With only 10 days left until the 2010 NBA Draft, we’ve looked at who is projected where and weighed in on who we’d rather have.
Basically, we’re asking Who Ya Got? Is it the proven performer, or the younger player with bigger upside? Do you want a stretch four or a banger in your front court?
Here, two of our writers each took a player and made their case for that particular player.
The conversation doesn’t end with our opinions though, so in the comments let us know: Who Ya Got?
The Case for Derrick Caracter — Power Forward | 6′9″ | 280 lbs
Derrick Caracter is a character, but he is also one of the most intriguing prospects in this year’s draft.
Highly touted at a very young age, Caracter soon fell on hard times battling academic and weight issues. After finishing high school, Caracter went on to play at the University of Louisville where he struggled to adjust to college and got into it with Coach Pitino.
Averaging a disappointing eight points per game at Louisville just wasn’t what many expected of Caracter. Battling an array of problems, he was later suspended by Louisville and ended up resurfacing at UTEP where he rediscovered both himself and his love for the game. Eventually, he started to show signs of the prospect everyone believed him to be.
With his weight finally under control and his personal life in balance, Caracter has reemerged on draft boards.
The one thing many don’t really know about Caracter is how good he can really be. With an NBA body and a basketball IQ that is unmatched by any post player in this draft, Caracter is poised to make an impact in the NBA.
If nothing more, Caracter gives you a more refined version of Glen "Big Drooling Baby" Davis at the four spot. He will have no problem grinding down low, creating his own shot when given the go ahead, and giving opposing big men trouble. Additionally, any team can expect an immediate contribution from Caracter on the boards.
The one knock on Caracter will be his character. As long as the team that drafts him will be dedicated to helping him maintain his weight and personal issues, he can be a great addition. He may fit nicely on a team like Miami who has the 48th pick in the draft.
Miami will likely lock up Wade this summer and sign a big man, but will need another one on the roster considering they are losing Jermaine O’Neal, possibly Michael Beasley, and their current backup is Joel Anthony.
Pat Riley has made a career out of improving players, and Caracter would be no exception. A disciplined team with a veteran leader may be what Caracter needs to not only stick in the league, but make a real impact.
I would take Caracter over Dexter Pittman for one reason and one reason only —you know exactly what you are getting with Pittman, whereas Caracter has a tremendous upside and untapped potential.
Don’t get me wrong, Pittman was a beast at Texas, but he still struggles up and down the court, and I wouldn’t want to be going four on five for stretches when he is on the floor. Also, in the second round, risk on Caracter is non-existent, considering he was once a lock for the lottery.
Don’t be surprised to see Caracter’s name come off the board earlier than his current projection, and don’t be surprised if he’s one of the second rounders this year who makes an impact.
The Case for Dexter Pittman — Power Forward/Center | 6′10″ | 300 lbs
Dexter Pittman is the senior center out of the University of Texas. He has a very large frame at 6-10 and close to 300 pounds. Before entering UT, Pittman was pushing 400 lbs, but he has shown an incredible work ethic to shed that weight and become more mobile.
He uses his body well in the post, closing off defenders, and finishing at the rim with power. Dexter is also extremely efficient in the post with his shooting, rebounding, and blocking with comparatively smaller minutes than his competition.
Pittman’s incredible size is also one of his weaker points as he’s obviously not the fastest up and down the court. This fatigue can lead to foul trouble as he gets less active on the defensive end, committing unnecessary fouls. His offensive game still needs work, with very little to offer in terms of a mid range game. That would definitely be a bonus and hard to ask for with the size and power Dexter gives you down low.
Pittman has an edge over Derrick Caracter in a few areas.
First and foremost is his physical size. Pittman is a couple inches taller and a good 20 pounds heavier than Caracter. NBA teams are usually taking a flyer on players in the second round anyway so you might as well err on the side of what you can’t coach.
Pittman’s efficiency in the paint also gives him an edge over Caracter. Shooting an impressive 65 percent from the field against arguably tougher competition, he makes Caracter’s 56 percent look less outstanding. He also averaged two blocks compared to Caracter’s 1 bpg in 7 fewer minutes on the court. Pittman clearly provides the more efficient post presence on both ends of the court for any team in the market for a big.
Dexter’s work ethic comes into play as well. It’s usually the intangibles that help a second-round pick establish themselves in the NBA. With the big strides in his overall game and weight issues, Pittman has already shown that he has the type of commitment and hard work necessary to compete at the professional level. Caracter may well have a strong work ethic as well, but Pittman has already proven it.
Pittman is projected to go somewhere in the mid to late second round in this year’s draft. NBA teams are almost always in need of quality bigs and there are a number of them (Caracter, Jerome Jordan, Art Parakhouski, etc.) looking to get taken in the second round.
Dexter really needs to impress in the individual workouts in order to move up the draft board and ahead of these guys. With the aging of both Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace, the Boston Celtics might be in the market for some front court depth at the 52nd pick. Depending on what direction Utah takes with their first pick, they could be looking for more big men with Carlos Boozer’s potential departure this offseason.