Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Post Draft Thoughts from Across the Pond by BENT
Since Bent was kind enough to give his thoughts pre-draft, so it's only fair to give him some dap post-draft. Enjoy!
Oh, what a night! I seriously believe that this could not have gone much better for the Celtics and I am very, very excited about my team's prospects now. Here are my immediate reactions to last night, which we may never forget.
* As the swing prospects were sliding due to teams taking other postion players because of need, it seemed too good to be true. I was so convinced that Danny would throw us all a curve and not do the obvious, but he did the right thing. Ironic that we have this amazing draft guru and the first two picks would have probably been made by 99% of us anyway if you polled the chat room. The 3rd one may surprise though...I'll get to that.
* Let's clear it up once and for all. I've seen some of your concerns on the message board, but rest assured Green is a can't miss prospect and sensational value at 18. I don't get what Portland is thinking going after Webster first. He's a better shooter (but Green is still way above average), but other than that, Green's skills are far more developed, and he is an incredible athlete, which Webster will never be.
*Green is much better than Josh Smith and J R Smith at the same stage and both were productive last year (although Green will not be guaranteed the same court time). Gerald will contribute right away and has limitless potential. All my opinions of course, but most pundits agree with me (and yes, I have seen him play and not just in all star games).
* Don't be concerned that his stock fell. Teams were unwilling to take him sight unseen and he refused to work out for most, which didn't matter because he was a top 5 lock (right, Jeff?). Danny isn't taking him sight unseen because he is a HS junkie and was interviewed at the McDonalds game and said he liked him.
* I cannot believe we got this lucky. Villanueva and Webster were crucial and a lot of teams took proven winners because the Bulls were so successful with that system last year. I'm still shaking my head. Wow! By the way, in case you are interested, I think his new nickname should be..."The".
* If the PP for number 3 trade-that-never-was had taken place, I would have wanted Green anyway. Now we keep Pierce and also Green's salary is $1M per year instead of $2.8M. Again, wow!
* Moving on from Green, the Raptors took a lot of heat for selecting Charlie Villanueva at 7, but then they got great value with Graham at 16. So overall, they made out OK. My guess is that they wanted these two, but because Charlie is a PF and there were several swingmen likely to be available, they took him first because they didn't want him to be selected first by a team who needed a PF. However, with Bosh there, he may play some SF anyway (along with Graham).
* My favourite analogy of the night was when the Knicks took Frye and Lee (two "safe" picks with limited ceilings) and we took Green, I said that Ainge swung for the fence with the bases loaded, whereas Isiah bunted with nobody on.
* The three second rounders I have been talking up for months, Head, Hodge and Maxiell, all went in the 20's (as I predicted). That made me feel good. Diener also went higher than many expected. I was way off on my choices for who might be picked in the 50's though.
* The most jaw-dropping thing I saw all night (just ahead of Deron Williams' girlfriend and Martell Webster's Grandmother's hat) was one of the clips of Nate Robinson. I've seen this guy play (and dunk) before, but they showed one clip where he threw down a tip dunk that I had never seen before. I have to say that was one of the most incredible dunks I have EVER seen. The Knicks (via the Suns) are reaching there, but I do think he'll be a solid professional. Channing Frye said on Sportsdesk, that looking at their talent, they should be contenders. That makes two people in the whole world then...Zeke and Frye.
* Vitale's meltdown was inevitable. Boy, he completely lost it at one stage. He likes Green though, which surprised me, because I thought he would be bitter at GG for not giving him a chance to include him in his diaper dandies. (Wright, Paulus, McRoberts, ???, ???)
* When I look at how the draft went better than could have been expected, I'm including in terms of our rivals. We must look at our division, teams like Indiana and the Bulls, and also the Cavs and Lakers, who we want to struggle because we have future picks of theirs. Toronto made out OK, but they have little to start with and the Nets and Pacers each got a good player, but they both already have good players at that position. Philly and the Lakers both went with long term projects, so will not have upgraded immediately. Bulls and Cavs had no picks (and the Cavs actually weakened their roster by effectively giving Jiri away to the Bucks). The Knicks will have improved a bit, but not scarily so (and I don't like the Q trade for them).
* Our second pick, Ryan Gomes was another no-brainer. Some mocks had us taking him at 18. Do we finally have our power three? The highlight of his college career for me was when he completely outplayed Okafor in the UConn championship year. The ESPN pundits respectively said he reminded them of Eric Williams, Adrian Dantley and Corliss Williamson. Erm...I'll take Dantley please. This will be great for the roster because there will be direct competition between him and Reed.
* Controversially, Ryan Gomes was threatened with jail on the night of the draft. Maybe a warning sign and a reason for his slide to 50? Probably not, because it wasn't Ryan Gomes the basketball player, it was a poster in the chatroom with the same name. (Hagrid exerting his authority!)
* Here (in no particular order) are my top ten players that everyone seems to have written off as busts. I say that 80% of these will be contributors within 2 years and some will become stars. They should all make strides this year. (1) Sebastien Telfair (2) Kwame Brown (3) Robert Swift (4) Darko Milicic (5) Ndudi Ebi (6) Travis Outlaw (7) Luke Jackson (8) Dorrell Wright (9) Jonathan Bender (10) Adonal Foyle.
* Our final pick Orien Greene could well turn out to be a Danny Ainge gem. He is a pure point, which you have to love (and will help out West and Banks). His size at that position is terrific (6'5"), and would allow him to play with West or Banks, but now we have an extra swingman in GG, that's unlikely to be necessary. He is a defensive specialist, which means that he is excellent value, because he will have been overlooked in favour of some scorers with impressive stats. A terrific athlete as well. I've only seen him play once (in the tournament against Louisville) and he struggled with foul trouble, but he was guarding Garcia as some points and held his own, proving he can guard NBA-level talent. Again, as with all Ainge's picks, this gives us something we don't have and a lot of scouts were really high on him. I think he'll contribute this year, but may also hone his skills in the NBDL.
* I said it would be interesting to compare the Lakers haul with that of the C's. I'd put my mortgage on Green, Gomes and Greene against Bynum, Turiaf and Wafer in a three-on-three.
* There is plenty of undrafted talent. There will be some good players fighting for their basketball lives in the summer league next week. I think we may have room for one or two and then they can develop in the NBDL. I won't speculate who, because there are many options, but the Vermont guys would make sense, being local and all.
So, that's my review. I can't believe it still. Gerald Green! I smell seventeen - heck, I can smell twenty eight right now!
I would just like to say thanks to all for last night's draft chat. It was a blast and good to chat to a lot of you guys for the first time in a while (surreal moment of the night: when we went off on a wild tangent and started discussing Doug Mientkiewicz). Sorry to miss those who could not make it.
Someone was smiling down on us last night
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