Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tuesday's Talkings (mostly nba draft stuff)

Thanks to stupid softball I won't be able to watch the draft live (although I am tivo'ing with a hope for a live blog up by Monday) so I was going to do a mock draft.  Then I got about 7 picks into it and got really bored.  Instead of a whole mock, here are some things to watch for:

-  How the Wolves screw up the #2 pick in a 2-player draft.  Trade for Roy Hibbert?  Trade with Kevin Love for Pau Gasol?  Trade for Marcin Gortat?  Draft some foreign player?  Stay tuned, it's the most intriguing part of the draft.

-  Utah to trade the #3 pick.  This is a two player draft and the Jazz apparently can't come to a consensus on a player, so it makes sense for them to move backwards.  If they don't, look for them to take Kanter.

-  If they take Kanter, Toronto will start salivating at getting Knight at #5 since their current starting PG is Jose freaking Calderon.  I would also expect Cleveland to get a ton of calls from teams looking to get that #4 pick, knowing the Cavs won't take Knight when they just took Irving.   They aren't the T-Wolves for god's sake.

-  How far with Jonas Valanciunas slip?  I won't pretend to know anything about him, but he's supposed to be the best Euro this year (which, let's be honest, is a little like being the most honorable Lannister - or the least douchiest Blue Devil if you prefer your analogies less nerdy).  But Chad Ford has been reporting lately that there are some issues with his buyout from commiesylvania which may cause him to slip.  Personally I'm betting, if the pick isn't traded, that the Cavs take him in kind of a "we already have our sure thing in Irving, let's go for the home run" mode.  A move I'd applaud if I gave a crap about Cleveland.

-  Steals:  Kemba Walker (anybody who can carry a team the way he did can adjust his game to make it in the NBA), Tristan Thompson (already can rebound and play defense at an NBA level), Marshon Brooks (one of the best scorers in the draft), Kenneth Faried (will make an impact immediately), Tobias Harris (best chance at becoming an all-star someday out of the late 1st round types), and Trey Thompkins (just needs polish).

-  Busts:  Kawhi Leonard (way too tweenery, not enough skill to overcome it), Jan Vesesly (girls name), Jimmer Fredette (future And 1 all-star), Iman Shumpert (completely boggled that he's a mid-first round pick, basically a slower T.J. Ford), Nikola Vucevic (yes, let's take the slow, white, 7-footer - that always works out), and Demetri McCamey (wherever he's taken in the NBDL draft it will be too soon).

- My biggest hope for the Wolves - other than they just take Williams at #2 - is that they find a way to trade the #20 pick, either for a future #1, a veteran and not terrible C or SG, or both.  The one team I've seen mentioned a couple of times as looking for a pick in the 20s is the Cavaliers, and although they're pretty barren when it comes to SGs they do have a few big men who are probably expendable since they have a bunch of young guys they probably want to give an extensive tryout to - Antawn Jamison (yuck) and Anderson Varejao (I can see this).  I feel like Varejao's constantly running motor, fundamental hustle, and excellent defense would fit on this team very well, and on a team as young as the Wolves getting a guy like him might be worth the #20 pick since they don't really have room for any more mediocre young dudes.  I don't know how the whole salary thing works and I have no idea if the Cavs would have any interest in trading him, but I'd be down.  Assuming he's not hurt or something.  I don't pay nearly enough attention to the NBA to know everything.

-  Apropos of nothing I'm talking about, but you can never trust a pitcher with a stripper's name, eh Madison Bumgarner?

And a few college hoop notes before I go:

- The early scouting reports and some excellent video shot by gopherhole poster jmag21 are in, and it sounds like Oto Osenieks is going to rank on the white boy scale somewhere between Blake Hoffarber and Dirk Nowitzki.  There's no doubt that jumper is silky smooth and looks to be accurate so far, so even if he never learns to play defense or rebound he'll be pretty close to Blake, and at 6-8, 205 lbs. I'm not exactly expecting him to put on a rebounding clinic, but I'm officially intrigued.  My only real hope is that he isn't just some tall skinny white dork who hangs out around the three point line all day.   I mean, that might be fine during his freshman year, but he needs to progress and get better.  Since that's something Tubby has excelled at since his arrival here I feel good about Oto's chances.

- Speaking of white three-point shooters, Ricky Kreklow is transferring from Missouri.  There was at least some mutual interest there (like between me and your mom) when he was going through the recruiting process the first time.  I don't know if anybody has any interest on either side this time around, but the dude can shoot so I'm interested, and I'd like to go ahead and just throw his name out there so on the off chance he ends up a Gopher I can point out how smart I am.

- Lastly, if you thought it was going to be difficult for the Gophers to sign Tyus Jones things just got more difficult when Jones made the U-16 team as the starting point guard, which vaulted him to #1 PG in his class status, if he wasn't there already.  ESPN already ranks him the #1 PG for 2014 and the #9 recruit overall, and he's got Ohio State, North Carolina, Washington, UCLA, Pitt, and Michigan State after him, amongst others, although let's be honest it doesn't really matter - he can basically write his own ticket anywhere.  So why would he pick the Gophers?  I can't really come up with anything.  The best I can do is loyalty, but I think that really only extends to fans and dogs. 

We can only hope.and wait at this point.  Plus we have a saying around here, "Let Shelbyville handle it."

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