The NBA Draft is now officially over and every team has forgotten about the disappointment of last season and are excited for a new season. A new trend may have started this year, I didn’t see any funky suits. What happened to the Jalen Rose and Hakeem Olajuwon? The only suit that I could take a swing at was the suit O.J. Mayo wore. It was a 3-piece suit, but it was super tight and appeared to be a bit short on him.
Also, I would like to note that this year’s “Best Hair Award” goes to Robin Lopez. Any hair that is barely dented by a hair, gets a trophy. Here is my recap of this year’s lottery selections.
1 – Bulls – Derrick Rose, Memphis , PG – No surprise here, we’ve known that he was going here for awhile. He should have a decent season this year, but the team still needs a few more pieces to compete with Boston and Detroit.
2 – Heat – Michael Beasley, Kansas State,PF – I am still a little shocked about this one. All the news you heard from Miami pre-draft was how this guy wasn’t their guy, but they still picked him. I guess it still seems a little fishy, unless it was all political and was trying to bait a trade. Beasley will fit well with Wade and Marion and they will have a much better season this year.
3 – Grizzlies – O.J. Mayo, USC, G – Minnesota did a good job in picking Mayo, but maybe a move was trading him away. The T-wolves received Kevin Love and Mike Miller, which will help a young team. Mayo can play the 1 or 2 and is a very versatile player, but with Mike Conley at the point, Mayo will look to fill the 2 spot. Look for Mayo to do well out of the gate and make Memphis, but they are still a few drafts away from filling the void that Pau Gasol left.
4 – Sonics – Russell Westbrook, UCLA, G – Westbrook was the perfect pick for the Sonics. He can defend, which was a serious need for the Sonics, plus he can help run the offense and get the ball to Durant.
5 – Timberwolves – Kevin Love, UCLA, PF – I didn’t think Love would go this high, but Minnesota finagled a trade with Memphis for the big man who can hit full-court shots. Kevin McHale still needs a lot for the T-wolves to be competitive, but this move looks like a smart one. Minnesota knows that they have a lot of work ahead of them, but for now, the Love/Jefferson combo in the post will drive defenses crazy. Good move McHale, it will take about ten of these moves for the people of Minnesota to forget about KG.
6 – Knicks – Danilo Gallinari, Italy, SF – Time will only tell if this pick will be a good one. His success depends on his ability to handle the pressure of playing in New York. The analysts are comparing Gallinari with Toni Kukoc and Dirk Nowitzki, but don’t they usually compare any big European who has a jumpshot with those guys?
7 – Clippers – Eric Gordon, Indiana, G – As you may already know, “America’s White Boy” have been critical of Eric Gordon in the past. Gordon reminds us of Sam Cassell-type of player who can score in bunches. Cassell had success with the Clippers, in the short time he was there. If Gordon can put together a full season, the Clippers made a good pick here.
8 – Bucks – Joe Alexander, West Virginia, SF – The Bucks were in love with Alexander for a long time now. This pick didn’t come as a surprise to anyone. They drafted three small-forwards in this year’s draft. Tou have to think that they will be good at that position for a few seasons. By the way, “Vanilla Sky” is the best nickname of any draft prospect since Fred Hoiberg’s “The Mayor.”
9 – Bobcats – D.J. Augustin, Texas, PG – A definite surprise here from the Bobcats. Charlotte is trying to trade Raymond Felton and by selecting Augustin, you have the exact opposite of Felton. Augustin isn’t going to be a big-time scorer, but he can handle the ball and run the offense much better.
10 – Nets – Brook Lopez, Stanford, C – “I know the Nets really like Brook Lopez,” that is how I started out my preview for this pick, but I never thought Lopez would be undrafted at this point. The Nets have had a really good day. They picked up Bobby Simmons and Yi for Richard Jefferson, which is making them much more physical. The Nets have needed a frontline scorer since Kenyon Martin left, Lopez fills the need.
11 – Blazers – Jerryd Bayless, Arizona, PG – The Pacers originally picked Bayless, but traded the pick with Ike Diogu to Portland for the #13 pick (Brandon Rush), Jarrett Jack, and Josh McRoberts. The GM for Portland has looked like a genius the last couple seasons, so I can’t really second-guess any of his decisions at this point. Portland will be a contender in the West next season, with or without a healthy Greg Oden.
12 – Kings – Jason Thompson, Rider, PF – Thompson is one of those under-the-radar type of guys, so this was surprising that he would be picked this high. They really needed a point guard, but without Bayless or Augustin available, they had to go with Thompson’s upside. I don’t see him being a factor the next season or two.
13 – Pacers – Brandon Rush, Kansas, SG – (see Pick #11) The Pacers have been in need of a shooting guard since the retirement of Reggie Miller. Rush is a good defender and is a proven winner. He has great size (6’7) and should give other guards troubles with defending his shot. The Pacers traded Bayless for Rush and gained a player that seemed more NBA-ready.
14 – Warriors – Anthony Randolph, LSU, PF – I thought the Warriors would pick Mario Chalmers with this pick, but NBA teams seemed to fall out of love with him. Instead of picking for need, the Warriors picked the next best prospect on the board with Randolph. I don’t understand the logic behind this pick since they drafted a clone of Randolph last season (Brandan Wright). They both are tall, but both need to get much, much stronger. Randolph is 6’10 and only 197lbs, he will end up in the D-League the next two seasons and it would still take a lot of hard work for him to live up to being a lottery pick.
After all the trades shake out, look for a “Draft Winners and Losers” post.