Tristan Thompson the big winner on John Hollinger's Draft Rater, Suns rumors flying as draft approaches

Although Tristan Thompson’s PAWS 40 numbers do not impress, John Hollinger’s Player Rater ranks him as perhaps the steal of the draft.

Hollinger slots Thompson third overall on his big board thanks to a 16.21 rating that bettered any other prospect in the class (Hollinger still has Irving and D-Will above him, though).

Hollinger notes that his system has not been perfect at selecting elite post players:

The Draft Rater has been really solid on perimeter players. On interior players, the results have been a bit more scattered. The problem has been “false positives.” It has picked out all the guys who could play; it has just picked out a lot of other guys a long with them.

By that Hollinger means Blake Griffin and Kevin Love ranked very highly, but so did Michael Sweetney, Curtis Borchardt and Greg Oden. An elite college wing must truly be a special player, but a big man can dominate in college without the kind of skill set it takes to develop into a great NBA post player.

Still, Thompson ranks as the ninth-best big man since 2002 by Hollinger’s formula and is a player Jared Dudley would like to see become his teammate as JMZ picked him in ESPN The Magazine’s players-only mock draft.

“Thompson is tough and athletic,” Dudley told The Mag. “I see him bringing energy, pick-and-rolling, dunking. He still has to develop an outside shot and work on his post moves, but a kid who can block shots and rebound you can’t keep on the bench.”

On the flip side, this system ranks the Morris twins as career backups, interesting because PAWS40 thought so highly of them.

Jordan Hamilton at No. 10 is also a riser in Hollinger’s rankings, as is Tyler Honeycutt all the way up at No. 13 thanks to a UCLA adjustment.

Finally, Jimmer Fredette projects as a “third guard or marginal starter” and thus is ranked No. 22 by Hollinger.

Suns-Golden State talking Lopez?

John Gambadoro scurried up a slew of commotion by tweeting that the Suns have discussed scenarios in which Robin Lopez would go to Golden State and 2010 No. 6 pick Ekpe Udoh and the Warriors’ No. 11 selection come to Phoenix.

Unless Steve Nash was the other consideration in this deal, Lon Babby would be embarrassed to even present such a lopsided trade.

Many on this site speculated Lopez would barely be worth a high second-rounder, so to get a recent No. 6 pick and a lottery selection for the underachieving center sounds like Babby’s fantasy.

Lopez’s former agent is part of the Golden State front office and he did play his college ball at nearby Stanford, so the Warriors’ interest certainly makes sense, especially as they attempt to become a more defensive-oriented team (but apparently not a more rebounding-oriented team if they want Robin). A change of scenery would also do Lopez well.

Perhaps the Warriors want out of this draft a la the Clippers and thus value Robin over their selection, but I could not imagine Golden State giving up on Udoh so soon as well.

The $18.3 million trade chip

Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported that “the Suns have been willing to take back a so-so contract for Vince Carter, if it included a first-round pick in the 2012 draft,” citing league sources.

Since that hasn’t happened the team is expected to buy out Carter’s $18.3 million deal for $4 million by the end of the month.

Carter’s deal can provide immediate relief for a team looking to shed a big contract like the Suns did with Shaq two Junes ago. The 2012 draft is looking to be so strong that Babby would be very wise to leverage the ability to offer immediate cap relief for an extra selection.

A contract constituted like Carter’s can be immensely valuable to the right team, but apparently no team finds it valuable enough to part with a potentially attractive pick.

And 1

  • Ian Levy’s Draft Similarity Scores at Hickory-High are certainly interesting. Levy’s tool sees Tristan Thompson as a similar player to Josh Boone, Taj Gibson, Gani Lawal, Jason Maxiell and Derrick Favors. Jordan Hamilton is similar to Kareem Rush, Terrico White, Tayshaun Prince, Brandon Rush and Randy Foye. Jimmer Fredette, meanwhile, compares to J.J. Redick (shocking), Quincy Douby, Jerryd Bayless, Troy Bell, Toney Douglas and Stephen Curry. Check out Hickory-High for more comparisons.
  • Paul Coro squashing the ridiculous Gortat rumors: “They surely are not pushing to trade center Marcin Gortat to Minnesota, a rumor that got so out of hand that Gortat received a call to assure him it was not happening.”
  • Gambo tweeted that the Suns want a second first-rounder so they can add a power forward and a point guard, echoing what the Suns’ brass told Jimmer at his workout. The radio personality also said that Thompson will be the selection if he’s there and if not it will be Markieff Morris or Iman Shumpert.

Tags: Jordan Hamilton Robin Lopez Tristan Thompson Vince Carter

  • Rich Anthony, (KJL)

    Phoenix wants a second pick in the draft.

    Phoenix is looking for a point guard and a big.

    Outside of the top 2 guards in this draft, the rest of them are hit or miss at best in terms of running a team the way PHX would like.

    Phoenix gave away Dragon and a Pick for a poor man’s – no. a broke man’s – no. a homeless man’s Allen Iverson.


    I can’t imagine that GS / PHX rumor is real. If not it should have been finalized already. Toss in Pietrus or like, three of the Suns’ dance team.

    “Ian Levy’s Draft Similarity Scores at Hickory-High are certainly interesting. Levy’s tool see Tristan Thompson as a similar player to Josh Boone, Taj Gibson, ***Gani Lawal,*** Jason Maxiell and Derrick Favors.”

    Michael, Mike, Tyler – somebody please talk to me.

    I feel like everybody is sleeping on Lawal in terms of what he can do on this team especially already having a full year’s worth of practice, (minus that minor knee thing. No big deal), and knowledge of the Suns’ system.

    In a weak draft, (like people say this is), where would Lawal rank? I bet he’d be in this 10 – 20 range that all of our current options are in.

    I mean, I get Tristan, (I mean I did have him as one of my 4 draft picks so I’ve got to ride him), but I look at them as even in terms of the different things they could bring to the team.

    I value Lawal over either Morris twin.

    The only other big that I would take in this draft is BIS, and those are for totally different reasons, (D-FENSE *clap clap clap*).

    Otherwise, if we remain at 13, give me Jordan or Jimmer if they’re there. Tristan if they’re not.

  • Cam

    Agreed with everything Rich posted, especially about Phoenix wanting a second pick in the draft. Like Rich said, we had one, and a point guard to go with it, and they gave it up for essentially nothing, no return on that investment. Also, if that Golden State trade is on the table, and as long as Nash isn’t a piece in it, make the trade. That would be the best value we would be able to get out of Fropez. Go Suns.

  • Michael Schwartz

    First off, we’re not sure if the knee thing is no big deal. Lawal will return to the court this season but it might take him until late in the year or even next year to be back to the athletic levels he was at previously. Lawal could be a solid rotation player still, but I don’t think we can necessarily just consider any kind of frontcourt hole filled by Lawal.

    Really it comes back to the Best Player Available theory. The Suns have enough question marks and future holes so just pick the best guy and then let the chips fall as they may. If you have a loaded future frontcourt with Gortat, Thompson, Frye and Lawal then great. The Suns need to pick the guy they feel has the best chance to be an impact player.

    But you do make a good point, don’t count Gani out. We never got to see what we could do last year, and he still could certainly figure into their plans.

  • Steve

    I wouldn’t put too much stock in Lawal. Granted, I know next to nothing about the guy, but the little that I do know points to the fact that he could be a solid rotation player (third guy off the bench caliber) that can provide some good, quality minutes in short bursts. He doesn’t seem like the type of player who would benefit his team very much for 30 mpg compared to how much he might benefit them for 15 mpg.

    Then there’s also the argument that there isn’t really a big who can come in and contribute right away along the lines of what I’m talking about in this draft. So, really, I don’t think our problems at the 4 are going to be answered unless we luck out in the draft or score a deal for a 4 through trade or free agency.

    I’m stoked to see what happens in this draft.

  • Cam

    I’ve been reading allot about Jeremy Tyler lately. I think 13 is too high to pick him at but if we traded down to the Knicks and got something else with it would he be a reach at 17. Many analysts and scouts projected him as a top 5 pick if not for his stupid decision to play in Europe. I know he is listed as a center at around 6’11″-7’0″ but I think he is athletic enough to play at the PF spot. People have said his workouts have been good and that his jumper is good out to the 15′-18′ range. With he and Gortat on e floor at the same time the Suns could have their own version of Bynum/Gasol. I think the Suns might want to consider taking the chance, seeing how hard it is to find good, athletic 7’0″ centers in this league. Worst case scenario is that the Suns can use him as trade bait next year. Go Suns.

  • Ryan

    I wonder if the Suns have inquired (or would inquire) to Washington about a VC for Rashard Lewis 2012 1st rounder Trade…I mean the Wiz would love to unload Lewis for obvious reasons, and he would still be of some value in the Suns system. That 1st round pick of Washington’s may be a really good one…..Just a thought.

  • Rob

    I think I figured out a plan.
    1. Make the RoLo deal. Somehow get Monta Ellis(throw in VC expiring deal?)
    2. Grab Jimmer at 11, then trade him and some others(sorry for not being specific) to Utah for Millsap or Favors plus Devin Harris.
    3. Trade #13 pick, an asset and Nash to NYK for #17(Tyler), Billups and Landry Fields.
    4.Then trade Devin Harris to Miami for Chalmers and their 2012 1st round pick.

    PG- Billups/Chalmers
    SG- Ellis/Fields
    SF – Dudley/Childress
    PF- Millsap/Frye
    C- Gortat/Tyler

    As long as the cap numbers work, I say pull the trigger. Commence poking holes in my proposal.

    Sorry, sometimes I just get a little CRAZY over the Suns personnel moves. A boy can dream, right?

    Do you think this unrealistic team would be a title contender?