A quick perusal of the various mock drafts on the interwebs reveals a few interesting things about the Junior from Nacadoches draft prospects. First and foremost, no mockster has a clue about where James fits in with David Stern's Clown Carnival. First Round? Second Round? No Round? Sure there's a range out there of where Damion falls in the draft, but it's huge. Think Oprah without the lapband. NBAdraft.net has DJ going to Sacremento at 24. NBA Draft Press has James sneaking into the first round to Cleveland with the 30th.
Sometimes an NBA draft prospect needs a hug...or a point guard.
As an aside, the Cavs would be a great scenario for Damion given Lebron can rebound and defend like a big forward which takes pressure off of Damion having to be a dominant interior player on both ends. Offensively, Damion James will be able to thrive off of the ball, finishing cuts, offensive rebounds, and transition breaks.
Of course next year's Texas squad would be the ideal place for Damion to audition for this sort of role because of the sick incoming perimeter talent. But we've beat that horse do death. Speaking of being a finisher/garbage man, NBA Draft Express had this interesting blurb about Damion being in the right place at the right time last season.
The trait that has allowed James to stay effective with and without Durant and Augustin has been his ability to create easy scoring opportunities by being in the right place at the right time. According to Synergy Sports Technology's Quantified Player Report, James gets 12% of his offense from shots off of cuts, 11% from offensive rebounds, and 16% in transition. James does a great job moving to open areas on the floor, showing great timing when flashing to the rim and crashing the boards. On top of that, he consistently runs the floor hard in transition and provides a presence around the rim.
Put your Moneyball hat on and it's easy to see that there will be more "right places at the right times" next season for Texas with or without James. I'm not saying, I'm just saying.
NBA Draft Express doesn't even bother to include James in the first or second round, probably because there are indications Damion is leaning to returning to school.
And finally My NBA Draft.com leaves James out of the first round altogether.
Another interesting point is that half of these mocks list Damion as a small forward and half list him as a power forward. You tell me where he's going to play in the League. What position will he guard? We've sort of addressed how he'll get offense in any league so it's going to be tough to play an offensive minded position like small forward when you can't create offense. It's like having a Punch and Judy hitting 3rd baseman, or having Geoff Blum. And Damion's too small to guard power forwards and posts or rebound with these type players on either end. Call him a 3 and a half.
Finally, and most interesting to me is the mock draft on NBAdraft.net that has Damion as the 24th pick in front of players like Patty Mills, Dajuan Summers, Terrance Williams, Jerel McNeal, Dionte Christmas, Leo Lyons, Tyrese Rice, Toney Douglass, Micah Downs, Jeff Pendergraph and Danny Greene. Each of these players are going to make an NBA roster and have a position their club can project them at. Damion needs a personnel specific club to draft him, like the Cavs, to accomodate his hybridness, to put it politely.
Yes, Mr. Scout, I have a J, I mean, I don't smoke Marijuana but I can get my own shot.
I've said it since February and I'll say it again, James needs to come back to school, average his double double, and surround himself with talented perimeter players which will translate into a gaudy field goal percentage. Then, some Tom Hicksian GM will draft Damion thinking he's getting a Rick James SuperFreak finishing wing. And if we're lucky, he'll be right.