While we count down the days until the draft lottery let's analyze the NBA draft from the Kings perspective according to the numbers. I've always been a believer in the best player available strategy, especially for a team picking in the lottery with multiple positions of need. Let's look at this years draft according to tiers of talent.
Ridiculous upside, draftexpress, nbadraft.net, hoopshype, and espn all have Wall and Turner as the consensus top 2 picks. Based on the experts and my own observations I have:
Tier #1: Wall, Turner
Tier #2: Favors, Cousins
Tier #3: Johnson, Aminu, DavisThe kings have a 30% chance to get one of the top 2 picks, and a 4% chance for massive disappointment and the 6th pick. So assuming the percentages play out as expected and we end up drafting in the 3-5 range, who's the pick? Let's make the case for and against tiers 2 and 3.
Favors: Pros- I like the athleticism, defense, rebounding, good hands, and explosiveness. He was not showcased at GT last year due to point guards that couldn't get him the ball and losing touches/PT to the established Lawal, yet he's still a consensus top 4 pick and may be a lot better than he's being given credit for. Add to that accounts of good character/work ethic and it's not hard to imagine him reaching his potential to become a star power forward. Best case: Amare Stoudamire. Cons- I don't like the rawness of his post game and the work he needs to put into his jump shot. Worst case: Tyrus Thomas.
Cousins: Pros- I like the size, skill, rebounding, strength and production that Cousins brings. He already has an NBA body. He's also a beast with a physical presence and a mean streak that the Kings could use. Could end up being a dominant post player. Best case: Brook Lopez/Al Jefferson. Cons- I don't like the immaturity and questions about his work ethic. His size and strength advantage won't be as significant in the NBA as it was in college. Lacks elite athleticism and mental toughness. Worst case: Potential to become the next Eddy Curry/Michael Beasley (liability player and head case given away by his team after 2 disappointing seasons).
Johnson: Pros- I like the athleticism, outside shooting, rebounding, and versatility. Doesn't need the ball to be effective. NBA ready. High character, good locker room guy. Best case: better shooting Shawn Marion. Cons- has trouble creating his own shot. Needs to work on his strength and handle. Defensive ability difficult to assess as Syracuse plays so much zone defense (although based on his athleticism his defense may be a plus). Already 23 so upside may be limited. Worst case: Trevor Ariza.
Aminu: Pros- I like the NBA body, defense, and athleticism. Best case: Josh Smith. Cons- Has trouble creating his own shot. NBA position a question? May not have the post game to play 4 or the shooting to play 3. Worst case: Marvin Williams.
Davis: Pros- I like the defense and rebounding. Good length and character. Efficient post player and good athlete. College opportunity limited due to lack of PT on championship team and this years poor NC guard play/wrist injury, may be better than we think. Best case: Al Horford/Joakim Noah. Cons- Needs to add strength to play 4 or 5 in the NBA. Offense still raw, no outside shot. Hasn't shown much in 2 years of college. Worst case: Udonis Haslem.
Depending on the pick, here's who I'd draft:
#3 Favors. And hope he learns to nail the open 15 foot jumpers Tyreke sets him up with.
#4 Cousins. And pray he doesn't one day pull an Artest at Arco Arena.
#5 Johnson. And figure out what to do with 3 promising young players at SF.