The ever-accomodating David Aldridge of TNT / NBA.com answered a few questions from the NBA blogosphere today relating to THE hot topic of the moment — the NBA Draft.
Bloggers that threw some queries out there included Hugging Harold Reynolds, 3 Shades of Blue, Peter Robert Casey, Kings Forum, Docksquad Sports, Bright Side of the Sun, InGameNow, Canis Hoopus, Nets Are Scorching and of course A Stern Warning had to contribute its two cents. I was lucky enough to get three questions answered, all of which I think will be pretty interesting to readers of this blog.
2. Are there many teams that are looking to deal their draft picks due to the current financial climate? Or are they more likely to stash players overseas? (A Stern Warning)
DA: I think you’ll see some teams maybe not even bother to get into the draft for that reason. I think Denver [Nuggets] is an example of a team that did a lot of work to get under the [luxury] tax last year; I don’t think that they are all that fired up about getting back into the draft and paying guaranteed money to somebody that’s probably not going to play a lot for the them next year. So, that’s the kind of example of the economy impacting what teams do. Instead of being aggressive, I think some teams may be passive. Now you know your Portland’s and some of your other teams — Houston is going to buy in at some point in the first round — they’ll find somebody to do business with. But, I do think that you’ll see some teams just not doing anything, as opposed to what they would normally do, which is be active at the end of the first round and try to get one of those late first-round picks.
5. Patrick Mills was looking like a world-beater a year ago with St. Mary’s and then in the Olympics for Australia, but an injury certainly set him back. Do you think that with this draft being so deep with point guards that Mills’ stock will be severely set back by his injury-riddled season? (A Stern Warning)
DA: Well he’ll get drafted; I was surprised he stayed in though, because this is a great point guard filled draft. It surprised me that Patty stayed in because he was never a guy that was going to be a top-half of the lottery guy and I thought this year would be a good year for point guards to pass if you weren’t assured of being a top-half of the lottery guy. I think you saw [Greivis] Vasquez go back for example, and that made a lot of sense. Patty is going to get drafted, it could be late first [round], but there’s teams that could look at him. Dallas [Mavericks] certainly could take him with the 22nd pick, and that wouldn’t surprise me at all, but it wouldn’t surprise if he lasted into the second round either.
7. Joe Ingles has not been exposed to American audiences much, coming from Australia. Has there been much positive feedback around the league after his workouts with teams? (A Stern Warning)
DA: I think Joe [Ingles] a couple of weeks ago, maybe right around Chicago [workouts] there was a lot of interest and buzz in him. He did ok in Chicago; he didn’t do badly in Chicago, but I think as it’s gone on and he’s done the individual workouts, I believe with Minnesota and New Jersey, it’s kind of cooled a little bit. I don’t get the sense that Joe is going to be a first round pick. I think he’s a possible second round pick, but I’m not sure. Athletically, I don’t think people see the explosion and quickness that a player would need at his position to play in the league. That doesn’t mean that nobody will take a look at him, but I certainly don’t think he’s a first round pick at this point.
The rest of the questions and answers are also certainly worth a read, including mention of Minnesota’s new GM, David Kahn who has been very busy already. Ahhh… Draft time, so much fun.