Archive for the ‘2011 NBA Draft’ Category

Because you are so interested, here is a complete breakdown of the Tanguy Ngombo saga:

  • Timberwolves make noise about drafting some dude named Targuy Ngombo who plays in Qatar but is Congolese.
  • Draft Express’ Jonathan Givony finds out about it and predicts the Timberwolves will take him in the second round.
  • The Timberwolves draft Targuy Ngombo in the second round, we all have a ton of laughs and find out his name is actually “Tanguy” maybe. Jonathan Givony gets the weirdest bragging rights ever.
  • The league finds out through a simple Google search that Tanguy Ngombo is probably 26, rather than 21, which means he would have been eligible to be signed by any team. This is a big deal because most teams are dying to sign 26-year-old prospects that no one has ever heard of, and who didn’t even dominate leagues in Qatar. Rumors abound that the pick may have to be rescinded.
  • We all have more laughs that David Kahn may have illegally selected someone that no one else wants on their team.

So that’s where we stand now, laughing at this whole thing. Thankfully for the Timberwolves, it looks like they might be getting some ngood ngews about Ngombo. From Ken Berger at CBS Sports:

[Sources] say the Wolves expect a favorable ruling from the NBA office that they will be able to keep No. 57 pick Tanguy Nbombo despite a dispute over his age. Though information has come to light that Ngombo is 26 – and thus ineligible for the draft – sources say the Wolves have government documentation from multiple entities that Ngombo is, in fact, 21. The belief among some executives is that a team should not be punished if government documentation is inaccurate.

Congratulations to the Timberwolves for getting their Tanguy. (Pun.) It has been a long, hard journey filled with so many laughs for the team to get everything settled so that they can have the draft rights to a guy who may never play in the NBA.

Between this and Ricky Rubio signing a contract, I think we can all agree that the Timberwolves have surpassed the San Antonio Spurs as the NBA team who best utilizes foreign talent. Case closed.

Apparently this year’s rookie class is composed entirely of guys who don’t mind comparing themselves to current stars. Kyrie Irving insists that he’s not LeBron James. Jan Vesely calls Blake Griffin “The American Jan Vesely.” And now, two Houston Rockets rookies are taking shots at two of the biggest names in the NBA.

First, Donatas Motiejunas, courtesy of the Houston Chronicle:

“I just want to say maybe one word now about the thing about Dwight Howard,” Motiejunas said. “He can push me. If he can catch me, then we’ll see.”

Next, Marcus Morris, again from the Chronicle:

Asked whose game is like his, he had said, “I think maybe Carmelo … because I’m a midrange king.”

On Friday, he clarified his thoughts on the comparison.

“I’m not going to take after him on the defensive side,” Morris said.

Great idea, guys. Cracking on two dudes who love to use quotes in the press for motivation seems like a perfect plan for a couple of rookies who have never played in the NBA. It’s a little too genius. A little too Raph.

I’d imagine that Morris’ Melo zing is a little safer than Motiejunas’ Dwight Howard quote, if only because Howard outweighs the Lithuanian big man by 50 pounds and could easily maim him once they encounter each other on the court. For all we know, Donatas Motiejunas could be the next Usain Bolt, but Dwight will eventually get his hands on him. Once that happens, yikes-a-roni, the San Francisco treat. What’s Carmelo Anthony going to do to Marcus Morris? Jab-step him to death? I’m sure he’ll try, but that is not a lethal maneuver.

There are a lot of confident rookies in this year’s class, which makes things pretty fun. Sure, it might end up badly for them, but we’re sure enjoying it.

You’ve seen the Eastern Conference. Here’s the West.

Dallas Mavericks: No picks
Due to a trade, the Mavs didn’t end up with a draft pick, but did acquire Rudy Fernandez from the Trail Blazers, who will bring solid guard play to the team. Losing the fan favorite could have some Blazers fans crying.
Grade: INC

Denver Nuggets: 1-22 — Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehouse State, 1-26 — Jordan Hamilton, SF, Texas (via Blazers through Mavericks), 2-26 — Chukwudiebere Maduabum, PF, Bakersfield (via Lakers)
Faried is a beast on the boards and that skill usually translates well from college to pros, especially when a player has the motor that Faried has. There’s still a question, however, about the competition he faced in college while playing for Morehead State. Faried is instantly likeable and the effort he puts forth will make him loveable to everyone in the Nuggets organization.

Hamilton could be a different story, however, depending on how often he decides to chuck. He’s a volume scorer that can get caught up with tunnel vision, so he’ll need to improve his shot selection, but he has a pretty good offensive game to put points on the board.

Maduabum has an excellent name and will need to work hard to be an NBA player. Have more belief in the former.
Grade: B

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Despite the dearth of quality prospects throughout the entire draft, there certainly wasn’t a dearth of transactions. There might not be a starter in the mix, but there are some really talented players that will make some noise. Below, each team is graded, which is appropriate since school is out. Peep the grades and argue with me in the comments.

Atlanta Hawks: 2-18 — Keith Benson, C, Oakland
Benson has potential to be a very good back-up center for years. There’s some talent there, as he’s one of the better domestic center prospects in the recent past. He’ll need to get stronger, but has the frame to add muscle and should pick up good habits and discipline from Al Horford. Not devastatingly explosive, but can finish in the box and has a nice touch on his jumper.
Grade: C+

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Sounds like half the league has a Chris Singleton-painted bullseye on their backs. The other half, don’t worry about it. You didn’t do anything wrong, so he’ll let you slide.

A rookie having confidence is a good sign. Totally botching his ceremonial hat-putting-on might not be.

Whoops. Oh well. 50 percent shooting is still pretty good.

(first video via Truth About It)

Andrew Unterberger went to the draft last night. He took a lot of pictures…

Draft night was probably pretty cool for Bobby Hurley. The rest of his career in Sacramento, not so much.

Presumably, Knick fans Nos. 1 (Stoudemire) through 6 (Fields) joined them in the stands shortly thereafter. Pity whoever got stuck with No. 5 (Walker).

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Best Dressed: Kemba Walker
Once again, Kemba nails it, from head to toe, even lucking out that the Bobcats’ hat perfectly matches his ensemble. The pants are just a tad too long, but everything else fits perfectly. Plus, he amps things up just a little bit by adding a tie bar, salmon and beige saddle shoes and that second ticket pocket on his right side. Dude is by far the most NBA-ready from a wardrobe perspective.

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