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Project is a word I would not mind hearing when drafting a player in the mid to late first round or early second round -ie. BJ Mullins, DeAndre Jordan- but when you take a player with the 8th overall pick it makes my skin crawl.
Now we all know from watching Summer League that Hill was not going to be instant impact type rookie, but project makes me think of Yinka Dare and Shawn Bradley. I would much rather here things like "he's got a lot to learn,but has great potential". I mean I wanted Jrue Holiday, but trusted Donnie's instinct on taking Hill and in a weak draft you can take a chance on a player who may not be ready to contribute instantly but has a chance to be good. After all, Andrew Bynum was thought to be a project and he too looked lost as a rookie, but he continued to work and has the potential to be one of the leauge's premier Centers.
And the thing we should be encouraged by is that Hill has as strong a work ethic as anybody. He went from an unknown recruit at Arizona to a lottery pick because of his hard work, so he has been here before. Plus the kid loves the game and just started playing so the desire to get better is there -he will not just try to coast by on natural ability like some other big men we have on our team-.
Another encouraging sign on the rookie front is Toney Douglas..... it appears that Dantoni really likes him. It would be nice to get another steal like David and Nate. I like that he plays D, it sounds as if he has the same sort of heart as Nate. The ability to hit shots will always be there and will come as he learns the NBA game, but the fact that he prides himself on D could make him a major part of the team in the upcoming years. I predict his minutes will be up and down all season and he will probably be in and out of the rotation a bit, but he could come on strong for us next season.