The NBA Draft has concluded, and the Speculation-palooza was once again swept aside by transactions that would make even Rick Pitino cringe. Let's take a look...Greg Oden:
Oden will be a rebounding and shot-swatting machine, but folks expecting Olajuwon 2.0 should be realistic.
Oden will get about 5 dunks a night, but his post game is as green as grass. But Blazer fans haven't been this excited since Darius Miles missed the entire '06-'07 season. Blazers expect:
Patrick Ewing, mixed with Tim Duncan and David Robinson, and a splash of Bill Russell. Statbuster expects:
A taller Dwight Howard.Kevin Durant:
With Ray Allen out of the picture, Durant will be the first option on offense right away. And that's a good thing. He's that rare player that has size and
can score from anywhere on the floor. Right now he's a bit of a tweener
on the defensive end, but Seattle as a whole is so lousy on D, no one will notice. Sorry Rashard, your team got better without you. Sonics expect:
Rookie of the Year. Statbuster expects:
If he punches a fellow Sonic, the Tom Chambers comparison will be complete.Al Horford:
My guess is that either the Hawks plan to use Al Horford as an undersized center, or they have already given up on their last two lottery picks
, Marvin and Shelden Williams (ages 21 and 23, both PFs). Either way, when Anthony Johnson is logging 30 minutes a night in January, they'll be wondering if supplanting the Williams kids and Zaza Pachulia was the real need. Hawks expect:
Horace Grant. Statbuster expects:
Another decent frontcourt player, just like the five they already have. Oh, and 50 losses.Mike Conley:
Unlike the Hawks, the Grizzlies were in desperate need of a PG (sorry, Chucky Atkins fans
) and drafted the best one available. Conley should get starter's minutes right away, and keeping Pau Gasol captive last season will end up being a good idea. A core of Pau, Conley, Rudy Gay and Mike Miller stands a chance of being somewhat respectable. Grizzlies expect:
TJ Ford. Statbuster expects:
The Grizzlies to never tank again.
Seattle was eager to deem Kevin Durant and Jeff Green the "new era"
for the organization. That statement's about half right.
Green has zero strength and isn't much of a rebounder, so him beating out Nick Collison or Chris Wilcox isn't likely. And that Durant fellow won't be battling anyone for minutes. Sonics expect:
Scottie Pippen. Statbuster expects:
A bad Lamar Odom impersonation for 10-15 minutes a game.Yi Jianlian:
Even three years after people began callin Yi "the next big thing"
, the guy's still a big question mark. Is he the next Yao Ming?
What position will he play? Is he 20 years old or 30? Will they have to trade him? Or will he visit the Panda Express on Wisconsin Avenue and shake his head in pity? The Bucks will need him to play the 3 alongside Charlie Villanueva, but he may not have the inside game to use his size advantage. Bucks expect:
Toni Kukoc. Statbuster expects:
Yi to be completely sick of Wal-Marts, Pabst Blue Ribbon and fried cheese curds by January.Corey Brewer: I'm not sure what Brewer's specialty is.
He only mustered 13 ppg his senior year, and doesn't have NBA three-point range (33% his senior year). All this while posting 2.5 turnovers a night. In comparison, Nick Young
(SG taken by the Wizards at 16th) had 2.4 turns a night, but scored nearly 18 a game. Scouts say he's an outstanding defender, but don't the Wolves already have Trenton Hassell? Timberwolves expect:
An All-Defensive Teamer. Statbuster expects:
Randy Foye and Ricky Davis to have plenty of job security.Brandan Wright:
Golden State turned the Bay area on its ass
when they dealt fan favorite Jason Richardson for Wright on draft night. But, honestly, Wright is a steal at the #8 pick (some mock drafts had him as high as 3rd). He has a great touch around the basket and is an outstanding athlete, and is a perfect fit for Don Nelson's coked-up offense. You'll might see a frontcourt rotation of Harrington, Biedrins and Brandan Wright on opening night. Warriors Expect:
Chris Bosh Statbuster Expects: To see even less of Adonal Foyle and Patrick O'Bryant next season.
The Man They Call Basketbawful wasn't a happy camper
when the Bulls selected The Joker with the #9 pick. And I'm not convinced Noah will be in a Bulls uniform come opening night. Assuming he doesn't get dealt, old school coaches like Scott Skiles are notoriously hard on rookies, so Noah will enjoy having front row seats to all the Bulls games next season. Bulls Expect:
Tyson Chandler..wait, didn't they already have this guy? Statbuster Expects:
More moments like Noah Dance.Spencer Hawes:
Scouts feel Hawes is the most talented low post scorer in the draft. This will be overshadowed by a softness that makes Brad Miller look like Rick Mahorn. Kings Expect:
Kevin Duckworth. Statbuster Expects:
Hawes may literally be eaten alive
Also worth mentioning:Tyronn Lue isn't selling his house:
The Hawks passed on Mike Conley with the 3rd pick, then later drafted PG Acie Law
at #11. ESPN says he's a bit slow and is a so-so jump shooter. That sounds a lot like Mateen Cleaves to me. And we know how that turned out.Knick Happens:
We already touched on New York complimenting their non-defending big man with another non-defending big man.
But what did Portland get out of peddling Zach Randolph, their 23-10 guy? Steve Francis isn't exactly a lock to win the starting PG spot from Jarrett Jack. His knees are shot and will likely try to earn more minutes by pouting and being injured. And Channing Frye literally forgot how to play basketball.
OK, he was on a bad ankle, but its mind-boggling how far his stock has fallen in eight months.The Greg Oden Consolation Prize:
Celtics fans should think of Ray Allen
as the toaster oven and "Price is Right" board game Bob Barker gives you when you lose at Plinko. Honestly, if Celtics lost out on the Oden/Durant Sweepstakes and
Jeff Green (the guy the Celts took with the #5 pick) didn't produce right away and
they were on pace for another 50 loss season, Beantown would kill
somebody. That somebody would be Jeff Green. So by trading him, they did him a huge favor. The Celts wanted an All-Star right now (and managed to deal Wounded Wally in the process), but they should have targeted someone younger and coming off fewer off-season ankle surgeries.Sleeper of the Draft:
With untalented stiffs like Kendrick Perkins and Brian Scalabrine to contend with, a spot in the rotation is there for Glen Davis'
taking. He appears to be a throw-in in the Ray Allen trade, but if Davis shows up in November ready to play (i.e. under 300 pounds and no Little Debbies in sight) he has the size and low post moves to make some noise. Attending Celtics games may be slightly less painful this year.
Labels: NBA Draft