Clark’s Annual NBA Draft Blog (Now Even Live-r)
6:24 PM EDT on June 24, 2010
(edit. This is a continuation of a post started earlier today that was getting too long.)
Five minutes until the draft coverage starts. So, I'm watching the pre-draft coverage that is covering the draft using the same cast of people who will provide that coverage.
John Wall is getting a lot of attention because he's been the consensus first overall pick all season. He's deserving, but for a first overall pick, he is a little underwhelming. Supposedly, he's a more athletic Derrick Rose with better floor vision, but his output doesn't back up that hyperbole. Rose had better statistics and seemed to dominate the college ranks much better than Wall who had a much better supporting cast. Yet, somehow Rose facilitated them more. Oh yeah, and Wall had trouble getting along with his coach...a guy well known for letting his players do whatever the hell they want.
David Stern kicks this thing off. Not much anticipation here as Washington has five minutes to write down John Wall's name on a notecard.
Surprise, surprise, John Wall is the pick. Now the 76ers are going to draft Evan Turner. Turner was the Big 10 (which now has 12 teams) player of the year and was a threat for a triple double every night. On the other hand, he plays the same position as Philly's best player whose contract has made him tough to trade. (Pretty much the exact same situation that Wall now finds himself in on the Wizards.)
If Philly wasn't stupid, they would trade down one or two spots with a team that can actually use Turner properly, and in return get either DeMarcus Cousins or Derrick Favors, players who fit well with the 76ers, but less so with Minnesota or New Jersey. Philadelphia would also get some other sweetener to make it worth their while. But, the draft has never been about doing things logically.
Now that Turner is a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, the first real question comes up. New Jersey, who came close to setting a record for futility, need help everywhere. They could take the best power forward, Derrick Favors, or Wesley Johnson, the best small forward. However, Minnesota has no need for a power forward, but really wants Johnson. So, does NJ screw Minnesota up, or do things work out neatly?
Clark JrJr is helping me type while spitting up on the keyboard while the ClarkPupp keeps asking if he can "help me on the computer" over and over and over and over. Meanwhile, Mrs. Matthews talks on the phone to her mother. So, I might not be updating as much as usual.
Favors is the pick. How neat. Wes Johnson will be pick #4.
With Sacramento on the clock, there is some uncertainty. Rumor has Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousins as the pick, but Ford noted in a chat earlier today that the Kings are typically tight lipped about who they will take. It is possible they were just smokescreening their actual intention of taking Greg Monroe.
Wesley Johnson is wearing plaid pants with his suit. They look like pajama bottoms.
Jay Bilas ranked OSU shooting guard James Anderson as the tenth best prospect in the draft. I never agree with Bilas, which means I must be wrong in my assessment of Anderson.
Commercial time begins with ClarkPupp walking up with a pile of books in his hand. "I brought you a lot of books to read."
Sacramento does take Cousins who is probably the most talented player in the draft. The reason he didn't go first overall, though, is that he is a headcase. He and Tyreke Evans should get along well.
The Golden State pick is up...and it's the first Oklahoman to have his name called. Ekpe (e-pee) Udoh was one of Obi Muonelo's sidekicks at Edmond Santa Fe. Who's the sidekick now?
Clark JrJr's analysis of the Ekpe Udoh selection:
Eeee-ya. Ooooooo-wah. Ooo-ooo-ooo-wy-ooo-wo.
He apparently disagrees with my belief that Udoh is hosed. Golden State is a horribly managed team loaded with awful chemistry. And Ekpe doesn't even fill a void on the team as his game is almost identical to Andris Biedrins, Brandan Wright, and Anthony Randolph.
Detroit takes Greg Monroe with the seventh pick. Great choice by the Pistons. Monroe's game is my favorite of any player in this draft. He passes well, rebounds well, has a good low post game, and plays excellent defense. The only reason he wasn't in the mix for the top pick is that scouts have labeled his motor as "questionable." I'm not sure how they got that while watching him shred the Big East.
Washington coach Flip Saunders is being interviewed by ESPN and basically confirmed the acquisition of Kirk Hinrich by refusing to answer unasked questions about the deal.
To help Blake Griffin, the Clippers select Georgia Tech PF/SF Al-Farouq Aminu. According to Stuart Scott, Aminu is the decendent of a line of Nigerian kings. I'm not sure how that effects the fit on the Clips, but that's my favorite trivia so far tonight.
Aminu kind of sounds like this guy, with glasses to match.
Utah's upcoming selection originally belonged to the Knicks and was given up in the deal that brought Stephon Marbury to New York. Wow, that's a acquisition that won't stop kicking Knick fans in the nuts.
The Jazz use the pick on a white guy. Biggest shocker of the night. Gordon Hayward, supposedly Thunder GM Sam Presti's target in the rumored deal for Toronto's pick at #13. If there is truth to that, OKC may be out of the market for moving up.
With Indiana on the clock, this is the front end of Daniel Orton's possible draft range. They attempted to get him to work out a second time last week. He didn't do it, so my guess is they go a different direction.
The Pacers take Paul George from Fresno State. That's a pretty nice place to land for a guy used to losing. It won't take him much time to get acclimated.
With the eleventh pick of the 2010 NBA Draft, the New Orleans Hornets select Greg Ostertag Cole Aldrich, center, University of Kansas.
I'll say this about Aldrich, he has excellent communication skills. He will make a good ESPN analyst one day.
Well, I guess I should analyze this pick some more because it's being reported that Aldrich is headed this direction. Ric Bucher says that he and Mo Peterson are being traded to OKC for the #18 and #21 choices.
Cole is a defensive minded center, and is basically Nick Collison if Collison were two inches taller. He is not very athletic, but he is a great rebounder--a skill that translates from college to the pros very well--and set a single season record for blocked shots by a Jayhawk.
When it was rumored last night that Presti was angling to draft the Kansas (nearly) seven footer, I was not excited at all. Today, Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com made the case for him on Twitter. He insisted that if Aldrich were black, he would be a consensus top-5 pick since his game is very similar to Greg Oden's. Let's just hope his knees are not similar.
Former-Memphis commitment, Xavier Henry, is finally headed to Tennessee.
Hold up...Joe Adkins gets a shout out on ESPN...Marshall Beeee-ars!
Sorry, back to Henry, Joe's nephew. Xavier doesn't make a lot of sense for Memphis because he seems like a good kid with lots of talent who doesn't demand to have the ball at all times.
I forgot to mention the other guy the Thunder just acquired. Mo Peterson is a washed up shooting guard who can, theoretically, shoot the ball. It will be nice if Mo Pete can offer even a modicum of outside shooting in certain situation, that will be a bonus. The Hornets made this deal to shed his $6.4MM of salary which expires after this season. That will make Peterson a trade asset later in the season, or else he will likely be bought out.
Toronto takes Ed Davis, a guy who would have been taken in the top-5 if he'd left North Carolina after their championship season. He should have plenty of time to develop while the Raptors move on without Chris Bosh.
Another Kentucky player is the fourteenth selection. Patrick Patterson is the newest Houston Rocket and the first college senior selected. That means, we get to hear about the dying breed of four year college players, a brand new trend.
Clark JrJr is now asleep in Mrs. Matthews' arms while the ClarkPupp is using fake power tools on an empty Coke can. Unfortunately, now that I can type unimpeded, I don't have much to say. Irony.
If I'm Kyle Weaver right now, I'm really nervous. The Thunder have fifteen roster spots accounted for, a pick left, and the team just added two guys who play my same position. Knowing my contract isn't guaranteed for next season and that I've spent more time on the 66ers than on the floor for the Thunder, means I should be ducking calls from Sam Presti.
I missed that Larry Sanders was taken by Milwaukee and Luke Babbitt by Minnesota. The Wolves actually did well to get Babbitt, a fantastic shooter. But, as David Kahn is wont to do, he plays the exact same position as the guy that the team selected earlier in the day.
Frenchman Kevin Seraphin is the pick Chicago makes for Washington. That was the stash pick I was hoping Presti could make at #26.
The "Thunder" are on the clock.
Mrs. Matthews is lobbying the television for the Hornets to take James Anderson here.
They take Kentucky's second string point guard Eric Bledsoe. Does this mean the Hornets are serious about trading Chris Paul?
This makes more sense. I'm hearing Bledsoe was taken by Oklahoma City for New Orleans for the Clippers. That's more logical than the Hornets drafting a guy to back up Darren Collison who backs up Chris Paul.
After ESPN showed Kevin Durant looking down at his cellphone she diagnosed him as being on Twitter. She should know considering how often she watches me doing the same.
It's bathtime for the Clark boys, so I'm going to pause the TiVo and come back in about half an hour. If you have been refreshing this religiously, I will complete the first round (or at least until the Thunder are finished and Daniel Orton has landed somewhere) then.
At bed time, ClarkPupp asked me to read him "Casey at the Bat." He's a good kid.
Boston takes Avery Bradley who has been compared to Russell Westbrook a lot over the past few weeks. Like Westbrook, he's a super athletic shooting guard who is supposed to be groomed into a point guard. Also like Westbrook, Bradley is supposed to be a good defender and poor shooter. Tony Allen probably needs to be concerned about the Celtics going this direction.
My second least favorite team is on the clock.
And they take my sentimental favorite. James Anderson finally gets selected, and it's to the only team I loathe nearly as much as the Lakers. Just like the Spurs managed to get a steal by selecting DeJuan Blair last season, I have a feeling Anderson will have a similar impact for San Antonio. I'm really torn.
Wait...I thought the Thunder traded the 18th pick to New Orelans, but apparently that wasn't the case. Now Bucher is saying that the 18th pick of Eric Bledsoe actually was for OKC, but they traded it to the Clippers for a future first rounder. Now that could turn out nicely considering how many times the Clippers wind up with the first pick overall.
Iowa State's Craig Brackins is selected by the Thunder for New Orleans.
Portland's GM Kevin Pritchard who did an amazing job of turning the Jail Blazers into an amazingly young and talented team has officially been fired if you believe Stuart Scott. As an F-you to the team he departs, he drafts Elliot Williams from Memphis. Regardless, I'm glad to have Pritchard out of the same division as the Thunder.
I wonder if the T-Wolves can fire David Kahn and get Pritchard. I doubt it, but that might be the only way of the Wolves ever getting Ricky Rubio in their uniform.
Speaking of Minnesota, here comes another pick by David Kahn...and it's for a guy who probably has middle of the second round talent. Clemson's Trevor Booker, an 6'7" power forward with almost no offensive game is the newest T-Wolve.
Oh, and apparently, I was wrong about Patterson being a senior. Booker is the first senior selected.
Daniel Orton is still waiting to hear his name called as Atlanta considers who they'll take at #24. When he declared for the draft, he was projected as a likely lottery pick. Think he's wishing he'd hired an agent now?
Former Sooner signee Damion James is selected by the Hawks. I like this pick, and think James will be an excellent NBA player. He's a small forward who plays like a power forward, and he's tough. He has rotation player on multiple championship teams written all over him.
I take back that crack I made about Kahn screwing up the 23rd pick. He didn't make it. That pick was traded to Washington, who then effed it up. Then again, I also take back the praise I gave Kahn for taking Luke Babbitt, because he traded that pick to Portland.
South Florida's Dominique Jones is Memphis' pick at #26. I have nothing to say about that.
For a draft that was so loaded with big men, there have been a lot of swing men taken instead. Some of the best centers are still on the board as Florida State's Soloman Alabi, Kentucky's Daniel Orton, and Marshall's Hassan Whiteside are still waiting for their name to be called late in the first round. Maybe OKC takes one of them now that they are on the clock...
Or not. It turns out the #26 pick belongs to New Orleans, which blows my theory that OKC had promised German big man Tibor Pleiss they would take him. It looks like the Thunder may be done (except for the pick they still have in the second round).
U of Washington small forward Quincy Pondexter is who New Orleans gets. I'm not really sure what the Hornets are doing except making Chris Paul desire a trade even more.
If New Jersey really thinks they can sign LeBron James, maybe they shouldn't have taken the guy who embarrassed him last Summer. Jordan Crawford, mostly famous for dunking on James in a pick up game before James' p.r. staff confiscated every camera that caught the image, is the Nets' pick at #27.
Nevermind. Crawford is actually going to Atlanta who selected Damion James for New Jersey. That means the Hawk will have to 6'7" shooting guards with J. Crawford on the back of their jersey next season. (ESPN's John Hollinger pointed out on Twitter that Atlanta also has both Joe Smith and Josh Smith.)
The Grizzlies select Greivis Vazquez, a former high school teammate of Kevin Durant. I'm not sure Vazquez has first round talent, but he definitely does not fit the mold of a Grizzly player (under GM Chris Wallace). That's a compliment.
According the ESPN's Marc Stein, Dominique Jones will not play for Memphis since that pick was purchased by Dallas. I still don't care much about Jones.
Orlando ends the Daniel Orton slide by taking him with the second to last pick of the first round. I was starting to be concerned that Orton wouldn't be getting a guaranteed contract.
Assuming this pick is actually for Orlando (which seems to be a wild assumption with every pick recently) Orton will never see the floor. Dwight Howard is the team's star and Marcin Gortat signed a big contract to be his back up. Orton is now their third stringer at the position and Gortat has publicly complained about his lack of playing time.
ESPN announced that Washington traded the #30 pick, but they didn't want to waste the graphic showing how they originally acquired the pick, so they are still pretending it belongs to the Wizards.
And the final pick of the first round is a real Why The Face selection: Lazar Hayward from Marquette. I don't even remember seeing his name on any two round mocks.
Now that the first round is over, I'm pretty much done with commentary. If there are any more picks with Oklahoma ties, I'll probably make a brief entry, but otherwise I'll just say thanks for reading this far.
That didn't take long. Oklahoma City buys the first pick of the second round and uses it on Tibor Pleiss fo Germany. We won't see him for at least a year, but he's a legit seven footer who can develop in Europe a la Serge Ibaka.
Not Oklahoma related, but I just realized that Minnesota, who drafted nothing but point guards last season, took three small forwards in the first round of this draft.
Marc Spears of Yahoo! is reporting that OKC is expected to sign Pleiss now and not have him go to Europe to develop. That seems difficult to believe considering how short the team is on roster space.
Jerome Jordan from the University of Tulsa is taken with the 44th pick by Milwaukee. That's a good situation for him as he'll have an excellent chance to make the roster. The Bucks just traded the only center they had to back up oft-injured Andrew Bogut. During the playoffs, Milwaukee was using a small forward in the post.
Barring another purchase of a second rounder, the selection of Magnum Rolle at 51 should end Sam Presti's night. I know absolutely nothing about Magnum, but I love his name. He'll probably play with the team in Orlando and then back up Byron Mullens on the 66ers.
Presti did buy another second rounder, but he'd already done it before I typed that last entry. The Thunder acquired the #48 pick so they could draft Latavious Williams, a guy who played for the Tulsa 66ers last season. Williams was the first player to go from high school to the NBDL when he failed to academically qualify to get into the University of Memphis. That means Latavious is probably illiterate.
Had Willie Warren left OU after his freshman year, he would have been a top-10 pick. A year later, he's lucky to get his name called late in the second round. Talk about a colossal mistake. On the bright side, he will be re-united with Blake Griffin who made him look good.
I just realized I forgot to mention that Tiny Gallon was taken with the 47th pick by Milwaukee. Of course, if TMZ's sources are to be believed, he's been a professional basketball player before he even put on a Sooner jersey.
Thanks for reading!
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Clark Matthews is a world-class checkers champion, co-founder, and basketball editor-emeritus of The Lost Ogle
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