With another NBA draft in the books Carter Goodwin and Alex Bledsoe discuss the results. They will be going over the reaches, steals, questionable moves, best values, and best fits.
Carter: So Alex, who do you think the biggest reaches in the draft were?
Alex: I’m going to go with the obvious one. Cody Zeller at the fourth pick in the draft is a terrible, terrible reach. His ceiling? Not even close to Alex Len, Nerlens Noel, and Ben McLemore– all of whom were on the board when the Bobcats made the pick. Unless they think Zeller can add 30 pounds and play the 5, this was a bad pick.
CG: The Bobcats aren’t going to be good anytime soon so I don’t understand why they wouldn’t go for someone more boom or bust. They’re so early in their rebuild that now is the time to gamble big on a major talent, such as any of the ones you mentioned. To me the biggest reach was Solomon Hill to Indiana at 23. Chad Ford had him ranked 79(!). He was not expected to get drafted at all, let alone be taken as early as the Pacers picked him in the first round. There were still multiple first round talents still to be had on the board ( Crabbe, Withey, etc) and Hill could definitely be had later in the draft.
AB: Absolutely. Hill won’t do much to shore up the atrocity that was the Pacers bench last year. You gave me the biggest reach, now which player was the biggest steal in this year’s draft?
CG: I have a tie between CJ McCollum at 10 to Portland and Allen Crabbe at 31 who was traded to Portland. McCollum was rumored to be in play all the way at 5, but surprisingly multiple teams in need of guards and shooting (Phoenix, Detroit, Minnesota) all passed on him. He and Lillard, last year’s rookie of the year will have the potential to be an extremely dynamic offensive duo with both sharing the PG spot and off ball responsibilities. Now THAT will be tough to defend. Crabbe was a first round prospect who carried Cal last season. He is an elite shooter with size and I have zero clue why the Knicks or Clippers, who both picked SGs, would pass on him. He will help add to the wasteland also known as Portland’s bench.
*BREAKING NEWS TIAGO SPLITTER is finalizing a 5 year 45 mil contract with San Antonio*
AB: saw that. WOW. terrrrrrrrrrible
CG: Agreed, apparently Portland offered him and the Spurs are most likely matching. This takes away the Spurs best asset-Cap room- and limits them in retooling post duncan
Now back to the draft,
AB: Splitter is a homegrown Spurs player, but realistically his production could be matched for a third of the cost. Rare misstep by a great front office.
After not having very much offensive firepower last year, it seems like the Blazer’s front office made it a priority to add some punch in a weak backcourt. I, once again, have to go with a more obvious selection. Most top prospects had injury concerns, positional doubts, and other worries that could scare off suitors. One of the only sure-fire talents was Ben McLemore out of Kansas. A young shooting guard equipped with Ray Allen-comparisons, especially during the current lack of dominant 2′s in the league, should have teams scrambling to add him. McLemore slid to the seventh pick, albeit into a pretty good fit in the Kings. He would’ve made sense for almost every single team that passed on him- and he’s one of the best prospects in this weak draft.
CG: I really liked McLemore, even with the concerns about his willingness to be top dog and doubts about his mindset, he is at worst a great shooter and floor spacer in the NBA. I would happily take that with the 7th pick in a bad draft.
which draft pick do you think has the best fit with his new organization?
AB: I’d have to say this is a tie between Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams. Both prospects were looked at as potential all-stars, but raw in terms of a complete game. With the Jrue Holiday trade, the pressure to win in Philly is absent and both players will have opportunities to show what they can do. With Philadelphia tanking to secure a high pick in the 2014 draft, an atmosphere with some stability in Evan Turner and also not bent on competing right away is the perfect fit for both Noel and Carter-Williams. What say you?
CG: To be honest I don’t think anyone fits with the 76ers as currently constructed because there’s not much to fit with..the 76ers just need to restart. That said, I do love the 76ers moves and think Noel, Turner, MCW, and 2 possible lotto picks next year provides the opportunity for a sweet core. I’m going to go a little more obvious with my best fit-Otto Porter. With a pass first PG in John Wall and 2 solid big men in Nene and Okafor, Porter and his sweet stroke will be able to space the floor along with Bradley Beal. Though not known to create his own shot, he will have Wall to do so for him. He will pull his weight on D, rebound, and be a solid passer on offense. The Wizards now look to have a plethora of versatile, defensive, 3 point shooting wings.
AB: I know that’s your team-playoffs next year? They have the core for it.
CG: If wall can stay healthy I don’t see why not. They were a .500 team last year when Wall played and between the addition of Porter and the improvement of Wall Beal, and the rest of the Wiz Kids I could see them snagging a 7 seed. Not to mention that Boston and Philly both took themselves out of contention with their respective trades
AB: Since the Big Three left (Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison, and Caron Butler of course) the Wizards haven’t been back to the playoffs. The addition of Porter solved the question of who plays on the wing for Washington, but what other questions remain after the draft?
CG: After the Jazz traded the 14th and 21st pick for Trey Burke I am very interested in what they do next. They have the option to resign Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, forming a probable playoff team, or let them walk and grow around a very solid core of Burke, Kanter, Gordon, Favors, and Burkes. Millsap and Jefferson will both be coveted so it will be interesting to see if the Jazz try to retain them.
AB: I have to wonder what direction the Pelicans are going. They had a promising young core with last year’s first overall pick, Anthony Davis, being flanked by Eric Gordon, Greivis Vasquez, and Ryan Anderson. That team possessed the makings of a playoff team, but it was pretty obvious they weren’t that close yet. By turning the sixth pick into Jrue Holiday, the Pelicans showed that they mean to get into the playoffs and soon. The real question is, do they have enough firepower to do anything more than a first-round exit every year? Or did they try to get competitive before they were ready to play with the elite of the Western Conference?
CG: I think you’re really onto something here. They still have a major hole at the wing position where Al Farouq Aminu and Lance Thomas split time last year and center isn’t exactly set as they are relying on the unfortunate Lopez brother. It will be interesting to see what they do with Greivis Vasquez now that they replaced him at point guard and how they use their new found cap space. Also if Eric Gordon will ever play again at a high level. To be honest I tend to think they bit off more than they could chew with this trade.
Elsewhere in the league who do you think failed to address a major hole in their lineup?
AB:The team that made me scratch my head with a refusal to address holes in their lineup was the New York Knicks. They didn’t have a lottery pick to shore up a thin frontcourt (Kenyon Martin, signed more than halfway through the season, played way too many crucial playoff minutes) but did choose Tim Hardwaway Jr. in the first round. Hardaway Jr. is not seven feet, doesn’t guard the 4 or the 5, can’t make a defensive rotation under the basket. He’s an offense-minded shooting guard that is redundant with the rest of the Knicks rotation. The Knicks set a NBA-record for threes attempted last year; do you really think they need one more three-point shooter? Even if J.R. Smith doesn’t come back, Felton and Melo could man down the offense. It’s when Tyson Chandler sits that they have problems. I would’ve loved Jeff Withey here.
CG: You really took the words out of my mouth, the Knicks seem to not be doing much to surround Carmelo with talent. It will be interesting to see what he’s thinking with his player option coming up…
To me the team that is left with a big hole is the Bobcats. Though they did get a solid prospect in Cody Zeller, it’s that they still don’t the face of their franchise after multiple seasons of tanking. They needed to come out of this draft with a high ceiling player capable of being their go to guy, or at least elite on defense in the form of Noel. Instead they added a solid player who looks to have no particularly great traits. The Cats just seem to be treading water and consistently adding okay yet low ceiling prospects (Kemba Walker, MKG, and Zeller).
That’s all the draft coverage I needed. Thanks for debating with me Alex. This has been Alex and Carter with the 2013 NBA Draft coverage, tune in for another conversation after free agency.
CG & AB