Draft Talk

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Chad Ford shed some more light on the impact of private workouts in the draft process. As I was trying to state yesterday, some GM’s put way too much into it and are looking for all the wrong things. But here was an insight I did not think about:

“It’s a piece of a larger picture,” one NBA executive told me about his team’s approach. “We look at it to help us fill in some holes that we can’t fill in during the scouting process.

“Because we can’t have any contact with a player [during the college season], it lets us get up close to him, coach him, see how he responds, push him the way he’ll be pushed during the season and get to know him better. We don’t learn a lot about a player’s basketball skills, but it does give you a much better insight into a player’s personality.

“And I don’t care what you say, that’s important,” the executive continued. “If you have a demanding coach, you have to get a player who can handle it. A prospect can have all the talent in the world. But if he can’t play the way your coach wants him to play or can’t take instruction, he’s sitting at the end of the bench.”

I did forget about the diva factor…tape of a player’s games can show you all the essentials of what you need to know about him as a player, but a private workout can let you see if he has the intangibles. Work ethic, good attitude, etc. Of course going through drills is different than going through practice and I still think that GMs put way too much stock into these but I could at least see where they are coming from.

If you’ve noticed there has been a reason I haven’t been putting in any articles about private workouts in the bullets. My reasoning was in this day and age either the media, an agent or a team is spinning something. Unless I can watch it for myself I am not a huge fan of just taking someone’s word for it, especially on something the media could swerve someone’s opinion. For example, if the Blazers had 20 articles on Nick Young in the next two weeks, a majority of Blazer fans would think it was a good idea to trade to try and get Young. Just the nature of the beast. Thankfully Ford backed me up.

“Agents call following every workout, spinning things in their direction. “My guy destroyed the other guy” is one of the most common phrases I hear this time of year.
I speak with NBA GMs and scouts at the workouts too, but they also have agendas.
A scout may give me negative reviews of players he doesn’t want the team to draft. A general manager may have a player in mind and bash him off the record to get some disinformation out there.”

But I disgress, in the long run GMs are going to make dumb picks not based on a player’s body of work or a camp or a private workout but because of their pre-existing stupidity.

  • Rumors floating around that Ron Artest could go to Houston for next to nothing. That would be dangerous. Artest playing for a coach he actually wants to play for, T-Mac (hopefully) will have recovered with a vengeance and Yao will stop being a wuss.
  • Global Icon? Maybe he should work on trying to be a national icon first. LeBron’s finals debut drew worse ratings than the Nets/Spurs in 03. Ouch.
  • In our mock draft (which needs to be updated, I know you’ll read this Coup) we put Thaddeus Young in the top 10 to the chagrin of a few people. Turns out people love the guy. And by people I mean New Orleans.
  • Breaking news: Lamar Odom really wants to be traded from the Lakers. Oh wait, I read the cue card wrong Lamar Odom wants nothing to do with the Pacers.
  • Danny Ainge stands up for Sebastian and says he could possibly return. Really?? The guy who has issues off the court and hasn’t produced much on it is worth the return? Really, Danny? The point guard who likes to shoot, except he can’t really shoot is worth bringing back to play behind two guys? Really?
  • Does anyone else find it weird that out of all the guys the Bulls have, they say Kirk Hinrich is the untouchable one.
  • Noah used to hate MJ. I could totally see where he was coming from, except he only made me cry once. And that was in 1992. And no I don’t want to talk about it.
  • David Aldridge made a pretty good observation: it’s the Finals vs. Sopranos on Sunday night. Even I might watch the last episode of the Sopranos and it would be my second.