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Wednesday July 5, 2006 11:27 pm

NBA Draft Grades: Central Division




Posted by Dennis Velasco Categories: Drafts, Editorial, NBA,

Tyrus ThomasCHICAGO BULLS
Who They Ended Up With: PF Tyrus Thomas, SG Thabo Sefolosha, SF Viktor Khryapa (trade)
Comments: The Bulls were able to get the player they probably wanted anyway, as well as Viktor Khryapa and a draft pick when they traded the rights to LaMarcus Aldridge whom they drafted second overall to the Blazers for Thomas.  That John Paxson is one smart dude.  Thomas is extremely athletic, can finish on the break, and can do with a ball what every credit card company I apply with does and that’s reject with reckless abandon.  He’s still very young and might be the anti-Eddy Curry/Tyson Chandler and actually have his game grow and be more than one dimensional.  Sefolosha could be a defensive stopper at this level and could be a solid bench player.  I’m not sure where or when Kyryapa will play with Andres Nocioni and Luol Deng at the three.
Final Grade: A-

CLEVELAND CAVALLIERS
Who They Ended Up With: SG Shannon Brown, PG Daniel Gibson, SF/PF Ejike Ugboaja
Comments: I like the Brown pick because who knows what’s going to happen to Larry Hughes health-wise.  It’s unfortunate for Hughes because he obviously has talent, capable on both ends of the floor.  Brown brings some intensity to an otherwise pretty quiet team.  Even LeBron James doesn’t yell and scream much, which is actually very MJ-like, as well as refreshing.  Gibson was an excellent pickup in the second round as he has shown the abilty to play at a high level.  He’ll probably do an apprenticeship under Eric Snow, but then take over.  Gibson is more of a scorer than a true point, but maybe playing with James will change his outlook.
Final Grade: B

DETROIT PISTONS
Who They Ended Up With: PG Will Blalock, C Cheick Samb (trade)
Comments: Not much you can do with only having one pick and it happens to be the very last one in the draft.  Blalock has a chance to make the team, but will strictly be a garbage-time player as he doesn’t possess any perimeter shooting skils.  Samb will probably stay in Europe at least one more season.  But, the boy does need to eat an American diet of cheeseburgers, hot dogs, and french fries because he’s skinnier than Jimmie Walker back in the day when he was screaming, “Kid Dy-no-mite!”
Final Grade: C

INDIANA PACERS
Who They Ended Up With: SF/PF Shawne Williams, SG/SF James White
Comments: Williams is a gifted big athlete, but with Danny Granger already at the SF/PF position, where does Williams start?  Or will the promising Granger sit?  I guess that’s why they training camp, right?  Either way, the Pacers needed to get a point guard and at 16th overall, they had numerous choices. 
Final Grade: C-

MILWAUKEE BUCKS
Who They Ended Up With: SF/PF David Noel, SF/PF Damir Markota
Comments: Noel can go the way of Trajon Langdon, a four year player for a solid ACC school (in Langdon’s case, Duke and in Noel’s case, North Carolina) who doesn’t do a thing in the NBA.  Unfortunately for Noel, he wasn’t even nowhere as good as Langdon in college.  I don’t know if Noel will even make the team, but if he does, I’m sure Roy Williams made a call to someone.  Markota will stick in Europe for awhile so that he can improve on doing other things besides shoot from outside.
Final Grade: D

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