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Two things stick out today, as we jump into draft week. First, Stan Van Gundy isn’t scared of anything. He’s not even scared of having only a second round pick in the deepest draft in over ten years. You know why? Not even the wild wild west could scare Stan Van Gundy and the mustache he rode into Detroit on.
Secondly, a lot of decisions have to be made in the next two weeks, and it starts with deciding who to draft on Thursday.
Let’s get to it.
It’s time to celebrate draft week this Monday, with some Palace Picks.
David Mayo is definitely keeping busy these days, staying atop the new regime and their plans for the future. One thing we know about Stan Van Gundy, as Mayo points out in his latest article, is that he isn’t afraid to depend on 2nd round draft picks to get the job done.
Udonis Haslem is Miami’s all-time leading rebounder. Rashard Lewis played a key role for the Heat this season and has been known as a scorer throughout his career. Jameer Nelson at one time was a premiere point guard in the NBA. J.J. Redick is one of the best spot up shooters in the game. Marcin Gortat will be one of the most highly sought after free agents of the summer. Van Gundy believes he will find someone that can contribute right away on Thursday.
“I’ve had the good fortune to be around a lot of them, and they’re not winning players because they’re the most talented guys,” Van Gundy said. “I had Udonis Haslem in Miami and he’s still helping teams win championships. He’s a good player but he’s not the most talented guy in the world.
“I had a lot of those guys in Orlando — Rashard Lewis, Jameer Nelson, J.J. Redick — who help you win a lot of games, and they’re very good, but they’re not the most talented guys. But they’re winning guys.”
The Free Press’ Perry Farrell wrote over the weekend about how he believes diversity will play a major role in Detroit’s decision making process.
The team’s scouting department could come under a lot of scrutiny with the number of disappointing draft picks: Austin Daye, Walter Sharpe, Kim English, possibly Tony Mitchell, Terrico White, DaJuan Summers and Deron Washington.
The team did hit a home run with Andre Drummond.
Van Gundy also said he would like to hire a former player to be on his coaching staff.
While Van Gundy would like to add a former player to his bench, It looks like the Milwaukee Bucks are trying to get rid of a handful of their best players. According to the Racine-Journal Times, the Bucks are trying to move John Henson, Brandon Knight and Ersan Ilyasova. Gery Woelfel also believes Larry Sanders is on the block (who doesn’t?). Woelfel believes the Bucks are after draft picks in Thursday’s draft.
It’s hardly a secret some teams who are picking in the late teens and 20s are receptive to moving their pick. One of them is Phoenix, which has the 18th and 27th overall picks and would like to add a veteran frontcourt presence. Another is Oklahoma City, which is unlikely to keep both of its picks at 21 and 29.
And there is also Houston, which has the 25th pick and failed in its attempt to secure a “stretch 4” at the trading deadline in February.
Speaking of the NBA Draft, one possible Pistons target is out to prove that he can compete in the NBA. Spencer Dinwiddie tore his ACL last season and is already close to the end of the comeback trail. The Colorado guard that could play three positions in the NBA believes he is the best point guard in the draft and he is willing to go out and prove it.
“I’m going to have to go out and earn it,” Dinwiddie said. “Whether I’m picked 25, 35 or 45. And that’s what I plan to do. I’m just making sure I’m ready and 100 percent for training camp and that won’t be an issue at all. I’m on track to be back well before then.”
Some sad draft news today if you haven’t heard. Baylor center Isaiah Austin was told by doctors on Sunday that he won’t be able to play competitive sports anymore, after being diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome. Austin was crushed to find out the news.
Baylor coach Scott Drew has already offered him a spot on his coaching staff next season. NBA commissioner Adam Silver has also invited Austin to the draft as his special guest.
Austin worked out for the Pistons last week.