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May 17, 2010

Unfiltered Draft: Gani Lawal

Gani Lawal had a pretty good sophomore season at Tech but it wasn't enough to get him verbal confirmation of a round one draft pick from any NBA teams. So he did the smart thing and went back for a third year. With Tech at last place in the ACC and one of the best incoming Freshman classes of all time, the sky was the limit. The Jackets achieved just what Lawal and company hoped to do this past season. They went from last place in ACC to being runner-up at the ACC Tournament Finals, achieving an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. This resurgence was largely due to phenom Derrick Favors playing in tandem with Gani Lawal, alongside Zachery Peacock. Other future stars Iman Shumpert, Glen Rice Jr., sharpshooter Brian Oliver, and Memphis's Maurice Miller played tough team ball for the Jackets in the number one conference in the nation. They only came second to national champions, Duke University and actually beat the champs once during the regular season, quite emphatically.

  • 2009 Backs out of Draft - Smart move
  • What do the Grizzlies need at the end of round one in 2010 draft? They need competent bench help. The problem is kids these days don't want to be the second dog. What about a guy that decides to spend another year, in one of the most difficult schools in the world, just to improve himself and do the smartest thing for his career if NBA doesn't entirely pan out? Perhaps that guy has the character you need in a support role.
  • Lawal has proven he can do the work. He gave space to phenom Derrick Favors so he could find his wings. It was a struggle. The Jackets did not run away with anything this year. Favors was not lighting up ESPN highlights. But Lawal didn't say, "hey I'm the man here - I should be starting every night and Favors should back me up". He knew his role. And he did it.
  • "He jumps like a gorilla!" (so wrong - but hilarious dude)
  • I had the great fortune of watching Chris Bosh at school. I'm no NBA scout but I have been as big a fan of Lawal as Bosh. I like his style. He is a bruiser. I think he has a good future and worth a low first round pick for sure!

Floor: Nathan Jawai, Jonathan Bender

Ceiling: Carlos Boozer, Antonio McDyess

May 5, 2010

Unfiltered Draft: Luke Babbitt

Another lefty! It has worked well for Mike Conley and ZBO. So I guess I'm picking lefty's here. If this guy is available at #25 then it's a must pick.

Some interesting players have come out of Nevada including Ramon Sessions and JaVale McGee.

Why Babbitt?

  1. Great shooter
  2. Academic Athlete
  3. Gritty – like DeMarre Carroll – but with skillz
  4. Multi-dimensional athlete, with skillz

Ceiling: Rip Hamilton
Mid-point: Sasha Pavolic, Julian Wright
Floor: Luke Walton

May 3, 2010

Unfiltered Draft: Xavier Henry

  • Xavier Henry is the first ever "one and done" from Kansas, which produced many great players such as Paul Pierce, Danny Manning, Nick Collison, and Darrell Arthur.  
  • Henry almost broke the freshman scoring record at Kansas, coming in second only behind Manning.
  • Xavier Henry has a very high field goal percentage and could be a three point threat off the bench in his rookie year.  Although he "cooled off" as the season progressed into conference play, he has the best shooting numbers of any player predicted to be a lottery pick in 2010.
  • Henry is large enough to play small at the 3 or be sizeable wingman next to either Conley or Mayo at point.   With Mayo and Henry both on the court the Grizz would have a large outside threat for the inside-outside game to be established.
  • If Grizz chose Henry early at the 12th spot there would still be plenty of talented big men available in this draft when they choose again at 25 and 28.  There  won't likely be any impact guards left at those draft positions however.