Cohen 8-Ball: Right or Wrong
May 28, 2013
There will be at least one trade in the top 10 of the draft – WRONG – Josh Cohen’s Analysis: Sure, several lottery teams will entertain trading their respective pick, but are there really any opposing teams willing to surrender future draft picks, blossoming young talent or established players to climb up in this year’s draft? It’s not impossible, but rational thought is that there isn’t a prospect any team is “desperate” to trade up for.
This year’s draft will NOT possess any future “superstars” – WRONG - Cohen’s Analysis: While this draft is not believed to be as “loaded” as some prior drafts, there is always at least one, if not two, players that eventually evolve into perennial All-Stars from a specific draft class. Naturally, it depends on your definition of “superstar,” but ultimately there will be at least one gold coin from the group. Most, for instance, didn’t project Damian Lillard to be as prolific as he was in his rookie campaign.
Teams picking in top five should focus on potential rather than what prospects proved in college – RIGHT - Cohen’s Analysis: College success doesn’t automatically translate into big league boom. Orlando understood that in 2004 when it chose Dwight Howard ahead of Emeka Okafor. Nerlens Noel, one of this year’s top prospects, must be evaluated based on projection and how he will rebound from his knee injury, not his short-lived stay at Kentucky.
It would be beneficial for Magic to develop a defensive identity – RIGHT - Cohen’s Analysis: Indiana, Memphis and even Miami are where they are because of defense. There are two methods to sustain an elite status in the NBA: Stack up on an assemblage of privileged talent (ex. Heat, Thunder) or be motivated through defense (ex. Pacers, Grizzlies, Bulls). While Orlando is in position to amass star-studded talent with upcoming high draft picks and salary cap space, it’s safe to also sustain a ruthless defensive approach.
Dwight Howard will stay with Lakers – WRONG – Cohen’s Analysis: All this talk about $30 million more in salary is not as substantial as many are claiming when you consider state income tax. California has it, Texas doesn’t. Howard’s first, and perhaps only, season in L.A. was a nightmare. It’s a bad fit for him on all fronts. With the Mavericks, he will once again be the prime attraction. With the Rockets, he could be in position to win a championship. With the Lakers, he will continue to be ridiculed, criticized and tormented.
The majority of players selected in the First Round of the draft will pan out in the NBA – WRONG – Cohen’s Analysis: Don’t be misguided by all the college basketball gurus and fanatics on television. They will rave and honor every single player as they are chosen in the draft. The truth is; most won’t live up to his potential and most won’t fulfill the expectations instituted by their respective teams. It’s the reason certain executives are applauded for his or her ability to harvest the right talent.
The Magic will be very active in free agency this summer – WRONG – Cohen’s Analysis: Orlando is still in rebuild mode and the renovation won’t be complete for another year or two. There is no reason for the Magic to spend hastily on middling talent in a relatively feeble free agency class. It’s far more advantageous to continue saving for more rewarding prizes down the road.
Roy Hibbert, Marc Gasol and Brook Lopez are three best centers in the NBA – RIGHT – Cohen’s Analysis: Most won’t agree, but there has been a huge shakeup at the top of the depth chart amongst big men. Dwight Howard’s decline this past season and DeMarcus Cousins’ erratic behavior have helped Hibbert, now arguably the most intimidating interior presence in the league, Gasol, the reigning DPOY who also encompasses a wide range of offensive skills and Lopez, a brilliant scorer with a developing defensive repertoire, have all leaped forward.