Friday, June 27, 2008

Drafting for Dummies

Upset that they weren't getting calls in the playoffs, the Lakers went out and drafted Joe Crawford with the 58th pick of the NBA draft.
Informed that Crawford was a player from Kentucky and not an NBA referee, since owning the rights to a referee is illegal aside from that game 6 against the Kings in 2002, Mitch Kupchak asked for a draft do-over. He was denied.

Kupchak wasn't the only GM looking for a draft do-over. Crawford will most likely not even make the team, and the Lakers don't really need him. They got the No. 1 overall pick in this draft, and that's Andrew Bynum. 7-foot center, good in the low post, blocks shots, has improved every year. You may have heard of him.

The Lakers will be fine, but other teams won't. Let's take a look at draft and trade mistakes, not in any specific order.

No. 1 Chicago Bulls
They drafted Derrick Rose to fill a backcourt with Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon. Only there's two guard spots and last I checked Hinrich was a point guard. With a four years left on his deal and more than $11 million per year due, he won;t be easy to trade either. Before the Raptors got on the Jermain O'Neal sweepstakes, the Bulls could have pulled this off: Hinrich and Drew Gooden (expiring contract) for Jermaine O'Neal.
The Bulls still draft hometown favorite Rose and get the big man they've coveted.
The Pacers take a Larry Bird type player Hinrich, who's white and has proven to be a good citizen, exactly what the Pacers have been looking for since they put together a team full of troublemakers. Plus, wouldn't you rather have steady Hinrich than the oft injured T.J. Ford and the 17th pick in the draft with which they took Roy Stiffert...I mean Hibbert.

No. 2 Charlotte Bobcats
I understand Raymond Felton is no Chris Paul, but he's not terrible. Passing on Brook Lopez to take a future back up point guard in D.J. Augustin makes no sense. New head coach Larry Brown HATES rookies, and is notoriously tough on point guards. I almost feel bad for Augustin who will be yelled at every single day and than rewarded with no playing time. I know the Bobcats are shopping Felton but there's no way Augustin is ready to come in and start.

No. 3 Seattle Supersonics
Drafting the most overrated player in the draft, Russell Westbrook, isn't the answer to help Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Sonics. He might be a good defender but he can't shoot a lick and was arguably the third best player on his college team. That's enough to be the 4th pick in the NBA draft?
I'll take proven over potential any day.

No. 4 Los Angeles Clippers

They had to be on this list. I mean, no one has screwed up the lottery more time than Elgin Baylor and the Clip show. Eric Gordon averaged all of 2.4 assists per game at Indiana, can't handle the ball, and struggled in big games. And he's the answer at point guard. My money says the Clippers will be right back in the lottery next year. I do like DeAndre Jordan in the second round though, because if he ever figures out that being 7-feet tall alone won't make him good, he actually has the tools to be a solid NBA center. Big if, however.

Other thoughts:

The Raptors had to get rid of T.J. Ford and I applaud their move because Jose Calderon was head and shoulders above Ford. But I'm curious to see how Chris Bosh and O'Neal mesh together. Both love holding onto the ball for long periods of time and both like shooting 15 foot jumpers. On paper it looks great, especially if O'Neal stays healthy, which is never a guarantee, but on the court this isn't foolproof.

The Blazers will be a playoff team:
PG: Steve Blake/Jerryd Bayless.Sergio rodriguez/Rudy Fernandez
SG: Brandon Roy:
SF: Travis Outlaw
PF: LeMarcus Aldridge
C: Greg Oden

Plus they've been stockpiling assets including trading for Nicolas Batum this year, who I think will eventually turn into a solid NBA player.

I'm not completely sold on the T-Wolves/Grizzlies trade. I would have thought pairing Mayo and Jefferson together makes sense considering you always need a post threat and a perimeter threat. Instead they traded for Kevin Love and moved Al Jefferson to center. Getting Mike Miller, a proven veteran who can score is a nice addition and I would have done the deal if I was the Wolves also. Maybe the Wolves know something I don't about Randy Foye and Sebastian Telfair but for the time being, they are extremely weak at the point guard position. The Grizzlies meanwhile have a nice core with O.J. Mayo, Rudy Gay, Mike Conley, and the steal of the draft Darrell Arthur. So overall, this has the potential to be a good deal for both sides. Mayo, though has a chance to be an All-Star while Love will be a solid player and most likely nothing more.

Starting lineup of guys I hate:
PG: Brevin Knight (
Because if u play 15 years in the nba, u should be able to make a 10 foot jumper)
SG: Stephen Jackson
SF: Vince Carter
PF: Rasheed Wallace
C: Shelden Williams

Note: Stephon Marbury was once on this list, but his decision to sell his shoes at $20 a piece, a reasonable price, earned him some respect. Now, I think, he's just lost it, gone off the edge. I almost feel bad for him and his craziness. And he's still a horrible player, has never made his teammates better and is a perennial loser.

Starting lineup of guys I hate in this draft:
PG: Eric Gordon
SG: Russell Westbrook
SF: Mareese Speights
PF: Anthony Randolph
C: Roy Hibbert/JaVale McGee

Draft day highlight:

No question it was the Lopez brothers, although Dick Vitale opening and folding his hands while yelling came in at second place. Not only are they both goof balls and talk like they're from some cartoon, but Brook being wired was the most comical part of the draft. Also, Robin looked like Sideshow Bob from the Simpsons.

Here are a few of Brook's musings.

"Ryan just sent me a text message saying sit up straight."
"I'm gonna be like what's his name, Brady Quinn."
"Who's the management for the Nets?" Upon being informed that Lawrence Frank was the coach, Brook looked incredulous and with an OMG expression moved his head forward and said "Lawrence Frank," in his goofy voice. You really had to see it. I just watched it again since I tivoed draft. It's great every time.

Feeling the lows:

Just three days ago, I wrote that things are becoming to calm down in Tucson. With the shocking return of Chase Budinger, Arizona basketball had a chance to be good. Ummm... think again. Brandon Jennings did not qualify, reported the East Valley Tribune.
It looks now like the talk of him playing in Europe may actually come to fruition.
I also wrote about the Cats lack of depth. Without Jennings, Arizona not only loses a star, but barely has enough decent players to even compete in the Pac-10. It could be an ugly year.

1 comment:

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