January 10, 2011
In some additional related bookkeeping, the reason for many of the players listed in the previous list was due to the NBA's contract guarantee date. All players on NBA rosters on or after January 10th have their contracts guaranteed for the remainder of the season (future seasons are unaffected); this also includes waivers. In-season waivers are 48 hours long and do not include weekends; therefore, with the 10th of January being a Monday, players had to be waived by close of business on Wednesday 5th in order to have cleared waivers before the deadline date.
Eleven players with not fully guaranteed contracts were waived in the hours before that deadline: Steve Novak, Damien Wilkins, Jarron Collins, John Lucas III, Ime Udoka, Lester Hudson, Ronald Dupree, Brian Skinner, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Sundiata Gaines and Rodney Carney. Twenty seven unguaranteed players survived; Delonte West, Von Wafer, Brian Scalabrine, Samardo Samuels, Manny Harris, Alonzo Gee, Brian Cardinal, Melvin Ely, Gary Forbes, Jeremy Lin, Ish Smith, A.J. Price, Ike Diogu, Luc Richard Mbah A Moute, Ben Uzoh, Didier Ilunga-Mbenga, Shawne Williams, Malik Allen, Garret Siler, Patty Mills, Sean Marks, Darnell Jackson, Chris Quinn, Sonny Weems, Jeremy Evans, Cartier Martin and Hamady Ndiaye. Players with contracts who had already become guaranteed due to specific guarantee stipulations in their contracts were Sherron Collins, Derrick Brown, Josh McRoberts, Willie Warren, Derrick Caracter, Luther Head and Joey Dorsey.
October 1, 2010
Warren had a pretty remarkably terrible sophomore year, and then declared for the draft anyway. He was wild, shot-happy, poor defensively, stuck on a losing, imploding team, and promptly undid most of the progress he had made in his freshman season. He also got arrested. Nevertheless, he was just about drafted, and for all the damage his stock has taken in the last 12 months, there still remains the talented guard whose effective slashing ability once had him projected as a top 10 pick.
June 27, 2010
Picks 54 and 55: A more familiar name is drafted 54th, as the Clippers select Willie Warren from Oklahoma. Jay Bilas is again called upon to put the necessary work in. With all these familar names from the NCAA falling so far down the draft, Bilas is having to stay on his grind. He probably thought he could knock off early. Not so.
It's a pretty terrible year for Warren to be declaring, as the Sooners put on quite a fail this season. They lost Blake and Taylor Griffin to the NBA, and Austin Johnson due to graduation, yet they scored two big name recruits in All-Americans Tiny Gallon (already drafted) and Tommy Mason-Griffin (who was never going to be. Hey Tommy; if Willie Warren can barely get drafted, you had no chance.) But both left after one season, one of them dragging a tasty scandal behind him. With the Sooners additionally losing seniors Tony Crocker and Ryan Wright (who couldn't really play anyway, but who represented some size at least), as well as backup guard Ray Willis transferring out of the program and backup centre Orlando Allen leaving the team to start a family, the program was left with but the barest of bones. At one point this year, Oklahoma were down to four scholarship players. And that's partly why Warren is here tonight.
In amidst all the turnover, the Sooners failed on and off the court as well. Gallon's scandal was preceded by the arrests of Willis, freshman guard Steven Pledger and freshman big Andrew Fitzgerald. Warren himself is no stranger to scandal, being arrested just after the season finished, and creating locker room turmoil in the final few weeks of his freshman season by knocking off teammate Austin Johnson's missus. (....Allegedly.) Warren, Mason-Griffin and fellow guard Cade Davis took it in turns to not pass to each other, and Warren didn't improve his play in this time. Not helped by injuries, Warren shot the jumpshot worse than last year, turned it over at a high rate, made no improvements defensively, didn't show any signs of wanting to play any D, took more terrible shots, and didn't have a growth spurt. So he's a shot-happy undersized two guard with bad defense, a fear of spiders (hat tip to Stu Scott's trivia sheet), a poor jumpshot, and a checkered past. Good to know.
Nevertheless, this is a man once considered to be a top 10 pick we're talking about here, and so Warren was always going to be drafted. For all his faults, he's a good slasher and an athlete, who can get to the basket and finish, and who is also a good passer. Warren regressed badly last year, but he wasn't as wild and inefficient in 2008-09, when surrounded by better players and a far stronger team. The Clippers perhaps aren't the best team in that regard, but they, like every NBA team, have many players better than Warren. They also have Warren's former teammate Blake Griffin, which might not have been a coincidence. (And which, if Blake is still mad at Willie for ruining their Big 12 Tournament run, may not have been a great idea.) If Willie can play more like he did in his freshman season, when he was surprisingly well-grounded in spite of his reputation as a chucker, then perhaps he can begin to live up to the as-yet-unfulfilled potential that has seen him this far.
But there's red flags there.