The New Best Draft Class? Part Dos

February 27, 2010

Continuation of my last post which you can find here, here, and here. This post shall describe the last half of the lottery picks of the legendary 2008 draft class.  The same draft class that lost to the rookies during all-star weekend some weeks ago.  So here you, picks 8-14.

8th Pick?

Who?

Every great draft class has a bust and this white boy happens to be the one of 2008.  His name is Joe Alexander, born in Taiwan, knows how to speak mandarin, and a phantom college career I do not know much about.  At one point he was described as being the next Larry Bird such as other white boys like Adam Morrison and Tyler Hansbrough.  On paper, he was considered the best athlete, having the second best 185lb bench reps, and second fastest sprint time during workouts.  And he was also able to drop 15 points on the Los Angeles Lakers once in his professional career.  Other than that, he was injured, assigned to d-league, still injured, and traded.  Not much else to say about him.

9th Pick

D.J. Augustin

The 9th pick drafted to the Charlotte Bobcats had a great rookie season, averaging 11.8 points a game and showing nice athleticism.  His second season though, he fell off a bit, averaging only a little bit over 5 points a game but that can be attributed to the ridiculous playing time that Raymond Felton is receiving.  Augustin lacks size but he has shown that he is a very smart player.  He knows his rotations, knows his plays, and can play pretty decent defense for a big man.  Just every once in a while a bigger point guard would out power him such as Deron Williams did.  As of right now, his game has a lot of expanding to do, but he can drop a lot of points at once if given the playing time.  An above average pick that still has a long way to go.

10th Pick

Brooke Lopez

The only bright spot of the New Jersey Nets right now.  Hell, he is the only person keeping those Nets afloat in this season.  His averaging of 19 points, 9 rebounds, and almost 2 blocks a game is considered all star level.  A talented center that can be almost Shaq-like in terms of dominance, Brooke Lopez will turn the Nets into a devastating team.  He’s young, he’s playing well, and everyone knows that he is only going to get better as the years go on.  All he needs is a strong supporting cast and this half Hispanic center can send his team to the playoffs and beyond.

11th Pick

Jerryd Bayless

Jerryd Bayless is a shooter, slasher, and volume scorer.  This season so far, he has scored double digits 24 times, one of those times, scoring 31 points.  Right now he’s a great backup guard to the great Brandon Roy and knows how to keep the team afloat when the Blazers starting lineup is benched and resting.  Like the rest of the players in this post, he’s still developing but he has shown many flashes of greatness here.

12th Pick

Jason Thompson

Jason Thompson of the Kings kinda got written off because of the beastmode playing of Tyreke Evans.  Last year he averaged 11.1 points a game which is decent for a rookie.  And this year he is averaging 12.7 points a game which shows slight improvement.  He is a forward center who is notoriously known for his jumpshot.  He is not a stretch 4 like Rashard Lewis or Antawn Jamison because he can’t really shoot treys but he has the long jumper which is good enough.  And Thompson also averages around 8 rebounds a game.  Good big man, I just don’t think hes ever going to be amazing now with Tyreke Evans, Omri Casspi, and Carl Landry running the Kings.

13th Pick

Brandon Rush

This guy can’t really do much besides score.  And even then he only averages 8 points a game.  I’m not disappointed because anyone having to play with a ballhog such as Danny Granger would only average 8 points too.  I don’t watch the Pacers play much but I do know from playing 2K10 that Rush can hit the trey often.  Again, he’s not horrible, he’s not great, and he is part of the late lottery picks where its either hit or miss on who you get.

14th Pick

Anthony Randolph

The 14th pick by the Golden State Warriors and the last person I’ll be writing about in this post.  Some may call him overrated, others may call him the second coming of *insert great player here*.  I do know that he was heavily hyped during the offseason last summer by all the bloggers and media.  And really, those last 8 weeks of his rookie year where he averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds was impressive, I’ll give him that.  But he’s skinny like most of his teammates and extremely fragile.  I believe that he is injured right now.  I never understood the hype, but I can tell that he’s talented and athletic.  He has star potential written all over him, he just needs room to grow.  Which means Monta Ellis can’t keep shooting 30 shots a night and should pass it to the inside once in a while.  Randolph though is just one of those players you want to see get better but you’re not sure if it’ll happen.

So there are the lottery picks of the 2008 draft class.  A nice young group of players where besides one has shown many flashes of greatness.  Some other notable people from this year are J.J. Hickson, the 19th pick chosen by the Cavs.  He’s a good power forward who plays with Lebron.  Then there’s Courtney Lee, the 22nd pick chosen by the Magic and is now playing for the Nets.  And George Hill, the fantastic point guard chosen at 26th by the Spurs, who I also have on my fantasy team and is giving me more points than I deserve.  And from the second round, there’s Mario Chalmers from the Heat and DeAndre Jordan from the Clippers.  Then there’s Anthony Morrow who went undrafted and is also on my fantasy team and gives me a lot of points, inconsistently though but whatever works.  And yes, I believe this draft class will be better than the Lebron and Darko Milicic class of 2003 simply because of all the star power here.

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Ready for the grades?!?!

February 22, 2010

As usual, rumors often become just rumors before the trade deadline. Not too many big deals at all. Other than that, lets recap with all the trades that went down right before Thursday night.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers

Acquired: Antawn Jamison and Sebastian Telfair

Losses: Zydrunas Illgauskas, Emir Preldzic, and a 2010 first round pick

Probably the biggest trade before the deadline was the Jamison deal. This trade surprised me. I thought the Wizards should have known better to make this team a more of a powerhouse than it already is. Don’t let the Bobcat’s whipping to Jamison’s behind fool you tonight. Antawn is a great player. His age might be a concern for the Cavaliers in the long run, but the man can still shoot the ball. Sebastian is currently injured, but I believe he may be a solid third string point guard if Mo Williams or Daniel Gibson gets hurt.

Grade: A-

2.Dallas Mavericks

Acquired: Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, and DeShawn Stevenson

Losses: Josh Howard, James Singleton, Drew Gooden, and Quinton Ross

Butler and Haywood are the main pieces to this Dallas team. Caron gives the Mavs another offensive threat which Josh Howard hasn’t been filling in for and Haywood gives another big body down low who can crash boards and play incredible defense. What I like to see from the Mavericks after the trade is the productivity of their bench. The bench has to be one of the best in the league today with Jason Terry, J.J. Barea, and Erick Dampier are one of the big names not in the starting lineup.

Grade: A

3.Houston Rockets

Acquired: Kevin Martin, Hilton Armstrong, Jordan Hill, and Jared Jeffries

Losses: Tracy McGrady, Carl Landry, and Joey Dorsey

I thought for one thing Houston would try to find another big man to their roster. They found two decent ones, but nothing to go “WOW” about. Kevin Martin was a great pick up for the Rockets. Shane Battier would probably move back to the sixth man spot where he does exceptionally well. Aaron Brooks should be leading this team now that Carl Landry who was probably the Rocket’s best active player this season is now gone. This trade was a great playoff push trade for the Rockets.

Grade: B+

4.Portland Trail Blazers

Acquired: Marcus Camby

Losses: Steve Blake and Travis Outlaw

In desperate need to find a big man, Portland finally came through landing a experienced player. Camby is a solid acquisition for the Blazers since Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla went out. Old Juwan Howard needed a break from playing so much sometime soon. Portland plays an uptempo style which fits perfectly with Camby since he used to play with the fast paced Denver Nuggets.

Grade: B

5.Charlotte Bobcats

Acquired: Tyrus Thomas and Theo Ratliff

Losses: Flip Murray, Acie Law, future first round pick, and future second round pick

The Bobcats are a fun fast paced team to watch. Funny how they can beat the Cavs and lose to the Nets. Tyrus Thomas is a perfect addition to the team. The Bulls were fed up with the kid, but the Bobcats picked up the slack for them by taking Tyrus off their hands for a decent Flip Murray, traveling guard Acie Law, and a first round pick which Tyrus once was. Ratliff was a questionable decision on the other hand. But having a veteran who can protect the paint for some few minutes won’t hurt much for a second round pick.

Grade: A-

6.Milwaukee Bucks

Acquired: John Salmons, Primoz Brezec, Royal Ivey, and a second round picks (from 76ers and Bulls)

Losses: Joe Alexander, Hakim Warrick, Jodie Meeks, and Francisco Elson

With Redd out the whole season, the Bucks look to start fresh with a new roster look. Redd’s contract will be done by the end of this season, so they are trying to find a replacement for him. Salmons is a decent pick up for the Bucks. But these trades to me doesn’t seem to make much sense. Warrick was a solid player for the Bucks. He didn’t have a great jump shot, but his athleticism makes him have skill talent similar to players like Josh Smith or Shawn Marion. I mean, he was a natural forward so I don’t expect him to shoot the ball outside much. Joe Alexander had potential to become a good player too, but the Bucks gave up on him. Milwaukee should have used this non playoff season to experiment young players like Alexander and Meeks.

Grade: D+

7. Boston Celtics

Acquired: Nate Robinson and Marcus Landry

Losses: Eddie House, J.R. Giddens, Bill Walker, and a future second round pick

Nate Robinson as a sixth man for the already stacked Celtics? That’s crazy talk. Eddie House was a great role player for the Celtics. Shipping him and two young players for the 3 time Dunk Champion to me was pretty much a steal. The one problem on my mind is how is Nate going to share the minutes with Rondo or Allen? His minutes will go down for sure. Let’s see how this will work out.

Grade: A

8. New York Knicks

Acquired: Tracy McGrady, Sergio Rodriguez, Eddie House, J.R. Giddens, Bill Walker, and a future second round pick

Losses: Nate Robinson, Marcus Landry, Jared Jeffries, Jordan Hill, Larry Hughes, and a future protected first round pick

The New York buzz is TMAC. Tracy amazed NY in his debut scoring 26 points. I always thought Tracy still had his talent. New York needs all the expiring contracts they can get for the LeBron chase. Having Tracy a former star on the team can bring in ticket sales for the Knicks at least. Also, the Knicks got lucky getting rid of Jared Jeffries and Jordan Hill whose contracts were going to spill into next season.

Grade: B+

9.Chicago Bulls

Acquired: Flip Murray, Joe Alexander, Acie Law, Hakim Warrick, and a future first round pick (Charlotte)

Losses: Tyrus Thomas, John Salmons, and future second round picks

Chemistry issues made the Bulls ship out Thomas. Understandable in some sense, but Chicago took a huge hit on losing a talented player. On the good side, Salmons for Warrick and Alexander was a great trade for the Bulls. Warrick would fill the spot for Thomas and Alexander hopefully can develop in Chicago behind Deng and James Johnson. If Chicago is trying their best to chase after LeBron, I highly doubt it’ll happen. Their chances of landing Dwade is more likely.

Grade: C+

10.Los Angeles Clippers

Acquired: Steve Blake, Travis Outlaw, Drew Gooden, and Cash

Losses: Marcus Camby, Al Thornton, and Sebastian Telfair

Clippers were all about the money in this trade. They didn’t get much, but as they say “every penny helps”. The Clips will be looking busy this off season in the free agent market. Their best addition I thought was Drew Gooden, but rumors are he might get bought out. Other rumors are that he might stay. If he stays, I see Drew getting some good minutes to show off his role player model. Blake should be starting, but of course LA has Baron as their starter. Outlaw is out. In the end, it comes out to just Benjamins.

Grade: C (If Gooden plays)/ D+ (If Gooden gets bought out)

11.Sacramento Kings

Acquired: Carl Landry, Larry Hughes, and Joey Dorsey

Losses: Kevin Martin, Hilton Armstrong, and Sergio Rodriguez

Another team who will make many moves in the 2010 market is the Kings. The loss of Kevin Martin is always backed up by Tyreke’s break out year. I felt that the Kings could have gotten much more for KMART 2. Hilton Armstrong was also a tough loss for Sacramento. Hilton is surprisingly athletic for his size and Houston got a steal for that. Of course, on the upside the Kings received one of the sixth man of the year candidates and expiring contracts. Too bad Carl is now starting and will soon be out of the award race.

Grade: C-

12.Washington Wizards

Acquired: Josh Howard, Quinton Ross, James Singleton, Zydrunas Illgauskas, Al Thornton, 2010 first round pick (Cleveland), and rights to Emir Preldzic

Losses: Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, DeShawn Stevenson, and cash

Washington is making the biggest push to rebuild before the deadline. They didn’t really care if they gave up Antawn. In desperate times, you need to make a move quickly. Big Z will most likely be bought out, but unsure if he will head back to Cleveland. Al Thornton was a nice cheap pick up and everyone else they got had expiring contracts.

Grade: C+

Minor Trade Deals

Memphis Grizzlies

Acquired: Ronnie Brewer

Losses: Protected 2010 first round pick

I just have to say, Memphis had one of the biggest steals of the deadline day.

Grade: A

Minnesota Timberwolves

Acquired: Darko Milicic

Losses: Brian Cardinal

Darko impressed many NBA fans in his debut as a Twolve. This might be his last shot at the NBA. Darko stated he wants out of the NBA after this season and wants to head to Europ to play. After a performance like that, he should think otherwise if he keeps it up.

Grade: A-

Philadelphia 76ers

Acquired: Jodie Meeks and Francisco Elson

Losses: Royal Ivey, Primoz Brezec, and a 2010 second round pick

Jodie Meeks was a good pick up for two players who practically do nothing for the 76ers. A second round pick would be pushing the Meeks trade outcome. If Philly ends up getting a high pick in the draft, the Bucks would benefit if they picked up a great player. Right now the 2010 mock draft says Greivis Vasquez from Maryland would be the Bucks pick. That’s bad on Philly’s note since Vasquez averages pretty good stats all across the board.

Grade: B-

San Antonio Spurs

Acquired: Protected 2010 second round pick

Losses: Theo Ratliff

Ratliff is old. The pick is protected. Spurs are slipping quickly out of the playoffs. If somehow the Spurs are in the lottery and get a high pick, they will regret it just a bit.

Grade: C-

Utah Jazz

Acquired: Protected 2010 first round pick

Losses: Ronnie Brewer

Why?!?! This was just plain idiotic. Ask Deron Williams and see how he feels.

Grade: F