Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hoping the Kings do not pursue Steve Blake. "Little Nate" would be great!

In my morning Sacramento Bee I read that the Kings may be interested in the following four free agents: Steve BlakeAnthony Morrow, J.J. Redick, and Nate Robinson. While I appreciate Blake’s enthusiasm and professionalism, I hope to heck that he is NOT a guy the Kings sign. 

Blake is not efficient. Never has been. He was 65th among PG’s in 2009-10. He is a decent three point shooter  (although his shot is a line drive). On the positive, he brings it on every possession. But so do about ten guys at the local Y. Blake simply does not have the God given athletic ability to ever be more than a 11th or 12th man on a good team.
If a team thinking of signing Blake believes that he is somehow going to become more athletic as he ages - they are not thinking correctly. While not as old as Andres Nocioni, Blake is 30. He is about to enter that stage where nothing gets better athletically. In fact, a slight reversal in athleticism can be expected—which for a guy already limited is a horrible thing. 

Redick is a better player than Blake but he too is limited athletically. J.J. improved to .403 EFR in 2009-10. That said, .403 is still just the efficiency rating you find in a back-up. Redick is a more natural TWO guard than a PG although his assist-to-turnover ratio suggests he could play PG offensively. At age 26, Redick’s .403 EFR ranked 44th in the NBA at SG, and 46th at PG last season. Blake, in my opinion, is the superior defender but neither player strikes in any fear in an opponent. 

Morrow digressed from his rookie campaign but he still ranked higher than Blake and Redick. Morrow (24) is a GREAT shooter but he doesn’t do much else. His EFR of .432 was 31st ranked among Shooting Guards in `09-10. 

"Little Nate” Robinson (pictured at left) would easily be our choice among the four players mentioned. He is an NBA caliber athlete on both offense AND defense. His hyper-athletic, hyperactive game has yet to reach its full potential. He has room to grow. He is dynamic. Fans love him. He has a huge heart. He never takes a play off.  And most importantly—the data supports every claim. 

There are no excuses to be made with signing 26 year-old Nate Robinson. At .471 EFR—Robinson rated 23rd at Point Guard, suggesting he is a starter-type talent in the NBA. 

As a Kings fan - I am begging, please do not sign Steve Blake. I could live with Redick. I would be okay with  Morrow.  But Nate Robinson is clearly the best choice here.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Summer League rosters filled by some solid undrafted players

Our top rated players that did not get drafted are accepting invites to NBA Summer League rosters. Vermont’s Marqus Blakely, who we think is a first-round talent, has signed on with the Clippers. See this video of Blakely who clearly has skill to transition to guard in the NBA.

Duke big man Brian Zoubek is scheduled to play with the Nets in the Orlando Summer League. 

Mikhail Torrance (pictured at left) was not drafted in part due to a heart condition known as “athlete’s heart”.  The classy Alabama Point Guard looks to have agreed to ball for the summer Bobcats.  

Aubrey Coleman led the nation in scoring at Houston. So far I have not been able to track down where he will play this summer.  

Scottie Reynolds, the first player to be a First Team All-America selection yet go undrafted since the 1976 NBA-ABA merger, will play with the Phoenix Suns summer team. 

I have not yet been able to track down where Tyler Smith will play. The Tennessee swingman is versatile and tough. Someone needs to get him on a summer roster ASAP.  

Jerome Randle of California will hoop with the Wizards summer squad. Forget his size. Randle is a certified shooter and ball-handler that will excel in the NBA. 

Sylven Landesberg will play for the Sacramento Kings Las Vegas Summer League team. Landesberg is capable of getting to the hole in a similar fashion to Tyreke Evans

Ben Uzoh, who was one of our favorite sleeper Point Guards has signed up to play with New Jersey in the summer. 

Michigan guard Manny Harris is down with either the Celtics or Cavs (depending on what you believe) for the hot months. 

Matt Bouldin, the highly skilled Gonzaga combo-guard has a deal with the summer Bulls. 

One unconfirmed report has speedy UConn guard Jerome Dyson (pictured at left) headed to the Wizards for the summer. If true, Dyson will join former Duke Point Guard Jon Scheyer in D.C.

Other undrafted notables that appear to have their summer plans in place include: Omar Samhan (Atlanta Hawks), Sherron Collins (Charlotte Bobcats), Jared Quayle (signed with a team in Belgium), Ryan Thompson (Sacramento Kings), Art Parakhouski (Boston Celtics), Marquis Gilstrap (Charlotte Bobcats), Charles Garcia (New York Knicks), Jeremy Wise (Golden State Warriors), Raymar Morgan (Washington Wizards), and Samardo Samuels (Chicago Bulls).

Up in the air at the moment: A.J. Ogilvy, Edwin Ubiles, Mac Koshwal, and Alex Franklin.  

Friday, June 25, 2010

Draft pick skeletons in the closet. 2005 revisited

Don’t believe the hype if ANYONE declares “winners and losers” as it relates to franchises in the 2010 NBA Draft. We do not know now. What we can do is look back at the 2005 NBA Draft.   

There were seven players selected that are either stars or superstars. Chris Paul should have been the number one pick. Instead he went fourth behind #1 Andrew Bogut, #2 Marvin Williams, #3 Deron Williams. D-Wil should have been second followed by David Lee (pictured at right), who was taken 30th. Bogut probably should have gone fourth with Danny Granger fifth. Granger was a steal at #17. 

Andrew Bynum is sixth in this five-year hindsight exercise. He was actually selected tenth by the Lakers. From a value standpoint our hindsight seventh pick, Monta Ellis was the best pick of the 2005 NBA Draft. Dude was snatched at #40 in 2005. 

The next tier of players begins with the hindsight eighth pick. (It becomes subjective as all get up so just roll with it.) #8 Ersan Ilyasova. You might say, “huh?”. Ilyasova is coming off a terrific season for the Bucks and he ranked as the eighth most efficient Small Forward in the NBA in 2009-10. Ilyasova was the 36th pick in the 2005 NBA Draft.   

Lou Williams of the Sixers probably should have been the ninth pick. He went 45th. Jarrett Jack is our hindsight tenth pick. The pro’s pro ranked 20th (EFR) in 2009-10 among Point Guards. Jack was taken 22nd. 

The eleventh pick  in the do-over is Nate Robinson. “Little Nate” went 21st in `05. ...Andray Blatche should have been 12th. He was the 49th pick in 2005.  ...13th should have been Linas Kleiza. He was actually picked 27th. ...Raymond Felton was picked fifth but 14th would have been about right for the former North Carolina star. 

We’ll go with Marcin Gortat (pictured at left) as the should-have-been 15th pick. Gortat made nearly six million dollars to play behind Dwight Howard this season past. He has roughly 28 million still coming to him after a massive haul last summer in free agency. Gortat was the 57th pick in 2005. Brandon Bass is the 16th choice in this do-over of 2005. Bass was chosen 33rd on the forrealla. ...We’ll go with Francisco Garcia as the should-have-been 17th pick. Cisco went 23rd in `05.  

Ryan Gomes comes in as the 18th pick in the do-over. Traded to Portland yesterday, Gomes was originally the 50th pick in 2005 by the Boston Celtics. ...Ronny Turiaf gets the nod as the 19th selection in the re-do. He went 37th in 2005. 

The most subjective pick in our do-over is Charlie Villanueva slipping to 20th (not hating—just not a fan. He was only the 49th rated PF in 2009-10). Charlie V was seventh in 2005. ...Painfully for the Atlanta Hawks, we rate Marvin Williams as the should-have-been 21st pick. ...Hakim Warrick feels right as the 22nd pick. He was 19th in `05. ...Give us C.J. Miles 23rd in the do-over. Miles, who still has not touched his potential, was grabbed at #34 in 2005 by Utah. That closes out that “tier”. 

We will finish the do-over first round with: #24 Channing Frye (8th in `05), #25 Martell Webster (6th in `05), #26 Jason Maxiell (26th in `05), #27 Sean May (13th in `05), #28 Antoine Wright (15th in `05), #29 Joey Graham (16th in `05), and #30 Johan Petro (25th in `05). ...Be sure to follow us (click the “follow” button on upper left.)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Media bias on the NBA Draft? You Bectha.

NBA Studios (a singular place) is based in Atlanta. That is important to note when viewing  "the Jump", an NBA-TV program that has spent recent days focusing on the 2010 NBA Draft. I've noticed a lean toward talking about what is comfortable (i.e. local) on this show that should be thinking globally. I don't need more info on Al Faroqu Aminu, Derrick Favors, and Gani Lawal. Tell me something about Nemanja Bjelica. Can I see any love for a Pac-10 player? Quincy Pondexter (pictured) is a first round pick too.

I've changed my tune on Eric Bledsoe. I've almost totally discounted his putrid numbers after digging into game tape to refresh my memory about his fireplug body with outstanding athleticism, court vision, and instincts. He plays at NBA speed and has room to grow. (Thanks to Marty McNeal and another unnamed source for planting the seed of giving Bledsoe another look.)

Always tweaking my ways to evaluate players with a combo of data and common sense, I added a "simple 20 category checklist" last year to my myriad of mathematical factors. It proved to be a worthwhile, albeit timely, exercise.

This year I did the checklist again. Here are the players that according to my checklist - are being undervalued right now on mock drafts worldwide: Lance Stephenson, Scottie Reynolds, Ben Uzoh, Jerome Randle, Edwin Ubiles, Jeremy Lin, and Sylven Landesberg.

Finally, there are some guys with a remote chance of being drafted that we at least wanted to cover the basics of. They are linked here: Stephen Dennis, Matt Janning, Boban Marjanovic, Tim Ohlbrecht, Michael Roll, and Patrick Sullivan.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Crunch time for NBA Draft

There is OD information available on the NBA Draft in 2010. I'm here to help with the must hear, and must read. I think you need to visit to to hear three key interviews that Tim Roye did. Seek the (audio only) chats with Ryan Blake - NBA Director of Scouting, Jay Bilas - ESPN, and Len Elmore.

Also be sure to look at our NBA Draft board (with click-able links for each player) if you want to get a feel for a true independent take on where players should be ranked. Last year at this time we were the ONLY Draft site that was hyping Stephen Curry as one of the three best players in the Draft. Some folks were shocked when he was taken as high as seventh.  

The point is  - just because the major media mock drafts (ESPN = Chad Ford, DraftExpress, seem to all point to the Draft going in a certain direction - that doesn't mean that they are correct.

An example? (who I enjoy by the way, and I am not picking on them - just citing an example) has Hassan Whiteside going 23rd. He could go to Indiana at #10 or he could slip out of the first round. We like Whiteside even better than tenth (but we are thinking long-term which some front-offices just cannot afford to do).

Marqus Blakely (pictured) is not listed as being drafted by the mainstream sites. He may indeed go un-selected. But if he does - shame on the NBA. This kid can play!

Hey now... DraftExpress has Larry Sanders going 17th. That may or may not happen but if it does I will be shocked. He blocks shots and he boards but Sanders is narrow and weighs 220 lbs. at most. He had more than three turnovers for every assist. He is just a 52% free throw shooter. ...Truthfully - I'm not sure why this guy is being talked about as a first round pick. He can't shoot. He's turnover prone and his Colonial League efficiency rating (.638) should be much higher to be truly worthy of being selected in the first round. He played on a team that runs, runs, and runs. Usually that helps skew the EFR higher. ...If Wyoming's Justin Williams could not stick in the NBA - why will Sanders make it?

More profiles are completed... Osiris Eldridge, Jeff Foote, Rodney Green, Marquez Haynes, Tory Jackson, Marko Keselj, Stefan MarkovicTasmin Mitchell, Alexey Shved, and Ryan Wittman.

Monday, June 21, 2010

NBA Draft 'steals'. What was right about the most recent good picks?

With the NBA Draft now less than 72 hours away - the debates abound about selecting players. Let's look at what was right about the 15 most recent 'steals' in the annual June event.

1. Tyreke Evans at #4 in 2009 - In the 2009 Tyreke Evans scenario - there was luck involved (Blake Griffin's injury).
The three players picked before Evans included (Griffin), one that was not ready (Hasheem Thabeet), and one that just wasn't as good or as rugged (James Harden). 

2. Stephen Curry at #7 in 2009 - The Warriors were right to peg a skilled player that played at a small school. Elite skill is elite skill. 

3. Brandon Jennings at #10 in 2009 - The Bucks recognized that elite quickness, confidence, and ball-handling ability are a recipe for success among NBA Point Guards. Jennings' numbers in his lone European season were weak but his obvious star ability never left him. 

4. Darren Collison at #21 in 2009 - Another example of a UCLA player with less than stellar numbers due to the Bruins slower pace, Collison was overlooked by about 14-15 teams. The lesson is to never under-value guys with obvious skill that play on college teams that play a slower pace. (Greg Monroe fits this bill in 2010)

Break for effect. 

Noticing a trend above? ...I am. All those players are good with the ball in their hands. All the above players shoot 75% or better from the free throw line. All the above players had significantly more assists than turnovers. 

5.  DaJuan Blair at #37 in 2009 - The Spurs gambled on a guy with red flags from the doctors. While teams did have legitimate concerns (the guy has no ACL's!) - it seems to me in hindsight there should have been a point at about #15 or #16 where teams should have have realized that a questionable kneed Blair was still better than what was left to be selected. 

6. Derek Rose at #1 in 2008 -
You might say, "what makes that a GREAT pick?" It was great because it was correct. Michael Beasley was the guy that was considered the other possibility. (Beasley & Rose are pictured at right)

7. Russell Westbrook at #4 in 2008 - Another UCLA Kid that was slept on. Westbrook makes it six of seven players we have highlighted in this exercise that have been guards. Five of the seven so far are guys with superior athletic ability.

8. Brook Lopez at #10 in 2008 - It seems beyond silly now to think that D.J. Augustin, and Joe Alexander were the picks that preceded the Lopez selection. Alexander came on strong on the workout tour but so far he hasn't achieved squat in the NBA.  

9. Goran Dragic at #45 in 2008 - Dragic took a year to get it figured out but he now is a valuable contributor on a good NBA team. He does not have the elite quickness of  the above "draft steals" but he does have the shooting touch, and the good assist-to-turnover ratio.

10. Kevin Durant at #2 in 2007 - Durant was the better, more efficient player in the battle between he and Greg Oden for the #1 pick. 

11. Joakim Noah at #9 in 2007 - Noah was passed over by at least four and maybe five teams that in hindsight should have grabbed him. The three picks before Noah were Yi Jian Lian, Corey Brewer, and Brandan Wright.

12. Aaron Brooks at #26 in 2007 - Brooks is the fourth Pac-10 player listed in this exercise. Without a television deal on ESPN and with games played late at night on the East Coast of the United States - perhaps all Pac-10 players are slept on to a degree. (This means scouts need to look more closely at Quincy Pondexter, Landry Fields, Jerome Randle.) ...Also trending: another guard that excels due to speed and ball-handling ability.

13. Carl Landry at #31 in 2007 - Landry had efficiency and strength in his college resume. Teams under-valued him due to his lack of height at Power Forward, and a history of injuries. But Landry's shooting numbers and efficiency at Purdue predicted he WOULD be a good NBA player.  

Big players in the 2010 Draft that, ala Carl Landry, shoot over 50% FG, and over 80% FT? There are none. Not one. The closest is probably Miroslav Raduljica who shoots 57% FG, and 77% FT.

14. Marc Gasol at #48 in 2007 - Pau's brother is the rare seven footer that has more assists than turnovers. He should have been a mid-to-late lottery pick in hindsight.

Players in this draft that are seven feet tall and have more assists than turnovers? Only Jeff Foote of Cornell fits that bill. 

15. Ramon Sessions at #56 in 2007 - Again, another West Coast player, another guard that can get where he wants to with the ball in his hands.

You can see the entire 2010 NBA Draft rankings at

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Draft's biggest question marks. Plus ten more profiles.

There is no shortage of legitimate question mark players in the 2010 NBA Draft. The guys that I feel are the toughest to judge are: (in no order)  
  • Daniel Orton - NBA body and shot blocking ability but limited playing time at Kentucky. Can he really be more efficient?
  • Eric Bledsoe - I'm not convinced that his game will be THAT much improved from his pedestrian college numbers. A .341 EFR rarely translates to any NBA success. Is he really better than say - Daniel Gibson?
  • A.J. Ogilvy - In his case - he was VERY efficient but he didn't pass the "eye test". Should I dismiss his numbers and keep him outside the draft altogether?
  • Lazar Hayward -(pictured)

    Why do I like him so much more than everyone else? 
  • Jon Scheyer - Can he ever get in an NBA game? Or is he defense not good enough?
  • Matt Bouldin - Passed the "eye test" but his numbers were never really as good as his skill. Is he not dynamic enough?
  • Jared Quayle - Am I the only guy in the world that believes the Utah State Point Guard is a player? Did the Utah Jazz work him out just to please locals.
  • Ryan Richards - He is efficient but his body of work is limited? Is he just a mirage?
  • Omar Samhan - By raw data he would be drafted but can he 'show and recover' defensively?
  • DeMarcus Cousins - Should I really just dismiss what my gut says about him because the guy can really play?
  • Paul George - Can a guy that had a losing record at Fresno State really help an NBA team?
  • Landry Fields - Why don't more scouts like him? Is he too slow?
  • Kevin Seraphin - Is it becuase he's foreign and plays Power Forward that all seem to assume he is the next Serge Ibaka?
  • Marqus Blakely - Am I too far out on a limb with Blakely at 30?
  • Hassan Whiteside - No player in this draft has more long term potential. Are scouts really thinking 'long-term' with Whiteside?
Here are the links to the latest ten scouting profiles completed:  Tiny Gallon, Sylven Landesberg, Daniel Orton, Kevin Palmer, Miroslav Raduljica, Ryan Richards, Kevin Seraphin, Tyler Smith, Ryan Thompson, Terrico White

As always you can see out 2010 NBA Draft rankings at

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Samhan can score but can he 'show and recover'?

Among the ten players highlighted today in preparation for the NBA Draft is Saint Mary's product Omar Samhan. You can read about him and the other prospects by clicking on their name below. 

Nemanja Bjelica, Trevor Booker, Wayne Chism, Luke Harangody, Tibor Pleiss, Paulo Prestes, J.P. Prince, Omar Samhan, Larry Sanders, and Jonathan Tavernari.

You can see the entire library of NBA Draft prospects on our "BIG Board"

Friday, June 18, 2010

Kings upgrade big time by efficiency.

For the record, Samuel Dalembert was the 10th rated Center in the NBA by efficiency during the 2009-10 regular season. His .617 EFR is a HUGE upgrade from Spencer Hawes' .480 which was 46th among Centers. Andres Nocioni's best days have long since passed. He ranked 61st at his Small Forward position with an EFR of .366. 

...Today's ten NBA Draft profiles include must reads on Vermont sleeper Marqus Blakely, as well as Marshall big man Hassan Whiteside. Today's profiles are linked here: Armon Bassett, Marqus Blakely, Dwayne Collins, Jordan Crawford, Derrick Favors, Gani Lawal, Jason Love, Art Parakhouski, Hassan Whiteside, and Tyler Wilkerson

You can view all the completed profiles by clicking on the player name on our BIG BOARD

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Beware of the 51st pick.

Click on the player's name to read our thoughts about their potential in regard to the NBA Draft.

Jamal Boykin, Alex Franklin, Charles Garcia, Robert Glenn, Lazar Hayward, Anthony Johnson, Anthony Mason Jr., Jerome Meyinsse, Michael Vogler

The NBA has produced only one productive player at pick #51 in the last eleven years. Here is a list of who was selected 51st since 1999 (and who we advised to pick):
  • 1999 Antwain Smith (Derek Hood)
  • 2000 Igor Rakocevic (Harold Arceneaux)
  • 2001 Andre Hutson (Nakeia Miller)
  • 2002 Marcus Taylor (Udonis Haslem)
  • 2003 Kyle Korver (Kyle Korver)
  • 2004 Christian Drejer (Jackie Butler)
  • 2005 Robert Whaley (Omar Thomas)
  • 2006 Cheick Samb (Hassan Adams)
  • 2007 JamesOn Curry (Ali Traore)
  • 2008 Shan Foster (Shawn James)
  • 2009 Jack McClinton (Paul Harris)
You can view the BIG BOARD with links to all the profiles completed. 

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    Cal's Christopher, Robertson on the bubble to be drafted

    Patrick Christopher and Theo Robertson are two of the potential NBA Draft prospects we highlight today. Please click on the player's name to read an independently thought-out capsule of their skills and their chances to be selected next Thursday.

    Patrick Christopher, Bryan Davis, Mac Koshwal, Quincy Pondexter, Jerome Randle, Theo Robertson, Donald Sloan, Evan Turner, Jarvis Varnado, and Jahmar Young.

    As always - you can view how we rank the top 115 players in the 2010 NBA Draft at

    Monday, June 14, 2010

    Draft day approaching fast.

    With the NBA Draft now just ten days away - we continue to offer thoughts on prospects. Today we break down these guys: Da'Sean Butler, Derrick Caracter, Ed Davis, Devin Ebanks, Landry Fields, Marcus Ginyard, Landon Milbourne, Reggie Redding, Deon Thompson, Ben Uzoh, and Greivis Vasquez.

    Be sure to check out man homey Marty McNeal on his blogspot column. He is linked here

    Oddities: The 46th pick in the NBA Draft the last eleven years has been no good. Check out who was drafted below. (And who we recommended).

    1999 - JR Koch (Derek Hood), 2000 - DeeAndre Hulet (harold Arceneaux), 2001 - Ousmane Cisse (Nakeia Miller), 2002 - Jamal Sampson (Darius Songaila), 2003 - Sani Becirovic (Kyle Korver), 2004 - Ha Seung Jin (Ricky Minard), 2005 - Erazem Lorbek (Ryan Gomes), 2006 - Dee Brown (Hassan Adams), 2007 - Stephen Lasme (Ali Traore), 2008 - Trent Plaisted (Richard Hendrix), 2009 - Danny Green (Danny Green).

    Friday, June 11, 2010

    Eleven more player profiles: Carter, Collins, Dyson, Edwards, Henry, Quayle, Robinson, Samuels, Jerry Smith, Udoh, LD Williams

    As we continue to countdown to the NBA Draft- we offer eleven more player profiles from guys that may or may not be drafted. (Click on the player's name to see the profile which includes specific unique thoughts on their potential as an NBA player.)

    Thursday, June 10, 2010

    NBA Draft Player Profiles: Aminu, Brackins, Clemente, Gilstrap, Harris, W. Johnson, Onuaku, Scheyer, & Ish Smith

    We completed more 2010 NBA Draft capsule profiles. These individually written profiles force me to re-evaluate each player. 90% of the time - my mind is already made up about the player's potential going forward but there are also cases like Denis Clemente who I updated myself on yesterday. I always hated his game and actually thought he was the most out of control Point Guard in college hoops. However - my reevaluation yesterday on Clemente revealed a player that REALLY did change his game up. As a Senior he had better than two assists per turnover - clearly not "the most out of control" PG in the draft. ...The point is - these profiles require that I go back through all my notes as well as read the latest in player analytics (covered best by

    The profiles I spent time on yesterday are all linked here: Al Farouq Aminu, Craig Brackins, Denis Clemente, Marquis Gilstrap, Manny Harris, Wes Johnson, Arinze Onuaku, Jon Scheyer, and Ishmael Smith.

    Wednesday, June 9, 2010

    NBA Draft Profiles: Bradley, Fortson, James, Pittman, & Rolle

    We are posting NBA Draft player profiles leading up to the draft. These are not just the same thumbnail things you can read on any draft site. Each profile includes our independent thoughts on the player and where he should (or should not) be selected.

    Here are links to the latest profiles completed: Avery Bradley Jr., Courtney Fortson, Damion James, Dexter Pittman, & Magnum Rolle.

    Tuesday, June 8, 2010

    NBA Draft profiles: Jordan, Lowhorn, Monroe, Rautins, Sims, Stephenson, Vaughn

    We are posting NBA Draft player profiles leading up to the draft. These are not just the same thumbnail things you can read on any draft site. Each profile includes our independent thoughts on the player and where he should (or should not) be selected.

    Here are links to the latest profiles completed: Jerome Jordan, Dior Lowhorn, Greg Monroe, Andy Rautins, DeShawn Sims, Lance Stephenson, and Deonta Vaughn.