As we looked at the draft, we had three guys we hoped to get: Robert Vaden, Obi Muonelo, or Marqus Blakely. Vaden was our top guy, but we were not hopeful he would drop to 10, because he is really good and was one of the top talents in the pool. The only reason I thought he might drop was because his agent told everyone -- including us -- not to draft him because he would not report. His agent wanted him in Tulsa so he could be closer to Oklahoma City. With that said, I was definitely going to draft him and let the chips fall where they may. Instead, Tulsa traded a pretty darn good player in Mustafa Shakur for him. For my part, I tried to trade up, but just didn't have the pieces to get it done.
So, we ended up sitting at 10 with two of our top guys sitting there in Blakely and Muonelo. We liked Blakely a lot because of his athleticism, but I found him to be more of a 4 than the 3 shooter/scorer that we needed. We had made a couple moves prior to the draft that really solidified our front court in trading for Darnell Lazare and Marvin Phillips, so I didn't think adding another player more accustomed to the 4 was a fit. Beyond that, I think Joey and I felt really comfortable with Obi, so that is the direction we went.
Here is my take on how things went down round by round:
- Obi Muonelo, G, Oklahoma State: Obi is a player that Joey mentioned early on in his research, and it is someone I liked a lot as well. I think what I liked about him best was how hard he competed. I think anyone can go through the players in the pool and find faults with all of them (it seems a favorite past time of scouts), but I liked him because of the way he played. I think Obi will play hard and push himself to become a great basketball player. And, by the way, he is a heck of a player already. He is a good shooter who has a solid mid range game and averaged 13.3 on a good Oklahoma State team. Every coach I talked to who coached against him in the Big 12 thought very highly of him, and I have no doubt that he is going to help us greatly. The idea of two, big, strong guards in Obi, Kramer, and Wilmont on the perimeter making life difficult for the other team excites me.
- Darnell Lazare, PF, LSU: We traded our second round pick for Darnell Lazare. Some of you may remember him from when he played against us with Maine. I thought he was a really good big man in our league because he can shoot, rebound, and defend. I thought Darnell was better than any other player we would have got at 23, and I like the idea of adding more D-League veterans to the roster.
- Corey Allmond, G, Sam Houston St.: Corey is a big time scorer/shooter from Sam Houston. I thought he was really explosive on film, and I liked the way he was able to get his shot off against anyone with a shake and quick release. He is another guy who I think really competes on the floor, and we are definitely going to need his shooting with Walker running the team and finding guys for open shots and certainly with Hunter drawing double teams.
- Anthony Goods, G, Stanford: Anthony was in the league last year as a point guard with Bakersfield, but that was not really his position, and I thought he struggled in the league due to that. I think Anthony could be a very good 2 in this league with his shooting ability and ability to defend. I got to see him workout this summer here in Fort Wayne, as his mother lives here. I liked what I saw, and I am hoping a little home cooking from mom will take his game to the next level!
- Adam Zahn, PF, Oregon: Adam is a big, athletic power forward who I watched a lot at Oregon while I was in law school. This guy was always the most impressive player in warmups -- dunking nasty, post moves, jumper. He was never able to get on the floor, however, and it wasn't like Oregon was putting out a bunch of stud post players at the time, so I was always vexed at what this guy was not doing in practice to warrant any time. He has gone overseas and had some decent success, and I wanted to bring him in and see what he could do. Physically, he is really gifted. Now we have to see what he can do on the court.
- Shawn Hawkins, SF, Long Beach St.: Shawn played for us two years ago and played well before clashing with the coaching staff. Ultimately, I let him go. He has since wanted to come back here and, after working out for the coaches prior to the draft, Joey was impressed enough that he wanted to see what he could do in camp. Here is what Shawn does well -- defends and shoots spot up threes. He could be a nice match for our team.
- Aaron Nixon, SF, Long Beach St.: A former teammate of Shawn Hawkins at Long Beach St., Aaron is a heck of a scorer as a powerfully built small forward He has the ability to hit spot up threes and score on anyone as he goes to the hole with his strength.
- DeAndre Thomas, C, Indiana: DeAndre is a big body who showed potential at our open tryout, but is still limited by weight and conditioning issues. He is losing weight it is reported by the day, but we will be able to see that at training camp.