Apparently, it's "Praise Chandler Parsons" week around NBA circles, and today's dose came from ESPN's David Thorpe. The article is insider-only, but I took a few snippets for you outsiders who aren't subscribed. According to Thorpe, Parsons would be headed to Golden State:
No. 11 pick: The Warriors select Chandler Parsons
No. 11 pick in actual 2011 NBA draft: Klay Thompson
Mark Jackson and the management team in Oakland hope to make significant strides on defense, and Parsons is an immediate ticket toward that goal. He's been possibly the best defender on Kevin Durant I've ever seen, with the length, size, mobility and coordination to bother big wings and small power forwards for years to come.
Thorpe lists Parsons behind MarShon Brooks, Nikola Vucevic and Kenneth Faried, who also made significant jumps. Chandler did go ahead of Brandon Knight and Kemba Walker, who went 12 & 13, respectively. Donatas Motiejunas, predictably, stayed at No. 20.
Not to be forgotten, Houston's actual pick, Marcus Morris, fell four slots to No. 18, where Thorpe offered an interesting anecdote:
No. 18 pick: The Wizards select Marcus Morris
No. 18 pick in actual 2011 NBA draft: Chris Singleton
Morris hasn't done anything yet as a pro, but the young man is stuck with a coach who does not believe in him. In Washington he'd have been playing from day one and would be the surprise guy of this draft.
Curious, huh? We could probably assume Marcus isn't McHale's favorite player, but Thorpe went as far as to say McHale flat-out "does not believe" in Morris. To me, that sounds like more of a statement than an assumption, and we know Thorpe himself has ties to Houston (he's Kevin Martin's trainer).
I wouldn't go out and start making a fuss of McHale/Morris' relationship, but I'd keep an eye on his minutes to see what develops. If anything, McHale's and Morris' personalities are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Where McHale is exuberant, out there and just plain BIG, Morris is fairly shy and reserved. He wouldn't even participate in a rookie dance-off at Houston's open practice, which is something literally every rookie does.
It's all yet another example of how the most forgotten draftees can rise to the occasion and make some noise. Tell me: Back in June, who else thought Morris would be starting by now? Who else thought Parsons would be the one to make multiple RGV trips? Those were my predictions. Look how they turned out.
I suppose the natural extension of this discussion is simple: If good players can emerge from the second round, can star players do the same from the late first round? Absolutely. It's hardly a common occurrence, but the chance alone makes those late-round picks all the more valuable. Sometimes players slip for the silliest of reasons, and that usually makes the acquisition of any first-round pick — given the right price — worth the trouble.
We're looking at you, Dallas. Finish among the league's top ten, please.
(By the way, if you're curious who the Rockets took in this redraft, it's Jan Vesely, the man I was hoping Houston could trade up for back in June. Hindsight sure is something.)
H/T to Lakeytom in the FanPosts.