The draft lottery is less than 3 hours away. The league and the commish have been submarining this years playoffs and we’re lined up for a utterly grating Pistons-Spurs rematch in the finals, so we take solace in the fact that tonight marks what could be a watershed moment for some cornerstone franchises. It could be Magic-Bird in '79 again.
One of the key scenarios is the Celtics getting into the top-2 and landing Durant or Oden. Great for Boston and the league’s TV rating, but that franchise tanked and embarrassed itself this year. The front offices and coaching staffs haven’t shown any ability to build around a star, so the chances of those guys primes being wasted is real.
Another big one is the Bulls taking the Knicks pick. There’s a modest chance that pick will be in the top-3 and if it is, you can expect MSG to implode on top of itself. Thank you Isiah, fantastic work. Even better is the vision of seeing Oden patrolling the paint for a decade surrounded by the likes of Deng, Thomas, Hinrich and Sefalosha. Just, wow.
How catastrophic would it be to see the pathetic NBA backwaters of Memphis, Charlotte, Atlanta, Sacramento or Milwaukee land both of these guys? Cleveland getting LeBron had the benefit of him being a hometown guy. Oden getting shipped to Memphis would be downright depressing.
A few teams like Minnesota, Indiana, Seattle and Philly could really use the shot in the arm and could possibly be competitive right away by adding a ready-made stud. Certainly their fanbases need a pick-me-up.
So who are you guys pulling for? Do you enjoy anarchy or do you prefer the thought of invigorating high-profile NBA cities? You planning on tuning in? Personally I’m giddy. It’s fun to watch those awkward, geeky and clueless GMs sitting in the studio trying not look like they are ready to wet themselves, and then to not commit hari-kari when their ping-pong ball comes up out of the top 2.
The odds are something like 1 in 50 that the Bulls get the top pick, but if this happens I may keel over and die from a happiness overload. [Minor reality check: I’m not sure about Oden’s scoring prowess, but he has more skills than Ben Wallace and PJ Brown for sure.]
Even worse, Oden going to Memphis to play for a questionably-committed Larry Brown, who might leave the team in just-as-bad shape two or three years from now.
I’m actually hoping I can get home early to watch this, short as it is.
Because as of right now they both have premiere players in Garnett and O’Neal and have a broader national appeal than Sacktown. The fact that they do not share their state with several higher profile NBA teams works in their favor. And let’s face it, they are NFL cities which goes a long ways towards raising national recognition. Constant whispers of relocating the Kings isn’t doing them any favors as far as perceived viability either.
Despite the fact that the Kings have had more playoff success in recent years than one, if not both, of those teams, with consistently larger (and more enthusiastic, although that’s subjective) crowds?
I’m not sure what part I like more, the impact it would have in helping the Bulls or in hurting the Knicks. I’m a spiteful prick so I find this whole Isiah experience nothing short of thrilling. I think the Bulls will be fine without getting that pick, and they still have realistic designs on Gasol or Garnett, and the amount of chaos it will cause for Knicks fans is immeasurable.
I mean I’d love to see another Bulls dynasty but god it makes me warm and fuzzy seeing the Knicks flounder. If only the Pistons botching that Darko pick would have caused more trouble.
For an interesting scenario, how about this: Bulls get the #1 pick and trade it and Ben Gordon to Minnesota for Garnett. Would it work with the #2 pick? Which team would flinch first?
The Kings have had a hell of a lot more success than the Knicks, Celtics, Sixers, Rockets, Bulls and a whole bunch of other teams in the past decade. My definition of backwater isn’t related to past success, it’s about marketability, long term viability and profile. It would be really hard to market a superstar in Sacramento to the rest of America and you really don’t want a super-duper star on a team that faces a pending relocation.
Granted Minny and Indy aren’t first on my list, but I wouldn’t see those scenarios as a disappointing scenario. Of course, the Kings would be a hell of a lot better option than Atlanta and Memphis.
…Assuming the Wolves get one of the top 2 picks. Amare’s not that old, either. He’s 23. For someone that’s already got some NBA pedigree, that’s plenty young. (I’m personally not too happy with that knee injury he got, but he’s bounced back nicely this year. I also think he’s overrated, but I’m also not Kevin McHale.)
This is a rather deep draft. Looking at Chad Ford’s list of players…hell, my dream draft includes Noah and Affalo. That would make me a happy Trevor.
You mean if the Bulls get a top 2 pick. If the Wolves get it I bet that they hold onto Garnett tight and pair him with one of those two guys. Could make them scary. Personally I think Amare would be greatly diminished without Steve Nash so I understand why you would be in favor of that move.
Noah at #4 would be a reach, I think he’s going to be a crappy pro like Brian Cook.
No, I mean if the Wolves get a top-2 pick. If they got Oden/Durant, why would they trade away Garnett? If they didn’t get either of them, then they’d have more incentive to trade Garnett.
Amare needs a point guard to get him the ball. That’s why he works so well with Nash. To his credit, Amare finishes strong to the hoop. You better, if you’re a big, athletic body in the NBA and get the ball within 3 feet of the rim on a consistent basis.
Noah at #4 would be a reach. That’s why I’d like him much later to the Pistons. A lot of execs have saying he’s got “bust” written all over him. 15 feet and in, he’s a good, hard-working 7-footer that hustles like crazy. Outside of 15 feet, he’s an offensive liability.
I say the pick of the draft is going to be Corey Brewer. Not because he’ll be the best player, per se, but because he’s being overlooked because of the top two picks. If the Suns get Brewer, goodbye Raja Bell.
I think we are having two conversations. I speculated early in the thread on the chances of the Bulls packaging Oden/Durant to the Wolves for Garnett. You responded that an Amare deal was more likely. All I’m saying in that under the presumption that the Bulls win the lottery the Wolves might have a hard time saying no to an offer like that regardless of what other offers are on the table. We agree that a Wolves lottery win renders everything moot.
Aside from that it’s clear I had no fucking idea what team you were referring to when you commented on the dream draft of Noah and Aflalo.
Phoenix gets Atlanta’s pick in the draft so long as it falls outside of the top 3. That means that it will probably be #4 and no lower than #6. They also have Cleveland’s pick and their own pick making 3 first rounders a real possibility.
My thoughts, why would they want Brewer since they have Bell? They are basically the same guy and Bell is a hell of a lot cheaper. The Suns should focus on replacing Nash by taking the very best natural point guard with their top pick.
Yeah, we were having two separate conversations. I don’t see the Bulls trading Oden/Durant for Garnett. Would they play Garnett at center? Ben Wallace at center still? On an aside, when are the Bulls going to put Ben Gordon back on the bench as a 6th man where he belongs? He’s such a bad defender, the Pistons kept passing to the person that he was “guarding” in the last game.
Noah + Afalo = Hella good draft for the Pistons.
Phoenix would want Brewer befause Bell’s contract is coming up and Bell is starting to get recognition for his good defense. His price will only get inflated from here on out. You might as well put that money towards a new Bell-like substance. There isn’t a point guard that I’d dignify with a #4 pick. Maybe trade for Mike Conley Jr. after the picks materialize?
Yeah, I’m not sure they’d pull the trigger on that trade either. That’s what made it a fun thought experiment. I could make a good case for both, but I have a unnatural affection for Garnett and would love his intensity under Skiles in the East.
True but I think Afflalo is a reach at the end of the 1st round. As a Bulls fan I would feel pretty good about this scenario, there’s a lot of other guys which would worry me more like Alando Tucker, Hibbert and Julian Wright.
I hear you, but I think that Brewer as a #4 overall would command a higher salary than Bell would right now.
I’d trade just about anyone on the current Bulls team (Hinrich is the only untouchable) in a package with picks for Garnett. But if we get the top 2, we don’t need Garnett. He’s too old at this point not to roll the dice with 19 y/o Oden.