Well guess what happens today. That's correct. Charlie Sheen's "Anger Management" is premiering. Oh the NBA draft? Is that supposed to be important, or?
Like most people, my opinions have greatly fluctuated the past month. I have been a big fan of Sullinger, Rivers, and Lillard at 10 in the past. Guess how that's treating me. Sullinger is liable to drop into the 20s. Lillard will probably be gone. And Rohan has changed my positive opinion on Rivers into a more neutral stance. As it sits right now, I will be perfectly happy if we avoid bigs in this draft (barring Anthony Davis). Nobody outside of Davis, Robinson, and Drummond have the potential to be borderline All-Stars starters. Hence, not worth the 10th pick.
So what's left besides the bigs? Well, we have a medley of combo guards to choose from as well as low-ceiling wings. It seems that some combination of Austin Rivers, Kendall Marshall, Jeremy Lamb, Damian Lillard, and Dion Waiters will be the guards available. And for the wing 3, Terrence Ross, Perry Jones, Moe Harkless, Terrence Jones, and Royce White will more than likely all be available.
The way I see it, there are 3 variables in our choice at 10 (provided we stay there):
1. Available prospects. This is obviously the biggest variable. If Demps and Monty want Rivers, but he is not there, we can't draft him.
2. Vision for the future. I'm sure the team is keen on building around Gordon and Davis, but how? This will make our pick based on the different play styles by the players.
3. Potential to start. By start, I mean be a key focal point of the future. I think Demps and Monty are really trying to find a future starter at the 10 (or by the result of having the 10)
I see these three variables as the most important deciding factors for our 10th pick. Now, we are very liable to trade the pick, and I will get into this possibility later.
For this discussion, let's assume the players stated above will be available at the 10th pick.
We can discard variable 1 right now. So, let's talk about vision for the future. This roster with Davis and Gordon is a borderline playoff team. We will need to sign adequate starters at the 3 and 5 to make it happen, but it is a very capable roster. Now, I dislike many of the bigs beyond Robinson, Davis, and Drummond. I don't see any pieces in the draft this team can use as a focal point for the future. So, we are going to have to look to free agency for our 5. However, this draft is very conducive for us to address our need at the 1 and 3. Demps and Monty are going to have to answer a few questions for this pick. Do they think Aminu has a future here? Do they want to develop him as trade material? Do they think Jack needs to be replaced? How long do they want to wait to replace Jack? How do they want to address needs via free agency? These questions will need to be answered in order to determine whether they go with the point guard or the small forward.
Discussion on picking a guard:
Picking a guard will determine the future of this team. If we get a guy like Marshall, then we will have to assemble a big 3 like the Celtics did. If we get a guy like Lillard, the makeup of the team will be fairly similar to the kind of roster we saw last season from the Hornets. We will need an Ariza type player and an Okafor type player (either one will need to have an offensive game to go with their defensive play). And then there's the possibility of the combo guards of Rivers, Lamb, and Waiters. If we draft one of these 3, then the future of this team will be in kind of flux. We will have Jack stay at the 1 (barring any offseason moves) as well as Gordon at the 2 (again, barring any offseason move). But then we have the Rivers-type player come off the bench to play minutes at both the 1 and 2. The thing is, this situation will take a year or two to develop the player into a starting 1. Now, this is not necessarily a bad thing. It will probably make Demps and Monty more flexible in the rebuild timetable. Instead of having a massive turn around in 1 or 2 offseasons. This will prolong the rebuild at least another offseason. The one problem with this is what if the player doesn't develop into the 1 we always wanted? We will either say goodbye to him, Gordon, or leave him as a 6th man. None would be ideal because they would all set the team back another year at the very least.
When we look at those three combo-guards, it's almost pick-your-poison. They all have their drawbacks and none are sure things. Not to mention, all of them will require development to be the 1 guard we want them to be. All 3 are very boom/bust kind of guys. While the other two mentioned aren't sure things either, there is much less of a risk in taking them because they don't need to learn point guard.
Now, on to the 3:
I see two possibilities at small forward for the 10th. Perry Jones and Terrence Ross. Both are stuck in between positions, and 10 is a little high for both of them. The only problem I have with drafting one of these guys is that we will be right back where we are with Aminu. I like Aminu. He can develop into a great 3 and so can these guys. But they need development. Development is not something I think Demps and Monty are super enthused about. Sure, they'll do it, but they want to win in the next 2 years. Not to mention the fact, that we have no 3 to fall back on. There is a massive hole at the 3 right now, but will Jones and Ross fill it or dig it deeper? If we do draft a 3 at the 10 spot, we're going to need a different type of point guard. A guy who can create for our new big 3. A Steve Nash type of player. I think a trade down is very likely if the Hornets want to go this route. Maybe Houston, perhaps? Draft Jones/ Ross and Marshall and you have a setup with a lot of potential.
Regarding potential to start:
This may not be something important to Dell and Monty, but I personally think it is very important. We have the 10th pick in a deep draft and we need starters. Why draft a 6th man? This is a problem I see with the combo guards. They have massive potential, but can they start at the 1? Will they earn a starting spot with Jack and Gordon at the 1/2? It's fairly difficult to imagine unless Jack gets shipped off somewhere. Or we lose Gordon. however, we don't get this problem drafting a 3 There's Aminu and that's it. If we draft a 3, then we have two 3s in their developmental stage. Both will be fighting for minutes. This is also a plus for the 3 argument. Hopefully, one will emerge.
Okay, this is very draining. Much respect to the blog contributors here. So, I'll wrap this up with a few notes.
- I like the idea of Marshall. Maybe not at 10, but I would be more than happy if he is our point guard of the future.
- If Barnes or MKG (preferably Barnes) fall to 4-6, let's trade up. I love Barnes' offense. And I love MKG's defense. If we get Barnes, let's trade next year's first for the 11th/12th to get Marshall, provided he is there. They would be great fits with each other style-wise. MKG, let's go after Dragic.
- If Drummond falls to 10, you have to pick him. That said, I almost don't want him to be there. I'd rather leave the risk to someone else.
- I hope Lillard is available at 10. He's my first choice as our point guard. Would make the rebuild go much quicker.
- I would bold the names and titles for yall, but I'm just too damn lazy.
- What are you guys hoping for in this draft?