Well, for all the prognostication by the pundits, NBA general managers did a pretty good job of fooling just about everybody. There was unpredictability up and down this year's Draft board. But I learned, thanks to Jay Bilas, that most everyone in this Draft "can play." Good to know, Jay.
And I think he mentioned the wingspan of all but maybe three players. Wingspan is the new length. Get used to it.
There a number of things to dissect with this Draft, and you'll no doubt peruse the Internet to look a many of them. My favorite stat? The fact Conference USA had five guys drafted, which is one more than the Big Ten, Pac-10 and Atlantic 10 combined. But I'm going to focus this post around the overachievers who turned into afterthoughts. The guys originally thought to go earlier than they actually did.
Don't worry, we'll be getting to Andy Rautins a little bit later.
But it's on to the second-round picks who deserved their fates (and a couple who didn't):
Lance Stephenson: went 40th to Indiana. "Born Ready" is the nickname, but he probably wasn't ready for the long wait. Stephenson went back on his word to stay at Cincinnati, and his raw game didn't translate to a guaranteed contract. (You don't get that if you're not drafted in the first round.)
Devin Ebanks: went 43rd to the Lakers. The Trevor Ariza comparisons are apt. Except I don't know if he'll ever have impact and postseason guile like Ariza did. Ebanks had issues that led to an early-season suspension this year, and never really proved he was too much of an offensive threat. I thought GMs would take the bait and go for Ebanks in the first round (foolishly). Props to them for not doing it. And now it's Ebanks and Artest and Derrick Caracter (more on him in a minute) with that team? No way Phil Jackson's coming back.
Gani Lawal: went 46th to Phoenix. Don't understand the drop-off. He was better around the glass than Favors last year. Suns will reap big benefits.
Solomon Alabi: went 50th to Toronto via trade. A real shocker, as far as I'm considered. From what I gather, some health concerns surround him, and that's why he fell so far. Guess you can definitely say goodbye to Bosh in Toronto.
Willie Warren: went 54th to the Clippers. Warren was almost definitely a TOP-FIVE pick in 2009. Should've bailed ship when Blake Griffin did. A reputation of selfishness, lazy work ethic and middling play in 2009-10 plummeted Warren's draft stock, clearly. Worst of all, he's stuck with the Clippers, who had the second-worst draft to, who else, the Knicks.
Derrick Caracter: went 58th to Lakers. Was originally at Louisville before being basically forced out and spending a year at UTEP. Here's a player many expected to be a lottery pick, and yet we never really saw why during his college days. He was strong as a Miner, but that was just trying to salvage his draftability, period. It's yet another warning sign for talented prospects who refuse to work hard and surround themselves with shady characters. I truly hope Caracter can avoid the pitfalls of the NBA's temptations. He needs to remain on the straight and narrow.
And to wrap this up, here are those who didn't get a sniff: Samardo Samuels, Sherron Collins, Jerome Randle, Manny Harris, Sylven Landesberg, Jon Scheyer, Scottie Reynolds, Denis Clemente.