Posted by: Kingsguru21 | May 19, 2010

Who could be the sleepers of this 2010 NBA Draft?

Well obviously, I’m not Jonathan Givony or Aran Smith. I don’t know everything, and I don’t talk to NBA GM’s. I get that. But, like most people, I think there are some interesting players out there that numbers don’t always do justice for.

1 important thing to note: Both DX and NBA Draft.net have top 100 prospect lists. But some of this is guys that I think has a chance to be true sleepers. I don’t think the Kings are likely to take any of them, but they are players worth noting in the future.

#1: Stanley Robinson UConn

You might know Robinson as the high flying headcase who essentially got kicked off UConn at the start of his Junior year before being let back on the team mid-season by Jim Calhoun. Robinson is an interesting prospect who seems to be a tweener, and some people will dog this as a guy who is talented but hasn’t figured it out.

Guess what? The NBA is full of guys like Robinson who had up & down college career’s. Another point is that Robinson is fairly young for a graduated Senior, and that’s pretty unusual these days. There are plenty of 21 year olds that are Freshman and Sophomores now.

At this point, I see the Spurs being interested in Robinson if he can show them something in workouts. I also see the Wolves being more interested in Robinson if they don’t pick up Wesley Johnson or Al-Farouq Aminu with the 4th pick.

I can see Robinson going anywhere from 16-20 in the 1st round. Right now, Robinson is 19th on DX’s mock.

#2: Kevin Seraphin Cholet (France) 1989

Seraphin is interesting for several reasons. Once you get past some of the bigger names, there might be a crap shoot of players that are currently more famous than Seraphin at the moment. Because the NBA might be interested to see what Seraphin can do, and, because Seraphin might not have the issue’s that Hassan Whiteside and Daniel Orton, you might see Seraphin rise up boards past Robinson. Seraphin is clearly the European player sleeper. (Note: Seraphin is a French citizen, and is from Guyana. Similar to how Rodrigue Beaubois and Mickeal Pietrus are from the island of Gaudelope, but French citizens.)

I see teams being really interested in Seraphin starting with Toronto at # 13, Houston at #14, Milwaukee at #15, Miami at #18, and the Hawks at #24. As you can see, Seraphin could go in a wide range of teams if he keeps his name in the draft. (Note: International players like Seraphin can pull out June 14th. The new rule that shortens the amount of time NCAA players can explore their NBA options is actually a NCAA rule, not a NBA rule.)

Seraphin is 24th on DX’s mock.

#3 Damion James Texas

Players like James don’t always seem to get noticed, but manage to end up on productive teams like the Spurs and the like because they do something that the other players in the draft class don’t necessarily do: Produce. James has something he can bring to a NBA team and that is likely to be very important moving forward for any player. He’s a solid player whose upped his efficiency his senior season, improved his rebounding, and is generally considered an active player.

I can see James going to the Wolves at #16, Heat at #18, Celtics at #19, and who knows after that. I have a feeling he’s going anywhere from 15-25, but to what team is anybody’s guess.

James is currently 16th on DX’s mock.

#4 Dominique Jones University of South Florida

Jones interests me because he’s tall, has a wingspan according to Givony, and has a terrific activity level. I don’t know much about Jones after not seeing a ton of him. Givony has Jones ranked #22 on his top 100 prospect. He has Jones 34th on his Mock Draft. I expect to see Jones rise into the 1st round unless Givony (or NBA GM’s) are badly mistaken.

Jones is currently 34th on DX’s mock.

#5: Jerome Randle Cal-Berkeley

Sometimes small G’s are expected to be tall PG’s, and that is a stupid mistake. When a G like Randle can come in, direct an offense, shoot the ball, and give a team a chance of pace and a chance to score most of the time down the court, that means he brings something. The fact he is a Senior (like James) is a bonus, and quite often gets overlooked. I’m all for upside in players, and especially star players. But I’m also for looking in the senior bargain basement bin when teams are looking at younger players trying to get the “best” player. Upside means little if that player can’t get on the court and produce.

Here’s a fact about Jerome Randle: He shoots the 3, shoots FT’s well (ridiculously well at that), and is an excellent initiator of the offense.

Randle is currently 49th on DX’s mock.

The Kings already worked him out, and did this interview with him afterwards last week. It’s worth watching if you have not.

******

I want to make several things clear here before I write about my duds later in the next couple of days. I have my own biases and beliefs that might be completely wrong. I’m basing a good deal of my information of Givony’s observations, and that’s always dangerous. But, at the same time, I’m also looking at various other things other than Givony’s observations. I look at stats, and I don’t spend a ton of time watching prospects unless it’s the big name ticket items. I just simply don’t have the time. So what I try to do is parse my information from sources like Givony (I don’t like Aran Smith’s site but that’s me–I’ve been burned reading their mocks and information–I prefer DX) and Chad Ford when I can.

Sometimes it’s not seeing players play, or seeing the stats. A lot of times I look at prospects raw physical stats since that matters a good deal. Sometimes, I look at pure production and skills showed. If you notice, even though I generally don’t favor Seniors at the high end of my drafts, Seniors often turn out to be excellent sleepers.

There are 2 reasons Seniors turn out to be excellent sleepers. First, it’s assumed (sometimes wrong) that the player can’t improve. Because many of the high end NBA players come out very early of college (or high school when it was allowed), sometimes the Seniors (especially the late bloomers) get overlooked. It’s one reason Brandon Roy dropped to 6 in 2006, and another reason why Danny Granger dropped to 17 in 2005. Both were 22 year old late bloomers who have since developed into quality All-Stars in the NBA. The point, though, is that they weren’t stars throughout their college career (like Tim Duncan was) and they just developed late. Some guys like Robinson and Randle (and James for that matter) simply stayed in school because it was the best decision for them.

In Robinson’s case, staying helped smooth some rough edges out for him. He’s only 21 years old despite being a Senior. Randle is 22, but I don’t think any team picking him will be asking him to a guy who develops over a 2 year span. They expect Jerome Randle to find a spot for himself in a rotation quickly. Damion James, especially on a team like the Wolves, could be starting next season as he helps the Wolves climb back to respectability.

The biggest negative for Robinson will be his offensive game and developing it to be effective at the NBA level. For Randle, his biggest issue will be TO’s. (Assuming that carrying the heavy load and the fact that he had limited players to pass to at Cal wasn’t the only issue Randle had in turning the ball over. Time will tell on this.) And James may not find a position that he’s effective at defensively.

Some of this is guesswork. Some of this is simply knowing that some prospects will fail despite what you try to project them as moving forward. Like most things, though, I try to do what I can with what I got.

So keep that in mind, mmkay?

******

Of these 5, I’ve been as interested in Jones because of his terrific skills and the fact he can get to the line at a high rate. Jones has not been terrible in the efficiency area, but he’s hardly wonderful there.

Jerome Randle also got to the line at a high rate (could be just how crappy college games are officiated), and this means something to me given that Randle shot 93.3% from the FT line last season. (He also shot 82% his freshmen season, 87% his sophomore season, and 86% his junior season. Shooting in the high 80’s from the FT line won’t be a challenge for him.) Randle has also been efficient his last 2 seasons sporting a ridiculous 66 TS% his Junior year and 61 TS% last season. I do like Randle quite a bit. Oh, and Randle can shoot the 3 too.

The only thing keeping Jerome Randle from the Kings is if he has a bad wingspan, and I mean a wingspan under 5’11. (According to Portsmouth official measurements, Randall has a 6′ wingspan.) If it’s not an issue, they’ll certainly consider him at 33. He seems like a perfect compliment, defense or not, to Tyreke Evans, Francisco Garcia and Beno Udrih. Because he can shoot, and run the offense, putting him on the court could mean quality offense being had.

Now, if you think Randle isn’t all that enticing, take a look at Sherron Collins. The Kings definitely need a guy who can shoot, run the offense, and show leadership. Randle brings all those things.

While Dominique Jones has more upside, I’m hoping the Kings can snag Randle. How’s that for a sleeper?

(Note: I’m hardly the only person who likes Jerome Randle.)

Now I’m done.

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Responses

  1. Paul George intrigues me. The length, the athleticism, the jump shot and the mystery. I would not be upset if, after a couple of workouts, Stern called this guy’s name when it was our turn to pick.

    I would only want him as the #5 pick if GP felt he could contribute very soon, and as a SG. A career trajectory similar to Martell Webster would not be acceptable to me, but seems to be a reasonable comparison (my own). Webster’s big issue was defense early on. As in he could not keep ANYONE contained. If GP is convinced this guy could play D and rebound a little, I can see him pulling the trigger.

    At this point though, both Xavier Henry and Wesley Johnson seem like smarter picks and will likely be available at #5, so what the hell do I know? We call them sleeper picks for a reason I guess though.

    • I think the Kings will trade down for George if they do take him. They’ll likely also try and to trade down and eliminate a contract (probably Nocioni) in the process, too.

      The Kings badly need help up front, and an above the rim player. If that’s Wes Joohnson, I can live with it. I don’t know if he’s ideal (I do prefer Aminu) but Johnson has a better skillset at this moment than Aminu.

      Going to be an interesting month following this.

  2. If Aminu could bring something similar to J.Smith’s defensive presence, I would love to see him at 5.

    Wes may have the better skillset at the moment, but a J.Smith-like skillset is far more unique.

    Did you see Aminu’s arms?

    • I don’t really pay attention to that whole thing Quick. So, no I haven’t seen it cuz I don’t got NBATV and I wasn’t up early enough to catch it. I know Aminu doesn’t have much bulk though so what you say is hardly the surprise. I’ve seen youtube stuff of him (I’ve been writing an Aminu piece recently that just isn’t getting finished–I suck) and he’s not a bulky type of kid.

  3. […] think that a shooter and a guy who can run the offense may be the greatest value the Kings can get. I’ve said my piece on Jerome Randle in the past, and I’m sticking to […]


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