Here at the Beef, we have downplayed the past few drafts and have been unexpectedly pleasantly surprised and delighted for many reasons. We hate Blake Griffin and that has worked out great for us. We love Kevin Durant and he has done nothing but shine in the NBA. You know how we feel about Hasheem Thabeet. This year though, I really don’t know how to feel about the draft and as usual I won’t know until this time next year. The players have to get on the NBA floor before we really know but here are a few things I took away from the multiple-hour drone fest that was the NBA draft.
-The Wizards are guard-happy. They must be planning on Gilbert Arenas getting suspended again by going with John Wall at No. 1 and trading for Kirk Hinrich. I know, Wall was the best on the board and you always have to go with the best that’s there. The telecast was full of speculation as to whether he could play the two or if Gil could play the one and guard the two. Flip Saunders explained that Agent Zero’s arms were long enough to guard the two and that it wouldn’t be a problem…?
-John Calipari obviously has never watched a Kentucky game before he took their head coach position last year. He explained that it was the best day in Kentuck basketball history. I don’t know but I think the Wildcats won NCAA Championships in 1948, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1978, 1996 and 1998 would those be considered pretty “good” days for your organization? In addition, I don’t call losing four of your top players (Orton is NOT a player and we will get to this in a second) a great day. Have fun rebuilding and hopefully you guys will make a ripple in the NIT next season. John Wall was about as Kentucky as me. The guy was there for eight months and the entire time was spent speculating about what he would do in the NBA. He didn’t get them a banner and he is going to a team that will not be making the playoffs again next season.
-Daniel Orton is not a basketball player. With 14 percent body fat and about as much time on the basketball court last season as the kids they get to mop the floor, Orton should fit in well on the bench in Orlando in his warm-ups. I am speculating that he will be traded to either Minnesota or Chicago in the next few days. The winters there are harsh and his fat ass might be needed even more to keep the seats warm for Derrick Rose or Johnny Flynn. If he stays in Orlando, I expect his high-fives per game to be extremely high as well as his jubilant celebrations for when Dwight Howard conducts his worthless blocks (read our pick for Defensive Player of the Year). He probably won’t need to pick a number since they usually don’t assign them to cheerleaders. This was a sympathy pick by Orlando that is already riddled with big men that Stan Van Gundy doesn’t even play. With Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson, Eric Bledsoe, a record was on the line. Stern simply called GM Otis Smith and this conversation went down:
Stern: “Otis, we need to break this record for most players drafted from a single school in the first round. We need to do something.”
Smith: “Well, there is that worthless guy named Daniel Orton still on the board. We could get him but what do I get in return?”
Stern: “Howard will get DPOY for the third year in a row and I’ll give you the Eastern Conference title.”
Otis: “Deal. Dinner tonight?”
Stern: “Not tonight. Dwayne Wade and I are getting facials at the spa.”
Seriously though, Orton averaged just 3 points in 13 minutes a game. His rebounds are nothing to sneeze at and his free throw percentage is at 50 percent. Orlando picked him with the hopes that they can develop him into a star center. Analysts were saying that he would be a lottery pick in three years if he wasn’t picked up this season. This may be true but the draft has shown us over the years that this simply can’t be predicted especially from a player with a history of injury. Orton Missed his senior year with a bad knee. Greg Oden and Andrew Bynum have proven that young guys with bad knees are bad news. Good job Otis.
– The Kings and GM Geoff Petrie might be in store for another ROY player on their roster. With the selection of Tyreke Evans last season, DeMarcus Cousins isn’t a bad follow-up. He will give the Kings some serious size in the paint and adds to the flare of this rebuilding franchise. However, attitude and maturity issues have been brought up. When asked about his abrasive attitude, he had this to say:
“They think I’m a monster off the floor, I’m nothing like that. I’m just a kid that likes to have fun.”
Having fun in the NBA is a little different than a night on the town for any of us reading this unless your name is Adam “Pacman” Jones. We may be in for another basket case in the league and the Beef loves the crazy guys. The kid doesn’t drink which makes him a little scarier since he is naturally crazy. “Boogie” will hopefully keep things interesting in Sac town both on and off the court. However, keep in mind, a suspension is not a stat that helps any team.
– Derrick Favors will work well in New Jersey and will finally give Brook Lopez some help in that front court. The kid was surounded by trash guards at Georgia Tech and Devin Harris will be a big improvement for the big fella. However, we have all seen what Avery Johnson does with young players. The Little General’s tight grip shouldn’t stray too far from the guards but a stressed out Harris could hurt the development of Favors and hamper a team that is already hurting pretty badly.
– The Memphis Grizzlies might be my favorite team right now. By taking Greivis Vasquez at 28, the Griz have done nothing but add to their impressive draft resume. The team did need to go with another big man but a guy like Greivis only comes around so often. He can pass, he can shoot and he can get a stadium as rowdy as hell. In 2009, He became the first Terp player to lead his team in points, rebounds and assists in a season, and only the sixth player to ever accomplish that task in the ACC. During his senior season, he became the first ACC player to compile at least 2,000 points, 700 assists, and 600 rebounds. He’s a stud and when Memphis finds a way to work him in behind Mike Conley, Vazquez will contribute immediately.
– Greg Monroe and Detroit are a is a match made in heaven. They are in desperate need of a big man and he might be the guy to fill that void. His passing ability will work well with both Will Bynum and Rodney Stuckey. He will take a bit of the strain off of Charlie Villanueva’s game and is a good all around player. The Hoyas never let us down with their ability to create great big men.
– Gordon Hayward got a bad break in the tournament and shared a minivan with his twin sister throughout college. This does not mean that I have to like him. Gordon, you came from a team in the Horizon League. I didn’t even know that league existed until Butler made the Finals and lost to Duke. Have fun in Utah where you will be a one-trick pony. Your three is not enough to seal you a career in the NBA and in three years I expect to hear that you are coaching a high school basketball team in Indiana.
– Larry Sanders to the Bucks. Jay Bilas says his athleticism will hopefully turn into basketball ability. From what I do know, he is pretty raw and hasn’t played organized basketball for very long. Milwaukee needs a post guy to work alongside Andrew Bogut and supposedly they think Sanders can fill that role.
– Evan Turner will hopefully work out nicely for the Sixers. The organization is in shambles and has way too much money invested in Elton Brand and Andre Iguodala. Turner will take a lot of the scoring burden off of Igoudala’s shoulders but this team is by no means making a run for the Eastern Conference title. They won’t have cap room for another two years so free agency will pass them by like a kid stuck inside with a cold on the 4th of July. Jrue Holiday and Turner will work out well in the back court despite their lack of big men to work with. Safe pick but don’t expect this organization that has had five coaches in the last five years to turn around immediately.
– Ed Davis isn’t afraid to get involved in Toronto. This former Tar Heel knows how to play on a big stage and knows that if Chris Bosh leaves he will be able to step into an immediate role on the team. Davis understands the tempo that the Raptors play with and seems to play smart as well. He doesn’t settle for jump shots with less than one a game and has the ability to finish at the rim and even get to the line. With Toronto in a free agent limbo, Davis is a smart pick if he can stay healthy and protect that wrist that nagged him last year
– David Stern must must have been retreating to a private office in between announcing draft picks where Dwayne Wade would tickle his feet. He repeatedly approached the podium giggling and shaking his head. He, the drunk fans and the players getting picked were probably the only people enjoying the evening. Even Stuart Scott looked like he was ready to go as he pulled out a World Cup joke that the rest of the broadcast crew seemed to either ignore or not hear for what could be one of many reasons:
a. They were ready to go home and catch highlights of the day’s Wimbledon matches.
b. They, like me, believe that a World Cup joke has no place in ANY sort of NBA broadcast.
c. Stern had removed their brains somewhere between draft picks 11 and 13.
d. They were too busy wondering why Orlando had selected Daniel Orton in the first round.
e. They were fixated on Jeff Van Gundy’s bald spot that seemed to grow and pulsate over the course of the draft.
f. They were still trying to figure out if Avery Johnson was serious when he offered them assistant coach positions in New Jersey on the air.
– Luke Babbit. When you were in college, no one knew who you were and that’s alright. Now that you are in the NBA, people will still not know who you are and that’s embarrassing. This pick just adds to the hilarity that has become Minnesota’s draft history. Babbit excelled in the WAC conference and was consistently matched up against smaller, weaker defenders. He looked good in workouts and can sink jump shots all day. However, his defense is terrible and he lacks any sort of mobility.
– Lastly, Someone needs to let Cole Aldrich know that comparing Sharron Collins and Chris Paul is NOT okay. Maybe that’s why New Orleans traded him to OKC immediately after he said that for more draft picks and to let go of Morris Petterson. He will give the Thunder some much needed size and maybe he knows where Oklahoma is on a map. Hint: it’s below Kansas.
Not everything was covered but if you missed it, this is about all you need to know about a draft that will ultimately be overshadowed in the next few weeks. Outside of the top five picks, a lot of movement will be made by several teams trying to free up space and make a run for free agents. This is simply the beginning of the biggest off season in NBA history. If we have learned anything from recent drafts, it’s that it doesn’t determine anything but what team these young men will play for. Over the past few years, we have seen several top picks go down in flames (Kwame Brown). Their careers are simply beginning and the real proof will come out on the NBA courts around the nation.