June 27, 2008

NBA Draftacular 2008!

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball

Since the NBA draft went down last night and the Intern couldn’t muster up enough energy to actually follow through on an idea, here are my thoughts of how it went down.

With the Bulls on tap and two real options (well only one when you really read between the lines) the NBA draft kicked off with the Bulls taking hometown boy Derrick Rose. The question is now what do the Bulls do since they have four better-than-good guards and only so many minutes to dole out. I’d look for Kirk Hinrich to be moved.

So the Heat made the smart move by taking the undersized “power forward” and letting a guy with character issues be unleashed on South Beach. I wish I could be there when he meets Ricky Davis and they decide to blow off a little steam by clubbing. Let’s just pray Davis isn’t bought out before this happens.

O.J. Mayo did not look too pleased to be going to Minnesota and that may be an understatement. You can tell he thought he was Miami-bound.

I never would have thought that Westbrook a) would be the second point guard taken (No, I don’t think Mayo is a 1). b) would have gone in the top-5 c) would have been taken before Kevin Love.

Another UCLA guy went off the board next to Memphis. Kevin Love is a guy I loved in college but I’m not sure about his ability to be an NBA star. He isn’t athletic enough to compete if his minutes get heavy and going at No. 5 is a bit of a reach. Note that if the Grizzlies didn’t trade Gasol, they would have a strong one-two white guy punch up front.

Danillo Gallinari won’t be a superstar. If anything, I’d call him the next Andrea Bargnani and that’s not a compliment. And just so we all know, his nickname is The Rooster. He also looked quite slow in some training footage.

When a guard (Eric Gordon) whose “must improve” is ball-handling and he was drafted No. 7, you know it was a Clippers pick.

How awful is the decision making for the Charlotte Bobcats? Well, instead of getting a centre (Brook Lopez) that could help Emeka Okafor, they reached for a player (D.J. Augustin) that plays a position that they are already set at (point guard) with a young player with a ton of upside (Raymond Felton).

Lopez’s freefall didn’t last much longer since the Nets took him at 10, more on the Nets-Bucks trade later. Wasn’t he penciled in for the three spot since, like, ever? Oh yeah, then he worked out like he was a corpse.

Jason Thompson? This guy didn’t even show up because he thought he wouldn’t be taken this early; that’s confidence. In Chad Ford’s last mock draft, Thompson was going 29th to the Pistons. Apparently they grabbed him because he was the best big that they worked out. I thought they needed a point guard? They already have Hawes and Miller up front with only Beno Udrih running the point. Good luck with that one Sacramento.

As for the rest of the picks, namely players that may never truly matter in an NBA rotation: Isn’t Robin Lopez’s game very similar to Boris Diaw’s? I’d look for the latter to be on the move … Introducing Anthony Randolph, the new Nicole Richie of the NBA! … Indy did great in their rebuilding effort by grabbing Jarryd Bayless and Roy Hibbert. Then they went ahead and dealt away Bayless for Brandon Rush and Jarret Jack. Welcome back to the doldrums … Stop the presses! Utah took a big white stiff in the first round! … I’m still not sure how DeAndre Jordan, Chris Duncan-Roberts and Mario Chalmers fell into the second round but they did. And don’t call them the next second round wonders. That only counts if you’ve never heard of them.

As for the two big trades, how come nobody is talking about the one thing that the Raptors aren’t getting in the JO-TJ deal? In case you didn’t notice, the Raps had to include Rasho in the deal to make up for JO’s huge salary. If you knew anything about the Raps this past season, it was that they were weak on the boards and soft underneath the hoop. JO does shore that up, but who’s there to backup JO and Bosh? Bargnani is awful down low and the next option is Kris Humphries. Since Toronto’s first rounder (17th) is now Indy’s, the Raps won’t be able to shore up their depth at 4 and 5 which will cause them a ton of trouble. And it will only get worse when they realize this isn’t early-2000’s JO, this is knee-waiting-to-happen, character issues Jermaine O’Neal.

Then there was the deal that had Richard Jefferson going to Milwaukee for Yi and Bobby Simmons. This move for Nets means one thing: LeBron James will be a Net in 2010 and will have a good team around him. Yi can develop along with Devin Harris and actually be happy to be headed to a big market. If they can dump Vince Carter now, that’s the question. He would never be able to coexist with a megastar a la King James.

And finally, since I was lazy enough to wait until today to post this, it turns out the Gay-Love era in Memphis would only last a few hours. Kevin Love, along with Mike Miller, has been traded to Minnesota for O.J. Mayo and a ton of expiring deals including Antoine Walker. If you thought O.J. Mayo was unhappy when he was picked by the Wolves, imagine him now. Everything went downhill as soon as the Heat took Beasley.

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