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  1. #226

    Default 5 things for the Timberwolves to make the playoffs next year - Strib

    1) Add a defensive-minded big man. The Timberwolves allowed opponents to score 46.2 points per game in the paint last season. Only five NBA teams allowed more. I don’t know that they specifically need a shot blocker, but neither Gorgui Dieng nor Karl-Anthony Towns are thick post defenders who strike fear into opposing guards and bigs. Someone like Nene would be a great addition.

    2) Add a perimeter defender who can shoot threes. Yes, the three-and-D player so many teams covet in the modern NBA. Whether the Wolves address this in the draft or through free agency, a strong wing defender who can space the floor and knock down threes would be a major boon to this rotation. Brandon Rush *sort of* filled that role last year on a one-year contract, but a turbo-charged, more athletic version of Rush who is a better defender would look great in a Wolves uniform.

    3) The continued evolution of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Here’s where we get into things a little harder to define, but clearly for as good as Towns and Wiggins already are, they have room to get better. As they gain even more confidence and repetitions, they should improve in two key areas: end of game situations and stopping opposing teams’ runs. Minnesota lost a ghastly 22 games last season in which it held a double-digit lead at one point. Leadership means getting good shots and defensive stops as momentum starts to turn against you. Towns and Wiggins are young, but they are leaders. This responsibility will fall to them, and they will need to be able to handle it.

    4) A commitment to defense. The most disappointing thing about last year’s Wolves had to be their stalled progress on defense under Tom Thibodeau. The head coach has a reputation for being a defensive fixer. But the Wolves two years ago under Sam Mitchell had a defensive efficiency that ranked 27th in the NBA. Last year they were tied for 26th. If there is any silver lining, the Wolves had about a one-month stretch from mid-February to mid-March where they played good defense for a sustained stretch while hanging around the fringes of the playoff race. They could see the translation into victories, but they lost interest as their playoff hopes faded. That’s a maturity thing (as well as an effort and talent thing). But at least they’ve done it before and can see the benefit. Now they need to do it more consistently over 82 games.

    5) Figure out their point guard situation. Are the Wolves committing to Ricky Rubio? Are they going to trade him and roll with Kris Dunn and Tyus Jones? Are they going to trade Rubio but add another veteran? Would they consider drafting another point guard if they’re worried about Dunn’s progress? Man, that’s a lot of questions. With the draft coming next week and free agency coming shortly thereafter, we should have some clarity soon. I don’t know what the answer is, but I know the Wolves better get it right to have any chance next season.


    http://www.startribune.com/five-thin...ear/428223623/


  2. #227

    Default

    Rand Ball: One week out: Wolves will have options, leverage in NBA Draft

    We’re officially one week out from the NBA Draft. The mock drafts are ramping up. Most of them are just guesses, and we should probably ignore them. Even if they’re educated guesses, they’re mostly useless because one unexpected move at the top of the draft can change everything.

    There’s no real consensus when it comes to the Wolves and the No. 7 pick. Florida State freshman Jonathan Isaac’s name comes up a lot, but six other teams will have a crack at him first if they decide that’s what they want to do.

    Trade speculation is fun, but most of it turns out to be fiction.

    So is there any meaningful information even out there as we try to get a handle on the Wolves’ situation heading into next week?

    Well, thankfully, yes.

    ESPN Insider Chad Ford just released his list of the six tiers of players in this year’s draft class — everyone from potential superstars on down. This is not a top-of-the-head mock draft. This is actual information based on his polling of NBA scouts and executives — people who have been evaluating talent for a long time and will have major influence over this year’s selections. It’s still subjective, of course, but it’s far better than a lot of other things you’ll find out there on the draft.

    And if you’re a Wolves fan, it also reveals some very good news.

    Only two players are listed in Tier I, the potential superstars — point guards Markelle Fultz (Washington) and Lonzo Ball (UCLA). But that’s actually a lot, since Ford notes that since he started doing the pre-draft tiers in 2009 only six other players have been Tier 1 players (including current Wolves players Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins).

    More importantly to the Wolves and their fans: eight more players are listed in Tier II, defined as potential all-stars. Ford notes that it is “the largest Tier 2 we’ve ever had” and adds that “having 10 players in the first two tiers is extraordinary for a draft class.”

    The eight Tier II players are: De’Aaron Fox, PG, Fr., Kentucky; Jonathan Isaac, F, Fr., Florida State; Josh Jackson, G/F, Fr., Kansas; Lauri Markkanen, PF, Fr., Arizona; Malik Monk, G, Fr., Kentucky; Frank Ntilikina, PG, France; Dennis Smith, PG, Fr., North Carolina State; Jayson Tatum, F, Fr., Duke.

    http://www.startribune.com/one-week-...aft/428637673/

    Howl Wolves!!

  3. Default

    I'd personally rather have Zach Collins than any other player we could realistically get at 7 - but maybe that's just me.

  4. #229

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dpodoll68 View Post
    I'd personally rather have Zach Collins than any other player we could realistically get at 7 - but maybe that's just me.
    I'm with you out of the big guys. I'm just not a huge fan of either Isaac or Markkanen.

    Monk does really intrigue me though if he falls. He has the potential to be an elite scorer. He's undersized for a 2 guard, but I think he could be a better version of CJ McCollum.

  5. #230

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GopherWeatherGuy View Post
    I'm with you out of the big guys. I'm just not a huge fan of either Isaac or Markkanen.

    Monk does really intrigue me though if he falls. He has the potential to be an elite scorer. He's undersized for a 2 guard, but I think he could be a better version of CJ McCollum.
    I like Collins, but the need for a Center isn't there. Monk would be really interesting because shooting is a big need and he can play a position where they only have Zach right now. I still think Isaac has a chance to be the big get in the draft and if he is there...take him.
    Aloha Mr. Hand

  6. #231

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tikited View Post
    I like Collins, but the need for a Center isn't there. Monk would be really interesting because shooting is a big need and he can play a position where they only have Zach right now. I still think Isaac has a chance to be the big get in the draft and if he is there...take him.
    That's the big question isn't it? Orlando is supposedly circling around Monk and Isaac.

    Though any draft rumor is often just ill informed speculation at best.

  7. #232

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Iceland12 View Post
    That's the big question isn't it? Orlando is supposedly circling around Monk and Isaac.

    Though any draft rumor is often just ill informed speculation at best.
    I honestly could live with Monk, Isaac, Tatum, or Fox. One of them will be there at 7 although Fox is probably long gone by the 7th pick. Tatum is probably gone as well, but, I'd be cool with taking Tatum and trading him. I'd keep Fox and trade Rubio. Keep Isaac or Monk. Don't draft the big guy out of Arizona please!!
    Aloha Mr. Hand

  8. #233

    Default The Prospects Rising and Falling on Our 2017 NBA Draft Big Boards - The Ringer

    Quote Originally Posted by tikited View Post
    I honestly could live with Monk, Isaac, Tatum, or Fox. One of them will be there at 7 although Fox is probably long gone by the 7th pick. Tatum is probably gone as well, but, I'd be cool with taking Tatum and trading him. I'd keep Fox and trade Rubio. Keep Isaac or Monk. Don't draft the big guy out of Arizona please!!
    Kevin O'Connor, now at the Ringer, agrees with you.

    O’Connor: Markkanen floated between fourth and eighth on my big board over the first few months of the college season before he plunged to the back end of the lottery once our Draft Guide launched. I still like Lauri; he’s a 7-footer who shoots 3s at a high level and it’s easy to see him scoring a lot of points in his career. But saying Markkanen is a 7-footer who shoots 3s is a bit of an empty statement.
    Markkanen plays nothing like a 7-footer — he rebounds like a guard. The Finnish stretch forward had a 17.5 defensive rebounding percentage as a freshman at Arizona, a low output comparable to college numbers posted by Frank Kaminsky, Bobby Portis, and Kelly Olynyk. You can trash the stats though. Pop on the film and you’ll find countless sequences like this:..

    All the physical issues that limit his rebounding also hinder his interior defense. In the pick-and-roll, bigger guards and wings plow through him. When a big is trying to seal off a spot inside, this happens too frequently:..

    Again, Markkanen gets shoved away like he’s a rag doll. His defensive positioning, instincts, fundamentals, and intensity are low. What I saw earlier in the season in Markkanen is what remains today — a highly skilled offensive player who can score uniquely from different levels of the floor. But what became more apparent as the year wore on was that he has the same pressing issues that have limited the upsides of other similar players. Markkanen could be really good, but right now there are at least 11 other prospects I’d rather take a crack at.


    https://theringer.com/2017-nba-draft...s-259a038e04f6

  9. Default

    Great analysis on trading Ricky Rubio:

    "In the transcript below, Josh Clement and Dane Moore debate the recent rumors about the Wolves pursuing a point guard in free agency and what that means for the Timberwolves. The following conversation has been lightly edited.

    Josh Clement: So the NBA draft is in eight days and the new rumblings out there are that the Wolves are looking to pursue one of the point guard free agents of George Hill, Jeff Teague, or Jrue Holiday. The Wolves also will likely have the opportunity to draft yet another point guard. All of these things are, of course, bad for the Spanish Unicorn Ricky Rubio. It's always hard to figure out exactly what the plan is for Thibs and Layden Co., so we are left grasping at whatever straws are out there. This plan does float the idea though that the Wolves could trade Rubio and either try to go after a point guard in free agency or draft another point guard, as it is hard to see all those pieces fitting on the roster along with Ricky. What do you think?

    Dane More: Oh, I can grasp for straws. That's what the NBA in the summertime is all about, right? Especially because, as you mentioned, the front office has been vacuum-sealed as far as rumblings go. All we have are straws to grasp.

    Here are my point guard-related straws that I'm grasping;

    1. I'm not ruling out a point guard in the draft.

    With 5 of the 10 top prospects labeled as point guards (Fultz, Ball, Fox, Smith, Ntilikina) and Malik Monk, another undersized guard (6'3") also in the top-10 mix it would be silly to rule out point guard for a Wolves team that still needs to add talent above anything else.

    The nugget I'm holding onto here is that I believe Ricky Rubio, Kris Dunn, and one of those six guards can all co-exist. At least for next season. This solace I have comes from the idea that Dunn can "get his" at the two guard. The second half of last season Dunn was exclusively playing with one of Rubio or Tyus Jones.

    If the Wolves draft a guard--most likely Fox, Smith, or Monk--I think things will be okay. I believe the backcourt is full but malleable enough to make things work.

    2. I think Rubio returns very little on the trade market.

    As you pointed out a few weeks ago, Josh, Rubio is a middle-of-the-pack starting point guard.

    I think this fact depresses his trade value. If the team trading for Rubio is doing so with the plan of starting him (likely) then there are only so many teams he could go to. Of those teams, I don't see one that is desperate enough to pay anything I would be comfortable with as compensation. A trade would likely leave me as underwhelmed as every rumored deal Rubio's name has ever been connected to.

    3. If the Wolves have Rubio, why use the cap space on Hill, Teague, or Holiday?

    If Hill, Teague, or Holiday are acquired in free agency, that is the end of the 2017 free agency for the Wolves.

    But I'm not in charge. If there is credence to these rumors, what do those three point guards bring to the Wolves that the current guards do not?

    Josh: Well you are right to point out that Rubio will likely not fetch much, or at least as much value as we would hope on the trade market. The current point guard landscape depresses Rubio's value significantly, as teams either have "their guy," or will be able to draft a prospect in this year's draft. The only teams that I think are real trade prospects are the Knicks, Nuggets, Spurs, or Mavericks, and none of those teams (other than Denver) have assets that worth getting excited about that could be moved.

    As far as Teague, Hill, and Holiday are concerned, I get the rationale behind the idea. High pick-and-rolls have taken over the NBA as one of the most important offensive sets. The reason they are so dangerous is teams have a point guard, or some other player, who can shoot three-pointers off the dribble. The Wolves have one end of the equation figured out with Towns, as he would likely be one of the most dangerous rolling big men in the NBA, due to his ability to shoot, create shots for others, or attack the basket. Rubio, on the other hand, simply does not shoot three-pointers off the dribble. Of all his three-pointers last year, 95 percent were assisted, and that is pretty consistent throughout his career. That is a number that is more in-line with spot-up shooters rather than a player who has the ball in their hands.

    Teague, Hill, and Holiday could likely be those lead guards who can do a lot of what Rubio does on offense and defense, but can also allow the Wolves to pressure a defense with these high pick-and-rolls. However, they will also likely cost about 10 million more than Rubio, and there is always the danger that you do not get any of them in free agency and you are stuck with some sort of Tyus Jones/Kris Dunn rotation and you just set the Wolves back two years.

    So is it worth sacrificing continuity, 10 million dollars (or more), and Ricky Rubio to build up the Wolves' ability to run the pick-and-roll more effectively? It's not like the Wolves have been struggling on offense over the last two years. Or does this go back to the idea that Thibs has always preferred a scoring point guard?

    Dane: I'd like to touch on the whole high pick and roll narrative and Rubio's skill set that does not maximize this action. I agree. Every time Rubio pulls off the dribble following a screen I cringe. As you pointed out, Rubio can not and does not shoot threes off the dribble. Last season, he made 5 total pull-up threes. However, Rubio did improve his pull-up game from within the arch. This past year he shot 45.2 percent on pull-up twos. He has not only improved his efficiency on these type of shots, but also his volume. In 2013-14, Rubio was 55-of-187 (29.4 percent) on pull-up twos. And this past season, that number increased to 113-of-250 (45.2 percent). While the value of that "long-two" is still questionable, his shot (even if off the dribble) has been consistently improving.

    Rubio's shooting--pull-ups or catch and shoot--is going to continue to improve. He will never be the focal point in scoring for any offense, but he does not slow down the offense to a standstill. In my opinion, if the Wolves are looking to upgrade the point guard position (and pay $20 million per season) it should be a larger step forward than Rubio to Hill/Teague/Holiday. As you mentioned, Rubio has two years and $29 million remaining on his deal ($14.5 mil per season) and the rumored replacements are going to sign deals for $20-plus million per season. Those deals, also, will almost certainly be for longer than two years. An issue given the raises Towns, Wiggins, and LaVine are due.

    But let's give these rumors some respect. If you had to see one of Hill, Teague, or Holiday in a Wolves jersey, who most intrigues you?

    Josh: Jrue is the one I would want. He's 26, the same age as Rubio, and offers defense, playmaking, and three-point shooting. He will also hopefully cost a bit less than George Hill. Jeff Teague is kind of the "meh" of NBA point guards at this point, as he is about average at all the point guard duties across the board. Jrue would be a great fit though, he is a big point guard and would relieve a lot of the playmaking duties from Wiggins, as Jrue is certainly more of an offensive threat that Rubio is.

    However, Jrue is certainly not as a great of a passer as Rubio, although there are probably only three players in the league who are, but one can certainly see the appeal of a Jrue-Towns pick-and-roll. I can't say I've looked into how well Jrue and Davis have played together, but I would imagine the Wolves' front office have certainly scouted this out. The Wolves could also try to sell Jrue on the fact that he would be running the show on a team that is just chock-full of young talent on the Wings. Jrue also can more likely play off-guard, as he has done so quite a few times in his career, which is sort of a need for a team that already has two back-up point guards that need to see the court. Which one would you focus on?

    Dane: George Hill is currently the best point guard on that list. I think if you poll the 30 coaches in the NBA they say Jrue has more upside, because Hill has peaked, but that Hill is more impactful. That said, I'm firmly in the Jrue boat. The age is huge. I think all three players will be looking for four-year deals. That means for Hill, by year 4, he would be 35, Teague would be 33, and Holiday would be 30. These days, 35 is ancient. There were 28 total players in the NBA who were 35 or older this season. Many of which were Udonis Haslem, Metta World Peace, Nick Collison legacy type players. Odds are, by the end of Hills contract, he is a role player. Whereas Holiday could, theoretically, have not left his prime.

    Can we hate on Jeff Teague for a little bit? Which tier did he fall in for your pg list? Are we sure Teague is a top-20 pg in the league? I'm struggling to get behind him at all in this activity that I'm forcing myself to get behind everything.

    Josh: Teague would be the bad option. I agree on that, he fell in my “starters with deficiencies tier.” He would certainly only be the placeholder until Dunn is ready, assuming he ever is. I guess my last question is, are the Wolves demonstrably a worse team if they move on from Rubio, at least for next year? The only way I can think that is not the case is if they somehow move him for some sort of value, like Wilson Chandler and Denver's #13 pick, which Denver probably says no to, then go get Jrue Holiday in free agency.

    Dane: In the Teague in place of Rubio scenario, I don't think Teague can be simply viewed as the "bridge point guard" to Dunn. This is because that deal would assume a short-term nature of Teague's contract. I would assume Teague and his agent will be pining for a long-term contract, my guess being four years, $80 million. I don't think Teague bites on a, say, two-year, $50 million deal when he can likely receive four years of security elsewhere. The only way I could possibly see the Wolves landing Teague on a short-term deal is to grossly overpay, say one year, $30 million (his max). That would be bad because, bye bye cap space forever.

    I do think the Wolves are worse without Rubio next year. I just don't see a realistic trade partner that bolsters the Wolves roster given my understanding of Rubio's trade value. I see a Rubio-less path goes one of three ways.

    1. Trade Rubio for a worse PG on a bigger salary-- The "Reggie Jackson."

    2. Trade Rubio for young or future assets-- The "Future 1st and salary cap flotsam."

    3. Trade Rubio for similar value at a different position-- The "Wilson Chandler."

    1- Just bad. Rubio is inaccurately measured in his worth, a lesser PG comes in and that player's additional salary cuts into the Wolves available cap space. Barf.

    2. This creates space to sign a Jrue Holiday. Nice. But if Holiday or a PG of similar caliber is brought in, then the cap space will also be gone. Even if Holiday is better than Rubio (debatable) there are no other free agents that can be brought in with cap space.

    3. This move is more of a push, in my opinion. While Chandler is maybe a better fit given the rest of the roster, it leaves the Wolves with Jones and Dunn as the point guards. Jones/Dunn are a bigger hole than Gorgui Dieng currently presents at the power forward position that Chandler would slide into.

    (If this was the first move in a sequence of moves, this could be the best option in better balancing the roster. A lot of loose ends there though.)

    I think a fourth option of keeping Rubio is best. I personally subscribe to the notion that Rubio is a good "bridge point guard," himself. With keeping Rubio, the Wolves can dedicate all their cap space towards addressing the other (and more pressing) issues on the roster.

    It's not that trading Rubio couldn't lead to a better season, I just find it to be far less likely. But yeah, if the Nuggets will give us 13 and Chandler for Rubio, sign me up.

    Josh: So, once again, it seems like the point (pun not intended) that we have ended up upon is that it would be extremely hard to find an equivalent value for Ricky Rubio, either by trading him or bringing on another free agent. It only took us 2,000 words to get there."

    For the most part I tend to agree. From a drafting stand point, the player I want most is Dennis Smith. If we got him then I would be cool moving Ricky.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  10. #235

    Default Philly/Celtic Trade and the NBA East: Phily.com

    Simmons missed all of last season with a fractured foot, so the three players who many believe are the building blocks of this rebuild are still painfully young, but oh so high on potential. With money still to spend on the free-agent market, which will open next month, the Sixers could throw out a starting lineup with as many as three players who didn’t play for the team a season ago.

    In the trade, the Celtics give the Sixers the first pick and get in return the third selection and the Sixers’ first-round pick next season, via the Lakers (protected 2-5). If that pick doesn’t convey, then Boston would receive the Sixers’ 2019 first-round pick via the Sacramento Kings.

    So what does that all mean for Boston? The team that lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals this season is sort of in the same position the Sixers have been in the last couple of seasons, without all the losing. The Celtics have a bevy of first-round picks the next few seasons and enough money to be in contention for a high-priced free agent — Utah’s Gordon Hayward and Blake Griffin of the Clippers have been hot rumors. There is also talk president Danny Ainge could be contemplating a trade that would bring Chicago’s Jimmy Butler or maybe Indiana’s Paul George to the green and white.

    George let it be known, according to reports, that when he becomes a free agent after next season, he wasn’t going to stay with the Pacers. Some have him moving home to the Lakers; others think maybe Cleveland could be a landing spot.

    The Toronto Raptors made a push to try to overtake the Cavaliers atop the conference this season, but all it got them was a third seed in the playoffs and a sweep in the second round by the Cavs. And now free agent Kyle Lowry is most likely on his way out.

    The Washington Wizards and Atlanta Hawks, the fourth and fifth seeds in the East, seem to be somewhat mired in mediocrity for now, good enough for playoff appearances, little reason to believe either can contend for a title.

    Milwaukee is a team on the rise, but will need free-agent or trade help to get over the hump. The Bulls got the eighth seed a year ago but are a team in a bit of turmoil moving forward, perhaps with a rebuild in their near future.

    Cleveland still is the king of the hill, and very well might stay there until LeBron James starts the inevitable decline that happens to every great player. The Celtics are in an enviable position and might soon make moves to close the gap between them and the Cavaliers. After that, everyone else seems to be playing catch-up. And right now in the East, no one seems to be doing it better than the Sixers.

    For a team to be talked about as a playoff contender just two years after posting a 10-win season is mind-blowing. It’s even more so when you remember Simmons didn’t play last season and Embiid was limited to 31 games. But that’s where they could be. And we don’t know yet what Bryan Colangelo will do in the free-agent market to fill in the few remaining holes on the roster. A big splash doesn’t appear likely, but finding a couple of more shooters certainly is possible.


    http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/...-20170619.html

  11. #236

    Default Risk and price too high for Markelle Fultz: Philly.com

    Counterpoint

    For what the Sixers are reportedly sending to the Celtics, they must get the next Russell Westbrook, the next James Harden, or the next Steph Curry in return. Anything less and this trade will join so many other franchise failures since 2001, when the Sixers made their last appearance in the NBA Finals.

    Look at the individual numbers from Fultz's only collegiate season at the University of Washington and you'd believe that he can be exactly what the 76ers must believe he is. His one-and-done stats - 23.2 points and 5.9 rebounds per game while shooting 41.3 percent from beyond the three-point arc - were more impressive than what Westbrook did during his two years at UCLA and comparable to what Harden did during his two seasons at Arizona State.

    That's significant because they all played in the same conference, although it was called the Pac-10 when Harden and Westbrook were in college and is the Pac-12 now.

    Curry, meanwhile, was one of the most prolific scoring point guards in NCAA history, averaging 25.3 points per game during his three seasons at Davidson. He no doubt slipped to seventh overall in the 2009 draft because of his size and the fact he played at a mid-major school.

    Teams should have been more impressed by his ability to win. Davidson went 55-20 during his three seasons at the school and reached the Elite Eight before losing a two-point game to Kansas when he was a sophomore.

    What scares me about Fultz is his one-and-done team resumé at Washington. The Huskies went 9-22 overall, 2-16 in the conference, and finished the year on a 13-game losing streak. I can't imagine a team with LeBron James or Curry or Harden or Westbrook being that bad regardless of the supporting cast around them.

    Remember, there were questions about Ben Simmons a year ago because LSU did not make the tournament in his one-and-done season before the Sixers selected him first overall. And yet Simmons' LSU team was 19-14 overall and actually finished third in the SEC with an 11-7 record.

    Read the accounts of Fultz's one season at Washington and he is credited with playing hard and caring a lot from start to finish, which speaks volumes about his character. You also have to like that he chose Washington because it was the first big-time school to express interest in him when he was not even on the radar as a major-college recruit at DeMatha Catholic in Maryland.

    But that's not enough to make me believe he is definitely better than UCLA's Lonzo Ball or Kentucky's De'Aaron Fox, the other two point guards who will definitely be selected in the top 10 Thursday. It also would not have been enough to make me give up one of the two potentially high first-round picks I have in the next two seasons.

    Reportedly the Sixers will keep their pick from the Los Angeles Lakers next season unless it is the second, third, fourth, or fifth overall selection. If it's No. 1 overall or lower than fifth, the Celtics will get Sacramento's 2019 pick. I hate the idea of giving up any pick that could be among the top five for a guy who played JV basketball as a high school sophomore.

    And I'm surely not convinced Fultz will be better than Kansas forward Josh Jackson, whom I have seen play. I believe Jackson will be the best player from this draft because he improved so much as the season progressed. That's just a guess, just an opinion. Of course, history tells us that the guys making the picks are also just guessing based on their own educated opinions. It also tells us they are often wrong.

    Study NBA draft selections from 1994 through 2013 - a 20-year period in which all the players have been eligible for at least three years in the league - and you'll find the success rate between picking first and third is relatively small.

    For the purpose of our study, we used basketball-reference.com's win shares statistic to determine the rankings of players in each of those drafts. It is a statistical measurement similar to baseball's WAR - wins above replacement - that has grown in popularity in this century.

    In that span, the first overall pick has graded out as the best player four times and ranked among the 10 best players from his draft class 14 times. The third overall pick has graded out as the best player twice and also ranked among the top 10 in his class 14 times.

    Give me extra picks in the top five in an effort to get it right rather than putting so many eggs in the basket of a guy whose team went 9-22 last season
    .

    http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/...Brookover.html

  12. #237

    Default NBA Draft 2017: Latest rumors and buzz - Detroit News

    Okay, one NBA rumor actually came true! So here are a few more. Just don't bet on then becoming true too.

    The link has more info.

    - Lakers looking to add another first-round draft pick, sources say:

    - Luke Kennard stock is rising:

    - Suns trying to acquire No. 2 pick from Lakers

    - Lakers won't give Lonzo Ball guarantee

    - Paul George and the Cleveland Cavaliers

    - Celtics not done? After the big trade for the No. 1 pick, several reports say the team isn't done making moves

    http://www.clickondetroit.com/sports...umors-and-buzz

  13. #238

    Default

    CBS Mock Draft:

    7. Timberwolves
    Jonathan Isaac, SF, Florida State
    A home-run swing for a team that's one young star away from making some serious noise in the Western Conference. I loooove Isaac's potential. Think it's the highest ceiling in this draft, in fact. He's 6-11 and, according to his college coach, still may be growing. A late growth spurt meant that he grew up playing guard positions before he shot up in height, a la Anthony Davis. Coaches have raved about his unselfishness and work ethic. Florida State's Leonard Hamilton, a onetime NBA coach, told me Isaac has one of the best basketball IQs he has ever seen. And a near-seven-foot athlete who can shoot, pass and blocks shots is a huge asset in today's NBA. While his offensive game is far from complete and he needs to pack muscle onto his thin frame, Isaac is a helluva shooter for a big man, making 34.8 percent of his 3s and shooting 78 percent from the free-throw line. "He has the versatility to be whatever a coach wants him to be," Hamilton told me. If this pick hits, the Timberwolves will be contending in the West in a few years. And I think it'll hit.

    http://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/nb...n-blockbuster/

    Howl Wolves!!

  14. #239

    Default

    Gary Parrish Mock:

    7. Timberwolves
    Jonathan Isaac, SF, Florida State
    The Timberwolves can take Isaac, play him with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, and now we're talking about something with big potential. Minnesota would then have a core of Isaac, Towns, Wiggins, Zach LaVine and Ricky Rubio. Those are some nice pieces that could soon have the Timberwolves advancing in the Western Conference Playoffs - especially if Towns develops into an All-NBA player. Remember, he's still only 21 years old.

    http://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/nb...-snag-jackson/

    Howl Wolves!!

  15. #240

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    SI Mock:

    7. Minnesota Timberwoves: Lauri Markkanen, PF, Arizona | Freshman

    Lauri Markkanen is probably not the next Dirk, but calling him the next Ryan Anderson might be selling him short. He's a 7-footer and he's probably the best shooter in the draft. That skill will translate wherever he lands, and at the size, there's almost no way to guard him as a shooter. The question is: What else can he do? Can he rebound? Who can he guard? And how much will he be able to do off the dribble? If he can quiets some of those concerns over the next few years, his ceiling is as high as anyone outside Fultz, Ball, and Fox. And even if Ryan Anderson is the most realistic outcome: pairing Finnish Ryan Anderson with Karl-Anthony Towns and running pick-and-pops for the next seven years could be really, really fun.

    https://www.si.com/nba/2017/06/19/nb...son-lonzo-ball

    Howl Wolves!!

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