Pick 6: Speaking of the Warriors, they are up next, and draft Ekpe Udoh out of Baylor. Udoh is now on the same team as Anthony Randolph - for now, at least - which is somewhat interesting. If Randolph didn't have such insane athleticism or the ability to explosively decompress, Udoh would be a valid comparison for him.
Udoh blocked more than 4 shots a game last year, but he is not just a blocks specialist. He is also a face-up power forward with offensive ability. Bilas quickly calls him a "rim protector" - backs against the wall, lads - but there is more to Udoh than that. He scores, rebounds, runs, passes, defends the post, scores from the post, can drive the ball, and even has something of an outside jumpshot (which the Warriors will surely hone in short order). And he does all this at 6'10.
Ekpe also demonstrates range on his hug, extending his arms out fully (to the presumed delight of Jay Bilas), in readiness for a belly-busting hug with David Stern. It is my undying wish that, one day, when an overexcited player goes to hug Stern, he rises to the challenge and goes to the bro-hug back. Maybe one day we will be able to create a scene at the NBA Draft that is as splooged in latent homosexuality as when Rocky hugged Apollo for no reason in Rocky 3. Maybe.
Stu Scott announces that Udoh's middle name is "Friday," and a mid-interview caption says that this is why he wears the number 13. As an aside, Ime Udoka's middle name is Sunday. You know what to do, Golden State.
Udoh's interview only lasts one bland question; apparently Mark Jones has somewhere to be tonight. Or maybe that completely unnecessary phone rang. I really wish they did post-pick interviews all the way down to 60. I also wish they had nine rounds.
[...] It is apparent, then, that Golden State assumes almost all the risk. The question, therefore, is why they were the team including the young lottery talent, when they were already paying the bigger price. They assumed all the salary, gave up the best player, took back the possible cancer, and still saw fit to include the only player in the deal with potential, Ekpe Udoh.
Udoh has looked lost for parts of his two years in the NBA, looking out-of-sorts on offense, showing scant little of the inside/outside game he had at Baylor, fouling far too often, and being indefensibly terrible as a defensive rebounder. Nevertheless, he has also shown far more on the defensive end of the floor. Even if he only ever projects to be as good as Kwame, and even if he is about to turn 25, Udoh has demonstrated good defensive potential on both face-up and back-down big men, with prolific blocked shot rates and staggering plus/minus. You don’t gift that away, even when he’s the guy you’re intending to upgrade.
Note: Non-US teams that the player
has played for are, unless stated otherwise, from the top division in
that nation. If a league or division name is expressly stated, it's not
the top division. The only exceptions to this are the rare occasions where
no one league is said to be above the other, such as with the JBL/BJ League
split in Japan.