Brett Koremenos, writing for Grantland, explains where a few high-level NBA Draft picks (Noel, McLemore, Olynyk, and Franklin) would fit best. Koremenos, a coach and scout, understands the importance of context in the development of young players.
When Paul George was drafted out of Fresno State in 2010, he came to the NBA as an underachieving 3-point gunner with loads of raw talent but a tendency to float through games. It’s rare that a player is so talented and so singularly motivated that where he lands on draft night plays little to no role in his development. It’s hard to imagine a situation in which Kobe Bryant or Kevin Durant wouldn’t have thrived, but most players are like George, players with certain abilities that might only be unlocked based on the infrastructure and influences of the organization around them.
Andy Glockner, writing for Sports Illustrated’s Point Forward blog, engages in rampant speculation on overrated and underrated draft picks, depending on where they fall in the draft. Glockner is speculating on draft speculation. The only reason to read this is the fact that it makes you feel better if the Celtics get Gorgui Dieng at 16.
Overrated and underrated have become overused terms within the sports lexicon, but when it comes to relative value in the draft, the phrases certainly apply. This year’s draft, with the lack of a peak and an overall flatness of talent throughout the first round, should provide a number of opportunities for good value and bad.
Here are a few examples on each side where, if things break a certain way, guys could end up being over- or underrated come Thursday night.
If he goes No. 1 overall … Alex Len In a draft with no right answer at No. 1, there still can be some wrong answers. Len’s highlights can impress, but they exclude the large chunk of games in which he totally disappeared for Maryland. Yes, the Terps had poor point guard play and yes, the offense should have run through Len much more than it did last season. That still doesn’t excuse him for averaging less than 12 points per game given Maryland’s weak nonconference schedule and the relatively down ACC.
Zach Lowe’s condescending but factual free-agency primer:
The NBA’s crazy season is upon us. And this time around, as many as 14 teams could have at least $10 million in cap space. This would normally be a recipe for hilarious overpays, given the lack of true superstar power in this class after Dwight Howard and Chris Paul — and especially since that group with potential gobs of cap room does not include either Los Angeles team.
But this will be the third offseason under the league’s new collective bargaining agreement, and perhaps the first when some long-term market trends might start to cement. The luxury tax rates go up dramatically for the first time under the new CBA, and after the rush of the lockout offseason and some internal adjustments, teams have finally had time to breathe and absorb the league’s new reality. Executives are paying closer attention than usual to how the other 29 teams behave and to how the market for player talent evolves.
Bob Ryan, with some “I’ve seen them all” LeBron-love:
The salient issue is not the legacy of LeBron James, who is just 28 and who has a long way to go before he places his sneakers at center court and walks away from the game.
The real issue is Us, You and Me. Are We capable of enjoying the moment?
If we cannot, shame on Us.