PWE 2012 Draft Cheat Sheet

Everything you need for draft day is right here. Scouting reports, bios, stats, pretty pictures and some amazingly well thought out comparisons. But wait, there’s more – some personal takes on lottery picks by Chris and 2nd round rebounding monsters by Jake. Included here are 52 (RIP, Greg Oden era) potential draftees, hopefully including every guy the Blazers are looking at for the 40th and 41st picks. Top 25 picks get the full works comp wise – best, worst and expected. The rest should’ve been better if they wanted that kind of attention.

Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky 

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  • Could be: Kevin Garnett meets David Robinson
  • Should be: Tyson Chandler meets Marcus Camby
  • Hopefully won’t be: Tyrus Thomas

Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas

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  • Could be: Karl Malone
  • Should be: Antonio McDyess
  • Hopefully won’t be: Leon Powe

Bradley Beal, SG, Florida

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  • Could be: Ray Allen
  • Should be: OJ Mayo
  • Hopefully won’t be: Rashad McCants

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky

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  • Could be: Scottie Pippen
  • Should be: Shawn Marion
  • Hopefully won’t be: Stacey Augmon

Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina

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  • Could be: Danny Granger meets Luol Deng
  • Should be: Glen Rice
  • Hopefully won’t be: Marvin Williams

Andre Drummond, C, Connecticut 

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  • Could be: Amare Stoudemire meets Dwight Howard
  • Should be: DeAndre Jordan
  • Hopefully won’t be: Kwame Brown
Norsk’s take – Drummond might possess the most upside of any player besides Davis in this draft. It’s rare to find a very young guy who is that big and yet can move so quick laterally on defense, while also having a fast first step on offense, a solid dribble control, and good hands to catch the ball  (which other athletic bigs like Kwame Brown didn’t), and a huge vert to windmill-dunk it over opponents who dare to stand in his way. Unfortunately that’s about where his positive qualities end and his problem areas begin. He has a reputation for having a “low motor”, which is scout speak for “pretty lazy” and “doesn’t always play hard”. Drummond counters that people just don’t take him serious because he smiles a lot on the court instead of making an angry KG game face. In college, his offensive repertoire was very limited and unpolished, with his post moves and counter moves needing serious work to be a legitimate threat on offense in the NBA. And there is no way to describe his free throw shooting other than atrocious (29% from the line), which would make him a serious liability at the end of games if the opposition resorts to a “hack-a-Shaq” strategy. I hold out hope that he could improve his FT shooting to 50-60% since he had some much better performances in high school and his mid-range jumper looks smoother than his FT motion, but that’s not a given. If the Blazers want a player who is immediately ready to contribute wins to make full use of LMA’s prime, Drummond is probably not the guy for that. If however they want to take a leap of faith on a potential team starter/star who ultimately could develop into a contender for all-defense team selections and maybe a future all-star berth with patience, he could be their man.

Damian Lillard, PG, Weber State

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  • Could be: Steph Curry crossed with Russell Westbrook
  • Should be: George Hill
  • Hopefully won’t be: Ronnie Price
Chris’ take– 63.5% TS, 33.0 usage. Those are LeBron numbers. Look at them again. 63.5% TS, 33.0 usage. The guy could get in the paint and finish, of course against the 296th best schedule in college basketball. He can hit the long ball, albeit with unorthodox form. And the funny thing is that statistical profile isn’t even his most attractive attribute. Through the interviews he’s shown just the right blend of swag and humble, a difficult balance to strike under the white-hot microscope of draft preparations. Painting Lillard in broad strokes it’s easy to see a star in the making. The problems come on closer examination. Getting in the paint is hard, and gets harder the better the competition is. He’s not had the opportunity to be much of a distributor, and being nearly 22 doesn’t have a lot of time to be eased in to that sort of role. Seeing these issues, it’s hard to imagine him being a superstar, despite the superstar numbers in the Big Sky.In conclusion, I think the good outside shot is what makes him a relatively safe pick even if the star potential has become a little overblown through the draft process. With his mentality we know he’ll work hard, and he has the physique to be a plus defender as a point guard and an adequate one against 2s. A bench spark-plug who can shoot is not a horrible low-end expectation even if he’s been (probably unfairly) comped to some all-stars recently.
Blaine’s take – The success rate of baby-faced point guards from small schools is extraordinarily high. 100% as far as I can tell.

Dion Waiters, SG, Syracuse

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  • Could be: Eric Gordon
  • Should be: Ben Gordon
  • Hopefully won’t be: Randy Foye
Chris’ take – Waiters is kind of the anti-Lillard, in that the closer you look the more apparent the star potential becomes. His athletic markers are ridiculous (67 steals in under 900 minutes; drew plenty of FTs) and he is a good passer for a shooting guard. And when Hollinger’s draft rater slobbers over a guy, and he starts rocketing up the boards despite playing so few minutes, he starts to feel like a distinct possibility to fulfill the Westbrook/Wade comparisons (Wade for an explosive shooting guard, Westbrook for a guy with explosive draft stock).That said, there aren’t that many stars in the NBA, and it’s not clear what Waiters will do if he’s not an absolute terror scoring and creating in the paint. He has a broken jump shot so he’ll need the ball in his hands on offense. He wasn’t a starter so he wasn’t asked to actually use that athleticism to defend. It’s also not clear that he has Westbrook’s outrageous drive that turned him from project to All-NBA. Look no further than Evan Turner to see just how disastrous a broken jump-shot can be in terms of keeping a guy who’s fairly talented from meshing. While all the hot air has been about Drummond as being the biggest risk-reward proposition, the Blazers taking Waiters at 6 or 11 or somewhere in between could be treated to an all star or a total turd. I think realistic worst-case is the worst in the lottery, though his upside may well offset that.

Jeremy Lamb, SG, Connecticut

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  • Could be: Rip Hamilton
  • Should be: Shorter Rudy Gay
  • Hopefully won’t be: DeShawn Stevenson
Norsk’s take – I was pretty high on the other UConn prospect besides Drummond leading up to this draft, partly due to Lamb’s strong play in the Under 19 FIBA World Championships last year in Latvia, where he was The Man on a team that admittedly only had one other true NBA first round prospect with center Meyers Leonard. His best performance came against the eventual champion Lithuania, featuring 2011 top draft pick Jonas Valanciunas, where he put up 35 points.
Lamb is a skilled scorer who can play well off and on the ball making effective use of screens (though he’s not good creating his own shot in isolation). And he could be a really good perimeter defender in the NBA due to his length, instincts and hard work over and around picks.  On the negative side, he’s a skinny player with a frame that makes it seem like he won’t be able to put a lot of weight and muscles on it.
And he might have bombed his draft stock in Portland worse than any other player this year during the interview portions of the combine when asked about the team he struggled to name a single player, ultimately coming up with Aldridge and “the light-skinned dude” by which he meant Batum. If he becomes a scoring machine, the front office and fans shouldn’t care about that. After all, nobody would confuse Derrick Rose with a Rhodes scholar either. But it might have helped if his agent had at least provided him with a roster cheat sheet on the flight to PDX for his follow-up individual workout with more than the name “Jamal Crawford” on it. But if the Blazers overlook his lack of preparation and take him (at #11) over other shooting guard prospects, the light skinned dude and uh uh Aldridge could have fun playing with him.

John Henson, PF, North Carolina

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  • Could be: Marcus Camby
  • Should be: Brandan Wright
  • Hopefully won’t be: Chris Johnson

Chris’ take-Something like the poor man’s Unibrow, he blocked tons of shots and cleaned the glass at the college level. He also showed tons of skill finishing in a variety of ways around the rim, off dump-offs and pick and rolls (somebody had to make Kendall Marshall look good!). In the pros, these are both ideal attributes, and a Marcus Camby defender who can actually make layups is quite a piece for a good NBA team.Like Lillard though he’s a bit on the old side, and he might be too skinny to ever put on enough muscle to tolerate the pounding of the NBA game. In the right situation, a team could take advantage of his help defense attributes while not exposing him to too many of the rigors of interior fistfighting. LaMarcus Aldridge might not be the right partner for that type of player, so to be a good fit for Portland Henson would likely have to become somewhat burlier…

Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois

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  • Could be: Tyson Chandler
  • Should be: Robin Lopez
  • Hopefully won’t be: Byron Mullens

Austin Rivers, SG, Duke

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  • Could be: Gilbert Arenas
  • Should be: Jamal Crawford
  • Hopefully won’t be: Jordan Crawford

Perry Jones III, PF, Baylor

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  • Could be: Derrick Coleman
  • Should be: Anthony Davis
  • Hopefully won’t be: Jonathan Bender

Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina

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  • Could be: Tiago Splitter
  • Should be: Spencer Hawes
  • Hopefully won’t be: Kosta Koufos

Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina

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  • Could be: Mark Jackson
  • Should be: Ramon Sessions
  • Hopefully won’t be: Mateen Cleaves

Jared Sullinger, C, Ohio State

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  • Could be: Al Jefferson
  • Should be: DeJuan Blair
  • Hopefully won’t be: Sean May

Terrence Jones, PF, Kentucky

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  • Could be: Josh Smith
  • Should be: Lamar Odom lite
  • Hopefully won’t be: James Johnson

Terrence Ross, SG, Washington

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  • Could be: Jason Richardson
  • Should be: Dorell Wright
  • Hopefully won’t be: Martell Webster

Moe Harkless, SF, St Johns

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  • Could be: Gerald Wallace
  • Should be: Trevor Ariza
  • Hopefully won’t be: Dominic McGuire

Arnett Moultrie, PF, Mississippi

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  • Could be: LaMarcus Aldridge
  • Should be: Jason Thompson
  • Hopefully won’t be: Andray Blatche

Quincy Miller, SF, Baylor

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  • Could be: Rashard Lewis
  • Should be: Donte Greene
  • Hopefully won’t be: Austin Daye

Fab Melo, C, Syracuse

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  • Could be: Brendan Haywood
  • Should be: Greg Stiemsma
  • Hopefully won’t be: DeSagna Diop

Royce White, PF, Iowa State

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  • Could be: Carlos Boozer
  • Should be: Boris Diaw
  • Hopefully won’t be: James Johnson

Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky

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  • Could be: Steve Francis
  • Should be: Eric Bledsoe
  • Hopefully won’t be: Sebastian Telfair

Tony Wroten, PG, Washington

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  • Could be: Tyreke Evans
  • Should be: Iman Shumpert
  • Hopefully won’t be: Armon Johnson

Andrew Nicholson, PF, St Bonaventure 

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  • Should be: Channing Frye

Evan Fournier, SG, Poitiers 

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  • Should be: Chris Douglas-Roberts
Norsk’s take – Due to many of the best international players declaring for the 2011 draft before the lockout when competition from US college guys was more limited, this draft will be weak on top prospects from abroad. It’s somewhat likely that only one will get drafted in the first round. That would be Fournier.
Fournier is a talented wing player with two years of experience in the French Pro A league, which is not one of the strongest in Europe but has still produced some outstanding NBA players. He led his team in scoring in his sophomore season, though overall the team was too weak to compete for any titles (finished the year 8-18). Scouts compare his game to players like Marco Belinelli and Chris Douglas-Roberts. Compared to most NBA shooting guards he seems not explosive and athletic enough usually playing below the rim, so he will likely have to play mostly at the 3 and rely on his arsenal of tricks to score since he’s also not a great outside shooter (below 30%). He had some bad luck during the pre-draft process, hurting his ankle in his last game in France which kept him out of some scheduled workouts.
It doesn’t look like he will drop far enough for the Blazers to be able to wait for him with their second round picks (40, 41), and not enough of a talent to make it worth it to acquire another late first round pick.

Draymond Green, PF, Michigan State

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  • Could be: Anthony Tolliver

Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt

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  • Could be: Ian Mahinmi

Jeff Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt 

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  • Could be: Thabo Sefolosha

Tyshawn Taylor, PG, Kansas

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  • Could be: Keyon Dooling

John Jenkins, SG, Vanderbilt

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  • Should be: Daequan Cook

Will Barton, SF, Memphis

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  • Could be: shorter Corey Brewer

Miles Plumlee, C, Duke

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  • Could be: Greg Stiemsma
Jake’s take – The eldest of the three Plumlee brothers who suited up for Duke last season, Miles Plumlee has generally been considered less of an NBA prospect than younger brother Mason, but has reportedly been rising up draft boards in recent weeks towards the upper end of the 2nd round.  A good athlete for a man just short of 7′ in shoes (40.5” max vert), there is some substance in Plumlee’s college numbers to suggest he might find success in the NBA.  According to draftexpress, only Thomas Robinson and Drew Gordon had better pace adjusted rebound numbers than Plumlee among guys projected to be drafted this season, while Plumlee led everyone in pace adjusted per minute offensive rebounding.  Never much of a scorer, Plumlee did produce efficiently last season, with strong True Shooting % and Offensive Rating numbers on a reasonable if low 161.1 Usage.  Despite this, Plumlee saw only 20.5 minutes per game in what was not a particularly deep Duke frontcourt.  Still, there is enough in his statistical profile to pay attention to the reports that he’s shown well in workouts and keep him in mind as a potential value pick early in the 2nd round.

Doron Lamb, SG, Kentucky

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  • Should be: Roger Mason

Darius Miller, SF, Kentucky

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  • Could be: Landry Fields

Jared Cunningham, SG, Oregon State

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  • Should be: Shannon Brown

Orlando Johnson, SG, California-Santa Barbara

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  • Should be: Reggie Williams

Drew Gordon, PF, New Mexico

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  • Should be: Eduardo Najera
Jake’s take – Another big time rebounder expected to go in the 2nd round is New Mexico forward Drew Gordon, a transfer from UCLA.  Gordon averaged 13.7 points and an impressive 11.1 rebounds per game for the Lobos last season.  Among players projected by Draft Express to be drafted this season, Gordon ranked 10th in pace adjusted per minute offensive rebounding, but 3rd in defensive rebounding and and 2nd in overall rebounding.  At 6’8.5” in shoes with an 8’10” standing reach, Gordon is a solid athlete athlete with a 34.5” max vert.  While the other prospects mentioned here are projected in the other half of the 2nd round by Chad Ford, Gordon is projected to be available way down at the 57th pick (Draft Express, disagrees, listing Gordon at the 41st pick held by the Blazers, with O’Quinn and Scott still on the board).  Another name to keep in mind in search of a solid rebounder at a good value.

Kyle O’Quinn, C, Norfolk State

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  • Should be: Sheldon Williams
Jake’s take – Kyle O’Quinn made a name for himself while leading Norfolk State to a stunning NCAA tournament upset over Missouri and then giving a humorous interview afterwords, saying “We even messed up my bracket!”  A glance at O’Quinn’s stats from the season shows that while the win may have been a fluke, O’Quinn playing at a high level was not.  O’Quinn averaged 15.9 points and 10.3 rebounds for the season,   One of the better rebounders in this draft class, O’Quinn has a lengthy 9’2” standing reach despite being just 6’9.5” in shoes.  The level of competition O’Quinn faced most of the college season was poor, and his stats are not on the level of the likes of Kenneth Faried and Paul Millsap at smaller schools, but the production and long reach make him an interesting prospect in this year’s 2nd round.

Jae Crowder, SF, Marquette

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  • Could be: SF Tony Allen

Bernard James, C, Florida State

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  • Could be: Joel Anthony

Kim English, SG, Missouri 

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  • Should be: Jodie Meeks

Mike Scott, PF, Virginia

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  • Could be: Drew Gooden
Jake’s take – The driving force behind the University of Virginia’s first NCAA tournament appearance since 2007 was 6’9” power forward Mike Scott, who had missed most of the previous season after having his ankle surgically repaired.  Scott responded with a huge final season, averaging 18.0 points and 8.3 rebounds while ranking among the national leaders in PER and rebound rate.  For his efforts, Scott finished 2nd in the ACC player of the year voting, behind Tyler Zeller.  Scott scored the ball effectively both with his back to the basket and facing up, while also rebounding the ball at a high level.  He has neither impressive standing reach nor leaping ability, is old for a draft candidate at 23 and the ankle hurts his draft position as well,  but for a team looking for big time college production in a 2nd round candidate, Scott is clearly worth a look.

Darius Johnson-Odom, SG, Marquette

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  • Should be: shorter Dahntay Jones
Tomas Satoranksky, PG/SG, Sevilla
  • Could be: Shaun Livingston
Norsk’s take – Potentially a team not needing surefire talent immediatly could also fall in love with this very tall point-forward from the Czech Republic, who plays in the Spanish ACB league. His numbers (especially when it comes to shooting) there are unremarkable making him a pick in the “we hope he reaches his ceiling” category, potentially to be stashed for later. That ceiling could be pretty high, since he is an explosive player who won dunk contests in Spain, and has a knack for finding open players after dribble drives with unusual passing angles. At best, he might become what Shaun Livingston was supposed to be. At worst, he’d probably be the second coming of Zoran Planinic (late first round pick in 2003 by the Nets), who was not a terrible NBA player.

Scott Machado, PG, Iona

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  • Could be: Chris Duhon
Khris Middleton, SF, Texas A&M
  • Could be: Gordon Hayward

JaMychal Green, PF, Alabama

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  • Could be: Amir Johnson

William Buford, SG, Ohio State

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  • Could be: DeShawn Stevenson

Kevin Jones, PF, West Virginia

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  • Could be: Reggie Evans

Kris Joseph, SF, Syracuse

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  • Should be: Wesley Johnson

Norsk on remaining international talent – Some teams also seem to like Turkish PF/C Furkan Aldemir (slightly undersized at probably no more than 6’9”) who has a reputation as a good rebounder, and Greek small forward Kostas Papanikolaou (also 6’9”) who plays for the very strong team Panathinaikos despite only turning 22 in July which is early for European teams with strong rosters. After those players, the international draft board looks pretty bare. Maybe a team could find a gem that they can stash for later among a number of other players who have made themselves available, but nobody really made a name for himself so far on the international stage.

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