Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Morning Buzz

We are on the morning of the NBA Draft Lottery drawing, which I argue is the most important day on the NBA calendar for about one-third of its teams. These are the same teams who tanked it for two-thirds of the season and made basketball atrocious to watch for months on end.
Here are some key storylines heading into tonight's drawing.

Storyline #1: The #1 overall pick. Memphis has the best opportunity at 25.0%, but that is in no way a sure thing. If they get the #1 pick, can you imagine Pau Gasol with a dominant center (he's not dominant yet) patrolling the lane? He's never had one of those. Brandon Roy may have been rookie of the year, but Rudy Gay will have the top sophomore campaign with the supporting cast of Gasol, Greg Oden, and Mike Miller. He can score in bunches and contributes in other ways, so long as he is not the guy. It's a shame that they don't play in the East.

If Boston gets the pick, will Doc Rivers still use 100 different starting lineups over the course of a 82-game season next year? He will find a way and successfully drive Celtics fans insane. That's assuming they're not already insane.

Storyline #2: Atlanta's Top 3 Protected Pick. Right now, it belongs to Phoenix as they sit in the 4th position. If Phoenix holds onto the pick, they can draft from a number of talented forwards, including Yi Jianlian, Al Horford, and possibly Brandan Wright. This can allow the Suns to have a natural replacement for potentially outgoing forward Shawn Marion who can opt for free agency in the summer. This could also lead to a trade - although I doubt seeing it happen - between the Suns and the recipient of the first pick overall offering Shawn Marion and Phoenix's three first-round picks (4th, 24th, and 29th) for what will likely to be Greg Oden.

Should the Hawks be able to keep the pick for yet another year, they will have a second pick in the lottery and a pick in the top 3. Essentially, this would give head coach Mike Woodson less than a year to start winning or else he'll be shown the door.

Storyline #3: Larry Brown to Memphis? Rumors have flown for the last couple weeks and even earlier with regard to Larry Brown locking up the Grizzlies head coaching post if they can land the #1 pick tonight.

Storyline #4: Elgin Baylor. Will he represent the Clippers? He's been missed the last couple years and the lottery hasn't been the same without him.


Anonymous said...

Why do you think that the rumored Marion plus picks for the #1 overall is unlikely?

Also, are there any teams in the mid-to-lower lottery who may look to move up?

Paymon said...

Your first question is a moot point since Phoenix only has the two late first rounders.

Right now, it's too early to foresee teams moving up within the lottery. After the draft camp from June 4-8, you can expect teams to start coveting specific players.