OK, gents and ladies, I'm a little behind on this, but I'm gonna start my submissions to you with a draft write up by one of our submittees. The following is written by someone we shall only know for now as "Glenn." I know I shoulda got this out to you before the draft, but if I had my act together, the site wouldn't be looking for people. If good draft post-analyses are sent to me, I will send them to you.

Opinions, for once, welcome.



What 2012 NBA Draft Prospect Should Jordan Pick to Avoid Catastrophe

Michael Jordan needs the best possible number two draft pick in the worst possible way. The Charlotte Bobcats are fresh of a 2012 season so abysmal that it may have been predicted by Mayan doomsday prophecy. (They did have an ancient form of "basket" ball after all.) His Airness with the right pick could hear less mumbling in the future about Kwame Brown and Adam Morrison, and you know he must thirst for that like he once did for the tears of Craig Ehlo. This article shares the assumption that the famous unibrow of Anthony Davis is pointing towards the Big Easy. So far Michael Jordan and GM Rich Cho have worked out Harrison Barnes, Bradley Beal, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Thomas Robinson, and Andre Drummond. Unless the Bobcats end up making a trade, one of these prospects is going to end up with the herculean task of trying to lift the heaviest looking team in NBA history onto their back, so they can carry it for 82 games while searching for a free hand to battle back the specters of Jordan's infamous draft busts. So who's up for the job? I rank the likely candidates:

Andre Drummond:

The conventional wisdom on drafting big men whenever possible is beginning to wane nowadays as more and more franchises are finding themselves wishing they had gone small on draft day. History has offered too many great players like MJ and KD who flourish after being passed over because as the argument goes you can't teach height. Still, it's hard to think of a standing reach of over nine feet and nearly three blocks a game and not dream of a time when centers roamed the NBA hardwood with impunity.
Andre Drummond worked out for the Bobcats last Friday scrimmaging with Kansas power forward Thomas Robinson. The two participated in a full court 3-on-3 drill run by Charlotte Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap. Although there is no noted animostiy between them neither man was holding anything back. "We're friends off the court, but on the court we're trying to take each other's head off," Robinson said. Drummond expressed simpler aspirations than decapitation when asked what he was trying to achieve, saying that he wanted to show he could "run the floor hard, play hard, grab rebounds and block shots".
Drummond clearly represents the bigger perceived bust risk of the two making it unlikely the Bobcats will take a chance with him. This is exacerbated by Jordan's history; it seems unlikely given Kwame's dramatic example that Jordan would stick his neck out for another young unproven big man on the basis of his potential ceiling. On a Connecticut squad that went nowhere in 2012, Drummond was neither the leader in PER or Win Shares but the Bobcats don't have to look much further than one old fashioned stat to get nervous. Drummond converted on less than 30% of his free throws. That's possible? I had no idea. I mean maybe if Ben Wallace was trying to shoot them while recovering from the effects of a flash grenade...in a wind tunnel...with his hands soaked in butter...

Harrison Barnes:

According to Genesis man was created in God's own image. It must be tempting for Jordan when he sees that Carolina blue draped on a prolific scoring All-American to imagine molding Harrison Barnes in his likeness. What more dramatic way could there be to bring hope to Charlotte? Harrison has the tools to be a great player. As a physical specimen he possesses a 38 inch standing vertical to go along with his 6'11" wingspan. He can run three quarters of the court in 3.16 seconds which is only .02 seconds slower than John Wall. As a scorer he displays a smooth arsenal of mid-range shots and is proficient at creating space with his step back and high release. His jumper has classic form and range. However, something doesn't feel quite right.
There is an ominous feeling that sets in when a player was the top guy in the class of 2010 but isn't even discussed as the number one pick after two years in a prestigious college program. Granted, it's not his fault that Anthony Davis won't stop growing, but that's not the only problem. Barnes tops the list of the 10 Most Overrated Draft Prospects compiled by the Wages of Wins Journal. Using Wins Produced per 48 minutes their model actually has him as the number 83 prospect in the draft. He finished behind teammates Tyler Zeller and John Henson in both PER and Win Shares last year. His offensive efficiency for now is mediocre at best and he has difficulty finishing up close, only scoring 1.049 points per shot around the rim. It's fun to daydream, but I think Jordan is going to need to keep his feet on the ground here and pass on Barnes. 

Bradley Beal:

According to the model established by WP48, Bradley Beal is actually right where he should be in most mock drafts at pick number three. However, Jordan has pick number two so Beal would still be somewhat of a gamble. Putting aside Jordan's highly publicized penchant for gambling, this is still a move he'll likely avoid despite a good workout for the Gator. This may be less of a judgment on Beal than a realistic look at the needs of the team. Arguably, Charlotte's backcourt is the most salvageable part of the Bobcat wreckage that has to be somehow made into an airplane. Though the freshman has impressed with his solid advanced stats and been lauded for a high basketball IQ, the task of carrying the Bobcats appears too heavy for his combo guard frame. Under 6'4" shoeless, it isn't hard to imagine him struggling against NBA shooting guards, and having a higher turnover percentage than assist percentage isn't the world's best sign for the Bobcats if they would want him to explore the point. Beal also needs to improve on his pick and roll offense to distinguish himself in the NBA. Given the attention whoever gets drafted here will demand in opposing coaches defensive schemes, it seems hard to believe that Beal would thrive in a Bobcat backcourt. There's a good place on a starting squad amongst the lottery teams for Beal; it's just not here. 

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

What the Charlotte Bobcats really crave is the feeling of winning. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is the only player they've worked out who could tell his teammates next year what it's like to win an NCAA title. Going from a championship to a team that just set a historical record for futility would be a hard adjustment for any player. Not having a single player on his new team who's the caliber of his old partner Anthony Davis wouldn't make adjusting any easier.
From the Bobcats standpoint they could certainly do a lot worse with this pick. When you are as bad as the Bobcats, there is no department that you don't need help in. As the youngest player in the draft, the Wildcat has the potential to follow up his auspicious college career by developing into that rare combination of glue guy and star that the Bobcats so desperately need. It's a well worn adage that defense wins championships. Right now the Bobcats are just worried about winning games. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's defensive acumen should come in handy at that more modest task as well.  
As a scorer he's still pretty raw. Nearly half of his shots come at the rim. Below a quarter of his shots come on jumpers and his rate of conversion is poor for a wing. He also struggles with a high turnover rate. His noted work ethic should help him improve on these deficiencies. However, it's hard to drastically improve as a player while drastically improving as a team, and saying that the Bobcats need their improvement to be drastic is like saying the crew of the Titanic might have wanted to improve their iceberg avoidance skills.

Thomas Robinson:

The Bobcats, a team in need of everything, would be well served to address two of the most fundamental necessities in basketball with this pick: rebounding and scoring. Thomas Robinson brings both as well as anybody in this draft, and that's including a certain future Hornet. Somehow, I don't think Michael Jordan is going to mind a prospective big man who's spent three years in college either seeing how well that whole straight out of high school thing worked for him in 2001.

Thomas Robinson has a reputation for being perhaps the most NBA ready player in the draft. His rebounding prowess and motor are unquestioned. His jump shot needs some work but he's improved every year at the free throw line. He can face up, put it on the floor, or score in the post over either shoulder. Plus, his draft video has a classic Killah Priest instrumental playing in the background. What's not to love?
Beyond all that, there is something very important about Thomas Robinson that the Charlotte Bobcats should be ecstatic about. He actually wants to play there! Or at least he says he does, which in itself is admirable: "I think I would fit into the system well here. I know the coach - he was at St. John's - so I'm real familiar with him and I know the playing style he likes." Apparently, Mr. Jayhawk backed up the talk up too as he showed a keenness for coach Dunlap's system in his workout.  He's got the tools, he's got the attitude, and he fits the system. If this Thursday night David Stern begins a sentence , "With the 2nd pick in the 2012 NBA Draft..." and ends it with the two words "Thomas Robinson", then the dimmest arena in all of the NBA just got more than a little brighter.
Anonymous JJ said...
Sounds great and analytic, but I think not enough sarcasm for this site.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
I'm feelin you, JJ. Not in a way that will get me arrested, but I'm feelin ya.

Anonymous JJ said...
ET, I don't know... I'm pretty sure where you're feeling me is illegal without consent in most states, not that I'm complaining of course.

Anonymous ND said...
I agree with JJ. It kind of feels like I'm reading Ball Don't Lie or Hardwood Paroxysm (not a bad thing - I enjoy both), but I (and I suspect most readers) expect humor that doesn't rely on tired references to Jordan's penchant for gambling.

With that said, I think Glenn has a bright future as a writer. This work could easily fit on one of the aforementioned blogs, and I personally appreciate the way you've used advanced statistics to buttress your arguments. Good luck!

Blogger Wormboy said...
I saw Harrison Barnes play twice at home this year. He totally overpowers lesser players, but I don't think he has that much growth potential. I wouldn't draft him high. Mistake made there.

My money would be on Henson, though I don't think he'll ever be a star. I think he has the potential to be a great role player, though. His length on defense can really mess people up.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
Good comments...

Stay tuned Monday as we begin the season / finals recaps.

I have some good ones ready to fly.


Blogger gregsgourmet said...
Excellent analysis, very well written and while the jokes were funny, there weren't enough of them IMO. Either way it was interesting to read. :)

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Too long text masses. And not too funny really. Felt like a burden to labor thru such long paragraphs filled with quite serious writing. Not really 'bawful material to me...

Anonymous meta world b free said...
I actually thought that that was quite awsome. In terms of sarcasam, it's not really the hey-day of basketbawful, but actual analysis and a few jokes is a big step up from the "some people are bad as basketball-hehe" crap that's been on this site for the last year or so. If you are going in a new direction, you could do a lot worse than publishing stuff by people who care about the game and know what they are talking about.

Blogger TeamD said...
GREAT GREAT analysis, highly appreciate it Quagmire. For people not following NCAA tournament its interesting to know the top drafts.

Jokes and satire will come your way as you begin to write to us more often.

Good stuff

Anonymous Basketdane said...
I thought it was very well written,and while it might lack some jokes we canĀ“t expect to be perfect to begin with. The analysis though was very thorough- I say we give Glenn a chance!

Blogger Barry said...
I agree, very promising, perhaps not as heavy on the jokes/potshots/sarcasm as is the norm here but a keeper.

And as an aside, I knew Joe Johnson's contract was awful but $19.8 million in 2012-13, $21.5 million in 2013-14, $23.2 million in 14-15, and $24.9 million in 15-16?

What was Atlanta thinking?

Anonymous szmik said...
Was anyone in Atlanta even thinking?

Anonymous Mladen said...
So, the Nyets are trading for Joe Johnson??? Oh, the humanity!

Anonymous RipThejacker said...
That draft video instrumental was actually "Dead Prez - Hip Hop" not Killah Priest.