After looking at which Kentucky wildcat was drafted into the best situation, our ASOB crew debates which Cat was drafted into the most challenging situation in this year's NBA draft.
I think this has to be Dakari Johnson; I do not expect Dakari to see anything but the D-League in 2015-16. I am not sure there is much he could do about it either. The Thunder have a strong, deep front court already he is in an uphill battle for playing time.
As much as most of us don't want to admit it, it's probably Karl-Anthony. It doesn't matter where he goes or what he does, he'll be a star and make us proud, but the Timberwolves are so young. Besides Kevin Garnett with 19 years in the league, and some guy I've not heard of that has 10 years, no one else on that team has more than 5 years of experience. Looking forward, with Towns, Wiggins, and Tyus Jones, they have the makings of a good foundation, it just seems like it will take some time for everything to fall into place. But who knows...people have said that about the Cats before, and we see what's happened there.
I think the obvious answer to this is Willie. Sacramento is a mess and there is no telling who will be there in the future. DeMarcus Cousins is the best center in the NBA and could teach Willie a lot. But he wants out of Sacramento and his coach, George Karl, is pushing him out the door. If Willie is left then he will be looked at to become a star right away and I don't think that's going to happen. He's a defensive stopper that needs a lot of work on offense and I don't think Sacramento is the best situation in which to grow.
Which Wildcat was drafted into the toughest situation? This is also hard today but with all the change in OKC, Dakari could have a truly rough rookie year. I'm really curious to see what Donovan does: coaching the NBA is a completely different headache from the NCAA. Dakari is going to need to embrace change and work his tail off. Happily, this kid is not adverse to ha d work.
Andrew Harrison in Memphis, simply because, given current rosters, depth charts and what figures to transpire (or not) in free agency, he will face the toughest challenge in making his team’s roster. Although GM Chris Wallace is clearly enamored with him as a prospect, there are simply too many superior PGs ahead of him on the roster for the short-term. Mike Conley is steadfastly entrenched as the starter, with Beno Udrih backing him up.
Nick Calathes and Russ Smith take up the last two PG spots in Memphis. Calathes appeared very one-dimensional (defense) as last season wound down and Smith ostensibly made the most of his very few minutes, showing flashes, especially against Golden State on April 13. Calathes is now a restricted free agent and is unlikely to return, but that puts Harrison at 4 on the PG depth chart, at best, for the ’15-’16 season.
Also, Harrison lacks two of the most sought-after PG attributes in today’s NBA – great shooting and athleticism. He shot 38% from outside the perimeter last year, but inexplicably produced poor shooting numbers elsewhere. I believe that all the drafted former ‘Cats will make their teams’ rosters. I just think Harrison will have the most demanding road to doing so.