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July 2 - Oh, What A Draft

I don’t know what it is about the NBA Draft, but it always lends to great moments.  From Steve Francis
crying in disgust after being drafted by Vancouver to Priest Lauderdale storming out of the crowd to
shake David Stern’s hand after being picked, the Draft is always top-notch.  However this year’s
version reached epic proportions on Wednesday night.  For last night after the Knicks picked Mardy
Collins, ESPN decided to send Mark Jones into the crowd to interview a Knicks fan.  The fan (who
was clearly lubricated) ripped Isiah Thomas on national television in what was an outstanding
Brooklyn accent.  I can only imagine what the producers of the draft were screaming in Mark Jones
microphone when he cut the fan off.  Outstanding comedy.  Outstanding Draft.  

After watching four and a half hours of draft coverage, I am ready to hand out my draft grades.  Instead
of handing out conventional grades, we decided to go a different direction.  We begin with……

“She’s 240 pounds………she’s the catcher on the softball team…….you wouldn’t hang her picture on
the refrigerator.”

Toronto:  I’m going to let Michael Lewis take this one……….

“The selections made are, from the A’s point of view, delightfully mad.  Eight of the first nine teams
select high schoolers.  The worst teams in baseball, the teams that can least afford for their draft to
go wrong, have walked into the casino, ignored the odds, and made straight for the craps table.”-
Moneyball

New York:  There’s good times and then there’s watching the New York crowd react to hearing the
name “Renaldo Balkman” announced.  This pick is definitely Isiah’s way of extending the middle
finger to the men of www.selltheknicks.com.  

Boston:  Danny Ainge must have been smoking crack when he decided to
ship the #7 pick for Sebastian Telfair.  I know you got rid of Raef
LaFrentz’s contract………but still……..why not take Randy Foye?  Foye is
a sure thing while Telfair has been an unmitigated bust in his first two
NBA seasons.  Then you follow that up by trading back into the first round
for Rajon Rondo who also plays point guard.  Unless there is another
deal coming, I just don’t see what Boston is trying to do.

New Orleans/Oklahoma City/Wichita/Carson City/Omaha:  Drafting Hilton Armstrong and Cedric
Simmons is like stopping by Taco Bell and picking up the twelve pack of Bean Burritos after a night of
drinking.  You can do it.  I just wouldn’t recommend it.

Seattle:  Robert Swift……….Johan Petro……..Saer Sene……  This is what is called “ALIENATING
YOUR FAN BASE”.  I think this is just Seattle’s punishment for having a great bar scene and extremely
“friendly” women.  If the men out there had top-notch sports teams……it would just be unfair.

Golden State:  No player was more destined to be a Golden State Warrior than Patrick O’Bryant.  He’s
going to suck.  I know it.  The other 14 ½ Warriors fans know it.  I said it once and I’ll say it again.  The
Warriors need to arrange a time share on Billy Beane.  Is there any Warrior fan out there who doesn’t
think Beane could do a better job than Mullin?  

LA Clippers:  I liked seeing Paul Davis get drafted.  It’s good to know that there is a market out there
for 6’11” guys that stink.  

Phoenix:  The Suns traded their way out of the first round which came as a huge surprise to me.  For
a team that lacked depth in the playoffs this year, one would have thought that they would take the
best college senior on the board in the hopes that he could take up 15-20 minutes a night next
season.  

Detroit:  The Pistons took Will Blalock………..there’s a 98.4% chance he is suiting up for Fayetteville
of the NBDL in their season opener.

“Her last name was Fullbright.  Everybody in high school took her out for a ride.  Her body isn’t bad…..
her face……..well just close your eyes and pretend she’s Jenna Jameson.”

Philadelphia:  Actual text message conversation between me and my buddy Vin during the draft.

Vin:  Who did we draft?

Me:  Thabo Sefolosha.

Vin:  wtf?!?!?!

Me:  Hey, he’s from Switzerland.  Those guys generally make it.

Vin:  f*cking Billy King

Luckily for Vin, the 76ers traded Sefolosha for the draft rights to Rodney Carney.  That being said, I
can’t see why the 76ers wouldn’t have taken Marcus Williams.  Williams would have made a ton of
sense for Philly.

Washington:  I would have loved to have been hanging out with Gil Arenas
and his boys when the pick of “Oleksiy Pecherov” came across the
television.  Can’t you just imagine Gil Arenas holding a glass of Cristal
and hanging out…..and then making the “bitter beer” face when this pick
came across the wire?  

Indiana:  Shawne Williams is an exceptional athlete; however he is at
least three years away from contributing.  This pick smacks of “best
athlete on the board”.

“It’s nothing to write home about………but it’s nothing you’ll get made fun of for either……..”

Milwaukee:  I liked the pick of David Noel in the second round.  North Carolina guys generally stick
around in the league and I could see Noel settling into a George Lynch type role for the Bucks.

Chicago:  Tyrus Thomas might be the most talented player in the draft and I think he can step in right
away for the Bulls.  He’ll block shots and rebound and join Michael Sweetney and Tyson Chandler in
solidifying the Bulls frontcourt.  The Thabo Sefolosha pick is somewhat surprising.  I would have just
taken Rodney Carney and held onto him.  

Atlanta:  The Hawks are taking a lot of criticism for taking Shelden Williams at #5….and yes the smart
move would have been to trade down to #10 if you liked him that much.  That being said, you know
what you’re getting with Shelden.  He’s 12, 12, and 12.  That stands for twelve points and twelve
rebounds for the next twelve years.  Williams could easily have a better career than LaMarcus
Aldridge.

Denver:  I liked the Leon Powe pick.  Powe was one of the best five high school players in the country
four years ago.  The only thing that separated him from being a big-time college basketball player
was knee problems.  If he can stay healthy, he can contribute. (later traded to Boston)

San Antonio:  The Spurs select Damir Markota who unexpectedly came storming out of the crowd
sporting the loosened tie.  I’ll give them average marks based on Markota’s frazzled appearance.  
(later traded to Milwaukee)

“A solid B.  Not too shabby.”

LA Lakers:  This pick was a given.  Jordan Farmar will beat Smush Parker out for the starting point
guard job by the third game of the preseason.

Portland:  Getting University of Washington product Brandon Roy makes up for the fact they passed
on Adam Morrison to take LaMarcus Aldridge.  Picking up Dan Dickau in the trade with Boston also
may alleviate the disappointment their fans must have right now.  That being said, Portland could
have walked out of this draft with Adam Morrison and Brandon Roy, which would have been a home
run.

Dallas:  The rich got richer here.  Maurice Ager is an explosive athlete who will only add to an already
deep and talented roster.

Utah:  I love Ronnie Brewer’s athleticism………but that jump shot……it’s just not natural.  The Dee
Brown pick in the second round was outstanding.  Combining him with his old college teammate
Deron Williams in the backcourt will make for outstanding chemistry.

“Did you see that?  Did you see that?  Oh yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Who’s the Man?  I’m the Man!”

Charlotte:  The combination of Michael Jordan and Adam Morrison will transform the Charlotte
Bobcats.  They are my dark horse team to make the playoffs next season.  Morrison is a killer and
hanging out with Michael Jordan will only make him more serial.  Morrison went third and he will end
up being the best player in this draft class……..just like Mike.

Orlando:  I loved the J.J. Redick pick.  He will combine with Jameer Nelson to form one of the NBA’s
better backcourts and serve as the perfect inside-outside complement for Dwight Howard.

New Jersey:  Rod Thorn must have been doing backflips when Marcus Williams fell to them at #22.  
It's not that often you can get the best point guard in the draft that low.  Williams can step in right away
and play 16 minutes a night which will make Jason Kidd fresher for the playoffs.  The Josh Boone
pick was also nice.  Boone can’t throw a rock into the ocean, but he can block shots and rebound.

Cleveland:  The Shannon Brown pick was one of the best picks in this draft.  At the very least, Brown
will provide instant energy off the bench.  Toss in the fact that he is boys with LeBron and it’s just a
home run for Cleveland.  Daniel Gibson at #42 was an outstanding value pick.  He would have been a
first round pick next season had he stayed in school.

Memphis:  Jerry West likes athletes and he got the best one in the draft in Rudy Gay.  I’m in the camp
that too many people picked apart Rudy Gay and Adam Morrison because they were generally
regarded all year long as the two best prospects in the draft.  Rudy Gay could easily be Scottie
Pippen.  

Kyle Lowry was also a fantastic pick by Jerry West.  Lowry would have been the best point guard in
next year’s draft had he opted to stay in school.  He can break anybody down off the bounce.

Sacramento:  Quincy Douby is a “Moneyball” type player.  In Douby, the Kings got a guy who averaged
25.4 points and shot 46% from the field in the Big East conference.  He could easily be an 18-20
points per game scorer in the NBA.  Treeeeeemendous pick by the Sacramento Kings.

Houston:  I loved trading their pick for Shane Battier.  He instantly makes them a better team and is
the perfect complement for T-Mac and Yao.  This was definitely a trade Jeff Van Gundy was behind.  
Getting Steve Novak in the second round was an absolute steal.  I could see him getting immediate
time at the 4.  Novak might be the best perimeter shooter in the draft.

Minnesota:  I absolutely loved the drafting of Randy Foye.  He could easily be a star in this league.  A
lot of people call him a poor man’s Dwyane Wade.  In my opinion, Foye is somewhere between
Gilbert Arenas and Ben Gordon.  Foye can step right in and make the Timberwolves better.  Their
second round pick Craig Smith is also a sleeper.  He’s a burly guy who can rebound the basketball.

Miami:  Their first round pick was included in the trade for Shaq.  That seems to have worked out
pretty well for Miami.

Finally, there was an important lesson learned from this draft.  More drunk Knicks fans need to be
involved in the commentary of these proceedings.  Please indulge us David Stern.  Until next
year………….



If you have any questions or comments feel free to e-mail me at
trevor.freeman@realityfanforum.com.