Thursday, June 27, 2013

NBA Mock Draft 2013

1. Cleveland Cavaliers - Nerlens Noel - his rebounding and shot-blocking abilities outweigh the knee injury.

2. Orlando Magic - Victor Oladipo - possibly the best player in the draft and someone to build around.

3. Washington Wizards - Otto Porter - hometown player with polished skills. Easy pick.

4. Charlotte Bobcats - Alex Len - another bust for the Bobcats. They're the Clippers of this decade.

5. Phoenix Suns - Ben McLemore - will be him or Oladip for ROY. Great place for his offense to shine. Will be a great box score filler.

6. New Orleans Pelicans - Trey Burke - more of the score-first PG but will give the team a nice spark.

7. Sacramento Kings - Anthony Bennett - not sure what new ownership is like but they always seem to pick on athletic ability (a la the Raiders) so this makes sense. He's also the best talent left as it drops off here.

8. Detroit Pistons - CJ McCollum - Dumars improves the backcourt after learning Knight and Stuckey won't work. He'll help Knight and Monroe improve immediately.

9. Minnesota Timberwolves - KentaviousCaldwell-Pope - gives them size at the #2 guard. (I personally like Muhammad)

10. Portland Trail Blazers - Cody Zeller - good insurance should Hickson leave. Was potential top pick last year and good value. Could also swap with next pick.

11. Philadelphia 76ers - Steven Adams - Adios Andrew Bynum.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder - Kelly Olynyk - Perkins might get amnestied so this is good option for them. Carter-Williams would be good back up for Westbrook, too.

13. Dallas Mavericks - Michael Carter-Williams - nice size for PG and the Mavs always value length.

14. Utah Jazz - Shabazz Muhammad - good scoring option. Could also be Larkin but he should be available later. Muhammad won't.

15. Milwaukee Bucks -Jamaal Franklin- this signals what they think of pending free agents Jennings and Ellis. If Jennings is gone they take Schroeder. If he stays and Ellis is gone, they go Franklin. Picking the latter.

16. Boston Celtics - Giannis Adetokunbo - tough to draft without a coach. Might as well take a risk on future, raw talent.

17. Atlanta Hawks - Mason Plumlee - Ferry loves fellow Duke players.

18. Atlanta Hawks - Sergey Karasev - should be him or Schroeder. He seems a bigger need.

19. Cleveland Cavaliers - Tim Hardaway Jr. (might also be Glen Rice Jr) but should be a scoring, #2 guard to pair with Irving.

20. Chicago Bulls - Gorgui Deng - good backup for Noah after losing Asik last summer.

21. Utah Jazz - Shane Larkin - hard to imagine Schroider still available but think Larkin still ends up in Utah. Feels like they're building a Nuggets-esque, deep, high-octane squad.

22. Brooklyn Nets - Dennis Schroeder - nice steal at PG for Kidd.

23. Indiana Pacers - Isaiah Canaan - backup PG. Could also be Crabbe or Rice Jr. to give them another shooter.

24. New York Knicks - Jeff Withey - gives them some additional size. Chandler can be fragile.

25. Los Angeles Clippers - Tony Snell (especially if they expect to land Afflalo, which sounds likely).

26. Minnesota Timberwolves - Lucas Nogueira - Bebe gives them some athletic size behind Love and Pek.

27. Denver Nuggets - Allen Crabbe - him or Bullock fit the mold and good spot for either one to land.

28. San Antonio Spurs - Reggie Bullock - seems to do all the little things right. Pop should love that and a nice role player and eventual replacement for Ginobli.

29. Oklahoma City Thunder - Ricky Ledo - big guard in case Martin leaves.

30. Phoeniz Suns - Glen Rice Jr. - played at a higher level than anyone in this draft after winning the D-league championship and MVP. He should be a 1st round pick. Very latest he'd go is back to Houston at 35.

NOTE: These picks are without any trades, which there will likely be at least 6-7 of.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Jamarcus Russell to workout for Chicago Bears

JaMarcus Russell will, reportedly, work out for the Chicago Bears this Friday. To date, Russell has been regarded as one of the biggest NFL busts. The 2007 #1 draft pick has all the physical skills but that's about all he has shown.

He started with an abysmal 24 on the Wonderlic score. Not a test to put tons of stock in as John Elway and many others have done poorly. However, if one position heavily weighted intelligence it is the offensive, field-general QB. His work ethic was questioned as he blew off workouts and video reviews. His weight ballooned and quickly became labeled another Al Davis bust.

Something has turned Russell back into that magical run at LSU. He's lost over 50 pounds and appears motivated to prove he can still play in the league. Many teams are looking because of those skills, especially his cannon of an arm. Marshall Faulk, one of my personal all-time favorite players, has even been helping him understand how to read pro defenses.

The Chicago Bears are the latest team to bring him in. If any coach could help Russell, it is the new head coach, Marc Trestman. Ask Rich Gannon who's career he revived. Same for Jake "the Snake" Plummer, Scott Mitchell and Hall of Famer Steve Young who saw improvements. The Bears aren't blessed with backup talent. The revolving door of Caleb Hanie, Jason Campbell and now Josh McCown leaves the Bears very exposed, especially with the sieve they like to refer to as an offensive line.

Personally, I think this is a worthwhile risk. Sign him for the season and maybe even another year or two, provided they are very cap-friendly. He could be a solid backup and who knows, depending on the potential free agency with Cutler. I don't think Cutler is going anywhere, nor do I think Russell is going to be a franchise quarterback worth relying on but what do they have to lose?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

NFL Mock Draft 2011

I haven't had much time lately to research or do multiple versions this year.  Regardless, here is this years crack at mayhem.  Note: Trades were not factored in this year, given the mess the NFL is in.  That being said, there is a good chance the Texans trade up and, of course, the Pats and Bears trade down.

1.  Carolina Panthers - Cam Newton
2.  Denver Broncos- Marcell Dareus - huge boost for a porous defense
3.  Buffalo Bills - Von Miller
4.  Cincinnati Bengals- Julio Jones - hopeful a stud WR might keep Carson around
5.   Arizona Cardinals- Patrick Peterson - great athlete for a terrible pass defense
6.  Cleveland Browns- AJ Green - could go for DE (Quinn) but needs WR
7.  San Francisco Niners- Blaine Gabbert
8.  Tennessee Titans- Nick Fairley
9.  Dallas Cowboys - Tyron Smith
10. Washington Redskins  - Robert Quinn - nice pair with O-Sack-Po
11.  Houston  Texans- JJ Watt - Quinn and Watt could flip flop
12. Minnesota Vikings- Jake Locker - unless he is this years' Leinart, Quinn, Clausen
13. Detroit Lions - Prince Amukamara
14. St. Louis Rams - Corey Liuget
15. Miami Dolphins - Mike Pouncey
16. Jacksonville Jaguars- Ryan Kerrigan - Jags are to DE's what Lions are to WR in draft
17. New England Patriots- Anthony Castonzo
18. San Diego Chargers- Cameron Jordan
19. NY Giants - Nate Solder - would love Castonzo
20. Tampa Bay Bucs - Da'Quan Bowers
21. Kansas City Chiefs - Gabe Carimi
22. Indianapolis Colts - Phil Taylor
23. Philadelphia Eagles - Adrian Clayborn
24. New Orleans Saints - Akeem Ayers (might also grab Ingram if Pats don't at 17)
25. Seattle Seahawks- Danny Watkins
26. Baltimore Ravens- Jimmy Smith
27. Atlanta Falcons- Kyle Rudolph - perfect replacement for Gonzo and big target for Matty Ice
28. New England Patriots- Mark Ingram
29. Chicago Bears - Derek Sherod
30. NY Jets - Muhammad Wilkerson
31. Pittsburgh Steelers - Aaron Williams
32. Green Bay Packers- Cam Heyward - Justin Houston also possible

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cubs pitchers report to camp

Cubs pitchers have reported to camp and there is already a mess.  Carlos Silva thinks he has a spot hands-down but is willing to fight for it.  Randy Wells is blaming everyone but himself for an average and disappointing season.  The young arms that made the second half surge from a strong bullpen are getting a shot at starting.  I think the top three should be solid.  Big Z is always a big Q but he seems to have finally turned the curve on being a pitcher and not just a thrower. 

I think Silva gets a spot and would prefer Looper or Wellemeyer actually get the 5th, assuming either of them can still throw a ball.  Cashner and Samardzija are better off in the bullpen.  Same for Russell.  If the year goes better than expected, you look for another arm.  If it doesn't you give the young guys a shot and say sayonara to the veterans.

I have to say the Marmol deal, bringing back Kerry Wood and the Matt Garza deal give me a small sense of hope.  I know where that will lead but all three are good, underrated moves to improve a pitching staff.  The biggest problem for the Cubs is how much better the Brewers got this offseason.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Ronnie Brewer signs with the Bulls

The Magic matching the offer to JJ Redick was a huge blessing in disguise to the Bulls.  They already had their three point sharpshooter in Kyle Korver.  That left a bigger need for a long, athletic defender.  Ronnie Brewer was quickly scooped up as a backup.

The thing is, I don't see him as plan B but rather what should have been one of their top targets all along.  He is a great fit to this team and will thrive with Thibodeau's defensive schemes and teachings.  He is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league and will force a lot of fast breaks.  Something the Bulls are very good at but need to do more of.

Brewer has an awkward shot from a childhood injury.  It is very unorthodox but still a lot of his game is above the rim.  He is an excellent finisher and loves to throw it down.  That will really warm up the United Center and get fans on his side quickly.  His 52.1 career field goal percentage should tell you how much of his game is around the rim.  He will help Rose get more assists, rather than Hinrich/Salmons throwing up a brick.

Deron Williams was pretty upset when Brewer was traded last year to the Grizzlies.  It says a lot when one of, arguably the best, point guards in the NBA talks about wanting to leave the team after you are traded.  Williams talked about his three year deal and leaving his options because of this trade.  That really has to scare the Jazz after losing Boozer, Korver, Matthews and now Brewer.  I love Jerry Sloan but they could be in a real bind here soon.  They surrendered two, first-round picks for Jefferson.  He better work out.

The Bulls are assimilating a lot of the right pieces.  Basketball is, after all, a team sport.  Their games should play well together.  It certainly helps that three of the new guys all played together in the past and will help them all adjust to the new scenery.  The Bulls have room for another add and rumor is Matt Barnes while possibly re-signing Brad Miller.  That would leave them with one of the deepest 8-9 man rotations on the NBA.  A deep team worked for the Blackhawks didn't it?