The question is, who will draft him at No. 2? As I reported Tuesday, the Wolves are very open to trading the pick if they can get some veteran help. They won't be giving the pick away, but given the youth on the team and the log jam at both forward positions, this pick is a great asset to trade for veteran help. Look for the Cavs, Jazz, Wizards, Kings, Pistons, Bobcats, Bucks, Rockets, Pacers, Sixers to all get in the mix for him in the coming weeks.
To which, this is the usual ESPN speculation-as-news, but we'll take what we can get. The T-Wolves need help at the precisely the positions where the Pistons have a glut of players, and we have a lottery pick to trade. There are some lame contracts we'd have to swap for, but they are for younger players. And, yeah, I'm pretty high on Williams.
I predict the top three from this draft will turn out better than the top three from last draft. I'm high on Irving, and the big question mark is a Euro big dude, but it seems like the big dudes in this draft are big, and also dudes (as opposed to Darko and Nikolas Tszkchitczvlivli).
Of course, the draft worsens enormously after that point. That said, why is this so? Or, at least, why shouldn't the dropoff come after the top ten picks or so?
The standard explanation has been that the lockout compelled under-performers to declare in 2010 (true) and over-performers to declare in 2012 (presumably also true). But lottery picks are neither. Would Greg Monroe have sat out 2010 had it not been for an impending lockout? Ed Davis? Seems unlikely.
Perhaps college basketball has more sway than we think. If the mere possibility of a minor adjustment in draft position compels a kid to stay in school (or leave), then schools might have more leverage to compel students to return. No?
The fact that the NCAA forbade Enes Kanter to play says a lot about why this year's tourney was flaccid and banal. It's cool to watch VCU make a run when the best teams can play ball. Otherwise, the whole thing has a flip-a-coin feel.
Durant propels himself off a player and out of bounds to end the third quarter, and gets to free-throws for his effort. Fine, that's the NBA. The announcers proclaim this a dumb foul. They are right, in the incorrect sense.
Portland fired Rich Cho after less than one year. I hear from respected basketball minds that he would be a good pickup for the Pistons.
Two discussion points:
1) Why or why not?
2) Should GMs be treated like coaches, where they have a limited time to produce or get out?
I'm agnostic on the first point, nominally so on the latter. Play ball.
Not sure if I've ever mentiond this, but it makes me happy that Serge is pronounced "Surge" rather than "Sur-jay".
The OKC-Thunder remind me a lot of the early-aughts Pistons (note: spellcheck did not correct "early-aughts" but did try to correct spellcheck). That's not interesting. What is interesting is that Jason Kidd has now seen two iterations of the same fundamental approach.
Remember when the Pistons had a fundamental approach? Yeah, that was cool.