Locked Out League - Draft Review

Thanks to all the GMs who chose to participate, here is my review of the rosters that we auto-drafted;

The Calgary Ball-Bearings (Mike B)

PG: Deron Williams-Bkn
SG: Wesley Matthews-Por
SF: Rudy Gay-Mem
PF: Paul Milsap-Uta
C: Al Jefferson-Uta
G: Jrue Holiday-Phi (PG)
F: Ryan Anderson-Nor (PF)
Util: Dwight Howard-Lak (C)
Util: Joakim Noah-Chi (C)
Util: Tyson Chandler-NY (C)
Bench: Raymond Felton-NY (PG)
Bench: Ray Allen-Mia (SG)
Bench: Kris Humphries-Bkn (PF)

Deron Williams is one of the elite pass-first PG's in the league - at least he was two years ago, as last year he put up decidedly tepid numbers on a weak squad that required him to be its scorer more than it's facilitator. Brooklyn brought in a bunch of guys to be offensive weapons though, so he has a chance to return to his best role.The Ball-Bearings could have had LeBron James instead, so Williams had better be an All-Star out of the gate. Wesley Matthews could be an average shooting guard, but more likely won't as Portland is in the middle of a retooling - and SG will be a weakness for the team as a result. Rudy Gay is one of my least favourite players, but his fantasy numbers are decent for a small forward and he should be average or even slightly better for the position. Milsap is a beast who will collect rebounds and score in the paint at will. Jefferson, his compadre in Utah is very similar, and the two together could help crush opposing teams on the boards. Jrue Holiday is an average point guard on what is a bad team. As such he will likely be asked to score more, pass less, and this could depress his value. Ryan Anderson is the new breed of 'stretch four' (4 being the power forward position), a big man who can sift out to the three point line and hit long bombs. He's going to get lots of burn in New Orleans. Howard is simply a monster at center and in-arguably should start ahead of Jefferson (not that it matters in our pool), the only concern being a back that has been 'tweaked' and could cost him games now and then. Will be unstoppable on the pick and roll with Nash in LA. Noah is a defense first center who might average a low double double (Rebs and Pts) night in and night out. Ditto for Tyson Chandler. Ray Felton is a well below average point guard whose thankless job will be to throw passes into Carmelo Anthony from whom they will never return. Ray Allen was once an elite 2 Guard, but is playing out the string for a strong Miami team. He'll be the 4th or 5th offensive option, typically from the corner where he will be asked to hit open 3's after Wade and LeBron destroy the defensive coverage. Humphries is a nice value pick as he could post better numbers than Ryan Anderson, including rebounds.

Team to watch: Utah (Milsap, Jefferson)

Verdict: Overloaded at center (Jefferson, Howard, Chandler, Noah), and weak at shooting guard and small forward, with a potential weakness at point guard if Williams is anything less than elite. Should trade one of their many big men for guard or a wing.

The Calgary Crapshooters (Brian)

PG: Mike Conley-Mem
SG: Dwayne Wade-Mia
SF: Danny Granger-Ind
PF: Josh Smith-Atl
C: Marc Gasol-Mem
G: James Harden-Hou (SG)
F: Carlos Boozer-Chi (PF)
Util: Greg Monroe-Det (C)
Util: Roy Hibbert-Ind (C)
Util: Aaron Aflalo-Orl (SG)
Bench: Gordon Hayward-Orl (SG/SF)
Bench: JaVale McGee-Den (C)
Bench: Darren Collison-Dal (PG)

Mike Conley should be an average or even slightly above average facilitator for Memphis. Dwayne Wade is one of the elite shooting guards and could lead the league in scoring - but is almost never healthy enough to do so because of the reckless way he throws himself into the big men guarding the rim. Lots of hard miles on Wade already, he showed some signs of breaking down in last years playoffs (allowing James to take over), and might see his minutes/role cut back some to preserve his health. Danny Granger is an above average small forward who suffers from bad knees. Josh Smith is an elite power forward capable of stuffing the stat sheet in Atlanta, with the only question about him being how dialed in he will be playing for a mediocre team. Lots of highlight dunks forthcoming from Smith. Marc Gasol is a classic center, standing 7ft tall, he rebounds very well and scores from in close as expected. Meat and potatoes, he should be average or better. James Harden was the league's 'Sixth man of the Year' coming off the bench in OKC, but now he will be the starting shooting guard in Houston on a massive new contract. More minutes on the floor, more responsibilities, but against the other teams best defenders - call it even, but Harden could surprise and become an elite 2 Guard. Houston is sure hoping so. Boozer is an average or better power forward who has drawn the ire of Bulls fans for some indifferent play. Given the Bulls are missing their franchise point guard for the forseeable future, Boozer may decide to mail it in - and get himself traded elsewhere. Monroe is a future fantasy beast in Detroit, and could move up to become one of the elite centers in the game. However, his defense needs a lot of work, and he's going to be playing with a rookie at PF next to him. Expect some great nights and some not so great nights as Detroit takes its time developing him. Roy Hibbert is the classic NBA center (like Marc Gasol), counted on more for his defensive abilities than offense, he'll clean the glass for rebounds, and act as a 3rd option on Indiana's offense. Against smaller teams Hibbert will struggle, as he is 'slow' down the court (to put it mildly), but against another team with a true center he could produce huge benefits. Aflalo, Hayward and Collison are negligible talents who likely all could be waiver bait at some point. JaVale McGee is a real coin flip. He has multi-million dollar talent and size, but a $.50cent head. His brain cramps on the floor are becoming legendary. The Nuke LaLoosh of the NBA.

Team to watch: Memphis Grizzlies (Conley, Gasol)

The Verdict: Very strong shooting guard situation (Wade, Harden), but point guard and especially small forward are weaknesses. A weak set of bench players could also be an issue if injuries hit. Should try and trade Harden in a 2 for 1 deal that brings in a SF and PG, and then pray Wade stays healthy all year.

ThunderBay Murderball (Bob)

PG: Goran Dragic-Phx
SG: Jason Terry-Bos
SF: LeBron James-Mia
PF: Anderson Varejao-Cle
C: Martin Gortat-Phx
G: Monta Ellis-Mil (PG)
F: Carmelo Anthony-NY (SF)
Util: Tyreke Evans-Sac (PG/SG/SF)
Util: Brook Lopez-Bkn (C)
Util: Marcus Thornton-Sac (SG)
Bench: Kobe Bryant-LA (SG)
Bench: Amare Stoudemire-NY (PF/C)
Bench: Lou Williams-Atl (PG)

Goran Dragic has been a career 2nd unit point guard (first behind Nash in Phx then behind Lowry in Houston), and struggles against 1st unit guys. Factor in that Phoenix is a terrible team, and I see bad things for Dragic. Cool name though. Jason 'the Jet' Terry jumped ship (or was unceremoniously dumped depending on who you talk to) from the Mavericks and signed in Boston to replace the departing Ray Allen. He could get hot in spurts, but his days as a fantasy starter are long over. LeBron James is not just the best basketball player in the world, he's taking a run at Jordan for best ever. He can play All-star caliber ball at any position from point guard to power forward, and he can guard all five positions with lock-down defense. Only Magic Johnson has ever had a skill-set like LeBron's, and LeBron has more raw power/ferocity than Magic. Anderson Varejao is a big Brazillian center whose main offensive weapon is the put-back-dunk. Excels mostly at rebounding and playing with a high motor, he'd be the first big-man off the bench on a strong team (note: he absolutely destroyed the abysmal Washington Wizards tonight with 23 rebounds, 9assists, and 8 points last I checked - a stat line that had him outscoring LeBron for Murderball - sell high Bob!). Martin Gortat is similar to Vareajo except he has less offensive ability, much less hair, and plays in the perpetual nightmare of futility that is Phoenix. Monta Ellis is a wannabe Allen Iverson, a sparkplug of a point guard who thinks that shooting more often is the solution to all his problems. Will post above average points, below average assists (for a PG) and a negligible number of rebounds. Will be second in the league in death threats from team mates (behind Kobe). Carmelo Anthony is all that is wrong with the NBA. He's got fantastic size and skill for the SF position, but insists on taking a high volume of low percentage shots, refuses to pass to team mates, rebounds when he feels like it, and kills his coaches by refusing to adapt his game in any way to anyone else. He could also lead the league in scoring. Tyreke Evans could be 'LeBron-lite'. He's got the size and skill to play and defend multiple positions, and his talent level is through the roof. He doesn't have LeBron's otherworldly power though, and it isn't clear that he has figured everything out mentally yet, but I can't see Dragic holding onto the PG spot in Murderball's starting rotation if Evans even scrapes the surface of his abilities. Brook Lopez is kind of a disaster. He doesn't rebound well for a big, doesn't defend worth a damn, can't pass to save his life, and has only a rudimentary offensive game. He does have a voice like cookie monster though - so he has that going for him. I literally know nothing about Marcus Thornton other than the Sacramento Kings are a terrible team (except for Tyreke Evans - and the jury is out on him) - so I suspect he's a future waiver guy. Kobe 'Anal-Rapist' Bryant is my least favourite player in the league, but there is no way on Earth he should be on the bench. Playing on a weak Lakers squad last year he went into full 'f*ck you' mode and decided to take every shot he could from just about everywhere on the floor - and screw his team mates. He very nearly won the scoring title. The truth is though he is on his last legs, his knees are just not able to get him the lift he once had (he goes to Switzerland to have some high end very hush hush 'procedure' done on them in the off-seasons now), his once mercurial speed is now gone, and he simply he can't blow by guys on the way to the rack at all. That said, with Howard and Gasol operating down low, and Nash orchestrating open looks for him, he might have another very good year in him. Even with cyborg knees and a new cast of stars that will cut into his ball-hoggery, Kobe should dress ahead of Terry. Amare Stoudemire simply hasn't been the same player since two microsurgeries on his knees and his departure from Steve Nash. He's a terrible defender, a horrific compliment to Melo in NY (neither ever gives up the ball, neither defends, and neither gives a damn about anything but his own shot - they deserve each other), and he's already injured and missing time. Lou Williams was underrated in Cleveland when he played there, and will be underrated in Atlanta. He's an average to slightly below average PG capable of making his team better, but never has the flashy scoring stats of his better known brethren.

Team to watch: The Knicks (Anthony and Stoudemire), a cyclotron of stars constantly threatening to spiral out of control and meltdown completely in the most 'Melo'-dramatic way.

The Verdict: Probably the team to beat. Kobe and Melo are classic me-first, high-volume shooters spearheaded by the otherworldly all-round dominating talent of LeBron. The rest of the team might be a little patchwork (in particular finding a way to hide the still-twitching corpses of Gortat, Stoudemire and Dragic would help), but Murderball looks to be my favourite right now.

The Calgary Goodfellas (Darrell)

PG: Isaiah Thomas-Sac
SG: Paul George-Ind
SF: Kevin Durant-Okc
PF: Lamarcus Aldridge
C: Pau Gasol-Lak
G: Nicolas Batum-Por (SF/SG)
F: Serge Ibaka-Okc (C/PF)
Util: Al Horford-Atl (C/PF)
Util: Chris Bosh-Mi (PF/C)
Util: Tim Duncan-SA (PF/C)
Bench: Klay Thompson-GS (SG)
Bench: OJ Mayo-Dal (SG)
Bench: Mo Williams-Uta (PG)

Isaiah Thomas is a well below average PG, but may well dress given the lack of talent at that position on the Goodfellas.  Paul George emerged last year as the heir apparent to Danny Granger at SF for Indiana, and with Granger's knees failing him again, he won't have to split minutes with the vet as often - could really blossom as a result. Kevin Durant won't ever out rebound or get more assists than LeBron, but he's the one guy who should outscore him with raw offense. The 6'10" swingman is lethal from any distance, has freakish athletic ability for someone his size, and will be given the chance to shoot himself out of any minor slumps. His speed and length make him all but unguardable as he can blow by big men with ease, and shoot over top smaller defenders with impunity. He's also just beginning to reach the ceiling of his talent. Aldridge is the prototype powerforward, and should average close to a 20pts-10rebs over the year, making him a borderline all-star. Unfortunately the Trailblazers are kind of a mess, and he may be overworked, or just get tired of losing and check out. Pau Gasol was the best player on the last Lakers championship team (despite what Kobe says), and as a high skill big man who can score, rebound and make plays he's almost in a league of his own. He'll have to share the rock more with Howard and Nash around, and the offense won't flow through him in the post anymore, so the huge upside might not be there anymore. Nicolas Batum has had good stats in small sample sizes for two years running and could be prepped to step up and take a bigger role in Portland. That said, he reminds me a lot of former Phoneix Sun (and fellow Frenchman) Boris Diaw - in that he does a lot of things well, but no one thing at an elite level. Serge Ibaka won't score like his team mate Durant (and really, nobody does), but he will do all the dirty work like set hard picks, rebound, block shots, and slam put back dunks on those rare Durant misses. Al Horford is an average to better than average center on a borderline very good team that somehow finds a way to implode every year. An all round solid guy who would start at pivot for most LOL teams. Chris Bosh is at best the third offensive option in Miami, and that suits him fine. Gone are the days he would average 20+pts and 10+ rebounds a year, but he gives the Heat a legitimate down-low option offensively when needed, and an underrated defensive presence against opposing big men (it's no accident that Miami struggled the most in last years playoffs when Bosh was hurt). Tim Duncan is widely regarded as the greatest powerforward of all-time, but father time is catching up with him. He's now getting by on experience, guile, intelligence and a repetoire of offensive moves honed by years of experience - but the offense no longer starts with the ball going into him at the low post, and he's ok with that. Expect the gradual decline of his hall of fame career to continue. OJ Mayo is like a new Porsche, it goes fast, looks great, but seems to have strange breakdowns at the worst possible time until you realize you can't trust it to get you to the grocery store on a daily basis. If he can find his game in Dallas, he could surprise, but nothing so far suggests that he can keep his car on the road. Mo Williams is a jack-it-up-first point guard who doesn't score well enough to justify that he can't pass a damn. Injury filler at best. I have no idea who Klay Thompson is, but he plays in Golden State, and they are a complete mess.

Team to watch: Oklahoma City (Durant, Ibaka). Makes me sick. Portland (Batum, Aldridge). Ok, now I feel a little better.

The Verdict: Achilles heel is point guard as Isaiah Thomas is nobodies idea of a starter - except for Sacramento and they blow donkey gonads. Shooting guard will also be a weakness unless Batum really takes a step forward, and I have to say I doubt it. The good news is that the Goodfellas have an obvious superstar in Durant, and a slew of quality bigs around him (Aldridge, Horford, Ibaka, Gasol, Bosh, Duncan). Trading one or more of the bigs for a guard or two would make them solid top to bottom.

The Flatlanders (Doug)

PG: Chris Paul-LAC
SG: Ty Lawson-Den
SF: Paul Pierce-Bos
PF: Anthony Davis-Nor
C: DeMarcus Cousins-Sac
G: Eric Gordon-Nor (SG)
F: David Lee-GS (PF/C)
Util: Danilo Galinari-Den (SF/PF)
Util: Jeremy Lin-Hou (PG)
Util: Keneth Fareid-Den (PF)
Bench: Andrew Bynum-Phi (C)
Bench: Damian Lillard-Por (PG)
Bench: Brandon Knight-Det (PG)

Chris Paul is the NBA's best point guard, and the setup man for the Clippers 'Lob City' attack. Equally capable of setting up or scoring almost at will. Only downside is that he has ongoing knee issues that will inevitably cost him games over the course of a long season. Ty Lawson is an efficient and above average point guard playing on the uptempo offense in Denver - a bit under the radar, but he's arguably better than many of his better known peers. Pierce is taking the last laps of a hall of fame career in Boston, and while his game hasn't eroded noticeably that much just yet, he's clearly on the downside. Anthony Davis is a raw rookie expected to bolster the NBA owned Hornets (they are the NBA's version of the Coyotes). It's a bit much to expect average numbers from a rookie, especially a big man, but Davis has the potential to be a franchise cornerstone. DeMarcus Cousins is a young beast of a center the Kings are building their attack around. Already a rebounding machine, he has off-the-court question marks that may inhibit him reaching his full potential. And he plays in Sacramento, a team that typically fellates ungulates. Eric Gordon is a long shot to produce legit numbers given he is on the rebuilding Hornets, but he might be an average shooting guard if things fall into place. David Lee could be a surprising stat-stuffer at center, as he flies way under the radar, but reliably scores and rebounds well for a big. Galinari will lose floor time to new arrival Iguodala unless he gets his consistency issues ironed out. He can be a game dominator one night and invisible for the next five. Jeremy Lin was last years darling in New York after the undrafted kid had a quarter season of amazing performances before he got hurt and Melo got his coach fired. Lured to Houston in the off-season to be their starter, Lin will have to prove he can handle the duties. Kenneth Fareid is a human pogo-stick in the mold of Dennis Rodman - expect more rebounds and hustle than points. Andrew Bynum is the lynch pin. Blessed with mammoth size and skill, he's a classic power center who should dominate the paint at both ends of the floor. Bynum spent years on the Lakers learning his craft (trained by none other than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) since he was drafted as a teenager. He's also struggled with a less than ideal attitude towards teamwork, and the frequent injuries that come from carrying such a massive frame. If Bynum stays healthy and flourishes in Philly, the Flatlanders could have a legit franchise center. Damian Lillard is a rookie, and historically even good rookies are below average. Plus (or really, 'minus'), Lillard is in Portland. Brandon Knight is a PG stuck behind Jrue Holiday and Rodney Stuckey in Detroit, and as such he'll have to really prove he is worth the burn or ride the pine.

Teams to watch: New Orleans (Davis, Gordon), and Denver (Lawson, Galinari, Fareid)

The Verdict:: While they are a bit weak at powerforward (Davis should not be starting), the team is loaded with future potential with only Pierce really on the down side of his career. That said, they require that Bynum not miss much time, that Paul's knees hold up, and that a number of young players really blossom into true stars (Lin, Gordon, Galinari, Cousins, or Fareid) for things to work out.

The Chumfeeders (Dan)

PG: Russell Westbrook-Okc
SG: Stephen Curry-GS
SF: Irsan Ilysova-Min
PF: Kevin Garnett-Bos
C: Nene-Wsh
G: Kyrie Irving-Cle (PG)
F: Luol Deng-Chi (SF)
Util: Steve Nash-Lak (PG)
Util: Brandon Jennings-Min (PG)
Util: Tony Parker-SA (PG)
Bench: Jeff Teague-Atl (PG)
Bench: Kevin Martin-Okc (SG)
Bench: Elton Brand-Dal (PF)

Westbrook is one of the new breed of lightning fast facilitators that man the point. Blessed with ridiculous speed and scoring ability he's a terrific compliment to Durant in OKC. If he has a downside its that his assist numbers are muted by his tendency to look for his own shot - but it's a tiny quibble. Stephen Curry is really a shooting guard trapped in a point guard's body, he doesn't rack up big assist numbers because (like Monta Ellis) he'd rather try the high difficulty circus shot than make the extra pass. Irsan Ilysova is a bit below average for a small forward starter across the board, and the team doesn't have anyone better who might replace him should he struggle. Kevin Garnett is staring at the downside of a fabulous career as dominant power forward, unrepentant bully, and borderline lunatic. He plays more at center now than in the past, and he requires more rest for his aching knees, so a below average to poor set of stats for him is likely. Nene can be a solid defensive center who accumulates rebounds and blocks with the best, but has no real offensive tools outside of 3ft from the basket. And he's hurt already. Kyrie Irving is in the Westbrook mold of PG, but with better passing and less rebounding. He's a blazing speed merchant that Cleveland will build around moving forward. Luol Deng is a utility knife forward who can score, rebound, assist, and defend at an average level. Nash is still ridiculously skilled as a pass-first point guard, and he has a whole host of weapons he can dish off to now in LA. That said, he's 38 and has spinal stenosis, so at some point, the music will stop and the party is going to end. Brandon Jennings is the top point guard in Milwaukee, which is like being the best french kisser in a world where nobody has lips. Tony Parker is now entering the elder-statesman stage of his career, but with Duncan's decline the offense now runs through Parker's hands more than ever before, and he could produce near career numbers. Jeff Teague is the backup PG in Atlanta, and will have to fight see the floor for big minutes. Kevin Martin's jump to OKC could be good for him, or it could blow up in his face. He plays essentially the same position as Durant, so the natural thing is to have Martin come off the bench and feed against lower level defenders, but Martin is nowhere near the defender that Harden was, doesn't rebound well for his position, and isn't a gifted passer. If he doesn't score, he may not have a role. Elton Brand is a road-block of a power center (albeit undersized), who is no longer the fearsome physical presence he was as a younger man, and getting progressively gimpier. He'll be the designated backup to Disco Dirk in Dallas when Nowitzki is healthy.

Teams to watch: Oklahoma City (Westbrook, Martin). Milwaukee (Ilyasova, Jennings)

The Verdict: Approaching 'horror show' territory at the big men positions of PF and C (Garnett, Brand, and Nene are all well past their prime and breaking down frequently), with no fewer than 7 point guards (Westbrook, Curry, Irving, Nash, Parker, Jennings, Teague) to offer as trade bait. Small forward could also use an upgrade as Deng is merely 'good', and Ilyasova is best described as 'serviceable'.

The Skywalkers (Cameron)

PG: Rajon Rondo-Bos
SG: Joe Johnson-Bkn
SF: Andre Iguodala-Den
PF: Gerald Wallace-Bkn
C: Andrea Bargnani-Tor
G: Evan Turner-Phi (SG/SF)
F: Blake Griffin-Lac (PF)
Util: Dirk Nowitzki-Dal (PF)
Util: Kyle Lowry-Tor (PG)
Util: Manu Ginobli-SA (SG)
Bench: Kevin Love-Min (PF/C)
Bench: John Wall-Wsh (PG)*
Bench: Ricky Rubio-Min (PG)*

Rajon Rondo is a one of-a-kind point guard. He's super athletic, and is an elite rebounder for his position, he can bull his way to the rim and finish with authority, he's a lock down defender who makes other point guards miserable, and he is a fantastic playmaker with elite passing ability. He also has what can kindly be described as a 'broken' jump shot - limiting his ability to score from mid-long range. Of all the players in the league Rondo is the one with the best chance of having more triple doubles (pts/assists/rebounds) than LeBron. Joe Johnson is a classical shooting guard who can score from everywhere, possesses elite athleticism, and has no conscience. In Brooklyn he'll have an elite point guard passing him the ball, and a general level of complimentary talent around him that could see him post his best numbers since the 7 seconds or less seasons in Phoenix. Andre Iguodala is above average at everything for his position, but lacks the elite scoring ability to make him a household name. A 'stat stuffer', he gets rebounds, steals, assists and plays lock-down defense, but won't have the gaudy offensive game that makes all-star ballots - a quiet superstar. Gerald Wallace is an Adonis statue in basketball shorts. A few seasons back he had a legitimate breakthrough season with big numbers across the board, but when his team started to falter (he was in Charlotte), so did his intensity. Now in Brooklyn with Williams and Johnson, Wallace will have the running mates to keep him interested in performing at a high level. Bargnani is something of an enigma, blessed with a 7ft frame, decent athleticism, and unlimited shooting range, he has all the tools to be an offensive force of nature ala Dirk Nowitzki. However, his defense is borderline terrible, and his rebounding virtually non-existent. That said, for 13 games last year Bargnani's light finally went on. His offense was efficient and productive, suddenly he cared about his defense, and he collected more than just a couple of rebounds a game. Then he got hurt, and by the time he returned the Raps were out of the playoffs and dialing it all back. Regardless of whether that 13 game Bargs returns, he'll provide solid (if inefficient) offensive production if nothing else. Evan Turner is the reason that Philly felt they could afford to trade Iguodala to Denver. In many ways Turner is Iggy-lite, being below average or average across the board. With more floor time coming now that Iggy is out of the way, Turner will have a chance to improve. Blake Griffin is the finisher for the Clipper's 'Lob City' attack. A 6'10" powerforward with elite jumping ability, he is a pure dunking machine capable of hammering down on even the most elite defenders (google 'Griffin Perkins dunk' to see what I mean). Strong offensive production and rebounding numbers are expected, along with a perpetual place on the evening highlight reel. Dirk Nowitzki is a 7ft German scoring machine. The addition of a fade-away jumper to his arsenal has made him all but unguardable. That said, he's now 34 and the injuries are starting to pile up - and he'll miss at least a few weeks to start the season (he also has the worst taste in girlfriends ever - google that too). Kyle Lowry is about the league average for a point guard across the board, and will have the chance to develop further in Toronto. Ginobli is still a threat to put up all-star shooting guard numbers every night, along with added rebounds and assists, but the balding one is starting to lose more and more time to injury. If he can stay healthy he's a starting caliber SG, its just that he is no longer healthy for a whole season. Kevin Love is the teams 'win the game card'. Not blessed with outstanding athleticism, Love has made himself into the best powerforward in the game. His range goes well out beyond the 3pt line, he's the best rebounder in the game (he had a 30 rebound game last season), collects better than the average number of assists for a PF, etc. He's a statistical freak. He also broke his arm in the off-season and will miss at least 4weeks to recover. John Wall is a former first overall pick by Washington in the 'warp speed' mold of point guard. He'd be a decent bet to be a franchise caliber guard in the future, but is on a totally crap team, and is currently hurt for a significant period of time. Ricky Rubio is the most exciting PG in the game in terms of creativity. His assists border on blasphemous the way they toy with physics. Like Rondo his jump shot isn't a strength, and like Wall he's recovering from a knee injury.

Update: The Skywalkers waived John Wall and Ricky Rubio and have made claims on two other players, Jose Calderon in Toronto (the backup to Lowry), and Derrick Rose (the former MVP of the league is recovering from knee surgery and will miss most if not all the year). Calderon will sit on the bench and act as injury filler, while Rose (the prototype of warp speed PG that Wall, Irving, Westbrook, etc. are in the mold of) will project as a future franchise player for next season regardless of if he plays this year.

Teams to watch: Brooklyn (Johnson, Wallace), Toronto (Lowry, Bargnani)

The Verdict: A strong team core (Rondo, Johnson, Wallace) that could be pushed to an elite level with the return to health of some injured players (Love, Nowitzki, Ginobli, and eventually Rose).

1 comment:

Douglas McLachlan said...

Thanks Cam.