Tag: Ryan Kelly

2015 NBA Draft

Phil Jackson questions whether Duke players live up to expectations in NBA


The Knicks drafted Kristaps Porzingis with the No. 4 pick, and the early returns are positive.

But they also surely considered a couple players from Duke – Jahlil Okafor (who went No. 3 to the 76ers) and Justise Winslow (No. 10 to the Heat).

Would New York have chosen either? Knicks president Phil Jackson implies he had concerns simply because of their college team.

Jackson on Okafor, via Charlie Rosen of ESPN:

Jackson thinks he might not be aggressive enough. “Also, if you look at the guys who came to the NBA from Duke, aside from Grant Hill, which ones lived up to expectations?”

Let’s take a comprehensive look rather than cherry-picking players who could support either side of the argument.

We obviously don’t know yet whether Okafor, Winslow and Tyus Jones (No. 24 this year) will live up to expectations. Jabari Parker (No. 2 in 2014) looked pretty good last year, but he missed most of the season due to injury. It’s far too soon to make any judgments on him.

Otherwise, here are all Duke players drafted in the previous 15 years:

Lived up to expectations

  • Rodney Hood (No. 23 in 2014)
  • Mason Plumlee (No. 22 in 2013)
  • Ryan Kelly (No. 48 in 2013)
  • Miles Plumlee (No. 26 in 2012)
  • Kyrie Irving (No. 1 in 2011)
  • Kyle Singler (No. 33 in 2011)
  • Josh McRoberts (No. 37 in 2007)
  • J.J. Redick (No. 11 in 2006)
  • Luol Deng (No. 7 in 2004)
  • Chris Duhon (No. 38 in 2004)
  • Carlos Boozer (No. 34 in 2002)
  • Shane Battier (No. 6 in 2001)

Didn’t live up to expectations

  • Austin Rivers (No. 10 in 2012)
  • Nolan Smith (No. 21 in 2011)
  • Gerald Henderson (No. 12 in 2009)
  • Shelden Williams (No. 5 in 2006)
  • Daniel Ewing (No. 32 in 2005)
  • Dahntay Jones (No. 20 in 2003)
  • Mike Dunleavy (No. 3 in 2002)
  • Jay Williams (No. 2 in 2002)
  • Chris Carrawell (No. 41 in 2000)

That’s 12-of-21 – a 57 percent hit rate.

By comparison, here are players drafted from North Carolina in the same span:

Lived up to expectations

  • Harrison Barnes (No. 7 in 2012)
  • John Henson (No. 14 in 2012)
  • Tyler Zeller (No. 17 in 2012)
  • Ed Davis (No. 13 in 2010)
  • Tyler Hansbrough (No. 13 in 2009)
  • Ty Lawson (No. 18 in 2009)
  • Wayne Ellington (No. 28 in 2009)
  • Danny Green (No. 46 in 2009)
  • Brandan Wright (No. 8 in 2007)
  • Brendan Haywood (No. 20 in 2001)

Didn’t live up to expectations

  • Reggie Bullock (No. 25 in 2013)
  • Kendall Marshall (No. 13 in 2012)
  • Reyshawn Terry (No. 44 in 2007)
  • David Noel (No. 39 in 2006)
  • Marvin Williams (No. 2 in 2005)
  • Raymond Felton (No. 5 in 2005)
  • Sean May (No. 13 in 2005)
  • Rashad McCants (No. 14 in 2005)
  • Joseph Forte (No. 21 in 2001)

The Tar Heels are 10-for-19 – 53 percent.

Nobody would reasonably shy from drafting players from North Carolina, and they’ve fared worse than Duke players. Making snap judgments about Duke players just because they went to Duke is foolish.

Jackson is talking about a different time, when aside from Hill, Duke had a long run of first-round picks failing to meet expectations:

  • Roshown McLeod (No. 20 in 1998)
  • Cherokee Parks (No. 12 in 1995)
  • Bobby Hurley (No. 7 in 1993)
  • Christian Laettner (No. 3 in 1992)
  • Alaa Abdelnaby (No. 25 in 1990)
  • Danny Ferry (No. 2 in 1989)

Then, it was fair to question whether Mike Krzyzewski’s coaching yielded good college players who didn’t translate to the pros. But there have been more than enough counterexamples in the years since to dismiss that theory as bunk or outdated.

Count this as another example of Jackson sounding like someone who shouldn’t run an NBA team in 2015.

To be fair, the Knicks had a decent offseason, at least once you acknowledge they couldn’t land a star (which was kind of supposed to be Jackson’s job, right?).

The questions Knicks fans must ask themselves: Do you trust Jackson because of the moves he has made or worry about the next move because of what he has said?

Ed Davis declines player option with Lakers, becomes an unrestricted free agent

Los Angeles Lakers v Sacramento Kings

Ed Davis averaged 8.3 points and 7.8 rebounds while appearing in 23.3 minutes per contest for what was a dismal Lakers team last year, and he could have chosen to return by activating his player option for just over $1.1 million for next season.

But size is always at a premium, and because Davis is capable of producing in a frontcourt role, it’s likely that he’ll be able to secure more guaranteed money over more years to play somewhere else.

From Lakers.com:

Ed Davis … became a free agent when he did not pick up the option on the second year of his contract with Los Angeles. The 25-year-old was effective in the pick-and-roll and on the offensive glass, while providing quality defense at the rim from the weak side, and on his man.

Davis needed to make 18 more baskets to qualify for the NBA’s field goal percentage leaderboard, where he would have ranked second at 60.1 behind only DeAndre Jordan.

The Lakers have very few players with guaranteed contract for next season. Once you get past Kobe Bryant, Nick Young, Julius Randle and Ryan Kelly, there are nothing but question marks remaining, which was largely by design.

L.A. is looking to rebuild quickly just as soon as it gets the chance. The moment an All-Star caliber free agent says yes to a max money offer, the Lakers will then add talent around that person in order to build a team capable of competing on a nightly basis. Until then, they’ll continue to sign players to short-term deals to maximize flexibility. Davis was useful last season, but his choice to pursue a long-term deal elsewhere this summer was completely expected.

Chandler Parsons had Ryan Kelly on skates (VIDEO)

Chandler Parsons, Tarik Black

Ryan Kelly is not known for his defense — he does play for the Lakers, after all — but Dallas’ Chandler Parsons dropped him to the floor Sunday night with a little step-back move. When Kelly went down, the lane opened up for Parsons to get to the rim and score two.

This move came during a 16-1 Dallas run in the fourth quarter that was key to the Mavericks’ come-from-behind win, 100-93.

Good thing Byron Scott got Kobe Bryant to be on the bench to witness this.

Lakers’ players trying to adjust to Byron Scott’s random rotations

Byron Scott

LOS ANGELES — Jeremy Lin went from around 15 minutes a game to more than 30 minutes, to a DNP-CD, to almost 30 minutes again — and that was all in the span of two weeks.

Ronnie Price used to be the starter, now he’s the third point guard in the rotation. Nick Young has seen his minutes fall (although there may be good reasons for that). And that list goes on and on.

There is a randomness to the Lakers rotations, a lack of consistency that has left the players — who like a routine and rhythm — searching. And wanting.

After Sunday night’s Lakers loss to the Rockets Lin was asked about dealing with the inconsistent minutes. He just basically shrugged, took a long pause, then said, “I guess you just control what you can control… I mean, the only thing you can get used to is you don’t know what’s coming next. And that’s kinda been true this whole season.”

Lakers coach Byron Scott says before pretty much every game that he’s got his starters but will let the flow of the game dictate his rotations. That is not changing for a while.

“The starting five I have out there now, I’m going to keep that for a while,” Scott said. “I’m going to fluctuate with some of the substations just based on what I see on the court and what they are giving me as well, It could be different each and eery game for the next 15 to 20 games.”

That starting five is rookie Jordan Clarkson at the point, Wayne Ellington, Ryan Kelly, Jordan Hill and Robert Sacre. Even their minutes are not guaranteed. After that Carlos Boozer was the first guy off the bench Sunday, followed by Lin, Ed Davis and Nick Young.

More than just up and down minutes, the lineups change nightly, with new combinations all the time.

“I feel like, at this point it’s kind of like everybody has probably played with everybody,” Lin said. “So whatever lineup is out there, you have to do your best. You go out there and play. Maybe not worry about the little things, but just go out there and attack, run the plays hard and see what happens.”

To be fair, this is more than Scott’s nature, his hand was forced n some cases. He entered the season with a healthy Kobe Bryant and a team he thought could make the playoffs. But Scott struggled to find rotations that worked and he started to realize this team wasn’t as talented as his opponents most nights. He was searching for answers. Then Kobe’s body needed more rest, adding another level of randomness to the mix — would the guy the Lakers’ run their offense through play or not? Now they unfortunately know the answer to that question.

Pile on some other injuries to the team and Scott has struggled to have guys for the rotations he wants.

That said, he is not the only coach dealing with these issues — go ask Scott Brooks or Flip Saunders about it — yet Scott’s response has been experimentation, which continues halfway through the season. And not knowing if you will play, or how many minutes, or with whom, or in what role, starts to throw players off.

“I think it effects, for me, my rhythm level maybe,” Lin said. “And I think to some degree your confidence level. My confidence level, it’s just you don’t see yourself doing certain things.”

You may want to be careful about having a Lakers’ player on your fantasy roster the rest of the season. Because the randomness will continue.

Lakers forward Xavier Henry ruptured Achilles in practice, out for season

New Orleans Pelicans v Los Angeles Lakers

UPDATE 7:27 pm: What was feared has become official — Lakers forward Xavier Henry is done for the season, the team announced Monday.

Lakers guard Xavier Henry underwent an MRI exam today which revealed a ruptured left Achilles tendon. Henry suffered the injury at this morning’s practice. He is scheduled to have surgery tomorrow morning with Dr. Neal ElAttrache and Dr. Steve Lombardo of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic. Henry is expected to be out the reminder of the season.

As noted by Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports, the Lakers have already been granted a $1.5 million Disabled Player Exception to bring in a new a player (it must be used by March 10). The team has reached out to the league about a second one of those, although it would be for less money and not able to land much.

Not that anyone they get at those prices will help the 3-11 team.

3:50 pm: This is bad news, via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.


This is just not fair to Xavier Henry, who showed glimpses of promise in Mike D’Antoni’s system but has just never been able to stay healthy. He’s had a multiple major knee surgeries in his career, and coach Byron Scott suggested that took away from his explosiveness and Henry would have to adapt his game (and Henry got a couple of D-League games in this season for the Lakers). Henry didn’t see it that way and said he planned to keep playing his attacking style.

This is a brutal setback.

The Lakers now have three players out for the season — Henry, Julius Randle and Steve Nash — plus a fourth in Ryan Kelly who could miss significant time. Reports are the Lakers have already reached out to the league to discuss a disabled player exception or other option to add another player to the roster.