NBA: Operation Yer a Towel

Jimmer Fredette

For the last hour or so I’ve been going over ESPN insider Chad Ford’s Draft recaps and player breakdowns from 2005 through 2011[1].  For some reason there’s great entertainment value in reading ESPN experts project great things for players who aren’t even in the league anymore.  Sure, there were accurate predictions as well, but I see no fun in those (unless they’re my own accurate predictions).  [2]

Anyway, after watching the 60 Minutes last night about SEAL Team 6’s raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound, I’ve decided to give things I do ‘operation code names’.  The Bin Laden raid, for example, was operation Neptune Spear.[3]  Operation names should spice up daily activities and add a general amount of excitement to my life.  In this next operation, “Operation Yer a Towel”, you must try to guess which player Chad Ford is talking about.

The answers will be provided at the end.  Keep track of how many you get right, and remember, don’t peak!

2005 Draft:

1. “I still believe that Player A should have been the number one pick in the draft”… “Player A is Insider’s No. 1-ranked player in the draft. He’s a versatile forward who can play both inside and out. Still developing but has the trappings of a superstar.” Ford continues, “Player A is an unbelievable specimen. He has a great NBA body, top-notch athleticism and the ability to play just about anywhere on the court. He has one of the most developed inside-outside games of any prospect…[and] possesses a fantastic basketball IQ and work ethic!!!”[4]

2006 Draft:

2. “A growing number of scouts are saying that Player B is the best prospect in the draft. His combination of size, athleticism, aggressiveness and skills (he showed some ball handling and a sweet 12-foot baseline jumper against Texas) are unmatched… it’s getting difficult to come up with reasons why Player B shouldn’t be considered the No. 1 pick in the draft.”

“Excellent rebounder and shot blocker”

“Nice touch on his mid-range jumper.”

“The most upside of anyone in the draft.”

3. “Player C’s confidence in himself and his game is palpable. His ability to consistently make tough shots with a hand in his face might be his most appealing aspect. He’s crafty and finds a way to get his shot. He’s tireless and constantly in motion. His 3-point shot has really improved this year. His knowledge of the game, his passing ability, his silky-smooth jumper and his fierce competitiveness all are Bird-esque.[5]

–     Player C has “star power”

–     Player C has “killer Instinct and leadership”

2007 Draft:

4. “Player D may be the most versatile player in the draft. He can guard and play four positions on the floor … but he needs to develop a more consistent offensive game. Look for him to be a Top 10 pick who could go as high as No. 3 depending on who’s picking in the draft.”

“I love Player D. I think he’s been underrated all year — he does so many things well. He’s not a great shooter, but he’s a guy who makes teams better.”

“Great athlete” and “terrific defender”

“Excellent passer for a player his size”

“Ability to play point-forward in the pros”

2008 Draft:

5. Ford: “When the Rockets drafted Player E, I questioned it. He measured out terribly statistically under John Hollinger’s formula…”

Hollinger:  “Teams are apparently worried about drafting Player E because of a possible heart ailment. I’d recommend avoiding him for other reasons — like the fact that he can’t play, for instance.”

6.  Ford: “the Bucks wanted a talent with lots of upside, and Player F has that…

Player F is a “long, super athletic forward who can score inside and outside. Explosive leaper. Gets to the basket and is a strong finisher. Is big enough to post up smaller defenders and has a great touch around the basket. High basketball IQ. Very good passer for a big man. Very quick laterally.”

According to Hollinger, “Player F is the only [wing player] who cracks the threshold of a typical lottery selection. And in this case, the fact that Player F took up the game at a late age means we’re probably understating his pro potential.”[6]

2011 Draft:

7.  Ford:  “Player G![7] Do we really have to say anything else? He’ll be a very popular pick in Sacramento. The Kings’ starting point was Beno Udrih, and Player G has the ability to be much better. He’s a great shooter, and he’s tough. I think it’s a really good pick, and Player G, Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton will be a fun backcourt to watch.”

(Okay, obviously Player G is Jimmer Fredette, but I thought this was funny.  Seriously?! I think everybody else other than Chad Ford knew Jimmer was a terrible pick at 7.  I was ready to forsake the Warriors forever if they had taken him with the 11th pick.)

A few of my favorites: 1.Operation Rapier Thrust; 2. Operation Viking Snatch and 3. Operation Crescent Wind.

Player A = Marvin Williams

Player B = Tyrus Thomas

Player C = Adam Morrison

Player D = Julian Wright

Player E = Nicolas Batum

Player F = Joe Alexander


[1] Its cold outside and I’m still on summer vacation, so give me a break
[2] Can you go semicolon to colon like that in a sentence? Hmm, I don’t know
[3] A few of my favorites: 1. Operation Rapier Thrust; 2. Operation Viking Snatch; 3. Operation Crescent Wind
[4] Alright, maybe Ford didn’t add the three exclamation points
[5] Unfortunately the Bird comparison, while outlandish, may be a giveaway on this one – everybody knows you don’t get compared to Larry Legend unless you’re white.
[6] A couple wings who didn’t make the lottery pick cut using Hollinger’s draft rater: Russell Westbrook (may have been playing out of position at UCLA, but its “not worth using a top-10 pick to find out”) and Eric Gordon (“I’ve been suspicious of him for some time, and I’m a little unsure what has everyone so excited.”)
[7] This time Ford really did use an exclamation point

NBA: Looking back at the past 2nd round picks

Kevin Durant

Kevin DurantIn sports you always learn that if you don’t finish first, you finish last. When you get drafted first overall, you get the money, but you also have the most pressure on you to succeed. If not you go down in history as a huge failure or what we call a bust. People forget about who was drafted second overall. Lets take a look back ten years and see where they are now.

2001- Tyson Chandler drafted by the Clippers but traded to Chicago. Averaging 8.5 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. He is known for his defense around the rim and most recently won a championship in Dallas. He left via free agency to the Knicks where he is currently chasing after another ring.

2002- Jay Williams drafted by Chicago stayed in the League only a year, because of a horrible motorcycle accident where he suffered serious injuries. He was never able to overcome those injuries, even though in his brief stint he showed promise.

2003- Darko Milicic drafted by Detroit currently averaging 5 points, 4 rebounds a game for Minnesota. Yes, he is still in the league and he was starting for the Wolves before a recent injury. Now he finds himself riding the pine once again and probably will not be in the league much longer.

2004- Emeka Okafor drafted by Charlotte currently averaging 9 points and 8 rebounds for the Hornets. He has actually been given a change of scenery and has been doing pretty well for them. Luckily for Okafor he was able to escape that dark hole they call Bobcats but he will not be anything more than a player off the bench.

2005- Marvin Williams- drafted by the Hawks averaging 9 points and 5 rebounds for them. Williams has actually played pretty well for the Atlanta but they haven’t been able to make it to the Championship. He has been linked to trade rumors as of late, most recently to Cleveland.

2006- Lemarcus Aldridge drafted by Chicago then traded to Portland. Aldridge has been amazing for the Blazers averaging 22 points, and 8 rebounds a game. He is quietly having an amazing season and has a great career ahead barring any serious injuries.

2007- Kevin Durant drafted by Seattle(Oklahoma) averaging 27 points, 8 rebounds a game. He has breathed new life into this franchise and will be a superstar for years to come.

2008- Michael Beasley drafted by Miami averaging 12 points and 5 rebounds for Minnesota. His problem is not his talent but his off the court issues. He has a chance being on a young team to start a new path, so we will definitely keep an eye on him.

2009- Hasheem Thabeet drafted by Memphis now playing for Houston averaging 1 point and 1 rebound a game. This is actually very disappointing for a that’s 7’3″. There’s not that many 7 footers left in the league and he has the God-given tools to dominate. Unfortunately he will be nothing more than a bench warmer.

2010- Evan Turner drafted by Philadelphia averaging 8 points and 5 rebounds a game. Turner has had some up and down times in his two years. He has talent, but to be a superstar? I don’t think so.

Overall, some teams have hit gold with their drafts but most No. 2 picks have not panned out. It goes to show you that drafting is like a box of chocolates. you never know what you’re going to get