Mock Three

Since last we talked mock draft the Lakers dispatched with the Orlando Magic and the off-season has kicked into full gear. I was out of town on business and have thus pretty much missed basketball from the past week or so. I suppose that’s fortunate in some ways.

I hope the third version of this mock is less impacted by the rumors, smokescreens, subterfuges, and misinformation that normally clouds my mocks this time of year. My gut tells me that this draft will be the 2006 draft (Bargnani, Aldridge, Morrison were the top 3) of 2009. There will be tons of busts, but a smart front office will be able to find good players late.

Onto the picks…
2009 Mock Draft, 3.0

1. Clippers – Blake Griffin, PF, Oklahoma
Nothing to see here. Moving right along.

2. Grizzlies – Ricky Rubio, PG, Spain
Poor Grizz. This isn’t the draft to have the #2 pick. I still say they’re looking to move this pick to someone who wants Rubio.

3. Thunder – Hasheem Thabeet, C, UConn
I don’t think Thabeet is a top three talent but this draft couldn’t have worked out any better for him. He’ll be an excellent defender and he can run the floor a bit. The Thunder don’t need another guy who needs the ball to be effective.

4. Kings – James Harden, G, Arizona State
I’m guessing the Kings just go best player available regardless of position. I think they wouldn’t mind getting out from under this pick.

5. Wizards – Jordan Hill, PF, Arizona
Hill will provide some rebounding and a big that runs the floor.

6. Timberwolves – Tyreke Evans, G, Memphis
It’s hard to know what Minny will do with a new management team and a lot of picks. Nothing they do would surprise. The 6-10 area just seems about when Evans should go off the board.

7. Warriors – Brandon Jennings, PG, Italy
The Warriors want no part of Jamal Crawford and don’t think Ellis can run the point. Jennings seems like the right fit for this group.

8. Knicks – Stephen Curry, G, Davidson
I just don’t know that there will be a big man available Walsh will like more than Curry. I suspect that a big man is probably the only real competition for Curry.

9. Raptors – Jrue Holiday, G, UCLA
Ultimately, defense, ball-handling, and floor vision will keep him in the league but Holiday is one of the biggest question marks in the draft.

10. Bucks – DeJuan Blair, PF, Pittsburgh
If Milwaukee takes Blair they’ll be putting together a nice little frontcourt.

11. Nets – Demar DeRozan, SF, USC
Lottery pick least likely to live up to expectations. What does he do?

12. Bobcats – Austin Daye, F/C, Gonzaga
I love this kid’s game and maturity but he may not be a player until he’s on his second contract (after he’s filled out a bit). He’s thinner than Anthony Randolph. Just let that roll around in your head for a bit.

13. Pacers – Ty Lawson, PG, UNC
I won’t be surprised to see him go higher in this draft. The way people dismiss his production doesn’t make sense to me. It’s not like Carolina does anything particularly unorthodox. They just play a fast pace.

14. Suns – Jonny Flynn, PG, Syracuse
Flynn is a pure point guard, yet I’m not crazy about his decision making.

15. Pistons – Earl Clark, F, Louisville
I hate his offense but Clark’s a very capable defender.

16. Bulls – Gerald Henderson, G, Duke
The Bulls have claimed that their top off-season priority is to re-sign Gordon. Mmm. Yeah.

17. 76ers – Chase Budinger, G/F, Arizona
Budinger is a nice fit for that roster, especially as a decision-maker should they lose Andre Miller.

18. Timberwolves – B.J. Mullens, C, Ohio State
Given Al Jefferson’s health, this would be a decent gamble on size and provide some depth.

19. Hawks – Sam Young, F, Pittsburgh
Young would be a nice fit on Atlanta; a tough guy who can defend both forwards and hit an outside shot.

20. Jazz – Tyler Hansborough, PF, UNC
Hansborough is good value at this point in the draft. He’s going to rebound and run the floor and he’s developing a faceup jumper.

21. Hornets – Jeff Teague, G, Wake Forest
Teague would bring a bit of what Jannero Pargo did, for better or worse.

22. Mavericks – Terrance Williams, G/F, Louisville
Should Williams fall this far he’d be exactly what the doctor ordered Dallas: perimeter defense and depth.

23. Kings – Eric Maynor, PG, VCU

24. Trailblazers – James Johnson, F, Wake Forest
Portland could really use someone that can score in the post–at least a little bit.

25. Thunder – Darren Collison, PG, UCLA
He’ll be a quality backup point in the league.

26. Bulls – Nick Calathes, F, Florida (Greece)
Somebody is going to select Calathes and hold onto his rights. Presumably it will be a team with multiple first rounders that has difficulty moving a late pick. Any number of these late picks may be guys already overseas who can be stashed away.

27. Grizzlies – Wayne Ellington, G, UNC
Right now he’s a one dimensional shooter with a long windup, but worth a late first round gamble.

28. Timberwolves – Omri Casspi, F, Tel Aviv
I’d be stunned if Minny keeps all its picks, but if it does I figure they’ll select Calathes or a player they can stash overseas.

29. Lakers – Marcus Thornton, G, LSU
Thornton is a potent offensive player and a solid rebounding guard who is better in short spurts because of his questionable shot selection.

30. Cavaliers – DeMarre Carroll, F, Missouri
I’m going out on a limb and saying that Mizzou’s version of the “Junk Yard Dog” works his way into the late first round. Carroll has Anderson Varajao’s energy as a combo forward. He’s really improved his jump shot. He has a high basketball IQ, and is a very good passer as well.

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Part-time blogger on the Knicks at and Seahawks at In my free time I hang out at the University of South Carolina and occasionally fill thirsty young minds with knowledge about various and sundry things related to consumer behavior and marketing.

63 thoughts to “Mock Three”

  1. So do we think it’s worth it to trade up to #2-5?

    It might cost a sign-and-trade Nate Rob/Lee or something, but for Rubio, Harden, or Thabeet…and less $.

  2. I hope you’re right and Curry is still there at #8 — it feels an awful lot like he’ll be gone before then. There are a lot of possibilities I’m OK with and I like Curry best of them all unless we can move up to #2 or #3.

    I actually wouldn’t be too upset to see us trade down if we could get two picks or get rid of some baggage.

  3. Now that the smoke has cleared, it’s sinking in that this is really a pathetic draft. Griffin is a solid #1. Rubio, probably a legit #2. After that – blah. No one who would crack the top 6 or 7, most years.

    Thabeet has more bust potential than any #3 since the Kwame Brown/Curry year. James Harden is probably the best 2-guard and he’s an Eric Gordon clone — Gordon went #7, which was high, if anything. And so on…

    Next year, on the other hand…
    John Wall.. Derrick Favors… Ed Davis… Greg Monroe… Farouk-Aminu… Craig Brackins… Willie Warren… that’s at least 7 players in next year’s draft who look like legit top-6 picks… and I know I’m leaving out a few hot-shot freshmen. And haven’t even touched the international players.

    I guess I’m saying I’d like to see us find a way to get a pick next year… even if it means sacrificing this year’s.

    I’d love to move up and get Rubio, but if we can’t… Lawson is probably just as good as anyone left at #8. We could get him by moving down, picking up an extra pick this year or next, and/or moving Jeffries’ contract.

  4. Assuming the rumor is true that Golden State has promised Monta that they will not be selecting a pg with their pick, I really don’t see any options other than Hill. Hill would be a great fit for GS, but I agree that he probably won’t last until the 7th pick. DeRozan and Blair both look like reaches at 7.

    As for the Knicks, I’d love for Donnie to move up to grab Rubio. If he can do so by buying another draft pick and packaging that with the 8 and/or a player, I’m on board – so long as that player isn’t Lee.

    Is there anyone interested in Rafer Alston. It sounds like he’s headed out of town, and I think his deal expires 2010 – the same time as Duhon. I think he would be a good fit for D’Antoni’s system.

    Oh, and the jaw-dropping story of the day . . . Q picked up his option.

  5. “I’d love to move up and get Rubio, but if we can’t… Lawson is probably just as good as anyone left at #8. We could get him by moving down, picking up an extra pick this year or next, and/or moving Jeffries’ contract.”

    I agree 100%. The only other person that kinda intrigues me is Jennings. I thought he’d be more mature taking that big step of going oversees. But his recent diarrhea of the mouth have me questioning his decision making ability.

  6. Hill is an impressive physical specimen. 6’10” with a long wingspan and a 36 inch standing vert… wow! That’s impressive. I don’t think he would be a true bust – maybe a bench hustle guy at worst (Balkman?) – and a fair amount of upside. Our lineup next year could conceivably be:


    If we can rent T-mac and lose Jeffries or Curry and NOT lose a draft pick that would be awesome. It’s too bad 2 of our 4 best players play the same position as LeBron… It seems like Bron is tight with both Curry and Flynn, so I’m guessing we will end up with one of those guys by summer league.

    The key to the draft for us is the Kings at #4. If they take Holiday, that will leave us with someone pretty good. But more likely, DC’s draft will play out in that order except Curry will be gone and Jennings won’t by #8. Then I think you have to trade down rather than take Jennings, Flynn, Lawson or Holiday. Or maybe you just take your favorite out of those 4 and call it a day?

  7. I agree that trading down is starting to look like a better option if we can’t score Rubio and Curry is gone by 8. Minnesota’s two later picks look pretty good for example — we could still pick up a serviceable PG (maybe even Lawson) and maybe take a shot at a big man prospect or shooting specialist (Ellington, say.) A pick for next year isn’t a terrible idea either. I just hope the economy is really affecting the other teams decision-making — Mobley’s contract alone could move us up in the draft if the Grizzlies are as cheap as they sound.

  8. I don’t think this is a particularly good draft, but I think it’s overstated how poor a draft it is. I would say below-average, and maybe I’m wrong, but I wouldn’t say historically bad. As I’ve pointed out before, this draft was being called historically bad even before most of the guys Caleb mentions (“Ed Davis… Greg Monroe… Farouk-Aminu… Craig Brackins… Willie Warren…”) plus a few more (Ebanks, Aldrich, Patterson, etc.) had even pulled out. It’s a lot of groupthink, with some truth there as well (especially after so many have decided to pull out).
    As David states above, it’s more that this draft is especially volatile than that it’s especially weak: a good GM will make a killing while a bad one will look like a fool. And of course the occasional good GM will make a mistake and the occasional bad GM will get lucky… as always.

    2008 was just a ridiculously deep draft class where it was unusually hard to pick a bust, but if you just look back to 2007 there were plenty of “sure things” who have underperformed. I also think this class gets hated on because there’s so little size.

    I think you’ll have a couple of obvious college stars who have the game to play in the NBA that GMs sleep on because of size, athleticism, age, attitude issues who exceed expectations for where they’re picked (a few candidates: Lawson, Blair, Clark, Collison, Budinger, Hansborough, Sam Young, Calathes, Maynor, etc.). Obviously it’s unlikely all of those guys become good or even useful NBA players, but I think a few will. Then, on the other hand, there are the upside picks: Holiday, Evans, Jennings, Daye, Flynn… where, even more so than with your average pick, you’re picking a work ethic as much as a player. The ones who work can become at least respectable NBA players.
    As I said, high volatility. That doesn’t mean you won’t have some winners. You’re just assuming more risk than you’d like. Or, on the other hand, maybe very few of these guys pan out and you’re looking at an historically weak class.

    People are, not surprisingly, sleeping on James Harden. I thought he was a legit top 3 pick before the NCAA tournament (where some serious questions were, of course, raised). I don’t think he’s going to be an MVP candidate, but I think he’s a candidate to be that Manu, Pierce, Roy kind of underrated, sneaky good. The kind of guy who wouldn’t be drafted top 5 most years, but looking back should have been.

    I would call Thabeet a legit top 5 pick. A “one-dimensional” interior defender is worth a lot more, IMO, than a one-dimensional, say, 3-pt shooter. 3 pt shooters grow on trees, while a 7-2 shot-blocker is very hard to find. He’s produced in college and shown a strong work ethic. He’s a risk, but how many prospects aren’t?
    If the Knicks, for example, got Thabeet he would have a profound impact on their pitiful defense. He could really help OKC, already the 20th defense in the NBA (compared to their 29th offense) with some good defenders (Westbrook, Green, Sefalosha, Mason, Watson, Weaver, Collison) who would now have a safety net (more so in a couple seasons than year 1 probably).
    As a Knicks fan who has seen the team struggle to find interior D for years, I would have no problem taking a Tyson Chandler in the top 3–especially a more consistent, 2007-2008 Chandler.

    The international crop is questionable, but I can vouch for Rubio and Claver being legit NBA prospects (Rubio, obviously, to a different degree than Claver). Claver is sort of a stronger, more polished, harder Austin Daye, maybe. He’s been a little inconsistent as a young player on a solid team in Spain’s highest league, but has shown some brilliance and been solid overall. Possible confidence issues. Broke his leg this year… He’s probably my favorite player in the whole 2nd round, and I’d love for the Knicks to buy a pick to stash him. Long arms that block shots, cause steals, and allow for solid perimeter D… 3 pt shot, good first step and handle for 6-9 forward, solid passer… Maybe a Lamar Odom type combo-forward.

  9. Chandler is an interesting trade candidate – the Hornets were willing to give him away for very, very little… contract runs through 2011. Something to consider.

    And he’s a decent #3 pick (I know, he went #2) but he is a potential league-leading rebounder – I’d say Chandler is about Thabeet’s ceiling. Sure, he could be a very good NBA player, but he is a high-risk pick, IMO.

  10. Considering that last year was considered a deep draft and this one not, where would a guy like Gallinari be drafted if he were coming out this year? I would put him in the top 5, but I still wouldn’t see him getting picked before Rubio.

  11. Interesting point, TDM. Danilo would probably have gone high in this draft (if healthy), since size and scoring are lacking from the top of the draft. Memphis might have seen him as the PF they need, Kings have had success drafting Euro-wings (Peja, Hedo), and Wizards might have seen him as Jamison replacement…

    Tyson Chandler is someone I would have on my radar if I were Walsh. Probably more attractive if Lee and Robinson walk/sign tenders, and especially if you can move Jeffries and/or Curry. The Baby Bulls would be back in action and the Knicks would have their best defender since Balkman!!! I don’t know if Chandler helps the chances of moving Curry by providing the D that allows him to stay on the floor longer, or if he eats Curry’s minutes and we’re stuck with both for 2 years.

  12. I don’t think the Hornets would move Chandler for Curry, their only objective would be saving $$$… it would be for Harrington, Q or Duhon – expiring deals. Or a combo, like Q & Chandler.

  13. Problem with trading for Chandler is that he hurts the cap situation past 2010, and his health is already questionable. A year from now he may be too broken too play, in which case the $$ is being wasted on yet another immovable body.

    If Chandler is healthy, it would be a good pickup. Unfortunately, the Thunder, who were obviously getting the better of the deal talent wise, opted out of trading for him, indicating they thought the ankle made acquiring Chandler way too risky.

    If Walsh takes a 2011 approach to rebuilding rather than a 2010 approach (as Caleb has encouraged), then I think trading for Chandler would be a great move. The Hornets NEED to move contracts and any team willing to take on salary past 2010 could steal some other good assets at the same time.

    But if 2010 is the goal, Chandler is probably too much risk for Walsh to seriously consider.

  14. Yeah, I didn’t mean move Jeffries and/or Curry for Chandler, but in a separate deal.

    Some team with cap room now could make a big splash by getting Julian Wright as a prize for taking Chandler off NO’s books immediately. I don’t know how much sense it makes for NO to give away Chandler for only one season of cap savings, unless they get some short-term relief in a deal where the Knicks trade exactly the minimum 2009/10 salary for Chandler.

  15. Trading Jeffries and Mobley for Chandler and Wright would save the Hornets $6 million next year and $7 million the next year. I’m not sure they would be able to save more on Chandler’s contract than that the first year (unless they find someone who’ll give them a trade exception in return, a la Denver and Marcus Camby, but only a few teams can offer that and one is the Thunder, who already returned the goods).

    But, the problem is still from a Knicks perspective. Do we want to compromise our cap for another player who could wind up hurt and ineffective?

  16. I would be more in favor of Jeffries and Mobley (can we even do this?) to the Clips for Camby if they would do that. I think Camby is basically as good as Chandler without the questionable injury and Camby comes off the books in 2010. If he plays great, we could resign him for a few years at a good price, along with LeBron. I’m sure they’d prefer to move Kaman or Zach, but if they can’t, maybe the Camby deal makes sense for them.
    Hell, I would even do Shaq for Jeffries and Harrington straight up… why not? Are the Suns going to get much better than that? I know Kerr is posturing like a madman, but seriously….

  17. Some random thoughts…

    1. “This draft sucks” is kind of a common refrain. I tend to think drafts are just different. Sometimes they’re top-heavy, where you’re not getting anything outside the top 5. Sometimes they’re better at the back end. This is the latter type; little star-quality but a bunch of useful players if you know what you’re doing. There are a lot of guys who will work in one context but not in some others.

    2. I don’t get the Jonny Flynn thing at all; or what people are seeing. I probably should have dropped him lower but I keep hearing his name.

    3. Ted N – totally agree with your take except for Harden. Can you really say people are sleeping on him? He’s clearly the top SG, and a top 5 guy in most mocks. If anything, he’s the kind of quality player who used to get slept on but now is getting more love despite playing in relative obscurity.

    4. Jennings – I think too much is made of that sort of competitive banter. All these guys think they’re the best. I don’t mind that, if someone asks, even if it is demonstrably untrue. I’ll say this on his behalf after following his case a good deal. The kid really hung in there with Arizona, throughout all the Lute Olsen madness, despite getting hammered by the local press. He never wavered as a commit until Olsen retired and it became clear that he wasn’t going to qualify academically.

  18. Dave, I’m with ya on Jennings.

    I do think – sometimes these “immaturity” rants or seemingly superficial concerns are really the tip of the iceberg – as if reporters who follow the guy know more than they’re letting on. I don’t think that’s true in Jennings’ case, just because I doubt many reporters spent a lot of time with him this past year!

    But to give another example, I love Lawson but I wonder a little bit… I can’t help but pick up an aura of concern among GMs and draftniks, like they’re worried about his work habits, or he parties too much, or something that’s just unspoken. Of course even if there IS a concern like that, I’m not saying it’s justified.

    As far as the strength of the draft, there’s alwaays talent to be found but some years it’s undoubtedly harder than others. Sometimes it’s a surprise, though… last year I thought the draft class looked a bit below average and it turned out to be terrific. So far, at least. It’s unusual in that there are so many good players, but no obvious all-timers… even now there are probably 10 guys who could turn out the best player in the class (not even counting Oden and Fernandez, the holdovers). In the top 10 there was really just one bust – Alexander. Beasley was probably the second-most disappointing but even he was pretty good for a 20-year-old rook, if you look past the hype of #1.

    I think if you asked 10 GMs to re-draft last year’s group, you would have 10 very different rankings. Gallinari would probably slip, just because of injury concerns. But he could easily end up one of the 3 or 4 best in the group.

  19. Z,

    Yeah, I was thinking about a team with cap space that can’t attract anybody in free agency and/or needs some interior D. Maybe Memphis (more so if they don’t end up with Thabeet).

    Good point about Mobley… forgot about his contract. The Knicks could definitely be in the running there, if that’s what they wanted to do.

    Something else to watch is if GS drafts Jordan Hill… do they then look to move Brandan Wright and/or Andris Biedrins?

  20. David,

    Fair enough. Harden is in the top 3-to-5 of just about every mock draft. I just don’t feel like there’s a lot of excitement about him.

    On #2, Chad Ford said in a mailbag or chat type forum that it would be a great move for the Cavs to trade up/in for Flynn. My question would be whether he means a great move for the Knicks or for the Cavs?
    He also says that Teague is a much better prospect than Lawson. Teague may end up the better NBA player, but I don’t think he’s much better as a prospect.

    On Jennings, I think that a big part of it is that his supporters were hyping the going to Europe brings maturity angle, and he spit in their faces with his immaturity/stupidity. I don’t have a problem with saying you’re better than someone (the immaturity part of it), I have a problem with the stupidity part of it: not stopping to think that Rubio was coming off of a major injury when you played him, and saying that all he does is pass. I’m being a little unfair on the second part there, because what Jennings really said is something like all Rubio does is make highlight reel passes. Maybe that’s actually a true criticism (I’ve heard it from other sources as well), but it definitely conveys a lack of understanding of what a PG’s role is. As an observer it turns me off, if I were an NBA decision maker I suppose I would sit down with Jennings and get a much better feel for who he is.
    Maybe it’s my bias as a Knicks fan, but the guy reminds me of Stephon Marbury to the point where I have real reservations about him. Especially because he also reminds me of Steph’s cousin, Telfair. If he ends up anywhere along that spectrum I don’t want him as my PG. I guess if you think he’s closer to Steph you can draft him and then turn around and trade him. To me it’s interesting that Walshtoni seem unimpressed with Jennings, because they seem to know what they’re doing with b-ball IQ/ character, and D’Antoni especially has an aura of knowing PGs.


    Interesting point about reporters knowing a players personality. Maybe Lawson has the partyer rep, but so does Duhon. And he’s a good character guy. I think with Lawson it’s just a combination of UNC PG (talent around him plus Felton and maybe even Forte comparisons), undersized, injury prone, and a lack of understanding of stats.

  21. Alan Han wrote this about Jennings:

    (And, by the way, I hear Jennings more than held his own against Evans in the three-on-three. Don’t get me wrong, Evans did leave the Knicks impressed with his ability to shoot and his strong build, but Jennings’ game-changing quickness and competitiveness might have been the top story coming out of that workout on Monday).

    And that’s what I’ve heard about Jennings from people that have seen him play – that he’s super fast and is great at stealing the ball. Looking at his adjusted per40 numbers ( he grabbed 4.8 stl/40 in Italy and 2.3 stl/40 in the Euros. Obviously the Euro numbers are more relevant, but those are very good numbers. Of course his sub-50% TS% is equally relevant. But the latter should (could?) get better…

  22. Interesting post in the SacBee today re: the Knicks trying to move up to #2 to take Rubio.

    Would you guys do this?

    We send: #8 ($5MM over next 2)+ Mobley (~$2MM in actual money) + Wilson Chandler (~$3.5MM) = $10.5 MM actually out of owner’s pocket over next 2 years


    #2 (~$9MM over next 2) + Jaric (~$13MM over next 2) + Darko ($7MM) = ~$29MM over next 2 years.

    So a total savings of nearly $20MM for Memphis’s owners — and considering a lot of people think 3-10 are essentially equivalent in this draft, and considering that no one’s sure about Thabeet and Rubio won’t play in Memphis — may not be such a bad deal for Memphis. Am I crazy?

    For us — that would give us 5 guaranteed contracts in 2010-2011
    – Jefferies (6.9MM), Curry (11.3MM), Jaric (7.6MM), Rubio (~5MM), Gallinari (3.3MM) = ~$35MM

    Let’s assume the cap is $60MM for 2010 – that would give us $25MM for the rest of the team. Max salary for Lebron or other max FA would start at ~$17MM. Any chance that we could sign Lee for that extra $8MM, then get someone like Camby to sign mid-level, then fill the rest of the roster with biennial exception and veterans’ minimums?

    The other possibility is that if we get Rubio, perhaps we don’t NEED Lebron (ie. we’d want Rubio to have the ball in his hands all the time, which would negative some of Lebron’s awesome upside). That would open up the market for guys like Amare, Joe Johnson, etc., maybe for less $$.

    Anyway – that would give us a potential roster of:

    PG: Rubio
    SG: (can Lebron play here? probably)
    SF/PF: Gallinari
    PF/C: Lee
    C: Camby
    Bench: Jefferies, Jaric, Curry, filler

    I think I like this team.

  23. I was on You Tube checking out pre-draft interviews by the Kings. I watched Rubio, Flynn and Jennings. I found them very interesting. In my opinion: Rubio has zero interest in playing for the Kings; Flynn came across as very confident, but his answers to particular questions seemed hallow; Jennings seemed less confident but I liked what he had to say.

    Interestingly, Jennings said that he’s a pass-first point guard and compared his game to Rondo’s. I haven’t seen enough of him to know whether that is true or not. That said, I think I recall Marbury saying that after he was drafted that he was a pass-first pg as well.

  24. Here is Ed Weiland on the guard prospects, really excellent stuff, very in depth….

    I (also) sort of can’t believe Lawson gets such short thrift….

    “I included FG pct. and RSB40 numbers to sort of drive home the point that these numbers are important and regardless of how impressive a PG’s passing is, low numbers in these areas should be considered a red flag. As a mentioned earlier, Lawson’s numbers as a passing PG are pretty much unprecedented. No major college PG has ever been this good at distributing the ball without turning it over while still picking up a major part of the scoring load. I’m not sure what to make of this, because when something is unprecedented it has never happened before. Since it never happened, we have nothing to compare it to so I can’t say if this is a big deal or not. I will say that this certainly isn’t a bad thing and should bode very well for Lawson’s NBA career. Onto the points per shot. Lawson’s 1.70 is also a number that has rarely been reached by PGs.”

  25. Frank,
    no way to that trade scenario!
    once i read Wilson Chandler I tuned it out… Rubio could be great but he could be a flop for several reasons(ie. youth, size, injury prone, also the euro game doesn’t necesarily translate here). Any team selecting him is gambling, so why give up a real asset like Wilson Chandler without addressing our contractural issues, doesnt make sense!

  26. also, this roster:
    PG: Rubio
    SG: (can Lebron play here? probably)
    SF/PF: Gallinari
    PF/C: Lee
    C: Camby
    Bench: Jefferies, Jaric, Curry, filler

    thats a weak frontcourt(Gallo, Lee and Camby and an awful bench)
    that team doesnt even make the playoffs!

  27. I beg to differ.
    Lebron + the keystone cops made it to the eastern conference finals and won nearly 70 games.

    In retrospect I wonder whether going after Amare would be better if we get Rubio… then it would be Rubio, sign Mike Miller to MLE, Gallinari, Lee, and Amare. With Jefferies, Jaric, Curry, Darko, etc. Is that any better?

  28. There is no way I would do that deal either. You could theoretically be trading Wilson Chandler and Stephen Curry for Rubio. Not to mention, you have to take back Darko and Jaric. If it were Jeffries we were sending, maybe. Or if we still retained the 8th pick, then I could justify giving up Chandler and taking back the Human Victory Cigar and Adriana Lima’s husband.

  29. Trading Curry and Chandler for Rubio is a complete no-brainer. For us, since I have to spell it out. At best Chandler will be an average NBA starter in a few years, and in NY that just makes him a backup tweener forward.

    Memphis is one team that might actually take $20 million for its #2 pick. They probably couldn’t get more than a draft pick, since most hotshot players would never sign an extension to stay in Memphis. Minnesota at #6 is probably the toughest competition…

    If it came down to it, I’d trade Lee and the #8 for Rubio and Darko.

    Odds are Rubio will end up a better player than Lee, and $7 million can probably buy a better player than you’ll get with the #8. That’s a close call, though, and risky. Probably moot, since I doubt Lee would sign with Memphis. But I’d definitely trade Nate in that scenario, if Memphis wanted a player instead of moving Jaric.

  30. i like the direction the Knicks are headed with Gallo and Wilson Chandler at SF/pf. Give me d-wade and Steph Curry backcourt with an athletic shot-blocking/defending young center (thabeet?)or a mobile big(bargnani)and we can develop into a powerhouse overnight.

    I love Lebron but I think its telling he didnt make it out of the ECF, he dominates the ball too much for my liking.

  31. I agree with TDM suprise suprise. I do not think Rubio and Darko is worth Lee and 8th. Yes, I know I’m crazy. Yes, I am still drinking the Kool-Aid in my all white jumpsuit waiting for the space taxis to take me to blisstonia.

    I think the Dantoni offense can be run with a servicable PG. And this draft has servicable PG’s by the boatload. Why give up Lee (unless it was to save the cap space for a sure FA bumper crop) to get Rubio when you could easily (and inexpensively) pick up several PG prospects later in the draft. So you trade Lee to get Rubio, now who is going to rebound for you?

    If Curry falls to you at 8 then forget Ricky. If you take Curry and you are still worried, then buy a pick from Minny, New Orleans, or the Blazers and draft a Maynor, Mills, or Cathlesas..Calathesis..Cataract whatever his name is. I just do not see CP3 or D Williams in Rubio and hence he is not worth the price to get him.

    Why do people like him so much? Have there been alot of Euro PGs who hit the NBA a 18-19 and became all stars? I can only think of Tony Parker and the Spurs did not give up the farm to get him (29th pick was he?) What if you do this and Rubio becomes Marco Jaric, then what do we do?
    Stephon Marbury said of Brandon Jennings: “The Force is strong in this one.”

  32. “Trading Curry and Chandler for Rubio is a complete no-brainer. For us, since I have to spell it out.” -Caleb

    You mean Eddy Curry right? If so then, yes. If you mean any other curry (including the food), then no Rubio at worth it.

  33. I agree that PG is not uniquely important – if any position is, it’s center – but talent is. Rubio’s ceiling is way higher than anyone in the draft except Griffin.

    Asking whether other 18 y/o Euro PGs have come in and eventually made a big impact is the wrong question.

    The real question is, have there been other Euro PGs, or any PGs, like Rubio? Good enough by age 16 to start on a top Euro team, or at 17 play big minutes for a World Championship team.


    Solid, maybe good PGs might be easy to find in this draft, but that’s not what we’re looking at. Forget CP3, there just aren’t a lot of players like Rubio. Comparisons are dangerous but Jason Kidd is probably the best idea – a prodigy and a big PG who couldn’t shoot but dominated with defense and passing. Not that I expect him to dominate his first year or two but I assume we’re thinking long-term.

    Curry is a safe pick, can’t really complain, but I’d rather see Lawson or even Jennings in a Knick uni.

  34. Sorry guys, I have to agree with Caleb here. Rubio is the prize player in that trade. Yes Lee’s good, but we all know that Lee’s averages are inflated right now. Rubio honestly could be the next Steve Nash. Darko could hold down the post for a year, until we land a good big (don’t forget, we could get Gortat or Birdman as well.)
    Curry scares me. He’s not as quick as Bayless, who as you remember, was like the Second Coming in workouts last year, only to have a tough time so far in the league. I just don’t know if Curry can get his shot off with a man in his face, and the lateral quickness is not there to drive around his man. I do think Curry is a very good passer, but he’s no Rubio. And Chandler is good, but would you even take him over Ariza right now? Make the trade! (sound of gavel dropping)

  35. Jaric would be tough to swallow, but that’s a good deal for the Knicks. To me Chandler and #8 is definitely worth #2, to take either Rubio or Thabeet. Count me as thinking Chandler’s most likely to be average. Who knows who is on the board at #8?

    It seems less than 50/50 that Steph Curry is on the board at 8, he’s emerging as a consensus top 5 or 6 player in the draft. So you’re talking about Jennings, Holiday, Flynn, maybe Lawson if Donnie still has him on the radar. If they were going to take Lawson, I’d keep the pick or trade down. If they’re looking at taking Flynn or Jennings my only hesitation would be the Jaric contract. With Holiday I would be split. At least one or two of those 3 might be off the board at 8, too, and I guess Jordan Hill is another name (I’d move up rather than take him, as well).

    Having watched Rubio play in Spain and the Euroleague, I can say that he is a special prospect. Maybe the most exciting playmaker to declare since Jason Kidd. Of course there’s no guarantee that he reaches his potential, but the ceiling (best-case) and floor (worst-case) are both very high. He’s 6-4 with multiple NBA skills (handle, passing, steals) and appears to have a good b-ball IQ.
    You can’t just lump all players on the European continent together, it’s a case by case thing. No one gave up much or drafted highly Manu, Parker, Jose Calderon, etc. but in hindsight, I bet they wish they did. By and large, Euro busts have been raw bigmen who impressed in workouts/measurements rather than on the court. Euro guards who have failed in the NBA were too small and/or slow for the NBA and/or more highly paid in Europe. Most young stars (actual, on the court stars, not workout warriors drafted highly) from Europe have, in fact, translated very well to the NBA: Danilo (minus injury), Rudy, Marc, Pau, Manu, Kukoc, etc.

    I think that when you look at the whole package Rubio is definitely on a higher level than any other PG in the draft. Could make a cae for Lawson, Curry, Holiday, or Jennings, I guess, but with all 4 I think the floor is a lot lower than Rubio.

    As always, it all comes back to LeBron. First, taking back Jaric hurts the LeBron chase. Second, I agree with Frank that Rubio may not be an ideal fit with LeBron. If you think you have a legit shot at LeBron or are just willing to play the odds, then maybe just pray Curry falls to you at 8 or take Thabeet if you move up. Even if you think Thabeet is a 50/50 prospect, how many shots do you get at a 7-2 shot-blocker with good college productivity and three years under Jim Calhoun???

  36. Nothing against Darko, but anything he does is a bonus… what we’d “get” in the deal are Rubio and some extra cap space in 2011.

    Chandler is trade bait – he may turn into a decent player but if Lee and Gallinari are here, he’s a backup. And no, there’s no GM in the league who would take him over Ariza. I suggest trading him asap for a first-round pick…

  37. re: LeBron, I’d guess the odds are no better than 50-50 that he leaves Cleveland, and there are probably 10 teams that will make serious, all-out bids. NY would be one of the favorites but the odds of his coming here are less than 50-50 no matter how you slice it. I am against sacrificing any major asset or good opportunity, just to keep that slim chance alive.

  38. I’m not ready to cap Chandler’s potential just yet. I think he had a great season and next season could be better. He plays at both ends of the court. You cannot compare Ariza with Chandler only by looking at Ariza’s past year. First, he was playing alongside (not the drum up an earlier discussion) one of the best players in the league right now. Second, he was in his 5th NBA season.

    If you compare Ariza’s and Chandler’s respective Year 2 in the NBA, its close, but I’d say Chandler gets the nod:

    I’ve had to listen for the past 2 weeks to all of the local LA reporters calling Ariza the Lakers’ best defensive player. Would anyone have guessed that after his second year?

    My point is that we know Chandler is not a bust and can play at a high level in the NBA. He may (hopefully) develop further. Trading a player like that, with a commodity like the 8th pick (which may net us a player as good or better than the 2nd pick), and taking back two journeymen, plus cap relief in the form of Mobley’s deal for Rubio seems like a one-sided deal.

    I agree with Caleb that if we are throwing in N8 instead, its a deal.

  39. “LA reporters calling Ariza the Lakers’ best defensive player. Would anyone have guessed that after his second year?”

    Yes. He was a stand-out defensive player from day 1. I believe that if you check the archives here you’ll find plenty of people who thought he was a stellar defender.
    I doubt you would find as many people who would have figured he’d develop a strong outside shot or become an efficient scorer (even at a low volume). He shows the occasional flash that he can do more (create a shot off the dribble for example), but right now what he does offensively is basically shoot 3s occasionally and dunk.

    Chandler seems to fall in love with the jumper and force shots that he’s “created.” He’s the Knicks best defender, maybe, but I’d still say slightly above average defensively at best overall. I just don’t think the chances of him becoming an irreplaceable player are very good. Two mid-first rounders spent on an athletic wing or one MLE and you’ve probably got him replaced.

    “My point is that we know Chandler is not a bust and can play at a high level in the NBA. ”

    I don’t think we know he can play at a high level. He certainly hasn’t done it for a sustained period. Walshtoni have dealt with him day-in, day-out for a year, so they probably have a feel for his work ethic, etc. Not that all coach/GM combos don’t make mistakes, but these guys still have my trust.
    Even if you want to call Ariza his ceiling, Ariza is a pretty average NBA player. Good player overall and great in his role for LA, but not likely to single-handedly lift a lottery team into the playoffs. Let alone contention.
    The Knicks need at least one real difference maker to get into the playoffs and then another one or two to get into title contention (unless the first one is LeBron). Trading a guy who may or may not develop into a role player for a shot at a real difference maker seems like a great move for the Knicks on paper (depends what you think about Rubio/Thabeet/Harden). As your Ariza example shows there are a lot of different shades of athletic 6-7 to 6-9 wings, but those guys are available throughout the first round every year.

  40. Chandler isn’t a bust but we do know he’s not going to be a great player – he was a mediocre defender, mediocre rebounder, low-efficiency scorer… all in all he was well-below average. Not below-average for a 20- or 21-year old, but nothing to suggest he could be a great player. He looks like pretty good value for the #23 spot, but you can find 12-15 better players in his draft without breaking a sweat. Considering the cap benefits, I’d trade him for any pick in the top-20, maybe 25. Or try and use him to move Jeffries. Or of course, to move up for Rubio.

    Chandler does compare about even to Ariza at the same stage, but I don’t think that predicts much – Ariza probably improved more than you’d expect from anyone. I do think he was obviously a good defender in a way that Chandler isn’t… his surprising improvement came on the offensive end.

    I’d say odds of the #8 pick being as good as Rubio are very small.

  41. I agree with Caleb that Chandler has been a good #23 pick, but is currently below-average and has some red flags that might keep it that way: I question how great his D is (good, but maybe not stand-out, lock-down) and he’s basically a jump-shooter with a mediocre jumper offensively. Is very low TO, which is great.
    Ariza is a great defender and his value on offense is largely that he stays out of the way. His slashing ability was far better than WC’s from day 1, and his outside shot has improved a lot but is still mediocre (besides this season’s playoff run). If Chandler’s outside shot takes a huge step forward than he’s at least a 3-pt specialist and good defender who can finish at the basket occasionally. That can be valuable, especially with the right attitude/mindset, but not entirely rare unless his D becomes lock-down.

    Also agree with Caleb’s sentiment that WC is great trade bait. Could land the Knicks Lawson in the teens or maybe Holiday, Blair, or Clark Lawson’s off the board. It’s not clear Clark will be a better pro than Chandler, but personally I like his chances.
    My favorite move would be something like Jeffries and Chandler for Mike Miller and #18 or 28, but maybe I’m dreaming.

    Like the Jamario Moon thought, if he can be had for 1 year, $1 million exception. I have my fingers crossed for 1 year, full MLE for a defensive big: Gortat, Birdman, Rasheed. I don’t know if I sacrifice cap space in 2010 for any of them, unless you resign Lee/Nate and generally give up on 2010.

    BTW, has my guy Claver at #1 in the second round.

  42. For the record, I don’t think any of these teams do any of the proposed trades, except maybe the 2, and Darko and Marko for the #8 and Lee (depending on who we get with the #8) and as we know, Lee won’t go to Memphis (I can’t remember a more reviled organization/destination in the NBA.)
    I just don’t think we have the players, no matter how much money we take off of someone’s hands…
    The T-Mac trade is realistic.

  43. I don’t know… Memphis traded the best player in franchise history for little more than cap space and a serviceable center.

  44. “I’d say odds of the #8 pick being as good as Rubio are very small.”

    Interesting. You know, looking at the difference between the 2nd pick and the 8th pick over recent years I don’t see the odds as being “very small” that an 8 can’t be as good as a 2. Yes it depends on the player and every draft is different-I get that. But I’d say the odds are closer to even.

    Year #2 Pick #8 Pick Winner
    2006 LaMarcus Aldridge Rudy Gay #2
    2005 Marvin Williams Channing Frye push
    2004 Emeka Oakafor Rafael Arujo #2
    2003 Darko Millicic TJ Ford push
    2002 Jay Williams Chris Wilcox #8
    2001 Tyson Chandler Sangana Diop #2
    2000 Stromile Swift Jamal Crawford #8
    1999 Steve Francis Andre Miller #8
    1998 Mike Bibby Larry Hughes #2
    1997 Keith Van Horn Adonal Foyle #2
    1996 Marcus Camby Kerry Kittles #2
    1995 Antonio McDyess Shawn Respert #2
    1994 Jason Kidd Brian Grant #2

    Going back through 13 drafts as recent years are to early to say for sure. I’d say the 8th pick has been as good or better about 38% of the time. And when you compare the drafts where a PG was taken at 2 and 8, it’s even money. Miller over Francis and Bibby over Hughes.

    “Rubio’s ceiling is way higher than anyone in the draft except Griffin.”

    What does that mean? How do you know what Rubio’s ceiling is? How is it determined? Sounds awfully subjective to me. Did anyone know Nash’s ceiling when he was drafted? How about Boozers? What did you think of Darko’s ceiling on June 15 2004? I don’t get this ceiling stuff.

  45. Why trade WC to get a PG prospect in the teens when you could just purchase a pick from Minny, Portland, or New Orleans? This draft is too deep with points to give up a solid player to get one of them. Heck you could buy a second rounder and still grab a solid prospect.

    To quote Prop Joe: “You are thinking about the short play when you should be thinking long.”

    If you watched “The Wire” you would know.

  46. Not to beat a dead horse, but I think Wil can be a player in the mold of Danny Granger. He’s not as efficient as Granger, so maybe Granger-lite. Also, I really like Rubio and think we should try to get him. I just don’t like him enough to give up the 8, Wil, and Mobley’s expiring while taking back Jaric’s deal. Doing a sign-and-trade with N8, plus the 8 and Mobley’s deal for the 2 seems like a solid deal.

  47. It looks like this may not be the only deal being kicked around between NY and Memphis. The Knicks apparently offered up $3M for the Griz’s 27th pick. They turned down the offer.

  48. I like this one from Chad Ford. What a trade it would be…

    “The Suns send Shaquille O’Neal to Cleveland and Amare Stoudemire to Washington.

    The Cavs send Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic to Phoenix and Zydrunas Ilgauskas to Washington.

    The Wizards send the No. 5 pick, Etan Thomas, Mike James and JaVale McGee to Phoenix and Antawn Jamison to Cleveland.

    Call me crazy, but isn’t this the ideal deal for all three teams?”

  49. Thomas,

    Like the research, but I think a few of those examples are stilted:

    -This one goes in the favor of #8: can you really call Darko and TJ Ford a push??? I’d give it to Ford. That said, the “right” pick at #2 would have been Melo, Wade, or Bosh… all get a significant edge over Ford, IMO.
    -Marvin Williams looks a lot better than Frye, but I guess it’s too early to call.
    -Jay Williams is a bit of a DQ, could happen to a #8 pick as easily as a #2.
    -Miller has had the better career, but Francis was more highly regarded in his prime. Again, decline could happen to a #8 as easily as #2. Also, the Grizz taking Francis was clearly a mistake and Baron Davis or Lamar Odom might have been willing to play in Vancouver.

    So, if I were to nullify 2002, and 1999, you’re left with twice the #8 has been better: 2000 and 2003 (again, there were better options available). So, by that would be about 15% of the time. Durant has outperformed B. Wright to date, and Beasley had a significantly better rookie season than Alexander… so if those trends continue we’re at 13% of the time.

    I agree that “ceiling” is often overvalued and is a subjective measure. There is necessarily a subjective component to the draft.
    In this case I think it’s valid to talk about a “ceiling,” though. Rubio has stood out subjectively and in some statistical categories at a very young age. It’s impossible to say definitively how hard he will work and how much he will improve in the coming years (as with any prospect), but it’s fair to say that he can stand out as a passer/play-maker/floor general, be a good defender who at least causes TOs, and become anywhere from a below average to well above average scorer. He’s got a high ceiling and production at a high level, unlike Holiday, Jennings, DeRozan, Mullins, and (IMO) Evans. When looking at a draft prospect you have to weigh a large number of variables, and for Rubio he gets strong grades across most categories to the point where his ceiling makes him particularly stick out in a draft where there seem to be few players capable of being All-NBA even if they reach their fullest possible potential.
    There will always be draft surprises, but you have to make the best decision based on the info at hand. I guess you believe that the drafter’s (GM, decision maker within org.) ability has little to do with the outcome of a draft pick, that it’s just a numbers game/crap shoot. If so, that’s where we disagree.

    If you can buy a pick to take Lawson, then absolutely I would not trade Chandler. My point wasn’t really to trade Chandler to just sort of roll the dice on a pick in the teens, but for Walshtoni to use him to get the player they really like in that range (Lawson in Walsh’s case, maybe Holiday in D’Antoni’s).
    The only issue is if you buy, say, the #21 pick and Lawson (assuming he’s your guy) is off the board.

    “Also, I really like Rubio and think we should try to get him. I just don’t like him enough to give up the 8, Wil, and Mobley’s expiring while taking back Jaric’s deal.” -TDM

    Fair enough.

  50. re: 2 vs. 8 comparisons, I don’t think the chart really helps your point – I count 9 to 4 for the #2 pick, (Williams over Frye & Ford over Milic), and probably 10 to 3 if Jay Williams hadn’t busted himself up.

    But of course you’re right it’s subjective – no one’s going to win or lose this argument for a year or more, when we see these guys play in the NBA.

    And I agree, definitely worth trying a buy a pick before you give up an asset. I wouldn’t worry about the “no” from Memphis – I doubt anyone is selling their pick before draft day. Memphis, New Orleans, Minnesota and Atlanta can always hope that someone will step up to offer a player — or hope their favorite guy falls a few spots. Once the evening gets rolling and their illusions are shattered, deals will be made.

    I’m hoping that’s one minor advantage Walsh has over Thomas – no one’s about to do Zeke any favors, but I have a feeling there’s more than one GM who would take Walsh’s $3 million over $3 million from some guy they hate, like Kevin Pritchard.

  51. From the same Sacto Bee article where the Knicks are rumored to be trying to move up to #2:

    ” Among the other things I have been hearing throughout the day – the Knicks interest in trading for the No.2 pick to swipe Rubio said to be legitimate – are a few red-not nuggets from former Italian league coach and Milan-based television analyst Dan Peterson. The former Delaware head coach, it appears, is not a fan of Brandon Jennings. During our conversation Wednesday afternoon, Peterson ripped into Jennings, who last week suggested to The Bee that Rubio was little more than a You Tube sensation.
    “Ricky Rubio is not overhyped,” said Peterson, who broadcast several of Jennings’ games last season for Lottomatica Virtus Roma. “Jennings is overhyped. He has it all backwards. He is all about trying to dominate one-on-one, all concerned with individual talent. I find it hilarious.”
    Peterson went on to say that he liked Jennings’ quickness and talent, but didn’t think he was NBA-ready. Rubio, he says, is NBA ready. “One of the things that happens in the NBA, everybody has a theory on what a guy can’t do. That’s all you hear. Sacramento would be very lucky to get Ricky Rubio. It would be a good place for (Rubio), the capital city of California, not too big. He is just a terrific player, though he needs to improve his three-point shooting. He gets into the lane, draws fouls, has the whole package. People would love him there. He’s a winner. I would throw myself in front of a bus for Ricky Rubio. But I would have a hard time having Brandon Jennings on my team. I would send him home.”
    Ouch. Jennings DID apologize to Rubio, by the way.
    Boys, boys, boys …

    Why Peterson’s words matter

    When trolling for information before the NBA Draft, and relying on international sources as well as NBA types for insights, I tend to avoid the couch potato/stats geeks and consult with the coaches/scouts/sources who actually observe prospects during live games and practices. Thus, Peterson is an invaluable resource. Additionally, he has a rich history with the NBA and its international expansion. As I might have mentioned before, my introduction to Peterson occurred when David Stern trotted him out to a press conference in the old Boston Garden during the Celtics-Rockets NBA Finals. The two gentlemen sat on the dais, talking about some player named “Drazen Petrovic” who would someday be an NBA star, and insisting that several other international players had the talent and desire to play in the league. As I reminded Peterson on Wednesday – and recalling that the Boston Globe’s Bob Ryan was seated alongside – I rolled my eyes, shook my head, and complained about wasting my time at a pregame press conference, when I could have been in the Celtics locker room listening to the latest witty offerings from Bird, McHale, Parish, D.J., etc. So, hey, how dumb was I? Three years later, the walls came down, Petrovic, Vlade Divac, Zarko Paspalj, Sarunas Marciulionis and Sasha Volkov signed NBA contracts, and the rest, as they say, was history. I will say it again. How dumb was I? Really, really, really dumb …”

  52. I do agree with Caleb in that the Knicks inability to buy a pick prior to the draft does not mean they will not be able to get one on draft day. One of the rules of the draft is that a team must make a first round selection at least once in every two year period. Teams will often make a pick one year, then trade the pick on draft day. By doing this they leave themselves the option of being able to trade the first rounder from next year. That is why so many deals dont go down until draft day. I expect a team like N.O. who has only one pick will end up selecting for some other team, then trading the draft rights for future considerations and or cash. The Suns do it all the time. It is a very smart way to go about it.

  53. “This one goes in the favor of #8: can you really call Darko and TJ Ford a push??? I’d give it to Ford. That said, the “right” pick at #2 would have been Melo, Wade, or Bosh… all get a significant edge over Ford, IMO.”- Ted Nelson

    I don’t know about that. TJ looks very good when healthy but he has missed a ton of time and they really limit his minutes due to that spine issue. At his best TJ looks way better but you have to consider durability and total production and TJ takes a huge hit in those areas. So I thought a push was fair. Plus Darko takes a bit more flack for being selected ahead of 3 all stars. Had he been the 7th pick who would care what he is doing now?

    I actually see Frye as even with Williams as Frye looked very good his first year while Williams did next to nothing until about last year. Williams gained the edge last season but overall its closer to a push than a sure thing I’d say. I tried to consider the total body of work and not who is ahead today. Though I would give Williams much higher odds of an All Star team than I would Frye today.

    On Jay Williams and Francis:

    You can’t play the hindsight card about when the pick was made or who got hurt. It has to viewed absent hindsight as we wont have the advantage of hindsight when deciding if Rubio will be the best PG of his class. I’m just saying Rubio could be the best or he could not be. We will not know for years and if we are wrong we could have traded a star before we knew we had one. I’m just not a risk taker, hence my stance on betting the farm on this guy.

  54. Fair enough on Ford/Darko. I’d have to look into it more closely. Overall I’m also thinking about how players are likely to fair from here on in. With Ford I guess that’s a big question mark, still. With Williams/Frye, I think it’s fair to say that the expectation from today forward is that Williams will be a better player (as you do say). Might not happen, but going on what we have available today I think it’s the most likely outcome.

    My point was that we don’t have the foresight to say which prospects will get in a motorcycle accident, for example, next summer. I think it’s as likely the guy picked #8 will do it as the guy picked #2. (Thabeet might be a good bet to never get on a motorcycle because of the sheer awkwardness, but then again if he does get on one he’s a good bet to fall…)

    I agree that there’s a great deal of risk involved in trading up or just making any draft choice in general. You always risk passing on the next whoever. All you can do is limit you downside risk and maximize your upside potential based on the information you have at hand. I just think it’s very clear that Rubio can step on the court tomorrow and be at least an NBA player, and that he’s also a good bet to continue developing and become a special NBA player. I could be wrong in the first place or maybe he gets struck by lightning tomorrow, but I think he’s worth taking some degree of risk to get instead of taking someone you know isn’t likely to be good like Jordan Hill or Demar DeRozan, for example. I think that the best risk/reward move for the Knicks would be to stay at 8 or trade down very slightly and get Lawson. At 8 I’d be thinking Lawson, Curry, or maybe Tyreke Evans (did I really say that, I’m warming up to him since his floor is so high).
    It seems those Memphis rumors might be bogus anyway, and taking on salary to take Rubio hurts a possibility with a lot more upside potential as well as downside risk: getting LeBron (downside risk being the chance the Knicks are left high and dry).

  55. The Knicks need a starting PG, SG, and C.

    I would take Rubio/Curry at PG if available.

    I would take James Harden at SG if available.

    I would take Jordan Hill at PF/C. If Lee is moved, Hill could take his spot at PF and we could bring in another piece. If Lee is not moved, Hill could play C in the same way Lee did, but probably more effectively.

    Other than that, there’s not a single player I want (other than Blake Griffin who we can be sure won’t be available).

    If none of those players are available, I don’t want to waste the #8 pick on a player that will not fill an important role in the D’Antoni system over the long haul. I don’t like players like Holiday, Flynn, Evans, Thabeet, Derozan and others. I see limitations. So I would advocate trading down for a couple of picks, buy a 3rd, then select a few good athletes and pray one turns into a starter. I would also be satisfied with trading down and picking up Ty Lawson and another pick.

  56. Just a quick comment about Williams/Frye.

    Frye is a more talented ballplayer than given credit for, but he’s a guy without a position. He’s not tough enough, good enough in the post, or a good enough rebounder to be the typical PF. His skills are closer to those of a SF, but he doesn’t excel enough from the outside or as a ball handler to be a really good SF either. I think he needs to find a role on a team with a lot of very versatile players where he can be mixed and matched properly.

    He’s also had a lot of nagging injuries since his first year that have hindered his development if not slowed him down.

  57. Knicks should trade down and draft b.j. Mullens. By dropping 6 or 7 spots the Knicks could pick up a lottery protected pick in the 2010 draft. Why draft the 4 or 5th best point guard when you can get the second best center in the draft. Yes he may be a project, but Eddy Curry can’t play at all in D’Antoni’s system and they desperetely need a big man who can run. Mullens is a check in both those areas. If the Knicks are going to go for broke on a Lebron or Wade in 2010, who both handle the ball A LOT it would be better suited to grab the big man this year.

  58. If the Knicks Stay at 8. Hopefully Tyreke Evans slips to us. Would be terrific to grab him and Chase Budinger with 29 if he slips as well. That would really add some lenghth to our team. And Athleticism. Would like to get the shooter or faciliator with 8 but this would work too. 2010 one more year.

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