Sunday, January 16, 2005

Draft Redux

1.(1) Orlando---Dwight Howard- Before the draft I had Okafor slightly ahead of Dwight Howard. However, as of today I slightly lean toward Howard. Either way you can't go wrong. So far this year, Okafor has out performed Howard. But Howard has been surprisingly good on the boards and defensively. Plus he has more size-athletic ability then Okafor. I predict Howard ends up in the top 10 players someday. Okafor about 15th. Call it 1-A and 1-B.

2.(2) Charlotte---Emeka Okafor- Okafor has been everything I expected. Cotton pickin good.

3.(9) Philadelphia---Andre Iguidala- I said I would have taken Iguidala 3rd before the draft. Why should I change my tune. When he smoothes out his shot there are going to be a lot of teams kicking themselves. A fantastic all round talent. Defense, rebounding, passing, athletic and a good attitude.

4.(7) Chicago---Luol Deng- A rock solid 19 year old. He may have less potential then some below him, but you know he will be a 20-7-3 guy who won't cause trouble and will play solid defense. Safe.

5.(30) Cleveland---Anderson Varejao- Absolute steal of the draft. I love this guy. He is big, he moves well. He plays hard and with energy. No softie here. Constant motion. Touch inside. Good hands on offense. Great hands on defense. Has 2.0 steal ability. Rebounds big time. Averaging 13.8 rebounds per 35 minutes his last 10 games. An above average +- of 2.7 and an above average defensive on court off court number of -2.5 this season. Already in the rotation of the second best team in the East. Seems like a good guy. The only question to me is should he be higher on this list. Every scout that watched this guy and didn't put him in the top 15 players from last years draft should be fired. Size, hands, athletic ability, attitude, production. What did they think the problem was?

6.(17) Atlanta---Josh Smith- The best athlete in the draft. Spectacular shot blocker. Defensive potential is off the charts. If he ever learns how to shoot and keeps his head on straight, oh my. The thing is, I think he might never learn how to shoot and his head is a concern. Could be a much better Dominique or just a better Gerald Wallace. All I know is I would want him on my team to find out.

7.(15) Boston---Al Jefferson- Jefferson is a Moses Malone clone. Well, a poor mans Moses Malone.

8.(4) Clippers---Shaun Livingston- I am sure others will have this guy higher, but what can I say except I am not that high on him. He is long and can pass. Nice skills. But he isn't a PG. And he is not a great athlete. And before his injury, he was getting raves from some, but his stats were dreadful. But I do see enough skill potential to put him here.

9.(3) Chicago---Ben Gordon- I wasn't that high on Gordon before the draft and he got off to an awful start. But he has been shooting well lately and helping the Bulls win a few games. So I guess he belongs somewhere on this list. But he is not a PG and 6-2 SG's are not that valuable. His season Tendex is still a weak 8.8 inspite of being a near 22 year old that has gotten good minutes. Lets just say I predict he bounces around the league a lot before his career is over. He will put up some points, but where is the passing, rebounding and steals?

10.Tie--(5) Dallas---Devin Harris (28) San Antonio---Beno Udrih- A couple of PG's on winning teams that are getting limited minutes. Udrih has been a real find. The Spurs are good at plucking gems in the late first or second round[Parker-Ginobili-Scola]. Beano plays within himself, can pass, shoot, and has basketball savvy that oozes through his pores like sweat through KG's scalp. Harris has not played as well as Udrih so far this season, however he has tons of athletic ability and some nice skills and defensive potential. He isn't a pure PG YET, but I see a lot of Chauncey Billups in him. How long did it take for Billups to bloom, 5 years? Give this guy some time and I think you will see he was a top 10 type player.

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