Tag Archives: Anthony Davis
By: Willis and Bohlin
Bohlin and I are going to throw on our GM hats and try to predict this draft for you readers. While there’s little certainty just yet with all these trade rumors floating around, we’re going to give it our best shot.
Willis: Can we just skip the first pick, or do you have an implausible trade scenario to offer up? Anthony Davis: Is he that good? Because he does approach John Henson weight.
Bohlin: 89.5″ wingspan. All you really need to say and yes, he’s that good
Willis: Okay he’s got more length than Lexington Steele, fine. But there isn’t even a bit of concern about how his body is going to handle being abused? This isn’t Kevin Durant, who was a perimeter player and no one realized he wouldn’t be posting up anyone until he got old and fat. This is a power forward/center. What happens if he goes up against Dwight Howard?
Bohlin: He’ll be a 4 in the league and its not like that frame cant put on more weight pretty easily. The sky is the limit, the kid has realistically played 30 games as a 6’10″ freak of nature
Willis: …I’d still take Dray.
Bohlin: well duh…I said the sky is the limit not an “anything is possssibleeeeeeeee” skill set.
Willis: Back to the second pick, where we get Michael Jordan, the guy who mauls every draft beyond repair on a year-to-year basis.
I know this offseason is all about conspiracy theories, so I’ll go ahead and say it. Have other GMs adapted a form of the Jordan Rules that applies to his off the court drafting? Is it because of misinformation and forcing him left that he ended up with Adam Morrisson and not Brandon Roy?This year, he inexplicably scooped up a declining Ben Gordon from the Pistons and all but negated his team’s ability to draft the top rated SG in this draft, Bradley Beal.
Bohlin: Ultimate wild card selection of the draft, if he doesnt trade it for Pau Gasol to try and make up for 2001…Cho has to lock MJ in a room and phone in the pick for Thomas Robinson before his Airness can do otherwise.
Willis: See, this is what the Wizards want. The Bobcats to draft, and wisely on their part because he fits a need, Thomas Robinson so Beal can fall to the Wizards.
I don’t see that happening because it’s too smart of a move, but I’m going to say that with the second pick, the Bobcats take Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. He fills a need for their team, and even though he’s got a broken jump shot, MKG is going to make everyone around him better. He hustles, is a damn good athlete, and once he gets a jump shot he’ll be a true talent. Plus he’s won on every level, and that’s got to count for something, right?
Bohlin: Charlotte is such a mess they can take just about anyone but Drummond with this pick and come away feeling good
Willis: Imagine if they sported a starting five of KEMBA!, Ben Gordon, Michael Kidd Gilchrist, BJ Mullins, and Bismack Biyombo. Can you pencil them in for at least 60 losses, please?
Bohlin: Thats why they need to go Robinson so they can roll out KEMBA!, DJ Augustin, The artist formerly known as B.G., T-Rob and BigMack Biyombo
That team only loses like 50 games
Willis: The Jordan Rules prevent it. Three undersized guards is tempting, though.
Bohlin: Ok more like 60. If they go MKG how will Gerald Henderson to continue to get the amount of looks he needs a game to score in the teens!?!?!? Answer me that! Cant do it.
Willis: Hey, Gerald’s last five games he averaged 19-5-5 (Five something’s, because he didn’t pass)
Bohlin: Wizards…pretty simple here. Got a PG who thrives on the break and a bunch of big slow guys and no spot up shooters surrounding him. Ernie Grunfeld does the prudent thing and takes the best shooting prospect in the draft in SG Bradley Beal.
Wall is at his best on the move. Since he hasn’t found that shooting stroke yet, and neither has anyone else on our roster, Beal steps in and is immediately our best look from the perimeter. When defenses collapse on Wall driving to the basket Beal will provide him an outlet he can be confident in knocking down tough jumpers from the outside.
He is also a great rebounder for his size, averaging just under 7 RPG as a freshman at Florida. I have a man crush on Bradley Beal and am praying he falls to the Wiz Kids tonight.
Willis: And it doesn’t alarm you at all that the number three draft pick can barely shoot 34% from long range in college? 14 points, 7 rebounds? I know people compare him to Ray Allen, but those aren’t Ray Allen type numbers
If he isn’t consistent in the NBA, the Wizards are a doormat.
Bohlin: Nope, not one bit. His shooting stroke is as pure as anyone I can remember in the past few drafts. The kid is a big time player and has largely flown under the radar his freshman year with Kentucky garnering much of the press in the SEC. Billy Donovan said before the NCAA Tournament that the Gators would go as far as Bradley Beal would take them. That is a lot of praise to have thrown onto a freshman especially when he shares the backcourt with upper classmen. If the Wizards can land Beal tonight I think they will have brought in the second best player available in this draft.
Having Erving Walker “distributing” the ball to you is a lot different than having John Wall running your offense as well.
Willis: Wall turns the ball over a lot more?
I actually convinced myself that Bradley Beal is who we think he is! That being said, I have a terrible feeling he is going to struggle going in.
Bohlin: Should have been more clear…Wall doesn’t take horrendous shots and make questionable decisions the majority of the nights he takes the floor.
Willis: Regardless of where Wall can deliver him the ball, he’s going to need to knock it down. I think he can, but there will be an adjustment period. If the kid is only 19 years old and has a chance to be Eric Gordon on bath salts? You take him
Which brings us, then, to the fourth pick. Ahh, Cleveland, what have we left you with
Bohlin: Other than matching father son suit/eyeglasses combinations?
Willis: Exactly. Now that Dan Gilbert can focus on basketball again since the Cavaliers won a championship before LeBron…
I know they’re going to try and trade up in the draft, but I’m not sure they’re willing to pick up Tyrus Thomas’ awful contract in exchange for the Bobcats #2 slot. Even though I do think Kyrie Irving/Old man Drew might actually get product out of him.
In that case, I’m confident that they take Harrison Barnes with their pick, and somehow manage to skip out on Thomas Robinson
I say this for two reasons:
Bohlin: Irving and Barnes being friends certainly doesnt hurt this prediction…He has probably been lobbying for his buddy since these workouts started
Willis: I think Barnes could actually be drafted higher, but there’s absolutely no way he slips past four because Kyrie is going to lobby for him. And Barnes can be a great player when paired with a great point guard. Who better than his best friend? I expect Barnes to be a much better pro, but it should be noted that I have a pure mancrush on the Black Falcon.
Bohlin: Well at least we both got those out of the way fairly early. I agree with Barnes going fourth overall, once he cancelled his workout with Sacramento I assumed he had received a promise in the top 4 picks.
Speaking of Sac-Town…That’s who is up next
The Maloof’s will be somewhere popping bottles of moderately priced champagne should Thomas Robinson fall to the Kings at the 5th pick. Pairing Robinson with DeMarcus Cousins would be one scary good front court out West.
Willis: Are you sure Geoff Petrie Dish doesn’t want, say, Andre Drummond?
You mean to tell me that they can’t be coaxed into taking ANDRE THE DRUMMER.
They just took Jimmer, Mike.
THEY TOOK JIMMER, TYREKE, AND COUSINS.
They thought a mormon and two big time triple OG’s would work!
This isn’t the Nationals.
Bohlin: Its got to be more than tempting but the fact that they did just take The Jimmer makes me believe they cant swing for the fences again and take the gift that would be Thomas Robinson falling into their laps.
Also…Have to note that in the 5 hours between now and the draft there is a 96% chance Darryl Morey makes three deals to acquire this pick.
Willis: At what point in time does Darryl Morey make a move for A.) My girlfriend B) Targuy Ngombo and C.) the fifth pick aka Andre Drummond
Bohlin: I’d imagine he has already beaten you to the punch on two of the three
Willis: I better call her….Nonetheless, I agree that Thomas Robinson makes sense for the Kings. I think it’s probably a mistake for Washington to pass on him. I think he’s better than Okafor, Seraphin, Booker, and anyone else we want to throw out there immediately. I was extremely impressed with him during the tournament, including the national championship game where he almost outplayed Anthony Davis! Really showed off his athleticism there. He did miss a lot of shots, and it scarily reminded me of when I said very similar things about a guy named Gordon Hayward
Where’s T-Rob’s upside
Bohlin: (Hayward) Who has turned out to be a pretty solid player for the Jazz, but that’s neither here nor there…I like Robinson’s motor, the guy never stops battling out there on the court. I don’t know if Robinson will ever be a star in the NBA but he is without a doubt going to be a serviceable starter in this league for a long time. Any team drafting in the top 5 could use players like that on their roster.
Now we come to Portland, whom ANY other year I’d say they draft Andre Drummond
But Greg Oden got three GMs fired during his stint in Portland, and I don’t think they’re going the center route for a long, long, time. Though they always seem to find themselves in this position.
So therefore, they’re going to take Damian Lillard, the Weber State guy who shot up draft boards when scouts watched some Youtube clips. He fits a need, and he did put up some nice numbers at Weber State….I keep going back to that. At Weber State….at Weber State….
I get that he might be good, but he’s a little old for a draft pick and hasn’t really been challenged on a consistent basis. The toughest team he played all year was BYU, and he didn’t even play well against them
Bohlin: He has killed it in his workouts though, Portland said he had the best workout of any player they have seen since Kevin Durant…They didn’t pick Durant however. Think they tipped their cap with where they are leaning with that comment at all? I sure do.
Willis: They didn’t even pick Durant! That should show you how stupid they are. I’m not sure what supposed basketball guy would ever say Greg Oden would be better than Kevin Durant…….
Bohlin: Golden State Warriors…Or Whatever they will be called once they move.
Willis: The San Francisco Double Rainbows
Bohlin: The Double Rainbows select…..Dion Waiters!!!!
Willis: …Are you serious?
Didn’t they just get rid of Monta Elllis?
Bohlin: Yes…I think…
Look, GSW is chock full of shooters and thats about it.
Willis: The polar opposite of the Washington Wizards…
Bohlin: Curry…chucker, Klay Thompson…chucker, they dont have anyone who can put the ball on the floor and attack the basket with any finishing ability. That is basically a definition of what Waiters does well, he is a hard nosed Big East guard. Couple this with the fact that reports have Jerry West being infatuated with this player and I think I have a strong enough case to throw out Dion to the Bay.
Willis: You’ve convinced me. Dion to the Bay sounds so much like an Eazy E song it almost makes too much sense
You know who Dion Waiters reminds me of?
Bohlin: Gilbert Arenas? Or is it that I look for reasons to bring up the Hibachi in casual conversation?
Willis: The latter. But close in terms of team turmoil ability (which should be made into a statistic–get on it Hollinger)
Isaiah Rider. A worse, much worse, Isaiah Rider.
Character issues that are largely ignored in exchange for the best athlete in the draft with tremendous upside
Bohlin: That falls in line with the thought process of “You can’t teach height”
Willis: Can’t teach felons, either.
In all seriousness, I like Waiters because he’s the cockiest guy in any gym he goes to. The guy who wouldn’t hesitate to dunk on a seasoned but aging vet his very first game.
But alright, next pick…
The Toronto Raptors select….
Just kidding, I think they take John Henson
Bohlin: Ah the old Meyers Leonard fake out pick…well played sir
Willis: Henson, who only in body looks like Anthony Davis, is a great player to put beside Andrea Bargnani. It does give them the softest front court ever assembled. It’s worse than Jahidi White and whoever else the Wizards put next to Jahidi White. But Henson gives them length, rebounding, and is an underrated defender.
Bohlin: I think the player you were referring to was NBA Champion Juwan Howard…I like Henson’s game though, he is a poor mans Anthony Davis on the defensive end which still makes for one damn good defensive power forward. He will need to try and add some weight to his frame but I like his prospects as a professional.
Willis: He’s not going to be much offensively, but with shooters on their team he’s bound to average ten points strictly based off of cleaning the offensive glass
Bohlin: Personally I had him slotted 9th to Detroit so were close to agreement on this one. Since my guy is no longer there I guess I will just go out on a limb and take the best player left available for the Pistons selection here.
Willis: OHHHHHHHH YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
EVERYBODY DO THE PISTON’S DRUMMBLE
This guy has Kwame written all over him
And yet he still doesn’t slip into ten…. -___-
Bohlin: This would be approaching wet dream status for Joe Dumars and Detroit. Drummond is looked at as the top C prospect in this draft and could be a potential home run for any team that takes him. This selection would allow the Pistons the option of moving Greg Monroe to the PF, which I feel is his best spot in the NBA, and allow the 7’0″ 280 lb Drummond to man the middle giving them a more than formidable front court when stacked up with the rest of the Eastern Conference.
Willis: That’s assuming he doesn’t foul out in the first four minutes of the game, considering he knows about as much about basketball as Renardo Sidney does about weight management. Matter of fact, if we’re going off potential, why don’t they just take Renardo Sidney? I get why teams want him, hell if he could be had later in the draft I would want him
Bohlin: Well yeah…that’s why I called him a “potential” homerun. If he were eligible 8 years ago, maybe Renardo would have had a shot then.
Willis: Can we just pause to feel bad for Renardo Sidney?
No, let’s not. One hyped center is enough
Andre Drummond might actually become decent learning from Greg Monroe, a cerebral player who is wise beyond his years. I think him going to Detroit works out, but they have to be nervous given that this is the same franchise that took Darko.
Darko, Renardo Sidney, Kwame Brown, and Andre Drummond….all in one pick!
Bohlin: At least Darko won a ring…
Willis: Yeah and Lance Bass was a member of N’Sync…but he didn’t matter, either.
Bohlin: Duly noted. What you got brewing down in the Big Easy as we enter double digits?
Willis: New Orleans is in one of those precarious situations where the best player available is currently Jeremy Lamb, yet they already have a player there in Eric Gordon. I think they take Jeremy Lamb anyway instead of bolstering that front line of Rashard Lewis and Gustavo Ayon. I’m high on this guy, and not because he looks like he took Hydro to the head as a child. I’m high because he’s a pretty good shooter and even though he has a small frame, he’s smart. Lamb doesn’t take bad shots, and when he”s not asked to be a number one option, he should excel.
No, he’s never going to be a leading scorer on your team, but he’s still a very talented player, and provides them with insurance assuming Gordon bolts.
Bohlin: He will stretch the floor for opposing defenses though and when you have a slashing PG like Vasquez, who I am assuming would be the starter, and a big who will need space to operate effectively like Davis eventually will I cant really argue with the pick.
Willis: I like your thinking…but go on next pick
Bohlin: Going at #11 is a personal favorite of mine, mainly because he played in the SEC, but the Trail Blazers select Terrence Jones from Kentucky!
Willis: T.J. Hooker…how did he fall this far?
Bohlin: Jones could have easily come out last year and been a top 6 pick, but came back for his sophomore season under John Calipari and in my opinion improved as a player. He is hurt by being in such a deep draft this year but Jones became a leader for the national champion Wildcats and was one of the driving forces to them being as successful as they were this year.
Bohlin: A 6’10″ PF who can put the ball on the floor and attack the basket as well as spot up from the outside is a find in any draft and I believe that Jones will be a solid player in the NBA in his career.
Willis: NBA GM’s know exactly what they’re going to get. He’ll take plays off, but he’s going to rebound, defend, and is surprisingly a team player. He’s also an underrated athlete, and while he may be a bit of a tweener it doesn’t matter because he can play both the three and the four just fine. His frame isn’t going to be backed down that easily.
Bohlin: The fact of the matter is he has more or less been a professional the last two years playing under Coach Cal….moving on
Willis: And here we have Houston, who is guaranteed to pick some player needed in their ridiculous attempt to get Dwight Howard who just came off the first injury of his career, for guaranteed only half a season….
I get their logic, because the nerd running their front office is nothing but logic, but I’m not sure they’re making any headway for Dwight and Deron…so for now I have them snapping up Myers Leonard..
Bohlin: For reals this time?
Willis: Oh it’s real this time. Myers Leonard is coming off the books. How many times do white guys with freakish athleticism work out in the league?
Who’s that guy the Bucks drafted a few years ago? Joe Alexander?
Bohlin: Meyers Leonard, I’m beginning to think this is a clever troll attempt by misspelling his name but I’ll allow it, is one of my favorite prospects in this draft. Love his combination of size and skill, without a doubt one of the most fundamentally sound big men to come out in a while. Like most young big men he could still use additional weight on his frame but that is something that should come over time. While he may struggle on the block on the defensive end of the floor I believe Leonard is going to be a serviceable big man for a long time in this league.
Jumpin’ Joe Alexander from West Virginia…He didn’t pan out, but in his defense not many Milwaukee Bucks picks of late have panned out so it might not be entirely his fault.
Can he change his name to FSWG?
Fundamentally Sound White Guy
Bohlin: I support that 100%…Great selection at 12 for Houston by taking the FSWG
Michael: Anytime you can youtube a guys highlight tapes and the only thing that shows up are his rebounding abilities
you know you’re drafting a bust.
I mean there’s nothing I like about this guy except that he’s going to give you great fouls
Lawrence Funderburke was fundamentally sound, too.
And a great athlete
and he was out of the league in a few years.
Bohlin: He was also the 51st pick in the draft…
Willis: Oscar Myers (and I’m going to keep misspelling his name because I sleep on him that much) isn’t good…
Bohlin: Lets head out to what will soon be Steve Nash’s former home…Phoenix
Willis: And my home state!
Who’ve you got
Bohlin: This one seems pretty easy for me, especially since the rumor of the promise being made is already out there but I have to go Austin Rivers out of Duke here
Willis: You mean Kobe? Have you ever seen Austin Rivers pass the ball?
Bohlin: I alluded to it earlier, Nash is all but packed his bags and is headed out of town. While I may not buy into it completely there is a feeling amongst some front offices that Rivers can play PG on the next level. The comparisons to other players, a la Jrue Holiday, who were off the ball in college but became floor generals in the NBA. While I am a firm believer in his ability to score the basketball in many different ways I am not sure I would want him running my offense. Because, as Mike notes above, he likes to put the ball up the majority of the times he touches it.
Willis: The majority of times he touches it? Try every time he touches it. It’s like the pass button got jammed on his basketball controller. He is never going to give up the ball. Sure, he’s a scorer in that he has a nice floater? But he’s not an elite athlete, not a great passer, not a great shooter, and so on and so forth.
His dad, however, can coach three Hall of Famer’s to a championship
Is it possible for a player to get drafted based on his dad’s credentials?
Bohlin: Basketball pedigree?
Willis: God I wish job interviews happened that way
Well if you want to go the basketball pedigree route, let me throw out Jeffrey Jordan
Bohlin: Dont get me started on the shortcomings of Michael Jordan off the floor by bringing up the younger Jordan’s.
Willis: Fair enough…at least we agree that Austin Rivers has Sebastian Telfair written all over him. And we head into the dregs of the lottery with the Milwaukee Does. It’s almost a guaranteed lock that they’re going to blow this pick, right?
Bohlin: There is one player, and one player only that I would take here.
Willis: Let’s hear it, so I can pick another player
Unless of course you’re referring to PJIII
Bohlin: PERRY JONES III!!!!!!!!!!!
Seriously doesn’t Perry Jones just give your pickle a tickle?
I personally like the guy once you accept what he is: He’s an athlete who can get by on pure talent alone, but needs to work incredibly hard so that he never has to really push himself to the limit. I think if he only puts in a medium amount of work, then he’s going to be good. Yes, he’ll take plays off, but there are plenty of small forwards who do the exact same thing in the NBA yet still manage to carve out a niche.
The Bucks and Scott Skiles? A perfect match for a kid who needs a fire lit under his ass
Bohlin: Him and Brandon Jennings will immediately be boys as well, all positives as far as I am concerned.
Willis: Brandon Jennings sucks.
Perry Jones III should have come out last year, though. He would have likely been on the Washington Wizards. Imagine if Perry Jones III and Jan Vesely combined to make one, complete, player? Jan’s hustle and PJII’s handle and shooting touch?
We’d have Kevin Durant
Bohlin: I’d imagine his girlfriend wouldn’t mind at all either…I am not sure where the KD comparison is coming from however.
Willis: PJIII is long, can shoot, and is actually athletic. Durant.
To be continued….
We all know by now that the Wizards have the third pick in the draft, and as a wise spider-based superhero once said, “With great draft position comes great responsibility.” Or something along those lines. In this segment of A Case for Drafting, we finally check out Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the other player who the Wizards will hypothetically select on June 28th. Kidd-Gilchrist, the youngest but arguably most important piece on the National Championship winning Kentucky Wildcats, is the type of guy who can develop into a multifaceted NBA player. His intangibles are what make him great, though his on the court prowess is in no way scoff-worthy.
Where do you begin with a young man like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist? He is such a well rounded player and individual that it’s difficult to pinpoint one exact thing that he does incredibly well. But while watching film of this guy, the one skill that’s often overlooked yet remains a crucial element to MKG’s game is his defense. Almost unarguably, Anthony Davis was the defensive catalyst behind that championship Kentucky squad, but great defensive teams consist of more than one part. If Davis is 1a, then Kidd-Gilchrist is 1b on that roster when it comes to defense. On the defensive end, MKG has not only the physical attributes (6’7 1/2 with a 6’10 wingspan), but the passion and mental will to become a prolific defender.
Often tasked with guarding the toughest perimeter players, MKG held his own nearly every contest. He possesses incredible footwork which allows him to move laterally better than almost any player I’ve seen coming out of college. MKG stays in front of the player he is guarding (be it one through four, mind you) almost always, a credit to his side to side speed. It’s a skill that takes years of refinement at the professional level in order to become as good as MKG already is at it. He’s going to be able to defend just about anyone at the next level, and that’s could potentially be his bread and butter.
MKG also has a very good instinctual blocking and stealing ability, which typically goes hand in hand with players who possess high basketball IQ’s. Kidd-Gilchrist knows when to jump in order to contest a shot, and doesn’t really bite on the pump fake moves. He was also great at swatting the shots of players who managed to penetrate into the lane. MKG is actually quick enough that he can provide help defense and switch off his man at will strictly because of his strength and quickness; he can recover whenever he needs to.
What else does MKG do well? Fills the passing lanes and rebounds. Were deflecting passes and balls a skill, MKG would have led the NCAA in that statistic. He is constantly disrupting the lane and punishing other team’s for their sloppy or late passes. His 7.4 rebounds per contest also put him in the upper echelon of perimeter rebounders. There are very few players who can grab that many boards with Anthony Davis mopping the glass, bu MKG is in a select group. He simply has a nose for the ball.
Again, all of this goes back to his team-first mentality in that MKG will do whatever it takes to win a basketball game. His work ethic is what scouts gush on and on and on about, and that same work ethic is what turns good players into great ones. Shaquille O’Neal once said (in one of his smarter moments), “Excellence is not a singular act but a habit. You are what you do repeatedly.” This applies to MKG in that his work ethic may very well take him to heights his natural athleticism and competitiveness can’t.
In the NBA, most top 5 picks don’t have incredibly major red flags when it comes to scoring; Kidd-Gilchrist is the exception to that rule. There basically isn’t a whole lot to like about him on the offensive end, and scouts have serious concerns about his ability to develop into a second or third (or even fourth) option at the next level.
His jump shot is weird looking, let’s just get that out of the way now. It has a hitch in it where, despite being right handed, Kidd-Gilchrist shoots the ball from the left side of his body. No, it’s not Desmond Mason shooting free throws, but it isn’t aesthetically pleasing. He also tends to kick his legs out on his jumper and fade a bit, which may further exacerbate the issue. Kidd-Gilchrist might actually already realize that his shot is bad, and it could be why he took the least amount of shots on his team at 18.6%. He can make the midrange jump shot, but not nearly consistent enough to justify using it on the offensive end anytime soon. And while he can occasionally hit the three point shot, he is not going to be good at it off the bat in the NBA. MKG needs to put hours upon hours into the gym (which he does already) in order to develop a consistent jumper.
The bulk of his offense came on back downs, put backs, and transition points (again, this speaks to his great basketball instincts) when Kentucky rushed the ball up the court. At the professional level, he is going to have a very hard time backing down more athletic, similarly sized wing players and the put backs might be limited against taller defenders. That leaves him with transition buckets and drawing contact, which doesn’t scream out “lottery pick” to me.
Another thing that you notice when watching MKG is that he isn’t a very good ball handler, and as such struggles with pull up shots and beating men off the dribble. He has yet to develop the ability to blow by a defender on his way to the rack, despite being quick and agile enough to do so. It simply isn’t pretty when he’s forced into an isolation situation, and more often than not MKG will pass the ball off after failing to get past his man. Shouldering past your opponent and rising up in the lane is something that lots of small forwards in the NBA have a natural instinct for strictly based on athleticism, and yet it’s a skill MKG is going to have to learn.
MKG and Andre Iguodala are eerily similar on the basketball court. They’re both athletes (though Andre is overwhelming in that category) who do a whole lot of the intangible things correctly on the court. Coming out of college, Iggy Pop averaged 12.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 4.9 assists (MKG averaged 11.9 PPG, 7.4 RPG, and 2 APG). Both players were on teams chock full of NBA talent(Andre’s Arizona squad had Channing Frye, Luke Walton, Salim Stoudamire, Mustafa Shakur, and Hassan Adams), and as a result were asked to do things other than score in order to win games. In the NBA, it took Iguodala about two to three years in order to develop into what could be considered a third option on the floor. Despite being the second and third look throughout his career, Iguodala excels more at being a complimentary piece rather than an offensive scorer, and that’s exactly how I can see MKG panning out.
MKG’s downside isn’t really that bad. A lot of websites have Gerald Wallace as his downside, meaning he’s a guy who, through sheer will and determination, will score points and hit the boards hard. I think that’s certainly reasonable, as Wallace is a very strong defender and, while not being a major scoring threat, could still play a major part on a championship team. He’s a guy that plays basketball the right way and physically can hang in the NBA, so MKG’s downside is limited.
Why He’s a Good Fit in the District
From an offensive basketball standpoint, not necessarily all that well. Were Washington to select Kidd-Gilchrist, they’d be adding an offensively inept player to an offensively starved team. MKG won’t be a scoring threat anytime soon, so a John Wall kick out isn’t going to help out at all. That’s not to say that down the road MKG won’t turn out to be a fantastic player and fit for the Wizards, it’s just conceding that his skill set currently doesn’t work with this roster. There are enough paint scoring presences in Seraphin, Nene, Booker and Wall (he’s not scoring from outside of 8 feet too often), that adding MKG would make the team very one dimensional. I’m not sure if that’s the best idea.
He would, however, be a major addition in terms of transition scoring with his steals and speed. He and John Wall would work very well together in that regard, as they both excel at that aspect of the game. Last year, Washington was third in the league in fastbreak points at 17.9 per game, so I’m not certain that they can get a whole lot better at doing that if we’re being honest. Sacramento was the second best, so it’s not as if more transition points means more wins. It’s a crapshoot. Washington already gets out in front against people, and what they really need is scoring.
Still, MKG is a guy who would bring a winning pedigree to a losing team, and that intangible has to be taken into consideration. Kidd-Gilchrist works out and works out the right way, and if any of that rubs off on Andray Blatche or John Wall, the Wizards are going to get a whole lot better at basketball.
We all know by now that the Wizards have the third pick in the draft, and as a wise spider-based superhero once said, “With great draft position comes great responsibility.” Or something along those lines. In this segment of A Case for Drafting, I look at Kansas Jayhawks power forward Thomas Robinson, and why he would be a good fit for the squad. After biding his time on the bench, the native of D.C. Junior managed to guide his team all the way to the NCAA National Championship game before falling to a loaded Kentucky team. Robinson decided to forgo his Senior season, and threw his name into the draft pool of players, and in doing so officially put himself on the Wizards radar.
When you talk about Thomas Robinson as a player, there are two things that come to mind: his rebounding ability and, most importantly, his mental fortitude and passion. From a basketball standpoint, Robinson excelled at the college level at lots of things, but his rebounding rate was just about second to none. In 27 of the 39 games he played last season (including the NCAA Tournament), T-Rob collected 10 or more rebounds. Furthermore, he grabbed at least 7 boards in every single game that he played. By the end of the season, Robinson actually finished up with the second most double-doubles in the nation. You could make the argument that, at this point in his career, Robinson is better at rebounding than consensus #1 draft pick Anthony Davis (10.4 rebounds/game). Believe it or not, Robinson actually rebounded better in his first season as a full time starter than even Kevin Love (10.6 rebounds/game). I’m not suggesting that he’s better than Kevin Love at rebounding, but it does bode well for his ability to do so at the next level.
Some could argue that his height might serve as a hindrance at the next level, but that simply won’t be the case with Thomas Robinson. He’s simply too athletic to let a simple height discrepancy keep him off the glass. Robinson sports a physique that isn’t seen on college players heading to the NBA (his body fat percentage is 5). He’s also got a 7’1 wingspan, which means he isn’t likely to be a defensive liability on the other end of the court.
Another factor that should play into Robinson’s success at the next level is, without question, his mentality and passion for the game. Everyone has probably heard the tragic story of Robinson losing, in the span of one month, his grandmother, grandfather, and mother during his sophomore season. The guy lost his entire family save his 9 year old little sister in the proverbial blink of an eye. The average person wallows in a sea of depression after a loss of that magnitude; Thomas Robinson is not the average person. Instead of quitting ball for the season and losing hope in humanity, Robinson doubled down on his efforts on the court.
After averaging only 7.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per contest his sophomore year, the guy spent countless hours in the gym and, as a result, changed his course in the world of basketball. That type of mental fortitude is something simply not seen in the vast majority of people, let alone NBA players. Robinson brings a passion to the game that is, by his own coaches admission, infectious. If anyone has the toughness to overcome any obstacle in his way, it’s going to be this kid. If anyone doesn’t think that an intangible like playing with a chip on your shoulder isn’t important in determining a players worth, think back to the short list of basketball players that did so: MJ, Kobe, Wade, LeBron. The list goes on and on, and a lot of those players excel simply because of their will to be the best. Robinson, I believe, falls squarely in that category.
It’s not all peaches with Robinson, of course, as there are some flaws in his game that can’t be overlooked. The most glaring of which is his limited offensive skill set. Currently, T-Rob doesn’t have the most comprehensive list of go-to low post moves. One could argue that he doesn’t really have any yet. His athleticism is what got him by on the offensive end at the college level, and against other elite athletes in the NBA, it might not go as smoothly. He can certainly perform up-and-under’s and back to the basket moves, but not at an elite level just yet. He is going to need to work on that in order to establish himself as a legitimate threat and not a jack-of-all-trades type of guy, wherein he does everything but not anything well.
If you watched the National Championship game you could see that, while his shot does look technically sound, it doesn’t go in all the time. To take his game to the next level, Robinson has to work on being able to stretch the defense with his jumper so as to spread the court and use his athleticism to attack the basket. In doing that, his potential would be limitless, and would turn him into a perennial All-Star instead of an occasional/potential one.
Another slight knock on Robinson is his court vision, which is substandard at this point in time as evidenced by his assist/turnover ratio. Last year he averaged 1.8 assists to 2.7 turnovers per contest, which is an alarmingly high rate for a low post big man. He’s not the best at passing out of the double team, and needs to work on playing more controlled, as numerous times last year it was almost as if he got a bit too excited. I normally don’t look too much into turnover ratios for big men, as most of them can’t really dribble that well anyway, but that number is a tad too high to overlook. I think with more experience on the court, he will get better at that, and his work ethic dictates that it’s something he will focus on in the offseason.
According to DraftExpress.com, Robinson’s upside is Al Horford. Our friends over at NBADraft.net have him pegged as a Derrick Williams type of player. But the more I watch this guy on film, the more I see one of my favorite players ever in Antonio McDyess. He might be slightly worse than Antonio was coming out of college, but they’re both freakishly talented athletes who know how to crash the boards better than most. McDyess might have played a bit more under control, but before his knee injury, he played very much like T-Rob. Scoring wise, he relied on his strengths as an athlete to get to the rack and beat people off the dribble, and then developed that midrange jumper later on. I think Robinson could do the same thing here.
Maybe I’m crazy, but I think Robinson’s downside is probably a better rebounding Al Horford. I think Robinson has the potential to be a double-double machine in the pros, but unless he can develop one or two go-to moves (or a shot to become a pick-and-pop player), his point totals are going to be quite limited. His athleticism lends credence to the belief that he can start in the NBA and probably defend relatively well, but the difference between 12 PPG and 18 PPG is pretty steep. Either way, Horford is a fantastic defender and a solid rebounder who averages around 15 and 10, so that’s what I think Robinson brings to the table at the very least.
Why He’s a Good Fit in the District
Uh, because he’s from here?
Seriously though, in spite of the logjam at the 4 and 5 with the Wizards, Robinson’s game would work surprisingly well with John Wall. He runs the court better than most big men, and would be a shoo in for Wall lobs with his ability to get to the rack. The Wizards should look to trade one of our big men in a package deal for a SG or SF before the draft to make room for this guy, because he is incredibly talented. He could even play very well off of Nene and Kevin Seraphin, as is more athletic than both of them (believe it or not) and doesn’t necessarily always occupy the same space.
Plus, he gives the Wizards something they need more than anything: rebounding. If ever there were a guy who the Wizards could use, it’s a can’t miss rebounder. Nene, Seraphin, Booker, and Jan aren’t the best rebounders, and when all your front court can’t do that it poses a big problem. Robinson would fit that need and provide some serious hustle points in the process, while also extending possessions.
By: The DC Dime Staff
With the lottery behind us and the NBA draft only a few short weeks away, I’m sure every Wizards fan is wondering the same question: Who are the Wizards going to draft with the #3 pick? While my colleagues and I may have some pretty comprehensive knowledge on the subjects of NBA draft and the draft, we’re not experts. But while we aren’t, there are some websites that excel at providing some of the most in-depth, impressive, and knowledgeable information on the draft process and the players within.
NBADraft.net is arguably the best out there in terms of draft knowledge, and The DC Dime has been reading it since it’s inception. We managed to get Johnathan Wasserman, one of the writers and analysts for NBADraft.net, to take some time out of his day to answer for Wizards fans a few questions regarding the draft:
DC: Thomas Robinson projects to be, at worst, a great rebounder in the NBA. Where do you see his potential falling? All-Star or borderline All-Star/Role Player.
JW: I think 18 and 8 are realistic numbers by year 3 for T-Rob. He’s much more than just a ridiculous athlete with NBA strength. But I’d be weary of pairing him with Nene to start. Both occupy similar floorspace, which could hinder his progression.
DC: Is Andre Drummond Kwame Brown 2.0? Or is this comparison insulting to Kwame?
JW: Outside of Davis, nobody’s ceiling is higher than Drummond’s. If he figures it out, someone will have landed themselves a starting big for years to come. Problem is big men are vulnerable to underachieving, and his raw offensive game is worrisome. But his basement is not the same as Kwame Brown’s. If Drummond never figures it out offensively, he’s still likely be the most athletic, explosive big man on the court.
DC: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is a great player, but not necessarily a great shooter. Should Washington look elsewhere in the draft to address this need? Or do you select MKG based on future potential.
JW: I’d don”t think MKG has a high ceiling. I’m think he can start for many teams in the near future, but don’t expect much half court offense. In my opinion Washington needs another half-court scoring weapon, and that’s not what MKG is. He’s a quintessential glue guy who can play off better players. But unfortunately on Washington he doesn’t have great players to compliment.
DC: If you had to decide today, what do the Wizards do with this pick?
JW: My draft board for Washington, assuming Davis goes 1, would read :1. Beal 2. Drummond 3. Robinson
Thanks again, Jonathan, for alleviating some of the fan concerns about this draft!
For all your NBA Draft information, check out http://www.NBADraft.net for the best coverage!
Tags: andre drummond, Anthony Davis, basketball, beal, blatche, bradley beal, calipari, draft, drummond, florida, Hoyas, Kentucky, nba, NBA Draft, nbadraft.net, sports, Terps, Thomas Robinson, Wizards
The alarm went off at 7:15 am, I dragged myself out of bed and began my usual morning routine to get ready for my job that I actually make money from. Then it hit me, the day I’d been waiting for since February had finally arrived. Today we found out if the Wizards were going to be adding the Unibrow to end all Unibrow’s to its roster.
Needless to say, this put a little pep in my step that normally would be nonexistent on a Wednesday where I had to go into the office. I dawned my John Wall t-shirt under my shirt and tie for perceived good luck and embarked on what I need would be my least productive day at work to date. There was a hint of something in the D.C. air that morning, I’m not talking about whatever smell is emanating from the Potomac River nowadays either. It took a moment for me to realize that it was hope.
For Wizards fans, however, hope takes on a different kind of meaning. Sure, we all hoped that, potential hair club for men spokesman, Adam Silver would pull the Wizards logo out of an envelope and the #1 pick would be ours. Just as many of us, the realists who know our draft history at least, were hopeful that we would not get screwed and fall as far as we possibly could and be left picking 5th. Leaving diehards like myself reeling all day long at the notion of Ernie Grunfeld having to wait until four of the more sure fire prospects were off the board to make our selection. Or what I like to call it, the Andre Drummond/ Perry Jones III nightmare.
The tension mounted as the day bore on. Finding myself more unfocused than ever at my desk I took to playing the mock lottery machine on ESPN.com thinking this would be an effective way to pass time. Four out of my first five attempts at the machine resulted in the Wizards landing the top pick. It got to the point where I was unsure if I wanted to continue playing as I thought everything from I don’t want to jinx it to maybe ESPN caters this to your IP address so your local team wins more.
Not wanting to be “That guy” I stopped playing the game and took to Twitter for my NBA related entertainment. The last two hours of unproductive activity flew by and only a 50 minute commute home on the Metro stood between me, some beers with the guys and what I hoped would be another turning point in Wizards franchise history. We convened at Clyde’s in Alexandria, because here at The DC Dime we like to keep it classy, and settled in for what would either be unparalleled elation or utter disappointment.
As a Wizards fan I’ve come to expect either the best or the worst and nothing in between. Shockingly enough, the in between is exactly what happened Wednesday night. The slots started coming in and everything was going as expected as we closed in on the dreaded 5th pick. The envelope is opened and its not the Wizards! Next slot comes off and we’re not the 4th pick either!
Going into the commercial break they show the remaining teams and place arrows next to Washington and New Orleans indicating we’d secured a spot in the top three. At this point we’ve all had a few adult beverages and one of my colleagues looks over at me and says “What the hell do those arrows mean!?!?” After calming his irrational fears the break was over and we were back to the lottery. I was on the edge of my bar stool as they opened the next envelope…
The Washington Wizards were selecting third. While it wasn’t the rights to the Unibrow, the slot where the Wiz landed was more than fine with me. Especially after Charlotte slid to the 2nd pick and it set in that the Unibrow wouldn’t be playing against us in the Southeast division I felt even better. New Orleans won the lottery for what I would assume were #BasketballReasons, as technically the team hasn’t been handed over to Tom Benson yet and are still owned by the league.
I began to think about who our options would be at #3 and felt good about who would be there. Then I realized that Michael Jordan is picking ahead of us and there is no set in stone second pick in this draft. Meaning the same man who took Kwame Brown over Pau Gasol would have to make a tough decision, immediately I felt better about our positioning. As quickly as it started it was over and with it was a day’s worth of worrying over falling to the fifth pick AGAIN.
We finished our beverages and left the bar, and at least I felt great about the way the evening turned out. This wasn’t just due to the silly oysters I had either. This was legitimate feelings of joy that we weren’t in a position where it was expected for our front office to screw this up.
Since then its come out that the Bobcats will look at “At least six players for the 2nd pick.” This seems like far to many to me when there are really only three options (MKG, Beal and Robinson). Having possibly one of the worst owners/executives in NBA history picking directly ahead of us is a great thing for Wizards fans. For all we know he’ll take another Tar Heel just to sell tickets.
We are officially within four weeks of the NBA Draft at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ (Which shouldn’t be awkward considering it may be the last NBA sponsored event in the state for quite some time). Over the coming weeks we will see a plethora of prospects come through the Nation’s capital for a chance to audition in front of our coaches at the Phone Booth.
This is a draft where we cannot afford to miss on our pick and not land an impact player going forward. Ernie and the rest of the Wizards brain trust will have their work cut out for them over the next month in setting up their draft board and targeting prospects. Personally, I am hoping for either Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Bradley Beal. But I am equally thankful there are no Euro’s at the top of this years draft for Ernie to become infatuated with.
What were we left with after Wednesday nights events? The same thing I woke up with that morning, hope. It’s going to be a fun next four weeks and The DC Dime will be with you the entire way up until draft night on June 28th.
Tags: Anthony Davis, basketball, beal, brad beal, bradley beal, Ernie Grunfeld, John Wall, Kentucky, michael kidd-gilchrist, mkg, NCAA, sports, Thomas Robinson, washington, Washington Wizards, Wizards
It took about 30 seconds for my Twitter news feed to start erupting with NBA fans crying foul and spewing off conspiracy theories about how the league is rigged. The theory that the NBA Draft Lottery is rigged is a fun one to play around with (thinking of David Stern as a mastermind of a huge plot is scandalous; Americans love scandals), but the reality is that it simply has no basis nowadays. For starters, think about how many people were watching the entire sequence of events go down.
What we watch on television is not a real time drawing of the balls. We’re seeing the made for television version, where team owners, friends/family/Dan Gilbert’s son, sit around waiting unknowingly for the entire lottery to play out. That’s great for television and suspense, but it doesn’t allay some of the concerns that the average viewer has when he sees New Orleans pop up as the first pick. What they should know, however, is that the lottery actually already finished up over an hour beforehand.
Journalists (who one would presume have at least an ounce of integrity) and representatives from each team are literally locked into a room while the process happens. Everyone in the room gives up their cell phones, pagers, communication devices, and electronics upon entering in order to maintain secrecy. They all watch as the hopper is loaded up with 14 ping pong balls and winning combinations are drawn out, and there’s essentially no way it can be rigged. Each person in the room would have to be in on the fact that the league somehow jury rigged the balls or the machine in such a way that New Orleans got the winning combination right off the bat. It’s not only impossible, but it is highly improbable. The actual reason as to why New Orleans won the coveted prize of Anthony “The Brow” Davis in getting the first pick, is actually pretty standard.
Charlotte may have had a 25% chance of winning, but they also had a 75% chance of failure. Their odds of landing it were less than 50%, which in school is below failing. Sure, other teams had an even lower chance (New Orleans had a 14.4% chance of winning), but at that point everyone has pretty bad odds. The Wizards had an even higher chance to win, but they didn’t because it’s a lottery system in which luck plays the biggest factor and statistical odds were still working against them. For the winners, it’s great. But for the losers, it’s considered a bogus win. I can’t even say I blame people for being upset.
The NBA owns the New Orleans Hornets, for Pete’s Sake! I’m not even sure if their GM can actually make trades yet. It’s a serious conflict of interest and it leaves open the door for plenty of naysayers to question motives, tie loose ends, etc. I, for one, became a tad bit disenfranchised with the NBA after the whole Chris Paul debacle last offseason. It was disappointing to hear that the league could veto a trade because of hurt feelings and unfairness. Should, then, the league be allowed to say “No way they should get the number one pick; do over”? No, they can’t do that, and it’s why to a rational eye the NBA lottery system is clearly not rigged. NBA owners may have been upset with the outcome (because Dan Gilbert may be a moron), but the smart ones weren’t saying it was a con job.
That doesn’t mean I can’t be upset. New Orleans seems to be catching some serious breaks with regards to talent lately (though they still had a brutal record that was only marginally better than the Wizards last year…), and I can’t help but be a little off put. They got a bunch of talent and picks with the departure of Chris Paul directly at the hands of David Stern. And now they get a franchise power forward and transcendental talent like Davis? What gives! Sure, the Wizards have had two first overall draft picks in the past 12 years, but whatever, because we didn’t win this time.
Speaking of the Wizards: once we can get over the fact that we lost out on the Davis sweepstakes, the reality sets in that this is an extremely talented draft class and the third overall pick is still a coveted piece. The Wizards may not get Davis or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, but there are a whole lot of ballers that might fit better than both of them would, anyway. For example, a shooter like Bradley Beal will likely still be on the board. Instead of grabbing someone like MKG, who is not likely to develop into an offensive threat right away, Beal could be the guy who provides an immediate upgrade over Jordan “Trey Day” Crawford at the shooting guard position.
Or, conversely, since Booker, Seraphin, Nene, and Jan aren’t lighting the world on fire with their performance, the Wizards could nab someone like Thomas Robinson to further bolster the front court. Not to mention that he’s a D.C. native and might play even harder for his only remaining family member in his little sister. There’s nothing wrong with grabbing talent, and Robinson is about as gifted as they come in this draft (and in all of basketball). He’s another guy I would be just fine with taking.
The Wizards could even trade the pick and package some bad contracts and players in exchange for some legitimate talent! Would it be outlandish to suggest that they swap picks with Portland and acquire Nicolas Batum and another talent at the two guard later in the draft? Portland might be more receptive to taking on the contract of Andray Blatche or Rashard Lewis as well. The acquisition of two players for the price of one pick makes a lot of sense, and it’s something that Grunfeld might want to look into.
What I’m basically saying in this reactionary piece is that Wizards fans should relax.We should realize the NBA lottery is not rigged, acknowledge the disappointment we had in not winning the Unibrow sweepstakes, and accept that our number three pick is actually a very versatile thing that, no matter what, should bode well for the future of this team.
Tags: Anthony Davis, basketball, batum, David Stern, davis, draft, gilchrist, hornets, lottery, mkg, nba, NBA Draft, nba lottery, new orleans, new orleans hornets, Portland, sports, trail blazers, unibrow, washington, Washington Wizards, Wizards
Washington Wizards vs Milwaukee Bucks
7:00 PM Verizon Center, Washington D.C.
PG: John Wall vs. Brandon Jennings
SG: Jordan Crawford vs. Monta Ellis
SF: Chris Singleton vs. Carlos Delfino
PF: Jan Vesely vs. Ersan Illyasova
C: Kevin Seraphin vs. Drew Gooden
Why to watch: Two of the best young point guards in the NBA facing off at the Phone Booth.
As we enter the final stretch of a Wizards season, that has felt much longer than the 61 games actually played, we are treated to another match up of quality, young point guards. The deadline move by Milwaukee to acquire noted gunner Monta Ellis has proven to work out for their incumbent PG Brandon Jennings. The Bucks backcourt is averaging over 40 PPG and 12.9 APG in their last seven contests. This should prove to be a great test for the Wizards young backcourt of John Wall and Jordan Crawford. They will both need to put forth a great effort on the defensive end to slow down Jennings and Ellis.
While the effort will absolutely need to be there for the Wiz Kids on defense I believe they will get plenty of looks on offense. While Jennings and Ellis are both potent scorers, defense isn’t the “Joe Forte” of either player. The fact is they are an undersized backcourt and that should allow for John Wall and Jordan Crawford to get a plethora of clean looks at the bucket tonight.
Underlying storyline: The continuing emergence of Kevin Seraphin
Another installment of SA (Seraphan’s Anonymous) will be in session tonight. It will commence at 7:00 pm at the Verizon Center, refreshments will be provided.
Coming off a 21 point, 13 rebound and 5 block performance in Chicago, Seraphin is continuing to develop into a force in the paint. Fellow Frenchman, Joakim Noah, was quoted after Monday’s game as saying “(Seraphin) could be dominant,”. That is some high praise coming from one of the better post defenders in the NBA. Seraphin needs to have a big game tonight for the Wizards to grab that 16th win.
Prediction: Wizards: 103 Bucks: 97
With the second worst record in the league all but locked up, and in turn the second best shot at the Unibrow, fans don’t have to sweat out Wizards wins anymore. I personally like this match up for our hometown team as long as Wittman can get them to keep up the intensity on defense. Tonight’s game will tell us a lot about our backcourt. Anytime you get a chance to go up against a duo who are perceived to be better than you the motivation to prove your worth as a player is there. Wall and Crawford need to go out tonight and prove their worth against a playoff caliber backcourt. In the end I believe that they will do just that and when you combine that with the type of production Seraphin has had as of late you’re staring at a great opportunity for the WizKids to grab a W tonight.
Tonight’s National Championship game features three players that, barring some freak injury between now and the end of June, will be the top three picks in the NBA Draft. Of course I am referring to Kentucky’s Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as well as Thomas Robinson from Kansas. Each player possesses a unique set of skills that make them highly coveted amongst the bottom feeders of the NBA. As the Wizards are currently the owners of the second worst record in the entire league, there is a very high likelihood that one of these budding stars competing for a national title tonight will have his name called by David Stern in Newark, NJ after our five minutes on the clock are up. Let’s take a look at each prospect and what they bring to the table that could potentially help our Wizards right the ship.
Anthony Davis: The Wildcats freshman center has been the talk of the college basketball season. With an absurd wingspan of 7’4, this 6’10 big man has been dominant on both ends of the floor which led to him being named the National Player of the Year. Coming into tonight’s championship game, Davis has accumulated 175 blocked shots on the season, obliterating the long standing SEC Single Season Blocks record held by Shaquille O’Neal as well as the blocks record at the University of Kentucky (Not exactly bad company). Add on the fact that Davis has a smooth jump shot and the ability to put the ball on the floor to get to the basket, and it’s not surprising that he has been pegged as the top pick in the upcoming draft for quite some time now. The Wizards would have to win the lottery for the second time in a span of three years in order to obtain the services of Anthony Davis. While we have not always been known as the luckiest franchise, (
) winning the Anthony Davis lottery would absolutely change that. Pairing him with John Wall would give the Wizards a combination at point guard and center that this franchise has not seen in a long, long, long time.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: Kidd-Gilchrist, or MKG as he has become known, was another highly touted prep player that John Calipari was able to bring to Lexington, KY. Much like his teammate preceding him in this post, Kidd-Gilchrist was a consensus top-5 recruit that could have gone to any school in the country to play his mandatory year of college basketball. The 6’7 small forward who played for the storied HS program at St. Patrick High School in Elizabeth, NJ has been described by his coach as “The hardest working member of his elite team”. He has been declared by many pundits as the second ranked player in this year’s draft class. Kidd-Gilchrist is a dynamic wing player that can fill up the stat sheet (He shot 49% from the field this season) as well as use the length that comes with his 6’11 wingspan to lock down opposing teams top scoring options. One thing that does not show up on the stat sheet or in Davis’ or Kidd-Gilchrist’s measurements is the fact that despite their immense talent level both players have shown this year that they are willing to sacrifice their own personal statistics for the betterment of the team. That is an intangible that cannot go unnoticed; especially when it comes to the history of players suiting up for the Wizards (Andray Blatche and Nick Young weren’t exactly selfless when they took the floor). Kidd-Gilchrist is projected to be selected as high as number 2 in the draft and as low as number 3.
Thomas Robinson: This brings us to the player that is arguably the heart and soul of the Kansas Jayhawks. Robinson, a reserve in his first two seasons in Lawrence, KS, broke out onto the scene in a major way his junior year. The 6’10 power forward, who is a Washington D.C. native, averaged career highs of 18 PPG and 12 RPG in leading Kansas to the brink of a championship. Robinson plays with a sense of urgency that is tough to match whenever he takes the floor. For those of you who may still be unaware of the tragic story of Thomas Robinson let me take a moment to educate you. Robinson lost his mother, grandmother and grandfather in a span of 25 days dating back to January of 2011. You may remember the media covering the entire Kansas basketball team and staff flying to Washington D.C. so that they could be by the side of the grieving member of their Jayhawk family. Robinson had lost the majority of his immediate family in less than a month; the only real family he has left is his 7 year old half-sister. While many humans would crumble under this type of adversity, Robinson has risen above the pain and excelled. In his first game back with the Jayhawks Robinson received a standing ovation and a raucous welcome from the Kansas faithful at the storied Allen Fieldhouse. The sophomore poured in 17 points and helped lead the Jayhawks to victory. Jump to this season and Robinson has transformed himself into one of the top players in the country averaging career highs in both points and rebounds en route to being named a finalist for National Player of the Year. His torrid pace has continued into the NCAA Tournament as Robinson has paced the Jayhawks averaging 16 PPG and 13 RPG.
Tonight marks what will more than likely be the final collegiate game for each of these budding stars. While I cannot predict which of these three will potentially be suiting up in the red, white and blue of the Washington Wizards next season I can guarantee you that any one of the trio would provide a significant upgrade in talent on this roster. There are a matter of weeks left in the NBA regular season, and while the playoff contenders will be jockeying for seeding as they enter the next portion of their season, the rest of the league will keep a close eye on tonight’s matchup of collegiate heavyweights. Each lottery team filled with the hope that the ping pong balls fall their way, and they can land one of these stars in the making on June 28th when all our eyes will be fixed on the NBA Draft in the Garden State.