Welcome to the 2014 Raptor’s Republic NBA draft running diary. Yes, I’m flat-out stealing Bill Simmons annual draft diary concept. Before you rush to call me lazy, hear me out. The concept is just too appealing from a writer’s perspective because it requires little to no preparation while the real-time caveat reduces reader expectation for quality. Brilliant. Better yet, it allows me to watch the draft with smart, funny people, and then share their thoughts without having to come up with them on my own. Brilliant. Ok, so clearly this concept is a lazy writers lottery ticket. It is in honor of that spirit in which I lazily borrow it from the esteemed Mr. Simmons. Bill Simmons isn’t writing his draft diary again this year because he never writes anymore is busy covering the draft on TV and running the immensely successful and fantastic Grantland. And so I lazily pick up the slack. Because besides being lazy, it’s also a lot of fun. Hopefully. And loosely informative. Maybe.
The draft is about to start, and I’m watching it with Fantasy Jesus. Who is Fantasy Jesus you ask? Fantasy Jesus is the internet moniker for a cousin of mine who wishes his identity to remain professionally intact while being mentioned in my internet nonsense. The coles notes: he is better at fantasy sports than you are. MUCH better. I asked him to join a fantasy football league I was putting together a few years ago. He was hesitant, with his excuse being, “I’m in 7 leagues already, I don’t know if I’ll have the time.” Really? Because you know what tells me you have the time to be in our fantasy football league? Already being in 7 different fantasy football leagues! He joined the league, and has decimated the rest of it ever since. In addition to this, Fantasy Jesus is also responsible for introducing me to basketball, and particularly the college and NBA games. I used to watch the NBA draft every year with him as a kid. From the Grant HIll draft, to the Tim Duncan draft, to the Joey Graham draft (disclaimer: not all drafts are created equal.
7:30pm: Burning questions going into your draft experience:
1)If you’re reading this, you’re probably Canadian. So it’s all about Andrew Wiggins. So, did all of the hype hurt or help Andrew Wiggins? The expectations placed on his shoulders are huge. He’s all-star or bust, basically. But, his college career was not #1 pick worthy. But he very well might be minutes from now. Thats because of measurables and high school hype. What would you trust, college games, or high school games?
1.5)Wiggins has mentioned how much he loved the ‘college experience’ in several interviews. Each time he’s done it with the same shit-eating, joyful grin. The kind of grin that tells you he’s not talking about the college experience of studying in the library, awkwardly meeting new friends in the dorm, surviving on noodles, pretending to understand Econ 101 and eating more cheese and chicken fingers than fruit and vegetables combined. He’s talking about the Jesus Shuttlesworth college experience. You know, the one Rick Fox shows you…
3) How is Adam Silver going to greet players? Is he going with Stern’s firm, very grown up handshake, turn to the camera with copy and paste smile? Will it be the Roger Goodell hug it out? Is he going with the bro’ slap and pull it in for a hug? If he wants his likability to reach new peak levels, he should go all out with the Troy and abed ‘cool. Cool cool cool.’ Triple chest slap.
4) Did you pick the right Doritos: You might not have known, but Doritos are not just the official, but also the essential snack of the NBA draft. It is known. Flavor is up to you. You can’t lose with Cool Ranch or Nacho. They’re both solid foundational choices; like Oladipo in last year’s draft. Might not be a game-changer, but you know that you’re not going to be disappointed. Oladipo might not ever start for an all-star team, but he’s always going to be one of the most reliable, satisfying players on your team over a long career. Victor Oladipo is Cool Ranch Doritos. This year’s Cool Ranch Doritos? My gut instinct is that it’s either Wiggins or Aaron Gordon. Wiggins has the potential to be one of this life-altering intensely flavored limited time only offerings more so than Gordon. For Aaron Gordon to have a Cool Ranch Doritos career, you’re happy with that. Wiggins is going to have to be something more than just Cool Ranch in order to avoid hacky career letdown Internet columns for the rest of his life. Which is insane, because Cool Ranch Doritos are freaking delicious.
7:40 pm: This is taking forever.You know, if Cleveland just refuses to make a pick, technically, they can’t get it wrong.
7:42pm: Wiggins got that jacket at Northern Getaway.
7:42pm: RESPECT THE JACKET
7:42pm: Don “Drapes” Cherry picked out Wigginsisis jacket for him.
7:43pm: Wait, Wiggins is 6’8 but he’s only 197 pounds? Is there a difference between American and Canadian pounds, or is that crazy?
7:45pm: I’ve blatantly stolen those last two jokes from Fantasy Jesus.
7:46pm: My favourite part of these drafts is how unabashedly happy these kids are to be in the NBA. Thanks Wiggins.
7:46pm: Vaughn, Ontario shoutout!!
7:48pm: Jabari goes to Milwaukee, to nobodies surprise. My take: Cleveland said that Jabari was out of shape to the point that he was 255lbs. There’s no way that the dude who just walked on stage is 255…. except wait, the last graphic has Jabari at 235, and now they have him listed at 241 in this graphic. HE’S GAINING WEIGHT AS WE SPEAK. CLEVELAND KNOWS SOMETHING THAT THE REST OF US DON’T!
7:50pm: Athletes continue to be the worst interview out there.
7:54pm: Is Joel Embid still on anaesthetics from the surgery? He looks completely confused that he was just picked number 3.
7:58pm: And with the 3rd overall pick, the Philadelphia 76ers take Greg Oden!
7:58p: And with the 3rd overall pick, the Philadelphia 76ers take Sam Bowie!
8:00pm: Aaron Gordon to the Magic! The Dante Exum to the Magic rumours are wrong, wrecking everybody’s perfect mock drafts. Sorry @chadfordinsider
8:04pm: TSN just threw their coverage from the ESPN feed to Jack Armstrong and i am FULL OF RAGE.
8:06pm: From Fantasy Jesus: “Exum is a guard who hasn’t played basketball for anyone in a year, and doesn’t have a perimeter game. These are things that worry me.” Also, his dad was a 1982 Tar Heel alum and he couldn’t get a scholarship?
8:10pm: Wow, Cecil Exum’s haircut has not changed at all since 1982. His body though…
8:16pm: Rondo and Smart is not happening together. One of them is gone. If not both, at least one of your guards needs to be able to, you know, shoot.
8:18pm: Damn it, I guess Randle it’s slipping to #20. Love this pick for the Lakers. Somebody let Julius Randle know that he’s about to get a call from a guy named Kobe Bryant, who is about to say the first and last nice thing to him that he’s ever going to hear.
8:21pm: Just to be clear, Jay Bilas loves Marcus Smart, even though he says he still needs to learn how to shoot, but he is worried about Randle, because Randle still needs to learn how to shoot. Ok, then.
8:22pm: WOW, Nik Stauskas goes #8! Good for Nik Stauskas! But, bad for Nik Stauskas for going to the Kings. Even worse for the rest of us, who probably will have to watch TSN throw to Jack Armstrong again.
8:31pm: I’m still waiting for Fran Franschilla to ask which one of these draft picks has cahones like these!
8:35pm: Two Canadians have gone in the lottery of the draft two years in a row now. At this rate, by 2018 there will be one Canadian player taken in the lottery who wears a suit that doesn’t look ridiculous.
8:36pm: Ha, yeah, good luck stuffing that hair inside of your hat Elfrid Payton.
8:39pm: Payton is excited to play with Michael Carter-Williams. Michael Carter-Williams is pissed that he just had to list his house on kijiji.
8:44pm: Very interesting that McDermott went 3 spots later than Stauskas. I really like the Wally Szczerbiak comparison for McDermott. I like it a lot more than I like McDermotts tie…
8:46pm: Google images still doesn’t have a pic of McDermott’s tie up yet, so until twitter helps us out with a link, I’ll have to describe it for those who missed. Basically, it’s the exact same design as the inside-out of Will Smith’s school jacket on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Having said that, on second thought, I love the tie.
8:53pm: Dario Saric’s headshot looks like a fish. And not in a good way. Hopefully that improves for him between now and a year and a half from now when he re-enters NBA twitter as everyone’s favourite trade rumour.
8:56pm: micing up draft picks on draft night would be the best yearly show on NBA TV by far. I want to know all of the cursing that Levine just made about going to Minnesota. Hope you enjoyed UCLA while it lasted Zach. Just ask Kevin Love…
9:05pm: This diary has been 99% nonsense and 1% analysis so far, so maybe I’m not the voice to listen to here, but I absolutely love TJ Warren, and Phoenix is a great place for him to shine early. ROY dark horse pick.
9:14pm: Sorry, @cornersniper, but Payne is going to Atlanta. Moreover, sorry @Raptors, but I am getting me one of those Atlanta Hawks hats. Those things are dope.
9:15pm: Isiah Austin probably was hoping for an NBA contract instead of a moment on TV and that draft hat, but that’s a really nice touch. Just so, so heartbreaking. Everyone everywhere, please buy this kid a drink and give him a hug anytime you see him in your life. Adam Silver is getting all of the goodwill possible this year.
9:20pm: Jusuf Norkic is the most Bosnian looking player of all time, with the most Bosnian player footage ever seen. I love that Eastern Europe continues to refuse to leave the 1980s.
9:26pm: Bill Simmons just got caught on TV accidentally fistpumping the shit out of that James Young pick. Own it, sports guy, it’s who you be.
9:29pm: Fantasy Jesus keeps bringing up the time when we watched the Raptors pass up Andre Igoudala for Rafeal Araujo. I hate him for it. Not a little bit either. Raptors fans want nothing more than to ostrich about this moment in time and forget it forever. “Rafael who? I have no idea who you’re talking about, and if you mention him again, I will cut you!”
9:33pm: You already have the Goran Dragics and the Eric Bledsoes, why did you have to take away the Tylers Ennises from us Phoenix, WHY?!
9:36pm: With this Gary Harris pick going to Chicago at 19, this diary is threatening to turn into nothing more than me complaining about guys that the Raptors almost took. All of the sighs.
9:43pm: Would love the Raps to snag Napier here. DO IT!
9:47pm: Hold on, I can’t stop barfing.
9:48pm: SHABAZZ NAPIER IS ANDRE IGOUDALA! IT’S HAPPENING AGAIN!
9:50pm: We can fix this, we can fix this. We have 22. We can still get Napier…
9:59pm: Did we not actually get that 22 pick from Memphis? I’m the worst reporter ever.
10:03pm: Can someone please point me in the way of a source who says that the Spurs were going to snatch up Rafael Araujo 2 at number 30 and thats why we took him now?
10:06pm: Rafael Araujo 2: Electric Bugaloo
10:07pm: Fantasy Jesus: “I guess all of these awkward white guys in the player’s groups must be the agents.”
10:11pm: Why would the Raptors draft the toughness, defence and scoring of Shabazz Napier when they could have the potential of Bruno Capulco. He could have all the skills, even toughness, defence and scoring! You know how much we’ve always wanted those skills!
10:15pm: Clint Capela goes #25. THE CLINT COMMANDER!
10:25pm: It’s interesting that Miami is acquescing to LeBron James, NBA GM. You know, because that went really well in Cleveland. Shabazz Napier > Mo Williams?
10:28pm: And at #27, the Suns get Bogdan Bogdanovich. Bogdan is famous of course for his shooting, work ethic, and for having the two least creative parents of all time. Bogdan isn’t a terrible name until you find out that his last name is Bogdanovich, at which point it becomes the shittiest first name.
10:35pm: Fantasy Jesus just reminded me about the time that we could have drafted LaMarcus Aldridge, which is what Chris Bosh reportedly wanted us to do, except that Bryan Colangelo drafted Benghazi Bargnani instead. I have taken away the Cool Ranch Doritos from Fantasy Jesus as punishment.
10:39pm: OK, you know that the NBA draft has officially been on TV too long when the commentators have all given up and spend an entire segment talking about soccer. One of the big points “I love that you know that a soccer game is only going to 2 hours long.” Exactly. Bruno freaking Capulco.
10:43pm: Fun fact I just learned: iphone autocorrect insists on changing Capulco to Acapulco every time you try and type his name. So at least we have that to look forward to.
10:46pm: My prediction for the Spurs #30 pick: Genius.
10:48pm: If you had of shown me Kyle Anderson’s draft video this afternoon I would have responded with one word: Spurs. Why are they just better?
10:55pm: Well ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to call it here. I hope you enjoyed the 2014 Raptors Republic Draft Diary, or how I like to think of it, Bruno Acapulco day. Bruno Acapulco is the Brazilian Kevin Durant. He might be the Brazilian Kevin Durant in the way that Andrew Thompson is the Orillian Kevin Durant. As long as one of us is playing in the NBA in 3 years, I’ll be happy. From @marmaladejack0, Goodnight.Follow @raptorsrepublic