I’ve been reading so many silly things about the draft lately, particularly the Pistons. In the past two days we’ve been rumored to have promised Kawhi Leonard, zeroed in on Tristan Thompson, been blown away by Markieff Morris (same for Marcus earlier), narrowed things down to only Kemba Walker and Jonas Valanciunas, and that we’ve decided on Biyombo. Including Jan Vesely, there are eight players rumored to be in play at the #8 pick, and we have ourselves a clusterfuck.
Let me share with how things should play out, assuming teams are worried about need and role than they are about potential and workout-warriors.
1) Cleveland Cavaliers-SF Derrick Williams.
The Cavaliers have four players that are capable of playing SF under contract next season in Antawn Jamison, Joey Graham, Christian Eyenga, and Alonzo Gee. Jamison’s played PF for them, Eyenga is raw and equally suited for the SG position, and Graham/Gee are scrubs.
The Cavs can afford to pass on a PG because they have Baron Davis’ monster contract to play, Ramon Sessions (who puts up better PER36 numbers than Rodney Stuckey), and Boobie Gibson as options at PG.
Anderson Varejao/Ryan Hollins
2) Minnesota Timberwolves-C Enes Kanter
The Wolves need another rebounder besides Kevin Love on the roster. Love has a great face-up game and needs to remain exclusively at PF, so acquiring a back-to-the-basket complement would be ideal, and Enes Kanter can be that guy. Darko is their starting C and is a great shot-blocker, but his rebounding leaves a lot to be desired. Between the two #2 picks in Milicic and Kanter and the contributions of Nikola Pekovic the Wolves suddenly would have one of the strongest C rotations in the league.
The Wolves pass on a PG because of Rubio coming stateside, Luke Ridnour making 4 million a year, and not having success moving Jonny Flynn yet.
Rubio/Ridnour or Flynn
Wes Johnson/Wayne Ellington
Michael Beasley/Martell Webster
Kevin Love/Anthony Randolph
Enes Kanter or Darko Milicic
That’s actually a solid, well-rounded two-deep. It’s amazing how underrated Michael Beasley has become; last I checked 19/6 was nothing to scoff at.
3) Utah Jazz-PG Kyrie Irving
I know, its controversial that I have likely #1 pick Kyrie Irving falling to #3 overall.
There’s not much to be said for the rationale behind this pick. They don’t need frontcourt help between Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson, and Derrick Favors, and they just used a lotto pick on a SF last year in Gordon Hayward. If there were a stud SG prospect available they would probably opt for that, as incumbent PG Devin Harris is no slouch, but alas, the best SG prospects would be reaches at #3.
Harris or Irving
Millsap or Favors
4) Cleveland Cavaliers-F Jan Vesely
The Cavs would also love for there to be an elite SG prospect available here, but they settle for flexibility and depth with Jan Vesely. It is unclear whether he’s a SF or PF, but his tenacity and big play ability would make him a fan favorite on the rebuilding Cavs. If he plays PF, that would allow Hickson to play more minutes at C (if he isn’t moved). If he plays SF then that pushes Eyenga to SG full-time and Williams has a super-sub as a backup. Either way, Antawn Jamison shouldn’t be a deterrent for the selection of a F tweener.
Williams/Eyenga and Vesely
Hickson/Jamison and Vesely
5) Toronto Raptors-C Jonas Valanciunas
The Raptors are looking at PGs IRL, but the position is covered by Jose Calderon and Jerryd Bayless, who somehow fell out of the top 10 in the 2008 draft and hasn’t really been given a fair shake. Throw in Leandro Barbosa who can play some PG and ought to receive minutes to justify his 7.6 million dollar salary, and I’m surprised to hear how sold they are on Kemba Walker.
They take a C because Andrea Bargnani is a horribly inadequate rebounder and defender at the C position, and his perimeter-oriented skill-set is better justified elsewhere. Prospect Bismack Biyombo would be redundant with Amir Johnson a Raptor, so Valanciunas is the pick.
James Johnson/Sonny Weems
Valanciunas or Ed Davis
6) Washington Wizards-SF Kawhi Leonard
Sorry Brandon Knight, but the Wizards already have John Wall at PG. Washington opts for a SF because all their other positions are covered by young talent; you have Wall, the volume-shooting Nick Young at SG, the versatile Andray Blatche at PF, and Marcus Camby-esque JaVale McGee at C. Leonard should infuse some toughness into a lineup that has several soft players: Young, Blatche, Jianlian.
They’d consider a reliable C to compensate for McGee’s mental lapses, but there aren’t any polished five-men available.
7) Sacramento Kings-PG Brandon Knight
Tyreke Evans hit a sophomore wall last season and didn’t match the 20/5/5 we enjoyed out of his rookie campaign. There are debates as to whether he’s a SG or PG, and Brandon Knight’s selection would clear things up nicely. Both are considered combo guards, but Evans is more of a slasher and Knight is an underrated shooter. Beno Udrih and Marcus Thornton would be great backups, and in one fell swoop the Kings would have one of the more promising young backcourt units around.
Omri Casspi/Francisco Garcia
Jason Thompson/Darnell Jackson
DeMarcus Cousins/Hassan Whiteside
8) Detroit Pistons-C Bismack Biyombo
I consider him the fourth best prospect overall, and having him slide to #8 is not an indictment on his abilities or homerific on my part. If teams are paying attention to roles/balance/depth the way I do, Biyombo only makes sense at #2 or #8, and there he lands.
A bunch of teams are going to GET NONE tomorrow if the reports are true about all the promises being handed out and reaches about to be made.