It’s a little late and this week of NBA Draft happenings seemed to leave everyone limping to the finish line Friday, so there wasn’t a lot of interesting news to come down the pipe at the end of the week. So, instead of rehashing stuff you’ve already heard and probably don’t care about, how about a little late night analysis of the UK players that got drafted and how they’ll fit with their new teams? See, I knew you’d be excited. In the meantime, keep your Josh Harrellson/New York City photoshops coming. This one comes courtesy of KSR reader Adam Stratton.
Enes Kanter and the Jazz: If you’re looking at the teams holding the top five picks, Utah is clearly the most stable and the one most likely to make a push for the playoffs, so Enes Kanter made out pretty nicely by heading to the Jazz. On top of being the best franchise at the top, Kanter gets the added benefit of joining fellow Turk Mehmet Okur (who has one year left on his deal) and pairing with last year’s #3 pick, Derrick Favors, in a frontcourt that could be formidable for several years. The Jazz may or may not continue to try to move point guard Devin Harris and appear to still be intent on shipping Al Jefferson elswhere, opening up some more playing time for Kanter. This offseason will determine whether or not Utah goes into full blown rebuilding mode, but either way, Kanter is now a part of a franchise who does things the right way, has a staff that knows how to coach big men and will have enough talent around him to make the transition easier than it would have been in Cleveland or Toronto and probably even Minnesota. This is a good fit for him.
Brandon Knight and the Pistons: While Utah was the most stable of the teams picking in the top five, Detroit might be the messiest situation in the entire league and Brandon Knight is now right in the middle of it. The Pistons have a perfect mess of bad contracts, aging and disgruntled players and are still looking for someone bold enough to coach them (Patrick Ewing is the latest candidate). Rip Hamilton might be headed out of town if someone is crazy enough to take his contract and Rodney Stuckey will likely take the restricted free agent train elsewhere, leaving Knight to share minutes with Ben Gordon and Will Bynum. The good news is the Pistons have traditionally found ways to mold guys labeled as combo guards into the point position (most recently Stuckey and Chauncey Billups) and Knight will most likely find individual success in the same way. However, the bottom likely hasn’t fallen all the way out yet on the Pistons and before they can build around smart, fundamentally sound character guys like Knight and Greg Monroe, they’re probably going to have to limp through some more of the same nonsense. They’ll probably be getting out of the tunnel right around the time Knight’s rookie deal is set to expire, meaning he has a chance to be rewarded handsomely to stick around for the good times that might soon follow or take off out of town. It’s not that Detroit is a bad fit for Knight specifically. It’s just a bad situation to be in for anyone. However, having said that, if there’s anyone who can help change the mindset and attitude in Detroit as a rookie, it’s Brandon Knight. It should be interesting to watch how this plays out.
Josh Harrellson and the Knicks: Through all of the excitement that surrounded our only KSR Man of the Year being picked by the Knicks earlier than anyone ever would have expected, I think we all wondered in the back of our minds if this was really a great fit. Mike D’Antoni and Josh Harrellson? Jorts and the Big Apple? Didn’t seem right. But, the more you look at it, this actually seems to be a nice fit for Josh. The Knicks essentially had two big guys they could play alongside Amar’e Stoudemire (Ronny Turiaf and Shelden Williams) and they’re both unrestricted free agents. Add that to the fact that New York dished out $750,000 for him and his shot at making the team looks pretty good. They fan base and organization already seems excited about bringing him into the fold, comparing him to Bill Laimbeer, Jeff Foster (don’t laugh, that guy has made a very solid career) and….wait for it….Kevin Love. New york already has star power in Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups. What they need is guys to fill roles. Josh Harrellson can not only do it, he essentially perfected it at Kentucky. He won’t start and he might even go several games at a time without logging more than a couple minutes depending on matchups, but there’s a spot for him. And that’s more than we ever thought there’d be. If we know anything about Josh Harrellson, it’s that he only needs a chance. New York appears ready to give that to him. I don’t know how you can be anything besides completely thrilled for him.
DeAndre Liggins and the Magic: Much like Jorts and the Knicks, DeAndre Liggins doesn’t walk into a guaranteed situation, but he does enter one that appears to be pretty favorable in terms of sticking around. If the Magic have any pressing issue besides keeping Dwight Howard in town, it’s sorting through their knucklehead roster and finding guys who can show up and do their job without trying to do more. Assuming nothing has changed in the last few weeks, Liggins is that type of player. The Magic have some undersized players in the backcourt and play a mix-and-match lineup from game to game. At the “3″, where Liggins will probably see the most minutes, they have Quentin Richardson – a much better offensive player – and Jason Richardson (more of a shooting guard and an unrestricted free agent) and guys like Hedo Turkoglu and Ryan Anderson who play a lot of minutes at power forward and only spot duty at the “3″. From a depth chart position, Liggins seems to be sitting pretty nicely. Add on to that his ability to serve as a defensive presence on a team that was fourth in fewest points allowed despite not having a real “stopper” and DeAndre Liggins could become a favorite of Stan Van Gundy. Much like the situation with Jorts, Liggins has the added feeling of security thanks to no NBA summer leagues, which means the Magic probably won’t go out and fall in love with someone who can compete with him. Overall, this looks like another nice pairing.
That’s it for now. I love you all. Have a good weekend. Stop by frequently and click on lots of stuff.
[powered by WordPress.]
Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
9 queries. 0.435 seconds