Pick, Blog and Roll

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Draft analysis, a la Jack Handey

It's amazing what personally attending NBA draft camps reading a few articles in the paper can do to help clarify one's opinions concerning the 2006 draft.

Or at least, that was the idea.

So without further ado or clarity, I present the first installment of my very own Deep Thoughts on the 2006 draft:

Andrea Bargnani
The videos are impressive, but he's an unknown commodity to all but a handful of scouts and GMs in North America. With Dirk Nowitski's ascention in the 2006 playoffs, the idea of drafting a European is less daunting than a few months ago (ref: Darko Milicic, Nikoloz Tskitishvili, Fran Vasquez). But questions about fit and resiliency abound. Is this the right guy to join a Raptor front-court already featuring Chris Bosh and Charlie Villanueva?

LaMarcus Aldridge
He's big, Chris Bosh wants him, and would appear to fill a need. But here's the rub: the player he's most frequently compared to is Chris Bosh. Which is great for Aldridge, but if we're discounting Bargnani because his skills duplicate what's already available, shouldn't the same criteria also apply here?

(If the Raptors do draft Aldridge, perhaps they should go all out and add Joey Graham's twin brother to the roster. And let's not forget about Charlie Villanueva's doppleganger, Derrick Coleman. Are there any other ballers in the Bonner family?)

Tyrus Thomas
Everyone's other favorite big man, Thomas is only 19 years old and considered to be oozing seething bleeding ripe with potential. Which is another way of saying that he's got limited game, but will probably blossom evolve explode turn into something special. He's a great athelete by all accounts, and has improved by leaps and bounds in just a year. He's described as "Stromile Swift with a motor", which ESPN's Chris Ford notes is a compliment. But frankly, I would be more enthusiastic if he were described as "Stromile Swift with a motor and basketball IQ", because as one reader might say, "Stro's not the sharpest cookie in the jar".

Shelden Williams
I'm not suggesting the Raptors should draft Williams, but ESPN's Andy Katz makes an interesting point about "hot" propsects Aldridge and Thomas:

    "Williams scored 23 and 13 in the Sweet 16 loss to LSU while Thomas had nine and 13. In a blowout win over Texas earlier in the season, Williams scored 23 points, had six boards and recorded five blocks. Williams was quick to point out that Aldridge scored most of his 21 points when the game was already decided."
The trouble with Williams is that he's 22 years old and a known commodity, which makes it tough for scouts and GMs to get excited about his potential upside.

To be continued ...


  • Are we convinced that CV3 is the real deal?
    His work ethic has always been questioned, and he did a little (but not a lot) to change our minds of that last season.

    Perhaps Charlie V can fetch good value on the market, allowing the Raps some more draft/trade flexibility.

    Are CV3 and CB4 happy together?

    By Blogger dombort, at 8:37 AM  

  • I think you're right about the trade value.

    One of the interesting insights from last year was that the team's internal chemistry is very strong. Mike James, Jalen Rose, and Darrick Martin all mentioned it in interviews with the press. And I believe more than one of the above basically said: "This is the closest team I've ever played on. Everyone really gets along and looks out for eachother."

    Which is a round-about way of saying that I think Bosh and Villanueva are happy together.

    That being said, I think there's a very real chance that CV3 is going to be traded.

    After finishing second in the rookie of the year voting, you have to wonder if his stock can go much higher in the coming years. If he posts similar numbers next year, GMs will likely conclude (to your point) that he's either (a) running on auto-pilot, or (b) got a low ceiling.

    Charlie's also got a bad habit of disappearing from games from extended stretches. I know he dropped 48 pts on Milwaulke, but that was just one game.

    Question is, what can we get back for him. If it involves a $17-18mm/year contract coming back our way (re: Jermaine O'Neal), forget. I like JO, but that would kill our flexibility.

    By Blogger Ben Jammin, at 12:01 PM  

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