White Hat Sports Headlines

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The "Diaper Draft" Jogging Diary

Alright, here we go, this is the First Annual Jogging Draft Diary. I have been waiting for this for about three weeks, and I am ecstatic the time is now here. Before the start of the draft, here is a quick recap of what has happened so far.

The Charlotte Bobcats trade a future first round protected pick to the Denver Nuggets for the 20th pick in this year’s draft. Clearly the Nuggets didn’t see anyone in this years draft at the 20 slot that could help them win now, which is what they need. My guess is Charlotte’s top within the next few years may hold more value in a trade than the Nugget’s pick they had this season.

The Portland Trail Blazers trade cash to the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for the 27th pick. You would have to assume the Hornets may use that cash for a veteran, and the Blazers are more than happy to give it up because, well, there owner is Paul Allen.

The Toronto Raptors trade T.J. Ford, Rasho Nesterovic, and the 17th pick to the Indiana Pacers for Jermaine O’Neal. I like that the Raptors are trying to improve, but I’m not sure O’Neal has much left in the tank. If he can return to form it’s a great deal for them, if not then they gave up T.J. Ford and the 17th pick for a player with one knee.

The New Jersey Net’s trade Richard Jefferson for Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons. What the F$*#? What are the Nets thinking? I’m sorry, but Richard Jefferson has to have more value than Yi and Bobby Simmons. He just has too. The only way this trade makes sense is if Chad Ford is right and the Nets are already setting their roster up to get LeBron. Otherwise the Nets are idiots, because I don’t see Yi being as good as Richard Jefferson.

It’s 7:02 PM, do you know where you’re kid’s are? I don’t have any kids, but if I did I wouldn’t care where they were because this draft starts in under 30 minutes. Right now it’s the pre-draft show featuring Jeff Van Gundy, Jay Bilas, Mark Jackson and Stuart Scott. Jay Bilas just referred to this draft as the “diaper draft”. If that’s his catch-phrase for this year I can’t wait to see how he uses it. Last years upside potential was too easy, good to see him stepping it up a notch with “diaper draft.”

7:09 PM: Marc Stein just reported that the Bulls will take Derrick Rose because they think he fits their team better. How? They have so many guards already, they have no low-post scoring and he would provide some. None. If they wanted to say they thought Rose was a better player, they could’ve said they think he’s going to be a superstar, they could’ve said he’s from Chicago or they could have said it’s his love of gummy bears and long walks on the beach. I would have accepted any of those reasons. I can’t accept them thinking he fits their team better right now, because he absolutely does not.

7:13 PM: Jay Bilas has Brook Lopez as his third best player. I thought that was absurd till I realized that he is a Duke product, and now it all makes sense.

7:33 PM: Alright, Bulls are on the clock. I hate this new wave of teams that announce their picks early. It ruins the drama of the first pick. Not only that, but the Bulls still felt the need to wait till the very last second. At least if you’re going to announce your pick early do us a favor and not wait out the entire five allotted minutes. By the way Jay Marriotti loves Derrick Rose now because he saw “quiet confidence” in him when Rose announced that he wanted to be the MVP of the league in his first year. How is that “quiet confidence”?

7:38 PM: His nickname is Pooh? We already had a Pooh Richardson in the NBA, we need to nickname the top draft pick something better. The Bulls better make some other moves now, otherwise they made the wrong choice. While I agree that Rose is the best player, and wrote so while Beasley was still considered the best player, that doesn’t mean he’s the best fit. Right now for the Bulls he is not.

7:43 PM: ESPN has been hyping up the second pick because everyone believed Rose would go number one, but did anyone really doubt he wouldn’t go second? They just needed some type of drama, and they got it for awhile. Beasley goes 2. Should be interesting to see how the Heat do, they should be at least a playoff team.

7:49 PM: O.J. Mayo goes third. They have Rashad McCants, Randy Foye, Corey Brewer and Sebastian Telfair, now they have Mayo. I definitely think he’s the third best player talent wise, I just hope he lives up to the potential. Otherwise they have a lot of decent guards but no great ones.

7:55 PM: Russell Westbrook goes #4 to the Sonics. He didn’t even start on his high school team according to Stu Scott, now he’s fourth pick in the draft. That gives me confidence. He also averaged 12 points and 4 assists a game last year. Outstanding. I’m sorry, but this is a terrible pick by the Sonics. They just took a guy that was a back up in high school and college with the fourth pick. They should have taken Eric Gordon here. By the way, I’m currently one for four, although my projections are what I thought they should do along with what I think they will do, while most projections are what people think the teams will do only.

8:02 PM: Shades of Bryant Reeves…just kidding. Grizzlies take Kevin Love 5th. This is the first pick I like for a team completely. I had them taking Brook Lopez, and my analysis was “Lopez will be a huge bust, and the Grizzlies are a terrible organization. Perfect match.” They finally made the right choice I think. I saw Kevin Love on Pardon the Interruption earlier this week and he said he’s lost 15 pounds, and he looks like he has. He also is a really intelligent kid, he impressed me during the PTI interview then and I’m impressed how well he dealt with Screamin A. Smith now. During the PTI interview he showed he knew a lot about the past of the NBA, and he really seems like he wants it.

8:06 PM: Bilas just rambled for about four minutes, then at the end said “and Brook Lopez is available.” When this is said and done I think they should get an apartment together. Meanwhile, I get the Knicks pick right when they take Dainilo Gallinari. I told you the rumors about D’Antoni not liking him were false. He is just too perfect for their system. Meanwhile the ignorant Knicks fans boo because he isn’t a 5’10” point guard from the Bronx that Scoop Jackson wrote about. By the way, I used to love Scoop’s writing, but ever since he has gone to ESPN he has been pretty bad. So disappointing. The online poll on the right side of the screen ranks the pick an F. I wish people would inform themselves before taking polls and booing, because at least then they wouldn’t be ignorant if they still chose to boo.

8:12 PM: The Clippers take Eric Gordon with the 7th overall pick. Great pick by them, he may be one of my sleeper picks when it comes time to fill out the notebook. He is that good. Meanwhile, Brook Lopez is still on the board. If I would have gone only on what I think teams should do I would have had him dropping into the teens, but unfortunately I factored in team stupidity and had the Grizzlies taking him.

8:18 PM: Stuart Scott just looked at the wrong camera. Or at least I think he did, tough to tell with those eyes. I’m guessing someone didn’t cue him correctly, because in general when anchors look at the wrong camera it’s not their fault. Anyway, the Bucks take Joe Alexander here. Definitely a good pick, he should be a good player in the league, and now that they traded away some of their depth at the small forwards position they have more room for him. Screamin A. just repeated himself 3 times in a row, and it sounded worse the last time as it did the first. I didn’t know he could sound worse.

8:24 PM: Jay Bilas announces that Brook Lopez is a steal at number nine. Seriously, Lopez must be paying Bilas money for the publicity. The Bobcats then take D.J. Augustin, a guy I absolutely love. Bilas’s take on the pick: “well that just means the Nets get a steal in Lopez at number 10. I do like Augustin, I think he could be better than T.J. Ford.” Is it possible for Bilas to just draft Lopez to live with him? I don’t understand the man love here. Also, what kind of analysis is “he could be better than T.J. Ford”? Hey, you know what, I bet he’ll be better than Earl Boykins, and I bet Kevin Love will be better than Chris “Birdman” Anderson.

8:29 PM: With the 10th pick in the NBA draft the New Jersey Nets select a large pile of money and LeBron’s posse. Just kidding, they actually took Brook Lopez. Jay Bilas’s take “I really like Brook Lopez. I really, really like Brook Lopez. I think the Nets should wear a mask because they got a steal here.” I think you should stick to the term “diaper draft” Jay. Brook says that he tries to emulate his brothers game. His brother that barely averaged 7 points and 5 boards a game as a 7 footer in college. Good to see he even strives to underachieve already.

8:35 PM: The Pacers select Jerryd Bayless. Stuart Scott says that there were people who said the Pac 10 wasn’t even a basketball conference. Who said that Stu? I would love to know, because I think you just made that up. Good choice by Indiana though, I had him going earlier because of other projections, but I said I didn’t like him here. This is a much better spot for him, a little higher than I would have taken him but certainly better than the 4th pick some people had him going on. I’m working on 2,000 words here, I need to slow down I think.

8:41 PM: Sacramento Kings take Jason Thompson with the 12th pick. He soared up my draft board after watching him some and looking at his numbers, but I still only had him at 16 because I didn’t think teams knew him enough. He put up huge numbers. Mark Jackson says that Spencer Hawes is just like Jason Thompson. No, not even close. I wish these guys would actually take the time to think before they speak. Hawes is extremely unathletic, Thompson is an athlete.

8:49 PM: Brandon Rush goes 13 to the Blazers. Love the pick, although they already have two of him in Brandon Roy and Travis Outlaw. He is a really talented guy though, and should definitely fit in well on a team that is on the come up. Darrell Arthur still hasn’t been picked, and I would be amazed if the Warriors don’t take him here.

8:51 PM: And they take Anthony Randolph. I guess they are building for the future, because he is a young immature version of Darrell Arthur. I’m watching his highlights and I didn’t realize he was so skinny. He looks like any type of collision would break 10 bones.

8:57 PM: Phoenix Suns take Robin Lopez 15th. Terrible, terrible pick. People talk about how he is a defensive player, and he is. But it’s not because he’s a really good defensive player. It’s because he is that terrible on offense. You can’t be a really good defensive player at 7 feet tall and average 5 boards in college.

9:06 PM: 76ers take Mareese Speights. I would’ve thought they would take someone more NBA ready like Arthur, but maybe these teams know something I don’t. It just seems like Arthur could help a playoff team take the next step now, but I would agree with anyone saying Speights has more potential. He could be similar to Elton Brand if he works hard enough at it.

9:08 PM: Roy Hibbert goes to the Raptors, although the Pacers will get the pick. Good value pick at this point. Hibbert should be a better player right away then the three guys drafted ahead of him, and will probably be an average starting center in the league.

9:14 PM: JaVale McGee goes 18th to the Wizards. I don’t understand why Arthur isn’t going over all these guys. Just doesn’t really make sense. Indiana has made another deal, sending Ike Diogu and Jerryd Bayless to the Blazers for Jarret Jack and Brandon Rush. Bayless makes more sense with the Blazers, he is more of a point guard than Rush so he fits the team better. Plus, Ike Diogu could be a steal if he gets more playing time and matures, while Jarret Jack hasn’t really done all that much.

9:20 PM: Cav’s take J.J. Hickson. I guess big guys who will more than likely be stiffs are the flavor of the moment right now. That is six picks in a row if you include Hibbert that are based almost solely on their potential rather than what they’ve done. I include Hibbert in that because, well, he underperformed in college.

9:27 PM: Bobcats take Alexis Ajinca from France. Eh, another big guy that will probably be a stiff. It’s like Groundhog Day: NBA Draft Edition.

9:36 PM: Ryan Anderson of Cal goes 21. At least he had good numbers at Cal. Still going with unproven big guys though.

9:42 PM: Magic take Courtney Lee. He fits their needs perfectly, definitely the smartest pick in awhile.

9:43 PM: The Jazz take Kosta Koufos. He is like a taller Mehmet Okur with less range. Should do well in the pick and roll system though. I now feel bad for Darrell Arthur, although I would be amazed if he isn’t taken by the Sonics here. Then again, they took Russell Westrbook with the fourth pick. That so far has been the worst pick in the draft hands down. He just is not fourth pick material.

9:50 PM: Serge Ibaka is taken by the Sonics. He will now go away for four years or so, and we’ll probably never hear from him again. By the way, how great is Fran Fraschilla’s job? He travels to scout these players around the world. Well, at least I hope he does the way they talk about his knowledge. If so, it’s a pretty kick ass job. Rockets are up next, and they need a player to back up T-Mac and Battier, and replace both when A. They need offense over defense with Battier, and B. When T-Mac gets injured, which he will.

9:55 PM: Van Gundy and Jackson steal my thoughts right there. The Rockets go on to take Nicolas Batum. Not a bad pick, probably the most ready foreign player of the group. A better pick probably would have been Bill Walker from Kansas State.

10:02 PM: George Hill goes to the Spurs. Surprising they didn’t take some front court depth here, they could really use it. Probably the remaining guys had too much of an ego. God I hate the Spurs. They make me want to punch things constantly.

10:08 PM: Finally Darrell Arthur is taken, by the Hornets which will be transferred to the Blazers. Man, the Blazers continue to impress me with their drafts. Well, despite there pick of Greg Oden last year. Still say they should have taken Durant. But they have definitely turned their team around in a hurry.

10:15 PM: Donte Green goes to the Grizzlies. Really good shooter despite his numbers last year. Reminds me of James Jones, but with more potential.

10:23 PM: Pistons select D.J. White 29th. Good choice late in the draft. Should provide decent depth in the frontcourt.

10:32 PM: Boston Celtics take J.R. Giddens with the final pick of the first round. He will provide versatile guard depth, although I’m not sure he’s any better than Tony Allen or Gabe Pruitt.

Alright, I planned on sticking around for the second round, but I’ve got a story assignment fairly early tomorrow, so I’m going to hit the sack. I’ll be sure to get out the draft notebook and make the notebook picks soon, and will also get out some draft grades. Till then, stay classy White Hat Sports readers.

~Aaron Jackson

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