Monday, June 1, 2009

The NBA Draft: Indulge the geek within

Two NBA events stimulate that section of my mind usually devoted to Bat'leth combat and updates on the North American release date for Ong Bak 2: Summer League and the Draft.

We have now entered the period just before the Draft that is probably the most fun for everyone, at least for everyone not currently busting their ass to impress somebody with millions of dollars and life-long dreams hanging in the balance.

Most of the players in the draft have been evaluated by NBA eyeballs for years and will be selected according to careful judgments that consider this entire period of evaluation. Or so one would think. The great thing about the NBA Draft is that it is sort of like your annual performance review. Your boss may tell you they have carefully monitored your abilities over the course of the previous 12 months, but really you know that they've had other things on their mind. The more likely case is that they realized your performance review was coming up, paid attention to you for a couple weeks, and will use their most recent observations as the basis for much of your evaluation. Recency bias; we humans dig it.

This leaves room for all sorts of exciting developments. A guy with an otherwise excellent potential for success played bad in the NCAA tournament so his draft stock tanks faster than American Apparel. (That was me being topical.) A player without much of a resume blows away an NBA team in a workout and shoots up in the first round. (Cough. Cough.)

Draft measurements have been released and you can bet this has some teams re-evaluating their boards somewhat. Hansbrough might be large enough not to suck. James Harden is not a midget after all. And what about that DeJuan Blair? He's really short, but his arms are like, really long. Oh heavens.

DraftExpress is the undisputed mecca for NBA Draft geeks. Or "fans," as they say. They also have my favorite description of the measurement results I've come across so far:
-Chase Budinger’s height came in as expected, but he has a serious case of gator arms with extremely short standing reach and small wingspan for his height. His wingspan is similar to that of Jason Kapono, Matt Carroll, Travis Hansen and Luke Jackson, which again may help explain his deficiencies on the defensive end.
This is amazing. How did all of these players, so similar in talent level, skill set, and skin tone, all manage to have such similarly stubby (by NBA standards) little gator arms? And how did Kyle Korver manage to not be in this group? Experts can not rule out his unconventional off-season workouts.

Things will get even more entertaining in the coming days. Just wait until the results from the athletic tests come out. (Kevin Durant can't bench press 185 pounds! That guy is gonna suck.)

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