Thursday, June 28, 2007

2007 NBA draft running diary

Alright, I’m sitting on the couch out at Mikkalo and Mikkalo farms. Right now I’m wearing my neck brace, but it’ll come off at various points during the night. ESPN is switching over to the pre-draft coverage right now, since it just struck 4:00 pm pacific time. The word already came that Portland gave Greg Oden and his camp notice that he’ll become a Blazer soon, and that’s exciting. I’m really hoping that they do things perfectly during this draft. The other thing I want to is for the Hawks to be really smart about the way they draft. The running diary of the 2007 NBA draft starts now.

4:04 pm With the value of hindsight, Stephen A. Smith has now told us that the 2003 draft was better than this one. This was right after Jay Bilas said that this draft was the best since 2003. Way to stretch things, guys.

4:07 pm Andy Katz is talking about the possible deal that the Celtics and Sonics might do, which would be terrible for Boston. They would give up Delonte West, the number five, and Wally for an ancient Ray Allen. Yikes. Mark Jackson agrees with me. See? I must be right. Oh, and Stephen A. Smith disagrees with me. Yup, I must be right.

4:10 pm Apparently Greg Oden is a dominant low-post center. Thanks, Jay Bilas. I love watching all of the Oden clips, and just seeing what he did makes me really excited. Uh-oh, here’s Dicky V to compare Oden to someone. He sees: a little Patrick Ewing blocking shots, offensive skills like Olajuwon, competitive drive of Mourning, and the sense of team that Duncan brought. Dicky V just told screamin’ Stephen A, saying basically what I already mentioned in this diary.

4:15 pm I just love looking at the order up there, with Portland at number one. That’s beautiful. Almost as good as looking at highlights of Oden.

4:18 pm As Mike Tirico just told us, Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr. were in Indiana last year. I was in class last year when the Blazers selected and made deals, so I’m pretty excited to watch one of those two guys get picked by my team in half an hour. Ooh, and now we find out that Durant hated working out like he did as a kid. That is a little different from the way he’s been characterized leading up to today. Also, they mentioned that Texas will be the first team to have players chosen in the top two for two years in a row in a while--if not ever, I didn’t catch the whole thing--when Durant goes to Seattle this year. The other one? My man LaMarcus Alrdidge.

4:25 pm Billy King is trying to move the 76ers up higher in the draft, and they’re looking for a power forward. If they mean that, maybe the Blazers really could trade Randolph for something good. This just in: my brother crapped his pants when Jim Gray said that Golden State is in the Kevin Garnett sweepstakes.

4:32 pm Here we go...I’m really not as excited as I was for the lottery, but that’s because I know what’s going to happen, and I’ve been dealing with this in my mind for a month. The booing for the New York Liberty is classic, along with the New York fans being generally pissed about everything. Ah, New York. The Blazers are now on the clock.

4:35 pm Mark Jackson likes the young nucleus of the Blazers. Stephen A. Smith is so ridiculous. And here it is: with the first pick in the 2007 NBA draft, the Porltand Trail Blazers select Greg Oden from Ohio State University.

That was fantastic. I got chills, and I don’t think it was because of my screwed up neck.
It looks like Oden will wear number 52, which was Buck Williams’ number during the early ‘90s. Highlight after highlight just adds to the excitement I have about what this kid brings to the team.

4:39 pm Best part of the draft so far? My cousin vacuuming in the room while my brother and I watch the draft. Thanks. That’s awesome.

4:41 pm With the second pick, the Sonics select Kevin Durant. Wow, nothing crazy yet. What a great day for the pacific northwest. I would have loved to get Durant, but I am even happier to have Oden. Too bad there was no way to get both of them. Kevin’s mom is proud of him. I had to share that with everyone. My brother thinks the Blazers could get the third pick from Atlanta, but I don’t see how it could happen. I also don’t want Portland to do it, which probably impacts my perception of it’s possibility.

4:46 pm Kevin Pritchard is now on video conference. Pritchard says the thing that they started with was determining who would take the team to the championship level. Pritchard didn’t sound as good there as he has in every other interview I’ve heard him do, but I’ll let that slide.

4:48 pm With the third pick, the Atlanta Hawks select Al Horford. He was the right pick, I just wished they would have traded down a little to get Mike Conley Jr. Oh well, hopefully he can be part of the deal that gets them Amare Stoudamire, or maybe he can learn from Amare is he plays center next to Stoudamire’s preferred power forward.

I just saw the new Hawks logo for the first time on Horford’s hat.

Everyone is second-guessing this pick, of course, but too bad.

4:52 pm With the fourth pick, the Memphis Grizzlies select Mike Conley, Jr. That means the Celtics are going to pick...Yi? It was great to hear the Hawks get hammered for picking the guy they did again, especially since he was the best guy there. Bilas just said that Conley has the same sort of ability as Deron Williams and Chris Paul.

Wow, they just showed the clip of Mike Conley, Sr. winning a celebrity dunk contest. That dude could fly.

4:56 pm Wow. Wow. Wow. The Celtics really pulled the trigger on that trade. That is terrible. The Sonics are now drafting Jeff Green. With the fifth pick, the Celtics take Green, but he’s going to be traded to Seattle. Wow. This means that the Sonics have no intention of re-signing Rashard Lewis, and since they’re drafting these two small forwards, maybe they plan n playing Durant at the 2 or at the 4. Sam Presti, another genius GM, pulled off a pretty good move in my opinion.

5:00 pm I think that Jeff Green is pretty excited to be playing with Kevin Durant. Wow, the pacific northwest is getting better as the draft goes on. I just remembered that Milwaukee was planning on drafting Yi Jianlian if he fell to them, which is what we’ll find out soon.

5:04 pm With the sixth pick in the draft, Milwaukee selects Yi Jianlian, just as they said they would. This is going to be something. Yi is hip-hop, he’s 50 cent. That seems like a stretch. Here is Andy Katz, to tell us what is going on with the Bucks and Yi. The Bucks are excited about Yi, and it sounds like they’ll do whatever they can to keep him. Bucher is now saying that this will probably lead to a trade, because Yi’s camp really doesn’t want him to stay there. I will say this, his English, while not great, is much better than that of some other foreign players.

5:09 pm My brother just asked a good question: who does Minnesota pick now? My guess is that Minnesota takes Hawes or Brewer. They have to take Brewer, but part of me thinks they’ll take Hawes anyway.

My ears are bleeding because of Stephen A. Smith. Geez, I can’t stand that guy.

5:11 pm With the seventh pick, the T-Wolves pick Brewer. That is what they had to do. Corey Brewer is so good. If Minnesota doesn’t trade Garnett, I think Brewer would be a good piece to go with him. Dicky V just commented on the one trade so far, saying that Seattle outfoxed Boston. I agree, and it reminded me of the Sports Guy’s suggestion of worst-case scenario for the Celtics. This is worse.

I take it back. It still seems bad, but the more I think about it, the more I believe that this might be a decent move for them. They’ll be trusting PG to Rondo, pairing Ray Allen with Allen Ray, counting on Paul the truth Pierce to be healthy and dominant as a small forward, and Al Jefferson dominating down low. They still have Theo Ratliff’s terrible contract, and of course they still have Kendrick Perkins. Maybe the Celtics could be a playoff team in the east next year.

5:17 pm The Bobcats have been wanting to trade their pick for a veteran, and even though I don’t really want to trade Randolph, maybe this is the trade we make.

5:18 pm With the eighth pick, the Bobcats drafted Brandan Wright. That means the Blazers will not be trading for his rights. Bilas thinks that Wright was the fourth-best player in this draft, and that they might have to wait on him a bit--exactly what Jordan said he didn’t want to do--and that this is a great pick. The Bulls will now pick Spencer Hawes, unless they’re trading the rights to the Blazers for Randolph.

5:22 pm Great signs from Bulls fans in New York, one just says “thank you Isiah.” Stephen A. Smith just mentioned Zach Randolph for the Bulls, but he doesn’t know what direction they should take. My brother just made a good point, that the Bulls have basically gone the direction of the recent Pistons, with a bunch of good players that work well together.

5:25 pm With the ninth pick the Bulls select Joakim Noah. I think that means they’re keeping Noah. This really does make sense for the Bulls. He doesn’t add much offense for them, but he hustles, he fits the culture of the team, and I think he does a lot of good things to help Chicago play well.

5:30 pm My brother wants me to imagine Garnett as a Blazer. I just can’t imagine it. He keeps pushing it, but I really just can’t imagine it.

5:31 pm With the tenth pick in the draft, the Kings select Spencer Hawes. I didn’t quite laugh-out-loud at that, but that’s funny. Maybe he’s the right pick, but I just don’t think he’s that good. My brother suggests that Hawes will become Brad Miller, and can just step into that role for the Kings. Hmm, Bilas thinks he’ll be good, but has just mentioned that Hawes isn’t a good rebounder or shot blocker. Yeah, that sounds good. Hawes says that getting older will make him a better rebounder. Huh.

5:35 pm Here’s John Paxson. He says that the Bulls plan on keeping Noah. Stephen A. Smith really doesn’t like the pick that the Bulls made. Smith is about to scream that the Bulls should have picked someone without energy, because they already have energy. SCREAM SCREAM SCREAM.

5:38 pm With the eleventh pick in the draft, the Hawks select Acie Law IV. That means they’re keeping the pick. I think that was probably a pretty smart move. I hope he does well there, for the sake of J-Lew, and I hope that Horford plays as well as I think he should. Ugh. The new Hawks jersey looks terrible. Tirico just held that jersey up to show the “new look” of the Hawks, just like the “new look” these two picks are bringing the Hawks. I don’t know what that means for sure, but we’ll see how the Hawks go.

5:42 pm Rumors in Philly? Sal Paolantonio says that the 76ers have been trying to move up in the draft really hard, but it’s too late. It sounds like the Sixers are going to draft Thornton, but who knows, they’re pretty stupid, and they think they need size up front. Billy King is going to screw this up, just watch. I’m guessing that they reach on some power forward, but I can’t think of who it would be. In the Blazer’s Edge mock draft, the Blazers traded for this pick.

5:46 pm With the twelfth pick in the draft, Philadelphia selects Thaddeus Young. Well, that was really dumb. I can’t believe they just did that, I don’t think Young is big enough for what they want. Wow, I can’t believe that they chose Thaddeus Young. Oh, but he does have a lot of great upside according to Jay Bilas.

5:48 pm My brother just suggested that the Clippers need a PG, and I agree. Maybe they draft Javaris Crittenton, or maybe they draft someone like Al Thornton so they can trade Maggette. Or maybe they draft him so they can trade his rights to Portland for Jarrett Jack.

5:51 pm Billy Knight looks like he just walked out of a bar. Wow. But he makes a good point that the guys they drafted will be ready to play right away. But Knight must be drunk, since he says that Law reminds him of Mark Jackson. There’s no question that these draft picks will be Hawks for a long time.

5:52 pm With the thirteenth pick, the Hornets select Julian Wright. He fell a little ways, but I think that’s a good choice. If he reaches his potential, that could be crazy. Dick Vitale is on drugs, and just suggested that ten players will average in double figures this season.

5:56 pm I really enjoy Julian Wright. He sounded really nervous. But I like that kid a lot. He was the pick I wanted the Blazers to make before we got the first pick.

5:59 pm With the fourteenth pick of the draft, the Clippers select Al Thornton. Maybe they trade his rights? Or maybe they just picked the best player available. That doesn’t sound like the type of pick that the Clippers would make. Stephen A. Smith says that Thornton is exactly what the Clippers need. And my brother makes a good point, Smith just said that they had to draft a guard.

6:05 pm With the fifteenth pick of the draft, the Pistons select Rodney Stuckey. I expected that one. My friend Julie is going to be a freshman basketball player at Eastern Washington, and I know that this has nothing to do with her, but that’s fantastic anyway. Bilas just called Stuckey a poor man’s Dwyane Wade. I still think this is a good pick for Detroit.

6:10 pm Stephen A. just ignored Mike Tirico’s question and said a bunch of crap. That was great. The Wizards are on the clock.

With the sixteenth pick in the draft, Washington selects Nick Young. Yup, he was the best guy left. That’s the right decision, I think. Although I can’t help but think about Bryce Taylor from Oregon when I see Nick Young, since it was against Young that Taylor shot 100% in the Pac-10 tournament. Taylor also held Young to three points in that game, I think.

6:13 pm Stuart Scott just said that the NBA drafted Nick Young. And the Knicks just traded with the BLAZERS. WHAT?!?!?!?!?.

I have no idea what I should think about this. Stephen A. Smith loves this move for the Knicks, which makes me think I probably like this for Portland.

6:16 pm With the seventeenth pick in the draft, the Nets just selected Sean Williams.
Okay, the Blazers got rid of danger Dan Dickau, which was necessary, Fred Jones (a player I like but who isn’t really necessary), and Zach Randolph to open up the front court for Greg and LaMarcus.

My brother thinks that Portland has to trade JJ now to allow Steve Francis to start, but I don’t really want to get rid of Jack. I am at a loss still as to what I should think about this.
I think the Blazers must have something else in the works. My brother suggests that Steve Francis might fit into a multi-team deal with the Lakers. I trust Pritchard, and I think Isiah is a terrible GM, so I’m looking forward to seeing how we use this.

6:22 pm With the eighteenth pick, the Warriors selected a foreign player. That makes sense. Marco Belinelli is the pick.

6:28 pm Stephen A. is screaming about the Lakers. I can’t stand him. I wonder if the Lakers are picking for Portland right now.

With the nineteenth pick of the draft, Los Angeles selects Javaris Crittenton, Huh. I don’t know much about him, but I’ve heard comparisons to another strong Georgia Tech PG, Jarrett Jack.

6:31 pm I’m eating right now, so hopefully I can deal with the upcoming Blazers trade news better.

6:35 pm With the twentieth pick, the Heat select Jason Smith. That seems like a good pick here, considering Miami’s needs and Smith’s talent.

6:42 pm With the twenty-first pick, the 76ers select Daequan Cook from Ohio State. It sounds like Philly and Miami traded the last two picks, which seems like a good choice by the Sixers.

6:45 pm The more I think about the Blazers trade, the more I think it’s all about the future. Channing Frye is someone I was thinking about before we got the first pick to play up front with Aldridge. I think he could develop into a great third man in that rotation. I have to believe that Franchise is going to be traded either today or before the end of next week.

6:48 pm With the twenty-second pick, the Bobcats select Jared Dudley. He looked like a good player in the game footage I watched today on ESPN.

6:53 pm With the twenty-third pick, the Knicks select Wilson Chandler from DePaul. I know nothing about this guy. I can’t even think about anything right now while I’m trying to figure this thing out.

6:57 pm Man, the Blazers are busy this year again, just as I thought. They bought this next pick from Phoenix, and it sounds like they’re going to draft Fernandez for Portland. That’s who I wanted with a late first round pick. And that just happened. I did a little research about him last week, and I was really happy with him. But he fits Portland, he isn’t that old, and I think he’s pretty good. Man, I don’t know what to think about anything, but I sure believe that Pritchard knows what he’s doing.

7:05 pm With the twenty-fifth pick, the Jazz select Morris Almond. At this point I’m not contributing much as far as analysis goes.

7:11 pm With the twenty-sixth pick, the Rockets selected Aaron Brooks from Oregon. Dang, good choice by Houston. I love Brooks, and I had a ton of confidence in him during this whole season.

7:13 pm Andy Katz is back to talk about trades. Milwaukee doesn’t know yet if Yi will actually go to Milwaukee.

7:19 pm With the twenty-seventh pick, the Pistons select Arron Afflalo. He was picked after Brooks and should have been second to Brooks in Pac-10 player of the year voting.

7:25 pm The Spurs just picked Tiago Splitter. I think that's a smart pick.

7:47 pm It was just announced that Charlotte traded Brandan Wright for Jason Richardson. All the analysts think this was a bad move, but it makes sense to me. I missed a few of the last couple picks, so here they are: pick 28 was Splitter, 29 was Alando Tucker to the Spurs, 30 was Petteri Koponen to the 76ers, 31 was Carl Landry to the Sonics, 32 was Gabe Pruitt to the Celtics.

7:52 pm The Spurs just selected Marcus Williams from Arizona. I keep waiting to see if the Blazers are going to end up moving Franchise again. The Mavericks just drafted Nick Fazekas, which I think is a good pick for them.

7:55 pm The Celtics just got Glen Davis, which could be good with Al Jefferson up front. Wow, Jay Bilas just made an "Oprah-is-fat" joke.

8:00 pm The Blazers are up again. So much has gone on in the last year. It turns out that Portland bought Petteri Koponen. I just sighed and smiled. And now Portland has another pick. They just drafted one of Oden's favorite guys, Josh McRoberts. Apparently he's a great passer and good defender. Holy crap, the Blazers are just doing crazy things again.

8:15 pm The Blazers are up again. They had all the ESPN guys gushing about how well the draft was going.

8:18 pm Okay, it's time for Portland's pick, but it seems likly that this pick is going to Philly. The Bobcats trade for Jason Richardson was just confirmed. The Blazers just picked Derrick Byars. Okay, Byars was picked for the 76ers in the Koponen trade.

8:26 pm I'm really looking forward to seeing what Portland does in the next week. Will they do a buy-out with Franchise? Will they ship him somewhere? What are they going to do with all those picks? Will they re-sign Outlaw and Udoka? Will they try to convince one of the small forwards on the market to take the mid-level exception to come play with Oden? Kevin Pritchard is a genius.

8:34 pm The Sonics/Celtics trade was just finally announced, and now the Lakers have drafted Pual Gasol's little brother.

I'm a little disappointed that the only Blazers jersey I've ever drafted is now out of date. Maybe Oden will change his mind on number 52 and decide to wear 50 in Portland. Then maybe I can just change this jersey a little bit.

9:06 pm The draft is over. Check ESPN if you want to know who was picked. I've been trying to edit this picture for the last few minutes. Here's my first attempt on Photoshop in a while.

9:20 pm Sportscenter is covering the draft now, and they all agree that Portland did amazing things for a second straight year. I agree. Jay Bilas thought may Blazers had the best draft day, and he thought that J-Lew's Hawks had the worst day. I disagree, and I hope that Horford and Law turn into great players for Atlanta. That's all from eastern Oregon.


Andrew said...

Geez wonder you don't return emails. Your neck is fragile like Frankenstein and you're too busy writing about baseketballs.

I followed a couple of your links and read about the blaze of glory or whatever it is. Can sports teams really save, fix, and unite a city? Or is it kind of like fixing the world's problems through the power of rock and roll?

p.s. Your neck setup makes me think of that Tom Smykowski character from Office Space....the jump to conclusions guy that got hit by a car....glad you're ok.

Ek said...

First of all...the world's problems can, and will, be fixed through the power of rock and roll.

I liked the Noah pick for the Bulls, and that Paxson has stuck with his "take the best players from the teams that just won the NCAA Championship/were in the Final Four" strategy. I don't know why more GMs don't do that. I'm pretty sure the last major (non-injury) bust picked using that strategy was Laettner.

I also really liked the Hawks draft; I'm not sure why the experts didn't. It might be that they didn't get to make fun of the Hawks for making crazy picks as they are accustomed to doing, or they were just dead-set on Conley (who will not be nearly as good as Paul) for them.

And the Blazers will obviously be better because of Oden, but I don't like the Z-bo trade for them at all. I understand that his issues lower his trade value, but Steve Francis and Channing Frye? Really? That said, Z-bo in New York with Curry, Starbury, and Crawford has IMMENSE entertainment potential on and off the court (although the "good basketball" potential is more limited).

Ek said...

Oh, forgot to mention that I saw Critterion play in the tournament this year, and if the Lakers trade Kobe, he will be a perfect replacement as the "guy who dribbles around for ten seconds and then throws up a contested shot" in their offense, only he won't make as many of them.