Biyernes, Hunyo 28, 2013

Winners and Losers of Draft Day

The NBA Finals that has transpired was one for the ages. Miami won. Until now I couldn't speak my mind on how to describe that series. So let's leave it hanging in there. 

2013 NBA Draft. For months leading to this event, one thing has been predictable, draft night is going to be unpredictable. That happens when no one in the class deserves to be picked first. Don't get me wrong on that, no one specifically deserves to be drafted first. Let's just say 35 of them could go number one. The Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic even tried to trade their first and second picks respectively. That is how talented this draft class is -- well uhm yeah.


1. Anthony Bennett

In any given draft night, the first overall pick will always be a winner. There is no way he's gonna lose something or complain of anything. He's drafted first, be able to sign a million-dollar contract, stigmatized as a franchise player, I mean, what more can he ask for?

But one person can surely establish Anthony Bennett, the highest Canadian draftee of all time, as a winner, Kyrie Irving. Bennett will be able to play with the talented, young superstar. Two first overall picks in a matter of three years is like playing on dynasty mode in video games. That doesn't come easy. So Bennett is truly blessed to be able to brofist Irving, an established talent that he should help in order to bring the Cavaliers back into the playoffs.   

So to those who are calling Kwame Brown a loser, enlighten your minds and think of the night he was drafted. He, too, became a winner for a night.

2. Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns have the most awesome throwback jerseys in the league. That scheme of orange and dominant black is just so pleasingly great. Well, only their record isn't, and a little bit of their roster. The Suns, believe it or not, was left to pick up Alex Len from Maryland. Alex Len from Maryland, the most NBA ready among those bunch of buds. Whatever the 2nd to the 4th team were thinking-- special shoutout to the Charlotte Bobcats-- when they didn't take him don't really matter. The Suns were left wide open for a long, long shot, something that even Jeff Hornacek enjoyed doing. 

With the Suns continuously rebuilding, Len could provide their needed fuel in their interior. The big man has long arms and is a versatile defensive player. He may not be an impact player this coming season, but give him two years and he surely can stand blow by blow in the paint.

3. New Orleans Pelicans

Just when Anthony Davis and Nerlens Noel seemed to form a scary, long, and injured interior, the Pelicans decided it wasn't a pretty sight and traded their sixth overall pick. That was supposed to be crazy for New Orleans if they picked up a nobody. But the Pelicans sure did a great home run swing at this one, and landed a somebody. His name is Jrue Holiday. Whatever the Sixers smoked that made them agree to that deal was kept anonymous for the entire night. That was extremely crazy.

Anyway, what's done is done and nobody could pull Holiday back to Philadelphia anymore. The All-Star guard will be wearing that dope Pelican scheme for next season while trying to help his new team reach the playoffs post Chris Paul era. Jrue Holiday for Nerlens Noel. Crazy.

4. Orlando Magic and Victor Oladipo

I'd like to commend the Orlando Magic for staying on their feet at this one. With the Cavs surprising everyone with their first selection, the Magic wasn't that starstrucked with other projected first picks. Rather, they stuck with their scouting reports and game plan and selected Indiana's Victor Oladipo. A versatile shooting guard, Oladipo can score and distribute the ball. He's got crazy handles and is a defensive minded player. 

The Orlando Magic could have plucked a diamond on this one. With enough minutes, Oladipo could transform the magic into a scoring team. With rebuilding issues surrounding Orlando, Oladipo could be a vital piece of their future. Any team on the state of rebuilding needs a cornerstone. Victor Oladipo could be the foundation for this Magic team.

5. Dallas Mavericks

The Mavs accomplished their mission of going low as much as possible. They traded their 13th pick to Boston's 16th then traded again to Atlanta's 18th. For mediocre NBA fans, that is something unacceptable in the draft. But selecting players is not the Mavs' priority here.

Sometimes less is more. Dallas stuck to that. They selected less and low but they were able to increase their cap in preparation for the free agency market opening on July 1. Mark Cuban doesn't need Kelly Olynyx or Shabazz Muhammad to go alongside Dirk Nowitzki. The Mavs want Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Andre Igoudala, or other bigtime names they could pluck this offseason. That means that Shane Larkin and Ricky Ledo need to prpare for their wild trading block ride.

6. Commissioner David Stern

In his last draft event, David Stern was rained with boos from hating crowd. That doesn't stop him from delivering the draft lightly. He would often gesture to the crowd that their booing isn't enough. Right before announcing the Wizards' draft pick, Stern went "I can't hear you" to the  booing audience. Nice kick, commish.

7. Lucas Nogueira, his hair, and his hat

Tensions fade when the Brazilian center got selected. Catch videos and you'll know why. It has something to do with his hair and his hat. The rookie became an instant sensation.


1. Nerlens Noel

For months leading into the draft, Kentucky's Nerlens Noel was projected as the top overall pick. That is until the Cavaliers announced that they are selecting a Canadian big boy who seemed to have trouble controlling his Krispy Kreme addiction. The look of shock and altered ego flashed on Noel's face but he remained hopeful to go on stage soon. The Magic, Wizards, Bobcats, and Suns have made their picks. No Nerlens Noel.

That is right. The New Orleans Pelicans selected Noel 6th overall. He doesn't even seem to know that it was the Hornets a year ago. For a while, the Pelicans seemed to conceive a twin tower combo with Anthony Davis and Nerlens Noel. That might work pretty well. Talk about Kentucky Wildcats, shot blockers, long people, and troubled knees. Noel could easily be Davis' twin off the bench. But the Pelicans swung for a home run. Unfortunately for Noel, that swing included trading him.

2. Philadelphia 76ers

Nerlens Noel was traded to the Sixers for All Star guard Jrue Holiday. Whether the Sixers are drugged or weren't in their proper state of mind when the deal was signed remains a mystery. A thing is for sure, the deal was done.

With the remaining tank of talent contained on Holiday's body traded, the Sixers are left with little to rebuild on. The rookie won't be able to play until December and Andrew Bynum might leave this offseason. Was he even present in the regular season anyway? With Holiday exiting the domains of being a Sixer, Philadelphia will have to do good in order to live up to the expectations.

That is why they drafted Michael Carter-Williams 11th overall. Sure he can fill Holiday's All-Star shoes. See the sarcasm in there? Philadelphia has been insane. At least at draft night.

3. Detroit Pistons

The Pistons needed a point guard. Brandon Knight is more comfortable at 2 and Rodney Stuckey is more comfortable at playing as a scoring point. Will Bynum hasn't been an offensive haymaker. So basically, they needed a real point guard. They selected Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Yeah he is a point guard playing for Kentucky. But that doesn't make them winners. You see, if someone like Trey Burke is still available and your team needed a point guard and then you go on and drafted another guy? You certainly did hit the wrong button.

Draft Night's Buzzmaker.

The heading is not appropriate because the night's biggest surprise is not on the draft itself. The Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets have agreed to a trade. This is pretty massive. The Celtics send Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry to the Nets for Gerald Wallace, Chris HumphriesTornike Shengeila, Reggie Evans, Keith Bogans and a bunch of college kids in the future. Let us take time to let that sink in our brain cells.

The Celtics are approching its rebuilding phase. Though painful for Celtics faithfuls, the rebuilding includes parting ways with all time Boston Celtics Paul Pierce. The C's saved money on that considering that Pierce, who passed his prime already, will be worth 15 million next season and that the franchise would have to pay him 5 million if they buy it for him to be a free agent. The trade was ideal monetary wise.

Boston's decision to trade these marquee players is a part of their future plans. With Rajon Rondo now the face of the Celtics, Danny Ainge and company would love to surround him with appropriate talent in order to be contenders again. That doesn't come easy. The Celtics selected to do it one step at a time.

Brooklyn, on the other hand, needs to win it all right now. The talents they acquired are for real, but at the same time, are racing against the sand-clock. Pierce and Garnett wouldn't be able to play with their monstrous selves in a year or two. The trade the Nets made is appropriate for winning a championship as early as next season. It's now or never. Players wise, the Nets are contenders. The regular season will test if Jason Kidd would be the first successful franchise player turned coach in so many years.  


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