As I do every year at this point when trying to make sense of draft day, I sent a few Q’s the way of our resident draft nut, Jobba. Listen to what the man says.

RD: OK first off, were you surprised Patty Mills went that low? We all thought first 5-6 picks of the second round, but he almost fell off the map. How did this happen?

JB: The thing that hurt Mills was by the second round or even late first round where I would have him go, a lot of teams wanted point guards or players that they could hide overseas in Europe for a few years before bringing them over. Add to that and a lot of teams are looking for role players in the second round (a lot of specialist shooters went) and it makes it hard. Plus, some teams made some poor second round draft selections.

RD: What can we expect to see Patty do in Portland? Some are suggesting they won’t have a roster spot for him, while others think he could eat into Steve Blake’s minutes. Your thoughts?

JB: It’ll be initially hard I would say for Patty to crack the rotation. Obviously Steve Blake is the starting point guard now, but my early pick for Most Improved Player next year would be Jerryd Bayless, and as a result I would find it hard for Patty to find meaningful minutes. However in saying that, Coach McMillan is developing his team, and he saw first hand what Mills can do in the Olympics (being an assistant to Coach K) and he found minutes for Sergio Rodriquez last year. So it will all depend on the pre-season Mills has and making the most of his opportunities when they present themselves.

RD: What will happen to Joe Ingles?

JB: He will probably do the Summer League song and dance before probably trying for a gig over in Europe.

RD: In a draft full of surprises, what were the most baffling picks/non-picks in your mind?

JB: I think Evans being taken by Sacramento over Flynn and Rubio is a little interesting. Obviously they see him as a nice fit as a point guard; but Rubio is a bonafide point guard talent who can become iconic. They sort of made up for it trading for Rodriguez off of Portland who I still think has a chance to be great – but still, could have been better on that front. Also, I would say the non-selection of Josh Heytvelt. I understand he’s an older senior with a lot of off-court problems, but a 6’11 guy who can shoot is a rare and valued commodity in this day and age.

RD: There’s clearly a few trades yet to remain based on some of the picks we saw, T-Wolves taking Rubio and Flynn being one example. What follow-up trades do you see unfolding in the coming days?

JB: There actually seems to be a good chance that Rubio and Flynn will play together. Though apparently Rubio’s father told reporters he may stay in Europe for a season or two. The Rockets got a couple of picks in the second round (Budinger, Llull and Jermaine Taylor) and where all very high picks. I wouldn’t be surprised if they plan on packaging a couple of these players with T-Mac in a trade at some point in the future.

RD: Which teams would you grade the highest for their draft-day performance?

JB: I think San Antonio and Oklahoma City Thunder are my top two. The Spurs grabbed a great rebounder in Blair who slipped about 20 picks, and Jack McClinton is a shooting threat with athletic ability which means he can play a role for the Spurs in the future. The Thunder get a workhorse in Harden, as well as a player whom in two or three years could be a very handy centre in BJ Mullens, and the Thunder are in a good position to develop him. A third would be Memphis, who despite not getting the best player available at their picks, got three defensive minded and tough players which could help change the style of play and perception in Memphis.

RD: Which teams would you grade the lowest?

JB: I don’t rate what the Cavs did at all. I understand why they took Eyenga, a young athletic freak who they can stow away for a few years – but he would have been available at their second round pick. Truth be told, I don’t think he should have been drafted in the first place. And their second round pick being Danny Green I can semi-understand, but Heytvelt was still there, the shooting 4 who could allow Shaq to be on the court a lot longer due to a stronger offensive structure. Outside of that, no other team really had a bad draft.

RD: Lets fast forward to next May. Who’s in the 2000-2010 All NBA Rookie First Team?

JB: Curry, Griffen, Harden, Hansbrough, Flynn

RD: Looking a little more to the future, I’ll ask you the same question I ask every year. Which guy in this draft is the diamond in the rough that could become an all-time great? I’m talking the Amare at #9 or Kobe Bryant at #14 kind of pick.

JB: I don’t think this is the kind of draft that will produce one, but if I had to say it would be Jrue Holiday first and formost, picked by Philly at 17. He’s a guy who needs a few years in the system, but has a great array of skills, a defensive presence and physicality on his side. If he can learn to play the point and can elevate his consistency in his shot, he could be a very good point guard in 3-4 years.

Lastly, here are my top three picks for the 2010 draft to give readers a chance to YouTube these guys ASAP. The draft already seems twice the caliber of ’09, so get ready for it.

1. John Wall – PG From Kentucky
2. Derrick Favours – PF From Georgia Tech
3. Ed Davis – PF From UNC

RD: Cheers Jobba. Go Blues.


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