FreeDrafto #6.545245: We'll Always Have Promises

FD kicks off its draft coverage by looking forward in order to look forward to looking back. Like, awards we hope we'll be able to give out one day. Participants: Brown Recluse, Joey Litman, Tom Ziller, Ty Keenan, and yours truly.

Least Likely to Dunk in a Game: Jeff Adrien. Dude could barely finish in traffic when he was playing against other 6'6" power forwards. Now what's going to happen? In a ceremony held before the show, Jeff was also named Most Likely to Be Tyler Hansbrough. It was an upset.

Next Russell Westbrook: Rodrique Beaubois. Post-Pietrus (both We Believe and now), where is France in FD Geographical Rankings? Behind Germany (Dirk, Anthony Randolph, Donte Greene) surely.

Most Likely to Pull an MJ and Quit to Play Beach Volleyball: Chase Budinger. Remember this post?

Most Likely to Be the Bill Clinton of the NBA: Chase Budinger. Higher vert than DeRozan! And unlike Brent Barry, he's not insufferable. As a warm-up to All-Star weekend H-O-R-S-E, we need a Budinger/Joe Alexander pit-jumping contest.

Most Likely to Become Julian Wright: Earl Clark. Tall, multi-faceted swingman who can't shoot. Should get taken by a fairly deep team and waste away on the bench.

Most Likely to Surprise Everyone By Being White: Nando de Colo.

Most Blazerly Player Not on the Blazers: Stephen Curry. Seriously, will someone please draft Curry and trade him for Jerryd Bayless? His light-skinneded nice guy-ness belongs in Portland. (NOTE: It was all a dream. . . )

Most Likely to Be Involved in an Unfortunate Off-Court Incident: DeMar DeRozan. I'm just sayin', the signs aren't good.

Most Likely to be the Barack Obama of Utah: Wayne Ellington. Not the western frontiersman that Karl Malone was (or is, as he's likely shooting at something out the back of his 18-wheeler right now), Wayne is, instead, the sort of mainstream (UNC-bred) African-American made for Utah: articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. He's also the sort of system scorer who could thrive in Utah, where NBADraft.net is projecting he winds up.

Most Next O.J. Mayo-y: Tyreke Evans. Both have some point guard skills, but really should not be playing that position in the NBA. He's wired to score and will average 20 at some point in his career, if not next year, but still, I'm not seeing a lot of All-Star games in his future.

Most Likely to Suffer Because of Everyone's Socio-Cultural Baggage: Tyreke Evans. I find it inspiring, and bound for disaster, that Evans is rocketing up draft boards. He went to Memphis, has PG credentials based on part of a college season, is William Wesley-related, come from a place where the basketball courts barely work, has a crazy name, and likes to dribble. Are scouts just the most tolerant, color-blind, unencumbered folks in the biz?

Most Likely to Represent Blue/Red State Divide: Tyler Hansbrough. When I went to see the Tar Heels play Valpo back in December, a friend and fellow UNC alum asked me if I would ever wear a Hansbrough jersey in public. I replied in the negative, a conclusion with which he agreed. There's nothing cool about the guy, but I've always liked players like Haslem and Millsap, and that's who Hansbrough is in the NBA. Verdict: Moderately FreeDarko.

Most Likely to Miss His T-Shirt: James Harden. Played so within the flow at ASU that you wondered whether he had a mental block on taking over games, to the point where his undershirt took on the significance of a security blanket. In the pros, he might need to wear three headbands to compensate.

Most Likely to Be Tall: Jordan Hill.

Most Likely to Make Bilas Eject Spittle When Chosen Lottery, Other Than Brandon Jennings, Which is Really Too Fucking Obvious: Jrue Holiday.

Most Assonant Name: Damion James

Most Likely to Develop a Cult Following: Damion James. Many players eligible for outsized mythology--justifiable or not--will go in the lottery, and there's nothing cult about that. But James has spent his career on the periphery of our general consciousness, seemingly imprisoned by what he could accomplish were he to figure out what he's meant to be doing. Bang or slash? Diversify or specialize? He will show flashes, especially if he gets to reunite with KD and make it thunder, and that may have the internets going nuts.

Most Likely to Birth His Own Zen Koan: Brandon Jennings. If experts scoff at Jennings's stint overseas, saying he's going where he would've after a year at college, but the kid's obviously gotten better, does it matter where he ends up going?


Best Point Guard in the Draft who has Never Played Professional Basketball in Europe: Ty Lawson. He's like a sturdier TJ Ford who, because he doesn't try to dunk on people, has a much lower likelihood of spinal cord damage.

Least Likely to Be Drafted by the Knicks: Ty Lawson. A point guard who can't be kept out of the lane, pushes the tempo, hits free throws, is a born leader, and has a reasonable jumper? Makes too much sense. Perversely, he would have been more likely to be chosen were Isiah Thomas still in charge.

Most Likely to Kill My Draft Night Buzz: B.J. Mullens. Who the fuck cares? When his name gets called, that's around the time I'll start to lose focus and get hungry. If it's way too high, I will freak out and break lanterns.

Most Likely to Score 50 One Night and Be Talking about It for the Next 40 Years: Tyrese Rice. Can choose shots as though he were a hot JR Smith, and for Rice, the planning can start from the moment he even considers getting out of bed. Of course, this means we don't expect too much else. If the Kentucky Tony Delk had been less accomplished, a little more insane, less of a real shooter, and slightly more streakier....

Ricky Rubio.

Most Likely to Get Red Lips Tattooed on His Neck: Terrence Williams. If Kenyon Martin was a wing player, he would be a lot like this.

Most Complex Prospect on the Right Way/New Jack Spectrum: Terrence Williams. Defense and rebounding like a Larry Brown creation, thought process of a Nellieball android.

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At 6/03/2009 3:41 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

Is there anyone who doesn't hate the college undershirt?

At 6/03/2009 3:41 PM, Blogger Q said...

Interesting point you make about Terrance Williams being a Nellieball Android... seems like Nellie agrees...


Who knows what the Warriors are ever doing...but having two versatile forwards on the floor would certainly make things interesting next to Ellis & Biedrins... now if only they could find someone to run an offense...

At 6/03/2009 3:50 PM, Blogger Joey said...

Yes, Andrew, there is: I continue to love the undershirt. (And I didn't write the Harden blurb, so don't think I am surreptitiously jockin' myself.) It's always been this symbol of amateurism and youth. It also was part of the uniform that bad-ass college teams wore. Like Ewing with Georgetown and Larry Johnson with UNLV. I think it's quirky and fun.

It might also be appropriate in an almost antiquated way, as these "kids" aren't really kids once AAU and all that starts. But I remember growing up thinking that you didn't get to eschew the t-shirt until you had developed muscles and, in effect, grown up more. The t-shirt was, indeed, like a security blanket, a last vestige of childhood.

I still think it looks collegiate. Manny Harris on Michigan wears a t-shirt and it's dope.

At 6/03/2009 4:01 PM, Blogger francisco said...

To add to Q's point, "if only"...Seems like the Warriors new mantra and if only they would draft someone like a holiday, flynn, and to a lesser extent curry they might have a shot to run the offense correctly. What I worry about is that although Williams could be the perfect Nellieball android, he plays defense and rebounds which translates into no PT and life in the D-League ala Richard Hendrix.

Ohhhh the life of a warrior fan...
Oh and I still think undershirts in college are hard. What i don't like is that underarmor crap that poses as an ol'skool T...WTF..If your gonna do it go full out or just stick with the wife beater under the jersey.

At 6/03/2009 4:05 PM, Blogger wdm305 said...

Love the T-Shirt

At 6/03/2009 4:18 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

Don't want this to turn into a discussion about t-shirts under the jersey, but Ed Davis wears a t-shirt and shyly admitted it's because he's really skinny. Vestige of childhood, indeed.

Strangely, midway through last season, Deon Thompson also took to wearing a t-shirt--an extraordinarily tight one--perhaps to show off his muscles and scare Ed Davis into not stealing his starting spot. It seemed to work, and next year, they should both start, so I predict no more t-shirt for Deon.

At 6/03/2009 4:23 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

That Contra Coast Times article is a good example of a writer not selecting his own headline. In the text, he writes, "While he isn't regarded as a good shooter..." but the headline says, "Warriors like shooter Williams". Wait, I thought he wasn't a shooter!

@francisco--I don't see what Richard Hendrix has to do with Williams. S-Jax will defend and rebound, and he plays. Hendrix is an undersized power forward with no conceivable role on a Nellie team.

At 6/03/2009 4:57 PM, Blogger Alexander J said...

RE: Undershirt

A player who succeeds while wearing it commands even more respect. I always wished Chris Dudley had taken to this.

I like Nando de Colo, I just don't want him dating my daughter.

If Pat Buchanan read this blog he would have a seizure, and not just because of that recent post that gave this half-japanese boy the heebie-jeebies; it's actually because he HATES superlatives.

At 6/03/2009 5:08 PM, Blogger Brendan K said...

Imagining a 2016 Western Conference Semifinal. GSW with Monta, Morrow, Terrence, Randolph and Biedrins versus OKC with Westbrook, Damion, KD, Green and somebody else who's not 7 feet tall. And a wizened, cackling Stephen Jackson is there in Oakland with a crazy white hermit beard.

I need to lie down for a little.

At 6/03/2009 5:19 PM, Blogger El Presidente said...

Random thoughts:

Is drafting Harden an attempt by OKC to keep/placate Durant? I.E. "He's NBA ready! Just a couple years til we contend Kev!"

Jennings/Ellis backcourt the fastest in the lig?

DeJaun Blair: most to lose or most to gain?

DeRozan: THE fd potential player?

Indiana with Terrence Williams - bucking the flavorless trend?

Phoenix Suns: unless a talent falls to them, they've gotta be in a bad place, no?

If Teague, Maynor, or even Lawson fall to the Mavericks, they will be thrilled. But it doesn't seem like they will, does it?

I think Damion James could lead the NCAA in rebounding (offensive too?) if he went back to Tejas.

Ellington: too good a shooter for the second round.

Draft diarrhea, out.

At 6/03/2009 5:29 PM, Blogger francisco said...

BK com-e-dy on that last post...

@B.REC I just brought up Hendrix, not because they play the same position, but because he was also touted as a tough defender and rebounder who couldn't shoot. The Dubs need has always been a rebounder that can get key off/def rebs, I felt he would be a solid bench player but Nellie chose to send him down b/c he couldn't shoot. I just don't want the same fate to happen to Williams if he comes to the Dubs and Nellie goes bi-polar and just sits him because he can't shoot. But lord knows the dubs need another 2-3 combo-swingman-small forward-hybrid-voltron red lion-guard so that way nellie can play him at the 5 spot..lol

At 6/03/2009 5:55 PM, Blogger John said...

Very nice post. Am I dreaming or did I see Kevin Durant wearing a t shirt under his jersey IN THE NBA?

At 6/03/2009 7:25 PM, Blogger Ty Keenan said...

I wrote the Harden blurb and generally agree with Joey's points above.

For me, the most memorable shirt-wearer is Khalid El-Amin, because he was basically the fat kid at the pool even though he already had kids. I'm somewhat convinced the shirt is why he failed in the NBA, and also why he's been more successful in Europe with their wide-shouldered jerseys.

It's also worth mentioning that Iverson wore a cutoff undershirt at Georgetown.

I almost hope I never see Beaubois play, because there's no way he's as awesome as he is in my mind.

At 6/03/2009 7:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah he was... I didn't think players could do that.


At 6/03/2009 9:39 PM, Blogger BPH said...

@ Joey -- From SI. Roy Hibbert on why he chose to wear a t-shirt under his jersey at G-town:

The reason why I do it is because the Verizon Center has ice [for the Washington Capitals] under the court, and it gets cold sometimes. When I was a freshman, the first few games I was coming off the bench, and I decided I'd rather stay warm than come in cold.

[Ed note: According to Georgetown sports information director Bill Shapland, in the days when Ewing's Hoyas shared the old Capital Centre with the Caps, they had the T-shirts sewn into jerseys to stay warm. The NHL has had a major impact on Hoya fashion.]

Huh. (Link)

At 6/03/2009 9:42 PM, Blogger Joey said...

John Thompson should get credit for making more black men pay attention to hockey, in that case.

At 6/03/2009 10:34 PM, Blogger growfauxfinns said...

That first picture reminded of me of a used bookstore I used to work at. All the books we didn't take would end up in a free bin in front of the entrance. One day I was snuffling through the bin and found a spiral notebook in which someone had pasted various cutout pictures from the swimsuit issue & VS lingerie catalogs. It's a shame we didn't resell it, the donor had excellent editorial skills.

At 6/03/2009 11:50 PM, Blogger JohnCraig said...

The cut off undershirt is where it's at. I feel like it's a very high school move. Sleeves seem very collegiate. But, the cut off is when you're too young and too much of a knucklehead to know any better. I love it. Good call on Iverson wearing that style at GTown. I think all players who are going to go one and done should rock cutoffs. It would be like a little club.

At 6/04/2009 1:18 AM, Blogger Jonathan David said...

Re: Hockey

I heard the same reason given for the brief trend in wearing tights a couple of years ago. I miss tights. I support anything that makes your average Joe confused, angry and uncomfortable. Additionally, Kobe, LeBron, Iverson, etc, looked even more like superheroes.

At 6/04/2009 1:32 AM, Blogger salt_bagel said...

More re: undershirts: In 1994 the University of Hawaii men's team all wore undershirts with one sleeve cut out. They made the NCAA tournament that year.

Which leads me to a broader theory that team fashion statements might be more interesting than individual ones.

At 6/04/2009 9:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For me...cutoff sleeves (unless you work construction), visors (unless you are a pro beach volleyball beauty), and jhorts (Daisy Duke and Tobias F√ľnke) are only permissible when all worn together.

At 6/04/2009 9:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


@ Salt Bagel...I am uncertain about the team fashion statemtnt...the we all wear beards, mullets, mohawks thing seems pretty played out.

The one sleeve thing is a dope example, but are their others.

At 6/04/2009 10:26 AM, Blogger Christopher said...

Is it wrong that I'm more interested in draft prognosticating than I am in the actual NBA FINALS?

TShirts = dopeness

WV - Welli - The cognitive fusion of Nellie and Android TWill.

At 6/04/2009 10:30 AM, Blogger nelsojcau said...

so what about long sleeves under the jersey. i distinctly remember seeing several players in the tourney wearing the tight under armor style long sleeves?

also, what about kerry kittles one long sock?

At 6/04/2009 11:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

woah woah woah.

do you know who wore a tshirt in college?


'nuff said.

At 6/04/2009 11:55 AM, Blogger Christopher said...

I'm pretty sure Reggie's T shirt wearing was a sort of neccesity falling under the "embarrassingly skinny" category. Recent examples include: Kevin Durant, Austin Daye and Ed Davis.

At 6/04/2009 11:58 AM, Blogger Christopher said...

...and the long sleeve thing is weird. Some guy (Crocker, I think?) on Oklahoma rocked em, but just like a long sleeve Tshirt. But I saw Renardo Sidney with some 'compression sleeve' type of long sleeves that just made him look extremely fat.

At 6/04/2009 1:19 PM, Blogger Reverend Paul Revere said...

This is by far my favorite draft article so far this year, but i take umbrage with one passage:

And unlike Brent Barry, he's not insufferable.

I love me some Brent Barry. Perhaps it is my downfall, but I will never believe it. Love the guy.

At 6/04/2009 3:18 PM, Blogger Ziller said...

Forget the t-shirt. Quincy Douby wore a puffy jacket in college.

At 6/04/2009 6:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am on the Brent Barry bus. There is a pic post Spurs championship with Brent and Matt Bonner covered in bubbly sipping molson that screams "just happy to be here." I can relate.


At 6/04/2009 7:53 PM, Blogger Sam Rigby said...

Lawson's success is going to depend entirely on who he ends up with. 8 is probably too early for him for the Knicks, but he'd be awesome as a bench guy with OKC, Golden State, Atlanta or Toronto.

I am part of the Know-Nothing party regarding Rodrique Beaubois, but I look forward to watching him dunk in warm-ups.

Damion James should probably go back to school, but I can't wait for him to get to the NBA. He's the rare 3/4 who actually looks like he could succeed at either position at times. He's like Linas Kleiza, except he hustles and doesn't float on the arc looking for threes all game.

TWill reminds me a whole lot of Jax at that age, in both good and bad ways.

BJ Mullens sucks.

I'm a big fan of the t-shirt. Suprised no one brought up Shawn Taggart, he of XXXXXXXL undershirt fame.

At 6/04/2009 8:47 PM, Blogger Alexander J said...

Ziller: Classic douby love commentary; it was so damn exciting watching Douby (the I doubylieve t-shirts didn't feel that obnoxious at the time, circa 2004) lead them to the NIT finals. Who knew he could propel in to a 1st round contract from your Kings...

At 6/04/2009 8:57 PM, Blogger Joey said...

@AJ, @Ziller even better than him leading Rutgers to the 04 NIT finals? Michigan winning that game.

At 6/04/2009 9:42 PM, Blogger MC Welk said...

so was Morris Almond

At 6/11/2009 7:13 PM, Blogger The Cruise said...

Re: guarding the undershirt, I used to love the Evansville Aces when they had Parrish Casebier and wore the jerseys that were entirely t-shirts. Can't find any pictorial evidence that it existed, but it did happen about 18 years ago.


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