July 1, 2007

2007 NBA Draft in Review

By Lou V

There is absolutely no way to judge the 2007 NBA Draft until at least three years from now, so don't believe anything that you heard on draft night, or read about on ESPN or your local newspaper the next few days, or anything you read in this article below. 

That said, here are some initial impressions of the draft picks and draft-night trades: 

Knicks Trade for Zach Randolph

Anyone watching the Knicks last year could see that when Curry came out of a game, Channing Frye did not step up, and the offense was forced to become guard oriented. After a year and a half of not stepping up, it was becoming apparent that Frye doesn't have the mindset, or body, or game, to become a go-to guy inside. And he doesn't rebound. Curry needs a rebounder by his side (besides Lee). There should be plenty of time on the court for Curry and Randolph and Lee.

Folks who are ripping this trade, like Peter Vecsey or John Hollinger of ESPN, probably did not actually watch many Knick games last year; they're just looking at this trade on paper and doing extremely one-dimensional math when they say Randolph and Curry will get in each other's way because they're both post-up players. 

I put much more faith in what Isiah Thomas has to say, and he has pointed out that Randolph can step out and pop the jumper (and pass out of double teams). The Knicks had identified power forward as an area that needed to be addressed, and they addressed it. Looks like a fun season coming up in NY.

I also didn't understand what Steven A Smith was talking about on draft night, when he exclaimed that Randolph in NY was a recipe for disaster, because he would end up in Times Square getting into trouble. Say again? First of all, Times Square is now Disneyland. Second, Randolph is 6'9" tall, makes 16 mil a year, and is soon to have his picture in the paper on a daily basis. A rich and famous guy who sticks out in a crowd is going to go down to Times Square to .. what.. mug tourists? Get involved in three-card monte games?

Randolph gets in trouble in his own clubhouse (punching teamates). Being in NY shouldn't make it any more or less likely that he'll get into trouble. 

One concern the Knicks will need to address is defense, where Randolph and Curry and Lee all have the reputation of not playing any. But I don't know what other power forward who has proven to be a tenacious go-to scorer and rebounder the Knicks were supposed to go out and get. And Randolph is only 26 years old.

The Boston Celtics

When the Knicks traded the #7 pick PLUS Marcus Camby for 29-year-old- with-two-knee-operations Antonio McDyess in 2002 -- I thought that was the worst it could get for a fan. 

The Celtics one-upped Stu Laden last night.


This trade would've made sense if Boston was on the verge of being a championship contender, and Allen would've put them over the top. But they're not. They're rebuilding. To trade the # 5 pick for Ray Allen, and then have to throw in Wally Szczerbiak, Donte West, and a future second-round pick seems to be insult to serious injury. (Note: Boston also got the 35th pick, LSU's Glen Davis, from Seattle.) Maybe Boston thinks they can sign LeBron James in two years as a free agent, if Allen's contract runs out then. Might be a master plan. Instead of getting a dead-beat like Steve Francis for two years, they get Ray Allen for two years, let his contract run out, get under the cap by 20 million (having dumped Szczerbiak's contract), and go after LeBron James. 

It's a reach. More likely, Danny Ainge wants to 'win now'.

[Editor's Note: Ray Allen signed a 5-year contract in 2005 with Seattle, which means his contract runs out in 3 years.]

More Speculation -- Suns Look to Deal Amare Stoudemire

One question running through NBA fans' minds on draft night: how come Phoenix doesn't like Amare Stoudemire anymore? Wonder if they think he's not the same after that injury. Crossing their fingers every time he jumps, like Larry Brown said he was doing with Antonio McDyess. And Stoudemire isn't a post up forward either -- maybe Phoenix thinks they need to start playing some Eastern-conference playoff basketball. Post-up and half court. Like San Antonio does.

Chicago and Michael Jordan

I think Chicago did well with the Knicks #9 pick, Yaokim Noah. I'm told there was a fan in Chicago Bulls garb holding up a sign that read "Thanks Isiah!" on draft night at Madison Square Garden. Knick and Chicago Bulls fans can now ask the question, would you still trade Eddie Curry, Renaldo Balkman, and Wilson Chandler for Michael Sweetney, Tyrus Thomas, and Yoakim Noah? Even now, two years after that trade, we still need a few more years to figure out who got the better of it.

I don't think that Michael Jordan necessarily made a bad move -- ESPN analysts ripped him on draft night for trading the #8 pick (Brandon Wright) to Golden State for Jason Richardson. Richardson is 26 and is a proven superstar guard. Charlotte now has a driving force on offense to go along with Ameka Okafur's inside presence. There's no guarantee a # 8 pick will even make it in the NBA. Like I said at the top, it will take years to find out.

June 2007 NBA Draft

  1 Portland Trail Blazers Greg Oden, Center, Ohio State
  2 Seattle SuperSonics Kevin Durant, Forward, Texas
  3 Atlanta Hawks Al Horford, Forward/Center, Florida
  4 Memphis Grizzlies Mike Conley Jr., Guard, Ohio State
  5 Boston Celtics Jeff Green, Forward, Georgetown (to Seattle)
  6 Milwaukee Bucks Yi Jianlian, Forward, China
  7 Minnesota Timberwolves Corey Brewer, Forward, Florida
  8 Charlotte Bobcats Brandan Wright, Forward, North Carolina (to Golden State)
  9 Chicago (from New York) Joakim Noah, Forward/Center, Florida
10 Sacramento Kings Spencer Hawes, Center, Washington
11 Atlanta Hawks (from Indiana) Acie Law, Guard, Texas A&M
12 Philadelphia 76ers Thaddeus Young, Forward, Georgia Tech
13 New Orleans Hornets Julian Wright, Forward, Kansas
14 Los Angeles Clippers Al Thornton, Forward, Florida State
15 Detroit Pistons (from Orlando) Rodney Stuckey, Guard, Eastern Washington
16 Washington Wizards Nick Young, Guard/Forward, Southern California
17 New Jersey Nets Sean Williams, Forward/Center, Boston College
18 Golden State Warriors Marco Belinelli, Guard, Italy
19 Los Angeles Lakers Javaris Crittenton, Guard, Georgia Tech
20 Miami Heat Jason Smith, Forward/Center, Colorado State (to Philadelphia)
21 Philadelphia 76ers (from Denver) Daequan Cook, Guard, Ohio State (to Miami)
22 Charlotte Bobcats (from Toronto) Jared Dudley, Forward, Boston College
23 New York Knicks (from Chicago) Wilson Chandler, Forward, DePaul
24 Phoenix Suns (from Cleveland) Rudy Fernandez, Guard, Spain (to Portland)
25 Utah Jazz Morris Almond, Guard, Rice
26 Houston Rockets Aaron Brooks, Guard, Oregon
27 Detroit Pistons Arron Afflalo, Guard, UCLA
28 San Antonio Spurs Tiago Splitter, Forward, Brazil
29 Phoenix Suns Alando Tucker, Forward, Wisconsin
30 Philadelphia 76ers (from Dallas) Petteri Koponen, Guard, Finland (to Portland)


31 Seattle SuperSonics (from Memphis) Carl Landry, Forward, Purdue
32 Boston Celtics Gabe Pruitt, Guard, Southern California
33 San Antonio Spurs (from Milwaukee) Marcus Williams, Forward, Arizona
34 Dallas Mavericks (from Atlanta) Nick Fazekas, Forward, Nevada
35 Seattle Supersonics Glen Davis, Forward, Louisiana State (to Boston)
36 Golden State Warriors (from Minnesota) Jermareo Davidson, Forward, Alabama (to Charlotte)
37 Portland Trail Blazers Josh McRoberts, Forward, Duke
38 Philadelphia 76ers (from New York) Kyrylo Fesenko, Center, Ukraine (to Utah)
39 Miami Heat (from Sacramento) Stanko Barac, Center, Bosnia (to Indiana)
40 Los Angeles Lakers (from Charlotte) Sun Yue, Guard, China
41 Minnesota Timberwolves (from Philadelphia) Chris Richard, Forward, Florida
42 Portland Trail Blazers (from Indiana) Derrick Byars, Guard/Forward, Vanderbilt (to Philadelphia)
43 New Orleans Hornets Adam Haluska, Guard, Iowa
44 Orlando Magic Reyshawn Terry, Forward, North Carolina (to Dallas)
45 Los Angeles Clippers Jared Jordan, Guard, Marist
46 Golden State Warriors (from New Jersey) Stephane Lasme, Forward, Massachusetts
47 Washington Wizards Dominic McGuire, Forward, Fresno State
48 Los Angeles Lakers Marc Gasol, Center, Spain
49 Chicago Bulls (from Golden State) Aaron Gray, Center, Pittsburgh
50 Dallas Mavericks (from Miami) Renaldas Seibutis, Guard, Lithuania
51 Chicago Bulls (from Denver) JamesOn Curry, Guard, Oklahoma State
52 Portland Trail Blazers (from Toronto) Taurean Green, Guard, Florida
53 Portland Trail Blazers (from Chicago) Demetris Nichols, Forward, Syracuse (to New York)
54 Houston Rockets (from Cleveland) Brad Newley, Guard, Australia
55 Utah Jazz Herbert Hill, Forward/Center, Providence (to Philadelphia)
56 Milwaukee Bucks (from Houston) Ramon Sessions, Guard, Nevada
57 Detroit Pistons Sammy Mejia, Guard, DePaul
58 San Antonio Spurs Giorgos Printezis, Forward, Greece (to Toronto)
59 Phoenix Suns D.J. Strawberry, Guard, Maryland
60 Dallas Mavericks Milovan Rakovic, Forward, Serbia (to Orlando)


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