Thursday, June 26, 2008

NBA Draft Live Blog!!

Rob (2:10): I'll start out this foray into the wonders of new media with the simplest of all discussions for this Draft - Derrick Rose or Michael Beasley? I'm sticking with Rose on this one. I think the guy is going to be a special point guard one day - I keep saying it, but imagine Deron Williams with D-Wade's athleticism. I think Beasley will have more of an immediate impact than Rose, and may be a better fantasy player, but if your starting an NBA team, who do you want - Melo or Deron Williams? I'll take the PG everytime.

Ross (2:31): Hey big guy. Glad to join you for this exciting draft night. As to your first question, I have to disagree. If I was the Bulls, I would take Beasley. The best reason for Chicago to take Rose is that he is from the city and will immediately help fans forget about their horrific 49-loss season last year. But I watched both of them play extensively in college. Rose succeeded because he physically dominated the point guards he played. He was simply bigger, faster and could jump over the other team's point guard. Not to mention he has perhaps the most talented supporting cast in college basketball around him. You couldn't double team Rose to get the ball out of his hands because Memphis had so many weapons. Beasley, on the other hand, faced double and triple-teams every night. Teams focused their game plans entirely on him, and he would still get 30 and 15. I think he is the better player now, and will be the better player throughout his career. With the first pick, you want an all-star for ten years. That's Beasley.

Rob (3:38): Just a couple of trades to make note of: the Nets are reportedly sending Richard Jefferson to the Bucks for Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons and the Clippers are trading the 7th pick and their 2009 first rounder (protected) to the Sonics for the fourth pick. It looks like the rumors that the Sonics want Brook Lopez may actually be true, but who do the Clippers want with the fourth that they are willing to give up a future first rounder for? Could this be a play to get Beasley?

Ross (3:45): Interesting trade by the Nets. I always assumed that Vince Carter would leave before Jefferson. How do the Nets put the ball in the basket next year? That is a team that is lacking some scoring punch. Rob, before the draft starts, let me ask who you think the steals of the draft are going to be. Guys that are going to go after the lottery is finished but that will have an immediate impact next year. Thoughts?

Rob (5:50): There are three guys I really like after the lottery. The first is your boy Courtney Lee. The kid is big enough and athletic enough to compete with any NBA two, has range out to the NBA three, and can create his own shot if need be. Rumor has it that he is all but a lock at 22nd to the Magic, which would be a good fit for him. I think he could be a 10-12 ppg guy down the road. I also really like Marreese Speights. He is another big, athletic post out of Florida, but he has some serious motivation issues. I think the guy to emerge from the second round this year is Richard Hendrix from Alabama. He is only 6'7", but has a wingspan of 7'3". He's a house at around 250 (down from closer to 275) and averaged 17 and 10 in the SEC. I think he can contribute right away for any team a la Paul Millsap, and maybe if he can keep losing weight and improve his quickness and athleticism he could be a poor man's Carlos Boozer one day.

Ross (5:56): Completely agree about Courtney Lee. He can play both guard positions, and is strong enough and experienced enough to come in and handle the grind of the NBA right away. I disagree a little with Speights and Hendrix. Both of them are extremely talented players and great athletes. Yet watching them in the SEC, I always felt like they underproduced. It seemed like they floated too often, relying on talent and not exerting themselves fully. Unless both have a serious change of attitude, that won't cut it in the NBA.
One of my sleepers is Darell Arthur from Kansas. He hasn't been getting a lot of pre-draft hype, but some analysts have him going to Washington at 18. He's an experienced player who was phenomenal in the NCAA tournament. I don't know what it is, but I always think that if you have success during March Madness, on the big stage, you can play in the NBA.
Ok Rob, what about draft busts. Guys that are slated to go in the first round that will be out of the league in three years????

Rob (6:13): Anyone listed at 6'11" or above??? Ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration but not as much as you would think. In the lottery, I think Anthony Randolph won't turn into much. I saw him play twice this year, and he looked really impressive, but I've heard some bad things about his work outs (how are you out of shape going into the NBA Draft workouts) and he is very, very raw. He has a huge upside though (i hate that word). I also think any team that would use a pick on DeAndre Jordan or JaVale McGee is throwing a pick away. both are long and athletic, but play no defense, are way too weak to play the pivot in the league, and don't have much in the way of a post game. Draft Express even had a stat that said that McGee was scored on 66% of the time his man had the ball in the post this year, in the WAC, not a powerhouse for big men.
Another guy I forgot to mention who could be a steal is Chris Douglas-Roberts. The guy can just flat out score, and I feel like guys with a herky jerky style like CDR's can always find a way.

Ross (6:25): Well, Rob, I just got home from a long day of work. I've got a 6 pack here with me, ordering some Chinese food, and settling in for a long night of NBA Draft! Either this is going to be a great night, or I really need a better social life.
Good call on CDR. Another guy who had a lot of success in college and should be ready to handle the grind of an NBA season. Plus, he's long and can get his shot off at any time. So tell me what you think about this. I know Beasley and Rose are supposed to be terrific, and I think they will be, but I think there's another perennial all-star in this draft, and that's Eric Gordon. Yes, he slumped at the end of the year, but his IU team was in disarray. I saw him play a lot. The guy has NBA size, is strong as an ox, and has range out to 25 feet. You can't play off him because he's such a good shooter, but can't get up close cuz he's so quick. What do you think? I think he's somewhere in between Ben Gordon and Gilbert Arenas. He may never be 27 ppg in the NBA, but 20+ is very realistic.

Ross (6:31): Rob, why do people keep talking about Michael Beasley's attitude problems??? All he did was autograph a bunch of stuff at Oak Hill with Ty Lawson. I think thats hilarious. They're talking about him like hes Pacman... excuse me, ADAM Jones.

Rob (6:40): I don't know. I feel like Mayo's character issues are much worse. Beasley is just a goofy kid that plays pranks. But he's a warrior on the court. Mayo is a primadonna that still thinks he's the next LeBron James. And I guess Ronald Guillory is the kind of person you want your draft pick hanging out with......

Ross (6:41): I think it's been tough of Mayo. He's been in the spotlight his whole life. Remember, he's still just a kid, as are all of the guys that are coming out after one year. It just seems like people want to pick at something, and when there's nothing to pick at, they make up stuff. Here's my bust: Kevin Love. I know, I know, he was a great college player, but I think he simply won't be able to guard NBA 4's and 5's. Can you imagine him checking Amare? Dwight Howard? Love can be a solid, if undersized forward, but not a top-7 pick.
By the way, Jay Bilas just called Mario Chalmers a "senior to watch." I love ESPN announcers, even if they DID go to Duke...

Ross (6:47): Rob, here's my first prediction for you: Roy Hibbert will be a bad pro. I know, he's 7'2 with good ball skills. And he did improve exponentially in his years at georgetown. But I actually think he regressed in his final year in college (he would have been a higher pick had he entered after Georgetown's Final Four season), and I also think the days of 7'2 centers are over. Back in the 80's and early 90's, we saw more players like this (Mark Eaton, anyone???). But the game has changed. There are so few true centers, and so many more athletic hybrids. Jermaine O'neal, Amare, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, etc., these guys play the 5 but really are more of a mix. My question is, who can Hibbert guard? He's slow, has terrible lateral quickness, and could never run the floor with any of them. On offense, he takes a while to get his shot off and faced players 6 inches shorter than him in college. I think he is a back-up, at best.

Rob (7:00): I think you're right on with Hibbert. He will hang around the league for a while, but I can't really see him being much more than a mediocre center, but given his skill set I can understand how someone might see another Zydrunas Ilgauskas. I disagree about Love, however (Note: if Chad Ford's last mock draft holds true and the Grizzlies take him, then their forwards will be Rudy Gay and Kevin Love). I think he is big enough and smart enough that he can use the phenomenal skills he has, even if he defense is lacking. Not a star, but i can see him being a 15 and 8 guy for ten years.
Also, Andy Katz just announced that Rose will be the number 1 pick, and Ric Bucher is reporting that the Heat will actually pick Beasley. Rose isn't a surprise, and I think that is a good fit for them (how often do good point guards come along), but everything has said the Heat have been shopping the second pick around. Maybe they were just trying to work a great deal out of it, but I think that is such a smart move. How can you pass on a guy as good as Beasley?

Ross (7:06): Why wouldn't the Heat want Beasley? You then have three guys who can score 25 on any given night (or on the same night) with Wade, Matrix and Beasley. Put a decent point guard on that team who doesn't turn the ball over, and that team finishes in the top 4 in the East.
I can't keep listening to Dickie-V talking about the "temptation of South Beach." What, is he hitting up the Gold Club in Miami?? Why is this not an issue with every player on the Heat, Marlins and Dolphins? Beasley is a good kid and will be a great pro. Stop making up stories to fill airtime!!!

Ross (7:14): Was it just me, or did Derrick Rose not even come close to the question that was asked about what the Bulls have told him?? And does OJ Mayo sound a little like Kermit the Frog?
A reader asked if the Nets will move to Brooklyn. I think they probably will. A new arena is already being planned at the Atlantic Shipyards, and Brooklyn as a borough is changing every day. There's more money there, and I think there's room for two NBA teams in this city. How about Jay-Z as owner/coach?? That would sell tickets!!

Ross (7:19): Rob, let me ask you about the Wizards at the 18th pick. Do you think they will keep the pick? Their biggest holes are at backup center and backup point guard. A steal for them might be a guy like Jason Thompson out of Rider. 6'11, 250 pounds, can really rebound and is strong enough to play defense in the league. Not sure he'll ever be a scorer in the league, but would give the Wiz some much needed toughness. If they draft JaVale McGee, I will jump in front of a bus.

Rob (7:22): I like Thompson a lot, but he is basically the same player as Andray Blatche. As you said before, I like Arthur there. He is dropping on draft boards because he didn't measure out well with he length or athleticism, but he can play and can run the floor. He is kind of an Antawn Jamison type player. I also like Chalmers there a lot. He can knock down open shots if Gil penetrates, and he is a lock down defender that will create havoc in the passing lanes (when was the last time Agent 0 played defense).

Ross (7:29): That's true about Blatche, but I wonder how much time Chalmers would get with Nick Young, a promising young player, already there.
Let's get back to the players on the board. I have always been wary of guys who play well for a few games down the stretch of a college season, and get people really excited. A perfect example is Joe Alexander. This guy was a good player all year, but wasn't even mentioned on draft boards. Then he heats up in the Big East Tournament and into the Sweet 16, and now he's top 8??? He's a decent NBA player, but do you really see him being a starter, worthy of a lottery pick?
So the Bulls took Rose first, what happens to my main man Duhon???

Rob (7:31): Yea, I think Alexander will be a good player. He is a great athlete - 6'8", 36" vert, fast and strong. He also is a proven hard worker - he didn't do anything his freshman year and turned himself into a great college player. I think 8th to the Bucks may be a stretch, but the kid can play and will be a solid starter in the league. Just because he killed Duke in the tourney doesn't mean he's not a good player.
So Rose is officially the #1 pick. Not a surprise. I think Duhon stays, and they move Hinrich somewhere.

Ross (7:37): Rose's mother says that Chicago is the only place he knows how to play?? Um, was she blackout for his last year at Memphis??? Pretty funny...
I still think Beasley will be the better pick. If Miami doesn't take him here, there will be some Sam Bowie references...

Rob (7:39):So Beasley goes second to the Heat. Thank god, they would be fools to not take him. In response to a reader, I think the Knicks take Danilo Gallinari. No point guards in the draft save DJ Augustin can run D'Antoni's system, and 6th is too high for Augustin. Gallinari is a tough kid, can shoot, and is tall on the wing.
What does Minnesota do now? Put Mayo in the backcourt with carbon copies Rashad McCants and Randy Foye?

Ross (7:43): Why not take Brook Lopez, move Al Jefferson to the 4, and go big??
I'm I'm the Knicks, I'd trade the pick. No player at the 6th pick is going to save the team in a year. Trade down, get two or three picks and some cash, and rebuild from the ground up. I know that doesn't play well in New York, but I think that's the smart move.

Rob (7:46): Good decision. I'm of the philosophy that you always take the best available (by the way, how old does Mayo look with that beard and what is he doing with those shoes). Anyway, I guess the Clippers - Sonics deal fell through because they couldn't get Mayo. I think the Sonics take Lopez. They need the center.

Ross (7:52): I think Westbrook at 4 is a horrible pick. He was about the 5th most valuable player on his college team. He's a great athlete with no consistent jumper and a less-than-average handle. He is a great defender, but I don't like this pick at all. They needed a scorer to take some pressure off Durant, and this just ain't it. Westbrook just said he's a point guard, but wasn't even the best on his college team. Top-4 pick?? Really?

Rob (7:54): I like the pick, just not at four. He's a great defender, which durant can't do, and can get out and run the floor. But I think they should have gone with Lopez, they need an inside presence especially in the west. Westbrook may one day be Leandro Barbosa/Rajon Rondo, but there is more out there they could have gotten.

Ross (7:57): I agree with that. Four is too high. Who do the Grizzlies take? Commish is up and... they take Kevin Love. I like this pick. I don't think he's a star, but he has terrific fundamentals and will add some stability to that team. They are very athletic already, and Love provides nice balance.
Random Thoughts: If I see that Sprite commercial where they all jump into the court again, I'm gonna throw up. First of all, who drinks Sprite after playing ball?? Kieffer is probably trying to dive into his neighborhood court right now...
Second Random Thought: How funny does Pinnapple Express look??

Rob (8:00): Pineapple express will be great. Those guys can never do wrong. I like the Rudy Gay - Kevin Love front court more than anything out of that pick. Love should be a solid guy in the league for a long time. Btw, when did the NBA start interviewing parents? Who cares what Love's dad has to say?
Love's uncle is the lead singer of the Beach Boys? That's crazy.
I have no idea who the Knicks take here. They basically just need to blow that whole team up and start over,a nd noone here will do that for them.

Ross (8:03): Gallinari!!!! GOOOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLL!!!!! Great pick, he will be really good on headers around the goal, and has a really strong right foot...
Wait, what? This is the basketball draft?? Oh... Well, he should be good to pair with Frederick Weiss.
Seriously, this guy is supposed to be good. But the Knicks needed help, NOW! Does this help them next year? Readers, do they win more than 25 games? Hard to say yes unless Dantoni is a genious.

Rob (8:05):Yea, I really don't see him adding anything this year. Even with Beasley the Knicks don't win 25 games. I think the Clippers gotta go with Gordon here.
"I like .... to win". Atta boy Danilo.

Ross (8:08): Danilo might think that boo means "I want to drink grappa with you" in Italian.
Now the Clippers take... Eric Gordon. Good pick. Take the best player available. This guy is a stud. Strong, fast, can shoot and finish at the rim. Not sure he fits terribly well with that team, but he is a great player. Horrible blazer though. He looks like Marc Ramos on prom night in the barrio...

Rob (8:12): Yea, what is Gordon doing with that suit. Grea tpick for them in my mind. Gordon, Maggette, Kaman, and Brand should at least compete in the West for the playoffs.
Bucks are going with Alexander here. They need a small forward and someone to hustle and play D. Alexander's the guy.

Ross (8:13): Funniest image of the draft so far: Danilo walking into the Knicks locker room, looking the team in the eyes, and saying... "I want... to win." Then Eddy Curry calmly gets up, walks over to him, and shanks him in front of everyone. Amazing.
Joe Alexander? Really? Again, I think good player but a role player. Worthy of the 8th pick? I'm not sure. I like that he played for Bobby Huggins, so you know he's tough, but he's kind of a tweener. Probably not quick enough to guard small forwards, but not big enough to play power forward.

Rob (8:15): Alexander was the second fastest player in the NBA combine in the 3/4 sprint and top ten in the agility drill. So yea, he can guard three's. I love this pick. There is a reason he shot up draft boards.
The Bobcats are prob gonna go with Brook Lopez here, which gives them a front line of Emeka and Lopez. That's not a bad team with Felton and J-Rich also. Personally, I don't think Lopez is going to turn into much more than Brendon Haywood at best, but at least that is a solid 12 and 8 center for ten years. They also have the 20th pick too, so they still have room to play here.

Ross (8:20): I like Lopez here. He has a remarkably mature post-up game. Good jump hooks with both hands, can step out and shoot it to 15 feet. I'm not sure that he's a star, as you said, but a solid center to pair with Okafor, who is a little undersized to play center anyway, and then you bring Sean May off the bench, is nice.
So here they go... The Bobcats select: D.J. Augustin. Wow. Raymond Felton must feel like he just got slapped in the face. How do you explain this? They didn't need a point guard. And I don't think Augustin is going to be a great pro. What is MJ doing??

Rob (8:23): I don't know about that one either. Felton is finally turning into something, and you take Augustin, a PG that dominates the ball and can't guard anyone? I don't know. He's a great talent, but i don't know.
Did anyone else see Brook Lopez crying in the Green Room? Come on dude, you know you're on national TV right? I have no idea what the Nets do here. I'm going to say Lopez again, but I may be 0-3 on that. I also like Bayless for them, because without Jefferson they need a scorer, and Harris can guard two's if need be because he is about 6'4".

Ross (8:26): And the Nets take... Brook Lopez. Nice pick. He's a solid post guy, plus if the team is ever bored on the plane, I hear he's a great cartoon artist. Seriously though, I think he will help them immediately, and that's what they need. Bayless is probably the best player left, right?
Do Josh Boone and Brook Lopez combine to form the ugliest front line in NBA history?? Sorry, thats mean...

Rob (8:28): I like this pick too. A quick question though. Going back to Milwaukee's pick, why do they trade for Richard Jefferson when they were going to pick Alexander? Aren't they the same player?

Ross (8:30): I agree. 6'7, good athlete. If anything, Alexander's absolute ceiling is... Richard Jefferson.
Another side note: Robin Lopez is HILARIOUS. He could hang out with me anytime.

Rob (8:32): Jerryd Bayless and TJ Ford in Indiana's back court? That will be the smallest backcourt in NBA history. Maybe that trade won't go through.
Who will the Kings take here? I really have no idea. I have heard Chalmers, Hibbert, Arthur... I think they need to go with the best out, and that is Arthur.

Ross (8:34): Here are the thoughts of an ESPN producer right now: Stephen A., ask him ANYTHING other than "Are you a true point guard?" Seriously, he has asked that question to like 8 of the 11 guys picked so far. Very creative, Stephen A. I can't wait till another foreign player gets up there and doesn't understand what "true point guard" means. SAS might explode.
If I'm the Kings here, I might take Brandon Rush. He's a guy that knows how to win, and can play right away.

Rob (8:36): Jason Thompson???? Why do you take him there. You can trade down and get him at 20. He may turn into a pretty good player - he is obviously a late bloomer as he grew four inches in high school - but come on, you just picked Spencer Hawes last year and already have Brad Miller. Aren't they the three same players?

Ross (8:40): My guess is Stephen A. Smith is soooo disappointed that he can't ask Thompson if he's a true point guard...

Rob (8:42): Why do they make the most standoffish broadcaster in the history of television the interviewer? I'm sure every player is thinking about how much of a jackass SAS is.
I think Portland goes with Rush here. He's a winner, a defender and a shooter, and will fit into a role.
And the pick..... It's Rush. Great pick.

Ross (8:44): I agree. Great pick, will really help Roy and Webster. 22 minutes a game, 9 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists. Also a solid guy, which is no small issue with the Jail Blazers. Also, I think Jason Thompson will surprise people. A little high to take him at 12, but he's a good player who can rebound and defend NBA centers. Not as bad as some people think.

Rob (8:46): And the Blazers go with... Anthony Randolph. Risky pick, because you can't know how he is going to develop or how hard he will work with guaranteed money, but he has a ton of potential. I think the Warriors are a great system for him because he can get out and run the floor, but Brandon Wright is pretty much the only player on the Warriors roster that isn't a free agent.
SAS: "Anthony, your long, athletic, you can shoot, you can score ... but can you be a true point guard".

Ross (8:51): Yeah, Anthony Randolph is risky. But how is he that much different than Brandon Wright? Still, at 14, it's probably worth the risk.
Quote of the night - Dick Vitale: "Dantoni. Gallinari. Sounds like a great Italian restaurant." Hilarious.
Getting close to the Wizards!! Might Chalmers still be on the board?? I hope so!
Rob, best players left after the lottery??

Rob (8:54): Darrell Arthur, Marreese Speights, and Kosta Koufus. All bigs. Chalmers is probably the best guard left, you better hope he keeps dropping.
The Suns pick Robin Lopez, and I love that pick for them. He is a scrappy defender that will hustle and give you energy, pretty much the exact opposite of Amare.
Team Lopez's mom is white? What??? And she looks like she is about 6'5". They probably should have gotten him a bigger hat though.

Ross (8:57): Yeah, I think Arthur will be a very good pro. I agree, Lopez is a good pick. He runs the floor, plays D and rebounds. Will be a good backup for both Amare and the Diesel. Plus, hes hilarious.
A story for you: This is an absolutely true conversation I had on Friday night with Steve Nash in a club.
Ross: 11-7.
Steve: What?
Ross: That would be the score if we played on-one-on.
Steve: Oh... um... haha (nervous laughter).
Ross: Seriously, I used to be a point guard, and I really love your game.
Steve: Thanks man.
Ross: Oh... um... haha (nervous laughter).

Rob (9:00): 11-0 you mean right? Good pick for the Sixers, they need some physicality. I also think if Speights is motivated all season he is a top 10 pick this year. So the question with this pick is: is this for the Pacers of the Raptors?
Ross - who is the last player that is in the Green Room? DeAndre Jordan. How far does he fall?

Ross (9:04): Big Roy Hibbert!!! Not a bad pickup for Indiana, will be a decent NBA player.
Wizards are on the clock. Who do they take? I think they need size, so Jordan, Koufos, or Arthur would be the most likely.
I agree, Speights is a good pick for the 76ers, because Thaddeus Young is not a physical player.
Another true story: I played against Big Roy in summer league. I had 24. He had 4 against my high school's 6'5 center. They won by 3. I'm not impressed.

Rob (9:08): Stop dropping names. Noone's impressed. I think the Wiz go with Chalmers.


Rob (9:12): So there's a trade. Brandon Rush and Jarrett Jack from Portland to Indiana for Bayless and Ike Diogu. I like that trade for both teams. If Indiana gets Ford thats a good backcourt with Rush and Dunleavy, and Bayless will fit in well with Brandon Roy. Good all around.

Ross (9:13): So I'm Ernie Grunfeld, GM of the Washington Wizards. My team has made the playoffs the last three years, but we can't get out of the first round. We need one player to get over the hump. There are a lot of solid contributors out there, guys that can help right away. So draft night comes, and I'm gonna take... Javale McGee??? Really?? I'm speechless. He is a project that won't contribute for three years. What's the thought process here? Plus, they have Brendan Haywood, Andray Blatche, and Etan Thomas coming back. Brilliant. This is why I love being a Washington sports fan.

Rob (9:15):Cavs gotta go with Arthur. He's a top 10 picks any other year. So they take.... JJ Hickson? I don't know about that one. He's raw, has no ball skills, but is strong and a very explosive big guy. I don't know, al depends on how he develops in the league.
How is Arthur still around? Maybe missing all those workouts actually hurt him. I think the Bobcats need to go big here, and I think Koufus is the best pure big guy left. He's 6'11", has a good jumper, and is a pretty good athlete (36" vert). He could turn into a pretty good player.

Ross (9:21): I think Hickson is a good pick. He played in the ACC and played well against good big men. He'll be a good pro, and has some time to develop on a veteran team like Cleveland. Interesting theme: teams are definitely favoring potential over proven college players. Anthony Randolph, Javale McGee, JJ Hickson are all guys that could be good, but it will take a lot of work. I think Arthur, Courtney Lee and Chris Douglas-Roberts will be good right away. Thoughts??

Rob (9:24): Exactly. Ajinca averaged 5 and 5 in a French pro league. But when has an NBA Draft not been based on potential? But your right, all the guys that will help right away are going to end up going to the best teams. Some middle of the pack team is going to get a gift in Arthur.
So the Blazers are also sending McRoberts to the Pacers? Now I guess the Pacers have a game changer - NBA Finals? I think so.

Ross (9:27): Don't knock McRoberts. He went to Duke, he's obviously going to be a good pro. Plus, he used to date LC from the Hills, so he does have that going for him.

Rob (9:30): Haha. LC is smokin'. I kinda like this pick with Anderson. He put up incredible numbers at Cal and can put the ball in the hoop, which the Nets need.
Now my question for you is will the Magic take Courtney Lee, who is a good pick, will be a solid pro and fills a need, or do they take Arthur, easily the best player left?

Ross (9:32): Personally, I hope they take Arthur, so that JJ Redick doesn't get buried deeper on the bench. Seriously though, there is a lot of quality left. I can't remember a year when so many proven players have been around so late. I'm talking about guys that were all-conference in college. They might not measure up as well in pre-draft workouts, but they are proven players who can contribute. Magic about to pick, I think Arthur has to be the pick...

Rob (9:35): Nope, they took Lee. This was pretty much the most sure thing heading into the draft, as everyone had Lee penciled in here a while ago. I like this pick, as I said before, because Lee is going to be a solid NBA guy for a while.
I can't believe Arthur is still on the board. I don't know if he fits Utah's flex offense, or fits with Seattle when they have Green and Durant already, so he may keep dropping. He would be a dream for Houston at 25 though.
And you're right, there are a ton of good college guys still available. Everyone has been saying that this is a deep draft, I guess they were right.

Ross (9:40): You're right, Lee was a good pick at 22. Reminds me a lot of Rodney Stuckey. A solid player from a small school that put up huge numbers in college, and everyone saw what he did in the playoffs. At 23, the Jazz take Koufos. Good pick. Will give them quality minutes off the bench, and actually I think is a nice compliment to Boozer downlow. Koufos is a good athlete but can step out and shoot a mid-range J. He should be a nice fit in Utah.
Rob, who's a guy that was sure he was going to go in the first round that will drop to the second and not get that guaranteed contract?

Rob (9:42): Agreed. He can shoot, won't after to worry about playing in the post to start, and pulls out the center allowing Williams and Boozer to have space to work. Great pick for them.
It's DeAndre Jordan. He was considered a top 5 pick early in the season, and there is now way that Arthur slides past Portland at 27. Most of the teams picking now are looking for a role player to fill a need and will pick a foreign guy and keep him in Europe to develop as opposed to letting a guy like Arthur develop here.

Ross (9:46): Serge Ibaka? Again, not to beat a dead horse, but how do you take Serge Ibaka over a guy who just played in the National Championship game? Either NBA GM's are geniouses, or idiots. I'm just not sure which.
I'm watching the draft right now with my little brother Jake, who just asked me "Who the hell is Serge Ibaka?"

Rob (9:49): I like the pick, just not for the Sonics. They need something immediate to help them (and help them stay in Seattle) but Ibaka will be able to develop for a few years in Spain before he comes over here.
Side note - what is Jeff van Gundy more jealous of his brother for? The fact he has a coaching job or the fact he has a full head of hair?

Ross (9:52): The Rockets take... another French guy, Nicolas Batum. This guy is actually supposed to be very good. 6'7, can jump out of the building. Supposed to be a lot like Boris Diaw. He needs to fill out a lot, but if he says in Europe for a year or two, he will be very good.
Ric Bucher just reported that Darell Arthur has an undisclosed kidney condition. This is huge! Why did no one report this earlier? What does this mean?

Rob (9:55): Yea, and Batum was supposedly having a medical issue as well - he failed a test on his heart at a workout in Toronto.
Arthur is more of a surprise. I had no idea about this, as I'm sure most people in the media didn't. That's too bad for him. I guess its karma though - maybe he should have gone to class in high school.
For the record, on ESPN's graphic for the Spurs, they printed Mark Jackson's advice to the Spurs: "Needs to younger talent". Nice. Maybe that's why you can't get a coaching job.

Ross (9:58): George Hill is a great pick for them. Will be a very good backup to Tony Parker. When you're the Spurs, you need to fill small holes. This does that.
I feel bad for Arthur. Never good to be the last guy in the Green Room.
YESSS! The Sprite commercial is on again!!! Hey Rob, I'm thirsty, gonna run down to the corner store and get.... a Sprite.

Rob (10:00): Oo-ee-poo-ee's finest goes to the Spurs! I love the small schools getting some props this year. So this pick is for the Blazers. Who do they take here? I like CDR here. Gives them another scorer from the wing who can fill a need and fit into a team concept.

Ross (10:06): FINALLY, Darrell Arthur is taken. This is a great pick for them. He adds strength, versatility, and an overall solid player. With Oden healthy, they will be a force next year. I still don't think that Steve Blake takes a team deep into the post-season though. Glad to hear that Arthur is healthy and ready to go. I think he will be a very good player in the league.

Rob (10:08): Glad to see Arthur picked as well. He is a steal for Portland this late. For Memphis, the announcers are trying to say that the Grizzlies need another big guy, but who are you going to pick here that can contribute right away? I think they should take either Chalmers or CDR here, because both are proven winners and can add depth to a team. They are probably better off with CDR because they already have a log jam at PG that sent Juan carlos Navarro back to Spain.
And they take... Donte Greene. I'm not really sold on this guy. He is a 6'9" gunner that lives outside the three point line. At best, he can be an Al Harrington, which isn't half bad, but he has a long way to go to get there.

Ross: (10:13): I agree on Greene. He settles for jumpshots way too much, which is a shame because he is a fabulous athlete. Needs to work on shot selection as well as getting stronger to succeed in the league.
I think the consensus that CDR and Chalmers are the best players left. Another guy that I think will be a good pro is D.J. White from Indiana. He's really strong, and was the only post option at Indiana and still put up great numbers in a rugged Big Ten. Would be a steal around now.

Rob (10:15): I agree about Chalmers and CDR, and White as well. He has had a bunch of injuries, but he is still only 21 years old and is definitely a big body.
We've forgotten about Bill Walker. Yea, he has knee problems, but he was a top 5 player in high school and a potential top 10 pick before his injuries. I think he's worth the risk at this point.
And the Pistons take.. DJ White. Good call Ross. He fits with the Pistons perfectly.

Ross (10:20): I agree, White will fit in and, with Maxiell, give them nice depth off the bench. He should be a good fit. And the last pick of the first round awaits... Who do the champs take? I think of any of their starters, Ray Allen probably needs the most support. I think CDR would be a great pick for them. He's a proven winner, plays hard-nosed defense, and would defer to the proven players on that team.

Rob (10:23): He is good. Gives them another guy to create shots and he played for Calipari at Memphis, so you know he can D up. Chalmers could help as well, because you get Eddie House's shooting without losing the defense of Rondo too much. I think those two could provide a nice backcourt. To tell you the truth though, I expect Boston to go overseas and leave the player there to develop. Maybe a guy like Ante Tomic.

Ross (10:26): Definitely possible, but I don't think the Celtics can't just stay the same and expect to win. They will be a year older, and there's always the question of whether or not the players will come back equally hungry after winning the title. KG is intense, so you know he'll keep them focused, but you never know.
And the Celtics take... JR Giddens. Here's a guy that not too many people know about. He started at Kansas and transferred to New Mexico. Had some off court issues, but is extremely talented. The Celtics are probably thinking that he will stay in line with the veterans on that team, and could contribute off the bench.
Well Rob, this has been fun. A great draft, and more still to come. Goodnight everyone!

Rob (10:30): I like the pick now that I think about it. He's a great athlete, a good defender, and can hit the three - sounds like a James Posey to me, and he turned out well. He has some off the court issues, so hopefully KG and Pierce can keep him in line.

Well that's it for now. It's been fun!!!

Check in tomorrow for a look at the second round and thoughts on the draft overall.


Marc said...

come on guys, could you be more gay for each other?

p.s. i agree with ross on EVERY point so far and i can't imagine that changing for the rest of this draft, or life for that matter.

Micah said...

are the nets gonna move to brooklyn? yay or nay?

are the wizards going to move this pick or keep it? anyone nice they can take mid first round?

Will said...

Ross, stop with your love for the Wizards, and start talking pressing issues in the draft. Like Joe Alexander, or how far Randolph will fall.

matthew said...

first of all its Atlantic Yards, there are no ships in the middle of brooklyn

how will the knicks mess this draft up? any chance the rumors of them getting #2 true?

matthew said...

and speaking of character issues, wouldnt a guy like beasley who went to like 10 ten highschools in 4 yrs have some character issues?

do you see a lot of players going to europe for one yr vs college for a yr?

matthew said...

fuck westbrook should have been a knick

Will said...

Why Westbrook?! Horrible pick for the Sonics, unless they made that pick for someone else. He's just another pt guard that doesn't have a complete game like Watson and Rindour.

matthew said...

i like the idea of trading down... knicks need a lot and cant get superstar

if bayliss there though ild be happy with him

Will said...

Saw Bayless live, and he's legit. Not sure if he's a true point either, and not a fit for the Knicks with the amount of guards that they have. Knicks also can't trade down because they have too many players under contract for next year.

Ross Weingarten said...

is kevin love rob dauster's chin-strap idol???

matthew said...


Will said...

Augustin is getting hated on for no reason in the draft. Besides the fact he got dogged by the #1 pick in the draft, he dogged everyone else the entire season.

Will said...

If you're the Nets, do you package the #10, #21, and another asset (future first rounder?, second rounder), and pick up Mayo?

Ross Weingarten said...

why would the wolves give up mayo?? they need a star, a name, to build around and sell tickets.

Jonathan said...

There are few certainties in the world, but this is one of them: Robin Lopez is going to be a terrible, terrible pro. I say even money that guy never gets a second contract.

Andy McKenzie said...

this is the culmination of what, 3 months? i hope randolph will be good...