June 29, 2007

2007 NBA Draft: Cheers and Jeers

I always try to tell myself to calm down this time of year, but it never works. I get so caught up in the frantic speculation and possible potential surrounding the next generation of NBA players. Who’s going where, how they’ll affect their new team, and who’s getting traded or passed up! Which late first-round, early second-round pick is going to be the next Spree or Redd or Manu? Which lottery pick is going to be a total flop – God Milwaukee you’d better pray, a lot. Sorry, getting ahead of myself. Some teams did some good things, other some bad, and I’m here to tell you what I think about it all.

Cheers to the Portland Trailblazers for…

...drafting Greg Oden over Kevin Durant. I know that Durant was sort of the flashy pick, but Oden will be a defensive stalwart for the next decade and a half, at worst. At best you’ve got the next dominant big man in the mold of Russell, Wilt, and Kareem. Durant will be great, but not as great as Oden.

...dumping Zach Randolph. I can’t say enough about how this will affect your team. I know you’re giving up a 20-10 guy but you’re also getting rid of the last of the Jailblazers – we don’t even count Miles anymore because he won’t play again. Sure you’ve taken on Steve Francis but rumor has it they’re going to buy him out so he can’t sink their newly rebuilt franchise. Jack, Roy, Aldrige, and Oden will be able to blossom without possible infection from a cancer who won’t play defense, or stay out of the gentlemen’s clubs.

Cheers to the New York Knicks for…

...swapping Francis for Randolph. You dump a guy who whines and cries because he doesn’t get to be the alpha dog, thus not playing with any balls and you get a guy who at least tries hard on one end of the floor. Sure he’s a headache, but it’s not like he’s more of a headache than their GM. And again, at least he tries on one end of the floor.

Jeers to the Boston Celtics for…

...trading away your Paul Pierce replacement for a worn down Ray Allen. I love Ray Allen, I truly do, but what is he going to do for the Celts? He’s a smaller version of Paul Pierce with a better jumper. Allen will also take away minutes from Gerald Green who, given a chance to play, should develop into a very solid player. It just seems like they’re trying to trick Pierce into thinking they’re trying to build a winner. I also never thought I’d hear anyone compare the Celtics to the Clippers of yore.

Cheers to the Boston Celtics for…

...getting rid of Wally Szczerbiak. Again, I like Wally World, but he was $11 million a year in foot and knee problems that was no good next to Pierce – think Glenn Robinson next to AI a few years back.

Jeers to the Milwaukee Bucks for…

...taking Yi Jianlian. His people said he wouldn’t play there. No one knows how old he really is. He didn’t work out against anyone – that chair played tight D though! And yet, they felt that he was worth the risk. I hope for their sake that he’s better than advertised, but I just can’t help but seeing another Wang Zhi Zhi in him. That’s of course if they can sign him. I’m just glad my team didn’t get a chance to draft him. No Kevin, don’t trade for him.

Cheers to the Minnesota Timberwolves for …

...not trading KG. See previous Chief post for explanation

...drafting Corey Brewer and Chris Richard. I love Corey Brewer, I can’t say it enough. He’s everything the Wolves need – big time player who should be ready to defend at the NBA level immediately, who plays with heart, he’s a winner, and it sounds as though he’s truly happy to be here. I don’t totally understand the Richard pick because he’s much like Craig Smith, but I like the pick from a talent standpoint. He’s a big, gritty defender who played four years off the bench for a great Florida team.

...not drafting Noah or Hawes. I hate Noah and his annoying attitude – mostly because at the regionals all I heard was the stupid Florida fight song and he was the face of the team. He’ll be a good player for a number of years in the league, but I can’t help but see a more skilled version of Mark Madsen. I do like the way he plays the game – tons of heart and he never stops – but I just don’t have faith that he’ll end up being worthy of the 7th pick. And Hawes, I see Felton Spencer, Luc Longley, Paul Grant, etc, etc. The Wolves have never had any luck drafting bigs, not to mention that he only played one season at Washington and he was up and down all year. I love Fred Hoiberg.

Not Sure What To Think…

...about Seattle’s draft. KD will be a stud and clearing Ray Allen’s contract was a good idea – presumably it will allow them to resign Rashard Lewis. Besides having to take on Wally World’s contract and health issues, they drafted Jeff Green whom I love as a player but he’s a small forward. Just like Durant. Just like Lewis. Of course that’s assuming that they keep Lewis. It should be an interesting situation to watch

...about the Charlotte – Golden State trade. I like Charlotte’s end of the deal a lot. Jason Richardson will sell tickets and give them a go-to scorer while replacing Gerald Wallace if they can’t resign him. J-Rich is not a very good defender but Emeka Okafor can bail him out better than anything he had in G-State. I realize that this was mostly a salary dump for the Warriors but after the way he played in the playoffs he finally showed how dominant he can be, especially in clutch situations. I like Brandan Wright, but he looks a lot like all the other lanky combo-forwards they have on that roster.

Next up is summer league. It’s like the NBA season is right around the corner. For now though, here’s praying KG remains on my team.

1 comment:

The Spin said...

I think you were right on for all your jeers and cheers. The only one I would question is Portland. Yes, Oden is the "safest" pick, but all I can vision is Durant turning into a huge star! Can't you see him averaging 20 and 10 in about 4 years? I just don't see Oden having such an impact so early in his career.
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