Thursday, June 23, 2011

NBA Draft Quick Hits

According to almost every sports pundit I've read recently, this is one of the weakest drafts since 2000. Coming, as it does, during a year with great uncertainty as to the future of the NBA (if there are lockouts in both football and basketball, I'l leaving the damn country), the Class of 2011 is entering The League under a bit of a cloud.

Well, cheer up kids. At least you're not LeBron.

Here are a couple of my thoughts on this year's NBA draft class.

1) How on earth is Kyrie Irving the consensus #1 pick? Let's go to the film, shall we?

He's slower than Derrick Rose and has a tiny fraction of the athleticism. Also, he's smaller. And he can't pass like Chris Paul. I just don't see Irving being that good in the league.

2) Derrick Williams, on the other hand, is a future All-Star. Cleveland should really be taking him #1, and I won't be surprised if/when they do. I love his game. So powerful around the rim, a good rebounder, and terrific range. He's an absolute nightmare for most of the small forwards in the NBA.

3) One of the overseas guys will succeed, and the other two-three will fail miserably. It's just statistics. Try picking which one lasts. I sure can't.

4) The above does NOT include Enes Kanter, who I think will be a viable NBA player.

5) Sleepers. I like Butler's Shelvin Mack as a tough rotation guy, and Purdue's JaJuan Johnson as a big SF a la Kevin Durant (lite, but with better defense).

6) Again, Derrick Williams is a legit baller.

He's only a year older than Kyrie, and he is about five times more NBA-ready. I'm sensing another year of buyer's regret for the teams that pass him up (Greg Oden? Sam Bowie?). He's going to come in and be better than, say, Carlos Boozer... within a year or two.

If you want to read a far better draft preview, head on over to Bill Simmons' (the best thing to happen to online sports journalism that I can recall) and READ THIS.

PS- is named after Grantland Rice. If you don't know, now ya know.