Thursday, August 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Draft things I think I think

(With apologies to Peter King...)

I will admit that I don't follow the NBA nearly as much as I do the college game. But between what I saw in this year's playoffs and what I saw and read while running the website during the draft last nigh

Draft things I think I think

(With apologies to Peter King...)

I will admit that I don't follow the NBA nearly as much as I do the college game. But between what I saw in this year's playoffs and what I saw and read while running the website during the draft last night, I'm reasonably convinced that Marreese Speights was a good pick for the 76ers.

Granted, I heard the same questions about Speights' work ethic and conditioning from friends last night as the Daily News' Phil Jasner did, and Jasner noted them in his story this morning.

But if the Sixers wanted a big man who could play an up-tempo game, when you look at the the players left on the board Speights is a much better choice than Roy Hibbert or Kosta Koufos.

Hibbert in particular is a player we've all seen a lot, and we all know that he's incredibly skilled and plenty capable of scoring inside. But he lacks that mean streak that you have to have to really force your way through the lane in the NBA, and I'm not sure he'll be a star as a pro.

Then again, if the Raptors are able to succeed with the style of game in which Hibbert functions best, it will mean very good things for the quality of basketball in the NBA.

(In other words, one of the reasons why I don't like the NBA as much as the college game is that so much of the pro style is based on driving to the basket for dunks. I'm much more a fan of the perimeter-basd game, where teams have to actually pass the ball and shoot it well.

Some of the NBA teams do it, Phoenix in particular as we all know. But many still don't, especially in the Eastern Conference.)

Elsewhere nationally, I wonder how many of you were surprised that Miami actually took Michael Beasley. There was so much talk about them not doing so that I really didn't expect it.

I think Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant are going to make a great tandem in Seattle, and I'd like to think D.J. Augustin will thrive in Charlotte. But the Bobcats have drafted a lot of great college players over the last few years and the team still isn't any good.

Also as regards Charlotte, did a team that already has Raymond Felton really need to draft Augustin and Kyle Weaver?

I'll be very interested to see if the Nets can get Chris Douglas-Roberts, Brook Lopez and Yi Jianlan on the floor at the same time. Those two plus Vince Carter and Devin Harris could make for a pretty good five.

And I bet Yi is going to get more attention in his first week in the New York area than he did all last season in Milwaukee. I went to the Nets' website this morning and they are already offering (in English and Chinese) a free Yi jersey to anyone who buys a season ticket.

I think Darrell Arthur is really going to like playing with Chris Paul, and I think Kevin Love is going to really like playing with Kyle Lowry and Mike Conley. But I'll be very interested to see who else plays with Love in Memphis' front court.

I think Jason Thompson and Sean Singletary are going to enjoy each other's company in Sacramento, but I'm not at all convinced the Kings are going to be any good any time soon.

I think D.J. White, who was a great post defender in college, is going to do very well playing on the same team as Rasheed Wallace, Tayshaun Prince and Antonio McDyess.

I'm a little surprised that Joey Dorsey fell to the second round, but Portland's frontcourt just got even scarier: Dorsey, Greg Oden, LaMarcus Aldridge and Channing Frye.

And finally, a few word about the players not drafted. I bet Xavier's Josh Duncan finds a place to play, and Philadelphia would be a fine place by me -- even if it causes a traffic jam at small forward.

I hope Butler's Mike Green gets an NBA deal, and the same for Pat Calathes. But I think Green is much more likely to get his money from the NBA than Calathes because he's a point guard.

I think Calathes will make a lot of money in Europe, and there's nothing wrong with that -- not least because the the Euro is beating the stuffing out of the dollar right now. But small forwards are easier to find than point guards.

The other guy who I think might latch on somewhere in the NBA is Clemson's James Mays. He's built like a truck and proved last season that he could score against good ACC defenses.

I'm headed out of town for the weekend, so chew on all that and feel free to tell me why I'm wrong.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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