Welcome to the
first ever OSFAN NBA Draft diary. Why is Draft capitalized?
Because it’s one of the biggest sports days of the year,
especially for fans of teams like the Warriors for whom
excitement and optimism is usually highest before any games have
The NBA draft
is unique among major American sports. It has a huge impact on
franchises both in the immediate and long terms. The players are
recognizable to casual fans and junkies alike. Quite a few of
the players selected will be winning and losing games in the NBA
next year. Trades abound, tweaking and occasionally completely
remaking franchises. For every trade, there are a hundred rumors
(each with its own place on the legitimacy / fantasy prism) to
discuss, ponder, and get hopes or hate up. Few have heard of
the players involved in the baseball and hockey drafts, and most
of those players won’t see any MLB or NHL playing time for at
least a few years. The NFL draft has almost the same level of
name recognition and immediate impact as the NBA draft does, but
the NFL lacks in trades. The NBA draft stands alone. Without
further ado, the 2008 NBA draft and random pithy thoughts and
occasional thoughtful insights…
(All times are
in Pacific Standard Time. For those used to EST: the west coast
bias movement starts now)
4:11 – Andy
Katz reporting the worst kept secret of the draft, the Bulls are
going to select Derrick Rose 1st overall. Michael Beasley, the
presumed #1 pick for months until Rose’s big NCAA tournament
run, has been dethroned.
reportedly thinking of taking OJ Mayo over Beasley because of
Beasley’s alleged character issues. Really? What are these
character issues? Why are there athletes in every draft (and
almost always black athletes) who have mystery “character
issues” that are either unspecified or reported inaccurately?
Also, if Miami is worried about character issues, why favor
Mayo? The same Mayo who, if the NCAA isn’t asleep at the wheel,
is about to get his college team, USC, heavily sanctioned for
his transgressions? The same Mayo who was ejected from a high
school game for attacking a ref (though it looked like the ref
flopped worse than Derek Fisher imitating an Italian soccer
player)? The same Mayo who picked his own high school and
couldn’t stay in it? The same Mayo who, via shady
representatives, picked USC when USC wasn’t even recruiting him?
Mayo is no serial killer, but he’s a documented shady character
who is about himself and his bank account. Beasley allegedly is
a college freshman who likes to have fun.
4:17 – OJ Mayo
is being interviewed. He looks like a sedated accountant. He’s
not compulsively snacking on anything so he’s probably not
high. Probably. I’m not an expert though, so who knows.
4:24 – The
Sonics front office is busy scouting Federal judges, trying to
flee Seattle. David Stern doesn’t appear to care about this
4:25 – ESPN is
already running Gallinari – New York Knicks special segments.
Are they prepared to dub over whatever they have left in the
vault if the Knicks don’t end up with him?
Jackson suggests that the Knicks need to change their culture by
taking the best player available. Umm, ok. How does that change
their culture? Does their current culture consist of taking the
biggest alcoholic available? Did they used to hold American Idol
style singing competitions among prospects and draft the winner?
4:31 – David
Stern steps up and gives his standard spiel. He fails to mention
which games in the past season were thrown by the refs. The
Bulls are on the clock. They made their choice already. Everyone
knows it. But they will take most of the 5 minutes anyway. What
exactly are they waiting for?
that the Bulls already have a lot of guards. They also currently
start Drew Gooden at one forward spot. Perhaps the logical move,
short term, would be to take Beasley? Long term Rose is probably
the better choice.
This is a good
moment to mention that the Bulls are one of the luckiest teams
in the league. They offered several of their players big
long-term contracts last off-season and the players passed. The
Bulls would be in a much bigger hole right now if those players
(such as Luol Deng) had accepted the generous offers given to
them? Where would they be had they not gotten the 1st pick
despite only having a 1.7% chance of doing so? They’re doing
about as well as a crappy team could, at least one that isn’t
being handed star players like LA and Boston were. As a Warrior
fan, I’d like to once again thank Uncle David for overlooking
those giveaways (especially the Gasol move) and ensuring that
the Warriors have no chance at taking the Pacific division
4:38 – Shocker:
The Bulls take Rose. His nickname is Winnie the Pooh because he
likes sweets. Perhaps the Bulls can bring in Patrick O’Bryant to
make Rose some cheesecakes. Pat Riley’s hair gel is now on the
4:42 – Stern to
the podium. Miami selects Michael Beasley. OJ Mayo looks
confused. Beasley is sporting a new Miami Heat hat with just an
MH. Works for the San Francisco with an SF, works for New York
with the NY, but MH looks like he’s trying to start some high
school truck racing team. Over/Under on how long he keeps that
Miami hat before he trades it for another team’s is set at one
on South Beach just got a little happier.
Minnesota is on
the clock. How will Kevin McHale screw this one up?
Minnesota takes OJ Mayo. He refuses to smile except a brief one
when hugging the middle aged guy I’m assuming is his agent. Mayo
offered himself to USC because he wanted to be the man on his
team and wanted to do it in a major media market. He’s now going
to be in Minnesota. He may be the man (though Randy Foye and Al
Jefferson may not agree) but that’s about as far from major
media market as he could get.
have been a misstatement. Seeing the full outfit, Mayo looks
more like a late night infomercial lawyer. The We-Hate-Seattle
Sonics are on the clock.
4:53 – Pat
Riley feels that the Heat have the “infrastructure” to help
Beasley mature quickly. What exactly does that mean? In house
4:54 – Sonics
take Russell Westbrook from UCLA. Kevin Durant stands and gives
a golf clap. Why is Durant there? Just to taunt the denizens of
meanwhile was the 3rd best player on UCLA behind Kevin Love and
Darren Collison. Westbrook is a good athlete and a good
defender. He’s skilled and is improving but seems like his
upside is high level role player. ESPN skips the mother
interview to talk to Durant.
Memphis on the
clock. Stewart Scott takes us to commercial by saying that the
Knicks are almost on the clock. No mention of Memphis. As an
aside, would Jerry Buss have sent Memphis’ front office
championship rings had LA won the Finals? Did Boston send
another ring to Kevin McHale for gifting them Garnett while
letting them get Allen for the #5 pick instead of at least
demanding that pick for himself as originally offered?
5:01 – Memphis
selects Kevin Love. He’ll make an interesting inside pairing
with Pau Gasol. Oh wait, what’s that, Memphis gave away Gasol
for nothing? Absolutely nothing? Not even dumping bad contracts
or picking up good prospects or lottery picks? Huh. Never mind.
Nelson is saddened that the only big man in the draft who
might’ve actually played for Nelly as a rookie is gone.
question with Love is not does he have enough athleticism to
compete but rather will he eat his way out of the league. Few
players who entered the league fat ended up being good players
long term. Then again, Love does know how to use his ass on the
court (and that’s a very good quality). Love enters the NBA as
probably one of the most skilled bigs in the league from day 1.
Can he avoid joining Michael Sweetney at Sizzler?
The Knicks are
on the clock.
5:06 – The
crowd stands. The Knicks’ pick is in and about to be announced.
The Knicks, in a prearranged move with ESPN, take Danilo
Gallinari from Italy. The rare Euro to be drafted by an NBA team
in the lottery after actually producing in Europe. The last time
the Knicks took a Euro in round 1 and kept the pick, they ended
up with Fredrick Weis, who was so terrible that he was
internationally emasculated by Wince Carter. Check YouTube for
I already miss
Isiah Thomas. At least when he was around you knew the Knicks
wouldn’t make a good pick this high.
nickname is the rooster. The Knicks just took a big cock.
interview summary: He likes to win. He’s joining the wrong team.
He also seemed a little cross-eyed.
Clippers on the
clock. How will they screw this one up?
5:12 – The
Clips have the most lotto selections in NBA history. Thank
goodness for the Clippers, keeping the Warriors out of #1.
The pick is in.
The Clippers take Eric Gordon, who folded as soon as adversity
hit his Indiana team. At least he’s joining a team that’s the
model of consistency, cohesion, and professionalism.
is a little too big for his body. He looks like Gary Coleman’s
nephew. Actually, he looks like two of Gary Coleman’s nephews
stacked one on top of the other. I wonder which body part of his
will break down first (well, beyond his psyche which was broken
when Kelvin Sampson was deposed; Indiana was shocked – SHOCKED –
that a guy with a history of breaking NCAA rules once again
broke NCAA rules).
Bucks are on the clock. They have already traded last year’s
lottery pick Yi Jianlian, along with Bobby Simmons, to New
Jersey for Richard Jefferson. The Nets’ not so secret long term
pursuit of LeBron James continues.
5:18 – The
Bucks take Joe Alexander. His knowledge of Mandarin will go
great with Yi. Oh wait, just they just traded Yi.
the first Taiwanese born player to be taken in the lottery.
points out that if you ignore the first 27 games of his last
college season, Alexander was 4th in the nation in scoring.
Amazing what you can do with statistics if you ignore ¾ of the
5:22 – Michael
Jordan and the Bobcats are about to pick. Jordan will be hard
pressed to outdo taking Kwame Brown #1 overall.
5:25 – The pick
is in and it’s a strange one. D.J. Augustin from Texas. He’s a
small point guard. Charlotte used a lottery pick on a point
guard, Raymond Felton, a few years ago. They’ve been playing
Felton at the 2 towards the end of the year but they’ll have
huge defensive liabilities all over the court if they plan to
start Augustin and Felton together in the back court. That
leaves them undersized at the point guard, shooting guard, small
forward (Jason Richardson), and power forward (Gerald Wallace).
one half of the ambiguously named Lopez ogre twins, appears to
be tearing up. He was thought of as the #3 pick a few days ago.
He’s in free fall at this point. As an aside, who names their 7
foot twin sons Brook and Robin? Their parents had to be
The Nets are on
5:30 – The Nets
select Brook Lopez. Solid pick.
Robin is sitting at a different table in the Green Room. Their
mother is at Brook’s table. Robin actually appears to have his
own little table in the corner. It’s like he’s on timeout. If he
didn’t have Sideshow Bob’s hair maybe he’d have the dunce hat
Brook is trying
to emulate his brother’s game. He’s considered a better player
than his brother. The Nets may want to council him to emulate
someone a little better.
Pacers are on the clock. The Pacers already traded the human
injury known as Jermaine O’Neal for the almost equally injury
prone TJ Ford, the 17th pick, and filler.
5:35 – The
Pacers take Jerryd Bayless, a guard from Arizona. Another PAC10
player taken in the lottery. Arizona guards tend to do well in
the NBA. This should officially signal the end of the (speaking
of perpetually injured players) Jamal Tinsley era in Indiana.
Bayless is a
good scorer and can handle the ball well enough for a point. In
today’s NBA you don’t need to be a “true” point guard to
succeed. Bayless will try to follow in fellow UA alum Gilbert
Arenas’ on-court footsteps.
5 of the top 11
from the PAC. West Coast Bias movement lives!
Kings are on the clock.
5:41 – The
Kings select Jason Thompson from Rider. A college senior was
taken! Jason is not here, apparently because Robin Lopez wanted
to take the little corner table.
Jay Bilas calls
Thompson a “solid, solid” prospect. That’s promising. Kings fans
must be thrilled.
Jeff Van Gundy
calls Thompson “uhh, uhh, this player. This pick.” Someone wake
Jeff up and show him the giant draft board in the room. Maybe
show him an image of Alonzo Mourning’s ankle and watch Van Gundy
go into attack mode.
Portland is on
the clock. They’ve already outright purchased the #27 pick in
the draft for about $3 million. Meanwhile Chris Cohan refuses to
spend the money to use the assets he already has (such as a $10
million trade exception). I have owner envy.
5:47 – Portland
takes Brandon Rush. Another good pick. Not a huge upside but
seems likely to become a good rotation player. Good athlete,
good defender, and is comfortable being a role player. Won a
national championship last year so he should know how to win.
important news, the Warriors are on the clock. The “Lets go
Warriors!” chants are echoing through my house. Wait, I’m home
alone? Huh. Let’s pretend I didn’t mention anything.
Heeeeeeere we go. With the 14th pick the Warriors select….
Anthony Randolph. A 6’10 190lb freshman power forward. At least
Brandan Wright will have a workout partner.
He’ll either be
traded or warm a small swath of bench for the year.
I now wish I
had seen some LSU games this year. I have no real opinions on
Randolph. He’s unlikely to provide any immediate help to a team
that desperately needed more NBA quality rotation players.
5:57 – The Suns
take Robin Lopez. He averaged 9 and 5.6 over his college career.
He couldn’t score or board in college, despite having a high
level big next to him, so obviously he’ll be able to do it in
the NBA. He was a pretty good shot blocker in college but the
NBA is an entirely different beast.
6:03 – The
Oregonian is reporting that Bayless has been traded to the
Blazers. No word on the details of the deal yet.
6:03 – The
Sixers take Marreese Speights from Florida.
positive spin: “he didn’t dominate anyone in the SEC, but he
didn’t get dominated either.” Sounds fantastic. He wasn’t killed
by anyone. I’m sure Sixer fans are thrilled to hear it.
6:08 – Toronto
selecting for Indiana. Roy Stiffbert, err Hibbert, is the
choice. Hibbert is 7’2 280. If he didn’t have terrible foot
speed he’d be a much better prospect.
This is a
downer of a draft. ESPN relays to Pacer fans that their new
center was nicknamed “the big stiff” when he got to Georgetown.
Not good times.
Lopez was wired with a mic earlier. Not bad stuff. He didn’t
know who the Nets’ coach is. Seems like something he’d need to
know considering that he’s now a Net.
6:13 – The
Wizards select JaVale McGee from Nevada. His mom played in the
WNBA. In other news, a tree fell in the woods and no one cared
about that either.
consoled by DeVon Hardin after Cal beat Nevada this year. Thus
ends my JaVale McGee knowledge.
Indiana trade details: Ike Diogu and the rights to Bayless for
Jarrett Jack and the rights to Brandon Rush. Ike has now been
traded twice and won a game zero times.
doesn’t fit with the Pacers, who already have Mike Dungina and
Danny Granger at the 2 and 3. On the other hand, his brother
Kareem is on the Pacers.
Cleveland’s pick is in. The newest Cav is J.J. Hickson from NC
State. JJ didn’t make any All ACC teams.
Charlotte takes Alexis Ajinca, a center from France. He did
nothing for his Euro team last year but at least he made the
chair look bad in his workouts. Taking guys who have done
nothing in foreign leagues but look good in workouts has worked
out great so far for NBA teams, isn’t that right Mr.
Tskitishvili? Hmm, Tskita can’t be found, so how about asking
the Pistons about Darko Milicic? No, they don’t want to talk
about that. Hmm. Never mind then.
An update on
the Portland / Indiana trade: the Pacers will also be getting
last year’s Duke flop Josh McRoberts.
The Nets are on
the clock. The Nets have the pick as a result of the Jason Kidd
to Dallas trade.
6:33 – The
Nets’ pick is in and they take Ryan Anderson. Cal Bears
represent! The PAC10’s leading scorer and one of the
conference’s leading rebounders. Anderson can score from
ANYWHERE on the floor, inside and out, and does it all at a high
percentage. Anderson joins Brook Lopez for a newly made PAC10
frontcourt in Jersey. In a couple years Anderson will really
benefit from Lebron James setting him up.
Anderson was on
the fence about going to the draft but ultimately decided to
sign with an agent and stay in the draft based on what NBA GMs
were telling him. Mike Montgomery maintained that it was a dumb
decision. Once again, Mike Montgomery (who is a fantastic
college coach and a great hire for Cal) doesn’t know what he’s
doing when it relates to the NBA.
May Ryan help
the Nets as much as their last Cal Bear (Jason Kidd) did.
6:37 – Darrell
Arthur is last man sitting in the green room. He’s been chewing
on gum like a smoker desperately clinging to his Nicorette for
the last few hours.
Orlando is up
next and David Stern has their pick.
6:38 - Orlando
takes Courtney Lee from Western Kentucky. Another college
senior. By my count he’s just the third senior taken so far, and
we’re already 22 picks in.
Utah is on the
6:42 – Utah
takes Kosta Koufos, a freshman center from Ohio State. Utah
takes a big white guy, there’s a shocker. His selection makes it
9 freshmen taken in the draft, which already breaks an all-time
record. When he washes out of the league in a few years, Kosta
can go around Europe with that little trivia nugget. So he’s got
that going for him, which is nice.
6:47 - Sonics
about to pick. They have the pick as a result of the Suns
selling off players and picks the last few years, this
particular case being giving up 2 first rounders to give away
Kurt Thomas who ended up helping the Spurs eliminate the Suns in
a case of basketball karma.
Serge Ibaka from the Congo. ESPN foreign talent scout and
college coaching washout reports that in 3 or 4 years Ibaka may
be good enough to come to the NBA and make an impact. He’s
currently playing in Spain. Ibaka was in the house and is
shaking David Stern’s hand.
The Rockets are
on the clock.
6:56 – The
Rockets select Nicolas Batum from France. He’s apparently a 6’7
guard. Batum is the latest guy to continue the NBA draft
tradition of sitting in the stands and jumping out onto the
stage when selected. Downside of Batum is apparently that he’s a
guard who can’t ball handle. That might be a problem. The iffy
jumper might also hurt.
Spurs on the
clock. They allegedly sent an email to the entire league earlier
today saying their pick was up for bid.
7:01 – The
Spurs select George Hill from IUPUI. Good news: he was his
conference’s player of the year. Bad news: no one has heard of
his conference. The Spurs do have a fantastic draft record for a
team that is almost never in the lottery. Aside from taking
Duncan #1 overall, they’ve drafted Ginobli, Parker, and Luis
Scola with late 1st or 2nd round picks.
7:08 – As
mentioned before, New Orleans sold the 27th pick to Portland.
Portland adds Darrell Arthur, ending his Green Room wait. There
is a young boy asleep at Arthur’s table. He doesn’t look happy
to be awoken. His mom is crying. Arthur fell because of concerns
about a possible kidney condition.
joins the crowd in applauding Arthur for staying awake for the
nearly 3 hours of the draft so far.
are on the clock. They have the pick due to giving away Pau
Gasol to the Lakers.
7:15 – The
Grizzlies take Donte’ Green. Shot 41% in college. Not good
times. Bilas says that Green needs to get with a veteran group
that can help him learn how to play and what kind of shots to
take. Good thing he’s going to the Grizzlies who have veteran
presence… uhh… Rudy Gay?
7:22 – The 27
time defending Eastern Conference runners up Detroit Pistons
select DJ White. Bilas calls him a “volume rebounder”. I know
what a volume shooter is, but what is a volume rebounder? He
tries for a lot of boards to get a few successful ones?
there have been trade rumors swirling for the past week or so
that the Pistons would break up their core in a trade with the
Warriors. No moves yet.
In fact, there
have been a disappointing number of trades so far. Not much in
the way of juicy rumors either.
7:28 – The
Celtics are up. They just won a championship on the backs of
Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Cal’s very own Leon
Powe. Go Bears!
7:32 – David
Stern’s last pick of the day. The Celtics end the first round by
taking JR Giddens from New Mexico. If memory serves, Giddens
started as a Jayhawk and transferred out. The highlights shown
were him shooting over DeVon Hardin, making him at least the 2nd
guy taken in the first round whose highlights included DeVon on
The first round
ends with the 5th senior taken. The second round should move
quicker but I’ll no longer be doing pick by pick updates.
7:42 – A trade!
Seattle gets DJ White from the Pistons for #32 and #46. Kind of
7:49 – Mario
Chalmers goes 34 to Minnesota. He’s a point guard who, according
to ESPN, must improve his point guard skills.
There is now a
small run on NCAA title game players. Arthur went 27, Dorsey
went 33, and now Chalmers at 34.
7:51 – DeAndre
Jordan goes to the Clippers. “Why do you like him, Jay” “…[blah
blah blah, good size] but he doesn’t have an offensive skill
set.” No one helps raw prospects refine their game like the
Clippers. Maybe they’ll bring back Kandi to tutor Jordan, sort
of how the Lakers brought in Kareem to tutor Bynum.
Jordan has a
lotto pick body and a YMCA game. There appears to finally be a
movement in the NBA to draft guys at least somewhat based on
8:14 – Larry
Bird is on the ESPN video conference. Wow he’s aged. It doesn’t
even look like Larry Bird but more like someone hired a cheap
stand-in who is 20 pounds too heavy and is wearing a crappy wig.
look remotely excited. Someone get this man a hug and a Red
Bull. The dismantling of the Pacers is just about complete now.
Bird has overseen them going from a title favorite to floating
into the land of the NBA irrelevant.
8:24 – The
Wizards take Bill Walker. At one time he was very highly touted.
He went to high school with OJ Mayo. He played in college with
Michael Beasley. Injuries derailed his career somewhat.
ESPN notes that
the Wizards have lost 11 of their last 12 playoff series. Until
a few years ago they struggled to make the playoffs at all so
this streak must go back quite a ways. Sort of like hearing how
the San Francisco Giants have a 4 game winning streak in
Cleveland dating back to the 1954 World Series.
8:28 – Warriors
on the clock. ESPN predictably goes to commercial. Warriors take
Richard Hendrix from Alabama. Maybe Mullin just scouted one SEC
game and took the rest of the year off.
Prior to the
Warriors’ pick, Phoenix took Malik Hairston. Hairston arrived at
Oregon four years ago promising to “Carmelo-ize” the Ducks. They
then stunk for a couple years before having a good run his
junior year and a solid year his last season.
8:32 – The
Sonics take DeVon Hardin! Another Cal Bear into the NBA. He’s a
senior but still raw. NBA body, good work ethic, but needs to
get more skilled and smarter. If developed properly he can be a
good NBA player. Freakish athleticism.
Mullin is interviewed. He gives platitudes to Randolph, the
Warriors’ 1st round pick, and gives a politician’s non-answer
regarding his free agency priorities.
8:52 – The
Wizards sell the rights to Bill Walker to the Celtics for cash.
Chris Cohan is nowhere to be found.
draft Joe Crawford. I hope their equipment manager doesn’t
confuse him with another guy on the LA payroll – Joey Crawford.
Ah, to have refs bought and paid for.
9:01 – The
final pick! The Celtics wrap things up by taking Semith Erden,
who becomes the NBA’s Mr. Irrelevant. Well, at least his Euro
uniform is ugly. He apparently needs to improve his motivation.
motivation, mine is gone. Go Bears! Go Warriors!
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