Had to buck the center trend here. Kaman and Biedrins went too high for my liking, and there isn't a whole lot left out there center-wise. I was debating using this pick on Calderon or the one remaining big man from that tier, but in the end I think Calderon makes more sense. An excellent offensive facilitator who possesses the best assist-TO ratio in the NBA, there is no question that Calderon makes his teammates significantly better on offense. Howard isn't the prototypical scoring wing; he's not as good a ballhandler as someone like Melo or Pierce, and relies on his teammates to get him open looks. There are few better at this than Calderon. With the dearth of playmaking point guards still on the board, Calderon is a good fit. I shudder to think at the PG level that will be available next time I pick. And he's only 26.
Obviously, Calderon's defense leaves a lot to be desired. As he has stepped into an increased role with the Raptors in recent weeks, and teams have gone after him defensively (you need only look at the attrocious on/off court defensive splits for him). But Howard is a good defender for the opponent's main scorer, and I'm pretty confident that I will be able to get a young, pretty good defensive center in either round 3 or 4 (I, apparently, am not as pessimistic about center depth as the rest of you). With a decent shotblocker underneath to funnel guys to, and Howard taking care of the other team's star, I'm confident that Calderon's poor defense won't be too much of a liability, and will certainly be compensated for by his excellent play offensively. And he's only 26; plenty of guys show notable defensive improvement later in their careers.
An elite NBA team typically meets the following four criteria: facilitating PG, perimeter scorer, shutdown perimeter defender, excellent defensive big man. I feel that with my first two picks, I have met three of these already.
With the 4th pick in the 2nd round of the 2008 care reshuffle draft, the Detroit Pistons select...
2.04 Kevin Martin, 6'7, 24 yrs.
Kevin Martin is Reggie Miller with pogo sticks for legs. He is a deadly shooter, already one of the very best in the league at the tender age of 24. He also gets to the rim, moves without the ball, and finishes strong. This season he is getting to the free throw line an amazing 10 times per game, and converting 85% of them. His length at the SG position and gritty style of play make him a good defender who will improve as the years go on.
Beyond his individual skill level, he is a player than knows how to play a roll in a system. He scores within the gameplan and doesn't force the issue. This will translate to W's for the Pistons as they build around Greg Oden. As Oden draws double teams, Martin will make the defense pay with high percentage 3's and backdoor slashes to the basket.
With the 5th pick in the 2nd round, the Los Angeles Clippers select...
2.05 Baron Davis, PG (6'3", 215 lb., 28 years old)
One of the best playmakers in the game, Davis still has many years of running a dominating offense ahead of him. He can hit from outside at will, penetrate and break down his defender, and create for others. His talent is unquestioned, he's incredibly athletic, and the only concern with him is of course his injury risk. The Clippers hope that pairing him with Paul Pierce will lighten the workload on BOTH stars. Each will now only have to carry half a team instead of a whole team, reducing the wear on both of their bodies and lowering their injury risk.
The Clippers are excited to bring Davis back to his home town, where he also played his college ball. The fans have been longing to bring him home and will embrace him, helping ticket sales and promotion.
The combination of Davis and Pierce will create an almost unstoppable offensive force. Both can create their own shots, drive to the hole, and hit outside shots. Each of these relatively tall backcourt players are also capable of posting up their man, creating a two-man inside-outside game on the offensive end. They also combine to form a very serviceable defensive backcourt.
With the 6th pick in the 2nd round, the Golden State Warriors select:
2.06 Michael Redd, SG/SF
With an inside presence already established in Gasol, I decided to go with a sharpshooting guard that can flank the wings and open up the defense for my big man. I feel like the inside/outside combo established with Redd and Gasol could really anchor my team on the offensive end.
At the age of 28, Redd is also reaching his prime similar to Gasol. He has also shown this year that he has matured into an all-around player. He's averaging a career high in assists this season (almost 4 per game). This is promising as it illustrates that he is now not only just a great perimeter scorer, but also possesses the ability to create for his teammates around him as well. With someone dominant like Gasol on the inside, it will give Redd plenty of room to operate on the perimeter and plenty of room to shoot the ball.
Last but not least, it is interesting to realize that Redd has played his whole career on teams that mostly don't feature a dominant big man. Similarly, Gasol has played on several teams that hasn't featured a quality perimeter guard either. Hopefully, the combination of Gasol/Redd can really compliment each other and blossom into one of the great scoring combos in the league.
*rocking the new blamer sig*
(Past Year: 7)
Joined: 6 Dec 2005
Home Cafe: Basketball
Location: The confines of reality are too grand for my imaginative capacity
Rudy Gay is a 21 year old phenom that still has upside. After averaging 10.8 points, 4.4 boards, 1.3 assists, and .7 threes, he's jumped to 19.2 points, 5.5 boards, 1.5 assists, and 1.6 threes. He's also defensive minded and could easily become one of a half dozen guys to average 1 three, 1 steal, and 1 block.
At 6'9", 220 pounds, he also has the ability to play three positions (In fantasy he has SG,SF eligibility, but in realty he plays SF,PF). He's also hit a couple of game winners in his career, making him mentally tough for years to come.
(Past Year: 601)
Joined: 23 Jul 2005
Home Cafe: Basketball
Location: Fundamentals are the crutch of the talentless.
Tyson is a defensive machine who compliments our point guard, Tony Parker, quite well. He, like parker, is only 25 years old, but already a seasoned vereran in the league. He is a freak athlete for his size. Averaging a double double, and a league leader in rebounds, he instantly gives us a big man in the middle to build around. What he may lack in inside post moves that others at his position may have, he makes up for in youth and size. And if there is one thing in this league you can't teach, that is size.
We feel his athleticism and explosiveness compliments the strengths of parker, and this can be a pick and roll combo for years to come given their age and experience. This early in the draft, we already have the makings of perennial championship contender: a stud point guard, and a big man to build around.
with the 9th pick in the second round the Seattle Supersonics select:
2.09 Caron Butler SF
with the acquisition of butler, smooth will slide over to PF as he is being used this year and the Sonics will have two forwards who can provide a solid defensive backbone to start a transition offense and in turn can run the court with ease. butler has shown this year that he can shoulder the load of a franchise in the absence of gilbert. since gilbert has gone down, caron is a scorer when his team needs a scorer and a passer when his team needs a passer. his passing skills and awareness have improved each year he's been in the league, and should take some of the offensive ball handling responsibilities away from jsmooth.
he also brings something to the table that jsmooth lacks (and needs to work on) a good jumpshot, which he uses frequently, but when need be he can still get to the basket and finish. he will be this teams prime time scorer. hopefully his mental toughness and work ethic will rub off on jsmooth....hopefully.....