Post-hash post-draft

So, against our long-standing opposition, we seized an opening to participate in a mock draft as the Orlando Magic--a team the We Rite Goode crew wasn't especially attached to, but we liked the cap situation, the opportunity to pan for prospects in the second-round, the Dwight Howard. Also, Orlando was the only team still available.

When our mock draft ran a few days ago, the Magic held two second-round picks--nos. 44 and 54--although the team last night dealt both, mostly for cash considerations (and a no. 60 pick who's already anonymous). We weren't surprised; thanks to our encyclopedic research, it was clear going into the mock draft that the Magic are focusing their attention on Rashard Lewis, Vince Carter, and the inimitable Darko. So just like Otis Smith, we figured that anything the draft could turn up would be gravy; the team seemed thinnest up front, so we prioritized big men.

For the first 40 picks or so, there was litle doing...but when pick #42 came up (and our first selection was just two slots away), this was how our draft board stood:

1) Marcus Williams—SF/SG, Arizona
He didn't quite fit our need for a big, but Williams had too much talent to pass up if he slipped to no. 44. Sure, they call him a "lazy man's Steve Smith," with a game so smooth and silky he lulls himself to sleep. But get a Van Gundy brother in his ear and watch out: Dude may wake up and seize that starting-2 guard spot.

Failing that, we figured it was always good to have trade bait. Maybe Isiah would want another swingman.

2) Kyle Visser—C/PF, Wake Forest

Readers: Know this early and often--we love us some Hollinger. And J-Ho had Kyle as the 15th ranked collegian in his latest, greatest ratings system that sort-of predicts future pro success (Boozer: Called it; Luke Jackson: Err…).

Still, we knew that Visser's no intimidator or great rebounder, although we already had blocks and boards aplenty with Darko* (return pending) and Dwight. And Kyle's an ugly player, all layups and jump hooks with nary a J to befound. But truth be told, we felt a solid big man backing up the D&D boys would look beautiful down in the Magic kingdom.

3) Kyrylo Fesenko, C, Ukraine

We were saying "who?" after discovering him when scouting (aka: reading lots of websites) for second-rounders. But forget the name: Big man (7'1" tall, 9'4" reach) can play. Likely raised with Chernobyl superpowers, Fess is long, quick, and intense. And unintentional comic relief in the locker room.

But we were thinking outside the box. Namely, since the Magic are trying to lure back Darko (we are, which says more about the state of NBA big men than Darko) having a fellow escapee from the yoke of communism couldn't hurt. And there were no Cuban big men to be found.


Of course, Marcus Williams was immediately snatched up at #42, but we were delighed when Visser at no. 44 and later Fesenko at no. 54 fell to us. A Doleac-type big man for now; a Varajeo clone we can stash in Europe for a few years. Seemed like a pretty decent haul, all things considered.

But little did we know how wrong we were. In the opinion of Awful Announcing, who ran the Great 2007 Blogger's NBA Mock Draft:

Orlando- Kyle Visser, Kyrylo Fesenko
Grade: C+, I'm not sold at all on Visser (unlike Hollinger). He was an
average ACC player in a year that big men domintated. I have no idea who Fesenko

(Now, before biting the hand that fed us, let us express our gratitude to AA for including this little-read, of a venture alongside real bloggers. An enjoyable experience. We would do it again, in a second. Although not turn to Safari as our browser of choice.)

That being said...

Like the pre-med student attempting to up his score, we'd like a second review of our mock draft. Although we quibble with Kyle Visser's year--he was third-team All-ACC, not to mention All-Academic!--special exception is saved for the "I don't know of a player" rule to assess a draft. Forsooth, aren't the greatest draft winners those that unearth little-known prospects?

Alas, we were content to let history judge our performance...

...until Fesenko's selection at no. 38--16 slots ahead of where we actually stole him--began winning plaudits. Well, still not from AA. And admittedly, Visser slipped out of the draft. But today, thanks to Billy King's flyer on an unpronouncable Ukranian, we are still self-satisfied.

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posted by Doctor Dribbles @ 16:24,


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