Sports Enyi Time: Talking NBA Draft, Free Agency & Blockbuster Trades

Back again after a short break, Sports Enyi Time is here to talk NBA Draft, free agency, and to discuss a few blockbuster trades that have already gone down. Check it out!

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NBA Gets It Right On Draft Night

By Kevin P. Thomas
PSDC Writer

During the NBA Draft dreams are reached. Players who have overcome obstacle after obstacle are recognized by the announcement of their name and a handshake from either NBA Commissioner Adam Silver or Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum. Player’s dreams come true as their professional dreams come true.

For Isaiah Austin, the dream was recognized in an incredibly classy move by the NBA and Silver.

Photo Credit: USA Today Sports

Photo Credit: USA Today Sports

Mid-way through the first round, Silver drafted Austin, the former Baylor star, to the NBA. As Austin walked to the stage the Barclays Center, fans, players, coaches and others in attendance stood to applaud a man who over the past week has lost so much. [Read more…]

Project Shanks 2014 NBA Mock Draft

By Robbie Marbury
PSDC Writer

The 2014 NBA Draft is finally here. We have been hearing about this class ever since the 2012 Draft ended. We all knew last year was going to be awful, and this year would be the year that all our favorite teams drafted Hall of Famers. Well, it doesn’t look like this class will best the 1984 NBA Draft of five Hall of Fame players, but it still will have its fair share of All-Stars, and long-term NBA contributors.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

With the Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks already throwing a wrench in my mock draft, thanks to the Tyson Chandler trade, I have decided things are going to be wild come draft time. Plus, we had the Joel Embiid and Julius Randle foot injuries. Things could get fun if either of them slide. We also have the looming Kevin Love trade, and teams trying to clear space for LeBorn James and Carmelo Anthony, so don’t be surprised to see teams with cap space absorb a crappy contract and add a pick in this draft.  [Read more…]

Tanks for the Memories: A Look Back at Tanking in the NBA

By Matt Rogers
PSDC Fantasy Expert

The NBA Playoffs are winding down and the Conference Finals are taking a couple nights off to change cities. So I decided to fill this gap by taking a look back at one of the early storylines that caught our attention this season. That would be tanking. A few teams set new lows this year on their way to providing some of the most ghastly basketball witnessed in ages. Two teams failed to reach the 20-win mark, 14 teams finished below .500, one of those losing teams actually made the playoffs and the Philadelphia 76ers blessed us with a record tying 26-game losing streak. Yes, that was a correct stat. The 76ers had a single streak of more losses than San Antonio, Oklahoma or the LA Clippers lost all year.

Photo Credit: Philly.com

Photo Credit: Philly.com

I guess I should apologize to Adam Silver. I know the NBA’s official position is that tanking is not a real a thing. Unfortunately, the idea of us not being able to see them if they close their eyes does not work in this case. The evidence is pretty clear. Tanking is indeed a thing. Tanking is part of the NBA and has been for a while. Teams constantly try to clear out salary cap space to sign a big free agent or trade draft picks with conditions attached. All of that is a form of tanking. Every team does it. Some teams are just better at it than others. Some cases of tanking are clearer than others because the general byproduct of tanking is losing. However, not all teams that are tanking run a heavy total in the loss column. [Read more…]

No Matter Who Wins the Draft Lottery, the NBA Loses

By Ryan Haidinger
PSDC Writer

Tonight the NBA Draft Lottery airs before Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals and provides a glimmer of hope to 13 different fan bases. The problem for Adam Silver and the NBA is no matter who celebrates tonight, the NBA loses.

NBA-Draft-Lottery

The NBA, more than any other sport, has issues with conspiracy theories. First there was the “frozen envelope” bringing Patrick Ewing to the hopeless Knicks. Then there were hometown boys LeBron James and Derrick Rose ending up with the Cavaliers and Bulls respectively. [Read more…]

Michigan and Arizona Feel the NBA Draft Sting

By Tommy Guastaferro
PSDC Writer

Both Arizona and Michigan appeared in the 2014 Elite Eight, losing to Wisconsin and Kentucky respectively in two of the most memorable games of the tournament. On Tuesday, however, repeat appearance opportunities to the Elite Eight for both programs have taken a major step back.

Aaron Gordon, the reigning Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, has drawn comparisons to the Clippers’ Blake Griffin due to his thunderous drunks and explosive athleticism. Gordon is projected as a top 10 pick in the upcoming draft.

Strengths: Athleticism, rebounding, basketball IQ, motor and an excellent transition game.

Weaknesses: Undersized, perimeter shooting and free throw shooting. [Read more…]

2014 NBA Draft Tank Rank

By Robbie Marbury
PSDC NFL/NBA Editor

The NBA season is finally here. This is my favorite time of the year. I love football, but my heart belongs to basketball. With football and basketball going on at the same time, I look forward to many late nights of watching replays and highlights. This NBA season will be like none other we have known. Not because of Houston getting Dwight Howard, or Brooklyn getting Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, or Miami going for a three-peat. No, this year is different because we have so many teams already tanking for a better draft pick before the season has even started. There are anywhere from 4-7 projected All-Stars in the 2014 draft, and everyone wants a piece of the top half of this draft. It doesn’t matter who wins the championship this year, all that matters is who will pick first.

I will keep track of the Tank Rank for you all season long, and let you know who has the inside track on the No. 1 pick this season as well as the right to draft Andrew Wiggins among others. 

1. Philadelphia 76ers

I know that the Suns traded for an injured Marin Gortat, but the Sixers traded away their only All-Star caliber player for an injured rookie who might not play this year, Nerlens Noel. At this point they are the leaders in the Tank Rank, but the reason why I believe they are most likely to keep the top spot is they have cheap assets they can dump in the coming months if they win some games they shouldn’t, or some of the other tanking teams loses more than expected. Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner are two players that would fit in well with almost every team that has thoughts of a deep playoff run. Keep an eye on the rumor mill for Young and Turner, but keep your eyes off the Sixers.

2. Phoenix Suns

I see you Phoenix. Giving up your second-best player, Gortat, for and injured Emeka Okafor is the move we needed to get the ball rolling with this tankfest. The Suns are going to be awful, and outside Eric Bledsoe or Goran Dragic, I don’t see a player that is even worth having on an NBA roster. Maybe Alex Len in a few years, but for now there are only two NBA players on this roster. The problem that Phoenix will have is that they aren’t trading Bledsoe, and the only teams that could utilize Dragic will be teams that need a backup point guard, or teams that have an injury to their starter. But, no one is given up much to get Dragic. Philly can move Turner or Young and command an additional first round pick this year. The secret weapon up Phoenix’s sleeve is the expected “hamstring injury” to Bledsoe. [Read more…]

Second Round NBA Draft Picks to Keep an Eye On

By Ryan Haidinger
PSDC Writer

What do Chandler Parsons, Marc Gasol and Monta Ellis have in common? All were second round draft picks that have become key pieces on playoff teams. Most of the attention paid to the NBA Draft centers around the lottery picks, but every year there are a few hidden gems at the end of the night. Here are four players, drafted in the second round, who have a good chance to make an impact this season.

Deshaun Thomas, San Antonio- Thomas fell to the 58th overall pick because he did not play much defense in college and is not an elite athlete but the 6’7 wing does one thing very well, score. In his last season at Ohio State, Thomas averaged 20 points per game while shooting 45% from the field and 35% from outside. The Spurs are getting older, and Greg Popovich is known for resting his stars throughout the season, which should provide a chance for Thomas to see the floor. San Antonio loves big wings that can score and, as Danny Green showed this offseason, they will roll with the hot hand.

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NBA Draft Winners and Losers

By Ryan Haidinger
PSDC Writer

The 2013 NBA Draft was supposed to be one of the worst ever. While the players it produced may not become hall of famers, the draft itself provided compelling TV and plenty of trade chaos. Here are three teams I feel had good draft nights and three teams that left me scratching my head.

WINNERS:

New Orleans Pelicans- The Pelicans kicked off the trading frenzy of the 2013 draft landing all-star point guard Jrue Holliday in a trade with the 76ers. New Orleans traded the sixth overall pick, Nerlens Noel, and next year’s first-round pick for Holliday, instantly improving their roster. Holliday will slide in next to Eric Gordon to form a very talented backcourt. Paired with last year’s top pick Anthony Davis, the Pelicans have three very good, young players to build around.

Cleveland Cavaliers- The Cavs shocked most people by selecting Anthony Bennett, who was projected to go somewhere between 5-10, No. 1 overall. Cleveland has been criticized by some for reaching to take Bennett over higher rated players. In my mind, there was no sure thing in this draft and if you can’t trade down, which Cleveland tried to do, you should take the player you like. I give the Cavs front office credit for going after the player they wanted and not giving in to the pressure to take Noel. With their second pick, Cleveland got one of the best shooters in the draft in Sergey Karasev, a 6’7 sharpshooter from Russia. Cleveland now has a freak athlete and a great shooter to surround elite point guard Kyrie Irving.

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Project Shanks 2013 NBA Draft Review

By Robbie Marbury
PSDC Big Man 

The 2013 NBA Draft started off with the Cleveland Cavaliers pulling off the biggest trolling act any team in any sport has ever pulled off during a draft. Nerlens Noel went free falling down the draft boards as if someone confused him for Aaron Hernandez. Indiana shocked the world by not drafting a white guy, and every team from the late 20’s of the first round to the first 10 or so picks of the second round traded picks around like they were playing hot potato with a bowl full of AIDS. And most wonderfully of all in this draft lacking of NBA talent, we got the greatest David Stern photo of all-time.

First Round

1. Cleveland Cavaliers Anthony Bennett PF (UNLV)

Cleveland started the night off with our first shock that immediately sent everyone’s mock draft down the toilet. Bennett’s agent said on Thursday before the draft they were expecting to go from 8-10, and he goes first instead. Bennett could be the best offensive player in this draft. With his athleticism, size and shooting touch, he could be very good in Cleveland. His lack of a motor, weight gain and asthma are red-flags, but, hey, when you are tanking to get Andrew Wiggins, you might as well take the best high-risk/high-reward player in the draft. If he turns out great you win, if he’s a bust you still have a good shot at Wiggins next year.

2. Orlando Magic Victor Oladipo SG (Indiana)

With Nerlens Noel not going first, it was perceived that Orlando would snatch him up, instead they went with the most NBA-ready player in the draft. Orlando is still in talks with the Clippers to get Eric Bledsoe for Arron Afflalo, if that happens Oladipo and Bledsoe would make the most athletic backcourt in NBA history. Oladipo will immediately be a lockdown defender, and will always leave it all on the floor.

3. Washington Wizards Otto Porter SF (Georgetown)

Washington was the only team that was never a threat to take Noel, and with the only other player they were looking at, Anthony Bennett, being gone Porter was the pick. He was the pick all along. Porter is my winner of “You Know What You Are Getting Award” of this year’s draft. He will be a long-time pro that plays defense, makes the right decision and knocks down open jumpers. [Read more…]

Project Shanks 2013 NBA Mock Draft 4.0

By Robbie Marbury
PSDC Big Man

First Round 

1. Cleveland Cavaliers- Alex Len C (Maryland)

Nerlens Noel has been in this spot for every mock I’ve done, but with Chris Sheridan of sheridanhoops.com reporting Len is the pick unless a trade is made, I have to put Len here, because the likelihood of a trade is very slim. Len is the quintessential high-risk/high-reward player of this year’s draft. Len spent two years playing less than stellar ball for the Terps, but his size, athleticism and upside have scouts buzzing. If he lives up to his potential, he will be the best player in the draft. If it turns out the reason he wasn’t productive at Maryland had nothing to do with bad guard play, you have a bust on your hands. There is plenty of room for Len to progress as a player, but his similarity to Darko Milicic scares me.

2. Orlando Magic- Nerlens Noel PF/C (Kentucky) 

Orlando has had a tough time trying to peg who is going to be the second-best prospect in this draft. They have been linked with Burke, Oladipo and McLemore, but the consensus out of Orlando is that none of them have solidified themselves as the top choice. If Len does go No. 1, Orlando’s mind is already made up, they would snatch up Noel in a heartbeat. He is defensive-minded, very athletic and improved vastly upon his arrival at Kentucky up until his injury.  In my opinion he is the best prospect in the draft.

3. Washington Wizards- Otto Porter SF (Georgetown)

If I was a GM, Porter would be the top player on the board. You know what you will be getting from Porter. He’s not a future all-star player, but you will be getting a Nicolas Batum-type player for the next 10 seasons.  And, me personally, I like safe picks. He is smart, passes the ball well, defends well, rebounds well and is a decent shooter. He doesn’t blow you away, but he will be a solid player. [Read more…]

Project Shanks 2013 NBA Mock Draft 3.0

By Robbie Marbury
PSDC Big Man 

First Round                   

1. Cleveland Cavaliers- Nerlens Noel PF/C (Kentucky) 

Cleveland likes to draft young players with big upside, even if there will be some bumps along the way. If you are looking for upside, look no further than Noel. He has a chance to be a dominant NBA defender. He met with Cleveland recently and was cleared by their doctors.

2. Orlando Magic- Ben McLemore SG (Kansas)

I honestly have no idea what Orlando is thinking. I have had Trey Burke at this spot since the first mock draft, but he has not wowed any team in workouts, and the Magic have hopes of bringing in Eric Bledsoe. Who knows what will happen, but if Orlando doesn’t want to draft a player to fit their biggest need I guess getting the best shooter in the draft isn’t a bad consolation prize.

3. Washington Wizards- Otto Porter SF (Georgetown)

If I was a GM, Porter would be the top player on the board. You know what you will be getting from Porter, it’s not a future all-star player, but you will be getting a Nicolas Batum type player for the next 10 seasons. He is smart, passes the ball well, defends well, rebounds well and is a decent shooter. He doesn’t blow you away, but he will be a solid player. [Read more…]