Friday, May 15, 2009

Draft Prep

These aren't new, so the most informed of you may find this post redundant but I've re-read all five of the Situational Statistics posts at Draft Express now that the draft is more prominent in my thoughts.

Point guards
Shooting guards
Small forwards
Power forwards

I'm strongly leaning toward advocating that the Hawks take a point guard in the first round. It's a long-term need for the team and the glut of first round-caliber point guards makes it likely they can get good value relatively late in the first round. I believe either Darren Collison or Eric Maynor would complement Mike Bibby nicely if the Hawks re-sign him. Jrue Holiday would be very tempting at 19 as well.


Unknown said...

Point Guard in the first round makes sense, as the Hawks are likely to get someone who can contribute immediately even if he's the fifth PG chosen. The Big Question is, should they draft a PG when Woodson has shown absolutely no interest in developing a PG draft pick (ie Acie Law)?

Perhaps they would be better served paying for a young but established PG like Ramon Sessions or Raymond Felton (still cheaper than Bibby's $15 million this year), and then drafting a project center (like Ohio State's Mullens) in the 1st round who Woodson will have to use and develop because of the lack of size on the team.

Bret LaGree said...

Giving Woodson options isn't much use because he's constitutionally unsuited to creating matchup problems for the opposition. If Bibby comes back he'll play as many minutes as possible.

The real question regarding drafting a PG is if Flip Murray is re-signed. If so, there's little point in drafting a PG as he won't play for Woodson.

I'm not big on Mullens and believe he would be a true project and might be best served by a full season in the D-League, which the Hawks haven't been prone to utilize to this point.

jrauch said...

I like Maynor, as I've mentioned in another thread, I think he's too much from the Acie Law vein that Woodson will just bury him on the bench as well.

He may not be there, but somebody like Patty Mills would be intriguing.

Jrue Holiday didn't impress me much in his lone year at UCLA, like Tyreke Evans at Memphis. Both look like they still desperately need to learn the position, and Woodson doesn't develop talent because he feels as if he's in constant job preservation mode. Which is probably fair.

He may be gone by the time the Hawks pick, but what about someone like Stephen Curry? He's a bit of a tweener, but Woodson had no qualms about running Flip Murray out there as a point guard, which is like saying I'm a nuclear physicist.

For off the wall and fitting into the system, someone I watched a fair bit in the ACC this year, Toney Douglas out of FSU would fill that Flip Murray-esque gap as a bigger point-scorer off the bench, while Law could come in as more a distributor/pick-and-roll guy. Douglas would fit well as another perimeter threat/shot creator with Joe.

I think I may have just talked myself onto the Toney Douglas bandwagon, though he's probably there in the second round.

I disagree with drafting a big, since there's not many out there, and we've got Andersen floating in Europe. But I am an unabashed Hansbrough fan. He'd look better off the bench than most of the stiffs we run out there at the 4.

rbubp said...

Two things to consider:
--Bibby will not cost anything near 15 mil this time. There's a good chance the Hawks will sign him to something more like 7 mil for two years.

--What Bibby brought to this team that made such a difference (besides vocal leadership) was spot-up three-point shooting. The Hawks have no other spot-up 3 guy unless Marvin continues to improve that aspect of his game. Joe does not like to shoot this way; he shoots off the dribble, like Murray. The way the offense is "configured" now (note the quotation marks), the spot-up shooter is pretty much indispensible. Acie Law's biggest problem any of us can easily see is that he can't shoot outside of five feet.

Most seem to think we need a dribble-drive guy. I think that would be great for another coach, but I doubt that player gets used under Woodson. But what about someone who can play lock-down defense? THAT would be a huge help. So I say, I'm not sure who this is in the draft or in the league, but let's get someone who can square his feet and shoot the three off the pass and also play tough on-the-ball defense.

I think I want Deron Williams (sigh).

rbubp said...

So reading up on the draft reports Bret has provided, the spot-up shooter who defends and does not turn the ball over guy would be Toney Douglas, as jrauch notes. I have to disagree with jrauch about Hansbrough, though, His closest parallel currently in the league is probably Chuck Hayes, because none of Psycho T's offensive moves will translate. And you don't draft Chuck Hayes.

Jonathan said...

I don't think we draft a point guard until Acie Law is off our team. I think it is really sad that this makes three guards that could have been utilized on our team, but ended up wasting time getting inconsistent minutes. I don't think we draft another point guard unless he gets guaranteed minutes something the gm of raptors did with Andrea Birgnani. I also think Acie Law is our best option if he gets the chance.

jrauch said...

Hansbrough spent his last two years at UNC developing a nice mid-range jumper, in anticipation of not being able to work the post as much at the pro level.

I personally think this team's biggest problem is mental, not physical. They don't have enough guys committed to do the little things to win, night-in/night-out.
Hansbrough strikes me as one of those guys, and he's sure a heck more talented than Othello Hunter/Solomon Jones/Randolph Morris et. al.

I think the Rockets have shown with someone like Chuck Hayes that somebody like that is worth a draft pick if they fit into what you're trying to do.

But I agree Hansbrough is going to be one of those maddening picks in a draft full of them. 3/4 of this draft class looks like it'd be second round picks in other drafts. Its why I tend to think most teams should punt on trying to find that superstar (because outside Blake Griffin there likely isn't one in this draft class) and instead find the best player to fit their system.

rbubp said...

jrauch, the Rockets didn't draft Chuck Hayes; no one did. He played in the D League before getting signed by Houston.

However, Memphis (Vancouver) drafted Shane Battier 6th in 2001. Battier sounds a little like the player you're describing, and though he has outstanding intangibles, it's hard to imagine spending any draft pick on a guy who averages 7 ppg in 30 minutes pg--no matter what the intangibles are; the point being that you don't draft intangibles when that's all there is. You get those a lot cheaper somewhere else, more likely from veterans.

Bret LaGree said...

I think Othello Hunter has a Chuck Hayes-ish upside though it's relatively unlikely he achieves that especially if he stays in Atlanta.

I see Hansbrough as something like Ryan Gomes with better shot selection. Or a poor man's Leon Powe but with better knees. I can't imagine Hansbrough becoming an effective defender in the NBA.

Unknown said...

The draft is a maddening proposition for this team, because unless he's a sure-fire star (which you won't find in the lower half of this draft), Woodson isn't going to develop him. But I also don't think Woodson deserves the comfort of a new contract, so where does that leave the team?

It seems as though this team will only improve through free agency and trades, and any franchise that ignores what the draft can provide is in trouble. Or this year's draft pick may actually be developed by the next coach...

jrauch said...

Duly noted.
But my argument is that in such a horrible draft class (and this might be close to the worst ever), I'd argue you need to look beyond trying to hit the home run with the next superstar, because there just simply don't appear to be any in this draft outside Blake Griffin. And where the Hawks are drafting, its becomes increasingly more unlikely they'll be successful at digging out that kind of talent.
So I'd prefer the Hawks look to find someone who has some talent and can bring a better mental make-up than the petulant/lackadaisical children we have masking themselves as professional basketball players. The team as a whole, from the coach on down, needs an attitude/mindset adjustment, and one of the quickest fixes I can see on that end is finding guys with that makeup via the draft.

If that means we don't need the picks and would be better served scouring the D League, then so be it.

But as we've seen with Woodson's fascination with Mario West, he'll run a player out there with no business being in the NBA, simply because he fits that make-up. For all his faults, Hansbrough is at least an NBA talent, which nobody say for Mario.