Think of it as the 19th hole or the 5th quarter. It's your watering hole of post-NBA Draft refreshments as only the Dude can serve. Hope you're thirsty.
*Greg Oden, #1 to the Trailblazers - big shocker
*Kevin Durant, #2 to the Sonics - the shock came when it was announced that the Sonics would trade perennial All-Star and arguably the best jumpshooter in the game, Ray Allen, to Boston for the rights to the 5th pick. Ray Allen will team with Boston's Allen Ray, which should add to the many laughable things about that team next year.
*Al Horford, #3 to the Hawks; Mike Conley, #4 to the Grizzlies - This is where you start to feel bad for players. Of course they will make millions, but their talent alone won't be enough to overcome poorly run franchises and consistently horrible teams.
*Jeff Green, #5 to the Sonics - Guessing that Seattle is able to keep Rashard Lewis, this gives them a young, talented 2-3-4 combo that will allow them to play the sort of up-tempo style that the Suns and Nuggets do, but with a lot more rebounding and blocked shots.
*Yi Jianlian, #6 to the Bucks - The hot rumor was the Mavs trading Devin Harris, a Milwaukee native, to the Bucks for this pick. Del Harris was familiar with Yi from when he coached the Chinese National team, Del Harris's son is the GM in Milwaukee, and Yi didn't want to play for the Bucks. It made it all too simple, and that's why it didn't happen.
*Corey Brewer, #7 to the Timberwolves - We learned that he grew up picking tobacco with his father, which will come in handy when he needs to roll his own cigarettes after the state of the T'Wolves leads him to start smoking a pack a day.
*Brendan Wright, #8 to the Bobcats - He wears braces, and he got traded to Golden State for the Warrior's Jason Richardson. Those two aren't connected. I just felt like mentioning them.
*Joakim Noah, #9 to the Bulls - I have nothing against the kid, so I hope he proves me wrong. I think he will be a bust. I think he's a little overrated. And he has to use a special shampoo and conditioner for that mane of hair he has. This pick originally belonged to New York, so I guess things could be worse for him.
*Spencer Hawes, #10 to the Kings - I don't know much about Hawes, but it got me to wondering what the hell happened to the Kings. They were right up there as a serious contender for a title not 4 years ago, and here they are picking 10th in the lottery as a far cry from those teams that battled the Lakers, Spurs and Mavs for Western Conference supremecy. It really makes you appreciate teams like the Spurs, Mavs and Pistons that can sustain dominance in this league for more than 5 years in a row.
*Acie Law, #11 to the Hawks - As a Texas fan, I hate Texas A&M, but I loved watching Acie Law. I almost felt bad that he wound up with the Hawks, but he might be able to help Horford get them in to the playoffs in the LEastern Conference. My wife noticed that Law, along with many other players, are wearing a lot of pastel ties. Crockett and Tubbs are smiling somewhere on a cigarette boat. She also notices that Stephen A. Smith is a complete caricature. She pictured him sitting at the dinner table, yelling, "I don't want this chicken for dinner! You wanna know why? I'll tell you why! This chicken is DRY! How could you expect me to eat this chicken for dinner when it's soooo DRY!?!"
*Thaddeus Young, #12 to the Sixers; Julian Wright, #13 to the Hornets; Al Thornton, #14 to the Clippers, Rodney Stuckey, #15 to the Pistons - I'm shooting baskets in the den with my 2-year-old daughter. That's how excited I am about these selections
*Nick Young, #16 to the Wizards - The pick's not exciting, but they do announce that the Blazers have traded the talented, but highly paid n'er-do-well Zach Randolph to (who else) the Knicks for Channing Frye and Steve Francis. This is great for Portland, because it will allow them to get Oden, LaMarcus Aldridge, and current rookie-of-the-year Brandon Roy on the court at the same time and team them with a veteran point guard. If Francis can still distribute and realize he's not the main focus of a team anymore, this might work.
*Sean Williams, #17 to the Nets - The scouting report after he was picked said: Must Improve - Maturity. I got that exact same line once on my report card in the second grade. The talent and upside to this kid is off the charts. The personal problems and downside this kid is just as great.
*Marko Belinelli, #18 to the Warriors - How could Don Nelson refuse this guy? He's European, he's versatile, and his last name has "nellie" in it. He also made Jason Richardson expendable to free up money to resign some of their younger free agents and land Branden Wright. As scary as the Warriors were last year, they might have just gotten better.
*Javaris Crittenton, #19 to the Lakers - I was hoping he would drop to the Mavs, but the Lakers got him instead. Do you think this is enough to convince Kobe to stay?
*Jason Smith, #20 to Miami; Daequan Cook, #21 to the Sixers - Then traded for one another. I guess I understand that Miami got a little extra out of this, but it's still confusing why you would take a player you don't want right ahead of a player you do want, then swap the two. Why not just take the player you want?
*Jared Dudley, #22 to the Bobcats; Wilson Chandler, #23 to the Knicks - Did you hear that Isiah Thomas, coach/general manager/president/accountant/valet parker for the Knicks is now asking his team's cheerleaders to flirt with the refs during games in the hopes that it might lead them to rule favorably for the Knicks? Thomas is already involved in a sexual harrassment lawsuit from a former employee, as well as allegations that the Knicks front office (which Thomas holds almost every title to) encouraged a female employee to "fill the needs" of Knicks guard Stephon Marbury. I find the cheerleader thing a little questionable, but when you look at the bigger picture it sounds as tame as an episode of Mister Roger's Neighborhood. Do you think Steve Francis wishes he at least got a parting gift before he was shipped off?
*Rudy Fernandez, #24 to the Suns; Morris Almond, #25 to the Jazz - Two more guys that I was hoping dropped to the Mavs have been taken, although Fernandez was traded to the Blazers for straight cash, homey. Is it a good thing or a bad thing to find out exactly how much money you're worth before you ever even sign a contract?
*Aaron Brooks, #26 to the Rockets; Aaron Afflalo, #27 to the Pistons - Could possibly be the first time in NBA history two Aarons are drafted back to back. I'm not going to research that. Another Aaron will be taken with the 49th pick, and the NBA Draft is sponsored by Aaron's Rent-to-Own (not really, but that's kind of what the draft is, don't you think? A rent to own?)
*Tiago Splitter, #28 to the Spurs - Typical Spurs draft pick. Grab young, promising foreigners, leave them with their Euro League teams to develop, bring them over when they are ready, and watch them get fitted for a ring every other year as long as Tim Duncan is wearing sable and silver. If anyone else drafted him, he might be a marginal Euro curiosity. Now that he's a Spur, he's probably destined for greatness and a soap opera fiance. They also announced that the Spurs purchased their minor league team, which I didn't even know was an option at this point since multiple NBA franchises stock individual D-League teams. That seems like a conflict in interest to the other franchises that might have players on the Austin Toros roster, but if it's approved by the league then it won't be long before Mark Cuban does it, too. However, our D-League team, the Fort Worth Flyers, have announced that they are leaving Fort Worth.
*Alando Tucker, #29th to the Suns - Could help them off the bench as an undersized power forward or oversized small forward with athleticism.
*Petteri Koponen, #30 to the Sixers - The last pick in the first round was another player I was hoping dropped to the Mavs, if only because his European team's mascot is The Playboys! His selection was purchased by the Blazers as well, which means the Blazers bought almost as many European basketball stars as the USA bought European scientists during the Cold War. As a side note, this is the last selection announced by commissioner David Stern, who always looks like the high school principal trying to hold the students' attention at the prom while announcing that there will be serious ramifications for spiking the punch bowl.
*Carl Landy goes #31 to the Sonics but is traded to the Bobcats to complete the Brendan Wright/Jason Richardson trade. The Celtics select Gabe Pruitt #32, whose scouting report states: Needs Lots Of Development. Sounds like a winner. The Spurs take Marcus Williams #33, and then . . .
*WITH THE 34TH PICK, THE DALLAS MAVERICKS SELECT . . . NICK FAZEKAS, POWER FORWARD OUT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA! 6'11", 240 lbs, Must Improve: Strength. I can live with that. Anyone can hit the weight room. Fazekas was one of only 6 players in NCAA history to score 2,000 points, grab 1,000 rebounds, shoot 50% from the field and 80% from the free throw line, joining Rick Barry, Larry Bird, Bill Bradley, Christian Laettner and Keith Van Horn (all pretty decent white boys). I think he could be a consistent member of the rotation next year. It might be awhile before he earns Avery's trust, but by mid-season he could be averaging about 10 minutes a game.
*Glen "Big Baby" Davis is drafted by Boston at #35, then traded to Seattle to complete the Ray Allen/Jeff Green deal. Jamario Davidson goes #36 to Golden State and we find out that his brother was murdered and his girlfriend died in a car accident. Then he gets traded to the Bobcats. Pray for him, this kid's been through enough. Josh McRoberts, oddly enough a tall, white guy from Duke (didn't know they had many of those), goes # 37 to Portland. He is roundly booed by the remaining spectators at Madison Square Garden. I start thinking that New Yorkers must hate Duke, but then I remembered that everybody hates Duke.
*Foreign Time! #38-Kyrylo Fasenko goes to Philadelphia. He's apparently such a project big man that during a recent workout when a coach told him to show the scouts how he can put the ball on the floor, he literally set the ball down on the court and then stood there. #39-Stanko Barac goes to Miami. Any backup center and possible heir apparent to Shaq will stink in comparison, but then to make his first name Stanko pretty much means this kid's in a hole he might never dig out of. #40-Sun Yue goes to the Lakers. Makes sense, since they called this guy the Chinese Magic Johnson (because of his style of play. He doesn't have HIV.) Will this be enough to make Kobe stay?
*Chris Richard at #41 to Minnesota must improve his scoring ability. That's a pretty big to-do list for an aspiring professional basketball player. Derrick Byars at #42 to Portland (then to Philadelphia), and Adam Haluska at #43 to the New Orleans Hornets, who will actually be back in New Orleans next season for the entire year. This is good for New Orleans, but I feel bad for Oklahoma City. I don't want the NBA to expand anymore, if anything they need to contract, but OKC proved that they deserve a team. Here's hoping they get one before too long. The rumor is that Seattle (which was bought by an Oklahoma City-based investor) would move there since the team can't seem to work out an agreement on a new arena with the city of Seattle. Let's just take a moment to ponder if the Sonics moved to OKC and the NBA realigned. The Southwest Division would be Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Oklahoma City and San Antonio. That means that one single division could house Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Kevin Durant, Rashard Lewis, Chris Paul, Tyson Chandler, Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady, Josh Howard and Dirk Nowitzki. Ouch.
*Reyshawn Terry, #44 to the Magic - Wait, what's that? There's been a trade? WITH THE 44TH PICK, THE DALLAS MAVERICKS SELECT . . . REYSHAWN TERRY, SMALL FORWARD OUT OF NORTH CAROLINA! The Mavs actually waited until the final pick of the draft, their 60th, to draft Milovan Rakovic and trade him to Orlando for Terry. I have a feeling he might spend his fair share of time on the D-League team, but he could show something in summer league and training camp that changes my mind.
*Jared Johnson to the Clippers, Stephane Lasme to the Warriors, Dominic McGuire to the Wizards, Marc Gasol (brother of Memphis Grizzly, Pau Gasol) to the Lakers, and what would this draft be without another Aaron, this time Aaron Gray to the Bulls.
*WITH THE 50TH PICK, THE DALLAS MAVERICKS SELECT . . . RENALDAS SEIBUTIS, SHOOTING GUARD FROM LITHUANIA! That means we won't see him for years, if ever, in a official Mavs jersey during the regular season. Enjoy the Greek A-1 League, Renaldas, and welcome to the Mavs!
*JamesOn Curry to the Bulls (who could just as easily become a second-round gem as he could wind up in the police blotter), Taurean Green to the Blazers, Demetris Nichols to the Blazers (who apparently studders as bad as Bill Walton), and Brad Newley to the Rockets. Newley is Australian, which gives me a chance to say hello to the only Australian I know, Angela Buchanan. Cheers, Ang!
*Herbert Hill to the Jazz (which is a perfect name for a player going to Salt Lake City). Ramon Sessions to the Bucks. Sammy Mejia to the Pistons.
*Giorgos Printezis goes #58 to the Spurs. I'm starting think the Spurs will soon apply for membership in the U.N.
*DJ Strawberry goes #59 to the Suns. DJ is the son of former baseball great Daryl Strawberry. I'm not really sure what to say here, other than this could've been a bigger story than it is if Daryl had ever gotten his life right early enough to continue becoming the kind of ball player he could have become.
*WITH THE 60TH PICK, THE DALLAS MAVERICKS SELECT . . . MR. IRRELEVANT, I MEAN, MILOVAN RAKOVIC, WHO THEY LOVED SO MUCH THEY TRADED HIM TO ORLANDO ALMOST INSTANTLY!
*At first impression, immediately following the draft, I wrote that the 3 Cheers of the Draft go to the Seattle Supersonics, the Portland Trailblazers and the Golden State Warriors. The 3 Jeers of the Draft go to the Charlotte Bobcats, the Boston Celtics and the Denver Nuggets (who didn't have a single pick). The West just got even better, and the East just got even easier for some of these younger teams like the Hawks to be able to make the playoffs even if they have a relatively mediocre year.
*As it sits right now, I'm okay with the Mavs on draft day. I'm happy we didn't make that Devin Harris for Yi Jianlian trade that was rumored. I like Nick Fazekas, although I had heard that his stock had fallen a bit before the draft. I'm glad we didn't "waste" our picks on Euros to stock overseas for years. Now Summer League starts, free agency is upon us, and we are slowly getting to where we can see how the new 2007-2008 Mavs squad will shape up. We have a lot of wounds to heal, but I don't think it means amputation to fix it. A few stitches and bandages should do the trick.
I'll be back shortly to discuss other goings-on in the NBA and Mavsland, such as Mark Cuban and Don Nelson each refusing to take their toys and go home. When you're a Mavs fan, there's never a dull moment. Go Mavs!