There had to have been at least 3 million other things to do rather than do what I did on the 26th of June. That night, one of the worst NBA drafts took place. And I, Satchel Page, watched every minute in disgust just to see what the Lakers would do with their one pick.
You heard it here first. This draft will go down with the 1986 and 2000 drafts as the worst drafts ever. In a night dominated by freshmen picks and unenthusiastic trades, I felt more confident about my displeasure with college basketball and this epidemic of early entries who assume that they are more akin to Kobe Bryant or LeBron James than Korleone Young and Omar Cook.
Chicago used their No. 1 overall pick on Freshman and hometown kid Derrick Rose from the University of Memphis. This was nothing more than a sentimental pick. From my understanding Rose was decent the first half of the year and then improved as the year went on. But nothing that says this guy should be number one! Especially when you have an established back court in Hinrich and Gordon. Guess what Chicago? You're not going to get any better with any guard in this draft.
Miami drafted Freshman forward Michael Beasley from Kansas State University. Now Beasley did have a good year averaging 26 ppg and 12 rpg. But here's the problem.
College analysts raved all year long about a 6-10 power forward with the skills set of Beasley. Good post game, excellent rebounder, and nice three point range to top it off. Only thing is Beasley's not 6-10, he's 6-7. Now three inches may not be much if we're talking about a strike zone. But that's huge when talking about NBA players. He quickly goes from banging with Jermaine O'Neal to squaring up against Kobe. And that's a huge difference in the NBA.
Minnesota drafted Freshman O.J. Mayo from USC with the third pick and then traded him to Memphis for (again) Freshman Center Kevin Love, out of UCLA. After that, I morphed into an owl. All in all, 12 freshmen were drafted.
Who is telling these kids to go pro? Why leave after your freshman year only to sit in the back of the bench with your arms folded over your elbows, praying for a blowout either way so you can get some action? All I kept hearing yesterday was potential, potential, potential. "He's not going to play much at first, but eventually he'll become a good rebounder and possibly have a jump shot. He's definitely going to need to develop." Isn't that what college is all about? Getting a chance to develop your skills in game situations? The NBA is turning into just another hustle. And we as fans are getting robbed.
Think if Durant and Beasley had both stayed in school. What kind of matchup would that have been? Or if Greg Oden had stayed. What if all those Texas players had stayed? They would be cutting down the nets rather than Kansas.
Being a solutions-oriented guy, I would suggest that the NBA would either (a) create a rule similar to the NFL, only allowing those players three years removed from high school to enter the draft, or (b) invest more in the D-League, and send all these guys to the D-League to develop their skills. Right now the D-League seems more like an independent league. It should be used as a farm system like the majors. That's why it's okay for high school kids to get drafted out of high school in baseball. There's always the minors that's available to help these kids improve. In the NBA, not so much.
I refuse to co-sign on any of these guys. And if I happen to eat Crow 10 years from now, so be it. One more thing. Who the heck is Joe Crawford?