White Hat Sports Headlines

Sunday, June 15, 2008

First Annual NBA Draft Part 3

Alright, so this one has been a long time coming, but with the amount of work I've been putting in I haven't had time to continue such an in depth thread, so I decided to just write nothing. The good news is this is the last part of the preview, and after this I can write smaller posts that require significantly less research. This last section particularly is difficult, because it is where foreign players start to get picked by contenders. That means two things...I have no clue who some of these guys are, because unfortunately I don't have foreign scouts to go by, and I can't fly out to watch them. Obviously. The second problem is that you never really know what contenders are thinking. They could be looking for a polished foreign player to play right away, or they could be happy with their current roster and pick an unpolished guy that will stay foreign for a few years to develop. I will still project the picks, but for some of these foreign guys I can't provide much of my own analysis, I can only rehash what other people have written. While I don't mind doing that some, expect the analysis of those players to be much less in depth. Here we go...

21. New Jersey-Kosta Koufos: This pick is from Dallas, and I think they stick with picking for need and take Koufos here for the same reasons I had them taking Darrell Arthur earlier.

22. Orlando Magic-Chris Douglas Roberts: The biggest hole for this team is the two guard slots, and I consider this a toss up between Roberts and Mario Chalmers from Kansas. I give Roberts the edge only because I think they can live with Jameer Nelson, but their shooting guard slot really needs help, and Roberts certainly provides that. This pick really comes down to how much they have J.J. Reddick in their plans, and it seems like he isn't on the best of terms with the team.

23. Utah Jazz-Nicolas Batum: I don't know much about this guy, other than most people seem to think he can do just about anything on the basketball court. With Andrei Kirilenko being so hit or miss now, it seems like time to find someone to potentially help at the forward position, and certainly Batum could provide that.

24. Seattle Supersonics-Serge Ibaka: The GM of the Sonics comes from the Spurs, and while I think they could use a guard here, they may very well take Ibaka and let him develop overseas. The only guard left worth taking at this point is Mario Chalmers, and they already have him in Earl Watson. They know they are a year or two away from competing, so they will be more than happy to wait for a guy with lots of potential.

25. Houston Rockets-Bill Walker: This is the other guy from Kansas State that has a lot of talent. He didn't get much publicity because of the fact that he played alongside Michael Beasley, but I think he can definitely be a good pro. He can provide more offense when needed over Shane Battier, and can play in place of McGrady when he has his inevitable injury.

26. San Antonio Spurs-Robin Lopez: Unfortunately for the Spurs, I think their run is over. They have become obsessed with only acquiring players they think fit their system mentally, and while it worked for a while, the type of player they want just doesn't work in the NBA anymore. They probably take Lopez here because he's a big body with a very small ego that doesn't need the ball, but I don't think he ever amounts to anything.

27. New Orleans Hornets-J.J. Hickson: This guy has plenty of potential, and will provide a talented player to come in and play when David West needs a rest. They need big bodies and he certainly provides one, and is a good value late in the draft.

28. Memphis Grizzlies-DeVon Hardin: Another big guy with tons of potential, which is what the Grizzlies need. They know they aren't going to contend for awhile, and Hardin probably won't be a regular contributor for awhile either. He is a good pick for the future.

29. Detroit Piston-Mario Chalmers: I fully expect a big trade from the Pistons, and it could very well be the rumored deal with the Nuggets. That would mean they would trade off Rasheed Wallace, Tayshaun Prince, Chauncey Billups and this pick for Carmelo Anthony, Marcus Camby, Kenyon Martin and Chucky Atkins. If the Nuggets pick here they will definitely take Chalmers, and if the Pistons keep the pick and don't make that deal they still may take Chalmers as a back up guard to go with Rodney Stuckey.

30. Boston Celtics-Alexis Ajinca: The only thing I know about this guy is that he is foreign and would absolutely not be playing this coming year in the league. That's fine with the soon to be defending NBA champions, who don't need someone to play right now unless it's a point guard, and unless Chalmers falls to here they won't find that.

On a personal note, I fully expect that both Danny Green and Wayne Ellington will not stay in the draft, and will play at UNC another year. Lawson may or may not go, it depends on what he is hearing from teams. Regardless, the Heels have one of the best incoming freshmen classes, and keeping around those two and Hansbrough should propel the to the top this coming season.

~Aaron Jackson

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