Thursday, June 28, 2007

2007 NBA Draft -- Running blog

It's 7pm, and I'm really excited for the draft this year. After Oden and Durant at #1 and #2, I really have no idea what's going to happen. But I know there will be some crazy decisions made and some weird players taken, and I can't wait. This should be a lot of fun. I'm ready. Are you?


-- The ESPN panel during the game in New York includes Jay Bilas, Stephen A. Smith, Mark Jackson, and Mike Tirico. Very good combination there (seriously). I can't wait for Bilas to discuss potential, upside, and wingspan, Smith to raise his voice and get angry, and Jackson to berate some GM for making a bad choice. Oh wait, that should happen about every other pick.

-- Apparently Monta Ellis from the Warriors and Marcus Camby of the Nuggets are available in order for their teams to move up in this draft. Also, a discussed Ray Allen trade to the Sonics for the #5 pick, Wally Sczerbiak, and Delonte West is on the table right now. Not really sure what I think about that trade for the Celtics, but I'm not so sure that would happen. The Sonics would then have the #2 and #5 picks -- extremely interesting. But who wouldn't want a past-his-prime Jesus Shuttlesworth?

-- I really hope that Yi Jianlian turns out to be a good player because with all of this noise from his camp about how he wants to go to a big city and big market, he better pan out. He doesn't want to go to Milwaukee? Who cares? When did athletes who weren't even in the league yet start deciding what teams they didn't want to draft them, and ACTUALLY start voicing their opinions and complaining about them? Would they rather not get drafted? OK, sorry.

-- I just had to turn down my TV volume after the latest Stephen A. rant over the possible Ray Allen trade. And the draft hasn't even started yet.

-- Good thing that Dick Vitale is involved here. It's just a shame that Greg Anthony and Tim Legler aren't in the building right now to be ridiculed by Vitale for being average NBA players.

-- Just saw Bilas's draft best available list. Can't say that I agree with Brandan Wright at #4. He's certainly no Mel Kiper Jr. Suprisingly, no Duke players are in his top 15. Now that's the upset of the night.

-- Mike Conley Jr. and Greg Oden are interviewed, and Conley just said that he didn't think the two would become friends because Oden watched cartoons, and he wasn't "down with that." Interesting stuff here. Also, Joakim Noah is being interviewed right now, and this guy is just crazy. He's wearing a bow-tie and some suit that even Craig Sager would never wear. He looks really scary, but I'd still want him on my team. And I don't even know why.

-- Just saw a commercial for Live Free or Die Hard. An early opinion, at least for myself: it's either going to be really good or really stupid, cliched, and corny. I hope it's good, though, and since the guy from the Mac/PC commercials is in it, it must be great! ...

-- The Warriors are apparently interested in Garnett now? Wow, what's going on?

-- A Fran Fraschilla sighting! Stunning... another guy who likes Yi Jianlian. At the very least, I enjoy the table Yi's at because everytime Tirico says his name and it echoes throughout the building, everyone at his table smiles and looks up sheepishly.

Draft Time

7:30- The draft is about to start, and David Stern is giving his speech. He mentioned the New York Liberty of the WNBA. No jokes here.

Just as a sidenote here, the time between picks is only five minutes -- way better than the NFL's excruciatingly long 15 minutes.

7:36- The Blazers just took Oden. No shock here. Oden only looks about 28 years old today. Somewhere Danny Almonte is smiling (that was for you, Kiser).

7:37- I might as well just say that the Sonics take Kevin Durant with the #2 pick right now. Easiest pick in NBA draft history.

7:41- Apparently the Celtics have made that trade -- the #5, Delonte West, and Wally Sczerbiak for Ray Allen. Why, Boston, why? Apparently the answer to my Jesus Shuttlesworth question above was... Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers.

7:42- The Celtics just took Durant, obviously. And now they have the 5th pick too. Andy Katz said they'd take Jeff Green, but we'll see. Atlanta on the clock now. Such excitement already...

7:43- Jay Bilas JUST COPIED MY LINE. He said "possibly the easiest pick in NBA Draft history." That jerk. Stupid Dookie.

7:48- Here comes Stern. The Hawks select Al Horford -- great pick. They can get a point guard some other way; Horford is too good to pass up here. I'm surprised the Hawks did the right thing. Does that mean Conley is next?

7:51- Stuart Scott just said that Tirico and the rest of the ESPN panel were "hotties." Thank you, Mr. Scott. You bring amazing intangibles to the draft that no one else could. And an insanely disgusting lazy eye.

7:52- The Grizzlies take Mike Conley Jr. with the 4th pick. Good pick, I guess. He's a solid point guard, but I just don't know what to think about the Grizzlies. Pau Gasol, Mike Miller, Stromile Swift, Rudy Gay, Hakim Warrick, and Mike Conley Jr. Could be worse. Bilas just compared Conley to Deron Williams and Chris Paul; I didn't see that one coming.

7:56- Katz again confirms that the Celtics-Sonics trade has gone through, and he says that Boston will take Jeff Green for the Sonics. Here comes the pick -- and Jeff Green is taken. You know, sometimes I wish that there weren't so many analysts and stuff so I could actually be surprised sometimes. Anyway, still interesting stuff. Durant and Green to build around in Seattle now -- an excellent core. Milwaukee on the clock.

8:03- With the 6th pick, the Bucks take Yi Jianlian. This is going to be great, and I hope he holds out or complains about being taken by a team in a city where he didn't want to go. Fraschilla says that Yao Ming is oldschool, but that Yi is hip-hop: "He's 50 cent." Wow, that's good to know. Does anyone ever know how good these guys really are? Must improve: Not getting dunked on repeatedly.

8:07- Ric Bucher thinks that there will be a lot of trade talk since Yi doesn't want to be a Buck. Here comes an interview with Stuart Scott! Yi: "I play for... team... for four years... uhhh... I played uhhh.... I can play NBA." WHAT? An international player who has already been Americanized? Is it possible that this ends well for him? This is hilarious.

8:11- T'Wolves up now. They select Corey Brewer. Great pick. Solid player and he should help KG, unless he, you know, gets traded. Foye, Brewer, KG -- not bad.

8:14- Just saw an NBA Live '08 commercial with Arenas and Durant. Man, I really hope Arenas doesn't leave the Wizards. I'd be crushed, and I'd probably break something. Or I might just use Michael Ruffin's skull to break something -- that thing has to be lethal.

8:16- Has anyone ever done more with less than John Basedow? His commercials are on just about every three minutes, and he's improving people's lives, apparently like, everyday. How can you dislike this guy?

8:17- Jordan is apparently actively trying to trade this #8 pick. I guess no one is as good as Kwame Brown in this draft, so why even pick someone?

8:18- The Bobcats take Brandan Wright with the 8th pick. Bilas quickly admits that he's a steal just because he has him ranked 4th on his board. No surprise there -- really, Bilas likes someone from the ACC? Stunning. But Bilas says he "runs the floor like a deer," so why not pick him? Nice work.

8:22- Funniest sign of the night so far -- some Bulls' fan held up a poster saying "THANKS ISIAH." Great stuff. Isiah keeps improving other NBA teams, just not his own.

8:24- Bulls about to pick 9th here. They take Joakim Noah, who looks like a mix of Sideshow Bob and an extra in the new Caveman sitcom and Geico commercials. I think Noah is a solid player, but why do the Bulls need another guy who can't score from the low post? Their best low post scorer is PJ Brown -- seriously. But they're still a solid team, and in the East, they'll be pretty good no matter how Noah does.

8:32- The Kings are up now at #10. And they select Spencer Hawes out of Washington. The Kings are just a strange team right now. Seems like a very fundamental player and a smart pick. But one thing is for sure -- he's the best player in this year's draft with a lisp. Always a bonus.

8:37- The first tirade/outburst from Stephen A. Smith, and he makes a great point. The Bulls already have a team littered with high energy guys and long and lengthy players. At some point, where do you get low post scoring from?

8:38- Eleventh pick here, and the Hawks take Acie Law IV. I guess they don't need to get a point guard from somewhere else now -- they'll just pick one. The Hawks have taken Horford and Law. Not bad. They've filled two needs with two picks in the draft. I'm surprised that the Hawks are being logical. Mark Jackson likes the pick because Acie Law isn't a midget. I tend to agree.

8:42- I think that the Sixers will take Al Thornton; it just makes the most sense. They get a solid scorer to go next to Iguodala, but apparently they also want a frontcourt player to rebound and play defense.

8:46- Twelfth pick for the Sixers here, and uhhh, they take Thaddeus Young out of Georgia Tech. They don't take Thornton, but they take someone else when they said they needed more rebounding? I'm surprised here. But then again, it is Billy King. They do have two more picks left so far this first round, so I'll just wait and see what else happens.

8:50- I think with the Hornets on the clock, this would be a good time to say that I have no idea how the rest of the picks will go in this draft. Anything can happen, and there is no consistency at all right now. And I love it.

8:52- Billy Knight says Acie Law IV reminds him of Mark Jackson. I would have to disagree there.

8:52- Thirteenth pick for the Hornets -- Julian Wright from Kansas. Dick Vitale likes the pick and thinks he has a lot of potential. I would agree, but I think it's a bad sign that he looks like Tim Thomas. Just saying.

8:55- Julian Wright loves to bowl. No joke here -- he actually seems like a legitimately good guy, and he had a good interview with Stuart Scott. I think he'll be a pretty good player.

8:58- The Clippers need another guard here. Here's the 14th pick: Al Thornton from Florida State. That pretty much tells you exactly how much I can predict what will happen next. Good pick -- he can really score, and he was probably the best available player. The Pistons are on the clock right now.

9:01- Al Thornton has a really weird voice. No other comments necessary.

9:04- Wow, another weird Chevy commercial, this time involving the new Transformers movie. Hey, at this point, any commercial that isn't about "our country" is a small victory for me.

9:05- Pistons about to pick here at #15. They choose Rodney Stuckey, which is upsetting because I wanted the Wiz to get him. The Wizards are on the clock now, and I have idea who they'll take. But please, don't take McRoberts. PLEASE!!!

9:08- Apparently Stuckey wants to be in Dwayne Wade's "5" since he's his idol.

9:10- Here we go. Nick Young out of USC. Very interesting. I'm pleased with this pick. A scorer off the bench is something the Wiz needed. Good work guys.

9:12- All of the panel guys make fun of the Wiz for not playing any defense. Apparently Young doesn't play defense either. Uh, that's fine. I still like what the Wiz are doing.

9:14- Apparently the Knicks have traded Channing Frye and Steve Francis to the Blazers for Zach Randolph, Fred Jones, and Dan Dickau. Very weird. Now the Knicks have two low post scorers in Eddy Curry and Zach Randolph. That's surprising, but also, what are the Blazers doing? Steve Francis? How is that a move in the right direction for a team built around Roy, Oden, Aldridge, Jack, and Sergio Rodriguez? Maybe for his expiring contract? I can see Frye, I guess, but I don't really understand this trade at all for the Blazers. At least Randolph is a solid player, and even though he's kind of crazy, I'm just lost. I seriously doubt that this trade is the best that the Blazers could do with unloading Randolph. Didn't expect that.

9:16- The Nets select Sean Williams at #17. We'll see how that works. Decent risk pick.

9:22- The Warriors just took Marco Belinelli. I'll be honest, I never heard of this guy before, and I'm not impressed that he scored 25 points on Team USA. Somehow, that really doesn't mean that much -- I wonder why. Lakers on the clock.

9:27- More talk about Kobe Bryant and how he still wants out of the LA. Whatever. More of the same and nothing happening.

9:29- Here's the pick -- Javaris Cittenton out of Georgia Tech. I'm pretty sure that can't please Kobe, but then again, not much else would. Decent pick. Vitale is on ranting about Kobe Bryant and how he's going no where. He also says Tony Parker is nuts for sleeping with the NBA trophy before Eva Longoria. Have to agree on that one. Uh oh... Vitale vs. Stephen A. Smith -- Smith just called Vitale cheap, and my TV almost exploded from all of the yelling. If only somehow Chris Matthews from Hardball was involved in this NBA draft, that would have assuredly happened. Tone it down, guys. No yelling on the bus...

9:35- Heat's pick now at #20. They pick Jason Smith from Colorado State. Bilas likes his hard work and footwork, which basically means he's not athletic, but he's not anything spectacular.

9:37- Jim Gray is interviewing Mitch Kupchak right now. I'm tired of the Lakers, seriously. Kupchak is really saying nothing -- what a complete waste of time. These things really go no where, and the interviews here are basically worthless. I understand they need to take place, but this is just boring. Sixers up next at 21.

9:40- That's better. Smith says that Kupchak looked like he was about to cry, and he should, since he works for the Buss family. Mark Jackson also, finally, makes the point that they don't really need a point guard. They just took Farmar last year, so why do they need Crittenton? Go Lakers!

9:41- Twenty-first pick for the Sixers, and they take Daequan Cook from Ohio State. Bucher believed that Cook will go to Miami with cash, and Smith will go to the Sixers. Now that makes a lot of sense for the Sixers; there is the rebounding and some defense and size they were looking for. And Miami gets a player with a lot of upside with Cook, which is something they really could use on an old roster. At the very least, Shaq will be able to teach him how to eat right, you know, Shaq's Big Challenge. And apparently his big challenge consists of previously doing commercials for Pepsi, Burger King, Taco Bell, and Nestle while trying to teach kids to eat the right way. Because when I think eating healthy, I think Shaq. That's like saying, when I think great movies, I think Kazaam.

9:47- Bobcats back on the clock, and here's the pick at #22 -- Jared Dudley out of Boston College. This was one of the players I think should have been drafted higher, and I think this is one of the better picks so far. Solid choice here, no MJ or Kwame Brown jokes needed.

Orioles Update: 8th inning, O's up 6-4. Wow.

9:49- Knicks on the clock for pick #23, and now there is the obligatory Spike Lee interview. His first mistake was saying that he thinks Isiah Thomas knows what he's doing. That's great, so thanks for that. They do have to be better than how they played last year.

9:52- Here we go, time for the Knicks to pick. They take Wilson Chandler out of DePaul. Spectacular. Suns on the clock.

9:56- Usually I'd have more funny things to say, but because just about every player is interviewed by Stuart Scott, the laughs eventually die down. Oddly enough, the Blazers apparently have purchased the #24 pick from the Suns -- Bucher says that's about a $3 million purchase. I still can't get over their trade for Steve Francis. I wonder what they'll do here.

9:58- The Blazers select Rudy Fernandez out of Spain. The Blazers, besides the Oden pick, are either making some very shrewd moves, or they are just taking some chances. Either way, it's a new direction for the Blazers.

10:01- Just saw a commercial with Big Papi on ESPN. I can't complain about any commercial involving Big Papi -- it could be able anything and I wouldn't care.

10:05- Jazz pick here at #25, and they choose Morris Almond. This guy can really shoot, and that's something that Utah really needed. Smart personnel choice here. Rockets on the clock at 26.

Orioles update: They're on rain delay now, but they're losing 8-6 now. Great work guys.

10:11- Here comes the Rockets pick at #26 -- Aaron Brooks from Oregon. He's an interesting player and a solid prospect for this team. He can really score and come of the bench to help this team. Pistons on the clock at #27.

10:13- Andy Katz is back, and he's still unsure whether Yi will show up or not. Basically, there's no news here.

10:14- More about the Celtics-Sonics trade -- the Celtics also receive the 35th pick in the draft as well to complete the deal. As an interesting move, the Sonics are also now looking to keep Rashard Lewis back to play with Durant and Green. Sounds like a very smart decision. That would be a great trio for years to come. I really like what the Sonics are doing.

10:18- The Pistons choose Arron Afflalo from UCLA. Good for them. The draft excitement has gone down somewhat, and I think it's because there's a lot more Stuart Scott than Dick Vitale. This draft needs more Vitale. Come on ESPN.

10:21- The Spurs are now on the clock here, and I'm already tired of seeing LeBron James and commercials for the ESPYs. Serious question here: Does anyone actually care about the ESPYs? Does anyone even watch it on tv? It means nothing, so who cares?

10:24- The Spurs go with Tiago Splitter out of Brazil. I keep hearing this guy's name, but I've never seen him play. But it's always good to get the well deserved "Must Improve: Offensive Game" designation on his bio information. The Suns are now on the clock with pick 29, and my time is quickly running out. Let's see what else happens before the first round is over.

10:30- The Suns take Alando Tucker from Wisconsin, and Dick Vitale is back. Of course he loves the pick because as long as a guy goes to college, and he doesn't do anything stupid, Vitale likes the pick.

10:32- I feel bad for Boston. This team just can't seem to stay consistent and make important moves. They take the short-term decision in getting Allen to go with Pierce. I think they might be able to sneak into the playoffs now, but they aren't going to compete for a conference title, even in the weaker Eastern Conference. I just get confused with exactly what they're trying to do sometimes. First they trade a possible Brandon Roy pick last year for Sebastian Telfair, who has been a complete bust, and now they trade a decent piece in Delonte West along with the #5 pick, probably a Corey Brewer, just to get Allen so the team can be a little better right now. If the Wizards were making moves like that, I would be furious. I can only imagine what Bill Simmons is thinking right now.

10:37- Last pick of the first round, which belongs to the Sixers. The 30th pick is Petteri Koponen from Finland. Who?

I'd like to end this blog with something amazingly profound, but I really don't have any stunning conclusion to make here. There weren't as many trades as I thought there would be, and for the most part, there were very good picks. I'm happy with what the Wizards did, and they couldn't really have done much else. I have no clue who they'll get in the second round, so we'll see.

One final note: Please never dress like Joakim Noah. Just don't.

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