Archive for June, 2013

NBA Draft 2013 Thoughts

The Cleveland Cavaliers shocked many pundits and draft analysts last night by choosing Anthony Bennett as the top overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft. While many considered this year’s draft to be a weaker draft, that’s a bit of a misnomer; most drafts don’t bring in elite stars, but rather bring in several solid players, several players who will ultimately be journeymen and role players, and quite a few players who won’t be in the league after five years. This is true every year, so why the 2013 draft would be considered significantly weaker is just conjecture.

At any rate, this draft is the last for commissioner David Stern, who won’t be missed, and leaves a league that is rife with unprofitable teams and a business structure based on a few players rather than solid team properties like every other league in the world. During Stern’s tenure, the NBA has limped along with weak profit margins – while the NFL’s profit margin has exploded over the $1 billion mark, and Major League Baseball has almost half a billion, the NBA is just around $183 million in profit (on $4.1 billion in revenue…you have to work really hard to lose that much margin, but Stern has managed to do it), just barely ahead of the NHL. Despite so many people writing that Stern is a fantastic commissioner, the reality is they aren’t business people. After all, a lot of people thought interest-only home loans with adjustable rates were a great idea, too.

But back to the NBA and it’s heralded draft night, there are almost certainly players who will be much better than the pundits think, and time will continue to tell which teams are horrible at evaluating players. The draft also set off several massive trades which may ultimately prove that Danny Ainge and the Celtics know more about building a team than most of the league.

So while no championship is won on draft night, it does show patterns for teams, and it’s always interesting to see which teams consistently blow it while others walk away with solid contributors every year.

The Business of Sports
From: Top Business Degrees

Tracy McGrady

People in recruiting circles are well aware of the dynamic 5’6″ guard Aquille Carr, who had committed to Seton Hall but now seems to be signed to play professionally in China as he continues to work towards a potential NBA career.

What you might not know is that Tracy McGrady, who was on hand with the Spurs in their narrow loss to the Heat in last week’s NBA finals, helped Aquille when the Chinese team approached him to sign a contract, as reported here by our pal @rodgerbohn:

“How does it feel to have your first CBA contract offer?” Qingdao Double Star owner Max Shicanbin asked Carr.

Shocked, Carr said that he would have to talk with his agent. But Tracy McGrady stepped in and volunteered to assume the role, playing both sides of the fence with the owner of the club he played for until he joined the Spurs.

“We want stability,” McGrady said in his new role of player representative. “We also want a guaranteed contract and position on the team.”

SLAMonline had the chance to talk with Carr after the game, and he was humbled by the opportunity to spend an entire season in China.

Regardless of what comes of this story, it’s important to understand what McGrady actually did for Carr. It’s not a grab for an agent’s cut of the pie – it’s a move by a seasoned veteran who understands how a young player could get run over by the business. You see, in most of the sports world, contracts are not guaranteed as they are in the NBA. That’s true even in the United States, but it’s a major issue for professional athletes playing in many leagues around the globe. You show up on a Tuesday to play for your new team, you play two games, and you get cut. There is very little stability.

McGrady’s move truly is a veteran looking out for a young player.

John Karaffa is the president of Pro Sport CPA, and one of the top accountants for professional athletes. Here he talks about what his company does for sports stars and some tips for athletes about to turn pro.

Ben Lapps Elite Handle

After we are all exhausted after staying up too late watching the Miami Heat down the San Antonio Spurs in a classic series, we’d like to share with you the ballhandling and guitar-strumming skills of Ben Lapp. Fitting little end to the NBA season, so relax and enjoy. And for those who think this is fake, Ben is playing using a technique called ‘hammer-ons’, which allows for creation of a strumming sound with one hand on the neck. So chill out already.

Worried about getting no basketball fix this summer? Follow us on Twitter and we’ll hook you up.

Rodney McGruder, who just finished his college basketball career at Kansas State, talks about playing in front of NBA scouts at the Portsmouth Invitational, what he’s working on and his favorite pair of shoes.

Atlanta Aliens

Florida Gator Kenny Boynton talks with us about his pro prospects at the 2013 Portsmouth Invitational and what he’s working on to get to the next level.

The third annual Southeast Summer Showcase wrapped on June 2, and with more attendees than ever it takes time to go through everyone’s notes, scour the film, and really assess everyone.

In case you missed it, you can read Part 1 of the reports here.

Here are the second set of notes available from the day of action:

Carlee Clemons (G, 6’1, 2014) Millbrook HS (NC) – What’s left to be said? Carlee’s monster dunk over two 6’8″ players went viral.One of if not the most explosive players at the showcase who had multiple highlght real dunks throughout the day. Loves to attack the rim hard with the dunk on you attitude. Only negative I can say for him is at his position he doesn’t have the shot that he needs to be a total offensive threat to beat you from outside. A good defender who understands he is a slasher and can fly will stay off of him and allow him to shoot from outside.

Ricky Council II (SG/SF, 6’5″, 2014) Northern Durham HS (NC) – Can beat you off the dribble and can beat you from outside. He’s a very good inside out guy. A leaper who is very shifty meaning good at changing directions in an instant, and very versatile. Explosive – almost threw down a dunk from the free throw line and looked like he could have gotten it with another shot.

Zaqwuan Matthews (G/F, 6’4, 2015) Myers Park HS (NC) Last year the athleticism and potential of Matthews was evident, and over the past year he’s become a star wing, able to play above the rim, dynamic and plays with purpose. Likes to run in transition and sees the floor extremely well from the off guard or small forward spot, has great length and really is a player for Division I colleges to be getting involved with.

Daryl Myers (PG, 5’9″, 2015) Fredricksburg Christian (VA) Myers is a wizard with the ball in his hands and is always looking to break ankles with masterful dribbles and a quick step. His added height now makes him a serious prospect who is a highlight reel on the floor, but not just with his ballhandling but in his ability to find teammates on the break. Definitely a player that colleges should be actively engaged in.

Michal Seals (PG, 5’8″, 2016) High Point Central HS (NC) Quick hands and has good body control slashing to the basket; Can finish with contact and likes to push the break right to the rim.

Austin Hatfield (G, 6’1″, 2014) Mt. Tabor HS (NC) Hatfield has continued to improve as a point guard and is a true combo guard, with the ability play the floor general or off of the ball; When playing the point, Hatfield runs the offense, looks for teammates or opportunities to slash to the hoop. Off of the ball, he moves well to make himself an open target and is a knockdown three point shooter who will scorch teams who leave him open.

Coye Simmons (PF/C, 6’7″, 2014) Winston-Salem Prep (NC) A legitimate post presence with bulk to bang in the paint and has good rebounding timing; great at cleaning up the glass, runs the floor well and has great hands; gets above the rim in transition and can finish on the alley oop, Simmons abused the rims several times during the day.

Jalen Gaddy (SG, 6’4″, 2015) Neuse Chistian Academy (NC) Athletic and fast, Gaddy is a player who can be hard to stop when slashing to the bucket. Good length and size for the collegiate 2-guard spot, continues to improve and make an impact on the floor. Good upside to Gaddy’s game.

Charis Fitzgerald (G, 6’2″, 2013) West Gadsden HS (FL) Last year’s MVP returned and showed more of his distributor personality, setting the table for teammates, including several lobs for dunks to some of the event’s high flyers. Fitgerald has great size for a guard and plays eyes-up, can beat his man with the pass or the dribble and his ability to finish at the rim makes him a hard matchup for smaller guards.

Sean Spry (G, 5’11″, 2014) South Rowan HS (NC) Tough, active guard with a high motor who seems to be involved in every play, either with the ball or without. Moves really well without the ball and takes defense seriously.

Austin Collins (G, 6’3″, 2014) Winston-Salem Prep (NC) Collins has a great build and is becoming more and more of a PG, pushing the ball or creating his own shot. Has the athleticism to play either on or off of the ball and is one to watch.

Coming next – Part 3.

Full Game Replay from the Southeast Summer Showcase All-Star Game, June 2, 2013, held at Forsyth Country Day School. Note: This game video is broken into two halves, but will play through both halves in the window above.

1 Aaron Lipscomb 6’1″ Winston-Salem Prep
5 Daryl Myers 5’10″ Fredricksburg Christian
19 Colton Bishop 6’2″ Forsyth Country Day
43 Tristen Reese 5’11″ Cresset Christian Academy
46 Austin Collins 6’3″ Winston-Salem Prep
49 Bryan Rouse 6’0″ Greensboro Day School
50 C.J. Jackson 6’0″ Olympic HS
51 Carlee Clemons 6’1″ Millbrook HS
52 Charis Fitzgerald 6’1″ West Gadsden HS
58 Gabe Devoe 6’3″ Shelby HS
60 Jalen Gaddy 6’4″ Neuse Christian Academy
61 Justice Cuthbertson 6’3″ Westchester Academy
63 Larry Curry 6’3″ East Forsyth HS
66 Mike Hughes 6’4″ Winston-Salem Prep
69 Ricky Council II 6’5″ Northern Durham HS
71 Will Tibbs 6’5″ Winston-Salem Prep
73 Zaqwaun Matthews 6’4″ Myers Park
75 Gary Clark 6’7″ Clayton HS
85 Kedrick Flomo 6’2″ North Forsyth HS
88 Cory Hanes 6’5″ Forsyth Country Day
89 Coye Simmons 6’8″ Winston-Salem Prep
92 James Tillman 6’4″ Kings Mountain HS
93 Javis Howard 6’8″ Irmo HS
95 Logan Weathers 6’4″ Bishop McGuiness HS
99 Stavian Allen 6’8″ Christian Faith Center Academy

The third annual Southeast Summer Showcase wrapped on June 2, and with more attendees than ever it takes time to go through everyone’s notes, scour the film, and really assess everyone. But here are the first notes available from the day of action:

Javis Howard (PF/C, 6’8″, 2014) Irmo HS (SC) – Javis has the size and agility to play the PF spot and the strength to play the C spot. But most people who have scouted Howard already knew that; what he’s improved on is his ability to face the basket. He has an excellent first step from the 15 foot range which creates serious matchup problems for plodding big men. He plays above the rim, has great hands and works hard in the post. A lot to like about Howard, who already held several Division I offers prior to the showcase and picked up several more since.

Gary Clark (F, 6’7″, 2014) Clayton HS (NC) He is your can do it all guy who really gets going when someone on the other team trys to take over, he then becomes the incredible hulk and breaks out. He is very unselfish if he sees someone open, very versatile, smart, high basketball IQ. Still has upside and more he can do.

Ronshad Shabazz (G, 6’3″, 2015) Knightdale HS (NC) One of the top guards at the event. Left handed scorer who can get to the basket, but also knock down the three ball if you don’t guard him. The defener has to respect that he get bet you more than one way and play him honest. He has a good motor and has a good basketball IQ, knowing when to drive and when to pull up, as well as distribute the ball.

Justice Cuthbertson (G, 6’2″, 2014) Westchester (NC) Cuthbertson showed a strong game all day and was one of the standouts of the overall event, being considered for MVP. Showing a powerful speed dribble, he pushes the ball at full speed end-to-end and can find teammates on the move. Overall point guard skills have improved dramatically and he already had great strength and toughness to his game.

Kedrick Flomo (PG, 6’1″, 2014) North Forsyth HS (NC) A dynamic playmaker, Flomo’s heady play garnered him the MVP trophy for the 2013 showcase. A smooth game that can be deceptive, he is a solid shooter with good quickness who likes to make things happen. As he has become a more assertive player over his career, he’s become very hard to handle one-on-one and demands a double team much of the time.

Gerald Vaughn, Jr (G, 5’11″, 2014) Westwood HS (SC) One of the few defenders who was able to get any success against Kedrick Flomo, Vaughn played lock down defense against everyone he faced all day long and proved he was a hard-nosed guard who does not take plays off. Considering the loose play at showcase events, seeing someone play solid defense even in transition is something special, and it earned Vaughn the 2013 Coaches Award.

Mike Hughes (SG, 6’2″, 2014) Winston-Salem Prep (NC) Hughes is an explosive player who is extremely good in transition. Hughes is a player who can play guard or small forward effectively and plays above the rim. Has a good handle and is a solid slasher.

Stavian Allen (F, 6’8″, 2014) Christian Faith Center Academy (NC) Allen is an above-the-rim highlight type player, and he’s developed a consistent jumper to go with his elite hops. Allen was blistering from deep at times in today’s event, and he can hit from the mid range to the outside with a high release. Tends to fade a bit on his jumper, but Allen is a really solid prospect with great upside.

Gabe Devoe (G, 6’3″, 2014) Shelby HS (NC) It’s no secret that Devoe’s stock has continued to rise in the spring and it’s easy to see why, he is a powerful guard who likes to get up and down the court, has great strength and can finish with contact. Has a high basketball IQ and plays with purpose.

Read Part 2 of Reports Here