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Thread: The mock draft thread, 2006 NBA draft

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    Default Re: The mock draft thread, 2006 NBA draft

    Quote Originally Posted by pacertom
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    Workout reports say that Tyrus Thomas has shown a much better offensive game than expected, routinely making midrange shots and debunking the early assessment that he can only run, jump, block shots, and dunk.

    If that is true, then he bypasses Aldridge IMO.
    But the thing is while he was in college, for that year, all he did was run, jump, block shots and dunk. LaMarcus Aldridge is a proven scorer in the Big 12. He was hands down the best big man in the NCAA. He scored, played D and rebounded all very well. LA is the safer pick here.
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    Default Re: The mock draft thread, 2006 NBA draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Robertmto
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    But the thing is while he was in college, for that year, all he did was run, jump, block shots and dunk. LaMarcus Aldridge is a proven scorer in the Big 12. He was hands down the best big man in the NCAA. He scored, played D and rebounded all very well. LA is the safer pick here.
    I guess it comes down to picking the player with "potential" or the "safer pick".

    If the Bulls were still in "rebuiliding" mode...I would definitely go with Tyrus. But given that they are not and have a need to go to the next level....then I would choose the safer route and go with Aldridge.
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    Default Re: The mock draft thread, 2006 NBA draft

    My worry with Lamarcus is this:

    Lamarcus Aldridge = Lasalle Thompson

    ??????????

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    Default Re: The mock draft thread, 2006 NBA draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Robertmto
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    But the thing is while he was in college, for that year, all he did was run, jump, block shots and dunk. LaMarcus Aldridge is a proven scorer in the Big 12. He was hands down the best big man in the NCAA. He scored, played D and rebounded all very well. LA is the safer pick here.
    i really like aldridge, but hands down is a little strong. which is why he keeps getting flip flopped with tyrus thomas. Not to mention most people would say Joakim Noah was the best big man in the NCAA and would have been the consensus number one draft pick.

    Keep in mind also that Aldridge also was nothing special against the LSU front court of Davis and Thomas. Sure, he feasted on other Big 12 teams, but...er...how did the Big 12 fair in the tourney again?

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    Default Re: The mock draft thread, 2006 NBA draft

    We got a workout set up with James White on the 15th of this month, I like this guy I wanted him in the 2nd round but he is going up the charts fast.

    6-7, and air out of this world. At 17 if Brewer is gone, and we wanted a 2 I would consider him.

  6. #106

    Default Re: The mock draft thread, 2006 NBA draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Jermaniac
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    We got a workout set up with James White on the 15th of this month, I like this guy I wanted him in the 2nd round but he is going up the charts fast.

    6-7, and air out of this world. At 17 if Brewer is gone, and we wanted a 2 I would consider him.
    I wouldn't mind James White at 45. He may not have been what he could have in college, but he still could be a very good defender/role player in this league and at 45 he wouldn't be a bad choice.

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    Default Re: The mock draft thread, 2006 NBA draft

    Quote Originally Posted by gph
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    i really like aldridge, but hands down is a little strong. which is why he keeps getting flip flopped with tyrus thomas. Not to mention most people would say Joakim Noah was the best big man in the NCAA and would have been the consensus number one draft pick.

    Keep in mind also that Aldridge also was nothing special against the LSU front court of Davis and Thomas. Sure, he feasted on other Big 12 teams, but...er...how did the Big 12 fair in the tourney again?
    Ok, the Noah part is correct. He is easily the best overall big man available. Tyrus Thomas is the best defensive big man. It depends on what teams need, offense and defense or just defense.
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    Default Re: The mock draft thread, 2006 NBA draft

    sweet and simple... u can argue ur point all u want but we wont know until draft day and the top 5 are practically decided....
    Bargani, Thomas, Morrison, Aldrige, and Gay

    and we should go for Mardy Collins... you never know another tall PG might mean another Magic?? besides we could use a PG/SG combo that is NOT short for his position...

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    Default Re: The mock draft thread, 2006 NBA draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron who?
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    sweet and simple... u can argue ur point all u want but we wont know until draft day and the top 5 are practically decided....
    Bargani, Thomas, Morrison, Aldrige, and Gay
    I'm not positive Gay will be in the top 5, he could slip or someone else could springboard.
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    Default Re: The mock draft thread, 2006 NBA draft

    Looks like Brandon Roy will be in that group as well.

    Bargnani, Thomas, Morrison, Aldrige, Roy & Gay.

    After the top 6 is where the fun begins.

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    Default Re: The mock draft thread, 2006 NBA draft

    Well the PD posters dont think Roy will be in the Top 6. We don't even have him in the top 8.
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    Default Re: The mock draft thread, 2006 NBA draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron who?
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    you never know another tall PG might mean another Magic??
    Just how many "another Magics" have there been?
    The poster "pacertom" since this forum began (and before!). I changed my name here to "Slick Pinkham" in honor of the imaginary player That Bobby "Slick" Leonard picked late in the 1971 ABA draft (true story!)

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    Default Re: The mock draft thread, 2006 NBA draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Robertmto
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    Well the PD posters dont think Roy will be in the Top 6. We don't even have him in the top 8.
    1. Toronto ------ LaMarcus Aldridge ---- 16 of 48
    2. Chicago ------ Tyrus Thomas -------- 22 of 39
    3. Charlotte ----- Adam Morrison ------- 19 of 32
    4. Portland ------ Brandon Roy --------- 13 of 39
    5. Atlanta ------- Andrea Bargnani ----- 24 of 45
    6. Minnesota ---- Rudy Gay ------------ 19 of 21
    7. Boston ------- Patrick O'Bryant ------ 12 of 41

  14. #114

    Default Re: The mock draft thread, 2006 NBA draft

    Quote Originally Posted by CableKC
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    I understand that Tyrus Thomas has potential....but can someone explain to me why the Bulls would go with him instead of Aldridge?.
    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/draft...had&id=2470898

    Insider article:

    Updated: June 6, 2006, 3:35 PM ET


    Is Tyrus Thomas the No. 1 pick in the draft?By Chad Ford
    ESPN Insider
    Archive

    Tyrus Thomas is hungry.

    He's working out in a gym in Orlando, and providing ESPN Insider a first, exclusive look at the player many think will be one of first three picks in the NBA Draft -- perhaps the very first pick.


    He's shooting 3-pointers in a gym in Orlando. With every swish he remembers a slight, a doubter, someone who said his dream was impossible.


    To Tyrus Thomas' critics: Look who's laughing now.
    He comes from a broken home in Baton Rouge. His father was in and out of prison. His mother worked two jobs to keep him off welfare. His grandmother and uncle took him under his wing to raise him.

    Thomas grabs the ball and flies up and down the court. He's dribbling with his left hand, then his right hand. He crosses over, turns on a dime and accelerates to the hoop.

    At the age of 15, he was a scrawny, 5-11 point guard who couldn't make his high school team. His sophomore year he spent the winter playing ball in the streets.

    "I kept telling everyone that I was going to college, that I was going to the NBA," Thomas says. "No one believed me."

    By the end of his high school season he had grown to 6-6, but was painfully thin and didn't really have a position. LSU, the hometown team he had dreamed to play for, didn't recruit him. When he approached them about playing, they asked him to walk on.

    Thomas grits his teeth as he remembers the experience.

    "They didn't recruit me at all," he says with emphasis on the all. "It was just another time in my life that I had to prove myself. That's my story. But I see it as a blessing. It made me hungry. I wanted it more than most guys."

    LSU redshirted Thomas his freshman season, which is when he met one of LSU's most famous alumni, NBA journeyman Randy Livingston.

    Tyrus Thomas could be the top pick in the NBA Draft on June 28 in New York City.

    "I remember coming down and seeing this scrawny kid and wondering how he was going to fare with those bigger name recruits that LSU had landed," Livingston says. "I knew his uncle from when we used to play to together in AAU games. I knew he had a lot of challenges ahead of him. To be honest, I just didn't know."

    A year or so later, Livingston received word in Turkey that Thomas was blowing up. By January, Livingston was in the U.S. playing for the Bulls and keeping close tabs. By mid-April, he'd been asked by the family to conduct Thomas' pre-draft training.

    "I've never met a kid so driven," Livingston says. "He's an amazing guy to train. The hard part is keeping him out of the gym. We'll do a hard morning and afternoon session and a weightlifting session in between and Tyrus will call me up late at night and say, 'Randy, we got to go back to the gym tonight to get some shots up.' That's refreshing."

    Thomas stands calmly at the free-throw line and swishes shot after shot. He's cool. He's been going for an hour and he's barely sweating. Every free throw is automatic.

    By the beginning of his sophomore year, Thomas was standing nearly 6-9 in shoes. He had blown away the coaching staff in preseason practices and landed a spot in the rotation.

    By December, NBA scouts were buzzing that Thomas had the makings of a lottery prospect next year, in the 2007 NBA Draft.

    A 15-point, 13-rebound, seven-block performance at Connecticut in front of a host of NBA scouts and executive moved that time frame up. Suddenly he was a candidate for this season's lottery.

    Thomas came back down to earth with a a shaky performance against Florida in February, combined with an ankle injury that kept him out of LSU's last four regular-season games.

    But the buzz picked up again after his dominant 21-point, 13-rebound, three-block performance against Texas (and top draft prospect LaMarcus Aldridge) put the Tigers in the Final Four. Thomas was suddenly a favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the draft.

    Thomas is out to prove that his offensive game isn't that raw.

    "I don't like when people say that I came out of nowhere," says Thomas. "I understand why they think that because the media or the NBA scouts didn't really know about me. But it doesn't reflect the hours I put in the gym trying to get my game to this point. Everything I'm getting right now I've worked hard for. Real hard."

    Thomas' workout on Friday wasn't what I expected.

    There were no post moves. No flying dunks. In fact, Thomas didn't dunk the ball once in his workout.

    Thomas has read the scouting report on him. It says that he's an amazing athlete, excellent shot-blocker and rebounder and a good hustle guy. However, it also says that he's very raw on the offensive end.

    Another doubter.

    Thomas decided he would show me that his offensive skills are anything but raw.

    Thomas spends the better part of an hour doing ball-handling and shooting drills.

    It's clear that he was once a point guard. He handles the ball very well for a big man. He can dribble with his right and left, change directions and bring the ball up the floor. We didn't see much of that at LSU.

    The shooting is a mixed bag. His jump-shooting form is very good. He's got a high, consistent release on his jumper with nice rotation. But on the day I saw him, the results were streaky.

    He started off the workout missing just about everything, especially from 10 feet in. He did show a nice kiss off the glass from about eight feet in on the right side. Then, 20 minutes into the workout, his shot started to fall.

    He stepped out to the college 3-point line and hit 22 of 33 during one catch-and-shoot drill. As he got tired toward the end of the workout, his shot started to come up short.

    I didn't come out of the workout thinking Thomas was an amazing shooter. But he was clearly more skilled in that area than advertised. Given his shot mechanics, he looks like he'll be the type of guy who will be able to hit the 15-to-18 foot jumper.

    "He's a better ball-handler than I thought he'd be," Livingston said after the workout. "I think that will really help him in the pros. His shooting has improved, but he still needs to keep working on it. His skill level needs to improve a little, but as you can see, the package is there. And when it isn't there, he'll work on it until he gets it there."

    Livingston then tells me about the first time he took Thomas through the Mikan drill, the foundational drill for every big man in the NBA.

    "He'd never done it before," Livingston remembers. "He couldn't do it. I remember it was a Friday and we spent a while on it and he just couldn't get it right -- especially the reverse Mikan.

    "He had to go away to a funeral over the weekend. He got back on Sunday night and called me and said, 'Randy, meet me up at the gym, I've got to show you something.' I came in and the kid is in the gym doing the drill perfect. The thing is, where did he find time to work on it? The kid was traveling and at a funeral. It was right then I knew I had something special. He wants to get better."

    Thomas said after the workout that he sees himself more as a three than a four in the pros.

    "I really wasn't allowed to play the three at LSU so people don't understand that I've been either a guard or a small forward my whole life," Thomas explained. "This is the first year I've ever really played the four. I think I'll always be more comfortable on the perimeter."

    While some scouts have consistently compared him to a more energetic Stromile Swift, others have said that Shawn Marion may be a better comparison.


    Thomas' game and demeanor might be similar to KG's.
    Livingston has his own comparisons.

    "I thought when I first got him that he'd be somewhere in between Amare Stoudemire and Shawn Marion," Livingston says. "But after working with him I think he's more a hybrid between Tracy McGrady and Kevin Garnett. He's not as skilled on the perimeter as Tracy, but he can do just about everything and do it with amazing athleticism. As for KG, the thing about that is that Tyrus plays with that energy and passion.

    "He plays with a chip on his shoulder. That's what has made KG such an amazing player and I think it's what drives Tyrus. The kid is ultra-competitive. He's mature for his age. He's not obsessed with living the NBA lifestyle. I think all of that is going to make him successful in the league."

    Livingston says that Thomas is an inquisitive young man who asks a lot of questions about life in the NBA. He wants to understand what it takes to succeed.

    "Part of the reason I wanted Randy to be my trainer is because he's been there," Thomas said. "I wanted a guy who could prepare me to be a pro, not just on the basketball court but off the court too. I wanted teams to see how serious I was about this and make sure I can make a quick adjustment."

    Thomas said his favorite player in the NBA is Shaquille O'Neal. While that might be because Shaq starred at LSU, Thomas cites a different reason for his choice.

    "I like Shaq because he dominates the game," Thomas said. "I think that's how the game has to be played. You've got to dominate it. That's how I approach it."

    Shaq was a No. 1 overall pick for Orlando 14 years ago. Is going No. 1 also the destiny for Thomas?

    The Toronto Raptors, who hold the first pick, have been in to see him once. He has workouts coming up with the Chicago Bulls (No. 2), Charlotte Bobcats (No. 3), Portland Trail Blazers (No. 4) and Raptors after the pre-draft camp in Chicago.

    Like most other top-tier prospects, he's likely to work out for teams by himself. Likewise, Andrew Bogut and Marvin Williams refused to work out against anyone last year. Ditto for Dwight Howard, Emeka Okafor, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Darko Milicic, Yao Ming and Jay Williams in years past.

    Where is he likely to go? The Raptors have shown interest and asked him to move up his workout so they can make a better decision on whether they want to keep or trade the pick.

    If they keep the pick, they could draft Thomas and move Chris Bosh to the five and keep Villaneuva at the three. If they trade it, a number of teams might be willing to move up to get Thomas.

    The Bulls, drafting second, still seem like the most likely team to take Thomas. We've been reporting for several months that Chicago has him ranked No. 1 on their board. The Bulls have been keeping close tabs on his workouts here in Orlando and according to his agents, Brian Elfus and Michael Siegel, have been showing daily interest.


    Thomas might have the highest upside in his draft class.
    Livingston, who finished the season as a backup guard with the Bulls, thinks it's the perfect fit of player and team.

    "Chicago's a great situation for Tyrus," Livingston said. "I've played for Coach [Scott] Skiles in both Phoenix and Chicago and know he's a tough and demanding coach. But that's what Tyrus likes. He wants to be pushed. What the Bulls are going to like is the kid's toughness and dedication. Skiles demands that and the Bulls are really missing that up front."

    What about the concerns that Thomas is a duplication of Bulls forward/center Tyson Chandler, a defensive specialist?

    "I don't see that at all," Livingston said. "[Chandler] doesn't have any offensive skills really. As soon as he touches the ball he wants to get rid of it. He doesn't want to be fouled. And Tyson doesn't play with a chip on his shoulder.

    "Scott wants a motor guy and Tyrus is the best of the group. Once he gets a little more weight on him he's going to be a four that does it all, scoring and defense. I just don't know how the Bulls could pass on him."

    In the event that the Bulls trade the pick or select LaMarcus Aldridge or Brandon Roy (one NBA exec is convinced the Bulls are taking Roy and then addressing their front-court needs via free agency by making runs at Joel Przybilla and/or Nazr Mohammed), the Bobcats and Blazers remain possible destinations as well.

    The Bobcats have three interesting big men -- Emeka Okafor, Sean May and Primoz Brezec -- but they don't have anyone with the athleticism or upside of Thomas at the four or five spot. He'd be a great compliment to Okafor in the starting lineup. While most observers think that they'll try to add a small forward like Adam Morrison or Rudy Gay to their roster, Thomas' blossoming perimeter skills could persuade them to take him.

    The Blazers are the toughest team to figure out. They're too young and the whole roster is in flux. Taking another young player like Thomas doesn't seem like the direction that coach Nate McMillan would like to go. But once McMillan sees Thomas' work ethic and determination, he could change his mind.

    If for some reason he slips past the top five teams, I'm told he's a lock at Minnesota with the sixth pick.

    Wherever he lands in the lottery, Thomas will hit the jackpot, with far more cash than he's ever seen before. Players from poor backgrounds often get overwhelmed by the money. Thomas promises that he won't be like that.

    "My family likes to live the simple life," Thomas said. "My mom worked two or three jobs just so she didn't have to ask anyone for anything. I'm like that, too. If I need something I figure out a way to get it myself. I know a lot of guys are into it because of the bling or the rims. I'm not like that. I don't care about that stuff. I just want to be the best. It's the competition that drives me."

    Chad Ford covers the NBA for ESPN Insider.
    The poster "pacertom" since this forum began (and before!). I changed my name here to "Slick Pinkham" in honor of the imaginary player That Bobby "Slick" Leonard picked late in the 1971 ABA draft (true story!)

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    Default Re: The mock draft thread, 2006 NBA draft

    "SportsNation Chad Ford: (4:26 PM ET ) I think the Blazers and the Pacers are two other teams are trying hard to move up into the top of the draft."

    This means we are obviously trying to get someone. I wonder who.

    http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=11943

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    Default Re: The mock draft thread, 2006 NBA draft

    Quote Originally Posted by rexnom
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    "SportsNation Chad Ford: (4:26 PM ET ) I think the Blazers and the Pacers are two other teams are trying hard to move up into the top of the draft."

    This means we are obviously trying to get someone. I wonder who.

    http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=11943
    Thanks for finding this. Now let the speculation begin!

    I don't think we'd trade current contributing players to move up into the lottery only to select a project with potential like Tyrus Thomas or Rudy Gay. I think we'd be looking for someone who could contribute -- and possibly be a starter -- right now.

    My first thought is the supposed Bird-clone, Adam Morrison. Although, with Granger and possibly Peja we've already got starting-quality SFs covered.

    LaMarcus Aldridge is a good possibility, either playing alongside JO or allowing us to trade JO for backcourt help.

    Brandon Roy could step in at SG immediately, so he's a possibility.

    Marcus Williams is the only other player projected in the upper lottery that I could see trading up for, as he might be able to step in as our first or second option at PG.

    If we have our eyes on moving into the lower lottery, however, then players like JJ Redick, Ronnie Brewer, or perhaps even Shelden Williams might be postential targets. However, I don't think the talent in the lower lottery this year is that much better than that at pick #17, and we'd have to give up too much to move up 5-10 spots without much gain.

    So, either trade up into the top 5 or don't bother trading up at all.
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    Default Re: The mock draft thread, 2006 NBA draft

    Quote Originally Posted by rexnom
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    "SportsNation Chad Ford: (4:26 PM ET ) I think the Blazers and the Pacers are two other teams are trying hard to move up into the top of the draft."

    This means we are obviously trying to get someone. I wonder who.

    http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=11943
    ... and in addition to the question of which player we might be after, these questions also must be considered:

    1) How far would we have to trade up in order to draft that player? Top 10? Top 5? Top 3?

    which begs the next question:

    2) Which player or group of players would we likely have to trade in order to move up to that higher draft position? Obviously, the higher we want to go the more/better player(s) we'd have to give up...
    "I'll always be a part of Donnie Walsh."
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    Default Re: The mock draft thread, 2006 NBA draft

    i think this speculation should get its own thread... better yet instead of thinking i should make one...

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    Default Re: The mock draft thread, 2006 NBA draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Jose Slaughter
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    Looks like Brandon Roy will be in that group as well.

    Bargnani, Thomas, Morrison, Aldrige, Roy & Gay.

    After the top 6 is where the fun begins.
    IMO Roy can be the ROY or rookie of the year if given a starting job. His upside may not be on the same level as the other 5, but IMO he is the most NBA ready player in the draft.

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    Default Re: The mock draft thread, 2006 NBA draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Jose Slaughter
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    1. Toronto ------ LaMarcus Aldridge ---- 16 of 48
    2. Chicago ------ Tyrus Thomas -------- 22 of 39
    3. Charlotte ----- Adam Morrison ------- 19 of 32
    4. Portland ------ Brandon Roy --------- 13 of 39
    5. Atlanta ------- Andrea Bargnani ----- 24 of 45
    6. Minnesota ---- Rudy Gay ------------ 19 of 21
    7. Boston ------- Patrick O'Bryant ------ 12 of 41
    Ooops, it was late. lol.
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    Default Re: The mock draft thread, 2006 NBA draft

    http://www.nbadraft.net

    As of 6-10-06..

    Pick 17 Ronnie Brewer I would be surprised if he actually drops this far.. but elated if he does...
    --- Edited Follow-Up ---
    Pacers.Com updating today the Mock Draft Sites

    Pacers in 2006 Mock Drafts

    (Updated June 12, 2006)
    It's hard to do a mock draft, and especially hard to project a non-lottery pick. In 2005 and 2004, we found that not a single mock draft accurately projected the Pacers' first-round pick. In 2005, the consensus was shooting guard Rashad McCants of North Carolina; the Pacers picked Danny Granger, who had been projected in the top 10 by the experts. In 2004, most mock drafts pegged another shooting guard, Kareem Rush of Missouri; the Pacers selected Colorado center David Harrison. This is not to devalue or demean the mock drafts, but to illustrate how difficult it is to accurately project 30 selections when so many variables -- and smokescreens -- are involved. That said, we offer up this sampling of draft experts' opinions on who the Pacers will pick on June 27.

    SOURCEPROJECTIONCOMMENT
    CBSSportsline.comMardy Collins
    6-6 PG, Temple
    A combo guard with great size and a good skill set, he'd be a strong fit for a team looking to reload on the perimeter.
    CollegeHoops.netRajon Rondo
    6-2 PG, Kentucky
    (None)
    DraftExpress.comSergio Rodriguez
    6-3 PG, Spain
    (None)
    ESPN.com NBA InsiderCedric Simmons
    6-9 PF, N.C. State
    The Pacers have needs up front and in the backcourt, but will have a hard time passing on Simmons if he falls this far. Simmons is an excellent athlete with excellent rebounding and shot blocking skills. With Jermaine O'Neal constantly nursing injuries, and with Scot Pollard leaving via free agency, finding a legit option to replace O'Neal is essential.
    HoopsHype.comSergio Rodriguez
    6-3 PG, Spain
    Phenomenal ballhandling skills and court vision. A good athlete with nice size to boot. Started off the season slow, but is putting up NBA type assist numbers towards the end of the year in the toughest domestic league in Europe. Inconsistent perimeter shot and matador defense are huge knocks against him. Clearly a year or more away still.
    InsideHoops.comMardy Collins
    6-6 PG, Temple
    (None)
    NBADraft.netRonnie Brewer
    6-7 SG, Arkansas
    (None)
    SI.comJordan Farmar
    6-1 PG, UCLA
    He's got some quickness, and the physical strength will come, but it is Farmar's ability to deliver the ball to teammates that has NBA teams intrigued. The Pacers may finally be ready to bail on Jamaal Tinsley, and Sarunas Jasikevicius is not the long-term answer at the point

    Pacers.Com

    Why Not Us ?


  22. #122
    How are you here? Kegboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: The mock draft thread, 2006 NBA draft

    Hoopshype has updated. They've moved Morrison up to #1, where I believe they last had Bargnani, who they dropped to 5th.

    As for us:

    17.
    Indiana Pacers

    Rajon Rondo 6-1 PG Kentucky / Sophomore

    Explosive athlete with incredibly long arms and huge hands. Fantastic pressure defender. A solid playmaker who possesses outstanding quickness and leaping ability. Outside shooting mechanics are horrendous. Still coming into his own as a player and lead guard. Can be extremely tentative at times. Didn't really win or put up great numbers. More of an upside type. Big question marks remain. Did coach Tubby Smith hold him back?

    Comparison: Brevin Knight
    Stats: 11.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 4.9 apg
    Rookie season salary*: $1,099,100
    Ranking: 3rd Point Guard / 4th Sophomore

    http://www.hoopshype.com/draft.htm
    Come to the Dark Side -- There's cookies!

  23. #123
    Leisure Suit Larry
    Guest

    Default Re: The mock draft thread, 2006 NBA draft

    In 2004, most mock drafts pegged another shooting guard, Kareem Rush of Missouri; the Pacers selected Colorado center David Harrison.
    That's Pacers.com for you. It was 2002 and they picked Fred Jones instead.

  24. #124

    Default Re: The mock draft thread, 2006 NBA draft

    Let me go on record saying that I really am now against Mardy Collins.

    I was all for him at the very beginning, but now....

    I know he will be a great defender at the NBA level. But I am worried that since he is just an average shooter, an average passer, an average ball handler, that he will end up being Reece Gains. I don't like to compare players, but I just worry that Collins will end up being like Gains.

  25. #125
    Expect Delays blanket's Avatar
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    Default Re: The mock draft thread, 2006 NBA draft

    Draft trade news and Pacers-related stuff in bold....

    ++++++++++++++++++

    http://draftexpress.com/viewarticle....d=print&a=1339

    DraftExpress.com's NBA Draft Chat (6/13/06)
    Jonathan Givony - President
    June 13, 2006

    A chat conducted with the Brazilian basketball website DraftBrasil.net, discussing many wide-ranging topics about the NBA draft in general as well as specific Brazilian prospects.

    Thanks to Alfredo Lauria for conducting the chat.

    NBA Draft

    1) Without taking into consideration the buyout issue, who would you choose first, Andrea Bargnani or Tiago Splitter?
    (Breno Pequeno, Belo Horizonte/MG)

    I know this isnít the most popular sentiment out there, but I would personally take Splitter. I think he has a much more defined role in the NBA, and I see him having success almost right off the bat if heíd ever be able to make it over. Bargnani is a very nice prospect, but after watching the half dozen or more tapes I have here on him, I feel like he might be a little overrated right now. Watching him play, I really wonder sometimes how many NBA teams heíd actually be able to contribute to consistently considering his poor defense and rebounding. Every time things start getting a little tough over in Benetton, he seems to disappear. The way heís played in the Italian playoffs over the past month or so has to be a little worrysome considering the fact that he is a candidate to go #1 overall. When his outside shot isnít falling, there are major concerns about how else heíd be able to make an impact on the game. I think he will end up figuring it out at some point, but with all the talk about how big his upside is, we need to keep in mind just how considerable his downside is too. I like Splitter a bit more...itís just a shame that he is going to have to wait another year because he is ready to go right now.

    If the trade that a lot of people seem to be talking about happensówhich is the #3 pick going from Charlotte to Toronto in exchange for the #1 pick and a swap of Alvin Williams (whose contract is basically non-guaranteed for 06/07) and possibly Brevin Knight---itís very difficult to say how far Bargnani could fall if he doesnít get drafted by Toronto. Especially if he canít make it over for workouts and physicals. If that trade happens on draft night--obviously Toronto will wait and see how much better the offers get--then Morrison goes #1.

    2) Would it better for the Raptors to trade the first pick, considering that the top players from this draft play in the same position that the Raptorsí two young stars? And, if they keep the pick, who could contribute more immediately?
    (Guilherme Struecker, Santa Cruz do Sul/RS)

    I really donít get why there isnít more talk about Toronto keeping the pick and drafting Morrison #1. I think he definitely fills a need and compliments Mo Peterson very well. The more I think about it, the more I come to the conclusion that Morrison is the top player in this draft, and not any of the power forwards. And if youíre asking about immediate contribution, I think the answer to that is pretty obvious as well. Weíre talking about the leading candidate for rookie of the year honors here. If the Raptors can trade down a few spots and get a proven player at a position of need as well like Marcus Williams or Brandon Roy, I think thatís a legit option, but otherwise my pick would definitely be Adam Morrison. All the talk now seems to revolve around teams like Charlotte and Indiana trying to trade up to make sure they get him, so that should tell you something right there. He is slowly becoming the consensus #1 overall pick.

    3) What do you think of Seattleís strategy of drafting two young centers (Robert Swift and Johan Petro) in a row? Which one do you think will be better next season and in the near future? And regarding this yearís draft, which prospect would be the better choice to fill the teamís needs?
    (Jo„o Finkler Filho, Mogi GuaÁu/SP)

    To answer the first question, from the scouting we did before the draft, I didnít like the Robert Swift pick at #11 when it happened, but I did think that getting Petro at #25 was a great move. To answer the second, I donít think I have seen enough of either guy this year to have an education opinion on that. From the little Iíve seen of both this past season I would say Petro, but I could be way off on that. From what Iíve heard it seems like Seattleís team needs all revolve around balancing their budget and stopping the bleeding coming out of their ownerís wallet, not making the team better unfortunately. Donít be surprised to see them trading their pick for cash and a 2007 1st rounder. They seem to be pretty happy with their 2-man rotation at each position, except possibly the 4/5, where they could use a guy like Shelden Williams. The problem is that the word on the street says that Shelden is gone either at #5 to Atlanta or at #8 to New Orleans (who would trade Houston the 12th and 15th picks to move up and nab him if heís there).

    4) What could the 76ers do in this draft? Could drafting a pure point guard be a good option? Or should the team opt for a big man and then trade either Webber or Dalembert? I hope that Billy King finally brings defensive players to this team.
    (Felipe, Rio de Janeiro/RJ)

    I like the idea of drafting a point guard, maybe Rondo or Sergio Rodriguez. It would allow Iverson to play his more natural role at the 2, and maybe bring in some better ball movement than the Sixers have right now. The thing is, the Sixers are telling most people that they are going to draft a scoring swingman--Rodney Carney comes to mind here, and thatís if they arenít able to trade up like they are hoping to.

    5) What do you think of Guillermo Diaz going to the Pacers? Would he be still around in the Indiana range (17th pick)? Is he able to play point guard and handle the ball under pressure? Is it fair to say he has got some Steve Francis in his game?
    (Andrť Bitous, S„o Paulo/SP)

    I believe he would be around at 17. I think the highest he goes right now is 19 to Sacramento, and heíll probably end up going lower than that. I donít think he is a point guard, he projects as more of a scoring combo guard to bring off the bench in my mind. Whether his defensive mindset and dominant offensive style fits in with Rick Carlisle, I donít know. Donnie Walsh and Larry Bird (and 14 other NBA teams) were at the same workout we were this past week in Orlando where he played extremely well, but I would say they are a lot more likely to take the other first round prospect that was in thereóAlexander Johnson. That wouldnít surprise me even one bit.


    6) Why did Rajon Rondo slip so much in the projections?
    (Guilherme Struecker, Santa Cruz do Sul/RS)

    Rondo is projected to go 13th right now. That seems to be right around where heís been projected all year on DraftExpress. Heís a real wildcard in this draft in the sense that heís doing workouts for teams drafting in the top 5 like Toronto and Atlanta, but heís also conducted workouts for teams in the twenties, like Phoenix and New York. His stock is all over the place as are the many different opinions on him, but I do think he will end up going top 20 when itís all said and done. He hasnít had a chance to work out against the top ranked point guard in the draft yet in Marcus Williams, and from what Williamsí agent Calvin Andrews told us, the only chance Rondo does have of working out with Williams is on the 19th with Atlanta, due to their conflicting schedules.

    7) How much time young foreigners like Ersan Ilyasova and Yaroslav Korolev will need to be ready to contribute in the NBA?
    (Lucas Souza, Recife/PE)

    I think it all depends on how much playing time they get. Guys their age need to be playing 1-2 times a week competitively outside of the practices they conduct, and they wonít get that unless they are sent down to the NBDL. The Bucks seem to be VERY happy with how the D-League worked out for Ilyasova, so I wouldnít be surprised to see him there this year again. For Korolev to be rotting on the bench right now is probably the worst thing he could be going through, and I firmly believe that that lowers the ceiling he might end up reaching as far as his potential is concerned. If you look at the international players in this yearís playoffs who did contribute heavily to their team, whether it was Nowitzki, Parker, Radmanovic, Ginobili, Diaw, Nocioni, Krstic, Varejao or Barbosaóthese are all players who played at least rotation minutes for their NBA team almost right off the bat. Look at the guys who ended up being busts--almost all of them sat on the bench extensively in their first few years and in turn never ended up reaching their full potential.

    8) What do you think about Mile Ilic? And what about Antoine Wright, should we already consider him a bust?
    (Breno Pequeno, Belo Horizonte/MG)

    I did not see Ilic play this year, so I am not sure how well heís developed since last year when we scouted him heavily leading up to the draft. Here is what I wrote about him last year before the draft. Heíll be over next year with the Nets apparently, so weíll find out soon enough how well we scouted him.

    Here is the article in case you would like to read about the other international players from last yearís draft.

    Ilic has outstanding size at at least 7 feet tall, sitting on a pretty nice frame, with an excellent wingspan to boot. Like most European players his age, he is a skinny player, but his overall build leads you to believe that he will fill out once he comes over and starts hitting an NBA weight room. In terms of size, he might remind you of Nenad Krstic a little bit, but thatís where the comparisons between the two end, as Ilic is a little more gifted physically but not nearly as far along skill wise compared with Krstic at the same age. The biggest thing he brings to table has to be his athletic ability for a player his size. Ilic runs the floor fluidly and is usually one of the first players down the court in transition as he has good speed in the open floor. Even more impressive is the quickness in which he gets off the ground, showing a nice vertical leap, which gives him a lot of potential in the shot-blocking department when you take his size and length into consideration, not to mention the fact that he appears to have pretty decent timing.

    Ilic is a fairly aggressive player that plays the game with purpose and understands his role on both sides of the floor. He moves well off the ball and will ask for the ball in positions he feels comfortable creating offense from. He appears to have an effective, although very ugly, jump shot which he can use effectively to score from 15-18 feet out, although not consistently quite yet. Inside the post, his go-to move appears to be a baby hook shot that he can get off as long as he isnít being challenged physically too much. That appears to be the extent of his game right now, as heís still a pretty raw player that is also considered a late bloomer compared with other players in this draft.

    In terms of weaknesses, once again we are talking about a player that is yet to fill out completely and visibly lacks strength on both ends of the floor. He has very little back to the basket game right now as his footwork is below average and he just doesnít have the strength to establish and hold a spot in the paint. This lack of strength hurts him in the rebounding department as well, a problem that is only compounded by the fact that he doesnít box out that well and doesnít seem to have the best hands in the world either. His size, length and athletic ability make up for things here, as does the fact that he puts in a good amount of effort here.

    Defensively, he gets backed down by stronger players, although he does a decent job trying to fight back. As with most raw seven footers, foul trouble is an issue for him at this point. Too often heíll bite on pump fakes or leave his feet early to come up with a blocked shot. If he can improve his footwork on the defensive end and learn to use his lateral quickness better, he has some potential as a shot blocking threat. His feel for the game is just average, though, and he still needs to do a better job of maintaining a consistent intensity level for every minute he is on the floor. At times he will play with a lot of intensity and make his presence felt in many different ways, while in others heíll lose his focus for a period of time and look completely out of it.

    To his credit, Ilic got better and better as the season progressed and finished off very strong with a 24 point, 10 rebound game in the semi-finals of the Serbian playoffs. In the Adriatic league, he scored in double digits in 10 of his last 11 games, overcoming a very slow start which saw him reach double digits only once in his first 15 games.

    All in all, considering his size and athletic ability and the history of the NBA draft, it wouldnít surprise me to see Ilic get drafted somewhere between 25-35 or so. He could make at least make a very solid backup for someone down the road, and that alone might warrant a pick. He reminds of a slightly more athletic Rasho Nesterovic. There will probably be more talented players on the board where he is picked, as heís not the most skilled player in the world, but his physical attributes and the fact that heís still far from reaching his full potential could make a team decide to bite on him somewhere in that area. We couldnít get a clear cut answer regarding whether or not Mile Ilic will make it over to the States next year or not, but we did find out that his buyout is yet to be finalized. His agent Marc Cornstein claims to have an excellent working relationship with his team, KK Reflex, so according to him that should not be a major concern.

    9) Iíd like to ask something regarding the foreigners chosen later in the second round (players like Sofoklis Schortsanitis, Marcin Gortat, Mile Ilic, Cenk Akyol, Sergei Karaulov, PJ Ramos, Xue Yuyang, etc). Are they drafted mostly because of their hype, actual performance or due to scoutsí recommendations?
    (Lucas Souza, Recife/PE)

    I am not sure exactly what went on behind every single one of those guys, but I can assure you that they were all scouted heavily by the team that drafted them, and in some cases came to workout privately for teams or even participate in the NBA pre-draft camp. Whether it was hype or actual performance...the answer is probably somewhere in the middle, which has to do a lot with potential. Akyol is going to be a great basketball player...whether itís in Europe or the NBA, I am not sure, but the Hawks made a great pick snatching him up that late in the 2nd round last year. Schortsanitis is really coming around from tapes I saw this season. He could end up being an NBA rotation player after one more season in Europe, especially if he can continue to lose weight. Ilic weíll find out soon enough about, but I know the Nets really like him. Gortat I was never a fan of, but he is very tall and extremely athletic, so I can understand burning a late 2nd rounder on him. Ramos I donít have much hope for anymore, and the other two I have never seen play.

    Brazil

    1) Does fellow countryman J.P. Batista has any chance of being drafted in this yearís second round?
    (Guilherme Martins, S„o Paulo/SP)

    I think he has a chance, the same way that a lot of players this year have a chance. The 2nd round is a real crapshoot and anyone that tells you otherwise is not being very honest. There are always a good 50 players or more that are candidates to be drafted from 30-60, and he is definitely one of them. He definitely didnít hurt his chances with the way he played in the pre-draft camp for the most part. I personally feel like he doesnít have the size, quickness, leaping ability or perimeter skills to be anything more than a very marginal NBA player, but I know for a fact that there are NBA people out there that disagree with me.

    2) Is there any chance of Tiago Splitter staying in this yearís draft? Also, what can we expect from Splitter and Marquinhos in the NBA?
    (VŠgner Vargas, BrasŪlia/DF)

    It seems like the answer to that is no, although we havenít gotten final confirmation one way or another. Splitter went on the radio in Spain and denied the reports saying he has already pulled out, and mentioned that the decision will come down to the deadline on June 18th. If he does stay in, I am sure that means that the team that drafts him (likely in the lottery) is willing to wait another year. If Iím a team like Golden State, Seattle, New Orleans, Utah or Chicago, that is something that I would do in a split second. The thing is, teams that were drafting much lower had a chance to do that two years ago also and they foolishly decided to pass. Most GMís in the lottery have to be feeling some kind of heat to improve their team right now or else, and if they think that they wonít be the ones to reap the benefit because they are fired before he comes over, then why bother?

    I am not sure what to expect from Marquinhos because I really have very little feel for the type of player he is, but I do know that he is a really hot name right now. We were taking the wait and see approach to see how he does in Treviso, but his stock might have been closer to the teens than in the twenties like we have him right now before he left for Europe. He was apparently shooting the ball incredibly well in every NBA workout heís been to so far. His lackluster performances against inferior competition early on in Treviso arenít helping matters much, though. One NBA scout I talked to there said that ďbased off the way heís played here, itís very hard to see him even getting drafted.Ē

    3) Could you do a short analysis on each of the five Brazilian who played in the NBA in the 2000ís, namely NenÍ, Leandro Barbosa, Anderson Varej„o, Rafael Araķjo and Alex Garcia? Would you say any of them exceeded expectations scouts had regarding their potential?
    (Tales Pagni, Americana/SP)

    Nene: In terms of pure physical attributes, itís very obvious why he was drafted in the same area as Amare Stoudamire. The guy is an absolute monster. His feel for the game probably isnít great, but I still thought that he was on the verge of a breakout year before he got injured. Weíll see how he recovers from it, but heís got the tools to be a phenomenal NBA player. If he gets the playing time, averaging 15 and 9 should be a piece of cake for him. With Kenyon Martin in George Karlís doghouse and probably on the verge of being traded, look for him to step it up next year.

    Barbosa: From end to end, possibly the quickest player in the NBA. Heís improved considerably over the past few years, and is no longer as much of a liability going to his left hand as he once was. His shooting mechanics arenít picture perfect, but you certainly canít argue with the results, particularly when he only uses his shot to open up his excellent slashing game, which he usually does. He was terrific in the playoffs and is basically the perfect 6th man to bring off the bench. Considering his length, he could probably start for quite a few teams, but heís still untested at the point. His assists are up, and his turnovers are way down compared with earlier in his career, so it wouldnít be a stretch to say that he has a future there. He should have been drafted higher than 29th, so you can say that he definitely exceeded expectations. Heís going to be one of the hottest names on the free agent market next year, and a player that Phoenix might not be able to hold onto considering how far over the luxury tax theyíll be once they extend Boris Diaw. The fact that he fired his former agent Michael Coyne and hired Bill Duffy should tell you everything you need to know about the stance heíll be taking at the negotiation table.

    Anderson Varejao: Another impressive guy whose best years are still ahead of him. His skill level is gradually improving, and heíll always be a solid defender and rebounder due to his size and outstanding motor. In todayís NBA he can definitely play center, but he needs to continue to work on his jump-shot and timing to stay out of foul trouble. The perfect spark plug big man to bring off the bench, and an absolute steal considering where he was drafted.

    Rafael Araujo: I was very happy to see him traded to Utah where he originally blossomed at BYU. Heís a player who feeds off emotions, and was never going to be able to be able to find success in Toronto considering how high he was drafted and how much pressure was put on him. He can be a serviceable backup center, nothing spectacular, but good for 10-15 minutes a game and plenty of energy off the bench.

    Alex Garcia: Really havenít seen enough of him to form an opinion.

    General

    1) In your opinion, what was your worst evaluation about a former draft prospect? And what was your most accurate evaluation, that is, a prognosis which opposed everything said about a former prospect?
    (Alfredo Lauria, Rio de Janeiro/RJ)

    There are a lot that I am kicking myself about, but you really canít beat yourself up about this stuff too much because this is the nature of the business, and if you are right 60% of the time then you are in rare company.

    Although it was only our first year doing this and we had pretty much no clue what we were doing in terms of scouting, I think we whiffed on big time on Delonte West (who taught me a great lesson about the value of a combo guard) and Peter John Ramos (great size and athleticism does not always equal success, especially when a player has no feel) in that draft especially. Kirk Snyder showed me (in hindsight) how important it is to look at what a player is like off the court in terms of attitude and coachability. Christian Drejer I was way too high on, which again, taught me a lot about the importance of mental and physical toughness. Kevin Martin (projected by everyone to go undrafted when we said heís a steal in the late first) would probably be our best ďhitĒ from that draft, and for the most part we did OK with most of the others, except for possibly Dwight Howard who we liked less than Emeka Okafor. A lot of casual fans were in the same boat as us in thinking that Jameer Nelson is a stud regardless of his lack of height and supposed upside, but not many draft experts were. Heís a guy I enjoy seeing succeed because we knew and wrote about how underrated he was before the draft.

    From last year, I would have to say Channing Frye might have been the most glaring mistake, although the verdict is still out on him. Marvin Williams is a guy that I felt pretty bad about whenever I watched him this year, just in terms of the way that we assumed that he has to go #1 or #2, and never questioned the hype around him. We knew and said many times that Chris Paul is going to be an unbelievable NBA player, but should have stuck to our guns and kept him at #1 overall like we had him earlier on in the season. Ian Mahinmi is a guy we missed the boat on like everyone else, not that we didnít know him, but more that we just assumed he wouldnít declare and then that heíd pull out at the deadline rather than ďprepare for the worstĒ.

    Guys who I thought we did well on (although again, its still too early to judge) are Jarrett Jack, Ike Diogu (who no one thought was draftable up until a month before the draft), Ryan Gomes, Danny Granger, Orien Greene, Linas Kleiza, Robert Whaley and a few others. There are certain guys who I firmly believe should have been drafted higher (Johan Petro) or lower (Rashad McCants) but still need to go out and prove that on the court. Charlie Villanueva suprised the hell out of me this year, but we never once questioned his talent, but more the place he was drafted at, which again taught us a valuable lesson about positions (or lack thereof) in the NBA.

    I think itís important to follow the playersí progression into the NBA, learn from our mistakes and then take that into next yearís scouting and beyond. We donít hold a crystal ball and certainly donít have 30 years of NBA scouting experience to fall back on, so weíre still learning new things every single day.

    2) What do you think about the NBAís decision of imposing an age limit regarding players entering the draft? Do you agree with the set limit of 19 years old?
    (Jo„o Finkler Filho, Mogi GuaÁu/SP)

    I really like it personally, partially for selfish reasons, and partially because I really do think itís the right move.

    The selfish reasons would be the fact that getting tapes on and evaluating high school competition is very difficult, and we want to be able to learn as much as we can about every single player in the draft. I never enjoyed scouting a player in AAU competition since basically 90% of what goes on there is non-translatable to the NBA as far as Iím concerned. One of my favorite websites is the the Recruiting Services Consensus Index (RSCI) which compiles and averages the rankings of the various high school recruiting services over the past eight years and gives you a great idea of how tough (at best) or worthless (at worth) it is to rank the players at that stage in their career. Thatís not a knock on the terrific work that guys like Dave Telep and Jerry Meyer do, it just shows you how much things end up changing once these players leave the high school ranks. Take a look at the class of 1999 and notice where Gilbert Arenas, Kirk Hinrich and Caron Butler are ranked compared with Donnell Harvey, Marvin Stone, LaVell Blanchard and Brett Nelson.

    The more objective reason would be the fact that I think itís great for the NCAA and even better for the players who will end up playing there. There is no doubt that the NBA is depriving a few select players of millions of dollars of potential income by making them enter the NBA a year later than they normally would. The thing that most people donít think about is, for every one player that will be set back a year, two, three or forever by being forced to go to college, there are 20 players who absolutely have no business thinking about the NBA, but start doing so anyway from way too early of an age. Kids who are 14 or 15 already start being groomed for the NBA and in turn neglect important things like staying eligible for college, working on their basketball fundamentals, keeping their feet on the ground in terms of being a ďnormalĒ kid, and gaining a perspective on life that they otherwise might not get.

    Some players turn out fine, but others never get a chance to live a normal life and in turn be able to experience and go through the type of adversity that usually makes people stronger in the long run. Iím not saying that taking Calc I is essential to a personís growth process as a human being, but I do think that the extra year of maturuty players gain by being forced to leave home and not jump straight into the NBA lifestyle could make them more ready for what theyíll face down the road. Itís obviously not black and white, but I do think it helps more than it hurts. I am looking past the Kevin Garnetts and Lebron Jamesí of the world, and more towards the guys like James Lang, Evan Burns, Deangelo Collins, Lenny Cooke and dozens of other busts youíll see at the top of the various RSCI rankings every single year.

    What I think youíll end up seeing is top 10 college prospects going to school and then finding out that they arenít quite as good as they or others thought they were, which will force them to work harder on improving their game an in turn come into the NBA as a more polished product that is more ready to contribute to their team. Being one and done is almost impossible based on what weíve seen over the past few years, so I think most of the top high school players will end up staying 2-3 years. Like I mentioned earlier, I think that the years from age 18-21 in a playerís career are probably the most important as far as his development goes, and the more they actually play and develop during that time rather than sit on the bench, the better off they are.

    3) Could you tell us about your daily routine, like following the prospects, traveling to attend the workouts, talking to scouts, making evaluations and, finally, writing and posting the articles?
    (Tales Pagni, Americana/SP)

    It really depends on the time of the year. DraftExpress isnít the only thing that I do, so this is supposed to be something I do in my free time, although this time of the year it ends up being much more than that.

    During the college season I usually wake up in the morning, post the relevant articles on our headlines section, try to catch up on the dayís news and then head off to live my other life until the late afternoon. When I get home, I do my best to talk to my staff and lay out the content we have planned for the coming days. Around 7 PM the NCAA games usually start on TV, so I will flip through the ESPN Full Court schedule (premium service that broadcasts 5-6 games every evening from around the country) and try to figure out which games are most pressing to watch that night. Saturdays are basically an all day marathon of college basketball, especially in February and March. The biggest challenge over the course of the season is first of all figuring out who the prospects are and then making sure I get to watch them play one, two, four, five, 10 or maybe 15 times depending on how good they are, the matchups I want to see, and how often their team is on TV. Iíll record all my thoughts in the most raggedy looking notebook youíve ever seen, which is absolutely jam packed from cover to cover with notes on both sides of the pages and everything Iíve evaluated over the course of the year.

    Once the college season is over, the politicking begins with making sure we talk to everyone in our network as often as we need to, always trying to stay on top of what is going on both in the States as well as overseas, and evaluating the game footage we taped, acquired from the colleges, traded between ourselves, etc. I try to set aside 2-3 hours a week for writing scouting reports, although it usually ends up taking more than that once I actually sit down to write it. I have another notebook that I use to take notes on interesting conversations I have with basketball people so I donít forget anything and am able to keep strict records to see who is saying what, when, about who and why. In terms of talking with scouts, the phone rings all the time this time of the year and I try to call people myself when I want to talk about what they are hearing about various issues and then hopefully confirm them myself. Answering emails takes a lot of time, but I really do try to answer every single one unless itís absolutely outrageous with people asking me to write an entire article just for them. The workouts we usually get by talking with the player agents and just trying to negotiate a good time for both sides, which is easier than it sounds. Going to the camps (Portsmouth and Orlando) was a lot of fun, but draining both mentally and physically when you think about how many hours of basketball you need to watch and then go home and write about.

    I honestly cannot complain, though, this isnít something anyone can make a living off of, but its very gratifying and obviously something that I really enjoy doing. The goal is to be able to make a career out of this, and it looks like thatís indeed going to happen if we keep putting the time and effort in.


    Feedback for this article may be sent to jonathan@draftexpress.com .
    "I'll always be a part of Donnie Walsh."
    -Ron Artest, Denver Post, 12.28.05

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