17

    Moving up?

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    Default Re: Bird Sees Impact Player Available in NBA Draft

    Dude read the article he just said he is not going to trade any of our core players to move up in the draft. We should draft Joey Graham if he is there if not Diogu.

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    Default Re: Bird Sees Impact Player Available in NBA Draft

    The fact that he is looking for seasoned college players excites me. I don't want us picking 18, 19, and maybe 20 year-olds anymore.
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    Default Re: Bird Sees Impact Player Available in NBA Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Jermaniac
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    We should draft Joey Graham if he is there if not Diogu.
    I agree, I just don't think he'll be there. The players I listed are the ones I think (based on mock drafts out there) might realistically be available at 17.
    "I'll always be a part of Donnie Walsh."
    -Ron Artest, Denver Post, 12.28.05

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    Default Re: Bird Sees Impact Player Available in NBA Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Galen
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    "You don't know how valuable they are until you let 'em go.

    Brad Miller reference?
    I think that is more of a Johnathon Bender reference.

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    Default Re: Bird Sees Impact Player Available in NBA Draft

    Here's a funny not deserving of it's own thread.

    Check out who Matt Lawrence has us drafting in his mock draft updated today.

    http://www.sportsline.com/nba/draft/mock

    17 IND Rudy Fernandez, SG

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    Default Re: Bird Sees Impact Player Available in NBA Draft

    I think were are looking at Taft, May, McCants and Villanueva at the 17th pick.

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    Default Re: Bird Sees Impact Player Available in NBA Draft

    Villanueva would be quite, quite interesting. He seems to me to be sort of a smarter, thinner Carlos Boozer.

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    Default Re: Bird Sees Impact Player Available in NBA Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by MSA2CF
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    Villanueva would be quite, quite interesting. He seems to me to be sort of a smarter, thinner Carlos Boozer.
    Yes he would help us also cause he can back up JO and when JO goes out we still have a guy who can score in the paint .

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird Sees Impact Player Available in NBA Draft

    I guess that means Jeff is good as gone, since he does those milk commercials

    Seriously though, I don't want no stinkin milk drinkers either. I like players that are really competitive

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    Default Re: Bird Sees Impact Player Available in NBA Draft

    Rashad McCants
    Francisco Garcia
    Sean May
    Ike Diogu


    To this group you can add Warrick and Jack. I don't see Villenueva or Taft as
    contributing much this coming year. Bigmen take longer usually.


    McCants
    Garcia
    May
    Diogu
    Warrick
    Jack



    owl

  22. #22
    foretaz
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    Default Re: Bird Sees Impact Player Available in NBA Draft

    since bird seems to feel like picks 6 thru 20 are about the same....and hes discussed moving up in the draft, but people wanted too much....that leads me to believe we have talked to atlanta, portland, and new orleans about their picks.....and they wanted too much....probably artest, i have a feeling...

    then again, its so hard to tell what might be truth from what might be posturing, who knows...

    i could develop a scenario from his comments that has us taking a proven college level player with our pick...

    i could develop a scenario that has us taking a young player from his comments...

    i could develop a scenario that has us trading our pick from his comments....

    god ill be glad when the draft finally gets here...

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    Default Re: Bird Sees Impact Player Available in NBA Draft

    I think we should take Joey Graham if he drops to us.

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    Default Re: Bird Sees Impact Player Available in NBA Draft

    I find it very interesting to hear Bird talking about a draft pick who plays immediately on a very experienced team.

    Considering that I think Larry Brown and Larry Bird were two of the worst coaches I ever saw at giving rookies playing time ...
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    Default Re: Bird Sees Impact Player Available in NBA Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck
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    I guess that means Jeff is good as gone, since he does those milk commercials

    Seriously though, I don't want no stinkin milk drinkers either. I like players that are really competitive

    What in the world is a "milk drinker"? I drink milk every morning and I don't know too many people who are more competitive than I am.

    I thought it was interesting that Bird said:

    "I think we'll get a kid that, hopefully after the All-Star break, if you put him in the lineup, he's going to be able to do the things the coach wants him to do,"


    I'm not really crazy about anyone in this draft. I would like to see the team trade the pick w/a couple of players and get someone who can fill a need. The problem I have is that I think the pieces are in place with this team right now talent-wise. The questions are injuries and attitude. This team has depth at each position and guys who can play 2 positions which adds more flexibility. The issue is that we were not able to see the full team play together for a single game last season. Are the injuries going to be a recurring thing? We know it is w/Bender and Tinsley. What about JO? Foster? Freddie?
    Isn't the trade deadline around the all-star break?
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