2011 NBA Draft: Chad Ford Thinks Lockout Will Help Pitt Seniors

Gary McGhee is probably the biggest project of Pitt's three seniors (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

I've never been all that high on Pitt's chances to have players drafted this year. As I wrote over at SB Nation Pittsburgh, each could be picked, but none are slam dunks.

But ESPN's Chad Ford makes an interesting point about why the prospective NBA lockout could actually be good for the chances of Brad Wanamaker, Gilbert Brown, and Gary McGhee - and I'm inclined to agree with this theory.

Ford thinks teams will be less willing to take chances on second-round pick projects this season - something many typically will do. As a result, Pitt's experienced seniors could be viewed as more NBA-ready type players:

Ford said the lack of offseason contact until the collective bargaining agreement is resolved will prompt teams to select players who are more NBA-ready.

"I think as we get later in the first round and into the second round — and this may factor in the favor of the Pittsburgh players — teams are going to shy away from the projects because they don't have any ability to develop those projects over the summer," Ford said.

The problem, as outlined earlier in the piece, is that there are no projected summer leagues and camps for draft picks and free agent signees to earn roster spots this year. That means those players will either need to sink or swim and not have the opportunity for development during the summer.
The flipside of that argument is that there is the NBDL for whenever the league gets back on track. So it may not be simply a matter of making a roster or being cut once games get underway.
Still, I understand his point and I think it's a good one.
I do think, however, that of the three, McGhee is a bit of a project. It's going to take him some time to improve his footwork and offensive post game to be taken seriously. But he plays good defense and at least has that on his resume.
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