June, 29, 2012
By Beckley Mason
- Dion Waiters didn't work out for Cleveland, who drafted him fourth overall. But that doesn't mean they didn't do their due diligence says Brian Windhorst, who was with the Cavaliers brass on draft night and describes their decision making process: "Trent Redden, the Cavs' director of college personnel, had been to Syracuse's campus several times to see and gather information on Waiters. Grant spent three days there watching Waiters practice and play and attended a couple of the Orange's NCAA tournament games. Several of the team's other decision-makers had watched Waiters extensively as well. In addition, the Cavs had talked at great length with Syracuse's coaching staff. Grant has known Syracuse assistant coach Mike Hopkins since they were both in high school." Also: Advanced stats played big roles in both the Cavs' affection for both Waiters and Tyler Zeller. In short: They both scored well on the kinds of shots the Cavs thought would be available in the NBA.
- Jeff "The Toolman" Taylor and the rest of Trey Kerby's essential list of nicknames for each player in this year's draft.
- Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak on what could be a busy summer for the Lakers.
- Jay Bilas plays the "wingspan" game.
- On The Two Man Game, Rob Mahoney explains how the Mavericks' draft impacts the rest of their offseason: "Dallas has opened up approximately $1.4 million in cap space for the free agent cause (depending on Cunningham’s exact salary), and obtained the rights to two players without adding any cap holds for this summer. Even if James and Crowder don’t make the team this season, they won’t even bear the slightest financial limitation to the Mavs, making them precisely the kind of assets that Dallas needs at this particular point in time. The spotlight is rightfully on free agency, and by the time we clear July’s mayhem, the Mavericks may very well be in need of affordable players to fill out the roster." For what it's worth, I'm a big fan of Crowder. Think of him as the Paul Millsap of small forwards -- unconventional package but terrific results. Kevin Pelton's statistical model suggests he's one of the top prospects in the draft, and his story -- he had to take a massive course load at the junior college he lead to a national title just to get into Marquette -- is fantastic.
- Why Pistons fans should be ecstatic about drafting "probable bust" Andre Drummond. Worth noting: the Pistons haven't had the best history of player development over the last 10 years.
- Kings coach Keith Smart looks pretty excited about snagging Thomas Robinson with the fifth pick.
- Optimism out of Philadelphia after the 76ers pried Arnett Moultrie from the Miami Heat. It seemed like a strange decision for the Heat, a team that despite just winning a title, could still very much use a talented, athletic big man.
- Drafting point guard Kendall Marshall impacts how the Suns will handle Sebastian Telfair way more than whether they will re-sign Steve Nash.
- This quote from Doc Rivers on Celtics Hub includes both my favorite synonym for "long" and a peek into why the Celtics were willing to take a risk on Fab Melo: "Obviously he has size, he’s extensive. We have to teach him the Celtics way, we have to teach him how to work. If he has great character, then we have a chance, and that’s what we’re going to have to make sure [of]."
- I wonder if Austin Rivers would have held back on his Anthony Davis impersonation if he had known they would soon become teammates. Probably not.
- Bradley Beal's football family.
- Zach Lowe with the 10 best power forwards in this summer's free agent class. It strikes me that only one of these players, Kris Humphries, doesn't have a reliable jumpshot.
- Seems like Oklahoma City is the perfect place for Perry Jones to grow his game.