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NBA Draft: PBT's draft busts

Jun 24, 2010, 10:26 AM EST

hayward.jpgThe list is long and infamous: Kwame Brown, Adam Morrison, Darko Milic, Nikoloz Tskitishvili.

There may not be any epic busts of that level in this draft, but there are going to be busts. Somebody is going to disappoint an excited fan base. Who? Here’s who we think.

Cole Aldrich: I’m hesitant to put Aldrich on the list because his bust status is more perception than the realty. People around the NBA know what Aldrich is — a big body, role-playing back up big who can take up space. Play him behind someone like Yao Ming for 18 minutes a night, expect 4 points and 6 boards, and you’re fine.

But fans want more than four points a night from their new center, expectations are higher for a guy who led Kansas for so long. He has shown enough tempting flashes to excite. He could well come to a city where the fan base expects him to step in and be the man in the middle. Last year if he came out he would have been Top 10 and the hype would have been bigger, and somebody is going to buy into that again. It’s not Aldrich’s fault. He is what he is. But perception will be that he’s a bust even if that is not the reality. –Kurt Helin

Gordon Hayward: What’s the model here? Let’s get past the race thing. Kid makes a run as part of a Cinderella team in the NCAA tournament from a small school, shows off a series of college elite moves while not displaying much of a pro game, and somehow finds himself in the lottery. When you’re staring into the belly of the beast, do you want Justin Bieber on your side? –Matt Moore

Al-Faroq Aminu: I don’t think there are any safe picks in this draft outside of the top two. I’ll go with Al-Faroq Aminu as a guy I don’t see doing much in the NBA. He’s a great athlete, but he’s a forward who shot 45% in college and isn’t much of an outside shooter. He doesn’t create plays well enough to be a 3, and he doesn’t finish them well enough to be a four.

He’ll be a nice enough energy player, but I’m not a fan of these quasi-stretch fours who think that having some perimeter skills is an excuse to drift outside of the paint on offense. If you’re an NBA 4 or 5 and aren’t a great shooter, get in the paint and stay there. There are likely at least 3 guys on the floor with you who are better playmakers and shooters.  –John Krolik

Wesley Johnson: Wes is a skilled prospect, but is he really worthy of
going in the top five? I have a feeling that if a team took Johnson in
the late lottery or beyond, they’d be just fine with the player he turns
out to be. Yet when a team inevitably stakes a substantial part of
their future in selecting Wesley with one of the draft’s top picks, I
have a feeling they’ll ultimately be a bit disappointed. He’ll be a
perfectly decent NBA player, but selecting him over Derrick Favors or
DeMarcus Cousins — regardless of fit — is ridiculous. –Rob Mahoney

  1. Drew - Jun 24, 2010 at 3:42 PM

    As John Krolik stated, there really aren’t any safe picks outside of the top two. That being the case, why would taking Wesley Johnson be such a huge risk/letdown? Who else are you going to take with that kind of skillset that is “lower risk”? Favors is unproven, raw, and a consensus several-years-away pick. That’s your safe pick? Cousins is a big body who takes up space, but at the NBA level, you wonder how much he’ll be able to bully guys around like he did in college. His lack of athleticism and “attitude” issue are also concerns. If you’re the Nets, you already have Brooke Lopez anchoring the five. What would you take Cousins for?
    I agree that Aldrich is a bust waiting to happen. I think Hayward is a multi-positional player who can adapt and thrive.

  2. Skids - Jun 24, 2010 at 4:30 PM

    Let’s get past the race thing. Then why did you bring it up, Kurt?

  3. dawn - Jun 24, 2010 at 4:41 PM

    Ever heard of Larry Bird dufus? Hayward is going to make you eat your uninformed words.

  4. ACCGeek - Jun 24, 2010 at 4:43 PM

    Why would any team risk big $$$ on Cousins? Having seen him play/perform many times this past year I would really think that a GM is risking his career picking such an immature punk as their draft pick. DeMarcus showed up at the combine at over 16% body fat–he simply doesn’t take this seriously.

  5. Kirk - Jun 24, 2010 at 4:48 PM

    I agree w/Drew … a little. The FACTS are Johnson proved he is a top player and is a justifiable top pic.
    Favors did nothing in college.
    But to say Cousins has lack of athleticism makes me wonder what Cousins do he watch in his parallel universe. Cousins may be immature and a risk but that doesn’t take away the fact he is one of the most polished big men ever (great footwork, hands and size).
    It’s comical hearing about Aldrich; he didn’t dominate boys but some think he will succeed against men. A slow, no offense/little defensive, 6’9″ center will have a long NBA career …. in 1952 !

  6. clovers - Jun 24, 2010 at 4:49 PM

    What? Have you promoted him to Larry Bird status already?
    Geez. Must be a mortal lock on the hall of fame.

  7. Exprtz - Jun 24, 2010 at 5:12 PM

    You forgot DeMarcus Russell, I mean DeMarcus Coleman. It’s easy to confuse the two- super athletes with a reputation for being lazy. I wonder if D Coleman has the same apetite as D Russell.

  8. Look Before You Leap - Jun 24, 2010 at 5:34 PM

    Wow. You had to go back 30+ years to come up with Larry Bird, huh? Did you even read the article? Adam Morrison came out of a small school (Gonzaga) that had a little cinderella run in the NCAA tourney before he was drafted in the first round in 2006. In the pros he’s been a complete non-factor for two teams (Bobcats and Lakers), and he led the nation in scoring (28ppg) coming out of college.
    Slow, mid-sized guys with only a so-so outside shot are DOA in the NBA. He’ll be lucky to outlast his rookie contract riding the bench.

  9. Bob - Jun 24, 2010 at 5:48 PM

    Let’s get past the race thing? Huh?
    Matt Moore, how cryptically ignorant can you be? Sure, there can be questions about Hayward’s game, but his color should not one of them. Shame on you. In another context–e.g., if this was a black swimmer–you would be out of a job. Instead, all of us just wonder how you ever got one.

  10. Jon KIng - Jun 24, 2010 at 5:59 PM

    Gordon Hayward will be a bust, no shot at playing in the NBA. Larry Bird? Now that is funny.

  11. BT - Jun 24, 2010 at 6:07 PM

    Bob,
    Well said.

  12. wade - Jun 24, 2010 at 6:09 PM

    How about D. Wade for another “Kid makes a run as part of a Cinderella team in the NCAA tournament from a small school, shows off a series of college elite moves while not displaying much of a pro game, and somehow finds himself in the lottery.”?
    Also, I’d like to see the breakdown of College Elite Moves vs. No Pro Game Display. Huh?

  13. David - Jun 24, 2010 at 6:09 PM

    Wow where did they hire this writer? Hayward & Johnson will be just fine in the NBA. Let’s see if this same sports writer comes back and eats his own words. Doubt it.

  14. BT - Jun 24, 2010 at 6:12 PM

    Well said.

  15. John - Jun 24, 2010 at 6:14 PM

    Aldrich will make you eat your words. He averaged 3 blocks a game and was named the B12 defensive player of the year. He has some offensive skills and is a great passer. He could hold is own against Cousins or any other center in this draft!

  16. Tdog - Jun 24, 2010 at 6:16 PM

    First, Butler was no Cinderella. Small School…yes. Cinderella…No. They were top 10 to begin the year, ran their conference schedule and outplayed everyone in the tournament; and gave Duke a great game in championship game. Hayward will be the steal of this draft. He needs to get thicker and stronger, as do most 6’8″ 20 year old kids. Cousins will be the bust of this draft.

  17. Spank05 - Jun 24, 2010 at 6:17 PM

    He said “lets get past the race thing” and didn’t include it in his player evaluation. He had to mention it in passing because people DO bring it up. It’s just a fact of life. So he should be out of his job because he said we shouldn’t take race into consideration when evaluating a player?
    Are you high?
    He doesn’t dislike the player because he’s white you nitwit.

  18. the man - Jun 24, 2010 at 6:25 PM

    dude why are you hurtin’ on Bieber?

  19. scir91onYouTube - Jun 24, 2010 at 6:26 PM

    adam morrison should go into making porn films with his porn ‘stache he sports ON THE BENCH collecting millions because once his contract is done, so is his NBA “career”

  20. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2010 at 6:34 PM

    No one has promoted him to hall of fall status; he will make his own way. I’m responding to an uninformed columnist who thinks the NBA is only for black uber-athletes by virtue of his comment about race. The obvious needed to be stated, there are exceptions. Larry Bird was a slow kid from small town Indiana that might have looked a little like the Justin Bieber of his time. But smart matters, and Larry Bird is part of that decision-making faction for the Pacers this evening and I’m guessing he still values that.

  21. Jeff - Jun 24, 2010 at 6:36 PM

    D. Wade was the heart and soul of that marquette team. Not only did they turn to him to run the offense the 2nd half of the season, he floated around and played the 1, 2, and 3 positions. He was a big fish in a small pond. No other player on that team, or in that conference for that matter, had anywhere near the skill he had. D wade as with a average game? ha, go back and watch some of his junior year

  22. Pete - Jun 24, 2010 at 6:36 PM

    Race should be taken into evaluation. White guys are slower and less quick than black guys and this shows up in the NBA. Bill James has done studies that show that white baseball players lose their foot speed much more quickly than black players do after the age of thirty. This is a business, first and foremost, and, if race has a value, GMs should definitely take it into consideration.

  23. jc - Jun 24, 2010 at 6:40 PM

    Evan Turner will be the biggest bust of this draft. He’s not NBA material. He’s good, but he’s a role player at best. He’s going to be one of those guys who does okay towards the end of his career and they are going to say how he is a good veteran role player that is good for a playoff team, like James Posey, etc.

  24. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2010 at 6:46 PM

    Funny, I was wondering the same about you, “Look Before You Speak!”
    I was addressing the racist comment made by the columnist. There are exceptions. Yes, I happen to think Gordon Hayward might just be one. But to catch you up to speed, the Larry Bird reference has nothing to with comparisons to a slow but phenomenally intelligent player from 30 years ago. Psst… Larry Bird works for the Pacers, don’t tell anyone! Psst! And they have the number 10 draft pick tonight. Pretty sure he still values intelligent players. Pretty sure he would like to bring back a dying fan base since the entire city fell in love with him last March. Just sayin…

  25. LogicMan - Jun 24, 2010 at 6:52 PM

    Wow Pete:
    Can you imagine how fast Steve Nash could bring up ball if he were a black guy ;-) Personally, I don’t think sports longevity can be predicted by race.

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