Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My NBA Draft Thoughts (Cavs Thoughts too)

Draft Day Dilemmas:
-If I was drafting 2 (aka Mr. Riley and your Miami Heat), just draft OJ Mayo. Put him with Dwayne Wade, Shawn Marion, Ricky Davis and Udonis Haslem.....can you imagine that lineup playing in the weak Eastern Conference? Now replace Mayo with Beasley or Bayless....nowhere near the same team at all. It's simple....stand Pat and pick Mayo.
-Memphis at 5: Kevin Love....easiest pick outside of the top 2 (Rose, Mayo).
-Scenario 1: Chi picks Rose, Mia picks Mayo....McHale, who do the Wolves take? Beasley
-Scenario 2: Chi picks Rose, Mia picks Beasley...McHale, who do the Wolves take? Mayo.
Overall, these three (Rose, Mayo, Beasley) should be the top 3 in this draft. No one else is justifiably good enough to overtake one of these three as a top 3 pick.
-The trade of Jermaine O'Neal means the Pacers have the 11 and 17 picks. This is great Mr. Bird as they will add two more quality ballplayers to a team that I thought was underrated last year. I felt they could sneak into the playoffs as the 8 seed but couldn't catch Atlanta. The Pacers have issues right now in terms of salary cap and having bad players under bad deals. Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy (although he showed signs of being a quality player last year) and Jamaal Tinsley are all under huge deals for the next three years. This won't help but they can build around Danny Granger (most underrated player in the NBA...nobody talks about him) and TJ Ford. They will likely add frontcourt depth to Murphy, Nesterovic, Diogu, Foster, Harrison and Shawne Williams (I expect him to be a quality player someday).
-The Hornets sold the 27th pick to Portland. The Nuggets sold to the 20th pick to Charlotte. Both the Bobcats and Blazers should be commended in their efforts to add young talent. Both teams have playoffs written all over them next year (okay, Bobcats as a 7 or 8 seed). Glad to see that NO and DEN have decided Free Agency is the way to go for them as they continue to add to playoff teams that fell short a year ago.
-In terms of names being thrown out for trades, I don't see any big names moving. Elton Brand is a possibilty but LAC can't afford to trade him unless it's for the 2nd pick. When healthy, he gives them something they'll spend years searching for once he's gone.

Cavs Dilemmas:
-Danny Ferry calls me (hypothetically of course) and asks what to do in the Draft (Apparently he's forgotten since we didn't have a pick last year and the last first round pick he had was Shannon Brown in a similar spot to this year's pick). I tell him simply: trade up for Augustin...don't break the bank or anything...but we need a true PG. He's small but durable, can shoot (better than Delonte West) and will give this team an impact ball player that will make Lebron and teammates better now. Isn't that what we're doing here? We're not drafting prospects for the future (3 or 4 years from now...hmmm Hickson, Koufos....sorry these are the names I've seen mentioned with the Cavs on mock draft).
-The Cavs have to add a 2nd round pick. They need two players from this draft...not one. Unless they plan on dumping some of that $30 mil of expiring contracts for bodies after July 1, I think they need another body. I'm not asking for an all-star, just a guy who can come off the bench and play (preferrably defend since Devin Brown will be gone).
-No matter what happens at the Draft for the Cavs, LeBron can't help but think his team is still not quite there as a preeminant favorite in the East. He needs help and the 19th pick just won't be enough.
-Interest in Baron Davis is possible but it would have to be through a trade (He isn't opting out). What is simply seen through the league the past few days is that Shawn Marion and Baron Davis are staying under contract for one more season for another monster salary. Neither could have possibly received that much through free agency and they're both smart to stay under contract.
-Jermaine O'Neal for Rasho Nesterovic, TJ Ford, 17th pick and another player TBNL. LOL. Sorry but all of these guys are useless right now. O'Neal, if healthy (BIG IF) with Bosh will be a good frontcourt but the rest of their team is average at best. Toronto is not winning the East with that team. Ford's addition will be meaningless for most but it could help the Cavs. DJ Augustin was likely to go to Indy at 11 but now Indy sees Ford as their starter. This is the development I could see as the biggest of the draft in terms of what it means to the Cavs. Possibly, Augustin could fall to 19 or at least closer to 19 so the potential trade up won't hurt the Cavs as much.

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