Tag:NBA draft
Posted on: June 6, 2011 12:55 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2011 3:23 pm

Beasley on the block if Wolves take Williams?

Posted by Royce Young

The Wolves have been shopping the No. 2 overall pick the past few weeks. But it's looking like no one is willing to trade a good veteran player for it so the Wolves will just do what we all expected: draft another talented player who doesn't really have a place on the roster.

Except this time, there's more to it.

According to Draft Express, if the Wolves hang on to No. 2, they'll take Derrick Williams but instead of having him in a logjam with Michael Beasley and Kevin Love, Minnesota will immediately put Michael Beasley on the trading block.
It’s likely that Williams will be the one taken since he is the consensus second-best talent in this draft, according to NBA decision makers. If Minnesota keeps the pick and indeed selects Williams, sources say the Timberwolves will look to move Michael Beasley as they try to improve the “culture of the team.”
Well that's a nice little twist. And one that actually makes a lot of sense.

See, that's been the problem with the David Kahn plan. He keeps adding talented young players but without any sort of plan or cohesion for the roster. It's just one guy after the other stacked on top of each other. People wonder why Sam Presti has been able to succeed with drafting youngsters and developing them. Why have the Thunder's players progressed while Minnesota's really haven't? A big reason is because they've got to be put into a position where they can learn through experience and develop in a role they're comfortable in.

Finally, with Williams, it sounds like that might be the case. Instead of planting him in an awkward role behind Beasley who will eat possessions and shots, Williams could actually maybe make small forward his spot in Minnesota.

I can't just say, "Good job Kahn!" and move on for two reasons though: 1) This hasn't actually happened and with Kahn, I'm like Kevin Love: I'll believe it when I see it and 2) because remember how Kahn said in an interview after the season that the building of his roster was complete? That was an idiotic thing to say then and this type of thing just makes it even more so.

Losing Beasley wouldn't be a big deal because the Wolves didn't give up much to Miami to get him (a second-round pick). And while Beasley showed flashes last season, is he really a building block? This would be smart for Minnesota, but that's what also makes me skeptical about it's reality.
Posted on: June 5, 2011 5:41 pm

Burks dislocated shoulder in Milwaukee workout

Posted by Royce Young

Alec Burks, who is projected to be selected in the early to mid-first round, worked out for the Milwaukee Bucks last Saturday. It went well for the 6-6 guard from Colorado.

All except for the part about how he dislocated his shoulder and then couldn't work out for the Bobcats who pick ninth.

It's unlikely that will really affect Burks draft stock all that much and he's supposed to get another workout before the June 23 draft, but owner Michael Jordan didn't get a full look at the players he brought in. Marshon Brooks, who is a candidate for the Bobcats to take 19th, missed the workout as well because of a sprained ankle he suffered last Friday working out for the Knicks.

The Bucks pick 10th, one spot behind Charlotte of course, so if they really liked Burks the dislocated shoulder might be a good thing. Maybe the Bobcats will decide to pass now. In reality, one little workout shouldn't be the deciding factor as to if the Bobcats like Burks enough to take him or not. There's a whole season of tape of him at Colorado to look at.

Interesting though that the Bucks, according to the Journal Times, took Burks out to dinner with general manager John Hammond, assistant GM Jeff Weltman and director of scouting Billy McKinney. That could be an indication the Bucks like him a little more than most teams.

Maybe it's because they got to actually watch him work out.

Posted on: June 3, 2011 1:07 pm

Report: Blazers want to trade up for Kemba Walker

Posted by Matt Moore

No matter who's running the Trail Blazers... and we're not exactly sure who that is at this point... they've made it clear they want to reshape the backcourt. That's been a priority for months, and Andre Miller has been in trade talks for months because of it. Now comes word that they may think they have the answer in the draft. The Portland Tribune reports that the Blazers are considering moving up in the draft to acquire UConn star guard Kemba Walker. 
According to a league source, Portland would like to get into the top seven to be in position to take Connecticut point guard Kemba Walker. That might mean packaging veteran point guard Andre Miller and the No. 21 pick for another team’s player along with a top-seven pick.

Acting general manager Chad Buchanan was noncommital on the report.

“Any possible avenue that will improve our team — moving up in the draft, a trade, whatever — we will consider,” Buchanan said.
via Blazers looking to move up in draft, take point guard.

Walker is the most recognizable star in the draft, outside of possibly Jimmer Fredette, and an explosive scoring guard. Questions abound regarding his size, defensive capabilities, passing ability and role at the next level, but with the talent still on Portland, it's a great fit. Nate McMillan can get the most out of Walker and teach him to cover his size problems with savvy. Meanwhile, Walker can provide the scoring punch the Blazers need and another young guard to build around as they go forward. It's a risky move, but with Miller approaching the end of his effectiveness as a starter, it may be one worth making.  
Posted on: May 27, 2011 10:23 pm

Markieff Morris: Williams not all that great

Posted by Royce Young

Most are projecting Arizona big man Derrick Williams to go for sure in the top five. Many have him in their top two, mostly likely going second overall either to the Timberwolves or the team David Kahn inevitably trades with.

But Kansas forward Markieff Morris says that Williams isn't all that great. Via The Washington Post:
“I didn’t think he was as good as advertised,” Morris said. “He got the benefit of the calls from the ref and we had to guard him different. He definitely had a good game against us, because we couldn’t guard him how we wanted to guard him, and that’s what happened.”

So when he hears that Williams is a lock to go in the top two, Morris said, “It’s still surprises me. What he did to Duke, he wouldn’t do that to me or my brother [Marcus]. I’m dead serious. He wouldn’t. At all. He’s good. But if we was to work out, I would go at him and I would be able to stop him more than people would expect, you know what I mean.”

Geez, shots fired. Morris is projected as a mid-to-late first rounder. Obviously he's looking to make some noise and move his name up a bit, but he straight called out Williams there. Some though like that kind of confidence and swagger from a player. Morris is making a statement that he doesn't back down and he's not intimidated by anyone even if he's supposed to go No. 2 overall.

But at the same time, that strong-headed talk and bullishness sometimes turns off people. And you can be sure that Williams hears it loud and clear. The motive for Morris to say it is obviously to get people talking about him and bring his name up for the next few days.

I remember Brandon Jennings pulling that same thing in 2009 saying Ricky Rubio wasn't as good as everyone thought either. It was stirring the pot and it got people talking. Not a bad strategy, even if it's outrageously arrogant.

Williams had 27 points and seven rebounds in the lone game his Wildcats played against Kansas last season. Kansas though, won. Markieff had 15 points while brother Marcus finished with 16 points and eight rebounds. After that game Kansas coach Bill Self said, "I don't think anyone would argue [Williams] was the best player on the court." Well, evidently Markieff wants to argue about it.

Posted on: May 26, 2011 1:59 pm

Wolves still looking to move down, snag Kanter?

Posted by Royce Young

There has already been some talk about the Minnesota Timberwolves moving down in the draft. The reasoning is solid. What's available at No. 2 might not help them much and they're likely looking for some veteran help to bring along their young guys.

However, SI.com reports
that the Wolves are thinking of moving down a spot or two to try and get Enes Kanter, while also acquiring a few additional assets.

Kanter has become quite the intriguing prospect, as he's become The Great Unknown Big Man that catches the attention and imagination of general managers. He's big, talented, skilled and has a bunch of upside to be fulfilled. It's hard to know if he'd be available at three or four as he's been mocked to go as high as No. 2 in some places.

My issue here is, how exactly does he benefit the Wolves, other than just being another big body to develop? I suppose they could pick up a second-round pick and maybe a veteran role player moving the No. 2 pick for the No. 4 or 5, but it's not going to be that substantial. And especially for a guy that doesn't completely have a spot on your existing roster.

But this would be SUCH a David Kahn move. Making a deal for the sake of making it and then drafting a guy that doesn't at all fill a need for you. The thought of the Wolves moving down to 10 or so and picking up actual veteran help made sense. So naturally, they're not going to do it.

Kahn just signed his "manna from heaven," Darko Milicic for four years. He's hopefully going to lock up Kevin Love with an extension. Kanter could potentially slide in and play with Love in the front court in the future, but what Kahn would be creating is another positional logjam. Which doesn't make any sense to me.

Which means it makes a ton of sense to David Kahn.
Posted on: May 23, 2011 2:48 pm

Sixers looking to add big man in draft

Sixers have tageted bigs in 2011 NBA draft.

Posted by Matt Moore

The Sixers made the playoffs this season, which was a big step forward. They didn't even really need the No.2 overall pick Evan Turner, but Turner showed some potential in the Sixers' one-and-out playoff stay. But with Elton Brand unlikely to keep up his career recovery, flashback performance, the Sixers are looking to the future. They know they need a go-to scorer, and Andre Iguodala isn't it. But first and foremost, the Sixers need a big man. And the Philadelphia Daily News notes that's exactly what they're looking for in the draft. 

Unless there is a move before the draft, such as Andre Iguodala being dealt and a good big man being acquired in exchange, a source close to the team said they will not be looking at anyone "under 6-8. We need a big."

That is the first priority for coach Doug Collins, president Rod Thorn and general manager Ed Stefanski. After that, other pieces will need to be upgraded and filled, most notably by someone who can score at a consistent level in the NBA.

But before that, a big seems to be tops on the agenda.
via Some players who could make a difference for Sixers | Philadelphia Daily News | 05/23/2011.

There will be options for the Sixers at 16, as the Daily News notes, Kenneth Faried being possibly the best target. But his lack of size is problematic. The other option is Keith Benson, whose measurement numbers were freakish. There has been talk that the Sixers could move up, using Iguodala as bait. But Iguodala is a complimentary player, and no team at the top of the draft is looking to add a complementary player. They'll draft the best big available. Only question is who that will be. 

CBSSports.com's Mock Drafts 4.0 go up Tuesday. 
Posted on: May 22, 2011 12:48 pm
Edited on: May 22, 2011 12:52 pm

Jimmer Fredette: The people want me in Utah

BYU guard Jimmer Fredette says that he is the people's choice in Utah. Posted by Ben Golliver. jimmer-fredette

As a big-time scorer for BYU, guard Jimmer Fredette became a household name nationwide. But that level of fame pales in comparison to his standing in Utah, where he's a true phenomenon. Indeed, local pressure on the Utah Jazz to draft him and keep him within the state's borders has been immense for months.

Fredette isn't bothering to pretend that he can't hear those voices. Speaking to the Deseret News at the Chicago pre-draft combine, Fredette made it clear that he knows he's the people's choice.
"That's what the people want," Fredette said of being drafted by the Jazz. "But I don't think (Jazz officials) should make the decision on what the people want. They ought to make a decision on what they think is best for their personnel. If I go there, it's great. If not, I'll be somewhere else. So I'm just looking forward to where it's at."
He even talks like a larger-than-life phenom. "The people." It's like he's delivering his pre-draft interviews from on top of a mount.

On the bright side, at least he didn't say: "The people want The Jimmer."

Anyway, Fredette signaled that the Jazz are interested in drafting him, telling the paper: "They definitely like me... I know they're definitely interested. So we'll see how it goes."

Fredette also noted that he will work out for the Jazz and that he has received positive reviews from the Phoenix Suns and Indiana Pacers as well.

Given that Utah holds both the No. 3 pick and the No. 12 pick and that the team needs a new face of the franchise after trading All-Star point guard Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets, there's a decent chance that "the people" get their wish on this one.
Posted on: May 20, 2011 4:10 pm
Edited on: May 20, 2011 7:11 pm

NBA Draft Buzz: 5.20.11

With the lottery settled and the combine underway, draft news is picking up. Here's a round-up of rumors and quotes about the 2011 NBA Draft.

2011 NBA Draft
  • Kemba Walker has fluctuated up and down draft boards due to questions about his height. At the measurements, Walker measured 5-11.5 without shoes, and 6-1 with. 6-1 is a resonable height for a point guard, even if it's still on the slight side.  Even if there are questions from analysts remaining about Walker's relative "playing height," there are rumors that he could go as high as No. 3 overall if the Jazz decide they absolutely have to have the best scorer available. 
  • The Racine Journal-Times reports that the Blazers are interested in moving up to get Colorado SG Alec Burks. To do so, they'd have to move into the top ten, most likely, with the Bucks at 10 probably the median for where he'll get tabbed. Burks is going to keep moving up as the draft gets closer, he's got a lot of the skills out of the box. He spent 16 percent of his possessions this year in the pick and roll according to Synergy Sports, and while he only shot 30 percent, the experience is what's key there. Wouldn't be surprised to see multiple teams trying to reach up to grab him. For what it's worth, Burks compares himself to a "young T-Mac." 
  • There was some noise about Enes Kanter not working out for the Jazz, following Kyrie Irving's decision not to work out at the combine at all. But apparently instead, Kanter will have a private workout with the Jazz. It's hard to see Utah taking Kanter when they already have such a logjam at power forward, but, well, welcome to the draft. 
  • Derrick Williams is not shy about being awesome. He told reporters when asked if he was the best player in the draft, "Yes, sir. I definitely am." Williams also thinks he'd be a good replacement for LeBron in Cleveland, which is, you know, out-there. I suppose it's better than a guy being uncertain, but we've seen such success lately with humble guys like Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant, it seems a bit out there. Williams does deserve to be in consideration for the No.1 overall, but Irving is still the better prospect. 
  • Houston's interested in moving up as high as the seventh spot according to Sports Illustrated, swapping with Sacramento. The Rockets have enough young talents with cap-flexible contracts to maybe swing something. 
  • TSN reports the Raptors board looks like "Kanter, Knight, and Kemba." Kanter seems like an odd fit next to Bargnani, who essentially needs the best rebounder in ... any draft ever. Knight fits adequately with Calderon nearing the end of his contract, though. Walker doesn't fit at all with DeRozan and Weems already on roster, but if they really feel like Walker can convert to point guard, he can fit several of their needs.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com