Garbage Time : Solomon Alabi
So I wrote a large peice on Jose that I chose not to save and then proceeded to lose (what use did I have for 4 hours of my life anyways). So instead of re-writing it, and inspired by some recent discussion on him, I decided to take the easy way out, and his name is Solomon Alabi
G 22 GS 16 Min 18.6 Pts 7.2 Rbs 5.3 FG% 51.7 FT% 71.4 Ast 0.4 Turn 1.2 Stl 0.5 Blk 1.8
Blk% 7.8 Reb% 17.1
Not to bad huh. Here I thought he was not that useful. Stats don't lie! On the brink of defensive 1st team......
then reality sets in
G 12 GS 0 Min 5 Pts 0.5 Rbs 1.2 FG% 20.0 Ft% 0 Ast 0.2 Turn 0.3 Stl 0.2 Blk 0.2
Per 2.04 WP -0.3 Reb% 14.1 TS% 0.189
Alabi was actually as close to useless as a player comes last year. Only played in 12 games and all garbage minutes. His statistics, in that limited time, were absolutely atrocious. The good news is its almost impossible for it to get an worse (right?). Actually there is more good news (well maybe I should rephrase that to not bad news) than that. He was drafted 50th overall as raw player with very low short term expectations but long term hope. While it would have been nice to see a little more, what he did should not have been to far below what was expected.
Everything - I don't think there is a single reason to break down everything in the game of basketball and explain why he was bad at it. Even if one believes he wasn't bad at everything, it was close enough. The dude sucked... you know it and I know it.
Knees - Alabi apparently had some knee problems. Much like Ed they don't seem serious or long term, but I would be remissed if I didn't include the same thing I did for Ed. Big men and knee problems are like peanuts and bubble gum, you just don't want them together.
You can't teach height - and Alabi has got it. 7'1" and 250lbs is legit C height and size. Can't complain about that.
Risk vs Reward - Alabi was drafted very low, at worst takes up a roster spot at the end of the bench (which every team has and is bound to have), and has a very cheap salary (tops out at less than 900k through the 2012/13 season). When you value that against he's young, has lots of room to grow, has some potential and has legit size, its an almost can't lose situation for the Raps
Hard Worker - I honestly can't speak to this much but it SEEMS as if Alabi is working hard to improve and doesn't complain. So I'll just throw that out there but don't quote me on it. It could just be that no one cares enough to waste the ink talking about it, but from the limited articles I've read on him its promising
Top End - Jermaine O'neal meets Serge Ibaka. Why the two you ask, well I can picture Alabi's career having parallels to both. If all things go great I can see him pulling a Serge. That is playing his rookie year in the d-league, showing improvement, getting some limited but growing minutes off the bench and then becoming a starter. But I don't see him as a good comparison to Serge as a player. Serge is more mobility, athleticism, speed, agility and energy. I see a closer top end comparison to O'Neal as a player. A legit C, not slow but not exactly fast either. Plays alot of the game closer to the bucket but can hit a jumper and a top notch shot blocker. I highly doubt he can reach a ' JO ceiling', but the reality is we saw so little and know so little about him as a player, why not.
Bottom End - Yogi Stewart. For the most part Yogi was useless... but he did have 1 decent season and he got paid for it. While I can't help but put Alabi's bottom as a could/should be out of the league player, my cynicism can't help but picturing a terrible scenario. Alabi getting some minutes due to injury, plays well in that game, strings together a bunch of decent to good games and then BC signing him to a 5 year 5 mil per year contract. Alabi then proceeds to prove his uselessness and he sits at the end of the bench eating up cap space.
Realistic Comparison - Kwame Brown. I do think if things go reasonably well Alabi could be in this area. That is a serviceable player, can play some D, isn't going to do alot but can fill a back up role and maybe a starter in a pinch. Kwame's claim to fame comes as one of the biggest busts in history, and while I don't want to confuse people into thinking I believe he is a good player, I think he isn't necessarily "that bad". If Kwame was drafted closer to where Alabi was (50th), people would probably view him as a solid pick. That said I hope to god we never see this from Alabi:
There have been more than a few promising articles regarding Alabi over the last month or so (http://raptorsrepublic.com/forums/sh...et-a-FA-center and http://raptorsrepublic.com/forums/sh...n-Joel-Anthony). Which is absolutely great. Unlike other players who a team can't afford to have underplay their salary or to not meet their expectations, Alabi is a can't lose player. If he doesn't do anything who cares? He can play in the D-league in hopes he improves, he can sit at the end of the bench in hopes he learns, and if he doesn't the team hasn't lost much. He's not taking up much salary, he isn't eating away playing time for others and the Raps aren't in a position where they need alot of insurance anyways (ie. contending). On the flip side if he can do something close to what he did in the D-league in the NBA (see the first set of stats above... yeah I didn't make those up), the Raps got a steal in the draft and useful player (and center at that.) If he can do more and be a starting C, and top notch defensive player. Damn! How nice would it be for the Raps to finally have grabbed a talented 2nd round player? Its all a matter of him not getting a pay day and regular playing time until he proves he can contribute consistently. Otherwise the Raps can't go wrong.