With center and shooting guard locked up for the long run, Portland could use the most help at point guard and small forward. Although DJ Augustine is available, the 'Blazers already have an undersized PG in Jack and I'd say that a 6'8" forward with Alexander's skill set is a more valuable choice at this spot in the draft.
I'll let someone else make Portland's pick, please.
Alright, I guess I shamed Edouble out of making the pick (my apologies!), so I'll make it. I already wrote my analysis above. I like Ajinca and Augustin, but the Blazers would really need to move some guys (big contracts) out to find time for him. Same goes for Augustin at the point, though there's less money tied up there. They have:
PG: Steve Blake / Jarrett Jack / Sergio Rodriguez
PF: LaMarcus Aldridge / Channing Frye / Josh McRoberts
C: Greg Oden / Joel Pryzbilla / Raef LaFrentz
Really, I think they either need to move some players or move the pick... or both. In the end, they don't have a good long-term solution at point.
So, with the thirteenth pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, the Portland Trail Blazers select D.J. Augustin, PG, Texas.
Based on other posters' proxy choices (posted in this thread)...
14. Golden State - Kosta Koufos, C, Ohio State
15. Phoenix - Alexis Ajinca, C, Hyeres-Toulon
With the 16th pick in the draft, the Sixers select Roy Hibbert, C, Georgetown.
Perhaps Billy King was not the village idiot everyone in Philthy seemed to think the last couple of years. Here is his legacy: Andre Miller is flourishing under Coach Mo Cheeks, and Sweet Lou Williams is an exciting combo guard. Andre "The Other A.I." Iguodala has All-Star ability at SF, and rookie Thaddeus Young showed flashes of excellence on offense at PF, yet still possessing even more Tremendous Upside Potential. Last season, the Sixers exceeded expectations, going from a predicted 30 wins to a surprising playoff spot, and being more than competitive against Detroit. While Slammin Sammy Dalembert is a serviceable pro center, the Sixers are limited by inconsistent production from the 4 and 5 spots.
Hibbert should be an improvement over Dalembert in all phases of the game. Roy can't run like Sammy, but they don't need him to fill lanes on the fast break. Hibbert's biggest contribution will be providing a solid low-post scoring option with better passing in the half-court game.
Other candidates considered:
K. Koufos - would have considered him if still on the board... Like his offensive skills...
Marreese Speights, C, Florida - Nope, although a lot of mocks like him in Philly. I haven't seen him play to make my own evaluation, but I'm betting he will be no better in the pros than Hibbert 2-3 years down the road, and Mo can play Hibbert now.
Darrel Arthur, PF, Kansas - Nope, already have Thaddeus Young... same type of player
(OK, so maybe Billy overpaid Kyle Korver, Willie Green, and Sammy... Still, no one bats 1.000 and this team should improve next season regardless of who is drafted...)
And sorry for the long writeup - caught me at lunchtime!!
Last edited by Turk; 06-24-2008 at 12:26 PM. Reason: wordsmithing tweaks...
For those scoring at home:
With the 17th overall pick, the Toronto Raptors select from Stanford, Robin Lopez
There has been lots of trade talks about TJ Ford being traded away and most of the talk has been with acquiring an athletic slasher than can score and help defend. I'm going to pretend I haven't heard of the recent Jermaine O'Neal possibility and just assume Toronto will acquire a wing player in the trade.
That leaves Toronto looking for a player that can step in and make contributions right away. Toronto is very thin and weak up the middle and most notably have suffered with rebounding and defending. Chris Bosh can't do it all and definetely needs help down there, and with Nesterovich's expiring contract you can expect him to be moved at the mid season trade deadline so they need a young center to be able to take over. Robin definetely brings the hustle, defence, rebounding and spark that the Raptors could use right away and should help Bosh down low. He is never going to be a big scorer in this league and there are better wing and centre prospects available in the draft but they already have one project and potential bust in Bargniani and they need the help right away and Robin would bring them that.
If you are having trouble keeping up with the picks, you can go to the ESPN Mock Draft Machine to input the selections that have gone before. It also provides a way to see who is left. Of course, if you have to work, and work at a place that doesn't allow you to check in here very often, too bad.
I'm back now so I guess I'll give my analysis on taking Ajinca at #15. I was torn between Ajinca and Robin Lopez. I also really liked Brandon Rush and what he could bring to the Suns. In the end, though, I think Ajinca is the best pick because of his potential.
The Suns really need a back up big man for Shaq and Amare. I know Lopez can come right in and be a solid backup in the post, but I think Ajinca could become an all-star down the road with the right coaching and I'm not sure Robin Lopez ever will be an all-star. At 7'1" with a 7'7" wingspan Ajinca will be a terror defensively. While Ajinca needs to put on weight, at his current size he can still back-up the PF position. With Shaq on the team, Ajinca will have a couple of years to put on weight. That is another reason I took him because with his potential and with Shaq already on the team I think Shaq could really help groom him and turn him into an all-star player.
The Suns are also in a lot of trade discussions. A deal is supposedly being talked about where Barbosa goes to Portland for Martell Webster and the #13 pick and another one is Diaw for T.J. Ford. I think some picks are also involved in the Diaw/Ford trade. These are 2 deals I would also make. Webster would give the Suns the shooter they are desperate for and Ford would give them a backup PG who would start when Nash retires. So if all this happened they would have Ford, Webster, and Ajinca or another big man if he was gone. This would significantly upgrade their chances at a championship.
In the absence of BDH21, could I suggest that Brandon Rush be sent to Washington to replace the loss of a Tarheel? He's about the best left on the board, and will be needed pretty much right away next year.
You beat me to it, MarineTwinsDad.
I agree with the Rush selection as well. Washington doesn't really need him but taking the Best player available is a good idea. Besides now they can get rid of Gilbert "crybaby" Arenas.
Looks like it's up to Dukejim1 and Cleveland to ge their pick in before 3:40
Computer crashed yesterday and I of course had the first pick. Ironically enough I tried to select it early, but was told to wait.....Anyway...thank you prf for taking Rose, as he was my pick anyway and I definitely think a trade will take place with that crowded backcourt. However, Rose is too good to pass up and is a native son who will put butts in the seats as well....
It's been a really busy morning at work and I was worried that I'd maybe missed my chance to pick (I'm something like #42 or something). I had to laugh at myself when I noticed that it took more than 15 hours for the pick after mine (the 12th) to be made. At least we've picked it up a little since then.