Thursday, June 28, 2007

Official Sportsology Draft Coverage

One of these days, your resident sportsology blogger will be posting his opinions regularly. Can't say when that will be though. I can say that I was kinda right about that Cavs/Spurs series. It's always good to be right, especially when you're frequently wrong.

Anyway, the NBA Draft is tonight. Everybody and their momma has a mock draft of their own. Since sportsology prides itself on not being everybody else, we're not going to do that. Instead we're going to tell teams what they should do.

1. Portland - Draft Kevin Durant. I can't do a better job of breaking down Durant v. Oden than Simmons, the king of online sports journalism. However, I'm willing to attack the notion that a "big man" is the key to winning an NBA championship.

Since Jordan came back, the NBA Finals MVP’s have been split between big men and guards. The two big men that have combined for six awards are Tim Duncan and Shaq, two of the best big men ever. Of the remaining awards, Jordan has 3 and D. Wade, Chauncey Billups, and Tony Parker have 1 each.

Jordan and Wade were the number one reason why their team’s won championships in the year’s they won them. Remember, Shaq was a non-factor in the 2006 Finals, putting up 13.7 ppg, 10.2 rpg, and less than a block per game.

The 2004 Pistons had inside presences in Rasheed and Ben Wallace, but neither were really dominant in the post offensively.

The point is drafting Greg Oden isn’t an automatic ticket to the finals. Today’s game is geared more to faster paced teams, and there aren’t many true centers left period. Oden is perfect for yesterday’s game, Durant is today’s game.

A 6’10 forward with guard skills that can destroy you on the perimeter and in the post is the ideal player to pick, not a 7’0 center that is worthless offensively outside of the paint. Portland cracked under the pressure of the media, which is too bad.

But since they are drafting Oden, they might as well trade Zach Randolph to the Nets for Richard Jefferson. Oden, Lamarcus Aldridge, Richard Jefferson, Brandon Roy, and Jarrett Jack would be a young, solid lineup.

2. Seattle - Seattle will luck out with one of the best players of the next 20 years. They will draft Kevin Durant and he will put up lots of points. What they should do is re-sign Rashard Lewis, and play an uptempo style of basketball.

Chris Wilcox, Lewis, Durant, Ray Allen, and Luke Ridenour would be one of the most exciting lineups, besides Phoenix and Golden State. In the second round, they should draft a shooting guard, like Aaron Afflalo, who would flourish there and provide the depth they are lacking at shooting guard.

3 & 11 . Atlanta - The Hawks could land Amare Stoudamire for their two draft picks in this year’s draft. That would be a no-brainer move. Amare, with Marvin Williams, Josh Smith, Josh Childress, and Joe Johnson should be an entertaining and competitive mix of players.

If that deal falls through, which it might because they are too cheap and have ownership issues, they should draft Cory Brewer at 3 and Acie Law at 11.

Most mock drafts have them taking Al Horford at 3, but Brewer would be a better fit. They already have Josh Smith, Shelden Williams, Zaza Pachulia, Soloman Jones, and Esteban Batista between the 4 and 5. At the 3 they have Josh Childress and Marvin Williams. Brewer would fit in perfectly there.

Acie Law is one of the more clutch guards to come out in a long time. He’s not necessarily a true point guard, but he can put points on the board and do a decent job of distributing the rock.

Sans Stoudemire, I’d go with Law, Johnson, M. Williams, J. Smith, and Pachulia as the starting five, and they’d have a boat load of depth with guys like S. Williams and Brewer coming off the bench. With this team, they could potentially package their young players for a veteran at the trade deadline.

With Stoudemire, you’d go with Amare, instead of Pachulia, and either Speedy Claxton or Josh Childress taking Law’s spot in the starting five.

4. Memphis - Since Atlanta is going to take Al Horford, they should then take Cory Brewer. Currently, alot of people have them taking Mike Conley Jr. This would be a bad move because they already have a young point guard, Kyle Lowry, in addition to two old one's in Damon Stoudamire and Chucky Atkins. Brewer would help their lack of depth at the 2/3.

5. Boston - Boston should've figured out how to use this pick to get KG. Now that he's probably going to Phoenix, they should trade this pick and a young player or Theo Ratlif's expiring contract for Jermaine O'Neal. However, they should not include Al Jefferson in any trades.

6. Milwaukee - I'd like to see them take Mike Conley here. He's not yet as good as Acie Law, but his skills would fit in better with what the Bucks have. Additionally, he could possibly develop into the third best player in the draft behind the Durant and Oden.

7. Minnesota - Since they are going to trade KG for nothing, they might as well take Yi Jianlian here. He's tall, chinese, and will probably be more like Wang Zhu-Zhu than Yao Ming.

8. Charlotte - It seems like they could land Amare Stoudamire with this pick. That would be the best thing that could possibly happen to this franchise. Amare would average 30 points in the east and he'd add some legitimacy to the squad. Send this pick to the T'Wolves, along with Okafor and possibly Brevin Knight, take Amare and Marcus Banks. At that point, they'd have to open up their wallets and re-sign Gerald Wallace and make a playoff run.

If the Wolves get this pick, they should draft somebody who could score, like Jeff Green.

9. Chicago - Draft Joakim Noah. They should also be willing to roll the dice and make a play for Kobe. The draft rights to Noah, plus Ben Gordon, Hinrich and a future 1st round pick for Kobe should do the trick. Too bad nobody's gutsy anymore.

10. Sacremento - Trade Mike Bibby. They could possibly get the Clippers pick at 14, they could definately get a future 1st round pick from the Cavaliers or Heat, in addition to their 1st round picks this year. With this pick, they should draft the best player available. If people do what they should, then that would leave them with either Brandan or Julian Wright.

12. Philadelphia - They should draft Al Thornton. He's an athletic power forward that would look good with Andre Miller and company.

13. New Orleans - They should take Nick Young from USC. He's a baller and would start immediately for them at shooting guard. If they stay healthy by the way, they should make the playoffs.

14. LA Clippers - They should draft Javaris Crittenton. They need young backcourt players desperately.

15. Detroit - They seem to like Rodney Stuckey, I suppose they should draft him. It is, however, time for them to blow this team up. Rasheed Wallace is done there, and Billups doesn't look like the same player. They should explore sign and trade options for Billups (the Lakers maybe?) and try to just get rid of Sheed (maybe to his hometown Sixers for the 30th pick).

16. Washington - Draft Spencer Hawes. He might flop, or he might provide them with some good size and skills at the center position.

17. New Jersey - Trade R. Jefferson for Zach Randolph. Re-sign Vince. Draft Daequan Cook from Ohio State. He's a pure shooter and they could definately use that. Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, Antoine Wright, Zach Randolph, and Nenad Kristic, with Cook and Marcus Williams coming off the bench would be a scary team in the East.

18. Golden St. - There isn't a player they could take here that really fits, if everyone does what I say of course. I'd suggest drafting a foreigner or maybe Jason Smith. He's a big man from Colorado State that has a jump shot.

19. LA Lakers - They need to do something bold. They don't want to trade Kobe, I can't blame them for that. It now appears that they won't get KG or JO. Well how about this: A sign and trade with the Pistons where the Lakers would trade Lamar Odom, Kwame Brown, and Andrew Bynum for Rasheed Wallace, Chauncey Billups and a 1st round pick. Billups, Kobe, Luke Walton (a must resign) Rasheed Wallace and Brian Cook would be a nice lineup that could score and defend with the West's best.

20. Miami - They also need to do something at least semi-drastic. They are old as hell. Maybe they could get Mike Bibby for this pick. If they keep the pick, they should essentially replace Eddie Jones/James Posey with Derrick Byars from Vanderbilt. They should also try to persue someone like Chauncey Billups in free agency.

21. Philadelphia - If he's here, take Thaddeous Young. If not, its back to the good old "best player available." They have a nice team right now as is, and will be surprisingly competitive next year.

22. Charlotte - This pick should go to Minny as part of the Amare/KG deal. They must make that happen at all costs.

23. New York - Apparently they're trying to trade for Zach Randolph. If they still have this pick, they should also take the best player available. They have so many players, they will struggle to improve until they can get rid of some of those contracts.

24 & 29. Phoenix - has them taking Brazilian PF Tiago Splitter and Boston College SF Jared Dudley with these picks. Both players would work wonderful with this team. However, I'd rather them trade Shawn Marion than Amare Stoudamire. Maybe sending these two picks to Charlotte along with Marion could get the job done. Or possibly Marion and the Hawks pick from next year.

25. Utah - If Alando Tucker is available, they should draft him.

26. Houston - Like wise for Houston and Aaron Afflalo.

27. Detroit - Maybe this pick could go to LA in the Billups deal. They should also try to pick up a point guard in that trade, maybe Sasha Vujacic. Sasha, Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Odom, and Kwame would be competitive in the east. In fact, they should try to keep this pick and draft a guard to increase depth.

28. San Antonio - The Spurs are straight. Best player available, they'll be back in contention next year, barring an injury.

30. Philadelphia - Best player available. suggests Sean Williams, though he does exactly the same thing that Sam Dalembert does.

However, until these GM's get balls, none of this will probably happen. If people listened to guys like me, or Simmons, or others who are suggesting these wacky moves, the NBA would be more exciting. There hasn't been any major roster developments in the past few seasons, besides Shaq going to the Heat, which might turn out to be a bust anyway, at least for the money they're paying him versus his production.

The Draft starts in like 20 minutes, so hopefully let the games begin.

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