Draft Open Thread

Kurt —  June 28, 2006

NBA draft day is about hope, about the promise of the future. Hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things. And a good thing never dies.

For the Lakers, the hope is that a raw prospect at 26 this year could become a key cog in just a few seasons. That a gamble at 51 pays off like hitting the number at a roulette wheel. Hope can be fun, and this draft should be fun.

The place to get your draft day information is at True Hoop — Henry has gone plum loco today with more posts and detailed information on potential picks (and we’re talking second round guys, plus some fun stuff on Jordan Farmar) than you’ll be able to read. If you’re not here, you should be there.

Start your comments below, we’ll be here during the draft adding our thoughts and some good links as the day goes on — and especially once the fun starts tonight. Updates on the Laker picks, and any other big news, will get live blogged right here. Come on in and pull up a chair for a fun — and hope filled — evening.

UPDATE: UCLA’s Jordan Farmar! I’m not sure I love him in the Triangle, but I love the guy. Jones on the NBA knows him and speaks very well of him. Here’s what I had to say about him earlier on True Hoop:

For guys like me who prefer things quantified it’s hard to admit, but sometimes we are drawn to the guys with the intangibles. They are the leaders, fearless about taking big shots, taking charge on the court — and their teammates rally around that. They provide a confidence and a swagger otherwise lacking.

Jordan Farmar is that guy for me. I’ve watched the majority of his games the last two seasons and he’s been my favorite Bruin. I’ve also seen enough to know there are key areas he as to improve to make and impact, or even to stick around long, at the next level. He’s not a consistent jump shooter, shooting just 48% (eFG%) overall last season, he had a pretty weak offensive rating of 99.3 (points per 100 possessions used) and a frightening number of possessions he used ended in a turnover.

But he has the intangibles — and a few tangibles — that I love to watch. You saw that if you watched the NCAA championship game against Florida, Farmar almost single handedly kept the Bruins in the game for the first half. I’d describe him as a “crafty veteran” already, both in his moves and leadership.

He is a solid to good defender, both man and in a team defense system. He is a floor general in the classic sense. His first step is quick and he can get into the lane. He plays well up-tempo. He has great court vision and he can thread a pass, both on the move and standing still. He set the table for lesser players like Arron Afflalo and Ryan Hollins, each of whom had huge seasons. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute learned to move without the ball as a freshman because he found that when he did Farmar got him the rock for an easy bucket. More importantly, when it was time for the big shot, Farmar was willing to take it — and if you doubled him too soon you paid with a great pass. He the focal point of a team that went to the NCAA Finals.

If you’re the focal point of a major sports program in LA you get noticed — Matt Leinart walked on water here, or got into the Hyde Lounge without waiting, which is about the same thing — but Farmar lived relatively under the radar. Well, unless you talk to my daughter.

True story, back in early 2005 my wife, one-year-old daughter and I flew to Phoenix for a family reunion. We came back to LAX on a Sunday night, but our paid-for ride is nowhere to be found. So I’m on the cell phone berating a poor dispatcher when my wife taps me on the shoulder and says, “isn’t that the UCLA coach?” Sure enough, Ben Howland, tie stretched out and top button on the Oxford undone, was standing 25 feet away from us, with the rest of his team not far behind, wearing UCLA sweats, returning from a weekend in the Bay Area.

Most of the team headed for the charter bus going back to Westwood, but a few guys split off to be picked by family or girlfriends. I wasn’t paying much attention, my ride still was not there after 30 minutes of waiting and some poor shlub at the dispatching headquarters was going to listen to me vent whether he could solve the problem that second or not.

Then I turn around to see my daughter, who cis strapped in her seat, doing all she can to get the attention of — and flirt with — Farmar, who is leaning against a post waiting for his personal ride. Kids can be remarkably effective flirters, pretty soon she and Farmar are making faces at each other, and he smiles at her as he gets in the car with a coed. I’m not sure what a one year old can see in a guy but intangibles, but that elusive “it” quality. Farmar has that and every UCLA fan, and my daughter, could see it. (I realize that story really points to a future of fretting about this daughter as she grows up. All I can say is at least she went after a guy with NBA skills.)

And Farmar has NBA skills, they just need a lot of polish and more control. That will come with a few years experience, preferably time (at least at first) not as a starter but coming off the bench. He has to learn to harness his skills.

The intangibles he has down.

UPDATE: Cheick Samb from Senegal with the 51st pick. No, I’ve never heard of him either. He’s 7-1, 195. NBA.com says “Raw, lean shot-blocker who has tremendous upside as a prospect.” He apparently played for Barcelona, where I know we have a couple readers, so maybe they can help us out. Draft Express has a little on him, saying nothing good about his offense. And that he’s rail thin — he weighs the same as me but is a foot taller, which speaks poorly for both of us. More here, making me think NDBL.

TRADES UPDATE: In a great move, the Lakers traded likely-never-to-pan-out Samb to Detroit Maurice Evans, a guy who could be a solid 15-minute-a-game backup for Kobe. Also, they traded a future second round pick to Dallas for Danilo Pinnock, a combo guard out of George Washington. More on him and everything tomorrow.



73 responses to Draft Open Thread

  1. The hot Laker rumor the last few days has been James White. Well, according to Chad Ford today, much of that smoke is coming from White’s agent, not the Lakers. Just some food for thought.

  2. well i getting kinda nervous: looks like were gonna grab jordan farmar, we brought him in for a workout right after he cancelled on memphis, and once he showed that 42 inch vert, Mitch probably became convinced we need him. I think hes a smart tough player with “big stones” and I think the lakers could use that, however, there are other players id rather have, specifically a sf or combo guard like ager, collins, white

    should be interesting

  3. kwame a., where did you hear that we’re set on Farmar? Just wondering. All I’ve heard were James White rumors.

  4. Chad Ford destroyed Collins on the Herd this morning. “Slowest guard in the draft.” “Absolutely molasses.” Good times.

    C’mon Baylor don’t blow it this year….oh wait.

  5. Based on the VERY little information I have read, I’d rather have James White than Farmar.

  6. I’m not sure Farmar will be around for the Lakers to choose. I have a soft spot for Farmar but don’t think he’s a great fit for the Lakers.

  7. In case you all don’t think I love Farmar…..

  8. i saw on draftexpress.com that farmar had cancelled the workout with the grizz, then right after did one with the lakers, just putting things together, i thought that signaled that the lakers wanted him to shut it down for the grizz, who choose right before us (24).

    im not sold on either of those two really (white or farmar) id love it if we could get maurice ager to replace devean or, in the event we dont get banks, draft diaz, who is triangle friendly

    kurt- whats the deal with telfair to the celts and the portland picking up the # 7 and having the # 4, they also have #30 and 31, watch out for some trades outta the northwest

    john r- wow, elgin is not in the lottery, i looked out the window of my office and there it was, in the middle of summer, hell had frozen over and pigs were flying, have fun being a west coast version of the medioce early playoff exit memphis grizz, the lake show has a better future

  9. Apparently the Trailblazers are about to get younger.

  10. Better future? Kobe demanding a trade in two years when the Lakers still aren’t championship-bound is better? That doesn’t sound too bright to me…

    What about the Lakers’ recent history makes you think they have a bright future? West leaving? Shaq being traded away for poop? Great drafts such as Slava, Sasha, etc? Great exemption usage such as Vlade or Aaron Mckie? Generally setting up the team to get younger but then bringing in an expensive head coach not known for or comfortable with developing young talent? The total lack of cap space until….forever? It would take a ton of blind, baseless, thoughtless faith to think THAT won’t continue. I guess I just answered my own question. That traditional Laker Fan Myopia, that’s how you see a bright future.

    People are saying the Kupchak is one Zeke firing away from being the worst GM in sports.

    Jeez make one Clippers-based joke in an otherwise neutral and informative Lakers-based post and kwame goes on offense.

    Before the draft starts in an hour, lets flash forward…who do you think the Lakers will get for Kobe on draft day 2008? I say Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy and a lottery protected round 1 pick.

  11. why the lakers have a better future

    our core is young and talented: kobe, odom, kwame, bynum. those four just need the right pieces around them and the laker front-office, although not in the san antonio category, is capable of finding cheap talent (see smush, mihm) and draft contributing talent (see cook, walton, hopefully sasha, bynum and turiaf).

    the clippers have a nice core too, but they have unanwered questions, do they extend dunleavy, do they keep maggette, do they sign cassell to a multiyear, do they max out kaman, do they start livingston.

    i am not miopic, far from it, the lakers arent championship contenders, but they arent far, and i like to come to a place where i can be upbeat about our future without being considered miopic, especially by clipper fan guy who attempts to distort and instigate controversey. i was merely saying that it is ironic that this is literally the first time i can remember where elgin wasnt in the war room wondering what gifted potential star to draft, instead wondering how to keep his budding team intact,

    back to the draft thread

  12. Caught a little of the pre-draft gabfest on ESPN and here’s what I decided: She’s not classically beautiful but I have a thing for Rachel Nichols.

  13. shes doable, the voice wouldnt be too cute in the bedroom, but shes kinda hot

  14. Blazers reportedly get Aldridge for Tyrus Thomas and Viktor Khyrapa. On first glance I like that for the Bulls if it happens.

  15. Roy has slipped past the first five, if he can just fall 21 more spots….



  18. With the Sonics drafting Sene 10th, that makes two years in a row that a lanky long virtual unknown has to come out of the stands to get his team cap…

  19. Reports out of No Cal have the Warriors busting their balls to get someone to take Baron Davis off their hands…

  20. Really? Chris Mullen is actually showing signs of intelligence?

  21. Chad Fords final mock draft has been remarkably accurate for the lottery

  22. Wow ian. That is kind of surprising.

  23. why is that?

  24. And Ford’s doing it from Hawaii. I should do this blog from Hawaii.

    The way this is shaking out I think we get someone we like at 26.

  25. I guess the Lakers won’t be taking Balkman with the 51st pick overall.

  26. please let marcus williams slip…pleeeeeeaaaaaaaaasssseeeeeeee

  27. does the fact that Isiah picked him mean that Balkman is actually worth a firstrounder, or that the bad boys PG has lost his only skill as an exeutive?

  28. Thomas tends to do well in the draft, but if he could have gotten him in the second round….

  29. West takes Kyle Lowry, which says a lot about the guy. I wish he’d fallen a couple more.

  30. Looks like we have a good selection available

  31. Still on the board Maurice Ager, Alexander, Farmar, Rodriguez, White, some good people to choose from.

  32. Well, OK, I can get excited about Farmar

  33. Farmar? Oh no. Not sure he’s great for the triangle… he’s not a consistent shooter. And is he really better than Smush?

  34. Wow. I wonder if this move was made to sell tickets, since he’s such a popular local kid (not just UCLA, but being from Taft High, too). I agree we could have used a better outside shooter, but was one available? I wonder if he’ll be quick enough to keep up w/ the speed PGs in the west. Maybe they’ll pick up Claxton w/ the mid-level to make up for the lack of speed at PG?

  35. I am excited, but cautious about him. If he can come in and play D at the NBA level he gets a chance to get some minutes.

    If the Lakers get a Marcus Banks/Mike James/Bobby Jones does Farmar split time between the NBA and NDBL?

  36. Mitch K called him a winner but questions how much playing time he gets this next season.

    Also said Odom is not on the block.

  37. I like the sound of a Banks signing for the supposed defense, but James would be a better shooter. I like James starting with Smush and Farmar coming off the bench, one of those two eventually supplanting him as the starter.

  38. do the Lakers actually have a problem selling tickets? I mean isn’t the Kobe bryant show enough?

  39. I know there’s questions about whether Farmar is better than Smush, but was there any guard on the board that was better than Smush available anyways?

  40. Farmar does have a quick 1st step. The way the playoffs were officiated for Wade, he should be able to do a lot for us offensively to set up other guys. I wonder if Phil is willing to bend the triangle a little to facilitate his skills in that respect.

  41. isn’t that something that kobe can do anyway?

  42. of course he can, but who else can create their own shot? Lamar? it doesn’t hurt to have another guy who can break down the opposing defense, especially coming out of the second unit. smush hasn’t shown he’s willing (or able?) to do this regularly.

  43. The way the NBA is being officiated, can you have enough guys who can drive the lane?

  44. Exactly Kurt. Even if Farmar has a creaky J, he can make up for it by blowing past guys and getting to the line. He’s only a career 75%er from the line, but he can improve that.

  45. Credit due: kwamw a. called Farmar back in comment #2 hours before the draft!

  46. True. But it will be painful to see him get banged up and not get calls because he is a rookie.

  47. I thought for sure the Cavs were going to take him, since snow is pretty useless and damon jones is not showing that he’s as good as he was in Miami.

    You’re right about there probably being some non-calls bc he’s a rook, but I’m just glad there’s another guy out there with a legit handle.

  48. James White wasn’t picked in the first round? Wonder if there’s a reason he “slipped.”

  49. If Farmar doesn’t improve his turnover rate, we don’t need to worry about calls in the lane.

  50. Err, James White. I don’t know what I was thinking. [Ed. note — correction made in first comment]

  51. Just a disaster. Why would the Lakers want another backup PG who can’t shoot? Why reset Sasha?

    Simple regression analysis shows that picking the hometown feel-good story is 97.638% to be the wrong choice and it definitely is here….for the on court product at least. The Lakers know their fan base and those suckers will snap up Farmar Laker jerseys by the thousands. Very shrewd. I commend them. They will easily make up the guaranteed contract money in jersey sales in the local market alone.

    Now, not that there was anyone better at this pick necessarily, but I was giving MK the benefit of the doubt that Farmar was a smokescreen for a trade up into a slot where they could get someone that would matter to the team at least some day. Guess not.

    So are the Lakers rebuilding? Or just stalling?

  52. Russ Granick for Knicks GM!

  53. John R. – I say stalling. They’re going to be handcuffed until Grant’s salary comes off the cap anyway, and there weren’t any real impact players left (obviously). I think I’m trying to see the best in this pick since 1) my brother is a huge farmar/ucla fan and he sincerely believes his IQ could translate to the next level, making him a decent backup at some point and 2) woodland hills is my hometown, and I’ve gotta hope for the best for a local boy. you’re right about that fan weakness.

  54. I like the Paul Davis pick by the Clips.

  55. Maybe Superman is an apt analogy for Shaq, as I understand the plot line for the movie Superman takes a couple years off before trying again…..

  56. I can’t believe alexander Johnson fell to 45, good prospect for Indiana to wait a couple years on.

  57. Damn, Powe at 49, if he’djust fallen two more I would have been thrilled.

  58. i thought for sure they’d go for gansey.

  59. Gansey would have made more sense.

  60. Who the heck is Cheik Samb?

  61. check the main post, I just put up a little on him.

  62. Total shock,unless Mitch does other things, trades, FA’s this summer, he’s whole career as GM will be defined by trading Shaq for LO, Kawame and Farmar basically. Is that genius or what?????

  63. damn, i wanted powe.now he’s a celtic. ich.

  64. Hey Kurt, thanks for the update on Cheik.
    Well. I’ll withhold judgement on our 2nd rounder for a couple of years. At least its not Corey Hightower…

  65. roastedpekingduck June 28, 2006 at 10:33 pm

    The Lakers have traded Cheikh Samb to the Pistons for Maurice Evans.

  66. roastedpekingduck June 28, 2006 at 10:46 pm

    The Lakers have also acquired the Mavs’ second round pick for a future second round pick.

  67. Wow, can’t a man have dinner after the draft. Okay, small update up on the two late moves. Tomorrow a first-thoughts wrap up.

  68. Anybody have any impressions on either Maurice Evans or Danilo Pinnock before Kurt chimes in?

  69. Cheick Samb for Maurice Evans is a great deal. I seriously doubt the 220 lb Samb who has no offensive skills will ever make it into the NBA. Evans is a great replacement for Devean George. He’s a strong guard, hustles, high flying, and a good spot up shooter. Pinnock is likely a guy who spends time in the NBDL. He’s a good athlete and slasher, not the greatest shooter, but he will shoot them. I expect Evans to be apart of the rotation. Pinnock too, just the NBDL rotation.

  70. Nice job MitchK…
    Love the Evans trade. I’m really glad we were able to get a solid defensive guy who can spell Kobe for 15-20m a game

  71. Devean George is a good comparison for Mo Evans, but Mo is more a poor man’s George than an equivalent player. George is (or was) a much better defender than Mo is, more versatile offensively, and a better rebounder.

    Mo can hit the left corner three in his sleep, but don’t expect him to hit jumpshots from anywhere else on the floor. He doesn’t have a handle, and is likely to lose it if he tries to dribble. He can finish uncontested dunks, but not much else around the rim. He can’t pass.

    Defensively, he’s pretty awful; he’ll be lit up by almost anyone worth mentioning in the NBA. He’s slow and short, and bites on fakes when he doesn’t lose his man altogether off screens. But he’s a good offensive rebounder, a decent defensive rebounder, and he hustles while he’s out there.

    He’s an energy guy, but his energy is usually undirected. He might have a role for the Lakers, but I doubt many Pistons fans are sad to see him go.

    (But it’s the summer. Don’t let my pessimism get you down; it’s possible he’ll improve)

  72. Evans is a good offensive and defensive player. It’s hard to get into a groove when you play a couple of minutes here and there. I think he will improve greatly if he is able to get more minutes; which is why he wanted to be traded. Don’t know if LA is the right place, but we’ll see.