Tag Archives: Hasheem Thabeet

The Minnesota T’Wolves Make A Trade to Move UP In The Draft

I think I am getting a little teary-eyed about this draft and not because Randy Foye and Mike Miller are no longer Timberwolves.

The T’Wolves have sent Foye and Miller to the Washington Wizards for the No. 5 pick in this years draft, Oleksiy Pecherov, Etan Thomas and Darius Songaila – I left the hyperlink for Oleksiy, because I have no clue who he is or where he came from.  You can check out the full ESPN.com story here.David Kahn: Minnesota Timberwolves General Manager

The trades shows a few positives about the David Kahn regime as GM.

  1. First, we moved up in a draft for the first time I can remember in team history.
  2. He is already more proactive than Keven McHale was, ever.
  3. This is not the last trade.

The Wolves have picks 5, 6, 18 and 28 and the rumors out there are that the Wolves will package either 5 or 6 with the 18 and/or 28 to get to No. 2 and pick Ricky Rubio.  SWEET JESUS.

That means he very well could have a back court of Rubio with Steph Curry, James Harden or Tyreke Evans (who I am actually not as high on as I was three days ago).

I hope this does not mean they will take Hasheem Thabeet (who’s name I am able to spell with out looking), but I do not want him at either 2, 5, or 6.  He is too one dimensional and while I had been up on him after watching for a year, I just don’t think he is a top 10 pick.  He has absolutely no offensive game and is an average rebounder at any height, let alone 7’3″.  DeJuan Blair at 6’7″ average 12.3 rebounds a game to Thabeets 10.8.

Switching topics, here are some other thoughts on some players we may know a little about.

Tyler Hanbrough, UNC – I watched a little bit of the combine and was impressed with the way he looked compared to other bigs in the draft.  He has a great motor and is not afraid of contact, and finishes well after the contact.  I think he will go mid-to-late first round, probably to a playoff contender or the Bobcats.

Sam Young, PITT– Young is an athletic, slasher who is mature enough to handle the transition to the NBA.  At 24, he is the oldest draftee, but that is why he will be a steal for a late first round pick for a team in the Playoffs.

Terrace Williams, Louisville – Many people are thinking he will be a monster in the NBA.  I have heard the Ron Artest comparison, and I am not sure I see that.  I see it on the defensive side, but Williams lacks consistent offense.

Jrue Holiday, UCLA – I do not understand the hype surrounding this guy.  Look at his stats and tell me what about him looks like a top ten pick.  Is it that we did not get to see him much at UCLA or is this draft just that weak?  I understand he plays hard on the defensive end, but there is nothing that makes me want to pick him in the lottery.

Gerald Henderson, Duke – If he is available in the 12-18 range, PICK HIM!  I hope he falls to the Wolves at 18 (if they keep that pick).  I have heard him going to New York or Charlotte.

Earl Clark, Lousiville– Maybe the single biggest question mark in the draft.  He has top three talent, but lacks the consistent effort. If I were a GM and he is still on the board after the top five, I take him.  He is too good to ignore.

Brandon JenningsBrandon Jennings, ItalyI have not seen much of him after the high school all-star games, but I do not like what I have heard.  The word is that he reminds people of Iverson, and I am not a fan of Iverson.  Jennings is quick, picks the flashy over fundamental, and looks to prompt himself.  Sounds like Sebsastian Telfair all over again.  But he could do very well playing for Golden State.

Austin Daye, Gonzaga – I wish he would have stayed in school, seriously!  He is crazy talented, but needs time to develop and muscle.

Chase Budinger, Arizona– Big fan of Mr. Budinger.  He will make a team better the moment he steps on the floor and still has room to grow.  He is a good shooter, and can get of the floor.  But needs to find a steady mid-range jumper.

Derrick Brown, Xavier –  6’9″, 237 lbs, and is a great athlete.  He is my favorite player not being talked about.  He could go anywhere from the 20’s – 30’s, but he is a player that I would pick in the second round in a heart beat – he has top ten talent.

Patrick Mills, St. Marys – No one has fallen faster, but he will make a solid back-up who has unique experience with his national team.  He is smaller for the point in the NBA, but he is steady, very steady.

Danny Green, UNC – He will never be more than a role player, but role players win championships.  Also, there are a lot of picks in this draft who will never be “more than a role player”.  The term is over used and misunderstood.  He players hard on both ends of the court and is a better than average shooter.  He lacks great speed and athleticism which mean he might struggle to guard which was his specialty in college.

Let me clear something up.  The term “role-player” has been used to limit what players do.  Say they are one-dimensional, but a team of role payers, filling the right roles, wins.  The Spurs are a team full of role players.  Even Tim Duncan has a role, it is just more expansive than Bruce Bowen’s.

I could go on for a while that topic, but I won’t.  But speaking of the Spurs – solid transition – I love the Richard Jefferson trade.  For a team that does not play in the world of major trades, it is a move that make them better.

Here is a summary from Chad Ford’s article one ESPN.com:  “Milwaukee Bucks traded Richard Jefferson to the San Antonio Spurs for Bruce Bowen and Kurt Thomas on Tuesday.  The Spurs also sent Fabricio Oberto to the Detroit Pistons for Amir Johnson who then went to the Bucks.”

I also heard/read that both Bowen and Oberto may be released from their contracts and then sign back with the Spurs.  That is an interesting and freakin’ smart play by Spurs.

DTP 2009 NBA Mock Draft: Picks 1-6

More than years past, this draft is completely up in the air.  Even the No. 1 pick.  The economy is forcing organizations to make atypical decisions on the the future, meaning lots of trades and out-of-the-box moves.  Griffin is the sure first pick, but even though the Clippers said they would take him, there are no guarantees.

We could set a record for the number of trades and have fewer international picks then in years past.  After Ricky Rubio, there is not another recognizable non-US player – besides Brandon Jennings.  On the ESPN list of the top 20 prospects, you will not see any other foreign born, besides Rubio, in the Top-20.  And finally at No. 30 we see another international player, 6’9″ small forward Omri Casspi from Israel.

So that being said, it will make for an interesting night.  And my Top-6 have at least one surprise.

1. Los Angeles Clippers:  Blake Griffin, Oklahoma

Everything about this is pointing to an epic failure.  One, it’s the Clippers.  Two, the choice is too obvious.  Three, they have too many post players with too much money tied to those players.

This is the third time the Clippers have had the first pick of the draft, first in 1998 – Michael “I am a total bust, what the hell is giving the idea I will be good” Olowokandi and ten years earlier in 1988 with Danny Manning.

But Griffin is the obvious choice.  There is no debate.  But two random thoughts.  1.  Will the Clippers make any kind of trade around this pick – i.e. the pick or other players?  2.  Would Griffin have been the No. 1 pick in last years draft?

2. Memphis Grizzlies:  Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut

While I picked Thabeet at this pick, Ricky Rubio is a better pick and player, and I am positive the Grizzlies are looking to trade down.

But if they keep the pick, Thabeet does make sense as Mike Conley seems to have the backing of the organization.  Thabeet will give them a shot blocker and a decent rebounder.  But is still very early in his basketball development.  He is 7’3″ and is much more athletic than people give him credit, and be able to get easy buckets on put-backs and in the lane dunks.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder:  James Harden, Arizona State

I have seen Jrue Holiday at this pick who is very similar to Russell Westbrook but I am not sure that you can skip over Rubio at this spot.  Thabeet works here, but I am not sure he will drop down to No. 3.  The major needs are at the PG/SG and C spot but no other center is worth a top-ten pick.

The Thunder must decide if Westbrook is a true point guard, shooting guard or a combo guard.  If they come to the conclusion that Westbrook is the man at point, then they will pick Harden.   If he is a SG/Combo guard, they will pick Rubio.  Both are ready to contribute from day one.

4. Sacramento Kings:  Ricky Rubio, Spain

If Rubio is available at No. 4, new coach Paul Westphal will need smelling salts.  Kevin Martin is the teams best player at the two spot, Jason Thompson and Spencer Hawes are going to be a solid, yet young, front court, and there is a need at the small forward spot.  But Westpahl can not ignore the fact that Beno Udrih was the starter for the majority of the year, then 36-year-old Bobby Jackson started the last ten games of the season and Will Solomon is your back-up.

Rubio = Instant upgrade.

5. Washington Wizards:  Jordan Hill, Arizona

At No. 5, the Wizards could go anywhere.  They need to draft a highly-qualified doctor to put the team up mid-season when the fall apart.

Hill is high energy and low basketball IQ.  He would help right away, but does not have the up-side that many other picks.  But he is something the Wizards need to win now with Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler and Antwan Jamison.

I could see them going with Steph Curry or Jonny Fylnn or trading this pick.

6. Minnesota Timberwolves:  Tyreke Evans, Memphis

The T’Wolves need talent, plain and simple.  Evans is a great fit as someone who can handle the ball, create his own shot, is over 6’4″ tall, and has monster upside.

Minnesota has needs at point guard, shooting guard, and center, but are not going to find a productive center anywhere near this pick. I have seen Curry and DeMar DeRozan at this pick, I like Curry, but not here.  The Wolves will trade the pick unless they can get Thabeet or Rubio.

If they keep this pick, they need to pick Evans.  This team is young and if they can keep the mature and grow through the remainder of Al Jefferson’s contract, this team will be a force.

Chad Ford’s Mock Draft: Picks 1-5

Here is the latest Chad Ford mock draft with the first five picks.  You need to be an ESPN insider – which I am – to see the remainder of the first round.  I agree with a four of the five picks, but I think that the Hasheem Thabeet and Ricky Rubio could switch and I am not convinced that James Harden is the fifth best player in this draft, but he is more NBA ready than most other shooting guards.

I can tell you that with No. 6 – the MN Wolves pick is predicted to take Tyreke Evans.  I am warming to Evans, I will explain more later.

PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS
L.A. Clippers Blake Griffin Position: PF
Height: 6-10
Weight: 248 pounds
Age: 20
School: Oklahoma

 Analysis:For the past several years, we’ve been blessed with at least a little suspense when it comes to who will be the No. 1 pick. Not this year. Griffin is going to be a Clipper. Sources around the league say that trade talks with the Clippers are virtually nonexistent when it comes to Griffin. Instead the Clippers are focusing on finding a new home for Chris Kaman or Zach Randolph. 
 

PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS
Memphis Hasheem Thabeet Position: C
Height: 7-3
Weight: 267
Age: 22
School: Connecticut

 Analysis: The Grizzlies’ situation continues to be an enigma.

They are talking to a number of teams about a potential trade, and the Kings, Wizards, Knicks, Rockets and Celtics have shown interest in moving up to No. 2.

At the same time, the Grizzlies continue to publicly pursue Ricky Rubio, although a well-placed source in the point guard’s camp said it’s likely (though not definite) that Rubio will skip Memphis when he goes on a three-city U.S. tour next week. And there have been rumblings that Tyreke Evans is in the mix in Memphis.

But when the dust clears, it looks as though the most likely scenario has Thabeet in Memphis on draft night, if the Grizzlies keep the pick. If they move down, add Jordan Hill to the players who would be under consideration.  

PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS
Oklahoma City Ricky Rubio Position: PG
Height: 6-4
Weight: 180
Age: 18
Country: Spain

 Analysis:The Thunder have been their typical quiet selves. GM Sam Presti has told a number of agents that he is interested in their players, but it has been difficult to ascertain the direction the team is leaning.

We continue to hear that the Thunder have expressed interest in Rubio, Thabeet, James Harden, Jordan Hill and Stephen Curry.

Rubio likely will make a visit to OKC some time before the draft, but major questions exist about how he would fit there. The team sees Russell Westbrook as its point guard of the future and isn’t sure how he would fare without the ball in his hands.

Maybe more importantly, Presti is an opportunist. If he can get a couple of good assets in return for the No. 3 pick, he won’t be afraid to pull the trigger.

But if he doesn’t, or if Rubio is off the board, the team will have to make a tough decision. Thabeet would give the Thunder the shot-blocking they desperately need. Harden would give them the savvy of a veteran. Curry would give them shooting. Hill would give them rebounding and energy. Oklahoma City could use all those things, but our guess is that it would settle on Harden or Curry. 

PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS
Sacramento Jrue Holiday Position: PG
Height: 6-4
Weight: 199
Age: 18
School: UCLA

Analysis:At this point I think it’s safe to say the Kings have narrowed it down to Holiday, Flynn and Rubio. In Sacramento this past weekend, Flynn, Holiday (his second visit) and Brandon Jennings went head-to-head in front of the entire Kings brass.

Sources say Flynn was probably the best of the three in the workout, but that Holiday still holds a slight edge on their board. Flynn would provide immediate help and is a real floor leader. But Holiday’s size, upside and defensive ability give him a razor-thin edge.

If the Grizzlies and Thunder both pass on Rubio, the Kings could be in an interesting situation. Sources in Sacramento say the Kings have reservations about Rubio and that it’s far from a done deal that they will take him if he is on the board. Is it possible Rubio could slip past No. 4? Ultimately, I don’t think so. The Kings would be nuts to pass on him. But who would’ve thought a month ago it was even a possibility?  

PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS
Washington James Harden Position:SG
Height: 6-5
Weight: 222
Age: 19
School: Arizona State

Analysis:As we’ve been reporting since draft lottery night, the Wizards are shopping this pick. A source in Washington told me the Wizards have had a number of interesting offers. Their goal is to get back a veteran who can play right now — and to shed a few million dollars off their payroll, if possible. A number of teams including the Knicks, Rockets and Pacers are possibilities here.

If the Wizards keep the pick, they’ll have a tough choice between Harden and Hill. From the intel I’ve received, it sounds as though Harden might be slightly ahead, though Hill and Davidson’s Stephen Curry are still very much in the mix.

Quick Hits 4/15/09

Paulus to Put on a HelmetGreg Paulus

Former Duke starting point guard, Greg Paulus, has been visting with the Green Bay Packers and the University of Michigan about playing football.  Yes football. 

Paulus was a highly recruited player out of Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse, New York.  The former Gaterade football player of the year had scholarship offers from Notre Dame and Miami but choose to play got Coach K at Duke. 

Paulus lost his starting job this season to sophomore Nolen Smith, but continued to be ready when called upon.  Paulus acted like an assistant coach as his minutes continued to get cut, he averaged on six minutes in the teams final seven games.

Here is the write-up at ESPN.com.

Draft Declarers

Only one.   Junior center out of UConn, Hasheem Thabeet.  Hire an agent my friend.  Get out of Storrs, CT before it gets ugly and make a ton of money. 

It is being reported that Thabeet has not yet hired an agent, giving himself until June 15th to withdraw his name from the draft.

Rock, Chalk, Stay a Jayhawk1355517_image

Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich are coming back to Kansas for another season.  The best inside-outside tandem in the Big 12, will lead an experienced and talented team that is predicted by experts to be the No. 1 team next season.     

With the possibility of signing McDonald’s All-American’s Xavier Henry and Lance Stephenson, Bill Self will have four top-100 recruits and an exciting team that will have little competition in grabbing the Big 12 crown and make a deep run in March.

Top Recruiting Classes

 With all the coaching changes and releasing of players from the letters of intent, ESPN.com has updated their rankings for the top recruiting classes of 2009.

NBA Playoffs

Once the seedings are set for the East and West conference, Matthew and I will do a little break down of the match-ups.

Plus, we will announce our choices for the NBA Award winners: MVP, Sixth Man, etc.

Isiah Thomas Gets Another Job

Isiah Thomas’ resume must not be that bad, or the AD at Florida International was a huge “Bad Boys” fan.

I would like to revisit this story in about 26 months.  I don’t have a lot of faith, but you never know.

Final Four Preview: Michigan State vs. UConn

Before I get to the long awaited preview/breakdown of the Tom Izzo and Jim Calhoun cage match, just a couple quick hits.

  • First – Congrats to Joe Pa U as Penn State defeated Baylor to win the NIT Championship – nice to go out on a win, no matter what.
  • Second – What is going on in Arizona?  Is there some horrible smell that repels coaches?  Something is a little fishy.  That said, Tim Floyd is exactly where he needs to be at USC – aka OJ Mayo NBA Prep School.
  • Third – I will take any of the coaching openings anywhere in D1 – I will even pay for my own move.

Why UConn Will Win?Connecticut Seton Hall Basketball

The front court of Hasheem Thabeet, Stanley Robinson and Jeff Adrien (7’3″, 6’9″ and 6’7″) is taller, longer and stronger than the MSU bigs of Goran Suton, Delvon Roe, and Raymor Morgan (6’10”, 6’8″ and 6’8″).  The Huskies big man will need to add some scoring, but it ultimately comes down to Thabeet’s ability to change shots and keep the MSU guards out of the lane.

Kemba Walker had a break out game with 23 points on 7-for-9 from the floor and 9-for-10 from the foul line in 25 minutes against Missouri.  Craig Austrie and A.J. Price are the Huskies only real outside threats, but should be able to get their shots off over the smaller Spartan back court.

For UConn to win, they must win the battle on the block in scoring and not get out rebounded by a Spartans team that crashed the broads very hard.

Why MSU Will Win?

Early in the season, the Spartans were out of sink and struggled to regain their rhythm, and then the hit their stride about the time the Goran Suton returned to 100%.  In their win to get the Final Four, Suton had a double-double with 19 and 10, shooting 3-for-5 from deep and dishing out five assists carrying the team to Detroit.Michigan St Minnesota Basketball

Tom Izzo would love for Morgan to actually play some meaningful minutes, Morgan has been invisible since the first round match-up with Robert Morris.  He has only scored 23 points and 10 rebounds all tourney long and played only 10 foul-plagued minutes in the win over Louisville.  Roe has not been any better, he has scored only 16 points and grabbed three rebounds all tournament long.  He has not had a rebound in the last three games.

Even if Suton is the final piece to the Spartan puzzle, Kalin Lucas is still the most important player in green.  Much like Ty Lawson is to UNC, Lucas makes this team go.  If Lucas is able to catch fire and still get the ball to other talented shooters, MSU will win.

Deal Breaker:

The benches.  The Huskies only three, mostly two deep on their bench with Walker and forward Gavin Edwards.  The Spartans easily go four or five off the pine.  Expect to see major minutes from guards Chris Allen, Durrell Summers, and forward Draymond Green.  Michigan State has better talent coming off the bench.

Prediection

There are few coaches that prepare their teams better than Izzo (i.e. Louisville) and with a week to prepare, I am feel that Izzo has the team ready to play.  I have been doubting Michigan State all tourney and I  have a feeling that they are going to win just to spite me and my many brackets that I had them losing to USC.

Michigan State 78, UConn 73.

ESPN 2009 NBA Mock Lottery Drafting Thingy

ESPN has done it again.  And I am scared.  ESPN has unveiled their 2009 NBA Lottery Mock Draft game.

When you click it,  it auto populates the entire lottery.  It breaks down the chances of your favorite losing team.  And  depending on just how bad their record is – Oklahoma City is 2-24 and has the best chance for the first pick at 25% .   It then fills in the draft order and players selected.  It’s supposedly random.

The one time I was able to get the Timberwolves – they are second with 19.9% –  to the first pick, they pick Blake Griffin.  I feel good about that.  I am happy with the Oklahoma stud. 

SIDE NOTE:  If we get Griffin, maybe we could trade Kevin Love back to Memphis for our original pick from last year, O.J. Mayo – still blows my mind.  But I am sure the Grizzles would go for it.

But every other time, when the T’Wolves  have the second or third pick, that damn game gives them Hasheem Thabeet, the 7’3″ junior center from UConn.

NO!

THE TIMBERWOLVES CANNOT WASTE ANOTHER LOTTERY PICK ON A ONE DIMENSIONAL PLAYER!

Not when Arizona State’s James Harden, Davidson’s Stephen Curry, and Georgetown Center Greg Monroe are still on the board.  And don’t forget the international flavorings with Spain’s Ricky Rubio and Brandon Jennings.

Not until the T’Wolves are at the four slot does the crazy game give us Stephen Curry.

One might ask; Why do you have such an issue with this game?

Answer:  Because I swear to all that is holy that the T’Wolves are going to pick Thabeet because the feakin’ game “told” them to.  It feels like something McHale would do.  Hopefully he will not be around to mess it up again.