Sixth Pick Tournament Round One: Trade Down vs. Anthony Bennett

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Published: May 27, 2013

In the first match-up in round one of the Sixth Pick Tournament, Mason Ginsberg and Joe Gerrity face off in a battle between trading down in the draft and Anthony Bennett.

The Case for Trading Down (Ginsberg)

What a lay-up of a first round match-up this is! Arguing in favor of a very realistic possibility for the Pelicans against the guy who provides the most cause for concern out of all of the projected lottery picks in this draft. Quite simply, drafting Bennett would be a risk not at all worth taking; if deciding between him and trading down in the draft, it shouldn’t even be a question that the latter option is the optimal course of action.

There are two huge reasons why drafting Bennett would be both unreasonably risky and incredibly illogical, as he is the exact type of player who Coach Williams and the Pelicans’ front office routinely look to avoid.

  • Defense. If it was possible to convince readers in just twelve words that Anthony Bennett has no place on this Pelicans roster, Mike Prada of Bullets Forever nailed it. To describe his defense, Prada said “Bennett might be the single most unaware defensive prospect I’ve ever seen.” Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. He then exclaims, “there is nothing he does well at this end, and those shortcomings are due entirely to his effort.” If the tension between Monty and Marcus Thornton for that same reason resulted in Thornton getting traded away, it is difficult to imagine what will happen between Coach Williams and Bennett.

  • Injury history. While scouts have openly questioned the first concern, this one is something that has not come up much. It is well known that Bennett had surgery after the season to repair his torn left rotator cuff, a procedure which forced him to miss the NBA Draft Combine as well as any future individual workouts. Unfortunately for Anthony, this isn’t his first trouble with injuries. According to NBADraft.net, “His prep career was marred with injuries as he was not able to finish out either his junior or senior seasons.” Can the Pelicans really afford to draft another player who has been hurt in each of the past three years?

In a nutshell, Bennett is an injury prone power forward who gives just about no effort on the defensive end. Does that sound like a player who fits in with the Pelicans’ long term plans? The answer to that question is obviously no.

While trading down is clearly a better alternative than drafting Bennett, it’s also a very intriguing option regardless of who the option is matched up against. As of right now, there are four NBA teams with two first round picks – the Timberwolves, Thunder, Jazz, and Hawks. The Pelicans could work out a deal with any of those four teams that could put them in great position to land additional talent. Some potential trades with short explanations are listed below (all of which were deemed reasonable by the rest of the Bourbon Street Shots team).

1) New Orleans receives the 9th and 26th picks, Minnesota receives the 6th pick

Rationale: By making this deal with the Timberwolves, the Pelicans would gain a late-first round pick in exchange for moving down from 6th to 9th. If there is no player that the New Orleans is in love with, this trade is one that makes a lot of sense, as the drop-off in talent from 6 to 9 should not be terribly large.

Possible course of action: Pelicans select either Alex Len, C.J. McCollum, or Dario Saric with the 9th pick, then draft Giannis Adetokunbo or Lucas Nogueira with the 26th pick and let him stay overseas for a year.

2) New Orleans receives the 12th, 29th, & 32nd picks, Oklahoma City receives the 6th pick

Rationale: Very similar to the proposed Timberwolves trade, except that they fall three additional spots with the top two picks and gain an additional pick at the top of the second round (which is potentially more valuable than the 29th pick due to different contract rules for second round picks).

Possible course of action: Pelicans select Saric or Michael Carter-Williams with the 12th pick, Adetokunbo or Nogueira with the 29th pick to keep overseas for a year, and C.J. Leslie with the 32nd pick.

3) New Orleans receives Alec Burks, the 14th pick, & the 21st pick, Utah receives Greivis Vasquez & the 6th pick

Rationale: People may look at this deal and immediately revolt, but it should be one that the Pelicans strongly consider. New Orleans knows that Greivis isn’t the long-term answer at starting point guard and that he will probably get offered more money as a restricted free agent in 2014 than they feel he’s worth. With that in mind, this summer could very well be the ideal time to move him. The Pelicans receive two mid-first round picks in addition to a talented 21 year old 6’6” guard who was the 12th pick in the 2011 NBA draft in exchange for Vasquez and the 6th pick.

Possible course of action: Pelicans select Saric, Carter-Williams, or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope with the 14th pick, then Sergey Karasev or Gorgui Dieng with the 21st pick.

4) New Orleans receives the 17th, 18th, 47th, & 50th picks, Atlanta receives the 6th pick

Rationale: Monty’s head might explode if the team added four more rookies to the roster, but if this deal went down, at least one of the picks would be used on a player who would stay overseas for a year or two, and the two seconds round picks could be included in other kinds of transactions.

Possible course of action: Pelicans select Shane Larkin and Jamaal Franklin with the 17th & 18th picks, then draft Alex Abrines and Mouhammadou Jaiteh with the 47th and 50th picks (both staying overseas throughout next season).

Any one of these four trade scenarios provide not only a wiser course of action for the Pelicans, but a much more realistic plan as well, given the blatant clash between Anthony Bennett’s shortcomings and the overall team philosophy. There is simply no way that the Pelicans’ brass will overlook Bennett’s defensive apathy and propensity for getting injured. No use wasting the best arguments for trading down this early in the tournament when matched up against a player who New Orleans certainly will not draft.

The Case for Anthony Bennett (Gerrity)

ESPN Analysis had this to say about Anthony Bennett in January, prior to the effects of his injury impacting his performance–

“If he was 2 to 3 inches taller, he’d be a lock for the No. 1 spot.”

A lock. Not a contender, a lock.

Bennett is coming off a year at UNLV that most pimply college freshman can only dream of. Prior to suffering a left rotator cuff injury, which isn’t expected to affect him long term, Bennett was largely considered the top freshman in the country, and a serious contender for the number one pick. His performance in the NBA-friendly UNLV offense lead many scouts to believe that he’ll be a force at the next level as well.

He has that rare combination of athleticism, strength, length, and talent that make NBA scouts drool. Bennett may only be 6’8 in shoes, but his wingspan is well over seven feet and his body is NBA ready. He’s an outstanding rebounder of the basketball, a skill that translates immediately from college to pro ball. In a lot of ways he’s similar to Kenneth Faried, but with way more talent and potential on the offensive side of the ball.

He has a great touch from the outside for a big man, and is capable of stretching and spacing the floor. His post game is largely based on power moves, and as a result isn’t yet up to par with the rest of his offensive repertoire. But it’s improving. He should be able to score immediately against NBA level competition from both inside and out, but especially once he gets ample time to practice against better players and with superior coaching.

On the defensive end Bennett wasn’t the greatest in the world, but he’s strong, long and athletic enough where it’s hard to see him unable to fit into a well designed system, especially with a player like Anthony Davis at his side. His height is always going to be a concern when facing off against some players, but we’ve seen guys like David West and Faried succeed on the next level despite having less than ideal size. With that said, it’s a possibility that Bennett bloom into a quality defender thanks to his length and athleticism.

We can have a debate about whether or not Bennett, largely considered a power forward, fills a position of need for the Pelicans, but that’s simply not how drafting works. In the NBA (and most professional sports that I know of) GM’s rank players in tiers, and then draft from within the tier based on team needs. You don’t pass on a clearly better player just because he doesn’t play small forward. You don’t pass on a future All-Star big man just to get an adequate point guard.

Speaking of that…

Can Anthony Bennett play small forward? Maybe not all the time, maybe not even any of the time officially, but in a league increasingly being made up of tweeners and specialists, it’s not hard to see him adequately defending some small forwards and becoming a matchup nightmare for forwards of any type on the other end.

It’s not a certainty that he’ll be a lights out shooter from the outside, but it’s not at all out of the question either. As a 20 year old, he made a three pointer per game in college while shooting 32% 38%. If he can get that number up a bit he will require attention on the perimeter, opening up the middle for other Pelicans to make plays, or opening up space for himself to beat his defender or make a nice cut inside.

Here’s an example– if Davis and Bennett were on the floor against Indiana with a few seconds left and the game on the line, Frank Vogel would probably bench Roy Hibbert. There simply wouldn’t be anyone for him to guard since both bigs would be capable of getting outside and making the Pacers pay. Having options like that are invaluable for any coach, but especially a young guy like Monty Williams who is still learning and experimenting.

By now you probably have a pretty good picture of Anthony Bennett and just how good he can be. In the end, this matchup is going to come down to potential versus potential. Mason is going to talk about grabbing players late in the first round to stash in Europe for a year, or the talents that we’ll be able to grab later on in the first round which will somehow blossom into premier players in the league. He’ll probably cite a few examples of players being take late round one or two who wind up being superstars and costing their teams next to nothing.

It’s pretty much hogwash. Not all of it, but most of it. The odds are overwhelmingly against it happening. You don’t get many chances to draft in the lottery, and for a team like the Pelicans it’s extremely important that they take advantage of the opportunity to land a talented player for years to come. There’s a reason that teams want to pick earlier in the draft, and it’s not because they hate hanging out with David Stern. Players who are picked earlier tend to be better than players who are picked later. Shocking, I know. It’s like GM’s and scouts do this for a living or something.

Let’s look at one potential trade-down idea that Mason brings up. I’m only going to look at one because I’m strongly opposed to trading a sure-fire NBA player, often a star, for a few guys who are as likely to be in Europe or the D-League in three years as they are playing real minutes in the NBA. Take a look at the value of a draft pick from  82games.com if you don’t believe that the odds of getting a quality player drops off dramatically as you go down the board.

Even if you view the 6th pick in a bubble (Lady Luck hasn’t been kind to number six over the years), you’re still winding up with a star or a solid player 55% of the time. Add in the possibility of getting a role player to the mix and teams historically have an 85% chance of getting at least a usable player. It’s probably worth noting that every pick in the top five has historically had a 60% chance or better of getting a star player. The draft this year isn’t exactly as clear-cut as some have been in the past, so it’s hard to argue that the dropoff from five to six is as profound as it has been in the past.

Mason’s best and most reasonable trade down idea is probably the Pelicans #6 for Minny’s #9 and #26. The ninth pick historically gives a team a 40% chance of getting a player of star or solid quality. That’s less than 50%, according to Dr. Jason Calmes. The money saved by paying the 9th pick as opposed to the 6th pick is negligible. The 26th pick has only a 15% chance of getting a player of such quality. Even if we think the player that we have targeted is going to be available at 9, it’s still barely advantageous in practice to add the 26th pick. While I won’t dispute that there are occasionally treasures found late in the draft, it’s pretty rare to actually unearth one.

I’d like to believe that Dell Demps is a draft god, capable of turning late first rounders into franchise players, he’s yet to actually show us as much. Until he does, I’m sticking with what works historically– the higher pick, and in this case Anthony Bennett. If Bennett is available with the 6th pick, it’s not necessary to even entertain the idea of trading down. You’re getting a potential All-Star whose draft stock has dropped only as a result of injury, and not an injury that should affect his play in the future. The fact that the biggest knock on Bennett’s game is that he’s a few inches too short (yet still so long!) is telling of just how good he is elsewhere, even at such a young age.

In closing, a 3-man rotation of Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson, and Anthony Bennett could not only solidify the Pelicans front line for years to come, but give them seemingly unlimited options on the offensive end while at least maintaining respectability on the defensive side. You can trade talent for talent if it’s decided later on that we don’t need all three big men. What you can’t do is trade crap for talent, and it’s more likely that we’ll wind up with crap if we pass on Anthony Bennett in favor of players that dozens of other GM’s have already passed on.

DraftExpress Video        Anthony Bennett Workout Video       Anthony Bennett Highlights

For all Sixth Pick Tournament Matchups and the Bracket, click here.

64 Comments

  1. kmatt404

    May 27, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    I’ll do the OKC or Jazz trade without hesitation. As long as we can draft Saric.

    • Michael McNamara

      May 27, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      kmatt404 Only fear I have with the OKC trade is making them stronger. If they want to move up to #6, it’s because they have somebody they love there in all likelihood. Would hate to give that team another quasi star. But outside of that, I tend to agree. If Dell is looking at Saric anyway and he can move down and gather more assets and still get him, would be a good trade

      • kmatt404

        May 27, 2013 at 1:28 pm

        Michael McNamara As good as we can make OKC with this trade, we also can find our star player next to AD. IMO Saric is the most skilled big men in this draft.

      • Michael McNamara

        May 27, 2013 at 1:32 pm

        kmatt404 Michael McNamara Yeah, if it were the only trade down available and you can guarantee me Saric would be there, I would probably do it, but then if Oladipo or McLemore somehow slipped to OKC at 6, I would be sick to my stomach

      • Papa Pelican

        May 27, 2013 at 1:35 pm

        Lopez and the 6th pick for Cousins, the 7th pick and 36th pick?

      • Michael McNamara

        May 27, 2013 at 1:39 pm

        Papa Pelican If each of those things had a value, I would say:
        Lopez – 25
        6th pick – 45
        7th pick – 40
        Cousins- 85
        36th pick – 10
        So the Kings would be giving up 135 to get 70. No deal

      • Papa Pelican

        May 27, 2013 at 1:41 pm

        Add Vasquez and the trade become interesing

      • kmatt404

        May 27, 2013 at 1:49 pm

        Michael McNamara Of the Top 5 teams, the Suns GM scares me a little cuz he has talked about Saric. Other than him I believe Demps and Ainge know about something about this guy. Which could work for us if the Celtics want to make a move

      • Houpgarou

        May 27, 2013 at 11:44 pm

        We wish. The kings want more than Lopez or even Lopez.and Vazquez for a young 20-10 guy regardless of his headcasedness

  2. Papa Pelican

    May 27, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Theres no way in the world i would trade with OKC because 1. they’re not giving up their 2nd rd pick and two the Pels would stupid enough to make them 2 times better.I like the Jazz or Hawks picks but i doubt they would give up their2nd rd picks unless the Pels would flipped one of their 1st or 2nrd picks they would get in return for a player.The Pels can’t be a rebuliding team for another year 2 years is enough.

  3. jsl05

    May 27, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Let me start off by saying that I am not a huge Anthony Bennett fan.  I have watched the Draft Express video on him, some highlight videos, and a few interviews in addition to reading Chad Ford’s scouting report and Mason’s and Joe’s take.  I picked Bennett, though.
    The main reason I picked Bennett is that I see no reason to trade down.  If we trade down to even 9, we may not get the guy we want and are more than likely not getting the best player possible.  The 26th pick (or whatever other pick would be added to the higher pick we would acquire) really has little to no value to me because A) he has little to no chance to succeed B) we can’t afford to keep bringing in young guys like this (even Europeans). 
    Although I don’t like Bennet, I do like his elite athleticism and his offensive ability.  He can be an instant scorer on a team like ours that lacks scorers.  Offensively, he can be a mismatch for small forwards by using his 6-8 240lb frame to muscle out a basket; or he can use his elite athleticism on big men to get around them.  He’s also a great offensive rebounder, which is a very valuable quality in the playoffs.  I do hate his defense, though.  He did not put forth the effort at UNLV, and I don’t see a way he will change it unless Monty somehow transforms the way Bennett plays.  Still, if you can get a guy that has at least one elite quality like Bennett, I think it’s worth taking the risk.  Yes, there are guys that I prefer; but I’d rather draft him than move down and get nothing really to compensate.

  4. eMariii123

    May 27, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Sure, Bennett has the skills to one day be an allstar, but is there really a spot for him on this team? How many times have we seen cases of players being buried behind other players in the rotation, not being utilized to their full potential? One guy in particular is Derrick Williams, who was picked 2nd (!) by the Timberwolves, only to be buried behind Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic. Williams was a hot commodity back then, as there was talk of him even going 1st to Cleveland. Minnesota drafted who they thought was best player available, and now they have an unproductive player with diminished value. The Pelicans DO NOT want to do the same by drafting Bennett.
    Typically, the guys who get selected mid-last 1st round and turn into productive players from year one or two in their careers are the guys who get drafted by GOOD teams. These guys are very good at a few things, and the teams bring them in with a defined role, allowing them to thrive in the system. Right now, the Pelicans ARE NOT a good team. 
    Going with the idea of “sell high” on the 2014 pick, the Pelicans can become a GOOD team, allowing them to trade down in this draft and pick up two players who can produce. They can trade the 6th pick to Utah for the 14th and 21st. Use the 14th on a guy like Schroeder or Gobert, who are high risk/high reward guys and use the 21st on Jamaal Franklin or Allen Crabbe. These guys may never be stars, but you can’t miss with these picks as you know what you’re getting. Jamaal Franklin IS Tony Allen, and Allen Crabbe is lesser of a defender, but a better shooter.
    Then in FA, you will have plenty of money left to spend. You can trade Lopez for Pekovic in a sign and trade with Minnesota, and bring in a starting SF like Corey Brewer or Martell Webster and your team is mostly set.

    Bledsoe/Gordon/Brewer/Davis/Pekovic               Anderson/Smith/Rivers/Gobert(or Schroeder)/Franklin(or Crabbe)

    • Houpgarou

      May 28, 2013 at 12:11 am

      Yes on franklin. How about we draft bennett for minny, they draft schroder and franklin for us. Just for good measure we include Lopez for dwill in the swap.
      Of course this is a prelude to a later sign and trade for pekovic.
      1,3,&5 needs all met

  5. 504ever

    May 27, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    I’d trade down to take Shroeder at 9 or 12 (hopefully he is still there at 12), not Saric.  (I may even eurostash with the 26th pr 29th pick.)  I would also consider drafting McCollum or possibly Zeller if available at 9 or, miraculously, 12.  I probably pull the trigger on this trade if the following players are off of the board at 6: Noel, McLemore, Porter, Oladipo, and possibly Burke.  
    The lower picks I get would be about player development, whether I eurostash or choose a college player that may take a year or two to be productive.  This, like the eurostash at 9 or 12, also makes us ‘bad’ for longer, which is good.

  6. adfly

    May 27, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    I’m not really sold in saric as everyone else. To me his game is comes more from height and strength rather than pure skills. In the nba that won’t help him be as productive. So to turn down a powerful and athletic beast in bennet , who has other elements to his game that make up for his shortcomings. To possibly draft a guy who scored most of his points shooting over his defender, in saric. I’m sorry but those points he was scoring for croatia will be sent to the stands for the pelicans.

  7. macs21

    May 27, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    Just like to point out that Bennett was 19 and shot 38% from three rather than 20 and 32%

    • GerrityJoe

      May 28, 2013 at 9:51 am

      macs21 Apparently I made a boo-boo. Gotta work on my game this offseason.

      • macs21

        May 28, 2013 at 8:11 pm

        GerrityJoe
        Haha not meaning to be a dick or anything, I just think that a college PF who shoots 38% from 3 rather than 32 is a pretty sizeable difference

  8. SamuelWhoDatWilcher

    May 27, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Is Tony Allen a Free Agent this off season?  I seem to remember so talk around the site that he would be worth Targeting.  I am not sure what the price tag would be for him but he is a player we need.  Is there any chance we could produce a trade to get him and maybe Q-Pon?

    • Houpgarou

      May 27, 2013 at 11:29 pm

      Yes he is

    • Houpgarou

      May 27, 2013 at 11:32 pm

      They need a backup guard in grizzland something awful. Bayless killed them in this series. How about a greivis for qpon swap?
      Just kidding

    • Houpgarou

      May 27, 2013 at 11:47 pm

      You know Monty would love Allen, but we logjammed at 2 until eg and or greivis move

    • MasonGinsberg

      May 28, 2013 at 7:55 am

      SamuelWhoDatWilcher with the degree to which Allen’s lack of an offensive game was exposed against the Spurs this past series, his value may have taken somewhat of a hit, which would be ideal if the Pelicans were to pursue him.

  9. Houpgarou

    May 27, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Before reading I was 100% trade down but I was kind of feeling Joes argument, you only get to pick top six so often (the math didn’t help tho, 40 + 15 =55)
    Personally I’m more intrigued by later prospects especially schroder franklin and Larkin than anyone beyond the top 4 and maybe burke.
    However, I’ve not decided how to vote cuz while those longershots excite humble me, Bennett is the type of player that makes NBA gms drool, so we might could get a nice haul drafting him for someone else. He might be able to get us Bledsoe for instance, which is for my money the best haul we could get for pick 6.

  10. dschmid4

    May 28, 2013 at 12:55 am

    Not a huge fan of drafting small 4s to play the 3. I cannot think of a success story along those lines. Small 4s like a Barkley or Rodman back in the day, or Millsap/Faried to a lessor degree now do just fine as 4s. But while I am sure there are players out there,  I really can’t think of short college power forward making it as a 3 in the NBA, particularly not at an All-star level. 
    I can see Bennett thriving in a certain systems as a 4. But our two best players are both 4s (A Davis/Ryno), where/when is Bennett going to play? The only way I see it working out is if Monty feels Davis is moving to the 5 – soon.  But I have not seen any indication that is going to happen soon. 
    This round of the tourney goes to trade down for me, though I hope for a more  attractive option in the next round.

  11. polofr3sh

    May 28, 2013 at 6:01 am

    The okc trade for a higher draft pick also has rumors about them dealing in Jeremy lamb too
    So i
    Would easily make the trade with OKC
    http://thunderousintentions.com/2013/05/24/nba-draft-nba-trades-jeremy-lamb-okc-thunder-victor-oladipo/

    • Michael McNamara

      May 28, 2013 at 8:14 am

      polofr3sh According to Brian Windhorst on the BS Report, the Thunder knew from his first practice that Lamb didn’t have “it” and were shocked by how timid and apprehensive he is. Personally, I would rather have picks 29 and 32 or even Perry Jones III. No thank you when it comes to lamb

      • polofr3sh

        May 28, 2013 at 11:45 am

        If your trying to trade Gordon….
        Whats the harm in having Lamb?
        He is very talented plus u can
        Prob get shabazz at 12
        And kabonga out the 2nd round
        My gosh
        That easily makes the bench stronger and deep
        Plus
        Still got spending money too
        For a brandon jennings or bledsoe

  12. dellmonty

    May 28, 2013 at 6:02 am

    Talent wins in the NBA. To pass on a more talented player because he’s not our coaches type of player limits the amount of success our team can have. Having a coach who can only work with what he defines as his kind of player is not a recipe for long term success. Draft the most talented player and work with him. I vote for Bennett.

    • daThRONe

      May 28, 2013 at 7:39 am

      dellmonty 
      Very sound post. I’ve said this you can’t be picky about the talent at your disposal. So long as you don’t end up with a team for of selfish players it’s on the coach to get guys to mesh. It’s ultimately what made Phil Jackson so great. It clearly wasn’t the triangle offense.

      • daThRONe

        May 28, 2013 at 7:40 am

        dellmonty 
        *full

  13. polofr3sh

    May 28, 2013 at 6:04 am

    The okc trade for a higher draft pick also has rumors about them dealing in Jeremy lamb too
    So i Would easily make the the deal with OKC
    http://thunderousintentions.com/2013/05/24/nba-draft-nba-trades-jeremy-lamb-okc-thunder-victor-oladipo/

  14. daThRONe

    May 28, 2013 at 7:35 am

    This ended up being a much more difficult decision than I thought coming in. Normally I would say Bennett in a blink of a eye. However it’s the injuries that is a huge cause for concern. We are learning just how ineffective all-star potential can be when often injured.
    In the end I’m still going Bennett. On a rookie contract he won’t eat up too much of our salary cap. Really though guys with his combo of size and talent don’t come around every day. The fact he played through the injury gives some hope. And effort is something that can easily be changed. He most likely will never become “Mr. Motor”, but it’s not unrealistic to think he’ll play at a more acceptable level from a coach that will demand it from him.

    • Michael McNamara

      May 28, 2013 at 7:44 am

      daThRONe “And effort is something that can be EASILY changed”
      Loved your opinion on this matchup and your open mindedness coming into it, but I disagree with this one line. Motor is a skill, and in my opinion it is the hardest one to improve. I think it is easier to improve Vasquez’s athleticism, for instance, than it is to improve a player’s motor. From my experience, motor comes from what you have been through off the court and no coach can go back and change that. 
      With Bennett, it doesn’t appear that he is just lazy, he also appears extremely dumb on the defensive end, which is a deadly combination. And yet after all of that, like you, I am most disturbed by the injury history. He screams Mr. Glass 2.0 to me.

      • daThRONe

        May 28, 2013 at 8:47 am

        Michael McNamara daThRONe 
        I was searching for the right word and kind of settled for “easily”. While I disagree I don’t ever think Vasquez will be an NBA level athlete motor issues isn’t something to over look. I accredit having a poor motor mostly to condition and will. While will is something more engrained in a person I think conditioning is very easy to fix(as compared to other basketball related flaws).
        Will is something that can change especially in the right environment. Try all you want Vasquez will never have Bennett’s gift to play the sport.

      • macs21

        May 28, 2013 at 8:09 pm

        daThRONe Michael McNamara 
        Just like to chip in here. Paul George, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond have been guys that have had motor questions coming into the draft over the last few years.
        Not saying Bennett will turn out like them but I do see where Throne is coming from. Some analysts are starting to believe that super-talented guys like those three don’t really try that hard until they come up against equally talented competition

  15. yaboytonez

    May 28, 2013 at 9:40 am

    People continually say this draft is weak. Yet every time I turn around there are trade down rumors. If the top half of the draft is weak, why trade down? On the other hand we are in Western Conference. We need to add size, athleticism, and defense. We cannot draft talent that is absent of or cannot develop these attributes.

  16. yaboytonez

    May 28, 2013 at 9:43 am

    The only trade down scenarios I would like would have to include a quality, young, athletic player off note. No no named scrubs who have yet tho progress in this league. No more projects please.

  17. Ogden Park

    May 28, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Drafting Bennett makes more sense than the trade options presented, unless another deal or a 3rd team were involved. This team does not need or want more rookies, much less a grab bag of marginal mid/late-round prospects. A euro-stash or two is intriguing, but not at the cost of giving up a player with Bennett’s upside and value. Though I concede a deal with Saric or Schroeder involved is definitely something I could see Dell doing.
    I think that Bennett in particular, more so than the #6 pick itself, has more value than what is presented here. A number of teams are salivating over his potential and would likely offer more enticing deals than mid/late prospects. The only trade option presented here with a veteran is the Utah deal, and those are the types of trades Dell will most likely be looking for. Like a Wilson Chandler/#27 type deal.
    Also, his value as trade bait moving forward is something to seriously consider. He could be a premium asset in free agency (S&T) and into the next season. Imagine being able to package him with Lopez or Vazquez. Options.
    I watched a bit of AB this year and he is for real. It is not hyperbole to say he is the best offensive player in the draft. He is not a great fit for us defensively, but as some have already noted you simply cannot pass up talent in this league, even if its just for asset collecting.

  18. Caffeinedisaster

    May 28, 2013 at 11:28 am

    We would be better of drafting (and later trading) Bennett than we would trading down.  I think this kid has tremendous upside if he can just STAY HEALTHY.  The main question with him (aside from injury status) is how his bully-ball playing style will translate against the big boys.  Also we are STACKED at the PF.  Could he play SF?  So many questions.  Perhaps worth the risk?

    • daThRONe

      May 28, 2013 at 12:09 pm

      Caffeinedisaster 
      Having too much talent is never a bad thing. If Bennett is far and away the better talent at 6 we should draft him. Then we have the luxury of deciding who to keep and who to trade.
      I don’t see him as SF to answer that question. Honestly I think he has a better chance to play the 5 than the 3.

      • Caffeinedisaster

        May 29, 2013 at 12:26 pm

        daThRONe Caffeinedisaster I think if he’s the only one available on the board, we should take him.  There is no great reward without great risk.
        At the 5, he COULD be a poor man’s JJ Hickson.

  19. jamrenaissance

    May 28, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    I’m not a fan of trading down, as I have enough faith in Dell to get some good talent with the #6 pick. With that said, unless Bennett was going to play SF, we are already set at PF, so this would not be an efficient use of talent.
    Trade Down, unfortunately.

    • daThRONe

      May 28, 2013 at 12:23 pm

      jamrenaissance 
      You don’t pass on talent simply because you have talent unless you have a proven superstar at that position What if Bennett ends up better than both Anderson and Davis?

      • daThRONe

        May 28, 2013 at 12:24 pm

        jamrenaissance 
        And a more pressing need somewhere else

      • jamrenaissance

        May 28, 2013 at 12:36 pm

        daThRONe jamrenaissance Well, I think there may be an interesting interpretation of “pass up on talent” in this draft. As a whole, I agree with you. That is why I’m not a fan of trading down – I think we can get good talent at #6.
        The question in this context, for me, is “Can I get an equal talent to Bennett at #9 (the highest pick in the options listed)?”. I believe the answer is “yes”.

      • jamrenaissance

        May 28, 2013 at 12:36 pm

        daThRONe Oops. I meant to say “in this exercise”

      • daThRONe

        May 28, 2013 at 1:39 pm

        I agree it all depends on your overall value of Bennett and his potential. My point was based on if you view him as a potential all-star.

  20. Houpgarou

    May 28, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Slightly off topic question though related to trading down?
    What do we think of buying Dallas 13 th pick if they are looking to sell it to clear cap space to sign Howard ?
    For instance Marion and their pick for Lopez ( ungaraunteed $) they could shed 9 M + rookie cap hold or shave 4M + and keep robin.
    Would we be willing to throw them b-rob if that weren’t enough?
    Teams throw out some pretty nice deals when they get in cost shredding mode, may be something that would really benefit us if Schroeder, saric or someone we really like is on board at13

    • 504ever

      May 28, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      Houpgarou  
      I am all for buying Dallas’s 13th pick, and have said so before.  Where I worry about that is how our payment is treated.  Does anyone know if our payment still increases Dallas’s cap space, dollar for dollar, if we buy one of their picks?  If not, I believe they can euro-stash without us and with their pick, and lose their cap hold for that pick because of the euro-stash.  That would mean the only value of our cash is if it increases Dallas’s cap space.  Which, if correct, puts the price of their pick in the $1-2M range to me.  (I’d certainly buy it for Schroeder, possibly for Saric.)

      Why would they trade Marion and their 1st pick for Lopez?  Marion is a 13 year vet, an 18 PER SF, and has a contract at $9M that expires at the end after the 2013-14 season.  They could just trade Marion now for a future 1st rounder (probably a mid to late lottery pick) to a team that wants to “rent” Marion for a year.  Why bother taking back Lopez when they want Howard?

      • Houpgarou

        May 28, 2013 at 9:25 pm

        Teams that need to completely clear the books in a hurry tend to make generous deals. By “buy” the pick I didn’t mean we’d send cash, just that we’d absorb their contract(s). I included Lopez not because they’d want to play him but my understanding is his $ is not guaranteed. They would clear 11 M in that one move.
        That alone may not be enough to pry the 13 th pick, so we may need to sweeten the deal by offering Brob or taking on Vince’s contract as well

      • Houpgarou

        May 28, 2013 at 9:28 pm

        Even though John hollinger may think highly of Marion, I’d don’t think many gms including hollinger are lining up to pay hike 9+ M

    • daThRONe

      May 28, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      Houpgarou 
      I like it. In another thread Michael talked about selling in a buyers market. I would like to buy in a sellers market this year. Adams could be there around 13th. I think he has the could of upside you gamble on.

  21. HollisBuckeye21

    May 28, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    Been a long time since I’ve posted a comment here, but I can’t stay away from this tournament! Beyond excited that you guys chose to bring this back this year.
    My vote is going to trading down here but it was a much tougher decision than I originally thought. You can’t deny the upside of Anthony Bennett but trading down (if it’s with Minny to get pick 9) is a high option for me for one person in particular. Cody Zeller. I do not expect Zeller to be an All-NBA player, but he is one guy I can see in this draft and say with confidence he will not be a flop in this league. I feel he will be a good, serviceable body that can have the occasional monster game and play for quite some time. Many things can change from now until draft night, but at the moment I would expect him to be there at 9. I would rather get Zeller (maybe Saric) at 9 and a potential additional asset, than take Bennett at 6.
    Heck, maybe you could even get Bennett at nine! This time of year can get a little whacky. I am more a college basketball fan than an NBA fan and watch religiously. Bennett did not do it for me. Mostly because of the defense. I’m not saying these two have similar skill sets as a whole (they play two different positions and are not fully comparable) but Bennett’s motor (or lack thereof) on defense makes me think of a recent hyped prospect, Jimmer Fredette. People fell in love with his offensive game and the ability to shoot from the parking lot. People are in love with Bennett’s offensive game for his athleticism and ability to stretch the floor. Jimmer was an embarrassment on defense. He just didn’t seem to care. He would stare, get beat, not play help defense and was actually a major liability because he did not bring the needed energy.
    However, this was often forgotten and ignored because of his pretty stat sheet. If Vasquez is a Pelican next year and gets beat off the dribble, would Anthony Bennett be there to help? I doubt it. I think he will be sluggish on defense and a coach should not have to use his time teaching a kid about how to have a motor. There are plenty other options that have a smaller skillset but a bigger heart, and will likely progress better. I may eat my words here, but sitting on the fence is boring. Give me a trade down over an individual who seems to play hard 50% of the time (or whatever percentage his team has the ball).

  22. 504ever

    May 28, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    I worry that, in the real world, we trade down to avoid having to take a PG, because it is starting to look like the three highest rated players left at 6 will be the top three PGs: Burke, C-W, & McCollum.  If Dell and Monty view Rivers as the PG of the future, they may want to avoid this pick because it has your choice of the PGs written all over it.  And I am worried this is why we trade out.  (Personally, I like choice of the PGs  as our selection at 6, and I don’t think Rivers is a starting PG anyway.)

    • Houpgarou

      May 29, 2013 at 12:10 am

      504,
      Disagree with you on this point. Delmonte has to be realistic enough to know that rivers best hope to contribute in near future is off the bench ( unless we go for one more tank year, then we want him playing huge min). I have to believe that despite the glaring needs for a 5 who brings toughness, and a 3 or two, our top priority has to be a pt guard who can get us into our offense promptly and effectively. I think your scenario comes to fruition IF we are in love with a vet pg we feel is attainable, or we are in love with Schroder and zeroing in on him.keep in mind Most teams that need a pg don’t pick until after pick 12 so trading down is the move if we want to draft a pg, and doubly if Schroder is our guy.
      Also not sure that he top 5 is that set. When there are no obvious home runs in the wing or even pg department, teams like to gamble on size. So I will not at all be surprised to see Len or zeller sneak into top 5

      • 504ever

        May 29, 2013 at 7:58 am

        Houpgarou  
        And what will you say if the Hornets stay at 6 and have their choice of PGs in the draft, but don’t choose one?  Trade down but don’t improve the PG spot through the draft or free agency?

      • Houpgarou

        May 29, 2013 at 10:42 am

        I would say that the answer to the BIG question about the pels is clear.
        With the most unbelievable free agent class upcoming

      • Houpgarou

        May 29, 2013 at 10:47 am

        And this supposedly great draft, the head says rebuild one more year.
        Of course the heart says let’s put some major pieces in place this year and build a winning culture. That would start with our future floor general, the coach on the floor, the one who will be setting up the big easy for years to come.
        If we go into this season with one of our 3 “combo” guards running the show, the 1 BIG question is answered, another year of rebuilding.

      • Houpgarou

        May 29, 2013 at 12:05 pm

        504ever Houpgarou  
        btw,
        my preference is, despite the temptaions of next year, that we start assembling some major pieces this year, especially a point guard. my preferences, as of now, in order:
        bledsoetrade down pick up shroder and an athletetic wing, ideally franklinsame except ipick mcwburke at 6
        and your preference?

      • 504ever

        May 29, 2013 at 1:53 pm

        Houpgarou504everBledsoe (If he doesn’t cost more than Gordon, OR two of Lopez, Vasquez, and a 1st rounder.)Trade down pick up Shroeder and a C (Muscala?) or possibly a SF.  (I don’t see Franklin as a SF and there aren’t too many domestic choices.)
        Burke at 6McCollum at 6Trade down for ???

  23. nojoke33

    May 29, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Would giving Orlando the 6th pick in exchange for Tobias Harris be a good idea, or would there need to be more pieces? He would provide some versatility and offense from what I know.

    • Houpgarou

      May 29, 2013 at 8:11 pm

      Wow, what an idea! I had to think for a long time about Whether or not I would do it which means its a damn even trade.
      In the end I think yes I would do it, though obviously for the hornets the better trade is Vasquez Lopez and 6 for Harris and 3.
      Or Gordon Lopez and 6 for aflalo , Harris and 3 and flip aflalo for Bledsoe. They get to pick Burke in both scenarios

      • nojoke33

        May 30, 2013 at 11:14 pm

        Houpgarou I see how it would work in both. They get Harris and a good pick they can use to draft Burke or stockpile picks for the future.

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