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!

Friday, June 30, 2006

NBA Draft Grades: 16-30

Every once in a while I get some sympathy for saps like Chad Ford, who have to go through all 30 teams at 0-dark-thirty on the East Coast. Then I remember that he gets paid a bajillion dollars (or whatever pays for that snappy haircut) to write about European prospects on ESPN's website. So screw you, Chad Ford.

Milwaukee Bucks - David Noel, F/Damir Markota, F
Chad's Grade: B
Gavin's Grade: C-
C'mon Chad, why are you giving the Bucks a break because they drafted a good "athlete"? That "athlete" in David Noel could barely crack the starting five of FRESHMEN at North Carolina. Yes, I definitely want him on my squad. What a trooper. Also, whenever you see the words, "more seasoning in Europe" accompanied by a prospect, at this point I'm going to ignore them. Apparently "more seasoning" in most sports in Europe is accompanied by (as Colin puts it) girly-girl dives. Get your seasoning in the NCAA and let's see how you do.

Minnesota Timberwolves - Randy Foye, SG/Craig Smith, PF/Loukas Mavrokefalidis, C
Chad's Grade: B+
Gavin's Grade: C
I thought Bobby Jones was traded to the Timberwolves as well, maybe I'm looking at an outdated draft sheet. Anyways, this lower grade is completely for the sake of having Randy Foye ranked higher than Brandon Roy, and letting the Blazers railroad them. Craig Smith is a beast who at least should help the Timberwolves never play Mark Madsen in a competitive game, and Chad Ford says this Loukas guy is tearing up the league in Greece. Hot damn! Tearing up Greece? Why didn't the Sonics draft him instead of that jerk from Senegal? Although I'm a big Husky fan, I'm not sure exactly what Bobby Jones can do in this league without a better jumper... even Bruce Bowen can hit that three in the corner.

New Jersey Nets - Marcus Williams, PG/Josh Boone, C/Hassan Adams, G
Chad's Grade: B+
Gavin's Grade: A-
I thought this was a very solid draft by the Nets. In Marcus Williams they draft the heir apparent for Jason Kidd, in Josh Boone they draft a center who can actually play (unlike that Krstic joker), and Hassan Adams could be a terrific energy guy off the bench. If he can find a jumper like his former teammate Iguadola, Adams can become a very serviceable pro. Now, all these guys do have attitude question marks, and it's possible Boone especially could become a bust, but at least from a talent perspective in a draft this week, New Jersey filled some holes.

New Orleans Hornets - Hilton Armstrong, C/Cedric Simmons, PF/Marcus Vinicius Vieira de Souza, SF
Chad's Grade: A-
Gavin's Grade: B-
I'm not sure why Hilton Armstrong was such great stuff. He was surrounded by decent defenders and NBA quality players, in a Big East that lacked good big men to challenge him, so he just roamed the paint and got in the way. Now he's going to get millions of dollars. Go NBA! Cedric Simmons has the dreaded "upside" label from Jay Bilas, and who know who the heck that final guy is. I'd like to see how much of that last name he wants on the back of his jersey. Since he's from Brazil, he should shorten it to one name... Vinny. Throw in an "aldo" if you want.

New York Knicks - Renaldo Balkman, SF/Mardy Collins, PG
Chad's Grade: F
Gavin's Grade: For the Love of All That's Holy, Fire Thomas
I'm not sure what you can say about this. Use your first pick to draft an undrafted free agent, and then your second to draft yet another combo guard, who you can use in tandem with Nate Robinson, Jamal Crawford, Steve Francis, and Stephon Marbury to create the ultimate combo-guard lineup. That's enough to strike fear into the hearts of opponents from here to Greece.

Orlando Magic - JJ Redick, SG/James Augustine, PF
Chad's Grade: B-
Gavin's Grade: B
Pretty solid draft by Orlando, depending on what they're going to ask from these players. Redick can make threes and get beaten on the defensive end. Augustine can rebound, hit a soft 5 foot jumper, and get pushed around by Dwight Howard in practice until he cries. Both should be bench players, but serviceable. That's what you get out of this draft.

Philadelphia 76ers - Rodney Carney, F/Bobby Jones, F/Edin Bavcic, C
Chad's Grade: B+
Gavin's Grade: B+
Oh, that's right. Bobby Jones went here. All Philadelphia is going to ask of him is to be a spot defender, so he'll fit in pretty well. I liked Carney a lot coming into the draft, I thought he was a top 10 player, and he gives the team yet another athletic young scorer. Again, whoever this Bavcic guy is, he probably needs more seasoning in Europe.

Phoenix Suns - Traded everything for money to roll around in
Chad's Grade: F
Gavin's Grade: F
I know why they need the money, to resign Boris Diaw for lots of money. Still, they really have to get a backup point guard for Steve Nash. Leandro Barbosa is not the answer. He's much better off the ball. With Marcus Williams or that Spanish guy available, it was a bad move to avoid upgrading the team.

Portland TrailBlazers - LaMarcus Aldridge, PF/Brandon Roy, SG/Sergio Rodriguez, PG/Joel Freeland, PF
Chad's Grade: A
Gavin's Grade: B+
You have to hand it to Portland, they did move around a lot. Still, when they moved up to #2, they should have grabbed Adam Morrison instead of Aldridge, for the simple reason that Morrison is a far superior player. Of course, they did manage to grab Roy, but it could have been likely to get both, and that would have been the haul of the draft. I'm a little worried about Aldridge's growth. He already has toughness issues, and playing with Darius Miles and Zach Randolph isn't going to help matters. Brandon Roy, of course, will be a stud, and Nate McMillan will love having him around. I don't particularly ever see him as an all-star, but perhaps he has a Rashard Lewis type season once to crack the roster. The Blazers still don't have a point guard (not counting Dan Dickau), so they better hope this Rodriguez is ready to learn the NBA game quickly. I don't like the Joel Freeland pick at all. Three years ago he was bagging groceries. The NBA... FAAAAAAN-tastic.

Sacramento Kings - Quincy Douby, SG
Chad's Grade: C+
Gavin's Grade: D
Chad should have punished them worse for this pick. They need a backup for Mike Bibby. Their team collapses when he's gone. So instead they draft the next Francisco Garcia, who they only drafted a year ago. That seems slightly idiotic. Bad Kings.

San Antonio Spurs - Nothin'
Chad's Grade: C
Gavin's Grade: F
Ummm... Chad? Consistency? The Spurs traded their pick for a future pick and so you give them a passing grade? Can you ever criticize a team like this or are you secretly carrying Pop's love child?

Seattle SUUUUUUUUperSonics - Mouhamed Saer Sene, C/Denham Brown, SG/Yotam Halperin, PG
Chad's Grade: B-
Gavin's Grade: C
First, the negative. The Sonics should have traded this pick for something better down the road, like another pick in next year's super duper deep draft. Getting yet another center, one averaging 3.4 pts per game... in Belgium... is not exactly an exciting pick, no matter how many JJ Redick shots he swatted during drills. There was better talent available.
Now, the positive. This was a really weak draft, and I wasn't sold on the talent of anyone around except maybe Marcus Williams. Even JJ Redick I only wanted to get out there and shoot threes. So we get another center to avoid overpaying a veteran. If we need a move, we have valuable trade bait. I really felt better about the draft once we got Denham Brown, who was not conceivably worse than the other players we could have gotten at 10. I liked Brown a lot. We also forgot about that Mickael Gelabale guy we're bringing back from Europe. So we do have talent on its way to upgrade the team. So... no sexy pick... but good players coming. I'll deal.

Toronto Raptors - Andrea Bargnani, PF/PJ Tucker, PF
Chad's Grade: A-
Gavin's Grade: C
I think Bargnani was a terrible pick at #1. Take the proven scorer, especially when you already have a young and growing front line. Get some backcourt help. Then the Raptors exacerbate the problem drafting ANOTHER PF in the second round. I know Colangelo has a great track record, but this looks like a spotty start to me.

Utah Jazz - Ronnie Brewer, SG/Dee Brown, SG/Paul Millsap, PF
Chad's Grade: A
Gavin's Grade: A
I liked this draft a ton for the Jazz. Brewer and Brown are just prototypical Jerry Sloan type players. They play defense, shoot the midrange jumper, and don't slouch at the defensive end. Of course, they're also prototypical Sloan players in that they couldn't buy a three to save their lives. I think the Jazz will be one of the more improved teams this coming season.

Washington Wizards - Olexsiy Pecherov, PF/Vladimir Veremeenko, PF
Chad's Grade: B+
Gavin's Grade: D
I'm not sure I was ready for Chad to "compliment" Pecherov by saying he could be a "Keith Van Horn" type player. Yes... I'm sure that's exactly what the Wizards needed. What they could have used more was some athletic defenders. Unless Pecherov is the next AK-47, they failed this draft.

That's it, campers! What a mediocre bunch of talent! I think we're not going to see much impact in the standings next year, because most of even the better talent needs a lot of seasoning (not in Europe). Maybe I'll be proven wrong... it's happened before.

posted by Gavin @ 11:20 AM  1 comments


At 12:57 PM, Anonymous eric said...

I disagree on the Blazers a little, but then I'm in the more pessimistic about Morrison in the pros camp.

First taking Morrison and Roy wasn't gonna happen, they have lots of depth at SG and SF as it is so could only add 1 and Roy will be the better player, especially in Nate's system.

Secondly, even if they had wanted to take them both I think if they take Morrison at 2 that sets of a chain reaction and Roy doesn't slip to 6, I wouldn't have been at all surprised to see Charlotte take him, people talking about Gay there were on crack, do they think Jordan learned nothing from the Brown fiasco? He clearly wanted proven college players with strong work ethics.

As for Aldridge I'm a little torn. I think Thomas looks to have more potential but I've heard that he really turned teams off once they interviewed him. As in he's dumber than a fence post and all in all a follower likely to be influenced by the Zach Randolphs of the world. While Aldridge (like Roy for that matter) is a strong personality with good character who will work hard and has a lot of upside (though I do hate that word!)


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