2008 NBA Draft Recap - Sonny Weems to the Rescue

During the mammoth eight hour long Ridiculous Upside NBA Draft live blog I joked that the only activity in the Nuggets war room was the janitor entering the room to clean up.  Well, I guess someone was around after all as the Nuggets completed a late night trade with the Bulls and Trailblazers that ended up bringing Sonny Weems to the Mile High City.

I know I have seen Weems play here and there because I have see Arkansas play a couple of times while he was there.  On the other hand, I have no recollection of noticing Weems at all. 

Here are two things I have found out about Weems. 

He can dunk.

And apparently he passed his college algebra test.

His numbers are solid for a college player.  He averaged 15 points a game and has tremendous size and athleticism for a shooting guard.  In the first round of the 2008 NCAA tournament he shot 12-14 and scored 31 points.  He certainly has the ability to play in the NBA.  On the other hand he had more turnovers than assists and shot an unspectacular 37% from the college three point line.  Basicaly a poor man's J.R. Smith with an attitude adjustment.

My favorite excerpt from his profile on Draft Express proves why the Nuggets were interested in him.

Defensively, Weems is extremely poor, clearly lacking awareness and fundamentals, not getting in any type of real stance, getting lost within his team’s scheme on a regular basis, and often resorting to just gambling for steals and chasing after the ball instead of rotating and playing sound defense. He has all the tools to be extremely effective in this area, so it’s a bit surprising why he can’t translate them into success on this end of the floor. His junior college roots likely have a lot to do with it.

Clearly he will fit right in defensively.

My biggest problem with this deal is (here it comes) they ended up trading a future second round draft pick for him.  Miami acquired Mario Chalmers for two second round draft picks.  Had the Nuggets simply thrown in an additional second round pick they could have acquired Chalmers.  Obviously the Nuggets are no where near as impressed as I am with Chalmers, but they still desperately need a point guard.

The good news that came out of the draft last night was Michael Jordan continued to prove that he is a poor GM.  D.J. Augustin is a good player, but he is not that much of an upgrade over Raymond Felton.  He will be a defensive liability and it will clearly take him some time to adjust to the NBA.  Their second pick of Alexis Ajinca was the typical Hail Mary big man pick.  Ajinca looks great in workouts, but so did Skita.  You have to judge these guys based on what they do during games and Ajinca could only average five points and five rebounds in France.  Even if he does pan out, it will not be for at least two more years.  In my mind those picks make the future draft pick the Bobcats owe the Nuggets a little more valuable.  The question is does it make it more valuable in the minds of other GMs around the league that the Nuggets will be looking to trade it to.

Other good news is the Golden State Warriors drafted a player in Anthony Randolph who will not help them one bit next season so they did not get any immediate help in the draft to help pass the Nuggets next season.

Portland on the other hand is a completely different story.  Jerryd Bayless, Rudy Fernandez, Brandon Roy, LeMarcus Aldridge, Greg Oden, Steve Blake, Travis Outlaw, Martell Webster, Channing Frye, Nicholas Batum and Joel Przybilla.  That is not even a complete list of all their assets.  If Oden can produce at anywhere near what is expected of him Portland is going to be dominant very soon for a very long time.

In the end it might not matter what the Nuggets do, they will probably just end up as a chew toy for the Trailblazers.

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