A wild draft day for the NBA in one of the weirdest drafts in memory. Some highlights.
-Portland making SIX trades today....with a possible other one looming. Today, they dealt away Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff, Tyrus Thomas, Randy Foye, James White, Viktor Khryapa, Alexander Johnson and some cash for LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Roy, Dan Dickau, Raef LaFrentz, Alexander Johnson and Sergio Fernandez. And, yes, they traded for Alexander Johnson and then traded him away. And several 2nd round picks were thrown around in this.
-Stuart Scott said what I was thinking when he stated how many picks he was interviewing were wearing hats of teams they will never play for.
-I don't like ESPN's coverage of the draft. If the NBA-TV channel showed me anything, it was in their reruns of 20 past NBA drafts that made me long for the days of Bob Neil, Doug Collins, Rick Barry and Hubie Brown doing the draft. What I did like about the draft coverage [that I hope the NFL guys figure out] is that playing the guessing game before the pick is so boring....especially once you get a bit into the draft and you are just retreading information. The pick was made, and then they discussed it all the way up to the point the next pick was made.
-I like David Stern coming out and nailing ESPN's Dan Patrick [who in the last 5-6 years has turned into a prick] for "criticizing every draft pick".
-The guys who shone?? Andy Katz was on point on everything. Amazing that a college hoops guy was on point on so many NBA goings on. He knew of deals as they were going down....even predicting the picks and what trades will be made. I also think Greg Anthony shined well because he was the only one that was assessing team's needs and if they met those needs with their picks.
-The guys who didn't?? Well, I like what Jay Bilas brings is nice [he's the only guy up there with full knowlege of who these players are]....but it clashes with the NBA guys a bit. Also, Stephen A Smith had some funny moments [mainly bashing Portland and New York] but his constant whining and his dumping on nearly every pick grew old. He played the old man complaining about the loud music from the kids role well.
-Spike Lee was hilarious when the Knicks made that notorious #20 pick.
-How far has the NBA draft fallen??? Saer Sene was picked #10 in the draft. He averaged 3 pts and 4 rbs in the BELGIUM LEAGUE!!! If you averaged that in the ACC....you wouldn't be selected in the USBL Draft.
Alright...so here is the draft.
#1-Andrea Bargnani [F-Raptors]: Just take a step back and realize that Andrea Bargnani was the #1 pick in this draft. However, it may turn out to be a good pick since he won't hate Toronto like every other NBA player does. Oh, and I hate the "it will take him a while to contribute" comments since, well, nearly everyone drafted takes a while to contribute. I think he'll be fine.
#2-LaMarcus Aldridge [C/F-Blazers]: The Bulls made this pick and dealt him to Portland. Aldridge brings a post scoring precense and shotblocker. Which means Joel Pryzbilla will most likely be gone [and so is Theo Ratliff]. He is a Channing Frye type player but with better defense.
#3-Adam Morrison [SF-Bobcats]. The Bobcats got a guy that can score the basketball...something they've never had. This helps Raymond Felton and Gerald Wallace in the backcourt and Sean May and Emeka Okafor in the frontcourt. A good popular pick, too.
#4-Tyrus Thomas [F-Bulls]: The Blazers made this pick and dealt him to Chicago. The Bulls coveted Thomas since the beginning but a smokescreen of their possible liking of Aldridge forced Portland to force a deal. Viktor Khryapa also comes in this deal...giving the Bulls another servicable bench forward. This picks opens up the chances that Tyson Chandler is out of Chicago.
#5-Sheldon Williams [C/F-Hawks]: Instead of doing the wheeling and dealing...the Hawks did what they wanted to do and get Williams. Williams makes their entire defense better by being the stopper in the lane. Still, the Hawks could have grabbed Williams further back in the draft and possibly picked up a PG in the process.
#6-Brandon Roy [SG-Blazers]: The Wolves made this pick and dealt him to Portland. Roy brings class, experience and a bit oflocal charm. He can start right away for Portland and he ends their recent trend of drafting projects. He is NBA ready. In the orginal deal with Boston, Portland ends up with Dan Dickau and Raef LaFrentz.
#7-Randy Foye [SG/PG-Timberwolves]: The Celtics made this pick and dealt him to Portland, who then dealt it to Minnesota. I had picked in my mock draft Foye to Minnesota cuz I thought he'd be a nice fit as a backcourt scorer. Could be the rookie of the year. Some say he's a Chauncey Billups type player....a guy they once had.
#8-Rudy Gay [SF-Grizzlies]: The Rockets made this pick and dealt him to Memphis. Gay will fill in for Battier, which Houston got in this deal. Gay brings athleticsm at the wing spot which Memphis desperately needs. Especially with Eddie Jones maybe out the door. I think Fratello will get the most from Gay's abilities. Also, the Grizzlies got Stromile Swift back in this draft means they added a ton of athletic ability and depth. And it only cost them Shane Battier. They've set themselves up nicely in that horrifically talented Southwest division.
#9-Patrick O'Bryant [C-Warriors]. G-State needs someone who can score in the paint....and O'Bryant could do that for them. He made his name in the NCAA tournament...even saying "if we didn't make the tournament, I'd probably still be in school."
#10-Saer Sene [C-Sonics]: Now, let me get this straight. For the third straight season, Seattle selects a very raw rookie center with very limited offense. They have Robert Swift, Johan Petro and now Sene. I don't understand the pick, except for the fact that they can keep him in Europe to develop. Or he, or one of their other centers, could be dealt.
#11-JJ Redick [SG-Magic]: Sorry, but I don't like the pick. This makes for a smallish backcourt for Orlando...and an unathletic one at that. I still think Redick will have a long career...just as a Steve Kerr typeplayer.
#12-Hilton Armstrong [C/PF-Hornets]: I love this pick. Like I said in my mock draft, the Hornets need size and defensive size. He can block shots and be a pest in the paint. They really needed that.
#13-Thabo Sefolosha [SG-Bulls]: The Sixers made this pick and dealt him to Chicago. Chicago has been in love with him so this trade was to be expected. He's the kind of guy that can play all over the place for the Bulls.
#14-Ronnie Brewer [SG-Jazz]: He's a big shooting guard who can get to the basket and play big time defense. The only issue is that he isn't a top notch shooter which is what they really need.
#15-Cedric Simmons [PF-Hornets]. Now, the Hornets got a frontcourt who can be a beast. With the Armstrong pick already, New Orleans can keep paint pressure at all times. Adding emerging talent David West and rookie of the year Chris Paul...the Hornets are getting on the right track.
#16-Rodney Carney [SG-Sixers]: The Bulls made this pick and dealt him to Philadelphia. I guess Iverson is staying at the point. Carney is a good shooter, pretty good defender and can zip up and down the floor.
#17-Shawne Williams [SF-Pacers]: This makes no sense to me. He's kind of a do-everything player....but he fits the same spot that they drafted Danny Granger for a year ago. With some other guys on the board, I don't like this pick.
#18-Olexsiy Pecherov [PF-Wizards]: Apparantly Pecherov was in this draft because the Wiz promised they'd take him. He can stay away another year and then come in for the Wizards.
#19-Quicy Douby [SG-Kings]: An odd pick. I mean...I like Douby [I was hoping the Lakers could get him] but with Marcus Williams and Rajon Rondo still on the board...Douby doesn't fill a need at all. They need a backup for Mike Bibby and they already have Bonzi Wells, Kevin Martin and Fran Garcia at that off guard spot.
#20-Renaldo Balkman [F-Knicks]: I'm not even gonna go into this. It makes NOOOO sense. It was like they had everybody's name in a hat and then picked one out. Balkman was a mid-2nd-round pick at best. This was too high. But, even if the Knicks liked him this bad....they have another 1st round pick coming. And even if they liked so much that they didn't want to risk anything....WHY?? They have a bunch of...wait...I'm not bothering. Good luck Isiah! I guess since this ultimatum by James Dolan means Isiah has one year to turn this around....Isiah knows he's done. So why not just screw up the franchise.
#21-Rajon Rondo [PG-Suns]: This might go to Boston.
#22-Marcus Williams [PG-Nets]: Finally. They said he's a young Jason Kidd...well, they'll be workingtogether now. Nice pick.
#23-Josh Boone [PF-Nets]: Then the Nets nab Williams' UConn teammate Boone. Boone disappears at times but he is a guy that does fit a need. They really want some size inside that can do some work blocking shots and rebounding. And he can run...which helps the Nets in their style of play. This is also the FIRST TIME that the same NBA team draft two guys from the same school on back-to-back picks
#24-Kyle Lowry [PG-Grizzlies]: Great pick for Memphis. They get the point guard they needed, which was evident by the fact that they had Chucky Atkins starting the last half of the year. With Lowry, Gay and Swift gained today....they may have revamped most of their starting lineup.
#25-Shannon Brown [SG-Cavaliers]. They needed a guy who can pound open shots...but can create his own. With all the doubles that LeBron sees....Brown can make them pay. A great surprise that landed in the Cavs' laps.
#26-Jordan Farmar [PG-Lakers]. A local pick, Farmar is the kind of guard they needed. He can hit jumpers, defend well and is a surprisingly good athlete. He's smart and has great leadership skills. I think Phil Jackson will like this kid.
#27-Sergio Fernandez [PG-Blazers]: The Suns made this pick and dealt him to Portland. Well, since the Blazers dealt away Telfair...they needed a point guard. "Spanish Chocolate" is a runner and gunner and can stay overseas another year. This is Phoenix' second deal of the night...both dealing away picks for cash to stay under the tax threshold.
#28-Maurice Ager [SG-Mavericks]: Ager adds another swing player who's tough and the kind of guy that Dallas' seems to like.
#29-Mardy Collins [PG/SG-Knicks]: Another combo guard. A good player, but how can he get playing time with combo guards Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis already there.
#30-Joel Freeland [C-Blazers]: Well, with all the young guys drafted already and the ton of guys they've selected tonight...Portland doesn't mind getting a guy who will sit in Europe for another two years. He has just three years experience...and only one against any competition.
#31-James White [SG-Pacers]. The Blazers made this pick and dealt him to Indiana. White brings freak athleticsm to a team that needs it
#32-Steve Novak [SF-Rockets]. Houston fans....think Mark Bullard
#33-Solomon Jones [C-Hawks]. An athletic big man
#34-Paul Davis [C-Clippers]. I like this pick. Davis could get minutes backing up Kaman.
#35-PJ Tucker [SF-Raptors]. They just picked up the option on 2005 pick Joey Graham who does the same things, but better.
#36-Craig Smith [PF-Wolves]. One of those guys who's game won't translate to pros. Work on the jump shot Craig!
#37-Bobby Jones [SG-Sixers]. The Wolves made this pick and dealt him to Philadelphia. A defensive hawk who will have a place on the Sixers
#38-Kosta Perovic [C-Warriors]. Huge guy who will need time to develop
#39-David Noel [SF-Bucks]. The top rated athlete in the draft. And a Tar Heel!
#40-Denham Brown [SG-Sonics]. Could be a steal in the 2nd round
#41-James Augustine [C-Magic]. He may stick if he can hit jumpers and play a little defense.
#42-Daniel Gibson [PG-Cavaliers]. The Cavs get another backcourt player. He isn't a perfect PG, but doesn't have to be with LeBron.
#43-Marcus Vinicius Vieira de Souza [SF-Hornets]. Some mock drafts had him in the 20s
#44-Lior Eliyahu [SF-Rockets]. The Magic made this pick and dealt him to Houston. One of those "leave him in Europe and bring him over if he's worth a crap" picks.
#45-Alexander Johnson [PF-Grizzlies]. The Pacers made this pick and dealt him to Portland who then dealt him the Memphis. He was on three teams on Wednesday, and was a hopeful lottery pick earlier in the week. Good move.
#46-Dee Brown [PG-Jazz]. The Jazz get another point guard, in fact Deron Williams' backcourt mate at Illinois.
#47-Paul Millsapp [PF-Jazz]. Led the nation in rebounding for three years.
#48-Vladimir Veremeenko [PF-Wizards]. Another down-the-road pick for the Wiz
#49-Leon Powe [PF-Celtics]. The Nuggets made this pick and dealt him to Boston. I love his talent and tenacity...but knee injuries slowed him down a bunch.
#50-Ryan Hollins [C-Bobcats]. Could end up being Brezec's backup
#51-Chiek Samb [C-Pistons]. The Lakers made this pick and dealt him to Detroit. A smaller Manute Bol
#52-Guillermo Diaz [PG-Clippers]. Could be trade bait for the Heat.
#53-Yotam Halperin [PG/SG-Sonics]. Another project...but he's closer to the NBA than many of the other ones
#54-Hasan Adams [SG-Nets]. A big time leaper who could find some time with the Nets
#55-Ejike Ugboaja [PF-Cavaliers]. Stop if you heard this before...he'll stay overseas to learn the game.
#56-Eden Bavcic [C-Sixers]. The Raptors made this pick and dealt him to Philadelphia. See above
#57-Loukas Mavrokefalidis [C-Wolves]. Some people in the know say that this could be the breakout player of the 2nd round.
#58-Danilo Pinnock [PG-Lakers]. The Mavericks made this pick and dealt him to LA Lakers. Another candidate for that point guard spot.
#59-Damir Markota [SF-Bucks]. The Spurs made this pick and dealt him to Milwaukee. Foreign guy.
#60-Will Blaylock [PG-Pistons]. If he gets his head on straight, he could become a player who can stay in the league