If you need a credible clue as to whom the Kings will draft in one week, and you probably do, here’s looking at you, Chad Ford, check out the 2012 NBA Finals.
Every NBA GM, when not currently obsessing over scouting videos, conducting interviews, lofting smoke bombs at beat reporters, or visiting with their personal astrologist, has to be tuned in with rapt intrigue.
Today’s NBA game is dominated by wings, and not the kind served at KFC. Its dominated by guys (guards and SFs) who slash, face up, penetrate, and make plays from every conceivable angle. Its dominated by PGs who play like SGs, SGs who do more than spot up, and SFs with PG skills.
LeBron. Wade. Harden. Westbrook. Durant. Even Chalmers found a moment to shine.
The name of the game is versatility outside of the paint, and getting busy within it. Its about players with speed, length and shooting in one creative package. Its about players in perpetual attack mode, from the wing, the top of the key, out of isolation and in transition.
The influx into the league over the last decade, and especially the last 5 years, of this type of dynamic player, PGs who can score (Rose, D-Will, Rondo, Parker, Lawson, Paul, Reke) SFs who can drive (Gay, Granger, Gallinari, LeBron), SGs who can dish (Ginobli, Harden, Wade), places premium on acquiring similar talent.
After all, next weeks Top 5 draftee is next years Eric Gordon, give or take a season or two of seasoning.
The NBA rulebook, its fans, TV ratings and league officials also favor said type of player. Non-hand checking rules lends itself to a fast-paced, open style of play, away from grind-it-out half-court ball, away from plodding bruisers, and away from a predominant low post, inside-out oriented offense.
The nature of the pro game, and current pool of talent, hails the mid-sized, multi-positional, multi-skilled player.
Sorry, Samuel Dalembert.
A new proposed rule to penalize floppers, if vetted and approved, will further aid the aforementioned skillset.
The rule will effectively state, "If you establish defensive position in time to take a charge, you might get the call, but no faking. No acting. No flailing." If you try to bait the ref with Derek Fisher-inspired bullshit, don’t expect to be rewarded, especially if David Stern has his say, and he always does.
If I am GM, I am paying attention. I am paying attention to the dominant factors of success. I am paying attention to what works. I am paying attention to trends. I am trying to mold my team after a kick-ass blueprint.
This does not mean that bigs like Marc Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Chris Bosh, Dwight Howard, DeMarcus Cousins and Blake Griffin are not highly coveted impact players. They are. In terms of value to effect deep post-season runs, however, guys whose primary job is to initiate and instigate (wings) are more instrumental than guys whose primary job is to finish (non-wings).
With this competitive landscape as backdrop, we turn to forecasting the 2012 NBA Draft.
Yes, its that time of year again. Its time for Blob to drop wisdom. You’re welcome. ;)
It’s the moment you have been waiting for, unless you have to change your kitty’s litter box.
It’s OK. I’ll wait…
Hey, did you just clean up the kitty poop with print out of this post?
How dare you, inferior pet owner! (not you, just your cat. :P)
Regardless, three years of consecutive accuracy will be achieved, not by chasing every draft rumor and half-baked tweet like a dog chasing his tail, the superior choice of pet, but through the process of deductive reasoning.
Deductive reasoning involves pondering disparate, yet pertinent facts to arrive at a meaningful insight.
Darn, I just gave away my secrets.
Anyway, if A is true and B is true, independently, and D and E are also true, independently, then by virtue of the truth of A, B, C and D, we can deduce F. Insight achieved!
Allow F to represent the fifth player in the draft.
Enough with the abstract mumbo-jumbo, lets get to the deducing!
The 10 presumed facts from which to make our deduction will be as follows:
(1) Anthony Davis is in a class by himself. He transcends comparison to his peers by virtue of his uni-brow superpowers, and will therefore be the #1 pick.
(2) There are five players available after Anthony Davis, closely rated in terms of perceived future value by a consensus of NBA evaluators and decision-makers: Beal, Barnes, MKG, T-Rob and Drummond.
(3) The newest Sacramento King will be one of these five players.
(4) The three teams picking ahead of the Kings need to increase their overall talent base, just like our Kings.
(5) Selecting the best player available takes priority over drafting to fill a need for all teams.
(6) The best player available for all teams is based upon perceived future value.
(7) Perceived future value occurs in the context of the projected NBA competitive landscape.
(8) The projected NBA competitive landscape includes an abundance of versatile wings that dominantly influence outcome more so than versatile non-wings.
(9) Of the 5 players listed above, three are wings. Two are non-wings.
(10) NBA GMs are watching the NBA Finals and aspire to guide their teams there someday.
(10a) Good luck.
This presumed set of facts and fresh perspective sheds light upon the probable sequence of names called on June 28th, although it does not allow us to narrow down precisely whom the Kings will select.
The obvious deduction to be made is that the names of the wings will be called ahead of the names of the non-wings.
As Kings fans, who cares if MKG, Barnes and Beal go #2, #3, #4, or #3, #2, #4 or any other variance? The bottom line is none of these players (MKG, Beal or Barnes) will be wearing purple and black in 2012-13.
Sorry, JT’s agent.
Two men are left on the board, or more accurately, one 21 year old one man and one 18 year old man-child.
Two years ago I recall writing about the nature of risk at the top of the draft, which GMs could assume it, and which could not afford it as readily. To summarize, the assumption of risk could be more easily tolerated if the risk taker had a recent track record of success to embolden decisions.
As an inherently calculated risk taker, I say 'damn'.
Geoff Petrie is coming off the worst off-season of his non-playing career. The acquisitions of Travis Outlaw, Chuck Hayes, John Salmons, JJ Hickson, and a 39% supposed sharp-shooting rookie consisted of the majority of his resource expenditures. A flyer as last pick of the draft and mid-season pick-up of a two-time wash-out (Isaiah and Terrence) salvaged his once-sterling reputation, and perhaps saved his job.
Risk is not Geoff's friend.
Sorry, Andre Drummond.
Welcome to the newest Sacramento King, if you might honor us, perhaps and possibly maybe, with your esteemed and gracious presence, to the city of your new employer….
You are a non-wing, we know. It’s OK, man, we forgive you.
Come to Sacramento soon. George is not that creepy.
OK, I lied. He is that creepy.
Please hurry, T-Rob...Chuck awaits your diet tips.
Your multi-million dollar payday and 30 minutes per game awaits too.
All we ask is 14/8/2 on 52% FGs, and not an ounce of production less.
And when in doubt, Jimmer is open.