Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Draft thoughts 

I promise, I'll let it go in a bit. A day later, I can only describe this draft as somewhat of a disaster for most of the lottery teams, resulting in a couple of the teams selecting in the teens basically winning the lottery. Bill Simmons pretty much nails everything that was great and hilarious about last night's first round. Some thoughts:

Draft winners:

Boston - Stole consensus top four selection Gerald Green at #18. Coupled with Al Jefferson, Boston's future looks very bright as Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker continue to lead the way. Picking up Ryan Gomes late in the 2nd round was a terrific value, too. If Mark Blount can make Boston's roster, Gomes certainly can, too.

Indiana - One of the most talented teams in the league just got better with perhaps the steal of the entire draft, nabbing consensus top ten pick Danny Granger at #17 (How Granger and Green slid this low, no one will ever know. Some teams opted to address needs, but others suffer from complete stupidity).

Charlotte - Some people say they selected Raymond Felton too high at #5, but honestly, I believe it was the right pick. Paul and D. Williams were gone and Bobcats needed a point guard. If they had waited until their 2nd pick at #13, Felton would've been gone. The guy can run the floor and promises to be a stellar player in this league. He was UNC's motor during the season. UNC's motor during the NCAAs? Charlotte got him, too. Sean May was a great selection to partner with Emeka Okafor down low. The Bobcats can now employ and running, attractive style of basketball and boast two hometown boys which will drive ticket sales through the roof. They picked up talent and revenue!

Memphis - In keeping with the "teams that lucked out in having star players fall into their laps" theme, the Grizzlies certainly deserve a mention if only for drafting Hakim Warrick. The guy is versatile and definitely capable of being a 1st team all rookie member by season's end. Love his game.

Atlanta - You know, Bill Simmons disagrees on this one, but I think drafting Marvin Williams isn't a bad thing by any means. If you're Atlanta, you shift some pieces around and seriously think about playing small ball a la Seattle this season. Also, grabbing Salim Stoudamire at the top of the 2nd round was a great pick. He's the best shooter in the draft. Not often you pick two players who can start in your lineup immediately.


LAKERS - And how! Woof! I'm sick over this Desagana -- err -- Andrew Bynum pick. Sick, I tells ya! The Lakers have always been expected to be a team that should, can, will win now. You don't win now by throwing away a top ten pick on a project. You're the freaking Lakers, for crying out loud! Being competitive is imperative! Free agents come to you! Why take a flier on this galoot? 'Cause he's been able to keep his weight down for a whole month? Gasp! What discipline! Ugh. Why they didn't pick Sean May, I'll never know. Of course, in the slim event that Bynum does pan out, I am willing to eat crow. I do, however, like the Ronny Turiaf pick in the 2nd round. He's a guy who can step in immediately and help out in the post. You know? Kind of like Sean May! Von Wafer, I could take or leave. Practice squad is calling.

Toronto - And the winner for worst draft of any team by a country mile is... I wonder if there are any Toronto fans left. This team has absolutely no direction whatsoever. None! Two years ago, they draft Chris Bosh, who by all accounts is well on his way to becoming a star. That's great. How do they follow it up? The next two seasons, they reach (and I mean reach) on two first round picks who are not only way out of their league, but play the same position as Bosh! What the hell are you doing, Rob Babcock? Charlie Villanueva may yet turn out to be a good player, but he is not worthy of being #7 overall and he will flail in Toronto. Truly awful. Between this and giving away Vince Carter, I wouldn't be surprised if the Raptors wind up with the worst record in the league next year.

Portland - Because what this team needs is another high school player. One that will definitely be impressed upon by Portland's stand-up (ha!) roster. Taking Webster over Gerald Green took balls. Putting him in the backcourt with Sebastian Telfair (himself only a year out of high school) could be disasterous early on. To top it off, Portland made waves by trading out of the #3 spot because they weren't interested in a point guard (Chris Paul was ready and waiting), then later in the draft they pull a trade with Denver to acquire the rights to Jarret Jack. Guess what position Jack plays? Point guard! And he isn't nearly as good as Paul is! Honestly, what? What are you thinking, Blazers?

Minnesota - Right upfront, let me say that I like Rashad McCants' game a lot. The guy could be terrific in this league. Great scorer, great ability. But, if you're going to replace headcase Latrell Sprewell, you don't do it with another headcase! McCants has an ego bigger than maybe anyone in this draft and at least 3/4 of the league. This is the stable influence you want replacing Sprewell? Okay, whatever.

All 2nd round high school selections - Check it out guys, you don't have guaranteed contracts and all of you (except for CJ Miles) have forfeited your college eligibility by signing with agents. Sucks for you. Hope it was worth it. Peace.

How about all the early college entries who had their minds poisoned with thoughts of being a first round pick, then went on to be undrafted? Matt Walsh, John Gilchrist, Randolph Morris, etc. Seriously? You thought you had a chance? Oy...

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