Thursday, 28 June 2007

NBA Draft, Winners, Losers, and things that confused me

OK, I have lots and lots of thoughts about the NBA Draft, but I'll try to condense it somewhat and just write down some things I liked, didn't like, and was a little confused by.

Things I Liked:
- The Oden and Durant picks - OK, these were really obvious choices, but sometimes you have to congratulate guys for not screwing up. Both guys are going to be stars sooner rather than later and should change both franchises around.

- The Knicks getting Zach Randolph - The concerns are certainly there (as were expressed by Dick Vitale), but on paper this is a fantastic deal for the Knicks. If Randolph can stay out of trouble, there's not a whole lot of 4/5 combos than Eddy Curry and Zach Randolph, with David Lee off the bench. And really, they didn't have to give up that much.

- The Bobcats getting Jason Richardson - Stephen A. Smith didn't seem to like this deal, but I thought it was pretty solid for the Bobcats. Richardson is a lot of money, but the Bobcats were under the cap. But Richardson is a really solid player and I think he turns them into a playoff team... Felton-Richardson-Wallace-Okafor-Brezec is a pretty nice starting lineup, especially in the East.

- Corey Brewer to the Timberwolves - Nice pick for the Wolves here... I think Brewer was definitely the best player left on the board and should immediately have an impact in Minnesota. Whether that impact comes with Kevin Garnett in town is yet to be determined.

- The foreign player picks - I thought a lot of teams had some really good picks of these foreign guys, and all of them were in the West. Bellinelli is a GREAT fit for the Warriors, Splitter is a typically excellent San Antonio pick, and the Blazers getting Rudy Fernandez for basically a couple million dollars is really nice as well. All really nice picks, especially later in the first round.

Things I Didn't Like:
- The Blazers end of the Randolph deal - I think they had to trade Randolph (if only to get him away from Oden), but I don't really like what they got out of it. Steve Francis was a bit of a problem child in New York, and he wasn't all that effective when he played. Channing Frye is a nice young player, but not great as the second piece for a very good post player.

- The Sonics taking Jeff Green - Green is a fine player, but when the Sonics got the 5 pick from Boston (more on that later) I was hoping for a little more. Green basically plays the same position as Durant and Rashard Lewis (who they have to be looking to resign now). Why not go for a guy like Corey Brewer, who can immediately take Ray Allen's spot? I didn't really like that pick. But again, it might not turn out so bad because Green is really talented.

- Aaron Brooks to Houston - I'm just not sure about this pick for the Rockets, especially since they already have Mike James, Rafer Alston, and Luther Head. Brooks is a really good shooter, and he's quick off the dribble, but is he really going to have that big of an impact with those other PGs?

- Alando Tucker to Phoenix - Tucker was a great college player and he brings some things to the table, but how does he fit in with Phoenix? He's not a really good outside shooter, and that's rather important in Phoenix's system. Really a strange pick, especially with guys like Gabe Pruitt and Derrick Byars still on the board. When asked about it, D'Antoni said they were impressed because he has good character and is a winner... those things are great, but is that the best you want from a first round pick?

Things that Confused Me:
- The Celtics trading for Ray Allen - I think it was a fair trade, and rumors like this have been floating around for a while, but why? Allen probably makes them a playoff team, but he's getting older and he's not going to lead them to the Finals. Again, I don't really think is a really bad move for Boston, because they didn't give up much other than the 5th pick, but the direction of this team just kind of confuses me some. But Pierce, Allen, and Jefferson should at least be fun to watch.

- Thaddeus Young to the 76ers - OK, this isn't a huge thing, but Young over Julian Wright and Al Thornton? Really?

- The Warriors trading Jason Richardson - Like the Boston deal, I don't think this is really bad for Golden State, but it confused me. The Warriors were a playoff team last year and look like an up-and-coming team, and I think this sets them back some. They must really like Michael Pietrus a lot. The good news, though, is that Brandan Wright is definitely a perfect fit for their system. He should fit great in their up-and-down style. But again, it's going to take a couple years, and Baron Davis is pretty fragile.

Who are your winners and losers?