NBA PM: Is This an Impact Draft?
The 2012 NBA Draft has long been hyped as one of the better draft classes in years. Certainly Anthony Davis looks like the real deal as the expected-top selection to the New Orleans Hornets.
While there are plenty of strong players, one NBA executive is less than impressed, saying the lottery is loaded with rotation players.
“Not even close,” according to the exec.
Forwards Thomas Robinson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Jared Sullinger may prove him wrong but will any have the kind of first-season Kenneth Faried (22nd in last year’s draft) had for the Denver Nuggets?
It will be difficult for 2012 to live up to the 2009 NBA Draft that welcomed Blake Griffin, James Harden, Tyreke Evans, Ricky Rubio, Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings, Tyler Hansbrough, Jrue Holiday, Ty Lawson, Jeff Teague, Darren Collison, Taj Gibson, DeJuan Blair, Marcus Thornton, Chase Budinger, Danny Green and a number of other solid players into the league.
“Good luck with that,” was the sentiment from the executive.
Harrison Barnes may develop into a star. Austin Rivers may be a steal in the teens. There will certainly be some nice grabs on June 28th, but is this a franchise-changing draft?
After Anthony Davis, not in many cases.
Still the lure of potential makes the June 28th date exciting as teams jockey for position. Some picks are believed to be available, for a price, including the Charlotte Bobcats (2), Portland Trail Blazers (6 and 11), Golden State Warriors (7), Toronto Raptors (8), New Orleans Hornets (10) and Houston Rockets (14 and 16) . . . among others.
There’s a reason so many lottery picks are attainable (even if the price is high). There are some real concerns that the talent on board in the top 14 are not necessarily the guaranteed blue chips teams want, especially in the top 10.
Vegas Summer League Schedule Announced
The NBA released the schedule for the 2012 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas which will feature 24 of the association’s 30 teams.
Over the course of just 10 days, the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion at UNLV will host 60 games . . . all of which will be televised on NBA TV.
“NBA Summer League provides fans from around the league the unique opportunity to see some of the NBA’s brightest young stars competing in one location in a family-friendly environment,” said Gail Hunter, NBA Senior Vice President of Events and Attractions.
Summer League play returns after last year’s lockout-related hiatus.
The games will tip off at 1:00pm Pacific on July 13th with the Atlanta Hawks vs. the Washington Wizards. The league will wrap on July 22nd at 5:00pm Pacific with the Memphis Grizzlies vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves.
On July 15th the New Orleans Hornets are scheduled to play at 7:30pm against the Portland Trail Blazers, which presumably would be the debut of Anthony Davis.
Naturally HOOPSWORLD will be on hand will full coverage . . .
JaMychal Green Striving to Show Consistency
Alabama senior, JaMychal Green is currently going through the draft process, trying to climb from the middle of the second-round to the first.
“It’s a blessing. It’s something you dream of. For it to be finally here, it’s crazy,” said Green. “It’s a great experience and it’s an honor to be here.”
At 6’9″, 217 pounds, JaMychal gave a strong showing at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament.
Last season he averaged 14.0 points per game while shooting 54.6% from the field. While he was a solid defender in the NCAA, he may have to bulk up a bit to play four in the NBA.
Green might fit with a team looking for a reserve four with a solid mid-range jumper. He’s been looked at by the Oklahoma City Thunder, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks and the Chicago Bulls . . . with more on the way.
“I just to want to show them I can be consistent. Show them I have a motor,” said JaMychal. “If I can defend well, rebound the ball and knock down my mid-range consistently, I think I’ll find my way on the team.”
Kevin Jones: Undersized but Strong
West Virginia senior Kevin Jones is another forward prospect currently projected somewhere in the middle of the second round.
At 6’7″, he doesn’t necessarily have typical NBA power forward height but at 251 pounds, he’s certainly big and strong.
Last season he averaged 19.9 points on 50.9% shooting with 10.9 boards a game. He’ll need to show that he can board at the next level and contribute offensively.
“I’ve been giving my all at all the workouts,” said Jones. “That’s all I can do, whether my shot is falling or not, I feel like what these guys look for is maximum effort.”
Jones may not be the most athletic forward but he’s got a strong personality and understands that games can be won by the team that plays the hardest.
“People have had a lot of questions about how athletic I am or if I’m athletic to hang with the forwards in the league,” said Kevin. “My ability to create off the dribble and get to the basket, those are the biggest questions. Of course i want to answer those but just not get too far away or out of my comfort zone.”
While he’s working to expand his game, he also recognized that he is who he is.
“The best advice I think I’ve had is, ‘Just be yourself. Don’t stray too far away from what got you here. Yeah, you want to show that you’ve expanded your game, but you don’t want to take away what got you here,’” said Jones.
Kevin notes his namesake Garnett as his model of what a basketball player should be.
“Kevin Garnett, that’s my favorite player to this day,” said Jones. “Just the intensity and passion he pays with. Not necessarily that I play like him, but I like to play with the same passion and intensity that he plays with.”
“Just to know that he’s like 36, 37-years old and he’s still goes out there and plays like he’s 25 is amazing,” continued Kevin. “You can tell he really loves the game.
Brandon Bass Opts Out
In an expected move, Brandon Bass of the Boston Celtics has indicated that he’ll opt out of the final year on his contract ($4.25 million).
According to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com, Bass hopes to return to the Celtics as a free agent.
“Oh absolutely,” said Bass’ agent Tony Dutt to Blakely on Boston being his top choice. “Without question, he would love to go back.”
Bass averaged 11.1 points for the Celtics through 20 postseason games.
There are just too many teams with cap room this summer for Bass to settle for a one-year sub-Mid-Level Exception deal.
Boston may look to maximize their cap space, if it will help them land a star. There are very few top-flight free agents this summer so it’s very possible – maybe even likely – that the Celtics give Bass a new multi-year deal.
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