Welcome ladies and gents to the lottery edition of the Idiots Blog Guide to the 2008 NBA draft. Whilst the Conference Finals are in full swing and the best team in the game is currently being scripted, the top 14 crappiest teams need something to look forward to. For the Warriors it’s trying to figure out how they can win over 50 games and not make the playoffs. For the Bobcats, its finding new and exciting ways to further frustrate their only Aussie fan (me) and for the Bulls, it is praying to whomever God has blessed them with the improbable jump from 9th to 1st through the lottery. For those teams that didn’t play more than 82 games, here are some players that could be coming your way..
14. Golden State Warriors – JaVale McGee 6’11 C Nevada Soph.
The Golden State Warriors were the most un-crappiest lottery team ever, and that’s a statistical fact. What is even better is that they have a few really good young players on their roster for the future. Guys like Wright, Bellineli and Kelena Azab… Azuib…Azawhatmacallhim on their roster. However, the one area they may want to upgrade is their centre position for not just now, but the future. Top 10 bust pick Patrick O’Bryant comes off his rookie contract, and I have my doubts as to whether or not he’ll be retained. McGee is almost the same type of player – but with a jump shot. The hope would be to get the right guy second go around.
13. Portland Trailblazers – Nicholas Batum 6’8 SG France
The Blazers’ really only need a few things. One is a healthy Greg Oden. Two is a point guard to step up, and the third is a sidekick for Brandon Roy on the opposite wing. The point guard can be filled with about the 46 point guards they have in their pockets, but it is becoming increasingly obvious that neither Outlaw nor Webster are the perfect fit for that sidekick role. Handy players sure, but not the player they need. Batum is close to that kind of player with length, athleticism, and an all around game. The fourth thing they need now is for me to invent a pun on the word ‘Trailblazers’ to indicate their upcoming potential. Jailblazers has been used way to much in the past.
12. Sacramento Kings – Kevin Love 6’9 PF/C UCLA Fresh.
I can’t find the actual quote/ transcript, but Ron Artest said of Mikki Moore when he was injured during this season ‘We need him to win’, or something along those lines. Note to Ron Artest: maybe that is precisely your problem. No team in the game of modern basketball needs Mikki Moore to win a game. Not now. Not ever. Kevin Love is the kinda guy to replace Moore, and stabilize their 4. DJ Augustin is also a possibility here, but that all depends on how the Kings see Beno Udrih’s future.
11. Indiana Pacers – DJ Augustin 5’11 PG Texas Soph.
The Pacers didn’t to bad with what they had, until Jamaal Tinsley went down. He’s either injured or involved in some sort of gun-slinging adventure off the court. The Pacers should look to go with a point guard that can be serviceable, and can play a role alongside Mike Dunleavey 15.0 (Every season we read about how much he’s improved during the off-season, except this season he actually did) possibly the most underrated player in the NBA in Danny Granger, and a returning-from-injury Jermaine O’Neal. It also gives them trade bait at the same token. Augustin is the best left (a mini spoiler right there) point guard in the draft. His savvy, ability and more importantly lack of off court dramas will be a welcome sight at Indy.
10. New Jersey Nets – Eric Gordon 6’4 SG Indiana Fresh
There has been rampant activity regarding the Nets and trades. Carmelo Anthony and Marcus Camby were mentioned, and now the big rumour is around Andrei Bargnani. If a deal was to be made, the 10th pick would more than likely be involved. Whilst the Nets could do with an offensive centre type like JaVale McGee, one player will probably fall to their lap at 10. For me, that guys Eric Gordon. And with the possibility of both VC and RJ on the trading block, EG could find his way to NJ.
9. Charlotte Bobcats – Darrell Arthur 6’9 PF Kansas Soph.
Really, the one guy the Bobcats need will probably be long gone in Brook Lopez. The ‘Cats could gamble with one of the more rawer centre/ power forward prospects in the draft, but with the added focus on winning games of basketball, and Larry Brown now at head coach, don’t be surprised if the Bobcats trade a lottery pick for the second straight year. But, assuming they take it, Arthur’s leaping ability allows him to block a lot of shots and grab a few rebounds. And was probably the best player for Kansas in the first 39:30 of the NCAA Tourney final against Derrick Rose’s Memphis Tigers. A guy that probably will never be an out and out star, but someone who adds a lot to the team he ends up on.
8. Milwaukee Bucks – Danilo Gallinari 6’9 SF Italy
I said it on my first draft blog for this years draft, Gallinari reminds a lot of Hedo Turkgolu. And that kind of do-it-all-player with the ability to take over and score is exactly what the Bucks need with an ageing and inflated contract of Michael Redd, and very little direction outside of Redd on the wings. With Yi and Bogut, the Bucks could be the next World (Toronto) Raptors. Plus, with Scott Skiles as the new Head Coach, the skilfully disciplined and disciplinally skilled (don’t quite know what that means, but sounds like something that would come from a Skiles’ like system) Gallinari would fit in perfectly.
7. Los Angeles Clippers – Russell Westbrook 6’4 SG UCLA Soph.
Mr. Man Crush goes to the team that everyone likes to point and laugh at, but also secretly wishes they outshine their same stadium counterparts. With Maggette, rookie-stud Al Thornton, Elton Brand and Killer Kaman as their possible 2-5 players, and your lead point guards as either Dan Dikau or Brevin Knight, something needs to be done. Westbrook will need a bit of work, and a bit of refining, but he could be a deadly point and a crowd-puller for the Clippers. And even if Shaun Livingston ever gets back, Westbrook can slide across to the off-guard position. Plus, the Clips aren’t really known for the defensive presence, and Westbrook can help change that.
6. New York Knicks – DeAndre Jordan 7’0 C Texas A&M C
Really, anyone whose left in the draft bar Kevin Love could be selected by the new D’Antoni era and fit in quite well, such is the way of modern basketball. But with Cheeseburger Curry and Zack Randolph both on the list and both on the trading block, the Knicks need a future centre, who can survive in the 7-Seconds or less offensive system of Mike D’Antoni. He also can’t play much defence – a perfect prospect for the Knicks. On a side note, isn’t funny how far Isiah Thomas has fallen? From Head Coach and President to the token guy they ship of on ‘scouting reports’ in Europe. Only at the Knicks.
5. Memphis Grizzlies – Brook Lopez 7’0 Centre Stanford Soph.
The Grizzlies have almost no front court players. Like really, whose NOT going to beat a combo of Darko Millicic, Kwame Brown and Hakeem Warrick. Sure, Darko and Warrick can do a handy job, and the latter can be exciting to watch, but those three won’t stop any other front line in the NBA. Matter-a-fact, I don’t think they could have stopped the Bobcats’ frontline in 04-05 (Their inaugural season for those playing the home game) The Grizzlies need a solid guy down there, on both ends of the floor. Lopez is exactly that kind of player. Recording a triple-double as a freshman (points-rebounds-blocks) and turning on the offensive end this season having some mammoth games. A comparison would be a homeless guy’s Tim Duncan – and that ain’t half bad in today’s game.
4. Seattle Supersonics – Jerryd Bayless 6’3 PG Arizona Fresh.
The Seattle Sonics – soon to be the Oklahoma City somethingaratha’s (I’m voting on the Offenders – cause the current Sonics don’t play any defence) have a second pick later in the draft. That’s important when you consider the Sonics desperately need a point guard and a front court player. But the point guard position will have almost no players left of much calibre when their second pick (24th overall) and then their second round pick at 32nd overall, there will be many more front court players there than point guards. In saying that, Bayless isn’t as of yet a point guard, but his ability to get into the lane, and shoot the basketball (almost a perfect shooting form) make him a perfect guy to play alongside Durant and Jeff Green. Plus, getting into the lane is a good building step for building point guard abilities. A bit of work, but will play a role regardless of whether he morphs into a pass-first elite point guard or not.
3. Minnesota Timberwolves – OJ Mayo 6’4 SG USC Fresh.
The T’Wolves badly need a marketing player since ‘The Big Ticket’ was traded to the Celtics. Mayo is the most marketable guy in the draft, and would raise tickets sales by a fair amount. Moreso, however, is the fact that he fits a need. The Wolves need a an off-guard to play alongside future stud Randy Foye, and their combined passing and shooting abilities make it one of the most mult-faceted and dynamic young back-courts in the NBA. Plus, their two top 5 picks in the second round give them ample room to go and grab a power forward or centre to go alongside franchise man Big Al Jefferson. Stepping into KG’s shoes, if Mayo does go to the Wolves he’d be known as ‘The Big Juice’. Robd will be happy with that.
2. Miami Heat – Derrick Rose 6’3 PG Memphis Fresh.
The Heat has the ‘easiest pick in the draft’ as the blog’s resident Fantasy Man mosdef so eloquently put it on the forums. Really, all Pat Riley has to do is take the guy who isn’t chosen at number 1 by the Bulls. Plus, the Heat need a point guard, so it works out splendidly for them. A guy who can take the ball out of Dwayne Wade’s hands, and attack the basket on offense as well. If this happens, the Heat will take a huge step back towards the playoffs and an NBA championship.
1. Chicago Bulls – Michael Beasley 6’9 SF/ PF Kansas St. Fresh.
To be honest, I had Rose at number 1, strengthened by the numerous rumours regarding Hinrich’s name in trade talks. But, in doing research for the draft revolving around contracts, the big article from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel states the Bulls will take Beasley. Which makes more sense. The Bulls simply don’t need a point guard. But need a scorer at the 4, who can do it from inside and outside. A perfect fit. But really, how much does the Draft Gods love the Bulls? Sure, I felt that they were shunned after Jay Williams’ motorbike accident which cut short a very promising career. But then they got the second overall pick from the Knicks in 2006, which I thought made up for it. They got that wrong, but then to get a top 10 pick from the Knicks in 2007, and now the first overall pick in 2008… well, surely their lucks gotta run out sometime right? And like, that luck should be transferred to the Bobcats? Right?
Well that’s it from me. Here’s to hoping the same divinity that gave the Bulls the number 1 overall pick in this years draft, can also manufacture a Lakers V. Celtics finals series. (Sorry Robd) Until next time, Au Revoir.
Comment posted by
at 6/5/2008 12:45:05 AM
That order looks pretty on point. If I were the Bulls, I would take Rose here – he’s going to be the next great point guard and they need to ship out Hinrich anyways. I’d look to shop him for a late first round pick (if possible) and get a big guy (like Center big), because they need help in this area unless you really think Noah is going to be a star. Besides, Beasley will play the same positions as Tyrus Thomas (who the Bulls are still high on) and Nocioni.
I’m going create my own post on the draft shortly.