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BIG Board #28

Let's get funky. Daniel Orton stole the show for 27 in what was probably 10 picks too late for him. I'm still not sure how we're going to rearrange the whole Big Board because there's so much that we'd all probably change at this point. We'll see. Anyhow here's your next addition to the party: Luuuuuuuke Babbitt.

There's a bunch of different opinions on Luke Babbitt out there, the 6'7 small forward with not much athleticism but a knack for scoring and rebounding. Check out the Scott Schroeder piece on RU if you want to feel something special. It presents an interesting issue that most draftniks don't think about when hyping up certain players (Paul George, ahem). The tenure of these GM's and coaches have whittled down to sometimes half a year before progress is seen, so why would they want to draft a guy based on little production and all potential? If they aren't going to be around to reap the benefits of Hassan Whiteside's rebirth, what's the point in taking him over complete project Cole Aldrich? It's an annoying concept because you don't want to think these people are drafting just to save their asses, but that's probably what's happening in today's NBA.

Anyway back to Babs, he's a lanky inside-outside forward who uses crafty moves and a slick lefty jumper to get his money. As people love to fret about the loss of the midrange game in the NBA, Luke loves the power dribble pull-up from 15 and sticking it right in the eye of the defender. A great shooter from everywhere on the court, he makes up for his lack of a lift by holding the ball high above his head on the release and being deadly from beyond. His release is a bit long, bringing the ball from his waist up to his left shoulder, but he'll quicken it up at the next level.

He's another one of those work hard, high-IQ guys with underwhelming quickness and athleticism. He's not a total pushover on defense, hustling his scrot' off to stick with his man. Usually defending 4's in college, he doesn't have a great amount of strength to continue that in the pros, and lacking lateral foot speed to move with wing players. It'll be a struggle for him to keep up, but he's in good shape and possesses the necessary fundamentals, so he can pull it off.

I wouldn't trust him dribbling more than 2 or 3 times before passing it up, but he is a guy that you can go to at the end of the quarter to beat his man off the dribble with his savvy old man moves. Surprisingly, he's a good rebounder because of his positioning and grit, which makes up for some of his defensive deficiencies. I watched him a bunch of times as the focal point of a Nevada offense and came away thinking he's got a less athletic Kyle Singler game, but as probably a better creator for himself. His shooting percentages would rise if he had a better supporting cast, although point guard Armon Johnson is a guy that figures to get drafted around this spot as well, so playing with better guys may reveal his weaknesses rather than concealing them. I see him going to San Antonio.

In other news, expert/analyst/sexpot Jordan Sams doesn't think he'll be good:

Prediction: Luke Babbitt will not be a good NBA player.

He also may have said this:

I am a little sissy girl.

Prove that he didn't. But vote before that.

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