NBA Draft 2012: Blazers Select Twin Towers
Is the headline I'd most prefer to read on the night of June 28th, 2012. Draft prospects that play on the perimeter are dominating the draft discussion at the Blazers Edge but there is no obvious future stars with perhaps the exception of MKG on the wing. Draft analysts have stated from the beginning of the season that this is a weak PG draft and now we see that the top talent between both SG and SF prospects seem to have a narrow separation. What the draft appears to have is a number of quality big men and I feel we need to explore the top Power Forwards and Centers that the Blazers should potentially draft with the #6 and #11 picks and detail the individual and combined impact that drafting two big men can have.
Big men rule the NBA. Always have and always will. Going back to 1980 each finals winner had a dominate big man or a bunch of 7 footers getting considerable minutes to clog the lane. Guards are sexy and make the headlines but posts are the usually the foundation of championship teams. Centers and power forwards that can contribute are a rarity in the NBA and they are always hard to come by. It's difficult to trade for true posts and usually you have to trade size for size. In the draft usually 4's and 5's end up being busts and when they have obvious star quality they are rarely over looked and are selected in the lottery. When they are free agents they leave for large market franchises. With the opportunity to grab two this draft I believe it is critical to do so for our future success.
Posts are many times under valued because they don't score much. Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins rarely score but are two of the best posts in the NBA because of the physical nature of their playing style. They intimidated the Spurs big men and neutralized Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum from the Lakers. Without Ibaka and Perkins, OKC would not be in the Finals tomorrow. If Chris Bosh doesn't come back in game 5 of the ECF for Miami then the Heat most likely don't make it past Boston and into the NBA Finals. Bosh clearly made a impact in the last two blow out wins
Lamarcus Aldridge is coming off hip surgery and his health going into next season is uncertain. CBS Reports it will take 2-4 months for him to heal but that does not mean he will be back playing at 100% four months later. Under Blazer's Trainer Jay Jensen players have repeatedly had setbacks and become re-injured so we have to seriously question Aldridge's health coming into next season. With two posts added to the roster through the draft and perhaps the signing of a guy like JaVale McGee we can have a dominate front line. The addition of 3 new posts to go along with Lamarcus, JJ Hickson, and Hasheem Thabeet would make us incredibly deep in the post and gives us some great trade leverage. This stacked roster of posts will also make Portland much more attractive in the eyes of other potential free agents.
I understand and agree that we should take the best player available but history has proven that the NBA Draft usually produces busts and players that are average at best. It is ALWAYS difficult to find the gems. Sometime it is obvious who is going to be a star but those are the rare occasions. From what I have read the obvious stars are MKG, Anthony Davis, and Thomas Robinson but odds are all three won't pan out to be impact players.
Picks #6 and #11 will offer no obvious stars so I believe we should take two posts to rebuild our team.
Portland needs a starting PG and we feel desperate to get one after last years embarrassment at the position. Marshall and Lilliard are the top ranked PG's in the draft but there are question marks swirling around both of them. Either may become a solid NBA starter but it is more likely they will be busts. The same can be said about Beal, Lamb, Rivers, and everyone else at the 2 and 3 position. If we're going to gamble let's gamble big and let's draft two posts!
Here is the list of potential posts that we should draft with the #6 and #11 picks. I'm omitting Anthony Davis and Thomas Robinson because they should be gone by the 6th and 11th pick but giving the option to trade up to draft Thomas Robinson in the poll.
If you believe we should take two posts mark your two players in the poll. Then write about why you would select them.
If you believe we should take one or zero big men then write in the two players you would select.
Andre Drummond 6’ 9.75" 278 PF/C UConn Fr. 10.2 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 2.7 bpg
Meyers Leonard 6’ 11.75" 249 C Illinois So. 13.6 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 1.9 bpg
Tyler Zeller 6’ 11.25" 247 PF/C North Carolina Sr. 16.5 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 1.0 apg
Anthony Davis 6’ 9.25" 222 PF Kentucky Fr. 14.3 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 4.6 bpg
Thomas Robinson 6’ 7.75" 244 PF Kansas Jr. 17.9 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 1.0 bpg
Arnett Moultrie 6’ 9.5" 233 PF Mississippi St. Jr. 15.8 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 1.1 apg
Jared Sullinger 6’ 7.75" 268 PF Ohio State So. 17.6 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 1.2 apg
Perry Jones 6’ 10.25" 234 SF/PF Baylor So. 14.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.3 apg
John Henson 6’ 9" 216 PF North Carolina Jr 13.8 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 2.9 bpg
#6 Andre Drummond
The scouting reports say he has the best upside of all big men in the draft. Drafting the best talent regardless of NBA readiness and positional need seems to be the best strategy in the NBA and this guy is it. He is a 18 year old mega-athlete who has the potential to be a serious impact player. He is coordinated, explosive, and can run. We would be lucky to be able to sign a guy with his upside and if he develops properly he will definitely be a impact player.
Andre Drummond Freshman Highlights 2011-2012 (via mafisher13)
His questionable work ethic and passion for the game is a red flag but he is only 18 and can grow out of it. Most big men don't know how to play hard coming into college and need to be taught. He is one of those players. When asked about his questionable motor he gives a immature response and his defensiveness is on display in this video.
We know he needs to mature emotionally. He needs to develop right and left hand jump hooks and he needs to master his footwork. He doesn't have a motor because he doesn't even know what having a motor means. He believes that is has something to do with facial expressions when it most certainly does not. A good coach can teach him how to do those things and if he's open to being coached and is and extremely hard worker than he definitely can be a star and that is a risk we need to take.
Andre Drummond Draft Combine Interview (via DraftExpress)
#11 Tyler Zellner
I like him because he has a strong pedigree as a 4-year player at UNC. He lead his team in scoring as a senior and is a high IQ player. He needs to get stronger and mature physically but he knows how to win and can help mentor younger posts on the team. He is solid on the block and has a nice jump hook. Pairing him with Aldridge could be a nice combination on offense when Zeller is on the block and LA is in the high post.
Tyler Zeller Highlight Mix (via swishscout)