“Whoops. I just queefed. It’ll be my dirty little secret.”
Oh hey amigos.
Not sure if you’ve caught onto this, but I’m a bit of a basketball fan. As such, today marks an ever-important day in the NBA offseason: the NBA Draft. For weeks, there have been countless Mock Drafts by very intelligent people (http://www.draftexpress.com is my fave) and a bunch of goddamned bozos that don’t know anything about the sport and/or how the draft operates (I won’t name names (Bleacher Report) because I’m bigger than that and don’t care to sully anyone’s reputations or knock them for jumping in on the Mock Draft fun).
So, how did Chunk’s Revenge prep for the big day? Simple. I recruited an old pal that blogs over at http://endosgarage.blogspot.com and baited him into doing a week-long email back and forth about the draft, its prospects, and all the nonsense that goes along with it. If he refused, I threatened to do very foul/angry things, like fart on his pillow. Thankfully, he complied with my request. The following is what transpired beginning last Thursday, while we emailed each other during non-working hours (read: drinking hours).
As an aside: as a blog that prides itself on helping the working stiff procrastinator hone his craft by wasting valuable company time, this is my finest hour, as it’s the longest post to date for Chunk’s Revenge. It’s still way shorter than a Bill Simmons column, though. That man is my white whale.
Last thing – if you’re looking for a legitimate Mock Draft: run. This is not for you. If you want to witness jaded Blazers/Warriors fans talking about GrownAssMan things, by all means, proceed.
#1: Chunk’s Revenge – June 21st, 2012 at 12:56PM
I get to do a blog collaboration with Endo’s Garage…Joy!
I write this to you during yet another breathtaking summer day in Portland: a gentle breeze brushes through the cherry laurels and the hummingbirds float through the crystal blue sky, their wings aflutter. Anyways, I’m writing this to tell you how fucking agitated this time of year makes me. We’re exactly one week away from the NBA Draft. I have too many thoughts about the Draft to come up with any coherent message, so I figured it was high time that we partnered up and took the interwebs by storm by doing a WordPress/BlogSpot collabo to discuss the hope and misery of being a Lottery team.
Sound good? Cool! I’ll start.
The Portland media is definitely hyping up this Damian Lillard character, so much so that I might just cry if they lose out on him. I’ve never been too keen on a scoring PG (I was once led to believe that Jerryd Bayless would be the Blazers point guard of the future…barf) but RussyRuss Westbrook is changing my tune. Here’s the problem: some pundits believe that Lillard is not worthy of a #6 pick, but will definitely be gone by #11. So…WTF? If you like a guy don’t you just take him and stop worrying about the perceived “value” of the pick? A year from now we’re all going to do the age-old “re-draft” thing and talk about who should’ve gone sooner. So if a year from now you believe you have a solid contributor, who cares if people ridicule the decision now?
As for your Warriors, how excited are you to see Joe Lacob’s smug face on camera after they select Tyler Zeller at #7?
#2: Endo’s Garage
This is what Endo looks like. Except he has ginger skin and ginger hair.
Mr. Fancy Pants Gaveen,
Thank you for starting this thread. I’m relying on you and your internet fame to actually post this in a public forum. Not that I mind it being “just” an amazing gmail back and forth, but I feel the world needs to read our awesome words about the one subject we can actually claim to know something about. Or aboot.
Let me start by saying that I will focus solely on the NBA draft. I’m sure I’ll have many things to say about the actual, on the court, NBA action that happened tonight, but this is neither the time nor the place to discuss.
When it comes to thinking and evaluating players in the draft, I like to think of different tiers. The way I see it the 1st tier of prospect(s) is Anthony Davis. Cookie-cutter, slam dunk #1 pick. My 2nd tier includes Michael Kidd Gilchrist, Thomas Robinson, Bradley Beal, Thomas Drummond and Harrison Barnes. Let me elaborate on this for a second. In a vacuum, MKG and Thomas Robinson are the 2nd and 3rd best players available. However, MKG won’t make as big as an impact with Charlotte as Thomas Robinson will. Not a knock on MKG at all, but I think the Bobcats should take Robinson at 2. Beal, Drummond and Barnes I am not 100% sold on. I saw roughly 0 mins of Beal on the court this year, so I’m relying on all the scouting reports that claim he’s the next Ray Allen. Drummond is huge, therefore, you have to take him top 6. Barnes I’ve seen plenty. He is as talented as they come but seems to lack motivation.
Harrison Barnes’ official response to Endo’s Garage: “Whatevs, Endo. Motivation, shmotivation.”
Now, since your Blazers are drafting at #6, I don’t think they should hesitate to pull the trigger on any of these guys. Reports recently seem to imply that the top 4 will be Davis, Robinson, Beal and Barnes. Sacramento is a total wild card and I won’t even pretend to know what they’re thinking of doing at 5. But, in my scenario, if MKG or Drummond are there at 6, I think Portland has to draft one of them. MKG might not be the best “fit” in PDX, especially since I assume they’ll bring Batum back, but he’s WAY too good of a player to pass up at 6 if available. Drummond, who’s said to have a floor of Kwame Brown and a ceiling of Dwight Howard, is not even close to being ready to play fulltime 5 in the NBA. But he’s huge and can move, and with PDX already having LMA as the go to big man he won’t be relied upon to make an immediate impact.
My 3rd tier of players includes Lillard, Waiters from ‘Cuse, YOUR BOY Terrance Jones, and a few others. Now, Lillard seems like he passes the eyeball test, but I’d be very worried about drafting a guy who played in the Big Sky conference so early. That’s why I think your Blazers should stick to my top 6. As for my Warriors, barf. Seriously just barf.
Here’s my main concern with the Warriors draft position: as I’ve just outlined, there are 6 guys in the draft who I think are no brainers. If one of them fall to the W’s, they should draft him. The reason guys get drafted from 7-20 is because of certain issues. No doubt these are all talented players, but most players drafted in the 7-20 range don’t make it as solid NBA players, and for the most part this is because they are a bad fit for the team they play for. The Warriors are a bad fit for ANYONE.
Take Terrance Jones for example. To me he seems like the best available player, talent wise. But he’d be terrible on the W’s. This isn’t only because they are in love with David Lee and Jones wouldn’t get a chance to play his natural power forward position, but because Jones lacks natural motivation and leadership and needs someone constantly pressing him, and my W’s have NOBODY to provide that. So look around at the players projected to go 7-20 and name 1 would be a good fit for the W’s. All are either smallish shooting guards (the last thing the W’s need) or guys with motivational issues (and in case you forgot, Mark Jackson is still the head coach).
This was long winded for a first response, but you get where my mind is at. I’ve told you before that I HATE Tyler Zeller. But at #7, you’re getting a 7-footer (who may be less athletic than Biedrins) who at the very least has fundamentals (re: is white) and will be able to contribute immediately (“contribute immediately” is teams-that-shoot-for-the-8-seed-GM-speak).
I hope we take Waiters.
#3. Chunk’s Revenge
I suppose it’s justifiable that we acknowledge that the Miami Heat were crowned champions tonight. I’m so unhappy aboot this that I may just pre-funk tonight by myself (all night long) in anticipation of a big shindig I am to attend tomorrow evening at RonToms. RonToms is a spacious bar in Portland with an excellent beverage selection. I’ll be judged for being “that guy”, if you catch my drift. But that’ll be my own doing. So it’s okay.
If MKG is available at #6 I will shake my mom like a degenerate hobo, screaming things like “CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS???” and make her watch me as I fire off 4 straight Jagerbombs (#ThatGuy). I don’t care if MKG fits or not. Last time I got into this whole “does he fit?” mess it was 2007, and…well…I don’t care to talk about that.
I’m assuming he’ll be gone though, so the way I see it is there will be a choice between Drummond and Lillard at #6. Here’s the thing: Drummond is a monster, and could become a force of nature. But I’m skeptical these days of choosing a big man with question marks (care to guess why?). As I see it, the biggest issue for the Blazers this past year was their lacking of a playmaker, a guy that would just take it to the rack when things got stagnant. Lillard could be that guy, and I say that knowing absolutely nothing about him as of three weeks ago (note: I Googled him when I saw him in initial mock-drafts).
As for him playing in the Big Sky…I kinda like that. Outside of the Top 5, I’d rather have a hungry guy with a chip on his shoulder rather than a bozo that had an early growth spurt and got fluffed like “whoa” by the time he was 16 years old.
I suppose my ideal scenario would be getting Drummond AND Lillard, but it sounds like Lillard won’t be there at #11. My pal Mike came up with an ideal (possibly wishful thinking) scenario in which the Blazers traded the #11 pick, the #40, and the rights to Joel Freeland or Victor Claver (overseas talent…duh) to Toronto for the #8 pick. So, Drummond would go #6, Lillard #8.
I’ve been on record as saying that the Warriors are my 2nd fave franchise. Maybe that has a lot to do with my besties being fans of theirs, but still. Great fanbase, fun team to watch…all that shit. Your boy Joe Lacob is throwing a big ol’ wrench into that though (I know I shouldn’t be talking, being a fan of a ruined franchise and all, but the Charlie Bell Expiring-4MillionDollarContract-Amnesty was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen). You may hate me for saying this…but what’s so wrong with John Henson, Austin Rivers, Jared Sullinger or Perry Jones (trading down in some scenarios, of course)?
I agree on Terrence Jones. The tough part for a guy like that is an ideal team for him is a place like Boston, where KG would ridicule him about everything. Call him “chump” and things like that.
If this was your mentor, would you: a). dance a happy dance, b). be internally giddy while making a tough face, or c). jump off a fucking cliff?
So here’s a fun question. Have you heard of any possible trades for the #7 pick? Would you take Waiters, if say, Evan Turner was available? I ask because Chad Ford has tweeted that the Blazers could get Darren Collison, Evan Turner, Eric Bledsoe, or Paul Millsap for the #11 (tweets are considered legitimate resources, yes?).
So, are there any rumors that would make you trade the pick, and do you think any of my proposed trades are viable?
#4: Endo’s Garage
Let me first address your fun trades for the #7 pick question. If I’m the W’s, and Kevin O’Connor, who undoubtedly is high on bath salts in this scenario, calls and offers Paul Millsap for the pick, I’m accepting and high stepping all the way to the bank!
The white hot rumor right now is that the W’s want to get in the Luol Deng sweepstakes and the trade package would have to include the #7 pick. The only problem with this, and it is a very minor problem, is that to match salaries in this trade the Bulls would have to take back Andris Biedrins or Richard Jefferson. I like to joke that I’m smarter than NBA GMs, but even the most KAHN-Y of all Kahns wouldn’t simply take back cap filler for one of the best all around 3s in the game.
“Yes I would, Endo.”
I want to talk about YOUR BOY Lillard for a quick second. John Hollinger, who I respect greatly because of his use of advanced (re: nerd) stats, does not project Lillard to be worth a top 10 pick, let alone the #6 pick overall. His point is essentially that he is older than most of the prospects at that range (older, therefore closer to his athletic peak, meaning lower ceiling) and that his stats were put up against lesser competition than most prospects. I agree with this assessment. Especially knowing that he’s more of a scoring point and less of a playmaking point, I think you gotta pass and go with the big guy. Drummond has as many red flags as anyone, but a wise man once said “you can’t teach size”. I’d much rather take a risk on a guy who’s gigantic than a guy in Lillard who might be Rodney Stuckey v2.0.
I want to talk about John Holllinger’s ratings a little more, because he has a lot of the guys the Warriors have brought in recently to be busts in the NBA. Since my last email, the W’s have worked out Meyers Leonard and Moe Harkless and have also been strongly linked to Terrance Ross. Hollinger specifically singles out those 3 guys as having big bust potential. You thought I was mad when the W’s picked Udoh over Monroe and Klay over Kawhi, just wait and see how mad I’ll get if we take one of those scrubs.
My favorite player who nobody is talking about (Hollinger agrees) is Quincy Miller. I was on him early in the NCAA season because my beloved alma mater SDSU Aztecs played Baylor early in November, and Miller was a monster. Baylor won easy, with no PJ3 out there, and Miller was by far the best player on the floor. He’s a young player, so he might not be “NBA ready” off the bat, but I’m confident he’ll be a solid player.
Speaking of solid players, I want to single out a few guys who I KNOW will be solid NBA players, but won’t be sexy picks. Draymond Green is one of those guys who does everything well but not one thing great. He’ll get drafted at the end of the 1st round by a team like Boston, Memphis, OKC and will be immediately productive, and everyone will say things like “how did 20 teams pass on this guy?!?” The reason is simple: bad teams need to take a risk on guys who will be stars, whereas good team can pick guys who know how to play and can immediately find a role. I think this goes for Royce White too. He has some personality issues that bad teams (cough cough Warriors cough) wouldn’t be able to overcome. But put him on Boston, for example, he has a chance to be a very good player. Kendall Marshall fits in this category too, though he is a much more known commodity. Btw, Marshall is thought of to be a young ‘Dre Miller. I KNOW you like that.
Last thought before I pass this back to you. I’m going all in on Dion Waiters. And this is a total leap of faith since I saw maybe 10 minutes of him play in college. But Hollinger loves him (I sound like Hollinger’s agent right now don’t I?) and the W’s need to draft the best player available. Our knucklehead owner Lacob seems to think we are “set” at 4 of the 5 positions, but all we saw of Klay last year was at the end of the year in essentially meaningless games. To say he is “set” as the starting 2 seems quite bold (just to clarify I don’t think any of our starters should be considered “set” with a team that is as desperate for talent as ours).
“Bogut! Lee! Curry! Thompson! We’re thisclose! THISCLOSE! Respect the cock! RESPECT THE COCK!”
If we can’t get one of my top 6 players (even then I’m thinking I’d rather have Waiters than Harrison Barnes at this point, I am NOT sold on Barnes) and we stay at #7, I’m wanting Waiters.
#5: Chunk’s Revenge
This is why I both love and hate debating with you on things like this. You always bring “statistical data” and “rationale” into the mix. I’m a Blazer fan, Endo. As such I make my decisions based on my gut feeling and whether or not the draftee seems like a nice guy. Quit throwing advanced stats into the mix you big bully!
Don’t bully me!
That said, perhaps some clarification is in order.
In a perfect world, Lillard would stay where he was initially projected to go: late in the Lottery or just outside the Lottery. Picking him #6 is a reach, indeed. But I do believe that he is the optimal guy that could help now, and I have concerns that he will not be there by the time the #11 pick rolls around. So why am I so enamored with Lillard, you may ask? Because it was painful to watch what happened to the Blazers offense when Aldridge started getting double and triple teamed. There were few, if any, players on the Blazers that could create offense on their own and hardly anyone that could take it to the rim with consistency. With a guy like Lillard, he can shoot from three and is aggressive in getting to the hoop. I’m not predicting that he’ll become the #1 option or anything, but at the very least he’ll keep defenses honest, which right now, the Blazers don’t have.
Which brings us back to this: if I can only have one of them, why take Lillard over Drummond? I have this gut-wrenching feeling that we’ll pass on the big man and he’ll grow into a force on another team. But I’m okay with that. Reason being is if you look at the track record of the Blazers when selecting a). a big man, and b). a young and raw big man, they aren’t that great in development or preventing injury. Drummond is ultra-talented but hasn’t proved to have much of a post game. With their star player just hitting his prime I’m not convinced that the franchise will be too keen in waiting on Drummond to develop and endure the growing pains of adapting to the NBA game. Whether that’s right or wrong, we’ll only know in hindsight. But bottom line, development isn’t exactly their strong suit.
As for preventing injury, I’m being Captain Obvious. I may be reaching in Drummond’s case, but I have a sneaking suspicion that he’ll need a halfway decent medical/training staff to help him grow and get stronger. My buddy Mike showed me Drummond’s workout with the Kings so we could ooh and aah over his freakishness. But Mike pointed out one thing in passing that I couldn’t really get over. After every dunk, Drummond never landed cleanly, and stumbled in getting his footing. Having no medical or training background, take this point for what it is (blogosphere bullshit). But my immediate thought was one of two things: a). he isn’t done growing, or b). he hasn’t reached his peak in physical strength. Both points should make me drool over his potential…until I look at the track record of the training staff.
If it seems like I’m piling on the training staff, it’s probably because I am. But less than a week ago former Blazer Channing Frye was on a local radio show and talked about the Phoenix training staff, calling them “unbelievable”. According to him, they “correct bio-mechanics” and that their philosophy is all about “learning your body”. Well no shit. I can only be led to believe that the Blazers staff doesn’t do the same. So how will a raw 18 year old big man that hasn’t yet grown into his body do when partnered up with a staff that doesn’t focus on bio-mechanics or help strengthen player’s weaknesses (but prefers band-aid solutions)? My guess is “not well”.
Point being, I think the guy is a great prospect and seems like a good character guy. But the sad reality is that we may not be equipped to help him succeed. It sucks, but it is what it is.
So considering the two biggest needs are at the 1 and 5 spots, I’d go with the 1 in this case. Lillard probably should go #11 but between Toronto at #8 and New Orleans at #10 I’m not convinced he’ll be there. So I say take him early just to be sure (for the reasons listed above).
Kendall Marshall, I love him. But for immediate need I’d rather have an aggressive offensive player that can shoot and finish at the rim. I’d be speaking differently if the Blazers had a guy like that, as Marshall is a great facilitator. Any guy that averages 10 assists a game in college is good in my book. Without the attacking presence on the current roster though, I’d prefer Lillard. Marshall’s strength as a facilitator would be cheapened if the entire offense right now is predicated on throwing the ball into Aldridge while everyone else stands around the perimeter. Lillard’s game would be a welcomed curveball to that mentality. (Note: if the Blazers were in “rebuild” mode, I’d be good with Marshall as our point guard of the future. But they seem hell-bent on “re-tooling” to maximize Aldridge’s prime years).
As for your notes on quality players projected to go later in the round, I’m with ya. Which begs the question. Earlier today you indicated you’d be upset if the Warriors traded #7 to pick up #14 and #16 from the Rockets. Why would that be so bad? The guys projected to go between 14-21 meet your criteria of helping now, for the most part. Wouldn’t it help to stockpile assets of quality players rather than take Waiters?
#6. Endo’s Garage
Before I answer your questions, I want to do a little blind taste test of draft prospects. Who would you rather?
Player A: 6’3, 6’8 wingspan, 2011-12 stats: 34 mpg, 15 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.2 apg, .445/.339/.769 (FG%/3pt%/FT%)
Player B: 6’3, 6’7 wingspan, 2011-12 stats: 24 mpg, 12.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.5 apg, .476/.363/.729 (FG%/3pt%/FT%)
Pretty much as similar as it gets. Player A seems to have a little better rebounding instincts yet Player B is the more efficient scorer. Yet for some reason Player A is looked at as a “lock” of a top 4 pick whereas Player B is just now picking up steam in terms of being considered a top 7 prospect.
Player A: Bradley Beal & Player B: Dion Waiters
I’m sure by now you’ve realized that Player A is Bradley Beal and Player B is Dion Waiters. I’ve heard talk of Beal being a “prototypical 2 guard”, a “sharpshooter”, and “the next Ray Allen.” Not only did Ray Allen never shoot anywhere near 34% from 3 in college, he was never under 40% in his 3 seasons at UConn. Now I’m not saying that Beal will be a bust, or Waiters will undoubtedly be better than Beal, I’m just confused as to what everyone sees in him. If I’m a team in the top 5, I would not for a second consider taking Beal over Thomas Robinson or MKG, or Harrison Barnes for that matter.
As for the Warriors trading down from 7 to get 2 picks in the team, I did in fact say that I’d be upset. My thinking is this: the Warriors need as much top end talent as they can get. I do NOT think they draft players based on their ability to help out now. Decisions like that cause teams to draft Ekpe Udoh over Greg Monroe. They need a guy who has serious talent. Whether that be Waiters, or if Drummond slips to them, they need to take advantage of them and draft them. The odds they get a guy at #7 who will become THE guy for a team is very slim (though Drummond could become that guy) but there is no one on the W’s roster right now who is a real #1 guy, and adding role players (aka guys drafted in the teens) is nice, but they need top end talent.
Now, as for Portland and Lillard, all I can say is, good luck (in my C Webb voice). I completely understand why the Blazers should draft him, and your concerns with Andre Drummond. It looks as if there is a VERY good chance Lillard will be available when the Blazers draft at 6, and after listening to the rational Blazers fans call in to sports talk radio in Portland I am assured he will be welcomed in Rip City. But I also remember those same rational types falling in love with Ray Felton, Jerryd Bayless, Dan Dickau, and other supposed point guards of the future. (Don’t know why I felt the need to throw Dan Dickau under the bus there, but I did, so there. I’ve also been partying tonight, so there’s that.)
All that said, knowing that Austin Rivers is the “hot” name on teams draft boards, PLEASE draft Lillard. At the very least you can justify that he’s an Oakland point guard and make irrational comparisons to Gary Payton and Jason Kidd. Austin Rivers is said to have an ego that rivals Kobe Bryant, so to whomever drafts him, I offer my most sincere, C Webb voice, good luck.
(Editor’s note: if you haven’t seen the following video of Chris Webber interviewing David Kahn, it’s a must watch)
24 hours from now we will know how everything plays out. This is my final email in our little back and forth we’ve had so I guess I should do some sort of sign off. The Hornets are obviously going to come out as the winners here. They’ll get the best player (duh) and another solid player at 10, and I’m going on the record here as saying they’ll make the playoffs before the Warriors. Houston obviously will be the team to watch, and they might even make a trade with my W’s. Charlotte, Washington, Cleveland and Sacramento are all fairly hopeless franchises and will more than likely doom whomever they draft. You guys in Portland are in the middle of a retooling (not rebuilding, CEO speak, boom) and if I were you I’d be very anxious going into tomorrow. As for me and my W’s, barf. I am a grown ass man, I’ve been around the block many times with this team, so I am already angry at whatever happens tomorrow night. Drummond will be on the board, we’ll pass on him, someone will swoop and he’ll be a superstar. These are how these things happen.
Live shot of Endo after every Warriors draft pick. (Note: coincidentally, this happens to be the same look I make every time a Blazer goes down with an injury).
Well Sir, this was big fun. Good luck to your squad tomorrow night. I’ll be sure to blow up your twitter feed with my rants and ramblings of all things NBA tomorrow.
#7: Chunk’s Revenge
Endo, it’s been a goddamned pleasure. Did we resolve anything? Nope. Did we create any semblance of a mock draft? Not a chance. Did we have a righteous time drinking brews over nightly emails and adequately showing how fucking frustrating it can be to root for a disoriented franchise? You betcha. Best of luck tomorrow.
As if your rantings and ravings about prospects (complete with advanced stats and statistical comparisons of comparable players) weren’t enough, it’s worth pointing out one thing. You – a Warriors fan living in Los Angeles – live streamed John Canzano’s “Bald Faced Truth” radio program in Portland to listen to a mock draft with me during working hours. If that’s not a basketball junkie, I don’t know what is.
Apparently we share an admiration for the sport. Perhaps we should play H.O.R.S.E. sometime. Or do this again after the draft concludes.
Fare thee well you saucy scoundrel.