Friday, June 29, 2007

Vanderbilt Hotline: The morning after the draft...

I think I speak for most of Commodore Nation when I say I am still shocked at what took place last night. Derrick Byars was better than the 42nd player in last night's draft, yet, you wouldn't know it based on where he ended up and the lack of conversation his remaining on the board evoked from the ESPN crew. I swear to god, if I heard Jay Bilas (who I happen to like very much) mention Josh McRoberts one more time I was going to scream. Much to my chagrin, there appears to be no coverage of Byars falling like a rock last night. The Tennessean, the Nashville City Paper, or the Memphis Commercial Appeal have nothing on the subject., beyond this thread that echoes my own frustrations last night, have an article on the homepage if you are a premium subscriber.

If I'm missing something in the coverage, please link to it in the comments section.

I think now is a good time to discuss just what happened to DB last night and the specific reasons I am annoyed. Stanimal made a fantastic point that I hope he will expound upon in the comments section or in a post of his own. Stanimal's point was NBA GMs' obsession with "upside" the idea that they are getting a player that, although he might not be the best player at that position at the time, it's possible that he might be someday thereby making that GM look very smart. It's a perfectly reasonable thing to consider, so long as it is not the only thing considered. Was Derrick Byars the most spectacular player in last night's draft? No. Was he one of the most NBA ready in my view? Certainly. Still, and this point was made by Andrew Banecker last night in my post on DB headed to the Sixers, that NBA GM's would rather draft mostly unknown foreign commodities and have them "develop" over-seas, many of whom never actually make it across the pond. I hope Derrick Byars torches every team in the NBA, gets out of the crappy contract he will get after his second year, and cashes in big time.

Here are a list of the guys that went ahead DB, mostly as his position, that I really don't understand:

23. New York Knicks - Wilson Chandler (This makes sense when you consider Isaiah Thomas is the GM. He is a moron and has ruined a storied franchise)
24. Phoenix Suns - Rudy Fernandez (This might be wrong of me to say because I don't know this guy. I am lumping him into the "foreign" guy category, but I'd take a proven guy like DB over Rudy)
25. Utah Jazz - Morris Almond (The way the announcers were describing him, this is a perfect example of an upside pick. Still, with a team like Utah, that isn't exactly what they needed. They needed a guy like DB who can knock down some shots, handle the ball, play solid defense, and be another leader out there).
27. Detroit Pistons - Aaron Afflalo (This guy isn't better than DB)
29. Phoenix Suns - Alando Tucker (See above. Stanimal says this is another "upside" issue).
30-31. Philly and Phoenix take a foreign dude and Carl Landry over DB. This worked out for Philly since they got Derrick 11 picks later (via a trade with Portland), but still.
37. Portland Trailblazers - Josh McRobers (I know Seamus doesn't like me to use foul language, but this guy is an ass-clown. Not only that, I've seen Derrick Byars play, you sir, are no Derrick Byars).
41. Minnesota Timberwolves - Chris Richard (I get that he is a "big boy" and that they are setting up for life after KG, but he is not a better player than DB, nor will be have as big an impact on his team).

But enough about what I think, what do you guys think?

The DC Dores have a game against Dayton tomorrow at 12:30. For those in the DC area (either with or without fanny packs), you should check it out.

After that, the only thing that put a smile on my face was Mealmart's latest post. Check it out.

That's all I got...we're waiting to hear from you.


Anonymous said...

McRoberts is going to be a bust. The winners in the draft last night in no real order:

Bulls and Sonics.

Douglas James said...

Very disappointed about DB dropping into the 2nd round (which means his contract isn't guaranteed). I don't think this will be a problem because i think we all agree he is NBA ready. My other thought is i'm not sure if it is good or not to be in Philly. He is going to get minutes and a chance to shine because Philly Andre Miller is a real good point guard. On the other hand it would have been nice for him to be in Portland and see what he could have done out there. My only other thoughts are that both Boston and NY are moron franchises. NY got rid of Stevie Franchise but brought in a total head case. Instead of having character guys like Frye and DB. Boston traded for a 32 year old shooting guard. They will be in the playoffs this year w/ Jefferson, Pierce and Jesus Shuttlesworth but they have no future and will be back in the top 5 of the draft in 3 years.....

Aaron said...

Upset about DB going to Philly. The only coverage he will get there is going to be about how bad that team is and about how Larry Brown may coach there in 2040. I auctually think Boston had a good draft. Green could not have helped them that much, and you now have Allen who will open things up for Pierce. Their draft will make then a more noticeable team, and like Mr. James noted will most likely get them to the playoffs. The NBA needs that, and who cares how bad they will be in three years, at the 5th pick they would not have gotten anyone to truly turn them around.

Forget McRoberts, who the hell is wilson chandler??????

Seamus O'Toole said...

Well, as I said under the last post, it's a complete outrage, and no, it's not just Vandy homers who think so.

Bobby - You're forgiven for the "ass clown" usage. You know of my deep-seated contempt for McRoberts and therefore such language is only appropriate. Also, I used to think Jay Bilas was decent when he wasn't talking about Duke. He's a hosehound.

This guy at Bullets Forever has Byars as "most likely to play better than their draft position" and I think that's the general consensus among anyone who saw the guy play last year:

As far as your post goes, Bobby:

Guys like Rudy, Carl, Wilson, Josh - those are deserving of all the ridicule they get.

Morris Almond I just don't know enough about to say with authority, but he sounds disgusting. Arron Afflalo and Alando Tucker are understandable for obvious reasons - the words "First Team All-American" come to mind...

With that said, I don't think any of us are in a great position to postulate about these players from overseas. Foreigners have had HUGE success in the NBA in recent years.

All of this notwithstanding, Byars got COMPLETELY hosed and it's an atrocity that should not go overlooked. (Of course, I have a feeling the reason the press hasn't run it very much so far is because of the late-evening timing of the draft/trades.)

Stanimal said...

I made this point a couple of moments ago on an earlier post, but it was also made on ESPN last night and I thought it was relevant.

Most NBA GMs don't see second round picks as guarantees of success. They are basically looking for diamonds in the rough, guys who could turn out and surprise them that they don't have to put a huge amount of risk on. The risk I refer to is offering a guaranteed contract to a player, something that has to happen with all first rounders. A second round draft pick is not guaranteed to make the team, they have to go out and earn their spot. Therefore, in the minds of many NBA GMs, it makes a lot of sense to take on a foreign player with promise who they can leave over there for a year or two but still have the rights to them down the road. It's basically like having a risk-free minor-league system where the player actually has an opportunity to improve elsewhere (while there are American minor-league teams of sorts, they are not NEAR the quality of some of the European leagues).

So once DB fell out of the 1st round, it wasn't really much of a surprise to me that he fell behind a lot of project players. And the reason as I commented to Bobby is that people never saw much "upside" in DB. They consider him a player who has maxed his potential. I personally find the "upside" gamble to be ludicrous and I would argue that percentage-wise it rarely pans out, but I can understand it happening in the second round more than in the first because of the fact that a gamble there isn't as devastating to a team.

That being said, I do think DB got hosed and I'm frankly shocked that he fell to the second round. But there are no doubt a couple of reasons behind that fact.

1) DB was a 3-star recruit out of high school who until his senior year, and even a few games into his senior year, did not have a great career. I get the impression that made some GMs leery of him as a first-round choice. Guys like Glen Davis and McBob had reputations which is why they were taken early in the second, but DB came pretty much out of nowhere. With that in mind, I get the feeling that most people thought he's hit his ceiling and that he isn't going to get much better. That whole damn "upside" thing all over again.

2) In workouts for individual teams, he never really did much to break himself away from the rest of the pack. He and Morris Almond were just about neck and neck for what the Jazz needed, and they decided to go with Almond, who I have actually heard is the best pure shooter in the draft. After that point I guess NBA teams didn't see he was worth the risk of a first round pick (although I can't imagine how pint-sized Aaron Brooks, or project-player Petteri Koponen could possibly be less of a risk).

3) NBA GMs are placing less stock on individual college success. Players who have a great deal of success in college are no longer en vogue for high draft picks unless they feel that they have the u-word. The reason is because teams have been burned in the past by selecting the "best player in college" so many times. Laettner was a decent pro, but never a stud like he was in college. Adam Morrison was TERRIBLE last year. Not his fault, but Jay Williams career was cut short. Joe Forte, the list goes on and on. So while having a successful senior season is a plus, it doesn't guarantee that you a slot in the first round anymore.

4) There are so many dumb NBA GMs right now its insane. McHale, Jordan, Billy Knight, Isiah, and that's just the REALLY dumb ones. Seriously, MJ and Isiah are tainting their once impeccable images with how bad they are at managing teams. The Knicks are going to implode with the addition of Zach Randolph, absolutely implode.

Sorry that was long, those were just some of my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

i am disappointed DB dropped, but the only blatant misfire in my mind was carl landry over DB. as for afflalo, he will be a lock-down defender for years to come - a classic detroit player. in the end, go sixers! as far as upside goes, check out this blog:

Boyer in the District said...

Do not knock foreign players.


Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli, and several rings.

Boyer in the District said...


Joakim Noah totally stole my look.


Sanjaya Malakar

Bobby O'Shea said...

Rome clone in the house

Stanimal said...

For every foreign success, there are ten foreign busts.


Drazen Tarlac, Primoz Brezec, Frederic Weis, Mirsad Turkcan, Vladimir Stepania,Efthimios Rentzias, and that's only about 2% of wikipedia

Douglas James said...

lets keep the lame american idol jokes out of this post.....

Anonymous said...

McRoberts was drafted as Oden's AAU buddy.

I only hope that DB uses this slight against him as motivation to become a tremendous NBA player, much like Gilbert Arenas did. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how well he fits into the 76ers lineup.

Douglas James said...

On a more somber note...the NFL Europe just i am bored

Stanimal said...

I would say that Boston, on paper, came away huge at this point. As Aaron pointed out, nobody they picked at number five was guaranteed to turn them around. I think it was a great deal. Ray Allen for Delonte West isn't even a question, they dumped Wally Szcerbiak's contract, and they passed on picking a player that wasn't guaranteed. Best of all, they got a premier player and they didn't have to give up Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, or Rajon Rondo. That right there is the most impressive part of the deal. Then at 35 they pick up Big Baby, which in mind is an absolute steal. It was LUDICROUS last night when they said that Big Baby wasn't a great athlete, the dude at his size is an UNREAL athlete.

The only thing that needs to happen is that they need to can Doc Rivers and hire someone who knows what they are doing.

Douglas James said...

Here is an article by Andy Katz that goes against everything we have been saying.....though it doesn't mention DB dropping either

Stanimal said...

I don't think it goes against everything we've been saying. There hasn't really been much mention of how long a player has stayed in college. You can bet that guys like Crittenton, Young, Brandan Wright, and even older guys like Morris Almond, Sean Williams, Al Thornton, etc. were all considered to have more upside than DB.

So age doesn't really have much to do with it, it's mostly about how much the execs think the players can improve.

Anonymous said...

Why are former NBA legends such horrible GMs?

I like many of you am shocked DB fell so far. In addition while Young from USC is a great player and I guess the Wizs took the philsophy of picking the best player available I don't think they need a PG....

Seamus O'Toole said...

A friend of mine just made a great point regarding DB:

If Shavlik Randolph can make it in Philly, you gotta figure Byars can too.

Douglas James said...

I just hope Philly gives him a chance to prove himself because his contract won't be guaranteed and therefore he is Billy King...the 76'ers gm is an idiot

Stanimal said...

That's my concern too. And they already have an established small forward rising star in Igoudala, as well as a guy with "upside" in Thaddeus Young. Kyle Korver isn't good but isn't terrible either.