The NBA Draft is one of my favorite sporting events of the year. I’m actually more excited watching the draft than the Finals. Here we go on a semi-live blog where I’ll post the reactions after each pick. Let’s get ready to rumble.
#1 Clippers – No surprise going with Blake Griffin. He may be a great player but the Clippers are still a shitty team.
#2 Grizzlies – My man Hasheem Thabeet. He’ll probably be a bust but he has a great personality and has a chance to hide and develop on a bad Memphis team. Expect many people dunking on Hash in his rookie season.
#3 Thunder – Harden instead of Rubio? Very interesting pick. They must want to keep Westbrook at the point and continue to build a solid young core. But I don’t know if this pick gets them over the hump. Rubio is a star, Harden is a solid role player. Doesn’t make sense to me.
#4 Kings – Tyreke Evans? Sorry I won’t be buying your jersey in Sac-town. Rubio slips again. Merry Christmas Minnesota!
#5 Timberwolves – Rubio is a steal at five. The Wolves now how a core of Kevin Love, Al Jefferson and Rubio. If they snag a shooter at #6, they become a very sexy young team. Love better start hitting that treadmill now. Could they be the new run and gun Suns?
#6 Timberwolves – Interesting direction going with Johnny Flynn over Steph Curry. Maybe they trade Flynn? Maybe they keep him and really keep the foot on the gas with full court pressure, fast breaks and 48 minutes of intensity.
#7 Warriors – Gotta love the New York fans’ reaction to the Warriors taking Stephan Curry. Like the Knicks would be any better with him. Curry will be great out in Golden State with Don Nelson and the young core they are developing with Ellis, Randolph and newly aquired Acie Law.
#8 Knicks – Welcome to the bottom of the barrell and we’re only at pick 8! Jordan Hill might be ok but I’ve never heard of the guy and he played college ball. Eh. Why not take a risk on one of the guards out there?
#9 Raptors – Now we’re at the point where it’s obvious this “one year in college” rule is stupid. We’ve reached the point of the draft where from here on out, teams are drafting on potential and are chosing from a handful of guys who’ve played underwhelming freshman seasons who may or may not pan out. DeMar DeRozen, welcome to Canada.
#10 Bucks – This is an interesting pick going with Brandon Jennings. Plenty of upside but the whole skipping college to play in Europe thing didn’t quite work out. Sure, he may have upped his draft status but did he improve his game and mental toughness. Another case of a guy who will get to play out of the spot light and could develop into a solid player. UPDATE: Jennings decides to show up since he went top 10. Nevermind, this kid will quit on Scott Skiles quicker than Speidi on “I’m a Celebrity..”
#11 Nets – Shipping Vince Carter to the Magic earlier in the day screams “rebuilding.” Courtney Lee is a nice player but there isn’t much left. Terrance Williams is a good player but is he someone you build a team around? Did I mention this draft is thin?
#12 Bobcats – I hate Gerald Henderson by default because he went to Duke. The only time you’ll hear the name Gerald Henderson next season will be in the dunk contest over All-Star weekend.
#13 Pacers – Wow. Indiana loves their white players. Larry Bird must love Hansborough’s hustle. This is a stretch but he’s a safe bet for this spot.
#14 Suns – Earl Clark or should we say Mr. Potential? I watched him quite a few times at Louisville and while he has the body and skills for the NBA, he lacks the hunger and toughness to bang with the big boys.
#15 Pistons – Geez, talk about soft. I think I’m stronger than Austin Daye. He’s like a copy of Tayshaun Prince, without the toughness or shooting. What do I know, he’s a millionaire now and I’m on my couch with the bum knee. Awesome.
#16 Bulls – James Johnson..hmmm. I guess Chicago could use another big man? Why not grab a guard to replace Ben Gordon when he leaves for big money? The Bulls were the best young team in the playoffs last year, but if or when they lose Gordon, it’s hard to see Johnson picking up that offensive production.
#17 76ers – Jrue Holliday. You know you’re old when kids getting drafted have completely phonetic names like “Jrue.” I don’t know whether to thank his mother or tell her to read a book.
#18 Timberwolves – Ya think Minnesota might trade one of the THREE point guards they drafted tonight? Keep Rubio and Flynn, lose Ty Lawson.
#19 Hawks – Jeff Teague makes sense for the Hawks after the trade they made earlier tonight. He’s a decent, but young point guard who could be a nice back up to Mike Bibby in say, five years.
#20 Jazz – Very interesting pick here. Eric Maynor may be the best pure point guard in the draft with great experience but the Jazz already have Deron Williams? Maynor very well may have a better career than any other point guard in the this draft (besides Rubio). I see him like Chauncy Billips, maybe bouncing around for a few years, but if he lands with the right team he could be very successful.
#21 Hornets – Chris Paul meet your new back up, Darren Collison. Why not go for a scorer? I just don’t see the Hornets going anywhere with their current roster.
#22 Blazers – Smart pick, stash the pick overseas until he’s ready. The Blazers are already young and deep, no need to bring another project on board.
#23 Kings – Another foreign dude. Fran Frascilla says Sacramento better have some good falafel. Not sure whether this is funny or racist. Probably both.
#24 Mavericks – BJ Mullens, easily the ugliest player in the draft goes to Dallas who deperately needs a low post presence. Unfortunately, Mullen is a dough boy and won’t be the answer for Dirk and the boys.
#25 Thunder – Third overseas player taken between #20-25. Makes me really wish I picked that Streak for the Cash bet. Word is that Rodrique and Mullens are switching teams. This doesn’t change my analysis one bit.
#26 Bulls – Well, after taking Taj Gibson here, the Bulls clearly wanted to address their front court. At this point in the first round thought I think you take best available and Sam Young might have been a better choice. If Young falls out of the first round, I’d be very surprised.
#27 – Grizzlies – DeMarre Carroll. Really, at this point does it even matter for the Grizzlies?
#28 – Timberwolves – Is Wayne Ellington really the scoring answer for the Wolves? I doubt it, but with the current line up, they may only ask him to spot up and hit jump shots, which he just may be pretty good at.
#29 Lakers – Lakers actually picking for the Knicks here…taking Toney Douglas. Surprisingly, the New York fans don’t errupt with outrage. The Knicks are also now the owners of Mr. Bust, Darko Milicic.
#30 – Cavaliers – So instead of taking a proven player like Sam Young or Blair, Cleveland takes a guy that is nowhere near ready and will stash overseas until he matures. I guess they’re happy with their roster and hope that Shaq really is the answer.
Well, that does it for the first round. I’m up for the second round or until my boy’s Adrien and Price get drafted. My takeaway from the draft so far is the lack of in-draft trades happening and the disappointing talent field. Gotta question a guy like DaJuan Blair leaving school early and falling to the second round and out of a guaranteed contract. There seems to be examples of this every year but for some reason, kids still leave every year before they’re ready. What’s it going to take before these kids start to realize not everyone gets lottery assurances and the “advisors” in their ears only have selfish intentions.
Maybe things will pick up in the second round, maybe there will continue to be action well after the draft is over and into July 1. Overall, I guess this draft has been pretty weak to watch. Fitting.