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Friday, June 26, 2009

Smelling a Bust

I’ll be the first to say that I’m not a draft nik, and I’m not even one those guys who thinks he’s a draft nik. In fact, I have no desire to be a draft nik.

But my gut and read on what others are saying about UCLA guard Jrue Holiday, who the Sixers drafted with the 17th pick of the 2009 NBA draft, tells me this was a mistake.

Holiday is a 180-pound, 6-foot-4 freshman who just turned 19 earlier this month. He averaged 8.5 points a game, shot 45.0 percent from the field, and 30.7 percent from three-point range. According to the Daily News blog, Sixerville, he “played out of position at UCLA last season” in “deference to senior Darren Collison.”

What I just read: he’s a little frail, very much a kid just out of high school, doesn’t shoot all that well, and wasn’t good enough to start at his position in college.

But he’s good enough for the Sixers? (By the way, Collison was drafted after Holiday.)

Worse, the Sixers don’t really sound excited. Tony DiLeo quoted by the Inquirer said, “We tried to move up a little bit, we couldn’t move up, we feel very fortunate because most people had him going top-10. . . .For him to drop to us, we’re ecstatic. He’s exactly what we wanted.”

We tried to move up, and we got exactly what we wanted? Cue the game-show buzzer: Ehhh! Thanks for playing, Tony, but your GM-speak needs work.

Ed Stefanski said in the same article, “We’re excited to add Jrue to our roster and we think he will fit in well with our team’s style of play. . . . He has great upside, displays aggressiveness on both ends of the court, has a great nose for the ball as well as the size and strength to play both guard positions.”

Later, more from DiLeo, “He’s young and you never want to put a lot of pressure on. . . .. As with Thaddeus and Marreese, we’ll see how he develops, see how he plays. We weren’t looking at him to really come in and make an impact for next season. We’re looking for the future with him. We think we got a real good one.”

DiLeo gets points for honesty here, but little else.

Stefanski and DiLeo spelled out my biggest problem with this pick besides the fact that he wasn’t named Ty Lawson – it’s TOTALLY based on “upside.” How’s Lou Williams’ upside working out? Can't wait to hear Lou say how he’ll take him under his wing. Wasn’t he supposed to be paying off about now so that a guard wouldn’t be the Sixers’ main concern? The Sixers are so good they can pick a guy in the first round they’re going to wait on to develop? Has that ever worked out? Does anyone really have faith that Eddie Jordan is the guy to develop Holiday? Why not draft a guy that at least has a chance to contribute soon instead of a guy we hope develops?

A guy like Ty Lawson who played 3 seasons at North Carolina, averaged 16.6 points and 6.6 assists as a true point guard on the 2009 NCAA Champions. His teammates included Tyler Hansbrough and Gerald Henderson, two guys also drafted in the first round Thursday night. In other words, Lawson may have been the best point guard on the roster the minute Andre Miller signs elsewhere.

Instead, we have a ‘tweener guard that was probably at a prom 13 months ago and might develop into something someday.

I hope I’m wrong, but I smell a bust.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

MDefl posting:

I hate to say this but the Sixers are in purgatory for at least the next 5 years. Not awful enough to get a good lottery pick, not good enough to advance deep in the playoffs.

In 3 years, they will be lucky to be drawing 8000 a game.