BREAKING: Paul George Traded to Thunder

By Darreck Kirby
Project Shanks Creative Director

In a stunning move just hours before the opening of NBA free agency, the Oklahoma City Thunder made waves in acquiring the 27-year-old superstar. As with any trade, there are at least two outlooks moving forward. So let’s break down this blockbuster piece by piece, shall we?

[Read more…]

Podcast Shanks – Mavs and Thunder Free Agency

NBA free agency is always one of the more excitement and in many cases, tense times of year. Contenders can be reduced to bottom feeders with the devastating loss of a superstar while other teams who may be on the bubble could surge ahead thanks to a key acquisition. Or, you could just be the damn Warriors and Spurs and sign everybody…

For teams who don’t have that luxury, however, Darreck Kirby and Brennan Scala of Podcast Shanks take a look at the prospects for the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder and discuss how they can try to get back in the thick of contention.


Daily Randomness: December 4, 2013

By Johnny Griffith
PSDC Director of Randomness

Random Booze of the Day: Carlos Boozer

Wizards v/s Bulls 02/28/11

Random Smoke of the Day: Smokey Robinson [Read more…]

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 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…]

Project Shanks 2013 NBA Mock Draft 2.0

By Robbie Marbury
PSDC Big Man 

With the 2013 NBA Draft only two weeks away, what better time than now for our Mock Draft 2.0? NBA teams have been having workouts with players for the past couple of week, so we can get an idea of the players and types of players each team is looking for. Since this year’s class is considered a weak class without a sure-fire star, we have given you the good and bad of each player.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers- Nerlens Noel PF/C (Kentucky)
Pro: Big-time leaper, has a high motor, great defender, and solid rebounder

Con: Needs to add bulk, coming off ACL injury
31. Cleveland Cavaliers- Tony Snell SF (New Mexico)
Pro: Very good athlete, good defender, nice standstill shooter

Con: Needs to add bulk, work on ball-handling and finishing
2. Orlando Magic- Trey Burke PG (Michigan)
Pro: Smart point guard with very deep range on jumper, good court-vision

Con: Short, not an explosive athlete
32. Oklahoma City Thunder- Giannis Adetokunbo SF (Greece)
Pro: Smart player, good court-vision, strong with the ball

Con: Only 18 years old, hasn’t played against good competition
3. Washington Wizards- Otto Porter SF (Georgetown)
Pro: Smooth, rangy forward, great passer for a wing, good defender

Con: Not very athletic, not a consistent jump-shooter
33. Cleveland Cavaliers- C.J. Leslie PF/SF (North Carolina St.)
Pro: Great athlete, good defender, decent ball-handler

Con: Very thin, needs to improve jump-shot and post-game
4. Charlotte Bobcats- Ben McLemore SG (Kansas)
Pro: Great shooter, super athletic

Con: Needs to work on ball-handling, be more aggressive
34. Houston Rockets- Ricky Ledo SG (Providence)
Pro: Explosive athlete, gets in the lane well

Con: Hasn’t played in a year, can be turnover prone 
5. Phoenix Suns- Anthony Bennett PF (UNLV)
Pro: Great athlete, great rebounder, nice stroke for a big

Con: Needs a position (SF/PF?), doesn’t score with back to the basket
35. Philadelphia 76ers- Archie Goodwin SG (Kentucky)
Pro: Very good athlete, gets to and finishes above the rim well

Con: Inconsistent jumper and motor [Read more…]

DeMarcus Cousins and the NBA Draft Trade Market

By Robbie Marbury
PSDC Big Man

Sacramento Kings trying to trade DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins is the biggest name on the trade marked right now. He is a phenomenal talent, but he is also a phenomenal knucklehead. He has been sent home after fighting a teammate, he has been suspended for an altercation with San Antonio Spurs commentator Sean Elliott and he tried to fight Blake Griffin. Even with all those red flags, he is still a very good player. Last season, he posted 17.1 ppg and 9.9 rpg in 30.5 mpg. [Read more…]

2013 NBA Mock Draft 1.0

By Robbie Marbury
PSDC Big Man

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

Cleveland will try really hard to move this pick, but if they are unsuccessful Nerlens Noel is a nice consolation prize. Noel is the best defensive prospect in this year’s draft, plus he is athletic enough to guard face-up fours on the perimeter. Needs to add some bulk, but he is only 20 years old and has some growing still to do. Noel would be a good insurance policy for often injured Anderson Varajeo, as well as give the Cavs a good, young tiro of bigs with Noel, Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller. If Cleveland is able to move this pick, or their doctors are worried about Noel’s revovery from knee surgery, then look for them to take Otto Porter.

2. Orlando Magic- Trey Burke PG (Michigan)

Burke was the best player in college basketball last season, and the Magic are in need of a star. Jameer Nelson is the only point guard under contract next season, and he is 31 years old and overpaid. Orlando really hopes that Cleveland passes on Noel, because he would be a perfect for the Magic, but Burke is an upgrade at a major position of need for Orlando. He has NBA-range on his jump-shot, he finishes in the lane with floaters and pull-up jumpers, and he has excellent court-vision.

3. Washington Wizards- Otto Porter SF (Georgetown)

Other than Noel, who is not going to fall to number three, Porter is the best prospect in this draft for the Wizards. Washington already has a future All-Star at point (John Wall), a very young and talented shooting guard (Bradley Beal), Porter would fill out the Wizards wing positions. Porter is the most NBA-ready player in the draft. He is a very intelligent player, he always plays hard, he is a good defender, and good passer. He could very well make this team a playoff team by next season. [Read more…]

Best of the 2013 NBA Draft Prospects

By Robbie Marbury
PSDC Big Man 

The NBA is holding their annual draft lottery Tuesday night for this year’s draft. This is one of the weakest drafts in recent memory as far as star-power is concerned. But what this draft lacks in potential All-Stars it makes up for that with shooters, rebounders, defensive specialists and many other traits that will equate to quite a few role players. 

1. Nerlens Noel (Fr.) C 6’11” 206lbs. Kentucky

Noel is the only sure-bet in this year’s draft. And by sure-bet, I don’t mean that he will be an All-Star, but he is the only one guaranteed not to be a bust. He’s almost seven feet tall, has a 7’4″ wingspan, has the quickest jump of anyone I’ve ever seen and runs the floor like a guard. He will be an impact on defense and the boards immediately, but will need to add some more weight if is going to bang with the big boys in the NBA. On the offensive end, Noel is still lacking. He is most effective in transition, catching lobs or tipping in misses on the offensive glass. Noel does not have one offensive move, but with his motor, athleticism and defensive IQ, he will be a fit for almost any NBA team drafting in the lottery.

NBA Comparison: Serge Ibaka [Read more…]

NCAA Tournament’s Top Draft Prospects

By Robbie Marbury
PSDC Big Man

It’s almost time for the games to start (the real ones, not the games on Tuesday and Wednesday, they don’t count). We have all filled out about 13 too many brackets, we have our bets placed, we have all our sleepers picked out, we have all the “overrated” teams picked out and we know who is going to the Final Four, right? Well, now it’s time to see who’s going to the NBA. I have the top-16 NBA prospects from each region picked out for you. So, if you are an NBA guy/gal, these are the names you need to pay attention to over the next few weeks, that way you can make it through all these games with final scores of 65-60.

Each region has the top-16 players in that region, that doesn’t mean that these are the top 64 players entering this year’s draft. Thanks to Kentucky, about half of the lottery picks played in the NIT (and lost). There are no foreign players (unless they play in the NCAA).  Also, the West Region only has about seven real NBA prospects, so if you are looking for a region to avoid, the West is the one.


1. Marcus Smart (Fr.) PG 6’4″ 200 lbs. Oklahoma St.

Smart is a good facilitator, but has too much of a scorer’s mentality to be a point guard in the NBA. Very good off the bounce, and makes smart decisions with the ball in the lane.  Not the most athletic, but always plays hard.

Projection: Top-10

2. Mason Plumlee (Sr.) PF 6’11” 245 lbs. Duke

Plumlee is a big that has a big time motor. He is very athletic and competes at a very high level. He has a well developed jumper out to 18-feet and attacks the boards.  He is not as big as you would expect, but in today’s NBA that won’t hurt him too badly. He can guard face-up fours and does well defending the pick-and-roll.

Projection: Mid 1st Round [Read more…]