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Thread: Early report on the rookies: From Chad Ford

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    Default Early report on the rookies: From Chad Ford

    Has some nice words for Shawne


    http://proxy.espn.go.com/espn/print?...525&type=story




    On draft night, I handed out grades based on potential and fit. Four months later, with summer league and most of the preseason behind us, let's reevaluate the rookies based on what we know now.

    So far, we've seen the good, the bad and the ugly of the freshman class, with a few in-between guys who deserve a "solid" label.

    The Good

    Brandon Roy, G, Trail Blazers
    Since the draft, I've pegged Roy as having the best shot at the Rookie of the Year award, and his strong play in the summer league and preseason indicate that he's still the leading candidate to bring home the trophy.

    He's poised to have a big year for the Blazers. It appears that he's won the starting two guard position and even will play some point guard for the Blazers.

    Rudy Gay, F, Grizzlies
    Pau Gasol's injury in the World Championship was devastating to the Grizzlies but good for getting Gay's career going. Without Gasol, the Grizzlies will look for Gay to give them scoring punch.

    After a lackluster sophomore season at UConn, Gay's performance in the summer league and preseason seem to indicate that he might live up to his limitless potential.

    Rajon Rondo, PG, Celtics
    I had Rondo ranked at the top point guard in the draft almost all year and thought he should be a top 10 pick. He became the steal of the draft when he fell into the Celtics' lap at No. 21 (via trade from Phoenix).

    So far in the preseason, Rondo has played as well as, if not better than, Boston starting point guard Sebastian Telfair. Only time will tell whether Rondo will be able to beat out Telfair for the starting job, but the facts are in his favor: Rondo is a much better defender and rebounder, and he has played virtually mistake-free basketball so far.

    If he can learn to consistently knock down the mid-range jumper, he's got a chance to be a star.

    Tyrus Thomas, PF, Bulls
    Thomas had the most upside of anyone in the draft, but I thought he was a year or two away from being an NBA contributor. However, his energy, shot-blocking and athleticism in the preseason indicate that he'll be a solid rotation player this season.

    Marcus Williams, PG, New Jersey Nets
    Williams took a shocking draft night nosedive but found the perfect home in New Jersey.

    The Nets will try to limit Jason Kidd's minutes this season, and Williams has shown in the preseason and the summer league that he's ready to handle the team 15-to-20 minutes a night. He really should rack up the assists in Jersey.

    The Solid

    Andrea Bargnani, F, Raptors
    GM Bryan Colangelo took a pretty big risk taking Bargnani No. 1, and so far the results have been inconclusive.

    He's looked good in a few games, but lost in others. Right now he's spending most of his time on the perimeter. If he's going to be a star, he's eventually going to have to grab some rebounds and block some shots.

    Randy Foye, SG, Timberwolves
    Foye was awesome in the summer league, but his role in the preseason has been limited. Part of the reason is fit. With Mike James gunning away from the point guard position, they can't really play Foye a lot.

    Second, Foye has been struggling with his shot and committing too many turnovers. It might take him a little longer to get going than we originally thought.

    Shawne Williams, F, Pacers
    I wasn't very high on the Pacers pick on draft night, but he's been very solid in preseason play. He won't get much run for the Pacers this year, but so far the word out of Indiana is that everyone's impressed.


    Renaldo Balkman, F, Knicks
    Isiah Thomas was blasted by me and just about everyone else on draft night for taking Balkman at No. 20. I still think it was the wrong move, given what the two guys taken directly after him (Rondo and Marcus Williams) have been doing.

    But Balkman hasn't been the bust everyone expected, either. He's hustled, played good defense and brought some passion to the Knicks.

    The Bad

    Adam Morrison, F, Bobcats
    Morrison looked good in the summer league, but he's struggled mightily with his shot in the preseason, shooting just 32 percent from the field. Considering he doesn't play much defense, grab rebounds or do much in the assist department, he'd better start making his shots.

    The early word out of Bobcats camp is that the team likes him, but he's going to have make big adjustments to his college game to thrive in the pros.

    Shelden Williams, F, Hawks
    The Hawks reached big-time for Williams at No. 5. Yes, they needed rebounding and shotblocking, and Williams has provided some of that.

    But his awful shooting percentage, combined with the stellar play of several players taken after him in the draft, continues to make this pick the shakiest one in the draft.

    Kyle Lowry, PG, Grizzlies
    I was a big fan of this pick for the Grizzlies on draft night and Lowry has shown the Grizzlies his trademark hustle and grittiness. But his high turnover rate and low shooting percentage make you wonder how much he'll play this year.

    The Ugly

    LaMarcus Aldridge, F, Blazers
    Shoulder surgery has kept Aldridge out of the preseason and he'll likely miss the first month of the season. That's usually the kiss of death for rookies. Combine that with the solid play of Tyrus Thomas in the early going and you have to start wondering whether the Blazers made the right call on draft night.

    Mouhamed Sene, C, Sonics
    On draft night I said Sene had great talent but was years away. So far, his play in the preseason hasn't shown much of the talent, but has lended credence to the idea that he's years away.

    J.J. Redick, SG, Magic
    Back injuries, DWIs and then a foot injury in the summer have limited Redick's time on the court to just one preseason game. The summer and preseason are vital times for the development of rookies and it appears that Redick might end up missing the boat.

    Quincy Douby, G, Kings
    I thought this was a questionable pick for the Kings on draft night and I haven't seen anything from Douby to suggest the Kings made the right call here. With Mike Bibby out at least three weeks with a thumb injury, I'm sure Rondo and Marcus Williams are looking better and better to the Kings.

    The Sleepers

    Steve Novak, F, Rockets
    Novak is pretty one-dimensional, but he's been a red-hot shooter in the preseason from just about anywhere on the floor. With Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady commanding double teams all year, this second-round pick could end up having a bigger year than Redick.

    Alexander Johnson, F, Grizzlies
    It's hard to understand why so many teams passed on Johnson late in the first round, and so far he's made them really second guess themselves with his solid play on both ends of the floor. With Gasol out for a while, he could be another sleeper who makes a surprising impact his rookie year.

    Leon Powe, F, Celtics
    It's doubtful that Powe will see much run on a stacked Celtics squad this year, but the C's have to be happy about his early play. The last few games he's been a force on the boards and in the paint. Powe has first-round talent. If the knee holds up, he could be a player down the road.

    Chad Ford covers the NBA for ESPN Insider.

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    You Did It Joseph!!!! AesopRockOn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Early report on the rookies: From Chad Ford

    I still think AM gets the rookie of the year.


    .......I'm totally still okay with taking SW and passing on MW; MW won't do very well, his play has been a fluke; he'll be horrible....
    You Got The Tony!!!!!!

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    Default Re: Early report on the rookies: From Chad Ford

    It's us passing on Rajon Rondo that kills me because he would have fit in perfectly with our new style. He can also be a replacement for Tinsley or just his back-up since his skills don't really mirror JT's.

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    Default Re: Early report on the rookies: From Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by rexnom View Post
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    It's us passing on Rajon Rondo that kills me because he would have fit in perfectly with our new style. He can also be a replacement for Tinsley or just his back-up since his skills don't really mirror JT's.
    WIth you there. I wanted him badly, mostly for his on the ball defense. Those thoughts are effectively doubled since we got Marshall and Powell and White. Crap we could use a super fast PG project.
    ****!

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    Default Re: Early report on the rookies: From Chad Ford

    Btw, Roy for ROY.

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    Default Re: Early report on the rookies: From Chad Ford

    Rondo is a scary, scary bad shooter who's also turnover prone. His defense and physical gifts are nice though.
    I'm satisfied with Shawne Williams amd his big upside and versatility. Remember, this guy played just 1 year in college and stuffed the stat sheet for one of the best teams in the country as a freshman.

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    Default Re: Early report on the rookies: From Chad Ford

    Ammo scored 12 points a game in 27 minutes - thats not too shabby.
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    Default Re: Early report on the rookies: From Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by PacersFan83 View Post
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    Rondo is a scary, scary bad shooter who's also turnover prone. His D is nice though. I'm satisfied with Shawne Williams amd his big upside and versatility. Remember, this guy played just 1 year in college and stuffed the stat sheet for one of the best teams in the country as a freshman.
    See, it's not so much that I don't like Shawne. I just like Rajon Rondo more. It's ok. I like Brandon Roy even more.

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    Default Re: Early report on the rookies: From Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by Robertmto View Post
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    Ammo scored 12 points a game in 27 minutes - thats not too shabby.
    on 32% shooting. YAY

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    Default Re: Early report on the rookies: From Chad Ford

    Craig Smith is my unbiased pick for ROY.

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    Default Re: Early report on the rookies: From Chad Ford

    We definitely did need a PG more than a F, no denying that. Still, if Bird and Walsh felt Shawne had the biggest upside available, you can't fault them for taking him.

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    Default Re: Early report on the rookies: From Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by PacersFan83 View Post
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    We definitely did need a PG more than a F, no denying that. Still, if Bird and Walsh felt Shawne had the biggest upside available, you can't fault them for taking him.
    I guess so, but in my mind Rondo has just as much upside as Shawne.

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    After enduring the Bender years, I get worried when Bird drafts guys based on "upside". I would rather have seen the Pacers follow their recent philosophy of choosing the best NBA-ready player available. Marcus Williams would have been my guy. I loved the trade for White in the 2nd round.

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    Default Re: Early report on the rookies: From Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by PacersFan83 View Post
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    We definitely did need a PG more than a F, no denying that. Still, if Bird and Walsh felt Shawne had the biggest upside available, you can't fault them for taking him.
    You don't draft for need, that's how you get in trouble. You pick the best available player.

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    Default Re: Early report on the rookies: From Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by Jermaniac View Post
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    on 32% shooting. YAY
    he's a great shooter. give him a little time to get used to the NBA.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leisure Suit Larry View Post
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    You don't draft for need, that's how you get in trouble. You pick the best available player.
    Marcus Williams was the best player avalable.
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    Default Re: Early report on the rookies: From Chad Ford

    Danny Granger gonna shut his *** DOWN in 3 days. Best believe it

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    Default Re: Early report on the rookies: From Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by Robertmto View Post
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    he's a great shooter. give him a little time to get used to the NBA.



    Marcus Williams was the best player avalable.
    Maybe to you but obviously not to Bird and Walsh. I would have been happy either way, I like Shawne though. I mean we didn't need Granger last year with Artest but we took him because he was the best available and it worked out for the best.

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    Default Re: Early report on the rookies: From Chad Ford

    last year isn;t a good example.

    Granger NEVER shold have slipped that far.
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    Default Re: Early report on the rookies: From Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by Robertmto View Post
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    last year isn;t a good example.

    Granger NEVER shold have slipped that far.
    Yeah...though I guess Detroit never needed Melo, Bosh, or Wade...

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    Default Re: Early report on the rookies: From Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by rexnom View Post
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    Yeah...though I guess Detroit never needed Melo, Bosh, or Wade...
    no actually they didn't.
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    Default Re: Early report on the rookies: From Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by Targaflorio View Post
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    After enduring the Bender years, I get worried when Bird drafts guys based on "upside". I would rather have seen the Pacers follow their recent philosophy of choosing the best NBA-ready player available. Marcus Williams would have been my guy. I loved the trade for White in the 2nd round.
    I think Bender showed flashes of offensive brilliance in his career, he just got destroyed by injuries and even when he was healthy he had to fight for minutes behind 3 fantastic forwards in JO, Ron, and Al.

    Lets just pray for health.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robertmto View Post
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    he's a great shooter. give him a little time to get used to the NBA.



    Marcus Williams was the best player avalable.
    Waaaay to early to make any claims like this. Better college players than Marcus have ended up as garbage in the NBA.

    One thing that probably turned the Pacers off of Marcus Williams is the fact that he seems like a Tinsley clone. Out of shape, sub-par athleticism and shooting, occasionaly laziness, questionable character etc. They've already got a more experienced and probably more skilled Marcus Williams wrapped up for several more years, why bother with another one?

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    Default Re: Early report on the rookies: From Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by PacersFan83 View Post
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    Waaaay to early to make any claims like this. Better college players than Marcus have ended up as garbage in the NBA.

    One thing that probably turned the Pacers off of Marcus Williams is the fact that he seems like a Tinsley clone. Out of shape, sub-par athleticism and shooting, occasionaly laziness, questionable character etc. They've already got a more experienced and probably more skilled Marcus Williams wrapped up for several more years, why bother with another one?
    That's why passing Marcus Williams doesn't really bother me that much.

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    Default Re: Early report on the rookies: From Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by Robertmto View Post
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    no actually they didn't.
    If Detroit would've drafted either of those 3, they'd probably be back-to-back-to-back NBA champions right now with a much brighter future than they currently have.

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    Default Re: Early report on the rookies: From Chad Ford

    I think :thepiston would have enjoyed having a consolation prize of Bosh/Sheed up front this year with Ben leaving better than Sheed/Nazr

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    Default Re: Early report on the rookies: From Chad Ford

    This thread reminded me of Alexander Johnson, the guy we drafted from Florida State and traded to Portland, who traded him to Memphis. I was bummed cause I really liked the guy. Well, I just checked and he averaged 8 and 5 for the Grizz.
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