Thursday, June 29, 2006

Quick NBA Draft thoughts 

As with Superman, I wasn't seeking out analysis much on the Draft today, either. I merely had the little "Draft Cast" window open on my computer as the picks rolled out. Some thoughts...

- Obviously, I'm going to start with my Los Angeles Lakers. I was really hoping we'd draft a big man to help on the glass, preferably a power forward. What I got was a point guard. In the triangle offense run by the Lakers, point guard is quite easily the most useless position. However, there are two reasons why I'm okay with this selection. 1) It was Jordan Farmar of UCLA, the 2nd best point guard (to me) in this draft behind Marcus Williams. Farmar has all the qualities necessary to develop into a truly special floor leader in this league. 2) Who, on the Lakers current roster, is the other starting guard besides Kobe? Correct, it's Smush Parker. Who would I rather have on the floor, Jordan Farmar or Smush Parker? Look, it could be between a sack of dead bullfrogs and Smush Parker, I'm still not taking Smush. We'll see how it all pans out, but for now, I'm neither displeased nor thrilled with the Lakers' draft.

- Surprising no one, the Raptors took Andrea Bargnani with the #1 pick. The boss of Bargnani's old team in Italy, Bennton Treviso, has just recently come to Toronto as the team's new president/assistant general manager. Again, no shock here, but Bargnani isn't the best player in this draft. It remains to be seen whether or not the Italian joins the ranks Dirk, Pau, and Peja as star European players or if he flames out like freaking Nikolis Tskitishvilli, but for now, the best player in this draft is Adam Morrison. Hands down! Charlotte look the clear winner of this draft if only for their selection of Morrison. Can't wait to see what the Bobcats do with the young, talented lineup featuring Morrison, Felton, Okafor, and Sean May.

- Another huuuuuge winner in this draft: New Jersey. The Nets lucked out when Marcus Williams slid all the way down to 22. He's going to be a stellar point guard in this league and who better for him to learn from than one of the all-time best in Jason Kidd? Nabbing Josh Boone right afterwards strengthens their inside game, too, and don't dismiss their selection of Hassan Addams (UofA!!!!) in the second round. He may just be the best athlete in this draft class.

- The Duke players do not inspire me with confidence. I think J.J. Redick is going to be a tremendous flop in the NBA. I've said before that whoever drafts him is a sucker. I guess that makes Orlando a sucker. Redick isn't very athletic, can't create his own shot, and falters in big games. Welcome to nowhere, J.J. Why don't you go pick up another D.W.I. Meanwhile, Shelden Williams may have better prospects than his Duke teammate, but I think he'll settle into this league as only a role-player. I thought he was slightly overrated in college and benefitted primarily from never having to battle guys who were his size in the post. Plus, the guy's in Atlanta. That could ruin a player.

- Minnesota were almost genius when they drafted Brandon Roy, but then they shipped him for Randy Foye -- who is an excellent combo guard. Still, I don't see Foye matching the heights Roy will reach in the pros. Although, I have to temper Roy's expectations now that he and every player under the age of 20 are playing in Portland. That franchise has literally become the attic of lost toys.

- I think every single team in the league executed at least one trade tonight. What the hell?? By far, the most interesting swap was between Houston and Memphis: Rudy Gay for Shane Battier. Gay could be a star if he commits fully to the game -- something people doubt he will do. Meanwhile, Battier is an intelligent, veteran hustle player who instantly makes Houston (if healthy) a better team if only for his strong effort night-in, night-out.

- I want to see Mouhamed Saer Sene play. He's the 7-footer from Senegal who has only been playing basketball for four year. Seattle drafted him 10th overall. Let the experiment begin!

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