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Archive → June, 2009

Who will the Pistons draft?: Availability (first round)

Previous:

A few players left on the board probably won’t be available when the Pistons draft at 15. Here’s a look at where the remaining first-round targets are expected to go:

Name .Net DX My YS SS FK Fox ML IS SN Avg. Avail.
James Johnson 14 22 16 21 19 16 14 23 22 18 18.5 80%
Sam Young 27 23 23 26 21 22 27   21 29 24.3 100%
DeJuan Blair 16 16 21 11 11 18 16 13 16 13 15.1 60%
Earl Clark 9 15 14 14 22 15 12 15 15 14 14.5 50%

Key:

With those projections in mind, here is my lottery prediction:

1. Clippers: Blake Griffin

2. Grizzlies: Hasheem Thabeet

3. Thunder: James Harden

4. Kings: Ricky Rubio

5. Timberwolves: Tyreke Evans

6. Timberwolves: Stephen Curry

7. Warriors: Jordan Hill

8. Knicks: Jrue Holiday

9. Raptors: Brandon Jennings

10. Bucks: Johnny Flynn

11. Nets: DeMar DeRozan

12. Bobcats: Terrence Williams

13. Pacers: Dejuan Blair

14. Suns: Earl Clark B.J. Mullens

My mock has Gerald Henderson falling out of the lottery, even though just one of the 10 mocks I sampled does. But since most have him going 12, I don’t think he’d be one of the elite guards Dumars said he would take if one fell to 15.

This projection cuts two players off the board: Dejuan Blair and Earl Clark. And I don’t think Sam Young is rated high enough to be considered at 15.

So, that leaves just one first-round player left.

Projected Pistons’ pick at 15: James Johnson, Wake Forest Earl Clark, Louisville

Update: With Phoenix’s trade of Shaq to Cleveland, I think the Suns will take B.J. Mullens. That leaves Earl Clark available, and he’s my guess as the pick.

Here’s more on Clark:

Draft Express profile

NBADraft.net profile

Johnson is one of the more NBA-ready prospects. He left Wake Forest as a sophomore, but he’s already 22.

He can score in a variety of ways, but sometimes he disappears. He has the tools to be a good defender, but he doesn’t always take advantage of them.

He’s an all-around player and improved across the board from his freshman season.

For more reading:

A quick note: I debated whether the Suns would take Henderson or Clark. If Clark falls to 15, I’d expect him to be the pick (at least over Johnson). So, although Johnson is my official prediction, that’s based on Clark not being available – which is far from a certainty.

Here’s the board. I’ll narrow down second-round picks later in the day.

Point guard

Name School Height Wingspan Projected
Jrue Holiday UCLA 6’ 3.25” 6’ 7” 13
Jeff Teague Wake Forest 6’ 0.25” 6’ 7.5” 20
Toney Douglass Florida State 6’ 1” 6’ 6” 36
Rodrigue Beaubois France 6’ 1.25” 6’ 9.75” 39
Greivis Vasquez Maryland 6’ 4.75” 6’ 7.25” 56

Shooting guard

Name School Height Wingspan Projected
Gerald Henderson Duke 6’ 4” 6’ 10.25” 12
Terrence Williams Louisville 6’ 5” 6’ 9” 16
Jermaine Taylor Central Florida 6’ 3.5” 6’ 8.75” 32
Jerel McNeal Marquette 6’ 1.5” 6’ 7.25” 46
Dionte Christmas Temple 6’ 4.25” 6’ 9” 59

Small forward

Name School Height Wingspan Projected
Austin Daye Gonzaga 6’ 9.75” 7’ 2.75” 15
James Johnson Wake Forest 6’ 7” 7’ 0.75” 18
Sam Young Pittsburgh 6’ 5.25” 6’ 10.75” 25
Danny Green North Carolina 6’ 5.25” 6’ 10” 35
Damion James Texas 6’ 6.25” 7’ 0.25” 42
Joe Ingles Australia 6’ 7.75” 6’ 10.25” 52
Tyler Smith Tennessee 6’ 5.25” 6’ 9.75” No

Power forward

Name School Height Wingspan Projected
Dejuan Blair Pittsburgh 6’ 5.25” 7’ 2” 11
Earl Clark Louisville 6’ 8.5” 7’ 2.5” 14
Gani Lawal Georgia Tech 6’ 7.75” 7’ 0” 23
DaJuan Summers Georgetown 6’ 7.25” 7’ 0.75” 31
Derrick Brown Xavier 6’ 7.5” 7’ 2.5” 41
Josh Heytvelt Gonzaga 6’ 10” 7’ 1.25” 50
Taj Gibson USC 6’ 8.5” 7’ 4” 53
Jeff Adrien Connecticut 6’ 5.25” 7’ 2” No

Laimbeer to become a Pistons assistant?

Dave Cowens won’t return as a Pistons assistant next year, according to Chris McCosky of the Detroit News. He will remain with the organization in another role.

So, that leaves an opening on the bench. And a certain former Shock coach is available.

UPDATE: From Dave D’Alessandro of the The Star Ledger (Hat tip: Dave Dial of Full Court Press):

Dave Cowens is walking away from Mike Curry’s staff in Detroit, and they’re saying the Pistons may try to get by with only two or three assistant coaches.

And Chris McCosky of the Detroit News offers some insight as to why Cowens was the oneto get the boot:

I am going to miss Dave Cowens. If you missed it, he’s been reassigned and will do some scouting and consulting for the Pistons. He was a very under-appreciated and under-used resource for the Pistons last year. Curry never really allowed Cowens to do much, which is both surprising and shameful. This is a hall-of-fame player, one of the 50 best players of all-time, a guy who was a player-coach for the Celtics and a successful head coach in Charlotte before enduring a couple of rough years in Golden State. To not tap into his knowlege, to not give him a voice, to me, was one of the biggest mistakes Curry made last season.

Who wil the Pistons Draft?: Position

Previous:

Joe Dumars announced the Pistons will probably take a frontcourt player, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of Mlive.

"We were still looking, more or less, for the frontcourt, 3 (small forward), 4 (power forward) or 5 (center)," Joe Dumars told the media on Wednesday afternoon. "That’s what we were focusing on anyway. So this hasn’t changed our outlook."

So, Jeff Teague, Gerald Henderson and Terrence Williams are off the board.

Point guard

Name School Height Wingspan Projected
Jrue Holiday UCLA 6’ 3.25” 6’ 7” 13
Jeff Teague Wake Forest 6’ 0.25” 6’ 7.5” 20
Toney Douglass Florida State 6’ 1” 6’ 6” 36
Rodrigue Beaubois France 6’ 1.25” 6’ 9.75” 39
Greivis Vasquez Maryland 6’ 4.75” 6’ 7.25” 56

Shooting guard

Name School Height Wingspan Projected
Gerald Henderson Duke 6’ 4” 6’ 10.25” 12
Terrence Williams Louisville 6’ 5” 6’ 9” 16
Jermaine Taylor Central Florida 6’ 3.5” 6’ 8.75” 32
Jerel McNeal Marquette 6’ 1.5” 6’ 7.25” 46
Dionte Christmas Temple 6’ 4.25” 6’ 9” 59

Small forward

Name School Height Wingspan Projected
Austin Daye Gonzaga 6’ 9.75” 7’ 2.75” 15
James Johnson Wake Forest 6’ 7” 7’ 0.75” 18
Sam Young Pittsburgh 6’ 5.25” 6’ 10.75” 25
Danny Green North Carolina 6’ 5.25” 6’ 10” 35
Damion James Texas 6’ 6.25” 7’ 0.25” 42
Joe Ingles Australia 6’ 7.75” 6’ 10.25” 52
Tyler Smith Tennessee 6’ 5.25” 6’ 9.75” No

Power forward

Name School Height Wingspan Projected
Dejuan Blair Pittsburgh 6’ 5.25” 7’ 2” 11
Earl Clark Louisville 6’ 8.5” 7’ 2.5” 14
Gani Lawal Georgia Tech 6’ 7.75” 7’ 0” 23
DaJuan Summers Georgetown 6’ 7.25” 7’ 0.75” 31
Derrick Brown Xavier 6’ 7.5” 7’ 2.5” 41
Josh Heytvelt Gonzaga 6’ 10” 7’ 1.25” 50
Taj Gibson USC 6’ 8.5” 7’ 4” 53
Jeff Adrien Connecticut 6’ 5.25” 7’ 2” No

Draft trivia

You’ve certainly heard the draft is important in building team. And you’ll hear it several more times in the next couple days.

I did a little research on how true that is. For those of you who are trivia-inclined, here are a few questions to preview my post.

All production is measured in terms of win shares.

1. What is the only team that doesn’t have any players it picked in the lottery?

2. Which team had the most production from its own non-lottery first-round picks?

3. Which four teams don’t have any first-round picks they picked outside the lottery?

4. Which team got the most production from players it picked in the second round?

5. What are the only two teams to rely on its own lottery picks for a majority of their production?

Answers and analysis will be posted later today or early tomorrow.

Pistons trade Amir Johnson to Bucks for Fabricio Oberto

The Pistons sent Amir Johnson to the Bucks for  Fabricio Oberto, according to Sean Deveny of the Sporting News. (Thanks to Matt Watson of Detroit Bad Boys for the heads up).

Although both players have expiring contracts for similar ammounts, Oberto’s is only partially guaranteed. Tim Varner of 48 Minutes of Hell steered me toward this info from a recent post:

Fabricio Oberto has a partially guaranteed salary. This means that if he is waived by July 1, teams only have to pay him 1.9 of his 3.8 million dollar contract. In other words, there is a strong chance that he’ll either be traded or waived by July 1.

Varner expects Oberto be waived, and I tend to agree. But the Pistons need some depth up front, so there’s a chance he sticks (although a very, very small one. He’s 34).

If he’s still a Piston on July 2, I’ll have more of an update.

UPDATE: Detroit will release Oberto, according to Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.

Who will the Pistons draft?: Production

Previous:

In the latest installment of my quest to predict the Pistons’ four draft picks, we’re going to look at how productive players were in college.

Here are the final-year college stats of every first-round draft pick (who played NCAA basketball) since Joe Dumars became GM:

Name Year Pick PPG RPG APG BPG SPG
Rodney Stuckey 2007 15 24.6 4.7 5.5 0.3 2.4
Arron Afflalo 2007 27 16.9 2.8 1.9 0.2 0.6
Jason Maxiell 2005 26 15.3 7.7 0.8 2.7 1
Tayshaun Prince 2002 23 17.5 6.4 1.7 1.3 1.1
Rodney White 2001 9 18.7 6.5 1.5 0.7 1.2
Mateen Cleaves 2000 14 12.1 1.8 6.9 0.2 1.4

With one exception, they all have something in common. They were very productive college players.

The outlier is Cleaves. Sure, his leadership helped Michigan State to the national title. But he just wasn’t that productive of an individual player in college – at least for as high as he was picked.

I’m only going to apply this to first-round picks because if second-round picks had to be very productive in college, they’d all be off my list.

This won’t affect the board much. Not many potential first-rounders don’t produce in college. In addition to the much-publicized shortcomings of Ohio State center B.J. Mullens (who didn’t make the initial wingspan cut), two more players just weren’t that good last year.

Name School Pos. PPG RPG APG BPG SPG
Austin Daye Gonzaga SF 12.7 6.8 1.1 1.9 0.7
Jrue Holiday UCLA PG 8.46 3.8 3.7 0.5 1.6

So, Daye and Holiday are off my board. Here’s the updated list:

Point guard

Name School Height Wingspan Projected
Jrue Holiday UCLA 6’ 3.25” 6’ 7” 13
Jeff Teague Wake Forest 6’ 0.25” 6’ 7.5” 20
Toney Douglass Florida State 6’ 1” 6’ 6” 36
Rodrigue Beaubois France 6’ 1.25” 6’ 9.75” 39
Greivis Vasquez Maryland 6’ 4.75” 6’ 7.25” 56

Shooting guard

Name School Height Wingspan Projected
Gerald Henderson Duke 6’ 4” 6’ 10.25” 12
Terrence Williams Louisville 6’ 5” 6’ 9” 16
Jermaine Taylor Central Florida 6’ 3.5” 6’ 8.75” 32
Jerel McNeal Marquette 6’ 1.5” 6’ 7.25” 46
Dionte Christmas Temple 6’ 4.25” 6’ 9” 59

Small forward

Name School Height Wingspan Projected
Austin Daye Gonzaga 6’ 9.75” 7’ 2.75” 15
James Johnson Wake Forest 6’ 7” 7’ 0.75” 18
Sam Young Pittsburgh 6’ 5.25” 6’ 10.75” 25
Danny Green North Carolina 6’ 5.25” 6’ 10” 35
Damion James Texas 6’ 6.25” 7’ 0.25” 42
Joe Ingles Australia 6’ 7.75” 6’ 10.25” 52
Tyler Smith Tennessee 6’ 5.25” 6’ 9.75” No

Power forward

Name School Height Wingspan Projected
Dejuan Blair Pittsburgh 6’ 5.25” 7’ 2” 11
Earl Clark Louisville 6’ 8.5” 7’ 2.5” 14
Gani Lawal Georgia Tech 6’ 7.75” 7’ 0” 23
DaJuan Summers Georgetown 6’ 7.25” 7’ 0.75” 31
Derrick Brown Xavier 6’ 7.5” 7’ 2.5” 41
Josh Heytvelt Gonzaga 6’ 10” 7’ 1.25” 50
Taj Gibson USC 6’ 8.5” 7’ 4” 53
Jeff Adrien Connecticut 6’ 5.25” 7’ 2” No

Next up, I’ll have some second-round-only cuts.

All-name teams

Henry Abbot relayed this question on TrueHoop yesterday:

From Twitter: @sellouttrout asks: “Just curious, if you built a team in which every position was manned with people of the same last name, what last name wins?” I swear I wrote a post about this once. There are many teams with way better depth (Jones, Williams, Smith) but you have to at least consider the notion that DeAndre Jordan could be on the best single-name team ever.

For the all-time team, I’d go with Johnsons:

  • PG- Magic
  • SG- Kevin
  • SF- Dennis
  • PF- Larry
  • C- Gus

And Williamses for current players:

  • PG- Deron
  • SG- Mo
  • SF- Marvin
  • PF- Shelden
  • C- Sean

Who would you take?

Mixed signals on Bill Laimbeer’s NBA coaching chances

Downer

Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press:

Laimbeer has it backward. He thinks the NBA won’t hire him because he has been coaching women. In fact, he has been coaching women because the NBA won’t hire him.

Why won’t anybody in the NBA hire him? Well, Laimbeer has been trying to answer that question for years. He sees himself as a potential NBA head coach but can’t even get a job as an assistant. He took the Shock job only to show the NBA he can coach. (And there is nothing wrong with that, by the way.)

He won three championships with the Shock. Yet no NBA team will touch him. And still Bill Laimbeer is searching for answers.

Rosenberg is probably the most plugged-in writer in the area. But he doesn’t mention any front-office sources or any of the like. This column seems more speculative than investigative. (And that’s not to fault Rosenberg. He obviously has talked to enough people to formulate his opinion. I’m just not ready to completely close the book on Laimbeer’s NBA coaching career just based on the column).

It’s definitely true: Laimbeer didn’t make many friends during his playing days. But it just takes one team to want to hire him.

Upper

From Kevin Love’s Twitter:

Today is a sad day…Kevin McHale will NOT be back as head coach next season.

As speculated before, Minnesota could be Laimbeer’s destination.

Who will the Pistons draft?: Eligibility

Previous:Who Will the Pistons draft?: Locality

Previous:Who Will the Pistons draft?: Wingspan

A few players who were on the board withdrew from the draft, according to Draft Express.

  • Greivis Vasquez, Maryland
  • Damion James, Texas
  • Tyler Smith, Tennessee
  • Gani Lawal, Georgia Tech

Nothing to debate here. They’re crossed off.

Point guard

Name School Height Wingspan Projected
Jrue Holiday UCLA 6’ 3.25” 6’ 7” 13
Jeff Teague Wake Forest 6’ 0.25” 6’ 7.5” 20
Toney Douglass Florida State 6’ 1” 6’ 6” 36
Rodrigue Beaubois France 6’ 1.25” 6’ 9.75” 39
Greivis Vasquez Maryland 6’ 4.75” 6’ 7.25” 56

 

Shooting guard

Name School Height Wingspan Projected
Gerald Henderson Duke 6’ 4” 6’ 10.25” 12
Terrence Williams Louisville 6’ 5” 6’ 9” 16
Jermaine Taylor Central Florida 6’ 3.5” 6’ 8.75” 32
Jerel McNeal Marquette 6’ 1.5” 6’ 7.25” 46
Dionte Christmas Temple 6’ 4.25” 6’ 9” 59

 

Small forward

Name School Height Wingspan Projected
Austin Daye Gonzaga 6’ 9.75” 7’ 2.75” 15
James Johnson Wake Forest 6’ 7” 7’ 0.75” 18
Sam Young Pittsburgh 6’ 5.25” 6’ 10.75” 25
Danny Green North Carolina 6’ 5.25” 6’ 10” 35
Damion James Texas 6’ 6.25” 7’ 0.25” 42
Joe Ingles Australia 6’ 7.75” 6’ 10.25” 52
Tyler Smith Tennessee 6’ 5.25” 6’ 9.75” No

 

Power forward

Name School Height Wingspan Projected
Dejuan Blair Pittsburgh 6’ 5.25” 7’ 2” 11
Earl Clark Louisville 6’ 8.5” 7’ 2.5” 14
Gani Lawal Georgia Tech 6’ 7.75” 7’ 0” 23
DaJuan Summers Georgetown 6’ 7.25” 7’ 0.75” 31
Derrick Brown Xavier 6’ 7.5” 7’ 2.5” 41
Josh Heytvelt Gonzaga 6’ 10” 7’ 1.25” 50
Taj Gibson USC 6’ 8.5” 7’ 4” 53
Jeff Adrien Connecticut 6’ 5.25” 7’ 2” No

Who will the Pistons draft?: Locality

Previous:Who Will the Pistons draft?: Wingspan

In this installment of “Who will the Pistons draft,” international players are eliminated. This doesn’t change the board much. Just point guard Rodrigue Beaubois of France and small forward Joe Ingles of Australia get the cross out.

The Pistons used to be very gung-ho about drafting players from overseas. They took Mehmet Okur in the second round in 2001.

Two years later, they used all three of their picks on international players – Darko Milicic, Carlos Delfino and Andreas Glyniadakis. The Darko pick was obviously a disaster and Delfino and Glyniadakis didn’t pan out either.

Since then, Detroit has only taken one international player – Chiekh Samb in the second round in 2006. That’s one out of its 12 total picks in that span (eight percent). Meanwhile, the league as a whole has used 23 percent of its picks on international players. (For full information on the number of international players the Detroit and the rest of the league has drafted in the Dumars era, see after the jump).

So, yeah, the Pistons have definitely backed away.

I wouldn’t be shocked if Detroit takes an international player (especially if its with one of their three second rounders). Tony Ronzone is still working for the organization.

But in interest of narrowing the board, I’m crossing off Beaubois and Ingles. The odds just aren’t working in their favor. So, here’s the updated list:

Point guard

Name School Height Wingspan Projected
Jrue Holiday UCLA 6’ 3.25” 6’ 7” 13
Jeff Teague Wake Forest 6’ 0.25” 6’ 7.5” 20
Toney Douglass Florida State 6’ 1” 6’ 6” 36
Rodrigue Beaubois France 6’ 1.25” 6’ 9.75” 39
Greivis Vasquez Maryland 6’ 4.75” 6’ 7.25” 56

 

Shooting guard

Name School Height Wingspan Projected
Gerald Henderson Duke 6’ 4” 6’ 10.25” 12
Terrence Williams Louisville 6’ 5” 6’ 9” 16
Jermaine Taylor Central Florida 6’ 3.5” 6’ 8.75” 32
Jerel McNeal Marquette 6’ 1.5” 6’ 7.25” 46
Dionte Christmas Temple 6’ 4.25” 6’ 9” 59

 

Small forward

Name School Height Wingspan Projected
Austin Daye Gonzaga 6’ 9.75” 7’ 2.75” 15
James Johnson Wake Forest 6’ 7” 7’ 0.75” 18
Sam Young Pittsburgh 6’ 5.25” 6’ 10.75” 25
Danny Green North Carolina 6’ 5.25” 6’ 10” 35
Damion James Texas 6’ 6.25” 7’ 0.25” 42
Joe Ingles Australia 6’ 7.75” 6’ 10.25” 52
Tyler Smith Tennessee 6’ 5.25” 6’ 9.75” No

 

Power forward

Name School Height Wingspan Projected
Dejuan Blair Pittsburgh 6’ 5.25” 7’ 2” 11
Earl Clark Louisville 6’ 8.5” 7’ 2.5” 14
Gani Lawal Georgia Tech 6’ 7.75” 7’ 0” 23
DaJuan Summers Georgetown 6’ 7.25” 7’ 0.75” 31
Derrick Brown Xavier 6’ 7.5” 7’ 2.5” 41
Josh Heytvelt Gonzaga 6’ 10” 7’ 1.25” 50
Taj Gibson USC 6’ 8.5” 7’ 4” 53
Jeff Adrien Connecticut 6’ 5.25” 7’ 2” No

 

The deadline for underclassmen to pull out of the draft is 5 p.m. today. So, there will definitely be more names to cross of then.

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