Image by jeffbalke via FlickrTo complete my sleeper hunt series in the NBA draft, I will take a look at the fours. In which I will break the walls down and show you the four archetypes of the potential sleeper power forward, and fit most of them in the box. There's a couple of dudes who break the frames. They will be broken down further.
1) The Chuck Hayes.
The Chuck Hayes is the man who provides undersized boards and blocks and a grit and determination that will lead old school people who hate sports to think they are the greatest thing since sliced bread. But since Chuck Hayes didn't lead the Rockets to beat the Lakers? Not so much.
Potential Chuck Hayes?
Jeff Adrien UConn
Diamon Simpson St. Mary's
Tony Gaffney UMass
Variant Cover: Chuck Hayes
Chris Johnson LSU (Because while he does have the required height to be a 4, dude's positively Keith Closs in terms of frame.)
Jon Brockman Washington (He can make a living off of the second chance basket for all of the rebounds that he can generate.)
Personally, some team somewhere is going to find a lot of use for Simpson. His strength is in generating defensive chaos. And if a seemingly out there pick like Luc Mbah a Moute can have success based on the Chuck Hayes ethic? I can see Simpson surprising someone as a relatively high draft choice.
2) The Tyrus Thomas
You have seen moments of the explosive with a player like this, but they live in the phylum of "run and jump energy guy." They have all the upside in the world, but one in a hundred scratch the surface of their tools. But if they are European and you have a late second round pick? It may be worth paying the cost.
Potential Tyrus Thomas?
Vitor Faverani Brazil
Alade Aminu Georgia Tech
Henk Norel Spain
The slight variants to Tyrus Thomas lead to a whole new archetype. The last two sentences of this archetpe preclude me from talking to you about the Euro-Brazilians. (Though Faverani could roll up and be great when he's ready to hit stateside.) But Alade? Alade was in a system that criminally miused his talents. He's a guy who can murder you in a pick and roll system. Paul Hewitt didn't use the system by any stretch.
3) The Drew Gooden
The variant to the Tyrus Thomas is the Drew Gooden. Why? Because while Tyrus Thomas has the greatness in moments, Gooden will show off with the great games. He will also have the games of the 4 points and 5 rebound set. Inconsistency is the watchword with a Drew Gooden type. The spirit song for their coaches? Something from REO Speedwagon. Riding the Storm Out is too on the nose.
Potential Drew Goodens?
Leo Lyons Missouri
The Variant Cover Drew Goodens
Brandon Costner N.C. State
Nemanja Aleksandrov Russia
The variant cover is for the player who had a sustained fit of brilliance, but with either circumstance (Costner) or injury (Aleksandrov) making what they once were something that may never some back again. You likely are never going to see these two make the league. But a baseball principle still applies here. Once a player shows a skill, it does not disappear.
4) The Kurt Thomas
The jack of all trades and master of none. These guys bring a little of a lot to the table. Their love of How Stella Got Her Groove Back may vary, but their massive array of solid does not wax or wane. The upside? They'll be solid starters for six seasons, and character bench guys for a decade thereafter.
Potential Kurt Thomas?
Kevin Rogers Baylor
Gary Wilkinson Utah State
Ahmad Nivins St. Joesph's
Dante Cunningham Villanova
Taj Gibson USC
Jeff Pendergraph Arizona State
Obviously, this list is in order from least likely to most likely. Not to say that I don't like Kevin Rogers. I mean, he was Jeff Pendergraph as Jeff Pendergraph was being Jeff Pendergraph, I'm merely saying that Rogers or Ahmad Nivins won't get the shot that a Taj Gibson would. And that's kind of malaise inducing. Kind of.
Anyway, this leaves a couple of prospects who have enough of a potential interest that they fit into a different sort of archetype. Or may be able to graduate from it.
We start with...
Derrick Brown Xavier
He's got a skill set more along the lines of a Michael Redd when he graduated from Ohio State than your average power forward. After all, you're looking at a man who really does not have a defesive position right now. His strength is in his length and atleticism. And why I'm comparing him to Michael Redd is because his offense isn't there yet, but it's developing. I mean, he did hit 43% of all his threes. If he keeps practicing he will make the above-average occasional All-Star tier on a bad team and become overpaid.
DeMarre Carroll Missouri
He probably belongs in the Tyrus Thomas phylum. Moments of brilliance in a high energy package. But you know what? You have a very active defender. He used his system to be as chaotic as a Gerald Wallace/Josh Smith bringer of chaos. But he also takes good care of the ball and can hit a jumper. This may just be my gut instinct. The whole hear me now and believe me later sort of a deal. But I think he will bring swagger. I think people will sing hosannas about his skills.
This is a draft class that's going to surprise you. I can see sleepers for miles and miles. I went a little different here because it's all good. The circle of sleeper hunt is complete.
Please read me.