June 24, 2005

Sleeping through the 2005 NBA Draft: lilnemo guesses the 2005 NBA Draft's Lottery Picks


We don't cover basketball too much here on SpoFi so I thought I'd give a cursory look at the upcoming drafts lottery selections and give my predictions of who will go where. And where I think they oughtta be.
  1. Milwaukee Team Needs: Everything but perimeter scoring. And if the Buck's front office continues to spin out of control, they may not have that much longer either. Point guard is a definite issue. While Mo Williams has proven to be a good lead guard, he really is better suited to coming off of the bench. However, with TJ Ford out indefinitely, the Bucks don't have much choice. Joe Smith is one year older, and has yet to come through on the promise he showed in Golden State, he can still defend and rebound for stretches, but he is not a low post threat. Marcus Fizer has proven to be an effective scorer and rebounder coming off of the bench, but his propensity for injury keeps him from contributing over the duration of a whole season. I'd like to see the Bucks cut ties with Ford and go with a lead guard here but I don't see that happening. Once again size and upside trump proven skill.
  2. Atlanta Team Needs: You know something, if you take a look at Atlanta's squad, the rest of the teams in the lottery don't look that bad. Atlanta is another squad that could desperately use a point guard. Having said that, they're likely to draft size and sign a guard off of the free agent heap. The trouble with this thinking is that it is widely believed that the Bucks will draft Bogut, which leaves Atlanta with Marvin Williams. Ordinarily this is not a bad thing, except Williams is 6-9 and is projected to play the 4, which is the position of "Franchise Player" Al Harrington. Remember, Harrington left the Pacers so that he could play the 4, that and clear MAX money.
  3. Portland Team Needs: Portland has an interesting mix of veterans and young, developing players. The Blazers have gone to great pains to hand the reigns of the team over to Randolph, Miles, and Telfair. Somewhat surprisingly, I don't know if their is anyone "off-limits" on this squad aside from perhaps Telfair. It seems that just about anyone else on this squad could or would be available for the right price. Although they are loaded with atheletic wing-men, the Blazers are short on tall guards who can hit the 3 (Derek Anderson aside). I'd look for them to draft an SG/SF here.
  4. New Orleans Team Needs: New Orleans' frontline was decimated by injury last year, and the mid-season trade of "Franchise Player" signaled the early end of the Hornets season. There are some intriguing pieces here, but it remains to be seen how they will mesh. Byron Scott needs a point guard capable of running his variation of Pete Carroll's Princeton offense. Speedy Claxton is a good penetrating, change of pace guard, but at 5-11 (?) he lacks size as well as the shooting range to extend the defense. The Hornets will almost certainly go with a guard here.
  5. Charlotte Team Needs: Point guard. Point guard, point guard, point guard. Jason Hart is a good defensive guard, but his perimeter game makes him an offensive liability, on most squads he would be the 3rd or 4th guard on the roster. Brevin Knight is effective as a backup, where he can be shielded from mismatches, and his floor time can be managed so that he will last the season. These are not the best options for a team with few players who can create their own shot.
  6. Utah Team Needs: Perimeter help. The Jazz basically gave Carlos Arroyo away to Detroit after signing him to a pricey contract over the summer. Howard Eisley was brought in on the cheap and filled in well, as did Raul Lopez (before succoming to yet another knee injury. Raja Bell and Gordan Giricek complemented each other well in a shooting guard platoon. Kirk Snyder, showed flashes of being a solid contributor, though his jumpshot and attitude were often questionable. The Jazz have a forward heavy rotation, so a solid point guard or defensive shooting guard might make some sense. But if Jerry Sloan continues to exhibit symptoms of "Larry Brown Disease", I wouldn't be surprised to see parts of Utah's forward corps headed out the door for more complimentary pieces along with the selection of a SF/PF here in the draft.
  7. Toronto Team Needs: Now is an interesting time for Raptor fans. Now that the team has transitioned away from the Vince Carter era it will be interesting to see what the emphasis will be in the off-season. The team is only locked into contracts with Bosh, Rose, Alston, Araujo, Murray, and Alvin Williams. The rest of the roster could, and probably will be in a state of constant flux. If the Raptors and Alston are back in accord, you will probably see either a forward or shooting guard taken here. If Sam "My Way or the Highway" Mitchell takes a hard line stance, you could see a point guard taken here (if they were so lucky as to have one fall into their lap in this spot).
  8. New York Team Needs: A new GM. Is Isiah any better than Layden? He was able to ship out some of Layden's more egregious mistakes and cap blunders only to create brand new ones. Thomas may get lucky and convince Houston to retire, and cut another bloated contract to save some luxury tax money (thank you CBA!), but the makeup of this team will remain the same. This squad resembles the Knicks championship squads in that it is undersized, but not in its emphasis on defense and passing. The Knicks can, and will go anywhere here. But we all know this pick is gonna end up being a 6-7 PF or a 6-10 SF. And a stiff.
  9. Golden State Team Needs: Golden State is dangerously close to being competitive. How Mullin was able to get Baron Davis is beyond me. One season on the job and already he is running circles around Mitch Kupchak, I am insanely jealous. A full season of Baron and Jason Richardson in and of itself could raise the spectre of a playoff appearance for the Gun Shot Wounds; that and a full season of health for their rotation. They can mix and match to go small or big, walk it up or run the floor. Look for either a ball-handler with range or a body who can lay some wood to get picked up here.
  10. Los Angeles Lakers Team Needs: Repeat after me: point guard and power forward. Point guard and power forward. It would be nice if a top shelf point guard fell into the Lakers laps here. Trouble is, Phil doesn't like prototypical point guards like Paul or Felton. He likes 'em tall like Ron Harper. Its very likely that a power forward goes here, and the words "Sean May" are being repeated often enough to make me ill.
  11. Orlando Team Needs: The Magic pretty much collapsed down the stretch last year after Mobley was dealt. They don't have the size to beat out the division champion Heat, nor do they have the speed to beat the runner-up Wiz. If we haven't heard it by now, I'm pretty sure we will begin hearing the phrase "best player available" at this point.
  12. Los Angeles Clippers Team Needs: The Clippers are confusing. If you look at team stats, the Clippers rank highly in lots of areas, free throw attempts, assists, field goal percentage. All of the numbers tell you that this club is better than its record. But such are the Clippers. Livingstone showed a lot of promise, and promptly got injured. His development over the summer, as well as the fate of Bobby Simmons will determine whether or not they compete next year. Kerry Kittles wasn't as effective as Elgin had hoped, and long range shooting has been a weakness so a SG/SF makes sense here.
  13. Charlotte Team Needs: Assuming that Bernie nabs a point with the Bobcats first pick, you'll probably see the "best player available" taken here, either to make the roster or to trade to another team for complimentary pieces.
  14. Minnesota Team Needs: With the Latrell Sprewell era over and with Sam Cassell ready to come off the books by season's end, it makes a lot of sense for the TWolves to grab some backcourt help here and get what they can for ET via trade. But they'll probably go with the, say it with me kids, "best player available".
Pick # Team Expected Pick lilnemo's ill-advised choice
1. Milwaukee Andrew Bogut Chris Paul
2. Atlanta Marvin Williams Andrew Bogut
3. Portland Chris Paul Marvin Williams
4. New Orleans Deron Williams Deron Williams
5. Charlotte Gerald Green Raymond Felton
6. Utah Channing Frye Fran Vasquez
7. Toronto Fran Vasquez Charlie Villanueva
8. New York Charlie Villanueva Gerald Green
9. Golden State Danny Granger Danny Granger
10. Los Angeles Lakers Sean May Chris Taft
11. Orlando Chris Taft Joey Graham
12. Los Angeles Clippers Yaroslav Korolev Yaroslav Korolev
13. Charlotte Raymond Felton Sean May
14. Minnesota Antoine Wright Antoine Wright

Once the draft is over I'll be writing up an off-season report for each division, complete with draft reports and a free agent/trade/buyout guess extravaganza. In the meantime, I'd like to hear what my fellow SpoFites have to say about the draft. Agree? Disagree? Can we agree to disagree?

posted by lilnemo to commentary at 07:14 PM - 0 comments

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