I didn’t get to watch the draft at all because I was hosting my weekly poker game and I’m still getting caught up on all the trades that were made, but here are my initial thoughts on what happened.
1. Beasley may well not be staying in Miami. I’m sure they’ll be exploring potential trades involving him and Shawn Marion, together or separately. Whether it actually gets done depends on what other teams are offering, of course.
2. In the showdown between the two worst GMs in the league (now that Isiah Thomas is gone), Chris Wallace of Memphis and Kevin McHale of Minnesota, the winner by knockout is: Kevin McHale. In fact, he pulled off a brilliant deal by drafting OJ Mayo with the 3rd pick and sending him along with Marko Jaric, Antoine Walker and Greg Buckner to Memphis for Kevin Love, Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal and Jason Collins.
This was a great trade for Minnesota and yet another “what the hell were you thinking” deal by Chris Wallace (who used to be the GM of the Celtics and should damn sure no better than to ever, under any circumstances, trade for Antoine Walker). Minnesota gets a starting small forward who can shoot, a power forward to play next to Jefferson (who really should be a power forward but plays center for the T-Wolves) and a backup center in Collins who can at least bang and rebound some.
And Memphis? They get OJ Mayo and a poo poo platter of malcontents and tweeners. I wouldn’t take Walker on my team even in his prime if you put a gun to my head, but they’re getting a washed-up Walker who averaged 8 points a game on 36% shooting last year. Buckner is a seat filler at best and Jaric is a career backup point guard going to a team that already has a backup point guard far more talented and productive (and best of all, they get to pay him $7 million a year for the next three years as he sits on the bench doing nothing). Kevin McHale actually made a good trade, folks. Satan must be freezing his balls off right now.
3. New York drafted Danilo Gallinari, who could end up being a really good player in the NBA. Unfortunately, they still have no one to get the ball to him. Unless they can somehow unload Stephon Marbury – and who the hell is gonna take him? – and find a real point guard, they’re still going nowhere. They should have grabbed Bayless or Augustin, cut Marbury and ate his contract.
4. The Nets scored big by getting Brook Lopez at #10. No way he should have lasted that long with so many teams in front of them needing a starting center. They’ve dismantled the rest of the team in order to take a shot at Lebron James in two years, so Lopez has nothing around him but Vince Carter and his ego, but the Nets have to be thrilled that he fell so far.
5. The Indiana/Portland trade was great for both teams. Jerryd Bayless goes to the Trail Blazers for Brandon Rush, Jarrett Jack and Josh McRoberts. The Pacers get a capable backup for the often-injured TJ Ford at the point (Jamaal Tinsley, put your home on the market, you’re history in Indianapolis) and a starting two guard.
Portland basically trades a backup point guard (Jack) and a benchwarmer (McRoberts) for a starting point guard (Bayless), allowing Brandon Roy to slide back to his natural position at the two. A starting lineup of Bayless, Roy, Travis Outlaw/Martell Webster, LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Oden is pretty damn scary. And they not only have one of the few true centers in the league, they’ve got not one but two legitimate backup centers in Pryzbila and Frye, plus a capable backup point guard in Steve Blake. This team is going to be very, very good in a couple years if they can keep them together.
6. DeAndre Jordan sliding all the way to the second round? I’m shocked. I can’t believe a team like the Pistons didn’t grab him when he slid all the way to the bottom of the first round. He’s a guy with the talent to be a high lottery pick, but he came out too early. 2 or 3 years from now, this guy could be a very good NBA player. I’m shocked he fell that far.