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NBA Draft: PBT's draft busts

Jun 24, 2010, 10:26 AM EDT

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. Dan H - Jun 24, 2010 at 6:56 PM

    Will you guys ease off of Matt Moore about his “race” comment? As a white guy, I see nothing wrong with his comment about “race” being a factor in basketball (even in the NBA).
    Pretending that there’s not a little bit of novelty in the fact that a white kid might be a high take in the draft is just being naive and perhaps WAY too politically correct. When’s the last time you did see one who turned out to be a really top-notch player, of the caliber that actually leads an NBA team?
    The comment from “Pete” is dead-on! Not that I’m hating on my own race, but it’s pretty much a fact that most white kids coming out of college are indeed “slower and less quick”, and it does show. You guys that say this is “racist” need to get a life.

  2. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2010 at 7:02 PM

    Pete, I believe former Dodger GM Al Campanis once said something similar about “black players” (your quote) on ABC’s Nightline with Ted Koppel – “I know that they have wanted to manage, and many of them haven’t managed. But they are outstanding athletes, very God-gifted and wonderful people … They are gifted with great musculature (sic) and various other things. They are fleet of foot and this is why there are a number of black ballplayers in the major leagues.” Al Campanis was subsequently FIRED for his remarks. Just like Matt Moore said, lets get past this race thing.

  3. Dwayne24 - Jun 24, 2010 at 7:11 PM

    I know you have to stircontroversy, but no one really knows who is going to make it…Billy McGill 42.0 ave. in college a bust in the NBA…John Havlicek ave 9.0 in college, and 18+ in the pros.
    Don Nelson got cut by the Lakers, and his number hangs in the Garden…Hayward looks to me like a 13 year old kid with skills…Maybe just maybe in 4 years you will have a stud. You
    can’t have everyone wanting the ball…but that is what the writers write about…I thought Hayward had a great sense of the game…Gee did you predict John Stockton doing what he did, or Steve Nash doing what he does…I didn’t think so…

  4. Nick - Jun 24, 2010 at 7:12 PM

    I dont think any team that drafts Cole Aldrich with a top-8 pick is going to be happy with just a backup big man with stats that couldn’t hold Brad Millers jock-strap. Thats quite ridiculous actually.
    I’m not going to argue the possibility that Hayward could be a bust. I will argue the fact that its simply his play as part of Butlers cinderella run that landed him in the lottery. He was projected to be a 1st round NBA draft pick entering the past college hoops season. And as somebody else pointed out, detractors could have pointed out Larry Birds seemingly lacking pro-game before he became a Celtic. On the other hand technically I dont think Hayward has Birds jumpshot, hands, or overall game regardless of pro or college level, and I’m not sure whether he has Bird’s heart and determination either. I don’t think comparing the two is fair to Bird or Hayward.
    Also, as far as Wesley Johnson goes, I’m not sure Favors or Cousins are that much less of a risk.

  5. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2010 at 7:21 PM

    So, because “it’s a fact of life” and “people do bring it up” means it’s OK to racially profile people as a journalist or a human being? Don’t think that’s true.

  6. Marie Michael Fairman - Jun 24, 2010 at 7:27 PM

    Good comment LogicMan.

  7. GoldenStateLosers - Jun 24, 2010 at 7:36 PM

    It’s not race, guys, it’s body type. Athletic vs. non-athletic. There are plenty of non-black athletes in international ball and we are seeing more of them in the NBA all the time. That having been said, as a percentage, African-Americans tend to be more athletic than other Americans. Ever heard of Jimmy the Greek? Well, you didn’t hear this from me, but…

  8. Henry Hale - Jun 24, 2010 at 7:45 PM

    I believe you’re showing who’s the punk and the immature person with your lack of having enough control of the English language to be able to disagree with a person’s abilities without using childish language. Grow up, and people might think DeMarcus Cousins isn’t 15 years older than you.

  9. Henry - Jun 24, 2010 at 7:52 PM

    @dawn
    You must not have seen Larry Bird play when he was at Indiana State, or you wouldn’t have said such an ill-informed statement. At 6’9″ tall, Bird was polished and NBA ready by his junior year. Hayward doesn’t show any of that talent at all. Speed is the difference between college athletes and NBA players, and Hayward, even though I enjoyed watching Butler make that run, isn’t as tall, nor as fast, as Bird or Magic Johnson were at that time. Now, players are even faster and bigger, and Hayward is going to have to play 2 or 3. That’s going to be a hard proposition for him, but, one thing is certain, he doesn’t have the skill sets Larry Bird had at this point in his career. Stop pulling people out of a hat just because. Hayward reminds me of one of the good Duke players who sit on the bench in the NBA, if they make a team.

  10. dawn - Jun 24, 2010 at 9:05 PM

    Henry,
    You are mistaken. I did.I’m a life-long Hoosier. And if you will read carefully, again, my point was not to allege that Hayward is just like Larry Bird. For the FINAL time, I was responding to a columnist who compared him to Justin Bieber and questioned his ability to play effectively in the NBA because of his race. Is that okay? Now if you truly watched Bird, and I did, and loved him, we both know he was slow. Quick first step, but not a fast guy. He made up for it with smarts and hustle. I see many of those attributes in Hayward, but again, not my point. The Larry Bird comment was a response to the columnist and the fact that the Pacers (whom Larry works for) would be wise to pick him. Alas, a mute point because the Jazz have already snatched him up. Smart choice, Jerry Sloan, someone else with Indiana roots.

  11. zenmaster - Jun 24, 2010 at 9:11 PM

    One important name you forgot: Ed Davis. Dude sucks. Skinny, weak, curls up into the fetal position and gets the ball stolen just as often as he takes it to the basket. No concept of going up strong, probably because his lanky ass doesn’t have a chance in hell against even modest opponents. Also, terrible, terrible attitude and incredibly arrogant. Though that would make him fit right in in the NBA I suppose.

  12. J. Cartier - Jun 24, 2010 at 11:09 PM

    Kind of like Adam Morrison ?

  13. Shay144 - Jun 25, 2010 at 9:32 AM

    Seems EVERYONE is on the John Wall bandwagon, just like they were on the Greg Odem bandwagon, and I predict similar results, he is a hotdogger who can’t shoot very well, from the floor or the free throw line, sure he is fast but this is basketball not track, I said that Odem was way over rated and so is Wall,

  14. Chris - Jun 25, 2010 at 3:30 PM

    Oden’s problem is simply staying on the court. If he’s healthy he’s a top 7/top 5 center..anyone would have drafted him. I agree about Aldrich though..dude got owned by Northern Iowa.

  15. Mark - Jun 25, 2010 at 6:57 PM

    hayward is more sczerbiak than bird

  16. Joe_Smith - Jun 25, 2010 at 9:01 PM

    I agree with you and am glad that it is proven whites are slower and less athletic. I use the same criteria when hiring people. Whites are analytical and can problem solve. Blacks are generally unable to problem solve and have more propensity for being lazy and violent. Science proves both of us correct. Honesty is the best policy.

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