Historically, the Warriors have had little success in the second round of the annual NBA Draft. Quite frankly, you probably have the same chance of winning the lotto than an NBA team (aside from the San Antonio Spur) finding a productive player in the second round. But perhaps its more about fit than actual untapped or undervalued talet (see Landry Fields).
The Warriors need help on the defensive end, badly. Specific areas of need include the wing, power forward, and center positions. With Andris Biedrins’ mental health rendering him nearly useless of the floor, finding a big man that isn’t clunky nor subject to mental lapses (ala Kwame Brown, Eric Dampier, et al.) is about as likely as finding the holy grail. With that said, how about taking Jeremy Tyler, U.S. National whose work ethic has been questioned by his coaches, in the second round (pick #44)?
As detailed by several news sources already, Tyler has taken the unconventional route towards realizing his dream of playing in the NBA. The results on the court are less exciting than the drama he stirred off the court with his coaches and teammates during his brief stint in Israel.
But it was not so long ago that Tyler was considered the best high school prospect. And it seems like Tyler’s career is on the upswing, for now. According to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, Tyler’s stint playing in Japan ended on a positive note with Tyler averaging 10 points and 6 rebounds in 33 games.
The last time the Warriors took a chance on a high school kid, they drafted Monta Ellis and have since made him the cornerstone of the franchise (for better or for worse). This doesn’t necessarily mean Tyler’s career trajectory will match Ellis’. As history shows, big men take time to season in the league. Since the Warriors being quite a ways away from competing in the Western Conference, Tyler could be groomed slowly under the tutelage of great pros like David Lee (hopefully not for defensive tips). And with Tyler’s size, athleticism, and early introduction to professionalism within a global perspective, Tyler is already ahead of the game as far as knowing what it takes to find a place in the league. As recent reports show that Tyler’s growth in terms of his professionalism have vastly improved. If Tyler is still around when the Warriors make their second round pick, the risk could be well worth it.