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The sexy new NBA position - stretch 4 - This Draft...

OK so maybe it's not totally new.  Dirk, Mehmet Okur, Channing Frye, Matt Bonner, etc. etc.  Bigs who are floor stetchers primarily.  Great outside shooters who help open the lane by bringing big defenders with them.  It seems like more and more teams are going in this direction whether it be a starter on a team or an important bench guy.  There are a few guys who fit that bill in this year's draft.  Motiejunas is the obvious one who belongs in that category but I think we all would rather go with a different pick.  That being said if he drops to 16 we would have to take a strong look.  I am actually going to pimp the only other player in the draft who I think has the potential to be a very good floor stetching 4 in the NBA - Craig Brackins.  I watched him his entire career at ISU and when teams play him one on one he destoys them.  Last year he saw a lot of double teams and teams played him really physically.  He still had a good year (not great), but he played a lot more on the block than I think he will in the NBA.  I don't think he'll last until our 2nd round pick, but if he did, what a steal.  If a lot of other players that we were hoping to draft are gone at #23, we could do worse than picking him there.  Of course a lot of this depends on the direction of the team.  Are we going to be a "gunning" team?  Will we move Jefferson or Love or both?  Will we be able to acquire a center with legit size?  If we end up in a scenario where we are planning to trade our bigs, and we end up with the 3rd pick and draft Cousins, Brackins would be a PERFECT compliment to Cousins.  And don't think that Brackins is just a shooter.  He rebounds and blocks shots and is a pretty good passer.  I pasted an article below about what he's been up to lately.  I'd like to hear others' thoughts on Brackins.  Where you think he SHOULD be drafted, how you see him fitting in on the wolves, etc.

Brackins working to fulfill NBA dream

Posted on May 17, 2010 by Eric Petersen.

AMES – Craig Brackins lives mere minutes off the Las Vegas Strip. He’s more interested in work than play.

"I’m too tired for that," the former Iowa State star said. "We don’t really do much. We are so focused on our stuff."

Brackins and a group of NBA Draft hopefuls that includes Big 12 Conference foes Sherron Collins of Kansas and Oklahoma State’s James Anderson have  spent the last two months working out three times a day, six days a week in preparation for June 24’s draft.

Brackins, who decided to forgo his final season of eligibility at ISU, says he’s in the best shape he’s ever been in.

"I think I’ve gotten a lot better," he said. "Shooting-wise, understanding my game. As an athlete in general I’ve improved. I’ve put in a lot of time. I’ve worked as hard as I ever have in my life. I’m ready."

This week marks the beginning of an important stretch for the 6-10, 230-pound forward.

Brackins was one of six players who worked out Monday for the Milwaukee Bucks. He’ll drive down to Chicago today for Wednesday’s start of the NBA’s annual pre-draft camp.

ISU assistant coach T.J. Otzelberger, Brackins’ primary recruiter, and new head coach Fred Hoiberg will be there to watch him.

Next week Brackins travels to Boston, Toronto and San Antonio for workouts with those teams.

"It’s big," he said. "These next couple of weeks are pretty important for me… I don’t’ really have any expectations. I’m pretty much all over the (draft) board."

Mock drafts have the Palmdale, Calif., native being picked anywhere from late in the first round to the middle of the second.

Brackins was a first-team all-Big 12 pick as a sophomore but struggled to duplicate those numbers last year. He averaged 16.5 points and 8.5 rebounds for the Cyclones, who finished a disappointing 15-17.

In his words, this time and the next month leading up to the draft will largely be spent "showing people I can still play."

"Last year I was a lottery pick," Brackins said. "I don’t see what’s changed. Whatever they saw last year is still there."

He’s spoken to Hoiberg since the former Minnesota Timberwolves executive took over for Brackins’ head coach, Greg McDermott. Hoiberg saw Brackins , ISU’s 12th-leading scorer of all-time with 1,539 points, play several times in person the past two seasons.

"He thinks I’m going to have a great career," Brackins said, "and coming from him… I was very appreciative of that."

Brackins, Anderson and West Virginia’s Devin Ebanks have been roommates in Las Vegas.

They help to push one another.

"We have a good group," Brackins said. "We look out for each other."

That means limiting the visits to Las Vegas Blvd. casinos and clubs until after next month’s draft.

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