Thursday, June 24, 2010

Annual NBA Draft Like/Don't Like List

Normally, I just post a list of draftees I "like" (project for future success) or "don't like" (think are overvalued or headed for mediocre careers). This year, I decided I'd go old-school "Hot/Not List" style and try to pair players up in related categories:


Like: John Wall
Don't Like: Evan Turner

Evan Turner is the new Emeka Okafor: Best in college. Limited upside. Read this.

Positionless Big
Like: Derrick Favors
Don't Like: Al-Farouq Aminu

Favors could be the next Dwight Howard.

Post Stud
Like: DeMarcus Cousins
Don't Like: Ed Davis

Davis could have been Cousins... a year ago. Don't stay in school.

WAC Small Forward Du Jour
Like: Paul George
Don't Like: Luke Babbitt

George is Danny Granger 2.0. Babbitt is Daequon Cook 2.0.... maybe.

I'm So Conflicted
Like: Gordon Hayward
Don't Like Gordon Hayward

I want to like him. He will not be very effective.

Like: Jordan Crawford
Don't Like: Xavier Henry

Crawford shoots just as well, but way more athletic.

Big Who Can Contribute
Like: Patrick Patterson
Don't Like: Hassan Whiteside

I have a blind spot for PP.

First-Team All-Big East Star
Like: Greg Monroe
Don't Like: Wes Johnson

Johnson will be very solid, but no star. Monroe more valuable as passing big man.

One-and-Done Point-ish Guard
Like: Eric Bledsoe
Don't Like: Avery Bradley

At another school, Bledsoe is All-American.

Big man
Like: Keith Gallon
Don't Like: Craig Brackins

Gallon is like a plus-sized DeJuan Blair.

Like: Jon Scheyer
Don't Like: Lance Stephenson

Scheyer has clear NBA role; Stephenson doesn't.

Like: Latavious Williams
Don't Like: Elliot Williams

Go D-League!

Stiff-ish Big Man
Like: Cole Aldrich
Don't Like: Solomon Alabi

Aldrich will have a very solid career. Alabi? Eh.

Finally, a few words about Daniel Orton, who might be the most polarizing player in the draft.

(1) There will be a backlash to the backlash before the day is over.

(2) Please think back to the pre-draft doubts about Andrew Bynum.

(3) Orton not having an agent killed him in the pre-draft media-spin game. NBA writers get their info from either team execs or agents. Without someone repping his case to influential media people, Orton had no chance. NBA info guys were more easily spun by execs; I guarantee you at least a few with late-1st-round picks were dogging Orton in the hopes he falls.

(4) Draftniks seem to ignore the concept of "expected value": If Orton has a, say, 20 percent chance of being the next Andrew Bynum, isn't that a much much better risk for a team picking in the 2nd half of the 1st round than a player with an 80 percent chance of being a mediocre-to-solid role player?

Given his limited college experience (and, to be fair, he was playing alongside four NBA 1st-round picks), Orton is the closest thing we have seen to a prep-to-pro center since Bynum. That turned out pretty well. Draft Express currently has Orton going to the Wizards with the 30th and final pick of the 1st round. As a Wizards fan, I would love to see that happen. I'll take my chances.

To recap, the players in this draft I like: Wall, Favors, Cousins, George, Patterson, Crawford, Monroe, Bledsoe, Scheyer, Latavious Williams, Gallon, Aldrich, Orton, Hayward.

And the players I don't: Turner, Johnson, Aminu, Davis, Babbitt, Hayward, Henry, Whiteside, Bradley, Brackins, Stephenson, Elliot Williams, Alabi, Hayward.

-- D.S.

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