Kiki Vandeweghe Rumors
Jonathan Feigen: Kiki VanDeWeghe on Trevor Ariza, Gerald Green: “Completely inappropriate. You can provoke something that could be a very bad situation for everybody.” On James Harden, Chris Paul: “Chris Paul tried to get his players out of the lockerroom, as did Harden. Again, confirmed by Clippers, arena and Rockets staff.”
How often do you think a team is lying to you to not tip their hand on whether they like a player a lot more than they’re letting on? That they’re going to declare somebody an early-second-round pick and actually be looking him at the end of the lottery? Kiki Vandeweghe: These things are surprisingly consistent, so I would say not very often, if that really happens at all. I think everyone understands it’s a consensus and everyone’s trying to, basically, just help these players make a better decision at the end of the day. I think the gamesmanship is saved for talking right before the Draft where you may Draft somebody.
Which is a polite way of saying “lying.” Kiki Vandeweghe: Obviously teams don’t want to tip their hand on where they’re actually going to Draft somebody. But as far as this process goes, I think that the teams are very straightforward. We obviously appreciate their input. It’s pretty consistent over the course of years.
Some of these guys have so many different people in their ear as the Draft approaches. Friends. Family members. People at school, whether it’s teammates or the college coaching staff. Sometimes it’s hangers on that want a piece of them. Does it ever happen that somebody is in such a panic or is so freaked out by this decision that when you’re talking to them they just flat out say, “Please tell me what to do. I’m stuck.” Kiki Vandeweghe: It certainly in the past has happened where we may say, “We don’t think you’re going to get Drafted. The consensus says that.” And they say, “Geez, I don’t understand. What should I do?” Those particular cases, I don’t think we’re afraid of saying, “Look, go back to school.” But we try not to give too much advice in that direction, except I’m not afraid to say that I like kids to stay in school.
Can you hear panic in the voice of some players? Kiki Vandeweghe: Certainly nervous. Entering the NBA is just about every basketball player’s dream. When you start playing basketball, whether you’re on a playground, on the AAU team, in school, it doesn’t matter. Your dream is to play against the best in the world and the best in the world play in the NBA. I can tell you, having done it, it’s a surreal experience going through the Draft. This is really a gateway to the NBA. When I went through the Draft this didn’t exist, so you were really much more on your own and dependent on your coach’s advice or whatever teams may be telling you. Of course, not that many underclassmen went. It’s much more now. But, again, you can tell. Kids are nervous. This is, at this point in their lives, one of the biggest things that happen to them. That’s one of the reasons we have this. We want to help. We want to help them make a good decision here and ease some of the unknowns for them.