IT?S NBA DRAFT NIGHT AND WE WEIGH IN WITH OUR LAST-MINUTE RANDOM THOUGHTS
Jim Sez for Thursday, June 27 …
IT’S NBA DRAFT NIGHT AND
WE WEIGH IN WITH OUR
LAST-MINUTE RANDOM THOUGHTS …
BASEBALL NEWS & NOTES:
LOTS OF GREAT STORIES THE FIRST HALF OF
THIS 2013 SEASON BUT THE BATTLIN’ BUCS
ARE THE BIGGEST HEADLINERS OF ‘EM ALL!
The NBA Draft Class of 2013 will be wheeled out tonight under the bright lights of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and that got us to thinking about some key topics …
First off, now that there are brand-new head coaches in nearly one-third of the league’s franchises will that mean new-kids-on-the-block such as Denver’s Brian Shaw, Sacramento’s Mike Malone and Brooklyn’s Jason Kidd (among others from Atlanta to Phoenix and points in between) will have a say in what goes down on Draft Night … or will they simply be happy with what their general managers get ‘em?
Maybe that seems like a slam-dunk question/answer but you get the feeling that the style of play many of these head coaches will play will indeed influence just who gets chosen for their teams.
In other words, the aforementioned Shaw – who comes from Indiana and prior to that a stint with Phil Jackson’s Los Angeles Lakers – wants defense and ball-handling at the top of his priority list even if that might mean passing on a big man or maybe a smooth-shooting two-guard.
When it comes to Kidd and the Nets, he’s already let it be known to GM Billy King that he wants his Brooklyn team to run and Kidd’s hinted he would like this Nets club to be deep so that he can play as many as 10 players in his regular rotation – might that mean the Nets make some deals that will add three or four current NBA players to the roster and thus discard a couple of current/future draft choices?
Stay tuned to those developments.
Then there’s the NBA teams with multiple draft picks this year:
Check ‘em out and you’ll see that – at least as of this moment – the Atlanta Hawks own four draft picks (No.’s 17, 18, 47 and 50);
The Philadelphia 76ers own picks No. 11, 35 and 42;
The Cleveland Cavaliers own picks No. 1 (of course), 19, 31 and 33;
The Detroit Pistons own picks No. 8, 37 and 56;
The Phoenix Suns are slated to select at picks No. 5, 30 and 57;
The Minnesota Timberwolves have draft choices at No. 9, 26, 52 and 59;
The Portland Trail Blazers also currently own four picks: No. 10, 39, 40 and 45;
The Utah Jazz own draft choices No. 14, 21 and 46;
The Oklahoma City Thunder have picks at No. 12, 29 and 32;
And the Memphis Grizzlies – remember them? – have picks at No. 42, 55 and 60.
Yes, it’s quite possible that some of these teams with multiple draft picks could be packaging some/all of their draft choices to either move up in this draft or to acquire some veteran bodies but ask us right now and the team that figures to be most aggressive with their multiple draft choices is Minnesota which would like to discard some of their current players along with picks and find a way to get two picks inside the top 10 where Lehigh PG C.J. McCollum and/or Indiana C Cody Zeller would be on their radar.
No, we don’t expect the T-Wolves to part ways with perennial All-Star Kevin Love although that’s now been a much-publicized rumor that – allegedly – the Cavs wanted Love in exchange for Tristan Thomas, Dion Waiters and the No. 1 overall draft pick. Not happening, says Minny boss Flip Saunders!
Finally, the first round of the NBA Draft is what gets all the attention – but who might be some players that deserve your attention come Round II?
Here’s three players who – more than likely – will get tabbed in the second round but who could make an instant impact in the NBA:
Nate Wolters, PG, South Dakota State – A four-year player with the Jackrabbits who last year averaged 22.3 ppg and 5.8 apg while shooting it at a 48.5 percent accuracy rate. Could see him going to Philly at overall pick No. 35.
Phil Pressey, PG, Missouri – No doubt this coach’s son (see Paul) bungled away more than a few last-minute opportunities for last year’s Mizzou Tigers but he still averaged 7.1 assists per game and could be a ball-handling whiz for Portland with one of its three second-round draft choices.
Then there’s swingman James Ennis of Long Beach State. The 6-foot-7 senior averaged 16.5 ppg last year and note he shot a sizzling 49.1 percent from the floor – we’re thinking Ennis could go around pick No. 50 to either Atlanta or to Orlando (they have picks 50 and 51, respectively).
This just in …
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will be banging out loads of Major-League Baseball Winners all summer long and so check with us right here online at www.jimhurley.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 after 1 p.m. Eastern time for weeknight action, after 11 a.m. ET for the weekday games and after 10 a.m. ET for Saturday/Sunday/Holiday Winners.
Plus, the Football Season isn’t that far off as NFL Preseason action swings into gear in early August – can’t wait! So, pile up the greenbacks while you’re kicking back this summer of 2013!
BASEBALL NEWS & NOTES
Entering play on Wednesday, the St. Louis Cardinals sported baseball’s best record at 48-29 (.623) … who had the next-best record in the bigs?
If you said the Pittsburgh Pirates, than you were probably peeking at the standings!
But it’s true:
The Buccos – 47-30 following Tuesday’s 9-4 win in Seattle – are playing a zippy .610 ball and can you believe that this National League Central squad is 12 games over .500 at home (see 25-13) and eight games above the .500 mark inside their top-heavy division (see 21-13)?
Gotta say that it’s all rather shocking when you consider Pittsburgh traded away star closer Joel Hanrahan to the Boston Red Sox in the off-season (yes, he’s gone for the year now) while Pirates closer RHP Jason Grilli has 26 saves in 27 opportunities and should these days be piling up some Cy Young votes while already a lock to be on the upcoming All-Star Game roster for the NL folks.
And Grilli won’t be the only Pirates pitcher at Citi Field come the July 16th All-Star Game as young lefty starter Jeff Locke (7-1, 2.06 ERA) has been a true revelation and a true blessing with LHP Wandy Rodriguez (6-4, 3.59 ERA) hurting these days (forearm) and with ace righty A.J. Burnett (4-6, 3.12 ERA) looking to come back soon from a stint on the DL after a tear of his left calf muscle.
The Pirates have raised the hopes of their long-suffering fans before but here we sit nearly halfway through this 2013 MLB season and Clint Hurdle’s club is 17 games above .500 and right now only the aforementioned Cardinals, the Boston Red Sox, the Texas Rangers, the Oakland A’s, Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds are double-digits over .500 – not bad company to have, eh?
NOTE: Catch our NBA Draft re-cap in tomorrow’s edition of Jim Sez plus there’s Baseball, Football and More Hoops coming soon right here on these web site pages!
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