I've been really working hard the last couple days wrapping my mind around a couple things the Thunder did the night of June 24th. Before I go any further, let me first say that I appreciate and trust Presti and his team's experience and hard work. They have been extremely busy so kudos for that.
I think I'm starting to understand the Cole Aldrich decision after having given it some thought and mainly just forcing myself to like him. I am also hopeful for Pleiss and really think he might be something special for us in a couple years.
That said, I am still waiting for Presti's press conference with David Stern where he pops up from behind the podium and says "Just Kidding! Ha, I really got you guys! We will actually be taking Ryan Richards at the 48th pick before the Spurs snagged him at 49, we also still picked Magnum Rolle at our 51st pick but at 57th that whole Ryan Reid thing was an especially good joke, we actually got Sherron Collins at 57th to get a look at him with his teammate Cole and still traded Magnum to Indiana. Thanks for coming and I hope you guys got some good laughs...."
And yet, I'm still waiting for the press conference....
For starters, I have yet to hear an answer as to what the heck they were thinking with Ryan Reid, or who in the world he is! Nbadraft.net doesn't even have a profile on the guy and Givony over at Draftexpress politely said the following,
"Ryan Reid was on his way to making a nice career in whatever field he got his degree in at Florida State. Instead he just got drafted. Wow"
"I think Ryan Reid may be the worst player to get drafted since the NBA went to two rounds. Never saw that coming in 5 billion years."
That may be pushing it a bit, but REALLY? We picked at 57th to get a guy who DEFINITELY wasn't going to be drafted? My main question is, why didn't we at least take a chance on Sherron Collins (as mentioned above to see him with Aldrich), Scottie Reynolds, Jon Scheyer, Stanley Robinson or a Brian Zoubek? At least these guys have proven they can play basketball at a high level. I am utterly bewildered and can't wait to be pleasantly shocked by Reid being actually useful.
Secondly, was the Latavious Williams thing done as an "atta-boy" for his time spent in on our D-League team? He seemed ok, but 11pts/ 8 reb in the D-League isn't necessarily anything to write home about. I had heard a lot of chatter about Ryan Richards being a steal in the second round and really had hoped we might take a shot at him. ESPN’s Chad Ford had this to say about him at the combine "'he shot the ball well, was very fluid running up and down the court and showed a sound basketball IQ.' His measurements were just as impressive — he’s the third-tallest prospect at 6'-11¾" tall, 7'-2" wingspan and has a lithe frame that could comfortably carry another 20 pounds. Richards also turned 19 years old on April 24, making him the youngest player in the 2010 Draft. He’s aggressive and intense, something European players are not known for." The word everyone has been using to describe Richards for San Antonio at 49 has been an "absolute steal." Time will tell.
I'm just struggling trying to like/make some sense of our teams decisions on draft night. I understand the principles our GM and his staff live by:
1.) Sustainability 2.)Flexibility 3.) Good citizens on and off the court 4.)Defensive Identity
All that to say, they did a great job working hard, burning up the phone lines, and turning 4 picks into 6 Players and a future pick. I just think with some tweaking, it could have gone from good to great. My adjusted picks would have been:
(11.)Aldrich (18.) James Anderson (31.)Tibor Pleiss (48.)Ryan Richards (57.)Sherron Collins
Those picks would have given us 2 potential Centers, a stashed international prospect, another great perimeter shooter and another aggressive scoring option at point. Granted, not all of these guys might make the cut, but we'd have a heck of a summer league team to look at and sort through.
Again, I suppose time will tell. My grade for Presti: B- but I'll raise that to a B+ if Ryan Reid does just one good thing this summer.