HOLY $#!! I’M ALIVE!!!
It’s been a minute I know but I had to come back on the night of the biggest draft since 2003.
I’m not into basketball like I used to be, but I’ve been looking forward to this draft since last May when the Cavaliers got lucky in one of the worst drafts in recent memory. The possible names that were available for this draft were like a basketball purist’s wet dream. Jared Sullinger, Perry Jones, Terrance Jones, Harrison Barnes and Jeremy Lamb were just the tip of the iceberg. These guys were sophomores that we knew were coming out and after seeing them in their first year in college we thought that they could all get better.
Add that to the McDonald’s All-Americans that had the possibility of being one and done (Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Bradley Beal) and we were looking at the deepest draft since 2003 where we had three superstars (Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade), several other big contributors (Chris Bosh, Nick Collison, David West and Kirk Hinrich) and a gaggle of role players that can make a difference on any team in the league.
A funny thing happened on the road to the Prudential Center though, not that we should be surprised. Perry Jones became fragile, Barnes fizzled, so did Lamb, Sullinger’s back cost him, oh and Dion Waiters, Tyler Zeller and Damian Lillard balled out.
The sure things don’t look so sure anymore, the draft doesn’t seem like it has the cant miss players that we all thought. There are question marks all up and down the draft once we get past Anthony Davis (who still needs a refined offensive game to match his foolish defensive skills) all the way into the late first round.
Some players have fallen farther than anyone could’ve thought and some guys are rising that we had no idea could rise.
One thing is for sure, man there are no foreign players anywhere to be found.
Outside of Evan Fourier the foreign expansion is bleak. The boom in foreign expansion that came in the 2000’s looks like it’s all dried up. It’s so bad I haven’t even seen ESPN’s Chad Ford hyping up a guy that we nothing about from some third world country… WHAT’S THE DRAFT COMING TO?!
So now that it’s finally here, how do I think it’s going to go? You all know me, I’m not conventional, so keep that in mind as we go through picks 1-30 and even throw in the Knicks 48thpick for fun. (Because you know in the deepest draft in 10 years the Knicks don’t have a first round pick thanks to Isaiah Thomas who hasn’t even worked in the organization in close to 4 years… I hate the Knicks.)
1. NEW ORLEANS HORNETS: ANTHONY DAVIS, PF, KENTUCKY
The NBA rigged pick (oops, did I go there?) is the only real no brainer in the first round. Anybody that watched 2 seconds of college basketball knows that Davis is the real deal. He’s tall with a huge wingspan, can run the floor, pass and well there’s his defense. Led the nation in blocks and made it look easy. Davis instantly becomes one of the best interior defenders in the game and helps the Hornets add 10-15 wins in year one. He needs to develop more of an inside offensive game but so did Lebron James and… well… look what happened.
2. CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: BRADLEY BEAL, SG, FLORIDA
Yeah, the Hornets trade this pick for more picks (because they need help everywhere) and the Cavs get the type of guard that will take some of the offensive pressure off of Kyrie Irving. Beal is one of the big risers who started off as a late first rounder at the beginning of the season but his stock just kept climbing.
He has an NBA ready body and a Ray Allen type of game. He needs to improve defensively but you can’t pass up a guy who can possibly score 23 points a game.
3. WASHINGTON WIZARDS: HARRISON BARNES, SF, NORTH CAROLINA
He’s not, the second coming of Kobe Bryant like we thought, he can’t find his own shot and he shrunk in big moments at UNC. But Barnes has a high IQ, super athletic and brings some sort of continuity and stability to a team that desperately needs it.
4. CHARLOTTE BOBCATS: THOMAS ROBINSON, PF, KANSAS
Man… I love T-Rob. He’s big, strong, can rebound, score face up and back to the basket and is a leader. Man… I love T-Rob.
5. SACRAMENTO KINGS: MICHAEL KIDD-GILCHRIST, SF, KENTUCKY
So apparently being a poor shooter overlooks the fact that, a. he’s a gym rat and a psychotically hard worker, b. has won on every level that he’s played, c. is the best on ball defender in this draft, d. can get to the rim at will and runs the floor better than anyone in this draft. That’s enough reason to drop him from number 2 to number 5 or lower… ok, gotcha.
6. PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS: DAMIAN LILLARD, PG, WEBER STATE
I’m not even going to lie to you, I know nothing about him, haven’t seen him play and don’t know why he’s ranked this high when he’s never played in the NCAA tournament, never played a top 25 team and is apparently a 6-1 shoot first point guard. Good luck Portland!
7. HOUSTON ROCKETS: ANDRE DRUMMOND, C, CONNECTICUT
Yeah this seems like a reach I know, but Houston is hell bent on getting into the lottery to try and entice Orlando into a trade for Dwight Howard (which by the way is completely stupid on Houston’s part) so once that fails why not fill a need and draft Andre Drummond. Drummond at one point was considered the top pick in the draft. However, questions about his motor and offensive game have soured scouts on him.
Let’s be real though, Drummond is a shot blocking machine in the NBA. He can rebound like crazy and who doesn’t need an improved offensive game in this league. Drummond to me can become a great center and pairing with Kevin McHale, who was a pretty good big man in his day, can help him reach that potential really fast. It’s a risk but hell, go for it.
8. TORONTO RAPTORS: DION WAITERS, SG, SYRACUSE
I’ve heard people say he has a lot of D-Wade in his game, some say that he is a glorified sixth man. I think Waiters is the second sure thing in this draft after Davis. Waiters is the type of player that lives for the big moment and excels in crunch time. With Waiters in Toronto I think they could become a playoff team… once they start playing defense.
9. DETROIT PISTONS: MEYERS LEONARD, C, ILLINOIS
This has bust written all over it. Leonard has risen up the boards recently but he doesn’t seem ready to bang down low with big boys yet until he puts on some weight and rebounds better.
10. NEW ORLEANS HORNETS: AUSTIN RIVERS, SG, DUKE
Ok, so I’m a Duke fan, I watched “Sub-Zero” play all year, nothing about him impressed me at all. He’s a ball hog, who shoots too much, plays no defense and due to his size is going to have to play some point guard in the league, which I don’t think he can do because he doesn’t pass. I understand that the Duke team he played for was offensively challenged to say the least but he’s not the type of guy that makes his team better. He’s a streak shooter that’s a liability in numerous areas.
But New Orleans needs a scorer with Eric Gordon leaving so what the hell? Try him out.
11. PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS: TYLER ZELLER, C, NORTH CAROLINA
I think people are sleeping hard on Zeller. He’s not the most athletic guy in the world but he can be asset on defense and block shots and rebound. He’s not a stiff like Leonard.
12. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: TERRANCE JONES, PF, KENTUCKY
Is he a 3; is he a 4, will his on court body language improve? Look, he’s a good defender; the Warriors need defense, badly. Start him at the 3, let him roam with David Lee and Andrew Bogut and win a few more games because you don’t allow 106 a night. Makes sense?
13. PHOENIX SUNS: JEREMY LAMB, SG, CONNECTICUT
He disappeared in that dreadful end to UCONN’s season last year. By himself he can’t carry a team but when paired with a good point guard he can do wonders. If the Suns can bring back Aaron Brooks this will be a great pick.
14. MILWAUKEE BUCKS: JOHN HENSON, PF, NORTH CAROLINA
Congrats Milwaukee you get the cousin of Brendan Wright and the second cousin of Ed Davis, a tall lanky “power forward” would crack a playoff teams top 8 players. Good job.
15. PHILADELPHIA 76ERS: PERRY JONES III, SF, BAYLOR
You all know how I feel about PJ3; he’s a complimentary player with the motor of a model T Ford. If Perry Jones wants to be great he can be, but it’s going to be hell to get him going. Maybe Doug Collins is the guy to do it, who knows.
16. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: MOE HARKLESS, SF, ST. JOHN’S
Picture a 3 on 1 break with Steph Curry running the break. Klay Thompson on one side and Moe Harkless on the other… no proceed to tremble with fear 6 or 7 times a game.
17. DALLAS MAVERICKS: TERRANCE ROSS, SG, WASHINGTON
6-7 wingman that can fill it up and bring energy… Dirk approves.
18. HOUSTON ROCKETS: QUINCY MILLER, SF, BAYLOR
When I saw him play in November I immediately fell in love. An ACL injury limited him after January but once healthy Miller is an asset on both ends of the floor.
19. ORLANDO MAGIC: MARQUIS TEAGUE, PG, KENTUCKY
Teague improved his stock in the NCAA tournament and looks like a very good starting point guard that can average 15 and 9 in the league.
20. DENVER NUGGETS: KENDALL MARSHALL, PG, NORTH CAROLINA
At one point he was a top 10 pick, then we realized that he’s slower than molasses. He should be a good backup to Ty Lawson
21. BOSTON CELTICS: ROYCE WHITE, I DON’T KNOW WHAT POSITION HE’S GOING TO PLAY BUT WHATEVER IT IS HE’LL GIVE TEAMS NIGHTMARES, IOWA STATE
He’s big, strong, athletic and has anxiety disorder. Kevin Garnett can’t wait to get him into camp.
22. BOSTON CELTICS: JARED SULLINGER, PF, OHIO STATE
He’s red flagged for having a bad back and possible weight problems… so?
Sullinger is the best back to the basket player in this draft. He gets after it defensively, rebounds well and has more low post moves than Dwight Howard. He has a refined game that fits in the league and could average 17 & 10 a game. I know there are health risks, but look at his tape at Ohio State, he’s a gamer, a big time player no matter the situation. If you pass on Sullinger you’ll be sorry and if he falls here or further to a contender that needs low post scoring (OKC) you’ll really be sorry.
23. ATLANTA HAWKS: ARNETT MOULTRIE, PF, MISSISSIPPI STATE
Not the biggest fan of his game but he has size and can rebound. After losing Al Horford this year the Hawks need more insurance.
24. CHARLOTTE BOBCATS: JEFFREY TAYLOR, SF, VANDERBILT
The Bobcats continue to add pieces with the 6-7 athletic defender from Vandy
25. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES: JOHN JENKINS, SG, VANDERBILT
Well O.J. Mayo, it’s been fun… here’s the door.
26. INDIANA PACERS: DORON LAMB, SG, KENTUCKY
The Pacers need outside scoring, badly Lamb is a great shooter with penetration skills and should be able to help Indiana immediately
27. MIAMI HEAT: FAB MELO, C, SYRACUSE
OH MY GOD, MIAMI ACTUALLY HAS A CENTER?! LET’S THROW A CELEBRATION!!
28. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER: DREW GORDON, PF, NEW MEXICO
Kind of a reach but OKC needs another big body and even though he’s raw offensively he can be developed.
29. CHICAGO BULLS: TONY WROTEN JR, PG/SG, WASHINGTON
The Bulls need a fill in for Derrick Rose until he’s healthy. Wroten can play both guard spots and gets to the rim a lot.
30. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: DRAYMOND GREEN, PF, MICHIGAN STATE
Good size and strength for Golden State to play around with.
Well there you have it. Months of anticipation, speculation and revelation have brought us to this night. It’s going to be interesting to see where everyone goes and if this draft will be as good as we said it would be in years to come.
As for the Knicks:
48. NEW YORK KNICKS: KHRIS MIDDLETON, SF, TEXAS A&M
Last year he was a late lottery first rounder, this year thanks to injury he falls deep into the second round.
Even the Knicks could get a gem in this draft. Maybe it will be worth the wait and worth my first blog in a few months.