Archive for the ‘NBA Draft’ category

Pac-10 players drafted in the NBA Draft

July 6, 2009

The 2009 NBA Draft passed last week and many of the best Pac-10 players experienced a night they will never forget; filled with feelings of excitement, optimism, and disappointment the night entailed the realization of many’s of the player’s childhood dream of playing in the NBA. Many were chosen where expected, many were picked better higher then expected, and many waited in agony as they waited for their named to be called. Here are my thoughts on where the players of 2009 Pac-10 class were selected and how they will stack up on the teams they will be playing for.

3. James Harden (OKC Thunder): No curve balls were thrown to start the night off and like expected, Harden was selected third to the OKC Thunder. The first player picked from the Pac-1o, Harden will have an immediate impact on the Thunder and should star alongside Kevin Durant, Jeff Green,  ex-UCLA star Russell Westbrooke on a very young Thunder team.

8. Jordan Hill (NY Knicks): The New York fans booed Hill when his name was called instead of  Stephen Curry’s, but what the

Jordan Hill, picked 8th by the Knicks, shaking NBA commisioner David Stern's hand. (Dave Bergman/SI)

Jordan Hill, picked 8th by the Knicks, shaking NBA commisioner David Stern's hand. (Dave Bergman/SI)

Knick fans don’t know is that Hill’s explosive up tempo game will fit perfectly under Mike D’Antoni’s run-n-gun system. With David Lee out, Hill will likely play right away and have early struggles adjusting to the better competition of the NBA; still, expect D’Antoni to develop Hill into a fine NBA player in the future.

9. DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors): Add DeRozan to the list of talented players on the Raptors roster that will likely only tread the waters of their potential and go unnoticed in the NBA wasteland known as Toronto. With Marion likely gone to free agency and Bosh likely to bolt in 2010, expect DeRozan to have a large role on the Raptors for years to come which, in circumspect, should allow him to grow and develop into the player that he has the potential to be.

17. Jrue Holiday (Philadelpia 76ers): When the 76er’s called his name 17th, Holiday shushed all the talk of being the big slip of this year’s draft. Question’s still loom over Holiday’s durability but it looks like the 76er’s and Holiday should be an excellent fit. Holiday should move back to his natural position of point guard and his style of play should compliment the athletic abilities of 76er’s very well for a long time.

21. Darren Collison (NO Hornets): Collison being drafted 21st to the Hornets seems to be one of the bigger question marks in this year’s draft. Even though most believed that a less then stellar season with UCLA this year would have Collision falling on most draft boards, Collison still managed to get pick solidly in the first round. With Chris Paul as the point guard of the future for the Hornets, expect Darren Collison to be the backup.

26. Taj Gibson (Chicago Bulls): It was no suprise that Gibson was picked as a late  first round pick, but what was a suprise was the team who traded to get him: the Chicago Bulls. Though Gibson has a lot of upside and potential, with the Bulls loaded with front court players Brad Miller, Joakim Noah, Tyrus Thomas, one must wonder how another player big like Gibson will find the place and minutes to contribute.

31. Jeff Pendergraph (Portland Trailblazers): Similarly to Taj Gibson, Pendergraph was picked where expected but will struggle to find a role on the team that he was drafted by: the Portland Trailblazers. Like Channing Frye this year, Pendergraph has the ability to contribute but will not have the opportunity to stuck behind stars Greg Oden, LaMarcus Aldridge, Travis Outlaw, and Joel Pryzbilla.

44. Chase Budinger (Houston Rockets): With no doubt, Budinger was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, slips of this year’s draft. All mocks had Budinger being picked at least in the first round, some even lottery, but none had him falling to the middle of the second round. Though his lack toughness seemingly caught up to him, with Artest gone to the Lakers and McGrady’s future uncertain, the Rockets look like a good place for Budinger to play and get minutes immediately.


NBA Draft: “In oder Aus”

June 21, 2009

In honor of Sasha Baron Cohen’s soon to be released movie Bruno I’ve decided to play a game of his made famous from Da Ali G Show called “in oder aus” (in or the out). The deadline to withdraw from the NBA draft was June 16 and many of the Pac-10’s finest underclassman considered the jump to the pro’s. Lets take a look at who did and didn’t enter the draft and whether they made the right decision or not.



-Jordan Hill [In]:  Hill had a monstrous season this year and is looking to cash in. By staying an extra year Hill could have benefited by improving his strength and fundamentals, but with a weak draft class and the season he had the decision whether to go pro was a no brainer. Projection: 4-8. Decision grade: A

-Chase Budinger [In]: Though Budinger failed to achieve his goal from last year in guaranteeing himself as a lottery pick this year, three coach’s in three frustrating years makes it no wonder why Budinger is turning pro and not coming back for his senior year. Projection: 10-20.  Decision grade: B

-Nic Wise [Aus]: With the coaching carousel spinning, Nic Wise was set to choose between playing professionally in Europe vs. coming back to Arizona and starring as the Wildcat’s main man. With Wise choosing wisely to come back, Nic has given himself the opportunity for next year to be playing in the NBA instead of what hoped for this is year in playing overseas. Decision grade: A-

Arizona St.

-James Harden [In]: Even though Harden could have been a lottery pick in last years draft, Harden stayed an extra

ASU's James Harden dribbling by USC's Daniel Hackett (Icon SMI)

ASU's James Harden dribbling past USC's Daniel Hackett (Icon SMI)

year at ASU solidifying himself as a top five pick this year. Harden dominated the Pac-1o and there would have been very little for him to improve upon in the college ranks if he were to stay for another year. Projection: 3-6.  Decision grade: A


-Patrick Christopher [Aus]: If Christopher were to enter the draft this year his chances of being drafted  would have been minimal to none. With Patrick returning for his season year, Christopher has given himself an optimal opportunity to showcase all of his talents to get drafted next year along with also giving the Golden Bears an excellent chance to win the Pac-10 . Decision grade: B+


-Jrue Holiday [In]: When Holiday arrived at UCLA he was expected to immediately dominate Pac-10 and jump straight into NBA after. Jrue didn’t exactly dominate the Pac-10, but he did still decide to shoot straight to the pro’s. By staying another year, Holiday would have benefited by being the Bruin’s go-to-guy and an extra year’s worth of development. Projection: 10-20. Decision grade: B-


-DeMar DeRozan [In]: DeMar DeRozan holds exceptional ability and has the potential to be a star at the next level. DeRozan could have benefited by coming back to USC and getting another year of development under his wing, but with USC’s coaching fallout it only made sense for DeMar to go pro. Projection: 8-15. Decision grade: A-

-Daniel Hackett [In]: Hackett likely only entered the draft to get away from the current coaching scandal taking place at USC and escape playing for a depleted USC roster. Unfortunately for Hackett, there is an unlikely chance he will be drafted and the depleted roster could have given him a great opportunity to play an expanded enough role to be selected in next year’s draft. Projection: not drafted. Decision grade: C

-Taj Gibson [In]: Though the last three years Gibson has steadily improved his game with the Trojans, it has come playing as the right hand man behind the likes of stars Nick Young, OJ Mayo, and DeMar DeRozen. Still, with the mishap going on at USC it is no wonder why Taj is turning pro and entering the draft. Projection: late 1st round-early 2nd round. Decision grade: B