Did any team beat the Harlem Globetrotters?

2011 NBA draft: turning points

istockphoto.com/Jeff Milner
The hopes that are put into talent selection year after year are immense. Individual players should give whole franchises new hope and no other day besides the trade deadline ensures so many barter deals. This was also the case this year - as well as a number of surprising picks, deeply fallen players and everything else that goes with them. Without further ado: The XXL review.

For the first time in a long time, this draft has sparked a discussion about who should actually be the first pick. Flashback: The last time there was such passionate discussion about two candidates as this year between Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams was in 2007 when the debate was Greg Oden vs. Kevin Durant. And this time, too, it could be the case that the better player only took second place. But I wouldn't commit myself to that, because in my opinion Irving's style of play is timeless and history has proven that people like him can always lead an NBA team as a structure without much concern. I doubt whether the often sought-after comparison between him and Chris Paul is actually permissible, but as I argued in my guest appearance at nbachef: If there is a safe bet in this draft, it is Irving. The chance that it will not ignite is minimal, while with Williams the question of the right position remains open and, accordingly, his further development depends on the fastest possible answer to this question.

The really interesting thing about this whole constellation: Purely from Cleveland's rotation, Derrick Williams would have been a lot better suited than Irving. With Baron Davis and Ramon “Mr. Advanced Stats “Sessions were already prominently occupied on the one in Ohio while the huge gap on the wings gaped. Unless someone can explain to me in a comprehensible way how Antawn Jamison, highflyer Alonzo Gee and Anthony Parker playing above his zenith should form a functional and dangerous wing. Conversely, Cleveland has to be pretty sure that Irving is and will be the better player. And somehow a solution has to be found on the one that will satisfy everyone. I can't quite imagine that Baron Davis willingly sit down on the bench, give the mentor (and really, should a young, hopeful builder like Irving just learn from him?) And pocket $ 28 million in the process. In other words: A trade has to be made before the start of the season in January (it will be like that, if we're honest). It's a good thing that Davis is bundled with J.J. Hickson or Anderson Varejao can ship. Because one of the two should / must go is also clear with Tristan Thompson's draft. Unless Thompson goes elsewhere himself as part of a trade. Since he was pulled quite surprisingly on the four, such rumors are of course already in circulation.

So Derrick Williams to Minnesota - should GM David Kahn finally have a happy hand after two years of sadness, scorn and ridicule? It took a more or less incompetent coach who thought it wise to let one of the more complicated systems in basketball (which also eliminates the point guard) play with Jonny Flynn, a recognized pick and roll guard. Then possibly the best player of this year drafted to two, although he doesn't even begin to meet any need. After all, Kahn is so sure that he will not be fired after the first series of defeats because he left Williams. I would still have liked it if he had taken the risk pick with Enes Kanter. Sure, Williams and Irving are considered by everyone to be the top two players in the draft, followed by the rest. Yes, Kanter hasn't played competitive games in ages, but dominated the Nike Hoop Summit a year ago. Yes, the last Euro Center to go down brilliantly as a top 3 pick was Darko Milicic and is currently up to mischief in Kahn's team. Although, magician Kahn saw something in him that 29 other GMs in the league don't see - which could explain the fact that pretty much every GM in the league is crystal clear compared to Kahn. And yes, we're also talking about the Kings GM who made the seventh pick, Beno Udrih and who else (honestly, who cares?) John Salmons and Jimmer Fredette. Because every time you get the chance to take on a shooting guard that is too old with a contract that is too long and high, as well as a completely hyped rookie (who, however, ironically fits well into the team concept), you do without the need to build up the future now more than ever must seize this.

Anyway, back to Kanter: He would have filled the clearer team need and would have been the big risk, but it can also pay off. And honestly, Minnesota isn't going to knock on the playoff door all of a sudden, they're going to be bad (as always). Kanter can develop, offers pretty much everything that Kevin Love does not offer (inside-game, defense) and you would only be a young shooting guard away from a very good, developable starting five. If you add that the Western Conference is already undergoing extreme change - to be honest, next to Oklahoma City, no team is set as contender for the next three years - and you suddenly look at the possibility that Minnesota at least in the not so distant future belongs to the better teams in the west. The one argument that destroys my whole argument: Minnesota no longer has its own first round pick in 2012 because it is with the Clippers. So you are practically forced to achieve a respectable record in 2011/12 so that you don't strengthen a long-term competitor in the West and at the same time cause a sensation among your own fans again. So what is needed is experience and immediate impact - which will probably be in the form of a trade by Anthony Randolph, Kahn favorite Michael Beasley or (unlikely) Kevin Love. Too bad that with Jonny Flynn a possible asset for .. um .. yes .. nothing has already been given to Houston. Together with the rights to Donatas Motiejunas, where there are doubts about the attitude and the will to learn, but who was also considered a potential top 5 pick until a few days ago. In return, Brad Miller and two minor picks? The Brad Miller, who is the worse, older version of Kevin Love? Well, congratulations.


So quickly away from the potential disaster with the name Minnesota Timberwolves, towards Utah Jazz - your up-and-coming Western Contender. Maybe anyway. Because aside from the Fredette hype (in fact, I would have been in favor of launching a one-off franchise tag in favor of Jazz that they pack on The Jimmer), Utah has done a fantastic job. Let's remember: The blood of Jerry Sloan was still stuck to Deron Williams' hands, Williams and the rest of the league were sure he was going to stay in Mormon State anyway - and the Jazz are setting off the bomb and trading him to New in the smartest possible way Jersey. With Devin Harris you got a respectable structure, with Derrick Favors one of the most fascinating Big Man projects of the last years and now finally Enes Kanter. Since Al Jefferson is not scrapped either, you have a deep front court (especially if Memo Okur returns in a reasonably sensible form), which gives you enough leeway to watch how Favors and Kanter develop. If it is foreseeable that one of them will not become the big impact player after all, trading is still possible - after all, Big Men are the hottest commodity on the trade market. At the same time, the trade worsened so much that you slipped into the lottery, there were a few reaches and Utah and Alec Burks were able to draft the shooting guard that has been urgently needed since Jeff Hornacek's times. If Burks ever lives up to the first part of his position, he is a sure starter in the NBA. With Gordon Hayward, another young wing is ready, so that Utah suddenly no longer has any immediate need for action. The big question in the whole positional haggling: Will Utah let the team stand like this, or do you trade a Big Man for a needed player sooner rather than later? And how much do you bite your buttocks now that Eric Maynor was given away to the Thunder? Regardless, from my point of view, Utah has a lot of potential and pieces of the puzzle that could make a wonderful overall picture with a good trade. A kind of turbo rebuild, as I expect Utah to be back in the higher spheres of the Western Conference very soon.

A quick interim comment on the Raptors and Wizards: Jonas Valanciunas is definitely the player Toronto was missing. As if a too skinny, offensively versatile, but defensively useless center were up to mischief ... But hey, Toronto is lost for the foreseeable future anyway. After all, Valanciunas provided my personal draft highlight of the evening with his interview: His (non-) interview after he was picked. The fact that he dealt an unintentional swipe at Chris Bosh ("Why you think your game is like Chris Bosh's game?" - "I don't know, I have not so strong body") was the icing on the cake Moment of the evening. Washington, meanwhile, is going ultra-athletic with Jan Vesely on the wing, JaVale McGee as center, Chris Singleton in the lows of the rotation, and John Wall as director of the whole. Even if Washington will not tear much in the coming season - they will be spectacular to watch.


Probably the biggest surprise of the evening was that Michael Jordan made a good trade. Probably the first since he was somehow responsible for sports. Stephen Jackson was the best player in the trade, but at the same time they got a second top 10 pick, Corey Maggette got another scoring two / three and above all: The team made worse. What seems strange at first glance makes sense on second: With Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson you would probably play for the playoffs in the east, but nothing more. In the long run, mediocrity can also not satisfy, so you got rid of your stars, significantly reduced the current talent level, but at the same time did something for the future by rejuvenating the team and in 2012 a very high draft pick in one of the better age groups of the younger generation Will hold in the past. There is also evidence that Bismack Biyombo has secured a prospect that still has a lot to learn - but which is a very defensive center that can have an immediate impact there. We didn't just know what effects this can have since Tyson Chandler's reincarnation this season. In addition, with Kemba Walker a real winner as a structure, which the years of misunderstanding with the name D.J. Hopefully / finally will finish Augustin. In any case, the rumor mill is likely to run hot. Of course, Walker is not a star, but here, too, there is a Mavericks parallel: He can definitely become a type of player á la Jason Terry, which is also a not unimportant component of a possible contender. In any case, one thing is certain: Charlotte has laid the foundations so that she may soon play a prominent role in the league again. I would be more optimistic if the past didn't show that Michael Jordan is still able to hit the wall again at any time. For example in the form of a miserable draft pick (-> Brown, Kwame).

The Detroit Pistons certainly didn't do that. Apart from the fact that Rodney Stuckey already has a combo guard: getting Brandon Knight in eighth position borders on a miracle. How high his upside really is, how much shooting guard and how much point guard he is, whether he can become more than Louis Williams, who is not only used by me as a reference - we will see. In any case, it is clear that Detroit could have landed a real steal with him. I'm curious to see how it develops and whether it can actually mutate into a good structure. He fits into the new wave of scoring ones without question, but it is also the case that this type of player has never been able to make the difference between a very good team and a champion. There will be no talk of that in Detroit anyway, rather the Pistons have to try to clear out the squad so slowly, because in positions one to three in the form of Knight, Stuckey, Hamilton, McGrady, Bynum, Gordon, Villanueva, Jerebko, Daye and Prince has accumulated (too) much talent, while Greg Monroe is alone under the baskets in the hallway. Should that happen, the next Pistons coach can work with a good, developable squad and soon lead the Pistons back into playoff areas.

So much for the first ten picks, while I would like to briefly turn to the trades. In addition to the already mentioned Charlotte-Milwaukee-Sacramento trade, there is of course the exchange of players between the Nuggets and Trail Blazers. Andre Miller is returning to his old place of work, which I somehow cannot quite understand - after all, Ty Lawson is in the squad. Miller will start and play because he is simply the better of the two right now. But why not rely on Lawson? He almost always convinced when he got his chances, was a not insignificant part of the run of the nuggets after the melo trade when Raymond Felton was out and is already a more than solid starter in this league. Anyway, I don't really see any profit in this trade for Denver. After all, Portland still managed to secure a talented wing in Jordan Hamilton, but one can also ask the Blazers what exactly this trade is supposed to bring. Yes, you've gotten younger on the one and Felton's contract expires after the season. But otherwise? No real progress and the question inevitably arises as to how one actually wants to achieve more than one annual first round defeat with this squad. What looked so beautiful a few years ago is slowly falling apart here. I really like the trade for the Mavericks, by the way. Fernandez was no longer happy in Portland, but could be even more so in Dallas. After all, it's up to the wingers to move to the basket here, which is what Fernandez does excellently on the national team. After Stojakovic's brief flare-up in the playoffs, one can say that Fernandez is much more likely than the Serb to become an integral part of the rotation - and possibly even a starter. Nice trade from the Mavs, who are getting a high quality winger for the first time in a while.


To stay in the Southwest Division: I've already touched on the Flynn trade briefly above, so here's a little about the Rockets again. Brad Miller was not the hoped-for reinforcement or at times fell completely out of the rotation, which is why there was practically nothing lost. Getting Flynn for this is fine - he's worth the risk and won't mess up your salary cap either. He can come off the bench behind Kyle Lowry and doing without the constant shuffling between starting five and bench should do him good too. The trade can also be interpreted in such a way that Houston was apparently not particularly impressed by Goran Dragic. You will hardly keep Lowry, Flynn and Dragic, which is why the trade bells are ringing here again. Maybe you get the necessary small forward that you didn't get in the draft - unless Marcus Morris prevails here. Either way, it's time Daryl Morey swapped a few of his three thousand role-players, all of whom are somehow good, for something bigger. As soon as Houston has a real All Star again, I see the team in the playoffs and not without a chance there either. After two years of mediocrity and narrowly missed the finals, it would definitely be time to catch up with the other two rivals from Texas.

And if two Texan franchises are already active, then of course the third must not be missing - with a trade that came as a complete surprise. There were numerous rumors surrounding the San Antonio Spurs, but these mainly concerned Tony Parker. After all, the French structure is said to have caused some displeasure in the locker room, the franchise was at a crossroads after the first round anyway and an offer from the Blazers looked quite tempting (Nicolas Batum / Andre Miller / Erstrundenpick 2011 versus Parker / Erstrundenpick 2011) . Now George Hill, who will play in Hoosier State from now on, has been replaced. Basically a good idea of ​​the Pacers, because on the one hand there is no potent scorer from the bank and the backcourt is really not the showpiece of the team. To what extent George Hill and Darren Collison - undoubtedly the most potent players in the small positions - will curtail each other remains to be seen. But if that works or head coach Frank Vogel finds a way to give both of them the playing time they are entitled to, Hill is definitely a big win for Indiana. Kawhi Leonard should also be for Spurs, especially since Richard Jefferson should no longer have any serious claims to the role of starting small forward after his recent no-show in the playoffs.Leonard brings the urgently needed athleticism to the front court, gives the Spurs another strong rebounder (how many actually) and is an important step to keep the Alamo's franchise competitive in the future. In other words: Together with MJ’s deal, the best of the evening. Except that nobody was ripped off.

Malte Arndt

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