The day is finally here, the NBA draft, June 25. Being the basketball junkie that I am, this may be my favorite day of the year.
We've got trades going left and right, we've got players such as LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose, etc., giving losing franchises hope, that one day, they could lead their team to the promised land.
So here we go, my first annual NBA Draft Day Diary (Top 10 edition).
ESPN kicks off their draft coverage with a half hour "round table discussion" hosted by Stuart Scott, that has Jay Bilas, Mark Jackson, and Jeff Van Gundy coming along for the ride. Seriously? Stuart Scott? Keith Obermann was busy, I take it.
David Stern walks out to the podium to welcome everyone to the NBA draft. Am I the only person who wonders why Stern still announces these picks past the lottery?
Even in the strongest of drafts, players that are selected past the lottery won't end up being rotation players anyways. Stern has better things to do than welcome BJ Mullens, and Taj Gibson to the league.
After a few minutes of listening to Jay Bilas talk about how Blake Griffin can "finish with either hand" (I'm sorry, I found that historical) ESPN shows us inside the Clippers draft room, everybody is clearly ecstatic, and with good reason, the Clippers just got themselves one hell of a ball player.
As Stern begins to approach the podium, I thought to myself, "How surprised would I be if the Clippers took Taylor Griffin instead of Blake Griffin?" and the answer was, I wouldn't be.
That move would sum up the Clippers better then any combination of words possibly could. But to my chagrin, the Clippers did select Blake Griffin, and on that note, the NBA draft was off.
Mark Jackson tells us the Grizzlies "are a team, to me, that needs talent." I wonder what gave that away?
Every mock draft I've looked since the draft process started has the Grizzlies taking Thabeet. For whatever reason, I thought the Grizzlies would be smarter then that. But then again, they're the same organization that traded Pau Gasol for expiring contracts.
The Grizzlies drafting Thabeet over Rubio is going to be the latest Darko over Carmelo. Thabeet is going to be nothing more then a shot blocker/change at the next level.
He's yet to figure how what an offensive game is, he's an horrifically bad rebounder for somebody that's as tall as he is, and he's struggled going up opponets who are stronger then him.
"I'm not sure [Thabeet's] offense is ever gonna get there," Bilas tells us, adding, "He has to get stronger … DeJuan Blair absolutely beasted him … and he really has to refine his offensive skills." That's followed by Thabeet's getting the ESPN graphic, "Must Improve: Offensive Game."
But yeah, the Grizzlies got a steal at No. 2.
The Zombie Sonics are on the clock at No. 3. I'm not going lie, if they select Rubio or Stephen Curry right here, I may be forced to watch 60 or more Zombie Sonic games next year.
As much as I hate the scumbags that hijacked this team from Seattle, with the current core they have now, adding somebody like Steph Curry, or Rubio, would make them one of the most exciting teams in the league.
And the Zombie Sonics select... James Harden, my least favorite player in this years draft. Thank god they didn't take Curry or Rubio, I didn't want to go against Seattle, and now I don't have to.
The Kings are picking at No. 4. There's no way they pass on somebody like Rubio here. Need for a Point Guard? Check. Rubio would be willing to play here? Check. All the pieces are in place, Rubio is going to the Kings. And he's going to be in a pretty decent situation.
The Kings have two high upside, and skilled bigs in Spencer Hawes and Jason Thompson, they also have one of the best energy players in the league in Nocioni, and a terrific scorer to play alongside him (which is something you need) in Kevin Martin.
So who did the Kings pick? Tyreke Evans. A homeless man's LeBron James (I mean that in a bad way). My jaw is literally on the floor. I'm thinking "maybe the Kings sent in the wrong name, something, anything, there's no way they just passed on Rubio" but I'll be damned, they actually did.
The Wolves are on the clock at No. 5. I wonder what's going on inside of the Wizards draft room right now? More importantly, what's going on in the Wolves draft room? They just turned Randy Foye, who quite simply sucks, and Mike Miller who's a more expensive Jason Kapano, into Ricky Rubio. This could go down as one of the best trades of the decade.
Less then a minute into the draft clock, Stern is up at the podium, as he announces Rubio as the pick. Without question the steal of the draft.
As ESPN draft expert Fran Fraschilla put it "the best passer in the last decade of drafts" and he's "got a Gretzky-like feel, he sees the game two and three plays ahead." Totally agree.
Wolves are back up at No. 6. If they draft Steph Curry right here I may have to pack up my things and move to Minnesota. They would my favorite player from last year's class (Kevin Love) and then my two favorite players in this years draft class, Rubio, and Stephen Curry.
Going with Curry here should be a no-brainer anyways. They're set in the front court for the next 10 years with AL Jeff, and Love, Brewer is a good enough (for now) option at the No. 3 spot, with Rubio at the point, all they need is a dynamic perimeter scorer and they're good to go.
And lucky for, the best pure scorer we've seen in the last five years of drafts is still on the board. So what do the Wolves do?
Jonny Flynn. A Point Guard. For the second time in less them 10 minutes my jaw is on the floor. I'm thinking to myself "Uh, but...,uh...,he's a Point Guard?". ESPN's draft crew was acting as if this was just another pick.
THESE PLAYERS CANNOT PLAY TOGETHER. One of them is 5'11, and the other is 5'11, 18 years old, and weighs 180 pounds. Both thrive with the ball in their hands as well.
Why didn't they just take Curry? And why aren't the ESPN guys wondering about a trade here or, at the very least, murdering this pick? THEY JUST TOOK TWO STRAIGHT POINT GUARDS!
The Warriors on the clock at No. 7. They could go a million different ways here.
They end up going with Steph Curry. In terms of value, I freaking love this pick. Curry is one of three guys in this draft who I could see being a Top Three option on a championship team. (Blake Griffin and Ricky Rubio being the others.)
But Curry and Monta Ellis playing together? Two undersized shooting guards? What the hell's going on there? Why isn't anyone wondering if he could be involved in a trade? (*cough Amare *cough*) Rattled. I'm rattled right now. This has been a rattling day.
The Knicks are on the clock at No. 8. With Stephen Curry just coming off the board, there isn't a name other then LeBron James that would make Knicks fans happy.
The Knicks settle on Arizona's Jordan Hill amid boos (called it) and with a few cheers sprinkled in from the crestfallen New York fans, and rightfully so. Instead of the first Stephen Curry, they ended up with the next Kwame Brown.
Here are Hill's weaknesses according to Jay Bilas: "Needs to add strength…still very raw offensively…needs to add moves in the low post…basketball IQ is low."
Yeah Knicks fans, you guys picked a winner.
The Raptors go with the perimeter version of Tyrus Thomas in DeMar DeRozan at No. 9.
Milwaukee follows up Tuesday's big trade (Richard Jefferson for some Arby's and Cold Pizza) by taking 19-year-old point guard Brandon Jennings, who averaged 19 minutes a game in Italy last season and gets the "Must Improve: Decision Making" graphic.
Never a good sign. If Jennings wanted to get paid for a year before he entered the draft, why didn't he just go to USC?
I'm actually a fan of this pick. Jennings does have some potential if he can ever get himself together mentally.
Although, I was a little surprised to see him go to the Bucks. He doesn't fit the Scott Skiles mold. If Jennings survives the first six months (joking aside) this should turn out well for the Bucks.
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