With the draft lottery come and gone, NBA Draft chatter is officially open for business and heating up. Here are some of the latest NBA stories and trending draft topics from around the world wide web.
HoopsWorld‘s Alex Kennedy gives a detailed look at Washington State forward DeAngelo Casto and his motivations for turning pro:
The three children would then be put into foster care. Shortly after, they were adopted by a woman who had already taken in thirteen foster children prior to Casto and his siblings. The living arrangement was traumatic for DeAngelo and the other children, as they were abused physically, sexually and emotionally. Despite the awful living conditions, Casto developed a close bond with the other children and viewed them as family. To this day, he refers to them as his brothers and sisters.
Once DeAngelo reached his teenage years, he tried to distance himself from that abusive setting. He would stay overnight with friends, in motels or at his school. Sometimes, he would end up sleeping outdoors.
“I have fifteen siblings. I have a son and a fiancé. Growing up, family was always something that was very important to me. Unfortunately, I lost a little bit of my family, but the kids – my brothers and sisters – they look up to me every single day. I have to provide for them,” Casto said.
Whether he gets drafted or accepts one of several offers he has received from overseas teams, Casto plans to share his wealth and finally give his siblings the home that they have always wanted.
FoxSports‘ Sam Amico notes that like many of the previous NBA Drafts, senior prospects are likely to slip in favor of players with greater perceived upside:
Other than that, if you’re a draft prospect, it seems it’s a much smarter move to make sure NBA scouts see you less.
“Being a follower of the NBA draft a long time, now I know seniors don’t get that much love just because we’re seniors,” Duke senior guard Nolan Smith said last week at the pre-draft camp in Chicago. “But it comes with time. When we go to these workouts, it’s our time to prove ourselves.”
Singler is one of those guys who did everything well at the college level and even has better-than-advertised athleticism. But if he’s so good, NBA types seems to say, then he would have entered the draft a few years ago.
“It’s sort of a warped way of thinking,” one NBA scout said. “It’s funny how GMs always seem to forget that seniors can make an impact right away. Landry Fields led the Pac-10 in scoring and rebounding two years, and nobody gave him the time of day (in the draft). Then he starts at shooting guard and becomes a stabilizing force as a rookie for the Knicks, a playoff team.”
Michigan’s Darius Morris call himself a “true point guard” in an interview with Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld:
“I’m a true point guard,” said Morris to HOOPSWORLD.
That’s what Darius believes sets him apart in this draft.
“A lot of the other point guards in the draft are kind of tweeners or point guard/shooting guard or shooting guard trying to be a point guard on the next level,” said Morris. “I’ve been a point guard my whole life. I was really able to display that on the college level this year and was able to effectively lead my team.”
SB Nation Arizona‘s Seth Pollack sees Lithuanian forward-center Donatas Motiejunas as a “huge gamble” for the Phoenix Suns at No.13:
For the Phoenix Suns to take Montiejunas with the 13th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft would be a huge gamble. He would essentially be the inverse of Earl Clark who was drafted with questions about his offense but thought to be a top defensive prospect.
The Suns second unit struggled without Frye’s ability to space the floor and offensively, Montiejunas is essentially a Frye clone but with more upside as a post scorer. Frye was also a player once considered “soft” and a defensive liability but with time he’s improved that part of his game.
The Toronto Raptors have big draft decisions to make, but it’s the face of the franchise, Andrea Bargnani, who could ultimately shape the team’s draft (Raptors HQ):
As well, with Andrea Bargnani and DeMar DeRozan being the top two options offensively for the Raps, and guys like Jose Calderon needing touches, there’s not a lot of scoring to go around for any newcomer.
But if there’s no Andrea…
Thinking about the upcoming draft process, you have to wonder how serious BC is about moving the Italian big man, and the final pick in June when all is said and done may go a long ways towards giving fans an idea of Bargs’ future.
In fact I’d argue that the Raptors need to have a plan in place for Andrea BEFORE they make their pick next month.
Right now, so much of the team’s offensive planning and decisions are based around Andrea and whoever ends up being Toronto’s fifth pick needs to “fit” with Bargs. To me that means not requiring the ball in their hands to be effective on offense and that’s why sharp-shooters like Chris Singleton and Klay Thompson might be very interesting additions. As well as big men who can rebound the ball and grind out plays make a lot of sense, hence the aforementioned Kanter or someone like Jonas Valanciunas,
Washington Post‘s Jason Reid believes the Washington Wizards need to get defensive in the 2011 NBA Draft:
Defense should be on Grunfeld’s mind whenever he reads scouting reports or analyzes video of top prospects. And if players express lack of interest in defense during pre-draft interviews, Grunfeld’s interest in them should wane.
The need for a major shift in defensive thinking is long overdue. It’s as clear as another blown rotation by Andray Blatche.
Lost Letterman takes an extended look at Jeremy Tyler, a once highly touted high school forward-center prospect turned vagabond:
“The question is whether he’ll take responsibility of his career,” Tyler’s Israeli coach, Avi Ashkenazi, told The New York Times in 2009. “If he thinks he’s going to be in the NBA because his name is Jeremy Tyler and he was a very good high school player, he will not be.”
It appeared Tyler’s pro career was going to become a bust almost before it even began and critics rolled their eyes when they discovered Tyler’s agent was former North Carolina problem child Makhtar N’diaye.
As for the aforementioned returns from NBA workouts, Tyler impressed NBA talent evaluators with his physical profile. He owns a 7-5 wing span and a 9-2 standing reach.
“Tyler also scored very high marks from NBA teams on his interviews,” wrote ESPN’s Chad Ford. “His offensive game is still a work in progress and there are still some skeletons in his closet from his botched season in Israel.
“But on sheer physical upside, Tyler played himself into a possible first-round pick…”
The town of Glen Falls is hosing a ‘Jimmer Jam’ party for BYU’s Jimmer Fredette on the day of the draft:
The Glens Falls Civic Center and the town of Glens Falls are hosting an NBA Draft Party 5 p.m. Thursday, June 23, for Glens Falls native and BYU basketball standout Jimmer Fredette.
This free event will include games, prizes, food and refreshments and a silent auction. The Draft begins at 7 p.m. Call 798-0366 or see http://www.glensfallscc.com for additional information.
Wisconsin forward Jon Leuer was one of the players invited to Minnesota’s recent group workout and earned a lot of his attention with is performance there (Star Tribune):
“He’s right there, man,” Wolves assistant GM Tony Ronzone said. “I think from this point on, these workouts for him are going to be extremely beneficial. When you interview the kid, he knows the game. Defensively he knows how to play, and if he picks and pops like he did this summer — bingo — someone’s going to take him in that late first round.”
Ronzone was referring to the select team made up of 20 college players that prepared Team USA for last summer’s FIBA World Championships. Ronzone said Leuer was among select coach Jay Wright’s favorites at the six-day training camp.
“Teams want guys who can shoot the ball,” Ronzone said. “So a guy like Jon Leuer, he’s got special talent right there and he’s going to continue to show it.”
Monday was Leuer’s third workout after stops with Oklahoma City and last weekend’s draft combine in Chicago. During the brief portion of Monday’s session open to the media, Leuer made only half of the 26 three-pointers he attempted. That, though, came after a long day of interviews and an exhausting workout.
An emphasis on diet and condition could have Maryland forward-center Jordan Williams rising on draft day (Washington Post):
He didn’t have similar restraint in college, where he lived a two-minute walk from a McDonald’s and said he “had to” stop by every morning to pick up a McGriddle before heading to class.
“That was my favorite thing,” Williams said with a laugh last week at the NBA combine in Chicago. His questionable eating habits didn’t prevent Williams from leading Maryland in scoring and rebounding or setting a school record with 25 double-doubles as a sophomore, but he realized that he had to make some sacrifices in order to improve his chances of going higher in the NBA draft.
“I didn’t want to do it, by all means. But deep down, if you want to be successful and you think about who you’re doing it for, making people proud, my family, it’s way bigger,” he said. “Eating a Big Mac? Or getting drafted higher? You have to choose.”
Despite a freshman year partially derailed by a toe injury, Duke’s Kyrie Irving is still the top prospect in the 2011 NBA Draft (Sporting News):
“After December 8, around December 15, I remember I called my father and asked him if I was still going to come out this year,” Irving said. “And he said, ‘Yeah, you’re fine.’ I didn’t believe it until I came back for the NCAA Tournament and I was still rated the best prospect, or so-called prospect. That was something I was worried about the whole entire season when I was hurt, but you know my father kept on telling me good things, kept me grounded, kept on telling me things I needed to hear to get me through the process.”
Still, the math doesn’t quite add up for Irving. If he wasn’t the top player coming into the year, and if he spent all but 11 games of the season in street clothes, how did he manage to earn status as the NBA’s No. 1 prospect? “I have no idea,” Irving admits with a smile.
Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk believes that it is Enes Kanter who ultimately holds “the key to the NBA Draft”:
Will some team become enamored with Kanter and trade with the Timberwolves to get him at the No. 2 spot?
If Kanter falls past the two spot, does the Utah Jazz take him at No. 3? They already have Al Jefferson, Derrick Favors and Paul Millsap under contract, their need is at the guard position and guys like Brandon Knight (who has moved up a lot of team’s draft boards) and Kemba Walker will be available. But if Kanter is really the best player available at that point, do the Jazz take him and figure they would rather figure out what to do with too much talent up front?
What the Jazz do at three is the first domino deciding what the teams after them do.
If Kanter falls to four, it’s not likely he gets past the Cavaliers. Kanter said he would like to fall to six and play for the Washington Wizards and with his friend John Wall. But that is not happening. Kanter will not fall that far.
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© 2011 Neal J. Leitereg — All Rights Reserved