Friday, June 27, 2008

It Rhymes with Doofus

Just like the marvelous unicorn, the draft is a mysterious beast. In my draft primer, I listed Kosta Koufos, the Greek from Canton, Ohio as a first tier talent that would not be available when the Jazz selected at #23. So, was I pleased when the Jazz nabbed him without trading up? Hardly.

As the draft entered the middle stages, the Golden Griff and I became worried. With big men being selected at nearly every spot in the middle of the first round, we thought the Jazz were doomed to take a sure-fire big man bust. JaVale McGee or some other disaster. Then something marvelous happened.

The Wizards, in all their glory, took my gold-plated guaranteed bust-of-the-draft, McGee, at #18. Suddenly, teams were panicking that all the busts would be taken before they had a chance to get in on the fun. The next picks were, amazingly, JJ Hickson, Alexis Ajinca, and Ryan Anderson. Suddenly, we realized that with only one pick left before the Jazz, an amazing amount of talent was still left on the board: Mario Chalmers, Donte Green and a lottery-talent big man in Darrell Arthur. Then Orlando took a guard, and the Griff and I were calling for the Ghost of Double-O-Tag. Darrell Arthur for the win!!! A draft day dream come true.

Nope. Kofous. And Kosta isn't a horrible pick - it's not like they took McGee. But it's the fact that we passed over a potentially valuable rotation player in Arthur for the guy that plays the right position but will never average more than 13 minutes of playing time. The Curse of Mark Eaton struck again. Kevin O'Connor cannot can't pass up a 7''0' white guy who values family.

I cannot fathom why the Jazz would take a guy whose ceiling is "poor man's Memo" instead of Arthur, who will be a part of a 7-man rotation in two years. I just can't. The moment Stern stumbled over Kosta's name felt like the end of a heart breaking playoff loss. They were so close - it was all set up. And they blew it.


UtesFan89 said...

He plays the same position as 'Sap and Booze... and can't play the 5.
So he'd get no time...

And in college, he got like 4 rpg in 27 minutes, and rarely got to the line. Not good for a post guy. (All that from The Fan Sports... haven't actually looked myself.) He would've been a horrible fit and a horrible pick. And there is no way Arthur would've been part of a 7-man rotation here in 2 years, unless Booze leaves. But you can't pick for that right now, especially knowing that you can offer Booze $32 million more (and the fact that Wade will be a FA in 2010 doesn't help Miami... nor does the fact they took Beasley).

Orlando said...

Arthur is a great athlete and a big body. His stats in college aren't phenomenal, but he played for the most balanced team in the U.S.

The thing I hate, just hate, about this pick is that it was made simply because Kofous was the best center available and we need a center. That's it. Picking for positional need at #23 is a horrible strategy - yet the Jazz do it consistently.

As to positional overlap - I completely agree: Arthur is another PF and we have two good ones. He wouldn't have gotten much time over the next two years. But neither will Kosta. That's my point - you are drafting for the future with #23 and Kosta is, at best, a decent backup center while Arthur is, at best, a solid starting power forward in the league.

Pasty Gangsta said...

Perhaps not surprisingly, I'm OK with Kosta and completely understand why the Jazz took him. I've talked about all of this before, but we have a bunch of decent to great players at every other position. We're real weak on interior defense and bigs though, as this playoff run showed.

And frankly, as I've also noted before, I don't think there are any sure things at 23. In other words, I subscribe to the Moneyball theory. The NBA draft is a damn efficient market and it's hard to find deals. If Arthur or anyone else was really that good, they wouldn't be around at 23. That's just basic economics. Kosta played for in a good college conference and put up good numbers. He doesn't have off court problems and fills a hole the Jazz need. I don't think there is much more you can ask for in a late first round pick.

Draft Guru said...

I can't complain about Koufas either. I think he's got the ability to be a decent NBA player. He's 7'1", has some skills and can shoot. At #23, that's all you can ask for. Unfortunately, the problem is that he replicates everything we have...softness, little to no D, and loves the perimeter. Boy do we need an aggressive, rugged, defensive-minded enforcer!...I guess it's not to be.

UtesFan89 said...

Koufos is a better defender than any big we have, save 'Sap. Of course, that isn't saying much...

I really hope Koufos gets time (well, him or Fesenko)... if not, we'll see a lot of Flop and it'll be a very long season.

Personally, I think that Koufos was the best option. Everyone left fell for some reason. Bad kidneys, weak workouts/interviews, not getting off the bench in their 1-year in college, etc. Whatever.

Okur is a starter in the league. Koufos is farther along than Okur was at 19... if he develops, he could be a fine starter.

The question is... will he develop? With J-Slo roaming the sidelines with his "I hate youngsters" attitude, I'm not so sure. But I'm hoping...

I completely agree with pasty gangsta on the Moneyball theory. If anyone "that good" had been available, they'd be gone. The 2nd round steals come because they happen to work hard and overcome their "problems" (stupid word for it, but eh...). Nothing is given though. You take BPA this late (if it's close, then go BPA at a position of need) and hope for the best. Help the guy develop, and you get rewarded. Sit him on the bench for 4 years and trade him... and someone else helps him and gets a starter.

Sorry if my thoughts are scrambled... I'm like that at times.