Aloha everyone. I'm here in Chicago getting ready for Thursday and Friday's NBA Draft Combine. We'll be talking NBA Draft all hour. Let's roll ...
Don't you think the Wiz should do everything in their power to get MKG including trading up to 2?
No. They should be content at 3. MKG would be a great fit for them. But so would Bradley Beal and even Thomas Robinson and Harrison Barnes. They'll get a great player at 3.
Hey Chad - of all the players likely to be available for the Hornets' 10th overall pick, who would be the best fit with the Gordon-Davis nucleus?
We've been thinking they'd go point guard -- someone like Damian Lillard or Kendall Marshall. But I've been hearing lately that they guy they are really high on is Ohio State's Jared Sullinger. Makes some sense. Has a very developed low post game. Davis can make up for his lack of athleticism.
How good is MKG? Some people say scoring machine in NBA, others that he lacks actual basketball skills.
Doubt he's a scoring machine. And no, he doesn't lack basketball skills. He's still developing as a shooter and a ball handler. But he's an incredible finisher around the basket, is an elite defender who can guard multiple positions and plays as hard as anyone I've ever seen. His skills will improve. Comps go from the high end of a Scottie Pippen or Andre Iguodala to the mid range of a Gerald Wallace or Shane Battier. After seeing the Celtics out-will and out-work the Heat -- I think GMs recognize that having a killer instinct and a great motor are basketball skills.
Royce White or Harkless?
Pure talent? White. But Harkless has so much less baggage, I bet he goes higher.
Do you think Beal will finally find his shot in the NBA, his shot was good but not great in college?
I do. Has as pure of a stroke as you are going to find. He shot 46 percent from three in his last five games -- which were heated affairs in the SEC and NCAA Tournament. Hit just about everything when I saw him working out in Chicago. People who have watched him his whole life feel he's the best shooter to come into the draft in a while.
Who, besides Drummond, could be the biggest potential "bust" this year?
I think he and Perry Jones are vying for that honor right now. I actually think Drummond has less bust potential however, because he's so big and athletic, at the very least he'll rebound and block shots. Bust really depends on where you draft them and how long they stay in the league. Kwame was a bust as a No. 1 pick. But as a Top 10 pick -- he was solid.
Reading a lot of rumours that Barnes is the Cavalier's guy, how good do you think he can be next to Irving?
We've had Barnes in our Mock to Cleveland since Lottery Night in part, because the Cavs had a strong interest in drafting Barnes last year at No. 4 and were very disappointed when he pulled out of the draft. He's a great fit because he can really shoot the basketball and he can guard his position. He won't be great until he gets a better handle, but as a No. 2 guy next to Irving ... it's an ideal fit for him.
You still have Dion Waiters going to the Raptors, Chad. But all we keep hearing up here is that the Raptors are likely to move the pick. Any idea who would be available for the 8th pick in the draft?
I agree that the Raptors are looking to move the pick. They've been trying to package it with another young player like Ed Davis and a vet (Bargnani or Calderon). I think they want a big time player on the wing so that they can lure Steve Nash this summer. The guy most people in the league believe they are after via trade is Rudy Gay. If they stay at 8, they want a player who can get to the basket. Thus ... Waiters at 8.
With Olshey now at the helm in Rip City and preaching the importance of young talent, do the Blazers target a potential "cornerstone" this draft? Do they package the 6 and 11 to move up and get it? Is Drummond that guy? Or do they upgrade the 2 with Beal?
Olshey spent a lot of time on the high school circuit and really values young players who were highly ranked coming out of high school. Look at their picks, DeAndre Jordan, Al-Farouq Aminu, Eric Bledsoe, etc. He also loved OJ Mayo and worked hard to get him. So ... if they can't move up (I could see Beal) as a target, he won't be afraid at all to go after a guy like Andre Drummond or Perry Jones.
What's stopping Meyers Leonard from being a sure top 10 pick? From the outside looking in, it seems like he has a pretty rare blend of size/athleticism/potential. Does he have baggage or mental toughness concerns?
You're right. No baggage. Lots of concerns about maturity, work ethic etc. On physical profile alone (and a very solid season in Illinois) he'd normally be a top 10 pick. If he puts in the work, he could be very good. But it's a big if.
What are the best/worst case scenarios for Detroit at #9?
They need a long athletic big. We've had John Henson there the past few weeks because he's the only guy left on the board. But he's not ideal. Andre Drummond would be a much better fit.
How does Lillard compare as a prospect to Kemba Walker last year? They seem to have similar measurables and college stats.
Lillard's a much better shooter. He's bigger. Has more of a NBA body. He's probably a more explosive leaper. Walker obviously had much more experience playing against top competition and developed into more of a point guard. I think Lillard is a better prospect ...
Any way Austin Rivers ends up in Boston?
They'll have to move up. He's in the mix from 8-18. Don't think he slides past the Wolves at 18.
any chance kendall marshall is the next rajon rondo?
Totally different players. Marshall's upside is Andre Miller ...
I understand Perry Jones seems to be fitting in better at the 3 during workouts. Is this his long-term position or just until he gets stronger?
Ideally he's a four. However, you have to factor in what the player believes he is. Jones doesn't like contact and doesn't like to play in the paint. He not only sees himself as three ... that's what he wants to be. If you want a motivated PJIII -- I think a team drafts him knowing that's what he'll be.
What are you hearing about the Sixers?
The need an athletic four and they need a shooting guard who can really stroke it. Terrence Ross, Austin Rivers, Arnett Moultrie look like the three best candidates right now ...
Saw a mock with Tony Wroten going to the Nugs..com'd to poor man's Russ Westbrook...fair comparison?
Wroten actually has much better floor vision. Westbrook a more explosive athlete. Neither could shoot out of college. Both have great size and are lock down defenders. I think there are a lot more questions about Wroten's maturity and leadership skills however. Rondo is frankly, another comp. Wroten has that much potential. Just a lot of teams worried about whether he can live up to it.
Where do you see Quincy Miller ending up? He was great in high school and is now recovered from his ACL tear. Could you see him being the big sleeper in this draft?
May be the most undervalued player in the draft. Had he stayed in school another year, would've been a likely Top 10 pick.
have only seen highlights but jared cunningham looks like he can ball and would translate well to the NBA. any chance the cavs take him at 33/34 or is that too early?
Not too early at all. I think he's one of the three or four top sleepers in the draft. I could really see him helping himself at the NBA Draft Combine this week. Elite athlete. Teams will be watching the jump shot.
Chad, should the Pacers try and package Darren Collison and the 26th pick to move up and a get shooter? Jeremy Lamb would make a lot of sense for them.
I think that's a serious option for them. Several teams in the lottery -- most notably the Hornets (10) and Blazers (11) -- are in the market for a point guard. The Hornets loved Collison when they had him last time. Not sure where the Pacers would go at 11, but Lamb, Rivers, Damian Lillard, Jared Sullinger, Dion Waiters would all be possibilities for them
seems to be some talk Terrence Jones is moving up the draft board. What is the highest you see him going?
Warriors really like him at No. 7. They could change their minds with workouts (I think Sullinger is in the picture here as well).
Last year the Cavs surprised everyone by taking Tristan Thompson 4th. Who could be the surprise pick this year?
John Henson going No. 5 to the Kings. Moe Harkless going No. 8 to the Raptors.
What do you think the Bulls will do in this draft?
Need a shooter in the worst way. Three guys: John Jenkins, Doron Lamb and Orlando Johnson should all get long looks.
Miles Plumlee gets drafted?
For sure. Maybe late first/early second. Not a lot of 6-11 guys around with that NBA body and athletic ability. He'd be a back-up in the pros, but late in the first and early in the second, that's what you're swinging for. Upside might be someone like Jeff Foster.
Are you answering comments in the comment section?
That's not me... but I appreciate whoever is trying to help me get to move questions.
I'm sold on Andrew Nicholson being a solid rotation player. Where's the earliest you could see him going? Latest? Good fit?
Me too. Maybe even a little better than that. There's some David West there ... I think he could go as high as Philly at 15. Maybe even Suns at 13. Don't think he gets past the Celtics at 21 or 22.
where do you see my little brother Marquis going? Do you think he will be a better pro than me?
I think he's another guy teams may be sleeping on a bit. Got better and better as the year went on. Some elite talent there ... had he stayed in school another year he's a Top 10 pick. I have him going No. 20 to Nuggets ... I'm told Suns are looking at 13. Doubt he slips past Indy at 26.
Are you as high on Sullinger as Thorpe is?
Yes and no. I don't think there's a lot of risk there. He rebounds well, will be able to create space with his strong lower body and is more skilled than you think. But he plays below the rim, is a little undersized and I think his motor doesn't run as hot as it needs to. Don't think the ceiling is huge for him, but the floor isn't very low either.
I need an update on the Jazz. Trading into the draft?
Knowing Kevin O'Connor ... you can be sure they are trying. They're intrigued by a number of players if they can get somewhere between 10-20. My guess is Devin Harris, Al Jefferson and Paul Milsap are the bait.
How much stock do GMs and scouts put into a prospect's intensity and motor? After seeing the success of Faried this year in Denver, do you think the powers-that-be look more into motor than in the past? If that's the case, does Drummond slip for that reason?
Yes, it's becoming increasingly important. And yes, it's why Drummond, Perry Jones and to a lesser extent, Harrison Barnes, have slid a little
Chad, who is Pat drafting so I don't look ridiculous in the playoffs anymore?
Why is Austin Rivers not considered a franchise player? He can flat out score and that's what you do as Franchise Player!
IF he was an elite athlete, then yes, he'd be a Top 5 pick. But lots of concerns about who he'll guard at the next level.
how high could you see kyle o'quinn going? early 2nd? that 7'5 wing span is nice..
Yes. Maybe even late first. Has had impressive workouts and is still riding the wave of a great performance in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Warriors would be a team to watch on him. They have the 30th pick and 35.
always, always, ALWAYS draft a guy who leads NCAA in rebounds for a few years. Always underrated, always works out (Millsap, Faried) Why do people miss this?
O.D. Anosike appreciates the support, but he didn't declare for the draft. We'll put him down for next year :)
Why doesn't NBA combine get as much publicity as NFL combine?
I think the physical attributes tested at the combine mean more to the NFL than they do the NBA. The key things teams get out of this week are the interviews with players, the medical testing, the measurements and the change to mingle with the other 30 teams. The stuff that happens on the court doesn't make a huge impact. It's too watered down.
Can the league do anything to force 5-on-5 competition at the combine in the future?
No, because the agents really hold all the cards. Even if the league tried to pass a rule forcing the players to play, many agents would just claim that their client was hurt. I wish the agents would be more open and just let their clients compete. That's what the players want to do. But alas, it's a wish that's never coming true.
Can I buy tickets to attend the combine?
No. Sadly there's very little space and it's closed to the public and media. <<Shameless plug coming ....>> But you can watch it on ESPNU starting at 10 a.m. ET. on both Thursday and Friday. Ryen Russillo hosts. Myself, Tom Penn, Fran Frascilla and Jay Williams are on the panel with Andy Katz doing interviews. It's good TV.
Gotta run everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today. We'll do it again next week. Enjoy the Draft Combine ...