Kevin Seraphin of France, Pick #17, Washington Wizards (from Bulls)
After moving Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison and doing whatever they can do get rid of Gunbert Arenas’s contract, the Wizards look like they want to start over. Can’t say I blame them. Luckily for Flip Saunders, the ping pong Gods shoveled John Wall into their laps and the Bulls decided to dump Kirk Hinrich and their 17th pick in D.C. for almost nothing—the 35th pick in the draft. With a new first round toy to play with Grunfeld decided to take a leap and grab the Frenchmen while he was still around. Considering Andray Blactche’s infantile pouting streak and JaVale McGee’s here-and-there minutes, Seraphin just might be the guy that makes John Wall’s life a little more Steve Nash-y. The fact that Cholet will be playing in the Euroleague next year leaves Seraphin with a beautifully tough decision to make: play in the best league in the world or the second best. While he could use a year of seasoning, I think he’ll get too caught up in the moment and pack his things for our nation’s capital.
Greivis Vasquez of Venezuela, Pick #28, Memphis Grizzlies
Ever since Antoine Walker’s boobs stopped reverberating, reinventing the Shimmy has been a one-man job. Its practitioner: Greivis Vasquez. Easily the most detested opponent in college basketball over the past couple years if not the past decade. The annoyingly passionate Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year winner—and thief of Jon Scheyer’s rightful ACC POY Trophy—falls into a situation where his desire to run the point might not be an issue; Mike Conley hasn’t exactly rammed his flag into the #1 spot on the Grizzlies’ depth chart. Now, a melodramatic CBS spot:
Tibor Pleiss of Germany, Pick #31, Oklahoma City Thunder (from Nets to Hawks to Thunder)
It’s a Net! It’s a Hawk! No…it’s a Thunder! Actually it’s just our ol’ pal Tibor who was passed around like Tyrone Biggums’s crackpipe on draft night. As the first pick of the draft with no financial requirements, #31 has always been a valuable commodity so Tibor should feel somewhat honored that he was the guy gobbled up at the top of the second round. Even if he was regurgitated and recycled. Twice. Just like Seraphin, his team Brose Baskets will be a Euroleague participant next season and he needs even more work than Kevin does, so I think we’ll see him playing on Wednesdays and Thursdays next season in Germany.
Nemanja Bjelica of Serbia, Pick #35, Chicago Bulls (from Wizards)
First I had him in my first round. Then, hours before the draft it was reported that he had signed a 3-year deal with Treviso that included a $1 million NBA buyout after each year. Next, Nemanja himself ‘slammed down the rumors’ saying it would be clear where he would play after the draft had been completed, and that same article mentioned Roma making a run at the Serbian star. In an absolute tizzy, a word I’ve always wanted to use, I slid him out of my first to the top of my second and then down, down, down like Jay Sean until Miami was up at #48, thinking they’d save all the cap space they could to re-sign D-Wade and go after a member of the Bosh/Boozer/Amare trio. At least my line of thinking was headed in the right direction, as the Bulls pulled the strings on the Wizards’ pick to land a guy who might never play a game for the Bulls but whose most valuable asset might be just that; a possible trade piece who will forever stay off the Bulls books. As a player, I think Nemanja could come over next year and contribute if he felt like passing a little more and buying a BowFlex. Toni Kukoc, he is not. Kings version of Hedo Turkoglu, he could be.
Andy Rautins of Canada, Pick #38, New York Knicks
While everyone was checking out NBADraft.net and DraftExpress for their Rautins analysis, only one site (that we know, at least) had the Knickerbockers taking the Syracuse assassin with one of their pair of picks. It rhymes with Duro Sheeg Peddentures. Now while their subsequent Landry Fields pick led some to believe they were simply drafting second rounders to clear space for the LeBron-a-thon, Mike D’Antoni’s love for the international game and for pure shooters (see: his obsession with Danilo Gallinari) would seem to give Rautins’ NBA dreams some more steam. Now we’ll have to wait and see what his draftdom means for his Team Canada participation this summer in Turkey. I wonder what his father, Coach Leo Rautins, will have to say about it.
Paulao Prestes of Brazil, Pick #45, Minnesota Timberwolves
I hate to toot my own vuvuzela, but I might have called this one as well. The only knock on this guy is height (listed as 6’10” on NBADraft.net but ESPN’s draft coverage had him at just under 6’8″) but he’s a full 275 lbs. and has long arms that are begging to get ripped. And while countryman Anderson Varejao rocks the Sideshow Bob hair-do, Paulao is bringing back the Jheri Curl. He’s already played in the ACB and averaged 8 boards per game over there—which is quite hard to do—so there’s no reason he shouldn’t move to Minny immediately. If Nathan Jawai can spot start for you, then Paulao shouldn’t have any problems getting minutes.
Ryan Richards of England, Pick #49, San Antonio Spurs
Here go the Spurs, making another horrible decision regarding an international talent. First it was Manu Ginobili going 57th overall in 1999, then it was Tony Parker going in 2001 with the 28th pick, then Scola went 55th in 2002 and then ACB MVP Tiago Splitter in 2008 before getting All-Eurocup guard Nando de Colo with the 53rd pick last year. Geez. You’d think one of these guys would’ve panned out by now.
Solomon Alabi of Nigeria, Pick #50, Toronto Raptors (from Mavericks)
A projected top-20 guy in many draft circles, the Florida State big guy probably wasn’t amped to hear 49 names called before his—Dexter Pittman, Daniel Orton and Tiny Gallon among them—but at least he gets his wish: a young frontcourt in desperate need of some length, rebounding and defense. With Bosh on the way out and Bargnani on the way out (to the 3-point line), Alabi will have a legitimate shot at a back-up role behind Bargs and the Raptors’ 14th selection, Patrick Patterson, whose only real deficiency comes on the defensive end where Alabi excels. Apparently the slip was due to a case of Hepatitis B, but the way I see it, his strain of the disease outperformed Pamela Anderson’s by a whole letter grade.
Pape Sy of France, Pick #53, Atlanta Hawks
According to YouTube, he does not exist. He has no write-up on DraftExpress. He is the only player without a listed weight on NBADraft.net. Google suggests I search for ‘paper synonyms’ or ‘paper systems des moines iowa’ instead. There is a ‘Pape Sy’ on Facebook which I’m pretty sure is him, so maybe he’s a real person after all. I’ve sent a friend request and, since I was feeling kinda crazy, even decided to ‘Add a Personal Message’ wherein I gave him the ‘Welcome to the Hawks homie!’ treatment. If he ever steps foot in Philips Arena I’ll flabbergast all over myself.
Hamady Ndiaye of Nigeria, Pick #56, Minnesota Timberwolves
Every word typed about Rutgers basketball is a word that could be typed about something else, so I’ve decided to save my energy for a more noble subject matter.