Saturday, June 30, 2012

NBA: FREE AGENT RANKINGS and ANALYSIS

The 2012 NBA Free Agent class is very good if your team is looking for a scoring two guard, a role playing PF or a backup PG.  However other than Deron Williams and Steve Nash there are no superstars.  The class is also low on centers. Therefore guys like Roy Hibbert, JaVale McGee, Spencer Hawes and Brook Lopez (if you consider him a center, I do not as you'll see below) will get overpaid due to shortage on the market.  I didn't include Kevin Garnett on my list because he's already said to agree on a 3year-34 million dollar deal to stay in Boston.  I also didn't put Tim Duncan on the list because there is no way San Antonio is letting the greatest player in their franchise's history and greatest PF of all time leave.  Duncan will likely sign a deal similar to KG's deal.

Note: Restricted Free Agent means current team has three days to match a new teams offer on their free agent.  If they do not match the offer the free agent become a member of a new team.  Restricted free agents can also just play the final year of their qualifying offer from their current team and become an unrestricted free agent next summer.


THE STUDS (5):
Deron Williams-PG-BRK-28 years old
Last Year’s Stats: 21.17ppg and 8.7apg
Possible Destinations: BRK or DAL
Market Value:
Superstar Max Deal, 17m to start
Williams is the best player in the free agent class of 2012. He will either stay in Brooklyn and hope they make a trade for Dwight Howard or he will return to his hometown of Dallas to team up with Dirk Nowitzki.

Steve Nash-PG-PHO-38 years old
Last Year’s Stats: 12.5 ppg, 10.7 apg, 3.0 rpg
Possible Destinations: TOR, DAL, PHO
Market Value: past prime star-KG-3yrs-34m, 11m to start
Nash is still a top tier PG. He may return to his home country of Canada to lead a young Raptors team or he could return to Dallas where he started his career and pay with one of his best friends Dirk Nowitzki. If Dallas cannot get Deron they would love to get Nash.

Roy Hibbert-C-IND-25 (restricted)
Last Year’s Stats: 12.8 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 2.0 bpg
Possible Destinations: IND, DAL, POR
Market Value: Stud center-Marc Gasol-4yrs-57m, 13m to start
Hibbert is a skilled offensive player that commands double teams all the time. At 7-2 he is a matchup nightmare. Expect the Pacers to lock him up long term this summer.

Eric Gordon –SG-NO-23 (restricted)
Career Stats (played in only 9 games last year): 18.2ppg, 3.3apg, 2.7rpg,
Possible Destinations: NO, IND, BOS or PHO
Market Value: Great scoring starting SG-between Monta Eills-6yrs-66m, 11m per and Danny Granger 5yrs-60m, 13m to start
Gordon has now had two straight years where he has battled injuries. When healthy, he can average 22 a night but it’s hard to give near max money to a player that’s such an injury risk. The Hornets will demand to get something in return via sign and trade if he leaves New Orleans. Gordon is from Indiana and has expressed an interest in joining the Pacers. The Hornets wouldn’t mind taking back Paul George, former Hornet Darren Collison or New Orleans native Danny Granger as part of the deal.

Brook Lopez-PF-BRK-24 (restricted)
Career Stats (played only 5 games last year): 17.4ppg, 7.5rpg, 1.6bpg
Possible Destinations: ORL via sign and trade, PHO, NO
Market Value: Andrea Bargnani-5yrs-50m, 9-10m to start
I don’t consider Lopez a center, I consider him a stretch four. I think if you play him as an offensive PF, he will be most effective. That’s why I think Phoenix would be an ideal fit where he would be paired with Marcin Gortat. He could also be a stretch five next to a shot blocking PF like Anthony Davis in New Orleans.

THE SPECIALTY SCORERS (12):
Several teams have a need for a starting SG/6th man that can be a compliment scorer
Teams with Cap room include: BOS, IND, MIN, DAL, BRK, PHO, TOR and CLV
Teams with Full Mid-level exception: LAC and MEM
Teams with luxury tax MLE: MIA, CHI, NY
Market Value: between Rodney Stuckey-3yrs-25m, 7.5m to start and MLE depending on players age and role on a new team
This year's crop is particularly deep:
Lou Williams-CG-PHL-25
Last Year's Stats: 14.9 ppg, 3.5 apg
OJ Mayo-SG-MEM-24
Last Year's Stats: 12.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg
JR Smith-SG-NY-26
Last Year's Stats: 12.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg
Ray Allen-SG-BOS-36
Last Year's Stats: 14.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.4 apg
Jason Terry-CG-DAL-34
Last Year's Stats: 15.1 ppg, 3.6 apg
Jamal Crawford-CG/F-32-POR
Last Year's Stats: 14.0 ppg, 3.3 apg
Nick Young-SG-LAC-27
Last Year's Stats:  14.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg
Courtney Lee-G/F-HOU-26 (restricted)
Last Year's Stats:  11.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg
Michael Beasley-SF-MIN-23
Last Year's Stats: 11.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg
Randy Foye-SG-LAC-28
Last Year's Stats: 11.0 ppg, 2.2 apg
Marco Belineli-G/F-NO-26
Last Year's Stats: 11.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg
Chauncey Billups-CG-LAC-35
Last Years Stats:  15.0 ppg, 4.0 apg

CONTRACT GUYS (11):
These players picked the right year to have a breakout season. Most will get paid over value due to potential and need.
FORWARDS:
Ryan Anderson-PF-ORL-24 (restricted), won NBA's Most Improved Player
Last Year's Stats: 16.1 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 0.8 apg
Ersan Ilysova-PF-MIL-25
Last Year's Stats: 13.0 ppg, 8.8 rpg
Nic Batum-CF-POR-23 (restricted)
Last Year's Stats: 13.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg
Possible Destinations: All three players are likely to re-sign. Like Lopez, both Ersan and Anderson would be a good fit in NO or PHO.  MIN is said to have interest in Batum.  They might try to work a sign and trade with Portland where they would send Derrick Williams or Wes Johnson back.
Market Value: good starting forward-Luis Scola-5yrs-47m or Shawn Marion-5yrs-40m, around 7m to start.
POINT GUARDS:
Goran Dragic-PG-HOU-26
Last Year's Stats: 11.7 ppg, 5.3 apg, 2.5 rpg
Jeremy Lin-PG NY-23 (restricted)
Last Year's Stats: 14.6 ppg, 6.1 apg, 3.1 rpg
Possible Destinations: Both players took major advantage of opportunity this year. Linsanity took over the NBA for a good two weeks while Dragic led Houston for the final two months. Both players are likely to re-sign with their current teams but TOR and DAL will go after them if them cannot get Deron or Nash. Both have major need at PG and have a lot of cap room. 
Market Value: Good starting PG-Mike Conley-5yrs-40m, 6.6m to start
CENTERS:
JaVale McGee-C-DEN-24 (restricted)
Last Year's Stats: 11.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.2 bpg
Spencer Hawes-C-PHL-24
Last Year's Stats: 9.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.6 apg
Possible Destinations: POR, NO and CLV all have cap space, a young roster and need a big man.
Market Value: Role playing starting Center-DeAndre Jordan-4yrs-43m, 10m to start, young 7 footers are always over paid
DIRTY WORK FORWARDS:
Brandon Bass-PF-BOS-27
Last Year's Stats: 12.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 0.6 bpg
Kris Humphries-PF-BRK-27
Last Year's Stats: 13.8 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 0.9 bpg
Gerald Wallace-CF-BRK-29
Last Year's Stats: 15.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 3.1 apg
Carl Landry-PF-NO-28
Last year's Stats: 12.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg
Possible Destinations: BOS, SA and LAL (if they trade Pau) could all use a role playing defensive hustle guy at PF. PHO, BRK, GS and ORL may need help as well depending on who leaves in free agency. Market Value: Full MLE

MYSTERY GUYS (5):
Andrei Kirilenko-CF-CSKA Moscow (Russia)-31
Played last year in native Russia, likely to only comeback and play for the Nets 
Aaron Broooks-PG-China-PHO (have restricted rights)-27
Played in China last year, is he really a quality starting PG in the NBA? I think not
Jeff Green-CF-BOS-25
Out two years after heart surgery. Says he's 100%. He's still only 25. Some team will give him a chance.
Chris Kaman-C-NO-31 Injured three of past four seasons. A great role playing Center when healthy. A solid backup now
Mizra Teletovic-PF-from Bosnia, one of the top players in Spanish League-27
Teletovic is a stretch four that can shoot lights out.  However just like Andrei Bargnani and other skilled Euro big men, he doesn't like to bang down low despite his size 6-9/254


LOW LEVEL STARTER/QUALITY BACKUP PG (11):  
This year's class is really deep. However almost all of these guys will be singing a contract to be a back up or will split time with another PG. Everything will depend on where Deron, Nash, Lin and Dragic play. Kyle Lowry is a top 15 PG that is likely to be traded to LAL, ORL or TOR if they don't get Nash.
Here's the list:
Ramon Sessions-LAL-25
George Hill-IND-24 (restricted)
Andre Miller-DEN-36
Jason Kidd-DAL-39
Ray Felton-POR-27
Jameer Nelson-ORL-30
Nate Robinson-GS-28
DJ Augustin-CHR-24 (restricted)
Delonte West-DAL-28
Jerryd Bayless-TOR-23 (restricted)
Kirk Hinrich-CHI-31

GOOD 30+ VETERAN ROLE PLAYERS (10):
A guy like this could be the missing piece to a championship puzzle.
Boris Diaw-F/C-SA-30
Marcus Camby-C-HOU-38
Antawn Jamison-PF-CLV-36
Rashard Lewis-SF-NO-32 (will be UFA once he's waived by NO)
Matt Barnes-CF-LAL-32
Kenyon Martin-C/F-LAC-34
Reggie Evans-PF-LAC-32
Carlos Delfino-F/G-MIL-turns 30 in August
Mickael Pietrus-G/F-BOS-30
Grant Hill-SF-PHO-39 will turn 40 in October

OTHER INTERESTING YOUNG ROLE PLAYERS (16):
Rotational guys that have some good value due to their youth.
Jason Thompson-C/F-SAC-25 (restricted)
Marreese Speights-PF-MEM-24 (restricted)
JJ Hickson-PF-POR-23
Landry Fields-G/F-24 (restricted)
Omer Asik-C-CHI-26 on July 4th  (restricted)
Alonzo Gee-F/G-CLV-25 (restricted)
Danny Green-SG-SA-25 (restricted)
CJ Miles-SG-Utah-25
Rudy Fernandez-SG-DEN-27 (restricted)
Shannon Brown-SG-PHO-26
Lavoy Allen-PF-PHL-23 (restricted)
Robin Lopez-C-PHO-24 (restricted)
Greg Stiemsma-C-BOS-26 (restricted)
Gerald Green-SF-BRK-26
Steve Novak-SF-NY-28 (restricted)
Jordan Hill-PF-LAL-24

There it is.  The top 70 free agents.  Who will go where?  Who will get over paid? Who will lose out on their top target?  Who will get better going into next season?  We will know in a matter of weeks.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

NBA DRAFT 2012: 5 KEY QUESTIONS FOR TONIGHT'S DRAFT

1. What will Charlotte do? They want to trade down, will they be able and who will they draft if they can't trade down? 
ANSWER: The Bobcats went with youth, taking 18 year old UK Freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.  Michael Jordan must have seen a lot of himself in MKG.  Both Jordan and MKG won National Titles as Freshman in college. Like MJ, MKG is an intense competitor that will only get better as he gets older.  His shot needs work, but you can fix mechanics.  You can't teach the attributes that MKG has, heart, work ethic and passion.  The Bobcats drafted Vandy F/G Jeffery Taylor.  Taylor's game is very similar to MKG.  They will both receive a lot of playing time in Charlotte as the Bobcats will still struggle.  Charlotte will have a top five next year and they'll likely draft PF-Cody Zeller, C-Nerlens Noel, SG-Shabazz Muhammad or PF-James McAdoo.   


2. Both New Orleans and Portland have two first round picks and both need a center, will they go big man at picks #10 and #11 respectively or will they go for the best player available? 
Answer: New Orleans went the best player available route getting scoring guard Austin Rivers at #10 after drafting Anthony Davis #1. Portland filled their two biggest needs taking point guard Damian Lillard at #6 and big man Myers Leonard at #11. Both teams drafted a solid rotational player in the second round as well.  New Orleans took Davis' college teammate, defensive specialist Darius Miller at #36.  Portland drafted slasher Will Barton at #40.  Both second round picks will have an opportunity to play right away.  


3. After Bradley Beal, where will the next four shooting guards (Austin Rivers, Dion Waiters, Jeremy Lamb and Terrence Ross) be selected? 
Answer: Cleveland shook up the draft by taking Waiters #4, Toronto took Ross at #8, New Orleans took Rivers at #10 and Lamb went #12 to Houston.  That means five of the first twelve picks were shooting guards.  This is the best class for shooting guards in a very long time.  The teams that drafted these guys will hoe that they can turn into the next James Harden or at the very least become a specialty scorer in the mold of JR Smith or Marcus Thornton. 


4. Which forward with lottery talent will slip the farthest, Perry Jones III, Royce White, Terrence Jones or Jared Sullinger?  
Answer: Perry Jones III slipped the farthest dropping all the way to OKC at #28.  His slide was very similar to the player he reminds me most of, Rashard Lewis.  Lewis fell all the way into the second round in 1998 as high school prospect coming out of Texas.  Sullinger fell to Boston at #21.  Both Royce White and Terrence Jones were drafted by Houston at #16 and #18 respectively.  PJ III could be a steal and should provide good offense off the bench for OKC.  The same could be said for Sullinger in Boston, as he will backup KG and free agent Brandon Bass.  White and T. Jones may stay in Houston or they may be part of a trade package to Orlando, the Los Angeles Lakers or Atlanta.  I think that White could be the biggest steal of this draft.    


5. Will a contender trade up to get a young impact player similar to what the Spurs did last year with Kawhi Leonard?  
Answer: NO. There were no trades involving contenders and no major trades at all.  The biggest trade of the night was Cleveland trading up from #24 to #17 to get Tyler Zeller. Pretty weak draft as far as trades are concerned

NBA DRAFT 2012: FINAL MOCK DRAFT

1. NO-ANTHONY DAVIS-PF-UK-Fr.
He's a lock as the top pick in the draft. He has the potential to be KG/Tim Duncan but right now he's somewhere between Marcus Camby and Serge Ibaka. Now the question becomes what do the Hornets do at #10.

2. WAS (PROJECTED TRADE w/CHR)-BRADLEY BEAL-SG-FLORIDA-FR.
Beal would be the perfect fit next to John Wall. The best part about Beal's game is his shooting touch and how he plays off the ball. He has a high basketball IQ and lets the game come to him. The Wizards will consider Robinson (who is from DC) and MKG as well. I think it would be smart for the Wizards to do the ever so famous one spot trade up. With the Wirads getting Trevor Ariza, they can afford to let last year's #18 pick Chris Singleton leave. Singleton is as good as any player the Bobcats would get at #24 if they traded with the Cavs. The deal also would save the Wizards money.

3. CHR (PROJECTED TRADE w/WAS)-THOMAS ROBINSON-PF-KANSAS-JR.
The Bobcats trade down one spot get a solid defender in Singleton and still get the guy they want in Robinson. Thomas Robinson will be an instant starter. He's mentally tough and very mature due to the tragedy he's faced the past two years. Andre Drummond is too much of a risk for Michael Jordan and his staff.

4. CLV-HARRISON BARNES-SF-UNC-SO.
Once again the Cavs are the winners in the draft. By getting the #4 pick, they are guaranteed Beal, MKG, Robinson or Barnes. Barnes is a great compliment to last year's #1 pick Kyrie Irving. Barnes and Irving are best friends off the court as well. They may still trad up to get Beal or draft MKG but I feel that Barnes is the smartest decision here.

5. SAC-MICHAEL KIDD-GILCHRIST-SF-UK-FR.
I think that MKG will be the pick here. The Kings could then look to trade Tyreke Evans to get back into the lottery and draft a role playing PF/C such as John Henson, Tyler Zeller or Myers Leonard. It is also possible for the Rockets to offer their three 1st round picks for #5. The Rockets could then package MKG, Kyle Lowry and Luis Scola for Pau Gasol. MKG would be a great presence as a leader and a defender if the Kings keep him.

6. POR-DAMIAN LILLARD-PG-WEBER ST.-JR.
The Blazers have been burned in the draft when they take a risk on a big man (Sam Bowie and Greg Oden) so they elect instead to get a young man that they feel can become their floor general. Lillard will come in from day one and create offense for himself, star PF LaMarcus Aldridge and SG Wes Matthews.

7. GS-ANDRE DRUMMOND-C-UCONN-FR.
If Drummond is on the board the Warriors will draft him and listen to a lot of offers for him. If they don't like any of the offers, they can just keep him and develop him under current big men Andrew Bogut and David Lee. He would be a good defensive presence to compliment Lee. The Warriors and coach Mark Jackson want young athletes that can defend.

8. TOR-AUSTIN RIVERS-SG-DUKE-FR.
The Raptors need scoring and that's exactly what Rivers gives you. He's a streaky, volume shooter but he also attacks the rim similar to Russell Westbrook. The Raptors should draft Rivers, Dion Waiter or Jeremy Lamb. and then move Demar DeRozan to the three.

9. DET-JOHN HENSON-PF-UNC-JR.
I think they should go with Myers Leonard or Arnett Moultire here. But most think they will go with the skinny shot blocker out of UNC here. I would not be surprised though. This is the same team that took Darko over Carmelo, Bosh and Wade. This is also the team that drafted insanely skinny 190 pound Austin Daye a few years ago. Henson can block shots but he'll be pushed off the block going up against 240 pound power forwards in the NBA.

10. NO-TYLER ZELLER-C-UNC-SR.
If Lillard and Rivers are both off the board I think the Hornets will give Anthony Davis some help down low. Zeller is NBA ready and would be a great addition alongside Davis and Eric Gordon. If they draft a SG here, it may be a sign that they are open to trading Gordon this summer.

11. POR-MYERS LEONARD-C-ILLINOIS-SO.
I would love to see them throw a curve ball and draft Royce White here. I could also see them trading this pick for Paul MIllsap. Leonard is a work in progress that will need time to develop. Even if Portland goes big here, they could still spend big money this summer on a young center like Spencer Hawes, JaVale McGee or Jason Thompson.

12. HOU-JEREMY LAMB-SG-UCONN-SO.
Too good to pass up here. The Rockets will look to grab the best players available with their three 1st round picks in order to get more trade assets to get top veteran.

13. PHO-DION WAITERS-SG-SYRACUSE-SO.
The Suns need young athletic players. The Steve Nash era is coming to an end and the Suns need good versatile athletes to rebuild the team around. I don't believe the rumors that Waiters could go in the top five. He could go as high as #7 but I think that #13 is the furthest he could fall.

14. MIL-TERRENCE ROSS-SG-WASHINGTON-SO.
With the big's off the board, the Bucks address their need for a big guard to compliment Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings that measure at 6-3 and 6-1 respectively. Ross is 6-7 with a great mid range game.

15. PHL-ARNETT MOULTRIE-PF-MISSISSIPPI ST.-JR
The Pistons loss may be the 76ers gain. Elton Brand is 33 years old and will only be in Philly one more year. Big man Spencer Hawes is a free agent that will command big money (more than his actual value). The 76ers need help up front. Moultrie is an absolute steal here.

16. HOU-MOE HARKLESS-SF-ST. JOHN'S-FR.
Last year the Spurs traded up to #15 and took a long, athletic wing in Kawhi Leonard. Harkless' game is very similar to Kawhi and Paul George. Harkless may go #12 if the Kings trade down with the Rockets. Where ever he ends up, Harkless will be an impact player.

17. DAL-KENDALL MARSHALL-PG-UNC-SO.
The Jason Kidd era is over in Dallas and there is no guarantee that they will get Deron Williams in free agency. Marshall is the best passing guard to come out in a long time.

18. HOU-MARQUIS TEAGUE-PG-UK-FR.
The Rockets will need a backup PG if they trade away Kyle Lowry. I doubt Teague lasts past Denver at #20.

19. ORL-ROYCE WHITE-CF-IOWA ST.-SO.
The Dwight Howard era is ending so the Magic need to think about rebuilding and retaining the players they currently have. Stretch four Ryan Anderson won the NBA's Most Improved Player award and is the best player on the roster not named Dwight. They need to rebuild around him and White compliments his skill set very well. White is the a passing three in a power forwards body (6-9/260).

20. DEN-ANDREW NICHOLSON-PF-ST. BONAVENTURE-SR.
Al Harrington 2.0 anyone. The Nuggets could play him anywhere from the three to the five. He would be a nice addition in the frontcourt with Kenneth Faried and JaVale McGee.

21. BOS-TERRENCE JONES-PF-UK-SO.
Jones is versatile lefty that can play both forward spots. Jones would be a perfect compliment to the current roster with his versatility and ability to do the dirty work. His game is very similar to Lamar Odom. Boston needs young forwards.

22. BOS-JARED SULLINGER-PF-OHIO ST.-SO.
Sullinger will slip due to his lack of athleticism and now possible back problems. But smart organizations like the Celtics make smart decisions on players with talent. He could become another Zach Randolph or Dejuan Blair.

23. ATL-JEFFERY TAYLOR-SF-VANDY-SR.
A soild player that can score, defend and has a NBA body. The best player available for the Hawks at #23.

24. CLV-PERRY JONES III-CF-BAYLOR-SO.
The big slipper of the 2012 draft. Very similar game to a player that slipped to the second round in 1998, Rashard Lewis. Someone may trade back into the first to get a player with the talent of PJ III. The Cavs could

25. MEM-TONY WROTEN-CG-WASHINGTON-FR.
Good slasher with some PG skills.  He'll need time to develop.

26. IND-FAB MELO-C-SYRACUSE-So.
Insurance in case Roy Hibbert leaves. If Hibbert stays, Melo would be a great defensive backup.

27. MIA-FESTUS EZELI-C-VANDY-SR.
He's a big and athletic man that can take up space, get boards and block shots. That's all the Heat will ask him to do.

28. OKC-EVAN FOURNIER-SG-FRANCE-INT.
A solid prospect that the Thunder can keep in Europe for a year or two and then bring him over in case James Harden leaves via free agency in 2013.

29. CHI-JOHN JENKINS-SG-VANDY-JR.
A pure shooter that will find a lot of open looks playing with Derrick Rose

30. GS-DRAYMOND GREEN-SF-MICHIGAN ST.-SR
Versatile NBA ready player that can do all of the little things. His ability to rebound and pass make him very valuable as a role player.

SECOND ROUND
31. CHR-QUINCY MILLER-SF-BAYLOR-FR.
Good talent that will need time to develop.
32. WAS-DARIUS MILLER-G/F-UK-SR.
Defensive shutdown wing that can hit the open jumper
33. CLV-JAE CROWDER-SF/SG-MARQUETTE-SR.
Crowder will carve out a niche as a physical defensive shutdown player that can hit
34. CLV-MILES PLUMLEE-C-DUKE-SR.
In Cleveland he can backup incumbent center Anderson Varejao and PF Tristan Thompson.
35. GS-WILL BARTON-G/F-MEMPHIS-SO.
Long wing defender similar to Corey Brewer.
36. SAC-KYLE O'QUINN-C/F-NORFOLK ST.-SR.
Ultra long backup big man
37. TOR-TOMAS SATORANSKY-PG-CZECH REPUBLIC-INT.
Euro backup combo guard with good passing skills
38. DEN-TYSHAWN TAYLOR-PG-KANSAS-SR.
Solid backup or 3rd string PG
39. DET-KRIS JOSEPH-SF-SYRACUSE-SR.
Solid backup with good length
40. POR-DORON LAMB-SG-UK-SO.
Sharpshooting guard that will be a good rotation player
41. POR-DDARIUS JOHNSON ODOM-PG-MARQUETTE-SR.
Best player available
42. MIL-ROBERT SACRE-C-GONZAGA-SR.
The Bucks need a big man
43. ATL-KEVIN JONES-PF-WVU-SR
Solid backup with game simialr to Udonis Haslem
44. DET-SCOTT MACHADO-PG-IONA-SR
Best passer in the draft not named Kendall Marshall
45. PHL-KIM ENGLISH-MIZZOU-G/F-SR.
Nice slasher/shooter
46. NO-Jared Cunningham-CG-OREGON ST.-JR.
Elite athlete that can get to the rack, can he play the point?
47. Utah-Khris Middleton-SF-Texas A&M-JR.
Solid scorer and slasher
48. NY-DREW GORDON-PF-NEW MEXICO-SR.
The Knicks need tough physical players
49. ORL-MARCUS DENMON-SG-MIZZOU-SR.
Elite athlete that can get to the rack
50. DEN-QUINCUY ACY-PF-BAYLOR-SR.
Strong energy player, a George Karl type of guy
51. BOS-JORDAN TAYLOR-PG-WISCONSIN-SR.
Very fast PG, good backup for Rajon Rondo
52. GS-FURKAN ALDEMIR-F/C-TURKEY-INT.
Energy role playing Euro big
53. LAC-HOLLIS THOMPSON-SF-GEORGETOWN-JR.
The Clippers need a SF
54. PHL-ROBBIE HUMMEL-SF-PURDUE-SR.
A top 20 talent before two bad knee injuries
55. DAL-JAMYCHAL GREEN-ALBAMA-SR
Strong, long and athletic yet undersized PF
56. TOR-HENRY SIMS-C-GEORGETOWN
Solid role playing true 7 footer.
57. BRK-BERNARD JAMES-C/F-FSU-SR.
 He'll be a 27 year old rookie, ready to possibly backup Dwight Howard
58. MIN-MIKE SCOTT-PF-VIRGINIA-SR.
A beast in college but too short in the NBA
59. SA-WILLIAM BUFORD-SG-OHIO ST.-SR.
Solid NBA ready role player
60. LAL-CASPER WARE-PG-LONG BEACH ST.-SR.
Local product can compete for a roster spot at a major position of need for the Lakers

NBA: PLAYERS LIKELY TO BE TRADED AND SOME FUN POSSIBLE TRADES

There have already been some minor trades made in this draft. Houston traded Chase Budinger to Minnesota for the #18 pick and Samuel Dalembert to move up from #14 to #12.  Charlotte and Detroit made a minor trade swapping Cory Maggette for Ben Gordon.  The Washington Wizards dealt Rashard Lewis to New Orleans for Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza.

This is my list of current NBA players most likely to be traded this offseason:

Players that could be dealt on draft day:
Pau Gasol-F/C-LAL 
Possible Destinations: HOU, ATL, MEM
The Lakers want to get younger and it has become apparent that they prefer big man Andrew Bynum over Pau.  If the right offer comes along the Lakers may unload their star big man

Josh Smith-PF-ATL 
Possible Destinations: LAL, MEM, HOU, POR
JSmoove will be a free agent in 2013 and is unlikely to return to Atlanta.  He has a lot of value to any team looking for an athletic defender and rebounder.

Kyle Lowry-PG-HOU 
Possible Destinations: LAL, Utah, ORL
When Lowry was hurt, Goran Dragic stepped in and proved he was capable of carrying the offense.  Lowry was also said to have some issues with head coach Kevin McHale.  Lowry could be used in a package to get Gasol or Dwight Howard

Paul Millsap-PF-Utah
Possible Destinations: POR, HOU, TOR
The Jazz have a plethora of young talent up front with Al Jefferson, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter.  Millsap will be free agent in 2013 and will want a bigger deal.  The Jazz need a PG so if the right deal came along the Jazz should take it.

Tyreke Evans-CG-SAC 
Possible Destinations: anywhere the Kings could unload him
The Kings have enough scoring guards with Marcus Thornton, Isiah Thomas and last year's 1st round pick Jimmer Fredette.  The Kings may also draft scoring wing Harrison Barnes.  Evans wants a larger role and was uncomfortable last year when the Kings tried to move him to small forward.  Evans will be a RFA next summer and is unlikely to return to Sacramento.

Other Minor Role Players that may be used as a part of a trade:

Kevin Martin-SG-HOU 
Luis Scola-PF-HOU 
If Houston makes a major deal for Pau, one player will need to be dealt for salary matching purposes.
Tyrus Thomas-PF-CHR
Mo Williams-PG-LAC 
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute-SF-MIL 
Miek Dunlevy-SF-MIL  

Players that may be dealt this summer after the draft:

Dwight Howard-C-ORL 
Possible Destinations: BRK, LAL
The best big man on the planet will be leaving Orlando this summer.

Any 2nd tier SF:
Danny Granger-SF-IND
With Paul George's progress the Pacers may want to deal Granger to get a scoring two guard.  A Granger for Eric Gordon deal would send both players to their home town.
Luol Deng-SF-CHI 
The Bulls may want to cut some salary and Deng is the likely odd man out.
Andre Iguodala-SF-PHL 
Always in trade rumors this time of year
Rudy Gay-SF-MEM 
Just like Iggy, Gay is always rumored to be on the trade block

Fun possible trades on the NBA Trade machine:
THE ULTIMATE BLOCKBUSTER
http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=6uns5nb
LAL receives: Dwight Howard and Luis Scola
ORL receives: Andrew Bynum and Kyle Lowry
HOU receives: Pau Gasol and LAL's trade exception.
Why it works:  The Lakers get Dwight AND save money, the Magic get Bynum and a younger starting PG, the Rockets get their man Gasol

MORE REALISTIC
http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=7hdhh4j
LAL receives: JSmoove and Marvin Williams
ATL receives: Pau and Josh McRoberts
Why it works:  The Lakers get younger at the forward positions and with JSmoove they have a guy that can guard Durant, Dirk and Aldridge.  Marvin Williams can split time at SF with Metta World Peace.  The Hawks can play Pau at center and move Al Horford to his natural position of PF.  Horford and Pau can become kings of the high low.  McRoberts is a solid backup PF.

THE WRITING IS ON THE WALL FOR THIS ONE
http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=6sbre35
Also includes draft picks not on trade machine;
LAL receives: Kyle Lowry, SAC #5 pick-Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Luis Scola and Francisco Garcia
HOU receives; Pau Gasol and Tyreke Evans
SAC recieves: Kevin Martin and Houston's 3 first round picks, #12, #16 and #18
Why it works:  The Rockets get Pau and Evans making them an instant playoff contender,  the Lakers get younger and fill pretty much all of their needs as they get a starting PG in Lowry, a young defender in MKG, a shooter in Garcia and a starting PF in Scola to replace Pau.  The Kings get three picks all of which to use to add depth to an already talented young roster.   They also rid themselves of Garcia's contract and Evans who isn't a good fit.

MAKES TOO MUCH SENSE
http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=cdghqrf
HOU receives: Paul Millsap
Utah receives: Kyle Lowry
Why it works:  The Jazz need an upgrade at PG, the Rockets need an upgrade at PF.  The could amnesty Scola if they acquire Millsap.

NOT ON TRADE MACINE
Utah receives: POR #11 pick so they can draft Kendall Marshall
POR receives:  Paul Millsap
Why it works: Remember in the summer of 2010 when Portland signed RFA Paul Millsap only to have Utah match the offer sheet then trade away Carlos Boozer.  The Blazers still would like Millsap due to his ability to hit the boards.  He's a perfect compliment to Aldridge.  The Jazz need a PG.

NOT ON TRADE MACHINE
NO does a sign and trade with RFA Eric Gordon and sends him to Indy for Danny Granger.  EG is an Indy native that played one year of college ball at Indiana.  Granger grew up in New Orleans, before playing college ball at Bradley and New Mexico.  This deal would make a lot of sense if the Hornet draft a scoring guard like Austin Rivers, Dion Waiters or Damian Lillard at #10.    




Wednesday, June 27, 2012

MY NFL TOP 100 PLAYERS LIST: 1-10


This is the best of the best the NFL has to offer right now.  Three of my top ten (Brady, Brees and Woodson) are sure fire first ballot Hall of Fame guys.  I expect everyone else to become a future Hall of Fame player barring any sort of serious injury. Five of my top ten are still under the age of 30 with Ware turning 30 this summer.  The sky is the limit for these young superstars.  


In my top ten I have no RB's and my top four players are all QB's.  This is due to the passing era that we are in where QB's, pass rushers, receivers and defensive backs have such importance.  


I also decided not to have any players that missed most of 2011 in my top 100.  That is why Peyton Manning a Mario Williams are not on this list.  Ironically they were the top two free agents this off season. 


I also dropped guys like Andre Johnson, Matt Forte and Greg Jennings due to injuries.  All of those guys would have ranked 10-20 spots higher in a normal year at full strength.  I love my list and I think it is an accurate account of the top 100 players in the NFL today.  


Here's my TOP TEN:  


10. Charles Woodson-GB-CB #2 
Like a fine wine Woodson seems to get better with age.  At thirty five years old he tied for the league lead in interceptions with 7.  Over his 14 year career Woodson has been the most complete defensive back of this era.  He's played both corner and safety while playing in Oakland and Green Bay.  In his 13th season he finally became a Super Bowl champion.  Woodson has career totals of 684 tackles, 54 interceptions, 11 of which were returned for TD's.

SeasonTeamTacklesInterceptionsFumbles
GGSCombTotalAstSckSFTYPDefIntYdsAvgLngTDsFF
2011Green Bay Packers15157462122.00177639.030T11
2010Green Bay Packers16169276162.001324824.048T15
2009Green Bay Packers1616746682.0018917919.945T34



9. Haloti Ngata-BAL-DT #1
After seven seasons, the twenty eight year old Ngata has proven to be the most dominant inside defensive lineman in the NFL.  He's better than VInce Wilfork now and up and coming Ndamukong Suh is still maturing into what Ngata is.  Ngata, along with pass rusher Terrell Suggs have replaced former superstars Ray Lewis and Ed Reed as the best players on the Ravens fearsome defense.  The only thing missing from the resume is a Super Bowl appearance/win.

SeasonTeamTacklesInterceptionsFumbles
GGSCombTotalAstSckSFTYPDefIntYdsAvgLngTDsFF
2011Baltimore Ravens16166436285.005----0.0----2
2010Baltimore Ravens16156346175.5--5----0.0----0
2009Baltimore Ravens14133525101.5--1----0.0----1



8. Jared Allen-MIN-DE/PR #2
Allen was just a half a sack away of the NFL record of 22.5.  He was one of the only bright spots on a crappy Vikings team last year.  Allen is not just a one year wonder though.  He has 105 career sacks and has averaged 15.5 sacks for the past five seasons.  Not bad for a 4th round pick out of Idaho St.

SeasonTeamTacklesInterceptionsFumbles
GGSCombTotalAstSckSFTYPDefIntYdsAvgLngTDsFF
2011Minnesota Vikings161666481822.01311414.01404
2010Minnesota Vikings161660451511.00624020.036T11
2009Minnesota Vikings16165143814.5141-4-4.0-405

7. Darrelle Revis-NYJ-CB #1
Welcome to Revis Island!!!  In just five seasons, Revis has proved to be the best man on man lock down cover corner since Deon Sanders.  While he won't return kicks or play offense like Deon.  However, Revis does something Prime Time could not, HIT.  He's a physical corner that can help in run when he's not shutting down the top wide receivers in the NFL.  

SeasonTeamTacklesInterceptionsFumbles
GGSCombTotalAstSckSFTYPDefIntYdsAvgLngTDsFF
2011New York Jets16165241110.0021418446.0100T10
2010New York Jets1313322660.0--10----0.0----0
2009New York Jets1616544770.0031612120.267T10


6. Calvin Johnson-DET-WR #1
Megatron was beyond unstoppable in 2011.  He led all wide receivers in TD's and yards.  At 6-5/236 with 4.4 speed, he's the most physically dominant WR to ever play.  The scary thing is that he's still only twenty six years old and is just reaching his prime now.  His QB Matthew Stafford had a breakout year in 2011and now the Lions will look to take the next step as they have their eyes set on the Super Bowl in 2012.  

SeasonTeamReceivingRushingFumbles
GGSRecYdsAvgLngTDAttYdsAvgLngTDFUMLost
2011Detroit Lions1616961,68117.573T1611111.011011
2010Detroit Lions1515771,12014.587T124328.015010
2009Detroit Lions14146798414.775T577310.419032



5. DeMarcus Ware-DAL-OLB/PR #1
While Allen may have been the best rusher of last season, Ware has been the best pass rusher of the 21st century.  He's averaged 16.5 sacks the past four years and has 99.5 career sacks in his seven year career.  With three more seasons on a 16.5 sacks pace, he will be in the Top 5 all time in career sacks.  The Hall of Fame is in his future.  Cowboys fans hope a Super Bowl appearance is in his future as well.

SeasonTeamTacklesInterceptionsFumbles
GGSCombTotalAstSckSFTYPDefIntYdsAvgLngTDsFF
2011Dallas Cowboys161658471119.5--2----0.0----2
2010Dallas Cowboys161666561015.501----0.0----2
2009Dallas Cowboys161557451211.0--6----0.0----5




4. Eli Manning-NYG-QB #4 
Eli is ELITE, Eli is a SUPERSTAR and Eli is now a two time Super Bowl MVP.  On the NFL Network players list they had him rated as the #31 best player in the league.  Did these guys not watch the Super Bowl or the playoffs?  Even critics now have to place Eli in the same class as Brady, Brees, Rodgers and Big Ben.  He's proven to be the best QB of the draft class of 2004.  While the other QB's of the 04 class (Big Ben and Phillip Rivers) have slightly regressed, Eli at the top of his game right now.

SeasonTeamPassingRushingFumbles
GGSCompAttPctYdsAvgTDIntSckSckYRateAttYdsAvgTDFUMLost
2011New York Giants161635958961.04,9338.429162819992.935150.4184
2010New York Giants161633953962.94,0027.431251611785.332702.2075
2009New York Giants161631750962.34,0217.927143021693.117653.80138

2011 postseason stats:

POSTSEASONGAMESPASSINGRUSHINGFUMBLES
WKGame DateOppResultGGSCompAttPctYdsAvgTDIntSckSckYRateAttYdsAvgTDFUM
1801/08 ATLW   24-211233271.92778.73017129.32136.50--
1901/15 @ GBW   37-2011213363.633010.03115114.54102.50--
2001/22 @ SFW   20-1711325855.23165.42064982.31-2-2.001
2202/05 @ NEW   21-1711304075.02967.410314103.81-1-1.00----
TOTAL4410616365.01,2197.5911175103.38202.501




3. Drew Brees-NO-QB #3
Super Bowl champion and MVP in 2009, set the NFL record for passing yards in a season last year, led the league in TD's last year and finished second in QB rating.  Oh by the way, he's embraced his role as a pillar in the New Orleans community and is the ultimate role model to pretty much any young player out there.  So why is Saints ownership not giving him a Tom Brady/Peyon Mannuing long term extension?  What more do you want this man to do?

SeasonTeamPassingRushingFumbles
GGSCompAttPctYdsAvgTDIntSckSckYRateAttYdsAvgTDFUMLost
2011New Orleans Saints161646865771.25,4768.3461424158110.621864.1111
2010New Orleans Saints161644865868.14,6207.033222518590.918-3-0.2092
2009New Orleans Saints151536351470.64,3888.5341120135109.622331.52106




2. Aaron Rodgers-GB-QB #2
The king of the Discount Double Check had another incredible year in 2011.  He had the best rating of any QB, and finished second to Brees in TD passes with 45.  Brees had 46 TD passes but threw 14 interceptions.  Rodgers threw only 6 pics to his 45 TD's.  That is an incredible 7.5 TD's for every interception.  With Brady, Brees and both Manning's over 30, it will soon be Rodgers' alone at the top of the NFL QB mountain.

SeasonTeamPassingRushingFumbles
GGSCompAttPctYdsAvgTDIntSckSckYRateAttYdsAvgTDFUMLost
2011Green Bay Packers151534350268.34,6439.245636219122.5602574.3340
2010Green Bay Packers151531247565.73,9228.3281131193101.2643565.6441
2009Green Bay Packers161635054164.74,4348.230750306103.2583165.45104


1. Tom Brady-NE-QB #1
Who else could you put over this NFL legend?  If he makes one more Super Bowl appearance he will be the only QB to start in six Super Bowls.  He was a Wes Welker drop away from joining Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw as the only QB's to win four Super Bowls.  All Brady does is win a produce.  He led his team to a 13-3 record and yet another Super Bowl appearance in 2011.  Only Brees had more passing yards and only Brees and Rodgers had a better QB rating.  Brady has helped turn Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski into stars.  This year the Patriot offense adds speedster WR Brandon Lloyd to join with Welker, Gronk and versatile TE Aaron Hernandez.  Anything but another Super Bowl appearance in 2012 but be a let down for Brady and New England.  In my eyes he's still the best player in the NFL until proven otherwise.  If he wins leads the Patriots to another Super Bowl win, he could and should be considered the greatest QB of all time!

SeasonTeamPassingRushingFumbles
GGSCompAttPctYdsAvgTDIntSckSckYRateAttYdsAvgTDFUMLost
2011New England Patriots161640161165.65,2358.6391232173105.6431092.5362
2010New England Patriots161632449265.93,9007.936425175111.031301.0131
2009New England Patriots161637156565.74,3987.82813168696.229441.5142