So the NBA had their dog and pony show known as the Draft Lottery last night and the Toronto Raptors received the #1 pick. The worst team in the league, Portland, fell all the way to fourth. The Charlotte Bobcats, who have my allegiance because they are in NC and they also have two UNC players on the roster, will pick third. The big winner in the whole draft is Chicago who will pick second despite being a playoff team because they traded Eddy Curry to New York for their 2006 1st Round draft choice. The jury is still out on whether or not this was a bad move for Isiah Thomas since Curry may end up being better than any of the talent in this year's draft which is inherently weak for various reasons including the age limit. Here is my breakdown of the first five teams:
1. Toronto Raptors
The smart money for Toronto is to steer clear of any of the top college players and take someone no one in this country or Canada has seen play. In fact Andrea Bargnani, a seven footer from Italy, would be a great choice. Why? Because before I read ESPN.com I had no clue this guy existed and I am sure that goes for about 65% of all NBA fans. So if he is a bust then you can blame it on attempting to draft one of those agile European seven footers which we just did not know enough about at the time. Plus, it's Toronto, how many fans do they really have anyway?
2. Chicago Bulls
This is a gravy pick for the Bulls. The team is young, very talented and already in the playoffs. They will continue to improve regardless of whether they picked here or 16th. Oh wait, they do get to pick 16th too, so they can waste that one on whatever they want. I honestly have very little idea what Chicago has or needs. LSU's Tyrus Thomas has great athleticism and is an excellent defender so would probably be a good choice. He is also a project and could really use a situation where he does not have to come in and contribute immediately. If I was Chicago I would then call the Knicks and see if you could get Eddy Curry back by dangling the 16th pick in front of Isiah. 5 to 1 he bites.
3. Charlotte Bobcats
As a pseudo-Bobcats fan I really do not care who they pick as long as it is not Adam Morrison. I find Morrison to be absolutely creepy and it would make pulling for the Bobcats more difficult even though Raymond Felton and Sean May are on the team. I also might have a problem with UConn's Rudy Gay simply based on the possibility of this play-by-play call during the game:
"Felton brings it front court and spots an open Gay going to the basket. Ray to Gay on the alley oop"
"Felton to Gay down to May back to Gay out to Ray for three. Yes!"
I mean how many people can you have on your team with rhyming first or last names. So the best bet is to take Washington's Brandon Roy.
4. Portland Trailblazers
The upside for Portland is there is no can't miss player like Michael Jordan they can pass on to take some good-but-not-great player who injures himself out of the league in a few years. And speaking of upside, the Blazers have nowhere to go but up so about anyone they can take is going to be a decent pick. Except this draft sucks so if they are smart they draft the best player available, break his foot in training camp so he misses the whole season thus relagating them to finish with the worst record in the league and then hope they get the #1 pick so they can take Greg Oden when he leaves Ohio State next year. As for the pick, just spin the wheel, they are all the same at this point.
5. Atlanta Hawks
See Portland Trailblazers
The only other plotline I am interested in is to see where Duke All Americans J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams end up. If teams are looking for a clutch playoff shooter then Redick will fit the bill. In fact Robert Horry is looking a little old so maybe San Antonio can trade up and grab Redick so he can bring his special brand of postseason consistency to the Spurs. As for Williams, anyone looking for a top defender should take Williams. His ability to block a shooter from the blindside as well as his clamp down defense on the likes of Tyler Hansbrough this past season and Sean May during his junior year make him a can't miss second or third member of any double or triple team rotation.