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More NBA Draft News

NBA DRAFT MAILBAG

By Shawn Siegel

njhoopsnet@aol.com

June 9th, 2005

 

 

NBA Draft Mailbag

 

Each week, Shawn Siegel, CHN's NBA Draft expert answers fan questions in the NBA Draft Mailbag.  Siegel receives emails each and every day from fans trying to find out about their favorite player or favorite team.

 

***

 

It's been quite awhile since I've had a chance to put together a Mailbag article.  In an effort to get as many questions answered as possible before the Draft, this week's edition will answer a lot of questions (which have been shortened to get down to their essence), though some answers may be shorter than usual.

 

***

Dear Shawn,

 

I noticed that Kentuck's Randolph Morris not projected in the 1st or 2nd round of your latest mock draft. What gives?

 

Thanks,

Kelly

Burgin, KY

 

Kelly,

Morris has since moved into the early 2nd round on our Mock Draft.  Our understanding around the time of the Lottery, was that Morris would only stay in the Draft he was pretty much a 100% guarantee to get picked in the 1st round, which we did not think was the case at the time.  With some Europeans like Splitter now dropping out of the picture, this opens up a few more guaranteed contract spots for Morris to potentially squeeze into.  After failing to show up for the Pre-Draft Camp, you've probably read all the stories in the news today about Morris strongly leaning towards going pro.  Perhaps he knows something we don't, because I still feel like he is strongly on the 1st round/2nd round fence.

 

***

Dear Shawn,
 

What do you think of Jonathan Moore (NC Central) and Taron Downey (Wake Forest)?  In my opinion, both will make All-Star games within 5 years of NBA ball!

 

Thanks,

Eric

Milwaukee, WI

 

Eric,

Are you Moore and Downey's agent?  I actually am a fan of Downey, a guy who obviously lost a lot of playing time and name recognition once Paul came along.  But, Downey's been making the rounds working out for NBA squads, and although I doubt he will squeeze into the late 2nd round, he should most definitely show up in some NBA team's camp before the season before ultimately taking his game to the minor leagues.  Moore, considered one of the best players in D2 averaged 19 points, 9 boards, and 2 steals per game by using his very nice 6-8, 200 lb frame.  His former teammate on NCCU David Young was drafted by the Sonics last year, and spent the year in the NBDL, making the All-NBDL 2nd Team.  Moore should end up in the NBDL as well.

 

***

Dear Shawn,
 

Who will be the steal of the Draft this year?

 

Thanks,

TJ

 

TJ,

In the first round, I think the best steals will be Ike Diogu, Roko Leni-Ukic, and Martell Webster.  There's a wealth of NCAA forwards in this draft, and outside of Marvin Williams, Diogu could be the best of the bunch.  He gets overlooked playing on a sub-par team out on the West Coast,  but his game and lengthy body is as good as anyone out there.  For a 2nd round steal, I'd have to go with Memphis' Sean Banks.  This guy has 1st round talent, but a 2nd round head.  Still, he's definitely worth taking a chance on.

 

***

Francisco Garcia Questions

***

Dear Shawn,
 

Do you have any insight on Francisco Garcia or Kelenna Azubuike?

 

Thanks,

PD

Kentucky,

 

PD,

Good news on Azubuike this week is that he was measured to be 6-6, taller than his 6-4 listed height at UK.  Bad news for Azubuike, is that he pulled his groin, and had to pull out of this week's Pre-Draft Camp.  This is a bigger blow for Azubuike than for most guys, because he still needs to prove that he can be a serviceable 2-guard in the pros.  In terms of Garcia, most people who frequent CHN know that I am simply not a fan.  You have to like his leadership, and his long athletic body which should help him be a solid defender.  But, what can I say, I like offense.  Garcia is an adequate shooter, whose too streaky, because he has basically no game within 15 feet.  His scoring numbers are padded because Pitino lets his kids just bomb from three, but Garcia should never score more than a handful of points per game in an NBA season.

 

***

 

Dear Shawn,
 

Unlike Reece Gaines, I think Francisco Garcia will make a good pro.  He's long, athletic, and a good ball-handler for a 2-guard.  I still compare him to players like Tayshaun Prince and Richard Jefferson.  What do you think?

 

Thanks,

D. Flowe

Louisville, KY

 

D,

If teams thought that Garcia had a chance to be in the same league as Prince or Jefferson, he'd be a lock to be a top 10 pick.  But, such comparisons are a bit of a stretch.  The biggest difference is that both of these players have a much more well-rounded offensive game, and can finish inside, and defend bigger players.  Garcia does resemble Prince in that he's kind of thin, but Prince is a few inches taller, a few inches longer, and a few times better.  Garcia's problem is that his game starts on the outside, but has little to offer on the inside.  Jefferson was exactly the opposite coming out of college, a guy who could finish strong on the inside, but lacked a consistent jump shot.  Teams would much rather take a chance on taking a chance on a guy who solely needs a polish jump shot, as opposed to a guy whose best skill is a streaky at best jump shot.

 

***

Lakers Questions

***

 

Dear Shawn,

 

If you could play GM for the Lakers, would you consider trading Lamar Odom for draft picks?

 

William

Pasadena, CA

 

William,

I've always been a big fan of Lamar, even before his days in college with Rhode Island.  Then again, it's hard not to be a fan of a guy who went 15, 10, and 4 last year while shooting 47%.  The Lakers went 31-33 in games in which Odom played.  On its face, that might not sound too amazing, but it is when you consider they went 3 and 15 without him.  As the Lakers already have the 10th pick, I don't see a pressing need right now to trade Odom unless you get a legitimate starting big man in return. 

 

***

Dear Shawn,

 

Odom led the team in rebounds and when he was injured, the Lakers struggled worse than when Kobe was injured.  Plus, Odom would be a perfect fit for the triangle offense if Phil Jackson gets rehired.  With these idea lingering, do you think Odom is really going to be traded?

 

Jimmy Bi

Laconia, NH

 

Jimmy,

As I noted just above, Odom had a fine year for the Lakers, and he was key to whatever success the team had. The real issue is simply what need do the Lakers really have with both Lamar and Caron Butler.  Everyone knows Odom is the better player, and that the Lakers can get more for him.  Also, it's interesting to note that although Odom's been in the league for 3 more years than Butler and seems like more of a veteran, he's only 4 or 5 months older.  If Phil is hired as the head coach, he will have a strong grasp on personnel decisions, and I think the Zen

 

***

Dear Shawn,

 

Who will the Lakers draft with their 10th pick, or will the move up?

Ryan

 

Ryan,

If you look around various web Mock Drafts, you'll see the Lakers taking just about everyone.  I've seen Mocks with Danny Granger, Charlie Villanueva, Andriuskevicius, Ray Felton, Jarrett Jack, Fran Vazquez, Chris Taft and even rumblings about Yaroslav Korolev.  What does this all mean, that basically, no one, including myself really has a clue who the Lakers will take. Everyone knows what the Lakers need, a PG or a PF, but what they'll do is really up in the air.  About as equally up in the air as whether Jackson will be back as Lakers head coach.  Out of the list above, we can knock out Chris Taft and Jarrett Jack as possibilities, and Andriuskevicius just doesn't really make sense either for the Lakers if he does drop that far.  Granger, Felton, or Vazquez seem to make the most sense, but now that Splitter apparently won't be in the Draft, there's a better chance that Vazquez won't be around at #10.  If anything, I would expect the Lakers to move down instead of up.  With the 12th to 20th picks, they could end up with forwards like Villanueva, May, Diogu, or Frye who simply aren't much worse than a guy like Granger.

 

If you have a question which you'd like Shawn to answer, email collegehoopsnet@aol.com  He’ll post and answer as many questions as possible.  Please include your first name and home town when contacting Shawn.
 

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