Friday, June 27, 2008

Draft Drama Rages On

A couple of things I need to straighten out about the draft here. I think the easiest way to do this is to just grade the draft's top five picks, and while I may not be Mel Kiper Jr, or own a suit of any kind, or brush my teeth every day, I think I'm just as qualified in my own right. So here goes.

First Pick-Chicago Bulls-Derrick Rose (PG, Memphis)-A
Here's the facts-no matter who the Bulls could have had at this pick, this is the right choice. In the professional game right now, nothing is more essential that a strong play caller, a team leader. Just look at what Chris Paul has achieved this year in New Orleans-he has almost singlehandedly brought the franchise back from the dead. Rose can do the same thing in Chicago-and not only that, he wants to. A Chicago homeboy, Derrick Rose has dreamed of playing for the Bulls since he was young, and Rose's skill and natural leadership ability are exactly what the Bulls need. Maybe he can even keep that punk Noah in check till the Bulls can just admit their mistake and cut him.

Second Pick-Miami Heat-Michael Beasley (PF, Kansas State)-A
Yep, this is also the correct second pick. This early in the draft, addressing need isn't even an issue. When you have a chance to get a potential superstar like Beasley, you can't pass it up. Pat Riley knows this, and that's why he took him. But that's the thing about Beasley-he does fill needs-huge needs for the Heat, including scoring, rebounding, and, oh yeah, playing basketball (unlike some of the team). Does he make them a contender again in the east, paired with the second round selection of Mario Chalmers? No. Not yet. In three years? Maybe...

Third Pick-Memphis Grizzlies (via trade)-OJ Mayo (SG, USC)-B-
Mayo is supposed to be the replacement for Pau Gasol, the man who recently helped the Lakers lose the NBA title. But is he? Absolutely not. Mayo is your typical USC athlete-he has a huge head, he has taken money to play, and he is massively overrated. Just go back to the tape of when Michael Beasley's Wildcats flattened the Trojans in the NCAA tournament this year. It's a great preview of Mayo's future.

Fourth Pick-Seatle SuperSonics-Russell Westbrook (PG, UCLA)-B+
This is a good pick. Westbrook might be what Durant has been waiting for in Seatle-someone to take some of the load off his shoulders. Westbrook averaged 12.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 4.3 assists this year (, and if he's able to transfer that over to the pro level, he can certainly help the aililng Sonics at least get a little closer to .500.

Fifth Pick-Minnesota Timberwolves-Kevin Love (PF-UCLA)-B
Another sexy pick, and a guy who would be hard to pass on. I wonder about his ability to succeed in the pros, especially in a place like Minnesota. As hyped as he was in college, he also had a great team behind him, which he wont have in Minnesota. Still, he's the right pick.

OJ Mayo is talented, but he is hugely overrated
and has something of a big head.

I'll just quickly list off my thoughts on the rest of the draft.

Picks I Like
Danilo Gallinari (SF, Italy)-NY Knicks
Joe Alexander (SF, West Virginia)-Milwaukee Bucks
D.J. Augustin (PG, Texas)-Charlotte Bobcats
Roy Hibbert (C, Georgetown)-Indiana Pacers (via trade)
JaVale McGee (C, Nevada)-Washington Wizards

Picks I Don't Like
Eric Gordon (SG, Indiana)-LA Clippers
Brook Lopez (C, Stanford)-NJ Nets
DJ White (PF, Indiana)-Detroit Pistons (see below)
J. R. Giddens (SG, New Mexico)-Boston Celtics

So that's that. Make a note, in a year, you will see, these were all correct.


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