Tonight is not about substance. Tonight is not about results. Tonight is not about wins and losses.
Tonight is about David Stern mispronouncing names. Tonight is about Stuart Scott not being the worst-dressed man in the building for a change. Tonight is about length, upside and ‘playmaking ability’. So grab a pen, a pad and number your sheet 1-60 for Slam and Freaknick’s Super Cool Draft Predictor Game and follow along as we blog our way through one of the best nights in television.
Up first, the Wizards:
#1: Washington Wizards
I picked: John Wall
They picked: John Wall
I’m a tad concerned that the Wizards and I agree on anything. This can’t be good. Aside from all that, let’s talk about JW. If Derrick Rose stopped lifting weights for two months, taught Rajon Rondo how to make free throws and then they had a baby they’d name it John Wall. I’m sure Calipari and Worldwide William Wesley would go in on a joint venture to fund the operation if they could have recruiting rights to the grand kids.
#2: Philadelphia 76ers
I picked: Evan Turner
They picked: Evan Turner
He talks like a muppet, rocks the spectacles like an OG, and thinks functional vertebrae are for pansies. So what if they need a big guy. Put Turner on the ball when Jrue Holiday needs a breather and get Lou Williams running in space and all of the sudden you’ve got some new driving lanes for Andre Iguodala who’s starting to fall into mid-2000s Vince Carter jumper mode. One of the best athletes in the league could use somebody to help part the seas. Evan can be that Moses.
#3: New Jersey Nets
I picked: Derrick Favors
They picked: Derrick Favors
ATL shawty! The South Atlanta-to-Georgia Tech prodigy was hoping to slip to #24 in this one, but as it is he’ll be hooping in Poo Jersey. He’ll have to trade the smells of chicken and biscuits for methane and homeless people, but Mikhail Prokhorov’s money can buy him some nose plugs until they complete the move to Brooklyn.
#4: Minnesota Timberwolves
I picked: Wesley Johnson
They picked: Wesley Johnson
Wesley and Jonny Flynn reunited…kind of. Although their relationship only extended to red shirted practices during Jonny’s sophomore season, one would think that some sort of chemistry would have developed. Maybe the Timberwolves just want to draft people whose skin has become accustomed to tundra-like conditions. I’m just pumped for NBA2k12 on my PS3. Rubio and Flynn leading the break with Corey Brewer and Wes Johnson fillin’ lanes and yammin’ home oops. I might need to go change pants.
#5: Sacramento Kings
I picked: DeMarcus Cousins
They picked: DeMarcus Cousins
Finally, Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus can ask each other what Calipari paid them in their respective freshman years. It sounds like Cousins has some ‘red flags’ with his personality, but if they can just keep him away from fireworks and Pacman Jones he should be OK. I am a little bit scared to see what happens when he turns 21. Then again, I haven’t run into many bouncers who could forcibly remove him from a club if he wanted to have some underage fun.
#6: Golden State Warriors
I picked: Greg Monroe
They picked: Ekpe Udoh
So my hit streak has come to an end. I’m pretty sure that the Warriors will regret they messed up my perfection in about a year when Greg Monroe is averaging 13, 7 and 5 assists and Udoh plateaus as a putback dunker and good weakside defender. Turns out his name translates to “lion” in some African language. But doesn’t everything?
#7: Detroit Pistons
I picked: Ekpe Udoh
They picked: Greg Monroe
I guess you get a statistical pass when you play at Georgetown (Jeff Green before him) but maybe that’s a good thing. Lets teams focus on the player rather than the raw stats. But if a lack of stats is seen as an advantage, why hasn’t Daniel Orton and his 3 PPG flown off the board yet? Crazy world we live in.
I picked: Al-Farouq Aminu
They picked: Al-Farouq Aminu
If we’re keeping track (we are), this is the second ATLien taken in the top ten. GA stand up. Props on the Kid Cudi shades, Al-Farouq. Not saying it’s a nice look, but it will help him look. As in see. Them bitches is thick. Points for creativity and fearless execution.
#9: Utah Jazz
I picked: Xavier Henry
They picked: Gordon Hayward
Now that we have our mandatory white representative we can move on with the draft. This kid’s in the mold of other great white sharks like Adam Morrison and Luke Jackson, so you know he’s in line for big things.
#10: Indiana Pacers
I picked: Ed Davis
They picked: Paul George
The Pacers win this round. As much as I wanted this marriage to happen, I thought the Pacers’ relentless pursuit of tear-jerking boredom would keep them away from such a potentially exciting pick like Paul George. The fact that Hayward is off the board kept the Pacers from having to skip over the hometown hero, a la Reggie Miller over Steve Alford in 1987. Just ask Spike Lee how that one worked out.
I have to be real with you guys. My Jimmy John’s delivery man just hooked me up with the JJ Gargantuan so I had no choice but to abandon my keyboard and dive right in. Now that the Top 10 is out of the way, it’s time to go into informal blogger mode. Here we go:
-So just as I’m satisfactorily rubbing my belly, I see that Luke Babbitt and Ryan Gomes are being shipped off to Portland from Minnesota, killing my dreams of a Rubio-Johnson-Flynn-Babbitt backcourt rotation in my videogame. At least they get a cool player in…Martell Webster?! David Kahn should be hung for incompetence at this point. Need a shooter, David? You just drafted one last year, and his name is Wayne Ellington.
-Beantown gets Avery Bradley and Slam is doing fancy dribble moves with an invisible basketball to celebrate. He either really likes Bradley’s prospects as a backup or he heard the wonderful news that Rasheed Wallace is retiring.
-The Spurs get James Anderson and, of course, it seems to be a great fit. Although if the Spurs drafted Oscar the Grouch I’d be convinced they knew something I didn’t. Mainly because they always do.
-Seven picks ago, after some of our picks had gone stray, Slam had this to say: “Man, if I could predict each team’s pick right before they made their selections I could get almost 100%.” I challenged him to do so, and he reeled off six straight misses. You’ve really got a gift, dude.
-And with the 23rd pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves select…Trevor Booker. And Freaknick yells in exaltation as Hassan Whiteside stares tantalizingly at him off the draft board. Don’t screw this up, Hawks.
-And the Atlanta Hawks select…Damion James. Did someone let Billy Knight back into the building? I love me some Damion James, but we just drafted another undersized tweener big guy. Horford is smaller than the centers he guards. Josh Smith isn’t as strong as the other 4’s he guards. And if we ever want to play Teague off the ball we’ll have match-up problems up top to boot. Now we’re adding one more factor to an already overmatched equation. You draft Hassan Whiteside, everyone slides down and Atlanta is happy.
-News now from Chad Ford and Adrian Wojnarowski that the Hawks will trade Damion James to the Nets for the 27th and the 31st pick. This would be incredible news and allow the Hawks to take my boy Whiteside and hometown fella Gani Lawal at 31. I would revoke all of the terrible things I just muttered under my breath about the Hawks management if this were true.
-Quincy Pondexter goes to the Thunder with the 26. Or is that the Hornets? Or is that the Bulls via the Blazers? The Thunder have officially confused the hell out of me.
-The Hawks select Jordan Crawford aka “The Guy Who Dunked on LeBron and Nike was scared and confiscated the footage.” Stuart Scott, proud steward of ESPN’s LeBron Protection Agency declares that “it really wasn’t that big of a dunk and everybody gets dunked on.” Looks like someone’s afraid of coming into personal contact with the King.
Get some, LBJ:
-Daniel Orton off the board at #29. Props to the guys in the ESPN production truck for finding enough footage to fill some time while Bilas & Co. yapped away. I didn’t know they filmed those preseason exhibitions when he actually got in the game.
-So the Hawks select not Whiteside but German lankmaster Tibor Pleiss with the 31st pick (via New Jersey). So we traded a player we don’t need (Damion James) for a player we could use (Jordan Crawford) and a big guy oozing with potential that we can stash in Europe and not pay? Not bad, Rick Sund. Not bad at all.
-ESPN just flashed a graphic of all of the Knicks’ traded away players. Seems more like a money laundering scheme than a basketball team.
-Andy Rautins to the Knicks (called that one), and Syracuse is gaining on Kentucky. Now we just need some Arinze Onuaku love. And maybe a team can retroactively draft Paul Harris and Eric Devendorf. When Jake Presutti goes to the Celtics it’ll put us over the top.
-So I guess the Tibor Pleiss era has come to a sad end in Atlanta, Georgia. Brief, but memorable.
-Just noticed Slam spelled ‘Jarvis Varnado’ like ‘Jarvis Vernardo’ on Slam and Freaknick’s Super Cool Draft Predictor Game. We’re pooling our resources to see that this problem is dealt with swiftly and appropriately.
-Problem solved. That’s efficiency.
-The next collective bargaining agreement should include a clause that states top-level teams are not allowed to draft potentially cool players. Devin Ebanks to the Lakers just isn’t fair. Meanwhile, the Knicks go to work with Landry Fields.
-The Spurs draft Ryan Richards and his stylishly wispy moustache. Too bad they suck at developing overseas talent.
-Was there any doubt that the Celtics would take Luke Harangody? Scalabrine’s contract is up and Tony Gaffney’s earrings call his whiteness into question, so ‘Gody wears the Honky Hat in Beantown.
-So just to clarify: Lazar Hayward went in the first round while fellow Big East forward Stanley Robinson waits for a phone call. Quite odd.
-The Hawks continue drafting people based on fuzzy YouTube videos from middle school gyms. Pape Sy out of Senegal it is, I guess. In my head: “Cool, a Senegalese forward. He must be hovering around 7-feet, jumps high and blocks shot, probably only played a few years of organized ball. I can live with drafting the next Serge Ibaka.” Then I saw that he’s 6’7″, averaged only 6 points in the French League and looks slightly awkward on film. Fran Fraschilla’s justification: “The Hawks are looking for the next Roddy Beaubois.” We already have him and he answers to the name Jamal Crawford.
-Dwayne Collins is Mr. Irrelevant as the Miami big man goes to the Suns with the 60th pick and a nice crop of talent is left undrafted. That means plenty to choose from when Slam and Freaknick hit the podcast for the Second Annual Reject Draft in a day or two. Let the Jerome Randle sweepstakes begin.
That does it for me. As usual, there were plenty of questionable clothing decisions (eyewear seemed to be the accessory of choice this year), first round omissions (Alabi, Ebanks, Whiteside to name a few) and one of the dumbest trades I’ve seen since Pau Gasol changed hands (Martell Webster from Portland to Minnesota for Luke Babbitt and Ryan Gomes). Thanks for being a part of the Euroleague Adventures re-launch party tonight and we hope you keep checking back all summer for all of your international hoops commentary. Goodnight Stuart Scott. Goodnight boring salary cap expert that ESPN tried out tonight. Goodnight world.