Friday, June 27, 2008

NBA Draft - Recap

The 2008 NBA Draft was held last night, and like I predicted in my previous article, freshmen were the keys to this draft.

First off, I just want to commend - myself. I had a summer basketball game last night at 7:45, and managed to not only play the game, but had dinner afterwards and made it all the way home without hearing a single word on what was happening during the draft. So, I am pretty proud of myself - and somewhat surprised. I thought for sure someone would let it slip who Chicago picked at #1.

So, I got home late last night and fast-forwarded through the insanely annoying Stuart Scott, who was the host of the draft for ESPN, and caught up on the picks.

No real surprises in the top three picks: Derrick Rose (Memphis) goes #1 to Chicago; Michael Beasley (Kansas State) goes #2 to Miami; O.J. Mayo (USC) heads to Minnesota at #3.

There were some concerns that Miami was planning on not selecting Beasley at #2, but you have to take him when he is considered one of the best two players in this draft.

Some highlights throughout the night:
  • Darrell Arthur of Kansas slips to #27, despite being asked to attend. He sat in the Green Room for a long time before finally being selected by New Orleans. His roller-coaster ride was just beginning, however, as he was traded to Portland - then to Houston - and finally to Memphis (so far).
  • Brook Lopez of Stanford appeared to have tears in his eyes as he fell to the Nets at #10. He was projected to possibly go at #3, but no way the Bobcats pass over him at #9 - which they did.
  • Trades galore: the biggest coming after I finally went to bed. Memphis traded Kevin Love (#5 pick), Mike Miller, Jason Collins and Brian Cardinal to Minnesota for Mayo (#3 pick), Antoine Walker, Greg Buckner and Marko Jaric. Another huge trade for these two franchise - remember the Garnett trade? How about the Gasol trade?
  • Knicks fans will boo anyone. Especially a poor kid from Italy named Danilo Gallinari. But, according to experts, he is a player - they did say the same about Darko Milicic a few years ago though.
  • Robin Lopez (twin brother of Brook) has the best hair of the draft. Looking a little like Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons, only at 7'0" tall. He was drafted at #15 by Phoenix and it was absolutely comical as he tried to stuff his hair into his new team's hat.
The major point of last night's draft is the amazing job, again, that the Portland Trailblazers have done. They are truly building something special in Portland - look out for the Blazers.

Last night they picked up some major pieces to fill in some spots for their up-and-coming squad via trades. They landed Ike Diogu and Jerryd Bayless (#11 pick) from the Pacers. Bayless was considered to be the second best point guard (behind Rose) coming into the draft, but fell to the Pacers at #11. Diogu and Bayless will fit in perfectly with the young team.

They also picked up a couple of foreign players that will most likely stay overseas for a few years, and landed four more draft picks for the coming years. They seriously have figured this draft thing out.

I am not much for picking a winner and a loser for the draft, because it takes so long for some of these players to truly develop and get used to the league. I felt Portland did a nice job. The Rose pick for Chicago was automatic, but leaves them with a crowded backcourt. And I feel Beasley to the Heat gives them a solid 3 punch (including Dwyane Wade and Shawn Marion) for at least a few years.

As for a loser, I would have to say the Atlanta Hawks, and for only one reason - they didn't have a single pick. The Hawks have been on the cusp of something special with so much young talent on their roster. This season, they even snuck into the playoffs as the #8 seed, before falling to the eventual NBA Champion Boston Celtics. So, they are still a few players away - and not having a pick could hurt them as other teams appear to be getting better.

All-in-all a respectable draft, but of course we'll have to wait a few years to see how it really panned out.

NOTE: I also played my second summer basketball league game last night, and our team again rolled to a victory (our second in as many games). I again felt pretty good, scored four points again, but was 2-for-5 from the field (both made shots were layups), so my field goal percentage is now 50%, horrific.

No comments:

Post a Comment