Chad Ford's draft blog, NNNNNOOOOOOOO!!!
Some hilarious stuff off ESPN insider.
His supposed "big risers"
Wes Johnson- big games against name opponents in showcase event early in the season got his name out there. He has just played well enough for people to overlook the fact that he is a 6'7" sub-200 lbs. PF often playing in a zone defense. Who can see any downside there?
Xavier Henry- "NBA scouts and GMs love his NBA-ready body, his deep range and his scoring instincts. He's getting pegged as one of those prospects who should come in and make an immediate impact at the next level. Henry began the season ranked at the 15th best prospect on our Big Board. He's now moved all the way up to No. 5." It is hard to find fault with anything in this analysis. My only worry with Henry, and I could easily be wrong, is that KU is so loaded that it is making everyone look better than they are. I don't think they are going to beat teams by 29 all season.
Elias Harris- "Harris has a motor that doesn't stop and has shown extraordinary toughness and versatility. Like the Mavericks' Shawn Marion, he seems capable of playing both the 3 and the 4 in the pros." Umm... no. Sorry, I don't see it. I understand that people have to compare every undersized power forward prospect who will get by on his length and athleticism to Shawn Marion, but somebody needs to pop in the tape of the Duke game. Just do it, and say with a straight face Elias Harris' name should be in the same sentence as Shawn Marion.
Quincy Pondexter- "While Pondexter still has a lot to work on -- his jump shot and his handle are still really shaky -- he has the type of elite athleticism that NBA GMs crave." Translation: We are going to love him until camp starts, and then our coach is going to hate him and put him at the end of the bench and will only be seen at the end of blowouts and in the dunk contest (i.e. Joe Alexander, Gerald Green, DeMar DeRozan)
Ekpe Udoh- "Make no mistake, Udoh is still pretty raw and figuring things out, but the demand for nimble, shotblocking forwards with 7-foot-3 wingspans who can score and rebound is high." Cedric Simmons 2.0... come on down, you're the next contestant on people who can't play basketball becoming lottery picks. Take your place in contestants row next to JaVale McGee, Sean Williams, Shawne Williams, Saer Sene, and Alexis Ajinca.
Gordon Hayward- "Hayward began winning fans over the summer with his play for Team USA's U-19 squad, but he's taken it to another level as a sophomore at Butler. While his numbers aren't the most impressive of the group, the way he gets them is. Haywood plays like a veteran and uses every skill in a basketball player's arsenal to score, rebound and defend. He has terrific size and can play several positions. The fact that he isn't a super athlete limits his potential somewhat, but he makes up for it with toughness and grit." Translation: Larry Bird is taking him in the lottery, and Danny Granger will wonder what he did to deserve being surrounded by such garbage.
Dexter Pittman- "The big fella from Texas has been known more for his girth than his game. But this year, he's been a huge part of Texas' undefeated season and has won over a number of GMs hungry to find a center in the draft. Pittman moves unusually well for someone so big, shows a soft touch in the paint and has dramatically improved his shotblocking ability. While everyone acknowledges that he needs to get in better shape and continue to keep his weight off, in a draft devoid of legit big men, Pittman suddenly has a lot of interested suitors." He has lost 100 lbs. and is still fat. I'm sure giving him a million dollars and having him living the traveling man's life of an NBA backup center will help him lose those final 40 lbs. needed to make it in the NBA.
His supposed "big droppers"
Greg Monroe- "Monroe has always split the opinion of scouts and GMs. Some have loved his high basketball IQ, low post skills and unselfishness. Others have wrung their hands over his pedestrian athleticism and a perceived indifference on the court. While Monroe's numbers have improved a bit as a sophomore, more and more scouts and GMs are focusing on his weaknesses and questioning whether he's a lottery pick." Yes, who would want a player who probably will end the season leading a top 25 team in points, rebounds, assists, and blocks. It isn't like he'd be the first player since Tim Duncan to do so. Nope. Give me Gordon Hayward and Elias Harris. No wonder some teams have decided they can live without full time scouts.
Craig Brackins-" No player made a bigger mistake than Brackins when he chose to return to college. Brackins was projected as a late lottery pick last season and came into this year ranked No. 14 on our Big Board. While his numbers are basically on par with what he did last season (lower points per game, but higher shooting percentages) -- the perception is that he's not as talented as scouts once thought. Some of that perception has to do with Iowa State's up-and-down play and the rest has to do with Brackins' age (22)." They are worried about Brackins' age, but not Pondexter (five months younger) and Udoh (will be 23 in May)? Crack is a hell of a drug.
DeMarcus Cousins- "On talent, you could make the argument that Cousins should be a top-five pick in this draft. He has been absolutely dominant in the paint. His per-minute numbers are just off the charts. Scouts have compared his offensive game to everyone from Derrick Coleman to Zach Randolph. The problem for Cousins is that that those same scouts worry that Cousins has similar weaknesses as those players. Cousins can lose focus, get lazy on both ends of the floor and has shown some problems with his temper. In short, he appears to lack the maturity to be a high pick. A GM willing to gamble still might choose to roll the dice on him in the lottery, but more and more scouts are wondering aloud whether he's worth the trouble." Wait, so rather than take an 18-year old with all the physical skills necessary to be great, they would rather take Ekpe Udoh or Quincy Pondexter who is guaranteed to be mediocre at best. Don't take the 18-year old and bank on him maturing, because kids never mature between the ages of 18 and 23. Never happens. Take the 23-year old Udoh who is more mature, but also so much worse it isn't even funny.
Supposed "Wait and See"
Evan Turner- "Turner got off to the best start in college basketball and quickly moved from No. 11 to No. 3 on our Big Board by averaging a double-double for the first month of the season. Then disaster struck when Turner fell and broke his back in early December. The original prognosis was that Turner would be out at least eight weeks. More recently, there's been talk that he could be back sometime in mid-January. If his back is totally healed and he can resume his elite play, he'll quickly move right back up to the No. 3 position on our Big Board. However, if he struggles, or if there are ongoing issues with his back, his stock could be in trouble." Sure, he was the best wing in the country, but he suffered a minor injury that will have no long-term impact. PANIC!!!
Willie Warren-" Coming into the season I thought Warren had a chance to be the best scoring guard in the country. I still believe he has that potential, but his play has been all over the place. One game he looks like a lottery pick, the next he looks like an NBDL player. Oklahoma has been all over the map with him and there have been whispers out of Norman that Warren's attitude is getting in the way of both team and personal success. So far all of the turmoil hasn't dramatically hurt his draft stock. But if his struggles bleed into conference play, he could slide right out of the lottery." Of course, he can slide out of the lottery if Larry Bird is going to slide Gordon Hayward into it. If you put crap into the lottery, then actual talent slides out.
John Henson- "Many GMs believe Henson, not Ed Davis, is the best NBA prospect on the Tar Heels. However, that belief is based on faith more than evidence at this point. Henson has played a small, supporting role for North Carolina this year. Yes, he's shown flashes of greatness in those moments, but he also hasn't produced very much either. If he breaks out in conference play he could rise much higher than his current No. 11 position on our Big Board. Even if he doesn't, he could still go high based solely on his upside." If a team loves watching a spindly Anthony Randolph brick 15-footers all night, then they'll LOOOOOVVVVEEEE Henson.
Devin Ebanks- "It's been a tale of two months for Ebanks. November was a disaster when Ebanks took a leave from the team. Rumors began to swirl about off-the-court issues and when he returned, he struggled. By late December, the tide began to turn. Ebanks had a series of awesome performances over the holidays and looked like a top-five prospect when playing the point for West Virginia. Which Ebanks shows up in January and Feburary will likely decide his fate. If he's awesome, and stays out of trouble, he could be a high lottery pick. If he falters again, he could slide into the late first round a la Josh Howard in 2003." If Quincy Pondexter, Ekpe Udoh, and Gordon Hayward are off the board before Ebanks I want GM heads on pikes. I want public guillotines for scouts. I'm sure one of the scouts would have their finals words be "Hansbrough ain't so bad."
If a team love watching a spindly Anthony Randolph brick 15-footers all night, then they'll LOOOOOVVVVEEEE Henson.
Don't take the 18-year old and bank on him maturing, because kids never mature between the ages of 18 and 23. Never happens. Take the 23-year old Udoh who is more mature, but also so much worse it isn't even funny.
all very funny yet true. im not so sure id gamble on henson right now..randolph was a better player as a freshman and hes a ok player int he nba right now
hes a total jerk to pittman, i bet he wouldnt say tht to pittman if he was in the same room
No &$#%#&@!, who would? If anything you just got to get that dude on his back, still too fat to move anywhere from that position.
Straight clowning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So true it's not even funny..... ESPN - the ultimate hype machine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
lol. yeah pittman is still fat but damn if he still wont dunk on someone like he did on ed davis and thompson
thunderforthewin, are you trying to make the argument that Pittman doesn't need to lose more weight if he wants to succeed in the NBA? If you didn't catch on, I had a humorous slant to my comments. Is Pittman better? Yes. Does he still need to lose more weight? Yes. Can he do it? Yes. Do I think he can play more than 15 minutes in an NBA game right now because of where he is with his conditioning? No.
fat basketball players never made sense to me. How much do guys like shaq, big baby, oliver miller and stanley robinson have to eat to stay that way when they make a living running.
He called Wes a 4? HSHAHAHAHAHA
Wesley does play some 4 for Syracuse
Also, to a extend, I agree with some he said
I forgot to clip what Ford has to say about Wes Johnson.
"Johnson had some preseason buzz, but the truth was that NBA scouts and GMs didn't know exactly what to expect after he transferred from Iowa State to Syracuse and sat out last season because of transfer rules. Fourteen games later, Johnson is making a strong case that he's one of the top five prospects in the country. Johnson is doing a bit of everything. He can score from anywhere, is shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc, is averaging nearly 9 boards, 2 assists and 2 steals a game. He's been as consistent as any of the top prospects in the draft.
While scouts would like to see him get stronger and be more assertive, every GM we spoke to has him ranked in the top five. That's pretty amazing for a guy who came into the season not ranked in the top 25 on any team's board."
I called Johnson a 4 because that is what he is often playing at Cuse. He rebounding numbers are crazy, but there is a statistical bias towards wings in a zone on the left side (which is often the weak side as most players are right-handed and prefer going right). He can shoot like a 3, but 3s who can't create off the bounce aren't special. They aren't deserving of top five picks. They can have nice careers (Marvin Williams, Battier, Deng, Pietrus, Webster, etc) but top five picks at that position are LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Grant Hill, etc). I feel teams can find long athletes who can shoot later in the draft (where was Casspi taken), or for bargain prices in free agency (heck Matty Barnes is available every year).
BTPH, I think your underestimating Wes's ball handling ability. He's not a passer when he make a move off the dribble, but he's excellent when he decides to drives. Not only is he averaging 2 steals, but also 2 blocks. He plays extremely well off the ball, rebounding and getting put backs, and catching and shooting, off curls, off screens, and scoring with ease. He's not nearly as aggressive as, say, Evan Turner is, in that he doesnt seem to want to dominate the game like he's capable of. But he's clearly their best player with a ton of. He profiles extremely similar to Danny Granger, (started at a lesser school as primarily a post player, extended his range while maintaining his defensive versitility.) Look at their comparative senior stats.
Danny Granger 18.8 pts, 8.9 reb, 2.4 ast, 2.1 stls, 2.0 blk 52% FG 43% 3Pt 76% FT
Wes Johnson 17.1pts, 8.8 reb, 2.2 ast, 2.0 stls, 2.2 blk 58% FG 50% 3Pt 69% FT.
Who is saying Udoh won't be a good player. I couldn't understand who was talking about who in your article...