The issue I have with Kaminsky is that he's not really a good fit next to Al Jefferson. He's not athletic. He's not a rim protector, and on the whole he isn't impressive on the defensive side. The positive is he can shoot and potentially develop into a stretch-4, but unless he improves defensively, he could be a liability as a starter and ultimately become a role player off the bench. Now maybe long term we will let Al Jefferson walk away, and then pursue an athletic center to replace him, and let Kaminsky develop into that Channing Frye type player. But to be honest, if we were going after a big, I would rather have drafted Myles Turner because he could have been a better fit next to Al. Though I suppose Kaminsky is more pro ready and likely to contribute in Clifford's rotation, whereas Turner is another raw prospect like Vonleh that may have been marginalised. Overall, we need Kaminsky to become at least as good as Channing Frye. But arguably that might be a waste of a top ten pick, especially if Justice Winslow becomes a borderline star or better. Same with Turner.
Al signed after Davis and MKG's rookie seasons. So why would we not have gone for Al Jefferson in free agency? They aren't the same type of player and actually would compliment each other quite well. Davis has led the league in shot blocking these past two seasons (something we've struggled with), has been pretty prolific as a scorer, and in general has been one of the best two way players in the league. For me, having him next to Al would help both players and would give us one of the best big man duos in the league. I think Henderson in a line up with a star (Davis) and two very good players (Kemba and Al), would be a decent enough starter, and especially so if he became a more consistent 3pt shooter. All we'd need is to find a new SF and we could have acquired a steady starter in free agency, through a trade, or our own draft pick. Or we could have waited a year and made an attempt on a new free agent in free agency, and let's face it, a young star like Davis should easily be able to persuade one to come play on this team. That said, this never happened so hey ho.
Makes you wonder how good this team would be right now if we had won the lottery that year and got Davis instead of MKG. Building around Kemba, Davis, and Al would have been our big three. Instead we got MKG in our "big three". Ah well, guess there's always next time...
I can't say I am surprised because the past two seasons under Clifford he doesn't seem to have been rated as more than a role player. He went from starting 74% in his first two seasons, to starting just 21%, and that was only boosted due to injury problems last season. And likewise his minutes diminished under Clifford. In his first season he averaged 23.1 mins, that improved to 27.3 mins in his second season and he showed steady improvement. Que Clifford (and Big Al), and those minutes fell to 13.9 mins in 2013-14, and while they increased to 19.4 in 2014-15, that was arguably down to injuries and not more trust and/or desire to play him more. For me, I think it is possible that Clifford (and perhaps Cho?) don't see Biyombo as a pivotal piece going forwards, and instead see him as an impact player off the bench. Maybe they'll try and sign him to a long term deal, or try and keep him on a cheaper one to two year deal, or simply let him walk. After all, they've acquired two big men this off season in Hawes and Kaminsky. That's two more players to added to a packed front court, so I suspect someone has to make way...
I don't hate the pick per se, rather the fact that we passed on Winslow who had top five talent. He could have easily developed into an excellent SG prospect. But the guy we got will do a steady job for us and should be able to contribute from day one.
I wonder how Henderson feels not long after opting in for the 15-16 season? He could have picked anywhere he wanted to go, but chose to opt in and stay here. Then he gets traded. Be interested to see how he reacts and players in Portland.
That could certainly be a possibility. Both athletic players that should be able to play as part of a small line up. Batum also gives us a clutch 3 point shooting to spread the court. With Stephenson and Henderson gone, we're going to have to find a SG. Could be an indication we will target Hezonja (if he falls) or Booker in the draft, and perhaps if we have the cap space, Wes Matthews could be a good addition at SG.
Portland adding cover if Aldridge walks away? I know that Vonleh isn't ready to take over that starting burden, but he's talented and got a relatively high ceiling to be a good starter if given a chance to develop. As for us, Batum is a solid small forward. Not sure what this means for MKG going forwards, one of them is going to have to drop to the bench. But it gives us good depth at that position.
The issue with us is that he's going to be stuck behind MKG, and perhaps after seeing how Vonleh was marginalised last season, he might not want to come to a team that is not going to start him and give him a lot of minutes? I agree that he shouldn't burn bridges, but some players want to try and control where they go, and I'm not surprised if Johnson doesn't want to come here. And to be honest, I think our sights should be set on a SG like Hezonja or Booker, or a big like Turner or Cauley Stein.
I wouldn't be against trading Zeller if we could pull decent value for him in return. He doesn't really do any one thing well, and unless he steps up his defense and develops a three point shot, he's nothing more than a role player. I'd rather give Vonleh more minutes off the bench, and find a new starting PF. As for Kaminsky he should be a solid player. But he's not very athletic and defensively he's only ok at best. For me, if we are to pair a new starter with Jefferson then we need to find an athletic rim protector, who can reel in the rebounds. That would help Al on the defensive side because last season he did seem to have slowed down and taken a step back. If we can get him someone like WCS or Myles Turner, or land someone in a trade or through free agency of that style, then that would be better than Kaminsky. I think that honor goes to the Sacramento Kings.
I'm not sure Kevin Love would come here, but if he did, would pairing him and Al Jefferson be a good fit for one another? For me, if he leaves Cleveland I think the Celtics or Lakers could be the landing spot for him. Imagine if the Lakers pull off a trade for Demarcus Cousins (eg #2 and Randle for DMC) and Love signs for them. Suddenly they have Clarkson, Kobe, Love, and Cousins as 4/5ths of their starting line up. All they'd need is to find a SF and their starting line up could be pretty competitive next season if they stay healthy.
To be honest, I think you're right that there will be at least one worth wing prospect available when we are on the clock. I've recently seen Stanley Johnson fall to #11, Trey Lyles up to #8, and WCS up to #9 in a mock draft (nbadraft.net). For me, if Stanley Johnson is available at #9 then I'd hope that we would draft him because he would be the BPA, same way if someone like Hezonja or Winslow took an unexpected tumble. But outside of them, are wings like Booker, Oubre, and Dekker the BPA at #9 if the top eight is the same as what I posted last time? I'm not sure. Dekker is a solid all round prospect that is pretty much NBA ready. Whereas Oubre is raw, but has a ton of potential. And Booker is somewhere inbetween. All three fit a need, but an argument could be made that the likes of Trey Lyles, WCS, or even Turner is the next best player available. I feel that this team is built in a similar fashion to the Grizzlies. We are based on defense, and while extra scoring is required, I wouldn't be surprised if they did draft another big. And to be honest, I wouldn't consider it negative either because someone like WCS could develop into an excellent center. I appreciate we have Biyombo, but his offense is extremely limited averaging a handful of points, whereas I could see WCS developing his shot and play making ability to perhaps get double digit points. I'd probably say if we went for another PF it might be overkill, but Lyles is a decent stretch four prospect that could help us immediately, whereas the jury is still out on Zeller, and Vonleh is still very raw. Personally I hope that one of Stanley Johnson, Justice Winslow, or Mario Hezonja fall to us at #9. If they aren't available, I'd be happy with us taking a chance on Booker or Oubre. Though I can't help but see how WCS or even Lyle could help us.
The majority of mocks I've read have a draft order something like: 1. Towns, 2. Okafor, 3. Russell, 4. Mudiay, 5. Winslow, 6. Porzingis, 7. Hezonja, 8. Johnson That leaves the following players who tend to come next in many different orders: - PG: Cameron Payne - SG: Devin Booker - SF: Sam Dekker, Kelly Oubre - PF: Trey Lyles, Bobby Portis - C: Willie Cauley-Stein, Myles Turner, Frank Kaminsky
I'd love to see us draft WCS. He's very athletic, and a decent shot blocker and rebounder. At worst he should be able to develop into a Dalembert type player, if not reach an even higher ceiling than that. He may always be more limited offensively, but he'd give us an excellent center prospect to build around, and we could even move Al Jefferson to PF. The alternative would be to add Kelly Oubre, Sam Dekker, or Devin Booker to give us more shooting. Someone like Booker could develop into an excellent starter at SG, letting us move Henderson to sixth man, and trade Stephenson. Though Oubre is an intriguing player, very athletic, decent shooter, and has the talent to be a starter.
I'd be happy pick from WCS, Booker, Oubre or Dekker.