Andris Biedrins

Mullin’s Draft Backwards

That was a weird draft for the Warriors.

They still have Baron Davis, Al Harrington and that trade exception (only three days till it’s gone like Gilbert). And Chris Mullin showed last night that he has the same infatuation with getting Chris Bosh-like players as McNolan does with linebackers.

It seems backwards, the way Mullin drafts. It’s like he sees the first round as gravy, while the second round is the time to get practical — like a father of five who runs out and gets a flashy convertible after getting a raise at work, then a week later goes out and buys a minivan.

“He’s long, athletic, can make plays … his shot will improve, his strength will improve,” Mullin said when talking about 18-year-old Anthony Randolph on last night’s Warrior Roundtable on KNBR.

In other words: we like his upside, even if he turns the ball over every five minutes and can only do pushups with his knees on the ground.

Randolph is 6-10 and 197 lbs., marking a disturbing trend of NBA players weighing the same as I do. I usually hover around the 185-200 range, depending on what time of year it is … but I’m 6-2. Of course, nobody’s ever worried about my length, upside or motor (to my face, anyway).

Mullin went much heavier in the second round, drafting Richard Hendrix (6-9/250 lbs.). Statistically Hendrix was superior to Randolph in nearly every way in college except in vertical leap, but as a 21-year-old seemed to fall victim to the “we’ve seen you too much” syndrome.

But Hendrix reportedly has long arms (like Randolph) and blocked two shots a game in college (also like Randolph). Hendrix also has huge hands too, which apparently is great for dunking but bad for free-throw shooting, as he shot 53.7% last year at Alabama (in other words, get ready for some Hack-a-Hendrix if he ever plays in the fourth quarter).

The reports on Randolph are all over the map, from top-10 talent to borderline retarded if you read John Hollinger’s analysis on ESPN.com:

“Seen in many quarters as a high lottery pick, Randolph has virtually nothing in his statistical record to justify such a lofty selection.

In particular, his woeful ball-handling numbers are a major red flag. Randolph had more turnovers than any prospect except Beasley and Thompson, but those two players had every play run through them; I’m still waiting to find out Randolph’s excuse.

Additionally, his 49.9 true shooting percentage is alarmingly bad for a guy who is supposed to dominate athletically.

He can block shots, and the fact his team was such a mess probably didn’t help his numbers any, but gambling on Randolph with a high first-round pick looks like the basketball equivalent of hitting on 19 in blackjack. Hey, maybe the dealer throws out a 2 and everyone thinks you’re a genius, but chances are you’re going to bust.

It appears he’s going to be drafted in the middle of the first round at worst, but even that appears to be a terrible mistake — there is no track record whatsoever of a player rated this poorly achieving pro success.”

Uggh. For Mullin’s sake, let’s hope Randolph shows some of that “star quality” (a phrase Mullin uttered roughly 386 times yesterday) before Nellie moves back to Maui permanently. Still, who else were the Warriors going to draft in that spot with Brandon Rush going off the board one pick earlier … Robin Lopez?

Now we turn our attention to the exception, and whether Mullin will go after a guy like Chris Wilcox (and make the Warriors suddenly one of the bigger teams in the league) or get the backup point guard they have needed since they used to use backup point guards as their starting point guards (or have you forgotten the days of Speedy Claxton, Bimbo Coles, Muggsy Bogues, Earl Boykins and an ancient Mookie Blaylock?).

Because with enormous extensions due to Monta and Andris, the Warriors need to pick up bodies any way they can. If Mullin lets Monday pass without using that exception, Nellie might actually have to play Randolph next year.

Playing a first round pick during his rookie year? That would make this draft truly weird for the Warriors.

The rest of the draft was weird, too

— The best part about Stuart Scott’s interview with Pat Riley after the Michael Beasley pick was Riley pretending to look happy while throwing a “we hope he matures” knock in. If I were Beasley the first thing I’d do upon arriving in Miami would be to T.P. Riley’s house and put a flaming bag of dog poop on his doorstep.

-Good thing for O.J. Mayo that he got traded to the Grizzlies after the draft. He looked about as happy to go to Minnesota as I would if locked in a room with the movie Hairspray playing on a continuous loop.

-I love Michael Jordan’s draft decisions. He’s like that guy in your fantasy league who drafts the guys on his favorite team about four rounds early (like I did with Matt Cain this year in fantasy baseball…maybe I should give myself the Shawn Chacon treatment for being a bad G.M.).

-I missed Craig Sager several times last night … like each time Stephen A. Smith was on the screen.

-Did anybody else think it was funny that the Lakers drafted a Kentucky guard named Joe Crawford with their second round pick? When he comes to Los Angeles, Derek Fisher should be there to greet him at the airport and thank him for that no-call on the Brent Barry shot in the playoffs.

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