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The highly anticipated half-assed draft preview

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Published: June 28, 2007

Righty, this whole post will be mostly me thinking aloud and trying to figure out which guy the Hornets will pick in the Draft tomorrow night. As stated before, I'm way out of the loop with this stuff, so pardon my ignorance as I stumble to a conclusion.

First thing I did (yesterday) was go out and look through a bunch of some way credible and reasonably recent mock drafts. As you'd expect, I found a lot of different opinions on who the Hornets will take with the 13th. Since everyone likes pie, what better way to present the fascinating results of my fascinating research than with a pie-shaped pie-chart? Methinks none, so dig in…

Mmm, pie

That's the collective wisdom of twenty different mock drafts right there. There was another one that had us picking some dude named Robert Meachem, but that seemed a bit screwy.

So Nick Young appears to be the favorite. Of course, this info is pretty useless on it's own, because who's to say young Nick will be available when número trece rolls round? And what if the Hornets didn't like the shoes he was wearing at Monday's workout? Let's dig a little deeper, one guy at a time…

Nick YoungNick Young
6-6 … SG/SF … Junior … USC
Potential Nickname: Ridiculous Nicholas

Youtube linkage

The Hornets are primarily out to get a solid wingman to replace Desmond Mason, and Nick Young would seem to fit the silhouette quite well. He worked out for the Hornets on Monday and the T-P had a glowing report on him yesterday. By all indications, the guy might be the best outside scorer the Hornets can get with the 13th pick. NBADraft.net lists Josh Howard as Young's NBA comparison.

All that said, Nick has been taking some knocks in the past few days. I read an interesting article by ESPN's John Hollinger this morning, where he evaluates the collegians in the draft with this big complicated system that apparently tested well on previous draft classes. The entire thing is worth a read, but right here we're concerned with Hollinger's evaluation of Mr. Young…

"Young is an even deeper mystery. If this guy's such a good athlete, how'd he have only 27 steals and 10 blocks this past season? As I mentioned above, his pure point ratio is hold-your-nose awful for a guard, his rebound rate is only OK, and it's not like he put up these numbers against stellar competition. Why exactly are we supposed to be excited about this guy?"

Add to this that Byron Scott and Jeff Bower appeared way more enamored with Thaddeus Young after his workout a few weeks back, and the fact that Nick was coached at USC by none other than Tim Floyd, and everything gets kinda foggy.

Collective Mock Draft data for Nick Young
High pick Low pick Average Pick Popular Pick
8 22 14 13

Moving on…

Thaddeus YoungThaddeus Young
6-7 … SF … Freshman … Georgia Tech
Potential Nickname: TY-lob, because he could be catching lobs from Chris Pa… actually, no, wait. That's a dumb nickname.

Youtube linkage

The folks over on the HR boards seem sold on this guy, and there certainly seems to be a lot to like. Physically, he appears to be exactly what the Hornets need, and the word is he's the anti-JR Smith in terms of work ethic and general intelligence. He was a one and done in college, so he may need some time, but he could turn into something real special. As mentioned, he impressed during his workout with the Hornets earlier this month. Jeff Bower's comments on the kid seem significant…

"The thing that was great is his personality and his makeup. Those are things that are going to make up for his inexperience. He's an extremely bright young man with a plan in place in his mind for improvement, and it includes a lot of hard work and it includes a lot of studying players that are currently in the league. I was impressed in speaking with him about the seriousness of his approach to this and his quest to learn more."

As well as the inexperience, Thaddeus apparently suffers from being a shitty jump shooter. That could become very inconvenient when Peja is out with a broken spine and Rasual Butler is buried in another month-long shooting funk.

Collective Mock Draft data for Thaddeus Young
High pick Low pick Average Pick Popular Pick
11 20 16 16

Next…

Thaddeus YoungAl Thornton
6-8 … SF/PF … Senior … Florida State
Potential Nickname: Teabag.

Youtube linkage

This dude is more of an inside guy than the previous pair, although he can stroke it from long range, too. NBADraft.net likens him to Al Harrington. He didn't workout for the Hornets, but then not many lottery picks did. Thornton comes out of Florida State as a Senior, and if you add that to his NBA-ready body, he looks like a guy that could step in and contribute immediately. The fact that he can post up and score inside could see Byron Scott using him a lot like Desmond Mason last season. Now if only we could get him to develop a crazy-lookin hook shot and shoot free throws like a retarded camel.

Rumor has it that Philly like Thornton a lot, so they might snap him up with the 12th pick.

Collective Mock Draft data for Al Thornton
High pick Low pick Average Pick Popular Pick
9 16 12 12

Julian WrightJulian Wright
6-8 … SF … Sophomore … Kansas
Potential Nickname: Bosco

Youtube linkage

From what I read and see, this guy is a lot like Thornton, except he's a better rebounder and less of a threat from outside. Wright didn't workout for the Hornets, either. Also like Thornton, Wright might not make it past the Sixers and their oh-so-superior 12th pick. John Hollinger doesn't rate this guy as a lottery pick however, and John has never lied to me before, so there's that.

I had a couple more paragraphs written on Wright, but my dumb laptop froze and I lost it. This can only be a sign that the Hornets won't be drafting him.

Collective Mock Draft data for Julian Wright
High pick Low pick Average Pick Popular Pick
8 18 13 12

Next up…

Spencer HawesSpencer Hawes
6-11 … C … Freshman … Washington
Potential Nickname: He-Hawes

Youtube linkage

Ok, this guy is just wrong for so many reasons. First of all, he's a center. Hardly the Hornets' most pressing need. Secondly, if he gets past the T-Wolves and their 7th pick, he won't be getting past the Bulls and their 9th pick. Sixteen out of those twenty mock drafts have Hawes ending up in either Minneapolis or Chicago. Since I know very little about all this stuff, I'll take their word for it. Thirdly, NBADraft.net say he's a bit like Brad Miller. We tried one of those before, didn't work out.

Collective Mock Draft data for Spencer Hawes
High pick Low pick Average Pick Popular Pick
7 15 8 7

And the other guy…

Rodney StuckeyRodney Stuckey
6-5 … PG/SG … Sophomore … Eastern Washington
Potential Nickname: Stuckey Stuckey 5 Dolla

No Youtube love for Rodney. Sad face.

This dude has me intrigued. He's the shortest guy on this list so far, but he can run the point as well as play the two, which could be ideal with Jannero Pargo opting out. This profile is just one of those I found that compares Stuckey to Dwyane Wade, although obviously Stuckey isn't quite that good a prospect.

Rodney can shoot the three quite well and holds his own defensively, which is always nice. The Hornets worked out a truer point guard in Javaris Crittenton last Monday, but I'd rather seem them take a chance on someone like Stuckey than Crittenton or Acie Law, who is also projected to go in the teens.

Also worth noting that Stuckey is one of only fifteen players invited to the green room on Thursday. Oh, and John Hollinger's fantastically-complex system ranks the dude as one of the top 10 collegians available.

Collective Mock Draft data for Rodney Stuckey
High pick Low pick Average Pick Popular Pick
13 21 17 15

There's probably another half dozen guys I could go through and consider here, but this is a half-assed preview after all. Besides, I think our guy is gonna be one of the five dudes not named Spencer above.

If I had to put money on it, I'd say Thaddeus Young will be a Hornet tomorrow. He seems to tick the most boxes, having had a great workout, drawing rave reviews from Scott and Bower, not to mention all the good things I've read about his work ethic and personality. The franchise brass have repeatedly stated the importance of acquiring players who have good character, and we damn sure have been burned by going against that philosophy in the past. Could be time to practice what they preach. Beyond all that though, I figure there's a good chance Thaddeus will be still available beyond the Sixers at twelve.

Of course, all this is a load of balls really, because there's no way to tell for sure who the Hornets will pick, and we won't even know if it is a good pick until a few years have passed. Same old song and dance. I remember wanting the Hornets to pick either Kirk Snyder or Viktor Khryapa in the 2004 draft. One of those guys we ended up with eventually anyway and later traded for some cash and a picture of a sunny day. And the other guy? Congratulations if you know who he plays for now, because I sure didn't.

Anyway, that's pretty much your lot. If anyone's in New Orleans and going to the draft party tomorrow, look out for the drunk guy in short pants humping Chris Paul's leg. That will probably be me. In the meantime, if you need more on the Hornets and the draft, look no further than this (new?) Bugs blog I just found. Freaks posted twice today already. Makin' me look lazy.

[Edited to add: Oh yeah, as for our second round pick, it really doesn't matter, does it? Our last four second round picks (James Lang, Tim Pickett, Brandon Bass and Marcus Vinicius) have combined to score 132 points in regular season games. Man, that's pathetic. Can we not just trade our second round pick for a kick in the crotch or something?]

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