Thursday, June 26

Rounding Out the Draft

To finish off the night, the Sonics added two more picks in the second round.

#20, Devon Hardin, Cal, Center
#26, Sasha Kaun, Kansas, Center

Please, try to reign in your enthusiasm.

Before I sign off for the night, a few thoughts:

-I can live with the Westbrook pick. He's not going to help the Sonics as a 30-minute-a-night guy immediately and he's not a true point guard in the sense of Paul or Williams or Kidd, but he has loads of talent, great speed, and, worst case, he's a top guy off the bench.

-The Ibaka pick mystifies me. My only hope is that Presti worked out a deal with the guy ahead of time, and the whole "don't pick me" routine was an act to scare other teams away. Honestly, I don't buy that as the truth, but it's the only thing keeping me from thinking this was a total farce.

-DJ White isn't a star by a long shot, but he has some low-post ability, works hard, and is still better than almost anyone else on the roster down low.

-The 2nd rounders? No clue.

-On the whole, I give the draft a very early grade of a B-. Normally, in school, a B- is okay, especially in a class where the notes and homework are killing you. But this is a B- in a class like PE; there's no way with 6 picks the Sonics should be coming out of here with such a craptacular haul. Seriously, are you more or less excited about the Sonics' future after today? At what point do we start thinking, "Hey, is Sam Presti ever going to deliver on his genius label? How much of a line of credit do we extend to this guy?"


Anonymous said...

just think... we could have had:

Lopez C
Chalmers PG

and STILL PICKED the Congo "upside" guy...

Instead, we got out of 6 drafted players, one that is ready to contribute immediately and be decent (white) and another that will contribute to the team's suckitude for 2 years (Westbrook) and a whole lot of additional nuthin'.

I can hear Charles saying, "That's turrhble."

Anonymous said...

You guys are wrong -- this was a superior draft. You got one star, one good player, and one prospect. How can you argue with that?

Anonymous said...

Well. let's subtract "prospect" from your list. With 6 picks, even a 4-year-old girl from Bangladesh could find a "prospect". So let's address your other two points:

Are you saying Westbrook is a star? Based on what, exactly? The fact he can't shoot from the outside? Or that he doesn't possess strong point guard skills?

And the one good player: What makes a DJ White a "good player?" Last I checked he was projected to be a late-round pick in the first round, and that's what he was.

What I don't understand is why we passed up people like Batum, CDR, Chalmers, and a million other guys who were supposed to be top 20 guys with our #24 pick, just so we could get a guy, Ibaka, who would be available in the 2nd round. I don't mean to vent my frustration on you, but I'm just really bummed about this draft. Not so much because I think it was sub-par, but because of the transparency of hte fact that the front office is more interested in saving money at this point than building a better team.

Anonymous said...

Hmm. Who's the star? The guy that shoots a career 63.4% from the line and made .5 3's a game his college career, as a tweener guard?

Anonymous said...

Dammit, DeVon Hardin is a run-of-the-mill third-string pivotman. As it is, Hardin doesn't have polished skills on offense, is limited as a weakside help defender due to a lack of court awareness, and is a bit too old to have any remaining upside. Hardin also projects out similarly to Jamal Sampson, which is a slap in the face.

Hell, the Seattle SuperSonics should tender Robert Swift with a one-year, $3,579,131 qualifying offer -- as he deserves one last chance due to his potential to pull a Chris Kaman next season -- consequently, Hardin's draft rights ought to be traded elsewhere for roughly $500,000 in cash considerations—or the team could just waive him.

I'm on board with releasing Mouhamed Sene, too, since there's no point in funding him while he rehabilitates his injured knee. Hell, it'd be a goddamn waste of resources -- even though I'm down with Clay Bennett wasting money -- yet, there's probably folks within the organization who still think highly of Sene, which indicates their own idiocy.

On a final note, the selection of Sasha Kaun is a wasted pick -- as he recently signed a long-term contract with some Russian team, which is located in his birth nation -- plus, he adds to the organization's glut of useless foreigners. Kaun, Serge Ibaka (a.k.a., Olumide Oyedeji, Jr.), Peter Fehse, Yotam Halperin, and Paccelis Morlende are all useless here.

Anonymous said...

Apropos of Mouhamed Sene, I know that his contract is guarnateed through the 2008-2009 season. Yet, with regards to my "waste of resources" remark, it was in reference to the money that'd be spent on rehabilitation for his injured knee if he stuck around all year on the inactive list. Either way, though, Sene has proven himself to be an absolute bust; therefore, the Seattle SuperSonics should just cut its losses and release him.

Anonymous said...

Hardin is still 21 I think.

Anonymous said...

They should not give Sene his next season guarantee.

Maybe he gets back on court late spring.

Sunk cost.

Maybe there is some chance he comes back able to play a small role.

I hope they have him watching 2-4 hours of gametape a day with a coach beside him instructing, quizzing hard to build up his game IQ. Weight room is not enough, really the least important.

Anonymous said...

I like the Westbrook pick. Pac 10 Defensive player of the year. The kid can really play D. He likes it. Great first step, plays above the rim (unlike Watson could ever do). Needs to improve his jumper. Ok. So does 90% of the NBA.

But all in all, regardless of what happened today, I still can't shake Clay's pre-Cambrian looking mug kicking back and smirking at us. If we had an incredible draft, would I feel good about it? So they can go to OK and prosper?

Fuckin' A. This is retarded.

Anonymous said...

i love a defensive stopper in the top of the lottery. it is like picking a closer in the 1st round of the MLB draft. wait. what?

cmac said...

Yeah no good defensive players have ever been taken in the lottery

Anonymous said...

i agree, i thought this draft went very well. presti stuck with high character, athletic, defensive, and solid guys. i like his style of picking safe players then on protential. keep in the mind, this is still in a process of overhauling this team which is a long process that takes multiple seasons. i will give presti like a least another two years, if not more.

Anonymous said...

Does the fact that Mayo was just leap frogged over us to Memphis bother anyone? That would have been a trade I would have like to see the Sonics involved in... but oh ya, we don't have any big men the Timberwolves want... unless they like redheads

Anonymous said...

Well, Sam Presti could've theoretically attempted to make the following transaction if the Seattle SuperSonics had drafted Kevin Love rather than Russell Westbrook.

PG Marko Jaric ($6,050,000)
SG O.J. Mayo (Draft Rights)

PG Earl Watson ($5,800,000)
PF Kevin Love (Draft Rights)

A backcourt of O.J. Mayo and Marko Jaric would've been big in size, tenacious defensively, and relatively well-rounded on offense; however, Jaric's got an lengthy contract and is occasionally inefficient on offense, while Mayo -- who appears to be a defensively sound version of Gilbert Arenas -- seemingly didn't enamor Sam Presti for some reason.

Hell, if Mayo had been available at the 4th pick, then Presti would've reportedly packaged him in a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers for Westbrook and a future first-round draft pick. That, without question, shows how heavily Presti's creamed his jeans at just the thought of Westbrook.

Anonymous said...

i think we couldve gotten mayo, if we drafted love. but to get oj we have to take in bad contracts.

i think itll work if it was
mayo, walker (8 mills, 3 yrs), jaric (6 mills, 3yrs)

for love,

all or one of these on year contract guys:
donyell (5.6 mills),
griffin (1.6 mills),
petro (1 mill),
wilcox(6.5 mills)

or instead of wilcox,
luke (6.5 mills, 2 yrs)or
watson (5.8 mills, 2 yrs).

Anonymous said...

Westbrook can dunk...

Anonymous said...

To be honest, I love the Westbrook pick. In my opinion he was the best player available at #4, and he fills a big need for our team. I don't think we had anything to offer Minnesota that they would of liked as much as the deal they got. Mike Miller is a solid NBA pro. We didn't have anything like that to offer that they needed. But back to the pick at #4...I'm glad we didn't take any of the other guards available (Gordon, Augustin, Bayless) or Lopez. I think Westbrook fits really well.

From a physical standpoint Westbrook is top-notch:
-He measured in at 6'2.25", 6'3.5" with shoes on. That is taller than Jerryd Bayless, Eric Gordon, and Derrick Rose.
-He has a wingspan of 6'7.75". That is longer than OJ Mayo, 4 inches longer than Bayless, and just .25 inches shorter than Rose.
-He has a body fat % of 4.8. To compare, Rose (4.6), Bayless (4.7), Mayo(6.3), and Gordon (8.2).
-His standing reach was 8'4". Higher than Bayless, Gordon, Mayo, and Rose.
-Weighing in at 193, less than the other four guards mentioned, yet he benched 185lbs, 12 times. Rose (10), Mayo (7), Gordon (15), Bayless (10). For the record, Brook Lopez did 7.
-His agility drill was timed at 10.98. That was better than Rose, Mayo, and Bayless.
-His spring was timed at 3.08. Very similar to Rose (3.05), Mayo (3.14), Gordon (3.01), and Bayless (3.07).

Now I'm not saying because Westbrook could lift some weight, and run good, means that he will be a superstar. I'm just saying I would rather have him scoring these types of numbers, than numbers that were considered average.

Another thing that people have brought up about Westbrook is that he didn't have the best stats. I'm fine with his numbers. He was 3rd on UCLA in points, 3rd in rebounds, 2nd in steals, and 1st in assists. And don't forget, he ended the year with three really good games in the Sweet16, Elite Eight, and Final Four.
-S16 vs. W. Kentucky: 14 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, and he held 1st round pick Courtney Lee to 7-29 shooting.
-E8 vs. Xavier: 17 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals.
-F4 vs. Memphis: 22 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals.

I have heard numerous comparisons in his game to a bunch of players in the NBA. Something I see as accurate that has been mentioned is the defensive game of Rajon Rando and the offensive game of Monta Ellis. Another thing I heard over and over that I love is "gym rat", "amazing attitude", and "extremely coach-able."

A big knock on him is that he isn't a big time shooter. So many solid shooters come into the league without a jumpshot and sometimes it takes players a few years to extend their range. I think Westbrook will have no problem with that. I know it all depends on the system and whatnot, but in a few years, I see Westbrook as a top five defensive PG in the NBA, putting up numbers around 15 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, and 1.5 steals. Now, those aren't superstar numbers, but they could be even better than that.

As far as the rest of the draft....

Eh. We had five other picks, and ended up with one guy that I "like". I will give this draft a C+. But I love the Westbrook pick.

Anonymous said...

Pat, the problem with Westbrook is that he is undersized for the 2 and hasn't shown true PG potential. He is a tweener. Even the best of PG's struggle making the NBA transition (Gary Payton, anyone?) Many never do, and tweener guards even more so. Rodney Monroe, anyone? Even the (now) great Chauncey Billups struggled for several years.

For the Sonics, a team in DESPERATE NEED of players that can help immediately, the pick was bad. Westbrook was drafted on potential and doesn't help the immediate circumstances. The only immediate positive contributor will be White. But considering the available talent ready to contribute both in the short and long term, the decisions the Sonics made were... less than adequate.

Westbrook will be a great player perhaps... in 3-5 years. Hopefully NOT for Oklahoma City, but likely not for the Sonics, regardless of where they are.

It's a crappy pick for THIS team. Period.

Anonymous said...

Presti seems to date to put actual college FG% pretty low on the list in judging prospects for his top picks. A good narrative, "character", physique, "versatility" all seem to be weighted more.

Based on comments I recently heard from him about Durant & Green and now Westbrook I don't think he really firmly knows where any of them will ultimately end up playing position-wise and if they will succeed specifically there and he doesn't seem to have made that the critical criteria. It is a risky attitude.

Anonymous said...

Looking at their college shooting you might say Durant & Green were good or good enough but among college players playing over 20 minutes a game Green was about the 100th best college shooter on eFG% and Durant was about 160th. Westbrook wasn't in top 300.

Anonymous said...

Love and CDR were efficient college shooters. Passed up, will see how they perform as pros compared to those Presti took.

At least DJ White is efficient.

Anonymous said...

In college Durant & Green made up for not that special shooting by getting to the line a lot. Westbrook offensive rating is not as high.

In pros last season Durant has a nice but not super high 47th on FT/FG ratio among regular rotation players and Green was 86th. Ideally they get more calls and step up those rates. And become better shooters.

Westbrook will need to get to line a lot at minimum and learn to shoot better too eventually.

Reportedly Rondo was a better college freshman but as a shooter /scorer Westbrook hopefully be able to match or better his modest eFG% and FT/FG rates.

Anonymous said...

Rondo overachieved his draft rank and that doesn't surprise me but he did it in an ideal situation.

For Westbrook to match or beat Rondo might be a decent standard but for a 4th pick some would argue that it is a low bar.

Will see how he does in year 1, 3 and beyond.

Anonymous said...

Rondo was clearly the more advanced demonstrated passer in college and far, far, far better as a rebounder. They were about equal on turnover rate and getting to the line.
Westbrook a bit better from 3, Rondo better from 2. Rondo with a clear edge on steals.

Anonymous said...

One significant difference between Westbrook and Rondo that everyone seems to be glazing over.

Rondo IS and WAS ALWAYS basically a point guard. Westbrook most definitely was not. Comparing shooting percentages has nothing to do with ability to run a team offense and make "point guard decisions."

Not that I think Rondo is great in that department, but he is certainly better than a young Earl Watson, who ironically is a fantastic comparison for our young tweener guard.

Jesus I hated writing that last sentence.

Anonymous said...

Russell Westbrook has some stuff in common with Rajon Rondo, Earl Watson, and Antonio Daniels.

Unlike Rondo, however, Westbrook isn't the greatest help defender by sealing off passing lanes, creating turnovers, and getting steals. Unlike Watson, however, Westbrook isn't a true floor general and doesn't shoot well enough from beyond the arc. Unlike Daniels, however, Westbrook doesn't get to the line too often and shoots a poor free-throw percentage.

Dammit, Westbrook is looking worse and worse upon further evaluation. A legitimate pivotman like Brook Lopez or a skilled power forward like Kevin Love should've been the pick instead of an athletic, yet flawed combo guard like Westbrook.

Anonymous said...

As far as I'm concerned, Chris Douglas-Roberts -- who'd've been an adequate replacement for Mickael Gelabale as a reserve swingman -- should've been choosen with the 24th pick instead of Serge "O.O., Jr." Ibaka.

While some folks slobber over Ibaka's supposed potential, there'd've been more value in selecting a proven commodity at the wing positions—especially since he'd've come in right away and filled a need.

Anonymous said...

CDR has the most upside of any 2nd rounder and probably proves out to be worth the 24th pick or higher to some team.

On the surface it doesn't make sense why he slipped that much.

Anonymous said...

There's some dumbass homers over at SonicsCentral who're comparing Russell Westbrook to Gary Payton, which is a fuckin' slap in the face to "The Glove" and his legacy.

Hell, the comparisons between Serge Ibaka and Shawn Kemp are even more goddamn ridiculous. It makes me almost sick to my stomach. Ibaka has not one thing in common with "The Reign Man," for he's actually similar to another former Sonics, Olumide Oyedeji, who was an absolute atrocity. Yeah, folks, Sam Presti wasted a first-round pick on the next Oyedeji. There's there so-called "boy genius" at work.

If those fools want to compare Payton to someone from the 2008 NBA Draft, then Derrick Rose is their man. Westbrook, however, couldn't even hold Payton's fucking jockstrap. Of course, last year several braindead morons over there were rambling like mentally challenged children that Kevin Durant and Jeff Green were the next Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.

That all just goes to show how uneducated homers are mindless lemmings who can be convinced of damn near anything.

Anonymous said...

Some comparisons can be way off but folks are hoping for the best.

Of the 3 names you used with regards to Westbrook I'd go for Rondo on offense / Daniels on defense.

Anonymous said...

A hybrid of Rajon Rnndo and Antonio Daniels aptly describes Russell Westbrook, who'll most likely never justify being selected with the 4th pick. That's not Westbrook's fault, though; he can't control those insane expectations of him.

I'm curious about Sam Presti's reasoning behind using top-five draft picks on role players, Westbrook and Jeff Green, in consecutive years. In all honesty, it doesn't make any sense to me on a rational level.

Anonymous said...

Presti / PJ steaming toward a choice - at best - between Rubio and Griffin.

Rubio would be fun and might fit with Westbrook and Durant at least part of the time at the 3.

Griffin's 1st year writeup sounded good but not that special.

Anonymous said...

Presti has gone far on the versatility bandwagon. maybe too far. One way it might make sense is if Green as a 3/4 and Westbrook as a 1/2 are somewhat blurred commodities and not as highly sought by other teams when 2nd contract time comes, perhaps seeking pure "fits".
Maybe he gets these guys re-signed at reasonable prices and has more money left over for other things?
If that is the strategy and they are still worthy of keeping then maybe it pays off. But it could flop badly.

Anonymous said...

Small follow-up:

Hardin turned 22 this month.
Not young but not ancient either for a senior.

Anonymous said...

A backcourt of Russell Westbrook and Ricky Rubio would be an entertaining pairing, with Rubio compensating for most of Westbrook's drawbacks -- except for three-point shooting, which eventually needs to be adressed by Sam Presti -- additionally, Rubio's outstanding help defense when clogging the passing lanes and creating turnovers would complement Westbrook's shutdown one-on-one perimeter defense when he's guarding opponents during on-the-ball situations.

I'd also be happy with a true pivotman like B.J. Mullens -- who, if I recall correctly, has been compared to Brad Daugherty by some scouting reports -- for he'd fill that huge, gaping hole at center for the Sonics. The team's present frontline rotation of Chris Wilcox, Nick Collison, Johan Petro, and D.J. White is quite possibly the worst in the NBA. Likewise, Robert Swift is still an oft-injured prospect, Mouhamed Sene has established himself as a complete and utter bust, DeVon Hardin projects to be a third-string scrub, and Serge Ibaka is an unproven foreigner who's likely to stay overseas.

Blake Griffin is also an upper-tier prospect; however, he's strictly a power forward -- such as Carlos Boozer, David Lee, et al. -- and, moreover, he's mediocre on defense. I'm surprised that Griffin didn't come out this year; he'd've fit much better with the Charlotte Bobcats instead of D.J. Augustin, who'd've been better off dropping to the Sacramento Kings.

Brandon Jennings, who's seemingly a throwback to past playmakers like Kenny Anderson and Rod Strickland, does nothing for me. According to scouting reports, Jennings is apparently all flash with very little substance. Plus, he's allegedly not a refined floor general and is undersized for even a point guard.

Also, I'm not on the Hasheem Thabeet bandwagon. Even if Thabeet is the second-coming of Dikembe Mutumbo, it's not worth using a top-five pick -- which is where the Sonics will be probably draft next year, since this once again looks like a 20-win team -- to get him. Hell, championships are usually won with two-way low-post and/or high-post players (e.g., Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, Shaquille O'Neal, Rasheed Wallace, et al.) at the helm. Obviously, Thabeet isn't one of those guys.

Anonymous said...

Here's my thoughts on the current situation:
Crow I have to say I agree with you on pretty much all your points, including Sonicscentral, which has blind homers comparing Westbrook to GP.
Right now the Sonics need a PG and a center, but most importantly they needed a game changer that could have an immediate impact on the team. Maybe put a couple more people in the seats.
There were only three game changing impact players in the draft, Rose, Beasley, and Mayo. The fact that we were unable to move up and get either Beasley or Mayo kills me right now.
When the ownership is blaming the fans because they didn't show up (even though there was a terrible product on the floor), adding Mayo or Beasley would've brought more excitement, and especially more talent and potential to the Sonics.
That being said we just need more talent on the floor right now. There is a huge difference in the talent levels between Westbrook compared to Mayo and Beasley.
As for fitting specific team needs, Westbrook basically brings defense and his athleticism. The Sonics need defense, but we need a guard who can score and shoot. Badly. Durant can't break these doubles by himself all the time. The Earl Watson comparison was accurate and painful at the same time. Beasley and Mayo both have sky high ceilings, and are also ready to contribute right away, while that doesn't apply to Westbrook. Remember, the Sonics need an impact player now.