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....
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.