It’s All In The Game: NBA Draft – Who Wins and Who Loses?

The days and hours leading up to the NBA Draft is the same

every year. All the hearsay and speculation that floats around the web is

always over-hyped.

 

Shawn Marion’s going here, Stephon’s going there and so-and-so

is trading up their pick. But when it’s all said and done, all the hype ends up

being just that…hype.

 

The draft for the most part was predictable. The Bulls

shocked nobody by selecting the hometown kid, Derrick Rose. Although there was

speculation O.J. Mayo was heading to South Beach, the Heat snagged Michael

Beasley instead.

 

With a few small exceptions, everyone was picked where

they were supposed to be. Too bad Isiah Thomas wasn’t around to pull off one of

his Renaldo Balkman drafting moments.

 

There were a few blockbuster trades though. The Nets’

Richard Jefferson went to the Bucks for Yi Jianlian. Memphis’ top draft pick

Kevin Love along with Mike Miller were traded to Minnesota for Antoine Walker,

O.J. Mayo and Marco Jaric.

 

Here are some of the winners and losers of Thursday night.

 

Winners

 

Chicago – They

say Derrick Rose is Jason Kidd with a jumpshot. If that is the case, you better

not f’ this up and pick anyone else! And if he is a Chicago native, you better

not f’ this up and pick anyone else! Michael Beasley is a beast, but the Windy

City would never forgive John Paxon if he chose anybody but Rose.

 

The University of Memphis freshman sensation will make an

immediate impact in the pros and will be up there with Deron Williams and Chris

Paul in a few years. Now, all Chicago has to do is get rid of their logjam of

guards, by unloading either Ben Gordon, Kirk Hinrich or Larry Hughes.

 

New

Jersey – Standord center Brooke Lopez was once pegged as being

the third pick. But somehow in the past month, the seven-footer slid down the

charts. How he slipped all the way to 10 (where teams like Charlotte, Memphis

and Minnesota really could have used him) is beyond me.

 

Lopez is a skilled big man with a soft touch and good

basketball IQ. He may not be a future All-Star but he is no bust. Snagging Ryan

Anderson from Cal is also a solid pick. The Pac-10’s leading scorer can spread

the floor with his shooting.

 

Portland – At

first it was looking like a nightmare situation for Arizona’s Jerryd Bayless.

Having slid a little, Bayless was finally picked up by the Pacers – where they

just traded for T.J. Ford, another young point guard. Luckily for Jerryd, he

was traded to the Blazers – who are in need of a starting point guard. With a

young nucleus of Brandon Roy, Greg Oden and LaMarcus Aldridge, Bayless walked

into a perfect situation.

 

Memphis – When

the Grizzlies traded Pao for basically peanuts earlier this year, Memphis

looked like a team that should have been demoted to the D-League. But after

acquiring O.J. Mayo via trade, the Grizz now have a solid and exciting

foundation of Mayo, Rudy Gay and Mike Conley.

 

LA

Clippers – Eric Gordon was a fine choice with the seventh pick.

With Cuttino getting up there in age and Sean Livingston’s status unclear, the

super smooth combo guard from the Chi will fit in nicely for L.A.’s B squad.

And stealing DeAndre Jordan in the second round might come back and haunt every

team that passed on the Texas A&M talent.

 

Losers

 

Charlotte – No disrespect

to D.J. Augustin, but M.J. dropped the ball once again. Two years after Air

Jordan passed on Brandon Roy for Adam Morrison, Mike passed on Brooke Lopez by

picking an undersized point guard when they already have Raymond Felton.

 

If you are unhappy with Felton, and are going to draft a

point guard, why not get the bigger and more talented Jerryd Bayless? I may be

wrong about D.J., but based on Jordan’s track record (*cough*Kwame Brown*cough*)

M.J. screwed up yet another draft.

 

New York – It is

unfair to criticize someone you have never seen play. By all accounts, Danilo

Gallinari is a Toni Kukoc clone who has some game. But there were still a lot

of great guards on the board like Bayless and Eric Gordon and the New York fans

were not shy about voicing their displeasure with this pick.

 

Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni better pray this kid is the

next Dirk Nowitzki or else they’ll be chanting “Fire D’Antoni.” Doesn’t roll

off the tongue quite like “Fire Isiah” – but you get the point.

 

Sacramento – With

the 12th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft the Sacramento Kings select

Jason Thompson from Rider University. Wait…who? I think Jay Bilis said he was

solid but nothing great, so why use a lottery pick on the guy? At least they made

a great PR move by drafting Patrick Ewing Jr. in the second round!

 

Let

us know your thoughts on the 2008 draft! Who made good choices, and who didn’t?

Related Stories