NBA Draft Winners and Losers
While the President of the United States (see pictured above) may have had more important issues to concentrate upon, the rest of his kingdom relaxed in their chairs and sofas for several hours on Thursday night to view the 2009 NBA Draft.
Obviously, some mistakes were made. Not as clearly, some direct and good moves were made during what amounts yearly to an exercise in hopefulness.
So, let us review the 2009 NBA Draft.
Winners—New York Knickerbockers, Chicago Bulls, and Oklahoma City Thunder
The Knicks added a superb athlete in Jordan Hill and an unstoppable scoring machine in Tony Douglas. Add to this the trade for Darko Milicic, and you have the first A-plus of the draft day.
And to think, the Knick fans were actually going to sacrifice all of this to get B.J. Armstrong. Excuse me, Stephen Curry.
The Bulls continued to ramp up the heat on Eastern Conference foes by adding two big men that can be used to circle Dwight Howard and Kevin Garnett at playoff time.
6'9" forward Taj Gibson can leap high enough to dunk at 11 feet. The powerful 6'8", 270-lbs. James Johnson has all the post-up moves to go with shocking athletic ability for a big man.
This move puts the Bulls in line to make the Conference Finals in 2010.
The Oklahoma City boys performed their duty well by selecting the best basketball player in this year's draft, James Harden of Arizona State. Can you say Manu Ginobli meets Dwyane Wade? Then say hello to the next perennial all-star.
Dumb And Dumber
The Suspects—Denver Nuggets, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Charlotte Bobcats
It is always difficult to leave any team associated with the city of Charlotte out of a discussion about unintelligent maneuvers.
This is not a sports-team town; this is the stock car racing capital of the world. Why don't these people get it? How big is bull fighting in Boston?
To add salt to the wound, club pitchman Michael Jordan continued with a series of disastrous decisions concerning his business interests by drafting Gerald Henderson of Duke.
Henderson proved against Villanova in the NCAA Eastern Regionals that he can neither dribble or shoot.
However, he is a handsome star with a magnetic personality who should help this desultory franchise sell a few more tickets to local swooning 14-year-old female fans.
Cleveland went into the draft with the big news of the day, General Manager Danny Ferry has finally found a way to stop LeBron James.
The Cavs traded for 7'1", 365-lbs. Shaquille O'Neal. Along with Anderson Varejao, who parks himself in the paint to await garbage baskets, these two will clog up the middle.
This will reduce LeBron's picturebook drives to the basket and, thus, his overall effectiveness.
The problem is that Ferry is the GM of the team where LeBron James plays.
He knew there was something about that situation he needed to remember.
And just when you think nothing could top that clunker, up steps the forever-suffering Denver Nuggets.
The Nuggets rise to the Conference Finals this season was built around the acquisition of the highly-respected point guard Chauncey Billups.
By refusing to draft for need and actually trading to acquire a backup point guard, this franchise has reached a new low in the "who's got brains around here?" department.
Actually, longtime Laker fans welcome the opportunity to have Billups sit on the bench for indefinite stretches so some kid who can dribble really fast gets "his minutes in."
To the issue, don't Denver fans realize that, after a few years, Coach George Karl's act grows tiresome to the players and he "loses them."
Didn't they notice that in the final two games of the Western Conference Finals?
He'll be gone this time next year; that's his track record.
Who's Picking A Banjo Around Here?
Admittedly stealing the phrase from the film Deliverance where the hillbilly wanders upon an on-going scene at the gas station oblivious to what is happening, suffice to say that describes the action of the following teams.
Minnesota NBA franchises had three legendary professional players over the decades, George Mikan, Elgin Baylor, and Kevin Garnett.
Mikan retired; Baylor moved with the original Lakers to Los Angeles; and Garnett was traded for, for, for somebody or something.
Ricky Rubio was drafted to play point guard by the 'Wolves. With the very next pick, Minnesota drafted Jonny Flynn to play point guard.
Now you see why there are no more stars in Minnesota.
The Orlando Magic needed to make the next step in order to win a championship. They therefore traded nearly half of the team for one Vince Carter, a relic from another era who has never won a championship in college or professional ball.
Now, that's entertainment!
The Detroit Pistons decided that one Tayshaun Prince deserves another. They found him under the name Austin Daye playing at Gonzaga.
Maybe no one will notice in the cafeteria line.
Once again the excellent brass in the great city of San Antonio out-thought, out-traded, and out-drafted their major rivals.
By bringing in athlete Richard Jefferson to go with 6'7", 280-lbs. rebounding machine DeJuan Blair, the Spurs have righted their franchise and put themselves in a position to challenge the Lakers in 2010.
Know When To Hold 'Em
The Los Angeles Lakers are the best team in basketball, the deepest team in basketball, and the Champions of the World.
Therefore, they needed no draft-day heroics.
Know When To Fold 'Em
The Los Angeles Clippers are the worst team in basketball, have no dependable leadership, and have never been champions.
We all like Blake Griffin; he's another George McGinnis and Karl Malone. But even they could not save this franchise today if they were Clippers at age 20.
Tell the Clips to turn out the lights when they leave.
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