Tag:NBA draft
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.
Posted on: May 19, 2011 2:49 pm
 

Pacers dangling Granger to get to No. 2?

Posted by Royce Young

The word is that the Timberwolves are shopping the No. 2 overall pick around. I already sort of covered this, but right now, David Kahn doesn't seem to have a lot of need for another young project player but is instead looking to acquire some veteran talent. So with that knowledge out there, teams are calling and talking.

One that's surfaced? The Pacers.

According to a tweet from Sam Amico of Fox Sports, the Pacers are "making a seriously play" for the No. 2 pick. By "serious," the word is that Danny Granger is part of a proposed deal along with Ricky Rubio and Michael Beasley.

In other words, wow, that would be a pretty major deal.

It's all talk at this point, but maybe there's a bit of fire to go with this smoke. Granger has been rumored to be on and off the trade block in Indiana a couple times in the past year and with Derrick Williams from Arizona being the likely prize at No. 2, Larry Bird is willing to trade his franchise player for a shot at a new one.

Or maybe Enes Kanter who has the look of a solid starting power forward, something the Pacers have been hunting for a while especially since unloading Troy Murphy. Yes, seriously.

I can't say that I quite understand why Rubio and Beasley were also included in the deal, but hey, it's David Kahn and I'm not going to start posing questions that have no answers.
Posted on: May 18, 2011 3:34 pm
Edited on: May 18, 2011 3:35 pm
 

LeBron says he's happy for Cavs winning lottery

LeBron James says he's happy for Cavs fans after Cleveland wins the lottery.

Posted by Matt Moore


It's thanks to LeBron James that the Cavaliers won the lottery. (Not really.) They should really thank him. (No, they shouldn't.) After all, it was James' incessant demands of an improved roster while catering to his specific opinions that drove the Cavaliers to acquire Mo Williams. And it was James' departure from Cleveland that led to the Cavaliers' bottoming out, looking to liquidate as many assets as possible, including Mo Williams' trade to Los Angeles in exchange for Baron Davis and the Clippers' first-round pick, which of course became the No.1 overall in Tuesday night's lottery. LeBron James is a hero for Cleveland! (No, he isn't.)

Anyway, James got the inevitable question today on what he thought about the Cavaliers' landing that No. 1 spot. From ESPN:
 
LeBron said he's happy for Cavs organization and fans for winning lottery. Said he thinks Kyrie Irving would really help franchise.
via Brian Windhorst (windhorstespn) on Twitter.

A nice, quiet answer for once. No karmic references, no backhanded snipes at the franchise that threw eggs on him as he was abandoning them, no soft measures of bitterness. Just your basic, media-friendly non-answer. Not saying anything relevant is the smartest thing LeBron's said about the Cavs all year.

Can we all please start to move on now? No? Okay, then.
Posted on: May 18, 2011 2:22 pm
 

The complexity of the egg on the Clippers' face

The Clippers' pick won the lottery, but won't be going to L.A.. Could the Clippers have avoided surrendering the No.1 overall pick to Cleveland?

Posted by Matt Moore


So the Clippers' would have had the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft, giving them a devastating combo of Blake Griffin and Kyrie Irving going forward, had they not traded it to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Mo Williams and to get out from Baron Davis' contract (in exchange for Mo Williams' contract). Except they wouldn't have, because that trade altered the Clippers season and landed them in the spot that gave Cleveland the No.1 overall. There was no way for the Clippers to know that they would have landed the top spot had they held on to the pick. But they did know it was possible, knowing they were lottery bound. So why didn't they top-three protect the pick, as is done so often in the NBA? 

Clippers' GM Neil Olshey told NBA.com:

“Protecting the pick was never an option,” L.A. general manager Neil Olshey told NBA.com. “There is no way to Monday morning quarterback this since our draft position wouldn’t have been the same had we not made the deal as I’m sure we would not have finished 11-11 post-trade without Mo Williams.“

Additionally, we had a 97-percent chance of sitting here tonight with Baron Davis taking up 25 percent of our cap, the eighth pick in a weak draft and no cap flexibility. Adding Mo Williams and $8.5 million in cap room gave us a better opportunity to become a playoff team next year than adding a seventh player under 23 with no NBA experience.”
via No Regrets For Clippers « NBA.com | Hang Time Blog.

When the lottery balls came up Cleveland last night, Olshey must have had a Charlie-Brown moment. "Good grief." It's true that the Clippers had no way of knowing they'd wind up in the top spot, and it's nearly certain that had L.A. not made the trade, they wouldn't have winded up in the lottery spot that gave Cleveland the pick. But at the same time, Cleveland's 2012 pick goes to the Celtics. The Clippers' best bet is to build around Blake Griffin with young talent. Mo Williams and Chris Kaman do not constitute as such. Even with Eric Bledose a promising young point guard, the Clippers need as much talent as they can get. Top 3 protecting that pick would have gotten them the best of both worlds, the cap relief they so desired, and that pick. Protecting the pick is something that happens in trades nearly every time, specifically to prevent this situation. Olshey's right that the Clippers received more in value than they gave up in the trade... at the time of the trade. But that won't help the continuing perception, despite Blake Griffin's brilliance, that the Clippers are still the Clippers, prone to do Clipper things.  
Posted on: May 18, 2011 1:19 pm
 

Wolves open to trading No. 2?

Posted by Royce Young

When he's not making fairly dumb comments, Timberwolves general manager David Kahn has always been one up for a trade. He's always willing to take a risk and move some parts.

In the lottery last night, with the best chance of any team, the Wolves finished with the second overall pick in a draft most feel like is a one player draft. There's talent to be had no doubt -- Derrick Williams, Kemba Walker, Enes Kanter, Bismack Biyombo -- but there's not necessarily a sure thing.

And according to ESPN.com, the Wolves are wide open to moving the No. 2 overall pick. The word is, Kahn is very much interested in adding veteran help to the team.

Is this a good idea? Well, I guess. Hard to say really. With the history the Wolves have in the draft of missing on players, taking guys that don't want to be with the team and just outright mis-evaluating, it makes sense to just get out and get a proven commodity. However, it's unlikely you'll get equal talent back. Potential talent, I should say.

There's good reason to believe that Williams, Biyombo, Walker, Kanter or whoever could be the next big thing. They could be the next 10-time All-Star. You've got to do your homework, scout the heck out of them and go with your gut. Thus far, Kahn's has been mostly wrong. (Though Wes Johnson might not be a total disaster.)

In a backwards way, Kahn has a point because there's not a whole lot of open roster space on his team right now. That's silly, I realize, for a team that just went 17-65, but with the way he's accumulated talent, if you draft a young player, where does he play? Ironically, the most open place on the roster might actually be point guard. How about that one?

Right now, between Johnson, Michael Beasley, Anthony Randolph, Kevin Love and, well, Darko Milicic the Wolves don't have a ton of space to just pop in another young player that needs time to develop. Minnesota has plenty of those. The wrong ones most likely, but still, not a ton of space for playing time.

Depending on what's available, the Wolves could certainly use some veteran help to take a little pressure off their young players. Development is what all of this is about and I'm not sure how well the Wolves are developing young players like Jonny Flynn, Johnson and Randolph. Bringing in a veteran player that's actually talented enough to play might not be a bad idea.
Posted on: May 18, 2011 1:09 pm
Edited on: May 18, 2011 1:20 pm
 

Kyrie Irving wants no comparison to LeBron

Kyrie Irving says to not compare him to LeBron. 

Posted by Matt Moore

I'll give Kyrie Irving this, he's certainly selling himself as the No.1 overall pick. He's selling himself so hard, he's already telling his future fans in Cleveland, should he be drafted first overall, what not to compare him to. From the Bergen Record:
“I don’t think you can make comparisons to me and LeBron,” said Irving, who attended the lottery. “One, I’m not 6-8. Two, I’m not a high flyer and three, my name isn’t LeBron James. Honestly, you can’t make those comparisons yet. I think I would bring a different feel to the Cleveland organization if they do decide to take me.”
via Cavaliers win top pick in NBA Draft lottery.


These are all true statements. Irving is not 6-8, and he's not a high flyer (though his athleticism is pretty impressive). I also like the use of "yet" in that sentence. That's cute.

But if Irving wants the money and glory that comes with being a first round pick, he's going to have to deal with the expectations. This year that team happens to be Cleveland, and with that comes the responsibility of helping the franchise move past the loss of the best player in franchise history. Them's the breaks.

The good news is that with the Cavs in the No.4 spot as well, there's a good chance Irving will have some help. Which is another way he's not like LeBron.
Posted on: May 18, 2011 12:49 am
Edited on: May 18, 2011 12:46 pm
 

David Kahn insinuates NBA lottery is rigged?

Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn apparently insinuates that the NBA Draft Lottery is rigged. Posted by Ben Golliver. david-kahn

Update: Here's video of Kahn's comments.

For years -- no, decades -- basketball observers have had suspicions about the NBA Draft Lottery. The process is hidden, ping pong balls are involved, and there are a bunch of hurt feelings because 13 of the teams present go home without the No. 1 pick.

Speculation about the lottery being rigged has always been a favorite custom of fans, but it's not something you ever hear spoken about, or even implied, by NBA executives. Until now.

Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn apparently implied in an interview with the Associated Press that the NBA's lottery process is not totally on the up and up.

Kahn's comments came after he joined Utah Jazz GM Kevin O'Connor and Nick Gilbert, the son of Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, as the three finalists for the No. 1 pick. Nick Gibert suffers from a nerve disorder and eventually secured the No. 1 pick for the Cavaliers. 
"This league has a habit, and I am just going to say habit, of producing some pretty incredible story lines," Kahn said. "Last year it was Abe Pollin's widow and this year it was a 14-year-old boy and the only thing we have in common is we have both been bar mitzvahed. We were done. I told Kevin: 'We're toast.' This is not happening for us and I was right."
A "habit" of producing incredible storylines implies that it's not intentional or manipulated but simply the product of a track record. But the disclaimer "I am just going to say habit" screams "I am really, really bitter because this was totally fixed so that the kid would win."

Either this was the clumsiest language of all time or a crystal clear implication. I don't see any other interpretations. Surely, a clarification is coming. (Not to mention an apology for referring to a child with a nerve disorder and a widow as "storylines".)

Even the implication of impropriety is sure to rub NBA commissioner David Stern the wrong way and this isn't Kahn's first time getting on Stern's bad side. Kahn was fined $50,000 last July for comments made regarding Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley's marijuana use. A fine here wouldn't be out of the question considering what's at stake for the league: its reputation.

Here's CBSSports.com video of Nick Gilbert winning the NBA Draft Lottery.


Posted on: May 17, 2011 11:20 pm
Edited on: May 18, 2011 12:06 am
 

Post-Lottery NBA Mock Draft by Ben Golliver

The NBA Lottery was held Tuesday night. The Cleveland Cavaliers landed the No.1 overall spot. Here's a first take mock draft reflecting the lottery results. This mock draft is by Ben Golliver, EOB Blogger.

kyrie-irving

1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Kyrie Irving: A mature, talented point guard with good size and a solid offensive game. He makes his teammates better, and that’s exactly what Cleveland needs.

2. Minnesota Timberwolves -- Derrick Williams: After failing to win more than 24 games in the last four seasons, star potential is at a premium. Williams’ ability to play on the perimeter should complement Kevin Love nicely.

3. Utah Jazz – Brandon Knight: The Jazz, like just about everyone, can use a point guard of the future. Knight, a scorer and playmaker with excellent upside, fits the bill.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers – Bismack Biyombo: This might raise some eyebrows, but the Cavaliers need a ready-right-now, physical specimen like Biyombo and can afford a bit of a risk with Irving already in hand.

5. Toronto Raptors – Enes Kanter: The Raptors know full well that Andrea Bargnani needs a wide-bodied low-post presence to play next to him, and Kanter is the best bet.

6. Washington Wizards -- Kawhi Leonard: The Wizards need help at positions 2-4 and Leonard’s energy and athleticism will fill the gaping lineup hole between franchise point guard John Wall and developing big man JaVale McGee.

7. Sacramento Kings – Kemba Walker: Tyreke Evans is probably better as a two long-term. The Kings would probably prefer Knight, but Walker is an excellent consolation prize and yet another exciting puzzle piece on a roster full of them.

8. Detroit Pistons – Jonas Valanciunas: Does Joe Dumars dare go dipping back into the European well? If so, Valanciunas could make a nice post pairing with All-Rookie snub Greg Monroe.

9. Charlotte Bobcats – Tristan Thompson: Thompson doesn’t have the inside-out versatility to replace Gerald Wallace but he does bring elite physicality and excellent defensive tools.

10. Milwaukee Bucks – Alec Burks: The Bucks need a floor-spacer to pair with Brandon Jennings and Burks fits that bill.

11. Golden State Warriors – Jan Vesely: Whether Vesely is truly a small forward remains an open question, but he’s long and has highlight film potential. If the Warriors stick with their push-the-pace mentality under a new coach, he could be a fit.

12. Utah Jazz – Donatas Motiejunas: If the Jazz opt for a guard with their top selection, they can do worse than Motiejunas, who once drew “poor man’s Dirk” comparisons. His ceiling has come down a bit, but he can score and has excellent vision.

13. Phoenix Suns – Marcus Morris: The Suns have a lot of mismatched pieces in the frontcourt, but Steve Nash can always use a power forward that can play both inside and out and has some offensive game.

14. Houston Rockets – Jordan Hamilton: There’s no Yao Ming at No. 1 this year, let alone No. 14, so the Rockets look to mine the undervalued asset route, snagging a wing scorer who has had a rocky road to the NBA.

15. Indiana Pacers – Klay Thompson: Paul George has been a revelation but another knockdown shooter in the backcourt wouldn’t hurt.

16. Philadelphia 76ers – Markieff Morris: When in doubt, add a talented big man to the frontcourt. The Sixers have some contract decisions to make after next season.

17. New York Knicks – Chris Singleton: The Knicks will look to address their hole in the middle via free agency but Singleton adds much needed defensive intensity to the wings.

18. Washington Wizards – Kenneth Faried: A bottom five rebounding team, Washington would do well to grab this group’s most obvious board-cleaning specialist.

19. Charlotte Bobcats – Nolan Smith: Best available ACC player on the board. Plus the Bobcats need a point guard.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves -- Jimmer Fredette: Maybe the most David Kahn pick of all time.

21. Portland Trail Blazers – Davis Bertans: The Blazers are at a roster crossroads and need to replenish their coffers after a bunch of consolidation trades. Bertans is a long, versatile forward, can shoot the rock and could be a nice future asset.

22. Denver Nuggets – Tobias Harris: With Carmelo Anthony gone, there’s a pothole at the three. Harris can’t fill it, not even close, but he can get buckets.

23. Houston Rockets – Lucas Nogueira: Daryl Morey has said that sometimes you need to swing for the fences in the draft. Nogueira is rail-thin but has such incredible height and length that he can nearly dunk while standing on his tiptoes.

24. Oklahoma City Thunder – Nikola Mirotic: With a beautifully constructed rotation, the Thunder have the luxury of snapping up the best available European without worrying about the contract situation that could keep him overseas for awhile.

25. Boston Celtics – Trey Thompkins: With Glen Davis likely headed out in free agency, Thompkins can plug the “needs to be in better shape, can surprise you every once in awhile” hole.

26. Dallas Mavericks – Josh Selby: The Mavericks need to add to their aging backcourt and the undersized scoring two guard has been a productive staple for Dallas for years. Could make an electric pair with Rodrigue Beaubois someday.

27. New Jersey Nets – Tyler Honeycutt: Travis Outlaw has been kind of a disaster and the Nets’ small forward was one of the worst positions in the entire NBA. Honeycutt probably isn’t a long-term answer but the pickings are slim.

28. Chicago Bulls – Travis Leslie: The Bulls really need a floor-spacing shooter at the two spot, but would settle for the remarkable athlete who would make the “Bench Mob” that much scarier.

29. San Antonio Spurs – Kyle Singler: Incredibly intelligent, competitive forward who would kill to have the opportunity to play for Gregg Popovich.

30. Chicago Bulls – Marshon Brooks: Another off-the-dribble threat for the Bulls. Maybe he can prove to be the shooter they need but, if not, there are other elements to his game.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com