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Perhaps Marcus Morris’ recent talk about him and his brother’s talents (versus others) is actually working as far as improving their draft position. In recent weeks, mock drafts show the Morris twins, not just Marcus, moving up into the top 10. Some analysts peg Marcus going to Charlotte at #9.
Stephen Curry, when asked by ESPN Magazine about who the Warriors should draft with the #11 pick, suggested Marcus Morris and here’s why he thinks Marcus is a good fit (via Yardbarker via Warriorsrant.com):
“A guy who plays hard, can shoot a 15- to 20-footer off pick-and-rolls and rebounds well can play for any team. We need workhorses like that.”
There’s no guarantee that Marcus or Markieff will be available for the Warriors, though both possess some of what the Warriors need, namely toughness and defense. Marcus is allegedly the all-around player that the Warriors could use in their frontline.
With all the talk abou Jerry West having his eye on Klay Thompson and other teams interested in his shooting, is Marcus or Markieff the way to go if Thompson isn’t available? Could either of them mesh with Stephen Curry the way Curry is talking about? If the Morris twins are gone, who should the Warriors snag instead?
This is a rumor that should make plenty of Sacramento Kings fans feel various emotions. Like exasperation. Pain. Anger. Disgust.
Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated is reporting that there is a rift in the organization about who to draft with the 7th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. Coaches believe San Diego State small forward Kawhi Leonard is the guy the Kings should take--Leonard helps Sacramento shore up their weakness at the three with huge upside and a potential to be a capable role play to support stars like DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans.
But the financially-struggling Maloofs (surprise surprise) are looking at the financial ramifications, and believe Jimmer Fredette is the man the Kings should get to sell tickets for a franchise that fell near the bottom in sales last season. Fredette is a star, he'd be a widely popular hit with the local community, and his offensive playmaking would be highly attractive to couple with Cousins, Evans and Marcus Thornton. It does make you wonder if the Kings would be able to stop anyone defensively, but it would no doubt be entertaining to watch.
There are positives and negatives to taking either player. Leonard has a long way to go offensively, Fredette has huge question marks defensively. Neither of them may ever be a starter. Fredette could stop the ball. Leonard might not be guarded tightly when he's on the floor. Leonard has incredible hands that could make him a great rebounder, and a wingspan that's hard to rival defensively. Fredette can get to many spots on the floor, and score from anywhere.
If you were in charge of the 7th pick for the Sacramento Kings, would you rather take Kawhi Leonard or Jimmer Fredette and why? Describe your thought process in the comments!
Go to Sactown Royalty to discuss more Kings basketball and what Sacramento should do with their pick.
The Sacramento Kings haven't really showed their hand as to who they want to draft in next year's draft, and now they might be preparing their forces for the Battle of Illusions. According to ESPN's Chad Ford, the Kings have looked at Colorado shooting guard Alec Burks, and he is in the mix with three other prominent players to be Sacramento's first round draft pick.
This smells like smokescreen though. Unless the Kings are really willing to deal Marcus Thornton, why would you draft for a young shooting guard when you have more pressing needs at point guard and small forward? Jimmer Fredette and Kemba Walker are good ball-handlers, and Kawhi Leonard is a strong wing defender and rebounder. Burks brings them... a nice twelfth man who gets off the bench when Thornton or Evans gets hurt. Burks is definitely a good player, but it's hard to picture him being a good fit for these Kings, who are shored up pretty nice at the two-guard spot. Point guards or power forwards seem more likely.
Kings fans, would you take Burks with the first round pick? if not, who would you take and why? Give us your answer and rationale in the comments.
The Sacramento Kings have had two prominent tournament names in their view for over a month now: Connecticut Huskies junior guard Kemba Walker and BYU Cougars sensation Jimmer Fredette. Recently, a third name has popped up, and apparently could be the pick that the Kings want. Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated has this report in his latest mock draft.
I don't see the Kings taking Fredette if San Diego State's Kawhi Leonard is available, but he could be taken over Connecticut's Kemba Walker. The Maloof brothers that own the Kings are very high on Fredette (especially Gavin), and there is much chatter about the business benefits of that come with adding the one-man brand to a roster that is lacking starpower. But there are standard concerns about his defensive abilities as well, and it remains to be seen which viewpoint wins out when decision time comes.
Leonard is clearly not the offensive weapon that Fredette and Walker can be for the Kings, but with already two talented offensive players in Marcus Thornton and Tyreke Eveans, their contributions might not come as handy as a capable wing defender. Leonard provides that solid presence, and even though his jumper might have a way to go.
Like most things with the NBA Draft, you need smoke screens and mirrors to figure out exactly what this information might mean for the pick. Just keep those three names in mind when the pick turns up on Thursday night.
Kings fans, if you had the choice between Kawhi, Jimmer, or Kemba, who would you pick and why? Let us know in the comments!
The Sacramento Kings worked out a group of six players at their practice facility today. Washington State's Klay Thompson and Colorado's Alec Burks were the main attractions of the Saturday afternoon draft showcase in front of Kings brass. According to the two players, Saturday's session was the third meeting between them during these rounds of pre-draft workouts.
"He got the better of me in the team games," Thompson said of Burks. "But one-on-one, I felt like I held my own.
"We've gone against each other so much that we're pretty familiar with each other," the WSU guard said. "But we still enjoy it."
Burks, however, felt otherwise.
"He probably going to say him, but I'm going to say me," the Colorado guard said with a grin.
Unless they receive any last minute calls, both guards have less than a handful of workouts scheduled before the draft. Thompson said he has a trip planned for Utah, while Burks has appointments with Phoenix and the Jazz before Thursday.
Kawhi Leonard of the San Diego St. Aztecs has floated all around the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft Boards, and Chad Ford's latest has Leonard going to Sac-town with the seventh pick. Leonard will actually be in Sacramento on Friday working out (although he might be the only one there, so take that for what you will), tweeted Devin Blankenship, Kings Media Relations Manager.
Leonard actually wouldn't be that bad a fit for a Kings team that could use a bit of a defensive springboard. As solid a rotation player as Omri Casspi might be, he's not really qualified to earn starter minutes. Leonard could become a lockdown wing defender in the mold of Doug Christie to match up against all the talented wing players in the NBA, and complement the offensively-minded Tyreke Evans and developing big man monster in DeMarcus Cousins nicely with his defensive wingspan.
Small forward is probably one of the biggest need for the Kings. It would make sense for Geoff Petrie to work out Leonard and see if he fits. He does have the hands of E.T., so maybe that'll convince them.
Do you think the Kings should draft Leonard with their pick? If not, who? Let us know in the comments!
For more discussion of Leonard and the Kings, head to Sactown Royalty.
Geoff Petrie is an unconventional general manager. If he believes he doesn't have the ability to snag a premier talent with his pick, he will reach for someone he believes will succeed. Sometimes it's worked (Jason Thompson), sometimes it hasn't (Quincy Douby). But Petrie has shown he will take risks for better or for worse.
Klay Thompson of the Washington St. Cougars and Alec Burks of the Colorado Buffaloes would be two such reaches, and Andrew Nicholson of Full Court Press reports the Kings will be working them both out. Thompson and Burks are both likely to be contributors at the next level, but they're both shooting guards, and Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton are currently in their way at that position. Burks and Thompson don't really have the typical size to contribute as small forwards, so unless Petrie is thinking of trading one of his current two starters, neither of these two guys would make much sense for this current Kings team.
Both are also supposed to go much lower than seventh (in the mid-range/lower areas of the draft). Could Petrie be interested in trading down?
Should the Kings draft Klay Thompson or Alec Burks? If not, who do you think the Kings should take with their first round pick? Let us know in the comments!
For further reaction from the Kings, see what Sactown Royalty has to say.
The Warriors need size. Badly. In all NBA Mock Drafts, the draft analysts have linked Warriors to no one under 6’5. Even in Monta Ellis trade rumors, its a unanimous decision among bloggers, analysts, and fans that the Warriors will NOT take the best player available but the player that fills a need.
While many recently have pegged Klay Thompson to be the Warriors choice given his size, shooting touch, and rumored status as Jerry West’s man-crush for this current draft, Warriors bloggers seem to think that the newest addition to the team will be someone that fits a defensive need: Bismack Biyombo or Chris Singleton.
Warriors.com Tim Roye asks several Warriors bloggers, Golden State of Mind’s Rich Twu included, who they thought the Warriors would most likely choose. The individual Q/A sessions are with notable guests such as WarriorsWorld.net’s Ethan Sherwood, Twu, Bay Area Sports Guy Steve Berman, GSW Fast Break Adam Lauridsen, and Fear the Beard’s Daniel Turman. Click on to see why they think Biyombo and Singleton are the best bets.
Singleton seems like a player who can have an immediate impact on the defensive end given his 4-year tenure at Florida State University. Known to have questionable upside given his limited experience and scouting of him, Biyombo could be the defensive player of the future that the Warriors need. But, Biyombo could also end up being the second coming of Andris Biedrins as far a development goes. The Warriors are not known to develop big men and Biyombo’s game may not reach its potential with the Warriors (see Andris Biedrins).
The Warriors hardly gamble when it comes to draft day and Biyombo and Singleton are “safe” picks. What are your thoughts about these two players? The Warriors need defensive and which of the two fits better?
Perhaps the most attractive name in the entire 2011 NBA Draft, Congo big man Bismack Biyomobo is all over the place on draft boards. Biyombo oozes with potential, and could be a huge steal for whoever takes him off the board. The relative lack of knowledge about him is the only thing holding him back from going high.
The Golden State Warriors need a center. Andris Biedrins gave them close to nothing last season, and the Warriors were punished heavily on the boards. Biyomobo could give them a huge rebounding presence they've lacked for decades.
SB Nation's latest NBA mock draft by Tom Ziller has the Warriors taking Biyombo with the eleventh pick. With an emphasis on defense, Jerry West, Larry Riley, and Mark Jackson will try their best to pick out a big man who can defend and give Golden State presence inside. If Biyombo pans out, he could be the first step toward viability for a Warrior team that has gone a few decades without a quality big man.
Where do you think Bismack will go in the NBA Draft? What will the Warriors do with their eleventh pick?
For more on the Dubs, head over to Golden State of Mind.
Brandon Knight of the Kentucky Wildcats seems to be the next in line of John Calipari's great resume of point guard producers (John Wall, Tyreke Evans, Derrick Rose). He has however been conspicuously absent from workouts. Knight has also declined to go one-on-one against Kemba Walker and Isaiah Thomas, presumably to avoid damaging his draft stock. It could be a smart move (no one is denying Knight's talent, and he's a top-five pick to be sure), but dictating his own terms could cost him (the Utah Jazz are not happy with his refusal to work out in Utah), reports Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk.
Tom Ziller of SB Nation has Knight dropping all the way to seventh in his latest mock draft. This seems like wishful thinking (Ziller is a Kings fan, as am I), but it would be a coup of major sorts if Knight fell this far. He's had some bad games in college shooting-wise, but Knight looks like he could be quite a player if given the chance. He's not likely to be an All-Star point guard, but it's proven ad infinitum you don't need an All-Star point guard to compete in this league. Solid and dependable is good enough.
Of course, if Knight does end up in Sac-town, this could increase the likelihood of the Maloofs courting Calipari (three former players, all stars, on one team?), which is something I'm NOT okay with.
Who do you have taking Brandon Knight in the NBA Draft? Who do you think the Kings will take? Let us know in the comments!
Kemba Walker highlighted a six-player workout at the Sacramento Kings practice facility today. The UConn guard, along with Nikola Vucevic (USC), Justin Hurtt (Tulsa), Matthew Bryan-Amaning (Washington), DeAngelo Casto (Washington State) and Jordan Williams (Maryland), participated in drills and a scrimmage run by Kings staff. Both Kings co-owners Joe & Gavin Maloof watched the workout.
"It's definitely a grind," Walker said of the predraft process. "But you know, I can't really complain because I haven't really had a lot of workouts compared to a lot of guys.
"I'm talking to some guys and they tell me they have six more workouts left and the draft is next week," he added. "That's a rough schedule so I can't complain at all."
Walker projects to go anywhere from no. 3 to the Utah Jazz, no. 5 to the Toronto Raptors or no. 7 to the Kings. Meanwhile, Vucevic sits on the first-round bubble.
"I think teams on the west coast like USC - we're not like a huge basketball school so we don't get that much media and all the stuff around us," Vucevic said of proving his talents to NBA evaluators. "So people didn't really know about me and I knew that I was better than what people gave me credit for. I knew that if I prepared well for this process and go do my job in these workouts I knew I could rise up (the draft board)."
The Sacramento Kings will try to make the most of their seventh spot in the NBA Draft, and one name seems to be popping up more and more as Draft Day looms. BYU guard Jimmer Fredette is drawing the raves, and proving he can be more than just a scorer in his workout with the Kings last Thursday. Dick Harmon of the Deseret News has more on the story.
"Jimmer played well. Of course he shot well, though not spectacularly — for him," said Andrus. "He passed very well in the 3-on-3, dominating without shooting a lot. He also looked good, and I would guess quicker than the Kings' braintrust might have expected, on defense. Offensively, he had some moves that had Jerry Reynolds, Pete Carril, and the whole row of Kings brass laughing and shaking their heads at how good he was. At one point he probably hit 15 20-foot pull-up jumpers in a row.
"It was actually comical to see how much (co-owner) Gavin Maloof seemed to be enthralled with Jimmer. While Tyler Honeycutt's athleticism was impressive, both Maloof and Petrie went directly up to Jimmer afterwards and spent a considerable amount of time with him. I didn't see them even speak to the other five players."
There's a lot to consider here. Cereberal basketball players don't come along often, and if this description is any consideration, Fredette seems plenty close to fitting that category. This could be a point in his favor for the Kings to draft him with their lottery pick.
But if Fredette comes to Sacramento, how does it solve the problems of the Kings? At the moment, Sacramento does not need great shooting guard play. He would have to back up Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton and/or Francisco Garcia, meaning drafting Jimmer would have to entail the departure of someone else. So unless the roster changes, the Kings might not be able to fit enough minutes for this pick into the lineup for awhile.
If the Kings draft Jimmer Fredette, which of their guards should they trade away and why? Of Evans, Thornton, Garcia, who would be the one you'd want to deal first? Let us know in the comments what the Kings should do!
BYU guard Jimmer Fredette highlighted a six-man workout at the Sacramento Kings practice facility today. Fredette along with UCLA's Tyler Honeycutt, Tennessee's Tobias Harris, South Carolina's Sam Muldrow and Kentucky's Josh Harrellson participated in drills and played in a 3-on-3 scrimmage to close out the workout session.
"I thought it went pretty well," Fredette said of the Sacramento visit. "I competed hard, shot decent. The main thing I think I wanted to come in and show them is that I can come in and play defense at this level. So I came in and competed really hard. Had some good players in here to defend, some quick guys and some long guys (who are) athletic. So I thought that I did a pretty good job overall and I thought that they liked it."
Kings front office brass, including president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie, head coach Paul Westphal and co-owner Gavin Maloof, were among those in attendance.
Chad Ford released his latest mock draft ($), and it's eerily similar to some earlier predictions. Guard Kemba Walker ended up with the Sacramento Kings with the seventh pick, just as Tom Ziller with SB Nation predicts. Ford believes general manager Geoff Petrie will go with a safe bet to ensure he stays put and his job security remains relatively strong. Ford probably doesn't realize Petrie lives for the unconventional. There's a good shot he ends up going with an unknown this late in an unconventional draft.
As for the Warriors, Klay Thompson of the Washington State Cougars is their guy. Thompson has already been spotted by Jerry West as one of his favorites, and if Golden State is keen on dealing Monta Ellis, this might be the guy to take. Thompson isn't a sure bet to produce at the same level at Ellis, and his defensive abilities are far from certain, but it could provide a step toward the defensive-minded approach the Warriors are now looking to take with new head coach Mark Jackson.
The Sacramento Kings continue to examine who should they take with their first round pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, and there are plenty of options for them to look at. With no clearcut picks beyond the top two, Sacramento will have plenty of options, and they're starting to take a close look at BYU star Jimmer Fredette. Kings executive Jerry Reynolds believes Fredette is shooting up the draft boards based on their workouts, according to Mark Kreidler from The Rise Guys. So it makes sense the acclaimed National Player of the Year (according to many awards) is potentially jumping up to the top ten.
Fredette is a good scorer, and with Tyreke Evans in place, he could certainly come off the bench and be a productive offensive player, helping the Kings to solidify more scoring threats on a team that has only two consistent talents in Evans and Demarcus Cousins. If the Kings opt to go in this direction, look for today's workout to be the tilting point.
Interestingly enough, UConn guard Kemba Walker is currently projected as a future King by SB Nation, and he was originally supposed to workout against Fredette in Sacramento, but he had to reschedule. Did Walker try and avoid facing off with the competition to keep from looking bad?
Kings fans, would you draft Jimmer? If not, who? Let us know in the comments!
Marcus Morris seems to be the player with the most current NBA comparables. . . . or so he thinks. Seemingly long on confidence albiet short on arm length, Morris worked out with the Warriors the other day and believes as a small forward, he has some resemblance to Paul Pierce. As a power forward, Morris believes he’s a hybrid of Carmelo Anthony and Antawn Jamison.
In other words, Morris seems to be admitting that as a power forward, he is a scorer that is also a defensive liability. But as a small forward, he is a much better blend of offensive and defensive. I’m still trying to figure out how that basketball logic works. Perhaps Morris is just talking about his offensive skills.
Marcus Thompson II of the Bay Area News Group mentions that scouts and analysts see less athletic, but still offensively talent, players such as David West and Al Harrington as better comparables. If the Warriors could get a strong offensive interior presence type like David West in Marcus Morris, that could stretch the Warriors current perimeter-oriented shooting game greatly.
You look at the Sacramento Kings, and you see a few deep personnel issues that need to be rectified. First of all, the small forward position is in desperate need of upgrade. Omri Casspi and Francisco Garcia are decent players, but neither can log starter minutes and be greatly effective. The second is point guard. Beno Udrih is a good enough guy who can handle the load, but his play varies from game-to-game, and he could use some capable backup.
In the latest SB Nation mock draft, Tom Ziller has the Kings opting to try and solve the latter piece of the puzzle, taking Kemba Walker of the Connecticut Huskies. Walker had a breakout senior season in helping assist UConn's run to a national championship, but there are serious questions whether he can be efficient enough to be an NBA point guard. Ziller has him anywhere from Johnny Flynn to Ty Lawson to Aaron Brooks to Terrell Brandon (now that's a name I haven't heard in awhile), so you're looking at a player who likely won't be your starter but can come off the bench and produce. Walker is expected to workout with the Kings on June 13 according to HoopsHype, so there is definite interest here.
In other words, the Kings would probably end up with Beno Udrih-lite. Hey, if you enjoy that sort of thing, there you go.
What do you think about the Kings potentially taking Kemba? Who would you take with the pick?
For more thoughts from Kings fans, head over to Sactown Royalty to discuss.
For the first time in quite some time, the Golden State Warriors could use a small forward. Golden State used to be the Small Forward capital of the NBA, but now the Warriors are in a super-small stage where they have no real frontcourt or athleticism to overwhelm teams, instead having to rely on the creative playmaking of Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis to produce points.
With a noticeable lack of quality bigs in this draft, the Warriors could do the logical thing and try and upgrade with a player they believe will provide them athleticism at the three position. So why not go with the Czech dunk machine Jan Vesley?
Jan Vesely MIX : The dunking ninja (Czech Basketball Talents) (via Ousvec)
SB Nation has the Warriors taking Vesley with their eleventh pick, who reminds them of some strange Andrei Kirilenko-Omri Casspi hybrid. Perhaps some Euro influence is what's needed to bring back the good old Golden State Run TMC offense and excite fans once again about their despondent team, as Vesley does look very good at finishing plays.
Warriors fans, do you like the idea of Vesley in the Bay Area? Let us know who you think the Warriors should pick in the comments!
For more discussion of the Warriors, check out Golden State of Mind.
In his career, Jerry West has been eerily prophetic when it comes to eyeing talent. In a recent Oakland Tribune article about the Warriors recent hiring of Jerry West, contributor Mark Emmons notes not only West’s successful gamble on prep-to-pro Kobe Bryant, but also his claim that Monta Ellis was going to be a future all-star. . . .upon watching Monta play in high school. Former Warrior coach Eric Musselman recalls:
“I saw him the morning after he took a private plane down to Jackson, Miss., to watch Monta Ellis as a high school player, and he told me, ‘I just saw a future All-Star,’ " said Musselman, then a Memphis assistant. "I was thinking, ‘How could you even project that?’ "
Draftexpress released its most recent 2011 NBA Mock Draft and Jonathan Givoney has the Warriors taking Washington State’s Klay Thompson in the first round because “’He’s rumored to be a favorite of recently hired consultant Jerry West, which never hurts in the eyes of ownership.’”
West, as quoted by local press, is looking for size and Thompson as a 6’7 shooting guard could fill one of it’s many needs. Based of his Tweets, Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury likes this choice:
I asked another GM about KThompson and he said Thompson isn’t dominant, just a good big guard who will play 10 years in the league.
If West indeed knows what he’s talking about, should the Warriors opt for a lanky shooting guard over the decades-long problem at the power forward and center positions? NBADraft.net believes his best comparable is former Warriors first round draft pick, Marco Belinelli. Ouch.
What the Warriors plan to do with their first round pick has taken a backseat to the rumored Monta Ellis trade plans spurred by Jerry West’s comments about needing size and depth over scoring. The future of their first round pick remains under wraps as the Warriors plan to work out a slew of less heralded yet versatile big guards and wings tomorrow that don’t seem to be on anyone’s mock drafts.
According to their tweets this morning, the Warriors plan to work out George Mason’s Cam Long, Boston University’s John Holland, Virginia Commonwealth’s Jamie Skeen, Virginia Tech’s Jeff Allen, and University of Texas El Paso’s Julyan Stone. None of these players have cracked the top-60 candidates of any mock draft I’ve come across and with that said, it’s doubtful that these players will be in the mix when the Warriors look to draft in the second round (#43 overall). But I guess that’s what folks said about the New York Knicks last season when they drafted Stanford’s Landry Fields and he turned out to be a very productive player within a very clearly defined role.
Seemingly heeding West’s call for more size, the Warriors are also looking for some rebounding help as players like Skeen and Stone produced solid rebounding numbers. Stone seems the most intriguing of the prospects given his size and court vision. His last season averages are intriguing: 8.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 5.3 assists.
Based on early feedback from workouts, Stone seems to understand that he may go undrafted. But he seems fine with that. Under this assumption, the Warriors may be working out some possible undrafted players to bring into camp (if the lockout doesn’t happen).
The Golden State Warriors don’t scare anyone. Even though the team improved by ten games under recently fired coach Keith Smart, rookies and other no-name players on opposing teams continuously had their coming out party against the Warriors horrendous defense (ranked 27th in the league last season). While the Miami Heat and their big three seemed to thrive off being the most hated team in the league, steamrolling over teams late in the season with their intimidating swag, the Warriors and their staff were more intent on having a lovable locker room. This touchy-feely vibe clearly translated onto the court when Warriors seemed more intent on giving each other high-fives than addressing defensive problems.
NBA Draft hopeful Chris Singleton sounds like the guy that can help revamp this softy image that has been attached to the Warriors for too long. Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle quotes Singleton as believing he’s the right man for the Warriors current shortcomings:
“I’m from Atlanta, so I’m not scared of anybody. I’m going to bring that toughness to whatever team drafts me. . . .I pride myself on 1-on-1 defense. I hate to lose. I want to win every matchup.”
Along with Texas' Jordan Hamilton, Singleton worked out for the Warriors recently. The Warriors have been missing this confidence for quite a while. Now that the locker room dynamics have finally improved, perhaps the Warriors can work on getting that swag back, which disappeared when Baron Davis left. Singleton also considers himself to have the versatility of a Scottie Pippen. Thank goodness Singleton is referring to Pippen’s achievements as a player and not Pippen’s sports commentary as of late.
As of late, many mock drafts have the Golden State Warriors picking a slew of rangy hybrid small/power forwards in the mold of Dorell Wright. Kansas’ Marcus Morris is one of those players linked to the Warriors for his combination of size, skill, and athleticism. The Warriors are short on size and two-way players and draft analysts consider Morris a promising talent to fill these needs. Problematically, Morris had some of the worst shooting percentages among his colleagues at the recent NBA Draft Combine.
Perhaps it was just nerves or maybe it was just an off day. But Marcus Morris, a self-professed small-forward, was among the bottom five contestants in three of four shooting drills. Matt Kamalsky of Draftexpress.com reports that Morris made 11/25 spot up college-range three pointers, 8/25 spot up NBA-range three pointers, 6/18 off the dribble jumpers, and 13/15 timed 15’-18’ jump shots.
When it comes to the Warriors, Dorell Wright is the Warriors only true wing player and he’s proven to be a streaky shooter at best. And when Wright is off, he is REALLY off. Beyond Wright, the Warriors really have no depth at the wings and more often than not the Warriors ran a three guard line-up with sharp shooter in Reggie Williams. While offensively potent, Williams looks about as intimidating as Jimmer Fredette’s defense during the 2011 NCAA tournament.
The Warriors desperately need talent that can fill the holes of size, shooting, and defense created by their top three players in Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis, and David Lee. While these players are known for their offense, Dorell Wright is often the only player on the court that shows any semblance of being a two-way player and recently fired coach Keith Smart was “smart” in burning the hell out of Wright’s abilities (second on the team in minutes played). So is Morris their guy?
Morris’ poor shooting doesn’t mean he can’t shoot. But based off these stats, has Morris’ value to the Warriors changed? Do Morris’ numbers Draft Combine stats scare you?
Former University of Kentucky guard Brandon Knight worked out individually for the Sacramento Kings today. The 19-year-old prospect participated in drills run by Kings President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie.
"You never know where you may slide to," Knight said when asked about the likelihood of playing for the Kings, "If I did get to seven, I didn't want to hide the opportunity where they didn't get to see me and didn't want to take a chance just because I didn't come to a workout. So, it was just something I came here to do."
Also assisting in the workout were former Kings guard and team ambassador Bobby Jackson, assistant coaches Bubba Burrage, Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Pete Carril. Approximately 20-25 staff members from the Kings organization watched Knight's workout inside the Kings practice facility. Head Coach Paul Westphal and Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof were two of the most notable spectators in attendance.
SB Nation’s Tom Ziller has released his latest NBA mock draft, and has made some solid choices for the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings. Both teams have a number of directions they could take with their picks this year and have lots of room for improvement, and Ziller’s choices for both squads would have immediate impacts on both franchises in my opinion.
For the Warriors Ziller chose Kansas forward Marcus Morris. His brother Markieff is also amongst the top players in the draft, but Marcus brings more of an offensive presence with his mid range jumper and array of post moves in the paint. Marcus and Markieff have similar games, but Marcus may be just a bit more polished and NBA ready that his brother, but not by much. I think he could bring some solid bench depth and another scoring option for the W’s down low and in the mid range as well.
As for the Kings Ziller has chosen center Bismack Biyombo out of the Congo as their pick. Biyombo is a defensive specialist and shot blocker extraordinaire whose immense wing span allows him to swat shots with ease while being able to make tip ins and put backs with his lanky arms in the paint. He is still a bit raw on the offensive front, but would definitely beef up the Kings D around the rim and has lots of room for improvement with his offensive game.
For more on the NBA Draft, check out SB Nation’s draft blog Ridiculous Upside to get in on the action.
With most scouts, fans, and analysts pegging Kawhi Leonard as the next Gerald Wallace, Chris Singleton could be the next best alternative for teams such as the Golden State Warriors looking for defensive, athleticism, and size at the wing and front court positions. With Leonard being a top 10 pick in most mock drafts, the Warriors chances of landing a defensively minded played like him could be slim.
Known to be a lockdown defender in college, Singleton has been working to expand his repertoire before the draft. Analysts over at NBADraft.net think Singleton is severely underdeveloped on the offensive end, describing him as such:
Not a natural wing player, he is not very smooth with the ball and does not have the ballhandling skills which would allow him to create his shot with consistency…
Sounds a lot like Mickael Pietrus part deux than the next Gerald Wallace. But Chris Singleton seems to think otherwise about these early reviews. Looking to challenge these assumptions of his limited skill set, Singleton shares via his SLAM Online Draft Diary that he’s more than a defender:
My main message is that my game is versatile and that I just care about winning and contributing positively to any team that drafts me any way I can.
That’s what I always admired growing up, the players that could do so much for their team. Like Magic (me=Earvin “Magic” Johnson) and Scottie Pippen, those kinds of guys that had so many skills in different aspects of the game. That’s what I hope to do for my team.
Singleton’s choice to model himself after players of another generation should be a positive sign for interested teams. Perhaps this is a sign that Singleton knows his hoops history? The Warriors definitely need more skilled players, but they also need better defensive. At the very least, Singleton’s athleticism could make him a great target for alley oops with the Warriors best passer in Stephen Curry.
The Kings have decided to stay in Sacramento, now they are looking to please their fans with some fresh talent out of the NBA draft.
SB Nation’s Tom Ziller recently released his latest NBA mock draft, and has the Kings choosing Brandon Knight out of Kentucky with the seventh overall pick. Here’s what he had to say about it:
The Kings have bigger holes than at guard; Biyombo, the athletic big man, and Kawhi Leonard, a tough small forward, are better need fits. But Sacramento struggles to create sentient offense, and a guard rotation of Knight, Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton and, for now, Beno Udrih would be promising. Udrih is older than all the rest and on a shorter contract (assuming the Kings re-sign Thornton this summer, as seems a priority), paving the way for a future with Knight.
I agree with Ziller’s assessment here, especially seeing that players like Biyombo and Leonard quite possibly could be off the board already when the Kings get called seventh. Knight would have the Kentucky connection with DMC, and alongside Tyreke could be a devastating 1-2 punch of quick scores and fleet feet.
The Kings will likely resign Thornton and will have a nice starting rotation for 2011/12. With the addition of Knight they could be even more dangerous, which is why I think the Kings should get him. The fan base is already incredibly excited for next season, might as well give them something to really cheer about.
Like sand through the hour glass so goes the countdown to the NBA Draft.
SB Nation’s Tom Ziller recently released his latest version of the 2011 NBA mock draft and brings up a very good point about how the Warriors might be attacking this year’s draft class:
11. Golden State Warriors: Tristan Thompson, PF, Texas
Moving down or out of a draft is easier said than done, if you want good value, especially in a draft this reviled by front office types. As such, the many rumors you will hear about Golden State disliking their position and wanting to move out? Ignore them. It’ll be near-impossible unless it’s part of a much bigger deal or another team falls in love with a prospect in this range (which seems unlikely).
Key phrases in Ziller’s assessment: a draft ‘reviled’ by many front offices, looking for a ‘much bigger deal’ that could possibly be out there. The Warriors are making moves already with Jerry West and a new head coach on the horizon, maybe they’ll swing for a big time trade? Highly unlikely, but so is finding a star player in this year’s draft.
Thompson has gone to the Warriors in many mock drafts I’ve seen so far and would be a pretty good fit in the Bay. But I don’t know how much of a game changer he is, except for maybe as a bargaining chip at a later date. The Warriors desperately need game changing players on the floor, the question will be how will they get them? Thompson is a relatively safe lottery choice in my opinion, but a solid choice as well, especially in this year’s draft class.
The NBA Draft is a little over a month away, which means workouts are increasing at a frenetic pace. The NBA Draft Combine took place this past week and you can read more about the participants over at Ridiculous Upside. This week, draft-eligible players head to Minnesota for a group workout. A list of players was issued early last week, but that list of participants has changed as numerous players elected to withdraw. The current set of workouts today and tomorrow are as follows:
These aren't some of your bigger names, which means they likely won't be players the Warriors or Kings will be looking at in the lottery. However, as the draft moves into the second round, these names could start popping on to radars.
As we continue to move closer to the 2011 NBA Draft, mock drafts are heating up around the Internet. The folks at Hoops Hype updated their mock draft late last week and currently have Kansas forward Marcus Morris going to the Golden State Warriors. Morris played three seasons with the Jayhawks and steadily improved each year boosting his scoring and rebounding stats throughout his time in Lawrence.
The Warriors could use some additional firepower in the frontcourt and adding Marcus Morris here could give them a solid boost at the forward position. Marcus is considered to be the more versatile of the two with better scoring and potential to even play some SF. One of the most polished, versatile and productive forwards in the country. He's not as explosive as his brother Markieff, but has better range, touch and overall scoring ability. Despite having T-rex arms (6-foot-7 wingspan), Morris is a solid athlete who can get by bigger, slower opponents off the dribble utilizing his versatility.
The Warriors have a need for some serious size, but it's tough to say whether Morris is the right guy. If they were to add Morris, the Warriors would have three guys at 6'9 or 6'10 in Morris, David Lee, and Ekpe Udoh. While it seems like Udoh might be settling into the center position, I just don't know if I can see the Warriors investing in a guy like Morris with this pick. I suppose they could just look to add as many BPA guys as possible and figure out the positions later.
The 2011 NBA Draft is about a month away now, and it's time to take a look at some of the players the Golden State Warriors may take. I've compiled a list of 10 possible picks for the W's first and second round choices. For more discussion and analysis of the Warriors, head over to Golden State of Mind to get in on the action.
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.
The mock draft circuit for the 2011 NBA Draft has started to gain some serious steam, and the next stop is here at SB Nation with out resident NBA analyst Tom Ziller. At this point Ziller has the Golden State Warriors selecting rebounding machine and defensive juggernaut Kenneth Faried out of Morehead State, a fitting pick for a team looking for serious athleticism and interior defense/rebounding.
At approximately 6’8", 225 pounds, Faried is an absolute beast in the paint when it comes to cleaning the glass and getting dirty doing the little things a team needs to win. He is incredibly fluid and athletic, and couple that with his tenacious energy and defensive abilities, he seemingly is just what the doctor order for the W’s next season. He is similar to Ekpe Udoh is many regards, but another Ekpe on the squad would be a lot better than another Biedrins if you know what I mean.
Faried averaged 17.3 points a game along with 14.5 boards and 2.3 blocks a game in his 2010-11 season at Morehead State. If he can produce anywhere in that range for the Warriors in 2011-12, it would give them another legitimate option on the floor along with David Lee, Steph Curry, and Monta Ellis, or a big time sixth man a la Lamar Odom coming off the bench. Mix in Dorell Wright and possibly Al Thornton, the Warriors would have a number of different lineup looks that they could throw at teams instead of just a run-and-gun style all the time.
Faried does lack many facets in his offensive game though with little touch around the rim besides put backs and layups, not much of a mid-range game to speak of, and a below 60% free throw shooter in his career. But you can teach a player how to shoot much easier than to teach them how to work, and Kenneth is as strong-willed as they come.
He may not turn into a perennial all-star but Faried would most definitely make the Warriors a more legitimate playoff contender in 2011-12.
The Golden State Warriors have many, many, issues. Lots of them involve defense, but rebounding and athleticism are also a big issue. The Warriors were simply too lanky and were easily bullied by the more physical teams (even the average physical teams) in the league last season. After trading away much of their young athletic talent, Golden State is looking like they'll need to clean their slate.
So Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress has the Warriors looking at Kawhi Leonard to improve their medicore production at the small forward spot. Dorell Wright and Vladimir Radmanovic. Leonard would provide a much needed burst of athleticism at the three spot. He's very athletic, a solid rebounder, and has a lot of fundamental skills that should be of great use to him in Golden State.
The Sacramento Kings are young and talented. They have two players to build around in Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins. They have another scoring threat in Marcus Thornton who can either be the third option, or can be a tradeable asset for a better fit for this team. And they have a hodge-podge of solid to average NBA talent in Jason Thompson, Beno Udrih, Francisco Garcia, and Samuel Dalembert. So you figure adding another young and talented individual could do a lot to improving
DraftExpress has released the first of many mock drafts that we'll probably see in June, and they have the Kings centering in on a Geoff Petrie special, Bismack Biyombo from the Congo. Otherwise known as the second coming of Serge Ibaka, Biyombo has exhibited some of the defensive and rebounding prowess that can make him quite a game-changer on the floor to create more options for guys like Cousins, Evans, and Thornton.
Take a look at this video of Biyombo. What do you think about the Kings drafting him with the seventh pick? Let us know in the comments!
BISMACK BIYOMBO (via XPHERES)
There are plenty of Pac-12 names that will be participating in the NBA Draft Combine, as many of the best talents in the West are taking their abilities to the pros. In a pretty weak draft, this might be the best move for most of them, since not many would likely get drafted this high in subsequent drafts.
The most recognizable name is Derrick Williams of the Arizona Wildcats, who is a definite choice to end up the number one overall pick. Also in the mix is the mercurial Tyler Honeycutt of the UCLA Bruins, who has NBA ability but was inconsistent in Westwood, the scoring machine Klay Thompson from the Washington St. Cougars, the underrated post defender and rebounder Nikola Vucevic of the USC Trojans, the elite wing defender Malcolm Lee of the UCLA Bruins, and Isaiah Thomas of the Washington Huskies. Lots of Pac-12 talent in this draft, and the best player in the conference could end up being the best player in this class.
For more on the NBA Draft, check out Ridiculous Upside.
Kevin Johnson is heading back east.
At tonight's #HereWeRally event in Downtown Sacramento, Kings co-owners Joe and Gavin Maloof invited the mayor to represent the team at next week's NBA draft lottery in Secaucus, New Jersey. Johnson is a logical choice, considering the hot streak he's currently riding.
Sacramento had all but lost the Kings until the mayor turned the city's fortunes around during his last visit to the Big Apple. At the NBA's Board of Governors meetings, Johnson's presentation demonstrating Sacramento's corporate viability compelled league owners to extend the relocation filing deadline a second time. And after an extended visit to the capital city investigating his claims, league representatives recommended the Kings stay in Sacramento for at least one more season.
The Kings are fifth in the draft lottery hierarchy, with a 7.6 percent chance of winning the NBA's top pick. Arizona forward Derrick Williams and Duke point guard Kyrie Irving are expected to vie for this year's number one overall selection. The NBA draft lottery takes place next Tuesday, May 17th.
The Kentucky Wildcat basketball program has been more of a NBA crash course than anything else since the arrival of John Calipari, and it will continue in 2011 as well. Junior guard DeAndre Liggins and Freshman guard Brandon Knight have decided to make the jump to the NBA, throwing their proverbial hats into the ring for the 2011 NBA draft.
The 6’6" Liggins was a defensive powerhouse at Kentucky, and made the decision to enter the draft for multiple reasons. The Wildcats are going to be a stacked team next season, and finding playing time will be hard for him, not to mention next year’s draft will probably be a lot deeper, so Liggins figured that this was the perfect time to make the move. From catspause.com
It’s going to be a deeper draft next year,” Liggins said. “Where do I fit in? Would I start? Would I come off the bench? Would I be treated differently? I was thinking if I was going to go, this was the perfect time to go."
Liggins also has a family to think about with the birth of his baby during the 2010-2011 season, so I’m sure some financial stability is something he is looking for. He is a humble guy who knows himself and his game very well.
“I had to really think about my family and my son. I just followed my heart, really…I know I’m not going to be a superstar or anything. I’m a role player. I was a role player (at Kentucky) and I know my role. I know my weaknesses and I know what I can do well."
As for Knight, the KU freshman is NBA ready after only one year, taking over John Wall’s freshman scoring record, field goals made record, and 3 point field goals record along the way. He was one of only 3 guys ever to be the Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior in high school, joining LeBron James and Greg Oden in that category. He will be missed by the KU faithful, but his time is now to go to the next level. He is a great student, a consumate professional on the court, and will be a nice addition to whatever NBA team picks him up.
For more on Kentucky basketball, head over to SB Nation’s A Sea of Blue to get in on the action.
The departure of Isaiah Thomas to the NBA is a bit of a shocking one. Although there's no doubt Thomas flashes potential at pro skills, it's not likely he's going to be an immediate contributor on pro rosters, and he might not even be drafted. Staying for his senior season might have been a better option for him, as he would've had a good chance to lead the Washington Huskies to a Pac-12 title and NCAA tournament bid. Now all of that is up in the air.
The biggest question with Thomas is his size. Yes, his speed and shot have proved to be quite valuable at the Pac-10 level, but at 5'8, 185 pounds he screams project player. Thomas made efficient leaps from his sophomore to junior season to be a dominant force in the conference, but he doesn't feel like he'll be quite ready to handle NBA speeds at this point, and will probably always have to deal with being a defensive liability. He is very good at distributing the ball and finishing at the rim, but moving from the size-challenged Pac-10 to the trunks of the NBA will be quite a leap.
For more on Thomas from a Huskies perspective, check out UW Dawg Pound.
What are your thoughts on Isaiah Thomas staying in the NBA Draft? Let us know in the comments!
Klay Thompson of the Washington St. Cougars, as expected, will be turning pro. This is a tough loss for a squad that relied on Thompson for the majority of their scoring last season. The Cougars will have a lot of recovering to do in terms of finding other options to carry the load next season.
As for the pros? Thompson is definitely the type of guy who can put the ball in the basket from numerous places on the court. But he's also very good at distributing the ball and finding other teammates, blocking shots, and making plays with numerous possessions. His role will probably be diminished at the next level, but could he definitely be a guy who can lead a second unit? I'd say so, as long as he's asked not to do too much defensively. But as a guy who knows how to score on any part of the floor, he could be a valuable asset on a team needing bench depth.
Thompson is projected as a mid-first round draft pick on most mock boards. For more on Thompson, head over to CougCenter.
Stanford junior guard Jeremy Green has decided to keep his name in the 2011 NBA Draft pool and forego his senior season of eligibility. Green had until Sunday to withdraw his name fro eligibility, but elected to continue forward towards the draft. Chad Ford indicated Green was better off returning to school, although he could garner some late second round interest because of his shooting ability:
Green surprised people with his decision to declare for the draft. His shooting ability may spark some interest during the second round, but his lack of size and explosiveness limit his upside considerably. He’s probably better off returning to school.
In his recently completed junior season, Green averaged 16.7 points per game thanks in large part to 43% shooting from the three-line. He led the Cardinal in scoring and was an All-Pac-10 first team selection. In the workouts between now and the late-June draft, Green will need to show his shooting can make up for questions about his size.
At this point mock drafts don’t even have him projected in the second round. I’d imagine he’ll release some kind of statement but even that may not fully explain why he felt the need to go pro this year. Sometimes players leave school early because of family financial issues. One has to wonder if that is playing into this decision.
Kentucky Wildcats forward Terrence Jones announced via twitter that he would be withdrawing his name from consideration for the 2011 NBA Draft and returning to school for a second season. When Jones declared for the draft he did not hire an agent, which preserved his opportunity to return to college. Needless to say, Kentucky fans are just a little bit excited about this development.
Jones has actually been a guy projected to the Golden State Warriors in a couple of mock drafts. The folks at NBADraft.net and ESPN’s Chad Ford both projected Jones to the Warriors with the eleventh pick of the first round. In his pick projection, Chad Ford had this to say about Jones to the Ws:
I’m not sure Jones is the answer here. He struggled in the second half of the season, and many scouts wonder whether he’s going to end up being a tweener in the mold of Al Harrington or Marvin Williams. But Jones’ upside and his versatility make him a potential upside pick at No. 11 — especially if he shows the ability to play the 3 alongside David Lee.
The question now is where the Warriors will go with the eleventh pick, assuming they don’t end up higher courtesy of the upcoming lottery. Jones’ decision to go back to school might be a blessing in disguise for the Warriors. They could use a more serious presence down low, although it might be tough to find that kind of player without a lottery victory.
In preparation for the 2011 NBA Draft the New Jersey Nets, along with the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets, are holding the first major pre-draft workout in New Jersey this weekend with over 40 prospective NBA players in attendance. 26 of the NBA's 30 teams will be there to scope out the talent, although many feel that the list of players attending this weekend will likely head back to school or get picked up in the second round, or currently play in the NBADL(Jamine Peterson). ESPN analysis Chad Ford explains why he thinks that a lot of the bigger names are skipping this event:
You can likely blame agents for their decisions. They want to control the process, minimize the risk of injury (the workouts will include a 5-on-5 element) and are likely worried that their clients aren't in peak physical shape yet. Most of these players are working out with trainers and still need a few more weeks.
Also there might be a constituent or two who believes the NBA's pending labor agreement could play a factor in them entering the draft this year as well, something to keep an eye on.
Here is the list of all 44 players attending this weekend. the players are broken up over Saturday and Sunday. Some players of note are Washington's Isaiah Thomas, USC's Mamadou Diarra, UC Santa Barbara's Orlando Johnson, Fresno State's Greg Smith, San Diego State's Malcolm Thomas, Washington State's Deangelo Castro, and Washington's Justin Holiday.
|Olu Ashaolu||F||6'7"||220||Louisiana Tech|
|Deangelo Casto||F||6'8"||231||Washington State|
|Diante Garrett||G||6'4"||190||Iowa State|
|Troy Gillenwater||F||6'7"||225||New Mexico State|
|Reggie Jackson||G||6'3"||208||Boston College|
|Orlando Johnson||G||6'5"||205||UC Santa Barbara|
|Carleton Scott||F||6'8"||218||Notre Dame|
SUNDAY MAY 8
|Jeff Allen||F||6'7"||258||Virginia Tech|
|Jon Diebler||G||6'6"||200||Ohio State|
|Gary Flowers||F||6'8"||214||Southern Mississippi|
|Andrew Goudelock||G||6'2"||200||College of Charleston|
|Delroy James||F||6'8"||220||Rhode Island|
|Ravern Johnson||F||6'7"||205||Mississippi State|
|Kevin Jones||F||6'8"||248||West Virginia|
|Ralph Sampson III||C||6'11"||241||Minnesota|
|Xavier Silas||G||6'5"||200||Northern Illinois|
|Greg Smith||F/C||6'10"||250||Fresno State|
|Malcolm Thomas||F||6'8"||220||San Diego State|
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