After a lot of crazy hype in the hours leading up to the draft (that saw some pretty big names get dealt) the draft itself came and went without a whole lot of action. In fact, after the first 10 picks, nothing really happened. The most exciting part of the night came when Suns GM Steve Kerr DIDNT shoot down the Amare to GS rumour that ESPN’s Ric Bucher had been reporting all night. Aparently, both teams have to wait until July 8th to make it official…we’ll keep a close eye on this one!
Here are some thoughts on what went down last night in NYC.
I Cant’ stress enough how much I love this pick. Starting back in early March, long before anyone on the internet had DeRozan coming to Toronto, your truly, started the “let’s draft this kid” fan club. At first it didnt look like he would drop to #9, but for whatever reason, teams were not sold on him. I not only love his skill set and swagger- but I totally loved how minutes after getting drafted he tweeted: Get Ready Toronto, Air Canadas Back.-
He is exactly what this team needs and I expect him to start in the fall. In fact, since the end of the season the Raps have done a nice job addressing some of their biggest issues: adding a slashing 2 guard, interior D, rebounding, and toughness with DeRozan, Evans, and Delfino. And going into the fall, the Raps have a pretty nice little lineup in place being able to start: Bargs, Bosh, Marion, DeRozan, and Calderon with Delfino as the sixth man and Evans as the first big off the bench. All they really need now is some more veteran leadership in the dressing room and some more depth at the PG position.
This is an area where the Raps really missed out in the draft, especially with how many good PGs dropped into the 20s, 30s, and even 40s. I’d expect them to pursue these areas come the summer in filling out the 8th spot on the roster, and even if they get little to no production from 9-13 spots (of Humph, Banks, Roko, O’Bryant, and Douby) the team is looking alot better today than one year ago – when your’s truly thought they could win 50 games!
What about everybody else…
The Big Winners and Losers of the Draft:
- Minnesota: Anytime you can come out of a draft with a two legit starting guards (ie/ Rubio and Ellington) in addition to two more legit starting guards (ie/ Flynn and Calethes) and still have the ability to trade another legit starting guard (ie/ Lawson) for a future #1 pick- you know you have had a good night. No matter what comes next for this team (and you have to believe that at least one more deal is coming), a starting lineup next season of Rubio, Ellington, KLove, and AlJeff, looks pretty exciting. For the first time in a long time, things are looking up in Minny.
- NYK: Yes, Knicks fans boo’d when Curry went to GS, but Knicks fans should be sending GS’s front office flowers. Not only were they spared the long time regret of drafting Curry (who is totally overrated) but they also were able to land Hill, one of the BEST talents in the draft. In D’Antoni’s system, this guy will thrive AND it will allow them to package D. Lee in a “sign and trade.” Add to that the fact that they went out and bought the Lakers’ pick at 29 and added T. Douglas (another nice pick) and even were able to land Darko. Not a bad nights work for Donnie Walsh and Co. The real benefits from this will be both the rewards from trading Lee and the cap space in 2010.
- Philly: The fact that Jrue Holiday fell to Philly at 17 is just unfair. Some draft boards had Holiday going as high as #4 to Sacto as late as yesterday morning and for him to slip 13 spaces is crazy! This team is already stacked and now has a legit point guard of the future. Ouch.
- Memphis: To have two first round picks and only come out of it with Thabeet and Carroll is really disappointing. Now, Memphis did do one thing right last night, they drafted Sam Young. Taking Young in the second round was a nice pick, but the choice to not pick Rubio will come back to haunt this club for atleast a decade. Sam Bowie anyone? I mean really, how can this team survive with continual bonehead mvoes like this one? Dont forget, that in the last 3 seasons this team has also:trade P. Gasol for nothing, traded Battier for Rudy Gay, trade Love for Mayo, and draft Conley Jr with the 3rd pick overall? I mean, did they really leave Vancouver for this?
- GS: Eventhough Chris Mullin is gone….the CRAZY still remains. Now, if it is true that Amare will be in the Bay area before the end of the summer, then, its hard to be too upset with the Warriors. But in the meantime, lets recap this weeks events in the Bay Area: …you traded Crawford so that Jackson can play the 2….you promised Ellis he can play the 1….and then you draft Stephen Curry….a guy who is neither a real 2 or a real 1? Why wouldnt you draft, lets say, Hill? And then start a lineup next season of Biedrins, Hill, Jackson, Magette, and Ellis? Only God knows.
- Ricky Rubio: Attention Ricky Rubio…be careful what you wish for! Remember when you said NO to Memphis and OKC…Welcome to Minnesota! Where Jessie “the Body” Ventura was the Govenor! Its a lot colder than Spain! Now, dont get me wrong, Rubio will be a nice addition to the team, but he can’t be feeling to good about the fact that Minnesota used 3 of its next 4 picks to draft MORE point guards?
Biggest Surprise of the Draft:
- Tyler Hansborough to Indy at 13. What a great pick! Indy fans are going to love this guy and playing under a coach like Jim O’Brien he is going to excel. The person who is going to benefit most from this pick is Danny Granger who is already a borderline all-star. He just inhereited a guy who will break his back to get a loose ball and never stop hustling. This was a bit of a surprise at 13, but 5 years from now, it will be a steal.
Biggest Sleeper Pick:
- Dejuan Blair to the Spurs at #37! Wow. Talk about a draft night sllliiiiiidddddeee. Its hard to suggest that a guy that most teams in the lottery were talking pretty seriously about last week, could now be a surprise on draft night, but, with Blair falling to 37, he is now in a whole different category. He may not be an all-star, but alot of teams will regret letting him slide. Especially with all the strange picks in the 20’s for unknown Euros?
Some Other Quick Hits On The Draft:
- Whatever happened to BC buying another pick in the draft?
- Realizer and I both went 5 for 14 in the predicitng the lottery.
- Khandor, you owe me $50- Harden went #3.
- Did anybody elso notice that the same San Antonio Spurs who would have been legit contenders versus the Lakers if Manu had been healthy not only traded for Richard Jefferson yesterday but also drafted: DeJuan Blair AND Nando DeColo in the second round.
- What was Portland thinking last night?
- Charlotte had a nice draft getting Henderson in the first round and Derrick Brown in the second: two of the most NBA ready players in the draft!
- Thanks to all who participated in a great on-line chat. Our chat room was hopping!
As always, standing in the key, I’m the Dr. I’ve got my feet planted and I’m planning on taking a charge!