Tonight is the NBA Draft, an annual rite of basketball and comedy, from the legendarily bad attire (more on that below), the crowd (where else are you going to see a buffoon heckle Stephen A. Smith, aside from the set of First Take?), and the occasional 6'11" Czech guy mugging down with his similarly freakishly tall girlfriend. For Georgetown fans, there's no lottery-level intrigue this year, but Henry Sims and Hollis Thompson both have positioned themselves well to hear their names called by Deputy Commissioner and perennial second-round pick-revealer Adam Silver. So what should you watch for tonight? Here are recaps of our beloved Hoyas' draft prospects, and four more plot lines worth tracking.
Draft nonsense after the Jump.Sims. Henry seems like the more likely pick than Hollis: teams often are willing to invest second-round picks on developing big men, even instead of proven shooters. That Sims is skilled only adds to his marketability. Of course, some scouts cast a skeptical eye on Sims' unproductive first three years. While he will have to demonstrate his commitment to the game while continuing to develop strength to rebound and defend at an NBA level, his size, intelligent play, and versatile skills should land him a spot in the draft.
Workouts. Casual investigation has revealed reports that Sims has worked out for teams holding half the picks in the second round, including Washington (pick 32); Cleveland (33 and 34); Golden State (35 and 52); Sacramento (36); Toronto (37 and 56); Portland (40 and 41); Philadelphia (45 and 54); New Orleans (46) the L.A. Clippers (53); and San Antonio (59). Other reports, rumors, tweets, and stalking suggest that big Hank also may have shown off his skills for Houston, which lacks a second-round pick, and Detroit (39 and 44). Finally, Sims went through drills and other workouts at the combine in Chicago, where the remaining teams got a peek at him.
Mock drafts. ESPN's draft guru Chad Ford referred to his second-round mock draft as "the blind leading the blind." The following mock drafts back up that assessment, with Sims going: 32nd, to Washington; 38th, to Denver; 43rd, to Atlanta; 47th, to Utah; 49th, to Orlando; 53rd, to the Clippers; 57th, to Brooklyn; and undrafted.
NBA Comp (Sartorial Edition). It's unlikely that a second-round pick like Sims actually will end up on the stage (if and) after his name is called, though it would be awesome if he showed up despite not being invited to the green room. But that doesn't mean we can't imagine what threads #regularman would don, should he get a hug from Silver. After much deliberation and little actual reasoning, I figure it's a lock that Henry would go with the Eric Gordon maître d' look.
Thompson. Players often can sneak their way into the second round with one marketable skill, which Hollis, with his dead-eye shooting, has. To get picked Thursday night, Thompson probably will need to have convinced at least one squad that he also can handle the ball or crash the boards passably well.
- Workouts. The same hard-hitting journalistic standards that brought you Henry's workout list also produced the following workouts for Hollis: Washington (32); Toronto (37 and 56); Atlanta (43); Philadelphia (45 and 54); New York (48); and Indiana and (possibly) Oklahoma City, both of which have only a first-round pick apiece (26 and 28, respectively). Like Sims, Thompson also showed his wares at the Chicago combine.
- Mock drafts. Chad Ford evaluated Thompson, and predicted that Hollywood would "get serious consideration in the second round -- and maybe even late in the first." The mock drafts back up the first part of that assessment, with Thompson headed: 39th, to Detroit (and here), 44th, to Detroit (and here), 49th, to Orlando, 54th, to Philadelphia, 56th, to Toronto; and undrafted.
- NBA Comp (Sartorial Edition). Like Sims, Thompson probably won't be on the stage Thursday night. But if he were to be up there, he seems like the type, rivalry aside, to follow in Wesley Johnson's footsteps by dressing like Judge Smails christening his yacht. Hopefully Hollis will have a better pro career.
A few more non-Georgetown stories to follow:
Who's number 2? Anthony Davis will be off the board first, but who's next? Well, the number two pick (currently, at least) belongs to the peerlessly terrible Charlotte Bobcats, led by peerlessly terrible talent evaluator Michael Jordan, the author of the Kwame Brown and Adam Morrison selections. So who knows? Assuming Jordan doesn't trade the pick for the rights to Rashad McCants and didn't have to turn over the pick to the Borgata last night to cover some gambling debts, the Bobcats likely will end up with Kansas' Thomas Robinson, Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Florida's Bradley Beal, or North Carolina's Harrison Barnes (with the last two seemingly out of the picture after Charlotte's trade for Ben Gordon). Robinson seems to have an edge here, but don't underestimate the possibility or insanity of MJ-related shenanigans.
Best suit? The NBA Draft used to be a safe haven for the
worst best in formal and business wear. Past winners of the Akeem Olajuwon award for eye-catching threads include:
- Jalen Rose, who sported a red, pin-striped look that was later reused on the set of Boardwalk Empire;
- Tim Thomas, who draped his 54 extra long frame with a 64, extra extra long double-breasted look;
- Drew Gooden, who bravely pioneered flak jacked couture, possibly setting a Guinness world record for buttons in the process;
- Bobby Jackson, who complemented a look that screams soon-to-be-incarcerated televangelist with a fantastic entourage; and
- Joakim Noah, who was, well, Joakim Noah.
There aren't any official odds yet on which of tonight's draftees will sport duds that will be burned into your retinas for years to come, but early front-runners include Royce White, Fab Melo, and Meyers Leonard.
Damaged goods? Which draft prospect will end up in a free fall thanks to a flaw that will send GMs scurrying? Royce White, with his anxiety and fear of flying? Jared Sullinger, with his balky back? Fab Melo, with his alleged tendency toward domestic violence and general Syracuse-iness?
Trades? Pre-draft trades have a way of exposing the worst league general managers. Already this year, the Timberwolves and Nets find themselves without their normal first-round draft picks thanks to the incompetence of their executives (in the Wolves' case, it's necessary to distinguish that the incompetence is that of their former, not current, executive), while the Rockets who, at the time of this posting, hold picks 12, 16, and 18, seem to have to goal of possessing every pick in the draft at least once. With every pick starting at No. 2 there for the trading, who will get fleeced this year? The Wizards are the early leaders, having relieved the Hornets of the privilege of paying Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor $43 million combined for the next two years. But don't rule out the desperation-fueled idiocy of Sacramento, New Jersey/Brooklyn, New York, and Charlotte. If another team gets victimized, don't be surprised to see Houston or Utah on the other side of the transaction, trying to conceal a smirk.