Draft results — initial thoughts

Kurt —  June 29, 2006

By the time the NBA draft ended — when Portland couldn’t find any more dance partners and Steven A. Smith was forced to shut up because the cameras were turned off — the Lakers ended up doing well in my mind with Jordan Farmar, a trade for veteran Maurice Evans and J.R., err, Danilo Pinnock.

Maurice Evans: Let’s start with Evans, because he could pitch in more than the others next season and was a steal for Cheick Samb, who likely will never amount to much, if anything, in the NBA (sorry to our readers from Senegal). Evans is a three-season NBA vet who spent last year in Detroit. Last season Evans, playing mostly the two but also some three, had a PER of 14.1, shot 37.1% from three point range and had a true shooting percentage (think points per shot attempt) of 54.5%, all solid numbers. Also last season he played good defense, allowing opposing two-guards to shoot 49.4% and with a PER of 15.8 (just slightly above the league average).

His offensive game in Detroit fit the triangle — he got 32% of his offense on spot-up jumpers, shooting a very good 64% (eFG%) when unguarded and a good 43.4% when covered. His overall shooting on the catch-and-shoot was a very good 50.2%. Another 18.5% of his offense came in transition and, in a very good sign for a guard, 12% of his offense came on offensive rebounds. Overall he grabbed 8.5% of the available rebounds last season (and 9.1% the season before), which is fantastic for a guard.

The down side is that he has never been in the positive of a +/-, he was -8.4 per 48 minutes last season and -4.4 the season before in Sacramento. In the California state capital opponents he covered shot 50.1% and had a PER of 17.9. One good sign is that each of his three seasons in the NBA both is his offensive and defensive numbers have improved.

My early guess is that he is Kobe’s new backup, filling the Aaron McKie/Laron Proffit role, but Evans is younger and less likely to break down. If he can give the Lakers 15 solid minutes a night off the bench that would be a plus.

Update: Here’s a little something on why Evans wanted out of Detroit, complete with a consipiracy theory that is not all that far fetched. If it’s true, thank you TZ! (Link via True Hoop.)

Jordan Farmar: This is one guy who has generated a fair amount of debate on this site, with some people being his fans while others of us were in the “good player but bad fit” camp.

I’m not sure what I can say about him that wasn’t covered by myself and others here. He is a guy who can play point in the league. I didn’t think of him as an explosive athlete, then he goes to the combine and shows a 42-inch vertical. He needs polish, and as much as I think Smush is a backup guard on a good team Farmar is not ready to step in and start. Rather, the Lakers will still be looking for a guard (Banks/James/Jackson) and Smush will be the number two, which could mean limited minutes for Farmar. He can play his way into minutes with good defense and the kind of smart basketball that Luke Walton displays.

Update: Jones on the NBA has more Farmar stories.

Danilo (J.R.) Pinnock:
He’s strong and tall for a guard – 6-4, 204. Apparently the George Washington junior had a great pre-draft camp in Orlando. He’s got an NBA body and is a member of the Panamanian national team. He’s got a good story, you can learn more about him here (thanks Gatinho for the link). Considered very quick with a good first step and can dunk with authority — he had an eFG% of 52.2% and an offensive rating of 111.3 (points per 100 possessions) at GW, both good numbers. The downside is he gets all that going to the rim, his outside shooting is suspect as evidenced by the fact he shot just 27.5% from three the last two years. Not sure how well that fits with the triangle offense, but hopefully we’ll find out in the summer league.

26 responses to Draft results — initial thoughts

  1. Pure speculation, but what do you think of the Lakers picking up Darius Songalia with the smaller exception (obviously not mid level)? Would it be too duplicative with Turiaf improving or would he be a good scrappy 4?

  2. If they could get him, I think Songalia might be a good fit in the tri. I’m not worried about duplicating Turiaf, let the better player get the minutes. Competition on a team is rarely a bad thing.

  3. Evans is a good pickup. His numbers went up some going from West to East and I would suspect they come back down playing against quality opposition again but numbers aside he is a good backup 2.

  4. Nice to see that Pinnock is a hard worker so he can hopefully improve on that jumper. I’m not sure if I like Farmar as a 1st round pick, but maybe he can find a way to fit in the triangle. It’s probably easier to “suffocate” in it if you’re an established point guard like Gary Payton than if you’re coming up “living” in the triangle. So maybe there’s hope.

  5. i think mitch did a good job of getting contributors. evans gives us a replacement for george and can be our first swingman off the bench at the 2 or the 3, hell play rotation minutes for us next year. i like the farmar pick, i totally agree with kurt’s point about intangibles, farmar has them and they do matter. i think we should still sign a vet pg, hopefully cassell, but ill take b-jax. we can then trade smush and mihm for a sf or pf in a sign and trade, hopefully a guy like al harrington or peja. i like the young talent were stockpiling, bigs (bynum, turiaf, cook) wings (walton, evans) guards (farmar, sasha, pinnock)

  6. Perhaps the drafts/acquisitions of these guards suggests that Mitch isn’t looking for a long-term point guard solution (if he believes that Farmar is our future PG) in the free agent market.

  7. My two cents, which likely will be flushed ou for a Saturday post on free agency, is that the Lakers will have a three-year deal for the MLE in place with Banks in a few days and the deal will be signed July 12 (the first day it can be). Then, after a couple of years you assess Banks, Farmar and Smush and decide what direction to go. But I think those will be our guys for the next two seasons.

  8. i agree with the 2-3 deal for the mle, but i wouldnt necessarily use it on banks. id rather get a proven vet, we have smush, sasha and farmar, we dont need another “emerging” guard, we need a floor leader who has won big games, like cassell or bobby jackson or even speedy claxton. if we can sign a vet guard we can have farmar back him up and use smush as a combo guard off the bench or trade him for a starting forward. i like banks, but with farmar in the fold, we dont need another unproven guard

  9. About 7., I should add that’s not necessarily what I would do, but what I think will happen.

  10. So Kurt, what would you do?

  11. Can we get Cassell? Great guy to train the young point guards. Makes us competitive right away.

  12. I agree that Banks is likely on his way. I dont think Farmar is that far off from being Vujacic, which is saying much. I like that Kupchack has gone after some cheap, quick wings in Evans and Pinnock. Those moves are all upside and it shows that the front office understands the impact of the new rules. I think Vujacic’s days are numbered.

  13. I’ll repost what I wrote in the other thread, from a Pistons’ fan perspective on Mo Evans.

    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.

  14. we dont need evans to break records, start or even be our sixth man, we need him to do what he is fully capable of doing, hustle, play d, hit the open three, get out on the break and relieve kobe for 10-15 min a nite, hes more of profit’s replacement than george’s replacement. george’s replacement (a small forward) can be had through a trade and this would let walton be the sixth man, a role similar to what toni kukoc brought the bulls teams.

  15. Just don’t expect anything at all on defense. As a Pistons fan I might be have a somewhat different perspective than a Western Conference team, but he’s one of the worst wing defenders I’ve seen in years.

    Think a slightly bigger, more athletic Chucky Atkins.

  16. roastedpekingduck June 29, 2006 at 5:41 pm

    Going away from basketball, but Lamar Odom’s 6 1/2 month old baby has just died from suffocation. My thoughts go out to Lamar Odom :,(

  17. Whoa, if the TZ-based rumor is true, hopefully Kobe never has one of his fits on the guy. He might not bend over and take it like Sasha does. Whats up locker room problem.

  18. Farmar was a good pick and a definite upgrade over Smush.

    But as I alluded to in earlier posts: Where are the shooters?

    You guys have no players who shot over 40% 3s, minimum 100 3pt attempts.

    Who is going to consistently knock down the open J resulting from the double-triple team on Kobe?

    This is a glaring problem.

    If Kupchak doesn’t address this before next season it would be a real shame.

    p.s. Condolences to Lamar and his family.

  19. This won’t happen this coming year, but, if the young talent on this Lakers’ team work their asses off so they get near their potential, then watch out! I like this is as a starting lineup in 2007/2008

    PG: Farmar
    SG: Kobe
    SF: Odom
    PF: Kwame
    C: Bynum

    Luke is the sixth man.

  20. 19. I’m not a fan of Kwame at the four, he struggled there last season and I think he’s just best when he can use his size inside.

    10. I’ll be doing a free agent preview up Saturday morning, with my preferences listed.

  21. 19. even if thats not the lineup, i like those 5 players you named, along with luke, evans, turiaf and sasha, and i like the nucleus. couple vets (speedy claxton and al harrington) and were ready to contend.

  22. Is everyone resigned on the fact that devean george is not coming back? I mean, if he would agree to a pay cut, why not bring him back if he is a better fit than mo evnas and knows the triangle like the back of his hand, then he is our man. If the team is grooming farmar to be the future PG, then why sign banks? if thats the case, then just sign b.jackson or cassell for two years

  23. also, for the SF slot, I think we have a realistic chance with Harrington and Peja thru sign and trade. The hawks need a center and a playmaker. The lakers can offer mihm, cook, sasha or smush. For the pacers, i think peja wants to move. he can have the same role as toni kukoc in the bulls dynasty. Also, I think Antonio Davis or Alonzo Mourning can be signed for the LLE. We really need these guys to add experience and constant production in case Kwame or Bynum disappear during the season. The WIlcoxs, R.Evans, and other bigs may be too expensive or inexperienced to help our bigs. What do you guys think about the possibility of acquiring davis or mourning?

  24. I’d be shocked if D. George is back, mostly because a contender looking for depth will offer him a little more than he’s worth.

  25. D. George trade block;
    Its a great block, the guy has to do whats right for him forget the dallas fans that booed him and called him names. I bet the teammates that were going in this trade were happy he blocked so they could stay with a team that will at least make the playoffs. Im a laker fan and waiting for a championship this year.


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