Thursday, June 26, 2008

Pack Your Bags Andy

Cavs select J.J. Hickson at 19.

From ESPN:
Positives: Athletic big man with an NBA body. Explosive leaper. Physical.
Good finisher around the basket. Does most of his damage inside the key. Can hit the midrange jumper. Can put the ball on the floor and create his own shot. Excellent rebounder. Good shot-blocker.

Negatives: Still lacks some basketball IQ. Post moves are raw. Not especially quick.

Summary: A rising young player who has had a stellar freshman season for NC State. Teams love his body and athleticism. One of this year's draft sleepers. A mid-first-round pick if he stays in the draft. A potential lottery pick in 2009.
Kinda a project, but I can definitely see him getting some playing time as the 4th PF, especially if he works hard. I like the fact that they got a big with some athleticism, I just hope his size doesn't hurt him too much. I'm not sure he's a guy you'd want starting on a Finals team (6-9 PF?), but if he can get a handle on some of his post moves, he could end up being a valuable role player off the bench).

I think this definitely clears way for Anderson Varejao and the Cavaliers to part ways. Hope Andy likes bratwurst (think Michael Redd might be available?)...

(also, John Hollinger is a douche: Jefferson-for-Yi Deal all about LeBron and Nets. I love some of the comments:
ridethetsunami (3 hours ago)
Notice no one ever says: Clearing Cap space for Wade - or Clearing Cap Space for Carmelo, of Clearing Cap Space for Bosh.

only LeBron could possibly want to leave - even though the Cavs went farther the last 2 years than ANY of those other players...

johndogg31 (3 hours ago)
LeBron can't play for the Nets wearing a Knicks uniform.
Seriously ESPN, is he a sure thing for the Knicks or for the Nets? Which one?)


Erik said...

Nobody seems to really know anything about this guy. Ferry praised Hickson's work ethic, Jay Bilas criticized it. ESPN says his post game needs work, the guys on WKNR this morning said his post game is about all he has.

I think Ferry and Brown view Hickson as a guy who they can develop as a rebounder and defender. His 14.8 PPG is meaningless. He won't come close to averaging that in the NBA anytime soon. But 8.5 rebounds per game, in the ACC, as a freshman, is what I think attracted Ferry and Brown to Hickson.

I'd also keep an eye on Darnell Jackson. 13 points and nearly seven boards as a starter on a national championship team is nothing to sneeze at. He might develop before Hickson.

The Other Ben said...

Erik, you dont happen to be Erik Cassano who writes for TFC? If you arent, no ill will, if so, I will have to disagree on the post about this draft being a bust. Considering there was no NBA ready talent after the 14th pick, people should be happy that we basically got 2 bigs with our 1st round pick (we got jackson for cash and a 2nd round pick; a great trade off considering jacksons potential). I watch a lot of college bball and Ive known about Hickson for awhile. I never expected the cavs to draft him simply because he was a freshman, but now that we did Im content with it.

Watch some of the tape on this guy. College or not, both espn and wknr are both wrong. He works great inside 15 and uses his athletisim to work guys down low. I have no idea what the ESPN folks were talking about: someone mentioned he doesnt have great speed and post moves, i disagree. Again, go to the tape. J.J is a big guy, NBA built ,and has the ability to put the ball on the deck. I dont think he will be as productive if we dont fix the PG problem (unless Delonte continues to develop), but he definitely fits the Millsap/West mold from a performance/talent standpoint.

Also, it seems people were pissed at the Wink because we didnt trade up or get koufos. With the amount of $$ we have in expiring contracts there is no reason to make a deal on draft night. Im also not as high on Koufos as some because he doesnt fit the mold some people think: he is NOT going to be an Okur clone who plays big but can drain the 3 consistantly. If he does, Ill gladly eat crow but I just dont see it happening.

I agree that Brandon Rush would have been an okay pick, but I dont think you trade picks/contracts to get him when the plans are to get a proven NBA player at the 2 anyways. If we make a big trade here is our lineup- Z-Hickson/Jackson/-LeFranchise-Redd or some other FA-West as the starting 5 and Gibson/Brown/Smith and other trade pieces coming off the bench. How about Indiana? They got young, talented, and deep in one night. Wow.

Ben said...

meh, I like the pick enough, but I'm not going to get worked up in either direction. yes the pick is important, but the 19th pick of the draft isn't the be-all, end-all to this teams fortunes. i think that, if he works hard, he could get himself into the rotation.

i also think about the fact that Hickson's college coach, Sidney Lowe, was a Cavalier assistant coach from 94-99, when Ferry was here as a player. Ferry probably got some detailed information on him.

(also, I heard on KNR today that Ferry told some the TV sports reporters not to head to bed, because he was certain that he had a deal for Michael Redd done. But I guess Varejao nixed it, as he can veto any deals before Dec. 5th)

geoffrey said...

Antawn Jamison 6-9 235
Carlos Boozer 6-9 266
David West 6-9 240
Luis Scola 6-9 230
Brandon Bass 6-8 240
Antonio McDyess 6-9 245
Ben Wallace 6-9 240

J.J. Hickson 6-9 240.

I like the pick. He has a chance to develop into something good, but hopefully at the very least he is a guy who can play well off the bench and play well for stretches. Thats all you can ask for at 19.

Erik said...

I fucking hate ESPN. I fucking hate the entire NBA-covering national media right now. I've never seen so many writers and pundits pile on one city as they are right now, giving Cleveland hell over LeBron's future.

It's not just the likes of Stephen A. Smith pleasuring himself to the idea of LeBron in a Brooklyn Nets jersey. It's everyone. Shanoff, Sheridan, Wetzel at Yahoo Sports. And it's all done with a taunting air "Sorry Cleveland! LBJ loves NYC and there is just nothing you can do about it! We're taking your superstar! Go home and cry about it!"

It's a classic bully mentality. The national media is picking on Cleveland, pure and simple, because they know we're the 98-pound weakling of media markets and we can't fight back. No matter how much animosity exists between New York and Boston, the New York media would never fuck with the chowderheads like this.

Of course, Bron could have just kept his mouth shut about Brooklyn and none of this would have happened. But it wouldn't have stopped the columns or the speculation everytime he wears a Yankees hat or makes a Jay-Z "dynasty" sign or lists Akron as his fifth-favorite city in the world (Doesn't that seem like a question you'd ask a grade schooler? Your five favorite cities? That's the best the sophisticated, hard-hitting NYC media can throw at LBJ? What's his favorite sundae topping while you're at it?)

Wasn't D.C. LeBron's favorite town? Hell, if I were a Wizards fan and using the New York "read between the lines" rationale, I'd be dancing a jig on my roof right now.

Regardless, I fucking hate the national NBA media right now.

graham said...

I agree Erik - the national coverage of the NBA is quite bad. I'm not that old so I can't comment on the past, but at present it is not in good hands. I actually think this might make for a good column. It seems compared to the NFL and MLB coverage (especially on ESPN), the NBA is piss poor.

ESPN is just a plain disservice to fans. SI is nearly as bad. I do think Yahoo! is decent (their analysis of James comments seemed to say "NJ is now going to go hard after LeBron", which is true of course". You can go on and on. One good example of this is how ESPN fired David Aldridge (a reporter who bases his columns on investigative reporting, go figure) was let go of ESPN because he wasn't flashy enough.

However, Cavs fans should be very concerned about organization's inability to put appropriate talent around James. That is what really concerns. I'm not bashing Ferry's moves of late, but the fact remains we're looking at another offseason without any big additions. Hickson is probably going to be our most signficant move of the offseason - and that can't make James a happy camper.

Redd, Baron, Brand, Maggette - forget it. Not happening. We might be able to get VC for Wally and a draft pick or Boobie. But they would need to think long and hard about that. Not an ideal move to say the least.

Ben said...

I trade for Vince Carter tomorrow. If LeBron is going to leave for the Nets, they'll have capspace whether or not Carter is there. Carter is a legit all-star and would be a good fit as the #2 here.

Ferry CANNOT be worried about dealing with NJ or NYC because of what LeBron MIGHT do in TWO YEARS. He has to build the best team he can. and if Vince Carter fits, I don't care what the Nets do.

And here's the thing with LeBron, when he gives interviews to Cleveland media, he says he loves it here and he wants to stay and bring a championship to the city. When he talks to NYC media, he says he loves NYC and Brooklyn.

So who cares? I used to get upset with it and I've just stopped watching/reading. It's all speculation on what will happen IN TWO YEARS!!!

There's no way anyone can know what LeBron will do at that time.

ESPN has been a joke for some time now and Sports Illustrated's glory days are well behind them. Whenever something BIG happens (Bonds, Clemens, TO, Yanks-Sawks, LeBron NJ comments) I just turn it off. Same thing happened the entire week before the Finals, I jyust couldn't watch taht shit. They go overboard...

It's entirely possible that James is just messin' with them. Tweakin' 'em just a bit. It wouldn't shock me to see LeBron re-up if the Cavs are 60 game winners. Why leave that? If they're still toiling at 45 wins...

(btw- school ends in August and then I'll get back to writing more often)

Erik said...

For a dose of perspective, we're worried about losing our star player in two years. The city of Seattle just lost their team after 41 years -- the only team that had won a major pro sports championship in Seattle's modern history.

After Art Modell, I am eternally sympathetic to longstanding fan bases that lose their teams. I was even a little sad when the Expos left Montreal. Fans who have supported a team for as long as Seattle has supported the Sonics deserve better.