Draft Notes

Kurt —  June 29, 2005

Just a collection of thoughts:

• We’ve all got questions about Andrew Bynum — is he the next Shaq or (as Dan R. put it) the next Stanley Roberts? The first look at him will be at the Summer Pro League in Long Beach, which I will be attending as much of as I can. The league starts July 8 so check back here, I’ll post notes and thoughts on players from the Lakers and other teams (or, at least I’ll post the stuff I remember before I have the sixth beer of the night).

• Some great stuff in the live draft chat during the David Stern Show last night, thanks to those that came (and put up with technical difficulties at peak times). Best line of the night goes to the very clever Matt from Bulls Blog (talking about the ubiquitous commercials with the Duke coach):

Coach K! Did you help Jay Williams learn motorcycle safety? (yes, I’m bitter)

• Think of it this way, we traded Kareem Rush for Ronny Turiaf (he was taken with one of the picks we got from the Bobcats for Rush). I’d make that deal again.

• Because he’s a high school product there aren’t good numbers on Bynum, but I was able to get them on Ronny Turriaf (thanks Hoopsanalyst): He shot 50.8% on the season and averaged 17.8 points and 10.7 rebounds per 35 minutes (with the pros we tend to break that down to average per 40 minutes, but with college that would be the entire game). He also averaged 1.6 points per shot attempt, a good number, made better by the fact he gets to the free throw line often. Finally, he had 2.1 blocks per 35 minutes, but he’s not expected to be anywhere near that in the pros.

• I searched the Web and found some video clips of Bynum, but I’m not sure they show much since every other player on the court comes up to his shoulders.

• I think now we can all agree that the best part of the NBA draft was Deron William’s girlfriend.

• Bill Simmons (aka The Sports Guy) has his Draft Diary up at ESPN site, this is traditionally his best column of the year.

• How far was Von Wafer off the radar? He was not even invited to the Chicago pre-draft camp.

• Finding info on Wafer has not been easy, but what I do find makes me question the pick even more. He was twice suspended early and often benched late in the season at Florida State. Everyone says he’s gifted offensively. This guy — a skinny guard who can shoot but not defend — is a classic Mitch K. pick up, ala Kareem Rush (except this guy is no Rush).

• What’s frustrating about Wafer is not taking the gamble on him, that’s what the second round is for, but other gambles that fit Laker needs like Chris Taft and Roko-Leni Ukic were still on the board.

• I am very saddened by the passing of Shelby Foote. Count me as one of the few people who, after seeing him in the Ken Burns documentary, purchased his epic Civil War trilogy and read it. I then met him briefly when he got an honorary doctorate from Notre Dame (at the same time my brother was getting his MBA). He brought history to life in a way I wish more books and educators could.

Kurt

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