Friday, June 29, 2007

2007 NBA Draft: Billy Knight Finally Gets It Right


The Celtics' acquisition of Ray Allen will either work out great or be a great disaster.

Alright, some thoughts on last night's draft:

  • Obviously, Portland and Seattle had the two best drafts (even though the Sonics screwed up the Ray Allen trade, which I'll get to later), so let's focus on everybody else. Love what Atlanta did. The Hawks got one of the top fiveguys in the draft, Big Al Horford, who'll be like Horace Grant, only more physical and with a much stronger low-post game. Law is a Sam Cassell-type. If they can turn Josh Childress and Marvin Williams into a center to pair with Al, then add a little depth to the bench, they'll be set for years to come, with Joe Johnson and Josh Smith already in place.

    And Boston picking up Ray Allen and the No. 35 pick (Big Baby Davis) for Delonte West, Wally's World, and the rights to Jeff Green? Excellent deal for them. I don't understand Mark Jackson's criticisms last night: for one, Ray's played with Cassell and Big Dog Robinson in Milwaukee (made Game 7 of the East Finals in 2001) and with Rashard Lewis in Seattle (won 54 games in 2005, gave champion to-be Spurs trouble in the West semis), and Paul Pierce played wiith Antoine Walker in Boston (East Finals in 2002). Both of them needing the ball won't be a problem. Also, Ray Allen just keeps getting better with age, he's shown zero signs of decline, he's never been better as an all-around scorer. Even when his physical skills start declining, he'll still be very effective and valuable because of that jump shot (one of the best ever) ain't goin' nowhere (just look at Reggie Miller).

    Basically, if Boston stays healthy next year and they can't make the East Finals with a trio of Allen, Pierce, and the ever-improving Al Jefferson leading the way, something's wrong. Seriously, you wouldn't take them over Cleveland or Miami right now? How about Detroit, who's run is all but over? Chicago's the only team that scares me right now if I'm Boston. You can never count out LeBron, and Miami will likely add a big name like Bibby or Artest this summer, but until they do, Boston's got to be considered one of the two best teams in the East on paper right now.

    (What's that? You say Jesus Shuttlesworth is coming off ankle surgery in April? On both ankles? *Pauses for a second, digests that information* Oh. Well, in that case, maybe they should've just taken Corey Brewer. You know, just to be safe.)

  • I don't like that trade for Seattle, I'm not too sold on Jeff Green. They should've had Boston take Brewer instead, he's a star. Can you imagine Brewer and Durant on the same team? Can I get an "Oh Baby!"? (Where's Erik "Caliente" Valiente when you need him?) So Seattle fouled that up.

  • If I'm Pau Gasol, I'm begging management to let me stay in Memphis so I can play with Junior Conley for the next ten years. And Noah's a good fit for Chicago.

  • Who messed up? Philly, they should've taken Al Thornton. And New Orleans should've taken Nick Young. It's like those two picks were too simple and obvious for Billy King and Jeff Bower to make, they decided to overgeneralmanage (that is a word).

  • That means Washington got lucky with Young at No. 16. I really like him, he's got good size for the two, he's a great athlete and he can shoot. Washington needed a big guy more than they needed another perimeter player, but who were they gonna take, Sean Williams? Jason Smith? Please.

    Also, I like who the Lakers got at No. 19, Javaris Crittenton, a 6-5 point god out of Georgia Tech. Phil loves them big guards. And Phoenix, at No. 29, got Alando Tucker, who could turn out being this year's Josh Howard: a fabulous college forward who stayed four years, had his pro potential greatly underestimated, fell all the way down to the end of the first round, and ended up being a star in the NBA.

  • My second round sleepers: Big Baby, No. 35 to the Celtics, he's gonna be a contributor in the NBA, one of those Millsap-Maxiell types, only a better scorer. Chris Richard, the third in Florida's big man rotation, at No. 41 to Minny. He's a brute, reminds me of a 6-9 Malik Rose (when Malik was with the Spurs, of course). And D.J. Strawberry (Daryl's son), at No. 59 to Phoenix. He's an excellent defender who'll be better than Bruce Bowen and Quentin Ross because of his versatility on offense. He's the perfect fit for the Suns.

  • Couple of other big Draft day trades: Portland gets Channing Frye and Stevie Francis for Zach Randolph, Dan Dickau, and Fred Jones. That gives Portland a nice young big man trio of Oden, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Frye, frees up Aldridge to start, and gets rid of one of the last two bad guys on the team (now if they can just move Darius Miles). But how good is Stevie at this point? Don't know. And they definitely could've gotten more for Zach. On the other end, doesn't New York already have a low-post scorer? Why have two when the game is clearly becoming more and more perimeter oriented? And is there really gonna be enough space down there for both of them to operate? Aldridge and Oden compliment each other because Aldridge is more of a mid-range jump shooting big man and will give Oden room to work. You can't say the same for Eddy and Zach.

    And Brandan Wright's rights to Golden State for Jason Richardson and the rights to Jermareo Davidson. I don't know about Wright, he's got talent but no fire. Real lackadaisical, and not in a T-Mac way, in a bad way. I like J-Rich for Charlotte, though, he's a veteran, he averaged 23 a game two years ago, one of the best rebounding guards in the league. Adam Morrison looked shaky last year and they might lose Gerald Wallace to free agency, so excellent move by MJ. I guess there really is a first time for everything.

    (On a completely unrelated note, last night on Letterman Robin Williams said that as a kid his family didn't have water, so they made their own by taking hydrogen and oxygen and shoving it together. Don't even try and pretend like that's not the funniest thing you've ever heard.)
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