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WALSH SPEAKS ON THE UPCOMING DRAFT

Donnie Walsh Transcript

compiled by Ricky Henne, NYKnicks.com


Posted Jun 22 2009 3:oo p.m.


Knicks President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh addressed the media on Monday, just three days before the 2009 NBA Draft. Below is a transcript of what Walsh had to say regarding the draft, the Knicks and the NBA in general.

Question: Why would you have (Jrue) Holiday in twice?

Donnie Walsh: I just wanted to take a final look at him, because I’ve seen him but I wanted to make sure everybody saw him, scouts and coaches.

Question: How much of a fear is it, I mean obviously there have been a lot of guys who have gone from being freshman to being good NBA players, but is that something also for guys like him that are in that same boat?

Walsh: Yeah, but there’s a lot of them. So is it a fear? No, not if you think that he can project into being a good NBA player. So in the case of most of the guys that are in this draft, that’s what is being done. But it is a jump of faith to try to predict a guy into a certain level, because you are going on what is his potential and if you feel good that he is going to reach it.

Question: Is there something you didn’t see from Holiday the first time that you wanted to?

Walsh: No. I saw him play in the regular season so I have a good feel for him. But going into the draft, you start watching the way the draft can go and you want to make sure. So there wasn’t anything earth shattering, it was like, well, why not let him come in again. And his agent said fine. Most of these kids are going to go to the NBA Draft, so they are on their way anyway.

Question: Are you aware of the smokescreens that are out there now, and the teams ahead of you? I mean, Washington is talking about seven players…

Walsh: Yeah I know.

Question: So do you see games being played, especially because there is a lot of parity in this draft?

Walsh: Yeah, I think that’s true. The only player right now is (Blake) Griffin. You know where he’s going and after that, all the way down past us, you have no idea who is taking who. And I think its to a degree because there is parity. There’s also at this point most teams got a guy that they want to take, and they don’t want anyone else to kind of figure it out. And we have a few teams that are traditionally like that at the top of the draft, and have been for a while.

Question: So do you have to have a plan A, B, C, D…

Walsh: Yes, of course. That’s what we’ll do.

Question: Is that what looking at Holiday a second time is?

Walsh: That’s part of it, but I think we also have until Thursday night and we need to spend it exactly on that to be sure that if this, this and this happens, where are we?

Question: When he talks about smokescreens, is that what people talking about (Hasheem) Thabeet and (Ricky) Rubio falling out of the top four is? Or are you pretty confident that they won’t be around when you pick eighth?

Walsh: No, I’m not.

Question: So you are confident or you aren’t that they will be available?

Walsh: I’m not confident that they will be in the top four.

Question: So they could slide down your way?

Walsh: Yea, they could. I mean, it’s possible. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but you are hearing all this stuff and reading all this stuff. It could happen.

Question: Is this the most in flux a draft has been that you can recall?

Walsh: Not really. I mean, I think they are all like this. People are afraid of teams jumping ahead of them. They figure out, ‘Oh, ok if I want this guy he’s going to stop at four, then I have to get three” and then a trade at the last minute (could happen).

Question: Do you understand why Rubio might slip? Is it because of his situation with the buyout, he hasn’t worked out for anyone…

Walsh: I think it’s effected (Brandon) Jennings as well. They are not here, you don’t hear a lot about them, in Rubio’s case he didn’t work out, so you either really have to want him, because he is not in the news so to speak as much as the other players. And I think Jennings was that way too. That’s why he’s working out a lot. I’m sure he’s impressing some teams.

Question: Did you ask or want Rubio to come in?

Walsh: Probably back, but not now. We are down to it, and we know he’s a good player.

Question: But earlier in the process…

Walsh: Well when we started, I probably wanted to get him in.

Question: So you won’t meet with him?

Walsh: I don’t need to.

Question: Is he still number one on top of the board in terms of point guards?

Walsh: I don’t know. You have to ask the guy whose got two. (laughs)

Question: So on draft night you will have a scenario of someone trying to get up to number two…

Walsh: Yeah, those things happen in the draft. I’m not saying you don’t talk about them now. It’s also in the draft, you might get a call five minutes before you pick or five minutes before they pick.

Question: Do you think there will be any less of that because of the parity?

Walsh: I think there’ll be more than that.

Question: Given the depth of the draft at point guard, do you think it’s likely that’s where you end up?

Walsh: No, I don’t. The players that are at our pick, and the player we think is best for us, that’s who we’ll pick. We haven’t picked out a position that we need to get in this particular draft.

Question:Are you thinking that (Stephen) Curry and Tyreke (Evans) just might not be there at eight?

Walsh: I think that there are a lot of guys that might not be there so I have to be ready for who is there and what we’re looking for. There are good players.

Question: The player that you draft, could he impact the free agents, particularly the top free agents that you have?

Walsh: It depends who it is to be honest. There are some guys that are ready to play right now, and there are some that are very young and need time. The draft isn’t something you can grade the next day. You have to wait to see how you do. There is LeBron James and Michael Jordan, but in most cases, players need time.

Question: Last year, it was the first time working with Mike (D’Antoni). His system isn’t traditional. Do you look at that when you are picking?

Walsh: Yeah, I think you always do that. You always have a coach who has a style, so you try to pick for that style, but not 100-percent. If the guy is good enough, you figure he’ll fit in to his style.

Question: Do you want another number one pick because you don’t have one next year?

Walsh: I’d love to have one but people aren’t running around offering.

Question: Are you shopping for one, or even a two?

Walsh: Yeah I mean you always ask, but people are very reluctant to do that because they don’t know how they are going to be next year.

Question: There is talk with the way economy is, teams might be selling off picks. Have you seen any of that?

Walsh: No. I haven’t seen anything like that. We kind of talked to some people we thought would, and they haven’t yet.

Question: How far down in the draft would you go if you got a pick for next year to make it worthwhile?

Walsh: This year, I think you will be able to pick players 20-30, who while they haven’t got the cache of some of the players that are picked before that, so I think once we get the draft down and we are pretty close to it, you might be able to get a really good player at 20-30 if you get the right pick.

Question: Is there a market for your players? I mean a good market?

Walsh: I’m not sure. Because I probably value them more than other people.

Question: You’ve been asked about your players I presume.

Walsh: Yeah, there are some who do and some who don’t.

Question: When you talk about what you need and talk about point guards, it seems you like a scoring point guard?

Walsh: That’s not true.

Question: So what do you feel like you need from that position right now.

Walsh: I think a guy that can play a fast tempo. And I’d like a guy who can defend too, so those things. But someone who can play a fast tempo, because that’s what we want to play.

Question: Some say after that the players after one, they all seem kind of the same. Is this not a mediocre draft? Are you saying it is a decent draft?

Walsh: Well I think there are good players in the draft, so in that regard, there will be good players where we are so in that sense it is a good draft. You know, you have to wait two or three years to find out how really good it was. There are some years you go in thinking it’s not a really good draft, and you wake up two years later and these guys are starting, one through 20, and you think ‘Wow, that was a good draft.’

Question: When you evaluated Curry and he talked so much about wanting to be here, how much of a factor is that to you? Just the fact that he’s talking about it, what do you think of it?

Walsh: Well I’ve heard that from a lot of players, and so I like that. I like it better than someone who says he doesn’t want to be here. (laughs)

Question: How different is it this year in New York compared to your first year in the draft?

Walsh: It’s the same. I mean, I’ve told you guys I think you’ve got to get good players when you have this kind of opportunity. So that’s what I think. We have to pick the right guy.

Question: Have you seen Rubio play in person?

Walsh: No. I saw him on TV and all that, and I’ve watched a lot of film on him. A lot.

Question: But your people have.

Walsh: Yeah, I’ve got a European scout who is from people. We have people.

Question: How much do you blame the player or the agent when he decides he doesn’t want to work out?

Walsh: I don’t blame the player. Usually it’s the agents strategy and it either works or it doesn’t.

Question: What’s the strategy?

Walsh: The strategy is to get him picked by the teams the guy wants him to get picked by.

Question: Do you think New York is one of those teams that people wouldn’t mind…

Walsh: Well because we are at eight, not at the beginning but maybe at the end. Who knows? I’m not part of that strategy.

Question: What is your opinion about the one-and-done rule? Would you like to see high school kids be able to come out?

Walsh: I’m probably at the other end of the stick. I thought we had a great farm system. And it was free. But it is what it is now. The NCAA.

Question: Do you think there would be less scandals…

Walsh: Well I’m not going to comment on that because I am not in that world anymore. I just think that when guys went to college for four years, when they came out, they were ready to go to the pros. They receive great coaching, they receive a college degree. So when they come into this world they were ready. We as teams now, we have to make up for that when they get here. We’re doing the best we can. We’re fasting getting to a point where we can do it well, but it wasn’t traditionally so what an NBA team did when it started.

Question: Being that you want to compete sooner than later, are you more apt to go with a player who can contribute right now than a player who might be a project and might take a year?

Walsh: It depends who it is. It really depends on how good I think he can be eventually. And that can be an older guy or a younger guy. You have to look at that.

Question: There are a few small point guards in this league. How important is height as a fact for point guards?

Walsh: Well I would like them to be bigger than smaller, but there are obviously some smaller point guards who are making an impact on the league. I think a lot of that has to do with the rules on the perimeter, so they are not counted out just because they are smaller anymore.

Question: Do you think it’s easier for them to get along in today’s NBA than it used to be?

Walsh: Yeah, I do. I think the floor has opened up a lot. It’s very hard to guard some of the quickness that’s coming into the league particularly with smaller guards, without putting your hand on them and that’s a foul now. Back when I started they could pick you up with one hand and that wasn’t a foul. (laughs) But yeah, I think its better.

Question: Is this your last lottery pick in New York?

Walsh: I hope. Well I’ll say this, whether I was in New York or Indiana, I hope this is my last lottery pick. I never like being in the lottery.

Question: As the Celtics and the Lakers have proven the last couple of years, if you take on salary, there are big time players available if you want to make a trade. Do you think that will happen again this year given how many teams are trying to cut costs?

Walsh: Yeah, I think the guys you think can make a difference to take you from a losing team to a winning team, people will make the investment. But if its close, they might night.

Question: Do you think there are teams that are willing to take on salary anymore?

Walsh: Yeah, I do. I mean, I think there will be, if they see its going to push them up into a winning team. Because if you have a winning team, then you fill the stands and you make a lot more money. And I think that’s the way those teams think. And they want a chance to win the playoffs.

Question: Do you have a better feeling about the David Lee situation today than you did when the season ended?

Walsh: Absolutely not, because I’m not allowed to talk to him or his agent. I mean, I can say hello and that kind of stuff, but no I don’t. I won’t know that until July 1.

Question: How is (Danilo) Gallinari’s recovery?

Walsh: Good, from what I’m told. He went to a photo shoot for the league I think, so I haven’t seen him in about a week. But all the reports I’m getting back is that the operation was a success, and whatever remains to be done is more rehab, and then I have to talk to him to know exactly, but it doesn’t seem to be a big obstacle for him. The doctor is at the point where she’ll let him go play now. But I haven’t talked to her. But he’s close.

Question: Can any pick you make be influenced by what you might possibly want to do later in the summer in free agency or trades or whatever?

Walsh: Well, you are always influenced by what you need and what you might do. So yes, those things could come into it. I’m at a stage now though where I’m trying to see who is the best player for the team, and I’m assuming if you do that, then those things will be there.

Question: Any sense of what the chances are you are going to stay at eight at this point?

Walsh: No, I mean, how many trades get done in the draft? Whatever that percentage is, that’s what it is. Everyone wants to move up all the time.

Question: How confident are you after this offseason ends that you can make the playoffs?

Walsh: Well look, that’s what we want to do. Confident? Well I won’t be confident until we do it. I mean, we’ve got to go out and do it. You can go out and talk about it all you want, but the idea is to try to get to that. And I talked on my first day here, that the most difficult thing will be last year and this year because you’ve got to be very careful with what you’re doing if you have a strategy, like trying to stay under the cap?

Question: How’s Eddy Curry?

Walsh: He’s doing well, from everything I’ve heard. I did see him one day on the day of the Chicago thing, I went up to Detroit and watched him work out. And he’s working very hard, he’s losing weight, and he’s starting to get his body to look like an athlete’s body again. I have to give him credit for working as hard as he can work to try to do it.

Question: When you watch the Finals and you see how the playoffs shook out, bigs are valuable. You have one that a couple of years ago was in the conversation to be an all-star…

Walsh: Yeah, and bigs are valuable in the playoffs. That’s when they are at their best and you really need them, because they can distort the game. And he’s a low post player. Now, at the four and sometimes at the five, you get guys who are standing outside shooting. But when you get to the playoffs, that isn’t as dramatic as having a guy they have to double-team and have to worry about all the time. So you always want that.

Question:What about Jonny Flynn?

Walsh: He’s a guy, who even in college, if you catch him on the right day, even in these workouts, this guy, if teams want a certain type of point guard, then you go for him.

Question: What about Sacramento and all the talk about them and what they might do?

Walsh: Well they are the eye of the storm right now. Everyone is trying to figure out what they are going to do, and it will be different tomorrow.

Question: Hypothetically, if Rubio is sitting there are eight, is it a slam dunk that you would take him?

Walsh: It depends who he is with. I can’t predict who he will be with. But I think there are other players who are on his level. He has experience, a great game, flair – but like most players in the draft he’s got some things he does better than most NBA players and he some things that he doesn’t do. And I can’t think of anybody in this draft that doesn’t fit into that category. That’s where he is. He’s like 6-foot-4, 6-foot-5. That’s a big guard.

Question: Is that what you like most about Holiday, that he is a two-way player?

Walsh: Yeah. I mean, he’s a good player. And he is good defensively, yeah.

Question: Of the guards, is Evans the most explosive going to the basket?

Walsh: Well, he is one of them because he is powerful and he has a great handle. If he gets kind of an opening, he is very strong so he gets there. There are a couple who get there one quickness, he gets there because of that. And he can pass too. If you help off on him, which you are probably going to have to do, he will get the open guy.

Question: Is he a combo guy? Is he more of a two in your mind?

Walsh: No. I think he can play both, but he will be a point guard eventually in the NBA. You can post him. I think he weighs 215.

Question: Does he have to work on his shot a little bit?

Walsh: Yeah, but I didn’t see – all these guys that I heard couldn’t shoot, that would be the quote, I didn’t think they were that far away. So I think all these guys they are saying that about, they will get better in the NBA because most players once the concentrate on being a pro and are shooting all the time, they get better. And their form, these guys forms at this point, they are not bad. I mean, he shot it well when he was here. He was hitting threes. He shot it very well.

Question: Are there questions about Stephen Curry defensively?

Walsh: Well, I think you have to have a system for all these players, and to me, a guy like Curry is smart enough to figure it out and learn how to play in the NBA defensively.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Related Previous Posts:

Fanatics Pre-draft Scouting Report: Ricky Rubio

And With The Eighth Pick, The New York Knicks Select. . .

Fanatics Pre-draft Scouting Report: Jrue Holiday

Is Brandon Jennings Playing Media (and Us) With Rubio Diss?

Fanatics Pre-draft Scouting Report Eric Maynor

Fanatics Pre-draft Scouting Report Brandon Jennings

Fanatics Pre-draft Scouting Report Demar Derozan

Fanatics Pre-draft Scouting Report Series Stephen Curry

Fanatics Pre-draft Scouting Report: Tywon Lawson

Fanatics Pre-draft Scouting Report: Jonny Flynn

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June 22, 2009 - Posted by | Brandon Jennings, Donnie Walsh, Jrue Holiday, Mike D'Antoni, NBA Draft, NBA Lottery, New York Knicks, Rick Rubio | , , , , ,

21 Comments »

  1. Vecsey,
    ” At the same time, Rubio’s flaws scare numerous talent scouts more than just a little bit.

    “Ricky has a big upside,” a Western Conference coach concedes. “Nevertheless, he’s very light, like Steve Nash only without the offense. He has no mid-range game, never gets to the free throw line and is a defensive liability due to his lack of strength and size.

    “Ricky makes sense for a team loaded with great outside shooters, because he can make plays,” the coach continued. “He would’ve been a perfect fit for the Suns under Mike D’Antoni, and he could play for him with the Knicks because they don’t worry about playing defense.

    “The reality is, teams are going to go at him defensively and play him soft . . . dare him to shoot from outside.”

    “Poifect,” sighs Mike No D’

    Comment by Tman | June 23, 2009 | Reply

    • Don’t tell IGM Knicks that Rubio has serious flaws.

      Whoops then again Rubio’s or Curry’s flaws can easily be addressed whereas Jennings is a cancerous polyp waiting to burst on a team and no degree of coaching can cover up his warts!

      Bias that name is clear!

      OBTW

      No wonder a sucker like [ ]’antoni would drool over a guy even though it is clear that that player can be a serious defensive liability! Same old Knicks but in a different wrapping?

      Comment by orangeandblue1 | June 23, 2009 | Reply

    • Hopefully that deal happens so all this tomfoolery of giving us our most versatile athlete and best defender with a two way game just to get the 5 and flip that for Rubio or Curry nonsense can enter the trash bin.

      Walsh,…

      Please don’t sell the barn to move in the draft,… all the players have warts, and not worthy of mortgaging our young pillars to acquire!

      Comment by orangeandblue1 | June 23, 2009 | Reply

  2. O & B : I agree. Why waste a chip to move up in this draft when there are so many question marks.

    Assuming Griffen is taken 1st, the Knicks are not likely to have a chance for Thabeet, Harden, Evans or Curry. Hill and possibly Jennings may also be gone from the board. Thus Rubio may indeed be there at 8. I doubt that any team ahead of the Knicks, including Memphis, Sacramento or Minnesota (who now have the 5th & 6th picks) will take Rubio who, as a European player, can veto any team he does not like. Despite his visits to Sacramento, he would prefer to be closer to Spain for endorsements and appearances. I am sure that his agent has already told Memphis, Sacramento, Golden State and Minnesota to pass on the “Pistola” kid.

    Thus Knicks may have a choice of either Rubio, Holiday, or Flynn. If that is the case, Walsh will likely take Rubio. I hope Walsh can get a late 1st or early 2nd round pick. He is under the gun this summer, not only for the draft but also for a solid free agent pick and/or a big man via one or more trades. He also hopes to shed Eddy Curry’s contract before the mid-season trade deadline if not sooner.

    Thursday night’s draft should be very interesting. It would great to have a live-blog and running commentary in progress–can Lives or O & B set it up?

    Comment by Post-up Prince | June 24, 2009 | Reply

    • Post-up King

      I’m setting up the LBE for Thursday’s 2009 NBA Draft.

      Should kick off at around 7:00-7:15.

      Look forward to taking in the vast array of Fanatic and Knicks Fans opinions.

      I’m ok with Rubio @ 8 w/o having to move up. But dealing Chandler to get him or Curry when they both have obvious question marks is not the way to go.

      Comment by orangeandblue1 | June 24, 2009 | Reply

  3. Prince,

    There will be a live blog. O&B and Peaceman will run the show. If I get to the draft, I will take da Blackberry and join via Twitter. It should be fun. It’s actually more fun to me than the last couple of regular seasons. LOL.

    Comment by livesinnewjersey | June 24, 2009 | Reply

    • “It’s actually more fun to me than the last couple of regular seasons. LOL.”

      I certainly agree with the Finesse panzy style of play [ ]’antoni has his players playing!

      Comment by orangeandblue1 | June 24, 2009 | Reply

  4. Law of internet taking shape. Commenters beware.

    First Amendment
    Decision By Vegas Newspaper to ID Commenters Prompts ACLU Intervention

    Posted Jun 18, 2009, 01:31 pm CDT
    By Molly McDonough

    After first making a sweeping request asking for the identities of all commenters on an online Las Vegas Review-Journal story, prosecutors have narrowed their request.

    The U.S. attorney’s office now is only seeking the identities of individuals responsible for two comments that the government considers threatening to jurors, the Review-Journal reports.

    And while the newspaper plans to comply with this more focused subpoena, the American Civil Liberties Union isn’t happy that the newspaper is relenting.

    On Tuesday, the ACLU of Nevada filed a motion on behalf of three anonymous commenters to quash the subpoena. “The right to speak anonymously about politics is older than the Constitution,” said ACLU staff attorney Margaret McLetchie, who was referring to the Federalist and anti-Federalist papers, which were famously published by writers using pseudonyms.

    At issue are comments, numbering more than 200, on a Review-Journal story about the trial of Robert Kahre and three others on trial for charges of tax evasion, fraud and conspiracy.

    One comment refers to jurors as “12 dummies” who “should be hung” if they convict Kahre. The other wagered Star Trek money, “quatloos,” to bet that one of the prosecutors on the case wouldn’t reach his next birthday, the newspaper reports. The latter comment has already been removed because it reportedly violated the Journal-Review’s comment policy, which states in relevant part that the paper reserves the right to reveal commenter’s information in responses to legal action. more

    Comment by livesinnewjersey | June 24, 2009 | Reply

  5. May God bless this Fanatic website. For most of us fantasy GM’s, the NBA draft is indeed our hightlight of the year. For Knick fans, the regular season has proven to be a to be a letdown; and with no 1st round draft pick in 2010 at this time, this year’s draft may be our last best hope to improve the team via the draft process.

    Nevertheless, for me Thursday night is different from all other nights in roundball life. All power to Peaceman and O & B for the live interactive show. I look forward to all reactions will surely contribute my 2 cents at least through the 8th pick.

    Comment by Post-up Prince | June 24, 2009 | Reply

  6. I co-sign with many of these posts, i would love to see Walsh move up, but we don’t have many assets so we cannot pay a steep price unless it’s a blockbuster deal. i agree that losing our mios

    i think it’s Memphis or bust for us with the Wizards bowing out. i think Washington got a wonderful deal there from Minny, but maybe i am more bullish on Foye & Miller than most.

    Also, as the dust was settling, classy Joe Dumars proved once again that Bill Davidson made the right choice in picking who to lead his franchise, as Dumars sold small-market Milwaukee on underwhelming power forward Amir Johnson, swapping him for newly-acquired Fabricio Oberto.

    Since Oberto’s contract is only partially guaranteed next year, the Pistons can waive him and get about $1.7 million further under the salary cap this summer. They’re now about $23M under the cap heading into 2010, seriously compromising Donnie’s 2010 sugarplum dreams…..Donnie better call D.C. and see if he can borrow 0bama’s unicorn for good luck (or at least borrow Teh One’s Teleprompter for Thursday night).

    i think the other clubs know how desperate we are, and we’ll get no love or equitable trade offers. Donnie will be forced to stand pat and draft at the #8 pick, and i think whatever piece of the pimply pupu platter we pick up (Jrue, Jennings, Jonny “He speaks so well!” Flynn, etc) will end up riding the pine till Duhon’s wheels fall completely off.

    It IS an interesting time of year thought for the virtual GM types who are obsessed with OPP (yeah u know me). =)

    Comment by Paul | June 24, 2009 | Reply

  7. Isiah Gets Props
    (courtesy of ESPN Insnider)

    For all the stats and advanced scouting metrics gathered on prospects these days, Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo maintains there’s no real science to the process. “At the end of the day, you also have to trust your gut,” he says.

    And that puts him in some strange company with a man who says this: “[My draft strategy] came from growing up on the playgrounds and having to pick players — and not wanting to lose.”

    That man? None other than Isiah Thomas, he of the much-maligned track record as an NBA executive. But according to the D.R.A.F.T. Initiative’s study, Colangelo and Thomas top the list of the best drafters from the past 20 years.

    Seriously.

    We figured out who was calling the shots for every team on draft day over the past 20 years and then, using John Hollinger’s estimated wins added (EWA) stat, tracked how their picks performed in comparison to the expected value of their draft slot (net EWA). To be eligible, a GM had to have picked at least 10 players during the 20-year time period, leaving 46 eligible candidates to rank. Here’s how the best and worst shook out:

    THE TOP FIVE

    Ron Turenne/Getty ImagesColangelo drafts from the gut — and it works.

    1. Bryan Colangelo
    Suns, 1995-2005; Raptors, 2006-current
    Net EWA: 1.68
    Colangelo’s midround success is astounding: Steve Nash (1996, 15th pick, +7.72 net EWA), Michael Finley (1995, 21st, +5.15), Shawn Marion (1999, 9th, +9.76) and Amar’e Stoudemire (2002, 9th, +8.88). He also found Stephen Jackson (+2.78) in the second round. But even a guy like Colangelo has regrets. He says he wishes he’d taken Tayshaun Prince at No. 22 in 2002 over Casey Jacobsen. But he’s not ready to give up on Andrea Bargnani (-5.97), the top pick in 2006, just yet.

    2. Isiah Thomas
    Raptors, 1995-97; Knicks, 2004-07
    Net EWA: 1.52
    Thomas’ early picks seemed odd — fans booed Damon Stoudamire, his first-ever choice. But Stoudamire’s net EWA is 0.78 wins higher than expected for the seventh pick, and that’s common of Thomas’ players. Trevor Ariza (43rd, 2004), Nate Robinson (21st, 2005) and David Lee (30th, 2005) have all exceeded their expected EWA numbers.

    Thomas has a name for the attributes he values in prospects: I.C.E. (Intensity, concentration, energy). He picked Tracy McGrady, whose career EWA is 10.5 wins better than the typical No. 9 pick, because he had a quiet intensity “like a lava flow.” And he justifies grabbing Lee and Marcus Camby (No. 2, 1996) because, he says, “On the playground, I always picked the rebounder first, because when you play outside, there are a lot of misses, and you want someone who can track it.”

    Whatever works.

    3. Jim Paxson
    Cavaliers, 1999-2004
    Net EWA: 1.20
    Paxson obviously gets a huge boost from LeBron James, whose net EWA is +16.34. But he also found Carlos Boozer (+9.1) in the second round in 2002. Those picks more than make up for duds like Dajuan Wagner (2002, No. 6, -4.37) and DeSagana Diop (2001, No. 8, -3.97).

    4. Garry St. Jean
    Warriors, 1998-2003
    Net EWA: 1.15
    In addition to Antawn Jamison (1998, No. 4, +5.21), St. Jean should be known for 2001, when he grabbed Jason Richardson (5th, +3.25), Troy Murphy (14th, +2.25) and Gilbert Arenas (30th, +8.92). That’s some haul.

    5. Bob Whitsitt
    Sonics, 1986-93; Trail Blazers, 1994-2002
    Net EWA: 0.73
    In 1989, Whitsitt drafted a 19-year-old with no college experience after convincing his owner that the kid could be a combination of Charles Barkley and Karl Malone. And that’s how Shawn Kemp (5.85 net EWA) ended up as the No. 17 pick in the 1989 draft, long before the prep-to-pro route was en vogue. That willingness to gamble on high-ceiling prospects also brought him Gary Payton (1990, 2nd, +5.91), Jermaine O’Neal (1996, 17th, +4.39) and Zach Randolph (2001, 19th, +6.05).

    THE BOTTOM FIVE

    Noah Graham/Getty ImagesNo surprises here. Elgin Baylor had very few good moments in L.A.

    5. Pete Babcock
    Nuggets, 1985-89; Hawks, 1990-2003
    Net EWA: -0.73
    You could look at various underperformers and quickly understand how Babcock ended up in this spot: Todd Lichti (1989, 15th, -2.13); Rumeal Robinson (1990, 10th, -2.71); Anthony Avent (1991, 15th, -2.87); Adam Keefe (1992, 10th, -2.43); and DerMarr Johnson (2000, 6th, -4.22). But maybe it’s just easier to say that he really only made one good pick — Jason Terry (1999, 10th, +6.17).

    4. John Nash
    76ers, 1986-89; Bullets, 1990-95; Nets, 1996-99; Trail Blazers, 2003-05
    Net EWA: -0.76
    Other than Rasheed Wallace (1995, 4th, +2.53), about all Nash can brag about is Gheorghe Muresan (+0.70). The 7-foot-7 center was one of only nine of Nash’s 35 picks to meet or exceed draft-slot expectations. The busts include Calbert Cheaney, Sebastian Telfair and Sharone Wright.

    3. Jack McCloskey
    Pistons, 1979-91; Timberwolves, 1992-94
    Net EWA: -0.83
    In the 20 years that comprised our study, Tim Burroughs (1992, 51st, +0.20) was his best draft pick. Who? Exactly. McCloskey bombed in the top five, grabbing Christian Laettner (1992, 3rd, -0.54), Isaiah Rider (1993, 5th, -2.31) and Donyell Marshall (1994, 4th, -0.22) as building blocks for the expansion Wolves.

    2. Rod Thorn
    Nets, 2000-2007
    Net EWA -0.94
    Unfortunately for Thorn, he doesn’t get credit for picking Michael Jordan — our study starts in 1989, which means his stint in Chicago from 1978-85 doesn’t count. And since then, he’s made plenty of mistakes. Even if you don’t want to blame him for taking forward Kenyon Martin (-2.98) with the top pick in the weak 2000 draft, he has made plenty of mistakes, including Jason Collins (2001, 18th, -4.90), Zoran Planinic (2003, 22nd, -1.68) and Antoine Wright (2005, 15th, -4.05).

    1. Elgin Baylor
    Clippers, 1986-2008
    Net EWA -1.18
    Come on, was there really any doubt about this one? Baylor made 43 picks over the length of the study and only nine met or exceeded expectations. More often, as we detailed already, he has drafted the likes of Shaun Livingston (2004, 4th, -4.71), Melvin Ely (2002, 12th, -2.90), Darius Miles (2000, 3rd, -3.69), Lorenzen Wright (1996, 7th, -2.13), Terry Dehere (1993, 13th, -2.19), Bo Kimble (1990, 8th, -3.78) and Danny Ferry (1989, 2nd, -5.91).

    Oh, and Baylor also made the worst pick of the past 20 years, Michael Olowokandi (1998, 1st, -7.99). Conveniently, the Clippers have the top choice in this year’s draft. Let’s see what happens without Baylor in the war room.

    Alvin Chang is a contributing writer for ESPN Insider.

    Comment by Paul | June 24, 2009 | Reply

  8. I’m glad to LBE with the Crew vs Nose bleeding @
    the garden! Hope the crew shows up as we find out
    what if any future the Knicks may have! Also, the
    CZAR of the LBE should be in RARE form, especially if
    we take Jennings! Hope to read Bronx/Harlem boys in Md’s,
    Modi, Steady, Cooley, Jaybee, DLT, Statesman,Tman,Eddy Curry lover, Davonn, BARF, IMG(lives), Postup, and even a Cameo by Drossman will make things more interesting!

    LGK!

    Comment by Peaceman | June 24, 2009 | Reply

  9. Forgot the Noizeman and “STARKS 4 THREE” even if he’s KD’s made up friend! LOL

    Comment by Peaceman | June 24, 2009 | Reply

  10. More news & notes from ESPN.Com’s Insider…

    The Grizzlies aren’t just entertaining the idea of parting with the No. 2 overall pick in Thursday’s draft. They’ve also engaged in advanced discussions with the Knicks that should put former No. 2 overall pick Darko Milicic in New York by week’s end … unless Memphis winds up needing Milicic’s expiring contract in another draft-related trade.

    Sources say that the proposed swap would send Milicic to the Knicks for swingman Quentin Richardson and cash. Milicic is scheduled to earn $7.5 million next season in the final year of a three-year deal he received from the Griz in 2007; Richardson has a player option for next season at $8.7 million.

    If the teams go through with the trade, Milicic would join his fourth team since Detroit infamously gambled on him in 2003 with the pick immediately after LeBron James … and right before Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. But it’s believed that Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni hasn’t been able to kick his long-standing interest in seeing what he can get out of the perpetually, uh, casual 24-year-old. Despite his unquestioned standing as one of the biggest draft busts in league history, Milicic would have to be considered an intriguing one-year rental for the go-go-go Knicks given his length, mobility, passing skills and age.

    Wouldn’t he?

    ——————————————————–

    Bonus Wolves nugget: Kahn’s willingness to take on Darius Songaila, who is scheduled to earn $4.5 million next season, looks like the clincher that persuaded Washington to take Minnesota’s offer over New York’s for the Wizards’ lottery pick: Randy Foye and Mike Miller in exchange for No. 5, Etan Thomas, Oleksiy Pecherov and Songaila. Shedding Songaila wasn’t an option in a deal with the Knicks built around Wizards ex Larry Hughes.

    ———————————————————

    Why is Marcus Camby said to be available in Clipperland so soon after being frequently described as off-limits leading up to this past season’s February trade deadline? Because the Clips have discovered this month that they can’t move Zach Randolph or Chris Kaman unless they’re also willing to move down from No. 1 in Thursday’s draft order. Which they obviously have zero interest in considering.

    Thank God Donnie jettisoned Zach Buckets when he did. Zach is gonna steal shots & minutes from Griffin and poison the whole rookie campaign while Dead Coach Coaching Mike Dunleavy shifts the blame around to save his job.

    Comment by Paul | June 24, 2009 | Reply

  11. Via Twitter, Alan Hahn reports that the Knicks may send cash to the Timberwolves for the 28th pick overall.

    The deal would give the Knicks the 8th and 28th picks in Thursday’s draft.

    Hahn reports that the deal is not done but is an “option, one of many.”

    ————————————————————

    Also, sending Q out of town? Who will inherit the “Scholar” role?

    Comment by Paul | June 24, 2009 | Reply

  12. Whoa…..you mean our backcourt might have to face Joe Johnson & Jamal Crawford as a backcourt this year? Gwan Nate, pop under those lazy screens again why don’t ya?

    The Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors are closing in on a trade that would deal Jamal Crawford back to the Eastern Conference.

    NBA front-office sources say that the Warriors and Hawks will soon complete a deal sending Crawford to Atlanta for Acie Law and Speedy Claxton.

    Comment by Paul | June 24, 2009 | Reply

  13. Wow, the best the Warriors can get for Jamal after furiously shopping him for months is an injury settlement contract (which they will cash in Speed-ily), and a young point guard in Law who shot 37% from the floor last year & is a 25% shooter behind the arc for his career.

    Couple this with not being able to GIVE away Zach without parting with the #1 pick, and suddenly that dual trade Walsh pulled last year is looking pretty good. Plus, Cat Mobley’s contract is more of an asset than we expected due to HIS injury settlement.

    Wheeler/dealer time y’all, gotta love it…=)

    Comment by Paul | June 24, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks for the series of updates on the comings and goings today.

      As hindsight is proving Isiah to be a great drafter, hindsight is shining some good light on Walsh’s decisions to jettison productive but overpaid complimentary role players.

      Donnie’s activity is good and he’s showing his craftiness by keeping the MSM off balance with reports of all the picks the Knicks are in a possible love fest with.

      My board from all I’ve gathered and in no particular order are the following:

      Thabeet (won’t happen and underdeveloped Offensive game will turn [ ]’antoni off)
      Tyreke Evans (Size length and showed he could handle point gaurd responsibilities)
      Johnny Flynn (undersized but with serious hops and excellent lenght, 6’4 wingspan, despite his 6’1/5 size in kicks)
      Maynor (like him as a sleeper and produced despite his just average athleticsm, great showings in the NCAA’s both times around)
      Ricky Rubio (@ 8 and that goes for most players named here, his passing skills are lovely, thanks IGM for the vids, but the kid needs to strengthen up and get a jumper)
      Jordan Hill (Good protection in the event Lee and his lack of interior Defense leaves the NYC)
      Jennings (So what he has questionmarks but you can’t say that either Rubio or Curry don’t have ones just as serious)
      Curry (Only if Peaceman is right in his assessment that he is the next Mark Price and not the next JJ Reddick)

      Comment by orangeandblue1 | June 24, 2009 | Reply

  14. SHAQ GETS TRADED TO THE CAVS
    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=aw-shaq062409&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

    Comment by Peaceman | June 25, 2009 | Reply

  15. tRgbeE http://dy5Ndo9BsL1vpVv5kqsUh.com

    Comment by samuel | April 7, 2011 | Reply


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