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5 Candidates for next Jeremy Lin

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by mikeyharris, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. mikeyharris

    mikeyharris Member

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    This time last year, Jeremy Lin was one of the worst players in the NBA.

    Or so we thought.

    In the inaugural #NBArank project last offseason, Lin ranked 467th among 500 players after being rated on a 0-10 scale by 91 ESPN.com and TrueHoop Network contributors.

    We were wrong, obviously, but we weren't alone.

    Yes, league executives, coaches and scouts -- professionals whose livelihood depend on getting these things right -- got him wrong, too. Before the #NBArank survey in the summer of 2011, Lin was treated like a borderline NBA player, making three trips to the D-League in 2010-11 and entertaining offers to play in Italy. After the lockout, he was waived on the first day of training camp by the Golden State Warriors and waived again by the Houston Rockets, before being picked up as a flier by the New York Knicks.

    After #NBArank was released, and Lin came in at No. 467, even his trainer was yelling "467" at him during workouts.

    And then, suddenly, he proved to everyone that he wasn't a fringe NBA player. Not even close. Lin surprised us all and averaged 18.2 points and 7.7 assists once he earned the Knickerbockers' starting gig in early February 2012.

    After being considered one of the worst players in the league, Lin should catapult through the ranks this time around.

    Now everyone wants to know who will become The Next Jeremy Lin -- a guy who went from the bottom hundred in the league to perhaps the top hundred all in one season. While we may not witness another jump quite like Lin's in the coming season, he was just one of many diamonds in the rough last season.

    Last year, we ranked Lavoy Allen, a playoff starter for the Philadelphia 76ers, dead-last at 500th. Isaiah Thomas, the last pick of the 2011 draft and 464th-ranked player, won Rookie of the Month twice in 2011-12. And the San Antonio Spurs won 20 consecutive games last season with 421st-ranked Danny Green in the starting lineup.

    As we learned last season, there's a good chance that several players will seemingly come out of nowhere and shock the basketball community. Who will do that next year?

    Here are five candidates in the bottom 100:

    Harrellson

    Josh Harrellson (free agent)
    NBArank: 403

    Interestingly enough, Harrellson finds himself in a position similar to what Lin experienced last season for the Houston Rockets. Although Harrellson has proved he can play at an NBA level, the Rockets simply feature too many bodies ahead of him on the depth chart, and like Lin, Harrellson was the odd man out. There's a legitimate chance that the Rockets may be kicking themselves for this cut, as well.

    "Jorts" can play. But who will he play for? In a copycat league that just watched the small-ball and floor-spacing Miami Heat win the title, there should be a market for Harrellson's services. After all, 6-foot-10 big men who can shoot 3s and grab boards don't grow on trees. Among players who played 500 minutes last season, only Harrellson, Kevin Love and Ersan Ilyasova averaged at least nine rebounds and a 3-pointer every 36 minutes. Not bad company.

    Gaines

    Sundiata Gaines (free agent)
    NBArank: 408

    Statistically, Gaines is a poor man's Kyle Lowry. Of course, Lowry is a far better defender and can actually hit a free throw. But on a per-36-minute basis for his career, Gaines has registered 13.9 points, 5.7 assists and 4.8 rebounds with 40 percent shooting. Lowry? 13.9 points, 6.4 assists, 4.6 rebounds, 42 percent shooting. Lowry ranks among the top 10 point guards in the league, while Gaines can't get a job.

    Gaines has basically strung together an NBA career out of 10-day contracts while recording a career PER of 14.5, a hair below league average. That shouldn't happen. Despite filling up the stat sheet, Gaines finds himself on the outside looking in. If Royal Ivey, A.J. Price, Earl Boykins, Anthony Carter and Jonny Flynn can land NBA gigs, so should Gaines. Gaines has the talent to make a leap through the ranks next season.

    Wright

    Chris Wright (free agent)
    NBArank: 440

    One would think scoring 25 points in an NBA game would mean you're qualified for the job, but apparently that's not the case. In the final game of Golden State's tankapalooza in 2011-12, Wright torched the Spurs for 25 points on 11-of-14 shooting, yet the 23-year-old from Dayton still doesn't have an NBA contract.

    Sure, the Spurs weren't playing their studs, but there's reason to believe that Wright's breakout game wasn't a one-hit wonder. Plenty of players can score in this league, but score efficiently? That's a different story. And Wright has shown he can do that.

    He was a star in the D-League, dropping a nightly 17.8 points per game on 58 percent shooting. The super-athletic forward posted an 18.6 PER and shot 51.1 percent from the field trying to break into the Warriors' rotation last season (sound familiar?). If he can develop anything that remotely resembles a jump shot, watch out.

    Macklin

    Vernon Macklin (free agent)
    NBArank: 477

    Plain and simple: Florida Gators big men are sneaky good. Macklin could become the next player in a long line of forwards from the University of Florida who flew under the NBA radar coming out of college. Chandler Parsons, Udonis Haslem, David Lee and Matt Bonner were all drafted late in the first round, picked in the second round or not selected at all, but had no trouble making an impact in the league.

    Macklin could be next. After being drafted 52nd by the Pistons in 2011, the 6-foot-10 Macklin has dominated the D-League in his short time there, averaging 14.5 points and 14.3 rebounds in his 10 games while shooting 52.7 percent from the field.

    There's some evidence that his D-League numbers are not entirely a fluke. Macklin posted an 18.2 PER in 135 (garbage) minutes last season. His per-36 minute averages: 12.3 points and 9.1 rebounds. Like Lin, Macklin excelled in the D-League and played efficiently in his cup of coffee in the NBA last season. Question is: Will someone give Macklin a shot like the Knicks did for Lin?

    Smith

    Greg Smith, Houston Rockets
    NBArank: 484

    If you're looking for this season's Lavoy Allen, allow me to introduce you to Smith. This Fresno State product absolutely shredded the D-League last season as a 21-year-old and has the size to compete down low in the league. For the Rio Grande Vipers last season, Smith tallied 16.6 points and 7.8 rebounds per game while leading the D-League in field goal percentage (66.8 percent). His D-League PER? A staggering 25.6.

    And did I mention he registered the widest hands (12 inches) in the DraftExpress combine database? Not only can he catch entry passes with one hand, but Smith's freakish length allows him to pull down boards and finish around the rim at an above-average rate. A red flag? Smith has been whistled for a foul every four minutes in the NBA. If he can become coordinated enough to hang with NBA players, Smith will see his name soar in the ranks. Hey, at 484th, there's nowhere to go but up, right?

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/stor...es-make-jeremy-lin-leap-nbarank-standings-nba
     
  2. Arthurprescott2

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    Too bad Jorts was waived. But honestly, the dude was husky. If he can't even put the effort in to keep himself in relatively good shape, what business does he have in this league?
     
  3. roxxy

    roxxy Member

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    Lol. You would be surprised the players who don't keep themselves in shape and make good money too.
     
  4. Arthurprescott2

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    Oh for sure. But that's no reason to keep him on the roster.
     
  5. roxxy

    roxxy Member

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    Well you can loose weight right. And it isn't like he has a history of coming into camp overweight or anything like that he is still a rookie. If he has legitimate skill and addresses a need you keep him and get him in shape. If he does neither you let him go. The rockets felt the latter and not the former.
     
  6. mvpcrossxover

    mvpcrossxover Member

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    jeremy's brother seems promising........:rolleyes:
     
  7. roxxy

    roxxy Member

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    It is funny. They are already comparing draft picks to Lin. Clearly some people aren't worried that he will not pan out.
     
  8. kaitanuva

    kaitanuva Member

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    I'm a candidate for the next Jeremy Lin. I'm Asian and undrafted, count me in.
     
  9. da_juice

    da_juice Member

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    Jesus Christ, ESPN just doesn't get it.

    You know what was so LINSANE about it? That NO ONE saw it coming. A Jeremy Lin is an underdog who's ignored and shines bright when given the opportunity. Therefore, it's impossible to predict or pick the next one.
     
  10. RedDynasty

    RedDynasty Member

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    I agree, Zeremy is interesting.
     
  11. Arthurprescott2

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    That's just not how this league works and not how you should build a team. You need to have players who are just absolutely dying to stay in the league and have the work ethic to keep themselves in shape/get better during the off-season. Noted that's hard to make happen when the guy is an established star with multi-million dollars (or even a bad player who just got boatloads of money - see: Eddy Curry), but Jorts played for Kentucky. He should know by now what it means to be a professional. If he doesn't want it badly enough, cut him out. Maybe this is more along my beliefs in how to build a team, but you just don't fill a roster spot with a fat guy!
     
  12. roxxy

    roxxy Member

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    I don't follow college basketball but I am going to assumer that going to kentucky doesn't mean "what you think it means" for Josh. He was a second round pick like he isn't Anthony Davis if you catch my drift. I am not saying that I think the Rockets should have kept him. Just saying that holding his weight against him isn't particularly fair. He is a rookie.
     
  13. Arthurprescott2

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    Well he's not a rookie anymore, right? He was drafted in 2011. He's got a year under his belt, and he actually got significant playing time last year (avg. 14 pg). I'm not saying he's a "bad" player cause he's fat. But it does say something about his desire/motor/character and goes against what a team culture should be.
     
  14. hoopstar39

    hoopstar39 Member

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    I would like to see Omer's bro, Zomer Asik make the team. He's an offensive stud but he can't play a lick of defense.
     
  15. sfayner

    sfayner Member

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    My brother, zfayner, is pretty good!!!
     
  16. langal

    langal Contributing Member

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    wft?!?!

    i was expecting 5 asians !!

    :)
     
  17. DonatasFanboy

    DonatasFanboy Member

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    lol! :grin:
    i was expecting a list of promising guys with off the court potential as well, tbh. Asian, not Asian, but at least an interesting story. small school, very smart, overlooked, that kind of stuff. or some of those good looking/religious types.
     
  18. napalm06

    napalm06 John Lucas University™
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    Here is my serious question:

    Before we go prophesying about the NEXT Jeremy Lin -

    who was the LAST Jeremy Lin before Jeremy Lin? I mean, how often does a Jeremy Lin really happen?
     
  19. DAROckets

    DAROckets Contributing Member

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    I don't catch your drift

    Kentucky is a top level program that produces a lot of NBA ready players.They have great coaching and I'm sure they stress off season work out regiments.It's not like he went to some second rate juco and hasn't been properly coached.It doesn't matter if you're the #1 pick or an un drafted player,show your ass up in shape and ready to prove that you desire more than to sit on the bench and collect dollars.
     
  20. emcitymisfit

    emcitymisfit Member

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    Nope. There aren't 5 Asian NBA players in New York.
     

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