Such a weird year. In case you aren't paying attention, perhaps the best NBA free agent class is about to hit the market. A class which includes Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudamire, Dirk Nowitszki, Joe Johnson, and Darko Milicic. Due to that, teams that are positioning themselves to try to make a run at multiple players from the list are shedding salary no matter what it takes. This week alone the Heat have traded a pretty good young guard (Daequan Cook) and the 18th pick in the first round to actually move down into the second round, all in order to save $3 million, and the Bulls unloaded a very solid player in Kirk Hinrich in a similar deal . Such a weird year. Some teams are going to be very disappointed, and second-tier guys like Rudy Gay are going to get overpaid just so the teams that miss out on the real prizes can feel good about themselves.
I also read that, as the Heat try to shed even more salary, they are looking to trade Michael Beasley. Since they have to get approximately equal salary back due to the salary cap rules, one guy who they would be very interested in would be the Wolves' Ryan Gomes, who makes about the same amount as Beasley. The difference is that Gomes money isn't all guaranteed, only $1 million of it is if he's cut, so the Heat would get another $3.5 million under the cap if this happened. I really, really hope David Kahn has been on the phone with Pat Riley nearly constantly to get this done.
And with that introduction, I bring you the second annual Down with Goldy NBA Draft Live Blog. Let's begin.
- Wall and Turner go 1 and 2, no surprise. I have to say that I'm not quite getting the John Wall thing. Maybe I caught the wrong games, but he's the most underwhelming consensus #1 pick I can remember in a long time, maybe ever. Last year, I remember just being blown away by Blake Griffin (insert sad trumpet waaah waah right here) and knowing he deserved to be #1 - clear cut. I don't feel that way about Wall at all. I'd actually prefer Turner if I had the #1 pick.
I'm not exactly sure what it is about Wall I don't like. He's not a great shooter, but neither was Russell Westbrook, and there's a lot more to his game then other famous bricklayers like T.J. Ford and Jacque Vaughn (and he's not nearly that poor of a shooter). I guess I'm just not impressed. Call me an idiot.
- Favors to NJ at #3, so all the posturing about them taking Wes Johnson was just that, no shock there. A Favors + Rubio combo would have had some potential to build around. Assuming Rubio stops being your typical Euro Whiner baby flopper (hi Italy!) and gets over here to play. "Oh, it's so cold. Oh it's a small market. Oh blah blah blah blah SHUT-UP." We own your white ass, so either buy a nice gortex jacket with some feather lining, or prepare yourself to play the equivalent of single-A league basketball. Seriously, I'm so sick of this kid.
- Nobody screwed anything up, and the Wolves get Wes Johnson as expected. I don't know. Seems like the kind of guy who is going to be solid but never spectacular, although he's probably one of the best Wolves already. I still can't shake the feeling that he's more of a half a good player. Like if you combined him and Corey Brewer altogether you'd have a really good player. Unfortunately to my knowledge, you can't actually do that. Yet.
- DeMarcus Cousins goes #5 to the Kings, joining Tyreke Evans in a move that I'm sure makes John Calipari and World Wide Wes happy, and whoever the coach of the Kings is ready to file his resignation. Seriously, can you imagine trying to coach those two knuckleheads? And on cue, there's coach Cal, looking slimy as ever. And he wants us to know that "this is the biggest day in the history of Kentucky basketball." Uh, Cal, you can probably go ahead and dial it back a bit. You know the Wildcats have played fo rkind of a lot of years, right? And they've won kind of a lot of games? And a few titles? Jesus, dude, you're starting to believe you're bigger than Jesus Christ, and remember where that got John Lennon?
- Cousins' MUST IMPROVE in his profile: Maturity.
- Pistons are up for #7 with Greg Monroe on the board after the Warriors went with Ekpe Udoh. Please please please let the Wolves make one of the rumored trades and get this pick to take Monroe. Please.
- A-holes. So lame. Monroe's MUST IMPROVE: Assertiveness. I heard one time at Denny's, Monroe asked for sausage patties with his Grand Slam, but they brought him sausage links instead. And he didn't say anything.
- Clip show take Al-Farouq Aminu, which feels right. He's super athletic but perhaps a bit unskilled, and is very tweenery between the 3 and the 4. That feels Clippery, doesn't it? Although they are putting together a decent team over there. Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, Blake Griffin, and Chris Kaman isn't a joke. I don't know who their SF is, because Aminu can't shoot (and Bilas just pointed out that he can only go right - great pick for a wing, just really stellar).
- I will give anybody $5 if they can decipher the point of this article by noted retard Pat Reusse. He's trying to say that the Twins were able to go from terrible to good (true) and now the Timberwolves need to do the same. He then mentions that a main reason for the turnaround was trading Scott Erickson, Rick Aguilera, Kevin Tapani, and Mark Guthrie. These are the players the Twins received: Ron Coomer, Manny Parra, Scott Klingenbeck, and Frankie Rodriguez. His very next sentence points out how it took the Twins another six years after those trades to get over .500, at which point none of those players were on the Twins' roster any longer.
I would say it was more good drafting and solid player development that turned the Twins' franchise around. Something that would be an extremely relevant point, especially if one wanted to compare the Twins to the T-Wolves, particularly on the same day as the NBA draft. Seriously, that guy is a complete dummy. He's got the intellect of Ox from Saved by the Bell.
- Utah's gotta go white boy here, right?
- Right. It's Gordon Hayward, and I have a feeling this pick is going to pan out in a big way for the Jazz. He's a very skilled and very smart player who can jump, handle the ball, and he has good size (although he needs to put on weight) and who is more athletic than you'd think. I think he's got a better chance of becoming an all-star than a couple of the guys who have gone before him (Udoh, Aminu).
- They just showed Hayward's twin sister. MUST IMPROVE: Looks, Chest.
- Pacers go with Paul George, who I hate because I've never seen a minute of his play, but who I know was a hot commodity due to being of the "workout warrior" type, and those always work out. Stu Scott informs us that he had originally committed to Pepperdine, but then de-committed and went to Fresno. Is there any question he was scared of Rico Tucker?
- NBADraft.net compares George to Trevor Ariza/Danny Granger. That downside isn't really even that bad.
- Hornets take Cole Aldrich, in what has to be the least exciting pick ever. I mean really, can anybody be excited about getting Aldrich? I know he's an excellent defender and you know he can rebound, but he's really got little to no offensive game, and people don't come to games to watch good defensive footwork. I think the next time he scores outside of the paint (not counting groupies) it'll be the first time.
- Memphis goes with Xavier Henry, who is a guy I love as a sleeper. I know a lot of people think he's little more than blacker Blake Hoffarber in the NBA, but I think he can be really solid. Draft Express lists his upside as James Posey with a downside of Martell Webster, so clearly I'm an idiot.
- Looks like Oklahoma City just traded a couple of picks for Cole Aldrich, and now I can see somebody getting excited for him. Aldrich is kind of boring on a bad team, but on a team that's already loaded with good scorers and is already a contender, and he can be the missing piece. Love this trade for the Thunder. Love it. Even though they also had to on Morris Peterson and his bloated salary, this is the kind of trade that makes them a possible contender. Unless Aldrich is the next Greg Ostertag.
- Toronto takes Ed Davis. Hey, you guys remember when the Hawks took Marvin Williams #3 overall (over Chris Paul and Deron Williams) based on potential?
- Patterson to the Rockets, Larry Sanders to the Bucks. Sanders goes quite a bit higher than expected, but he's one of those "huge upside" picks, and I'll guarantee you he'll end up better than Ed Davis. Wolves now on the clock. I'm hoping for James Anderson or Luke Babbitt here.
- Pick = Babbitt. Not sure I love it, but at this point of the draft in this particular draft I'm not really seeing anything better. He was projected to go somewhere like 9-12, so if you look at it that way it's kind of a steal, and it's hard to not like a lefty. His comps are Keith Van Horn and Chris Mullin, and in his interview he called himself "the best shooter in the draft." I like him already.
- The Bulls take some frenchy at #17. How lame. Crowd breaks out in a U-S-A chant. Stay classy, NYC.
- OKC grabs Eric Bledsoe, and now a very young team that pushed the Lakers in the playoffs has added Aldrich and Bledsoe, and it's a great spot for Bledsoe because he won't have to play the point right away with Westbrook there. And on cue, his MUST IMPROVE is "point guard skills." Yeah, you're going to need those when you're 6-1.
- I just looked at Bilas's "Best Available" and when Jerome Jordan sneaks in there and you're only at pick 18, you know this is a shitty draft. Time to liven up the party:
- Celtics take Avery Bradley, the reason Cory Joseph is going to Texas. To me, this clearly means the Celtics are looking to trade Rondo. Probably to the Wolves. Probably for Ryan Hollins. Hey, the salaries match.
- Whoa, so apparently when I was in the other room they announced a trade, and the Wolves traded Babbitt to the Blazers for Martell Webster, also known as the worst case scenario for Xavier Henry who was projected to go after Babbitt. I'm not exactly sure what happened here.
- I missed a pick or so, but at #21 Craig Brackins goes to OKC (who is shipping him to New Orleans). Really interesting pick, considering if he had come out a year prior he would have been top 10, maybe top 5. Good chance this is a huge steal here.
- I really don't think I understand this Webster/Babbitt trade. What is it exactly about Webster you love? His one skill is supposed to be his outside shooting (surprise! the same as Babbitt) but he's a career 37% three-point shooter. And it's not like you can't wait for Babbitt to develop, you're not winning any time soon. I'm baffled.
- Now they are up again. And they go with Trevor Booker, and undersized power forward who was projected to go in the second round. This draft is a disaster. It's like a Patrick Reusse article in real-time.
- Wait, hold on. So now they just traded Booker to Washington for picks 30 and 35. Ok, I'm calm again. If they can get Devin Ebanks and Jordan Crawford with those two I'll be happy. Also if they could trade Al Jefferson for for somebody who is more gooder.
- Memphis takes Dominique Jones, and that's a pick I like. He can get to the rim, and although he might not be the best shooter or ball-handler, he's got a better shot than most at this stage to be an impact player down the line. Great pick for Memphis. With Henry and Jones they've taken two of the sleeper type picks I liked. Either they're figuring it out or I've become dumb.
- I just heard someone say that OKC traded Eric Bledsoe to the Clippers for a future first rounder. Holy crap man, I can't keep up. This is awesome.
- Well there goes Crawford.
- I just heard that Gomes might have been included in the Webster/Babbitt deal. Not that I have mad love for Gomes, but that makes this a lot worse. And when is Lawerence Westbrook getting picked? I think it's about time.
- It seems there is a decent number of people who like the Webster trade, since he's only 23 and has more upside than Babbitt (according to them), and Gomes is just a basic rotation player, which he is. I guess this is sort of a home run attempt. Can Webster flourish and become awesome when he's not having to share time with an assload of wings like the Blazers have? Remember he's just 23 and came into the league out of high school and hasn't exactly been given a ton of minutes, although he's averaged around 10 points a game lately. I guess. I'm not quite buying in. I think I'll just hang around outside for a bit and see how things seem before I walk through that door.
- Stu Scott just went on a huge intro for this pick, #30, for the Wizards and what are they going to pick to pair with John Wall and blah blah blah. But this pick is going to the Wolves for Trevor Booker.
- The Wolves go with Lazar Hayward, and I have to admit this isn't a guy I thought of at all, but now that I see the pick I'm intrigued. He's a fundamentally solid player who can play defense, rebound, and score and inside and out. And thanks to his years playing with those three crazy good guards, he knows how to play when he's not the focal point of the offense, or even one of the first few options. I'm intrigued, and I think I even approve.
- Man, with all the pre-draft hype about moving up and moving down and trading Jefferson and all that, this is really kind of a buzzkill. Wes Johnson, Martell Webster, and Hayward? Yawntastic.
- Not a good year to be a seven-footer with few skills but "size" and "athleticism." Hassan Whiteside, Soloman Alabi, and Jerome Jordan all slip into round 2. I think teams are getting smarter, those guys would have been first-rounders and Whiteside would have been a lottery pick five years ago. Actually, if the Wolves can get Whiteside at pick 35 that would be really solid. I also just remembered that I loved what I heard and saw from Webster the year he came out straight from high school. Maybe I'm selling this draft too low. Or maybe I'm an idiot.
- Jesus, this Euro-dork that was just taken at pick 31 by Atlanta? His highlight film looks like it was filmed at the YMCA. I'm not kidding. I will say it's refreshing to watch a draft with relatively few Euros. Other than that French dork named after a kind of angel (nice soccer team Guillermo) and this YMCA all-star, I think we've been relatively dirtball clean. And Vazquez. Geez, how could I forget the king of the dirtballs. He makes James Franco look like Howie Mandell.
- Dexter Pittman? Didn't we already try this with Oliver Miller?
- God I want to punch preacher-boy Avery Johnson in the face so bad. You know what was one of the hardest things about growing up? Having a best friend who was a Spurs fan. Every time I see some crybaby whining about abuse or abandonment and all that I think, "You don't know what I went through, son. You just don't know."
- There goes Whiteside. This draft is officially a disaster.
- Maybe they can get Alabi. He could end up a Kendrick Perkins type. Damn. They really should have taken Whiteside at 30. Guarantee you Hayward would be here at 35.
- Ebanks is still there? I'd like that pick too. But you know who I really wanted? Antoine Broxsie.
- Newsweek calls Knight and Day "easily one of the best films of the summer?" There's no chance. That looks worse than Jumper.
- Dominique Jones to the Mavericks for cash. Doesn't that seem wrong? Why should deep pockets McGee just be able to ship money over to the poor morons in Memphis to get this kid? That would make me so mad if I cared.
- If the Wolves take Jerome Jordan here I will quit watching T-Wolves basketball. Which I actually already have.
- Christ, some god damn Euro from Serbia. One of the highlights they just showed of him was grabbing a rebound off a missed free-throw. Totally serious. God I hate this pick and I hate this draft. You people all suck. And I don't even care about the NBA. I can't imagine how the real fans must feel. Ugh.
- I'm 99% convinced the Knicks took Andy Rautins right here just so the crowd wouldn't boo them.
- Heat take Jarvis Varnado, and why the hell not at #41. He's probably too skinny for the NBA, but that kind of defense could end up working out. This is a great pick at this point, seriously. I know, I know, he's got no NBA worthy offensive game, and if he gets dragged out on the perimeter and has to guard a pick and roll he's probably screwed, but I like the gamble here.
- I just checked NBADraft.net, and they compare Hayward's upside to Ryan Gomes. Awesome. This is a sub-20 win team again next year, which I guess is good because it means I'll care about the draft for another year. Seems like an awesome time to shut this down.
God I hate this team.