SLAM’s mock has OKC taking Daniel Orton: “Outside of the statistics, this was a pretty obvious selection. If you’re less than impressed after checking out Orton’s freshman numbers of 13 minutes, 3 points, 3 rebounds and a block you’re not alone. A lackluster freshman year is Daniel Orton exactly why we have the opportunity to snag an athletic big man with enough upside to make Jay Bilas order and chug six consecutive Jager-Bombs with the 21st pick. As usual, the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Orton is a home town boy, straight out of Bishop McGuinness high school in Oklahoma City. He was a five star recruit and the biggest signee of the much-maligned Billy Gillispie era at Kentucky. He’ll be at home here – literally — and eager to move beyond last season’s disappointment.”
Ryan Russillo lists his ten most likely draft busts: “Daniel Orton: It is always a challenge evaluating a potential lottery pick that only played 13 minutes per game, but Orton sure seems like an inconsistent player. Granted, he is huge, moves well and is good around the basket, but when he gets caught in traffic with the ball, the possession doesn’t end well. On film, I find myself wondering what he was thinking with some passes, and I rarely have an answer. Orton gets frustrated too easily and can take himself out of games. He is a good team defender, shows on screens, closes out on the perimeter and holds position well, but he goes for a lot of fakes and he needs to cut down on his fouls.”
Because I’ve been asked more than once: Draft preview stuff is coming this week and the next – the official DT big board, a mock (or two) and some other preview stuff. We’re only 10 days away from the real deal.
There was some talking that Kevin Seraphin would withdraw from the draft, but he’s staying in.
Darnell Mayberry says OKC needs to go big: “With Durant, Harden, Thabo Sefolosha, Russell Westbrook and Eric Maynor on the wings and in the backcourt, it’s also a much longer shot for a perimeter player to find minutes anytime soon. Although post players take longer to develop than guards, and the Thunder certainly could stand to add more talent on the perimeter to its program, the first priority in June 24 should be to go big. It just might need to be the second option as well.”
Oklahoma City was named the dumbest city in America by one economist: “Rob Pitingolo is an economist who rates cities based on the number of college-degree holders per square mile. He created a list of the 52-biggest cities, called “clusters of smart people”, and put San Francisco on top and Jacksonville just above Oklahoma City, at the bottom.” So we’re the fattest AND the dumbest. There’s an easy joke here about a certain sports radio personality contributing to both those categories in a big way that I’m doing my best to stay away from. (Update: Smart comment from reader Glenn: “The dumbest thing about this is the rating of degrees per square mile. That means absolutely nothing. OKC has a large area compared to most other cities. I found the spreadsheet generated by the crack “economist” (graduated in May 2010) and re-ran it to calculate degrees per number of people in the cities. OKC came out equal to, or better than, 19 well-known cities.”)
Hoopsworld with a nice list of the 2011 cap clearing contracts: “Nick Collison, $6.8 million: The Thunder are not going to be inclined to trade him, but some team may make them an offer they can’t refuse.”
The mayor’s convention just wrapped in OKC. I found this moderately interesting: “The mayor of a city 20 miles south of Seattle wasn’t shocked when asked about the Seattle Sonics-Oklahoma City Thunder rift. He grinned. “There is a little controversy there,” said Mayor Pete Lewis of Auburn, Wash., “but quite frankly, I’m not built for basketball, it didn’t mean much to me. I’m more baseball and football. If you’re trying to move the Mariners, then you’ve got a problem.”