The NBA Draft has arrived. It is the last of the four major drafts that fall in an unofficial two month draft season. It seems like what I should do is to make a mock draft, but that’s pretty much a waste of time – I stand no chance of being right, and there have already been trades, and there will likely be more, that make an accurate prediction of what will happen practically impossible. Instead, I’ll just look at a few notes:
1. If the Bulls do as expected they will pick Derrick Rose first. That’s going to go very well for them. I think that Rose is a special player who will soon be a superstar.
2. I think that Pat Riley must be on drugs. I can understand his desire to find a point guard to compliment Dwyane Wade, but I really don’t understand why you would pass up on Michael Beasley in the pursuit of that. Beasley is a scoring machine with a surprisingly well rounded game, and I don’t see why a team wouldn’t want that. If Riley truly decides he doesn’t want to take Beasley then I hope he trades down and gets a good package, because sticking in two and picking Mayo or Bayless would be monumentally stupid (and I like both players).
3. The best rumor I have heard all week is that Kevin Durant is pushing the Sonics to trade up and pick Beasley. He and Beasley have been friends for years, and they w ould love to play together. Wow. That would be scary to watch. My guess s that David Stern would be pretty excited by that move as well.
4. I think that Eric Gordon is eventually going to be looked at as the bargain of this draft. My guess is that the earliest he wil go is sixth to the Knicks, but if he hadn’t tailed off at the end of the season in Indiana then he would have likely been in the top three. I don’t thing you can blame him for how he finished the season given the mess that that team was, and when you watched him earlier in the year it took about three seconds to realize that you were watching greatness. He’s going to get picked behind a couple of guys who aren’t nearly as good as he is.
5. If Jerryd Bayless doesn’t end up being Miami’s pick then there is a chance that he could fall to the bottom of the lottery. That would be a major steal. I think Bayless is raw, and I am not convinced that he will end up as a full-time point guard in the pros, but the guy is so freakishly athletic it is sick. Other guys have been athletic freaks and haven’t worked out yet – paging Tyrus Thomas – but Bayless adds two more things to the mix – an impressive shooting touch, and a good game sense.
6. There are good draft classes and bad ones – this is going to be looked back upon as an impressive one, I think.
7. Likely lottery picks that don’t float my boat – Brooks Lopez (overvalued because of his height), Russell Westbrook (can”t always trust his decision making), Joe Alexander (great college story, not positive it will continue in the big time), and D.J. Augustin (thought long and hard about going back to school – he should have).
8. Best player in the bottom half of the first round? Chris Douglas-Roberts. I have a serious man-crush on the way this guy plays basketball.
9. The Knicks apparently want to move down, and they are dangling David Lee as part of a package to do so. If I was a team looking to move up I would be all over that. Lee has been pretty good in New York, and he has never been used as well as he could or should be. He’s full of upside. He’ll also be pretty happy to get out of New York because it has been a circus since he has been there, and it won’t get any better for him under Mike D’Antoni.
10. If Roy Hibbert becomes an impact pro I will eat my shirt.
11. Assuming the trade goes through, the Raptors made a heck of a trade to get Jermaine O’Neal for T.J. Ford. Ford hadn’t worked out, and if O’Neal is healthy again he could give Toronto just what they need to compete. Chris Bosh has to be a pretty happy guy right now.