Smack / Jun 22, 2009 / 5:31 am

Rubio falling, Jonny Flynn rising, and what’s up with Thabeet?

Hasheem Thabeet

Hasheem Thabeet

Solidly wedged between Blake Griffin and Ricky Rubio in all the pre-draft hype, Hasheem Thabeet has mostly flown under the radar during all the workouts, combines and rumors of the past couple months. Maybe it’s because he’s a lock to either go 2nd to Memphis or, at the worst, 3rd to Oklahoma City — the second-most secure lock this side of Blake going #1 — but there’s hardly been any intrigue surrounding the 7-3 beanstalk. It’s kind of like Al Horford a couple years ago; a Top-3 prospect who just doesn’t have much going for him as far as drama, which is kind of odd considering Thabeet has as much hit-or-miss potential as anyone in the draft, including Jordan Hill, Rubio and Brandon Jennings. He’s literally 50/50 between being the next Dikembe Mutombo or the next Saer Sene. Anyway, Thabeet finally made some headlines yesterday when he canceled a workout for the Grizzlies due to a shoulder injury. Now some questions are coming to light: How serious is the injury? Is the fact that he got hurt at this stage of the game a sign of things to come? Is there another reason why he’s met with Memphis twice but hasn’t actually worked out for them? And besides, is Thabeet really even THAT good in the first place? … Meanwhile, Rubio seems to be slowly dropping down the board. On the night of the Lottery, he appeared a no-brainer for Memphis at #2. Then Memphis grew enamored with Thabeet, and Rubio looked like a lock for OKC at #3 despite Russell Westbrook already being there. James Harden jumped him, though, and lately it’s been Rubio-to-Sacramento as the seemingly obvious pick. But over the weekend, a rumor popped up that the Kings are really high on Jonny Flynn and might take him at #4 instead of Rubio. Which one do you think will be the better pro? And if Rubio doesn’t go in the top four, where do you think he’d land? The Wizards (#5) and Wolves (#6) want point guards; but can you imagine if Rubio went 7th and ended up with Nellie at Golden State? … Word is Gerald Henderson and Wayne Ellington (high school teammates, remember) are also seeing their stock dip slightly due to some bad workouts recently. Henderson is slated to go somewhere between 9th and 15th, Ellington a little later … The Knicks are looking to move up — presumably not trusting 100% that Stephen Curry will be available at #8 — and Wilson Chandler is one of the first guys they’ll dangle as trade bait. It’s all part of Donnie Walsh‘s plan to create a team where no one ever attacks the basket. If they get rid of Nate Robinson and David Lee, it’ll be a whole team of jump shooters. Why do you think Allan Houston keeps trying to come out of retirement? … Speaking of, David Lee has been the subject of a couple trade rumors, one involving Detroit and the latest involving Portland. Lee is a restricted free agent, so it would be part of a sign-and-trade; maybe the Knicks can get back more gunners, i.e. Martell Webster or Travis Outlaw. The only problem with Lee in Portland is playing time versus the money he could command. Let’s assume that Greg Oden is better next year (no, really, just work with it). You’ve got Oden playing big minutes at center, LaMarcus Aldridge at the four, and don’t forget Joel Przybilla is one of the best backup fives in the League. Lee can find 20 minutes in there as LaMarcus’ backup, but how much are they really trying to pay him for that? … USC has hired ex-Arizona assistant/interim coach Kevin O’Neill to fix Tim Floyd‘s mess. O’Neill has experience on the bench, he knows the Pac-10 programs and recruiting trail, and he’s not the type that will have elite programs clamoring to steal him from SC in a few years. Seems like a good fit. The only potential problem? We’ve got it on very good authority that a lot of O’Neill’s players at Arizona HATED him during the year he took over for Lute Olson. The SC situation is already beyond shaky, with recruits bailing out and current players leaving even when they’re not be ready to move on (that’s you, Marcus Johnson). If O’Neill turns off the players who are still around, it could start looking like a ghost town in L.A. … We’re out like Floyd …

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  • BRUCE

    As a Kings fan, gimme Tyreke Evans and Terrence Williams.

  • QQ

    Rubio FTW.

  • SwedishMooze

    The Kings need Rubio as much for the PR and hype for the fact that he can run a team, plays flashy defense and let’s not forget… actually wants to be in Sacramento. Flynn might be more solid, but honestly, does winning 25 games with a solid PG really going to fix the problem they have with the bottom line. I’d take winning 23 games with Rubio and getting a game or two on TV to help the free agent situation in the future. Evans has the potential to fill seats with his athleticism, but he’s not going to attract the attention of Rubio, plus he leans too much towards being a 2 and that’s the only place Sacramento has a bona fide keeper.

    If Rubio’s not there, I’d like to see the Kings trade down and try to rid themselves of the Udrih contract in the process.

    Patty Mills with the 31 pick would be a steal with or without Rubio on the roster.

  • Jay Jay

    Who ever drafts Patty Mills will be getting a steal!!!

  • YOUNGFED

    I would love to see the Pistons go after Nate Robinson instead of Ben, personally.

    YOUNGFED-TV PRESENTS: Lil Wayne performing Kobe
    http://blogs.sohh.com/sohh_tv/2009/06/014272.html

  • QQ

    And I don’t get the reports about Rubio falling. NBA.com’s Consensus Mock Draft still have him at number 2. I don’t usually get stuff from NBA.com, but that mock draft is a collection of different picks from (IMO) reliable websites. Agree or disagree, the fact that it is a collection alone makes it legit.

  • YOUNGFED

    YOUNGFED’S QUOTE OF THE DAY
    “I drop 40 on a double team, then I drop 81 on another team.” – Lil Wayne

  • dk

    @7 Do you realize Kobe has a shot a ring 5 next year. And regardless hes the best player on the planet.

  • dk

    Thabeet, bust… Everyone knows hes a bust but you still gotta take him… I wouldnt. Rubio still can only dribble with one hand and will get beat up in the league, breaking his will…

  • YOUNGFED

    @DK
    Yes and everyone here already knows I think Kobe’s the best player ever and not just on this planet right now. “Da Best that ever done did it.”

    YOUNGFED’S BANGERS OF THE DAY: New Rhianna “Te Ammo”
    http://necolebitchie.com/2009/06/19/bitchie-pod-chris-brown-r-kelly-rihanna

  • JT$

    Any team that takes Rubio over Flynn, Jennings, or Evans is just insane. I’ll leave Curry and Holiday off the list for now, but he would just get destroyed by any of those guys. You heard what Jennings said and how they matched up head to head.
    People are comparing him to Steve Nash, but he sucked his first 4+ years in the L. Plus he doesn’t have NBA range, and he can’t play on the ball defense. You would think GM’s would realize just by watching the Suns the past 5 seasons that offense alone does not get it done. The majority of his assists in the Euro league come off high back screens, which no one incorporates into their offense in the NBA.
    He might be a solid player for years to come, there is no denying that. But these first few he is going to get abused. Sure he played great against the USA, but the Olympic game is much more uptempo…I personally do not think he’s even close to ready to grind out an 82 game season

  • illyy

    kobes the best right now but jordan is the best EVER.

  • Rafa23

    rubio cant play on the ball defense? lmao
    he is a very good defensive player for an 18 year old, led the euroleague in steals.
    and what jennings said, he wasn’t really serious. he backed off real quick. read what he said about rubio a few months earlier in his blog…
    do these other guards have a better chance to contribute right away? absolutely. i really like jennings and evans and would take them over rubio. but please stop putting artifical facts into your head.

  • shake&bake

    Thabeet already has the defensive game for the NBA and his offensive game has been improving. His mid-range jumper was looking decent last year. His back to the basket game still needs work, but at least he’s shown that he will put in the work to improve.

    I think he’ll be a defensive game changer and develop into a solid offensive player.

  • Celts Fan

    Dime. Who won the Celtics hats?

  • Dennis Castro

    I think Flynn could be the best PG in this draft. I wish the Sixers could move up and get him, but I don’t see that happening.

    Dime, any word on Sessions and what’s going on with him in MIL? He’s one of the better FA’s out there, sad but true, and I haven’t heard anything of the Bucks trying to sign him long term.

  • Kobeef

    “Let’s assume that Greg Oden is better next year (no, really, just work with it).”

    Ouch, that stings!

    Apparently Thabeet skipped the Memphis work-out because he has a promise from OKC and he wants to be part of that team. Makes sense to me.

    Harden is now projected to go to Memphis which I think is the best option for them anyway. With OJ at the point and Harden at the 2 Memphis has its backcourt set for the next 10 years. Makes more sense to me than drafting Thabeet when you already have Marc Gasol.

    Call it a hunch but I’m getting a strong sense that Rubio will end up in Minnesota. The new GM in Town is working hard to make a splash.

  • rob

    Rubio will be in sacramento again today. he is not falling. Kings will take him with #4 and Caspi with the 23rd pick if he is still on the board. done and done.

  • SEANY_T

    I don’t understand the Rubio to Minny rumours, if he doesn’t wanna play in Memphis or Okc because they are small market why would he wanna play for Minny? How’s that gonna help his exposure??? I think his agents is hoping either the Kings will take him or the Knicks trade up for him.

  • loganlight

    Flynn and Lawson are climbing because of their ball IQ… no doubt that it came from spending significant time in a college program with a great head coach. When will some of these young guns learn that just because you can declare for the draft, it’s not always the best route.

    LL

  • Big Sia

    1) Youngfed has the corniest “bangers” of all time.

    2) Brandon Jennings is the best player in the draft

  • Dukesman2000

    Thabeet = the next Kwame Brown

  • dk

    @YOUNGFED

    Please stop your non-sense ranting. The more I read your posts, the more obvious it is that you’re a total fucking moron. Get your stupid faggot ass outta here.

  • Ekstor

    The Saer Sene comparison for Thabeet makes a lot more sense than Kwame Brown. Kwame came straight out of HS and was the #1 pick. He has neither the height nor the length of Thabeet… and his strengths are completely different. Kwame really is just a strong dude with no real skills… not a great rebounder and not a shotblocker. At the very least, Thabeet should bring both. The only question is whether he can bring that production without incurring fouls at a rapid rate.

  • Yoooo

    lil romeo may actually start for a high D1 program. hilarious

  • http://www.nbadraftdaycountdown.com Aaron

    Rubio has far too much potential to just pass on. While I think Flynn could be a good pro, Rubio could be special. The same can be said for Jennings as well. They both have top five talent and we’ve had them there at http://www.nbadraftdaycountdown.com for months.

  • Maynard

    Most of the people saying Rubio can’t hang have most likely never actually seen him play.

    One of the best D’Antoni Suns teams lost in Game 7 of the West Finals with Nash, Marion and a bunch of jump shooters. You guys say it like it’s a bad thing. That said, I don’t really think the Knicks would trade Chandler, but I guess if they get enough back…

  • YOUNGFED

    @Dk
    Dude It’d be waaaaayyyyy too easy to go in on you thats why I just sit back and watch everybody else do it. lol BTW Check my Resume Beyotch!!!! http://dimemag.com/2008/11/youngfeds-nba-roy-rankings/

    I’m a legend round here, Now get your paper up before you talk to me son.

    @Big Sia
    If you don’t like’em simply don’t listen. Different strokes for different folks

  • LakeShow84

    Please excuse my ignorance..

    I just watch “How to lose friends and alienate people” with Simon Pegg and i have to say Megan Fox is damn gorgeous..

    dunno.. suddenly my views are in flux..

  • Danny

    “most people who hate on rubio, havn’t seen him play” hilarious especially the comment above about how well he played team usa. He had 8pts 3 assists. 8 points 3 assists. Just so you understand, that does not make him the next chris paul. In fact, if you are basing it against team usa, patty mills should be the number one pick. His defense is garbage, shot is suspect.

    You losers are obviously just basing your opinions on other analysts that are enamored with “THE HARRY potter kid”. He will be a bust, sorry.

  • doc

    Me and a couple other been saying Rubio aint the best PG in this draft.He good but that Pistol Pete shit is ridiculous and the only reason they say it is because he a whiteboy with floppy hair and fancy passes.Give me Flynn.He aint do shit in that Olympic game they keep hyping up.Like Danny said P Mills was the PG I remember putting in work.But he a late first rounder.Something just smells like hype to me.I think Thabeet gonna be nice.And by nice I mean i’ll take 10 10 and 3.5 blocks for a career.I see it.once they put some meat on his ass he gonna be a force.I’ll trade Sammy for him in 1 tenth of a second.

  • http://www.WeAllScheme.com Jeff

    whats the situation with USC’s marcus johnson ur hinting at? inform me please…i was always a fan of him (pause) i wish he stayed at uconn.

  • LakeShow84

    I think it’ll take Rubio a while to get used to the play out in this hemisphere but when he does he ONLY be a slightly better Jose Calderon..

    That Pistol Pete shit aint going to hold up cuz like i’ve always said, NO disrespect to Pete Maravich, but he wouldnt have been that good nowadays..

    The real question is once Rubio gets over here and gets broken down (and he will) will he have the WILL to get better?? or will he be so used to winning he’ll pout and get down on himself?? We gonna have to judge doo in 4-5 years.. then we’ll know..

  • QQ

    Oh wow YOUNGFED, you wrote an article. It sucked anyways. Get a life you Pathetic FUCKING LOSER.

    And don’t ever forget that QQ been doing this shit much longer than you. So sit down and SHUT UP.

    DK, you’re an idiot too.

    Rubio gonna suck. QQ da boss!