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The Downbeat - 12 April 2011 - #466 - The $3.7M Question Edition

And the 2011 class just got weaker. From SBN,

ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt tweeted Monday that he’s "hearing Harrison Barnes will remain" a member of the North Carolina Tar Heels instead of declaring for the 2011 NBA Draft. If true, that would make Barnes the third lottery pick in under a week to opt for a return, joining Perry Jones and Jared Sullinger.

Obviously the impending lockout is having an effect on these guys returning to school instead of declaring and possibly not getting paid for a year - at least from the NBA. Barnes was a consensus #1 pick last summer for this year's draft. But a poor showing to start the season dropped him down the boards. He did come on later in the year, but perhaps not getting any guarantees as a top 1 or 2 pick is what will send him back to NC. There hasn't been anything officially released yet, but it's looking that way.

Perry Jones from Baylor returning is a bit of a surprise though. For one, he was projected to be a top-5 pick. That was without an appearance in the tournament. I don't know how returning helps his stock for next year. When you consider that next year's draft is considered to be a lot deeper, he could fall a bit. Things in the NBA will hopefully be settled by then, but he's going to get paid according to the new CBA regardless.

At a time when we should be seeing everyone declaring for the draft, we see the big names returning. That's very disheartening for the Jazz who have two picks this year. The good news is that they can still get a very good player if they were able to move into the top 3 with the lottery. Even if they stay at #5 or #6, they can still get a very good player.

The biggest impact this has though is with the #12 pick. Losing three big names still weakens the pool. We'll know a lot more after the ping pong balls have tumbled, but it will be interesting to see what the Jazz do with the picks now that the draft is a bit weaker.

I don't know what this says about this team. From The Spectrum,

Going into Monday night's game, [Corbin] was 6-20 since the departure of Sloan and 6-17 since D-Will was shipped out of town. However, it should also be pointed out that he has gone 3-5 in games where three or more players have been injured and he's had to give significant minutes to rookies and guys who just days before had been in the D-League.

That's a .375 winning percentage in those eight games compared to a .230 percentage overall. I don't know if you would consider that a winning percentage, but that's what it is. Those 8 games account for almost 31% of Corbin's tenure so far, so it's a significant portion of games. That's half of the team's wins with the young guys playing significant minutes. That's still not a great percentage, but it's a bit telling.

I wish I knew what to make of CJ Miles basketball-wise. This was his worst shooting year since his second in the league. However, in that third season, he made a huge jump. His primary role that year was off the bench.

He played in 37 games in the 2007 season, shot 34.5% from the field, 22% from three, and had a PER of 2.8. Yes, 2.8. The next season, he appeared in 60 games (40 from the bench), shot 48% from the field, 39% from three, and had a PER of 14.2. This is what we had been expecting from CJ. In his third season in the league, he had finally figured things out. That's to be expected.

However, since then, his number have gradually gone down each season with the exception of one: PER. For those that don't know, PER is a calculation created by John Hollinger to evaluate a player's worth where a PER of 15 is an average NBA player. Even though 15 is seen as average, it's very difficult to replace an "average" player.

CJ's PER this season was 14.6 despite his poor shooting. Why? Well it takes into account a lot of factors. Some of the biggest boosts to CJ's PER have been his free-throws attempts, free-throw shooting, his increased defensive-rebounding rate, an increase in his block percentage, and lower turnovers.

Those stats tell us a few things. One, he appears to be driving more and getting more points from the line. He's playing some good defense. And even though his usage is at a career high, his turnover rate is at a career low. So while he's hasn't shot well, a missed shot is still better than a turnover. Outside of Al Jefferson, Miles has the lowest turnover percentage on the team yet has the highest usage percentage behind Deron and Devin.

I don't know if CJ will get an extension, but I believe the Jazz will pick up his option heading into next season. As the team transitions into a new era, they'll need someone like CJ that knows the system and that can help run the offense and help on defense.

As for CJ's shooting? Hopefully it has nowhere to go but up. Though it's been in decline the past few seasons, it's taken an abnormally big drop this season. I think that's in large part due to some inordinate amount of pressure that he's put on himself to be a scorer for the team when he's in. He's putting up 3 more shots per game this season than he did last year including one more three-point attempt.

I think he gets his option picked up for next season and then the Jazz will re-evaluate next season.

For your Gordon Hayward fix.

My only question is this: How is Kenyon Martin still alive?

Nba hi5 fail Kosta Koufos (via josephborderline)