Draft Recap & Analysis (Western Conf)
DALLAS: N. Fazekas (#34); Reyshaun Terry (#44); Renaldas Seibutis (#50)
Think the Mavs did a pretty nice job considering they had only 2nd round picks. At #34, Fazekas was a nice value pick, and someone who can fill the back-up void behind Dirk. I think Nick can actually provide some of the post-up points the Mavs are severely lacking, but I doubt he will ever be a force down low. Even though I think Fazekas is a better prospect than Glen Davis, I wonder if Big Baby would have been a better fit. Davis provides a different look to Dirk's game, while Nick's game somewhat overlaps Dirk's. Seibutis is solid Lithuanian shooter with decent athleticism who could possibly carve out a bench role in the NBA. The trade for Terry was a sweet move, and feel that Terry could be a sleeper in this draft--he's a great athlete who shoots & rebounds well.
GOLDEN ST: Brandan Wright (#8); Marco Belinelli (#18); Stephane Lasme (#46)
There's no doubt Wright has the skills that would be accentuated in the Warriors' system. But Wright's rebounding ability is a concern & he will be a major defensive liability on-the-ball for awhile--the kid is 200 lbs, Baron is 10 lbs heavier than him. So I can't see how he helps improve the Warriors' main weaknesses of rebounding & interior defense at this time. Fan of Belinelli and he fits in great in a Nellie system--Marco has unlimited range, he's uber-athletic, he chucks up shots at will, & he has little interest in defense--he's right up Nellie's alley. Lasme was worth a shot in the 2nd--not very big but a great athlete who can block shots & rebound
HOUSTON: A. Brooks (#26); Carl Landry (#31); Brad Newley (#54)
Really think they needed to take a chance on McRoberts or Fazekas at this pick. The Rockets had to find anyone who can even play limited minutes at PF, even if McRoberts doesn't work out, he comes at a relatively cheap price at #26. Even though I know they need PF help immediately, why not take a chance on Splitter as well. I mean you will have to wait a few years on Brooks to develop anyways, & he might not ever be more than a back-up anyways, why not wait 1 year for Splitter. There are some rumors that this pick might be traded, so this could work well later for Houston, but I can only go on what I know now. Landry is sort of in the mold of Chuck Hayes & they might need him around if Hayes bolts. Saw Newley a few times last summer, though he's a nice shooter & good athlete, he really didn't do anything that left a huge impression on me. But he can stroke it, and the Rockets can never have enough shooters around TMac & Yao.
CLIPPERS: Al Thornton (#14); Jared Jordan (#45)
Clips had a bunch of areas they needed to cover on draft night, so going with the best player available was probably the right way to go. Even though I thought Nick Young was the better player, can't fault the Clips too much for going for a SF since Maggette always seems to be out of favor with Dunleavy. Not sure Jordan can stick in this league, but if he does the Clips have themselves a much needed back-up PG.
LAKERS: J. Crittenton (#19); Sun Yue (#40); Marc Gasol (#48)
Some people don't seem to like this pick, but at the spot they were picking, thought it was a good choice. Felt that one of the Lakers' main needs was for a PG or combo guard who can drill jumpers, and Crittenton was the best PG on the board & he shoots fairly well. Also, he satiates Phil's fascination for big PGs. The only other direction I would gone at #19 was to look for a big, but there was very little to choose from besides Smith. Gasol could possibly make it in the NBA as a back-up, but he's nowhere near as skilled as his brother (played well in place of his bro in the Gold Medal game last summer).
MEMPHIS: Mike Conley (#4)
Couldn't ask for anything more. Not only was he the best player on the board, he filled one of the Grizzlies biggest holes. Now they can narrow their focus to chasing a big in free agency. They are the only Western team with significant cap room, and could make a play for guy like Varejao or Darko.
MINNESOTA: Corey Brewer (#7); Chris Richard (#41)
Nothing special of a draft day for Kevin McHale. The better choice would have been to take Noah, though Brewer is not a terrible pick here. As we've mentioned before, the TWolves need help on their frontline & are a poor rebounding team. They already have a defensive-minded SF in Hassell, who's under contract for a few years. Why they grabbed Chris Richard, when they already had a very similar & better player in Craig Smith, I'm not sure.
NEW ORLEANS: Julian Wright (#13); Adam Haluska (#43)
Should have taken Nick Young instead, but can't hate on the Hornets too much because think Julian Wright is pretty talented & fell a few too many spots himself. Wright can provide a different look at SF opposite Peja, and he can guard some 2s when needed. The Hornets still have to find a shooting guard since they don't have a starting caliber option. Actually I'm a fan of Haluska's game, and think he was worth taking a flyer on in the 2nd round.
PHOENIX: Alando Tucker (#29); DJ Strawberry (#59)
Agree with everything my partner previously stated. I'm not a huge fan of Tucker's prospects at the next level & not sure how he fits in at all with what the Suns like to do. But then again maybe D'Antoni is looking to mix things up, and tries to utilize Tucker's post-up skills. They could have gotten their hands on G. Pruitt at #29 to help at PG. And they still have not addressed their primary need for size, maybe they have something up their sleeves on the trade market. I actually like the pick-up of Strawberry, and actually think he could be a better pro than Tucker. DJ is known for his defense, and he can run some PG in a pinch.
PORTLAND: Greg Oden (#1); Rudy Fernandez (#24); Petteri Koponen (#30 via Phil); J. McRoberts (#37); Taureen Green (#52)
Basically have the same exact sentiments as my partner about the Blazers' draft night. Easily the big winner this year, and that has very little to do with the fact that a ping-pong ball fell their way. It was the decisions after Oden that really set them apart from every other team.
SACRAMENTO: Hawes (#10)
What's happened to the Geoff Petrie we use to know. 2 years in a row where Petrie makes a poor decision. He passed on multiple PGs last year, and now he passed on Julian Wright to go after a big who doesn't rebound or defend well. Wasn't the Kings biggest need for a big who could rebound, defend & block shots? So now they pair Brad Miller (slow, subpar rebounder, & useless defender) with Hawes (slow, subpar rebounder, & useless defender) to form a Vanilla Thunder center rotation. Nice. Congratulations Kings' fans, you now have the worst defensive frontline in the NBA (though with the trade for Randolph, the Knicks can challenge for the throne). Not to mention the Kings poor rebounding does not look like it will be helped by having Hawes around.
SAN ANTONIO: Tiago Splitter (#28); Marcus Williams (#33)
Scary. Just the Spurs being the Spurs. It's almost like they are rubbing their greatness in other teams' faces. They knew they were one of the few teams that could wait a little while for Splitter to come over, and they must have been ecstatic Tiago was still around. Now they have a guy who can step in for Oberto in a few years, and actually provide you with an even better defensive presence than Fab. Then at #33, they got a guy, Williams, who can provide some much needed youth to the wings spot. Now Buford & Pop can focus most of their attention in free agency on finding a back-up PG.
SEATTLE: Kevin Durant (#2); Jeff Green (#5 via Bos)
We already knew about Durant, but Presti stepped up to the plate & made a gutsy move to acquire Jeff Green by dealing Ray Allen. Though the rumor that Presti is considering re-signing Rashard on top of having Durant & Green, hopefully is just a rumor. First off, I find the rumor hard to believe because I can't imagine Lewis wants to re-up with the Sonics now that they brought in 2 young SFs, not to mention another SF in Wally. Why you spend that type of money to keep Lewis so as to try an experiment with 3 SFs is highly risky, especially from a defensive standpoint. And you have to imagine Presti understands the importance of defense thanks to his former employer.
UTAH: Morris Almond (#25); Kyrylo Fesenko (#38 via Phil)
Almond was probably not only the best player on the board, but the perfect fit to what the Jazz needed: a 2-guard who can drill shots. Also, the trade for Fesenko could possibly answer their other need, which was for an athletic center. One of the winners of draft night.