Thursday, June 29, 2006

NBA Draftapalooza 2006

Obviously, there’s a big “WARNING: Explicit NBA Content To Follow” on this baby. And, its done in homage to Bill Simmons’ annual diary, which never ceases to entertain. Anything added in italics and brackets was added the day after, while everything else was put in at the time noted – although I realized the timestamps disappear right after the Knicks pick.

Predraft - 7:00: We’re all settling in for the draft, eating the leftovers from Tina’s graduation party and we’ve decided to throw out our sleepers for this evening’s festivities. Also, we’ve decided that any time you laugh out loud the first time you see a player, such as we did with Andrea Bargnani, he shouldn’t be drafted number one. The best thing about tonight so far? Adam Morrison’s commercial with his mustache, discussing how his ‘stache is wise and they’ll solve mysteries in a muscle car during the offseason. I’m wearing Gonzaga shorts for a reason, people.


CW: Mike Gansey, Denham Brown

Dill: Maurice Ager, Quincy Douby, Dee Brown

Brett: James Augustine

Jo Bu: Taquan Dean, Kevin Pittsnogle

Vicini: Andy Dill

Franky: Paul Davis, Marco Killingsworth

7:30: We’re not going to timestamp every comment, but instead just fill in between the picks. It’s a beautiful summer evening at the Ranchero, David Stern is looking distinguished in high-definition and we’re all very excited.

Excitingly enough, the Pirates are still tied with the White Sox going into the third. And yes, Dill and I are strongly rooting for the defending champions.

Dill is adamantly against the Bobcats, their plain uniforms and their idea of taking college champions drafting Morrison third, so Franky is loudly preaching his love for Ammo going to Charlotte.

7:37 – First Overall Selection By The Raptors: Andrea Bargnani, Forward, Somewhere in Italy

Bargnani appears to have a midget trailing him, or his mother, and I can’t wait to see him get bounced around in the post this season by anyone who weighs more than two hundred pounds. It appears around the rim his best move is “Toss it towards the rim while falling down”.

Next up are the Bulls, whose selection pretty much makes or breaks the summers of Pocz and Avants. I still say they trade this for Pierce or KG, but they’ll probably take LaMarcus Aldridge, whose nearly as skinny as Bargnani.

They’re reviewing the Bulls/Knicks trade from last year, and the Knicks fans are booing quite loudly. And now, apparently the Bulls are now trading this pick to the Trailblazers. I’m really confused.

7:43 – Second Overall Selection By The Bulls, Maybe For The Trailblazers: LaMarcus Aldridge, Texas

So Aldridge is forced to wear a Bulls hat, despite the fact he’s all but guaranteed to be in Portland, and Jay Bilas keeps questioning his toughness and low post ability. Nice pick, Portland, especially with two hometown guys on the board in Roy and Morrison.

The moment of truth for Dill, Franky and Adam Morrison, as Charlotte is now on the clock. They’re talking to Colangelo now, and I guess you have to trust the guy with what he did in Phoenix, and Bargnani did average double-digits.

7:49: Third Overall Selection By the Bobcats, ADAM MORRI SON,GONZAGA

High-fives all around as Morrison goes to the Bobcats, and we immediately attempt to arrange a Bobcats-to-Pittsburgh for the Penguins trade. Morrison’s favorite DVD is, and I quote ESPN, “Ultimate Fighting”, one of his favorite books is The Art of War and we’ve already seen clips of him playing Halo 2. Needless to say, Morrison is maybe the ultimate competitor, or at least very violent.

Dick Vitale just made a great point – I know! – when talking about the 7-footers playing like 6’ 5” players who don’t do big men things. Every time Vitale makes a good point, a kitten dies.

7:55: Fourth Overall Selection, By the Trailblazers, for the Bulls: Tyrus Thomas, LSU

I think Tyrus is a great pick-up, as he’s a guy who not only has tremendous upside potential, but also has proven he can play in the big games. They just showed his highlights of destroying both Shelden Williams and LaMarcus Aldridge. That made me giggle.

Speaking of Shelden Williams, the Hawks are on the clock. If they don’t take Marcus Williams, Randy Foye or Brandon Roy, they’re absolutely retarded, as they’re a point guard away. Tell me a team of Marcus Williams, Joe Johnon, Josh Smith, Marvin Williams and Zaza Pachulia can’t compete? If Jake and I were running the Hawks, we’d have taken CP3 last year and not have been in this position.

Andy Katz just reported that Shelden will be going to the Hawks. It’s like the NFL draft all over again with the picks getting tipped.

8:01: Fifth Overall Selection, By the Hawks: Shelden “The Bulldogs” Williams, Duke Sweet Sixteen Stompers

This is so stupid, although Jay Bilas justifies it by attempting to maybe say that Williams will both anchor the defense and play point guard on offense. Luckily for the Suns, who I think have the Hawks pick next year, they’re nearly guaranteed to be in the lottery again.

“More people should cry, and when I get to the NBA, more people will cry.” Preach, Morrison. Preach.

If I hadn’t soured on the T-Wolves, I’d be really excited about how they could get Brandon Roy right here. But since McHale will probably take Cedric Simmons or Jordan Farmar, I’m glad I’ve distanced myself from them.

We’re questioning the odds of the Wolves taking David Blaine, who will appear out of a puff of smoke with a sword through his head. Nobody tell Kevin this.

Greg Anthony wisely skewers the Hawks pick as the time runs out on the Timberwolves pick. Did the Vikings administration slip into the Target Center?

8:07: Sixth Overall Pick, By the Wolves: Brandon Roy, Washington

Probably the best player in the draft, and the T-Wolves got him. “Best all-around”, “most complete”, “very gifted passer”, and this guy is going sixth. That’s why I feel certain I could be an NBA GM, because just making the smart move will probably keep you out of the lottery.

Sorry we had a break there, but we just spent the last few minutes looking of pictures of Roy’s teammate at Washington, Ryan Appleby, at Franky’s request. He’s not quite as entertaining not in motion, but still, the hair rocks.

The Celtics – make that the Trailblazers - are on the clock for the Trailblazers, and we’re not sure which direction they’re going. Randy Foye, Rudy Gay? They’re showing soundbytes of a nervous Gay talking at the table as he continues to fall down the draft. I’m buying the “He deferred to the more experienced players on his team” argument, despite the fact it’s probably just rationalization BS.

Boston’s been off the clock forever. Shane: “They’re in extra time”. Fucking World Cup.

8:16: Seventh Overall Pick, By the Celtics, for the Trailblazers: Randy Foye, Villanova

Interesting fact about Randy Foye: He’s the first lottery pick who I’m separated by – Kevin Bacon-style – by one person. Katie’s cousin dates him, and she is on speaking terms with him, so that means I’m only one person away from knowing Randy Foye. Just to recap:

Chris Wilson ó Katie Mancino ó Randy Foye, NBA Lottery Pick. Oh yes.

I’m not really sure if these Randy Foye/Dwyane Wade comparisons are quite correct. Foye’s a better shooter, at least at this stage, and Wade is much more explosive around the rim. Both are quality players, but they’re not as similar as ESPN would like you to think.

The Buccos are actually winning 2-0 right now….WHA?! The Rockets are trading Rudy Gay to the Grizzlies for Shane Battier?! What?! I’m so confused. This seems…not right.

8:22: Eighth Overall Selection, by the Rockets, for the Grizzles: Rudy Gay, UConn

He’s probably the most talented player in the draft, and Jerry West just got his potential superstar. Gasol and Gay should probably be a pretty sweet combination, although I’m not sure how Battier fits in with Houston. Going to see what he shot from three last season, as T-Mac and Yao will get him plenty of open looks:

For the record, 39.4%. This trade just seems awkward for the Rockets, and in more awkward, worse news: Jeromy Burnitz just hit a home run for the Buccos, and it’s now 3-0. Everyone, save for Dill and I, is celebrating, as if for some reason going into the All-Star break 1-19 is better than going in on a 20-game winning streak. Whatever.

Another kitten just died, as Vitale questioned the Rockets trading the rights to Rudy Gay away.

[All the “Rudy Gay for Shane Battier” stuff is voided, because Stromile Swift and his wasteful contract also got sent back to Memphis. Still, I think Gay would have been a nice fit on Houston, but Battier is Mr. Intangibles.]

8:29: Ninth Overall Selection, by the Warriors: Patrick O’ Bryant, Bradley

I just called this by the way, and we feel this is a solid pick. Saer Sene is looking like an exciting pick for the Sonics at the ten spot, leaving it open for Ronnie Brewer to go to the Magic. Seattle is going big here, most likely.

Ooo, another big deal, teases Dan Patrick. He better not be exaggerating this.

Channel-surfing to ESPN2HD, Pedro apparently got rocked in his Fenway homecoming, as the Red Sox lead 8-1 in the 5th. Avants just called, confused to A) Who the hell Viktor Khryapa and B) How the White Sox are getting shut out by the Pirates. Both legitimate questions.

The T-Wolves and Trailblazers just swapped Foye and Roy. Portland got a hometown guy, the Wolves didn’t lose a whole lot.

8:36: Tenth Overall Selection, by the Sonics: Saer Sene, Senegal

7’ 8” wingspan, the next Mt. Dikembe, and “doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing offensively”. In case you didn’t remember, the Sonics were in the second round of the playoffs and a shot away from forcing a game against the eventual champion Spurs. They now apparently have drafted a guy whose at least a couple of years away, judging by the fact he only played ten minutes for a team in Belgium.

We’re having a blast with the Sene highlights, as he’s quick off his feet and does the Shaq run off the dunk. He’s got some fans in this room, despite his 3.1 points per game last season.

This Magic pick is huge. Dill, Franky and Jo Bu want JJ, I want Brewer, Carney wouldn’t be bad here either. We also feel Marcus Williams will fit in beautifully with the Sixers at the 13th pick. Speaking of the Sixers, where the hell is Pete?


8:41: Eleventh Overall Selection, by the Magic: JJ Redick, Duke

As FreeDarko’s Bethlehem Shoals put it, you might as well take a kicker. You could get a three-point shooter in the second round. Stupid.

Dick Vitale is giving a ballwashing to JJ right now, and said “he can flat-out play”. Let’s go over pros and cons.

Pros: Can shoot the three

Cons: Bad back, likes the sauce, can’t create his own shot, won’t be able to defend the majority of NBA perimeter players.

Nice pick, Orlando. You just set yourself back a year or two with this little endeavor. Screw you, Magic. At least Thome is about to put the White Sox ahead in the Chicago seventh against former ChiSox pitcher Marte.

While we were watching the Pirates game…

8:48: Twelfth Overall Selection, by the Hornets: Hilton “The Gentle Giraffe” Armstrong, UConn

Few players improved their stock last year as much as Hilton did, rising light-years above Josh Boone. Philly, Utah and New Orleans have to be ecstatic that Marcus Williams and Ronnie Brewer – not to mention Rodney Carney - are falling to them. Still, I love me some Saer Sene.

4-3 White Sox. 13 straight losses cannot be ignored.

8:53: Thirteenth Overall Selection, by the Sixers: Thabo Sefolosha, Switzerland

He’s black, and he’s from Switzerland, so that alone is exciting. Looks like he has an NBA body, nearly averaged a double-double in his European league, and he looks like he might actually be a solid foreign pick.

Woah, apparently the Bulls actually traded for this pick. If you can’t win an NBA Championship, at least the Bulls and Trailblazers are competing for the most airtime on tonight’s draft. The Sixers potentially taking Marcus Williams?

In reference to Switzerland, Shane: “Oh yeah, they speak words, like English words.”

8:59: Fourteenth Overall Selection, by the Jazz, after accosting Dan Patrick who called him a “rascal”: Ronnie Brewer, Arkansas

Great pick by the Jazz, who now have a backcourt of Deron Williams and Ronnie Brewer. Not just their backcourt, but the total line-up?

Deron Williams

Ronnie Brewer


Carlos Boozer

Mehmet Okur

That’s a pretty sweet core, honestly, and now they’re discussing Brewer’s Marion-style jumper. As long as it’s consistent baby. New Orleans has their second pick in the last four.

9:04: Fifteenth Overall Selection, By the Hornets: Cedric Simmons, NC State

A project, but once you reach the mid-first round, you get a lot of those. His offense isn’t polished, but you won’t need it to be too shiny with Chris Paul spoon-feeding him a few lay-ups and dunks a game.

I’m really sick of Stuart Scott. I can’t explain how much I miss Charles, Kenny and EJ. At least Dan Patrick is making this marginally interesting, as well as the fact Marcus Williams is still floating around. Wish one of the bigger trades would have happened, as opposed to the Bulls and Trailblazers just trading picks with everyone for the hell of it.

9:10: Sixteenth Overall Selection, By the Bulls, For the Sixers: Rodney Carney, Memphis

In an e-mail I sent a couple of days back, in regards to Chad Ford having Marcus Williams 17th in his mock draft, I wrote “Whose more retarded: NBA GM’s or Chad Ford?”. The answer? NBA GM’s, although Carney isn’t the worst pick they could have made. Still, Carney does a lot of things that AI 2.0 does, and as Greg Anthony said, if they trade AI, they still don’t have a point guard.

Jeff Bower, New Orleans GM. That gives me hope that I can definitely do it.

Indiana and Washington are next up, and Marcus should probably go here, with a big guy going to Washington. However, if the “best point guard in the draft” slips to the Wizards and the 18th pick, he could probably fit in nicely with Gilbert in the backcourt.

When they talk about stuff like Marcus not being in shape, it sounds a lot like the buzz around LenDale White in the NFL draft. I’m pretty sure both players are going to do very well in their respective leagues.

9:17: Seventeenth Overall Selection, By the Pacers: Shawne Williams, Memphis. “Shawne Is Not Here”.

Shawne Williams, headcase, gifted athlete; basically, your typical Memphis player. I don’t really think he fits in with the Pacers, especially since he’s not the most polished or consistent of players. Peja’s gone, JO’s overrated and now they have a freshman headcase.

On the clock? The Washington Wizard, the team I will be a card-carrying season ticket holder of for the second semester of next year. I’m slowly going to commit myself to being an all-out fan of them, which won’t be hard since they have Gilbert and one of my favorite college players of all-time, Coran Butler. If they nab a big man, either via free agency or by trading Antawn Jamison again, they’re going to be faaantastic.

9:23: Eighteenth Overall Selection, By the Wizards: Oleksiy Pecherov, Ukraine

I’m pretty sure the last thing Washington needed was a project, and it’s time for Fran Fraschilla to tell us how great he is. Fran says he’s not a project, although his team last year was “Paris Basket Racing”. Good rebounder, range, and averaged 12 points and 6 boards last year. I don’t like the idea of him needing another year overseas, though.

Dee Brown to the Hawks? Potentially. With Sacramento, New York and Phoenix next in line, Marcus could continue tumbling and tumbling.

We’re delaying the draft for the bottom of the 9th, where the Pirates trail by one run with one out, facing Bobby Jenks. Jack Wilson is second in all-star short stop balloting, despite the fact he’s batting .267 and calcifying in the field with every passing game. If you don’t want to hear anymore about the Pirates, skip to the next break, because that’s what’s going to be happening until this thing is over. Notice how the Pirates make me write in longer run-on sentences. They’re bad for baseball, and they’re bad for my technical writing skills. Jack Wilson grounds out to third, and we’re one out away from a baker’s dozen of losses in a row. Very exciting. Jose Bautista’s up, and since he already homered in this game, I don’t think we have to worry about that happening again. 0-2 on Jose; throw that slider, Bobby. Jose wants it. Half-hour until The Hills, and Jose lines it to center for a base-hit. Freddy’s up, and as much as I want to see Freddy succeed, I need to see the Pirates fall. Basehit for Freddy, I’m happy, and now Jason can fail. This is taking up too much time. Who did the Kings draft? I can’t turn it now, or we’ll have a mutiny. 0-2 on J-Bay, and he’s basically gone here. BUST. STRIKEOUT. THIRTEEN STRAIGHT.

19th Pick: We don’t know

20th Pick: By the New York Knicks: Renaldo Balkman, South Carolina

How sad are the Knicks fans right now?

[I’m upset we missed the Knicks pick – just look how much fun Simmons had with it – but in a way, we were watching our own Knicks at play in the Pirates. If it’s okay to root against the Knicks, it’s okay to root against the Pirates. Thankfully, the national scope switches from the NBA to baseball with the All-Star Game coming to town, so they can see us for the crappy team we are.]

19th Pick: By The Kings: Quincy Douby, Rutgers

Okay, here’s a television show that would be truly successful: Isiah Thomas is put in charge of successful companies, shows and sports teams – think Microsoft, The Patriots, American Idol – and see how long it takes for Isiah to run those entities into the ground. The one that lasts the longest is considered the strongest. Safe to say, the Knicks would not win this game show.

21st Pick: By the Suns, For the Celtics: Rajon Rondo, Kentucky

The Nets have two straight picks, and Marcus has to go here. Anyway, Rondo is a great defender and a terror on defense, but he simply cannot shoot, and Big Blue played a lot better when he was on the bench last year. He’ll improve, but you won’t be able to have him on the floor in crunch-time, because he literally cannot shoot free throws. Behind the Nets, if for some reason they don’t take Marcus, the Grizzlies would have to love to get him and Gay in the same draft.

Definitely just jammed out to Mark Morrison’s “Return of the Mack”. We feel bad for Marcus.

The Suns made the trade with the Celtics to get Brian Grant’s contract off their books. I understand they need to clear cap space, but there’s nobody they want to draft?

22nd Pick: By the Netx: Marcus Williams, UConn

Marcus immediately becomes the fifth best player on the Nets, and with the fact J-Kidd’s knees are slowly giving out, this has been a great stroke of luck for Rod Thorne and Co. With their second pick, it’s a total crapshoot. Athlete, big guy, project? Three exciting picks coming up, with the Nets, Grizz and Cavs.

23rd Pick: By the Nets: Josh Boone, UConn

Dill called it, as “Aaron Boone’s brother” probably becomes the sixth best player on the Nets. Good work by the Nets, who should now attempt to trade for Ray Allen, Rip Hamilton, Emeka Okafor, Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. Why not?

Time to watch the best clip of The Office ever. I love Tivo. “I hate so much about the things you choose to be.”

Rudy Gay’s watch is the biggest I’ve ever seen. Holy crap.

24th Pick: By the Grizzlies: Kyle Lowry, Villanova

Marcus didn’t fall to them, but the Grizzlies still got a solid guard here. Gansey to Cleveland, Alexander Johnson or Farmar to the Lakers, maybe Mardy Collins to the Suns? This is pretty fun for the end of the first round.

Jo Bu isn’t letting me turn this off until Taquan Dean gets drafted – not that I would anyway – and I hope he goes the pick before the Nuggets. Just to recap, the Nuggets needed a three-point shooter last year, had two consecutive picks and didn’t draft Francisco Garcia. There’s a reason you could count the number of three’s they hit in the playoff series against the Clippers on one hand.

Since Bill Cowher is on the cover of the new EA Sports NFL Head Coach game, is there a “Kiss Your Quarterback” option? I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this yet, but if the next Niagara trip goes well, I’m buying a Xbox 360.

We really want David Blaine to get drafted, just to see his entrance to the stage. Don’t ask how we got on that track, because I don’t know.


25th Pick: By the Cavaliers: Shannon Brown, MSU

Not a bad pick. Can shoot, can dunk, can break – should be a nice addition to the Breaking ‘Brons. If they can somehow trade Z, this will be a successful offseason.

Our first Jim Gray sighting of the night! He doesn’t appear to be crying yet, although in high-def, Gray’s forehead appears to take up a greater percentage of the screen than his torso. Although he didn’t cry, he did seem really sad talking about all of the Lakers needs.

Franky wants Gansey to go somewhere close to here, but I’d love to see him on the Suns. The Lakers will take a big body here, and with the Suns and Mavs looming, The Gansey might get to play with a team that best utilizes his awesome skills.

Car-Mel-Gibson-O-Anthony. Things are deteriorating quickly.

26th Pick: By the Lakers: Jordan Farmar, UCLA

Good pick by the Lakers, although they obviously need a lot more than this.

Had to run the potato salad back out to the garage, but I come back to find that the Trailblazers have made another trade, as the Suns struggle to try and clear as much cap space as possible to resign Barbosa and Diaw.

27th Pick: By the Suns, for the Trailblazers: Sergio Rodriguez, Spain

Sergio gets complimented, but then has his “Must Improve” by “Point Guard IQ”, and they trash his defense. Portland is making trades just to make trades. Greg Anthony has made the best points this evening, by far, being the steady voice of reason.

If Jim Gray tried to make out with Mitch Kupchak, that would rank as one of the best television moments ever. Despite his close-quarters time with the Lakers GM, Gray still sounds like he’s on the edge of tears. Kupchak has apparently recently said that he’d still make the Shaquille O’ Neal trade, so it’s good to know the Andrew Bynum pick from the last draft isn’t the dumbest thing he’s said or done in the last year.

28th Pick: By the Maverick: Maurice Ager, MSU

Maurice holds back tears, and I think this is another good pick. 19.3 points per game, and just has to make some jump shots and run the floor with the rest of Dallas. Some decent picks as the first round comes to a close, and with the next three picks being New York, Portland and Portland, that should quickly change.

I hope the Knicks take either Torin Francis or Andy Dill right here. That would make my life.

They’re interviewing Knicks fans, who just called for the head of Isiah. Mark Jones could not have been more terrified in that situation. Make me happy, New York.

29th Pick: By the Knicks: Mardy Collins, Temple

Another point guard taken, which puts seven of them on their roster. Save for the final Portland pick, which I don’t even care about, we’re done here. We’re bowing out from the living room, although no one’s leaving until Mike Gansey and Taquan Dean are taken. Overall, it was a pretty entertaining first round, except for the fact the Blazers and Bulls just kept making trades for the heck of it. The Suns didn’t spend, but nobody really got too crazy. The more I think about the Magic pick of Redick, the more I hate it, because there’s no way he can create shots for Jameer, Hedo and Darko, all who can hit from the perimeter. They needed an athlete on the perimeter, and with DeShawn Stevenson opting out, they really don’t have one on the roster.

Still, the NBA draft is the best of the major sports, and with some good food and good friends, you couldn’t have much better of a summer evening. Now free agency and the countdown to football begin. Happy Summer, everyone.

[As it turns out, Dean and Gansey never went, so I happily await their signings to NBA teams. Mike will be a solid player in the NBA for a long time, and somehow he doesn’t go in a second round that features more foreigners than Ellis Island. Apparently, with no high schoolers to waste picks on, NBA GM’s went for longer shots. Also, the more I think about the JJ Redick pick, still, the more I hate it. The Hawks are dead to me, and the Magic aren’t far behind.

Best drafts? The Jazz, if only for taking Brewer and reuniting Dee Brown and Deron Williams. Bulls did well, Nets got a steal in Marcus, the Blazers - for all their trading - still ended up with guys who could end up as two of the best players in the draft.

Viva la Wizards and viva la summer.]

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