Blog Entry

Buyer Beware: 5 players to be wary of drafting

Posted on: June 19, 2011 6:17 pm
Edited on: June 19, 2011 6:46 pm
Posted by Matt Moore

Let's face it. The NBA Draft is a crapshoot. There are obvious mistakes, which should be avoided. There are obvious reaches, which if they don't work out look terrible and if they do work out, earn management awards. You can have the top pick one year and net a Hall of Famer, and the next year you can have the top pick and net nothing more than a pick you're trying to unload a year later. "Always draft the big man" works, unless that big man is Hasheem Thabeet. "Best talent available" is a great ethos, unless you create a logjam on your team which frustrates all the players involved. And sometimes, there are just guys you need to be leery of before you say that name into the phone in Newark. 

Here's a brief list of guys who could wind up great but also could have higher odds at busting. Fear factor is on a scale of one to five, with one being "sure-fire lock" and five being "you may wind up burning jerseys or your favorite GM in effigy."

Jimmer Fredette

Fear Factor: 3

When the tournament ended and it came time to analyze The Jimmer's NBA prospects, the talk was mostly about Fredette's diminutive frame. Players of his prototype do not tend to translate well. The college game is great, it's just dramatically different than the NBA and players who succeed with the kind of gunning Fredette did in college don't necessarily make the leap. Then, the scrutiny was so high you had a backlash like a rubber band snapping back. "Jimmer's just a great basketball player." "Anyone who can play ball like that in college can play in the NBA." It went on and on. Fredette and his people helped out by taking a bold and aggressive approach, gunning for Kemba Walker and Brandon Knight in workouts and impressing based on expectations. The key being "based on expectations." By exceeding the poor showing people expected, Fredette has gained traction to rise up the ranks. It's not about getting higher than Knight or Walker, it's just about getting as high as he can.

But the same elements are there that have always been there. The limited size, length, athleticism, the unfamiliarity with running an offense, the inability to launch without a conscience, they're all still there as concerns for how he'll adapt. But Fredette has college star power and that can blind. Maybe Fredette will smoothly transition to a new role and never environment. But the concerns should still be there. Sometimes removing context is a good thing.

Bismack Biyombo

Fear Factor: 4

Super-athletic foreign big comes out of nowhere, ramps up a ton of hype, then goes to workouts and .... wah-wah. Biyombo has talked about leading the league in blocks and rebounds. Bravado is excellent. But it can also belie an effort to gain a foothold on something other than ability. Biyombo brings great length and athleticism but no polish or offensive repertoire. So he's kind of the anti-Jimmer. But players in Biyombo's mold can either be a revelation or a colossal bust. Just for comparison's sake, the last player similar to Biyombo in terms of physical nature was Thabeet.

Good luck with that.

Kemba Walker

Fear Factor: 3

Similar concerns as Fredette, only magically shorter.

When Walker measured in at 6-1 vs. the 5-11 many scouts had him pegged at, the phrase "See, he's not short at all!" was used. This despite the fact that he's still short, he just plays and seems shorter than he actually is. Walker has a tremendous scoring ability, but defensively there are going to be questions. There have been plenty of players of diminutive stature to make it in the NBA and even become borderline stars. But few of them have been drafted at Walker's projected position or with his expectations. Walker was the college player of the year for a reason. He was also kept out of the top ten for most of the year until the talent stampeded out at the end.

Josh Selby

Fear Factor: 5

Highly touted high school project clashes with established, respected coach which results in him not playing at all down the stretch, then somehow vaults up the rankings. We've seen this one before. Selby's performances at workouts early in the draft process at Impact in Las Vegas have helped land him back in the first round. But Selby showed little more than perimeter shooting during Kansas' season, and the fact he couldn't get along with Bill Self raises a number of flags. Selby could be the type of player who just landed in a bad situation for him, but he could also be a headcase without an all-around game. 

Donatas Motiejunas

Fear Factor: 5

Might not come over from Europe, questionable defensive ability, questionable rebounding effort, questionable basketball ability beyond size. Motiejunas has the whole bag of concerns in one Euro Center package. Stick away from this one. 


Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: June 21, 2011 11:28 am

Buyer Beware: 5 players to be wary of drafting

Anyone who plays basketball is extremely athletic
While I agree with this, you have to admit there are vast differences in the athleticism of the players.  So Jimmer is extremely athletic.  That doesn't mean he's nearly as athletic as some of the other small guards in the league.

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: June 21, 2011 9:19 am

Buyer Beware: 5 players to be wary of drafting

In 5 years, Josh Selby won't even BE in the NBA. Any GM that drafts him should be fired.

Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: June 21, 2011 2:45 am

Buyer Beware: 5 players to be wary of drafting

X-Factor that's an awful comparison: Bobby Hurley looks nothing like Jimmer, their style of play is completely different and Hurley wasn't a bust due to his skills not translating over to the NBA, he was in a near fatal car accident 19 games into his rookie season that permanently changed his lifestyle and physical ability.

Here's a snippet from an article on

"On December 12, 1993, following a home game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Hurley's SUV collided with a station wagon. The Kings rookie, not waring his seat belt, was thrown 100 feet from his vehicle into a ditch and suffered 12 different injuries including collapsed lungs and broken ribs.

Hurley would miss the remainder of the season and finished his rookie campaign with respectable averages of 7.1 points and 6.1 assists per game. He returned to the court the following season, but just wasn't the same player that he was before the accident."

All short white guys aren't the same LOL...


Since: May 18, 2009
Posted on: June 20, 2011 10:58 pm

Buyer Beware: 5 players to be wary of drafting

How can anyone not say that Bobby Hurley won't be a good NBA player? Did anyone see what he did for BYU? Wait a minute....what, what do you mean that's not him. I guess that wasn't Bobby Hurley after all. Well, I guess this Jimmer fella can maybe make it. Ughh, who am I kidding. Gotta play some Defence there Jimmer and you ain't got it.

Since: Mar 19, 2009
Posted on: June 20, 2011 10:57 pm

Buyer Beware: 5 players to be wary of drafting

Iverson had almost 2,000 steals and was probably the fastest man I ever saw with a basketball coming out of college. Two completely different players.

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: June 20, 2011 10:47 pm

Buyer Beware: 5 players to be wary of drafting

When it comes to Jimmer - Anyone else remember some of the last high-profile terrific shooters/scorers in college basketball that put up oodles of points and had that blinding media hype and "star power?"  I think I can list a few names.  Steph Curry (Doing well still suspect on D), Adam Morrison (Oops), J.J Redick (Still in the league at least), Carmelo Anthony (No need to say much there), Michael Beasley (Oops?), Troy Bell (Oops), Nick Fazekas (2nd round pick but monumental college scorer).

The draft in the last 10 year is littered with these players.  Few of them are good enough to stay in the league when athletic defenders get on them unless they have some other tricks up their sleeve.  But most coaches don't want defensive liabilities on the court at all times - so they are off the bench specialists.

Since: Oct 28, 2006
Posted on: June 20, 2011 8:58 pm

Buyer Beware: 5 players to be wary of drafting

Iverson was short and sucked on defense but still became a MVP and made it to the finals. I didn't think Mugsy Bogues or Spud Webb sucked and they were considerably smaller. I'd pick Fredette and Walker over most of the euros that are going to be picked.

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: June 20, 2011 7:34 pm

Buyer Beware: 5 players to be wary of drafting

I don't see any basis whatsoever for comparisons between Adam Morrison and Jimmer Fredette.  Entirely different types of players who played two different positions.  So they were both high-output scorers in college.  Not exactly a solid basis for comparison.

C'mon, the comparison is their skin color and that alone. It's pathetic, but true.

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: June 20, 2011 7:33 pm

Buyer Beware: 5 players to be wary of drafting

The limited size, length, athleticism
Typical racist garbage from lilly-white, non-athletes who couldn't hit a jumper on Puff basketball hoop.

Anyone who plays basketball is extremely athletic. The guys can handle the ball and score. There was a guy named Pete Maravich who had a pretty nice NBA career. Was he limited in athleticism as well?

Matt Mooron(sic) strikes again.

Since: Sep 2, 2008
Posted on: June 20, 2011 6:53 pm

Buyer Beware: 5 players to be wary of drafting

In regards to Jimmer, I got one name:  Andrew Gaze!

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