With ESPN’s coverage of the NBA Draft, we have a solid and mixed panel of Jay Bilas, Jalen Rose, and Bill Simmons, moderated by Rece Davis.
7:39 All 3 of the analysts continue to suggest stretches in awaiting the announcement of the 1st pick. Just trying to fill the air time.
7:40 Simmons stupifies everyone with his trade possibility: Cavs take Noel, the Suns take Len five picks later, then they swap big men with some extras included. The Grantland founder also suggests that Stern, who comes out after a few minutes past the end of Cleveland’s clock, is trying to milk the moment.
7:41 Stern announces that the Cavaliers select…Anthony Bennett? Half the Cavs fans ESPN shows are stunned. Some are jubilant. The crowd in the Barclay’s Center exclaims a collective “ohhhh”. Simmons needs “medical help”.
If the Cavs were going to draft a post player–a part of the team they didn’t need to fill–it would be out of picking the “best available”. But Bennett does have somewhat superstar potential, and fills the void for a wing player in Cleveland. The pick really shows how uncertain this draft is.
7:47 Victor Oladipo! As Noel watches in dejection.
This is a fantastic pick, and decision, by the Orlando Magic. Oladipo has few if any weaknesses, and with his work ethic, he will only continue to improve and develop. He says that he “will come in and help the program”. That states his potential effect efficiently and concretely. Oladipo’s biggest impact will be on the culture of the franchise: his arrival is an influx of humility and diligence.
7:52 Wizards select “hometown” kid Otto Porter. This was a safe pick by Washington, and fills a spot at the small forward position. Porter’s versatility and all-around game will tremendously help a developing Wizards team.
7:55 Shane Battier, after only a couple of draft pick interviews, has already confidently established a sense of humor.
7:56 According to Porter’s father, we have another “solid work ethic” and very diligent kid (along with Oladipo). Personally, I enjoy hearing a player such as Porter growing up in a family that holds the importance of athletics and academics on equal footing.
7:58 Bilas explains how much a slap in the face it is that 2 of the top 3 picks are players that WEREN’T in the Top 100 coming out of high school. All that work went down the drain. Ouch.
7:59 ANOTHER Hoosier is selected, and it’s Cody Zeller. The Bobcats get a guy that is very athletic for a post player, and was indeed overly picked apart at the college level.
This may be the first, true “bust” of this year’s draft. Or at least Nerlens Noel will show how he should have been picked ahead. By picking Noel, Charlotte would get a lot more talent and potential for the future, despite any lingering injuries. Also, they’d get a player in Noel who would be pissed off–since he dropped so steeply–and motivated to destroy all these teams who passed up on him.
8:07 Stern walks out stunned once again at the hostile Barclay’s Center crowd. He announces the Suns select a post player…and it’s Alex Len. Huh. You would think Nerlens would be the next post player to come off the board, albeit the fact that Len is more polished offensively. Len is the more complete player: he has a reliable jumper, and with his stature, his defense and rebounding effort will be solid.