Thursday, June 30, 2005

In-Depth Look at the 2005 NBA Draft

Rob Babcock-blocked the Raptors from taking Danny Granger and instead settled on Charlie Bigglesworth-- a true draft day blunder.

By Paul Benedict

Before the draft becomes old news, allow me to get in my two cents...

-I've been killing Charlie Villanueva for over two years now, ever since I saw him dog it through a high school game and seem not to care even the slightest that his team lost. But I have to admit, I felt somewhat sorry for him last night. After Toronto made the most mind-boggling move in Tuesday's draft by selecting Charlie Bigglesworth 7th overall, the ESPN analysts (all of them) absolutely ripped Rob Babcock for drafting the notoriously underachieving, lethargic Villanueva. And then the hairless wonder had to go up for the post-pick interview with Stuart Scott, who immediately asked him what it was like having his moment in the sun spurned by all of the ESPN draft "experts". Vilanueva showed little emotion however in taking the easy route by saying he's been proving people wrong all his life and working very hard, blah blah blah. I don't know about you, but if I'm hairless and sitting up there in his position (and don't take the hairless thing seriously, I actually think it's kind of cool), I'd be pretty fucking emotional. Remember Paul Pierce from '98? Caron Butler from '02? I wish for Villanueva's sake that he had stood up for himself more than he did, but that tells you a little bit about what the guy is like.

-I may turn to be completely wrong about this, but as of last night, the absolute worst pick in the draft had to have been the Clippers' drafting of Yaroslav Korolev 12th, ahead of such immediate impacters as Antoine Wright, Joey Graham, Rashad McCants, and namely, Danny Granger. "Joe" made an interesting point yesterday when he claimed that we really have no right no jump on Korolev and praise the Celtics' drafting of Green when in essence, we have no idea how either is going to turn out. But here's my problems with Korolev-- when you want to consider drafting a kid so young, you absolutely have to consider his maturity. Korolev supposedly let that draft rumor leak out himself when he started yapping away to his teenage buddies who then proceeded to spread the word all over the internet. Korolev also reportedly spent more time on the internet checking out mock drafts then he did preparing for the draft. Now this is obviously speculation, but the mere fact that people are speaking up about this tells you that his maturity is certainly in question. My biggest problem with the Korolev pick is that the Clippers are on the brink of making the Playoffs! They haven't been there since 1994! Fuck championships, if I'm with the Clippers, I have my heart set on earning some respect in this league. Topping the Lakers last season was the first step with the Playoffs seeming like a very reasonable goal for next season, but they definitely didn't help themselves on Tuesday.

Yaroslav Korolev, the hottest selling Clippers jersey since Sofoklis Schortsanitis!

-Some phenomenal highlight packages:
-Mickael Gelabale's 6-step travel down the middle for a dunk. Priceless.
-Martynas Andriuskevicius' jaw-dropping highlight package. I understand it was presumably against a bunch of stiffs, but my goodness, this guy looked pretty damn good. He's now earned the right for me to spell out his entire name.
-Nate Robinson looking like he could have easily been an All-Pro cornerback. There's no rookie I'm more excited about watching than him. Let's pray he steps up to the plate and challenges Josh Smith in next year's dunk contest.
-I absolutely love the highlights of the big high schoolers dunking all over kids half their size. Andrew Bynum's was hysterical with one shot of an opposing team just staring in awe as he dunked in between three of them.
-That Warrick dunk against Notre Dame may have been the single most impressive in-game dunk all season. Who else can do that besides Amare and maybe Swift?
-ESPN sold Jason Maxiell short-- his package made him look nothing like he really is. I remember last season in the NCAA Tourney against East Tennessee State he made several plays that had me jumping out of my chair and chest bumping my roommates, but his highlights on Tuesday did nothing for me.

2005-06 All-Rookie 1st Team:
Andrew Bogut, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Marvin Williams, Raymond Felton (Top 5 Picks)

2nd Team:
Rashad McCants, Joey Graham, Julius Hodge, Wayne Simien, Sean May

Rookie of the Year:
Chris Paul

Biggest Steals:
Chris Paul at #4
Danny Granger at #17
Gerald Green at #18
Hakim Warrick at #19
Wayne Simien at #29
Ersan Ilyasova at #36
Chris Taft at #42
Martynas Andriuskevicius at #44
Ryan Gomes at #50

The Pacers plucked out a gem in Danny Granger.

Biggest Busts:
Charlie Villanueva at #7
Channing Frye at #8
Andrew Bynum at #10

Best Players When All is Said and Done:
1. Chris Paul
2. Deron Williams
3. Marvin Williams
4. Danny Granger
5. Gerald Green

Best 2nd Round Picks When All is Said and Done:
1. Roko Ukic
2. Ersan Ilyasova
3. Ryan Gomes
4. Andray Blatche
5. Chris Taft

Players That Didn't Get Drafted but Will Make an Impact:
1. Chuck Hayes
2. Kennedy Winston
3. Jawad Williams

2005 NBA Draft Rankings
-Based on how teams did with respect to their draft positions

1. Boston
#18- SG Gerald Green, Gulf Shores Academy (TX)
#50- SF Ryan Gomes, Providence
#52- PG Orien Greene, Louisiana-Lafayette

-It's amazing-- Ainge got Green at #18 after he considered trading Paul Pierce to Portland for a chance to draft him, and then he plucked Gomes at #50-- a guy he had been strongly considering at #18 before the draft. Bravo, Danny.

2. New Orleans
#4- PG Chris Paul, Wake Forest
#33- PF Brandon Bass, LSU

-I firmly believe Chris Paul will be the best player from the 2005 class, so the Hornets essentially got a steal at #4. He also happens to be probably the most marketable player in the draft which fills another need for the hapless Hornets. Bass was a nice 2nd round pick-- though he's a bit of a tweener, he has a lot of talent and can also help spark fan interest since he's an LSU product.

Let it all out Byron-- we'd be gushing, too.

3. Indiana
#17- SF Danny Granger, New Mexico
#46- PF Erazem Lorbek, Slovenia

-Is there a living soul out there that doesn't believe Granger is going to become an impact player? So how in the world did he drop to Indiana at #18?! He might struggle for minutes early on, but he certainly gives Donnie Walsh and Larry Bird the leverage to trade Artest or Jackson if either self-combusts. The Pacers are like the Spurs of the East-- they just restock and reload.

4. Utah
#3- PG Deron Williams, Illinois
#34- SG C.J. Miles Skyline H.S. (TX)
#51- C Robert Whaley, Walsh

-I love the Williams pick, he's a perfect fit under Jerry Sloan. Look for the Jazz to be a significantly better team next season simply because of this pick. Now they're just a go-to scorer away from being a Playoff team. Miles and Whaley are both NBDL projects (though Miles may go to Texas), so we'll have to wait awhile to see what happens with them.

5. Golden State
#9- PF Ike Diogu, Arizona St.
#40- PG Monta Ellis, Lanier H.S. (MS)
#42- PF Chris Taft, Pittsburgh

-I was really pulling for my Warriors to nab Hakim Warrick at #9, but Diogu might actually be a better fit with his superior rebounding and post skills. Ellis and Taft were absolute money 2nd round picks given their potential. 5 years from now the Warriors could very well have had the best 2005 NBA Draft.

6. Miami
#29- PF Wayne Simien, Kansas

-The Heat were one of the few teams who made the perfect selection with one of their picks. If Simien can stay healthy, there's no question that he's going to be even better than Haslem.

7. Milwaukee
#1- C Andrew Bogut
#36- SF Ersan Ilyasova, Turkey

-Bogut will never be a superstar in this league, but good centers are so hard to find in this league that you can't entirely blame them for picking him first-- as long as they address their other needs this summer. Ilyasova was a first round lock until he injured his ankle, so he could end up being a nice find in the 2nd round.

8. Atlanta
#2- SF Marvin Williams, North Carolina
#31- G Salim Stoudamire, Arizona
#59- G Cenk Akyol, Turkey

-Williams could turn out to be a stud, but the Hawks obviously have some wheeling and dealing to do this summer with a plethora of 3s on the roster. Stoudamire was a nice pick, but I doubt he's the answer at point guard.

C'mon, Billy Knight! Wearing a rental suit to Marvin Williams' jersey unveiling is not a good way to start a new era!

9. Charlotte
#5- PG Raymond Felton, North Carolina
#13- PF Sean May, North Carolina

-Bickerstaff could have done better, but you can't blame him for trying to spark fan interest after a humiliating inaugural season. Nevertheless, Felton will likely never be a top flight point guard in the league, and the team could have filled a more pressing need rather than drafting another back-to-the-basket power forward.

10. Seattle
#25- C Johan Petro, France
#48- SF Mickael Gelabale, France

-Neither of these guys will be able to make an immediate impact for the Sonics, but they both have a ton of upside. Petro may finally be the center Seattle has been searching for all these years, but it's going to take some time.

11. Sacramento
#23- SG Francisco Garcia, Louisville

-Geoff Petrie did like he always does and took the best player on the board at #23 in Garcia. If Cuttino Mobley bolts for another team, Garcia should beat out last year's draftee Kevin Martin for the starting 2 guard spot.

12. Memphis
#19- F Hakim Warrick, Syracuse
-Acquired PF Lawrence Roberts from Seattle for cash considerations

-West took the best player on the board in Warrick-- a nice catch at #19. Warrick's game is tailor-made for the NBA and he should enjoy a nice career.

13. Portland
#6- G/F Martell Webster, Seattle Prep (WA)
-Acquired the rights to #22 PG Jarrett Jack for the rights to #27 F Linas Kleiza and #35 F Ricky Sanchez.

-Webster has displayed an equal amount of talent and poise since landing on the draft radar, and that usually means good things for a kid coming straight out of high school. Look for him to get immediate playing time and work himself into the starting lineup by the time the Blazers fall to 7-29. Jack gives the Blazers more depth at guard and a different look from Telfair. I'm just worried that he's going to outplay Telfair right from the start next year and cause a bit of a controversy for the team.

14. Washington
#49- PF Andray Blatche, South Kent Prep (CT)

-Blatche is loaded with potential and was a great pick by Ernie Grunfeld this late in the draft. But like many of these 2nd round selections, we won't know the results for at least a couple of years.

15. San Antonio
#28- PF Ian Mahinmi, San Antonio

-I don't know much about this cat, and I don't think really anybody does. Still, it's the Spurs, so you know they have a pretty good fucking idea of what they're doing. I'd be shocked if Mahinmi doesn't turn out to be a solid player.

I have no idea who the hell this guy is, but I'm 99% sure he's going to be good.

16. New York
#8- C Channing Frye, Arizona
#30- PF David Lee, Florida
-Acquired Nate Robinson as part of the Kurt Thomas/Quentin Richardson deal.

-I'm really just not a believer that Frye can cut it as a 'good' center in this league-- I think Isiah would have been better off finding a bigger, tougher 5 either through free agency or trade. I like Lee and think he's got a future in the league-- he was superb at the Chicago Pre-Draft Camp for anyone who hasn't seen the taped coverge on ESPN U and NBA TV. But another power forward?! Nate Robinson was an excellent pick-up for Isiah, perhaps his boldest and smartest move ever (which isn't saying much). Although, the deal for Quentin Richardson wasn't exactly an slick trade. Whatever. Knicks are bound to suck until they get Zeke the hell out of there.

17. Houston
#24- G Luther Head, Illinois

-Head's stock has risen steadily over the last few weeks with nobody being able to find a true fault in his game. He should fit right in with Houston and receive minutes immediately.

18. Minnesota
#14- SG Rashad McCants, North Carolina
#47- G Bracey Wright, Indiana

-I really have no idea what to make of McCants. I myself would never draft a guy with so much baggage (especially when you already have a team filled with degenerates), but I could easily see McCants turning into a steady 18-20 PPG scorer. It'll be interesting to see how his career pans out. I don't like the Wright pick at all-- he's injury-prone and overrated.

19. Orlando
#11- PF Fran Vazquez
#38- PG Travis Diener
-Acquired rights to #57 Marcin Gortat for cash considerations

-Vazquez was a surprising pick, but he could really benefit Dwight Howard by doing the dirty work and taking on a lot of the tougher defensive assignments. I thought they would have been better off with a 2 or a 3, but it appears that they're going to stick Franchise at shooting guard, and wait to find an eventual replacement for Hill at small forward. Diener is is a tough kid, I hope he sticks. Marcin Gortat, isn't this the guy Fraschilla claimed won a dunk contest by taking off from the top of the key?! Can somebody find a video link for this?

20. Cleveland
-Acquired a 2006 2nd Round Pick from Milwaukee for G Jiri Welsch
-Acquired C Martynas Andriuskevicius from Orlando for cash considerations

-Getting anything for Welsch at this point (even if they did give up a 1st round pick a few months ago) is a blessing, and the Andriuskevicius pick up was brilliant considering his upside. If they bring back Big Z as it appears they will, he could help bring along the fellow 7'3" Lithuanian.

21. New Jersey
#15- SG Antoine Wright, Texas A&M
#43- C Mile Ilic, Yugoslavia

-I was around a slew of Nets fans (all 7 of 'em) during the draft, and they were all doing backflips and cartwheels when they saw Hakim Warrick was going to be available to them at 15. Instead they opted to fill their mild need for perimeter shooting ahead of their dire need of finding a power forward. Wright's a talent, but where is he going to find minutes and shots while playing behind Vinsanity and RJ? Ilic is a project that we won't see for a few years, but the progress of Nenad Krstic is a sign that he could turn into something.

22. Denver
#20- SG Julius Hodge, NC State
-Acquired rights to #27 F Linas Kleiza and #35 F Ricky Sanchez for rights to #22 PG Jarrett Jack.
#52- PF Axel Hervelle, Spain

-Hodge is a tough kid on both ends of the floor that should last in the league, but he didn't fill the team's need for a shooter. I'm not sure where Kleiza fits in with the team already having Najera. Sanchez and Hervelle are both prospects who the Nuggets will likely let season elsewhere for a couple years.

23. Philadelphia
#45 - SG Louis Williams, South Gwinnett H.S. (GA)

-I get the impression that Williams is a super talented guard who fits perfectly into the college game. But if Billy King wants to try and bring along a supposed poor man's Allen Iverson who can work directly with AI himself, why the hell not give it a shot? You can afford the risk in the 2nd round.

24. Detroit
#26- PF Jason Maxiell, Cincinnati
#56- PF Amir Johnson, Westchester HS (CA)
#60- G Alex Acker, Pepperdine

-Maxiell fits in with the toughness of the team, but where the hell is he going to play? Aren't they going to play Darko next season? Johnson is a prospect, but he along with Acker will both end up in the NBDL for at least a couple seasons. I have to say, I was thoroughly disappointed that Dumars didn't go for Chuck Hayes with either of those last two picks-- a player that seems like a perfect fit for that team.

25. Toronto
#7- F Charlie Villanueva, UConn
#16- G/F Joey Graham, Oklahoma St.
#41- G Roko Ukic, Croatia

-Don't even get me started on Villanueva going 7th-- that was just downright embarrassing. I like the Graham pick even though they did pass on Granger (twice!)-- at least Babcock didn't pick fuckin' Chris Taft or John Gilchrist here, my goodness. I'm not sure even Ukic can save Babcock's reputation from entering Rick Pitino, Garry St. Jean, and Scott Layden territory.

26. Lakers
#10- C Andrew Bynum, St. Joseph's HS (NJ)
#37- PF Ronny Turiaf, Gonzaga
#39- SG Von Wafer, Florida St.

-Apparently the Lakers have no intention of trying to win in the near future-- wonder how Phil and Kobe feel about that. Bynum has a LOT of work to do if he's ever going to become a legit center in the NBA. My source who told me that Bynum is closer to Diop than Shaq confessed that Bynum has Brendan Haywood written all over him. Whoopty-fucking-do! I'll give Kupchak props on two solid 2nd round picks.

27. Phoenix
-Acquired #54 SF Dijon Thompson as part of the Quentin Richardson/Kurt Thomas trade.

-I was unbelievably pumped when I thought Nate the Great was on his way to the desert, and entirely crushed when I heard he was really off to the Big Apple. David Stern should have used his veto power to ensure that we all have even more reason to watch the NBA's most exciting team. Oh, well.

I was so amped that Nate the Great was going to Phoenix, I may as well have been high-fiving Nate himself. Of course, Isiah gave me another reason to hate him.

28. Clippers
#12- SF Yaroslav Korolev, Russia
#32- PG Daniel Ewing, Duke

-I don't care how much you may like a kid's upside, you just don't draft someone who won't help you for 3 or 4 years when you're on the brink of the Playoffs-- especially when immediate impact players like Granger, Wright, Graham, and McCants are out there. Sure it's only the Playoffs and you compete to win championships, but don't you think the Clippers at this point would just like to get over that hump?

INC. Chicago
No Picks.

-Chicago stood pat on draft night, a feeling I'm sure they were pleased with considering they had been in lottery heaven every year since '99.

INC. Dallas
No Picks.

-They'll make their moves through free agency and trades this summer.


At 6:50 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

I feel like I have to say something since my name was mentioned. I support the Warriors, just like you Paul. The Clippers and the Warriors have the same problem, they needed a player ready to contribute straight away for them to make the playoffs. The Warriors did made a great selection in picking Diogu. As a Warriors fan I wouldn't be happy with them picking a project because the problem isn't solved. But the Clippers have a solid and deep roster with NBA-ready players. How many players available at 12th would have been diffrence maker for the Clippers? Because of the injury to Kittles they need a sg so McCants or Antoine Wright were available. But Korolev have the potential to be a diffrence maker later on. He could be a point forward like Pippen was with the Bulls.

Korolev was projected at mid-late 1st round. Do you guys remember how long time Clippers used to pick Korolev during the draft?

At 1:21 AM, Blogger atma brother #1 said...

Great draft analysis Paul. Thanks for giving the Warriors some props.

Golden State Warriors BLOG


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