Gearing up for the NBA Draft
The NBA draft is less than a week away, and I'm going to do my best to get you noobs excited about it. While the NFL draft receives more hype for a longer period of time, the NBA's version is certainly fascinating as well. There is comedy everywhere you look--prospects and posses showing up uninvited and sitting in the cheap seats, Stuart Scott interviewing befuddled international players, and making its debut this year, JJ Redick making a U-turn on his way to the podium.
Here are a few players I really like who will be selected June 28.
Brandon Roy, G
University of Washington
6'5" 195 lbs.
The rumor mill is churning at top speed around Roy, and it's looking more and more like he will be a top 3 pick. He might go as high as #2 to the Chicago Bulls, who are trying to decide between Roy and Tyrus Thomas of LSU. Rumor also has it that Michael Jordan himself is targetting the Husky at #3 and that the Lakers have toyed with the idea of trading Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom, and the #26 pick to the Bulls for the #2 and Tyson Chandler.
So why all the fuss over Brandon Roy? It doesn't hurt that he scored 20.2 ppg on 51% shooting for Washington last year, but NBA teams are drooling over him because he doesn't have any real flaws. He can pass (4.1 apg), rebound (5.6 rpg), defend (1.4 steals and .8 blocks per game), and shoot from outside (.402 from 3 point land) and might be the most NBA-ready player in this year's draft.
Guillermo Diaz, G
6'2" 190 lbs.
Aside from sharing a name with the actor who played Scarface in "Half Baked," Diaz has plenty else going for him. As you can see in the picture at right, he has more some serious hops (41+" vertical) and his offensive game has been compared to Steve Francis and Leandro Barbosa. If you caught a couple of his games at Miami, you were probably immediately struck by his speed and aggressiveness. On the other hand, some reports claim that he is too reckless with the ball and may be a shooting guard in a point guard's body.
I became a Diaz fan while watching him for the first time (against Michigan in November), as he stroked threes and drew contact after struggling in the first half. He was an impact player, and I see no reason to believe that he can't succeed in a Barbosa-esque role at the next level. As a through and through Laker fan, I would love for him to fall to them at #26 but despite Chad Ford's predictions, it doesn't look likely. If the Puerto Rican starts calling his teammates "B" and buys a dog named Killer, Diaz will quickly become one of Noob Sports favorite players.
Marcus Vinicius Vieira de Souza, PF
6'10" 230 lbs
I love that the big time Brazilian athletes are given one-word names (Ronaldo, Ronaldihno, Nene, and Fred) and the power forward is no exception. He has been dubbed Marquinos and averaged 19.5 ppg in the Brazilian league. As he works to add muscle, scouts rave about his offensive skills. If only we could combine that offense with...
Mouhamed Saer Sene
7'0" 235 lbs.
The 20 year old Saer Sene is a project who will not be ready to play in the NBA right away. Because of his size and shot blocking presence, he reminds me of Francisco Elson and D'Sagana Diop. Both he and Marquinos will most likely end up on quality teams that will try to develop them without giving them many NBA minutes, either by letting them remain overseas or by designating them to the NBDL. My personal belief is that Saer Sene and Marquinos are the international players to watch at the bottom half of this draft.