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NBA Draft | NBA Mock Draft | 2006 Draft Profiles | Message Board

By Adam Stanco

June 22nd, 2006


Draft Buzz: Sixers to Trade Iverson


Continue to the new Draft Buzz...


June 22nd - Early Morning Update

- Allen Iverson could be traded so the Sixers can acquire another lottery pick. My sources say the Sixers are heavily involved in Iverson trade talks with the Warriors and the Hawks. The deal would almost certainly consist of the lottery pick owned by the Warriors (No. 9) or Hawks (No. 5) and another emerging starter. If the trade is made, the Sixers probably won’t give up their lottery pick (No. 13) and it probably won’t happen prior to the draft. That’s because Philly needs to re-examine who they will workout in the next few days.

- News of underclassmen training at the IMG Academy should have been clear indicators of their intentions to stay in the draft. A lot of the pre-draft chatter over the last month concerned whether sophomore point guards Darius Washington of Memphis and Villanova’s Kyle Lowry were staying in. Both players were reportedly tracking all of their expenses and doing everything possible to keep themselves eligible. Villanova coach Jay Wright even admitted spending countless hours researching the rules of Lowry’s eligibility. But the fact that both players were training at IMG should have been a red flag. IMG’s program costs $6,000 for “complete pre-draft training” and $850 on a per week basis. Spending that kind of money should indicate that their decisions to leave and not look back were made long before they made it official.

- Ultimately, Rudy Gay’s success will determine how we view this draft in the years to come. The former Connecticut star will probably not be the first overall pick, but he does have more natural talent than any other prospect. Gay is smooth and athletic. He has great size for a wing and is capable of playing lockdown defense. The biggest knock against Gay is whether he has the drive to be a dominant NBA player. Before this year’s NCAA Tournament, UConn coach Jim Calhoun told the Albany Times-Union that Gay was, “Carrying a tremendous burden. It’s the burden of potential.” The Huskies lost to George Mason and Gay has become the forgotten man of this draft. But, after an incredibly strong showing in a workout against Adam Morrison in Portland, the wing could be a steal in the middle of the lottery. And if Gay shows the brilliance he’s capable of, he could turn this mediocre draft class into a solid one.

June 20th

- With no clear-cut number one pick, the top six lottery teams are staying eerily quiet about their intentions. Six different players – Adam Morrison (Gonzaga), LaMarcus Aldridge (Texas), Tyrus Thomas (LSU), Andrea Bargani (Italy), Rudy Gay (Connecticut), and Brandon Roy (Washington) – could possibly go first overall. Thus, in theory, a team could land the top player on their board with the sixth pick in the draft. This obviously includes any teams outside of the top six who might be looking to trade up. So, if any of the top five teams provides a hint as to who they are interested in selecting, they will essentially lessen the value of their draft number. Say, for instance, the Pacers want to slide up from No. 17 to select Adam Morrison. If Indiana knows the Raptors are taking Bargnani first and the Bulls are going with Thomas at No. 2, the Pacers would only need to move up to third or fourth overall to get their guy. But if the Pacers don’t know what direction Toronto or Chicago is going in, they would probably have to try to work out a deal with the Raptors to guarantee getting Morrison.

- The NBA should be selling its fan base on Brandon Roy and his four year journey. It seems like every team in the league is gushing about Roy and his finely-tuned skills. He’s a crafty scorer, solid passer, consistent outside shooter, and solid defender with a sturdy frame. But the former Washington star’s game wasn’t always this refined. Roy was laughed at around the NBA after declaring for the draft following his senior year at Garfield High School in Washington. Roy obviously pulled his name out of that mediocre draft, improved in each of his four seasons with the Huskies, and took home first team All-American and Pac-10 Player of the Year honors this past season. Roy became the kind of fundamentally sound leader every team covets and he’s the one laughing now.

- Chris Bosh gave the Raptors the perfect foundation on which to build on. As recently reported by Peter Vescey on NBATV, Bosh agreed to a six-year extension with Toronto. By committing to the league’s only Canadian team, the emerging superstar is sending a strong message about the direction the Raptors are headed in to free agents and future draft picks. Since Toronto owns the first overall pick, Bosh’s timing is perfect. The unselfish big man and the star rookie (who could be Bosh’s high school rival, LaMarcus Aldridge) should be quite a tandem. Throw sophomore sensation Charlie Villanueva in the mix and the Raptors are a team on the rise.



June 19th

- The NBA’s age-minimum rule has essentially created a one-year black hole. Adam Morrison (Gonzaga), LaMarcus Aldridge (Texas), Tyrus Thomas (LSU), Andrea Bargana (Italy), Rudy Gay (Connecticut), and Brandon Roy (Washington) are widely considered to be the upper echelon of this year’s draft crop. But keep in mind that the league’s age-minimum rule was put into place last summer after the NBA Draft. Which, in effect, created a one-year black hole. This draft features neither the class of ’05 studs who are playing footsie at the end of NBA benches – Martell Webster, Andrew Bynum, Gerald Green, Monta Ellis, and Louis Williams – nor the elite players in the ’06 Class. In other words, this is the first year since players were allowed to declare for early entry that the best players in two straight classes have not been available for teams to draft. Things will shift back to normal next year, which is essentially why any fringe prospects should have risked their luck in the draft this year.

- Jim Calhoun wants Marcus Williams going to the Boston Celtics. The Hall of Fame coach recently told me he doesn’t know where his star lead guard will end up getting drafted. But he did say he would love for Williams to go in the lottery (which will definitely happen) and really love for Williams to go to Boston at No. 7 (which is a strong possibility) so he could get to see him play “all the time.” The crafty point guard could turn around the Hawks fortunes in Atlanta and should be available at No. 5, but the Hawks are reportedly committed to keeping Joe Johnson as their primary set-up man. If Williams slips past the Hawks, Timberwolves, and Celtics, he’s still in luck. The Rockets (No. 8) desperately need a point guard, and the Warriors (No. 9) could take Williams and make Baron Davis available.

- Like good steak, comparing the offensive repertoire for the center prospects in this draft is just basically determining how raw. Mouhamed Saer Sene, a 7-foot center from Senegal, was introduced to the game of basketball just a few years ago. Consequently, his footwork and post moves are unrefined. But the other top center prospects in this draft are also in the early stages of their low post development. Patrick O’Bryant averaged 13.4 points and 8.3 boards a game as a sophomore at Bradley last season, while UConn’s Hilton Armstrong put up just 9.7 points and 6.6 rebounds a game in his senior season. The numbers for O’Bryant and Armstrong are solid, but certainly not other-worldly. So despite what you might expect, Sene – who is agile and possesses a ridiculous 7-foot-8 wingspan – might not require much more time than his low block counterparts. And because all of these bigs are raw, a pair of extremely athletic, 6-foot-10 ACC power forwards – Cedric Simmons of N.C. State and Florida State’s Alexander Johnson – might also whet the appetite of an NBA GM looking to fill a hole at the center position.

- Mustafa Shakur needs to have a brilliant senior season to keep his NBA dreams alive. Just a few years ago, Arizona’s junior point guard was one of the elite prep playmakers in the nation and a sure-fire first round pick. Yet he pulled his name out of contention on Sunday after fearing he would go undrafted. UA coach Lute Olson recently said his former point, Jason Gardner, was never given a second chance at the NBA after Gardner had a disappointing showing as a junior at the Chicago Pre-Draft camp. Olson told ESPN, “When (Gardner) came back for his senior season, the NBA scouts didn’t forget.” The same thing could haunt Shakur if he doesn’t improve his shooting form and completely electrify scouts next season.



June 18th


- Its funny what an extra inch is going to do for J.J. Redick. The Duke star’s draft stock appeared to be plummeting after a week lowlighted by a DUI arrest and his pulling out of multiple workouts because of a sore back. But at the Orlando Pre-Draft camp, he reportedly measured at 6-5 ¼. Meaning he’s not just taller than many believed, he’s on par size-wise with Temple’s Mardy Collins and Memphis swingman Rodney Carney. Redick also tested much better than anticipated athletically, so don’t be surprised if the Wooden and Naismith award winner still lands in the Top 10.


- Richard Roby took full advantage of the opportunity to test the draft waters and now he’s in position to become a huge star. With great size and a multitude of ways to score, the lithe shooting guard out of Colorado could have been a first round pick. Instead, he’s returning to school, where he was a first team All-Big 12 selection last season. Entering his name in the draft didn’t just make him aware of the areas in his game that require improvement, it also increased his exposure. Everyone knows Kansas will be terrific, but Roby and Jayhawk standout Brandon Rush should be the favorites for the conference Player of the Year and All-American honors.


- Quite a few point guards need to take notice of the decisions of UCLA’s Joran Farmar and Villanova’s Kyle Lowry to remain in this draft. Spain’s Sergio Rodriguez, Temple’s Mardy Collins, Darius Washington of Memphis, and Texas maestro Daniel Gibson could all be bumped out the first round simply because Lowry and Farmar are staying in. Consequently, dynamic points Dee Brown of Illinois and Northeastern’s Jose Juan Barea will probably get selected late in the second round, if at all. That’s a shame because both should be – at the very least – very solid NBA players.


- Even if he doesn’t get drafted, don’t cry for Gerry McNamara. The Syracuse guard is an outstanding shooter and creative passer, but will probably not be selected on June 28th because he doesn’t do either of those things well from the point guard position. He’s a natural shooting guard, yet he’ll struggle defensively – especially in the post – against most of the off-guards in the league. Regardless, McNamara is taking full advantage of his collegiate fame, racking up autograph signings, special appearances, speaking engagements, and endorsement deals. He’s even a spokesman for Community Bank System, Inc., meaning he doesn’t have to call “bank” because he already represents one. McNamara is pulling in a plentiful sum. According to a source close to the Syracuse program, he’s already accumulated well over $100 grand by selling his image.


Continue to tomorrow's Draft Buzz...




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