Friday, June 17, 2011

The 2011 NBA Draft is...History

Were Dreams are Made
Blog by Mike McClendon
The 2011 NBA Draft is June 23rd and 60 Young men will hear their names called and their journey and dream of becoming a NBA star has begun. Congrats to all those who's names are called Thursday night and huge words of encouragement to those who are not because players like Ben Wallace, Avery Johnson, and Bruce Bowen were all Undrafted and won championships as vital contributors to their respective teams. Now on the "flipside" those drafted aren't always big time players. Look at these former Lottery picks: Michael Olowokandi and Keon Clark 98' Draft, Stromile Swift and Jerome Moiso 00' Draft, Joe Alexander and Anthony Randolph 08' Draft. Just to name a few, Bum's. With certain drafts the talent level isn't really that high or the scouts and GM's evaluating those guys aren't doing a good job. Here are some 2nd round names in those drafts that had better careers, not neccessarily great or good but definitively better: Rashard Lewis Cuttino Mobley 98' draft, Eddie House and Michael Redd (before the Knee issues) 00' draft, Mario Chalmers and DeAndre Jordan 08' draft. In my eyes these 2nd round guys capitalized on their NBA opportunity.

The two most talked about names in this years NBA Draft are Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams. Most people say it's because there is no true stars in this years draft. I mean drafting a play maker like Irving or talent like Williams isn't like drafting those former 1st round BUM's I previously named, I hope not anyway. I do agree with names like Harrison Barnes, Perry Jones, Jared Sullinger, and John Henson not being in this years drafted has lifted Irving and Williams to the top. To me this years draft is lacking depth and the momentum of the foreign players is a bit questionable.This is similar to the 04' and 06' drafts that lacked star quality names and had 6 foreign players taken in the first round and 16 total taken in the drafts. I am not against foreign players but there has been more foreign players taken early in the draft that didn't pan out then those who have.

Potential Lottery Pic
For every Tony Parker there is 5 Jiri Welsch's (1st round pick by 76er's traded to Warriors 02 draft), for every Dirk Nowitzki there is 8 Nickoloz Tskitishvili (1st round pick by Nuggets 5th overall 02' draft). We could say the same for American born players but to me it is just harder to find a Tony Parker or Dirk when they play in another country and they play against tough but lesser talent. This years draft brings us guys like Enes Kanter, Dontas Montiejunas, and Jan Vessley, just to name a few. There are about 5 to 6 more foreign names that will be moving up and down GM's drafts boards mainly for what they have seen in workouts but don't think for a second that Dirk's play in the finals won't have one of these pro scouts and GM's salivating for a foreign prospect. 

To me this years draft is just to familiar to drafts of the past with only a few big time names at the top and a whole bunch of NBA role players or Bum's. The draft is how teams build for now and into the future and all teams have to trust their GM and scouts to make the right evaluations and decisions. The Cavs taking Irving over Williams to me isn't the right call but every scout and GM thinks Irving is the next CP3 but again nobody knows. With Kemba, Jimmer, and Brandon Knight available why not take Williams at 1 and then one of those serviceable PG's with their other top 5 pick? Just a thought. Taking a Foreign player like big man Bismack Biyombo might be a stretch as a lottery pick but it could happen and probably will because what other player on the board will fit a teams needs like a future foreign big that probably can't play in the NBA for at least one more season, apparently none of them.  I think this draft will make a big splash in the late 1st round and early to mid 2nd round. Names like Norris Cole PG from Cleveland St., Kenny Faried PF from Morhead St., Keith Benson C from Oakland, Jimmy Butler F from Marquette,  and Sharp shooter Jon Diebler from Ohio St. All can and in my eyes will play at the NBA level. Maybe not stars but definitely can be contributors to winning teams in their careers.  We shall see.

Sleepers, Overrated players and Position Ranks coming soon.

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