There's a slew of attractive looking PGs in this draft, so our chances of finding an heir to Kirk Hinrich are quite good. The PF prospects are much less impressive for the kind of guys that we'd likely be able to get, but I scout a few anyway.
2014 NBA Draft 1st Round
1. SF Mark White - Houston Rockets
2. SG Justin Richler - New Jersey Nets
I almost have to feel sorry for the Trailblazers. They luck out in getting all the way to #3 and for their luck, they miss out on the two best players in the draft, bar none.
3. C Morris Allaway - Portland Trailblazers
So they over-reach on a C, though they do need a true five.
4. PG Ray Fields - New Orleans Hornets
I like the way the Hornets are building, grabbing McPherson last year and taking the single-best PG in this draft. Though I have to wonder, what does this mean for Chris Paul?
5. PG Leland Peterson - Washington Wizards
...Not good. All the top-shelf PG talent is flying off the board and the positions's not as deep as I thought.
6. PG Derrick Attaway - Golden State Warriors
7. SG John Grawer - New York Knicks
8. PG Sam Hamilton - Atlanta Hawks
Okay, I can forget about getting a decent PG now. Way, way too early for Hamilton to go and he's not even that good. I saw him as more a mid-late 1st, tilting more towards the late part of the equation.
9. PG Jeremy Steele - Cleveland Cavaliers
10. SF Shannon Drayton - Chicago Bulls
11. C Chris Driver - Los Angeles Clippers
12. SG Angelo Mascoe - Seattle Supersonics
13. PG eric Kostov - Miami Heat
14. SF Alex Watkins - Phoenix Suns
15. SG Damon Jupiter - Orlando Magic
So, remember when I said we were involved in trade discussions with Philadelphia? The #16 pick was part of the deal, but I held off and now I'm glad I did, because there's nobody left that we've scouted who's worthy of the selection. Thus, we're passing.
16. SG Jeremy Thompson - Philadelphia 76ers
17. SF Lannce Dudley - Milwaukee Bucks
No, that isn't a typo. He really does spell his name Lannce.
18. PF Brian Bender - Detroit Pistons
19. SF Jason Tackett - Sacramento Kings
20. C Jimmy Johnson - Utah Jazz
21. PG Ahmad Williams - San Antonio Spurs
22. SG Deon Wiel - Minnesota Timberwolves
23. PG Damien Giesen - Memphis Grizzlies
24. PG Jim Jackson - Boston Celtics
25. SG Leighton Reese - Charlotte Bobcats
26. PG Chris Davis - Indiana Pacers
The experts are yammering for us to take mock draft pick Jonathan Guyton and he's been the best PF on JP's board for a number of picks now, but I just don't see.
Instead, I throw a curveball.
Or rather, two curveballs.
Denver Nuggets receive
PG Brandon Brooks
Portland Trailblazers receive
SG Duez Walker
PG Marcus Williams
Denver Nuggets 2014 2nd round pick (#50)
Denver Nuggets 2016 2nd round pick
What this means for the Nuggets
Although Brooks has never lived up to the lofty billing of being the #2 overall selection, he's a shrewd pickup for Denver, who now vastly upgrades their backcourt depth with a proven PG and guards against Kirk Hinrich's potential age-related decline. In fact, knowing GM Jestor, this could well signal another spinoff involving Hinrich.
What this means for the Trailblazers
Brooks was one of the most popular players on the team, so the fans won't be happy about a trade that doesn't involve a 1st round pick. Walker showed flashes of talent as a rookie, but was squeezed out in Denver's rotation last year during the wholesale makeover. Williams is an underrated PG who moves to his fourth team in as many years and could replace Brooks as the starting PG.
The Nuggets address the need for a true PG heir and clear out some of the clutter in their backcourt, all without giving up their first round pick. That's a win-win situation no matter how you look at it.
In the interest of full confession, I'll admit that I shopped Hinrich around, but it was only casually to see what I could get for him. Turns out not very much considering his age and his beastly contract. I still throw the second curve though.
27. C Lindsey Willamson - Denver Nuggets
You can't teach 7', 277 lbs and the report on Williamson is that he's got great defensive skills, something we can always use more of on our bench. From Kent State, he's just the 6th Golden Flash player ever to be drafted and might finally be the first player I've picked to ever stick with the drafting team long-term.
The pick receives mixed reviews, in sharp contrast to the glowing praise that Duez Walker received a couple years ago, but that's all right. Lindsey fills a need.
28. PG Eddie Hickman - Toronto Raptors
29. SG Jim McPherson - Dallas Mavericks
30. PF Jonathan Guyton - Los Angeles Lakers
J.P. and Chris get into one of the most hilarious arguments I've ever seen following the Guyton pick, as J.P.'s practically purpling with outrage that it took this long for someone to draft Guyton, while Chris fires back with the gold response of, "I was a former player and I know that college standouts don't always cut it at the pro level. You can't understand that because you never played at this level."
Can you say burn? I knew you could! Congratulations anyway, Purple and Gold, for making JP semi-happy.
With no second round pick thanks to the Brooks trade, I ignore the rest of the draft and just field phone calls about the deal we made and our selection of Williamson.
After we get done renouncing all the rights to our free agents, none of whom we have any real interest in bringing back, we've got 11 players under contract still and are just over $1 million in terms of the cap. I think Mr. Dyer is going to be quite happy with that.
Lindsey Williamson looks to be none too bright a player, though he's a great defender already with good shotblocking instincts and some rebounding potential. The coaching staff vows to work with him in training camp and see if they can't make more out of him.
Williamson and Phillip Gill are the only two Nuggets to go summer leaguing.
With such a scrubby team, it's little wonder that Dallas beats us 106-97 in the Summer League opener, although Kyle Smith raises eyebrows with 22 points for us and Chris Irwin has 12 points and 14 rebounds as a reserve.
On the other hand, we wallop Golden State 92-67 as Kyle Smith leads all scorers with 19. Lindsey Williamson shows surprising shooting touch in scoring 10 and 14 points the first two games, keeping pace with Phillip Gill's 11 and 12 points in the same contests.
Hard luck in a 103-98 loss in Atlanta, although Kyle Smith scored 18, Kurt Ware doubled with 16 points and 10 assists and Cedric Tolliver and Pat Morris each put up 10 points off the bench. Smith, a 22 year old 3rd year player and former 1st round draft pick of the Magic (13th overall selection in the 2012 draft) is showing some serious game and has some real potential to become a -very- good player. In fact, he's playing so well in the summer league, we're going to try and offer him a contract.
Kyle Smith plays magnificiently in an 82-80 loss to the Bulls, scoring 24 and looking sensational. Chris Irwin grabbed 10 bench rebounds, Pat Morris 10 reserve points, but Smith has really stolen the spotlight in taking the Summer League by storm. Between him and Tyrone Dotson from the Spurs, I've pretty much got my free agency wishlist written up.
We close out the summer league with our best performance of the season, a 104-84 thrashing of the Celtics led by, who else? Kyle Smith with 25 points. Pat Morris had 10 bench points and should catch on somewhere, in the D-league if nothing else. Phillip Gill scored 16 in the final game, while Lindsey Williamson was a perfect 7/7 and finished with 14 points. He very well could turn out a late 1st round steal for us.
And so we'll take a break on that happy note. I'm thrilled to have discovered Smith and can't wait to land him, even if we have to give him the mid-level exemption. I see that kind of potential in him.
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)