NBA Draft 2007

Judging from the agonized shouts from our upstairs neighbors (just outside of scenic Boston) it sounds like the Celtics got well and truly screwed on the NBA Draft. Was a ~20% chance of getting Oden really worth throwing about a half season’s worth of games? To add insult to injury, we’re stuck with Doc Rivers on a contract extension. I’m glad I’m not Bill Simmons’ cardiologist…

Oh yea.

Boston got the absolute WORST pick they could have gotten.

I believe the Grizzlies did too.

Portland, Seattle, and Atlanta got the 3 top picks. Atlanta conveniently needed a top 3 pick to keep from becoming even more irrelevant (if that’s even possible), as a 4+ would’ve given their picks to Phoenix.

I know people say these lotteries are rigged. After this one… I kind of see it.

Oh man, Celtics boards are melting down…

As a lifelong Sonic fan, as well as a UW grad, I’m happier than a bee. The Sonics suck, sure, but add Durant to Allen and all of a sudden things are looking great, and maybe he can help keep the team up in Seattle. And jeezus, Portland is scary and going to be for a long time, cause they’re disgustingly young and talented. Brandon Roy (Rookie of the Year and UW’s favorite son), LeMarcus Aldridge, Greg Oden… scaaaaaaaary. Owner Paul Allen has some awesomely deep pockets, too.

edited to add:
man, I can’t even get to the Oregonian’s web site right now. The Trailblazers are the only major sports franchise in the state. The entire state must be melting down right now at the news.

I’m still laughing about the whole deal. Simmons writes all year about tanking (the pros and cons), says how great it’ll be to have Durant (or Oden) and how cool it was that they’ll get one of the two, then on the day of the lottery he does a karmic piece about how Boston will come up second behind Seattle, and then they get blown down to 5th and Seattle gets 2nd.

I’m just waiting to see when Portland will turn the new pick into a life of crime and stupidity. It’s bound to happen.

— Alan

I guess the western conference is going to get even a bit tougher now – yikes.

But otherwise I don’t mind – I’m kind of happy to see the tankingest teams not get rewarded. Too bad Philly didn’t move up – would have been nice karmic justice after they played so well after the Iverson trade.

(I don’t have a vested interest in the lottery since my team made the playoffs; I have bigger worries, that they’re probably going to get pantsed in this round by Detroit, leading to (if possible) an even greater concentration of stories about what paper tigers the Cavs are. Maybe it’s true but jeez! Lay off my boys.)

The Jailblazers have turned it around the past few years. It’s been painful, but they jettisoned almost all of the malcontents and have been drafting youth, particularly non-troublemarkers. Brandon Roy is like the poster child of what the NBA needs. He’s the NBA Rookie of the Year, but he’s also incredibly humble. He’s an instant community superstar; the fans in Oregon adore him, and Sonics fans wish he were playing in Seattle.

Okay I admit, the Trailblazers seemed to have gotten rid of most if not all of the bad, skeletal influences…

— Alan

I live in Portland and grew up near Seattle (so the Sonics are my favorite team). I’m okay with Portland getting better and amazed that the Sonics are getting Durant.

I guess the fix wasn’t in this time. (Though I like to think of Stern agonizing like Ryan Gosling in Fracture trying to decide if he should push the “fix” button or not)

Portland has cleaned house and the team is mostly* likeable.
They have the right coach (who should still be in Seattle, but that’s a whole other story) and some great young talent. Oden, Roy, Aldridge, Jack et al are going to be very good for a long time. It should be fun to watch.

*Zach Randolf and Darius Miles are still two of the best players, they are…ummm asshats.

What I’m happiest about is that Bill Simmons is in agony. Multiple superbowls and a world series win? Not enough. He wants Oden too. If the fix was in I hope it was fixed against the Celtics for the way they disgraced their uniforms this year.

I highly doubt a fix, but it is of interest that Boston and Memphis, the two teams that were most accused of throwing games at the end of the season got screwed out of the higher draft slots.

I am waiting and refreshing ESPN regularly for the Draft Diary from Simmons…it should be a worthy read for this afternoon…

Talk Radio here this morning has been hysterical. Of course the NBA lottery system is completely broken blah blah blah…

Too many people are onto Stern after the Knicks/Ewing fix. He couldn’t risk it.

Plus, Jesus hates cheaters.

I am generally very uninterested in the NBA. But I’m interested in the perception that teams were throwing games to improve their lottery prospects. Anybody care to offer a summary of the evidence to support this?

(I’m not saying it did or didn’t happen - I’m just interested in the evidence one way or the other).

Hahahaha, those Boston fans weren’t crying for Portland last year when the Trailblazers had the worst record in the NBA and ended up with the fourth draft pick. But you know what, Portland still had an excellent draft because Boston was stupid enough to trade its pick for the malcontent Sebastian Telfair. Portland then eventually drafted Brandon Roy, who slipped down to #6 even though everyone agreed he was the most “NBA Ready” player in the draft (Roy stayed all four years in college), and Roy turned out to be, by a country mile, the top rookie of the year.

Quit your bitchin’ and make lemonade out of lemons, Boston.

Teams made some very odd decisions in which pretty much guaranteed them losing a game. Or they would play really well then totally collapse in the second half–I saw Boston do this a number of times.

— Alan

Milwaukee was actually the worst at this. They essentially put Villanueva and Redd on the DL the last month of the season when neither were hurt to guarantee they would lose the games. Boston played them with a D League lineup in one head to head game.

Portland killed last years draft. Between hiring Nate McMillian, getting Roy and Aldridge and Jamal McGlore and getting rid of Telfair…(ets just say Portland is very pleased with the Ainge administration.

As an aside, Telfair and Miles were Paul Allen’s decisions, both (drafting Telfair and giving Miles a max contract) were forced on the team from the accidental billionaire’s secret base on Dorkron 6. Maybe he can see how well the current execs are doing and he’ll keep his pepperoni stained fingers off them, but don’t bet on it.

This is probably the most anticipated Bill Simmons column ever.

All things considered, the talent level in the lottery is outstanding. Chicago is going to get a nice player with the New York pick. I was hoping for Atlanta to slot in at four, toss the pick to Phoenix, and watch Phoenix draft Horford.

Its up :)

The C’s are done. Seriously. I don’t understand the love affair with Pierce. He is a top 30 player but is never going to win you a title on his own. The current buzz here is trade the pick for a veteran like Garnett packaging the expiring Ratliff contract and sign Billups…Never ever going to work. My vision had been Durant, trade Pierce for a slightly younger player with upside and let Jefferson continue developing while watching for a real stud PG. Now? Screwed…They have limited trade ability, no cap, and no real incoming talent.

The thing is, that the post Len Bias Celtics have had so many things go wrong, from the shoulda had Tim Duncan, which may have simply been fate, to sticking with Doc Rivers, or any number of stupid trades, that people here have been in a sort of basketball denial - despite a bad coach, a questionable front office, getting Oden would somehow make it all better. On the surface of it, this is a ridiculous thought, but people believed in it, and it worked to get through the tail end of a very sad season. Now there’s nowhere to hide - no Oden, no nothing, just Doc Rivers for at least another season. Imagine if the Yankees became a just barely above triple-A baseball team for 10+ years - that’s what it is like for the Celtics these days.

I can’t really argue with the karma of it - throw games and you get nothing. Not sure how to fix the draft in order to give poor teams a shot a drafting good players without rewarding poor play.

Celtics fans should be grateful, to be honest. Oden or Durant might have kept Rivers and Danny Ainge in their jobs for years to come. Now? Might get some fresh blood.