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Thread: DX: Word on the Street, June 22

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    Default DX: Word on the Street, June 22

    http://www.draftexpress.com/blog/Jon...June-22nd-3276
    The list of players that will invited to attend the NBA Draft in Madison Square Garden Theater on June 25th is slowly beginning to trickle out, and we’re here to report what we’ve found thus far. The Green Room invite list is an exclusive group of players that the NBA has done its due diligence to confirm that they will be drafted in the lottery or not far after, compiled from a poll of NBA GM’s conducted by Stu Jackson.

    Being invited to the Green Room means the player will sit with his family at the front of the theater in front of the commissioner, have his name called [hopefully] early in the draft, given a hat with his new team’s logo on it, and then brought up to the podium to shake David Stern’s hand.

    The day before the draft, the players invited will participate in a media session at the Westin Hotel, which will be attended and covered in great depth by DraftExpress.

    Our understanding is that the League had about as tough a time as ever putting the list together this year—due to the extreme uncertainty that goes along with a draft featuring so much parity-- and that there was a great deal of back and forth that went on with teams until the list was finalized on Friday evening. Typically there are 15 players invited to attend, but the NBA reserves the right to bring in less or more at their judgment. Right now we know about 13 players that have confirmed.

    Here are the invites, from what we’ve been able to gather:

    1. Blake Griffin
    2. James Harden
    3. Hasheem Thabeet
    4. Ricky Rubio
    5. Jordan Hill
    6. Tyreke Evans
    7. Stephen Curry
    8. Jonny Flynn
    9. Demar DeRozan
    10. Jrue Holiday
    11. Gerald Henderson
    12. Brandon Jennings
    13. Tyler Hansbrough
    14. B.J. Mullens (potentially declining)
    15. James Johnson (declining invite)
    16. Eric Maynor (potentially declining)

    The first two things that come to mind when looking at this list are, who got snubbed, and who will be the last player sitting in the Green Room?

    The biggest snubs would likely be considered Terrence Williams, Austin Daye, Earl Clark and DeJuan Blair. There is apparently still a chance that one or more of them could make it to the Green Room when it’s all said and done, as at least one snubbed agent thinks that “discussions are on-going.” We were unable to confirm whether Ty Lawson was invited or not.

    Who will be the last one sitting in the Green Room? Just going off our latest mock draft, the answer to that would be Tyler Hansbrough. A strong workout on Tuesday in New Jersey (drafting 11th) could change that, though.

    There seems to be a lot of uncertainty about where Brandon Jennings may end up too. We currently have him slated to be drafted 13th by the Pacers, but sources close to the situation indicate that there are some concerns there that could lead them in the direction of Ty Lawson or Eric Maynor instead. The fact that he worked out for Phoenix on Saturday for the #14 pick is a pretty good indication that he, like most of us, has no idea where he’s going to get drafted at this point. If Jennings begins to slip a bit, look for ESPN’s college basketball crew to not miss the opportunity to get some shots in at his decision to skip the NCAA for Europe.

    Running down the Top-5 of the Draft

    Today came word from the Associated Press that Hasheem Thabeet canceled his workout with the Memphis Grizzlies, citing a shoulder injury.

    "Thabeet was a combination of he's had some shoulder situations and he wanted to talk to some other teams," Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace said of the 7-foot-3 center out of Connecticut. "It's also what goes on this time of the year with guys showing, not showing, that type of thing. The gamesmanship of the draft."

    A quick call to Thabeet’s agent, Ugo Udezue, seems to indicate differently. “He has scheduling issues,” Udezue told us. “He has to come to New York to see his family real quick.”

    Digging a bit deeper, though, it simply seems like Thabeet just isn’t interested in working out for anyone at this point, since he does not feel like that setting is conducive to his strengths. “He’s not going to block shots in a workout, and that’s what he’s going to do in the NBA,” Udezue told us. “What are they going to do, have Hasheem shoot 3-pointers? Ricky Rubio is not doing any workouts either.”

    Speaking of Rubio, do we have a second player openly telling the Grizzlies that they aren’t interested in playing in Memphis? From what we can gather, it doesn’t seem like Thabeet’s camp is all that enamored with the direction Memphis is heading in, and there seems to be strong indications that he feels very good about his chances of being drafted by Oklahoma City, with one NBA source going as far as to say that the chances of him being picked there if available are “100%.”

    That would probably be news to Ricky Rubio, who Oklahoma City spent the last day and a half with in Los Angeles meeting with alongside his family. Sam Presti also took time out on Sunday evening to meet with James Harden, which is Oklahoma City’s third meeting with him so far, including his workout at their facility and an interview at the NBA combine in Chicago.

    While Harden may not have helped himself with his poor workout in Memphis, he may be the last man standing at this point—the only player in the elite tier of prospects that actually is interested in playing there. The fact that highly influential Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley flew into Memphis to watch Thabeet, only to have him cancel his workout at the last minute, could bode very well for Harden.

    The wildcard in all this are the Minnesota Timberwolves, who could throw a wrench in things by trading up to #2 to take Ricky Rubio. Sources say that Rubio’s camp has warmed up significantly to David Kahn and the Timberwolves organization as of late, and that they would not be opposed to him landing there. The catch is that the rookie scale salary slot of the #6 pick would not be sufficient in terms of satisfying Rubio’s gigantic buyout from DKV Joventut, so Kahn would have to trade into the top three to make that happen.

    At this point, Kahn is holding firm on not putting Kevin Love on the table for the right to move up in the draft, and is instead trying to acquire another pick to entice Memphis to swap with them. As other media outlets have reported, they are targeting Washington’s #5 pick, but are only offering some combination of Randy Foye, Mike Miller and the #18 pick, which probably won’t get it done.

    The Wizards have been bombarded with trade offers as of late, some of them more realistic than others, but it’s not a given that they will decide to trade the pick. If Rubio is on the board, all indications are that the Wizards would take him, and worst comes to worse, deal with the repercussions of him staying in Europe for another year or two until his buyout situation gets resolved. There aren’t many teams that are higher on Rubio’s upside than Washington.

    As messy as the rest of the top five sounds, Sacramento’s situation might be the most confusing. It’s looking more and more clear that the Kings are not nearly as enamored with Ricky Rubio as they once were, for a number of reasons. The official party line is that Sacramento is concerned that Rubio will struggle to assert his leadership ability on the group of players they currently have in place, due to the fact that he’s only 18 years old and not a native English speaker. One of the biggest issues Sacramento had last year was with the culture of their team lockerroom. On top of that, the Kings are worried that will Rubio will have a huge target on his chest coming into the NBA, and that other players will “try to go at him every single night.”

    Something important to keep in mind is that long-time Kings General Manager Geoff Petrie has just one year left on his contract, and that ownership is putting a great deal of pressure on him to ensure that they don’t go through as painful a season as they just did in 08-09, winning just 17 games. With that in mind, they may opt to just put a Band-Aid on the problem and draft a more ready player, such as Tyreke Evans or Jonny Flynn—who is very attractive due to his outgoing personality and terrific leadership skills-- and hope that things magically get better next season.

    This is a situation that seemed almost unfathomable a few months ago, as the Kings were supposedly so enamored with Rubio’s talent that they were strongly considering drafting him with the #1 pick before falling to the #4 slot in the lottery. Considering what we know about all these prospects, it’s tough not to think that Sacramento would be making a colossal mistake letting a playmaker of Rubio’s caliber get by them, as his upside is substantially higher than that of Evans or Flynn.

    Jonny Flynn happened to work out in Sacramento this weekend, alongside other Kings favorite Tyreke Evans, as well as Stephen Curry, Nick Calathes. It’s well known at this point that Flynn is not getting past Milwaukee’s pick at #10 at worst, but his chances of going 4th seem to be improving by the day. It’s too early to rule out Evans at Sacramento’s pick either, even though Rubio is still very much in the picture as well.

    Rubio is reportedly returning to Sacramento tomorrow for a workout, which should ease one of the concerns the team has about being unable to watch him last week.

    Scattered Rumors

    -B.J. Mullens worked out for the Philadelphia 76ers (#17) on Sunday, and is scheduled to work out for Chicago (#16) on Tuesday. While many NBA teams we spoke with have picked up on the rumor that he may have a promise from Detroit at 15, things don’t really seem to add up here. If anything, the Pistons seem to be most interested in Earl Clark, and have reportedly told him as much, as have the Phoenix Suns, drafting 14th. On the other hand, Detroit continues to be very active in trade-talk, though, and could very well decide to move the pick, which would make all of this moot. Would Mullens really turn down his Green Room invite if he definitely knew he was going 15th? Clark on the other hand just passed up a workout with Chicago this week in order to be with his newborn baby, as he seems to be feeling very good about where’s currently at in this draft.

    -Golden State appears to be exploring possibilities to improve on the defensive end in hopes of making a strong run to the playoffs next season. One trade that has reportedly been offered by the Charlotte Bobcats that may help on that front would involve packaging Kelenna Azubuike and Marco Belinelli in exchange for Raja Bell. The Warriors are pondering the offer, but would have to get Azubuike’s consent to make the trade unless they decided to wait until July 24th.

    In other Warriors news, it appears that despite not having worked him out, Stephen Curry is the team’s main target should he be available with the 7th pick. Other options include Jordan Hill, Tyreke Evans and James Johnson.

    -According to an NBA source, super active Minnesota Timberwolves GM David Kahn has offered Mike Miller to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Chris Kaman. The Clippers shot down that trade, but countered with Marcus Camby.

    -A few players that could shake things up on draft night…Taj Gibson to Utah at 20? Wayne Ellington to Philadelphia at 17? Tyler Hansbrough to New Jersey at 11? Ty Lawson to Indiana at 13?

    DeJuan Blair’s Outlook Improving?

    A pair of MRIs making the rounds amongst NBA teams appear to be easing some concerns about DeJuan Blair’s knees, according to his agent Happy Walters. Blair was red-flagged at the NBA pre-draft camp for the ACL tears he suffered in both knees while in college. He does not appears to have an ACL in either knee now, and there were concerns that he may struggle to stay healthy as his career moves on.

    In response, Blair’s camp retrieved an MRI from November of 2008 done at Pittsburgh for doctors to compare with the MRI of his knees from the pre-draft camp earlier this month. The specialists found that there had been “no deterioration in the situation of his knees whatsoever over the course of the season,” which has been conveyed to the doctors of various NBA teams that are most interested in Blair at the moment.


    Blair still appears to be strongly in consideration at Indiana (#13) and Chicago (#16), and will indeed visit the Bulls on Tuesday to work out against B.J. Mullens. He’ll be in Utah (picking 20th) on Monday.

    DeMarre Carroll’s Health Situation Clarified

    Dr. Jeffrey Crippin, one of the leading experts in the world on liver disorders, has given DeMarre Carroll a positive evaluation that has eased the concerns of several NBA teams, Carroll’s agent Mark Bartelstein told DraftExpress.

    Carroll was put through a liver biopsy procedure, which showed no signs of deterioration from when he first diagnosed with a disorder a year and a half ago. In a letter sent out to every NBA team outlining the test, results and prognosis, the chances given of something happening to Carroll’s liver that would impact his pro career was estimated at “1-2% at most.” In other words, there is “a negligible risk that his liver situation would have any effect on NBA career,” and that if anything needed to be done, it would be “20-25 years from now.”

    Bartelstein indicated that the feedback he had received was that the teams that were apprehensive about the condition had their concerns put to rest.

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    Default Re: DX: Word on the Street, June 22

    Not huge news really, it's what I've been thinking for a bit: Lawson or Maynor as the PGs we'd like. And it also confirms what Ford said about who we're looking at. But I think everyone on here already knows that. It is the first time DX has mentioned Lawson to the Pacers though.

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    Default Re: DX: Word on the Street, June 22

    Hopefully a smokescreen, I'm not a fan of commiting to mediocrity at 13... its the 13th pick... roll the dice. The potential payoff is much better than the risk of missing on this pick... a career backup PG will not make a very good consolation prize.
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    Default Re: DX: Word on the Street, June 22

    If Jennings begins to slip a bit, look for ESPN’s college basketball crew to not miss the opportunity to get some shots in at his decision to skip the NCAA for Europe.
    Yep.
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    Default Re: DX: Word on the Street, June 22

    Why do I get the feeling that I'm going to be upset on draft night?

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    Default Re: DX: Word on the Street, June 22

    Quote Originally Posted by cdash View Post
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    Why do I get the feeling that I'm going to be upset on draft night?
    It's just because you're looking past the opponent.

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    Default Re: DX: Word on the Street, June 22

    Quote Originally Posted by cdash View Post
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    Why do I get the feeling that I'm going to be upset on draft night?
    Probably because your a pacers fan and it's a comfortable feeling to have for us...I'm pretty torn on what i want them to do. I would be surprised if drafting 13th will be the only action for the pacers on thursday. With all the the available pgs in the draft Ford could get shipped. I would go with Jennings or Maynor if they go for a point guard.

    I was pretty happy on draft day last year, let's see if larry can't make it 2 in a row

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    Default Re: DX: Word on the Street, June 22

    Quote Originally Posted by cdash View Post
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    Why do I get the feeling that I'm going to be upset on draft night?
    Don't worry man I feel the same way.

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    Default Re: DX: Word on the Street, June 22

    Quote Originally Posted by cdash View Post
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    Why do I get the feeling that I'm going to be upset on draft night?
    Because, as a sports fan, you will be upset on draft night no matter what they do. We all fancy ourselves world renowned experts on all these players, even though we all have jobs that require us to do something else for 8 hours a day.

    Before you all get upset at me, I am including myself among you. I watch a lot of college basketball, but I have never been good at projecting players on to the next level. For instance, I saw a Ty Lawson that was the most important player on the national champions, but I have been convinced by internet experts that he will not make it in the league. These same experts have convinced me that Brandon Jennings, a player that I have seen play exactly once in the McDonalds game, has more "upside." Now, the fact that Jennings is better than Lawson is not something that my own observations could possible tell me but I nonetheless believe it. So yeah, I'll be upset no matter what.

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    Default Re: DX: Word on the Street, June 22

    "He does not appears to have an ACL in either knee now"

    If this is to be taken literally, Blair no longer has the anterior cruciate ligament in either knee (This may well simply be the uninformed writing of a journalist who has no idea what he is referring to, or he may simply have left out some key words). While lots of couch potatoes function adequately with their ACL totally detatched, professional athletes who receive any degree of contact wouldn't last long, due to significant reduction of overall lateral stability of the joint.

    I tore the ACL in one of my knees back in 2000, and was tempted to see if I could get by until it healed. I was told by an orthopedic specialist and then the orthopedic surgeon that it is not possible for a torn ACL to heal without surgical intervention due to the movement in the joint coupled with minimal blood supply to that type of tissue, and that even my status as a relative couch potato had no bearing on this. I had ACL replacement surgery in August of 2000, and as a relative couch potato I have been fine since.

    Also, generally the stability of the knee is impacted enough when an ACL is torn that wear and tear on other ligaments and cartilage in the joint is accelerated, especially in people who routinely put high stress on that knee.

    In my opinion, unless he has had some sort of ACL replacement surgery on both of these knees, he has little to no chance of staying healthy in the NBA. Does anyone here know if Blair has had these procedures?

    Even if he has, it is likely that he may have had a procedure where a portion of the patellar tendon of the same knee is harvested by splitting the patellar tendon into two parallel vertical segments and using the harvested portion to replace the ACL. The reason for most to have this type of procedure is to minimize the chance of rejection of the replacement tissue. The middle strip of the patellar tendon then fills with scar tissue. The stresses faced by athletes often then lead to patellar tendonitis due to the "injured" patellar tendon not being able to regain its former functionality and strength due to having less overall healthy tendon tissue to handle the stressors placed on the joint.

    ACL problems, even if having been corrected surgically, coupled with weight issues in college, and playing an interior position where heavy contact is required to be truly effective, is a scary combination in my opinion.

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    Default Re: DX: Word on the Street, June 22

    I have read that article and it is confirming my fears. Management on this team better be able to take a risk. They seem all to happy to just get back to the playoffs. If Jennings or Clark is there I take either in a heart beat over Lawson. We have marginal talent and we have to improve that talent. I for one do not want to just make the playoffs I think the goal should be compiling talent that can carry us to a championship. The only way we are going to do that is through the draft. @13 we have to take some risks (Jennings or Clark) and hope they can develop and fulfill that potential.

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    Default Re: DX: Word on the Street, June 22

    The more I read these things the more it looks like the Pacers are going to draft Maynor or Hansbrough. The other day I said the Pacers were going to draft James Johnson, now I don't think that is going to happen.

    Psycho T's stock seems to be rising fast. It seems like just days ago he was considered a huge reach at 13, and now many mocks have him going to NJ at 11.

    NBAdraft.net and DX both have Jennings falling to us. Honestly I don't think TPTB are interested in him and they probably already have a deal lined up that will ship him and TJ Ford's contract to someone else for their pick and possibly a PF. I could see trading with Philly based on need but they have no one we want.

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    Default Re: DX: Word on the Street, June 22

    If Jennings is there it is unfathomable to me why they take a player who has already reached their ceiling. We already have a roster that is mediocre...in a weak draft, roll the dice.
    We win this meaningless game (after being down by 17) against Milwaukee (last game of the season), and that drops us from #10 to #13...an opportunity to draft Jennings is a complete gift, again.

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    Default Re: DX: Word on the Street, June 22

    Lets be honest. There should only be a couple players that we need to be outraged about. Mullens and Daye. There is no indication that one player is leaps and bounds better than the rest in picks 8-18.

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    Default Re: DX: Word on the Street, June 22

    I have no doubt that Lawson willl make it in the NBA. His speed will translate and he will be effective. His size, Defense and shooting concerns me and lead me to believe he is going to be little more than a very good backup and not a true championship caliber starter in this league.

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    Default Re: DX: Word on the Street, June 22

    Jennings is certainly enticing, it will be interesting to see if Larry takes a chance on him. Although I'm not certain the Pacers will even be making the 13th selection. That being said, if it is between Maynor and Lawson, I take Maynor because he is a little bit taller. I feel like the Pacers could really use all of the size they can get at pg.
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    Default Re: DX: Word on the Street, June 22

    Quote Originally Posted by HCPacerIN View Post
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    Jennings is certainly enticing, it will be interesting to see if Larry takes a chance on him. Although I'm not certain the Pacers will even be making the 13th selection. That being said, if it is between Maynor and Lawson, I take Maynor because he is a little bit taller. I feel like the Pacers could really use all of the size they can get at pg.
    An inch or two is not going to make any difference. Speed and strength should be
    more important if that is the only difference. Obviously skill is going to be a big factor also.
    I really have no idea who the Pacers will end up with and I am very concerned
    about Blairs knees.
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    Default Re: DX: Word on the Street, June 22

    Quote Originally Posted by owl View Post
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    An inch or two is not going to make any difference. Speed and strength should be
    more important if that is the only difference. Obviously skill is going to be a big factor also.
    I really have no idea who the Pacers will end up with and I am very concerned
    about Blairs knees.
    On Blair, I am right there with you. I feel like if the Pacers stand pat in respect to draft order, they take the pg. If they move up, then I think they are targeting a big. I don't think that big is Blair though, because of his knees and he could likely be had at 13 anyways. On Lawson/Maynor I am liking Maynor extra few inches. He is just a longer player overall and imo those few inches have the potential to make a little differences here and there. I don't watch a lot of college ball, but from what I read Lawson seems to be the stronger of the two, and perhaps slightly quicker also. I like Lawson's size as far as weight goes, it would be nice to see Maynor pack on about 15 pounds. What are the odds that Lawson even drops to 13?
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    Default Re: DX: Word on the Street, June 22

    Quote Originally Posted by dcpacersfan View Post
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    The more I read these things the more it looks like the Pacers are going to draft Maynor or Hansbrough. The other day I said the Pacers were going to draft James Johnson, now I don't think that is going to happen.

    Psycho T's stock seems to be rising fast. It seems like just days ago he was considered a huge reach at 13, and now many mocks have him going to NJ at 11.

    NBAdraft.net and DX both have Jennings falling to us. Honestly I don't think TPTB are interested in him and they probably already have a deal lined up that will ship him and TJ Ford's contract to someone else for their pick and possibly a PF. I could see trading with Philly based on need but they have no one we want.
    I am not sure you could get someone to take 2 pgs one of which is overpaid and the other is unproven. I wouldn't mind your suggestion if it landed us Maynor.

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    Default Re: DX: Word on the Street, June 22

    Quote Originally Posted by HCPacerIN View Post
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    On Blair, I am right there with you. I feel like if the Pacers stand pat in respect to draft order, they take the pg. If they move up, then I think they are targeting a big. I don't think that big is Blair though, because of his knees and he could likely be had at 13 anyways. On Lawson/Maynor I am liking Maynor extra few inches. He is just a longer player overall and imo those few inches have the potential to make a little differences here and there. I don't watch a lot of college ball, but from what I read Lawson seems to be the stronger of the two, and perhaps slightly quicker also. I like Lawson's size as far as weight goes, it would be nice to see Maynor pack on about 15 pounds. What are the odds that Lawson even drops to 13?
    I'd say somewhere between "extremely likely and a sure thing". I think his draft range starts with us and goes into the early 20s. I'd be pretty shocked if he were off the board when our pick came around.

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    Default Re: DX: Word on the Street, June 22

    Quote Originally Posted by cdash View Post
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    I'd say somewhere between "extremely likely and a sure thing". I think his draft range starts with us and goes into the early 20s. I'd be pretty shocked if he were off the board when our pick came around.
    Has this always been the case, or has he dropped down the boards? I thought I had seen him ranked pretty high at one point.
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    Default Re: DX: Word on the Street, June 22

    Quote Originally Posted by HCPacerIN View Post
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    Has this always been the case, or has he dropped down the boards? I thought I had seen him ranked pretty high at one point.
    I think it's pretty much been the case throughout the draft process. A few teams a little higher in the lottery may have shown him some interest, but the general consensus has been that he is a late lottery to mid-first round prospect.

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    Default Re: DX: Word on the Street, June 22

    That is funny that Draft Express has Lawson at best case:TJ Ford and worst case:Jamaal Tinsley.
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    Default Re: DX: Word on the Street, June 22

    Quote Originally Posted by HCPacerIN View Post
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    That is funny that Draft Express has Lawson at best case:TJ Ford and worst case:Jamaal Tinsley.
    That's a pretty bad set of comparisons since Ford and Tinsley are very different types of players with similar flaws but differing strengths.

    Also, Lawson is a better shooter than either one of them.
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    Default Re: DX: Word on the Street, June 22

    Quote Originally Posted by HCPacerIN View Post
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    That is funny that Draft Express has Lawson at best case:TJ Ford and worst case:Jamaal Tinsley.
    That told me a lot about how I should NOT trust DX's projections in relation to the future careers of the players involved.

    IMO, if you're going to do a Best/Worst case for a player, you pick two similar players, with one working out and one working out not so much (the contrast widening or narrowing depending on how you view the potential of the draftee).

    You shouldn't pick two different kinds of players.

    I saw another kid have a best worst of Ginobili and Jason Terry. They should stop that.

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