Pre-Orlando Mock Draft, v. 1.0: Picks 15-30

2008 NBA Mock Draft

Previously I offered some thoughts on which players the lottery teams should select. Here are my thoughts on the rest of the first round.

15. Phoenix Brandon Rush, Kansas, SG

Rush is an excellent jump shooter that has improved his off-the-dribble game substantially. Unlike his older brother Kareem, Brandon is a plus defender with the potential to become an excellent defender. He has great length and moves his feet well. Coming back from the knee injury in such a short time was an impressive feat. However, having suffered the injury in the first place may limit how high he can climb in this draft, even with good workouts, because it’s chock-full-o-wings. Rush would be a fantastic fit in Phoenix, almost regardless of who they hire to coach, because he could contribute right away in any penetrate-and-kick offense. But he also has the skills to be much more than just a spot up shooter.

16. Philadelphia Marreese Speights, Florida, PF/C

Speights is a high upside forward that can really score—both in the post and out on the floor. He may be another player who flies up the charts once workouts begin in earnest. My only real concern is that he didn’t get to the line all that much (.38 FTA/FGA).* For a player who was mostly a post-up option at Florida that’s a concern, though he did manage to shoot a high percentage (.64 TS) and board (13.2 per pace-adjusted 40). I wonder if that indicates a player who got a lot of fast break layups, tip-ins, and put backs in Billy Donovan’s version of the fun-and-run but tended to drift away from the basket on set plays.

17. Toronto D.J. Augustin, Texas, PG

I see Augustin as an insurance policy in the event that Toronto trades T.J. Ford, which may be easier said than done given his medical history. Otherwise, with Delfino perhaps hitting the market, Le Mans (France) forward Nicolas Batum could be the selection.

18. Washington Nicolas Batum, Le Mans (France), SF

This toolsy French import has been compared to Chicago’s Thabo Sefolsha. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them take Roy Hibbert in this spot.

19. Cleveland Chris Douglas-Roberts, Memphis, G/F

Douglas-Roberts is precisely the kind of versatile wing player Cleveland needs to pair with LeBron: the anti-Damon Jones. It takes versatility—not just three point shooting touch—to play well off a penetrator. CDR plays well paired with a penetrator because he moves well without the ball and while he can make the three point shot he doesn’t need to settle for it. He doesn’t take an inordinate number of three point attempts (less than a third of his attempts) but shoots a high percentage (41% last season). He shoots very well overall (.62 TS), gets to the line a fair amount (.47 FTA/FGA), and is plus defender.

20. Denver Courtney Lee, W. Kentucky, SG

It’s a stretch to call Lee an under-the-radar prospect but he’s probably not quite a household name either. Lee may be this draft’s Rodney Stuckey, the small school player that impresses during workouts and positions himself in the 10-20 range. His efficiency statistics tell a great story about brains, work ethic, and a will to improve—three traits that always translate well to the NBA. Many college SGs with NBA-ready jump shots (Lee hit roughly 40% or better on three point attempts every season at Western Kentucky) never learn that great offense comes at the free throw line. Lee lowered his three point attempts from almost 40% of FGAs as a freshman to less than a third as a senior without sacrificing accuracy. He improved his true shooting each year (.54, .57, .58, and .59 TS as a senior) in no small part by getting to the free throw line more often (from an abysmal .18 FTA/FGA as a freshman to a more reasonable .33 as a senior). On top of that he’s averaged over 6 boards and 2-3 steals per pace-adjusted 40 all four seasons. At 22 he’s probably close to his developmental ceiling but he’s a rock physically and should hold his value for a long time similar to Caron Butler. J.R. Smith is really the only SG on Denver’s roster (depending on how you categorize AI) and a mutual parting of ways may well be in order.

21. New Jersey DeAndre Jordan, Texas A&M, C

Much of what NJ does in the draft will depend on whether they decide to break up Carter & Jefferson. But Rod Thorn also has decisions to make on Nenad Kristic and DeSagana Diop. It’s a fairly safe bet that only one or neither makes it to Brooklyn with the Nets. So drafting yet another big would still be in order for the Nets. I am not a fan of Jordan’s, but frankly I’d be stunned if someone doesn’t take a shot at him long before NJ at 21. You can’t order athletic, post-oriented 7-footers like this kid from a catalog but I think he should go in the 20s because of some major red flags (some of which typically accompany young bigs). I know a lot of Knicks fans are intrigued by this kid but he is a project in all capital letters. He may turn out to be something but you’re probably not gonna know for quite some time. The things he did well at A&M–shoot a high percentage and board–come with substantial caveats. He shot a high percentage but doesn’t have much of a post game. He scored mostly on alley-oops and putbacks. I’ve seen reports of good hands but that was not my impression from the games I saw, and he was certainly turnover prone (3+ per pace-adjusted 40). In this draft class Jordan is a decent but not exceptional rebounder and shot blocker. Consider also that despite rarely being in major foul trouble (he had 4 fouls only once) Jordan only played about 20 mpg, coming off the bench behind a clearly inferior talent. Like a lot of big kids his energy and intensity came and went–and mostly went–so that by the end of the season he was injured and hardly played. Even if he matures, I wouldn’t say the sky is the limit. He may only ever be as good as DeSagana Diop. This is the right kind of gamble for NJ if they keep this pick. They could pair him with their two emerging bigs (Boone and Sean Williams) without asking too much of him, which might be helpful in his development.

22. Orlando JaVale McGee, Nevada, PF/C

Orlando could really use an upgrade at PG, but isn’t likely to find one this late (though keep an eye on Mario Chalmers). Orlando already has this kind of player in Tony Battie and Brian Cook, but McGee may be better than both. He is more athletic, has pick-and-pop skills, runs the floor well, and is a decent shot blocker.

23. Utah Roy Hibbert, Georgetown, C

Hibbert provides Utah with a shot-blocking presence they have not had in the paint since Mark Eaton (AK-47 notwithstanding). He averaged between 3-4 blocks per pace-adjusted 40 all four seasons, along with 0.5-1.0 steals, and 2-3 assists. On the downside he’s a poor rebounder for his size, but this is less problematic for Utah because of Boozer.

24. Seattle Davon Jefferson, USC, SF/PF

Jefferson could easily work his way into the first round based on workouts. He played PF at USC but projects as a SF in the NBA. He’s not especially skilled but has some serious athleticism. People seem to be all over the place about where he should come off the board but all agree he’s got the athleticism to play in the league. (Keep in mind that he’s old for his class, due to eligibility issues.)

25. Houston Kosta Koufos, Ohio State, C

Koufos is a nice project center with some size and a jump hook that could develop with some work as Yao may be entering the break down phase of his career.

26. San Antonio Alexis Ajinca, Hyeres-Toulon (France), PF/C

Ajinca is a long guy, a 7’9” wingspan according to DraftExpress. He is a ways off from playing in the NBA but we have seen this from San Antonio before. They may let him stay over in Europe and bring him over at 23 or 24 (he’s 20 right now).

27. New Orleans Ty Lawson, North Carolina, PG

This Raymond Felton clone could help pave the way for a Janerro Pargo sign-and-trade.

28. Memphis Ryan Anderson, Cal, PF

Anderson is a very good offensive player with good size, good feet, and good hands. He is a lights out shooter and a solid rebounder.

29. Detroit DeVon Hardin, Cal, C

Hardin is a solid but not prolific rebounder and shot blocker. He was much ballyhooed when he came to Cal but now that the hype has settled down, along with his usage, he looks like a solid backup/marginal starter in the NBA.

30. Boston Robin Lopez, Stanford, C/PF

Big Baby and Leon Powe are nice end of the bench players, but Boston lacks any size or Jason Maxiell-type athleticism behind Kendrick Perkins. Lopez is only an adequate rebounder in this class but a pretty darn good shot blocker (3.9 per pace-adjusted 40). He puts also puts something in every column because he has a decent feel for the game and hustles non-stop.

Other potential first round selections: D.J. White, Indiana, PF; Mario Chalmers, Kansas, G; J.J. Hickson, N.C. State, PF; J.R. Giddens, New Mexico, G (What’s with all the abbreviated names?)

Final thoughts: I expect to see a fair amount of wheeling and dealing in this draft. Interestingly, I think a number of teams selecting in the late teens and twenties would like wing players but this draft seems thin at SG/SF but deep with rebounding frontcourt players. This is a much stronger rebounding class than last year’s class. Some of the players I have described as “decent but not great” rebounders (e.g., DeAndre Jordan, DeVon Hardin, Robin Lopez) would have looked much better in last year’s class. So teams between, say, 8 and 15 looking to add rebounding depth might do well to entertain offers to trade down.

* Statistics courtesy of

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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.

144 thoughts to “Pre-Orlando Mock Draft, v. 1.0: Picks 15-30”

  1. the wheeling and dealing make mock drafts pretty risky business … thanks for posting, it’s always fun.

    for what it is worth, I think Augustin and CDR will both go higher than you have projected.

    Brandon Rush, if he is truly healthy, is the kind of guy who can continue to improve throughout his career…risky pick perhaps, but somebody will be very happy they grabbed him imho.

  2. Crockett,

    I take it that you aren’t biting on the rumor that DeAndre Jordan has a top-5 guarantee? I agree with you that he should drop some, but I don’t think he’ll last until the 21st pick.

    I agree with several posters that the Knicks should get Mayo at 6 if available (long shot). One interesting note, Mayo may drop some because of the scandal brewing. In fact, his agent dumped him today. Assuming he’s not at 6 however, trade down for an extra pick or to jettison Zebo.

    I like Augustin and Lawson in the mid-low first round. I also like the defensive Lopez. Not sold on Westbrook yet, since I haven’t seen enough of him.

  3. Yeah, like him or not there’s no way in hell that someone doesn’t take a flyer in DeAndre Jordan a lot sooner than that.

    I also think Robin Lopez will come off the board by the early 20s (to us, would be nice).

    That’s a bold guess on Augustin. I agree with you on his value, but most mocks have him a lot higher.

    Brandon Rush in Phoenix would be perfect. They need someone NBA-ready, ASAP.

    I could see McGee going where you have him, but possibly a lot sooner.. he seems like a guy with a lot of upside. Someone might fall in love.

    Koufos is interesting — a year ago, he was a consensus top-10 prospect, maybe even top-5. He’s been falling like a rock but I wouldn’t be shocked to see him land in the lottery. I also wouldn’t be shocked to see him land in the 2nd round.

    It is an interesting draft — after the top-2, I think there’s very little agreement on who’s good. That probably means a big scramble, teams like us trying to pick up assets by trading down, and other teams figuring out who they’d like higher up.

  4. Yeah, even I don’t think DeAndre Jordan goes so low. But who takes him and why?

  5. On Augustin – short guys have a tough time in the process when they’re mostly jump shooters. I’ll be interested to see how people’s boards will change after weigh ins today and workouts.

    I’ll plan on updating the mock at least once before the draft.

  6. Re: Jordan, I could see anyone taking him from #3 on down, honestly… except maybe the Clips (Kaman), Bucks (Bogut), Blazers (Oden) or Suns (Shaq & win-now).

    The fingers will really start itching by #9 (if Jordan forgot about Kwame Brown), 10 (Nets) and 11 (Pacers)… and no way he gets past the Warriors, Sixers or the final backstop of Toronto.

    He’s a super-athletic 7-footer, just 19, with decent #s… by the time you hit the second-half of the lottery, you can’t be expecting an All-Star with the pick… so a guy who MIGHT be star center, will be too tempting to pass up.

  7. Trade down and take Robin Lopez for the reasons you’ve noted, build the K’s around Defense and pick up Butler from OSU as a FA, if he lasts that long.

  8. The Knicks trading their pick (to the nets i guess) for 2 lower picks and picking up Augustin and Robin Lopez would be my dream scenario.

  9. To broaden our options beyond the Nets, if we’re angling for a second pick, there’s no reason we shouldn’t accept a pick in next year’s draft, or even 2010, as part of a trade that makes sense.

  10. Yes, in the 20s, Dorsey could be a good pickup. He’s bigger than Maxiell (and a worse shooter) — reminds me more of Ben Wallace… except Ben was much more relentless, until the last couple of years.

  11. Good point Caleb,
    we need to build next year and the year after so stockpiling draft picks is a great idea. One thing to consider is that this year’s draft is extremely deep in a way that next year’s probably won’t be. I think it would be smart to try and grab extra picks this year if possible, play youngsters next year, and finally try to build a team core that can get used to playing together.
    If only we had players that people wanted…

  12. Funky, You’re 100% and if that hits, let’s go looking for some Tom Brady cast-offs!!

  13. Damn, that’s old. I sort of take it back. Definitely lowers the ceiling. Still think he could make an immediate contribution, though.

  14. CDR throughly outplayed Rush in the national title game
    i dont understnad why everyone has Rush higher then him

  15. because Rush has a much nicer jumper, people doubt that CDR’s herky-jerky style will be effective in the pros, and they’re probably right.

  16. i disagree.. CDR’s gonna be a solid player in the leauge for years to come: he shot very well this year, dominated against all types of compeition, and put the clamps down on rush in the championship game
    no brainer to me really

  17. Wow Chad Ford seems really high on Gallinari right now… and he’s losing faith in Lopez for some reason. If we keep the pick and Mayo, Lopez, and Gallinari are all sitting there, who would you take? I think it’s pretty even but they’re all different positions. If you go on talent alone, you probably go with Mayo, but the character issues are for real especially after the I.T. era. And this pick will define Walsh/D’Antoni, so they will want a character guy, but of course, they also want a future all-star… what do you think?

  18. I think that if we don’t take an athletic guard, be it Mayo, Westbrook or whoever, I’m going to have real trouble watching this team this year.

  19. Brook Lopez seems great if we were tweaking Isiah’s last team for a playoff run this year, but we’re blowing up the whole thing long term it looks like. OJ Mayo is by far the better talent and I’d take him with the number 3 pick if we had it. Forget whether Lopez would fit with the current roster, that’s not the roster we’ll have when we’re finally winning some day.

  20. For some reason Westbrook reminds me of Rondo. I think Westbrook has the edge in athleticism and hops but they just seems kinda similar. What do you guys think?

  21. “I think that if we don’t take an athletic guard, be it Mayo, Westbrook or whoever, I’m going to have real trouble watching this team this year.”

    No one will find watching the Knicks particularly “easy” next year. But an athletic guard isn’t their only need. I’d enjoy watching a long shot blocker alter a few shots for a change…

  22. Chad Ford has a history of overhyping Euros (see his manlove for Majiec Lampe). With regard to Brook Lopez, I still think he’s too soft ala Channing Frye. His brother seems to be the grittier player, but obviously 6 is too high for him.

    Between Mayo, Lopez and Gallinari, I’d take Mayo without hesitation. Maybe he won’t be a difference maker in the w-l column, but at least he’ll help make the Knicks fun to watch.

  23. i really like swapping with the nets, but i’d forgo augustin and take westbrook/robin lopez. that’s a winning combo and fills two huge needs.

    also, ford is probably down on brook lopez because apparently a lot of people close to him have said that, like olowokandi, he actually doesn’t enjoy playing basketball that much. i think that quote was on hoopshype yesterday. we all know how well the kandi man turned out

  24. Does anyone know if John Hollinger will be releasing his draft rating system again this year? I seem to remember it making some good predictions in the past, specifically regarding Boozer, Gay, Milsap, and others, and most importantly the results weren’t based on scouts “upside projections” or Chad Ford’s random European man love. (Don’t forget about Darko too TDM)

    If so, I’d be excited to see what it says about the differences between Mayo, Gordon, Bayless, Westbrook, and Augustine, and again between guys like Alexander, CDR, and Rush.

  25. If the kid doesnt like playing ball then we dont need him.We need a beast in NY.

  26. As a sixers fan, i’ve been pro speights since first seeing him this fall…i think he can be amazing…i know there are questions about him, but he has some amazing ability and potential and the sixers haven’t had a good PF in god knows how long…if they get speights at 16 and can get good caoching and motivation out of him i feel he’d be a steal of bynum proportions…he’s coming out a year before most people thought he would (DX had him in the top 10 of the 2009 draft before he mentioned he might come out), so here’s hoping with my fingers crossed that KB and Chad Ford know what they are talking about.

  27. Yes, but Brook Lopez looked pretty damn good in that tourney run they had… almost Duncan-like.
    I’d be hard-pressed not to take Mayo if he’s still there. I just hope he’s more Kobe and less Starbury.
    While I’m not sold on Gallinari, the euroleague is light years better than when Magik Lampe came out – was it 2002? So the kid must have something.
    When I look at Speights, I see a workout warrior that doesn’t know game situation. Maybe that will change with coaching, maybe it won’t.
    Point guard and center are the hardest positions to fill, so I understand the desire to grab one or both of those, but you’ve got to wonder if going for an Augustine/Robin Lopez combo will just get us 2 players that will be out of the league in a few years… i guess that’s why I’m starting to lean towards a best player possible selection as high as possible. We just have to hope our scouts know what they’re doing.

  28. If Hibbert drops to #23, 3/4 of the teams that passed on him will regret it.

  29. Very interesting post by Erich Doerr over at the Wages of Wins, using WP to analyze college prospects. Just another data point of course, but it’s a killer spreadsheet. Rose came on very strong at the end of the season, but Beasley and Love put up the best numbers, and Speights and Dorsey may be good value where they are projected, which I think is mid first round and second round respectively. Mayo and Gordon don’t come out looking well….

  30. “On Augustin – short guys have a tough time in the process when they’re mostly jump shooters. I’ll be interested to see how people’s boards will change after weigh ins today and workouts.”

    Augustin went to the line 221 times last season in 38 games, making it 5.8 attempts per game. Its not exactly D-wade/Kobe’s 12 attempts, but it definitely shows he is aggressive on the dribble drive. I don’t see Augustin having a better career than Jameer Nelson, but Nelson is the starting pg on a playoff team. I was really high on Augustin till the Memphis game when Derrick Rose locked him down. If that is an indicator of how he does against taller defenders, then Augustin will have a hard time making it as a starter in the NBA.

  31. nyknyygiants –

    this draft does seem deep in quality bigs. i could have easily slotted richard hendrix or joey dorsey in late in the first over anderson or hardin. trent plaisted (byu) is a decent player that probably goes in the 2nd round. aleks maric, the big center from nebraska, and sasha kahn from kansas, are two guys that may go undrafted but could make teams out of camp.

  32. i think walsh should be on the phone to see if we can aquire that 13th pick ,if we can’t trade for it we should try to buy it because somehow if mayo or bayless falls in our laps at #6 and jordan,mcgee at#13 we will be headed in the right direction for 2010!

  33. Erich Doerr is up early — his analysus actually did pretty well last year. (e.g. Nick Fazekas barely played but he was great in his 500 minutes). IMO Doerr’s huge flaw is failing to account for age. I mean, Joey Dorsey was extremely productive for Memphis but as Jon Abbey pointed out, he’s almost 25 years old. A college player will dominate HS competition, if you know what I mean.

    Not surprising here that Mayo, Gordon and Bayless don’t rate well — I totally agree that they are overhyped. None of them get many steals, blocks or rebounds — a giant clue that their athleticism is overrated. On the other hand, Gordon and Bayless are only 18, and Mayo’s just 19, so all have a lot of improvement ahead of them — something Doerr ignores. Same with Derrick Rose, who rates fairly well, and when you account for how young he is, he looks solid. Not Chris Paul star-level, but solid.

    I’m surprised at how badly Anthony Randolph shows up. I’d have thought that Wp would like his game. Perhaps his poor TS% did him in.

    This is also a good reminder that Beasley, on talent and production, is far and away the best player in the draft — the only questions are motivation and work ethic.

    It should make people feel better about picking Kevin Love.

    And it’s eye-opening for Mareese Speights and Richard Hendrix…

    My general feeling about the draft is that the 3-7 picks will all go higher than their talent deserves, but after that, it’s a fairly deep draft.

    Hollinger’s draft predictor is similar to this in a lot of ways, but of course it uses his PER metric. It also adjusts for age, which is a huge improvement… and has a few other tweaks, like adjusting for the historical fact that 7-footers have been overrated. (Sorry, Lopezes)

  34. just read some of’s NBA Truth&Rumors and someone has Pat Ewing Jr. slated as a late 1st, early 2nd rounder. i have not once heard Jr. being on anyone’s mock draft this year so can i assume this is just the author pulling something out of his ass? or is Jr. really that good?

  35. Interesting analysis by Doerr, however, how much are the stats affected by the quality of the talent these guys are surrounded by on their respective teams? This would seem especially poignant where the prospect only played one year of ball. For example, a guy like Kevin Love was surrounded by Westbrook, Collison, Shipp, Luc Richard. On the other hand, a guy like Mayo did not have the same support, and was asked to carry his team.

    I was reading the draftexpress analysis of Mayo and thought the Celtics scout, Procopio had some interesting things to say:

    ““He pushes himself as much as any player I’ve seen. I’ve never seen a guy who is more focused than him. I feel bad for the guys who will have to work out against him. He reminds me of Clubber Lang [played by Mr. T] in Rocky 3 with the way he trained for that fight against Rocky. Rocky was in the disco having fun, and Clubber Lang was in some hole in the wall doing chin-ups. The guy is a nut when it comes to working out. You can see it in his eyes, he wants to be great. He’ll spend all day doing something until he gets it right. The kid cannot fail. He will not fail. He’s fearless. Some kids listen to the crowd around them, who tell them how good they are. They live on the hype. They live off the rankings of the scouting services around the country. He doesn’t. He wants to rip your heart out, serve it to you on a plate, and then do it again. The kid is a killer, he’s a total killer on the court. He’ll be a special player.”

    If what he says is only 50% true, I would still like to see Mayo as a Knick. Again, this could be a moot point if he’s not available at #6, as expected.

  36. @cwod: same here. i thought Jr. would just go undrafted and maybe get a couple camp invites b/c of his dad (and maybe get signed as an energy player)

  37. From what Chad Ford has been reporting it seems very unlikely that Mayo will make it to the Knicks at #6. Although it seems very unlikely, it was reported that the Heat are considering him at #2 if Rose is taken. Still if he does fall, he certainly has the superstar potential along with the ability to carry a team while making the rest of his teammates better.

  38. Also I don’t quite understand everyone sees in Westbrook. Right now he is only 6-3, so he is to small to play shooting guard. And as ESPN comments, “Still learning how to play point guard. Often plays off the ball with Darren Collison running the point. Ballhandling needs improvement.” Although athletic and a great on ball defender, not yet sold on his ability to contribute as a PG. To me he seems to be a Lindsey Hunter type player. Great defender, but could hurt a team offensivily if he is made forced to play the point. I do understand the Barbosa comparisions, however, I am not sure if he is that quick. To me he is more of a late 1st round pick rather than a player worthy of the lottery.

  39. This is from TrueHoop:

    “Of all the things modern basketball statistics might do, one of the most difficult challenges is to rank players. It’s nearly impossible to quantify everything a player does. But that’s what everybody wants. Here is a look at some of the different new-breed player rankings systems, with a lot of work put into figuring out who ranks really high and really low in each system. Amir Johnson is high in all of them. Chris Paul is way up there in some, but middle of the pack in others. Al Jefferson is either one of the best or one of the worst players in the NBA. Mardy Collins is near the bottom nearly every time.”

  40. Lopez did play well duing MAdness and he did remind me of Duncan too but id hate to see him get to the NBA and not really have his heart in it. He might be one of those kids that was tall and was encouraged to play because door might open for him or he might not. Id hate to see another kid be made a millionaire and cease in his desire to do his job . To be the best that he possibly can be at what he does. What kills me now is that little wins streak we went on. To hear about Mayos work ethic from a Celtic scout who has no chance at drafting him but to still be in awe of his fire says something. Thats the kind of kid we need to get. There was a great article from an old SI about how Kobe was the same way. He had the relentless desire to get better and it seems Mayo has that fire in his blood.

  41. The reason why Westbrook is gettin some bump is because he does have major upside. He is a top tier athelete, very explosive on the break, strong finisher and even tho hes only 6’3 his frame is NBA ready, he overpowered almost everyone he matched up against. He was told to play the other teams best perimeter player which can toll on our offense when your not a big time offensive player to begin with.
    Hes an option, but not at 6, hes someone we should target if we move down later in the draft, there are better players at 6, but he is a good prospect…

  42. “I am not sure if he is that quick.”

    I have some questions about him, but Westbrook looked to have as good a combination of quickness and athleticism as any guard in college not named Rose. The guy got to the basket whenever he wanted.
    (As I’ve said) My biggest reservation about Westbrook is that I could see him having a rough transition to the NBA. If he works hard I think he’ll be a quality NBA player (I think of Chauncey Billups), just may not be more than a spot defender/driver right away. Overall, I like him as much as anyone else at #6, and I guess you shouldn’t expect every rookie PG to be Chris Paul anyway.

    “It should make people feel better about picking Kevin Love.”

    Did anyone else read that McHale wants Love??? Any opinions on whether the Knicks should/could swing a deal to move up to #3? (Questions never seem to get answered on the board, but if I had stated a strong opinion someone would have responded…)

    “or is Jr. really that good?”

    I also haven’t seen him in any mocks, but I could definitely see him making an NBA team at some point. Good defender with a high basketball IQ who knows what it takes to play in the NBA. Even though he was no where near as good in college, I can’t see him being much worse of a pro than Jared Jeffries.

  43. I would love to nab a 2nder and take Jr… Patrick already has said it would be cool to wear his 33…
    “He is me. He wore it at Georgetown and they can take it down from the [Garden] rafters and put it on his back.”
    Dont know how he’ll fit, but id like to see it happen especially in the conditions this team is in.. Id rather have Jr than both JJs..

  44. That would be crazy if Love went #3. I don’t think it would be an awful pick based on Love’s college #’s. They could really use a good point guard though (I don’t think Steph’s cousin is cutting it.) I can’t imagine them passing on Mayo unless it’s for Bayless. As for a deal w/ the Knicks for #3, I think McHale would do it if we used Lee and Lee only. If we want OJ bad enough, I could see us doing that, but who knows how much Walsh likes him. Can you imagine us pulling that trade, and then the Heat taking Mayo instead of Beasley? That would be amazing. It might be worth it just in case. I’m still not sure if Mayo is a 1 or a 2 in the NBA, but we would have time to figure that out.
    As for Randolph, I think we’re stuck with him for a while (it was only a year ago he was traded at the draft, who would be stupid enough to make that trade again so soon.) Perhaps we should take the ‘glass is half full’ approach with him. Cancer? I think that’s a little harsh. He really didn’t make any noise this year w/ the Knicks aside from a little bickering with Nate and saying he didn’t want to go from a starter to a sub (which is what most players would say.) He kept his nose clean. Yes he has defensive deficincies, but if you watched the games, Curry’s defense was much worse (He looked so confused at times I felt sorry for him.) Zach probably doesn’t put in enough effort on D, but look at his coach? It’s not like Zeke was getting in anyone’s face. All I’m saying is that Zach is now worse than an Al Harrington or a Shareef Rahim in their primes. It’s just that he has a horrible contract. But we have a few years to move it. It’s also frustrating that he keeps everyone’s favorite player Lee off the court, but he could be an efficient part of a team if coached right. I say, definitely try to move Curry for a defensive center that can run the floor and ideally, shoot a 3 ball. Anyone know anyone like that who might be available?

  45. Anyone who passes on Mayo for anyone other than Beasley or Rose is crazy. He has unlimited upside and negligible downside compared to every other prospect.

  46. Ess-Dog,

    Having K-Love go number 3 would be very good for the Knicks. With Love jumping up that far that like means Lopez Mayo and Bayless will be there for the Sonics. I still think Minny thinks Randy Foye can be the guy, if he could just stay healthy. Love’s passing will help Foye and McCants score in transition, which is what they are best suited to do. Love has a high profile and is well liked by the fan base. Minny needs a guy like that to bring back the fans.

    Sonics will probably take Lopez next because they do need interior help. They probably would not have taken Love at 4 because he really isnt a traditional post player, which is a need they try to fill in ever draft going back 7 years. Their need for a guy that can be effective in the post is greater than their need for a scoring tweener guard.

    So that leaves Memphis to choose from Mayo or Bayless. The Knicks should take whomever the Grizz do not take. Hopefully, the Grizz take Bayless. If Knicks can get Mayo at 6, that is a steal. I think he may be on par with Paul Pierce when he was drafted. Mayo is probably the best defender of any player in the top 8. I think he has the mental make up to play in MSG. If he is there at 6 you cant trade that pick, even if you need to move Randolph.

    Randolph can be moved to a team that needs firepower for a playoff run before the trade deadline (think Denver or Indy). Plus half a year in D’antoni’s offense might raise his profile.

  47. “Anyone who passes on Mayo for anyone other than Beasley or Rose is crazy. He has unlimited upside and negligible downside compared to every other prospect.”

    I agree on the downside assessment — he’s a good defender and everyone seems to think he’ll work hard on his game..

    …but I don’t see the “unlimited” upside. He was a worse scorer than Bayless or Gordon in college, and he’s older than both of them. And despite the hype, his supposedly great athleticism didn’t show up on the court — low rebounds, blocks, steals. It will be interesting to see how he does on the physical tests in Orlando.

    IMO #6 isn’t out-of-line high, but late lottery wouldn’t be too low, if people weren’t blinded by his fame. Given the perception of Mayo, he’s much more valuable as a trade piece, than a player, should he fall into our laps.

    I wonder what Love would look like in Seattle or Memphis… good, I think. However, I think a Love-Jefferson front line would be as bad defensively as Randolph-Curry.

  48. I was originally one of the Mayo-naysayers (and I still have some reservations), but I’m slowly warming up to him if we can get him at #6 (not likely I know). I figure, if he really has that fire that everyone says he does, a slight slide in the draft might do wonders for him in giving him a chip on his shoulder. As for trading up to get him? It depends on how much we give up (which isn’t much in terms of personnel, but creating cap space is definitely important). In terms of next year’s draft class depth, I think this draft will be doubly important if we want pieces that can attract some real marquee FAs after ’10.

  49. No way would I trade up to get — don’t think he’s markedly better (or any better) than several prospects around him.

    I’m thinking that if other teams are salivating over him, this is a good opportunity to trade down, pick up multiple picks or good young players, or all of the above.

    Hypothetical question — which player(s) in the draft would you be willing to trade David Lee for, straight up. As in, the Clipppers get Lee; the Knicks get the #7 pick?

    Just asking for fun… also in mind that we would save $6-8 million against the cap in 2010-2011, by making a trade like that.

    Given the current crop, I don’t know that I’d take anyone besides the top-2 guys… but you might consider several other players.

  50. Mayo has size, skill and youth on his side, and defense is one of his strengths. By unlimited potential, I mean he has as much chance of being a truly special player than any one below the top 2. Plus, you gotta love the name…

    By the way, I was at Kobe’s garden debut waqy back when. In the few minutes he played, he was raw as can be, seemed like he was trying to clone MJ’s game. Something in Mayo reminds me of that, and I’d hate to look back someday saying we could have had him. While MJ and Kobe are classified as SGs, they are too unique to think of in those terms. Of the current crop, only OJ and Rose have this kind of potential. I’d be shocked if 3 years from now, OJ wasn’t better than any of the others from this draft other than Rose and Beasley.

  51. I hear you, oj does have a lot going for him, not just the cool name. I just don’t see him as a likely superstar. I mean, kobe hit the league at age 17 and by the time he was oj’s age, he was already a good nba player. I think oj will be more your typical mid-to-late lottery pick… And if other people are valuing him as a 2 or 3 pick, that’s an opportunity.

    Of course there’s no way to settle the debate for at least several months.

    I will say – if he grades out as a far-above athlete in orlando… My opinion will change a bit. We already know he can shoot, play d and play hard.

  52. RE: Trading Lee for a pick.

    It would have to be a top 2. It would be hard to trade Lee for one of the unproven, yet talented players available at 3-5. We know exaclty what we have in Lee. Actually, there may be more to Lee that we have yet to see. I was suprised with the consistent mid range J he shows last season.

    Unless you can get a top two, you hold onto to 6 because you never know which player could fall into your lap. Many draft pundits seem to think that Mayo or Lopez could fall as far as 6. Especially if Love and Anthony Randolph put up amazing numbers at the combines and draft camps.

    Never underestimate how many GMs fall under the spell of the “workout wonder.” A workout wonder is a guy that blows you away with his speed, strength, and leaping. His wingspan is 5 inches greater than his height. He has the perfect body for the position. But the GMs ignore the guy’s FG%, rebounding rate, understanding of half court sets, defensive instincts, ect. Anthony Randolph and perhaps DeAndre Jordan are two guys that fir the bill. Tyrus Thomas is a more recent example. Harold “Baby Jordan” Minor could be one of the most famous examples.

    I think one of the teams between 3-5 will try to get fancy and just go for the workout wonder. That will drop a solid player to 6. One good thing about Walsh is that he has been around long enough to know to take his time. He wont trade that pick until he knows exactly what he can get with it.

  53. As much cold water as I’ve thrown on the Lee-mania here, I wouldn’t trade Lee to move up or down for anyone in this draft other than Beasley or Rose, and that ain’t happening.

  54. Caleb, I would maybe give him up for A. Randolph. I think that guy could be great, better than Bosh. He could go anywhere from 4 to 9. And of course, OJ, but that’s it.

  55. Aside from moving up or down, would you trade lee for an extra pick? Which player’s worth it?

  56. The Chad Ford article on Mayo is impressive; again, it would be hard to stomach if he was available, we pass, and he goes on to superstardom. I wouldn’t feel the same about any of the others.

  57. how come and draftexpress have mayo dropping to us if chad ford keeps saying Mayo’s draft stock is on the rise. IMO i think Mayo dropping to us is very realistic because memphis needs a big( Anthony r. or Kevin Love) and Chicago will most likely draft Michael Beasely

  58. re: Mayo

    I have no doubt the guy’s desire and work ethic are off the chart, I’m just waiting to see whether he develops the Kobe/LeBron winning first mentality, or the Steve Francis stats first mentality. He’s an interesting case… can’t wait to see how he turns out.

    Wonder if Pat Riley really does like him more than Beasley?


    I know what you’re saying about workout warriors and I think Jordan could fit the bill, but Kevin Love is sort of the opposite of a workout warrior. Also, Tyrus Thomas led LSU (not exactly a basketball powerhouse as Anthony Randolph can tell you)to the final four (if I remeber correctly). Maybe Glen Davis received less credit than he deserved because he’s overweight, but the two of them won in college.

  59. Did you guys hear the TJ Ford for the #6 pick rumors? I know the first instinct is to reject it based on the fact that we’re not a “win now” team, but I’ve always been a huge Ford fan. He’s probably the quickest guard in the league and has a high b-ball IQ. That being said, health issues are definitely a concern. I guess it depends on who we think will be available at #6, maybe Walsh waits till after the draft to pull the trigger?

    Sorry to see Doug Collins take the Bulls job, he’s in my opinion the best NBA color guy on TV hands down.

  60. Tyrus will also end up at least one of the 5 or 6 best players in that draft… So it’s not like he’s been a big flop.

    Randolph’s game is harder to peg, he really does have problems with shot selection and offense in general, but he can dribble and pass, blocks a ton of shots. I’ve come down some on the enthusiasm but when he almost inevitably puts on 30 pounds of muscle I think he’ll be a good pro.

  61. I’m glad to see collins take the job… That should help screw up chicago after the first year or two!

    I’d like to see us ship out a longer contract for ford… Like, #6 + crawford or jeffries or curry, for ford + #17. Or else, get them to include net year’s pick. Otherwise, not worth it.. With his health, TJ is not a long-term solution.

    Or maybe there’s a 3-way deal to be made…

  62. re: TJ Ford

    He’s very productive, but there are three factors which lead me to believe Ford might be had for less than the #6 pick.

    1-Obviously, his health.

    2-The Raptors don’t HAVE to trade Ford this offseason, but if they don’t they might HAVE to trade him next season once their chemistry goes to complete shit because they’re PGs both want to start and they’re suing the country from which two of their players hale.

    3-There aren’t too many teams out there in need of PGs and there’s a strong crop of combo-guards for those that do.

    Due to these three things I have to wonder how many teams are interested and how much they’re willing to part with, plus how much the Raps want to move him…

    If his health’s not too big an issue, I would like to see the Knicks add him. Say for Jamal Crawford straight-up or in a three-way deal… Between he, Lee, #6, Nate, and Chandler and/or Balkman the Knicks would probably have 5 or 6 good young rotation players. Not a bad start.

    I would be against trading the #6 pick for someone with no J, no D, and a back that might break at any moment, however.
    Maybe I could do #6 for the #17… but no, still would be against it. Wonder what the Raps are thinking about Bargnani these days? I kind of doubt they’ll give up on him while his value is low.

  63. Dallas,

    I think that is a case of everyone being right. We all know that the top two picks are Rose and Beasely. So conventional wisdom would be Mayo going third, Yes? Well not quite. Yes Mayo’s stock is up but Draftxpress and have good information that Minny and Seattle have zoned in on Love and Bayless. If that holds up, Lopez falls to 5th. The Grizz need a big man to replace Gasol more than they need another slashing scorer in the back court. So Lopez is the guy to fit their need. That means Mayo falls to 6th. Mayo’s stock could be sky high, but that doesnt matter if the team wants/needs someone else. I say this is a good thing since we need a big man that can block shots and there isnt one available in the top 8. So lets address the awful backcourt defense by drafting Mayo.

  64. “Thomas,

    I know what you’re saying about workout warriors and I think Jordan could fit the bill, but Kevin Love is sort of the opposite of a workout warrior. Also, Tyrus Thomas led LSU (not exactly a basketball powerhouse as Anthony Randolph can tell you)to the final four (if I remeber correctly).”


    Fair enough, but I think Love does fit into the workout wonder group only becuase many scouts are raving about the pounds he dropped and the impact it had on his speed. Let’s face it, Love was never exactly chisled. So a modest improvement in his ability to could start the GM’s wondering where his physical peak could be. That would put him in the workout wonder group. Not to say he isnt skilled, but when all scouts talk about is your body, that is a bit of a red flag for me.

    I’m not sold on Tyrus Thomas. To me, he is Kenyon Martin 2.0. I think Aldridge is well ahead of Tyrus. Also, in most drafts, a solid player should be amoung the top 6 draftees. But in the 2006 draft, being top 6 aint saying much. I mean Bargiani..meh, Morrision is looking like a bust to me, ditto Shelden Williams. Best player in the draft is B Roy, then Aldridge.

  65. Looking at the projected 1st round according to, the guys who jump out at me who can potentially improve their stock by being a workout wonder include randolph, jordan, gordon, westbrook, budinger and r.lopez. The only guys i could possibly see cracking the top-6 from above are randolph, gordon and jordan. if that causes either bayless or mayo to slip to us id be pretty happy.

    As discussed above, many sites are projecting mayo to slip to 6th because of minny, seattle, and memphis drafting for need. somehow, if what chad ford writes is true, i cannot see a gm passing oj mayo for brook lopez or anthony randolph (especially considering rob babcock isnt a gm anymore). i think the only team that can justify passing an elite guard is memphis because of lowry/conley/crittenton. taking lopez over mayo just seems like the team is losing a lot of value even if they dont need a guard.

    I think mchale stating minny will take love is merely a smoke screen to see if he can force someones hand (trading up/down). its too early in the game to be commiting to anyone besides rose or beasley. its possible that once official measurements come out, love may be an inch shorter than he is listed and have a poor wingspan. just gotta wait and see.

    I am so glad isiah isnt our gm anymore because he surely would take gordon with 6 since they are fellow alumni. i got no problem with gordon, but there is better talent available at 6.

  66. Just read on Ford that Ty Lawson just ate Lester Hudson’s lunch at 5 on 5. He would be a great pick up, but I think his stock will surely rise now…

  67. @o_boogie:

    I agree, I think McHale’s just talking out loud about taking Love at #3. True, things are still early and we don’t know how he’ll rate after workouts, but I still don’t see anyone reaching for him that high. Also, I’m starting to warm around to Mayo, but only if we can get him at #6. I don’t think trading up would help us as I’m sure we’d be losing a pretty big asset in the process (like potential future cap space due to taking back a bad contract).

  68. Let me say again: No Ford for the 6th pick Please!

    I like TJ Ford but when did he become worth a 6th? I would much prefer working out a deal with Indy to send Randolph,Rose and something for O’Neal and the 11th pick. Grab a Ty Lawson or DJ Augustine at 11 if you feel you need a fast young PG. I’d rather pay Lawson 1.7 million than pay ford 8 million and cringe everytime he drives the lane.

    Finally, the most important reason not the get Ford is that we have a great PG already in Stephon Marbury!!!

    Yeah, its happy hour! Barkeep, another round please.

  69. Mayo would be nice since you figure they could trade him for something good if they ever actually got Lebron.

  70. Chad ford spends all day kissing ass so agents will still talk to him. If they don’t expect him to say good things, why let him inside their “private” workouts the next few weeks?… You have to read btw the lines. Still, I liked lawson a lot as a frosh – just super quick. Is my memory clear that UNC destroyed ohio state that winter, with lawson outplaying mike conley? I also thought he was better tyan augustin.

    He looked much worse this year but if it was really just bc of injury, he’s a legit lottery pick IMO – defnitely worth a shot by the mid-teens, if we trade down for some reason, or get an extra pick.
    Speedy little guys are doing well in the league, and he’s as fast as they get.
    Of course, speedy little guys coming off injury sort of remind you of TJ ford, for better or worse.

  71. TJ Ford does NOT have a high basketball IQ. He shoots too much and tries to play the hero by taking over games with his scoring, which is not his strong suit at all. I would not like to see him in a Knicks uniform unless he’s coming in a trade for Randolph or Curry.

    But if the trade is for Calderon then I’m all for it. He’s definitely a top 5 point guard in the League right now.

  72. what about maybe zach and the #6 for rasho nesterovic and calderon? he’s a restricted FA, i think, so sign and trade him and the salaries should work. calderon’s your 10-apg point for the next 6-7 years if that deal gets done

  73. jrock – I think everyone on this site would be very happy with that trade. I just don’t think Toronto would be interested.

  74. plus, w/ bosh already at the 4, i don’t see how they’d effectively integrate z-bo.

  75. I like this part:

    “I am going to get in tip-top shape because I know how Coach D’Antoni likes to play,” Crawford said. “And just work on my weaknesses like defense and better shot selection and watch a lot of tapes.”

    At least he knows what’s wrong with his game.

  76. The non-lottery portion of the first round is shaping up to be a great event. There’s a big drop off after the first two picks but I like the depth of the draft from there on down.

    On DeAndre Jordan. I expect Rod Thorn to biting at the chops for this kid. I can’t see him falling past number 10. I think Charlotte, NY, Memphis (watch Memphis, I think they gave the guarentee), Minnesota all look hard at him too. If he slips past 10 I don’t see him getting as far as 15, those 5 teams will all be interested in him.

    On DJ Augustin … normally I’d say he’d slip down to around 20 but this draft is shaping up wierdly. There’s no pure point guard after Rose and no point guard with serious quality and interest expected to be around by the 5th pick. Then there’s a lot of teams like Indiana, Milwaukee, Portland, Sacramento, maybe even the Clippers that are looking at point guards hard. There’s a few unexpected others (NJ) rumoured to be looking hard at Augustin too. I see him going to Indiana or thereabouts. He’s a player that if he slips he could slip very far very quickly (like Jameer Nelson) but there looks to be too much interest in the lad.

    My steal of the late first round is DJ White. I don’t think he’s getting anywhere near enough publicity/recognition for his talent levels. He reminds me so much of a post injury Antonio McDyess. 6-9, great length, solid athleticism. He has a post game (turnaround J, hook shots, up and under moves, drop step). He can shoot out to 15-17 feet. He has a high release point. He’s a solid man-to-man defender and good help defender. He works the backboards. Just a really solid power forward that’ll be a rotation player for 8-10 years in this league. He’s really going to help whoever drafts him. I think he’s better than Darrell Arthur, that’s highly I rate him (and how over-valued I think Arthur is). DJ White would make an excellent first big man off the bench for a title chasing team soon enough. He’s NBA ready too so he can contribute some right away like Landry did this season.

    There’s a bunch of very interesting wings …. Douglas-Roberts, Rush, Budinger, Lee out there too. They all should make fine picks. JR Giddens is an underrated prospect too.

    Mario Chalmers is a player I like also. I think he’s great value for an early second round pick or late first round. Very solid defensively, good pressure defender, can shoot the ball, can dribble, can pass, can create a little. He didn’t play the point at Kansas but he has some good point guard instincts so I think he could adapt to the position easily enough in the pros. I look at him more like being a backup point guard but if he blossoms he could become a Derek Fisher like player.

    Koufos is another really interesting prospect. Big man who can post and shoot the ball. Someone who has some interest in rebounding and defending. Lot of skills, lot of talent. His game needs a lot of polish and he needs a big man coach but there is just so much there that I think he’s well worth the risk for whoever drafts him. I see him going late lottery. If he slips he’ll be a steal because of his potential.

    Javee McGee is a player I don’t like at all. I think he’s going to get murdered in the post trying to play centre in the NBA.

    Roy Hibbert is a player I rate highly too. His footwork is the worst I’ve seen in years and the worst I’ve ever seen from a Georgetown big man. But I look around that team and I see the same problems in other players so I blame the coaching. I think if you get this guy in the room with a quality big man coach you can get big things out of him. He’ll always be the passive type but I can see him being a solid starter in the league. His lack of athleticism is no worse than several other centres in the league, it’s getting way too much coverage right now. Not a good rebounder, that’s holding him back in a big way, the rest of his game (passing, shoot, post move, defense, shot blocking) is very interesting.

    Robin Lopez looks a solid pick. Energy, defense, length. He’ll make a fine backup centre. Devon Hardin is interesting, I’m still not quite sure what to make of him but he’s a decent body to have in the paint. Joey Dorsey will be a steal in the second round but isn’t first round talent. I really like the rumours of him playing down in Orlando next to Dwight.

    Ajinca is really interesting, reminds me an awful lot of Biedrins. Good value for a late first rounder.

    The latter part of the first round looks great. Pity the lottery looks so dodgy after the first two are off the board.

  77. Bayless said he would love to play for D’antoni, he works out with Nash in phoenix and says he knows some tricks nash taught him about this offense…
    No matter where you stand on D’antoni (I like the hire) he immediately makes the franchise attractive not only to vets but rookies as well, and thats a good thing..

  78. anybody find it strange that the lack of point guards in the NBA coincides with the same dearth of quarterbacks in the NFL? nobody seems to have the talent/desire to be a facilitator anymore. odd.

  79. Toronto will never part with Calderon (and they’ve said it publicly), that’s why they’re shopping Ford. Re: Ford, how many point guards would you put ahead of him right now? Paul, Williams, Nash, who else? If you read today’s Post, it sure sounds like Walsh is checking out options for trading the pick, I think Ford would be good fit here in D’Antoni’s offense.

  80. I like ford, but def. not for the 6th pick…
    Iremember last years draft interviews… when kids were questioned on where they’d want to go I distinctly remember 5 or 6 saying ‘Phoenix’ and the interviewer even commenting that there must be something about their style that players love.
    I think that’s what Walsh saw in D’Antoni. The chance to get top choice of players.
    Is it really going to be Gallinari? I still can’t wrap my head around that one…

  81. Dave,

    You may be on to something with DeAndre Jordan and the way GM’s view him. I think of few teams are looking for the next Bynum and Jordan is one of the better Bynum prototypes in the draft. I do belive Memphis would take him if Lopez is not available at 5. If the Love and Jordan rumors hold up, that could push Mayo right into the Knicks’ lap. I was not big on Mayo earlier but as I read miore about him I think he could be the right guy to take at 6. Some scouts seem to think Mayo can be a player comprabable to Billups. I would not mind that at all.

    Mayo could shore the backcourt D, he has good size for a point, and probably not wilt under the bright lights. In two years we could have

    PG Mayo
    SG Crawford
    SF Chandler
    PF Lee
    C Curry

    that is not a bad starting five.

  82. We dont need TJ Ford . The 6th is definitely not worth giving up for him. Thats a bad idea.

  83. “Is it really going to be Gallinari? I still can’t wrap my head around that one…”

    The latest rumor is that D’Antoni doesn’t like Gallinari’s game. A Suns official said that they looked at tapes of him during the season, and D’Antoni was not overly impressed.

  84. Thomas,

    Who passes in your starting 5? Curry and Chandler literally don’t pass, Lee is average, Mayo projects to be well below average at the point, and Crawford is above average at the 2/below average at 1. I don’t see a very fluid Mike D’Antoni offense with that group.

    I would rather see Mayo playing off the ball.

  85. “I think Love does fit into the workout wonder group only becuase many scouts are raving about the pounds he dropped and the impact it had on his speed.”

    God point. Kind of ironic that the guy who figured to be the anti-workout guy has benefitted a lot from the draft process.

  86. “I would rather see Mayo playing off the ball.”

    I actually think that Mayo projects well as a PG. He played PG all through high school. He was playing out of position at USC. I think once he adjusts to the NBA he could be a top flight PG. I see him much more of a one than Bayless who I think is a classic combo guard.

  87. for someone like jordan to be effective like bynum, he needs a good pg or playmaker. bynum lacks the ability to create his own shot (but does a good job overpowering poeple). having kobe takes a significant amount of pressure off of him since it creates many easy looks. if jordan is on a team with no playmaker, he will struggle mightily.

  88. @knickerblogger: word. if it wasn’t for it being an Isaiah move, I’d never understand how we gave a big man who can’t rebound or block shots or defend, and has a bad heart, a player option on his contract

  89. I’m also against trading the #6 for TJ Ford. I’m concerned about his medical history. We don’t need another uninsurable contract. His neck, combined with Q’s back and Curry’s heart? Are you kidding me? I’d rather trade back and take DJ Augustine. I was not a big fan of his initially because I thought he was a bit of a headcase, but he is the only true pg aside from Rose. And, the more I see and read about him looks promising despite being a bit small. Not to mention, Lowry, Ford, Jameer Nelson, and AI are all only 6’0. So, Augustine is 5’11”.

  90. What this team needs is to get “new blood” and to get rid of the existing problems. TJ Ford for the #6 pick does neither. At any rate wasn’t he having some issues over in Toronto with being a starter or somethign to that effect? The days of overpaying to take other teams headaches off their hands were supposed to have ended the day the smiling weasel was fired.

  91. “His neck, combined with Q’s back and Curry’s heart?”

    …and don’t forget Zach “If I only had a brain” Randolph.

  92. “there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home”…

    …aw crap, we’re still in this hellhole of a situation

  93. “He played PG all through high school.”

    Mark Jackson played center in high school.

    He could develop PG skills. I just see it as more doubtful for someone who showed no PG skills in college and who is likely to be a scorer on a bad team in the NBA from day 1 (kind of like Francis and Marbury). He’s a natural scorer, I don’t know if I’d ask him to do “too much” when he first hits the league. My main concern would be making sure he channels his work ethic toward becoming a winner rather than a stat stuffer.

    Who knows though, if he’s a good enough overall player and a hard enough worker he can probably play PG with the right guys around him. I just don’t think that’s Jamal Crawford. Again, that’s my opinion, who knows.

    “bynum lacks the ability to create his own shot (but does a good job overpowering poeple)”

    He’s a center… This is what I don’t understand about the “creating your own shot” thing, is your center supposed to take the ball the length of the court and then pull up for a 3?

    “I’d rather trade back and take DJ Augustine. I was not a big fan of his initially because I thought he was a bit of a headcase, but he is the only true pg aside from Rose.”

    Headcase? I was under the impression Augustin was one of the more solid character guys in the draft.

    I have to seriously question Augustin’s ability to play in the NBA after he played so poorly against Memphis.

    “What this team needs is to get “new blood” and to get rid of the existing problems. TJ Ford for the #6 pick does neither.”

    I wouldn’t overpay to get him (and I think the #6 pick is overpaying), but Ford would be new blood and a PG who has led his team to the playoffs the last three years. Refusing to come off the bench is poor form, but I wouldn’t exactly label it as a character issue.

  94. ““bynum lacks the ability to create his own shot (but does a good job overpowering people)”

    He’s a center… This is what I don’t understand about the “creating your own shot” thing, is your center supposed to take the ball the length of the court and then pull up for a 3?”

    im not expecting a center to be a create a perimeter shot, but they have to be creative in the post. if you look at the best c’s for the past 20 years, ewing, olajuwon, robinson, shaq, all of them could get off their shot or get their defender in the air with a plurality of hooks, up-and-unders, drop steps, headfakes, fadeaways, shake-n-bake etc. a center who can do that demands a double team which opens up the perimeter game.

    deandre jordan will never be this. best case scenario he will prolly end up brandon haywood. his defense will be felt but his lack of offensive moves, lack of passion, disappearing for stretches will leave you scratching your head.

  95. did u guys read that Jerryd Bayless is campaigning to play for the Knicks? What are the chances of him droppin to us cuz i like his game

  96. Ted – The new blood with reference to Ford was poorly worded. I guess with a team like this we should be trying to acquire draft picks rather than giving them away. Ford would be and is a nice player as you point out, however, realistically, w/o getting rid of some combination of Steph, Nate and/or Jamal he would probably be lost in the shuffle.

  97. “Shoot me if Eddy Curry is still the Knicks’ starting center in 2 years.”

    I’m with you, but who do we replace him with? We have, in the next two years, one shot to draft a replacement center. Good centers are rarely available in free agency. So as much as I would hate to shoot you, I may have to because I dont see how we (a) move him, and (b) get someone else to play that position.

    I am all ears if you can find either a deal to move him or a replacement center for the 09/10 season.

  98. “Thomas, Who passes in your starting 5?”

    Good point. I think that would have to either Crawford or Mayo.

    I do think in the D’antoni system you don’t have to be a great passer in the Chris Paul sense. D’antoni’s system is based on advancing the ball and spacing. It is much easier to create passing lanes if the ball advances quickly and the players are spaced properly. Yeah I know Crawford is a turnover waiting to happen but he does move the ball better in a open offense than he does in the half court set offense. I am sure I read somewhere that a turnover is most likely to occur in the final 8 seconds of a possesion. If the shot goes up in 7 seconds, that should reduce the turnovers.

    It is too early to get on Chandler for his passing. For all we know he was instructed to take as many good shots as he could and frankly, who was he going to pass the ball too? Hell, I COMMEND him for NOT passing to Jazzy Jeff, MC no shot, Renny B, or RandMo. He knew he would not see the ball again if Z-bo, JC, or N8 touched it. I say he did the right thing. Plus his per 40 assit number would be 2.1 per game, that isnt awful for a swing, is it?

    You cant say at this point that Mayo can’t be the primary ball handler. I am looking at him as a glass half full guy.

  99. “Headcase? I was under the impression Augustin was one of the more solid character guys in the draft.

    I have to seriously question Augustin’s ability to play in the NBA after he played so poorly against Memphis.”


    When I said that I thought DJ was a bit of a headcase, it was solely based upon seeing him in the Memphis game, in which I thought his frustration got the best of him and caused him to take a couple of cheap shot fouls. The more I read about this kid, the more I see people echoing what you have stated — that he has good character.

    That said, I don’t think you can solely judge him on the Memphis game. He was defending against one of the best pg prospects the nba has seen in years. Yes, Rose is a bigger guard than DJ, but that doesn’t mean Augustine cannot guard bigger guards – it just means he had trouble guarding the consensus best pg in college, who happens to be bigger.

  100. -Curry can be valuable as an bench option for quick low post scoring… not sure he’ll ever be a legit starter, but u can use his skills off the bench..
    -I dont see Bayless dropping BUT u never know in the draft, we are in a decent position becuase its possible that mayo/lopez/bayless falls out of the top 5. Rumors Deandre Jordon has a top 5 promise, and isnt working out for teams. Rumors Miami wants to trade out of #2 for a player and a good pick becuase they feel they are more than 1 player away (Besides Wade,Haslem and Cook that roster stinks)
    -If Mayo or Bayless arent there at 6, then im for trading away the pick, ataching a contract, adding a good and/or young talented player and a top 15 pick or 2 late 1sts.

  101. >Rumors Miami wants to trade out of #2 for a player and a good pick becuase they feel they are more than 1 player away (Besides Wade,Haslem and Cook that roster stinks)>

    What about Marion?

  102. Is there any way we could trade up to #1 or #2 with the #6 and a player or two (Lee?)?

    The more I look at the scouting reports (granted they could be inaccurate and I haven’t see any of these kids play enough), the more I think that virtually every pick other than #1 or #2 is going to be nothing more than solid role player or decent starter of the type that won’t help us. We don’t need any more decent players. We need a potential all star and nothing else.

    Every contender has at least 3 All Star quality players and a number of solid role players. We have a ton of role players, but no All Stars. If we can’t land one in this draft, we are screwed because we are going to lose another year in the rebuilding process.

    If we pick one up in the draft and sign one in 2010, then are just some good luck or a good trade away from being where we want to be in a few years.

  103. “Is there any way we could trade up to #1 or #2 with the #6 and a player or two”

    Maybe if a judge ruled for Chicago to forfeit their pick to us as damages for violating the lemon law…

    Other than that, I doubt Miami would deal with us, not only because they are the Heat and we are the Knicks, but because they would be crazy to want Lee + #6 over Rose or Beasley. If they trade the pick it would be because Chicago takes Rose and they want a guard. If that’s the case Minny, Memphis, and the Sonics would be glad to work something out.

    And the Bulls are obviously not giving us their pick for anything.

    Any superstars likely to be in the 2009 draft?

  104. Re Curry: he’s just not starter material. I’d be happy to replace him with a center that does the things a center should do. Like rebound and play defense. I’m not sure if we can move Curry, but if we can’t then a place on the bench or a buyout might be a better option.

  105. I do not think D’Antoni wants to move Curry. I think he believes he can get alot out of him. I think it is possible that if properly motivated, very well coached and utilized perfectly he could be a fairly valuable player.

    I have said this before but his rebounding stats are deseptive. He actually does not hurt the team that much with his rebounding. When he is on the court the team has not been a signifigantly worse rebounding team.

    As for his defense it is bad but no worse than D’Antoni favorite Amare. At this point I would love to see him go but I do not think it will happen because D’Antoni sounds honestly excited to get a chance to coach him.

  106. “As for his defense it is bad but no worse than D’Antoni favorite Amare.”


    People talk about Stoudamire not giving 100% on D, but did you watch Curry play this year? He looked worse than Jon Koncak at times.

  107. I have a trade idea (not rumour) to float around. See what you guys think.

    I’ve been thinking for awhile that Colangelo might still have interest in Quentin Richardson. After all he signed him in Phoenix. Q had a really good season there.

    I was thinking a Richardson-Ford trade is a possibility. Maybe the Knicks add Nate Robinson.

    That would solve two big problems for the Raptors. The Raps are very weak on the wings. They need more scoring – The Raps had the lowest second scorer in the league with Parker at 12.5ppg – the Raptors need more rebounding from their wings to bail out their big men. Q also compares favourably defensively to many of the Raps wings. Provides some toughness. A wing with a post game (that the Knicks haven’t seen) works well with Barganni/Bosh. Then the second hole which will the backup point guard after TJ is traded which Nate could fill for a year at low cost. It would allow the Raps more flexibility during FA and the trading market because it fills two holes.

    I also think Q will play much better on a team that gets movement – ball movement and player movement in the halfcourt. The Knicks were probably the worst team in the league for that last season. He gets on a team that does better in those two areas I think he resumes his Phoenix Suns production (which could happen here under D’Antoni).

    Anyway the biggest variable is other team’s offers for TJ Ford. I keep reading there’s a lot of interest but I never here any deals. Makes me question how serious the interest is and what is actually being offered. A lot of teams could be passing on big offer for TJ because of injury history. A Quentin-Nate trade might actually be decent value in comparison to what they’re actually offering.

    Anyway I’d like Donnie Walsh to go find out.

    Do you guys think there’s that deal would have any chance?
    And does it make any/enough sense for the Knicks?

  108. -WC, and Marion. I completely forgot about him. I wonder if they are going up-tempo or gonna be more deliberate like when shaq was there because that will depend on whether marion stays or not, he has a opt out i believe, and is a FA after the coming season.
    -Been watching the orlando pre draft camp and i think Ty lawson might be a good pass first PG we’ve been lacking, the kid is lightning quick, isnt a natural scorer but isnt terrible, sort of like a tony parker in that hes gonna make his living blowing by and attacking the rim and a so-so jumper. Not at 6 of course, but if a trade down happens to a mid to late 1st

  109. oboogie-

    Bynum’s 20 years old and his game (including scoring ability) has improved at a really fast pace. I don’t know if he’ll be an all-time great or the best center in the NBA or anything, but I think he can score in the post as well as most 5s. I don’t see any reason not to expect his post-game to develop (a center who could score with anyone, Kareem, has pretty much been his personal coach since he arrived in LA). Shaq was the only guy you mentioned that wasn’t still in college at Bynum’s age (but, again, I’m not saying he’ll necessarily be an all-time great).

    The game just isn’t the way it was in the 90s where you run your offense inside out anymore. I mean you still probably could with a great center (like Duncan to some extent), but not too many good teams are doing it anymore. The best young scoring bigs are using their athleticism to get quick, easy looks (Amare, D. Howard). If they want to win in the playoffs they might start developing some more post moves, though.

    I have some serious questions about DeAndre Jordan’s ability/work ethic after he couldn’t get off the bench at A&M. The one thing I would say, though, is that the guy’s really athletic and could be an Amare (or poor man’s Amare) if properly motivated and if he learns the game. He has the ability to become a good defender, but hasn’t shown the will or skill to do much defensively. I don’t see much of a comparison with Haywood, who in my estimation is not nearly as athletic but knows the game a lot better after 4 years at UNC and several in the NBA.


    I’m not 100% for Ford and wouldn’t be happy if the Knicks gave up the #6 for him, but I think he’s a much better “floor general” than Marbury, Crawford, or Robinson. Plus he was 24, I think, last season. So, I don’t think he’d get lost in shuffle, not with Walsh/ D’Antoni in power.


    Not everyone in Phoenix was a great passer (notably Marion and Amare), but Nash was amazing, Johnson then Diaw were both great passers for wings, as was Hill, and Barbosa was kind of average for a combo-guard. I mean, that starting 5 might be a decent start, just saying it might have a major flaw.

    Chandler could become an acceptable passer, but there’s no evidence he will. He didn’t really take too many good shots, and you can still pass even if your teammates suck (you can make them better).


    Rose is a very good prospect and an amazing athlete, and of course it’s unfair to judge a guy on one game. Plus, not every PG in the NBA is Rose, but I think enough of them are comparable that Augustin’s game won’t translate very well to the NBA. Rose joins Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Billups, Parker, Gilbert Arenas, TJ Ford, Rajon Rondo, Nate Robinson, Baron Davis, Monta Ellis, Louis Williams, Ben Gordon, Leandrinho, maybe Jason Terry, and maybe vets like Nash and AI who may lose a step as guys I see being strong and/or quick enough to eat Augustin’s lunch. To me, Augustin’s ceiling is sort of a decent floor general on well constructed team. Who knows though, I am going way too much off of one game (also his build and just sort of my feel for his game).


    “We don’t need any more decent players. We need a potential all star and nothing else.”

    I feel you, but the Knicks could definitely use another decent player.

    Also, the draft is pretty unpredictable. The scouting reports of non-lottery picks like Tony Parker, Gilbert Arenas, Boozer, Tayshaun, Josh Howard, JO, Nash, Peja, Artest, etc. or late lottery picks like Amare, Dirk, Marion, etc. apparently didn’t say “star” to many GMs and scouts. On the other hand, someone say “star” written on Skita, Olawakandi, Kwame Brown, …

    “Other than that, I doubt Miami would deal with us, not only because they are the Heat and we are the Knicks, but because they would be crazy to want Lee + #6 over Rose or Beasley.”

    There are lots of rumors that Riley doesn’t like Beasley, but, yeah, there are three teams picking before the Knicks that might be dying for that pick. However, I wouldn’t say Seattle would be: Durant and Jeff Green, not to mention Wilcox and Collison. Although I guess Presti would move one of those guys if he loves Beasley, plus someone could always trade for their pick then trade it to Miami. Minnesota also thinks Al Jefferson is their future, although I guess if they’re considering Kevin Love they might want Beasley. Memphis could offer Mike Miller or one of its young guards, but maybe Riley’s not willing to take the chance Mayo’s still on the board at 5 (which would rule out the Knicks anyway).

    Ben R.-

    “I do not think D’Antoni wants to move Curry. I think he believes he can get alot out of him. I think it is possible that if properly motivated, very well coached and utilized perfectly he could be a fairly valuable player.”

    I don’t know about getting “a lot” out of him, but, yeah, I think he could be a productive scorer for D’Antoni if he’s in shape. Might at least raise his trade value (is his contract still uninsured? I think everyone assumes it is, but does anyone know for sure?).


    Q probably would play better in a better offense (as would just about anyone, I guess), but he was sooooooo bad last year that I don’t know if Colangelo would give up a very productive but unhappy TJ Ford for him even with Nate involved. He wasn’t great in Phoenix and Colangelo (I think he was still there) moved him after one season. Who knows, maybe if the Raps are desperate to move Ford at some point (I would think more likely during the season) and no one wants to take the injury risk it would be a way for the Knicks to trade injured player for injured player.

    Curry is another injury risk (heart) who might fit in on the Raps. His low-post game might be a nice complement to a high-post guy like Bosh and more perimeter oriented guys in Bargnani and Garbajosa…


    I think Miami is about as “1 player away” as any team in the lottery (along with the Bulls, ironically).

  110. I cant imagine anyone on earth wanting Q Rich he is a shell of his former self. It would take a very unique deal to get rid of some of the guys we need to move so i hope Donnies experience and savy can pull something really cool off. Now if we had to we could move Nate, Craw,Lee. Those are pieces that could be moved if we recieved an upgrade in return .

  111. “I cant imagine anyone on earth wanting Q Rich. It would take a very unique deal to get rid of some of the guys we need to move…”

    Yeah– if only Isiah were the GM somewhere…

  112. I havent lost hope on Q. Im gonna be optimistic, all these players were responsible for all the loses, the losers will eventually weed themselves out.
    First Q has to show hes healthy, hes been over weight with a bad back. He still has some decent skills, an underated defender, but has lost some quickness becuase of the injuries. Plus he actually cares, he was one the few guys who would stand up and get in some faces. I like crawford, but hes a softy. Q’s got some toughness i like. Id rather give Q some time than JJ. Chandler has a legit shot at being a starter at SF, so Q is gonna have something to prove. He has to get his shot back tho…
    I cant wait to see what the final roster looks like, i mean should we just buy out James, release Collins, let randolph morris walk?

  113. I thought Q got punished the most by the Knicks poor halfcourt offense.

    Stephon, Nate, Crawford, Zach, Eddy …. all those guys would just go get their’s and in fairness they’ve all always been one-on-one type scorers. Q on the other hand is a streak shooter that is more reliant (than the others) on ball movement so he can get shots on the move in rhythm and good looks at the rim instead of having a hand in his face all night. There was no room down on the post either so he couldn’t get it going there either (his best way to score one-on-one). It really limited Q’s scoring and shooting, more so than any other Knick in the rotation.

    I think D’Antoni being hired is great Q. We’ll see better spacing offensively, more player movement and hopefully more passing. Or if he goes to another team he’ll benefit a lot there too. Q has a lot more to offer than he’s shown here in NY.

  114. “i mean should we just buy out James, release Collins, let randolph morris walk?”

    Yes, yes, and yes!

  115. Q had probably the best season of his career 2 in ’06-’07. It’s not inconceivable that if he gets healthy, he could make enough of a comeback to be wanted at the trade deadline, for a playoff team willing to take on the last year and a half of his contract.
    But no one’s taking him this summer – last year with back probs he was one of the worst players in the league getting real minutes.
    He is a great rebounder for a guard, but I don’t think he’ll ever get back the spring that made him good in the post.
    Also even on the suns he was only an average 3-pt shooter – he led the league in total makes bc he played a lot of minutes and shot about 10 3s a game.

  116. Re james, morris and collins – cutting them or buying them out still counts against the cap at the original salary. James might be worth keeping just to use as salary match in a trade.

  117. caleb:

    if you buy out a player, do you lose the rights to them for a trade? what if no one acquires them off waivers?


    Nice quote by Donnie Walsh:

    “Walsh wants to see leaders emerge who can help the Knicks progress, a presence the team has sorely lacked in recent years.

    “The players should be policing their own team,” Walsh said. “And if they can’t do it, then Mike will do it or I’ll do it with him.” ”

    This is the kind of leadership we have been lacking under the Isiah regime. It appeared at times that Q was trying to “police” the team, but his lack of success on the court probably game him no credibility in the locker room. It will be interesting to see who steps up.

    I love to hear this credo coming from upper management. All the best organizations are built from the top down, and this is the kind of leadership that should get us headed in the right direction.

  119. “if you buy out a player, do you lose the rights to them for a trade?”


    “what if no one acquires them off waivers?”

    There are no waivers — they’re just gone. e.g. we owe Jerome James $12 million; we pay him $10 million and never have to see him again. In theory, he would take the buyout if he thought he could sign another deal worth more than $2 million for the next two years — he’d be double dipping. (In James’ case, a buyout probably isn’t happening bc no one will ever sign him to play professional basketball again).

    Teams do it because a) they have the full 15 players on the roster, and need the spot for a new acuisition (not super-common — bad as Mardy Collins is, he’s not necessarily worse than all the undrafted free agents of the world); or b) to save a few bucks.

  120. is there no way to get an exemption for james? the physically unable to perform, or breach of contract or whatever? the guy’s a joke

  121. There is no exemption. If he takes a medical retirement, then his roster spot opens up and the insurance company pays the remainder of his deal, but it doesn’t come off the salary cap until the deal sunsets. I don’t think the Knicks could sue for breach of contract, and even if they could, they would lose. If they failed to do their due diligence it is their own fault.

    Best case scenario with James, I think, is a buy out– 12 million to disappear. I don’t think it’s worth keeping James on the roster just to have an extra $6 million to trade 18 months from now.

    If James is bought out, opening a roster spot, Fred Jones can be re-signed for the full mid-level exemption for one year. That would give the Knicks another trade asset, plus he is a much more useful player than Jerome James (and he likely wouldn’t get a multi-year offer from another team).

  122. “In theory, he would take the buyout if he thought he could sign another deal worth more than $2 million for the next two years”

    Or if he could invest the money in anything that would give him higher than a 20% return over the next two years. Money today is more valuable to him than money over the next two years.

    “If he takes a medical retirement, then his roster spot opens up and the insurance company pays the remainder of his deal, but it doesn’t come off the salary cap until the deal sunsets.”

    You have to go through a series of medical examinations to be eligible for medical retirement. For example, the bones in Eric Snow’s knees rub together, so he’s physically unable to play.

    “If James is bought out, opening a roster spot, Fred Jones can be re-signed for the full mid-level exemption for one year. ”

    Fred Jones played alright last season, but I don’t think he’s the first free agent I’d try to sign.

  123. Thumbs up or thumbs down to the new “Thumbs up or thumps down” icon by each post?

    My vote is thumb down. We have always done a good job of giving praise or critique through our posts. When we respond to a post we generally provide reasoning and detail. I find the icons distracting and I think they will not foster the level of discussion I have grown accustomed to here.

    Dear Lord, when did I get so old?

  124. “If he takes a medical retirement, then his roster spot opens up and the insurance company pays the remainder of his deal, but it doesn’t come off the salary cap until the deal sunsets.”

    Are you sure about this? This is the one scenario I wasn’t sure about.

    Also, if a player just up and retires to spend more time in his family — he’s not getting paid, so I assume he would come off the cap. Right?
    Of course JJ isn’t giving up any paydays, so this is purely hypothetical. (Or maybe Isaih can send Mardy Collins over to his house, tell him to goon it up, make him an offer he can’t refuse).

  125. re: that last post — didn’t Portland just pull some shenanigan involving medical retirement, to get Darius Miles off their cap? Does anyone know what I’m talking about?

  126. p.p.s. I’m not really against dumping James if there’s a player who might fill his spot — I mean, he’s totally useless on the court and using the $$ to balance a trade, is a long-shot.

    But Collins is 99.5% as useless… and we don’t even know if Fred Jones wants to re-sign. Would you?

  127. I’m pretty sure that retired players count towards the cap, whether it’s due to medical reasons or not. If the retirement is for medical reasons, then a third party pays the bill on it– that is the only difference, and, as fans and not owners, it doesn’t effect us at all.

    Usually players only retire during their contract if it is because they can’t physically compete any longer. I suppose Bison Dele would be an example of retiring during the course of one’s contract. I believe in that case he walked away from the millions he was still owed (and presumably that money came off the cap).

    “we don’t even know if Fred Jones wants to re-sign.”

    He won’t get offered $6 million for next year from anyone. And probably wouldn’t get a multi years deal either. I don’t want to re-sign him, necessarily, but if we want an extra salary to throw into a trade, his would be more useful that Jerome James’. If Walsh doesn’t want to compromise the team’s long term salary flexibility by using the mid-level exemption, then buying out James and re-signing Jones for one year would be a fiscally responsible move.

  128. I’m not against re-signing Jones, but if you could $2m from us, or from Detroit, what would YOU do?

    Agree it’s pretty rare for players to retire and leave money on the table. The only candidate I can remotely think of is Shaq — let’s say this year goes badly. Does he really want to do it again in 2009-2010? You’d think he’d be rich enough already. (but then there’s that divorce to pay for…)

  129. looks like updated their mock; they have us taking Randolph now, w/ Mayo and Love both jumping up and B. Lopez dropping down to #9

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