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Nets future

Though draft night was two nights ago I didn’t get my chance to give my insight on the drafting of former Georgia Tech Freshman Derrick Favors.

When David Stern stepped to announce the New Jersey Nets pick (3rd overall) three names, ironic I know, came to my mind. DeMarcus Cousins (5th overall to the Sacramento Kings) Wesley Johnson (4th overall to the Minnesota Timberwolves) and Derrick Favors. The Nets choose Favors and all the suspense of Nets fans were over.

Derrick is a young and raw talent that will need molding if he is to be a NBA power forward but the Nets think they can do it. Favors averaged 12 points per game for GT to go along with 8 rebounds. Nothing mouth dropping but solid numbers. Favors is coming to a team that unless they sign a top free agent PF could get the nod opening day and play down low with Brook Lopez.

I look forward to seeing Favors up close and in person next year and hope that the Nets can groom him the right way. He has the talent and athleticism to be great but he has to show he wants that to happen. I hope LeBron James sees what the Nets see and decides Favors was a great choice that will with Devin Harris, Brook Lopez, Courtney Lee and the rest of the Nets team help him win a championship. (Yes I had to add LeBron. It’s all NBA Fans care about right now)

-Timmy Dims

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Here’s Tim Dimas’s feel on what the draft outcome will look like this year:

#1 Washington Wizards

John Wall, Kentucky, PG

This should come as no big surprise. John Wall is the consensus number 1 pick by all draft experts. The 6’4″ John Calipari cropped point guard is already the leading candidate for the Rookie of the Year Award. Washington is getting a face of a franchise player and if they keep Gilbert Arenas expect him to slide over to the shoot guard position to fit his scoring ability much more and let Wall run the team at the point guard position.

#2 Philadelphia 76ers

Evan Turner, Ohio State, SG

Lots of talks have been about Derrick Favors going here but the 76ers would be dumb not to take Turner. After last season they need to rebuild and why not do it with the second best player in the draft which is Turner. 6’7″ Turner is a Point Forward. Good hands on the ball and can rebound with the big boys. Andre Iguodola I have a feeling is on his way out of Philly so Turner can step it and possibly be the corner stone of this 76ers franchise.

#3 New Jersey Nets:

DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky, PF

This was a big toss up for myself. Wesley Johnson, Derrick Favors and DeMarcus Cousins all bold well for this spot but I think the Nets go with DeMarcus Cousins. They spent the #11 pick last year to grab Terrence Williams who is a small forward that equal of Johnson and I think Cousins is more NBA ready then Favors and the Nets need ready over waiting after a 12 win season last year. Cousins 6’11” help Kentucky all season long and even though his question of character and work ethic is there I believe he will be better suited for the Nets over Favors.

#4 Minnesota Timberwolves

Wesley Johnson, Syracuse, SF

Best pick here for the T’Wolves. Wes can offer a lot to a team that has Al Jefferson, Kevin Love and Jonny Flynn in the long run. The 6’8″ small forward showed a lot of NBA readiness last year for the Orange and would be a great fit to this young athletic team that still has Ricky Rubio waiting overseas to come and join the team. Rumors have said for the Detroit Pistons to get Al Jefferson from the T’Wolves and if that does happen look for the Wolves to take Derrick Favors or DeMarcus Cousins, who’s ever available at this point.

#5 Sacramento Kings.

Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech, PF

Favors is raw but talented. The Georgia Tech standout would be a nice compliment to last years Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans. Samuel Dalembert who was recently acquired from the 76ers will be a good mentor for Favors on defense. Favors is an athletic and strong big man who has comparisons to Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic.

#6 Golden State Warriors

Ekpe Udoh, Baylor, PF

Very long and lean forward with a great set of skills. Blocking shots are one of his fortes. The 6’10” Forward could cause problems in the post for teams in more ways then one. First off his ability to take a step back shot from mid range and if that isn’t there, he can draw defenses away from Stephan Curry leaving the lethal shooter to spot up and knock down 3’s. Solid pick for a rebuilding team.

#7 Detroit Pistons

Ed Davis, North Carolina, PF

The Pistons are left with no big men down low. With Cousins and Favors off the board Ed Davis is their next best pick. Very craft when he gets into the post and has a great offensive game. Needs to get a little bigger to back down other forwards in the post. Very energetic and strong role player. Won’t be a star though.

#8 LA Clippers

Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest, SF

Clippers have their point guard in Baron Davis, shooting guard in Eric Gordan and power forward in last years number 1 pick, Blake Griffin. What they are missing is someone to help run the wings and that is where Aminu comes to play. When it comes to the word athleticism only one word can stand in front of it, freak. Defense is one of the best in the draft. Only knock on Al-Farouq is his ability to create and hit shots.

#9 Utah Jazz

Patrick Patterson, Kentucky, PF

With the uncertainty of soon to be free agent Carlos Boozer, The Jazz need to make a play to replace him. Paul Millsap will be most likely be given the starting role and Patterson can come off the bench and be the Millsap off the bench. Patterson a little small at 6’9″ for the power forward position but with his soft hands, strong post moves and good feel for the offensive game Patterson will be a strong player off the bench. Very high basketball IQ and is a hand in shooter face kind of defender. Will make it very tough for other forwards to get to the basket.

#10 Indiana Pacers

Greg Monroe, Georgetown, PF/C

The Indiana Pacers have a lot of question marks on this team but adding Monroe with Roy Hibbert down low won’t leave anything to worry about in the post. People might disagree and say Hibbert should mean no Monroe but hey the Spurs took Tim Duncan when they had David Robinson already but it worked out. Twin Towers in the middle of the paint, defense does win games last time I checked. Monroe bestows a little athleticism but good feel on the offensive side not only with scoring but distribution of the ball to other players.

There are more picks to be made, decisions needed deciding. One thing is clear in this years NBA Draft. Lots of players can contribute to teams as starters or off the bench.

-Tim Dimas

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Here are Dan Martin’s picks for who will go where in Thursday’s NBA Draft:

#1 Washington Wizards

John Wall, PG, Kentucky

Wall is the clear-cut pick to go #1 and is the prized gem of this draft. At 6’4″, he has size for a point guard and his quickness both off-the-dribble and on defense is unmatched. The most criticized part of his game is his turnover problem, something that would seem key as a floor general at the next level. But, that is something Washington should be able to coach him on and I expect him to be successful in the NBA.

#2 Philadelphia 76ers

Derrick Favors, PF, Georgia Tech

Many analysts project Ohio State swingman Evan Turner to go to the Sixers, but, with Andre Iguodala already filling that role, I expect them to go in another direction with Favors. Elton Brand, who was signed a few years ago to be a solid Eastern Conference power forward, has been hampered by injury and ineffective for most of his time in Philadelphia. Favors fits well into the 4, bringing athleticism and scoring potential packing into a muscular 6’10”, 245 pound frame. If the Sixers move out of the #2 spot, look for them to trade down and gain picks or players, while still getting their man.

#3 New Jersey Nets

Evan Turner, SG/SF, Ohio State

With Favors off the board at #2, things work out well for New Jersey at #3. Finishing with just 12 wins last season, they were hoping to get the #1 overall pick or, at worst, the #2. Falling all the way to #3 is quite the stroke of bad luck, but if Turner can fall into their laps, they’ll be more than pleased. Standing 6’7″ tall, Turner has the ballhandling skills and quickness to play either guard position and small forward. He is an inherent matchup problem when he steps out onto the floor and plays solid defense. He has been criticized for his lack of touch on his jump shot and his susceptibility to turnovers. But, of any player in the draft, to me Turner has the best chance of turning into a player to build around and eventually lead a team to a championship. Inserted into a line-up that already features Devin Harris and Brook Lopez, along with a lot of cap space to work with in free agency, the Nets could significantly improve on those 12 wins from last season.

#4 Minnesota Timberwolves

Wesley Johnson, SF, Syracuse

The rebuilding period in Minnesota officially began with the deal that sent Kevin Garnett to Boston in 2007. Though they gave away the man who had been the face of their franchise for a decade, they got in return another big man who could fill the same role for the next 10 years: Al Jefferson. Since aquiring Jefferson, the T’Wolves have added around him fellow big Kevin Love and formidable Syracuse point guard Jonny Flynn. This year, it seems like Minnesota will be fishing in the Syracuse pool again, hoping to catch talented swingman Wesley Johnson. With him in the mix, the Timberwolves would continue to build a strong core of young players that should translate into wins in the coming future. Rumors have been circulating that Minnesota is looking to aquire the 10th pick as well from Indiana, in exchange for Flynn, the 16th pick and the 23rd pick. Remember, 2009 first round pick Ricky Rubio is still playing overseas, so he could join the Timberwolves in the future to fill Flynn’s spot. Trade or not, Minnesota will be looking to make noise in this draft.

#5 Sacramento Kings

DeMarcus Cousins, C, Kentucky

At 6’11” and almost 300 pounds, DeMarcus Cousins is undoubtedly a big man. But, at the #5 pick, Sacramento is hoping he will make a big IMPACT as well. In his one season at Kentucky, Cousins showed his ability to be a true big man, rebounding the basketball and taking up space inside. Many analysts say taking Cousins is rolling the dice, and it is, as much is based on potential. He has been cited for lapses in work ethic, as well as being 20 pounds overweight. His back-to-the-basket game still needs work, but scouts like his upside. Much of where DeMarcus Cousins’ career heads is based on how much work he puts into it. At #5, though, he is a good fit for Sacramento, who is in dire need of a big man.

#6 Golden State Warriors

Ekpe Udoh, PF, Baylor

The Golden State Warriors have been historically known for having bad drafts, as is evidence by the fact that, of their last five first round picks, only one (Stephen Curry, 2009) has averaged more than 10 ppg in a season in their careers. The Warriors hope not to blunder again, most likely going with Baylor big man Ekpe Udoh. Largely unknown until Baylor’s run in the NCAA Tournament, Udoh is a prolific shot blocker, averaging almost 4 per game last season, to go along with a nice mid-range jumper on the offensive end. Golden State drafted intelligently last year, taking Stephen Curry, and hope to build around him this year by adding Udoh.

 #7 Detroit Pistons

Greg Monroe, C, Georgetown

Much like the 76ers, the Pistons, a powerhouse in the Eastern Conference in recent years, has now entered the rebuilding stages. After dealing Chauncey Billups to Denver, the core of the championship team of 2004 was gone, along with the previous departure of Ben Wallace and an aging Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince. In this draft, Detroit is looking to build around a star big man, as Houston did with Hakeem Olajuwon back in the day. Problem is, I can’t see Greg Monroe as having nearly the career of Olajuwon. There are many doubts as to whether Monroe’s game will translate to the NBA level. To his credit, he is a magnificent passer and shot-blocker, two things that are effective at any level. The real question is whether or not he will be able to work well in the paint against other players of his size and caliber. He has been criticized for lack of “killer instinct”, often called soft and disinterested. But, there does appear to be upside to Monroe’s game, especially if he is under the right tutelage, which Joe Dumars and a class Pistons franchise can offer.

#8 Los Angeles Clippers

Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, Wake Forest

With Blake Griffin coming back from injury for the start of the 2010 season and skilled guard Eric Gordon leading the attack, the Los Angeles Clippers are molding their image to be a run-and-gun, up-and-down, athletic attack that will put points on the board in a hurry. That is why, at #8, they’ll look for another versatile swingman to fit into the mix, taking Wake Forest forward Al-Farouq Aminu. Though he lacks the ability to create his own space and hit the outside jumper, he will get major minutes and a prominent role if the Clippers want to run. Also remember, “The Other” LA has quite a bit of cap space to play with this free agent season.

#9 Utah Jazz

Luke Babbitt, F, Nevada

In another Isiah Thomas blunder from long ago that is coming back to bite the Knicks, the Utah Jazz get the #9 overall pick from New York. With this, they will most likely take lefty 3-point shooter and swingman Luke Babbitt from Nevada. Averaging 21.9 points per game in his sophomore year, many scouts compare him to Chris Mullin. He has the ability to hit all different kinds of shots from every range. The biggest question, though, will be where he fits into a lineup. To0 small to guard a power forward and not quick enough to guard the athletic swingman-type, Babbitt will have to find his niche. But, for Utah at #9, he makes sense.

#10 Indiana Pacers

Patrick Patterson, PF, Kentucky

Coming in as, in my opinion, the most underrated player in the draft, the freakishly athletic Patterson would be a perfect fit for the Pacers if they don’t deal their pick at 10. After Jermaine O’Neal’s departure, the Pacers have been devoid of a very talented player at the 4. Enter Patterson. With a polished and fundamental post game to go with an NBA-ready body, the Pacers would benefit from the combination of him and center Roy Hibbert down low. The one knock on his game is his inability to face up to the basket. But, with his footwork and ability to run-and-gun, as he did with John Wall at Kentucky, Patterson is the complete package. That will make him the third Kentucky player drafted in the top 10.

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With many players being drafted primarily on potential, the true fruits of the 2010 Draft may not be known for a few years. One thing is for sure, though. As in any draft, there is talent out there. Some will win, some will lose, and each team is hoping to find the diamond in the rough.

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The Philadelphia 76ers, long removed from the glory days atop the Eastern Conference in the early 2000s, finished 27-55 in 2009-10 and, come Thursday night, will have the #2 overall pick in the NBA Draft. Having hit a stroke of luck to score the #2 pick, a very important decision awaits the franchise as to who to take.

It can rightfully be assumed that Kentucky PG John Wall will go #1 overall to Washington, leaving Philadelphia with anyone else on the board. There are two likely directions that they could go. Option #1 and the most likely is to take Ohio State swingman Evan Turner. With his size, length, and ballhandling skill, Turner would be, on paper, the best player remaining. But, the question arises, how similar is Turner to the swingman they already have, Andre Iguodala? Would it make sense for them to draft a guy with a similar skill set to their star player?

In my opinion, though they have many similar strengths and weaknesses, Turner is the better player and Iguodala doesn’t have the star power to carry a team on his back. Andre makes a great running mate that can get up and down the floor and jump out of the gym, but he’s not a centerpiece to a winning franchise.

Trying not to have two players of the same type, would the Sixers use the #2 pick to draft a big man, perhaps Derrick Favors of Georgia Tech or DeMarcus Cousins of Kentucky? With Elton Brand continuing to battle injury and being on the far back side of his career, the 6’10” Favors could fit into the role that Brand never fulfilled since his signing.

Consensus opinion is that drafting DeMarcus Cousins is rolling the dice big time, as his maturity has been questioned and he seems to be 20 pounds overweight. But, as a raw, talented 6’11” big man, he may be worth it down the road. For the Sixers at #2, taking Cousins would be too high, so perhaps they could trade down to the Nets at #3, allowing the Nets to get Turner, while the Sixers can still get Favors or Cousins, along with the 27th overall or 31st overall pick.

Whatever the Sixers choose to do, they are clearly in the rebuilding stage and will, most likely, be in the same situation next year. The most important thing for them right now is to put talented players in a place where they can succeed. Hiring new head coach Doug Collins is a step in the right direction, but we’ll see where Philadelphia goes from here.

-Dan Martin

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And so another bright spot for New Jersey Nets fans this week.  After witnessing the hiring of Avery Johnson, who in my opinion was the best option, Nets fans have another reason to be happy. The Nets have a chance to grab the second best player in the draft at the number three spot. Who? None other then Evan Turner.

News was just broken that The Philadelphia 76ers had traded long time center Samuel Dalembert to the Sacramento Kings for center Spencer Hawes and Andres Nocioni. The move now raises the question will Philly be going for Derrick Favors, Forward out of Georgia Tech, instead of Evan Turner.

Chad Ford of ESPN has had on his draft board Favors over Turner at the number 2 spot in the draft where the 76ers are scheduled to pick. The move today even more solidifies the decision for the 76ers. For the Nets this is a moment of joy… but only a moment because there is no clear cut decision that Philly will take Favors.

So for now Nets fans, lets enjoy our Little General, Avery Johnson and next week be prepared to usher in a new era of youth that may or may not include Ohio States standout Evan Turner.

-Timmy Dimas

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Lopez would be a nice fit for LeBron James and other Free Agents

I waited until tonight to put Part 3 into works. Part 3 of course is the off season moves. I waited until after the NBA Draft Lottery to really start to think about this. After an hour and half thought process I came to the understanding the Nets aren’t in a horrible situation. As Brandon Tierney said on Twitter, “OK Net fans, pick yourself up, google any past NBA Draft, and look at how many NBA legends were drafted after the top 2 spots. You’re fine” Maybe he was just saying it cause he didn’t want anyone committing suicide tonight. Even so here are my ideas into who the Nets should draft at #3 and sign during the off-season.

Draft: If the Nets are content with being at number 3 I would like them to select DeMarcus Cousins, Freshman out of Kentucky. A front court of Lopez and Cousins would look very nice for years to come. Do I think the Nets might make a move to go to number 1? Yes I can see it happening.  Do they have to though? No they don’t. At the end of the day Devin Harris is more then capable of running the point. Injuries are the only thing that hurts him. When healthy he is a nightmare match up for teams because of his speed. Devin Harris, DeMarcus Cousins and Brook Lopez in the starting 5. Can’t say I don’t like it. Lets fill in though who the Nets should sign to help these three players.

Free Agency: Of course the 3 most talked about free agents are LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. Question for Nets fans which one to two players do you bring in? I really can’t see not two of these players on the same team. With Cousins do the Nets really need to go after Chris Bosh? If he’s the only choice yes if not then no. Do the Nets need Dwayne Wade badly? Shooting guard position is wide open. Courtney Lee is there but is he a starter or a bench player. The Nets can also option for Joe Johnson. LeBron James though is of course one of the only three free agents I can’t see the Nets not going after uncontrollably. The Nets have about 24 million to spend this off season not including the mid-level exception or the minimum exception.  So LeBron will command a max contract. They would then have to do a sign and trade with either Toronto or Miami for Bosh or Wade. Even so the Nets only have 24 mil to play with doesn’t mean that’s all. Don’t forget they have a billionaire owner who came out and said he wants to win next year and if not next year then in the next 5 years. Call him crazy but money talks and if he can talk to these stars I don’t see why they wouldn’t sign. But lets say for arguments sake the Nets can only get LBJ. I’m still in favor of adding Joe Johnson. Harris, Johnson, James, Cousins and Lopez is a great starting 5. A play-off team without a doubt and with James it’s a definite Conference Finals possibility.

So we have a possible starting 5 but who’s going to fill the bench roles. Courtney Lee, Chris Douglas-Roberts (If the Nets pick up his contract by June 30th) Kris Humphries, Yi Jianlian and Terrence Williams. Not bad but could use a bit tweaking. If the Nets sign Johnson and LBJ they will have blown their salary cap and only be left with mid-level and minimum exceptions. So who to sign? I say back up point guard and call me crazy but the hometown boy himself, Shaquille O’Neal. Two young centers on your team having one of thee best centers in NBA History teach them for a year or two wouldn’t be so bad. Shaq would be a solid 10-15 minute kind of a guy. 8-10 points and 5-6 rebounds a game but a teacher as well. Point guard now though.  Steve Blake, Luke Ridnour, and Randy Foyle are all possible options for the mid level. All have been in the league long enough and a bench role is something they could work well with. Of course the Nets have two more picks in the draft but this year’s draft isn’t really stocked with tons of point guards. The Nets can choose out of Eric Bledsoe out of Kentucky, Willie Warren out of Oklahoma, Jon Scheyer out of Duke, Sherron Collins from Kansas or Denis Clemente from Kansas State. One guy who doesn’t look like he will get drafted is Scottie Reynolds out of Villanova. Hey if the Nets can invite him as an undrafted rookie free agent I’ll take it. Lets say the Nets sign Blake. I think Blake is a great back up. Solid three point shooter and passing abilities. Would fit perfect in a half court scheme but can run up and down the floor.

If all goes to plan this would be the roster.

Starting Line up:

PG: Devin Harris

SG: Joe Johnson

SF: LeBron James

PF: DeMarcus Cousins

C:Brook Lopez

Bench: Shaq, Blake, C. Lee, CDR, T. Williams, Humphries, Yi, Draft Pick, Draft Pick.

Hey these are my thoughts. I think they fit and have good reasoning to it. I hope as many other Nets fans do, this will be a team we can look at and enjoy.

-Tim Dimas

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