Cohen 8-Ball: Drew Was Steal of Draft
January 17, 2013
Josh Cohen’s Analysis: Andrew Nicholson, selected 19th in this past year’s NBA Draft, has been very impressive. His offensive repertoire is rather extraordinary for a rookie and his creativity with his footwork is striking. He undoubtedly needs to bulk up and get stronger in the offseason to compete against elite power forwards. Compared to all other rookies picked in the first round between 10-30, you could argue Drew was the biggest steal of the draft. CLICK NEXT for an examination.
Cohen’s Analysis: New Orleans’ Austin Rivers (10) has been abysmal and has significantly underachieved. Remember, some thought he could have been worthy of being a No. 1 draft pick at one stage. Portland's Meyers Leonard (11) was relatively unproductive early and then suffered an ankle sprain in late December and hasn’t played since. OKC’s Jeremy Lamb (12), traded to the Thunder in the James Harden deal, has shifted from the NBA to the D-League. There is no anticipation that he will get noteworthy playing time for the championship contending Thunder.
Cohen’s Analysis: Phoenix’s Kendall Marshall (13) has generally logged all his minutes in the D-League. Milwaukee’s John Henson (14) has enjoyed a few quality outings lately, but mostly has been relegated to a minimal reserve role on a desperate Bucks team. Orlando’s Maurice Harkless (15) has occasionally shown some potential but is extremely unprocessed.
Cohen’s Analysis: Houston’s Royce White (16), whose mental health issue has troubled his standing in the NBA, hasn’t played yet and refuses to join the D-League. Cleveland’s Tyler Zeller (17) has seen more playing time than anyone drafted outside the top 10. He’s been generally productive and effective, but he doesn’t really have a high ceiling. Most believe he will be a traditional journeyman in the NBA. Houston’s Terrence Jones (18) is a developing D-Leaguer.
Cohen’s Analysis: Denver’s Evan Fournier (20), the only 2012 draftee who did not play American college ball, has played sparingly but has by and large been substandard off the bench. Boston’s Jared Sullinger (21), who had a ton of hype around him at Ohio State, has been satisfactory especially considering he was selected much later than originally projected. But, some still wonder if his back injury from college could ultimately hinder his progress. His teammate Fab Melo (22), who recently suffered a concussion, has been thriving in the D-League. The jury is still out on whether he can be valuable at the top level.
Cohen’s Analysis: Atlanta’s John Jenkins (23) has played behind Kyle Korver and Lou Williams. He is a lethal long distance shooter, but until he gets more playing time, it’s impractical for him to have an impact. Dallas’ Jared Cunningham (24) was sent to the D-League for most of December, but was later recalled. He hasn’t dazzled in his limited minutes. In fact, he’s only played in one game in January. Memphis’ Tony Wroten (25) was briefly assigned to the D-League, but is back with the Griz and mostly just watching Mike Conley go to work.
Cohen’s Analysis: Indiana’s Miles Plumlee (26) was recently reassigned to the D-League. There isn’t much room for him on the Pacers with Roy Hibbert, David West, Tyler Hansbrough and Ian Mahinmi protecting the paint. Another D-League prodigy, Philadelphia’s Arnett Moultrie (27) played scarcely for the Sixers before getting sent to the minors. It’s just impossible for OKC’s Perry Jones (28) to earn substantial opportunity with Kevin Durant in front of him. Jones slipped in the draft because of injury concerns, but showed promise in Summer League.
Cohen’s Analysis: One would have figured with Derrick Rose out that Chicago’s Marquis Teague (29) would earn considerable playing time. But instead, he has been forced to watch Kirk Hinrich and Nate Robinson from the bench. The Andrew Bogut injury helped Golden State’s Festus Ezeli (30) jump into the starting lineup. But statistically, he hasn’t glistened in that massive role.