Three in the Key: Offseason Frenzy
Quincy Douby won’t help the Kings’ defensive issues. (Lostlettermen.com)
This column originally appeared on Creativesports.com.
This week, we tried to make some sense of the hyperactivity of NBA movement over the past couple of weeks. Topics covered include an analysis of Sacramento’s top pick, Quincy Douby (pronounced ‘Doobie’ for those that enjoy a good chuckle); Francisco Garcia going down with an injury; how Dan Dickau fits in with Portland; and the Celtics’ latest acquisition: Allan Ray.
Oh man. We go away for a couple of weeks and the NBA world turns upside down. The draft, free agent frenzy, the insanity! Well, we’ll do our best to comment on as many things as we can here and see if we can’t make some Fantasy sense of this period of NBA chaos.
Kings Smoke Plans with Douby
Considering the Sacramento Kings gave up over 106 points per game last season, many expected the club would use the draft to address their defensive deficiency. Instead, with the 19th overall selection, the Kings plucked a player who is all about offense – and not much more – in Quincy Douby.
What they needed was toughness; what the Kings got is a defensively lacking guard who may not have the skills to play point and is a bit undersized to play the two-guard position. Douby is 6’3”, but very lean and not expected to add much weight or muscle. So while he showed an improved ability to get into the lane last season in college, his size and strength do not project well for NBA success.
But if scoring is the club’s priority, Douby can definitely help. He averaged 25.4 points per game this season as a junior at Rutgers, and is a top-notch three-point shooter. Douby is developing his skills as a ball handler and definitely knows how to score.
Sacramento might have reached with this pick at No. 19. Douby was expected to still be on the board late into the first round, and Marcus Williams, a true point guard, was still sitting there when the Kings picked. Passing on Williams may prove to be a big blunder for Sacramento.
The early returns on Douby, however, are promising. In Summer League action on Sunday, he racked up 20 points on 6-for-10 shooting from the field and 6-for-6 from the line. Apparently, Douby has even showed some improvement in his defensive play.
Garcia Goes Down
While we’re talking about the Kings, the club received some bad news about sophomore swingman Francisco Garcia. He’s been off to a sluggish start in Summer League action, and now we know why: he’s got a bone spur in his left foot that will keep him out of action for a month.
A first round pick last season, the offensively skilled Garcia enjoyed a decent rookie season (5.6 PPG, 1.4 APG), but he barely played in the postseason. It was hoped that he could use the Summer League to help improve his defensive game and work on busting out offensively this season. Downgrade your expectations for Garcia, who will probably go undrafted in all but the very deepest of leagues.
Dickau Heads West
In one of the bigger draft-day deals, Portland acquired point guard Dan Dickau, Raef LaFrentz and the No. 7 pick from Boston for Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff and a second-round pick in 2008.
The 27-year-old Dickau had a lost season with the Celtics, barely playing (just over 12 minutes per game) before going down with a ruptured Achilles’ tendon after only 19 games. He underwent surgery in December and is still recovering, but should be good to go for training camp.
Dickau will compete with Steve Blake, Jarrett Jack and rookie Sergio Rodriguez for PT at PG in Portland. Two seasons ago, Dickau showed what he could do in a starting role, scoring over 13 points with over five assists per game with New Orleans. Keep an eye on the playing time situation when exhibition games begin.
Ray of Light
Guard Allan Ray, who was projected as a possible second-rounder in last month’s draft, has finally found a home. After going undrafted, the former Villanova star was signed to a two-year minimum contract by the Boston Celtics last week.
Ray had a spectacular – if somewhat underappreciated – college career. An explosive scorer with the capability to create his own shot, he racked up 2,025 points in his Wildcat career, good enough for sixth place in the school’s history.
As a senior this season, Ray finished second with an 18.5 PPG average and was third on the team in steals. The 6’2” Ray has been compared to Luther Head.
Ray hurt his eye in a nasty-looking episode in the Big East tourney, but returned to score 25 points to pace Villanova to a second-round victory over Arizona in the NCAA tourney.
He’s currently playing with the Celtics’ Summer League squad.
Spurs Hunting Hunter?
With Rasho Nesterovic having already been dealt to the Raptors, Nazr Mohammed likely to leave as a free agent and Sean Marks no one’s idea of a solution, San Antonio will be seeking a centre this offseason.
Going the free agent route is a possibility for the Spurs, with a couple of interesting names available (Jarron Collins, Lorenzen Wright) or they could explore a trade. And one name that’s been bandied about is the Sixers’ Steven Hunter, coming off his best NBA season.
Hunter set career bests in starts (35), MPG (19), rebounds (3.9) and points (6.1) this season, but remains a very weak FT shooter (51.4 per cent). The seven-footer was not highly touted in his draft season, but is developing into a decent NBA centre.
Raptors Remodeling Continues
GM Bryan Colangelo continues to remake the Raptors into Phoenix east –- a team that will be capable of running and gunning with anyone.
His latest move is to fill the hole left when small forward Charlie Villanueva was dealt to Milwaukee for point guard T.J. Ford. Colangelo may have taken a page from the Pacers’ book by looking to Israel – specifically powerhouse club Macabbi Tel Aviv – for his man. Reports are surfacing that Toronto has signed swingman Anthony Parker, who will be given the inside track on the Raps’ starting small forward position.
Last season, Indiana plucked Sarunas Jasikevicius from the same squad.
Parker, 31, was originally drafted in 1997 by the Nets, but hasn’t played in the NBA since 1999-2000. At 6’6”, he could also challenge Morris Peterson for the shooting guard gig should the Raps decide to work rookie Andrea Bargnani in at small forward.
Parker, considered the best player not currently in the NBA, averaged almost 15 points per game last season.
NEXT: Three in the Key returns July 27, when we’ll update more of the offseason player movement. Baseball fans can check out Spikes Up every Monday during the season. It will appear next on July 17.