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Thread: Pre-Draft First Impressions: Updated!

  1. #1
    Release Psycho T pwee31's Avatar
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    Default Pre-Draft First Impressions: Updated!

    Ha, I thought the Bayless one was pretty funny.

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=8895

    First Impressions: With the NBA Pre-Draft Camp winding down today, and the top picks having been "introduced" to the media, it's time to talk about first impressions. Now basketball expertise aside, yesterday's media availability was the first time most media people got to see these guys, and some handled themselves better than others. Here is how it played:

    Derrick Rose: Rose was a pro, he handled the questions well, played coy and clever and was insightful and funny. A little shy and overwhelmed by the process, as most would be, he had some jokes about former teammate Joey Dorsey claiming to have inside information, and was genuinely a humble, nice young man.

    Michael Beasley: Beasley had some fun with this process, but along the way came off as a child. He didn't take anyone's questions seriously and had a few gems that will define his campaign to be the top pick. When asked about maturity he says, "I'm 19, how mature do you expect me to be?" – Not exactly the words a GM wants to hear. Beasley was fun and engaging, but the lack of maturity about this process was evident, and clearly contrasted by others who were very dialed in.

    Jerryd Bayless: Jerryd has a chip on his shoulder and an edge to him, that was obvious. In joking with another member of the media, the question was asked: "Did one of us run over his dog?" Jerryd was annoyed with repeated questions, and was hard to like. He may be a heck of basketball player, but he has "jerk" written all over him from a first impression stand point.

    O.J. Mayo: Mayo was great, he handled the BDA questions tactfully. He was engaging and charismatic and spent a lot of time talking in a very genuine way. Of all of the guys in the room, Mayo was by far the most surprising in his manner and character. He is very easy to like. He is very thoughtful in his responses and really came off as classy and professional.

    Kevin Love: Love is by far the best interview in the class. Kevin is funny, he is engaging. He has a great personality and shares that with everyone. He really came across as a class act. He may stink it up on the basketball court, but he is clearly ahead of the curve as a communicator.


    D.J Augustin: D.J. was the surprise, for the most part his reputation did NOT proceed him, and he was a welcome surprise. He was thoughtful in his answers, made eye contact, listened as much as he spoke, didn't use clichés, and was a very nice interview. D.J. is working out in Houston with John Lucas and could surprise a lot of people who have him pegged in the middle of the lottery. Character matters in this league and D.J. has a ton of it.

    Anthony Randolph: The resemblance to Marcus Camby was striking, both physically and in how he communicates. Anthony was clearly overwhelmed by the process. He is very shy and quiet. He needs to add some bulk to his frame or he's going to get killed at this level. Very nice young man, but you can see he is very raw and there will be a steep learning curve.

    Brook Lopez: Brook is almost scary in his size and physical appearance. He is very engaging as a speaker, but still came off rather stiff. It will be interesting to see how good he can be at the NBA level, especially in his first two years. It's easy to see Robert Swift in Brook Lopez. He is big, and very developed so it's easy to see why he is the top big man prospect in the class.

    Eric Gordon: Eric was an interesting interview because he really had to answer some tough questions, not only about Kelvin Sampson and Illinois, but also about his moving around from point guard to off guard. Scouts aren't sold on his position in the NBA, and he didn't do a very good job convincing anyone that he had the answer either. Eric is a tweener, and needs to work on his sales pitch.

    Came across a little more material this morning

    http://hoopshype.com/articles/orlpre...4_kamalsky.htm

    Big guns show up
    by Matthew Kamalsky / May 31, 2008

    With this year’s edition of the Pre-Draft Camp drawing to a close, executives got the chance to watch the likes of Derrick Rose and Michael Beasley perform in basic drills for the first time this offseason. The day also featured the usual three games and a combine, giving the participants one last chance to show their stuff.

    Friday’s activities were highlighted by the presence of this draft’s top 15 prospects. The session consisted of transition shooting drills, and then some position-specific work. While these drills don’t indicate much about a player, it is an easy way to gauge how much work they’ve put in recently, and how they approach practice.

    Anyone who watched the Memphis Tigers play this year knows that Derrick Rose is a freak athlete, but nothing makes that more apparent than watching him participate in offensive drills again token defense. He may be the best athlete in basketball, casually attacking the basket at a speed that most players can’t even achieve in game settings. He didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, but made a few NBA threes and showed off his amazing repertoire of crossovers and change of direction moves. The fact that he not only participated, but went hard on every repetition is probably a good sign.

    Anthony Randolph, on the other hand, struggled to hit anything, but it is his potential, not his current skill level, that has him slated as a lottery pick by most scouting services. He has ridiculous length and athleticism, and it shows when he attacks the rim, but he’s got a long way to go.

    No player struggled as much as JaVale McGee amongst the lottery-bound participants, and while he’s a tremendous athlete, he needs to work on staying confident after he misses from the perimeter. His calling card is his jumper at this point, but he was struggling to hit anything.

    Jerryd Bayless was essentially going through the motions, not trying to simulate game situations and looking generally disinterested. He was still hitting his shots consistently, and his ability as a shooter can’t be questioned.

    Donte Greene went out of his way to show off his athleticism every chance he got, throwing down a number of impressive tomahawk dunks. His jumper looked decent, but his ballhandling still needs work.

    Russell Westbrook is one of the most impressive athletes in the draft, and while he looked good in transition shooting drills, he went from making 1 of 5 shots in his first rep of shooting coming off of cuts to making all 5 on his second rep. He’s obviously got the raw tools to be great, and just needs the right situation to excel.

    Darrell Arthur had a very nice showing, looking crisp in the post, and the mid-range, while managing to bank in a couple of three’s from the top of key on consecutive reps. Brook Lopez was the other big man in Arthur’s group, and isn’t the smoothest post player, but is effective nonetheless.

    Kevin Love seems to have trimmed down a bit, and looked bouncier in transition drills. He’ll always excel in this setting, given the polish he has on his game. Joe Alexander is in a similar boat, looking effortless in almost everything he does.

    DJ Augustin is a heck of an offensive player, knocking down his shots with consistency and showing a very quick first step. He shot the ball well, but not as well as OJ Mayo, who looked simply incredible from the mid-range. DeAndre Jordan is long and athletic, but he’s really raw, and it shows.

    Michael Beasley can shoot the NBA three, which should render every team outside of the top-two worried. He looked scary good in drills. Eric Gordon can hit the three effectively, and has tremendous footwork for a player his age.

    Though these drills may not mean much, they are a useful point of departure as we move into private workouts. Measurement results from the combine should be available soon, bringing with them even more insight into these players.
    Last edited by pwee31; 05-31-2008 at 11:16 AM. Reason: More info

  2. #2
    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre-Draft First Impressions

    I don't know...the Beasley answer may be the most mature, or at least honest, one I've seen.

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    NaptownSeth is all feel Naptown_Seth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre-Draft First Impressions

    D.J. was the surprise, for the most part his reputation did NOT proceed him
    Err...what? DJ is one of the top character guys/stories all year. I thought the guy was going to say that DJ turned out to be dumb and mean.

    He is very thoughtful in his responses and really came off as classy and professional
    Mayo is always like this. That's why I stick up for him. I really think it's as simple as a sneaky middle-man jumped on his meal ticket, ripped him and a shady agent off, and then got kicked to the curb when it became clear to Mayo that his friend really was the jerk some were suggesting he was.

    Mayo's mom appears to be firmly in his life and I do think he's serious about his career. Remember of the 100K or more that went out only 32K over 4-5 years made it to Mayo. 6K a year is a part time Buger King job, not prima donna bought my family a home in exchange for choosing USC money.


    Then again Kobe has always been very polished too, but appears to have a nice jerk streak lying underneath.

    He is very engaging as a speaker, but still came off rather stiff.
    Often when I think of the qualities that make a speaker very engaging I think "does he come off rather stiff". WTF? He's very nice but was kind of a jerk.

    Oh, and TWSS
    Last edited by Naptown_Seth; 05-30-2008 at 03:05 PM.

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    How u imawhat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre-Draft First Impressions

    Haha, there's the John Lucas sighting someone was waiting for.

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    Default Re: Pre-Draft First Impressions

    Ya, I'm sure Gordon's 'sales pitch' or lack thereof will dictate how
    GM's view him !

    It doesn't take long to figure out why they call those Hoopsworld
    guys 'guest columnists'. As often as not, they're either clueless or
    just regurgitating info someone else dug up.

  6. #6
    Release Psycho T pwee31's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre-Draft First Impressions: Updated!

    added a little more material up top

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    Headband and Rec Specs rexnom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre-Draft First Impressions: Updated!

    Interesting. Lots of flags on Bayless. I'm firmly entrenched in the Mayo before Beasley camp now. Not a lot of people with me there but Mayo has star written all over him.

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    Default Re: Pre-Draft First Impressions: Updated!

    How can these be first impressions when we've this topic over and over for weeks now?
    And I won't be here to see the day
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    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre-Draft First Impressions: Updated!

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    How can these be first impressions when we've this topic over and over for weeks now?
    Uh . . . some people are slow?

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    Default Re: Pre-Draft First Impressions: Updated!

    I'll take D J Augustin and be happy. Great kid and attitude , good shooter, quick first step , can go to his left or right equally well. Plays the passing lanes well , yes he'll get backed down by bigger point guards but with weak side help from JO that may not be as big a problem as some invision.

    Character is something this team needs badly and within 2 years DJ could be a top offensive point guard in the NBA .

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    You are my Lucifer D-BONE's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre-Draft First Impressions: Updated!

    Quote Originally Posted by diamonddave00 View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I'll take D J Augustin and be happy. Great kid and attitude , good shooter, quick first step , can go to his left or right equally well. Plays the passing lanes well , yes he'll get backed down by bigger point guards but with weak side help from JO that may not be as big a problem as some invision.

    Character is something this team needs badly and within 2 years DJ could be a top offensive point guard in the NBA .
    I totally agree. If we can acquire either he or Westbrook, those have to be our top priorities. I'm assuming Westbrook will likely be gone. If Augustin is available at 11, I'd make that pick.
    I'd rather die standing up than live on my knees.

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    Default Re: Pre-Draft First Impressions: Updated!

    i officially want joe at #11 if he's there. the kid can do everything and you can find equal pg talent later in the draft or in free agency. pgs are great to have, but after the top 5 or so in the league, there is really not much difference between them all. drafting dj at #11 would be an incredible waste imo.

  13. #13
    Here we go Steelers.. jmoney2584's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre-Draft First Impressions: Updated!

    trade dun and.or ike...get joe and augustin..I don't think we are getting a big man out of the draft unless its the second round and that will be " blah "
    Roy Hibbert.... It's the POWER!!!

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    Default Re: Pre-Draft First Impressions: Updated!

    I'm glad someone else noticed Gordon's footwork. It's the most underrated part of his game IMO. Yes, Gordon has many things he needs to work on, but the guy has a great first step.

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    Release Psycho T pwee31's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre-Draft First Impressions: Updated!

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    How can these be first impressions when we've this topic over and over for weeks now?
    Sorry, the title was taken from the first article. It was actually entitled First Impressions, so I stuck with it.

  16. #16
    Release Psycho T pwee31's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre-Draft First Impressions: Updated!

    I've always liked Augustin, even last year as a Frosh, so i would welcome him with open arms.

    Regardless of the size, there's been plenty of PGs to make a big difference with lack of size. Of course he will not be the lock down defender some are little for, but I think he'll bring plenty on the other end.

    I've never been a big fan of Westbrook, but the arguments for him are winning me over little by little. If he can truly run a team, he's worth a look.

    None of the bigs really excite me. Love, Arthur and Joe A. seem alright, but nothing that makes me want to select them at #11. Who knows

  17. #17

    Default Re: Pre-Draft First Impressions: Updated!

    Bayless is really taking after Arenas.

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