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NBA Draft - Part 3

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

8:31 - Ah, it wouldn’t be a sporting event if I didn’t get to hear “This is our countrrrry!”

8:32 - Sac up, they could really go in any direction here depending on if they’re ready to deal Artest and Bibby. Spencer Hawes… bust city. When you’re 7′1″ and you only average 6.5 rebounds in the PAC-10 we’ve got problems.

8:36 - John Paxson confirms that he plans to keep Noah. Why can’t we talk to Kevin McHale or Danny Ainge, or somebody who’s trying to pull something off. Come on… Paxson says he is still looking for a low-post scorer, so maybe a sign-and-trade or something to get Randolph? Could be interesting…

8:39 - Atlanta back up at 11, you’ve gotta think Acie Law IV… Acie Law IV it is. And the Hawks finally have a PG… Of course he’s not quite Chris Paul or Deron Williams (or even Mike Conley) but I do think he’s better than Speedy Claxson and Tyrone Lue, so for the Hawks, probably an improvement.

8:42 - Philly up at #12… I’d have to guess they’re going after one of the Youngs here. Sal Pal says that Billy King has been working furiously on the phone trying to trade up all night. He also says they’re trying to decide between Al Thornton and someone that we’re not too sure about right now… Interesting. Gotta get somebody to go with Iguodala right here, who’s blossoming into a star.

8:46 -  Thaddeus Young from G-Tech goes… another freshman. Bilas says “he needs to tighten up his ball skills.” That just sounded dirty. Bilas sounds lukewarm on Young, and says that he has plenty of UPPPPside, but isn’t as polished as Thornton.

8:52 - New Orleans is on the clock and you’d have to figure Nick Young is about to go. Billy King is talking, and I’ve never heard anyone say more words while saying absolutely nothing at all. He’s keeping Horford and Law, very uninsightful. Julian Wright finally goes… while they could have used Young, Wright is a really good value here. Good pick.

8:54 - I think Dick Vitale is sedated tonight. He’s been extremely low-key. It’s like a breath of fresh air.

8:56 - Clippers are up. Another team that desperately needs some shooting and could really used Nick Young… also I’m going to mention that it’s almost 9:00 pm EST and almost the end of the lottery, which seems like a great time to be wrapping this blog up… and there goes Al Thornton. Makes sense as he had slipped quite a bit. Good pick for the Clipps, taking the best guy available… and Bilas agrees. With that I’m out of here. If the Timberwolves don’t find a way to move Garnett within the next 2 weeks I’m going to go crazy.

NBA Draft - Part 2

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

8:01 - If you’re a Sonics fan, you’ve gotta love what Sam Presti is doing, right? They luck out and get the 2 pick, assuring them of one of the top 2 players to come out since the LeBron/Melo/Wade class, and then since Ray Allen is aging and it’ll take Durant a couple of years to really get acclimated to the NBA he flips Allen for a Top 5 pick who can develop with him. I don’t know if I love Jeff Green, but I like what Presti’s doing here. Now if he can get something out of Lewis in a sign-and-trade he’ll really be in business.

8:04 - The Bucks select Yi Jianlian even though his Chinese handlers had made it clear to the Milwaukee brass that they did not want Yi going to Milwaukee. Faaaaaantastic. If the Milwaukee Bucks just inadvertently started World War 3, let’s all remember that Stephen A liked the move. Andy Katz assures us that the Bucks organization plans on keeping Yi. Ric Bucher reports that Yi’s people do not think that Milwaukee fits the parameters of where they want Yi to go, and that this will start trade conversations. Wow, there hasn’t been this much controversy since Steve Francis got selected by Vancouver.

8:09 - Yi talking to Stuart Scott with no translator. I’m not sure who I’m having more trouble understanding.

8:11 - Timberwolves on the clock. Trade Garnett to somebody already! Corey Brewer goes. This seems like a “what the heck let’s keep Garnett and make a run at the playoffs” kind of pick. Somebody stick a fork in McHale already. I’m available if they’re looking…

8:14 - Stu Scott’s talking to Corey Brewer right now, and I’m not interested, seriously, you’re telling me you couldn’t get a decent package from the Bulls, Lakers, Celtics, or Suns for Garnett? How about Odom, Bynum, Farmar, the #19 pick and Kwame Brown (for salary purposes) for Garnett and Troy Hudson? Who doesn’t make this deal? By the way, I checked and it works in the trade machine.

8:19 - The Charlotte Bobcats take Brandan Wright. Can’t say I’m a big fan, but if somebody actually lights a fire under this guy he could be really, really good. Jeez, this guy is thin. Sean May needs to take him to the buffet when he gets to Charlotte… Of course I’m sure making millions of dollars in the NBA will motivate him to turn his motor on, right? Stephen A actually makes a good point… the Bobcats need to spend some money this offseason. Bring in Rashard Lewis… resign Gerald Wallace… do something, please.

8:23 - #9 and it’s time for the Bulls, the smart money would be on Noah or Spencer Hawes right here… depends on what’s going on in the trade market too as there have been talks that the Bulls could trade for Zach Randolph from the Blazers. And there goes Noah, he’s a total Bulls guy, but man are they going to have trouble getting offense from a combination of Noah, Tyrus Thomas, and Ben Wallace on the frontline.

NBA Draft - It Starts

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Tonight is the NBA Draft and there are plenty of subplots to keep us interested. Oden/Durant may have been settled by Ric Bucher earlier today, but we still need to see if the Hawks take the best player available (Al Horford) or if they finally select a PG (Mike Conley), where Yi Jianlian is selected, if the Celtics decide to rebuild or bring in a stop-gap, and especially if Garnett, Jermaine O’Neal, Kobe, or any other big name gets traded. (And yes, I realize this format is a page right out of Bill Simmons’ book, but it’s a good idea, it’s easy to read, and it should be somewhat entertaining. Good stuff.)

7:28 - I’m just tuning in now. I know they were running a 30 minute pre-draft show starting at 7, but if I had to listen to Stephen A Smith yell for 30 minutes about Oden vs. Durant I think my ears may have started to bleed.

7:29 - Ok. I’m officially sick of these Charles Barkley/Dwayne Wade T-Mobile My 5 commercials. Couldn’t they throw a wrench into it and have Durant or Oden show up in a new one and get turned down by both of these guys? Come on. Give me something. I’m begging you.

7:33 - David Stern having some tr…tr…trouble getting through his op…op…opening speech. I think he’s drunk.

7:34 - Blazers are on the clock. And we get a video feed of all their front-office guys clapping and slapping 5 in the Portland war-room. This is anti-climactic.

7:36 - Who’s more grating on basketball viewers Stephen A Smith or Billy Packer? It’s gotta be a coin-flip, right?

7:37 - Oden goes to Portland. SHOCKER! Jay Bilas says that Greg Oden “knows how to win.” Thanks Jay. Stephen A says, there should have been no debate at all because, “You can’t teach 7-feet.” Do I need to rattle off all of the 7-footers who have stunk it up?

7:41 - Seattle proposed a trade… the Celtics have accepted, they’re sending Ray Allen to Boston for the #5, Delonte West, and Wally World. The Celtics will pick Jeff Green for Seattle when it’s their turn. So now the C’s two best players play the same position. Probably a good deal value wise, but still, I’m scratching my head, Pierce must be shifting to the 3 in this scenario. I wonder what the Sports Guy thinks.

7:43 - Durant goes to Seattle. SHOCKER! Durant looking sharp with the contrasting shirt, tie, handkerchief combo. Hey Sam Presti… if you’re interested in sign-and-trading Rashard Lewis for a bunch of expiring contracts I know the Cavs would be more than happy to move a bunch of expiring contracts for him (David Wesley, Ira Newble, Damon Jones) pick up the phone dude.

7:47 - Tirico asks Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard if they really considered picking Durant… what do you think he’s going to say “Of course not!”? Come on…

7:48 - The Hawks are up. This is intriguing. They take Al Horford. It’s another forward, so that’s kind of funny, but a lot like the Detroit Lions picking another WR this year, this pick made a lot of sense for Atlanta. Those who know more than me have Horford rated as the definite #3 player in the draft. This likely means that any Garnett 3-team deals involving the Hawks are toast… by the way, while I’m on this, what in the world are the Timberwolves doing flipping Amare Stoudemire (in proposals) to the Hawks for 2 picks. You keep Amare! He was first team NBA this year! Kevin McHale is crazy! Why in the world would you need a 3rd team in these proposals and not just grab Amare? Jeez-oh-man!

7:52 - Marc Jackson and Stephen A don’t like the Horford pick because of redundancy on the Hawks roster. I wonder if any of these guys have ever heard of the economic theory of sunk cost? Probably not, these guys are dumb.

7:53 - Mike Conley Jr goes to Memphis. Solid pick by Memphis, makes you think Jerry West is still running the ship.

7:55 - Jay Bilas compares Conley to Deron Williams and Chris Paul when they came out of college… of course the difference is Conley is slightly more raw and coming out as a freshman, Williams played 3 and Paul played 2 years collegiately.

7:58 - Boston’s on the clock. Both franchises are confirming the earlier mentioned Ray Allen trade. According to Andy Katz the Celtics will be choosing Jeff Green for Seattle. And here’s the pick, and there goes Green, good reporting by Andy Katz.

Billy’s Back

Monday, June 4th, 2007

Remember my blog post a couple of days ago on all of the reasons for Billy Donovan to make the jump to the NBA, leaving the Florida Gators for the Orlando Magic? Scratch that.

Over the weekend Billy Donovan had a change of heart, and sources say Donovan wants to return to the Gators. The trouble here is that Donovan already signed a contract with the Orlando Magic. While Donovan informed the Magic and Gators of his second thoughts, and desire this weekend, to return to Gainesville, the Magic are still mulling over their options. After all, Donovan signed a long-term contract with Orlando late last week, and the Magic are still trying to convince Donovan to honor his commitment.

We’ve seen college coaches take more prolific, higher paying jobs before and quickly have changes of heart. It happened recently with Dana Altman returning to Creighton, and Gregg Marshall returning to Winthrop. Although, this is the first time in memory that a coach has jumped to the NBA and then had such a change of heart. It should be interesting to see what the Magic decide to do in response. I really don’t see any way that they can’t let Donovan walk. You’ve got to have desire to be successful in the NBA. If Donovan doesn’t have it, he’s not of much use to Orlando. I see the Magic giving this 1 or 2 more days, just to see if they can convince Donovan to stay. If not, they have little choice but to free him from his contract.

Orlando Magic Offers Billy Donovan Coaching Job

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Breaking news from ESPN as University of Florida Head Coach Billy Donovan has been offered $6M per year to coach the Magic. Pat Forde reports that the offer is for 6 years at $6 million per year. Substantially more than the $3-$4 million per year that Florida is offering Donovan in his new 7-year contract that he is yet to sign.

This is an interesting offer for Donovan. It’s a far better fit than the Memphis offer that he received after winning the National Championship Game, and Donovan will need to give this opportunity serious consideration for several reasons.

  • Orlando is much closer to competing in the East than Memphis is in the West.
  • Orlando has a budding star, Dwight Howard , to build around.
  • Orlando could be far under the cap this season with the ability to attract a top free-agent like Rashard Lewis, Gerald Wallace, or Vince Carter (if he opts-out).
  • 6 million per year is a significant raise over what Florida plans to pay him.

This is a really good opportunity for Billy Donovan. I would be surprised to see him turn it down.