My 2011 Draft Predictions...
I know there is a whole NBA season left and the draft is a while away but certain teams look like locks to be in the Basement of the League...I'm predicting these Teams to have top 10 picks
1.Pistons-I can see the Pistons win the Lottery...They'll draft Harrison Barnes and build around him and Greg Monroe...A solid/safe pick will be coming out a Detroit this time around...
2.T'Wolves-Wolves like Euro Bigs and will swing for the fences and Draft Enes Kanter...Darko and Pekovic could use an upgrade and a Calipari Bigman could be what Kaun is looking for...
3.Cavs-Cavs need a butt load of talent...I think they go with the Ohio State Pf/C Jared Sullinger and try to move Jamison at some point before or after...
4.Raptors-The Raps clearly need a Franchise Point Guard and Kyrie Irving may fill that spot...At the very least they'll try to get the Best PG prospect at the end of the year...Irving is the guy so far.
5.Sixers-The Sixers could use a Center bad, but with Iggy on the Block adding a 6'10 Sg/Sf/Pf scorer/highlight reel athlete would not be bad at all...If the Sixers land another top 5 pick they'll move Iggy for a Young Center and start Thad or Perry Jones in his place...
6.Clippers-Clippers another team in need for a few starters...If Baron is useless and Bledsoe isn't the Pg of the future I can see them Drafting a Pg here...If Baron and Kaman are kept them they go for the Best SG or SF...Right Now I'm going with Alec Burks...a great 2 way Shooting Guard that can start with Gordon,Aminu and Griffin
7.Wizards-The Wizards need a great young Sf and I think you can book mark another Kentucky guy like Terrence Jones to the Wizards if they slide out the top 5...A versatile Sf to add to Wall's slashing/passing abilty and Gilbert's deadly jump shot would be a great move for the up start Wiz..
8.Suns-They Suns will need to either find an heir to Nash's point guard throne or a decent Shooting Guard to run with him...I also see them going Big and resigning J Rich...Right Now I'm going with my gut and say they pick Trey Thompkins...They can always get a young Guard via Free Agency...
9.Bobcats-The Bobcats need a Franchise Pg or Impact Center...I think at 9 they'll have a choice of three players...Brandon Knight, Josh Selby or Fab Melo...I think they go big and get a Center to bang with the big bodies in the East...This move will be the shocker of the Top Ten...
10.Rockets-The Rockets are off to a rocky start and can use a Young Sf to replace Battier...there are no Centers worth taking and letting Yao retire a starter is the only plan to follow...If Yao can't impact this team's season and last 2 to 3 more years I see the Rockets falling into the Top 10...with a Pick Here I feel like they'll go with a Splash Pick and draft a talented Euro...Montiejunas or Jan Vessley are my dark horse picks for the Rockets...both can play Sf and Pf allowing Scola to slide to Center...I really think if Yao retires due to injury they'll have the Early lead in The Greg Oden sweepstakes...
Brandon Knight, Josh Selby and William Buford are the guys left out the Top Ten right now and could land in better situations because of it...Tyler Honeycutt and CJ Leslie are also in my lottery outlook...Jan Vessley has the potential to rise or fall out the Lotto...
Am I on the money with some of these picks or Can you see the Teams I picked for go other ways...I think I have a pretty accurate Top 10...who am I missing??? Help me round out the last teams in The Lottery...
Off the top of my head I don't think Perry Jones falls to 5 unless he has a really bad year. But you made good arguments for the players taken ahead of him, I could still see Cleveland picking him over Sullinger though.
I like all of them except for the Cavs pick. I really think they'd take Perry Jones. They have no wing scorers and could really use someone like Jones to try and replace Lebron(obviously he won't replace Lebron but you know what I mean.)
If the Raptors land Kyrie Irving, I will cry tears of joy.
I think the Cavs would go somewhere else besides Sullinger simply because their most promising and maybe best player (J.J. Hickson) plays the same position. Maybe a point guard for the future if Irving falls to them or Knight or Selby has a monster year.
Jamario Moon and a Free Agent signing like Tayshaun Prince or JR Smith can give them outside scoring...They need a few Big Bodies, especially if they move either Jamison or Varojeo or Both...Sullinger is a Bruiser and could be a National Player of the Year canidate this year...They would not pass up on a Horford type of Pf/C...He and Hickson would be a very nice Duo down low...I can definitly see Perry slip to 5th in this scenario...The Cavs have been burned by the Highlight Reel athletes, I can see them going for a dirty worker and Ohio State Guy...The Wolves would be the Team that maybe takes Perry at 2, seeing as he was compared to both Garnett and McGrady...with KD having the impact he's having hard to see any one pass up him but they will...He'l be this year's Demarcus Cousins...
If they can move Mo, Jamison or Varejeo for another lottery pick, they can likely get a guy like Knight or Selby...at the very least they'll get William Buford to hold down the SG spot until they draft Drummond in 2012...This year they'll fight hard for the City of Cleveland, after that though they'll fall off the face of the Earth and get a # 1 pick in 2012...Adding The Best Pf/C in College Basketball this year would be a great move, especially since he played for Ohio State...
Your ideas are too best case scenario man.
Are you mad the Knicks ain't getting talked about or something...This is a Draft Topic...so help in the debate or shut the hell up and go make up another Toney Douglas and Timofey Mosgov thread...This is My predictions of the 2011 draft based on early season performances and records...I can't see the Pistons, Raps, Sixers or T'Wolves getting better this year, The Cavs are fighting until January and then they'll fall off the Map too...The Wizards and Clippers have too many holes on their talented rosters to really turn it around...The Bobcats and Rockets are struggling early in the season and if they get any major injuries it's lotto time...The Suns have a better chance at the Lottery then the Playoffs and need to realize it before it's too late...I asked to give me a few other Lottery bound teams...You give me this crap...
Detroit has too many wings, I think they go Kid Kyrie.
Minnesota NEEDS Barnes. I think they'd move up for him
Cavs would not take Sullinger NOR would he go that high. I think they move out for another future pick or look for Kanter to be the pick.
Jarrett Jack is not bad as a big. If Toronto wanted to get better, I could see them move down and take Sullinger because he's a banger
Clippers is NOT taking a PG. Have you seen Bledsoe play? He's doing well. I think they look for a potential wing man. Alec Burks
Wizards need someone who can make shots. I suggest Motie or Vesley. I'd go Vesley
Suns go big because they have 11 small forwards
Bobcats go Big as well
Rockets....I'm just laughing here. Maybe Brandon Knight?
He said Alec Burks
I think suns take a wing with hill and j rich getting older, locked in at the pg, pf and c
i see toronto grabbing an elite pg... haven't seen that since damon stoudemire. plus they have ed davis and bargnani, or can grab a center in the FA.
clips i see taking a center.. kaman is the eldest of the starting 5 core - baron doesn't count because bledsoe and willie warren are set for the future
i see the wolves getting a top 3 pick of either barnes, jones, kanter
i defiinitely see the rankings change over the course of the season to see which players will live up to expectations or which will drop.
You argued all your picks very well.
The only thing I might say, is that I haven't seen Kanter play a lot, but I don't know if his game would compliment Kevin Love's all that well. I feel like they might be inclined to go with a bigger, more Athletic Fab Mello type center, who could counteract Love's lack of interior defense. Obviously I doubt they would reach for Mello at 2, but we don't know where anyone will be picking yet.
I know most people don't want to hear this but Fab Melo is overrated right now as a player. I watched him several times on the circuit and he has very little polish right now. He has potential but is a long way from reaching it.
1. The Piston have too many Wings....No they don't Rip and Tay are on the block...T Mac is a rental, Daye is not a starter and Jerebko blew out his knee...All there wings are FA's at the end of the year or on the Trading Block...They will ot pass up on Harrison Barnes...They've been burned by not picking BPA...Darko anyone???
2. The wolves need Barnes...Why??? Beasley is the Starting Sf and has looked great...They need a Real Starting Center...And if Kanter is more of a Pf they can trade Love for a Center...They don't need a Sf when they just drafted 4 and traded for Beasley...They need a Center or True SG...with the 2nd pick why reach, get the Big Boy Kanter and hope Rubio comes over...
3. The Cavs will not trade out of the Draft, why would they do that...They don't need any High Risk players either...They'll pick a rock solid Big man and look to move the Lebron Gang in time...
4. The Raps will certainly look to get a Franchise Pg and They'll have their pick of the Litter...Irving in Raptors Red is the only sure thing right now...
5.The Sixers would not take Fab Melo over Perry Jones...They'll pick Perry and Trade Iggy or Thad for a Center...Jones in Philly would be very exiting...He's the guy that will slide out the top 3...I called it first...
6. The Clippers are likely to move Kaman so Fab Melo could be a very likely pick, If they don't go big and decide to build through the Draft and sign a Center in FA...They'll get the best wing scorer they can find, enter Alec Burks...I think The Clippers start Gordon at Pg some point after the draft....
7. Wizards are not going Euro here...They have Yi and Seraphin...They'll go for another Calipari wingman and get Terrence Jones...he can pass and rebound, and that's what the Wizards need from a SF right now...
8. The Suns are a Tough team to pick but they may go either Guard (Brandon Knight or William Buford) but I think they'll try to get the best Bigman...Trey Thompkins is a good fit next to Lopez...Warrick and Frye are better as Backups...
9. The Bobcats could go either Knight, Selby or Fab Melo...Knowing Larry Brown he goes for a Defensive big to matchup with the Howard's and Lopez's of the world...If Augustine sucks badly insert Brandon Knight Here...
10. The Rockets may actually rise out this spot right in a few weeks but right now they could use a top ten pick...I see them drafting the 1st euro...They may also trade this Pick for an established Starter at Sf...They'll need to make 1 more real run with Yao...A veteran SF will help that cause better than a Rookie Sf...
You can't teach size...Fab Melo has great size...That's why I said he's the sure shocker pick in the Top 10...Because whoever picks him will Leave Brandon Knight on the Board...I feel like he's the biggest sleeper to rise all the way to the top spot by the Draft...But at this point he'd be a steal to anyone outside the top 5...
The Timberwolves need a #1 guy. They have none of there roster to me. Barnes is a STUD and should be a Ray Allen type player on day 1.
If I'm Detroit, I'm taking Kyrie Irving. I watched him play in high school and even heard he's killing Duke practices and such. He's a CP3 clone and I think that's what the Pistons need: Someone who can pass and get people into position. If they can get a PG, they can look towards the wings they have (Noone's gonna bite on Rip unless he's 2007 Rip and Prince could be brought back for a nice price, he still got a couple seasons in him) so why not?
The Wizards need someone who can finish, I haven't seen Jones alot but if he can score, no problem: Take him ( see we can agree on something..)
The Suns need a BIG man.
Also, I don't understand why you are so high on someone who can't dominate high school in Perry Jones but if that's what you want: I hope you do get him and move Iggy. Less comp for my Knicks.
The twolves don't NEED barnes. They have to all star potential wings in Wesley Johnson and Micheal beasley They do NEED a better center though
And they can get better during the season just like any other team. Especially since they looked promising before beasy went down
If barnes has a great season then you pick him and figure out who u are gonna trade
Det should pick the best player available. When you're that bad you don't just pick a specific position
Raptors same thing
The Pistons need BPA and Barnes is that right now...I understand the PG talk...but Irving is a small PG and CP3's don't grow on trees...The Wolves need an upgrade at Center, That's where Kanter comes into play...The Cavs need some size and brute strenght, enter Ohio State's very own Jared Sullinger, The Raps really really need a true PG, Kyrie Irving fits that role to a tee...The Sixers need a Scorer and some highlight reel dunks to bring the fans back into the Basketball arena...Perry Jones would be very good in the Sixers lineup...
I honestly think Kyrie Irving goes #1 especially if Detroit picks @ that spot, because Stuckey is a 2 guard.
The prospects I covet the most and look forward to being a top 10 picks are Brandon Knight & Renardo Sidney.
Bryan Colengelo is in love with Euro players I would not be suprised to see him pick one
I think that Sullinger will be a very productive player in the league but I just can't see him and Hickson in the same frontcourt. If either of them were a few inches taller it would be a different story.
I think it would be much the same problem that the Timerwolves have had with Kevin Love and Al Jefferson. Where neither one of them could guard the center position.
If you think they're going to get
The last part was meant to say if you think they're going to get another lottery pick maybe they can take someone like Fab Melo or Trey Thompkins with that pick to shore up the front court.
"Jarrett Jack is not bad as a big. If Toronto wanted to get better, I could see them move down and take Sullinger because he's a banger"
Jarret Jack is 6'3. Not even Bryan Colangelo is dumb enough to play him at the 4 or the 5.
1. Harrison Barnes, Detroit Pistons (Think he is the obvious pick for most teams, very versatile and ready to contribute immediately)
2. Enes Kanter, Minnesota Timberwolves (I agree they might just draft on need, and it is true that Kanter would be an upgrade at C, though he and Love have a lot of similarities and Minnesota would still struggle defensively with those two at 4/5)
3. Perry Jones, Cleveland Cavaliers (I see them going for the gusto and addressing a serious need at the same time. His potential may very well have him drafted in front of the more NBA ready Sullinger.)
4. Kyrie Irving, Toronto Raptors (Would be an obvious pick for us, we are in need of a major identity at the PG position and he would be the answer. Would give us a new outlook on how our team is run)
5. Jared Sullinger, Philadelphia 76ers (I know it would not be a need, but he would eventually replace Elton Brand, who they should try to trade desperately for whatever they can get to clear space and rebuild if they finish this low. In which case, Sullinger starts from day one and is a very solid pick)
6. Jan Vesely, LA Clippers (Say whatever you want about European prospects, this guy seems to be the real deal as a combo forward, with solid athleticism to boot. Blake Griffin may indeed end up being a potential 5, than you might have two nice athletes next to him in Aminu and Vesely to give them some life in the front court. I just think Alec Burks would be a big reach at 6, and I do not think they will give up on Eric Gordon. Another option could be a PG, as Baron seems to be on the block, but I think they still like Eric Bledsoe)
7. Terrence Jones, Washington Wizards (I think he could be a great pick here, as they have a number of PF's who think they are SF's, but none who are actually the real thing. He has a lot of potential and could be the staple they need at the wing)
8. Donatas Motiejunas, Phoenix Suns (Seems to fit that style very well, and has a great deal of potential. I totally agree that looking for a Nash, or even a G-Hill replacement, might be in the cards, especially if they finish here, but would not be surprised if they went with a big who fits there style of play. The one problem with this pick could be it does not necessarily upgrade rebounding, which is something they could definitely use)
9. Josh Selby, Charlotte Bobcats (I have a feeling DJ Augustin's days might be numbered, and I am not sure how immediate of an impact any of these bigs available will have for the Bobcats. So, Selby becomes a good possibility, and should really help them in scoring buckets immediately, and they definitely need that)
10. Jonas Valiecunas, Houston Rockets (Yeah, it is crazy, three Euro guys in the top 10, but I seriously think it could happen in this scenario. I have a feeling the guys now seen as definite lotto guys might indeed shift quite a bit, and in that case I could see Jonas going here. He too has a lot of potential and could be a Center with even more potential that Fab Melo. My guess, it will happen, but I could be quite wrong.)
Next 5: Kyle Singler, Brandon Knight, Fab Melo, Alec Burks, Derrick Williams
Which means I am really not sure about Trey Thompkins at this point, but his play during this season could change my throughts. But, my guess, it will be hard to improve on last year, and scouts might indeed pick him apart. He definitely seems like a guy who might have stayed a year too long, because I think he would have gone lotto this past year, and while he still could, he will be held to higher standards.
The cavs have j j hickson why draft sullinger unless there's not other very good player that can play the sf,sg,pg position?
How come Brandon Knight or Renardo Sidney don't make the cut in the top 10?
Same with all three Euro's MikeyV mentioned...I just think the NBA teams will pass on the Euro guys for The NCAA Players fresh in their minds...I can honestly See the Cavs Draft Sullinger over Jones for obvious reasons...
The Pistons have to draft Harrison Barnes...I think they have Stuckey at the 2 Guard next year but with the Glut of wings they can net a Young PG thru trade..they'd want a Vet with Stuckey,Barnes and Monroe...
The Wolves could very well Trade Love...Kaun is not sold on anyone...I think he'd love Kanter and Fab Melo...two big Body's to bang out West...Beasley and Wes are locks for the Sg and Sf spots...They can even slide them up the Sf and Pf spots...The Wolves are the Team I can see Draft Perry Jones 2nd...Then they'll trade Beasley for another top ten Pick and grab Fab Melo...
The Cavs need as much size as they can get...Hickson is a good 6'9 bruiser and Sullinger could be a good Pf/C...they have 3 Veterans I see them daggling in Trades...Mo-Twan or Andy should net them a pick from a Team looking to make a Run...A team just outside the Lottery could Varejoe or Jamison to contend in the Playoffs...
Mikey you have a lot of Euro's in The Top Ten...I think Brandon Knight, Josh Selby and even Renardo Sidney could take those Spots...
My bad O Canada
I meant: Jarett Jack isin't bad (because Scarecrow had the pick as a PG) and they need a Big.
Jarrett Jack is an awesome back-up PG. If Irving is available at 4, we would have to be crazy not to take him barring some huge player moving in front of him. I honestly feel you do not want the Raptors to take a player you like that went to Duke :). Also, Scarecrow, I do not think the NCAA being "fresh in their minds" will move them in front of European players who indeed could be more talented and who I am sure scouts will watch play quite a bit. They are fresher in our minds, not necessarily in the minds of NBA scouts. Nonetheless, I too feel the Cavs might indeed take Jones, sorry for your Sixers homie, know you want him :). Guys, you need to at least TRY and drop your bias if you are doing an actual mock draft!
No, not at all. Irving at 4 is a nice pick but I feel a big would be better. No Bias.
Mikey V, I thought about what you said about the bias free stuf, and here's what I came up with for the top 5 of the draft...
1. Kyrie Irving
2. Mason Plumlee
3. Kyle Singler
4. Nolan Smith
5. Casey Jacobsen
Just in case that doesn't happen though:
1.Pistons- Harrison Barnes, a no-brainer.
2.T'Wolves- I guess Kanter, he's not a fantastic fit, but he's a great center and they really need one.
3.Cavs- Perry Jones, he's very talented, and they need to swing for the fences on this pick.
4.Raptors- Kyrie Irving, they could really use a franchise point guard to start the rebuilding process with.
5.Sixers- Renardo Sidney, this is my sleeper pick. I know he's been lazy in the past, but the reports are that he has really turned his life around and gotten his weight down. This kid is super talented, and I think he's more of a Center than Sullinger, who I also think will be very good. I think he is very comparable to Demarcus Cousins, and if he plays as well as I think he will this year, the 76ers won't want to pass on that type of talent two years in a row.
6.Clippers- Brandon Knight, he is really being slept on, he is a little bit of a combo, but much more of a true point than Selby, and I think his game would complement Gordon's well.
7.Wizards- Terrance Jones, I really liked MikeyV's pick here.
8.Suns- Selby, he might be able to play with Nash as 2, and then take over as the 1 once Nash leaves.
9.Bobcats-Fab Mello, I don't think he's great but somehow I could see him going to the Bobcats at 9.
10.Rockets- Burcks, I haven't seen him much, so I'm hesitant to comment, but supposedly he can play a little point guard, or at least is a very good passer. I could see that kind of player working well with Brooks.
^Wow I used "I think" a ton in that post. I really need to work on varying my word choice.
It is all good, lol, I got a kick out of it. But you know what I mean about at least trying to stop your bias. What I meant about those two other characters (kidding guys) is that they kind of were rationalizing picks based on who they wanted these guys to play for rather than what would actually be the scenario these teams would be thinking about. I mean, it was quite obvious that my man Scarecrow wants Perry Jones on his hometown 76ers. It also seemed quite obvious to me that Mr. Knick is thinking totally in terms of positional need when it comes to the draft, and sometimes you can not think like that and just need to get the best player available. The Pistons may need a true PG, but they can also use the best player in the draft, which I think is clearly Barnes. He would be the center piece of their rebuild. To say that the Raptors would not need Kyrie Irving as much as the Pistons is just flat out wrong. Both of those teams need pretty much whatever they can get when it comes to solidifying a top notch starter at almost any position on the court in the rebuilding process. Yes, Toronto needs bigs, but they need an identity just as much, and our rebuilding process would not be solved by passing over the best PG in the draft for a big man who is almost certain to not have as much of an impact on our team.
Renardo Sidney is a guy who definitely could sneak up draft boards, but I think he has even more questions about maturity and weight than even DeMarcus Cousins. He also has a lot of skill and upside, but the Cousins thing is a best case scenario, as I think Renardo is not exactly trying to be a Center or post, which with his frame and size, will more than likely hurt his stock more than help it. But, he is very talented, so he indeed could play himself into the lottery, and maybe even turn up better than many people picked before him. I really think he is a huge gamble to go that high, though. You are right, the Bobcats are in desperate need of a big with potential, but I also think Melo is a ways away. I have liked almost all of your top 10's, after all it is very early, and also I have a feeling that the teams in these lotto spots will change quite a bit. So, I think it is probably better to rank prospects based on what you think of there potential as NBA prospects rather than making a definitive mock draft. Oh, and by the way, Joevan Catron would go 6th.
I had Josh Selby in the top 10. I could see Brandon Knight being top 10 also, but I could see some of the European guys being taken ahead of Renardo Sidney. Everyone kind of groups Europeans into one category "Euros" and they all are good, but they all have issues of not being tough enough, so on and so forth. But, these guys are all prospects who have been around for quite a while, and Vesely and Motiejunas were both more than likely lotto picks last year. I guess it has happened before with guys maybe being over projected, but I think that these three players in particular have a lot of upside as NBA players. Vesely in particular seems to be someone who has proven his value in Europe at a young age, while the other two are very big Lithuanian prospects. Also, if the Cavs have Hickson and Sullinger as their PF/C, they will struggle a lot. But, I think more than these mock drafts we should be thinking about where these prospects rank in accordance to each other, because I feel the team rankings could change pretty drastically as the season progresses.
detroit- harrison barnes- i agree irving would be a great fit but daye isnt a starting 3 in this league and just wont be the player barnes will. but the pistons have alot of rebuilding to do. they should have another top 5 pick in 2012 too.
twolves- enes kanter- this really depends on how tall kanter really is. if he is a legit 6 foot 11 i think its an easy pick. if not, it may be someone else. he and love may not block alot of shots but they shouldnt give up alot of second chance points so i could see it working.
cavs- kyrie irving- what did cleveland lose with lebron? their playmaker. kyrie fits that bill. i dont care about mo williams being there or gibson. they will need a true point guard to help get varejao and hickson easier shots.
raptors- brandon knight- i think he is being slept on as well. the raps probably would have wanted irving more but knight is a good second prize. calderon and jack can teach him the game some too.
sixers- perry jones- iggy still needs to go but jones should play the 4 for this team. elton is playing well but he is older and i really just see perry jones turning into a kg type player(maybe not on d but on the offensive side). the sixers would still need a defensive center to play next to him.
clippers- fab melo- i know it may not be a popular pick but what do you get a team with a talented potential filled player at every position? they could go pg, sf or c. they have bledsoe at pg but with knight and irving gone and selby more of a combo and scoring guard they dont need him. terrence jones? maybe but they just got aminu last year. so i go defensive center in fab melo. deandre jordan isnt a sure bet and it always good to have some seven footer. and of course this means kaman is gone.
wizards- terrence jones- this almost seems the obvious pick at this point. a true sf for a team that needs one because thornton and howard arent the answers long term. they could also go sg with burks or buford but i think jones has more potential.
suns- donatas motiejunas- they need a bigger pf than turkoglu and motie should fit well next to a center like lopez. he also should fit the offense well too.
bobcats- josh selby- they really need scoring and he could come off the bench and score right away. augustine could even play point and selby the 2 at times. this team isnt built very well and just need talent for when jackson and wallace get too old(which will be sooner rather than later)
rockets- jonas valiecunas- i think he can play center and i just feel yao is at the end of his career(sadly). the rockets have alot of pieces and could also trade a lotto pick and player for a center( like lets say kaman).
players out of top 10- burks, sullinger, vesely, buford, and sidney.
I think it will be crucial for Sidney that the Mississippi State coach(whoever it is, I have no idea), makes him play in the post like Calipari did with Cousins. That will be the key for him. I don't really think Cousins is more talented than Sidney and I am hopeful that Sidney's improved attitude will pay off for him and he have a Cousins like impact.
I just do not think he has the same kind of post ability as Cousins. From what I know about Sidney, he likes the perimeter far too much. I see him being mid first round, but I do not think he slips in the top 10 without a huge season at Miss St. I think he has a decent season and bolts, and I do not think he shows the post ability that Cousins showed. He may indeed be a more talented player overall, but without the attributes of Cousins (bulk, wingspan, willingness to play down low). But, ultimately we will see as the season progresses. But, I just make predictions based on what I could very well see happening with certain prospects, sometimes they are right, sometimes they prove me wrong. But with Sidney, I do not know if he will just come on the scene and make everyone forget about everything else that has happened, and that is not just with the NCAA, it has been with his effort and energy level as well. There were questions about Renardo Sidney far before the NCAA troubles, which have come to hurt his draft stock for just lack of exposure.
I agree, I think the only way he can be a top pick is if he comes out playing with a ton of heart and proves that he has changed his attitude and work ethic. It will be difficult, but I think he can do it. I also agree that he played far too much on the perimeter in high school, but so did Cousins. I think Mississippi State will be most effective if Sidney can similarly change his game and play primarily in the post. He also has a very pretty jumper though, which certainly won't hurt him either.
I could be completely understand that I could be totally wrong about him and he could still bee the same lazy, overweight player who drifts to the perimeter even when he can dominate down low. But I have hope for him, he doesn't seem like a bad kid, just one who got caught up in all the hype and it's not too late for him to turn his life around. I really hope he can do that.
Mikey as a bias fan I'm honest in my Prediction Draft...I do think the Cavs would pass on a player like Perry Jones...especially if the kid from Ohio State has a big year...They could use inside scoring and rebounding...that's what wins games in the NBA...Perry is a Player on my radar as a Sixers fan...As a fan of the game first and foremost though I'd like to see this guy play for the T'Wolves or Raptors...I think they more then any team needs a True Star...but with players like Derozen and Beasley the Wolves and Raps may have their highlight reel athletes and real look to fill the Larger Holes...I think Sullinger is a Sixer if Jones is off the board...The Cavs will hold the keys to where Jones goes
Thank you man for the Sidney love!!!!!!!! I see I'm not the only 1 who is high on him now.
although he's trying to change people's minds about him, he'll slip out the top ten...i think he may be the Hassan Whiteside of the draft...
Who Sidney!!!!!!! No way man!!!!!! He has the most to PROVE & LOSE.
Don't sleep on Memphis' Wesley Witherspoon.
He's 6-8, 6-9. He shot like 40 from 3 last season and is a solid rebound and passer. I think he could be someone who vaults into the lottery.
@memphis tyga, I read a really good article about him, that really changed my perspective. I know these articles often try to portray players in a good light, but this one seemed fair. I'll try to find it again.
STARKVILLE, Miss. – The night of his college debut, Mississippi State’s Renardo Sidney may wear a dog collar.
The way Sidney envisions it, Humphrey Coliseum will go dark as entrance music ping-pongs throughout the arena. Then, with the spotlight shining on a smoke-filled tunnel, a snarling Sidney will emerge as a teammate guides him onto the court with a rope.
Like a wrestler being led to the ring, Sidney realizes the whole production would have a hokey, WWE kind of feel. Still, he said, it would be the perfect way to pay homage to the tattoo on his right arm, the one that reads, “Unleash the Beast.”
After a long season away from the game, Renardo Sidney can't wait to play for Mississippi State.
(henry Ray Abrams/AP Photo)
“What do you think?” Sidney asked of the idea. “You like it?”
When it’s suggested that some fans may view the stunt as self-serving and over-the-top, the 6-foot-10, 285-pound Sidney bent over and snickered.
“You’re right,” said Sidney, offering a high-five. “I better not do it, man. I can’t wait to get back on that court, though. I can’t wait to start playing basketball again.”
At times, Sidney wondered whether the opportunity would ever come.
He missed the entire 2009-10 season while the NCAA investigated allegations that Sidney and his family received free housing while he attended high school in Los Angeles as well a bank loan based his potential future earnings.
The NCAA ruled that Sidney had received $11,800 worth of impermissible benefits – mainly Reebok gear – during his prep career and that he’d received preferential treatment. Along with forcing him to repay the amount, Sidney was suspended for the first nine games of the upcoming season.
“I know I didn’t do anything wrong,” Sidney told Yahoo! Sports last week. “The man up above knows, too. I’ve got to keep pushing and not worry about the stuff that happened in the past. I’ve got to keep moving forward.”
Those close to Sidney said his upbeat attitude is refreshing. Sidney’s last game came as a high school senior nearly a year-and-a-half ago, and the time between then and now has been defined by bouts of immaturity, frustration and depression.
A prodigy who was already being compared to NBA legends such as Magic Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal in middle school, Sidney said he lost focus on the game as a 10th-grader after his father moved the family from Jackson, Miss. to L.A. The decision to relocate was made, he said, so Sidney could gain more exposure and play under a bigger spotlight.
The move backfired.
Sidney’s weight ballooned over the next two years, and as he got “wrapped up in the fast life” in California, his production dwindled right along with his reputation.
Things got even worse during Sidney’s first year at Mississippi State. Each week, Sidney said he was led to believe that the NCAA was nearing the completion of its investigation and that he’d soon be cleared to play. Eventually, though, it became obvious that Sidney would never see the court in 2009-10.
No longer motivated, he stopped going to practices and watching his diet. In short, Sidney stopped caring.
“I felt like giving up,” he said. “I felt like no one liked me anymore. I didn’t think I’d ever get to play in college.”
“Basically,” he said, “I just wanted to quit.”
Along with being the best basketball player, Sidney claims he’s the top fisherman on Mississippi State’s roster. The title wasn’t earned without practice.
Time and time again during the offseason, Sidney and Bulldogs coach Rick Stansbury lounged in a boat and reeled in countless brim, bass, catfish and crappie from the lake behind Stansbury’s home just outside of Starkville.
“We’d stay out there for hours, talking about sports, life … whatever,” Sidney said. “I love fishing. It takes me away from all the stress of basketball. It’s a great way to clear your mind.”
It’s rare for any 20-year-old to talk as if he’s got the weight of the world on his shoulders, but it’s certainly understandable for Sidney. So large was Sidney at birth that, upon seeing him, the doctor’s first word was, “Damn!”
Sidney was 6-foot-5 in the seventh grade. His middle school began charging admission to see him play and, by the time Sidney was a freshman, some folks had penciled in the man-child from Jackson, Miss. as the top overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft.
Wayne Brent is a former Ole Miss assistant who coached Sidney as a freshman at Piney Woods High School.
“He was the most talented guy that I’ve ever been around,” Brent said, “and I’ve been either working at or watching ABCD camps for 15 or 16 years. I’ve never seen anyone with more talent than that guy. He could run and jump with the best. He could shoot the three, he had all kinds of post moves with great hands, and he was long and skilled.
“He did everything to make people think he could be one of the best players to ever come through this country.”
Gifted as he was, Sidney said Brent was one of the main reasons he made such big strides at a young age. Even though he wasn’t able to play for Piney Woods as a freshman – Sidney had to sit out a year after transferring into the school – he participated in all of the practices and conditioning drills.
Brent, he said, helped keep him in shape and held him accountable for his actions on and off the court.
“I should’ve stayed with Coach Brent [in Mississippi],” Sidney said. “He’s one of the top coaches in the state, if not the nation. If I’d have stayed with him, I’d be in the league right now.”
Sidney, though, didn’t have a choice.
His father, Renardo Sr., announced that the family was moving to California, where Sidney would attend Artesia High School while dad coached a Reebok-sponsored travel squad, the L.A. Dream Team. Renardo Sr. also earned $20,000 a year as a Reebok “consultant.”
Sidney helped Artesia win a state championship as a sophomore before transferring to Fairfax High the following year. Still, even though he was putting up gaudy numbers in high school – he averaged 26.5 points as a senior – it became obvious on the summer circuit that Sidney was beginning to flounder rather than flourish.
He looked disinterested on the court, and his weight crept toward the 300-pound mark. One recruiting service that ranked Sidney as the top player in the Class of 2010 dropped him to No. 39. UCLA, which was thought to be a frontrunner for Sidney’s services, withdrew from the running two weeks before he was set to announce his college intentions.
Just like that, the player who was once deemed as the nation’s top prospect was now known for a poor work ethic and being out of shape. Sidney blamed his surroundings for his temporary decline.
“It was Hollywood,” Sidney said. “I got to L.A. and stopped being hungry for the game. From my seventh grade to my 10th grade year, I was hungry. All I cared about was getting that top spot, that top ranking. Once I did that and moved to California, everything changed. I went out there and got the big head.”
As he walked home from school each day, Sidney said it was common to see celebrities such as Mariah Carey, Chris Brown or Soulja Boy strolling down Melrose Avenue.
“What person wouldn’t love that?” Sidney said. “Especially a guy from Mississippi, a guy from the country who had never seen that kind of stuff. I still loved the game, but there were distractions. I went out there and just went crazy.”
Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury has no regrets about signing Sidney, despite not having him ofor all of last season.
(Don McPeak/US Presswire)
Brent has other theories as to why Sidney had problems in California.
“Renardo needed someone that was going to push him and not let him get away with anything,” Brent said. “Someone that was going to push him in the weight room and on the track.
“Out there, if he said ‘I don’t want to practice,’ he didn’t have to practice. He got put in a situation where he was allowed to do whatever he wanted just because of how good he was.”
Sidney committed to USC following his senior season, but the school opted not to sign him after the NCAA launched its investigation into how the Sidney family paid for housing while Renardo attended Fairfax. USC was already under NCAA scrutiny for allegations involving its football and men’s basketball programs and surely didn’t need to be tied to another athlete who had potential issues.
In the end, that was fine with Sidney, who called Stansbury and told him he wanted to move back home and attend Mississippi State. Stansbury scoffs at the notion that he “took a chance” on Sidney when no one else would.
“There were sure a lot of schools trying to recruit Renardo when he called us,” Stansbury said. “To this day, I don’t regret taking him. If you’d have put him in the want ads, everyone would’ve wanted him.”
Early last summer, Renardo Sidney was excited to get a visit from his sister Tiarra.
But when the siblings returned to Sidney’s place after a night on the Starkville club scene, Renardo was taken aback by some of the words that came out of Tiarra’s mouth. Apparently, Sidney’s sister – who attends Hinds (Miss.) Community College – felt he had become arrogant and cocky.
“She sat me down for a talk,” Sidney said. “She told me, ‘This ain’t you. You’ve got the big head. You do too much partying and going from this place to that place. You’ve got to get back to the person you were growing up.’”
Indeed, just as he did in Los Angeles, Sidney had trouble maintaining focus during his first year at Mississippi State. Only this time it was for different reasons.
Sidney entered school expecting to play one season and then enter the draft, but those plans hit a snag as the NCAA’s investigation continued into the season. Sidney still practiced with the Bulldogs, and Stansbury said he was led to believe each week that Sidney was just days away from being cleared to play.
But when the team hit the road for a nine-day trip in December, Sidney was forced to remain in Mississippi.
“That’s when it really hit home for him,” Stansbury said. “He started falling behind on conditioning and he picked up more weight. From that point on, I didn’t have every day to spend working to get him eligible and ready to play. I had to focus on my team.
“Mentally, I think he just got beat down.”
Sidney said the spring semester was one of the toughest things he’s ever experienced.
“It took a toll on me,” he said. “I was young. I didn’t know anything about the world. I had so much on my back and on my mind. I was under so much pressure. Once they told me I couldn’t play, it all went downhill.”
Even without Sidney, Mississippi State finished 24-12 and won the SEC West. Radio and internet buzz began to swirl about the Bulldogs’ potential with Sidney on the team the following season, but anyone who saw Sidney on campus could tell his commitment to basketball wasn’t strong.
At his peak during the offseason, Sidney said he weighed 312 pounds. He said he heard fat jokes as he walked through campus. At the time, Sidney didn’t even care.
“I put myself in that predicament,” he said. “I wasn’t in shape.”
Making matters worse was the publicity surrounding the NCAA investigation. Don Jackson, Sidney’s lawyer, claimed racism when the NCAA requested tax records to see if the Sidney family income was high enough to pay for an expensive mortgage on the Los Angeles home.
Jackson said he planned to take Sidney’s case to Congress, where he would argue that the NCAA’s “harsh tactics” affect more African-American athletes than others.
Jackson never acted, and the NCAA ultimately suspended Sidney for nine games. Even though the punishment wasn’t all that stiff, Sidney was upset that the NCAA accused him of providing “misleading or false information” to investigators.
Sidney said the key question concerned a car ride he took from an airport as a ninth-grader. If he gave the NCAA the wrong information, Sidney said it wasn’t intentional.
“Honestly, I really didn’t remember the answers to the questions they were asking me,” he said. “It was ninth grade [at the time]. I’m a sophomore in college now. I tried to [remind] them of that and I guess they thought otherwise.
“I’ve traveled so much and been to so many airports since I started playing basketball. I can’t keep up with all of that.”
Even though the NCAA said he could play after sitting out the first nine games this season, there were times when Sidney wondered if it would even happen. He grew frustrated watching last summer’s NBA draft when players such as John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Derrick Favors and others became instant millionaires by being selected in the lottery.
Sidney was happy for his friends. But he longed to be there, too.
“I felt like that should’ve been me,” he said.
Not long after that, Sidney’s sister sat him down for the talk that he said changed his direction.
Now he’s putting in more time in the weight room and on the court than ever before, and his weight has dropped to 285 pounds. Stansbury expects Sidney to lose at least 10 more pounds once official practices begin Friday.
“I think he’ll be as talented as any freshman that has ever stepped on our campus – and we’ve had some pretty good ones over time,” Stansbury said. “There may be a big guy stronger, there may be a big guy bigger or one big guy more skilled.
“But I don’t know if there’s anyone in the country that combines all three of those things – size, strength and skill – quite like Sid does.”
After a day filled with classes, tutoring sessions and conditioning drills, it was understandable last week when Mississippi State’s players seemed less than thrilled about spending an extra hour in the gym for team pictures.
Amid all the scowls, however, one player wore a smile that was hard to miss.
“Haven’t put one of these on in almost two years,” said Sidney, tucking in his No. 1 jersey. “I almost forgot what it felt like.”
Not just to wear a sleek uniform. But to be on a team – to be in a close-knit group with friends who act like brothers.
Those are simple things but, for once in his life, Sidney said he needed them. He didn’t realize that before, but he does now.
“It’s hard to trust people nowadays,” Sidney said. “You’ve got to keep you circle small. That’s why I like what I have here.”
While the rest of the Bulldogs put on their tough faces as the cameras flashed, Sidney stood in the middle of the back row and flashed a toothy grin for each frame.
“Sid is a good kid,” Stansbury said. “All kids get labeled through their past and what happens around them, and sometimes it isn’t fair.”
Brent, the former high school coach who continues to maintain a relationship with Sidney, said the player still has an opportunity to be defined by his future.
“The talent is still there,” Brent said. “It didn’t go away. The question is whether he can bring it back out again.
“If he works really hard and pushes himself then he’s going to have a long career in the NBA. If he doesn’t he’s going to be another talented kid that came along and didn’t make it.
“It’s up to him.”
Yea man I read this one too before, but I been high on him since day 1, when I saw him in the Mickey D's game....I am very pleased by the way he shoots well outside for his size.