NBA Draft Recap (Bulls and League-Wide)
Well that was an interesting draft. A lot of big moves happened leading up to the draft and there were some minor trades during the draft. Some guys slipped and some guys jumped, but for the most part there weren’t too many surprises once the draft began.
With the 16th and 26th pick, I was hoping the Bulls would take a big man and possibly a big 2 guard to replace Hinrich and/or Gordon. At 16, there were still a lot of big men on the table, but I was pushing mainly for DaJuan Blair. I know he’s a bit undersized height-wise, but he is a beast on the boards. Instead the Bulls drafted James Johnson.
Then the Bulls had another shot at Blair with the 26th pick, but they had already drafted a big man, so they wouldn’t need another one, right? That was the wrong assumption, as Gar Forman selected Taj Gibson from USC. Another undersized big man to compete with TT, Noah, Miller, and now Johnson in the frontcourt.
My initial reaction to the draft was “Well, I don’t hate these guys, but we needed a legit big man, or at least a 2 guard that would be serviceable if Gordon bolts”. The more I think about it, though, the more I realize that this might work. Both Johnson and Gibson have pretty refined offensive games for big men and are skilled enough to see time at the small forward position. On top of that, I realized that perhaps this lends itself to the Bulls new philosophy of playing a more uptempo pace. Perhaps they wanted big men that could run the floor, which would explain why they didn’t bat an eye as Blair tumbled down into the second round.
Overall it was a solid draft that gets a B from me as far as grades. And at the very least, Taj Gibson “gets the blueprint”, so there’s always that.
Around The League (The Highlights of the Draft and the Days leading up to it)
Flurry of Trades:
- The Spurs moved Bruce Bowen and Kurt Thomas to the Bucks for Richard Jefferson. Wow what a steal for the Spurs. They also sent Fabricio Oberto to Detroit for Amir Johnson.
- The Cavs responded by trading away Pavlovic, Ben Wallace, a 2nd round pick in 2010 and some cash to the Suns for 1 year of Shaq’s services.
- The Magic, who reportedly have received word that Turkoglu will be opting out of his contract after making this trade, were able to acquire Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson from the Nets for Courtney Lee, Rafer Alston and Tony Battie.
- The Wizards and Timberwolves made an interesting trade. The Wolves sent Mike Miller and Randy Foye to Washington in exchange for Oleksiy Pechorov, Etan Thomas, Darius Songaila, and the #5 pick in the draft. This trade looks very good for the Wiz, but very strange for the Wolves. It leaves them with 10 forwards on their roster, and would lead to an absurd looking draft for them.
- Blake Griffin went first and Hasheem Thabeet went second, so no surprises there for the most part.
- The Timberwolves, with 6 picks overall and 4 in the first round, stunned most of us by selecting three point guards with the 5th, 6th and 18th pick, respectively Rubio, Flynn, and Lawson. Then they traded Lawson to Denver for a future first round pick. Now there are reports Rubio may stay overseas (probably because he hates the cold). So it looks like the Wolves may have in fact gotten just one point guard.
- The Warriors took Stephon Curry one pick before the Knicks and just like every other year, a bunch of New York jackasses at Madison Square Garden got to boo like idiots.
- Hansborough went 13th to the Pacers, and Bulls fans let out a collective sigh of relief. It’s not that he sucks or anything, we just don’t want him.
- At the 23rd pick, the Kings selected Omri Casspi. The guy looks like he could be a beast, and he might get some run with the Kings, which would make him the first Israeli player to ever play in the NBA.
- At the 24th pick, the Mavs selected BJ Mullens, and then turned around and traded him to the Thunder for Rodrigue Beaubois taken with the 25th pick.
- The Knicks purchased the Lakers 29th pick for about $3 million in cash considerations.
- Apparently (and this seems very strange to me), the Blazers are sending Sergio Rodriguez, Jon Brockman, and the 38th pick to the Kings for the 31st pick, where they took Jeff Pendergraph.
- Both Sam Young and DeJuan Blair, projected as mid to late first rounders, slipped well into the second round. They were selected 36th and 37th by the Grizzlies and Spurs respectively.
- There was a lot of second round trading of picks, but none that were all that notable beyond maybe Budinger, picked 44th (yikes, thats a bit of a drop) being sent by the Pistons to the Rockets in exchange for cash considerations.