Sunday, June 28, 2009

Winners and Losers of the NBA Draft

As we all know, the NBA Draft was last Thursday. In what was a drama-filled night, teams made picks that were very good, very bad, and very questionable. Here are my winners and losers of the night.


LA Clippers: Pretty obvious decision here, as the team selected Blake Griffin with the #1 pick. He's a guy who I think will make a big impact in the NBA, and has a very bright future ahead of him. When it's all said and done, I think he can be a Dwight Howard type of player, because of his ability to score in the low post, as well as rebound and block shots. For a team that has been "cursed" with bad draft picks, the team didn't go wrong by picking Blake Griffin.

Memphis Grizzlies: With the 2nd pick, the Grizzlies selected Hasheem Thabeet. Thabeet has unbelivable potential on the defensive end, averaging over 4 blocks a game in college. The Grizz also picked DeMarre Carroll with the 27th pick. I think this guy is very underrated, and he will surprise people. And with the 36th pick, the team picked Sam Young. Young was projected to picked in the 20's on draft night, so the Grizzlies got a steal that late in the draft. By picking both Carroll and Young, the team added toughness, and two guys who will be able to contribute immediately. All-in-all, the Grizzlies had a very good draft night. The team already has the young core of Rudy Gay, OJ Mayo and Marc Gasol, so by adding Thabeet, Carroll, and Young, they have the chance of having a bright future.

Oklahoma City Thunder: The Thunder made an excellent decision picking James Harden with the 3rd pick. Ricky Rubio, despite how much talent he has, wouldn’t fit in the Thunder system. By picking Harden, they now have a solid wingmen, with Harden at the 2, and Durant at the 3. I think when it’s all said and done, James Harden will be one of the best players to come out of the 2009 draft. The team also traded to get BJ Mullens. Mullens has the potential to be a starting center in the NBA, but he’s a little raw. He needs to develop his game a little more in order to take that next step. But all-in-all, the Thunder had a very good draft. I believe in 3-4 years, the Thunder will be one of the better teams in the Western Conference. With the young star potential they have, they could be very dangerous. Watch out for the Thunder in the years to come.

San Antonio Spurs: Despite having no first round picks, the Spurs were still able to have a great draft night. With the 36th pick, the team was able to snag DeJuan Blair, the big man from Pittsburgh. Blair was supposed to go in the late first round, so by drafting him 36th was certainly a steal. I believe Blair will come in and immediately help on rebounding. With the 51st pick, the Spurs drafted Jack McClinton. According to scouts, McClinton is a duplicate of Celtics' Eddie House. What does this mean? He'll be able to score well off the bench. Two picks later, San Antonio selected Nando De Colo from France. At Eurocamp, De Colo blew scouts away on his shooting ability. Despite having late picks in the draft, San Antonio still had a great night. And by adding Richard Jefferson on Tuesday, the organization had an excellent week. If I'm a Spurs fan, I'm hopeful for the future.


Minnesota Timberwolves: The Timberwolves had the possibility of having an excellent draft. Considering they traded to get the 6th pick, and they already had the 5th, the Timberwolves could have drafted two excellent rookies. In my opinion, they made very questionable calls. Minnesota drafted PG Ricky Rubio from Spain with the 5th pick, and Syracuse PG Jonny Flynn with the 6th. I don’t understand the logic behind this at all, because both players are PG’s. Now, reports are saying Ricky Rubio may go back to Spain, and play overseas for a more years. The Timberwolves claim this is why they picked Flynn, because they weren’t sure on the status of Ricky Rubio. OK, I guess that makes sense..but then why did they get Rubio in the first place? Because I’m guessing there would be no way to play Rubio and Flynn on the court at the same time, therefore they’d have to trade one away. Why bother drafting and taking the risk on Ricky Rubio, when both Stephon Curry and Jordan Hill were available? I think they should have drafted Jonny Flynn and Stephon Curry, because both come with no question marks, and both would feed off each other. And then, the Timberwolves pick Ty Lawson, another PG late in the first round. That’s 3 PG’s! Now, granted, they did trade away Ty Lawson, but still…with these picks it shows the Timberwolves don’t know what they are doing, and don’t know the right players to fit into their system. Overall, I was very disappointed with the Timberwolves night, and if I’m a Timberwolves fan, I’m not to happy with the front office.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Draft night marked the first night off a very important off-season for the Cavs. LeBron James’ contract ends at the end of next season, so the team needs to do whatever they can to make this team better, and force LeBron to stay. With the 30th pick in the draft, the team selected Mr. Irreverent, Christain Eyenga from the Congo. The Cavs made this pick with big man DeJuan Blair still on the board. Blair would have fit perfectly into the Cavs system, because the team is in need of an athletic big man. But instead, the team goes with an no-name from the Congo. In my opinion, this was a very confusing call. The Cavs front office needs to be smarter then that if they want LeBron to stay.

New Jersey Nets: The Nets really surprised me when they selected SG Terrence Williams with the 11th pick. Just hours before the draft, the team traded away SG Vince Carter to the Orlando Magic, for PG Rafer Alston, and SG Courtney Lee. I'm confused, because don't the Nets have a lot of PG's and SG's? I mean, they already have a solid point guard in Devin Harris, and they just added Terrence Williams, Courtney Lee, and Rafer Alston. What are they going to do with all these players? If I was Rod Thorn, Nets GM, I would have drafted Tyler Hansbrough. The Nets are in need of a big man, and I think Hansbrough, despite what people say, will be a good contributor in the NBA.

So there are my winners and losers in the NBA Draft. It'll be interesting to see how it all pans out.

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