Friday, June 29, 2007

2007 NBA Draft Thoughts

A few things ran through my mind as I watched ESPN’s Pre-Draft Show and the NBA Draft last night:

First and foremost was, what in the hell is Joakim Noah (F/C, Florida, below) wearing?

I guess IBM’s Lenovo platform is getting some decent exposure having their brand pasted in huge stickers across the top of laptops at the tables of each potential draft pick. Funny, since I just took a survey through the NBA Fan Forum asking what I knew about Lenovo and whether I thought the NBA was a good partner for them.

Greg Oden must be 45… and Kevin Durant is some freakish fifteen year-old. See above.

Oh, crap… It’s Stephen A. Smith. That guy has the biggest mouth and one of the smallest brains in sports journalism. AND Mark Jackson just got him going.

What’s with all the speculation about the Lakers, Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Garnett? One, they’re not getting Kevin Garnett, 2) their backup plan of getting Jermaine O’Neal is the dumbest back-up plan ever, 3) it would be interesting to see how Kobe would react if they didn’t trade him, 4) screw all this talk… just trade everybody. I’d like to see Kobe and LeBron just say, “To hell with stardom, let’s just kick everybody’s ass,” and end up on the same team.

The way they keep talking about Jeff Green’s passing ability and the more clips they show of him, the more Jeff Green reminds me of an athletic… Luke Walton.

It’s 4:30 PM PST and the draft is starting… Do the Portland Trailblazers really need a countdown clock to make a final decision on who they’re drafting? They already were jumping around when ESPN threw up a shot of the Blazers’ draft room. Seeing the Blazers’ starting five and key reserves from last year, all I can say is, “Good-bye Zach Randolph, and Travis Outlaw – you’d better start working out, or you’re going to be out of a job.”

They need to build more suspense into the draft announcement for the lottery picks, at least. Just like in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?...

“With the first pick in the 2007 NBA Draft the Portland Trailblazers select… A) Kevin Durant, B) Steve Jobs, C) Greg Oden, or D) Sam Bowie.”

“Um… A… I mean, C… Yeah, C) Greg Oden.”

“Final answer?”


“You can use a lifeline, if you want… do you want to ask the audience?”

It’d be great.

Every time they showed Mike Conley, Sr., the former Olympic track star and gold-medal winner, all I could think was, “This dude is about to be freakin’ RICH.” He’s representing his son, Mike Conley, Jr. (PG, Ohio State) and Greg Oden, even though he has no experience as an agent.

Greg Oden was taken with the first pick. Shocker. Somehow, I don’t think my child will ever be the first pick in the NBA Draft… Oh, and ESPN just made mention of how Oden wanted to be a dentist. Can you imagine? Well, he’ll be able to afford dental school in a few years…

Kevin Durant going at number two? Another shocker. At least it was nice hearing him tell Stuart Scott how it was a tough decision to leave Texas. *chuckle* Even better was the mention of Durant’s 3.5 GPA his first semester. No mention of the 0.0 GPA he pulled in the spring. I do like the kid’s TV presence, though, and way more than Greg Oden’s.

Frickin’ Atlanta Hawks… they Al Horford (F, Florida) with the third pick overall. I really liked him two seasons ago, but felt like he didn’t develop enough during the past season… At least he was a solid pick. But if the rumors were true that they could’ve had Amare Stoudamire, they’re total idiots. Horford’s great and should be productive, but when you have a chance to get a FREAK like Stoudamire, you get him…

*Snore* Mike Conley, Jr. was drafted in the fourth slot by the Memphis Grizzlies. It’s not that I don’t like Conley – I really think he was the most talented college point guard out there this year – it’s just the lottery gets boring as you go along. It’s not until you get to the picks in the teens that things are interesting.

Jeff Green at #5, *snore*… Going to be traded to Seattle, anyway. His interview with Stu Scott was funny when Scott asked him how he was going to overcome the label that Green was too unselfish. Green just laughed and said that he wouldn’t have to prove himself a scorer in Seattle now that he could just pass to Durant so Durant could throw up a bunch of shots…

I think 1.3 billion Chinese people just had a collective, “Huh?” when 7-1 Yi Jianlian (above) was selected at the #6 slot by… the Milwaukee Bucks. I can just imagine it now: Where the hell is Mil-wau-keh? This is not going to go over well for the marketing people on either side… How do the Bucks market at Chinese guy in Milwaukee, and how does a Chinese guy market Milwaukee to the world? I say trade him to Los Angeles… The Staples Center will be the new Chinatown.

Corey Brewer at #7… Blah. Could be a good defender and showed he could score the NCAA Championship Game, but he’s a little overrated.

Holy cow… Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Bobcats just drafted another North Carolina product in 6-10 freshman Brandan Wright? Too bad he weighs 200 pounds. Total.

Okay, I like Joakim Noah’s ability to move and guard perimeter players somewhat, and the Chicago Bulls needed another big, but isn’t Joakim Noah kinda soft for the Bulls?

7-0 Spencer Hawes (C, Washington) might be skilled, but he’s a non-athlete. The Sacramento Kings used to be one of the most athletic teams in the West. Where are they going?

I loved Acie Law (PG, Texas A&M) in college, because he could score and run his team. Unfortunately, he’s a bit of a tweener at the pro level, and even though I’ve missed my share of lay-ups, the one he missed in the NCAA Tournament that ended Texas A&M’s season was a bad indicator. Especially for a guy who was supposed to be clutch.

Guess he was the real deal… Rodney Stuckey, who scored a bunch of points for Eastern Washington his first two years there, went at fifteen to the Detroit Pistons. They must thing he’s like Ben Gordon light. He’s only the second player in Big Sky Conference history to be drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft (the other was Michael Ray Richardson of Montana) and will be the first Eastern Washington player to play in the NBA. Too bad they basically wanted to kick him out of EW since he was such a pain in the ass. I heard they had separate rules for him – meaning he had very few.

Why is Nick Young (G, USC) being drafted by the Washington Wizards? Don’t they already have a guy who needs the ball in his hands in Gilbert Arenas? They couldn’t have drafted a big guy to help Antwain Jamison?

Vinny Del Negro! The former Spurs guard gets a mention as the Warriors pick Italy’s Marco Belinelli with the 18th pick. Judging from the footage, he kinda plays like… yup, confirmed by ESPN – current Spurs guard Brent Barry.

Okay, the Lakers select 6-4 freshman Javaris Crittendon (G, Georgia Tech). Not a bad choice, since he’s an athletic and strong mid-sized guard. Smush Parker’s on his way out, so they’ll be space for him and Jordan Farmar in the Laker backcourt.

Kudos to Spike Lee for naming Wilson Chandler (F, DePaul) as the Knicks’ first-round draft pick. Minus points to Lee for saying that Isiah Thomas knows what the hell he’s doing building a team…

Jared Dudley (F, Boston College) to the Charlotte Bobcats at number 22. Does MJ only draft kids out of the ACC? Dudley’s an interesting case, because he was overlooked coming out of high school (or maybe he was playing hard to get), as the only “name” schools to offer him a scholarship were San Diego State, Creighton, and Boston College. Then, he turns into the ACC Player of the Year and a first-round NBA pick. Go figure.

Aaron Afflalo (G, UCLA) to the Pistons… nice fit. He can’t shoot, but he can guard. Sort of. It’ll be interesting to see what the 6-4 Afflalo can do against NBA-caliber guards.

Man, did the rich get richer as the San Antonio Spurs picked up two nice picks in 6-11 Tiago Splitter (F, Brazil), who was supposed to be a lottery pick a couple years ago, and also 6-7 Marcus Williams (G, Arizona), who’s a very athletic guard and could replace Brent Barry. The Mavericks picked up 6-11 Nick Fazekas (F, Nevada), who’s like a poor man’s Dirk, and the Suns, who are still trying to acquire Kevin Garnett, picked up 6-5 Alando Tucker (G, Wisconsin), who’s a sort of Josh Howard jack-of-all-trades type.

Ooooo… With the 40th pick in the draft, the Lakers acquired 6-9 Sun Yue (G, China, above). As nice as this would be marketing-wise if he made the club, don’t they know it’s bad feng shui to pick a Chinese guy with any pick related to the number 4? He’s nicknamed “Q-Tip” because he’s rail-thin and has a Chinese ‘fro, played for a team in the ABA called the Aoshen Olympians, comprised of mostly Chinese players (I should mention that former UCSB guard, Crismen Oliver, played PG for them a couple years ago), and was featured in ESPN The Magazine. I get the feeling he’s sort of a poseur.

The Lakers also picked up 7-0 Marc Gasol (C, Spain), the brother of Memphis’ Pau Gasol, with the 50th pick. compares him to former Philadelphia 76er Todd MacCulloch and called him “a below-average athlete.” Mmm.

As far as trades went...

The Ray Allen trade is the dumbest move Danny Ainge has made so far, although I do agree with Stephen A. Smith on this one: if you’re not going to win, you’d better make some money, and Ray Allen might bring in some more bucks. Seattle is the winner on this one, getting the rights to Jeff Green, G Delonte West, and SF Wally Sczerbiak (who I think is one of the best wing shooters in the league… especially on the move).

You knew that the Blazers were going to move Zach Randolph, and they got decent return for him in the persons of Channing Frye and Steve Francis. Oden, Frye and LaMarcus Aldridge on the front line for the Blazers should make for a great group defending the interior, and Steve Francis will be a compliment to Brandon Roy and Jarrett Jack in the backcourt. Besides, Francis will be out when his contract expires this year, unless his attitude changes. As for the Knicks… Well, they’re getting a guy who can really score on the block, but who will probably get into some kind of trouble in the Big Apple.

Jason Richardson from Golden State to Charlotte for Brandan Wright? Hmm… maybe MJ does have a decent idea about what he’s doing. The Warriors get more athletic on the frontline and had already drafted a shooting guard (Marco Belinelli), and the Bobcats get a proven scorer who could be an All-Star in the East. Works for both teams.

Oh… I did just hear that there was a possibility of Golden State sending Andris Biedrins and Brandan Wright to Milwaukee for Yi Jianlian. If that happens, Chinatown is headed for Oakland.

I could write more, but you’ve stopped reading by this point.


a mindless zombie said...

Yeah, what is up with Atlanta?!?!?! They are definitely in disarray.

Seattle and Portland did really well shipping out their key veterans. Although I think that Danny Ainge (and Mchale) should be ousted, getting Allen wasn't terrible considering no one seems to want to play in Boston. I think that Boston should get rid of rivers and ainge, and trade pierce.

As far as the Laker's dilemna, I lost even more respect for Kobe. For him to question a team that has nothing but winning it all as it's #1 goals is just plain disloyal. When a team that has made it to the playoffs 26 of 28 times and won 14 (3 of them with Kobe) championships, how can you question their motives? Then to say I want to be a Laker for life and ask for a trade? What a hypocrit. I say trade him. No, I say sit his ass down and let him not play for the remainder of his contract.

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