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Entries in NBA Draft (3)


NBA Draft 2010: Who Said What On Twitter?

NBA Draft 2010

One Great Season

When Twitter users weren't firing off notes about their hate for Stuart Scott during the NBA Draft Thursday night, they were comparing Al-Farouq Aminu to Steve Urkel, John Salley, Dwight Howard and even Rog from "What's Happening."

And when they weren't doing that, they were sending out some pretty entertaining Tweets. Here's a sample below:

+ @GaryParrishCBS: "And somebody ask Stuart Scott to remind me when 'Ed Davis became a star at North Carolina.' I missed that."

+ @clubtrillion: "'We tried to design hat that would make G Hayward look ridiculous for biggest night of his life. We're happy with result.'" - Adidas Spokesman

+ @ramzyn: "Imagine Kiffin & Calipari at the same school. The resulting vortex of NCAA violations & vacated wins could make time travel possible."

+ @timkawakami: "I think the Warriors took the 14th or 15th best player in this draft ... at No. 6."

+ @russbengtson: "I'm really hoping someone drafts Stuart Scott just to get him off the podium." #wishfulthinking

+ @sa2ny2004: "al farouq aminu just got selected by the Clippers. While walking to shake Stern's hand he suffered and season ending knee injury."

+ @briankelly_: "Perfect fit for Hayward and Jazz. He already looks morman." #nbadraft

+ @AndyHutchins: "Hey, Gordon Hayward's sister: I will take you to see Footloose."

+ @dpshow: "Cole Aldridch just picked up his 4th foul since getting drafted."

+ @RickMuscles: "Right now, Steve Zahn's character from Treme is annoying someone in a bar about how Cole Aldridge will be a great Hornet."

+ @CursedCleveland: "Who called in sick at ESPN? Katz? Stein? Jalen Rose? Tom Penn should send a thank you note."

+ @freedarko: "Jay Bilas: attorney at law, sports broadcaster, masculinity expert."

+ @AdamZagoria: "That's the same Crawford who dunked on LeBron last summer ... Nets trading him because they don't want to T off The King."

+ @notmikedunleavy: "Memphis should take Sherron Collins, because he's the only player left that I've heard of."


NBA Draft: Evan Turner Will Slip To No. 4

Evan Turner

Former OSU Star Not
A Natural NBA Guard

One Great Season

A handful of basketball blogs, particularly some in Philadelphia, are rushing to the assumption that Evan Turner will be the 76ers pick at No. 2 in next month's NBA draft, with one going as far as calling Turner the "Savior of the Sixers."

And another suggests there's a debate whether the Washington Wizards will use their No. 1 pick on Turner or Kentucky point guard John Wall.

I'm certainly an OSU homer and a big ET guy, but I'm not sure Turner is the obvious second pick, and he's definitely not going No. 1.

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The Talented Mr. Turner was a great college basketball player, for sure, and as much as I'd love to see him have a Rookie-Of-The-Year kind of season next year, the NBA transition will be tougher for him than folks are estimating.

As a versatile point forward, Turner was more crafty than quick in handling the ball for the Buckeyes. He struggled against a pesky perimeter defense against Illinois in the Big Ten Tournament in March. And just five or six months from now, NBA defenses will throw more than Demetri McCamey at him.

Turner also lacks an NBA shot. As a team, his Buckeyes were pretty dangerous from the perimeter, but ET got much of his own offense by being clever and creating space in drives down the lane. Sure he could knock down the occasional jumper, but his bread-and-butter was more suited for college than it will be for his first pro season or two.

If an NBA team asks him to play in the backcourt, he'll need to spend the summer working on protecting the basketball. Thad Matta had the rock in Turner's hands a huge chunk of the time, and I'd have done the same if I was the coach. But sometimes -- perhaps due to fatigue -- ET would handle the ball while being completely vertical, allowing smaller defenders to challenge him far from the basket. Turner needs to develop a natural guard's habit of staying low, keeping the ball out of a defender's reach and thereby maintaining some space in which to work.

I could see Philadelphia take Wesley Johnson, who is probably a more active defender than Turner, with ET slipping to Minnesota to join those young Timberwolves at No. 4.


It's A Mistake For Lance Stephenson To Turn Pro

Lance Stephenson

One Great Season

Nineteen-year-old Lance Stephenson has quite possibly made the worst decision of his life: after just one season of collegiate ball, the Big East Rookie of the Year from the University of Cincinnati will enter the 2010 NBA Draft.

Stephenson, a 6-foot-5 guard, averaged 12.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists per game for the Bearcats. Even more telling are statistics which show that Stephenson needed to make better on-court decisions: 81 turnovers in 34 games (nearly 2.4 per game), and he shot only 44 percent from the field, including 22 percent from three-point range. In short, Stephenson played like a freshman, albeit one with loads of talent. He even left room for improvement from the charity stripe by shooting a measly 66 percent.

Now, it's an off-court decision that may cost Stephenson and his family millions of dollars.

In non-statistical terms, Stephenson's strengths are his ability to drive to the basket and create, something most average NBA players his size can do. However, in the NBA, he'll not only need to do that, but handle the ball better and open up his offensive game by hitting mid-range to three-point jumpers on a more consistent basis. Otherwise, teams will sag off of him, dare him to shoot and simply turn him into the latest version of Felipe Lopez.

Stephenson is projected to be a late first-rounder at best. A second round slot -- which in the NBA means a non-guaranteed contract -- appears to be a more likely destination as of this moment. Of course, things can change between now and Draft Day on June 24.

Any NBA team who drafts Stephenson will be doing so based on potential. And if Stephenson lands in the second round, he potentially screws over himself, first and foremost.

Stephenson has stated his desire to "emotionally and financially support" his family, which includes his 2-year-old daughter. As heartwarming as that sounds, there's also a hard, cold reality: a 19-year-old kid, who's yet to reach his potential on the collegiate level, will now rely on excelling on the world's greatest basketball stage to support his family.

God Bless America.

Who's to blame? Exclude teenager Stephenson from the list, but feel free to include those adults who have influenced his decision.

Papa Stephenson, also known as Lance's dad, said, "We feel as a family this is the best thing for Lance's future, and he is ready for the NBA."

Translation: Someone in this family needs to bring home the bacon ... and quick.

Cincinnati Coach Mick Cronin, who just saw his team's 2010-2011 expectations plummet with Stephenson's departure, laid another "WTF" quote on the media when he said, "His personal circumstances dictate that he try to continue his development in the NBA while he's getting paid. He's going to get that opportunity to do it while alleviating the (financial) pressure on his family."

Note to Cronin: continuing development in the NBA while getting paid is also known in some circles as the NBA D-League. The "D" stands for "development." And the pay? Not too good.

Lance Stephenson certainly will have a shot at playing in the NBA. But the question is, for how long? Will Stephenson be a first-round flame-out? A second-round casualty who fades into the D-League? Or will the kid nicknamed "Born Ready" live up to his nickname and make the doubters -- this writer included -- shut up?

We're all ready to find out.

Gerowitz is a New York-based television producer, a Cincinnati graduate who once covered the Bearcats and occasional OGS contributor.