Thursday, June 26, 2008

Looking At Tonight's NBA Draft

By Jason Jones

Happy NBA Draft Day to all of you reading this - yes, the rumor is true - I suddenly realized that this blog thing still works and has been waiting for me to get back into the groove.

So with that, I am going to give you a few quick/random thoughts on tonight's NBA draft - just the 1st three picks and a thought or two on the Cleveland Cavaliers. I think it is a classic 'no-brainer' that the Chicago Bulls will select Memphis PG Derrick Rose. This has all the makings of a great story - the hometown kid gets selected by the hometown pro-team and leads the franchise back to glory. The Bulls are coming off of what has to be regarded as a tremendously disappointing 2007-08 season. Lots of hopes and expectations went down the drain and in a hurry as far as the Bulls are concerned.

Give Rose some time - it takes AT LEAST 1-2 seasons for an NBA point guard to develop and become something extraordinary. This 19-year-old has all the tools, gifts and talents to give the Bulls something they desperately need - leadership and hope.

With the second pick of the NBA draft, the Miami Heat select... who? TONS of speculation regarding the selection (or non-selection) of Michael Beasley. Don't buy into what you are hearing - Pat Riley WILL draft Michael Beasley. Now, will he KEEP Beasley or trade him away? That's the question you should be asking.

As for the third pick in the draft, it doesn't get better than OJ Mayo. In my opinion, he is the best at what's left in the NBA draft. Athletic, great size and great ability, I think he may be the most NBA ready player in the draft lottery. The alleged USC violations aside, Mayo has the best chance to make the biggest impact in my opinion.

The Timberwolves would be wise to select Mayo and build a team with him as their cornerstone.

Looking down the draft to the Cavaliers... I think the two most immediate needs for the team are at shooting guard and at a big man. Ilgauskas is an NBA veteran and I am not too sure how many quality years he has left in the tank.

It is odd to make this statement after seeing 'Z' come off what I consider to be one of his finest seasons as a pro. Looking at the power forward spot - I like Joe Smith - but he is a veteran backup that can deliver a quality 15-20 minutes a night. Ben Wallace is a fraud. He has his big money contract and it is apparent (at least to me) why the Chicago Bulls fans hated him with a passion.

He 'got paid' and now is doing the least amount of work as possible to stay in the league. Anderson Varejao? I don't plan on seeing him too much longer in a Cavaliers uniform. How these two needs get addressed will be interesting to watch... GM Danny Ferry can go free agency or via the draft, but at #19, finding a player that can address one of the two needs immediately will be difficult. That leaves free agency... Michael Redd is on the fan's (and Cavaliers') radar but I don't see it happening.

Here's hoping I am wrong.

Don't forget the FDH/DRAFTOLOGY/STN NBA Draft Guide is available for immediate download via this link - - it's all you need to follow and understand tonight's draft.

Finally, will have complete LIVE coverage of tonight's NBA Draft starting at 7p Eastern featuring Ben Chew, Rick Morris, Jason Joes, Tony Mazur and Paul Belfi.

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