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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Unsubstantiated Speculation: NBA Draft Links June 25

Awww, how nice of those guys to let Ammo feel like he's actually in the NBA

Nothing about the NBA Draft makes any sense. GMs intentionally lie about who they want to confuse the rest of the league, agents pull players out of workouts to manipulate their value and the Milwaukee Bucks continue to pretend they are trying to win. Mock drafts are always way off, the rumored trades never go down and the ones that do are always out of left field. There is no rhyme. There is no reason. And that is exactly why it is so great. Sports fans love to speculate, and the NBA Draft is 90 percent speculatastic. So in an exercise of almost certain futility, I bring you Unsubstantiated Speculation, a column containing all the relevant, completely false draft news links from around the Intertubes. Look for this once or twice a week leading up to the draft. Believe nothing.

And if you are a blog that covers the draft and feel you deserve to be on the Links, click the e-mail link on the right sidebar.


Gonna do a short links thing because the ish is going down, as the kids say. GO!

- Jermaine O'Neal has apparently been traded to Toronto about 12 seconds ago. It's JO for TJ Ford, Rasho Nesterovic and the No. 17 pick. Indiana now has No. 11 and No. 17. My man Jose Calderon is the Raps full-time starter and according to Draft Express, the Pacers will take Robin Lopez or Kosta Koufos, who would join Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy to give Indiana the coveted "NBA Front Line that Likes Fall Out Boy The Most" title. This can't be good for DJ Augustin who looked like a likely choice at No. 11 before the Pacers landed Ford. By the way, this one can't be completed until July 9 due to contract-related things I cannot understand.

- The Nuggets traded the No. 20 pick to the Bobcats for a future No. 1. This gives the Bobcats the No. 9 and No. 20 pick. Apparently Charlotte wants Roy Hibbert which makes perfect sense, because Larry Brown thinks this is still 1968. Denver is out of the first round completely for now, which is smart, even though I am sure they would've liked to know Indiana was trading for TJ Ford and Augustin or Chalmers could drop to them. But anyway, they needed a point guard and chances were Augustin and Chalmers wouldn't be there or (more likely) wouldn't be any good. Anthony Carter sleeps easy one more night.

- In case you are late to the party, the Hornets sold the No. 27 pick to the Blazers, who used the money Paul Allen keeps in the cupholder of his car. The Blazers now have No. 13 and No. 27, although NOLA GM Jeff Bower says the deal ain't done. Apparently the Blazers like Ante Tomic, who is not from this country.

- It's looking almost certain that Michael Beasley will not be a member of the Miami Heat next year, which has to piss him right off. According to Andy Katz and Chad "The Lyin' Hawaiian" Ford (I think Ford is great by the way, couldn't resist using that nickname), the Heat worked out Jerryd Bayless and OJ Mayo over the weekend and will either take Mayo at No. 2 or entertain a number of potential trades. As much as I think Mayo will be a stud in this league, I cannot believe Pat Riley would pass up on the best player in the draft because he smiles too much and his eyes are naturally half-shut. Sure Dwyane Wade is a serious player, but all that got him last year was this.

- Speaking of Beasley, Episode 3 of his ESPN Digital thing, "The Rookie" is up. I'll just embed the damn thing. Thanks ESPN, you're the best!


- Also speaking of Beasley, FreeDarko continues to be very awesome with this analysis of Beasley's personality how it relates to his style of play and how all this naysaying and turmoil might actually help his legacy. The guy will have a massive chip on his shoulder and if he dominates can squash the myth of the goofy, underachiever Agent Zero-style. Just read the thing, it's hard to describe in a paragraph (and hard to understand if you are not smart.)

- Hilarity: Fun with Italian translation and Danilo Gallinari's rising (no pun intended) stock.

- Awesomeness: The NBA Draft Vocab Fantasy Draft. Yes. A Thousand Times Yes.

- Checking out Mr. Chad's latest mock draft, I see that the Spurs have apparently promised Ryan Anderson the No. 26 pick. Another outstanding role player for the Spurs who seem to realize that fitting a need (the outside shooting that will be lost when Horry/Barry/Bowen retire/die) in the draft is a lot more helpful than going for the home run. But then again, what do they know?

- Lots of interesting bits in this Andy Katz rumors post. (By the way, for a college guy, Katz has done an outstanding job covering the Draft and getting inside info from NBA sources. Well, I suppose we will see just how good a job he's done tomorrow, but whatever. Good work.) Within: It looks like Rose, Beasley, Mayo are a pretty safe top 3, in that order. Seattle is still deciding on Bayless/Lopez though. The Bucks better pick Joe Alexander or every draft writer in the world will look like an idiot. Jason Thompson appears to have the inside track at the Warriors pick at No. 14. The Sixers might take DeAndre Jordan at No. 16, which would ruin my life.

- Henry Abbott at the amazing TrueHoop did a chat with Mayo, Gordon, Bayless, Rose and Love today. Since Beasley was not involved, it was very bland and safe.

- And over at College Hoops Net, we've got our consensus draft ranking. And CHN Editor Shawn Siegel and I talked the draft through that great bastion of American communication, gChat.

- Oh and I got two press releases from ESPN (somehow). One is this one, which outlines Thursday night's coverage. It will be hosted by Stu Scott with analysis from Jay Bilas, Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy, which sounds awful because none of those guys knows anything about the players besides Bilas, who knows nothing about the NBA. Stephen A. Smith will be there, which means another installment from the Stephen A. Smith Heckling Society of Gentlemen (2007, 2006) is possible. Thank freaking God.

Also, I got this one, which is actually pretty cool. ESPNU will be broadcasting games all day today and tomorrow of this year's prospects. And not just like college games but Oak Hill vs Simeon (Rose) from two years ago and DeMatha vs. Huntington (Mayo) last year. So check that out, I suppose.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Unsubstantiated Draft Links: Draft Links June 24


Nothing about the NBA Draft makes any sense. GMs intentionally lie about who they want to confuse the rest of the league, agents pull players out of workouts to manipulate their value and the Milwaukee Bucks continue to pretend they are trying to win. Mock drafts are always way off, the rumored trades never go down and the ones that do are always out of left field. There is no rhyme. There is no reason. And that is exactly why it is so great. Sports fans love to speculate, and the NBA Draft is 90 percent speculatastic. So in an exercise of almost certain futility, I bring you Unsubstantiated Speculation, a column containing all the relevant, completely false draft news links from around the Intertubes. Look for this once or twice a week leading up to the draft. Believe nothing.

And if you are a blog that covers the draft and feel you deserve to be on the Links, click the e-mail link on the right sidebar.


I haven't been able to post on here nearly as much but with the Draft fast approaching, I gotta get my act together. For today's links, I'll be going pick by pick in the lottery and linking whatever the Internets say each team will do that they inevitably will not do.

I'll be back later this week with another links thing (hopefully) and a final mock draft.

Oh and because it is so bizarre and awesome that it cannot be bound by one pick, here is a link to the utterly amazing Free Darko Draft Previews. Part 1, Part 2.
Continue...

1. Chicago Bulls
It's becoming more and more apparent that Chicago will take Rose, even though I don't think they should. Although those ready to put Miami on the clock already should be wary that Rose is openly politicking for his hometown team to pick him just a week before the draft. Not the sound of certainty. The one thing I don't like is this idea that Rose is a better pick because he acts serious and professional in interviews and Beasley does not. These kids are 19, neither of them are professional. Rose is shy, Beasley is not. Can Rose do his taxes better than Beasley or something? Is Rose more proficient in Excel? No. They are both really good at basketball but happen to have different personalities. Derrick Rose is going to be freaking great but give me Beasley this year. That is all. Now, the idea that Rose should be the pick because he is by far the best true point guard for a league that covets them more than ever -- that makes a bit more sense.

2. Miami Heat
This is probably where Beasley is going to go, whether it's to Miami or not, so let's talk about him. First, ESPN is cashing in on this whole, "The Next Arenas" thing by capitalizing on Beasley's personality even while its writers bash his draft prospects. They have him blogging. They have an "in-depth" feature on him, which tries to overtake that old Wash Post feature as the "link all Internet writers must provide when discussing Beasley's character issues." They have some ESPN Digital Video things (part 1, part 2) of him, which are pretty tame but awesome for a Philly native like me because he hangs out in the city all day. For the record, he does not stab anyone in the videos nor does he give anyone a wedgie. Rose did work out for Miami so if you're the type of person that likes to make blind leaps of faith (and as someone writing about the Draft, I am), that's another sign that Chicago hasn't made up its mind.

3. Minnesota Timberwolves
They hold the key to the rest of the Draft. Not only does their pick affect those after it but it apparently affects those in front of it. If Miami thinks they can get Mayo at No. 4 or No. 5, they may be inclined to trade the No. 2. The T'Wolves seem to be all over the board. Mayo should be the pick but they have brought in Eric Gordon and Jerryd Bayless recently. Brook Lopez and Danilo Gallinari were in there too. As Ian Thomsen at Sports Illustrated writes, this is one of the toughest drafts to predict in recent memory and a lot of it rests on Miami and Minnesota's uncertainty. Thomson says it's down to Mayo and Love for the Wolves. Mayo has been neglecting small markets (although given that he worked out in Minny, his tune may have changed), and Love is a white person. You do the math.

4. Seattle Supersonics
Another team that long seemed to be locked in on a player (Jerryd Bayless), but now could go any number of directions. It appears Brook Lopez and Russell Westbrook (who Chad Ford has the Sonics taking -- now who is the one with the crazy man crush on Russ?), are very real possibilities. Apparently my man Westbrook has shut down workouts and according to Ford, has a promise in the mid-lottery, possibly at No. 4.

5. Memphis Grizzlies
Many reports have the Grizz trading this pick along with Mike Miller (good) and Brian Cardinal (franchise crushing contract). It seems like the Grizzlies best bet is if Mayo falls to them so Miami or other teams that want him will come calling. Otherwise they will probably take Kevin Love. Some are reporting Eric "Chubby Bryce Drew" Gordon is high up there, but others are reporting he doesn't want to play there. Also, this made me laugh out loud, although I'm sure that wasn't the writer, or Chris Wallace's, intention.

6. New York Knicks
Another pick that seems to be way up in the air and also seems to affect all that comes after it. Danilo Gallinari worked out there recently and supposedly balled, which is good because he said he won't play anywhere besides the Knicks or the Nets. Obviously with Donnie Walsh at the helm, who is very much unlike Isiah Thomas, trades are distinct possibilities if the right vet is available.

7. Los Angeles Clippers
It's highly possible that none of the current Clippers besides Al Thornton and Chris Kaman will be on the team next year. It looks like they will be going small with the pick, which assumes they are for some reason optimistic that Thornton, Brand, Kaman will be their front line for more than another month or so. All that being said, if they get Livingston healthy, keep those guys and don't screw up this pick, they could win some games next year.
/places foot in mouth

8. Milwaukee Bucks
Another team that will likely look far different next season. With Scott Skiles now at the helm you can be certain that the pick will be boring. Joe Alexander seems about right. I'm not entirely sure why DJ Augustin isn't an option here, seeing as how Mo Williams stinks and is a shoot-first PG on a team with a glut of shot-hoisting forwards, but then again, it's the Bucks so I guess I should be surprised they won't be taking Sasha Kaun.

9. Charlotte Bobcats
If it was up to Larry Brown he would try to take Aaron McKie, but alas, there is no such option. I haven't read much about the Cats trading this pick like last year, which means they most certainly will. But if they do pick, it might be someone that hasn't worked out for them, because no one wants to. I suppose playing for Michael Jordan and Larry Brown has lost its luster. Besides you can wait one more spot and play for Jay-Z!

10. New Jersey Nets
Speaking of Hov, he is about to make a new friend. Who that friend could be is completely impossible to predict however. Logic says another big man for NJ, but then again logic has no place in the Meadowlands. Gallinari seems to be a lock if he is available because, you know, he doesn't want to play anywhere else, but a "rich man's Bostjan Nachbar" probably isn't too appealing to a future Brooklyn fanbase. They can barely understand the dude who sells Gyros on the corner.

11. Indiana Pacers
With the rumors surrounding a makes-too-much-sense deal involving TJ Ford and Jermaine O'Neal, DJ Augustin might not be the surefire pick here anymore. I guess Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy are long-term options so one of those wacky, athletic bigs will probably go here if Augustin does not.

12. Sacramento Kings
Not a lot of action on this pick. It seems like they will just keep it and probably take Augustin if he's available. Otherwise a Wheel O' Big Man will be spun and any of the Speights/McGee/Jordan mess will be chosen.

13. Portland Trailblazers
Some have them trading this thing for sure, others have them keeping it and taking something called Alexis Ajinca. One thing is for sure, the Blazers have options and probably don't need to get any younger.

14. Golden State Warriors
The Warriors are the team that every prospect seems tailor-made for, which is funny because Don Nelson hates youth. Apparently Jason Thompson, a guy who has been underrated throughout this process, is in play. A 7-footer who can run and shoot? Doesn't sound like something thing that would interest Nellie at all. Initially an upside big man like Koufos, McGee or Randolph would seem to make sense, but don't they already have Brandan Wright and Patrick O'Bryant? (Yes, they do).

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Unsubstantiated Speculation: NBA Draft Links June 2


Nothing about the NBA Draft makes any sense. GMs intentionally lie about who they want to confuse the rest of the league, agents pull players out of workouts to manipulate their value and the Milwaukee Bucks continue to pretend they are trying to win. Mock drafts are always way off, the rumored trades never go down and the ones that do are always out of left field. There is no rhyme. There is no reason. And that is exactly why it is so great. Sports fans love to speculate, and the NBA Draft is 90 percent speculatastic. So in an exercise of almost certain futility, I bring you Unsubstantiated Speculation, a column containing all the relevant, completely false draft news links from around the Intertubes. Look for this once or twice a week leading up to the draft. Believe nothing.

And if you are a blog that covers the draft and feel you deserve to be on the Links, click the e-mail link on the right sidebar.


Even with the Finals starting (as you might have heard, there are quite a few storylines with the match-up this year), there has been tons of draft links lately. Let's sift!

(I'm holding to my promise to myself of not getting into the OJ Mayo thing. All I will say is there some weird, completely nonsensical double-standard going on here where Beasley is somehow seen as equally or more of a character risk than OJ, whose bad character is overrated in its own right. I hate the media sometimes, hopefully GMs can see through the fog... riigggghhhht.)
Continue...

Orlando Pre-Draft Camp
- I really can't say this enough, but DraftExpress has really pulled out all the stops this year. They have their usual scouting reports and interviews but this year have added video, player blogs, extensive team need evaluations and even ventured deep into the underground of the Interwebs with podcasts. On the down side, they are making this column mildly irrelevant. Rush the Court has also done a very nice job, albeit without the access.

- This draft notes column by Chad Ford was interesting for a couple reasons. One, Seattle is fending off rumors they will take Jerryd Bayless No. 4 and Phoenix is doing the same about Brandon Rush at No. 15 (which I had merely minutes after the draft order was set... toot toot). But the main reason this was interesting was to hear that Lester Hudson played his ass off in Orlando and could be rising up draft boards. I always liked Hudson because he can get to the rim and is a decent shooter. Kind of like a lower middle class man's Rodney Stuckey. One thing that concerns me: Here is Ford's recap of day 2 of the camp. Notice the common connection between all the players featured as "standouts:" Gary Forbes, Wayne Ellington, Malik Hairston, Josh Duncan. All of them are between positions for the NBA. I'd like to think that's a product of the small-ball trends in the NBA but it's probably more of a product of playing against a bunch of other mediocre, second-round tweeners.

- This might be your best Orlando recap, from one Chad Ford, Draftmaster. Some speculative tidbits: Chad Ford is getting sucked into the Anthony Randolph workout wonder thing, WHO CAN HE GUARD IN THE NBA, CHAD?; Michael Beasley made lots of threes, but may have picked his nose and ate it, devastating his stock; Russell Westbrook apparently looked good and yet for some reason Ford still thinks everyone wants him to be a point guard; Kevin Love might really be picked No. 3; Darrell Arthur looked great, which is no surprise, Memphis really should consider him at No. 5 (like I said); Joe Alexander is apparently LeBron James or something; Davon Jefferson, who I, like an idiot, said could be a lottery pick if he gets his shit together. Well, he didn't, and apparently got fat and stuff. Ford thinks he might be undrafted. Let me know when you are going to go on a donut binge Davon, before I say you are lottery material. Thanks.

- If you want to know everyone that played in Orlando and what it means for them and their respective college teams, Andy Katz obliges. And within this notes column by Katz, my suspicions that Kevin Love would be flying up draft boards due to a lack of girth was correct. And sadly for George Hill, Pride of Ooey Pooey, the dream is over. And finally, this feature by Katz on Jeremy Pargo was great. It's interesting that his brother Jannero, who was less talented than Jeremy coming out of college but is one of the better reserves in the NBA, has advised his brother to consider going back to school (he will oblige if he isn't a first-rounder apparently). I still think Pargo has a decent career.

- Apparently former Iowa State guard Mike Taylor played really well and could be the first D-League player to get drafted. Taylor instead of Rod Benson?! Boom tho?

- Posts like this from the Atlanta-Journal Constitution's Sekou Smith on new Hawks GM Rick Sund are proof that Atlanta should always have a first-round pick so this man has something to cover come draft time. He is a boss.

- Good mini-feature from Michael Lewis (go Blue Hens?) on Keith Brumbaugh, even though it doesn't explain his amazing, troubled story to those who don't know it. This helps, however. I still think he must be better than Ndubi Ebi. Speaking of washed up former HS stars (sorry Keith), whatever happened to Lenny Cooke? Seriously, that's a legitimate question. I would like to know.

Michael Beasley is an enigma
- Actually, no he's not. But everyone in the media sure likes to write like he is. There is this, which contains a quote from Beasley that I was thrilled about.
"I just turned 19 years old in January," Beasley said. "How mature do you want me to be? I’m still a kid. I’m not 20 yet. I’m not legal. I can vote, but that’s about it. On the basketball side of things, I’m 30 years old. Off the court, I don’t know how old y’all want me to be. Do you want me to act 25? 30? 40?. I’m 19. I’m a kid. I’m going to live my life. I’m going to mess up. I don’t know as much as you do or him. I’m learning day by day. I hear a lot about character issues. But I’ve yet to hear what those character issues are. Until I hear somebody tell me, I don’t feel the need to change."


I still fail to see what he has done that is so horribly wrong. He went to many high schools and some coaches piggybacked his ability to better themselves. This happens to every single big-time basketball recruit. How is a teenager who knows he will be in the NBA in the near future supposed to just ignore all these people with power showing him how to get there? And how is Rose any different? Ugh. Hopefully the media treats him as the quirky, outspoken Gilbert Arenas-type rather than the Josh Howard-type who gets blasted whenever he's honest about something. He's probably somewhere in between (in both personality and ability). Oh and any Beasley item on the Internet must link to this article in the WashPost, as required by federal Intertubes laws.

- TrueHoop, which is also very outstanding, approached this fairly. Thank you Mr. Abbott.

- Linked in the TrueHoop item, this piece, which in true NBA Draft form, makes insane speculation that Beasley "is not Pat Riley's type of player." (the same guy writes the same thing in another piece here). Suddenly nothing can be written about this man without the words, "immature," "playful," "candid" and the like being bandied around. I think Chad Ford started all this. Seriously people, let's come up with something new....

- ... Not quite, but getting warmer...

- ... OK, this will have to do.

Things of Different Persuasion
- I was none too pleased to see Donte Greene hire an agent. The only logical explanation for this was that he got one of the 16 "physical only" invites to Orlando, which means he thinks he's like, a top 16 player. This is bad news for my Orange and could be worse news for Donte Greene. NBA GMs love tall shooters but the guy didn't show an ability to do much else in college. And I loved Donte Greene. But who can he guard? Who can he beat off the dribble? Who can he box out? Perhaps the more important question is: Who can he fool into taking him in the top 15?

- Every year Andy Katz is good for a few of those, "How is this college coach handling his players testing the draft waters?" features. This one is on Richard Hendrix and Ronald Steele at Alabama. (I wouldn't be losing sleep Coach Gottfried, Steele is already coming back.)

- I really love the Ball Don't Lie blog over at Yahoo!, even if they are a bit light on draft stuff. The incomparable Kelly Dwyer does well with this rant on mock drafts. Couldn't have put it better myself. (This may prompt another mock draft before draft day where I oblige Mr. Dwyer with his dream mock draft. Or something.)

- Gary Parrish, a true college basketball Internet writer, continues to churn out columns in this offseason. This one is a nice look at how batshit insane some North Carolina fans are. Oh and leave it up to Parrish to actually look at the Mayo thing will a tinge of rationality.

- Fran Frischilla speaks, a New York Post writer listens.

- Lang Whitaker over at Slam Online with an entertaining second-person perspective thingy on being John Paxson (not a working screenplay by Charlie Kauffman). I'm not so sure about the Doug Collins hiring but I still think it's better than Avery Johnson. He's just as likely to want Rose as Avery, but at least he won't try to turn him into Anthony Carter.

- Looks like Jamont Gordon is leaning toward staying in the draft, which I pleased about. He should be a late first-rounder as an impact reserve for a playoff contender.

- Way to strike when the iron is hot, Mike DeCourcy. Will your next column be about how great it is that the draft is two rounds now?

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Unsubstantiated Speculation: NBA Draft Links May 26


Nothing about the NBA Draft makes any sense. GMs intentionally lie about who they want to confuse the rest of the league, agents pull players out of workouts to manipulate their value and the Milwaukee Bucks continue to pretend they are trying to win. Mock drafts are always way off, the rumored trades never go down and the ones that do are always out of left field. There is no rhyme. There is no reason. And that is exactly why it is so great. Sports fans love to speculate, and the NBA Draft is 90 percent speculatastic. So in an exercise of almost certain futility, I bring you Unsubstantiated Speculation, a column containing all the relevant, completely false draft news links from around the Intertubes. Look for this once or twice a week leading up to the draft. Believe nothing.

And if you are a blog that covers the draft and feel you deserve to be on the Links, click the e-mail link on the right sidebar.

Continue...

Beasley/Rose
- Chad Ford looks at the Rose/Beasley pick, which is somewhat uninforming. I think Ford is great but I have a BIG problem with him continuously questioning Beasley's character and depicting Rose as squeaky clean. He has never backed up his questioning of Beasley besides that "he ran into trouble from time to time with practical jokes, pranks and general troublemaking," which is wildly vague and mildly defamatory. Both Rose and Beasley had very shady recruitments (Beasley with the Huggins thing, Rose with the Worldwide Wes thing) but neither had academic or legal troubles in college or high school. So based on, you know, actually important factors, it still remains a difficult decision. I think as a player Beasley should be the pick, but maybe there is a vagrant he killed that only Chad Ford knows about.

- For what it's worth, Bulls GM John Paxson has said it will be Rose or Beasley. Obviously not a surprise.

-This guy, who might be an idiot, thinks Rose.

- This was a pretty interesting piece from the Chicago Tribune where the reporter, KC Johnson, spoke with Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard and Magic GM Otis Smith about selecting first. There's a very good chance Smith only still has his job because he picked Dwight Howard over Emeka Okafor (the guy did pay Rashard Lewis 8 gillion dollars) and Pritchard still gets an "incomplete" on his. Obviously Paxson cannot blow this (and it's going to be very difficult to blow it). By the way, this KC Johnson fella appears to be the go-to reporter for the draft this year, much like John Canzano of The Oregonian was last year. In this notes column, he has the scoop on Avery Johnson possibly being the next Bulls' coach. Let me go on record and say that would be a disaster for both Chicago and Derrick Rose, who I bet Avery would pick. Avery is exactly like Scott Skiles, except more Katt Williams-ish.

- NBADraft.net's Aran Smith has Rose No. 1 in this mock draft but that's not the real news. No, the real news is that -- and I'm not sure how this is relevant to anything ever -- that Michael Jordan's son Marcus and Rose are dating Chicago-area twins. I do not want to know how Smith obtained this info, but man that guy is good at his job.

- Everyone in Chicago has an opinion on this, including this Sun Times blogger, who is promptly assaulted in the comments section.

ESPN Coverage
- Let's knock out all the ESPN.com items now because ESPN has already done a great job covering the draft this year (yes, I said it).

Within the same Chad Ford Beasley/Rose thing from before, he suspects DeAndre Jordan has received a top five promise because his agent has declined some workouts or something. This is exactly the type of blind speculation I live for. And drafting DeAndre Jordan in the top five is exactly the type of thing that gets a GM fired. Which is coincidentally exactly the type of thing Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace thrives at.

- Here are a bunch of draft-related videos they have up there. Important things within: Kevin Love is no longer fat and has been hitting NBA threes and should be moving up draft boards; Bill Walker will stay in the draft is he thinks he is a first-rounder; Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni played with Danilo Gallinari's dad, meanwhile, Isiah Thomas likes spaghetti; OJ Mayo will never say anything interesting again; Marrese Speights and Joe Alexander look much better in workouts than in college.

- Ford takes a look at Walker, Brandon Rush, CDR and Jeremy Pargo at the A.T.T.A.C.K. gym in Chicago. He also loves Joe Alexander, which concerns me. Alexander seems exactly like the type of guy that looks way too good in individual workouts. And he thinks Chase Budinger is a lottery pick, which concerns me for many of the same reasons. (by the way, Chad Ford has roughly 36 players in his lottery.)

- JaVale McGee is the son of a WNBA player, which could not be more perfect. NEVER draft a skinny big man who was birthed from a WNBA player. I believe Red Auerbach first formed that rule.

- Gene Wojciechowski continues to write about controversial topics and a nation continues to be indifferent.

- Good to see Dana O'Neill is still writing even with the college hoops season over. She turns in another good piece on one-and-doners for next year.

Other Things Besides The Already-Redundant No. 1 Pick Debate
- Here is the first list of guys who will be at the Orlando Pre-Draft camp next week... but only to be interviewed.

- Memphis' Antonio Anderson has decided to go back to school, before participating in the draft process at all. I'm pretty convinced Anderson just declared for the draft to get out of Coach Cal's spring practice, headed to Cancun and then withdrew when he got back. Genius.

- Jerel McNeal is going back to Marquette, which is smart, but disappointing. I think McNeal can be a pro with his defense and athleticism. So what if he is a bit undersized and can't shoot, you only need to do one thing well to find a spot as a role player in the NBA (see: Varejao, Anderson).

- Josh Carter going back to Texas A&M, Alonzo Gee back to Alabama. That didn't take long.

- It appears Marrese Speights will stick in the draft, which is good news for teams in the 10-20 range who need a really good power forward. Apparently Speights has slimmed down and is routinely knocking down 18-foot jumpers. I think I'd rather have him than Joakim Noah at this point. Although Noah does bring other qualities to the table.

- Here's a good feature on Ryan Anderson, who I feel is being underrated by all the draft pundits. The guy is 6-10 and can score like crazy. And while he cannot guard anybody, neither can many NBA forwards. Again, the way role players work in the NBA (and all but about 6 or 7 players in this draft will basically be role players) is you fill a certain need for a team. Look athe Lakers, Jordan Farmar plays defense and hits open shots, VladRad shoots, Turiaf rebounds and acts like a crazy person, Vujacic shoots, defends and annoys people, Luke Walton passes and shoots. All of those guys were late picks that are incredibly effective in their specific role. And since there aren't going to be all-around studs around in the 20s, you might as well take a guy who can score off the bench and spot up on the perimeter like Anderson, defense be damned. He's only gonna play 20 minutes a game, tops, anyway... OR, just take Bill Walker or something.

- Speaking of Anderson, the blogger at BMac's Blog (presumably BMac himself) agrees with me, writing that Anderson's biggest draft flaw is not being European.

- Great interview from the great DraftExpress with CDR, who doesn't appear to be entertaining any idea of going back to school. (by the way, for everything you need on the draft, just go to DraftExpress, they are outstanding... but, uh, still read this site! hehe). With his handling, size and defensive ability, the first up-tempo team outside the top 10 should really consider taking CDR. Golden State at No. 14 would be crazy to pass on him.

- This Portland Tribune writer thinks the Blazers should trade the No. 13 pick (and so do I). With Oden coming in and Spaniard Rudy Fernandez coming over, Portland already has a full rotation of promising young guys. If they can turn the pick and one of the young guys for a solid point guard (Andre Miller, TJ Ford/Jose Calderon, Andre Miller), they should be a legit playoff team next year. Although, this guy thinks with a good number of lottery teams looking to trade (he cites "reports" on this, but that's a bit vague), the Blazers might get more talent by just keeping the pick. They need a shooter and unless Eric Gordon falls to No.13, there are really any shooters worth taking there.

- Some guy in Minnesota wants the T'Wolves to trade the pick because they suck at drafting players. Little does this man know, the Wolves are also very bad at trading for players. He claims there are no stars at No. 3, to which I ask: Why would a team trade you a star for a pick that cannot be used on one? Ugh, just take Mayo or Lopez.

- Here's a decent scouting report on Kosta Koufos except the writer says Koufos is soft because he is polite to people and that Daequan Cook is a prime example of self-assurance. I realize Cook was decent for Miami last year, but that comparison is completely insane. He also questions Koufos perimeter game, which we all know is nuts. I actually think Koufos' best skill is his ballhandling for a 7-footer, which he didn't get to show in college.
I'd take him top 20. There's also a possibility he will play for Greece in the Olympics.

- And finally, George Hill, Pride of Ooey Pooey, is going to Disney World.

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