Thursday, June 26, 2014

It makes sense

I am doubtful that Cleveland ever really had doubts Wiggins was the guy. Athletes of his caliber are rare. Athletes that have basketball skill, great character, and youth are rarer. Athletes that actually try all the time on defense, despite developing in an AAU circuit that cares as much about defense as the kids on the playground, are crazy rare. Parker is no doubt, a better offensive player right now. Wiggins is no doubt, a better defender right now. Is it easier to teach a kid to improve his offense, or defense? I wanted Wiggins for the Bucks, but they didn't get him so now I have to hope I am wrong and he sucks. Or at least that if he is great, that he takes several years to develop and then bolts Cleveland for hopefully some team out west.

Enough moping. Time to move on.

My love of Wiggins does not limit my enthusiasm for Parker. He should be a very good player for several years. ESPN threw up a Big Dog comparison on their draft coverage, and I think that may be dead on. He seems like a guy who could carry the scoring in any given game much like Big Dog did, and Michael Redd did after him. Neither of those guys was good enough to win playoff games by themselves, and I don't think Parker will be either. That's OK. The Bucks will need to find some help for him.

This is a good pick, but also a management pick. Parker is a guy that can sell tickets and build enthusiasm for the next few years, even if the team mostly loses. That should be just long enough to get a new arena built. I don't doubt that John Hammond was on board with this pick, but it doesn't really fit his draft profile. Hammond takes high end potential guys. His drafts have included:

  • Joe Alexander- Obviously didn't work out, but he was drafted because he tested off the charts at the combine for athleticism, which is the point I'm trying to make here.
  • Brandon Jennings- Best high school player the year before going to Europe instead of college.
  • Larry Sanders- Great athlete but raw as could be.
  • Tobias Harris- Was certainly no big time athlete, but he was the youngest player in the draft. In the NBA youth= upside.
  • John Henson- Maybe Hammond safest pick as a college Junior and proven rebounder, but a weird body type.
  • The Greak Freak- another crazy athlete who needs development

If Hammond was allowed to just run this team the way he wants, I feel like he would have gone Embiid. One thing Hammond has shown is the willingness to draft players regardless of position. They have a ton of forwards, and yet they keep drafting them. The question will be: are they acquiring quality assets they can trade to improve their team, or will they just allow other teams to steal their guys because they know they can't play them all? Time will tell. Hard to say if Hammond will be with the Bucks much longer. He's not management's guy after all, and new management tends to like their own guys.


  1. I agree on Wiggins. I've always been super impressed by him. Didn't see Parker play a whole lot, but seems like he can fill it up. The Big Dog comparison is a good one.

  2. I agree the both Wiggins and the Big Dog comp (numbers-wise), though I think Parker comes with a lot more passion and enthusiasm then Big Dog ever sported- which may or may not go a long way in his development process. He also seems to have the temperament and character to stay in town (close to home) and make this his team. It's not as if it's anyone else's right now. If I recall, his guy was getting bunch LeBron comparisons as recently as last year. Yep... trying to talk myself into him. Did I read somewhere that they are planning on turning Giannis into a 4? Yikes.

  3. RE: Hammonds drafting style. Good points on all those upside picks. Any chance Parker has a lot more "upside" than Bilas would want to give him credit for? No, he doesn't have elite athleticism, but he has enough to dominate at every level of competition so far. The "upside" he really seems to have is in making teammates better. It may not be a measurable, but Bill Simmons wrote a book, no a tome, whose central point revolved around unselfish (maybe "team centered" is a better way to put it) play being the key to NBA success.
    Duke was on the tube a good bit last year, and I saw a decent amount of Parker. Two things still stick out in my mind, beyond the overall consistency of his game, and how he got better as the season went on. 1) He fouled out of a fantastic game against Syracuse, and could have easily moped or wrapped his neck in a towel, or any of the countless emotional maneuvers we've seen these kids pull time and again. But not him- he was out there slapping the court, willing his teammates to get after it on D, and lock shit down. The key thing was- they were responding- these Dukies were looking to him, a Freshman, a Freshman who fouled out, a Freshman who is the subject of many a run on sentence. Of course, the focus of the camera helped orchestrate the opinion. But, nonetheless, there's point 1.
    2) Memory 2 doesn't really have anything to do with the "upside" of being a great teammate, a great character guy or anything like that. It has to do with this-

    Sure, he didn't get boxed out on the play, but that's elite enough athleticism for my tastes. Upside... perhaps if we viewed the term with the appropriate failure rate it deserves... it wouldn't be as big a deal.

    See... still trying to talk myself into the pick.