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It's draftastic

Big revelation of the night: Bill Simmons sounds exactly like any random 16 year old fan. I caught him calling into 1510 on the way home, and he really is the voice of the Boston fan. To a tee. I think that’s a compliment.

Notes on the NBA draft follow in real time. I’m shamelessly ripping off Bill’s format, by the way. Just saying.

7:46: Yeah, no surprise. LeBron goes first, Milicic goes second, and Carmelo goes third. Only thing learned here: Milicic shouldn’t do interviews without an interpreter just yet.

7:51: Kiki Vandeweghe says Carmelo is very unique. As opposed to kind of unique. Then again, he shows the moral fortitude to avoid saying he’ll build the franchise around Carmelo. Good for him. Also, the Raptors select Chris Bosh at 4th. So much for the Antoine Walker trade; I don’t think it’s happening tonight.

I like Bosh for the Raptors. He’ll take some pressure off Carter. “I think he has more potential than anyone in the draft other than the top three.” Gee, y’think? ESPN shoulda gotten Barkley for this.

7:58: Miami picks… Dwayne Wade! Not a huge surprise, but how do you fail to go for a promising center in the Eastern Conference? I don’t know, but I picked Chris Kaman to go to the Clippers originally. ESPN is hosed so I can’t tell if I swapped that pick at the last second. Grrr. Oh: T.J. Ford is one pick away from officially slipping.

8:03: Ha! The Clippers pick Chris Kaman. At this moment, “Chris Kaman” is code for “Screw you, Kandi-man, go play for the Spurs if you think you’re so hot.” You know, if the Clippers really embraced their role in the league, we wouldn’t hear so much about sending players to Europe for a couple years to mature. Teams would just drop their young players on the Clippers, secure in the knowledge that they could trade back for ‘em when the kids were ready to play.

Kaman sounds almost exactly like Brendan Fraser in Bedazzled, in the segment where he was a basketball player. How sad. “Well, I gave a hundred and ten percent, and I think I can turn this team around?”

8:15: Kirk Hinrich goes to the Bulls. T.J. Ford is undoubtedly staring at his hands somewhere wondering what the hell went wrong. No! Wait! He’s going to Milwaukee with the eighth pick! Welcome to Karl-land, T.J.

8:23: The Knicks choose Mike Sweetney, who is a 6’8” power forward. He doesn’t really score. Sure, that’ll help the Knicks a whole bunch. By the by, Ian Thomsen has nailed this draft so far except for reversing Chris Kaman and Dwyane Wade. ESPN is desperately trying to show me my picks but it hasn’t succeeded yet.

Jarvis Hayes has been sentenced to the Wizards. There was probably a nicer way to put that.

8:27: Mickael Pietrus is sentenced to the Warriors. Sometimes niceness takes second place to accuracy. Where the hell is he going to play? The Warriors don’t need another tweener, even if this one’s more muscular than most.

Ah, there are my picks. Well, I got the first four right. Didn’t expect T.J. to drop so much. Possibly I should have credited the GMs of the NBA with somewhat more intelligence. On the bright side, I’m tied for first with everyone else in my group.

They all claimed they picked at random. I suspect that was a vile lie.

8:36: Nick Collison is off to the Sonics. The Sonics are going to have an excellent draft. Pick the four year stars from Kansas, and you won’t go too far wrong. Hm, and Marcus Banks at #14? They’ve made one safe pick; might just take a risk.

The Celtics are definitely going to have a good PG available at #16.

8:44: ESPN has stopped even trying to display fantasy draft entries; it’s just the front page now. Severe lack of planning. I assuage my grief with a Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA, which is 9% alcohol by volume. Not at all bad.

While I’m drinking beer, Hubie Brown selects Marcus Banks. Mr. Banks owes the Celtics a big fat thank you for pushing him up into the lottery. I don’t feel bad about this cause I’m not sure they were ever gonna take him. So, ah… what are you gonna do with Jason Williams and Brevin Knight?

A couple of minutes later, the Sonics satisfy all predictions by picking Luke Ridnour. I now fear Seattle, no kidding. If the Magic pass up Reese Gaines I am gonna be the happiest person in the world. Unfortunately, the Magic need a point guard.

8:49: Crap! The Magic knew they needed a point guard. Well, it was kind of obvious. I am going to be making up schemes where the Celtics trade Walker and their draft choice to the Grizz for Jason Williams and Shane Battier for the rest of the night; all of those schemes will be highly unlikely.

Just to rub it in, the announcers are pointing out that Pitino groomed Reese Gaines. Thanks, guys. How can Pitino still be actively causing us pain when he’s been gone for two years? Also, my fantasy draft sucked. Actively.

9:02: Oh Christ. They just took Troy Bell at 16. The nice man on the television says he’ll be part of a trade. Dudes. Not the point; he would have been around at 20. I think this was a panic pick. I hate Hubie Brown.

Ian Thomsen’s mock draft has completely fallen apart. This does not much console me, I fear.

Brevin Knight is chopped liver, and short chopped liver, but the Grizz still didn’t need a point guard.

OK, recovering… Zarko Cabarkapa goes to the Suns, and no, I couldn’t type that if I tried. He’ll be a good fit in Phoenix if he’s the outside shooter everyone says he is. I’m going to pretend that Maciej Lampe is dropping to #20 now. Poor guy’s all alone in the green room.

9:15: The Jazz have no earthly reason not to save Lampe from the green room. Unless they want a point guard instead? Hey, I hear Troy Bell’s available for the right trade offer.

Yes! Aleksander Pavlovic to the Jazz; I think the Jazz will regret that, but never mind. Unless there’s something mysterious about Lampe, he’d be perfect for the Celtics. He frees up Antoine for a trade, he can shoot from outside, and he can play with his back to the basket. Do it up.

… Dahntay Jones?

The rumor is now Jones and Bell to Memphis in exchange for Marcus Banks and the #27 pick. That really still strikes me as odd. Either Banks, Ridnour, or Gaines would have dropped to #16.

9:22: I’m reduced to mocking Atlanta for trading away a good player for a bad pick. Boris Diaw goes to Atlanta, causing me to think sad things about potential point guards.

Jerry West confirms the wonky trade with the Celtics. OK, let’s look at this from the other point of view. What does West get out of this? A spunky defender and a decent enough shooter who might be able to play the point. I still don’t get it from the Celtics point of view, though. Still, I get the excitement of wondering who they’ll draft for a third time.

9:30: Nobody is surprised when Zoran Planinic goes to the Nets. I’m back to wondering how far Lampe will slip. Gotta be past the Trail Blazers. He’s a good citizen, no doubt, but he’s not gonna make the rest of the Blazers be good.

Yep. Trail Blazers pick Outlaw. Good choice, guys; he’ll really have the moral center required to stay sane in your asylum.

The Lakers are salivating over Lampe. I can feel it. Damn it.

9:36: Ha! Kobe is gonna opt out of his contract! Suck that one down, Laker fiends! And Jason Kidd wants to play with Tim Duncan! Eat it, Nets! I’m more cheerful now.

The Lakers select Brian Cook, which is gonna be just fine for them. They don’t need their PF to be a rebounder, for obvious reasons. It’s a good pick for the Lakers, but Kobe’s leaving in a couple of years, nyah nyah nyah nyah.

9:43: Carlos Delfino heads off to Detroit. Good pick for Detroit. Meanwhile, over on the Celtics newsgroup, there is much frothing. The general opinion was that Ainge was an idiot for picking Bell, until the Memphis trade developed, at which point Ainge was an idiot for — well, for something. I’m not clear on what.

I think I’ve figured out why the Celtics did it. They had to believe the Sonics wanted Banks, and they had to want Banks a lot. The #27 pick is not a big deal to them — so instead of taking the fifth best point guard in the draft plus a big guy, they went for the point guard they wanted. I can see that.

The Timberwolves keep on with that high school thing by taking Ndudi Ebi.

9:50: Boston selects Kendrick Perkins, while wearing a Jerry West mask. I can live with that — some people had him going at #19. Ainge says he has a 7’ 6” wingspan and he’s just 6’ 8”? That’s pretty impressive. No, wait, 6’ 11”, according to ESPN. I am totally cool with that.

10:00: Leandro Barbosa goes to the Spurs, and I think he’s kind of a sleeper. It’s another weapon to bring out to take heat off Duncan. Josh Howard goes to Dallas. OK, I’m not Hubie Brown, so I won’t pretend either of them are gonna crack the starting lineup.

Lampe’s slipping into the second round. That’s brutal. Apparently he’s stuck in Europe for another two years minimum, though. The crowd is chanting his name.

Do I care about round two? Not much; the Celtics don’t pick again until like the 56th slot.


  1. Brevin Knight’s chopped liver.

  2. I was feeling it, too. But Cook’s not too bad a choice… Jim Gray’s news about Kobe’s free agency is interesting, too. As a Lakers fan, i’ve grown tired of the same ol’, same ol’. I’m looking forward to the post-KobeShaq Lakers.

  3. Cook’s gonna rock for you guys, actually. I think it’s an excellent pick. Kupchek outdid West this draft in my book.

  4. Heh, I’m not even bothering to watch the draft or follow it on ESPN. I’m doing a little work, and getting everything I need right here at Pop: One. Awesome stuff, Simmons be damned 🙂

  5. Shucks! This was a pretty fun draft, actually. The Lampe drama was interesting, and the Celtics/Grizz trade was bewildering, so you gotta like that. And another pair of Kansas guys went in the first round.

  6. You gotta care about round 2, at least the first pick, since that’s where Lampe went. Might be a steal for the Knicks… ah, who am i kidding? It’s the Knicks!

  7. Yeah, I think the Knicks picking him pretty much seals his doom. Poor guy.

    Hey, another nice pick with Luke Walton. He ought to work out pretty well for the Lakers. Also, I’m really amused at the prospect of Bill Walton lecturing Phil Jackson on how best to play his son.

  8. Man, that might create a huge vortex of hot air in LA… not that anyone would notice.

    Jim Gray was missing his right eyebrow. Dick Vitale was missing his left eyebrow. What are these two men trying to tell us?

  9. carneggy carneggy

    My first thought was that the ‘sentenced to the Wizards’ crack was aimed right at me, since I’m probably one of the very few Wiz fans you know…

    What amused me most about the Hayes pick by the Wiz is that half the journalist draftniks went ‘what a TERRIBLE pick’ and the other half went ‘what a TREMENDOUS pick’ for basically the exact same reason, what the Wizards ‘needed’ to draft.

    Conventional wisdom: The Wizards best position is SG, with Stackhouse, Hughes, and Juan Dixon all playing there. Hayes is also primarily a SG, so it must be a terrible pick. Except that the Wizards use Hughes as a PG and used Stack as a SG/SF tweener, and Jordan’s retirement leaves a gaping hole at SF. So the Wizards really drafted him to play at the same time as Hughes and Stack, so it’s a great pick.

    Interesting almost-trade – it was reported that Riley offered the Wizards the #5 pick for the #10 and Kwame Brown, and that Eddie Jordan turned it down because he hasn’t seen Brown enough to be ready to give up on him like that yet. I don’t know whether to cheer or cry…

    In terms of Boston, I think the draft turned out pretty well, as long as you presume that they *really really* wanted Banks, and that Seattle was dead-set to take him at 14. If so, the Celtics trade worked great from their end. If not, you can still argue that the Celtics didn’t want to draft Perkins at 20 and pay him the extra cash for being drafted higher, I guess. Except they’d be paying more for Banks, so that’s just a big wash..

  10. Re: Wizards — mostly I’m just snide. Interesting point on the positions. I don’t really love Hughes at the point, but we’ll see how it works out.

    Damn sure a better pick than Sweetney, anyhow.

    There was a note in the Globe on the money issue. Ainge saved about $27K signing the 13th and the 27th as opposed to the 16th and the 20th. Which is pretty much a wash. 🙂

  11. carneggy carneggy

    That’s okay, nobody outside of the Wizards management loves Hughes at the point either. But they don’t really have anybody else to play the position right now – Hughes and Lue are adequate, which for DC is a blessing.

    Almost as big of a blessing as the news that Byron Russell spontaneously opted out of his remaining DC contract to become a free agent, freeing up both a roster slot and a decent chunk of cap money. I suspect Byron will find there’s not much of a market for a SF who scored less than 5 points a game while playing 20 minutes, shoots .350 and can’t even defend a ref. But better them than us!

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