Friday, October 10, 2008

HOLLINGER'S OUTLOOK ON THE YOUNG ONES

In general, I'm a fan of John Hollinger's work on ESPN. His PER provides a quick and relatively accurate assessment of a player's value when compared against the average NBA player. Though he has a pretty bleak outlook for Belinelli and Randolph, I give him credit for sticking with his initial predictions of BUST and not buying into the terrific Summer League performances put out by both players. Let's hope that his words serve as motivation for our future stars (crossing fingers) to rise above his woeful expectations and make Hollinger re-tool his formula once more.

Hollinger Profiles: Golden State Warriors


Anthony Randolph
Randolph was drafted largely on his potential -- in other words, he hasn't actually demonstrated he can play, but some folks think he might be able to soon. As you can probably tell, I'm skeptical. At LSU he had a poor shooting percentage and a mammoth turnover rate, and my pro potential ratings based on college stats gave him some of the lowest marks of anyone in the draft.

However, the 6-10 lefty has good quickness and athleticism and is only 19 years old, so there's a chance he turns the corner. Regardless of how he pans out, don't expect him to take on a major role this year -- not only is he raw, but he can't shoot and Nelly loves shooters.


Marco Belinelli
Save for one brilliant summer league game, there's nothing in Belinelli's track record to suggest he's an NBA rotation player, so I certainly wouldn't place much faith in his ability to produce this year. The Warriors will probably give him a few chances to earn a rotation spot, since they invested a first-round pick in him, but given his other glaring weaknesses he'll need to hit 45 percent or so on 3s in order to keep it.


Anthony Morrow
Golden State took a flier on the undrafted Morrow after he played well in Summer League. The sharpshooter from Georgia Tech hit 44.8 percent of his 3-pointers, so Don Nelson is likely to appreciate his floor-spacing capabilities. He's not an NBA athlete and is fairly one-dimensional, but has shooting guard size at 6-5 and may have a good enough stroke to have a career.


Marcus Williams
The Nets traded Williams to Golden State for a lottery-protected -- heck, lottery embalmed -- first round pick that might not even be a first when all is said and done and likely won't be theirs for at least a few years.

He'll begin the year with the backup point guard job, just as he did in New Jersey a year ago, but I don't expect Don Nelson to be any more tolerant of Williams' selfish play than Lawrence Frank was. If he can get in shape and focus on passing he'll have a nice year, especially since Monta Ellis will be out of the lineup at the start of the season; otherwise he might find himself again kicked to the curb for a veteran retread with a fraction of his talent.

Brandan Wright
Wright is an obvious breakout candidate who is likely to push Al Harrington for minutes at the power forward spot and may own the job himself by the end of the season. It's not quite clear how his game will fit into Don Nelson's system if he has a major role, as both Wright and Andris Biedrins are non-shooters and Nelly likes to space the floor with 3-point options, but Wright is too good to keep out of the lineup for long.


Richard Hendrix
Golden State's second-round pick had deceptively good college numbers and might be able to wriggle into a rotation spot. He's undersized for a pro power forward but makes up for it with a wide body and big hands, and his physical style is something that's in short supply in the Bay these days. His upside isn't that high, but he was a nice value pick in round two and makes for a decent fifth big man.

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