2014 NBA Draft Big Board Chat with The 700 Level, part 1

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Going for the old #doublepost because it's now the offseason and content is manna.

The season is over. You know that. So please prepare yourself to be inundated, drowned, and then sarcophagus'd with NBA Draft coverage. We've already kicked it off today with the announcement that Jabari Parker will turn pro. I spoke to Andrew Unterberger of website/blog/religious television show with Pat Robertson, The 700 Level yesterday (pre-Jabari) and debated each other's big boards. Like a big board pissing contest. Here's LB's Big Board v2 from last week for a refresher.

We debated our top eights today, and we'll finish up with 9-20 or maybe we'll just do 60 sometime next week. Enjoy, and note how it starts to get ugly when we get to Dougy McBuckets.

Michael Levin #1: Andrew Wiggins (SF), Kansas.
Andrew Unterberger #1: Andrew Wiggins (SF), Kansas.

Andrew Unterberger: So #1, you and I both have Wiggins, unsurprisingly. As the self-appointed president of the Wiggins fanclub, you wanna just get it started with a basic explanation of why you're Wiggins-or-Bust for this draft?

Michael Levin: I think it boils down to dominance on both sides of the ball. People talk about that with Embiid, mostly, and we'll get to him, but I see it more with Wiggins. That level of athleticism and skill and unselfishness just isn't something I've seen from a guy this young in a long time.

People look at the unselfishness like it's a bad thing, and I see it as the opposite. Superstars that can play within the team concept (LeBron, Durant) are far more valuable than ones who can't (Melo, Iverson). I think the jumper is good to very good, and will become great. I think he'll improve his handle, which he has been loose with at times, especially attacking the basket. And I think he'll slow down at the rim and convert more opportunities there. Usually he's just going too fast to, like, recognize it's already time to shoot.

Kid's 19 years old and has all the right intangibles for me. I would take him first, and when the Pelicans pick comes up, I'd take him again, just to make sure we definitely got him.

Andrew Wiggins

AU: I mostly agree with all that, and feel much more comfortable across-the-board with Wiggins because he has things we know he can do (lockdown perimeter defense, transcendent full-court athleticism) for a fact on a pro level already.

My only question is: What if he turns out to just be Harrison Barnes on offense?

They had similar hype and similar numbers their first year in college, they both have awesome athleticism and a sleek all-around game, but Barnes still hasn't figured out how to translate that into being a useful or productive half-court weapon, and doesn't look any closer now than he was in college.

If Wiggins never gets that far beyond that level, do the athleticism and defense save him from being a disaster as a #1 pick?

Levin: Yes. I think Wiggins has the highest floor of anybody I've seen since i started covering basketball. He will be an asset on both ends of the floor. You couldn't necessarily say that for sure about Anthony Davis (offense, concerns of strength on D) or Kyrie Irving or John Wall or whoever.

At the very least, he will be great in the open court, hit shots on the catch and shoot, and cover the other team's best wing. Like, a rich man's Wes Matthews as a floor is not bad. But obviously I think he's going to be great.

I really don't see him turning into Barnes. Could be wrong, I don't see it.

Levin #2: Jabari Parker (SF/PF), Duke
AU #2: Joel Embiid (C), Kansas

AU: I gotta say, I was pretty shocked to see that you had Embiid all the way down at #4. Is that an injury concern, a fit concern or a general lack of faith?

Levin: It's all about the injury.

Well, actually fit a little too. I love Joel. I don't love him and Noel together. I think it could work, but I don't love it at the top of the draft.

But it's the back that has me worried. I am not a doctor, I know nothing about anything, but this just feels to me like one of those things that's going to bother him his whole career. I envision a [Golden State center] Andrew Bogut-esque injury history. And I'm terrified. So I'd probably stay away with him in that Top 3, unless they see enough to make sure he'll be healthy.

I don't love the concept of strictly going Best Player Available in the draft. I think it's in tiers. And to me, Embiid/Exum/Parker are that 2nd tier behind Wiggins. So you say, okay, here's all comparable players of skill we all like- which one fits best? And in order, that's Parker/Exum/Embiid for me.

AU: Well, so let me make a statement and you'll tell me whether or not you agree:

In some magical dream NBA universe in which everyone in this draft basically reaches their potential and is healthy forever, Joel Embiid will have by far the best career of anyone.

Levin: I still think Wiggins.

AU I disagree. I watched a lot of Kansas last year, and I'd say only in the last couple games that Embiid and Wiggins played together (in which Embiid might have even been already hampered by injury a little) did Wiggins even look like he was on the same prospect plane as Embiid.

Even size and positional scarcity aside, Embiid's general basketball awareness was well advanced where I saw Wiggins at for most of the season. And he'd only been playing the sport on any level for a couple years.

Levin: Yeah I just prefer the athletic 2-way wing player to the 2-way big man. That could just be preference in team-building for me. But I do see a lot of things in Embiid's game I don't like. And I think Embiid and Wiggins were on the same level, in the basketball-awareness respect.

AU: Well so what don't you like in Embiid's game?

Levin: I like Embiid a lot. A lot a lot. But I think he gets way too low in the post, basically neutralizing the size and athleticism advantage he has over most defenders.

I think defensively he goes after big blocks a bit too much and leaves his man underneath - KU always did a horrible job rotating behind him, and maybe it's because he wasn't supposed to try to get the block every time, just impact the shot by being there.

I'd also like a bit more post recognition, getting the ball out before the double team gets there. That was a KU problem of slow cutters too.

Both guys are great. I love them. I want both to succeed greatly. I am a KU fan, and watched almost every KU game this year. But I don't see Embiid with that otherworldly talent I see in Wiggins. I don't think Andrew Wiggins is a human being.

AU: Well, the problems you lay out there seem imminently coachable.

Levin: Certainly. But when you get to that top tier, you gotta nitpick about something, ya know?

AU: Personally, I did see that otherworldly talent in Embiid. The combination of passing, fluidity, touch and athleticism-even a little range in spurts-was breathtaking from a guy his size.

And the defense could just be overpowering-there's nobody like him in the league right now on that end.
I think he has legitimate potential to be the best two-way big man since Tim Duncan.

Levin: I think it's up there, certainly, yeah.

AU: And if I was operating a non-Sixers draft board he'd be in strong, strong contention for my #1. But the combination of injury concerns with Noel already being there, he's gotta be #2.

But you talked about tiers, and I still put Wiggins and Embiid on the same tier, well above Parker and Exum.
Even if questions of fit and health make it more of a discussion between Embiid and those two.

Levin: I'd have Embiid on the top tier if I wasn't so devastatingly concerned about his back.
Still below Wiggins, but right there.

AU: Yeah, obviously I don't know much about that, but the scouts I've seen quoted seem to think it's manageable. And big men...there's always gonna be something, if teams weren't willing to roll the dice a little, they'd just never take centers in the draft at all.

It's a worry, but I think the talent is so tremendous that if Wiggins is off, you take him, figure out if he and Noel can play together (and if not, which is the more expendable asset), and go from there.

Levin: I can definitely see the argument for that, for sure.

With so many other great options at the top, though, I don't absolutely love the idea of drafting a guy to trade Noel or MCW. Thad, Sure. But I want these picks to supplement the two cornerstones we already have in the bank. I love a rebuild, but I don't want to keep swapping cards like it's 5-card draw for years.

AU: I feel you on that, certainly. And I do think there is a chance Noel and Embiid could figure out a Twin Towers thing and just own the half court for the Sixers forever.

But it's far from sure, and that's enough to put him at #2 for me.

Levin: I'm cool with that.

AU: So Jabari, then. I thought you were more lukewarm on Mr. Parker than you apparently are.

Levin: I thought so too.

AU: So is it just that he's the best fit of the remaining top guys, or have you come around to him as a player?

Levin: A little of both. I like the idea of unselfish Melo a lot. I think he was miscast a bit on Duke. And in spite of that, put up great efficiency numbers. He's certainly a better scorer right now than Wiggins. At the moment, Jabari is more capable of hitting contested shots and getting where he wants on offense than Andy. It'll swing the other way eventually, I think, but for now, Jabari is just a hell of a weapon on that end.

And the defense- it's not great. But again, I think you can hide him a bit on a good team defense and a shotblocker. He's definitely a 4. So put him and Noel next to a bruiser than can bang and rebound (Jarnell Stokes? Mitch McGary?) in a three-man rotation and I think they succeed.

AU: Well, here's my thing with Jabari, which could be perceived either as a positive or a negative: I don't think we really have a clue what he's going to be on either end of the ball at the next level based on that one Duke season. He was so far out of role and position as to where I see him in the pros that it's almost going to be a totally different sport for him.

Levin: Sure, though offensively, he did play next to Amile Jefferson, so that's at least some semblance of a legitimate big man.

AU: But he was still given all sorts of help defense responsibilities that he was clearly woefully unfit for. If that's his role in the pros, it's a big and not-overlookable one.

I'm also not sure which Jabari is the one really indicative of his skill set, the one who began Duke's season as a versatile inside-out threat, or the one who ended it as a dominant post-only guy who could barely hit a three.
I personally would rather have the former, because I don't think he'll be able to be the latter at the pro level.

Levin: Oh I have no concerns about his shooting touch. Kid got worn down for sure.

AU: I dunno, that jumper's a little flat and angular for my tastes.

Levin: I love the way he gets it off. High release point. Mmmmm.

AU: He gets it off well, but he shoots it with such force that if it's not straight on the rim is gonna reject that thing nine times out of ten.

Levin: Well, in general, it's sorta Wiggins or bust for me, unless Embiid's back is okay or we get more confirmation that Dante Exum exists, but I can see a foundation starting with MCW, Jabari and Noel being a fun team and maybe a contending one with a few more moves in the next year or two.

AU: Well, one last thing about Jabari. You alluded to "selfless Melo" back there, and I agree that that's his upside and that would be pretty great. But would you care to guess how many times in his last 22 games of the season Jabari registered multiple assists in the same contest?

Levin: Haha not many, I've looked.

AU: Once. IN TWENTY-TWO GAMES.

Levin: That's not exemplary.

AU: I think that's at least partly due to Coach K refocusing him in the post and saying "Look kid, just attack every friggin' time and no one can stop you." And mostly, he was correct and right to do so.

But there were times I remember watching him handling on a two-on-one break and it was like "No matter what the defender does here, there is just no way Jabari is going to pass this ball." And that kind of myopic focus on offense worries me.

Levin: I had the same concerns about MCW only without the jumper and coming off a non-NBA defense. I think he's a good kid and in the right system (ours), he'll do very well.

AU: And look, I still like him, he's coming up at #3 on my rankings. I think the fit is pretty close to ideal. Just that unlike with Embiid and Wiggins, I don't feel 100% safe with his talent. That's enough to bump him to #3 for me.

But I'd still be pretty pumped if we got him-though sadly, as we're discussing this, we still don't even know if Jabari is coming out this year, and in a lot of ways I think he would benefit from the extra year.

Levin: Nooooooooooooooooooo get out with that shit, AU. He's a top 5 pick - come out, get your money, work on your game in the pros.

AU: Yeah, but he doesn't need the money, doesn't have injury risk, and could very easily be #1 overall next year with a solid basketball foundation after a year with Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor. Just sayin'.

Levin: Everyone has injury risk, everyone needs the money, and if everybody came back to play with their incoming freshmen, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, and Nerlens Noel would make a hell of a frontcourt.

AU: All true. I'm not trying to persuade him to stay, really. Just think he'd have a chill time if he did.

Levin: Hahahahaha. "Report coming in from Yahoo! Sports that Jabari Parker will stay in school to have a chill time with his boys." Tough to say no to.

Levin #3: Dante Exum (PG/SG), Australia
AU #3: Jabari Parker (SF/PF), Duke

AU: Now, you and I have talked about this before, but the idea of a long lead guard with a quick first step and poor shooting range is troubling to me for the obvious reason that we already have a player on our roster that fits that description pretty solidly.

Do you think Dante Exum and Michael Carter-Williams could co-exist and thrive together on the Sixers?

Levin: I do. I think Dante can play off the ball a bit right now, and his catch and shoot numbers illustrate that. He struggles off the bounce, but we don't want him doing that much anyway. I love two 2-way guards with length and quickness and scoop layups.

And he's also the cutest and best. But yeah, you'd need to pair them with a 3-4 who can really shoot to make it work. I think he's talented enough and Brett Brown would do a ton with them defensively leading to fastbreak points.

I mean. I'd love it if they drafted him. Basically, I will love whoever the Sixers draft. Because I trust Hinkie more than I trust myself.

AU: I like Exum, but I don't trust the fit, and I don't trust how little we've seen of him. We have to stretch the floor with somebody, sometime, and if both of our guards can be sagged off on beyond the arc, I don't know where that leaves us.

I will say that Exum's first step is as spine-tingling as maybe any other player in this draft's best skill.

Levin: I prefer Exum-MCW to an injured Embiid-Noel. And I do think Exum can shoot. I like his form. I like him off the catch. If they sag, he'll shoot.

And MCW is improving- the numbers may not show it just yet, but he's getting there.

AU: I hear you. And I think you're right on this one that we have to have faith here in Hinkie and company.Because there's not a ton out there on Exum and they've probably (hopefully) done a much better job scouting him than you or I and will have a much better idea of how he fits with MCW and whether his shooting is adaptable and if the level of competition he's been playing at is going to translate. It's Brett Brown's old backyard, after all.

If they draft him, I'll probably trust that they're doing the right thing. But he's definitely not the name I'm hoping for.

Levin: All depends on where the pick lands.

Levin #4: Joel Embiid (C), Kansas
AU #4: Aaron Gordon (PF), Arizona

Levin #5: Noah Vonleh (PF), Indiana
AU #5: Dante Exum (PG/SG), Australia

Levin #6: Julius Randle (PF), Kentucky
AU #6: Julius Randle (PF), Kentucky

Levin #7: Aaron Gordon (PF), Arizona
AU #7: Noah Vonley (PF), Indiana

AU: I want to talk about my 4/6/7 along with your 5/6/7, which are our ratings of the three most-hyped power forwards this draft. I went Aaron Gordon-Julius Randle-Noah Vonleh with my order, and you went Vonleh-Randle-Gordon.

So let's start with Vonleh. I think he's a great fit for the Sixers. But I don't think he's a star.

Levin: Certainly not.

AU: And I think the other two guys could be.

Levin: I think there is a higher chance of that than Vonleh, sure.

AU: But you'd still prefer the safety of Vonleh?

Levin: I don't think it's safety so much as it is role. I would rather have a tremendously great role player than I would a flawed star.

I think Randle needs the ball a lot to be a stud. I think some of the offense would stall going through him. And the baby arms concern me, as does the defense.

AU: Both legitimate.

Levin: Again, I like him a lot, but Vonleh is the total package for me. He's THE perfect fit next to Nerlens. Especially with a consistent jumper. And I'd prefer a guy that can blend in once a superstar is already in place-hopefully one of the fellas in my top 4-to one who we'll try to ram into the wrong peg.

AU: Well now, hold up a second. You have Vonleh at #5. The Sixers could very well end up picking at #5.

If so and if those first four guys are gone, which I expect they very well might be, would you not want to take Vonleh with that first pick?

Levin: I'd consider it more than I am now, sure, but I think I'd still go with Vonleh.

I don't want a flawed star. Going all in on a highly flawed and, eventually, expensive player is detrimental to how far a team can go down the road. Staying flexible with fungible assets and super role players ready to surround that star that you get later in the year or next draft, that's more important to me.

It's not ideal. But if you don't get one of my top 4, I think I still go Vonleh rather than gambling on everything clicking with Randle. Who, get used to this, I also like. I just think he's a career 20 and 10 player on bad teams.

AU: To me, it would be pretty close to outright disaster if they ended this season with Vonleh as their primary prize.

Levin: I agree with you.

AU: I'm not sure if ending with Randle is much better, but I think it at least buys them a little time.

Levin: I don't know what you mean by that.

AU: I guess I mostly mean in terms of fan reaction. Which you could say should be seen as totally irrelevant, sure, but I think the tide will invariably turn at least a little bit against Hinkie if Vonleh is the main takeaway with this summer and they don't do anything else major.

Levin: Eh. Maybe, but that doesn't affect where I put him on my board.

AU: Regardless, I'd much, much rather have Aaron Gordon. To me, talent-wise, Gordon is the fourth, possibly third-best player in this draft.

Levin: I love Gordon. I'm a UA fan too, and saw him do so many things well.

AU: So. Many. Things.

Levin: Love the defense. Love the fast break. He's a smarter player than people realize.

AU: He can handle! He's brilliant with the ball! People compare him to Blake because of the athleticism and dunking, but the handling/passing is the real similarity.

Levin: Yeah he's got so many abilities. I am 100% a fan. But man, I can't take him in my top 5 with that shot. If he could shoot like a little bit more, he'd be 2nd or 3rd on my board.

AU: But I'm not sure the jumper is so broken. I think the free-throw shooting makes it seem worse than it is. And I don't get why he's Andre Drummond from the line, there's no rhyme or reason to that whatsoever.

Levin: I just wrote the other day that I wouldn't be surprised if he shot like 65% from the line next season.

AU: He will in a couple years, almost definitely. And I probably don't need to tell you he hit a three in six of his last seven college games, 6-10 overall over that span. Including one in OT in that Wisconsin loss. It's not like the dude is Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

Levin: To me, he looks like a player that is so concerned about his jumper that it's affecting his confidence in the rest of his game.

AU: But he's not even 19 yet, right? And he was playing in a crowded frontcourt on a team with sky-high expectations.

He was sooooo much better at the end of the season than the beginning. So much better. And that makes me really want to see how much better he can still get.

Levin: He's incredible. I'm just not ready to take him with that first pick (disastrous sitch, falling to five) based on how, statistically, he was not excellent. But I do love him. And if we get Wiggins at 1 and Gordon falls, I will throw a party and have everybody's kids.

NBA Draft

AU: True about the statistics. But as we were talking about with Wiggins, we know things he can do definitely positively for sure. He can defend like four positions. He can run and jump and throw with the best of them.

Levin: It just hasn't translated yet.

AU: But it was starting to.

Levin: Like his rebounding is ehh.

AU: He had 18 boards in their last game! Maybe it's not dominant as it should be, but it's not ehh.

Levin: That's the kind of player he is now though. Streaky, uncomfortably good, and potential oozing but not yet seriously materializing.

AU: I dunno, I'm in love with the talent and I think he can work on and figure out the rest.

Levin: I think so too. I just need to see more in the shooting department to put him above some of these other guys.

AU: The only thing that would bum me out about drafting Gordon would be that it would almost certainly spell the end of Thad's time in Philly.

Levin: I got lots to say about Thad. But it boils down to- I'm very excited about his imminent departure.

AU: You think he's gone on draft night no matter who we take?

Levin: I wouldn't say no matter what. But he'll be gone soon, and I think draft night is the most likely time for it. There will certainly be deals in place and contingency plans, depending on who falls, etc.

AU: Probably right. And just quickly on Randle: The problems you mention are real ones and if I ranked with my head instead of my heart it's possible I'd but Vonleh above.

But I will say that the perception of him as a 20/10 on bad teams guy (which you are far from alone in) I think ignores some of his better qualities. He's not a selfish player, he's a willing passer and actually a pretty decent one. He's not single-minded in his offense and he's not a bad-attitude guy at all.

Levin: I'm with you, I just see him as a guy a bad team will draft and pay too much for and struggle to win while putting up big numbers for a while.

AU: It's not impossible. And the defense is alarming. But in that respect, I think he might actually do well with Noel alongside him in the frontcourt. They'd complement each others' strengths and weaknesses pretty admirably.

Levin #8: Gary Harris (SG), Michigan State
AU #8: Doug McDermott (SF), Creighton

So, while I have the NCAA Player of the Year at #8 in my rankings, you originally had him at #17, before writing me today to reveal that you had cut him out of your rankings altogether.

Let's hear what disenchants you so about Mr. McBuckets.

Levin: YUP. Slept on it, kicked him the hell off.

I don't think there's more than 3-4 players in the NBA he can guard. And all of them happen to be Sixers or former Sixers.

I don't think his barrage of slow, bulky spin moves will work at the next level. Basically, I think he's Luke Babbitt. And I loved Luke Babbitt. But I learned my lesson about Luke Babbitt with Luke Babbitt.

Love the shot. Would love him as a bench guy for 15-20 a game. But that's not what I'm looking for in my top 20.

So get the f- out, Doug. Which is a sentence I'm just so used to typing, for other obvious reasons.

AU: So, I'm going to present to you a Chad Ford draft profile, and you're going to try to guess who he's describing.

Positives

Excellent offensive player who can get it done both inside and out. Especially lethal from the perimeter. Shooting better than 40 percent from 3-point territory. Good rebounder. Nice touch on the inside. Excellent passer. Good basketball IQ. Has long arms which makes him play bigger than he is.

Negatives

Not a great athlete. He’s not a stiff by any means, but he doesn’t have that freakish athleticism that NBA scouts look for in big men. He’s going to need to add strength to play inside at the next level. So-so defender lacks the lateral agility to guard quicker players, and can get bruised by bigger opponents inside.

Levin: Hahah i hate this I hate this I hate this I hate this. I will look stupid, guaranteed.

AU: OK, well I will save you the humiliation and tell you that Ford wrote this in 2008 about Ryan Anderson.
Former MIP winner and all-around excellent NBA player and cool dude.

Still, I would say 90% of that could be very, very easily applied to Doug McDermott. And the concerns about McD are probably the reasons why Anderson slipped to the 20s in 2008.

Levin: I think Ford underrated Anderson's athleticism there.

AU: He might be more athletic than Dougie, but they're not worlds apart.

I like Doug here because I think his floor and ceiling are both much higher than other players being forecast in the same region, like your Gary Harris.

I think at absolute worst, he's Kyle Korver. I don't see a way in which he isn't a three-point sniper, deadly on the break, can run him off screens and you can't sag off him a lick on defense.

Levin: Deadly on the break?!

AU: As a trailer? Absolutely.

Levin: Yeah because it takes him an hour and a half to get up the court.

AU: I don't want him leading the thing but he absolutely has to be accounted for. He's not as slow or plodding as you make him out to be, nor are his moves, but whatever, I'm just talking floor right now. That's worth a lottery pick in itself, I think, though probably not a top ten one.

Levin: I don't think we're gonna find common ground on this one, bud.

AU: But look, he wasn't playing in the Missouri Valley Conference this year. He wasn't playing the most advanced competition, but he was playing athletic dudes. And he shredded everyone. The only times he really struggled was against zone defenses, and that's not gonna be a problem for him at the next level.

He's got incredible awareness, he does his work early on offense to put himself in position to score before defenses can key on him, he's not a fast player but he's a lightning-quick decision maker.

Levin: He is a quick decision maker, I will agree on that. And I'm excited to see him play on a team where he's not the only player, that's for sure.

AU: Yeah! We still don't even know how good he'd be playing with a point guard and a big man! He can be a legitimate scorer in the pros, I think, especially on a roster like the Sixers.

Levin: Oh man the idea of him starting for the Sixers makes me nauseous. I don't think he can cover me.
And I don't like him on the break as much as you do. Or anywhere. I think for both our sakes, we just move on and not ruin a friendship over Doug McDermott.

AU: Sigh. I'll just say that my realistic, non-Wiggins dream for this team on draft night is to pair him at #10 with Gordon at #4/5 or whatever.

Levin: If that happens...I would revolt so amazingly hard. That would question my faith. I would be shaken to the core.

I think Doug'll stick in the NBA for 10 years. But I think the same about Jarnell Stokes. And I'm not taking him at 10 either. You have every right to grill me if/when he's good.

AU: And you I if/when he isn't. I don't think it's impossible he'll be that mediocre, I suppose, but I would bet good money against it.

Anyway, speaking of mediocre, let's talk about Gary Harris.

Levin: I hate that segue so much.

AU: I mostly said that to piss you off. I have him at #11 myself.

But I doubt you would disagree with me that Harris is not exactly an upside-heavy guy. We sorta know what we're getting with him, right?

Levin: I would say the same about a lot of these guys in the 10-25 range. I don't think he's without upside.
I like the defense a lot. I like the ball-handling. The jumper. The mustache.

AU: Certainly enjoy the mustache.

Levin: And I think the floor is crazy high. I think he's Cuttino Mobley. I think he's your 4th best player for a decade. Starter. Efficient. I love him next to MCW. I love him next to Wiggins. I love him next to me, right now. Say hi, Gary.

AU: Well, a few weeks ago I compared him to a beefier Courtney Lee, and you seemed to concur with that.

Levin: Very much so. I don't know that beefier is the word I'd use, but certainly better all around.

AU: But if we ended up with Beefy Courtney Lee with the eighth pick in the draft, I would not be calling my friends to talk about the experience.

I do like Gary Harris a lot, and I don't disagree with your description. He's a good fit next to MCW and a very solid role player. But we'll have other chances to get a Gary Harris. I don't know how many other chances we're going to have to get a top-ten-level draft talent.

Levin: At least another year, is the answer to that question.

I don't think drafting a legitimate starter with a late lotto pick is ever a bad move or something to say "eh, later" to.

AU: Well I haven't checked the list on this so I can't say for sure, but I feel confident we could get Gary Harris in free agency this year or the next and not have to pay eight digits for the privilege. And if that's the case, I'd rather focus our attentions elsewhere.

If we end up at #10 and all my other friends are gone, I can live with Gary Harris, but in general, it's a little too safe for my mid-lottery tastes.

Levin: I think you've underrated the value of a wildly inexpensive starter that can be a net positive on both sides of the ball. I would not be like the most surprised person on the planet if, in a certain situation, Gary Harris won rookie of the year next year.

AU: I will write you a check for $100 if that happens. I think I'm being serious, though I might need to check with myself later on that.

Levin: Fair!

Stay tuned for the next one, where I will assuredly fight Andrew to the death about James Young. If you made it through this whole thing, you are my best friend or my mom or both.

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