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The Promise, Part 2 - "The Wright Stuff?"

"DePaul coach Dave Leitao isn't sure what to make of the fact his top recruit, Dorell Wright, has withdrawn from this week's NBA predraft camp, which opened on Tuesday at Moody Bible Institute.

Wright withdrew Friday, and league sources said it was because Wright believes he has an agreement to be picked by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the June 24 draft. The Celtics own the 15th, 24th and 25th picks. Wright, who is a 6-7, 190-pound shooting guard, is projected as a mid-to-late first-round pick." - Chicago Sun Times

If you haven't already read that quote, then you aren't checking the rumors pages often enough. Chad Ford mentioned that Wright dropped the rest of his individual workouts but doubted the possibility of Wright getting a promise. In fact, he quoted Danny today saying that it would be dumb to make prmoises this early in the process. He's quickly getting a rep for promises. Everyone is quick to pin the promises on the Celtics because a) they have done it before with Kedrick, Kendrick, and Marcus, and b) they have 3 1st rounders to play with. Nobody is going to be shocked at this point if Danny is handing out promises but I agree with Danny that it would be somewhat silly to lock in this early. On the other hand, I went over the negatives in an earlier post, but it is only fair to weigh the positives.

With the internet and scouts roaming every middle school and 3rd world country searching for the next diamond in the rough, it is near impossible to unearth a gem without everyone else knowing about it .0003 seconds later. So perhaps by making a promise, you really can get a virtual unknown to stop working out for teams ahead of you. The other teams are going to be shy about picking a guy that they've never seen, especially if their are questions about the kid's game that can only be answered by seeing him up close and personal. So in theory, you could be getting a better talent than what you should be getting at your position. The price you pay for that benefit is locking in to a player in a volatile draft process. Last year Lampe dropped out of the first round and apparently Danny already had a promise to Perkins, so his hands were tied and the Knicks got a 2nd round steal. Is the risk/benefit worth it? It is if you have 3 picks and can always snatch the proverbial "best talent available" with one of those picks.

So what is the benefit for the player? Security of course. Sure, they could win the hearts of many by not accepting promises and working out for everyone. But these are the same kids that are afraid to play at the Moody Chicago Camp for fear of being ripped apart and falling out of the draft altogether. Josh Smith hasn't exactly helped himself by showcasing lazy tendencies at his workouts and that will definitely hurt him. Give a guy a guarantee that you'll take him at 24, and he'll be happy that he's in the first round with (again that word) guaranteed money for the next 3 years.

So its a match made in heaven right? Well, until the whole world knows what you are doing (read Banks, Marcus) and decides to upset your whole plan. As I recall, another team (the Magic?) would have picked up Marcus last year a few slots ahead of the C's, thus forcing our hand to trade up to the Memphis slot. It all worked out because Perkins was worth less than the original 2nd pick we had, so we could grab him with a lower slot. But still, the danger is there to play into other GM's countermoves and end up getting shafted.

My best guess is that Danny likes Swift and Wright and may even have them targeted. If that is so, then they might have to use a pick to move into position to get them. In other words, I could see us picking Swift at 15 and packaging the 24 and 25 to move up a few spots to secure Wright.

Either way, we are likely going to get a younger crowd. The new assistant coach/wet-nurse will have his hands full with the romper room next year. Lets hope they can contribute something sooner rather than later.

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