Well well NBA Draft Day is finally here, and I couldn't be...less excited? Sorry but I've just had trouble getting real fired up for this one. When talking about the draft I'm going to you these things "" a lot because the NBA Draft, at least until it actually happens, is based entirely on rumors and speculation. Entirely. GM's at this point are blowing smoke trying to strengthen their position in case they want to trade. Will they make trades? Probably not, although the Pacers/Raptors swap yesterday looked pretty good for most teams. Still, before the draft, the "rumors" and " speculation" and "sources" all say every team is looking to trade up or back or sideways. And usually nothing happens.
So we'll see, but call me skeptical. Part of it is also being a little more than skeptical that Wolves GM Kevin McHale will do the right thing at #3. What's the right thing? How about not taking Brook/Robyn Lopez (I can't remember which is the good one and I really don't care. All I know is both of them have girls names and neither is going to be a good NBA player) or Kevin Love there? The "Rumors" say McHale loves Love (You love Love? Kevin, are you just looking at players in the draft and saying you love them? I LOVE LOVE! Ok thank you Kevin), but not me. He's a 6'10 power forward with limited athletic ability who just kinda sorta disappeared in the NCAA tournament when he had to play against bigger, stronger, athletic players- you know, like the ones he'd see every night in the League. So hey, it's nice that he can throw an outlet pass 75 yards down court to the guy in row 13 aisle 11 and hit him in stride for a layup. Awesome. And that comes up how many times per game? 2? 3? What about the rest of the time? I just can't but think he's a decent white guy and so he's vastly overrated because he's, you know, a decent white guy. Maybe it's me.
And Tracy Lopez? It happens just about every year: a "white guy" (if I offend Jennifer Lopez because I'm classifying as a Useless White Center, I apologize) center gets drafted way too high for unexplained reasons. It's like Russian Roulette except with a big useless white center. This year Allison Lopez is that guy. Every fan of every team in the lottery is scared to death that their team is going to take Jessica Lopez. Mark my words somebody in the lottery will get him, and that somebody will regret it almost as soon as they take him. Don't you just LOVE the NBA Draft? No Mr. McHale, not Kevin Love, we know how you feel about him. Thanks.
So anyway, besides the scary notion that Amber Lopez will be the Wolves #3 pick, there's the also the question of what happens at #2 with the Miami Heat. Since about the midway point of the college season, "experts" decided this was a 2 player draft- with Rose and Beasley being those two players. Well OJ Mayo, he of the under-the-table-payments, actually quietly had a really good season for USC (and he'd better with how much he was being paid...sorry couldn't resist), and now Mayo is being considered as the clear-cut third best player in the draft. Well Pat Riley has been saying all along he loves OJ Mayo and wants to draft Mayo, trying to entice somebody (like the Wolves, Sonics, or Grizzlies) to move up to 2 to take him. Problem is nobody is biting. So now the question is does Riley stay at two and take the guy he says he wants in OJ Mayo, or the "consensus" second best player in Beasley?
I don't see why this is even a question. Who gives a %&^* what other people think or what other teams think of Beasley or Mayo? If Riley truly believes Mayo is the better fit and is going to be the better player, why wouldn't he just take him? I mean if the argument is that "well Beasley is a better VALUE pick because more people think he's better", isn't that a completely ridiculous argument if nobody will trade up with you to get that value? If he believes Mayo is the better player, then he should take Mayo. EVERY YEAR a guy that's taken later in the draft ends up being a much better player than most of the guys taken ahead of him. Riley has one of those guys on his team, in Dwayne Wade who was taken fifth, yet if the draft was done over he'd unquestionably go second after Bronbron. So why not just take the guy who YOU think is the best?
It all makes so much sense it probably won't happen and Miami will take Beasley and then the Wolves will probably take Love or Sharon Lopez and Mayo will go to the Oklahoma Bastard Redneck A--Holes and the state of Oklahoma will get to enjoy a Kevin Durant/OJ Mayo combo for the next decade. Hang on a minute while I go stick my head in the oven...
...Yeah so that's pretty much the worst possibility ever, but with the "bad luck" (I believe that's the term used around 600 1st Avenue at Target Center. It's not the employment strategies of Glen Taylor that have resulted in the Wolves awful performance, it's "bad luck") Minnesota has had in the last decade or so, well, I won't be surprised if in a 3 Player Draft the Wolves, with the third pick, don't get one of those 3 players.
Anywho, I'm not much interested in any of the other rumor mongering going on about the rest of the draft, because most of it is unlikely to happen, but if I'm going to be quick to rip NBA GM's for bad decisions, I should give my own thoughts before it happens (and remember this is coming from the same person who thought Adam Morrison would be a good NBA player):
A few guys I like:
Jerryd Bayless, G, Arizona: a 19 yr old 6'3 VERY athletic scoring machine "point guard". To me he's quite clearly the 4th best player in the draft, and yet his stock seems to be falling. A Gilbert Arenas (minus the crazy) type guard who is a great scorer but can handle the ball. Monte Ellis in Golden State (who's 6'3 on a tall day), is proving this kind of player is thriving in the NBA right now.
Eric Gordon, G, Indiana: There's no question he can score, but at 6'2 or 6'3 can he handle the ball well enough to be effective? While that's a scary question, definitely worth a gamble in the top 5.
DeAndre Jordan, A&M & Marreese Speights, Florida, C: Both freshman centers with TREE-MEN-DOUS upside who didn't play as well as hoped in their first college seasons. Yes, they could be the next Stro Swift or Patrick O'Bryant (chances are you haven't heard of him, and that's the point), but their ceilings are much higher than Barbara Lopez or that Kosta Koufas guy (also a freshman center and THE most likely player to be drafted in the top 15 who is guaranteed to suck. I wish you could bet on this stuff). Young bigs take longer to develop, and both of these guys are big athletic kids with potential. Would I take them in the top 10? Probably not, but I'd absolutely take a shot at them outside of there if you've got the luxury of being about to wait a few years for them to develop.
Donte Green, F, Syracuse: Another potential mid-round steal. And if you're wondering, if I was picking in the lottery outside the top 5, I would absolutely be trading back into the late teens. Greene could be another Danny Granger.
Chris Douglas-Roberts, G, Memphis: Maybe he's not athletic enough to be a good scorer in the NBA, but I'd be willing to take the chance. Watching him in the NCAA tournament he's SO crafty and seems able to get his shot off on anybody. Of course this was the same rationale I used on why Adam Morrison would be good.
Bill Walker, F, Kansas State: In high school he was basically called "like Vince Carter- except he tries". Yes, he's now suffered 2 serious knee injuries in the past year, so he could be a write-off, but with a late 1st round pick, why not take a gamble?
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