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Tag:Donatas Motiejunas
Posted on: June 23, 2011 11:03 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2011 12:07 am
 

NBA Trade: Wolves, Rockets trade Miller, Flynn

Posted by Matt Moore

The Wolves finally did it. They managed to get rid of Jonny Flynn. After months and months of discussion, the unhappy marriage that began in 2009 ends as Ricky Rubio finally dons a Wolves uniform and the other point guard selected is shipped off. 

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports:
The Rockets-Wolves deal: JFlynn and No. 20 Montiejunas to Houston for Brad Miller, No. 23 Mirotic and future 1st, sources confirm.
So. Just to review. The Wolves try and move the No.2 for a month. Can't do it. Take Derrick Williams when they have Michael Beasley and Anthony Randolph. Have another top twenty pick when they need talent. And then trade it for another Euro center that likely won't come over, Brad Miller who is nearing the end of his career despite having several years left on contract, and a future 1st. Maybe the 1st will be good. 

Meanwhile, the Rockets have acquired a point guard no one wanted, who they are now reportedly trying to trade, when the have both Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic. And they surrendered a future first rounder just to get rid of Brad Miller who was a mistake to sign last summer, and Montiejunas. 

The Rockets struggled defensively last season without Yao Ming and desperately need a center to bring toughness. So naturally they've traded for Motiejunas whose biggest questions were toughness and effort. It's not that Motiejunas lacks upside, he's got great range and scoring ability. But his questions defensively more than outweigh the good elements, which is why he plummeted out of the lottery and all the way to No.20. But the Rockets needed a center, and they got one.

Winner: We'll give it to the Rockets, only because they managed to take in less money and Motiejunas might surprise. It's neck and neck though.

Loser: Let's say it's the Wolves. Mirotic might be great and the future first is nice, but they have Milicic and Pekovic, and now Miller and his money. An odd trade all around.
Posted on: June 19, 2011 6:17 pm
Edited on: June 19, 2011 6:46 pm
 

Buyer Beware: 5 players to be wary of drafting

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. 

Posted on: June 1, 2011 1:32 pm
Edited on: June 2, 2011 5:11 pm
 

Report: No NBA workouts for Donatas Motiejunas

Donatas Motiejunas will reportedly not work out for NBA teams due to scheduling issues. Posted by Ben Golliver.

One of the top European prospects in the 2011 NBA Draft can't find the time to squeeze in workouts for NBA teams.

Donatas Motiejunas, an offensive-minded, versatile forward from Lithuania, will reportedly be so occupied over the next three weeks in the run up to the Draft, which will be held June 23, that he won't be able to visit and meet with individual NBA teams in their home cities. 

The Racine Journal-Times reports that Motiejunas has a good excuse: he will be busy playing for his club team in Europe and then participating in a European scouting combine.
Motiejunas, a 6-foot-11 power forward, is playing for Benetton Treviso in the Italian League. Benetton has advanced to the semifinals of the Series A League. After the playoffs, Motiejunas plans to attend the adidas EuroCamp June 11-13.

As such, Herb Rudoy, Motiejunas' agent, said his client won't be able to work out for any NBA teams before the draft. "It's not that he doesn't want to; he just can't," Rudoy said. Rudoy also said he is in the process of setting up a physical for Motiejunas with an NBA team and then having the results forwarded to other teams interested in Motiejunas.

A native of Kaunas, Lithuania, Motiejunas is regarded as one of the more skilled big men in the draft. Some NBA officials project him to be selected anywhere from 6 to 14.
Motiejunas is clearly in the top tier of international talent that includes Enes Kanter, Bismack Biyombo, Jan Vesely and Jonas Valanciunas that has established itself as likely lottery picks.

The million dollar question is whether not holding workouts will affect his draft stock. While there's always the possibility that wowing scouts at a private workout gets them to fall in love with you, Motiejunas won't be doing himself too much harm by remaining abroad through the process. 

First, Motiejunas, 20, is a top five international prospect in this year's field and has been on the NBA radar for multiple years. He's a prospect that stands out immediately -- especially at a young age -- because of his height, length, overall offensive skill level and the fact that he's left-handed. He was the headliner of the 2009 international team at the Nike Hoop Summit, competed in the major European youth tournaments and has played for two seasons in the Italian league. Scouts know him and know him well.

Second, it's not like he's hiding. Not only is he playing in competitive play right now, he will be attending a major scouting showcase along with other top prospects this month. Adidas touts its Eurocamp as "the premier international basketball pre-draft camp" and notes that Biyombo will also be in attendance, as will Davis Bertans and Lucas Nogueira, two other possible first round picks. A clear picture of his basketball talents, if not clear, will emerge over the next few weeks.

Third, the relatively weak nature of the top half of the first round plays to Motiejunas' advantage here. If this class was stocked with elite athletes jumping out of the gym in private workouts or even if it was simply loaded with serviceable seven footers, there would be more pressure on him to prove himself. As it stands, there isn't a single American-born seven-footer projected to go in the first round. With such limited supply, Motiejunas, despite the finesse nature of his game, figures to be in high demand.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com