Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

NBA Draft Grades: 1-15

It's pretty hard to be upset about this draft, what with the M's hitting and then passing the .500 mark. We've actually won more games than we've lost, which is pretty odd to think about. Seems foreign. Only down side to this is the apologists who now would praise Mike Hargrove. No. Bad apologists. Must destroy Mike Hargrove. Most of our losses are because of Mike, and a few of our recent wins (two days ago) and inspite of his idiotic decision-making.

Speaking of idiots, NBA general managers usually rank pretty high on the scale. They overall did a decent job this year, but it's easy to pick role players. I've harped on this point, I know, but are there any players in this draft that we would pick as an All-Star in the next five years? I say "no".

I'll be putting Chad Ford's draft grades next to mine, just as a conversation point. If you can't make fun of Chad Ford on draft day, your world is a little darker.

Atlanta Hawks - Shelden Williams, PF/Solomon Jones, C
Chad's Grade: C
Gavin's Grade: F
You tell me what there is to like about burning a #5 pick on someone with the skill set of Shelden Williams. The first team out of the gate, and it is a prime reason why I hated this draft. Last year Williams MAYBE goes in the top 20. He's a darn good defender with limited offensive skills, and I wanted him to fill a niche in the Sonics front line. This basically puts the pressure on him to be an All-Star caliber front line player. Not him. Solomon Jones is also a yawner of a pick.

Boston Celtics - Rajon Rondo, PG/Leon Powe, PF
Chad's Grade: B
Gavin's Grade: C
Rajon Rondo sounds like a workout wonder to me. I like Bill Simmons' thoughts on him, as a point guard who can't shoot, he could follow in exactly nobody's footsteps in leading a team to an NBA title. This just means that yet another player can fall off to guard Paul Pierce. As for Powe, I liked him quite a bit as a later first round player, but the Celtics already have some undersized power forwards like Al Jefferson, but supposedly that depth is going to be used to go after Allen Iverson. If that's correct, a lot of this looks better. Until then, very mediocre effort.

Charlotte Bobcats - Adam Morrison, F/Ryan Hollins, C
Chad's Grade: B+
Gavin's Grade: A-
The Bobcats didn't go nuts and found a quality scorer to go with the rest of their talent. They also have enough defense to support Morrison's own deficiencies. Ryan Hollins can be a quality backup to Emeka Okafor as well. Overall, Charlotte has a terrific young nucleus and didn't omit any problem areas on the roster.

Chicago Bulls - Tyrus Thomas, PF/Thabo Sefolosha, PF
Chad's Grade: A-
Gavin's Grade: A-
Thomas to me is one of the few players in the entire draft who could turn out to be an above average player, and the Bulls were wise to grab him. That in and of itself makes their draft an "A", especially with as few other needs as they have. Of course, I have no clue who that Sefolosha guy is... but Chad Ford thinks he's great. Whatever. Chad Ford's success rate with international prospects is about the same as mine trying to get my dog to keep from destroying my carpet.

Cleveland Cavaliers - Shannon Brown, SG/Daniel Gibson, PG
Chad's Grade: A
Gavin's Grade: B
I love the Daniel Gibson selection here. He has some good playmaker abilities and should be able to help Cleveland never to have to put the name Flip Murray with the title Point Guard ever in their future. However, I do not like the Shannon Brown pick. I didn't like him with Michigan St and thought Maurice Ager was a far superior player. Getting some better frontcourt help for LeBron instead of yet another backup would have made more sense.

Dallas Mavericks - Maurice Ager, SG
Chad's Grade: B
Gavin's Grade: B+
Since I just showed some love to Ager, I'll give some love to the team that picked him, the Mavericks. I probably should even upgrade that mark to an A-, but it's so hard to give love to Mark Cuban. I'd rather call a foul for breathing near Dwayne Wade. Ager could play and play well next year for the Mavs. He has the outside shooting ability I discussed in the mock draft. Good pick. These picks are how the good teams stay elite.

Denver Nuggets - Nothin'
Chad's Grade: F
Gavin's Grade: I
Denver solidified their status as "team most likely to slide next season".

Detroit Pistons - Cheik Samb, C/Will Blaylock, PG
Chad's Grade: A
Gavin's Grade: Incredulous, followed by a C
Joe Dumars has apparently reached Bill Belichick status in the NBA, because Chad Ford just completely dropped his trousers for him. An "A"? For two second round picks, headlined by another C from Senegal? You have got to be kidding me.

Golden State Warriors - Patrick O'Bryant, C/Kosta Perovic, C
Chad's Grade: B
Gavin's Grade: D
I wrote it last night, Patrick O'Bryant cashed in on the NCAA Tournament to sucker a team into spending far too much money on him. No way he's a top 10 pick without Bradley shocking the world. Now the Warriors get an overrated center they don't actually need and some Serbian center to look good on the bench. Not exactly a way to push them over the edge into solid playoff contention.

Houston Rockets - Rudy Gay(Shane Battier)/Steve Novak, SF/Lior Eliyahu, SF
Chad's Grade: B-
Gavin's Grade: F
Let's think about this one for a second. You have the ability to take the player everyone believes has the most individual talent in the draft, put him in a good situation with Yao and T-Mac, and a good coach in Jeff Van Gundy, and you end up dropping him and another talent like Stromile Swift for the Preacher? What? Look, Battier is a solid player and all... he's actually the best comparison to most players in this draft. Never an all-star, but a valuable asset. That's this draft in a nutshell. This is nuts. At least Novak can shoot some threes for the Rockets, although Luther Head can do that and actually display athleticism too.

Indiana Pacers - Shawne Williams, F/James White, SG
Chad's Grade: C+
Gavin's Grade: C
They should have taken Marcus Williams, who was still available. Shawne Williams has some decent talent, though, and could make me look like an idiot soon. I have to be honest, I don't know enough about James White. Maybe that grade should be a B- or something, but it's not like Pacers fans actually read this site, so whatever.

Los Angeles Clippers - Paul Davis, C/Guillermo Diaz, SG
Chad's Grade: B+
Gavin's Grade: B+
The first grade we completely agree on. Davis spent four years under Tom Izzo and his toughess and ball handling improved. Guillermo Diaz was a borderline first round prospect. This is the type of draft good teams could have. No "superstars" asking high first round money. Two solid second round players who can step in immediately and contribute to a winning team.

Los Angeles Lakers - Jordan Farmar, PG/Danilo Pinnock, SG
Chad's Grade: B
Gavin's Grade: C
Any self-respecting Pac-10 fan should agree that Jordan Farmar was not ready for prime time. His outside jumper was spotty, he is very turnover prone, and his ball handling skills need some serious work. UCLA doesn't make one of the most mediocre runs to the final game in the history of the universe and no way he cracks the top round. The Lakers got suckered here. He needs two years in the D League plus the regular larger-than-normal NBA leap.

Memphis Grizzlies - Rudy Gay, F/Kyle Lowry, PG/Alexander Johnson, PF
Chad's Grade: A+
Gavin's Grade: A+
Have to agree here, Memphis really stockpiled some terrific talent. Again, Gay might have the most talent of anyone in the draft, and since he's not going to be asked to be even the fourth best player on the team, has a lot of room to grow. I'd love to see him and Hakim Warrick on the court at the same time. Kyle Lowry provides a good shooter to backup and eventually supplant Damon Stoudamire, and Alexander Johnson is a great reach in the second round. All in all, I don't know how you could do much better to improve your team.

Miami Heat - Nothin'
Chad's Grade: A
Gavin's Grade: A/F
I agree with Chad. This draft pick went for Shaq, which in turn went for NBA title. That makes it an A. However, the draft itself did nothing for the future of a team with a lot of age and help needed. That makes it an F. Never stand pat, especially if you want to repeat.

That's the first fifteen. More, including Portland and Seattle, later on!

posted by Gavin @ 2:38 PM  0 comments


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