As a break to all the trade news, we present you with the next installment of RookieWatch 07-08, with picks #21-25 of the 2007 NBA Draft. Don’t forget to check out the fantasy analysis of first round picks #1-20 here: #1-5 | #6-10 | #11-15 | #16-20.
- Daequan Cook, Miami Heat – The third and least famous member of that Ohio State freshmen class (all with agents Mike Conley, Sr.), Cook surprisingly opted to leave the Buckeyes after one year and joined the Heat as a 3-point specialist with untapped ability. Cook was one of the reasons the Heat let Jason Kapono (the 3-point champion) leave, but he has faltered in his first season, even with adequate playing time. He is shooting under 30% from threes and under 40% overall, although he could help with FT % (over 90%, but does not attempt many). Recently, with the acquisition of Shawn Marion, it seems that Cook has been buried deep on the bench and even with the Heat out of contention in the lowly East, may not see many minutes the rest of the way.
Recommendation: Look elsewhere for 3-point shooting help.
- Jared Dudley, Charlotte Bobcats – A four-year player at Boston College, Dudley was an absolute star his senior season, but did not have huge upside and fell to this part of the first round. Dudley has not adapted quickly to the NBA, and with superstud Gerald Wallace ahead of him, struggles to see consistent minutes. Recently, he has been able to score, and if he sees regular action, may actually be able to help in both FG and FT percentage, steals, and rebounds. However, with just about everyone in the thick of a playoff race in the East, Dudley may not get his fair share of minutes down the stretch.
Recommendation: Keep an eye on him. Too solid a player to ignore if he gets the minutes.
- Wilson Chandler, New York Knicks – Leaving DePaul after his sophomore year, Chandler rose into the first round due to his length and athleticism, which made Isaiah Thomas draft him over more established college forwards. So far, Chandler has been unable to break a surprisingly deep Knick rotation. In fact, he has barely played all season. There is no reason to think that will change since Thomas really likes his current rotation (another reason he should be fired as coach).
Recommendation: Simply ignore. Will continue to be raw potential
- Rudy Fernandez, Phoenix Suns – Fernandez actually had his rights traded to the Portland Trailblazers along with James Jones for cash. He is not expected to play in the NBA until at least the 2008-2009 season, since his contract with Joventut of the Italian League is until 2011 (which means expensive buyout).
Recommendation: Pick up if you want to finish in last place.
- Morris Almond, Utah Jazz – A pure scorer, Almond was truly a wildcard coming into the draft, having played at a weak college school. However, with the emergence of players such as Ronnie Brewer and a midseason trade for Kyle Korver, Almond has not played much this year (has not seen minutes outside practice since early January). Although he has the length that teams love (reminds me a bit of Thabo Sefolosha of my Chicago Bulls in size), he is not developed enough to log minutes during an intense playoff race.
Recommendation: Keep moving along.
So it seems that none of these later first round picks have panned out, which usually happens. But keep an eye on Dudley. I think he will one day turn into a decent NBA player.
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