Well, ladies and gentlemen, the 2011 NBA draft started out like most of us expected, with Kyrie Irving going No. 1 to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Derrick Williams going second to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
From there it devolved into a hodgepodge of madness, culminating with everyone swearing off mock drafts for the rest of their lives.
When Utah picked Enes Kanter with the third pick, all bets were off. They could have gone with Brandon Knight with that pick, which probably would have made the dominoes fall in a way that many out there thought would happen. But when David Stern said Kanter's name, there was no looking back.
Eight trades, six international players and a guy named Targuy Ngombo later, and we have ourselves the 2011 draft in the books.
For some teams it was a complete and utter windfall, making their general managers seem like complete geniuses. For others, it was a whirlwind of confusion and furrowed brows.
In fact, if I could sum up this draft in one word, it would be "confusing," considering the number of trades and out-of-place picks.
So let's take a quick look back at the winners and losers of this year's draft. Lord knows I need to lay some things out on paper just to understand them myself.
Many of you out there know that I am a Cavaliers fan, so this is going to be more of a rant than analysis right now, but there will be some thoughtfulness thrown in there, I can promise you that.
Kyrie Irving gets them a point guard of the future, but from there I was mostly confused.
Taking Tristan Thompson fourth seems like a reach to me, but I can understand if they were high on him from a workout.
The thing that bothers me about this pick is how similar his game is to J.J. Hickson's. They basically just drafted a guy who is a bit smarter on the court, but a bit less athletic—great job.
It seems the Cavs could have played this draft much better than they did. At the very least, they could have threatened the Timberwolves, letting it leak that they were going to take Derrick Williams No. 1 and then see if they offer anything to the Cavs to swap picks because there is no way they would have been able to justify drafting Irving.
The second round was just as confusing, considering I was pretty sure they were high on Justin Harper, which got me excited as he was one of my favorite second-rounders. Then they went and traded him for two future second-round picks who should amount to something in the early 50s, so great.
Finally, they went and drafted Milan Macvan (another power forward) who just signed a contract to play in Europe until 2015.
Great work guys. Now explain to me which part after Irving was logical.
Because of the ridiculous domino chain that followed the pick of Enes Kanter by the Jazz, and then Charlotte passing on him in favor of Bismack Biyombo at No. 7 (I would have loved to see the Cavs trade down and take Biyombo here, and I promise that's the last bit I will say about the Cavs draft for the rest of this column.), Brandon Knight was available at No. 8.
For the past month or so, all you heard was that there wasn't much drop-off between the best point guard in the draft (Irving) and the second-or-third best point guard in the draft (Kemba Walker and Knight).
Knight was assumed to be on his way to Utah, where they seem to want to get rid of Devin Harris to be their future point guard, until he wasn't.
So, the Pistons got a guy who most assumed would be off the board in the top three with the eighth pick. Not too shabby.
Plus, in the second round they got Kyle Singler and Vernon Macklin, shooters who could be helpful down the road.
Charlotte traded into the No. 7 pick before the draft and the Bobcats are taking a huge swing for the fences by drafting Bismack Biyombo, but the way they did it is completely shrewd.
They were going nowhere with the roster that was at hand, so trading away their best player was not a problem. They got the No. 7 pick by giving up nothing that will help them in the future, but they will have to pay Corey Maggette $20 million over the next two years.
Because of the way the dominoes fell, they knew they could either get Brandon Knight or Kemba Walker ninth, so they went for it on Biyombo, finally taking Walker ninth.
Good all-around day for Charlotte. Let's just hope Michael Jordan's bad luck with lottery picks doesn't continue.
Iman Shumpert? Really?
If Isiah Thomas were still the general manager, I would have expected it, but Donnie Walsh? Come on, dude.
They knew they needed a big guy who can play some defense, so of course they go with the 6'6" guard who is a freak athlete, but can also defend a little, who was projected as a late first-rounder at the very absolute best.
Then they went and gave a fistful of cash to Josh Harrellson, or as I like to call him, Brian Scalabrine-in-training.
Just when you thought they were out, they pull you back in.
I can say one thing about the Washington Wizards next year. They are going to be a fun team to watch.
They have a lanky center with arms as long as I am tall and they just drafted a lanky small forward with similar limbs. Both of those guys are raw talents, but they are also incredibly athletic.
Then, of course, you have John Wall who loves to throw up an alley-oop to anybody who can play above the basket, which is about everybody on the Wizards not named Andray Blatche and Rashard Lewis at this point.
Plus, you have to like the addition of Chris Singleton with the 18th pick. He is going to be an absolute stud on defense, and he could do it this year.
What's that Houston fans? You need a big guy just in case Yao Ming doesn't come back, and some point guard depth in case Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic aren't the men you're looking for? Oh, and it would be great if you could get rid of a fat, white center who is supposed to be able to hit a jump shot but hasn't done so since he was on the Bulls.
David Kahn's got your back.
Houston traded away Brad Miller, Nikola Mirotic, Chandler Parsons and a future first-rounder for Johnny Flynn and Donatas Motiejunas. Consider your fears assuaged for the time being.
Plus, it doesn't hurt that they got the Morris brother I always thought was the better one in the first place, after the one who can't shoot free throws and fouls out every other game.
This is going to have to be a wait-and-see trade, because I'm not really sure if Portland is going to be the same with Raymond Felton compared to what they were with Andre Miller.
One thing they obviously did was get younger at the point-guard spot, then they flipped Rudy Fernandez for Tanguy Ngombo, which gives them another big (God knows they need it with Greg Oden going down at the beginning of every season).
Then they nabbed Nolan Smith later in the first round, who could end up playing either guard position, and Jon Diebler in the second round, who will be an amazing shooter for them.
Good work on paper for the Blazers. Now let's just hope it translates to the court.
As the draft started, my dad joked that Norris Cole was going to go to the Miami Heat to join LeBron James on the list of guys who left Cleveland for Miami.
We all had a good chuckle and then forgot about it.
When Miami picked Bojan Bogdanovic with their only pick, I scoffed: "He'll never see time in the NBA." Seconds later, they traded that pick for Norris Cole, stopping me in my tracks.
Whether he turns into a good player or not, this just confirms one thing: Pat Riley is a great executive (in case you had forgotten over the past year) and got them the best point guard available for the smallest price.
Plus, Cole could be a good player in the league, especially with no pressure on him in a situation like what he will be in in Miami.
Hearing that Utah was planning on taking Brandon Knight with the No. 4 pick got me excited because it meant Enes Kanter would be available for the Cavs to pick at No. 4 (I swear that's the last time), as he could end up being the best player in this draft (he could also end up being Darko Milicic, but still).
Then I heard David Stern announce Kanter as the No. 3 pick, and I was impressed.
Later in the draft, Alec Burks started to fall because of the domino scenario that they created (they completely made the draft do what they wanted it to do, something the Cavs could have done but failed to do...and that's, for real, the last time I talk about Cleveland).
They took Alec Burks with their No. 12 pick, giving them a nice scoring shooting guard with huge upside.
We have seen in past years that Bryan Colangelo is enamored with international prospects, almost to a fault, which is part of the reason they have Andrea Bargnani on their team and not LaMarcus Aldridge or Brandon Roy.
He went back to his favorite well and picked Jonas Valanciunas with the No. 5 pick, giving them a big man who is a great offensive presence and could be a good defender with some more muscle.
However, he is probably going to have to wait at least a year for a player who may or may not impact their team in any way.
They got the man they wanted at No. 5, but was it the man they needed, especially when Brandon Knight and Kemba Walker were still on the board? Only time will tell.
The Spurs came into this draft with Tony Parker's name flying around like mosquitoes on the Fourth of July, but ended up getting a true gamer for George Hill, keeping Parker's veteran presence in the process.
I have to trust everything the Spurs front office does until they get negative results, as they have been in the playoffs for more than half of my life.
Getting Kawhi Leonard is getting a guy who can come right in and be a part of their eight-man rotation, plus they nabbed Davis Bertans later in the second round, who could be a great shooter some day.
This trade will either give them life for another few years or start to kill them. Hill is gone and, with their track record, I have to guess the former rather than the latter.
Dallas never really seemed to have much stock in this draft and I really think they were ready to jump out of their pick as soon as a good-enough offer came along.
Well, they heard Rudy Fernandez was available (plus some guy drafted four years ago) and decided they would take immediate impact over waiting to see what happens with a prospect.
Fernandez will come in and be their back-up forward/guard immediately, supplanting Peja Stojakovic, which is an obvious upgrade.
They get energy and a player who could still grow into a better player with Fernandez, which is what Dallas needs to have a shot at a repeat.
Taking a stretch on Markieff Morris over Marcus Morris seems either stupid or shrewd to me, and considering that I didn't like Marcus that much, I'll have to go with stupid.
Markieff is a few years away from being more than just a big body filling up the lane and giving out six fouls a game, which could mean they plan on moving Steve Nash before the year is up.
The only thing the Markieff pick was really good for was seeing Marcus freak out momentarily when he realized his brother had been picked before him even though mock drafts and analysts were talking him up for the past month. Then he realized he was on television and composed himself, all in a span of about three nanoseconds.
That was the most underrated moment of the draft.
Kenneth Faried going 22nd is a steal and a half, ladies and gentlemen.
He possesses the skill that translates most easily to the NBA, rebounding, and has the physical tools to turn into an elite defender down the line.
What's more, he fits right into their system as a high energy, run-your-socks-off type of player, keeping the rest of the team in the same flow with a new guy coming in.
Plus, he just looks really cool with his dreadlocks flowing out of a Nuggets hat if you ask me.
Is it just me or was that the most exciting final seven picks of the NBA draft of all time?
Let's go back through it really quick, shall we? Milan Macvan to the Cavs, E'Twaun Moore to the Celtics, Chukwudiebere Maduabum to the Lakers, Tanguy Ngombo to Dallas (traded to Portland), Ater Majok to the Lakers, Adam Hanga to the Spurs and Isaiah Thomas to the Kings.
In seven picks we had two Americans, a Serbian, Nigerian, Qatari (Qatarite? Qatarian?), Australian and Hungarian.
Better yet, two of them went to the Lakers (Chukwudiebere Maduabum and Ater Majok) as a center and forward. If you can read between the lines, you can obviously tell that that means Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum are out the door and Chukwudiebere Maduabum and Ater Majok are in.
Each pick just kept getting better and better because Stuart Scott had nothing to say and Jeff Van Gundy cynically cried about the teams making ridiculous picks.
The best part about the whole ordeal is that, when the draft was over, Chad Ford's big board was updated on ESPN.com, placing Ngombo No. 1 and Majok No. 2, just ahead of Kyrie Irving coming in at No. 3.
I don't know if Chad actually grew a sense of humor or if some intern is going to get 40 lashings later this afternoon, but I do know that it gave me a good chuckle after a draft that left me with nothing but a headache and questions.
That's all for now basketball fans, follow me on Twitter @JDorsey33 if you're interested.