Wednesday, July 4, 2007

A Draft? In Here? I Don't Feel It

It's been nearly a week since the alleged "biggest draft of all-time" as some have called it. And I'm just now getting around to my critiquing. No, I'm not handing out grades here. You'd like to read that, about as much as I'd like an HJ with some Jergens and 60-grade sandpaper. I'm just going to look at a few teams. Those moving in the right direction and those who's fans repeatedly screamed "WTF!!!!!!" last Thursday.

High Fives (no hand-pounds):

Portland Trailblazers
I'm going to miss calling them the Jail Blazers though I simply cannot believe the potential this young team has already. With Oden, Aldridge, Roy, Jack and many other young parts the Blazers are easily the most promising franchise in basketball. They had the best draft out there stealing Josh McRoberts, and the two foreign point guards everyone is raving about. Not to mention Taurean Green who would make a solid 2nd or third option at the point (likely third) this season while they await Fernandez and Koponen. The cherry on top was signing Oden, Green and McRoberts in less than a week. And Koponen signed a waiver to play in the summer league before likely coming to the states next season.

Los Angeles Clippers
I really like the Thornton pick at 14. As I felt like Crittenton was over-hyped and would have been a reach. The Clippers may have agreed, or they felt Thornton was just too good to pass up. Also a good reason. He might finally get them to trade Corey Maggette. Which I love, because trades amuse me. I think they should fantasy draft the league every five years, NBA 2K7 style. It'd be more interesting. Anyhow, the Jared Jordan pick was even better in round 2 as he feels their PG need with Livingston's status still up in the air. And it gives them a facilitator who can also shoot when it's needed. Jordan should fit in well with all the scorers the Clips have.

Golden State Warriors
Unloading Richardson's massive contract is a big part of my thinking here. He was a key contributor last season, but if Marco Belinelli is anywhere near the player a lot of "experts" seem to think he is. Losing Richardson won't be a problem in Golden State. While I still think Brandan Wright's overrated. He'll provide a great half-court defensive front alongside Biedrins in the early going. And if his offense develops Golden State could win this trade by a large margin. Then again, I partially think the Warriors went after Wright in hopes of using him to pry Kevin Garnett from Minnesota. A move that could push the Warriors into the upper-echelon out West.

Well... OK (Could have been better, could have been a lot worse):

Atlanta Hawks
While they didn't get Amare Stoudemire, Billy Knight and the 12 Angry Men had a solid, need-filling draft. They got the best player available at #3 with Al Horford, rather than reaching on Mike Conley. Horford should be able to silence the Shelden Williams boo's for a little while. He's got the tool to be a great player. With the worst case scenario being an absolute rebound whore who gives your offense (much needed) second chances all night long. In Acie Law they got the best PG on the board. While some feared they'd go for the local guy Crittenton. In the end the Hawks made the right decision picking another college standout who should push for the starting job early on. I mean, he can't realistically be worse than Tyron Lue can he? The Amare factor drops the Hawks into the push category. If not for those damn rumors they may have squeezed out a high five for once.

Charlotte Bobcats
From a basketball standpoint I absolutely hate the Jason Richardson trade. He's not the kind of player who can lead a team to the top. Need evidence? G-State wasn't touching the playoffs until Baron Davis came into town. J-Rich is at best second fiddle. And Yes, I know their in the East. From a marketing standpoint I love this move. Charlotte has been flushing dollars for years. Trying to find the "face of the franchise" who can "put butts in the seats," J-Rich can do that. One highlight reel tomahawk at a time. This trade, bad or good, shows the Bobcats are finally trying and willing to not just spend, but over spend. I'll give Charlotte a push, as two rights and two wrongs make a maybe. And that's science.

Seattle Sonics
Everyone has been falling all over the Sonics since the draft. I personally feel like I'm looking at the same team. Maybe a little better, probably a little worse. Sure, Kevin Durant is great but he'll take a little time to adjust to the pro game. And he's not going to carry Seattle all by himself. No, Chris Wilcox will not help. The Jeff Green pick is horrendous for me though. While I like thought process behind the trade the Wally contract hurts it quite a bit. And again JEFF GREEN? Not to hate on Green who should be a solid player, but at #5 you've got to be kidding me. Especially if your taking a guy who plays the same position as Durant. Your not going anywhere anytime soon. Why not take Yi? Or Brewer? Two arguably better fits alongside Durant. My best guess on the Green pick is his attitude. He'll be fine laboring in the shadows, while Durant pushes the Nike's. But he doesn't make your team much better and probably never will.

WHAT THE F@#K ARE YOU THINKING? (easily my favorite category):

Boston Celtics
This is without a doubt the easiest call of the draft. Danny Ainge somehow convinced himself the Ray Allen trade made sense. Then again, it probably took little convincing. While I like Ray Allen as a player is he even worth #5 and Delonte West? I'd say no, when you consider his age (31) and his skill set. He's a mostly perimeter player who never fully developed his game off the dribble. Alongside Pierce he creates a similar team to what Seattle had last season. Except, Pierce is less athletic than Rashard Lewis, despite a better shot. Toss in even less talent than Seattle had around them and what have ya got? An 8-seed in the East. Hardly an advancement, Danny. I'd hate to be the guy cleaning up this mess when your fired in two years.

Phoenix Suns
Not only did they sell what would've been their best pick (Rudy Fernandez) but they let their playoff exit get to their heads. They drafted defense first with Alando Tucker and D.J. Strawberry. For a team that shoots, they drafted two guys who can't. That's really all that needs to be said.

Sacramento Kings
Spencer Hawes: BUST! That's all I'm saying about their ONLY pick. Senseless, completely senseless.


Kasey Loessberg said...

I agree about Spencer Hawes. That dude is another Cherokee Parks. While i also agree with everything else, i disagree about the Celtics IF IF Ray Allen stays healthy. Put him, Pierce, and Jefferson together, they easily could be top 4 in the East. Not sure if they could do that leap with Green.

Trevor said...

I agree with Kasey. Allen, Pierce, and Jefferson could be a very good trio.

BD said...

A few things on Boston though: The Ray Allen trade moves Green to the bench, hindering his development. With less shots to go around how much will Jefferson improve on the post? No one likes to do all the work on the boards and not get a chance to shoot.

Yes, they should be a top 4 team in the East. But, I'd say it has more to do with their division than their team. Toronto is likely to be their only major challenger for the division. Boston should fall somewhere between 4-7 in the East. I'd likely slot them into the 6 seed right now with their atrocious bench.

I know I said 8 whenever I wrote this post but the more I think about the East I think they can do better. Though Orland should be moving up.

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