Winner: Portland Trail Blazers- Surprise, Surprise. Selecting Greg Oden first overall makes them winners hands down, even if they didn’t get anyone else. They did, however, manage to grab Josh McRoberts from Duke who is a tall playmaker and was the best passer at the center position in the NCAA. They dished Zach Randolph out of town (a 20 point, 10 rebound Forward) which might seem ludicrous, but he was the last piece of the “Jail Blazers” whose character issues tarnished the team. Those days are now done in Portland. Last years first round pick LeMarcus Aldridge will be more than willing to pick up the slack and compliment Oden, not to mention they have former All-Star Jamal Magloire off the bench. Portland’s Brandon Roy was the Rookie of the Year last year, and they sure can’t wait for Oden to get the same honor.
Loser: Los Angeles Lakers- I am sure that Kobe won’t be running to the front office to tell them he is sorry and wants to stay a Laker for life now. So Jarvis Crittenton is going to solve the Laker’s problems? I doubt it. Kobe is probably throwing a fit on some radio talk show right now. What is a point guard who averaged 4 turnovers a game going to do for the Lakers. He can hit from NBA 3-point range, but he often took very bad, contested shots in college and is still unproven on any level. Kobe is going to take 80% of the shots anyway. Maybe on a different team this kid could turn into a solid player, but with the Lakers, he will play just like everyone else, awful. Management did nothing to take the burden off of Kobe’s shoulders, yet again.
Winner: Atlanta Hawks-When they passed on Mike Conely Jr. for Al Horford with the third overall pick, fans were very excited to get a very talented big man with two consecutive NCAA Championships, but they were still worried that they did not address their point guard need. That is until 8 picks later when they got “Mr. Clutch” Acie Law from Texas A&M with the 11th pick. They got their point guard, whose shot has been criticized though he averaged 18.1 points a game and shot 45.8% from the 3-point line, who they desperately needed, not to mention an inside presence in Horford. Law almost single-handedly finished every close game against quality teams this year for A&M. He has the best basketball IQ out of any guard in the draft and has the leadership needed from the point guard position. He was the first senior selected in the draft.
Loser: Boston Celtics- Larry Bird ought to come out of the Pacers front office and suit up for Boston again. No one else that is any good wants to play for them. They sure didn’t help themselves on draft day, either. Their trade for an aging, non-defending, coming off of ankle surgery, Ray Allen made no sense. Their 5th overall pick, Jeff Green from Georgetown was shipped off to Seattle, along with Delonte West (their 2nd best player) and Wally Szczerbiack for the aging Allen. So they get an old man, who will more than likely only make 40 starts due to injury, for the best young talent they had. The glory days of Boston are long gone. GM Danny Ainge as well as coach Doc Rivers will be too after this year. Paul Pierce, I am sure, is hoping he is gone from Boston soon too.
For the rest of this column, read this week's Cadiz Record.