Ok so here is the question: Let's say that all the players playing in the Finals now became available and two neutral coaches had to pick teams to win a seven game series. How would that draft shape up?
I'm going to consider age, talent, playing style etc. So let's see how this would play out. Team A vs. Team B. It's going to be a snake style draft meaning Team A will get first pick, and then Team B picks two in a row and so on. It's going to drafted until there are two eight man rosters. The big question, who would be first pick, Kobe or Dwight?
With the first pick Team A chooses Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers.
What are they getting from this pick? Well obviously Team A decided it wanted who they felt was the best player in the draft. They got a guard who can take over the game offensively at any moment.
They got a player who has to be the focal point of the oppositions game plan and who is a threat to score from almost anywhere inside the half court line. Not only a marvel on the offensive end, Kobe has the ability to be a lockdown defender as we saw him do in the Olympic Games.
Beside all that Kobe brings the intangibles: The fiercest competitor, the strongest willed, the most prepared, the hardest working and the most cerebal player on the court at all times.
With the second pick Team B selects Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic and with the third pick Team B selects Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers.
What is Team B getting from this pick? Well Team B obviously is getting size. With Team A locking up the best perimeter player it was obvious that this would be their best choice and they feel Dwight is the second best player available.
With Dwight they are getting a beast of a player. A double machine who is always a threat to go off a monster night with stat lines of 25 points 20 rebounds and 5 blocks.
Dwight will disrupt shots at the rim and his team is almost never out rebounded soley because of him. An excellent finisher when he's near the rim and he wears out opposing teams frontlines by getting them in foul trouble.
With Pau, Team B is getting possibly the most skilled player in the draft with the exception of maybe only Kobe Bryant. He can score the ball with either his back to the basket in which he can finish with either hand. Or he can face you up and shoot over most players. He also can connect on jump shots anywhere from 15 feet out.
Gasol also is mobile and agile and is capable of running the floor and is a skilled passer out of double teams. Gasol also uses his agility as well as length to be a disruptive defender and he rebounds well averaging over 11 boards per game this playoffs.
With the fourth pick Team A chooses Rashard Lewis of the Orlando Magic and with the fifth pick Team A chooses Andrew Bynum of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Team A is getting a nice piece with Rashard Lewis. They have a player who can play either the three or the four. As a three he is a tough cover because he would be taller than most other three's. We are seeing the damage and mismatches he creates as a four in this playoffs. His ability to shoot (just unde 40% from three in the playoffs) stretches defenses.
On the defensive side, his said height and length allows him not to be a total disadvantage when guarding four's and he has enough quickness and athleticism to cover most threes.
Team A's hand was forced a little and they needed a big man to combat the size Team B boasts, hence the selection of Bynum. Bynum though is more than just a big body.
He is a decent athlete for his size and an improving low post player. He has the ability to score the ball when given touches as we saw with his 42 point eruption earlier this season against the Clippers.
On the defensive side Bynum can be a little foul prone but he also showed the ability to block shots as he finished with a regular season average of 1.8 per game.
Bynum also has the physical size and girth to deal with the likes of Dwight Howard.
With the sixth pick Team B selects Jameer Nelson of the Orlando Magic and with the seventh pick Team B selects Trevor Ariza of the Los Angeles Lakers.
In one of the more controversial picks in this draft Team B's choice of Nelson certainly caused waves due to the health concerns of Nelson. Either way Team B felt Nelson was healthy enough to contribute.
When healthy Nelson is the rare guard who can penetrate at will as well as be a knockdown shooter from deep. Nelson also has the size to absorb contact and finish.
Nelson also brings toughness and leadership to the team in which they may lack from the more talented players selected to his team earlier. Nelson is also fearless and has the ability to take and make big shots.
Team B's choice of Ariza was mainly for the purpose of covering Kobe. He played with him and should be generally familiar with his moves, plus he has the length and athleticism to give Kobe trouble.
Ariza also is able to shoot and make teams pay for doubling Howard or Gasol and he can run in the open floor with Nelson and finishes off plays.
With the eigth pick Team A selects Hedo Turkoglu of the Orlando Magic and with the ninth pick Team B selects Lamar Odom of the Los Angelse Lakers.
Team A clearly employing the best available philosophy for their next picks. Also by drafting these two players, they now have three guys 6-10 or better all capable of playing multiple positions.
Turkoglu and Odom both have similiar skill sets offensively. They both can handle the ball, they both can be the primary ball handler on pick and roll sets. They both can shoot and they both are willing passers.
Defensively Odom provides a little more in terms of athleticism and strength, while Hedo brings more to the table in terms of big play ability as well as consistency.
With the tenth pick Team B selects Mickael Pietrus of the Orlando Magic and with the eleventh pick Team B selects Luke Walton of the Los Angeles Lakers.
With a team full of size Team B decides it needs more shooting on the court to keep things spaced plus another defender to throw at Kobe which is why they selected Pietrus.
Pietrus is strong and tough and he has the ability to knock down the three ball especially the corner three.
The Walton pick was semi-surprising but with only eight team rosters Team B decided to put a premium on versatility. Walton has the ability to play multiple positions as well as guard multiple positions.
He also has an offensive skill set that includes the ability to shoot, pass and handle the ball.
With the 12th pick Team A selects Derek Fisher of the Los Angeles Lakers and with the 13th pick Team A selects Marcin Gortat of the Orlando Magic.
Team A decided to go with Derek Fisher over Rafer Alston mainly for the reasoning of pairing up the familiar backcourt of Fisher and Kobe. Fisher is trusted by Kobe.
Fisher also brings a ton of leadership, experience, and toughness to the table. Fisher has proven he can hit big three's and will have the strength to somewhat deal with Nelson.
Team A was absolutely thrilled that Gortat was still available this late in the draft. Gortat is a mobile center who has proven he can block shots and run the floor.
He provides Team A with size and makes sure there isn't a significant drop-off if and when Bynum gets into foul trouble.
With the 14th pick Team B selects Courtney Lee of the Orlando Magic and with the 15th pick Team B selects JJ Redick of the Orlando Magic.
The pair of Magic guards round out a nice team for Team B. Lee is able to take over some ball handling duties if needed. He also has the ability to hit the open jump shot and plays well without the ball, a skill which is good to have with his loaded lineup.
Lee also has been a capable defender early on his career.
With Howard and Gasol constantly causing defenders, there are going to be a ton of open shots for someone on the weakside. This was Team B's thought when drafting Redick. Why not have that someone be the NCAA career leader in three pointers made, JJ Redick.
Redick has been desperate to shake the "shooter" persona and has proven to be at least serviceable defender as well. Also he is not afraid to mix things up as well as take big shots.
With the 16th pick Team A selects Adam Morrison of the Los Angeles Lakers!
To once and for all settle the Redick Morrison rivalry!!
With the 16th and final pick Team A selects Rafer Alston of the Orlando Magic.
Alston rounds out Team A nicely which desperately needed a perimeter player and offensive spark off the bench which exactly what Alston will provide.
He can score points with his jump shot, in transition, or by penetrating in the half court. He also is a compliment to Derek Fisher providing some of the scoring ability he lacks.
Alston provides a wildcard feel to him, because he is capable of erupting like he did in the Conf. Finals with 26 points. He also may be cause for chemistry concerns if he can handle his backup role to Derek Fisher.
So there we have it. Thats how I feel a draft of these two teams would play out. Overall there was 8 Lakers and 8 Magic players selected.
Team A consists of:
Evenly matched teams I feel. Who do you think would win? I don't know who I'd choose but I'd def. say this series would go 7. I'd probably go with the overpowering lineup of Team B consisting of both Dwight and Pau. May be a little too much upfront for a team to handle. What do you think?