2023 NBA Draft and NBA Free Agency

white lightning

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The NBA Draft is only 1 day away. Hoping that tommorow night we will see a few more of our guys than the scouts project. It's not likely as like the nfl they stick to their percentages every year for the most part but trying to be positive. This thread can cover the draft and then free agency as so many of our guys are either unrestricted or restricted free agents with the possibility of many of them playing for new teams. It should be an interesting summer for basketball fans.
 

Phall

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2023 NBA Draft: Brandin Podziemski goes from bored baseball standout to fulfilling hoops aspirations​

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Kyle Boone
John Podziemski is a cheery Midwesterner with a peppy spirit and endless enthusiasm. On a late afternoon in early May, I call him up to talk about his son, Brandin, a 2023 NBA Draft prospect who had generated second-round buzz around that time. John answers the phone early on the second ring with a jolly, "Good morning, Kyle!" It takes all of 79 seconds of small talk before he's gushing about Brandin's perseverance over the last two years on a road that took him from four-star recruit to buried bench piece at Illinois to breakout star at Santa Clara — a trajectory that now puts him on the precipice of being a first-round pick Thursday night.
John is, by all accounts, a supportive and loving father who is his son's biggest cheerleader. Deep into our discussion, however, he comes clean and admits there was a time when he wished Brandin — now one of the fastest rising prospects in this year's class — would fail at basketball.
"Honestly, truthfully, God as my witness: I wanted him to fail so badly at basketball," he says. "So, the first thing I told him is 'You have to play up.' And then he's like, 'OK, deal.' I just wanted him to fail in basketball so that he would be done and say, 'I'm coming back to baseball.' I just had baseball in my mind. We knew nothing about basketball. I couldn't believe we were even trying it. All we knew was baseball and he was so good at it."

The younger Podziemski was a multi-sport athlete growing up who played safety in football and was an imposing force on the mound in baseball. He was an uncommon breed who didn't specialize in one particular sport or even at one particular position within a sport, a strategic choice by his pops which helped him become a multi-tool baseball talent who batted with power and ran with reckless abandon in addition to having a great arm.

Baseball was Podziemski's primary sport because baseball was virtually all he knew growing up in Greenfield, Wisconsin. He was good at it. Good at football, too; as a punishing safety he loved hitting people. As he grew up, basketball wasn't really in the picture. It was only by happy accident he even stumbled into it thanks to a weekend routine that included CBS games at his mom's house.
"Growing up I always played baseball," Podziemski said. "I would spend Saturdays with my dad, Sundays with my mom, and there would always be games on CBS, so I would watch and found it interesting. ... Watching basketball inspired me to get a video game just because I thought it would be cool, so I just watched how guys shot and how it made sense. Then I'd try to implement it during recess at school. I just learned from the video game how to shoot and how to play, and over time I improved and refined my shot, got some shooting coaches input."

Podziemski says NBA 2K10 was his video game of choice. It helped spark his interest in basketball and hone his eventual craft of choice. He played much of the game as an Indiana Pacer because it allowed him to play with Travis Diener, a fellow Wisconsinite who, coincidentally, is now helping him prepare for the draft.

"I remember, I'm working out with Travis Diener up here, and I remember playing in the video game with him when he was on the Pacers," Podziemski said. "I was playing a video game as him, and now I'm getting ready for the draft and he's working me out. It has kind of come full circle."

Eighth grade was the year basketball officially entered the picture for Podziemski, known best as "Podz" by those closest to him. His father finally let him play despite his reservations that it may interfere with baseball. A decision was reached after a conversation the two shared coming back home from a trip playing travel baseball during the summer in between his seventh and eighth grade.
"We were coming back from Vanderbilt," John said. "We're driving back and he said, 'Dad, I've got something to tell ya. You know, Dad, I don't want to play baseball anymore. It's boring, and it's too easy.' But I always saw him as a baseball player — and still to this day I do.

"I thought it was just a phase when he told me this," he continued. "Then he told me he liked a challenge and baseball wasn't a challenge. He told me, 'Don't you wonder how, when I go to pitch and it's a big game, I'd get behind in the count or I'd load up the bases?' I said, 'Yeah, son, it's because you didn't have it or you were just warming up.' Then he said, 'No, I did that intentionally because I wanted to see if I could get out of it.'
"I said, 'That's a gift, Brandin.'"
Still, basketball wasn't exactly love at first sight, even if it presented a challenge he no longer found in baseball. Brandin picked it up in eighth grade and stuck with it throughout high school, going on to eventually win Mr. Wisconsin Basketball in 2021. But playing up against older players presented real challenges for him and it never became an obsession, at least not like it is now. Despite his eventual four-star pedigree, he never had jaw-dropping athleticism or preternatural gifts.
"I started basketball in eighth grade," Podziemski said. "I didn't know if I really loved it loved it until my sophomore year going into my junior year. So I kind of played just to play it those first three years."

Thirty-four months ago, basketball offered him no opportunities beyond a new challenge. He had no scholarship offers. No recruiting service ranked him. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, gaining exposure was challenging for high school recruits trying to attract coaches whose travel schedules were either limited or completely non-existent. He played on the Nike EYBL circuit, typically flush with high major coaches and talent evaluators, but people weren't showing. On top of that, when he was playing, it wasn't to his liking … or anyone else's.
"I remember playing absolutely terrible," Podziemski said. "I talked to Antonio Curro (the Founder of NY2LA Sports and Director of the Phenom University travel program, who has been a mentor to him) after, and he was like, 'No one wants you.' A couple weeks later I'm practicing, then I'm still playing bad. Mentally, I wasn't right. I just kind of cried, let it all out one day and flipped a switch. I told myself I was going to do this. I wasn't going to be a bum anymore. I was like, I'm going to do this for real."
The switch-flip within him ignited interest across the country. Kansas offered. Kentucky offered. No interest quickly turned to overwhelming interest. Still, he was fueled — pissed off, even — that the interest didn't come more quickly and that he didn't play well enough to warrant that interest. So he changed his routine. He started getting up at 5 a.m. to go to the gym. He asked questions, he made a concentrated effort to improve … and he did.

"Antonio was like, 'Hey, you're not good enough.'" Podziemski said. "I took that to heart and it motivated me."
Santa Clara v Brigham Young

Getty Images
Illinois offered Podziemski in December 2020 and instantly became a player in his recruitment. Less than eight months later, he was signed, sealed and delivered as a promising young prospect who could flourish in coach Brad Underwood's high-octane, guard-friendly offense.
The promise didn't last.
Trent Frazier opted to return for a fifth year at Illinois, Alfonso Plummer joined the team as a transfer, and both Jacob Grandison and Andre Curbelo ran it back, too. Room for Podz was hard to find. He appeared in 16 games and played a total of 69 minutes that year before again being told he was not good enough.

"Coach Underwood kind of just made it known that I wasn't good enough to play, so I was like, I don't want to risk being 20 and not being able to play," he said.
Podziemski entered the transfer portal and found a fit and a home at Santa Clara.
To say the rest is history is to suggest that Podz's destination was the journey to get to this point. Far from it. After winning Co-WCC Player of the Year honors as a sophomore while averaging 19.9 points per game and shooting 44% from 3, he is entering rarefied air as a potential top 20 NBA Draft pick from Santa Clara, which only Jalen Williams (2022) and Steve Nash (1998) have accomplished. Williams was a massive pre-draft riser who went on to be a lottery pick a year ago. Podziemski's stock hasn't soared to that extreme, but in many ways his two-month lead-up to the draft is following a similar track to Williams. He is one of the few who received a green room invite to attend the draft in person in New York, along with his family, on Thursday, indicating he could be selected inside the first round.

The elder Podziemski harkens back to where all of this started.
"I can remember driving back from playing baseball before his eighth grade year, and he said, "Dad, I promise you, if you let me play basketball, I will make you so proud,'" he remembers. "And believe me, he has lived up to every ounce of it. And we've never looked back."
Podziemski is now hundreds of miles away from where his basketball journey began, both literally and figuratively, on a path that has had twists and turns thrown at him like a cruel obstacle course. He has navigated it with grace and executed it in style. And in the city that never sleeps, it's fitting Podziemski's wildest dreams -- of being drafted into the NBA -- are soon to come true.
 

white lightning

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One thing I like about this trade is that even the the Wizards gave up their superstar center, they received
3 players and 2 of them are our guys. Danilo Gallinari is a very good shooter and has had quite the nice
career. He missed last year with a serious injury and had surgery and wants to keep playing. This man just
loves to play basketball. They also picked up Mike Muscala who is a good rotational player off the bench.

So not only did the Wizards get a little whiter but the Celtics have another superstar to go with Tatum. That
leaves the Celtics with 4 whites guys now and Pritchard is currently listed as 2nd string. If he can move up to
a starter, Boston might just be fun to watch again. Not a bad deal for both teams.
 

white lightning

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Zion Williamson is such a bust. Always hurt, overrated and not good for any team. Can't balame the Pelicans for wanted to trade
him any where. Doubt this happens but the trade involves Mac McClung. Didn't know Philly still has his rights but they don't want
the kid despite him almost putting up a triple double in his 2nd game with them. I like the trade if McClung can get out of Philly.
Hope it happens as Philly only wants to keep the Mac Attack in the G League.


 

Bucky

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Keep us posted on the numbers WL. I’ve got to work, but will try and keep tab on the number of token honkeys allowed to be drafted.
 

white lightning

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Keep us posted on the numbers WL. I’ve got to work, but will try and keep tab on the number of token honkeys allowed to be drafted.

The Draft doesn't start unil 8.00 eastern time. So It's almost 4 hours away. It's only 2 rounds but I'm hoping for a few suprises. I'm more
pumped for the free agency moves to see some of our teams improve!
 

Jimmy Chitwood

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2023 NBA Draft: Brandin Podziemski goes from bored baseball standout to fulfilling hoops aspirations​

you think anyone is interested in hiring me as their basketball scout? i picked up Podziemski at Chitwood University back when all of the experts dismissed him as a bust before transferring out West.

but, sadly, i find White cats who can ball instead of the vibrant youffs of appropriate hue. so, here i remain on the fringes of the intrawebs wondering why so few others see the pattern.
 

icsept

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One thing I like about this trade is that even the the Wizards gave up their superstar center, they received
3 players and 2 of them are our guys. Danilo Gallinari is a very good shooter and has had quite the nice
career. He missed last year with a serious injury and had surgery and wants to keep playing. This man just
loves to play basketball. They also picked up Mike Muscala who is a good rotational player off the bench.

So not only did the Wizards get a little whiter but the Celtics have another superstar to go with Tatum. That
leaves the Celtics with 4 whites guys now and Pritchard is currently listed as 2nd string. If he can move up to
a starter, Boston might just be fun to watch again. Not a bad deal for both teams.
The Wizards are in full tank and rebuild mode. I don’t expect Gallinari or Muscala to barely see the court for the wizards. However, Corey Kispert should greatly benefit from the purge of their top scorers.
 

NikoDuke

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NBA Twitter and the DWFs are already lamenting the Whiteness of the Wizards. The double standards are so overtly in ones face..
 

white lightning

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The First Round PIcks 8 to 11 have teams we like so let's hope one of them drafts Gradey Dick! OKC, Utah or Dallas would be epic!
 
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white lightning

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Nothing fun yet. Must not see tv. Just listening to it as I do stuff.

I will predict that Mavs take Gradey Dick with the next pick. I guarantee it!
 

white lightning

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The Mavs are idiots! That's all. They also traded away Davis Bertans so It's Doncic and Kleber on an island.
 

Phall

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The Raptors are led by a black supremacist GM from Africa and would be the last place I'd want to see Gradey Dick land. However, they seem to have bought in on Jacob Poetl as their starting center, and Dick at least gives him some company. It also wouldn't surprise me if they just don't play him. Terrible outcome for the blackest draft in history.

Dereck Lively II was an epic bust at Duke and will be an immediate dud for Oklahoma City. Jett Howard is a terrible basketball player without an NBA skill set, Orlando gets an 'F' grade from me picking him at #11. A lot of these lottery players will be complete bums!
 

Freethinker

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Looking at the trash that is being selected in the 1st round, I would say that the talent pool is drying up like it is for the NFL, as Don often points out. Half these guys being selected are all “upside” only. I remember past drafts, there were actually one and done blacks who excelled in college before getting picked early. Not this year.

Howard and Bufkin were such trash for Michigan, that even with a stud like Dickinson, they couldn’t make the tournament. Lively was so awful that he was benched by Duke. At an elite program he averaged like 5 points and has zero offensive game beyond a put back dunk, yet he’s going ahead of Gradey Dick. Other than the top 2 picks, the rest of these guys are nondescript who couldn’t star anywhere. Yet there are no White men worthy of consideration.

I predict this draft will be busts galore.

Edit: Phall you beat me to the punch as I was typing my rant. Cheers!
 

Freethinker

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The Heat with a very smart pick that feels typical for them and allows them to “overachieve”. Jamie Jaquez Jr (who I consider a White Hispanic) has been a very solid player and winner at UCLA for 4 years. Zero upside I guess but who wants to bet he’ll be a better pro than 90% of the lotto tickets selected ahead of him.

Next Podziemski gets selected by GS. I don’t know much about him beyond what JC has shared but he sounds good. Of course GS could just burry him or give him the token Whitey roll like they did DiVincenzo. In fact, his photo shows him with a wigger hairstyle so perhaps he’ll replace “white chocolate” Donte if he leaves via free agency like expected.
 

white lightning

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Like where Jamie Jacquez JR went as Miami is a good fit.

Podzimski didn't get so lucky. Golden State ruined the careers of Nico Mannion, DiVincenzo, McClung and others. They are not
a white friendly team and have not been since the Chris Mullin days.

So many horrible draft picks and many if not most are a reach and that's being nice.
 

white lightning

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It would be nice if the Boston Celtics at the 35th pick or OKC at the 37th pick select Tubelis. Maybe we get lucky.

This draft is like taking a double dose of Nyquil. :smash2:
 
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Bucky

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Hunter Tyson to OKC! Up to a whopping 4 Whiteys selected!
 

Bucky

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Castleton, Vukcevic, and Tubelis should all be hearing their names called
 
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