The quote below can be taken out of context, as ego run amok. And it shouldn’t. Derrick Williams — the Arizona star who No. 2 overall to Minnesota in the last NBA draft — said what I would want any No. 2 pick to say.
He said he thought he should be No. 1.
You want that fire. Even if it’s Michael Beasley picked behind Derrick Rose, you want the No. 2 guy to feel he could have been No. 1. Here is exactly what Williams said to Grantland.
I thought I should’ve (gone No. 1). I always have faith in myself. But you know, one or two, there’s not much of a difference right there. I’m happy with no. 2. I feel like Minnesota was a better spot for me anyways. Sometimes going one step lower can be a great thing, it could be a better fit, and I think for me it was.
Williams has a nice outside shot, can score in transition at the NBA level and is athletic. He’s going to put up points in Minny. He looked good in the free-flowing pro-am games of summer because it fits his style. But there are a lot of questions about how well he can defend at the next level, his ability to make smart plays within the half-court offense (especially when doubled) and his rebounding.
There are questions about No. 1 pick Kyrie Irving, too. But in today’s no-touch-on-the-perimeter NBA, a very good point guard is incredibly valuable. That gives Irving a potentially higher ceiling, a building block for a Cavaliers team that is starting from almost the ground up. So the pick made sense.
But if Williams is truly motivated and improves his game, in a few years we could be wondering why he wasn’t No. 1 overall.
You may not know who Jereme Richmond is, but now you will for the wrong reasons.
He is one of those guys who just missed having his named called in the NBA Draft. The 6’7” swingman out of Illinois tried to go pro after his freshman year, but that season was inconsistent and scouts were worried about his fundamentals. Basically, he’s athletic but a real project. The kind of guy who would have gotten put on a summer league team and been given another look, maybe even earned a training camp invite somewhere.
Now, he’s got much bigger problems — he has been arrested on charges of beating a woman and threatening her with a gun. From The Daily Herald.
Richmond, 19, and Matthew Riley, 22, of North Chicago, were arrested Monday afternoon outside the victim’s house after police found a loaded .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol in the car the men had driven….
On Sunday, (Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Stephen) Scheller said, the woman drove to Richmond’s residence in the 2000 block of Arthur Drive in Waukegan to retrieve her cellphone. The two began to argue outside Richmond’s house, Scheller said, and Richmond shoved the woman back into her car during the ruckus. Monday afternoon, Scheller said, Richmond and Meyer drove to the woman’s house and Richmond began to argue with her again as her mother looked on. At one point, Scheller said, Richmond spit on the woman and said he was going to shoot her.
If he did this, he should be punished. If he does avoid jail time, NBA teams are still going to question his maturity and decision making skills (things they already questioned). Teams are not going to put the effort into developing a guy if they don’t think he can keep his head about him.
Last season the NCAA relegated Enes Kanter to wearing a suit when Kentucky played, saying he had played for a professional team in his native Turkey and was ineligible to play college ball (he did practice with the team).
Still, there was enough promise there — big men with soft hands are a rarity — that the Utah Jazz drafted Kanter No. 3 overall.
And now the lockout could force him to sit another season. He, understandably, does not want to do that.
So while he is hesitant, Kanter is considering playing in China, his agnet told the Salt Lake Tribune.
Kanter’s agent, Max Ergul, told The Salt Lake Tribune on Friday that his client has official offers from two teams. Ergul does not want Kanter to miss another year of basketball, and he will seriously weigh the offers if the lockout stretches into late September.
“It’s very interesting stuff,” said Ergul, who said he could not reveal the names of the Chinese teams because details of the negotiations are still confidential. “We’ll be entertaining those ideas as well as the lockout progresses. He’s a ballplayer — he has to play.”
Kanter will play for Turkey in EuroBasket starting at the end of August. That tournament will deterimine European Olympic bids for the 2012 London Olympics.