I’ve joined NBA draft night just in time to hear Jay Bilas describe Gordon Hayward as “an elite shooter” and realized it was going to be a long night of sneering banality from the wardens of college ball unless I acted quickly. Off went the toob and over to Ball Don’t Lie I went for the annual draft live blog, hosted by Trey Kirby and featuring special guest Sham from ShamSports.com, where I had just gone to find out how long the Bucks will be stuck with Cory Maggette (three more years at $31 million total).
Meanwhile in the draft …
That “elite” shooter Hayward went to the Jazz with the #9 pick, by the way. And the Pacers drafted Paul George with the #11 pick, taking two perimeter forwards who the Bucks worked out off the board. The Bucks will draft in a few minutes.
Here’s that Ball Don’t Lie link again if you prefer your NBA analysis from guys who like pro basketball and actually think a good night of fun is sitting around at the NBA draft making up stupid nicknames for the players. Turn ESPN off when you find it.
Kentucky’s Patrick “Swayze RIP” Patterson fell all the way to 14th, just out of the Bucks grasp.
With the 15th pick the Bucks selected …
Larry – “Remember Gary Shandling for the his Amazing HBO show, not the movie where he played The Alien” – Sanders, the 6’9″, 210-pound forward-center from Virginia Commonwealth. Who is Larry Sanders? Raw, wingspan, thin, not much of scorer but is scoring what a good team should want from a rookie, especially one drafted 15th? No. Learning to play Skiles-style defense will dominate Sanders’ NBA life for some time with the Bucks.
Check that – the Bucks list Sanders at 6’11” and 235, so size was probably the deciding factor here. Here’s the Bucks description of From Bucks.com Draft Central:
|Larry Sanders – VCU – Junior
11/21/88 – 6’11” – 235 lbs – Forward | Draft Profile
From the BDL peanut gallery:
Andy – Desipio.com: Bilas just compared Sanders to Theo Ratliff. Huh? You mean he already has a huge expiring contract?
Sham can’t believe Sanders went ahead of Solomon Alabi, center from Nigeria who played at Florida State.
I also thought the Bucks would take a good look at Alabi, figuring if they decided to go big, might as well go as big as possible and draft the center from Nigeria (also building on the international character of the team, missing one player now that the stumbling Dutchman, Dan Gadzuric, is a Golden State Warrior). But I’m not sure the Bucks ever got a good look at Alabi.
Sanders they did get a good look at, though it wasn’t so clear at first how much they liked what they saw. After a June 14 workout, Bucks director of scouting, Billy McKinney said it was “a bit of a stretch” to say that Sanders was “in the mix” at #15:
“I think that might be a little bit of a stretch, but anything is possible. This draft is a little bit crazy right now because we’re not sure how the top 15 is shaking out. Every week we go through mock drafts and we look at the mock drafts and different people are all over the board. We think that might be a little bit of a stretch (to have Sanders at 15) but we have him in anyway to look at him in the event that something might happen in the event that we might move back.”
Sanders’ shot-blocking abilities may have tipped the Bucks decision his way: “We’re a defensive oriented team and of course, one of the things that we’re looking at of course in the draft is trying to get more length and athleticism,” McKinney said.
This could also mean that the Bucks are in the market for more experienced help in the paint for Bogut and may want to trade up for, say, Patrick Patterson, or trade out of the draft for NBA experience. As of the Gadzuric/Bell for Magette trade, the Bucks don’t have a backup center under contract.
The guy I thought the Bucks would end up with, Luke Babbitt (6’9″ scorer/shooter out of Nevada) went in the very next pick, to the T-Wolves at #16. But the T-Wolves are trading Babbitt to Portland for Martell Webster. Babbitt, obviously, was not enough of a paint defender/rebounder/shotblocker to fit the Bucks needs, however much they liked his offensive game.
5 picks (three straight PFs taken by the Rockets, Bucks and T-Wolves.)
12. Memphis Grizzlies – Xavier “Ohio” Henry
13. Toronto Raptors – Ed “Dangerous Danny” Davis
14. Houston Rockets – Patrick “Swayze (R.I.P.)” Patterson
15. Milwaukee Bucks – Larry “Remember Garry Shandling For His Amazing HBO Show, Not The Movie Where He Played The Alien” Sanders
16. Minnesota T’Wolves – Luke “Rain Man (Shouts to The Jones)” Babbitt – traded to Portland for Martell Webster]
The Larry Sanders Show Coming to Milwaukee
The Bucks select 6’9” forward Larry Sanders from VCU. Sanders averaged 14.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game for Virginia Commonwealth last season. Stay tuned to Bucks.com for info and additional draft coverage.
|Darington Hobson – New Mexico – Junior
9/29/87 – 6’7” – 205 lbs – Guard | Draft Profile
Yahoo Analysis: Jerome Jordan is the rare example of a kid who stayed too long in college since he’d have been more likely to crack the first round had he left as an underclassman. Still, there is upside here if Jordan can diversify his game since the Tulsa big man has been playing basketball for only five years. — Jeff Eisenberg
|Keith “Tiny” Gallon – Oklahoma – Freshman
6’9” – 296 lbs – Forward
On Gani Lawal…
“He played well, too. It was a very competitive group, Gani Lawal going against Wayne Chism, sometimes Tiny Gallon and other times Deon Thompson. He’s very athletic, really good offensive rebounder and plays well off the ball.”
On Keith “Tiny” Gallon…
“Well that tells you a lot. It’s kind of an oxymoron when you look at Tiny he’s a big man. What I can say about him is that he’s done a great job of maintaining his weight, or getting it down. He started out, we talked to him in Chicago, he weighed 350 in high school. He’s down to 295 now, so his trend, in terms of his weight, has been going down. I’m sure once he gets with a pro team and is able to work with a strength and conditioning coach on a regular basis, he’s going to be even smaller. Maybe he’ll be Tiny, version two.”
And there you have it, Bucks draft day 2010. Shotblocking Larry Sanders, small forward Hobson, big center Jerome Jordan and a big forward named Tiny Gallon. Any draft day that ends with the Bucks having a guy with a wieght problem named Tiny Gallon has been a good day.
On Gallon making a name for himself aside from playing with Brandon Jennings in high school…
“That’s very important at this level for him. They played together at Oak Hill Academy for those people that don’t know that, and he and Brandon have a very good relationship, but in terms of how he will play in the pro game is going to depend on his merit—his work ethic, his commitment to keeping his weight down and improving his skill as a player.”