Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Weird NBA Mock Drafts

I should say, weird from the perspective of a Timberwolves fan.  That's the team I follow (feel free to take a moment to feel a pang of pity) and they are also going to be a busy team on draft day.  Three picks in the first round, two more in the second, with some clearly defined needs (lmost obviously, center).  In fact, things haven't changed much since last year, when I said that Al Jefferson was the only obvious starter at his position.  Everyone else looks like a great substitute, but not necessarily a starter of winning team.  

There seems to be a feeling percolating throughout the NBA, quite rightly, that the Wolves will probably be looking to trade some picks--carrying five rookies into a season seems like a lot, and it isn't like the Wolves won't be needing some help in the draft next year regardless of how sneaky they are in this offseason.  Of course, without a General Manager in place yet, there may be a limit to how much wheeling and dealing they are going to be able to do in the next few weeks. 

Regardless, no mock draft can predict what kind of trades might occur, so they have to go with the picks as they stand--in the Wolves case, we are talking about pick numbers 6, 18, and 28.

Here's the part that bothers me--it seems clear that some of the Mock Drafts available online seem to have just plugged in the best player available without much of a look at an overall strategy.

Consider HoopsHype--the Wolves have 3 picks in the first round, and will spend them all on guards, including the entire backcourt of UCLA?  Hype has James Harden going 6, Jrue Holiday at 18, and Darren Collison at 28.    I don't anything against any of those players in particular, but there is simply no way anyone could justify taking 2 point guards in 5 picks, could they?

DraftExpress has the same picks.  It is strange, I tells you...passing strange. 

InsideHoops has the Wolves taking 3 players under 6' 8", with awfully young Demar DeRozan the tallest of the bunch.  No one loves Eric Maynor's game more than I do, but why would the Wolves take both him and Darren Collison? has the Wolves taking Harden and Maynor (there seems to be rotating series of choices here) and an outlier at 28--Gonzaga's skinny tall guy, Austin Daye.  

Tom Ziller of NBA Fanhouse has the Wolves, at #28, passing up on a 7 footer in BJ Mullins to take Jeff Pendergraph, an undersized power forward who plays sloppy defense?  We got all of that taken care of with Kevin Love last year!  (of course, Ziller also has Tyler Hansborough going #25, so caveat emptor there regardless)  Also, I'm totally kidding about K-Love--he was a happy surprise his rookie year.  I'm not sure how much higher his ceiling was, but he had a great rookie year.

I'll give Chad Ford credit:  out of the all the Mock Drafts I've looked at--which include many more than what I've mentioned above--he makes some sense.  He uses the Wolves picks in a way that seems to have some internal logic--pick one, small forward (DeRozan); second pick, go big (BJ Mullins); third pick, point guard and dynamo in Paddy Mills.  

No comments: