by Adam Sweeney
Welcome to the SLAMonline 2010 NBA Lottery Draft Diary, where we are all about the upside. Tonight’s Draft has us asking more questions than a rigged teleprompter for Ron Burgundy. Where will DeMarcus Cousins end up? How will the L.A. Clippers end up screwing this Draft up? Will Stuart Scott come out and discuss his bizarre love triangle with Michael Jordan and the North Carolina mascot? The suspense is killing me. We will offer commentary up through the top 14 picks.
6:17 p.m.- We’re 13 minutes from the Draft and we have our first Twitter reference. DeMarcus Cousins apparently Tweeted that he is nervous. Every lottery team’s GM replied by saying, “We are when we see you too, big guy.”
6:34- Could David Stern try not to smirk when he says New York is the home of the New York Knicks and the Liberty? He’s like the Emperor in Star Wars. The New York fans’ hatred of him only makes him stronger.
6:37- With the first pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, Washington selects…a government bailout! OK, they chose John Wall but is there a difference between the two? John Wall’s new nickname should be the Washington Lifesaver because there’s a huge hole in the center. Washington officially has become the Detroit Lions of the NBA. They’ve locked up all their money in point guards. With John Wall, Gilbert Arenas, Kirk Hinrich, Randy Foye and have to move Mike Miller. Get ready for a starting lineup intro that goes like this: “At center, the Tattooed Tower, Cherokee Parks!”
6:42- The Philadelphia 76ers select Evan Turner out of THE Ohio State University. I’ve never understood why Buckeyes make that distinction. As if we think of Ohio State, Virginia? Turner is ready to make an impact immediately in the NBA. I don’t know how I feel about his pairing with Andre Igoudala but Philly had to grab Turner. They will move Andre to the 3 spot. Jason Kapono is going to be pissed. Sigh. Philly looks good on paper but so have the Clippers for years.
6:48- The New Jersey Nets follow SLAMonline’s advice and choose Derrick Favors with the third pick. Anybody who compares him to Kwame Brown, and I’ve heard it from writers today, couldn’t be further off base. Favors has heart, he’s hungry and he’s got versatility on both ends of the court. Plus, his hands aren’t the size of a 4-year-old’s. Can you say the same about Kwame?
6:53- With the fourth pick, the Minnesota Timberwolves select the lovechild of Ronald McDonald and Kurt Cobain! Wait, that is Wesley Johnson in a yellow shirt and flannel pajamas! If he doesn’t make a name for himself in the NBA he will certainly go down in NBA Draft fashion infamy. Some will rip Minnesota for not taking DeMarcus Cousins but I like Johnson here. He’s smooth, explosive and will kill it in transition off Kevin Love’s outlet passes.
7:00- Ladies and gentlemen, the Sacramento Kings have officially put all of their eggs in one basket by taking DeMarcus Cousins with the fifth pick. I love Tyreke Evans and on the surface it looks like he will do work with Cousins, but it’s always a risk to take a player with character issues in the top 5. Sactown shouldn’t worry though because John Calipari has vouched for him and everyone knows his word is as good as…uh oh. Still, people tripped out on Sacramento for taking Tyreke last year and that worked out splendidly. Let’s hope it happens again.
7:06- Golden State takes Ekpe Udoh out of Baylor with the sixth pick. Could we be looking at a slimmer and more athletic version of Adonal Foyle? Both were shot block beasts. Golden State Warriors, the project player capital of the NBA!
7:12- Detroit gets their man with Greg Monroe at No. 7. This would have been my pick if I was the Golden State GM but hey, the Warriors are idiots. Monroe will help people forget Joe Dumars took Darko Milicic. Nah, nothing will ever take him off the hook for that but Monroe is selfless, a tremendous passer and has great court vision. He needs to develop more of a post game but he will get immediate playing time alongside Charlie Villanueva. Big East, represent!
7:18- The L.A. Clippers take Steve Urkel, aka Al-Farouq Aminu, with the eighth pick. I don’t know who started this trend toward “nerd chic” but it’s got to stop. I think Aminu took the term old school a bit too seriously. Looking like a cross between a member of De La Soul and Erick Sermon from EPMD does not work on draft night. People already don’t take your new team seriously. Don’t add to the laughter. Aminu is freakishly athletic and has many intangibles you ask for, but the fact is that he’s cursed by going to L.A.
7:24- The Utah Jazz selecting Gordon Hayward at No. 9 was as predictable as Lady Gaga admitting she has a penis. She hasn’t yet? Give it time. Hayward is everything you expect from a Utah player. He’s versatile, has a great basketball I.Q. and looks just nerdy enough to look like he’s related to John Stockton or Jeff Hornacek. There was no way he was getting past Basketball Jesus and the Indiana Pacers. Good pick by Utah.
7:31- With the ninth pick, the Indiana Pacers select Paul George, Danny Granger 2.0. The Fresno State product has unlimited shooting range and shot an impressive 90 percent from the free throw line. George needs to settle less on three-point shots and attack the basket. It remains to be seen if he is aggressive enough to fulfill all his potential but as he said, the sky is the limit in Indiana. It’s easier to say that when you’re so close to the ground floor. Sorry, Indy, but it’s true.
7:37- The New Orleans Hornets ignore my draft motto of never drafting the undersized white man and draft Cole Aldrich with the tenth pick. He’s a shot blocker who will work hard, as most players of his model will. What I’m trying to say is that if you loved Eric Montross then this is your guy.
7:41- Ric Bucher announces that Oklahoma City will get Aldrich and Morris Peterson for the 18th and 21st pick. It makes sense for New Orleans, who had to get some luxury tax relief and let Mo-Pete’s near six mil next season slide. OKC needs size and Aldrich will be in a much improved situation over his spot in New Orleans. Aldrich fits well and will have virtually no pressure offensively. Funny how having Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant can do that for you.
7:44- Memphis grabs freshman sensation Xavier Henry with the twelfth pick. Rudy Gay, welcome to Clipperland, home of oversized contracts and low expectations! He will fit in perfectly.
7:49- Welcome to Stuart Scott’s revisionist history. Stu said Ed Davis, Toronto’s pick at No. 13 out of North Carolina, broke out and emerged as a star in the 2009 NCAA season. Hmm, did he break out or was all the focus on Tyler Hansborough and Ty Lawson? Stuart, your bias is showing. I’m not saying Ed Davis won’t stand out. A broken wrist stunted his chance to shine his sophomore season for sure. Let’s just slow down on the hyperbole a bit. He’s a humble, high energy player that needs to gain size and learn to finish stronger at the rim. But the fact is that Toronto needs a power forward to replace Chris Bosh when…I mean if he leaves. Yes…if he leaves. Cough.
7:56- The bluegrass movement continues as another Kentucky player, Patrick Patterson, is picked by Houston to close out the lottery picks. He fits Houston’s philosophy perfectly. He’s mature, tough and will work his butt off to get playing time. Patterson’s ready to roll as soon as the season start and will bang down low. He will be undersized at his position but what player outside of Yao Ming isn’t on Houston. It’s not about the size of the player, it’s about the size of his heart. Patterson’s got that.
That puts a wrap on the NBA Lottery Draft Diary. We’re going to go work on our shot and see if we can’t squeeze our name in to the second round, seeing as there is an insane lack of point guard depth in this Draft. Here’s hoping all the lottery players go to sleep tonight without visions of Darko, Kwame and Sam Bowie dancing in their heads.