Thursday, June 25, 2009

TNT's David Aldridge goes one-on-one with NBA bloggers


David Aldridge: I think most of the time people take the best player available, I don't think that changes much year to year. Sometimes, you have the perfect marriage of need and best player available, but I think most times talent wins out in this league. So, even though you may have a talented player at one position, if there's somebody on the board that's just head and shoulders better than anybody else; I think the feeling nowadays is you can always trade contracts. In this environment, especially with the economy the way it is, people are always looking to save money, so even a bad contract can be dealt if it's an expiring one. I think that best player usually wins out.

2. Are there many teams that are looking to deal their draft picks due to the current financial climate? Or are they more likely to stash players overseas? (A Stern Warning)

DA: I think you'll see some teams maybe not even bother to get into the draft for that reason. I think Denver [Nuggets] is an example of a team that did a lot of work to get under the [luxury] tax last year; I don't think that they are all that fired up about getting back into the draft and paying guaranteed money to somebody that's probably not going to play a lot for the them next year. So, that's the kind of example of the economy impacting what teams do. Instead of being aggressive, I think some teams may be passive. Now you know your Portland's and some of your other teams -- Houston is going to buy in at some point in the first round -- they'll find somebody to do business with. But, I do think that you'll see some teams just not doing anything, as opposed to what they would normally do, which is be active at the end of the first round and try to get one of those late first-round picks.

3. Why are prospects seeming to not want to play for Memphis? What is it about Memphis that is different from other small markets? (3 Shades of Blue)

DA: I think that's a bit overblown, you're talking about one guy in [Ricky] Rubio and the reason why Rubio is reluctant is because Pau Gasol and Juan Carlos Navarro didn't have great experiences there, so I'm sure that they've talked to him and probably did not give a glowing picture of Memphis, but I don't think that there's a groundswell of discontent for the city of Memphis or with the Grizzlies. I think that's the case of that particular player; because of his background has had a chance to talk to other players. But no, Memphis is still a place where people are going to want to go, and if it's not Rubio somebody else very good is going to wind up going there.

4. Stephen Curry: Impact player (a la Eddie House) or simply the best shooter in the warm-up lines? Or both? (Peter Robert Casey)

DA: I think he will be much like his father, a very good role player for a long time in the NBA. He's smart and knows how to play. I think he's going to be a pretty solid point guard. ... I don't expect spectacular from him, but I think he's going to be a guy that is going to play for a long time in this league. A great demeanor and great character guy, a guy that's willing to take big shots and make big shots. Whether he's starting for you or he's your sixth man, it doesn't really matter; he's going to wind up helping you win basketball games. I think he's going to be an excellent role player. If he winds up on a good team somehow, he could really make a huge impact next year. But if not, more likely he ends up with a struggling team, it might take him a few years to really break in.

5. Patrick Mills was looking like a world-beater a year ago with St. Mary's and then in the Olympics for Australia, but an injury certainly set him back. Do you think that with this draft being so deep with point guards that Mills' stock will be severely set back by his injury-riddled season? (A Stern Warning)

DA: Well he'll get drafted; I was surprised he stayed in though, because this is a great point guard filled draft. It surprised me that Patty stayed in because he was never a guy that was going to be a top-half of the lottery guy and I thought this year would be a good year for point guards to pass if you weren't assured of being a top-half of the lottery guy. I think you saw [Greivis] Vasquez go back for example, and that made a lot of sense. Patty is going to get drafted, it could be late first [round], but there's teams that could look at him. Dallas [Mavericks] certainly could take him with the 22nd pick, and that wouldn't surprise me at all, but it wouldn't surprise if he lasted into the second round either.

6. What are your feelings towards the Kings draft and what they'll do with the No. 4 selection. Do you think Ricky Rubio will fall to Sacramento? (Kings Forum)

DA: If he's there, and I'm not sure he's going to be there, but if he is there I think that's the guy they will take. I know that there are people in the organization that like Tyreke Evans, so I think that they're having a discussion about that right now about which way they would go if those two were available on the board. But, my guess would be that Rubio would take the argument there. I think Ricky has got star potential, I think he could be a superstar in this league in terms of his ability and his personality. Sacramento certainly needs a little bit of a bump; they need some juice back in that organization. So if he's there I think it's Rubio, if not I think it's Evans.

7. Joe Ingles has not been exposed to American audiences much, coming from Australia. Has there been much positive feedback around the league after his workouts with teams? (A Stern Warning)

DA: I think Joe [Ingles] a couple of weeks ago, maybe right around Chicago [workouts] there was a lot of interest and buzz in him. He did ok in Chicago; he didn't do badly in Chicago, but I think as it's gone on and he's done the individual workouts, I believe with Minnesota and New Jersey, it's kind of cooled a little bit. I don't get the sense that Joe is going to be a first round pick. I think he's a possible second round pick, but I'm not sure. Athletically, I don't think people see the explosion and quickness that a player would need at his position to play in the league. That doesn't mean that nobody will take a look at him, but I certainly don't think he's a first round pick at this point.

8. Rumors have suggested that Stephen Curry might no longer fall to the New York Knicks at the 8th spot, what is the latest you are hearing? (Hugging Harold Reynolds)

DA: [It'll come down to] whoever gets to 5 [pick]. Whoever trades with Washington is going to take Curry, I'm convinced of that. I can't tell you right now who it is, you have to read that on or watch NBA TV later today. Whoever gets to that 5th pick is going to take Curry.

9. Have you heard any rumblings at all about a possible Bulls deal that will be happening on Thursday? The Bulls have 2 first round picks which they can use to either move up, or bundle with a couple of nice young players to make a huge move. (Docksquad Sports)

DA: Well they've been trying, I don't know if they're going to be successful. I think that they would love to get a big at that position, but I'm not sure they're going to be able to get it done. I've tried to check with everybody in the top 15, I haven't gotten any sense, other than Washington, that anybody is really gung-ho about trading their pick. I don't think that New York wants to move back, even if it involves getting two picks; I don't get the sense that they would do that. I don't think Minnesota wants to move back, they already have 18 and 25, so they don't have any need to move back. I'm not sure Chicago is going to be able to get this done at this point.

10. With the Suns drafting 14th there's a limited number of guys that are going to available. Which of these draft picks has the greatest potential to be an all star in 5 years? Earl Clark, James Johnson, Austin Daye, Ty Lawson or Terrence Williams. (Bright Side of the Sun)

DA: Terrence Williams won't be there. [James] Johnson has been linked to them for a little while. I could see that or [Earl] Clark. Johnson is a very physical guy, he's not a great athlete but he's got some toughness about him, so I could see that as a possibility. Clark is kind of an up and down guy. He's got a lot of talent, but he's very inconsistent, or at least he was inconsistent at Louisville...that has some people concerned. [Ty] Lawson, I think that may be a pick or two too high for him, especially considering I think they going to resign Steve Nash to an extension of some kind, so I'd be surprised if they took a point there. The more likely scenario is that they take some sort of frontcourt guy there.

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