Here’s the NBA Draft recap that I had worked on last night following it’s conclusion. It was definitely a confusing draft as numerous trades took place including 5 of the top 8 picks changing teams. In all there were 15 trades that went down including 2 minor deals for the Lakers.
First I'll go with my winners of the draft. Portland made a lot of moves but I like most of them so I will put them in this column. Stephen A. Smith was going off on Portland but getting Aldridge and Roy is a solid foundation and picking up Alexander Johnson is a decent move as well. I didn't like the Celtics trade getting Telfair, Ratliff and a 2nd rounder for #7, Raef Lafrentz and Dan Dickau but I did like their other two moves in trading for Rajon Rondo and Leon "The Show" Powe. I think Powe is a steal and will be a solid pro. His injury questions dropped him but I believe the Celtics got a good one.
Jerry West worked his magic again and ended up turning Shane Battier into Rudy Gay and Stromile Swift, a great move IMO. In addition, they picked up Kyle Lowry and Alexander Johnson who should be solid contributors. Utah getting Ronnie Brewer at #14 was surprising as I had him going higher and I like their pick of Dee Brown in the 2nd round reuniting the Illinois backcourt of ’05. The Nets were the ones that got to scoop up the falling Marcus Williams at #22, another good pickup. That allowed Jordan Farmar to drop to the Lakers at #26 and it was very good for the Lakers. Coming into the draft I didn't expect Farmar to be there for the Lakers and although I liked Quincy Douby (drafted #19) and Maurice Ager (#28), I was very pleased for the Lakers to scoop up Farmar. He's definitely an improvement over Smush Parker.
Definite losers go to the New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks and Houston Rockets. Just when you thought Isiah Thomas couldn’t do any worse he does and drafts Renaldo Balkman from South Carolina in the first round. Here’s a guy that did not even avg 10 points a game and would not have been taken until the 2nd round at the earliest and the Knicks go and waste the #20 overall pick on him. I feel bad for the Knicks fans because they have one of, if not the worst management in the league.
The Hawks are in the running for worst management with the Knicks as they made a guarantee to Shelden Williams at #5. Yes I hate Duke as I am a North Carolina fan but come on #5??? I thought he would be a reach at #10 for Seattle who was rumored to like him a lot so you can imagine what I thought when I heard about his guarantee at #5.
Houston made a great pick in drafting Rudy Gay at #8, then shipped him to Memphis along with Stromile Swift for Shane Battier. Granted Gay has had some issues with motivation, as has Swift, but that is just too much talent to give up for one player in Shane Battier. I think the Rockets will really regret this decision, especially if Tracy McGrady’s back flares up again next season.
The Lakers ended up getting a very good first round pick in Jordan Farmar and then in the second round drafted Cheik Samb a center from Senegal who they moved to Detroit for Maurice Evans. Not a bad move, and then they traded to Dallas a future 2nd round pick to get Danilo Pinnock, a SG from George Washington. I had never seen him play before so I’m going to assume he’ll just be camp fodder and released.
It’s getting close to College Football season so my attention will start turning back towards that way, except for the occasional World Cup update and NBA Free Agency. If time permits I’ll answer the EDSBS Roundtable questions from this week, otherwise I’ll take those on early next week. If I don’t get another chance to post, everyone have a great 4th of July weekend, whether you get 5 days like some of my friends or you’re like me and have to work Monday and then get Tuesday off.