Boateng is an English centre who played one year at Duke, before transferring to Arizona State, where he just completed his senior season. He barely played at all in his first four seasons, but finally got a chance to play last year, and responded with averages of 8.8ppg and 7.2rpg on 66% shooting. However, even though he turns 25 in November, Boateng is still an incredibly raw player. He turned it over 2.1 times per game in only 27 minutes, despite not taking any dribbles at any point, and shot only 50% from the foul line. He’s also not much of a shot-blocker; essentially, he’s a 6’10 slightly above average rebounder.
Boateng will play for the Great Britain national team this summer, but mainly others won’t. Joel Freeland and Ben Gordon just dropped out this week due to injury, and earlier, Robert Archibald had also pulled out. Nick George and Andy Betts have also pulled out, leaving the team with almost no quality left on it, and its chances of qualifying for Eurobasket 2011 in tatters.
This is why Luol Deng is so unbelievably freaking important to us. He is now our everything. Anyway, I’ve tangented.
Carroll was covered in the Celtics summer league roster round-up of last week. He starred for Boston, averaging 14.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game, showing the all-around offensive game for which he is known.
Carter signed with the Knicks for training camp last season, but lost out on a roster spot. The Knicks kept Marcus Landry at small forward, and left the 15th post open – unbeknownst to us all, they were saving it for Jonathan Bender. Carter therefore went to Greece to play for Ilysiakos, averaging 12.9 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.1 fouls per game, forced to defend the centre spot much of the time in a way entirely ill-suited to his size and skill set. He also doubled his three point percentage, from 8% in 2008/09 to 16% in 2009/10. Double it again, and he might be a mediocre outside shooter.
Getting inconsistent minutes for much of the season, Douglas nonetheless responded with averages of 8.6 points and 2.0 assists in less than 20 minutes, alongside good defence. He outperformed Chris Duhon, who nonetheless outplayed him (i.e. played more minutes). The Lakers should not have sold him. That’s all I have to say about that.
Ewing was covered in the Magic summer league roster round-up of last week. He played well for Orlando, averaging 11.3 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. It is inevitable that he would appear on the Knicks roster too.
Canadian/Nigerian guard Olumuyiwa Famutimi has been doing this for a while, with training camp experience dating back to 2005. He has also had a couple of training camp contracts in his time, with the Sixers in 2005 and the Spurs in 2006. Last year in Turkey, Famutimi averaged 16.9ppg, 5.6rpg, 2.0apg and 1.9spg for Bura, shooting 44% from the field. He’s also added a jump shot to his game; formerly his biggest weakness, Olu took five three pointers per game last season, and hit them at a 44% clip. The 6’5 rebounding/defending guard was a good three point shooter in college, but demonstrated no three point range in his two years of D-League experience. If he can keep up that 44% lark, good times await the former Ukrainian league all-star.
Fields probably could have gone undrafted, which makes the pick a questionable one. But in hindsight, I think it’s a better pick than Rautins was. Fields needs to improve his jump shot and maybe add a little strength (in lieu of being able to add athleticism), but isn’t that the case with basically everybody ever drafted? And don’t most people then promptly improve those things? I guess what I’m trying to say is that the Landry Fields selection was OK.
Garcia was a surefire draft candidate for the entire year, but he didn’t live up to a hot start. It would be wrong of me to pretend that I knew any more than that, so instead of regurgitating other people’s opinions, here’s the long-overdue return of a monkey on a pushbike.
Howard was with the Knicks for training camp last year. The D-League veteran is a defensive specialist who also scored a decent amount of points without the benefit of a three point jump shot. But last year, Howard added one, shooting 42-109 in 29 D-League games. (He had gone 1-17 from three in his previous 95 games.) For the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Howard averaged 20.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists, and that’s from a player best on defence.
The Knicks bought Jordan’s draft rights from the Bucks, and I like that move. Jordan can make shots, and there is forever a dearth on 7 footers who can do that. With their other moves – acquiring Amar’e Stoudemire, Ronny Turiaf, Anthony Randolph and Timofey Mozgov – the Knicks now have size, rebounding, shot-blocking, shooting, scoring and pick-‘n’-rolling out of their big men. If they round off that big man rotation with Jordan, Earl Barron, or both, then they’ll have built themselves a pretty damn nice front court, with a matchup for every occasion. Never thought that would be said about a D’Antoni team.
Landry was covered in the Pacers summer league roster round-up last week. He averaged 7.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.5 in only 14 minutes per game. New York traded Landry to Boston last year as a part of the Nate Robinson deal, yet they’re clearly not averse to his return.
Powell puts up stats across the board wherever he goes. As evidenced that, here are his stats from last season;
Albuquerque Thunderbirds (D-League): 22.1ppg, 5.0rpg, 5.0apg, 1.6spg, 0.6bpg
Liaoning Hunters (China): 20.7ppg, 4.6rpg, 3.3apg, 1.3spg, 1.0bpg
The knocks on him are that his outside jump shot is weak, and that he is extremely ball dominant. But production is production, and Powell is big enough and strong enough to get to the rim in the NBA just like he does in the minors. No one has taken a chance on him yet, though.
In my draft night recap, his is what I wrote about Andy Rautins.
If [Rautins] comes into the Dan Tony system, hits a few threes, and maybe cranks off a couple of 20 point nights, maybe it will look like the pick is a good thing. But that honestly won’t change much. There are a great many quality shooters in this world, if not a great many in this draft, and they need to be able to do more than just shoot. Rautins can’t.
Andy Rautins is small for a two guard, underwhelmingly athletic, can’t defend one on one, and does literally nothing in the paint. He shot only 56 two pointers in 35 games, panics as soon as he gets into the paint (even on the break), and only got to the line 81 times because he was often the team’s designated foul shooter down the stretch. All he can do is shoot threes, make some nice passes, and defend in the zone. And this guy is drafted ahead of Solomon Alabi and Stanley Robinson? In fact, this guy is drafted at all? I love Rautins, truly and deeply, but this is not an NBA calibre player.
To make matters worse, Stu Scott mentions that Rautins and his dad Leo have matching tattoos. To make matters worse still, Stu Scott then says this is “very tight.” This was a low point of the draft, ladies and gentlemen. Let’s not talk about it.
In college, Andy Rautins was my favourite player on my favourite team. I recognise his awesomeness. But I don’t see the NBA talent. Good luck to him, though; this is the best place for him.
Walker was also included in the Nate Robinson deal, thoroughly taking Landry’s place on the team. He’s a similar player to Landry, and yet he’s better. The Knicks don’t need both, and if Landry does not make the team, this will be why.
(Note: when I say “Landry”, I refer to Marcus Landry. Conceivably, however, I could mean Landry Fields as well.)
Wittman was covered in the Pacers summer league roster round-up last week. He didn’t play very well, though, averaging only 4.3 points per game.