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Pre-draft Camp Wrapup

Posted by Josh on June 4, 2007

Neither of the two online sources I have found which were covering the NBA Pre-draft Camp on a daily basis — draftexpress.com and nbadraft.net — had anything to say about Demetris’ or Mookie’s final day at the camp, which suggests that neither of them did anything noteworthy in their final game. However, now the camp is over and it’s time to look at the overall picture.

nbadraft.net has a giant page of overall summaries for all individual players in attendance. They list Nichols as the #6 performer at the camp, with nice things to say about his game, and project him somewhere in the first 10 picks of the 2nd round. He scored 13.7 ppg in the three games, shooting a ridiculous 65% from the floor, 69% from deep (9 for 13). Their impression of Watkins was overall unfavorable. You need to scroll pretty far down to find him. They think he will go undrafted but get a shot in the summer rookie leagues. He escaped their lowest-rated grouping, “Wrong Exit”, which is their list of players who looked completely lost at the camp. He scored 5.7 ppg and grabbed 6.7 rpg in the three games.
draftexpress.com put Nichols on their “first team” from the camp, though their overall MVP was Jared Dudley (perhaps my most hated college player ever — it’s a close race with Alonzo Mourning; I am not quite old enough to have seriously hated Ewing — every time I see Dudley flapping his mouth I want someone to punch him right in the teeth). Go to Nichols’ profile page to read their glowing reviews of his play without having to scroll down. My favorite tidbit is that, while D spent the week making 9-13 three-pointers, nobody else at the camp made more than four of them. draftexpress does not have a summary for Watkins, or for anyone that was not among their top 15. However, they still have him going late in the 2nd round of their mock draft.

SI.com lists Nichols second among the ten players who helped themselves the most at the camp, right between Dudley and Aaron Gray. Though, strictly speaking, this article is not a “ranking”, the author is deeply enamored with Nichols’ shooting ability, and he bets that NBA teams are too. They also list his numbers from Game 3: only 2-7 shooting, but 2-4 from deep.

Yahoo Sports has Nichols among their five biggest winners too, with the two-sentence analysis that is the hallmark of Yahoo’s standard sports coverage. Among their biggest losers (same link) are Dominic James (Marquette) and Curtis Sumpter (Villanova). By the way, I refuse to punctuate the brand name Yahoo.

All the pre-draft stuff on ESPN.com is “subscription required”, which I don’t have, but it’s a good bet that there is some Nichols love in there too.

My take: The consensus is that Demetris’ hot shooting has assured him of being drafted, probably in the early-to-mid 2nd round. (He’ll have private workouts for the next few weeks which will help determine exactly which team grabs him.) He would fit in well on a team like the Nuggets, Lakers, or Heat where they need people who can hit spot-up threes when their star players are double-teamed. I’d especially like to see him in Denver, knowing how he can finish on the fast break (Wichita State game notwithstanding) and how desperately they need a shooter, but the Nuggets have no picks this year (in either round). In fact, none of those teams I mentioned has a pick in the early 2nd round until the Lakers at #10 (40th overall). But 2nd round picks often fly around in trades on draft night, so there’s no sense speculating at this stage. Mookie is most likely undrafted and destined for the D-League, but if he can get into a summer camp with a team that needs size, and puts on a good show, he’d have a chance to earn an NBA contract before going there. (Remember, the D-League has some players under NBA contracts but the rest are just playing under minor league contracts unaffiliated with any NBA team, like Gerry McNamara and Damone Brown this past year.)

Finally, where does all this leave Terrence Roberts? The Post-Standard had a good story on him about a week ago. His knee injury was even worse than they thought, so he is still rehabbing. He won’t be drafted but he may also end up in the summer leagues(assuming he gets healthy in time) , and I think he’d definitely be able to find a roster spot in some overseas league if he doesn’t hook up with a D-League team. Heck, he’s way more talented than Ethan Cole.

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One Response to “Pre-draft Camp Wrapup”

  1. ajohn135 said

    Dudley desperately wants to go to the Spurs at No. 28 according the ESPN’s Andy Katz, but of course I’d hate to see that happen. Nichols, on the other hand, had himself a very good camp and should be able to make an NBA roster if he continues to play at a high level this summer.

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