For you ESPN insiders
can any of u espn insiders post draft buzz and memphis rumors :confusing take on rubio for me please
can u post draft blog please
Maybe the most underrated (bear with us) source of draft news on the Internet is this Newsday blog by Alan Hahn, who consistently has interesting thoughts on the June 25 proceedings.
That link above will take you to a post about the most underrated player in the draft, whom Hahn believes to be Terrence Williams of Louisville. That's a good nomination -- in Chad Ford's Mock Draft 5.0, Williams is slotted to go No. 18 to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Seems low for a guy who dominated some games in a highly competitive Big East this past season (although, granted, he looked bad in that Elite Eight loss to Michigan State).
So, we started thinking about other candidates who could earn the title of "most underrated player in the draft" and came up with five possibilities. For this discussion, the notion of underrated implies that the player won't be drafted as highly as he should be but could deliver strong returns in his first two or three seasons. Here now, ideas:
• Tyler Hansbrough: The logic here is based on this: People always seem to bash "Psycho T," but he did string together one of the most impressive ACC careers ever and finally won that elusive national title. He seems to be an extremely hard worker. Although his pure physical skills don't measure up to the skills of others in the draft, he graded out quite well at the combine and could be a good fit in the right system. Expect to read the same debate for the 2010 NFL draft regarding a dude named Tim Tebow.
• DeJuan Blair: His current mock draft "slide" -- he's at No. 21, to the Hornets, in Ford's latest version -- seems to based on health concerns and the fact that he measured shorter than 6-foot-6 without shoes at the combine. Blair may go in the 20s, which could be a steal for some team. He's a monster. He owned the probable No. 2 pick, Hasheem Thabeet, in Storrs, Conn., this past season.
• DaJuan Summers: At one point near the beginning of this past college basketball season, people thought Georgetown -- which ended up having a putrid season -- could have two top-15 picks in Greg Monroe and Summers. In Ford's latest mock draft, Summers lands at No. 24 to the Blazers. Granted, his performance was disappointing this past season, but he still has potential. And considering that he can play both the 3 and the 4 and already has an NBA body, he could be a steal late in the first round.
• Toney Douglas: The Florida State combo guard had an amazing ACC tournament on top of a great regular season and left opposing coaches (such as Mike Krzyzewski) singing his praises. There's a chance Ben Gordon will leave Chicago this summer, so Douglas, a good scorer and defender, could be a fit for the Bulls at No. 26, which is exactly where Ford has him.
• Eric Maynor: Everyone remembers his cold-blooded shot against Duke in the 2007 NCAA tournament, but what he really brings to the table is lockdown D and more seasoning than most prospects. Granted, the D.R.A.F.T. Initiative will tell you that experience doesn't necessarily matter. But that's not a reason to sleep on him, nor is the fact that he played at VCU.
Other draft news
• Earlier in the day, we talked about Ty Lawson as an option for the Nets. The Newark Star-Ledger goes into detail about the various point guards the Nets are considering, while noting that the appeal of Hansbrough and Williams could lead them to go in a different direction.
• Per Memphis Flyer, Jonathan Givony of Draft Express says he'll be "shocked" if the Grizzlies end up with Ricky Rubio at No. 2, citing conversations with an unnamed source close to Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley.
• Italian league coach Dan Peterson -- who also coached at Delaware -- weighed in on this whole Brandon Jennings versus Rubio debate in The Sacramento Bee: "Ricky Rubio is not overhyped," he said. "Jennings is overhyped. He has it all backwards. He is all about trying to dominate one-on-one, all concerned with individual talent. I find it hilarious." Peterson has seen both point guards play in person several times.
• The Thunder's official draft party will be at a casino. (The Kings will hold theirs at ARCO Arena.)
• Prolific scorer Kenny Hasbrouck, who busted a ton of brackets two years ago by leading Siena over Vandy in the first round of the NCAA tournament, is working out for the Wizards, according to the Albany Times Union.
OSTED: June 18 -- 1:28 p.m. ET
• Everyone in Sacramento was a little bummed out about the Ricky Rubio visit. Rubio flew into town on Tuesday, had dinner and interviews with the front office and even chatted with the media. However, he came down with a fever and sore throat Tuesday night and wasn't able to work out for the team Wednesday. He was so ill that he didn't even get a chance to sit down with the Maloof family, which owns the Kings.
He was going to try to make a go of it Thursday morning, but he woke up still not feeling well and ended up flying back to L.A.
At this point, Rubio's schedule is up in the air. He'll try to get well and then decide which teams to visit. Another visit with Sacramento is still possible.
One Kings source reiterated that the organization still has doubts about Rubio, and the visit did little to alleviate them. However, there is a split in the camps in Sacramento, with some pushing for Rubio or, if he's gone, Jrue Holiday. Others are pushing for Jonny Flynn and/or Tyreke Evans.
Plus, still more prospects are on their way to Sacramento for workouts. DeMar DeRozan will be in on Saturday. Stephen Curry and Evans will be in town Sunday. This will be the second visit for Evans, whose first visit wasn't terrific, as we reported.
Sources close to the situation continue to insist that, in the end, the most likely scenario is Rubio going to the Kings at No. 4 if he's still on the board. If he's gone, it sounds like Flynn has moved into second place.
However, the focus on Rubio in the coming days may shift to Oklahoma City. The Thunder continue to show strong interest in Rubio and are pushing for a meeting, physical and a review of Rubio's contract in Spain. If Rubio feels better and is up for the visit, that's where he'll head next.
• There obviously has been a lot of talk about what the Suns will do this summer. In the past few weeks, rumors of a Shaquille O'Neal-to-Cleveland deal and an Amare Stoudemire-to-Washington deal have re-emerged. On Wednesday evening, the latest rumor had the Suns dealing Stoudemire to Minnesota for Al Jefferson and the No. 6 pick.
The first two deals were discussed at the February trade deadline, but talks this time around may be premature -- Suns sources say neither deal is hot at the moment. And the one with Minnesota is totally bogus, I'm told. A Suns source says that the team has had zero conversations about it.
Still, rumors are coming out of Phoenix for a reason. The big question continues to be: Where are the Suns headed? Are they still trying to be a championship contender? Or are they blowing things up, cutting costs and rebuilding from scratch?
Trading Shaq or Stoudemire doesn't make much sense in the former scenario. Lose either guy, and the Suns are less likely to be a serious contender. Although the Suns seem way more inclined to move Shaq and keep Stoudemire, a Suns source conceded that both players could be moved, and it could correspond to moving up in this year's draft.
If that's the case, here's a theory (and that's all it is, folks, a theory): What if you combine the two most prominent Suns trade rumors into a mega three-way deal?
It would look like this:
The Suns send Shaquille O'Neal to Cleveland and Amare Stoudemire to Washington.
The Cavs send Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic to Phoenix and Zydrunas Ilgauskas to Washington.
The Wizards send the No. 5 pick, Etan Thomas, Mike James and JaVale McGee to Phoenix and Antawn Jamison to Cleveland.
Call me crazy, but isn't this the ideal deal for all three teams?
The Suns would lose a lot of talent in the deal and basically would be blowing up the team. However, if they think they'll lose Stoudemire next summer anyway and don't believe they have a real shot at winning a title next season, why not get something for Stoudemire now and jump-start the rebuilding process?
In this deal, the Suns would pick up the No. 5 pick and McGee, a talented 7-footer who would be a good fit in Phoenix. More importantly for them, they would save a ton of cash next season. Pavlovic's salary is only partially guaranteed. Wallace likely could be bought out for less than he's owed. And the Suns would take back less money in the deal to begin with. When you factor in the reduction in luxury taxes and consider that they might save enough to eke below the dreaded luxury-tax line ... could owner Robert Sarver really pass on saving potentially $12-14 million in salary and penalties next season?
The Wizards essentially would replace Jamison, a couple of role players (Thomas and James) and two prospects (McGee and the No. 5 pick) with Stoudemire and Ilgauskas. Yes, Jamison is very important to the Wizards, but he'd be replaced by Stoudemire. And Ilgauskas would give them a legit big man in the middle. Suddenly, they would look like contenders for the Eastern Conference crown. And if things don't work out, they'll have cap room in 2010 when Ilgauskas, Stoudemire and Brendan Haywood all come off the books.
And the Cavs? They would get Shaq, whom they apparently like. And Jamison, an athletic scoring 4 who can do what the Cavs' bigs couldn't during the playoffs -- guard someone on the wing.
I'm not saying this will happen. Again, I'm just putting together two deals that have been buzzing for a while. But the deals would give all three teams clearer direction.
new stuff bout Rubio though????
would be an vetrean and dominant team next year.