2008 NBA Draft Running Diary: Round 1


Ugh, Jeff Van Gundy. When JVG started calling games a couple of years ago, I was pleasantly surprised. He was way more funny than I ever thought he could be and had good rapport with Mark Jackson. But over the course of this past year, he got all hoisty and big-headed. The jokes got ridiculous and trite and by the end of this season I could barely stand to have the volume up on games he was calling.

Nice podium Stern is standing behind. And there’s the “Mick Foley cheap pop” shoutout to the New York fans. Stern seems to be in a pretty cheery mood tonight — less than two weeks after getting booed unmercifully in the Garden while presenting the Celtics with the championship trophy.

1) Chicago Bulls select Derrick Rose. No surprise there — seems like the right pick. Wonder what the Bulls can get for Hinrich. Rose looks like awful tight in that interview chair — maybe he’s just terrified of Steven A. Smith. And small too… that chair is huge, like something from Alice in Wonderland.

2) Miami Heat select Michael Beasley. No word on a trade yet. Beasley’s mother seemed pretty nice. And Beasley gives his standard goofball interview.

John Paxson interview: he calls Derrick Rose a “perfect fit” which is a joke because the Bulls already have a decent starting PG and have been sorely in need of a scoring big man for years now. I’m not saying Rose wasn’t the right pick for them, but the reason is a combination of the fact that special point guards are more rare than special power forwards, and Beasley had the intangible concerns — not that Rose is a “perfect fit” for the Bulls. A “perfect fit” draft pick doesn’t require you to then trade a starter away.

3) Minnesota Timberwolves select OJ Mayo. Nice to see OJ going with the Stringer Bell look. Mayo also looks all kinds of uncomfortable in the oversized chair. Beasley had the right idea — lean forward.

Andy Katz reports that the Sonics were unsuccessful in making the deal with the Clippers to move back to #7.

4) Seattle Sonics select Russell Westbrook. Big ouch for the Bobcats — I believe the reports that LB really wanted him. I had really come around on Westbrook, too. Westbrook has a Kool-Aid grin on and can’t wipe it off. Nice pick for the Sonics — they need some defensive help.

5) Memphis Grizzlies select Kevin Love. Another ouch for the Bobcats. Though he duplicates Sean May alot, he still would have been a good fit for us. Love, a big guy, looks good in the chair. At this point, I’m giddy to see what DJ Augustin looks like in it — are his feet going to touch the floor?

6) New York Knicks select Danilo Galinari. Oh wow — not for the pick, I think it’s fine — but for the butt-cut that Galinari’s rocking tonight. So much for the rumor that D’Antoni wasn’t impressed. And the Knicks fans boo. Galinari attempts the cheap pop shout out to win the New York fans back, but it doesn’t work. Insightful interview, as Galinari plans to: “help the team, with my offensive play and defensive play.”

7) LA Clippers select Eric Gordon. Nice for the Clippers, I suppose. They didn’t have to move up and still got who they (supposedly) wanted. Strange fashion choice: Black pants, black shirt with white collar and stripes, black tie, and a white coat. Let me repeat that: a white jacket.

8) Milwaukee Bucks select Joe Alexander. Amazing rise for Alexander. I’m excited to see this guy get better. Oh… great nickname for Alexander on a sign in the crowd: Vanilla Sky. Is that new or has he had that nickname for a while? Alexander seems legitimately pumped to be going to Milwaukee. I like this guy.

Well, Lopez and Randolph are still on the board — who’s it going to be? Jerryd Bayless still on the board as well.

9) Charlotte Bobcats select DJ Augustin. Not a fan of this pick at all. I read today that Jordan especially pushed for this pick. We all know how Michael Jordan’s draft picks work out. For the record, Augustin’s feet did touch the floor in the big blue chair. Ugh…

10) New Jersey Nets select Brook Lopez. I like Lopez, especially now that the Bobcats picked Augustin. And now Lopez can play with a chip on his shoulder for slipping.

11) Indiana Pacers select Jerryd Bayless. Great value for the Pacers here — Bayless had been talked about at #4 for the Sonics for weeks now. Not sure how he fits with new acquisition TJ Ford, though.

12) Sacramento Kings select Jason Thompson. First big surprise (read: first big reach) of the draft. That said, a lot of their other targets were gone already. Bilas says he’s got a great motor, then in the next breath says Thompson “got tired” in some games in his conference tournament this past year. Wha??

13) Portland Trailblazers select Brandon Rush. Never too early for a National Champion. The Trailblazers are going to be scary over the next few years. Don’t the Trailblazers have, like, 22 guys under contract right now. It will be interesting to see how their roster and rotation shapes up this season.

No trades whatsoever yet, much to my disappointment and surprise.

14) Golden State Warriors select Anthony Randolph. Jay Bilas with the line of the night: “Considerable linear extent in space, with those arms that go forever.” I have no idea what that means. Randolph gets the “lean forward in the huge, uncomfortable interview chair” thing right, and defiantly insists he’s stronger than everyone thinks. I like the confidence, but the bench press numbers from the pre-draft camp don’t lie. Has Kerry Kittles been out of the league long enough to recycle the “they can fax him to away games to save money on airfare” joke?

15) Phoenix Suns select Robin Lopez. Since the hat looks particularly ridiculous atop Lopez’s Sideshow Bob ‘do, now’s as good a time as ever to point out that this year’s “draft hat” is especially hideous. They’re always bad, but that white space on most of the bill this year is awful. The comedy potential with Shaq and Robin Lopez on the same squad is off the charts. Hopefully, he can take the Lopez twins’ good natured ribbing of each other to another level: “Brook, tell me how Robin’s @*!% tastes.”

16) Philadelphia 76ers select Marreese Speights. Eh. The Sixers seem like one of those teams who are going to be just good enough to make the playoffs consistently for a few years, but will never get out of the first round.

17) Toronto Raptors select Roy Hibbert. Hibbert will be going to Indiana as part of the Jermaine O’Neal deal. Mark Jackson: “the concern here is getting up and down the floor.” Literally, as I’ve said. The Bobcats war room can’t be a very happy place right now, as Hibbert was widely thought to be the Bobcats target in acquiring the #20 pick. Will it be Alexis Ajinca now? DeAndre Jordan might be available as well — that would be a nice pickup at #20.

18) Washington Wizards select JaVale McGee. For someone who grew up around basketball (well, women’s basketball) it’s sad that one of the knocks against McGee is that he “needs to learn the game.” Wonder if mom will demand a front office job with the Mystics for him to sign.

Trade: Portland gets Jerryd Bayless and Ike Diogu from Indiana for Jarrett Jack, Josh McRoberts and Brandon Rush. And Jamaal Tinsley has gone from staring PG to third stringer in one day. Wait, does Indiana have Kareem Rush under contract next year? Anyone have any idea when was the last time brothers played for the same team?

19) Cleveland Cavaliers select JJ Hickson. Kind of a surprise, as Kosta Koufos was supposedly targeted here. Hickson has great potential. But I feel bad for the Cavaliers. The speculation about LeBron becoming a part of the Brooklyn Nets, presented by Jay-Z, in the summer of 2010 is already rampant, and it’s just going to be a circus as we get closer and closer.

Surprisingly, there’s a good selection of intriguing talent avaliable here: Alexis Ajinca, DeAndre Jordan, Kosta Koufos, Darrell Arthur are all still on the board. All of these guys worked out for the Bobcats. I’d vote for Jordan personally, but if I were betting I’d say Arthur.

The talking heads are moronic in talking about the Bobcats prior to the pick. Stuart Scott: “In four years, the Bobcats have still (emphasis his) not made the playoffs.” Another speaks of needing to “change the culture” in Charlotte. We don’t even have a culture to change! And the pick…

20) Charlotte Bobcats select Alexis Ajinca. Again, shows what I know. Yes! The first guy to crash the draft from the stands. And now we have a member of the Bill Simmons “Dudes whose names make them sound like hot chicks” club. The talk is of Ajinca’s rawness and need to put on weight, as well as the likelihood that he’ll stay overseas for further development. I say no way: “Alexis, meet Sean May. He’s going to show you the finest in American cuisine: crab bread.”

21) New Jersey Nets select Ryan Anderson. Boring name, boring pick. Next! The heads are more focused on Darrell Arthur’s status as “the last guy in the green room.” There was an internet rumor today about possible kidney issues torpedoing his draft stock. He better get picked soon or else he’s going to miss his dialysis appointment.

22) Orlando Magic select Courtney Lee. And JJ Redick cries softly into his pillow. There, there, big guy. Here’s your special pencil, and some paper — just get it all out. Yes, poetry heals. Anyways, Chad Ford had this pick pegged for over a week. I wonder if the Magic gave any thought to Mario Chalmers here? They really need to upgrade at the point.

23) Utah Jazz select Kosta Koufos. Mehmet Okur, meet your apprentice. Do Turks and Greeks get along? So Jordan, Arthur and Chalmers have slipped, along with Donte Green.

24) Seattle Sonics select Serge Ibaka. Because Johan Petro and Mouhamed Saer Sene worked out so well. Frischilla speculates that Ibaka will be sent back overseas for a couple of years to continue to develop. Don’t the Sonics need some help right now? Seriously, is Darrell Arthur on his deathbed or something?

25) Houston Rockets select Nicolas Batum. Screw you, Spurs! Nice fit for Batum, as he will get to learn from McGrady and Battier. Van Gundy with some good unintentional comedy: “Rockets needs: better health from their stars.”

Huh, Bucher confirms the rumor that Darrell Arthur has some undisclosed kidney condition. Umm, maybe I should strike that earlier dialysis joke — not so funny now.

Interview with Mike D’Antoni, who immediately cracks a joke about his reputation for not teaching or emphasizing defense. Love that guy, who wouldn’t want to play for him.

26) San Antonio Spurs select George Hill. Seems like a reach, as Hill was thought to be a second rounder. But the Spurs seem to evaluate talent pretty well, so…

27) New Orleans Hornets select Darrell Arthur. This one’s actually for the Trailblazers, so I guess they have a good team nephrologist. If the kidney issues are overblown and/or misunderstood (which is likely) then this is obviously a steal. As I said before, the Trailblazers are going to be scary over the next few years, how ever their roster shapes up.

28) Memphis Grizzlies select Donte Green. The second coming of Tim Thomas. Uninspiring draft for the Grizzlies — no wonder they were trying to trade out of the #5 pick.

29) Detroit Pistons select DJ White. I just can’t get excited about Indiana players. Maybe it’s those silly pants they wear. Or their weird old basketball goals. Moving on…

Seems like a huge delay between these picks.

30) Boston Celtics select JR Giddens. Kind of a surprise here, but a nice situation for Giddens. Pierce, Garnett and Allen won’t let him goof off or become a problem and he should really benefit from that.

Whew, and that’s the first round. Big shocker is DeAndre Jordan and Mario Chalmers are both still available. Could they fall a few more picks to the Bobcats at #38?


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4 thoughts on “2008 NBA Draft Running Diary: Round 1

  1. Wow – Great Coverage!

    Vanilla Sky is the best nickname. Those hats are ridiculous, but the Bobcats style looked good.

    I agree that Sean May needs to take Ajinca to every chicken + waffles joint he knows.

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