God Said Here's Your Future: It's Gonna Rain

Plissken proudly presents its commentary on the 2007 NBA Draft. Apologies for the delay, but we wanted to get the best product possible out there. A word on the format: Carter and I discussed each team at length, I wrote the thoughts up, he script-doctored it, and then I went through one last editing round before bringing it to you. It's a team effort. We'll be covering each conference in a separate post. In this post, the West. You can find the East here.

Portland Trailblazers:
This is going to take a while. Let’s deal with it piece by piece.

Oden is obviously a great pick. As I’ve been saying since February, I think he wins at least two championships. As for personality, I hope he starts a Fox Force Five gimmick where he has a new one-liner for each halftime interview. They can all have something to do with hygiene or protecting your face from the sun. Honestly, he might be a bigger dork than Tim Duncan.

The Knicks trade is weird. I understand that they’re trying to dump Z-Bo’s contract, but they took on another huge one (albeit a shorter one that Allen might buy out) with Franchise. Frye is good but their need is at the three, not the power positions. Seems like they could have gotten more. Although the report that they're going after a small forward might make sense of all this.

Rudy Fernandez will be indistinguishable from Sergio Rodriguez for me, and I don’t think they look alike. As for their other first round get, let the Petteri Koponen Experience begin! My new favorite non-Warrior not named Gilbert or J-Rich, and I’ve only seen him make one play.

I’m on record as not being a huge Taurean Green fan, but in the second round I think he’s great value. Josh McRoberts is garbage, he’s clearly only there so Oden has someone to go to Powell’s with.

Basically, Kevin Pritchard is a mad genius. We’re getting League Pass.

Seattle SuperSonics: Durant is a no-brainer. I still say it takes him a few years to adjust to NBA strength, but when he gets there shit is going to rock. Also, his spots with Gil may have been the most entertaining non-Joakim related parts of the night.

The Ray Allen trade is highly questionable. Green is alright, but they only got him, Wally, and Delonte for an all-star (an injured one, granted)? I'm not sure either team did really well on this one. Seems like they could have gotten more. I actually think this is a good place for Green; his issues have always been about stepping up in crunch time and now he’s on a team with a guy who loves getting the ball when it matters. I still would have preferred to see EEE here. Isn't an SF, more upside, fits well in Seattle, and less likely to cause an international incident.

When you get right down to it, though, they’re asking a hell of a lot of a rookie if they can’t resign Rashard. I love that a Spurs guy wants to build around a bunch of 6-9 guys (Nellie Revolution!), but this team is in for a long year or two without a veteran scorer.

Memphis Grizzlies: Mike Conley is perfect for this team, although it won’t happen for a year or two. I’m damn excited to see an awful team running all the time; they’re going to have some serious growing pains but the flashes will be worth it. Warrick and Gay just high-fived everyone in sight. It would be incredibly hilarious if Oden and Conley turned terrible without each other, though. Conley’s a dork, too, by the way.

Minnesota Timberwolves: I like Corey Brewer more than most seem to; I think he’ll end up one of the four best guys in this draft. Awesome perimeter defender, runs, enough of an offensive game to matter.

I like Chris Richard with the second round pick, but mostly because I think he was underrated and not because I think he should have been picked at 41. You can get worse things than two winners, though.

Sacramento Kings:
Taking Hawes is such a Kings pick: heaven forbid they do something exciting. This is more George H.W. Bush than George W. Bush. Here’s hoping Spence gets to hang out with Arnold.

They didn’t have a second rounder, which is also boring.

NOOCH: Julian Wright is good and versatile, a guy being talked about as a potential Top 5er before people realized he couldn’t shoot and plays a shooting position. More importantly, why would they not take Nick Young? They need a scorer. Julian is a playmaker who can’t shoot. They have Chris Paul to make plays. Ugh.

One of my favorite parts of the ESPN telecast was Stuart Scott asking Julian about his bowling ball. Real probing query, there, Stu.

Adam Haluska in the second round is somewhat intriguing; he can jump a little and shoots enough to possibly stick.

Los Angeles Clippers: I like Thornton to them, although they have enough scorers now that Maggette might get moved for sure. Acie would have been a good fit here—bummer he went three picks earlier.

Jared Jordan in the second round made all the guys who want 11-foot rims happy.

Golden State Warriors: Well, I’ll have multiple posts on this one later, but here’s some quick thoughts that I’ll flesh out in the future. I’m excited to get Wright; he’s way raw but he can run and is athletic enough to thrive in the Nellie system. Bottom line: during the college season people were saying Wright was going to go 3rd and he's been called a Chris Bosh clone for at least three years (the first time I heard about him). Gotta be happy with that. The Biedrins/Wright combo will bite heads off. Keep in mind this clip is from his fourth college game ever:

The other possibility is that this will be part of a KG deal, but with the J-Rich contract gone I think it would almost certainly have to involve a third team. I guess the trade exception could get worked in there somehow, but, as I understand it, that only applies to contracts worth less than the trade exception.

As for trading J-Rich, I can’t help but feel there will be karmic retribution. He loved playing here, the fans love him, and he’s just a good guy. However, I’m slightly okay with that because this move at least shows a willingness to put the team in a situation where they’re not struggling for a playoff spot every year. Also, many Warriors fans (read the comments, too) vastly overestimate how good he actually is. There's a reason every analyst thinks this was a good deal for GSW. (Again, I'll be more in depth about this later in the weekend.)

I’ve said before that I’m really excited about watching Marco Belinelli play, and that holds even more true now that he’s coming to Oakland. (Disregard what I said in that post about possibly not wanting him here; I'm officially sold.) This is the kind of pick that makes being a fan of this Warriors team more fun than being a fan of any other team. Have you seen his YouTubes? The guy is awesome! The Italian Kobe! Er, the Super Italian Kobe! Seriously, though, he can shoot, and we like to take threes. Plus his YouTubes clearly show that he can drive on little Italian white men. I won’t even care if he busts. If you’re going to fail, do so in an awesome way. (Can't help feeling bad for Carter, though; he wanted him so bad.)

My only criterion for a good second rounder is that he has the potential to do one thing very well in the NBA, and Stephane Lasme has the chance to be a really good shot blocker off the bench. So no complaints here. Plus, I love that we’re continuing to add to the UN locker room with Gabon, now.

Los Angeles Lakers: An unedited Carter says, "At first I was a little bummed by the Javaris pick. But I’m feeling much better about it now. Thinking back to Chad Ford's tier article, Javaris was the only "tier 4" guy who slipped through the cracks to 19. So in that sense he was definitely the best available, perhaps most importantly from the perspective of other GMs. While having two young PGs competing for minutes might not be the worst thing, I think Crittenton makes the most sense here as a future trade chip. Outside of Conley he supposedly has more upside than any point guard in the draft, which makes him a valuable trade piece, especially because the teams the Lakers look to deal with (Indiana, Minnesota) have needs for young points with potential if they're looking to rebuild. If they do end up keeping him and losing Farmar, which would be stupid, I guess there's an added bonus that he learned the triangle in HS and is supposedly Phil's type of point."

In the FD comments, T. called Sun Yue a bad Steve Smith. I guess there are worse things to be. His favorite rapper is Usher, who is not a rapper. In the great words of Stop Mike Lupica, Marc Gasol is the NBA’s Jeremy Giambi.

The real story of this draft for the Lakers was the Mitch Kupchak interview. Dude looked like his grandma just died. Dr. Jerry really threw him under the bus (har!) on this one. "He looked like he was ready to cry and I don't blame him." Probably the only good thing SAS said all night.

Phoenix Suns: First off, they need to stop trading picks. I know ownership wants to stay under the cap, but they’re not going to get any better if they’re not bringing in fresh blood. KG would solve that, of course, but that’s not set in stone and they need to explore other options.

Not sure why Kerr drafted Alando Tucker. Wings in their offense need to shoot the three and Tucker doesn’t do that. Why not just take Derrick Byars there? With their six-man rotation it's highly doubtful Alando will ever see the floor.

DJ Strawberry was the best all-around athlete at the camp and was a stellar defender at Maryland. Good value for the penultimate pick of the draft.

Utah Jazz: Only Utah would take two black guys named Morris Almond and Herbert Hill; it’s like they had to offset roster integration by taking two guys who sound like they’re old white men.

The Almond pick is nice if only because it fills their pressing need of an outside shooter. They traded Hill to Philly for Kyrylo Fesenko, who has the shortest nbadraft.net profile in history.

Houston Rockets: A team that realizes something’s not working and adjusts accordingly. Drafting Aaron Brooks is the right move; that’s how you inject some excitement. And he inexplicably turned clutch this year after three years of being the Anti-Law, which shows signs of maturity.

Landry was good enough at Purdue, but I’m not sure his game translates easily. I know nothing about Brad Newley.

San Antonio Spurs: Drafting Splitter is good insurance for when Oberto retires, although that might be in a while. Fraschilla said that’s it’s bad he won’t be able to come over for at least a year, but it’s not like they need any more bodies inside.

Marcus Williams is the anti-Spur; I wouldn’t be surprised if he got cut.

Dallas Mavericks: Fazekas is not that exciting to me; I guess he’s been lighting it up from outside at workouts but this team doesn’t need that at all. Reyshawn Terry is really good to get as late as they did.

Denver Nuggets: No draft picks. Best of luck to JR Smith—he screwed up bad, but he’s got a tough year ahead of him and we wish him the best.

General Thoughts: Apparently Bilas thinks Seattle and Portland were "perhaps" the biggest winners. That's a little bold for our tastes. We're both currently downloading the All-American Rejects discography.


Carter Blanchard said...

"Garnett was thisclose to becoming Steve Nash’s sidekick a day or two before the draft. Hawks GM Billy Knight (not one of his owners) nixed a three-way operation that would’ve harvested Amare Stoudemire. Marvin Williams, Tyrone Lue, ZaZa Pachulia and Nos. 3 & 11 would’ve wound up in Minnesota."

This team kills me. How do you nix that??

Ben Q. Rock said...

Amare and Josh Smith in the same frontcourt in the East? They'd average 8 blocks a game between them. Jeez.