NBA Draft 2007: Blog -- Pre-Lottery
Posted May 27 2007 11:16AM
SECAUCUS, NJ -- We're still a ways away from the 2007 NBA Draft on June 28 in New York City, but this Draft -- with Greg Oden, consensus college player of the year Kevin Durant and Chinese sensation Yi Jianlian expected to shake Commissioner David Stern's hand early in the evening -- is the most anticipated since 2003 when All-Stars LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony appeared on the NBA scene.
Follow the blog throughout the pre-Draft happenings as we scour the web for the latest intrigue surrounding the 2007 NBA Draft.
Posted by John Schuhmann on May 21, 2007, 5:45p.m. ET
Tuesday night may be more important than you think. Sure, we've heard plenty about Greg Oden and Kevin Durant. So, it will be a big night for whomever gets those top two picks. But it also could affect teams that are nowhere near Secaucus tomorrow.
Sam Smith writes that landing the No. 1 pick (and presumably selecting Greg Oden) could mean two things for a team...
In essence, if the Timberwolves, Grizzlies or Celtics win the lottery, they may decide to go young and build around Oden, and deal their star for more youth. And if the Bucks or Hawks win, they'd be willing to deal the young big man that they already have in order to acquire a building block at a different position.
So, when you watch the lottery tomorrow night (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) and Adam Silver reveals the final envelope, you might think about what players might now become available in addition to how Greg Oden will improve that team's defense.
And in case you need more hype, Chad Ford goes ga-ga over Oden (Insider) after watching him work out in Indianapolis...
Oden's agility, flexibility, balance and explosiveness are remarkable for a player his size. He's a 2 guard in a center's body.
And LZ Granderson loves Oden's un-hipness.
Meanwhile, David Aldridge writes that Tuesday is the beginning of what will be a year under the microscope for Billy King.
And Mark Narducci gives us a Sixers lottery history.
Bucks' GM Larry Harris knows who he'll draft if Milwaukee lands at No. 1.
The Celtics will be represented by Tommy Heinsohn tomorrow night, and there's a rumor floating around my cubicle that if Boston gets the top pick, everyone at NBA HQ here in Secaucus will receive a Tommy Point.
Percy Allen of the Seattle Times takes a look at the history of having the fifth most combinations in the lottery, which as recently as last year, has been a good spot to be in.
And the Daily News has an excerpt (detailing the coin flip that doomed the Blazers) from Filip Bondy's new book about the 1984 Draft.
The Suits Make the Draft
Posted by John Schuhmann on May 21, 2007, 2:25p.m. ET
"I almost wore that suit tonight too, Jalen. Good thing I didn't."
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images
One of my wife's favorite TV shows is called "What Not to Wear." She'll be glad to know that we have a version of it here at the NBA. It's a video of the Top 10 Draft Outfits. But, I think we need to put something between "10" and the "Draft."
A Little Bit of Luck is All it Takes
Posted by John Schuhmann on May 20, 2007, 3:45p.m. ET
We're just two days away from the Draft Lottery, when our humble office in Secaucus becomes the center of the basketball universe, at least for a couple of hours. For several teams, it could be the night that makes their franchise. For a few, it will be a night of disappointment.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tom Enlund writes that even if the Bucks don't get one of the top two picks, they're still in pretty good shape.
But for the Bobcats, Tuesday night, along with their upcoming coaching change could change the direction of the organization, as Richard Walker of the Gaston Gazette writes...
It's hard to say any week in the history of a franchise as young as the three-year-old Charlotte Bobcats will make or break the organization. But this week could well be remembered that way.
And folks in Seattle are even more dramatic about how much the lottery means to their franchise, as Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times writes.
While the Pacers are looking for a little reversal of fortune.
But Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press isn't very hopeful when it comes to the Timberwolves' chances.
I don't know why we even bother going through the motions. There's a simple, foolproof method for determining when the Wolves will get to pick. There's no need to wait for the ping-pong balls to come out of the hopper:
Of course, the team with the greatest chance (25 percent) to win the lottery is the Memphis Grizzlies, who finished the season with a league-worst 22-60 record. So, you'll excuse the people in Memphis if they're a little giddy about a Tuesday night in Secaucus.
Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal writes how one No. 1 pick can change a franchise...
The NBA draft is not a foolproof fix for a franchise's failures. The Atlanta Hawks, for example, have had a lottery pick 10 times since 1985 without seeing much improvement.
David Williams, also of the Commercial Appeal, writes that the Grizzlies' ticket agents better be ready should the ping-pong balls fall their way.
Meanwhile, Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes that 76ers chairman Ed Snider is calling for a return to the original lottery.
And finally, Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald would love to just get rid of the lottery altogether.
Posted by Rob Peterson on May 18, 2007, 5:15p.m. ET
A couple things before we get to next Tuesday's Draft Lottery (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). First, the Lottery team websites have gotten together and put their thoughts about the Lottery in one place.
Then, there's this video, the Top 10 Draft Lottery moments, or as I like to call it: The Pat Williams Show.
Hold Up on the Workouts
Posted by Rob Peterson on May 18, 2007, 4:30 p.m. ET
Finally, some Draft stories. Thank goodness.
SI.com's Marty Burns writes about a rule change that prohibits teams from working out players early:
"This year [Larry] Harris -- like his colleagues around the league -- is mostly holed up in his office watching film instead. A new NBA rule that prohibits clubs from holding individual player workouts before the league's annual pre-draft camp in Orlando, which will be held May 29-June 4, has meant a change in routine for GMs, coaches and scouts."
Also, the NBA Pre-Draft camp, which was once held the first week of June, and usually in Chicago is now the last week of May and in Orlando.
Meanwhile, across the pond, there's the RBK Treviso Eurocamp from June 9-12 (or as they say in Europe, 9 June- 12 June). Crazy Europeans! (Thanks to Draftexpress.com for that tidbit.)
One guy a lot of GMs have hunkered down to watch on tape is Yi Jianlian, a 7-0 forward out of China. ESPN.com's Chad Ford (Insider, we know, we know ... I'd give you my password if I could) takes a look:
"Yi is a top prospect and he's 7 feet tall, but he's not a center like Yao. In fact, as draft prospects go, he's more like Kevin Durant than he is like Greg Oden.
And probably will for many until he plays his first Summer League for whichever team drafts him.
Ford also had another piece this week about two guys you may have heard of before: Florida's Joakim Noah and Corey Brewer, the last two winners of the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player honor. (The chant of M-O-P! M-O-P! just isn't the same as M-V-P! M-V-P! It sounds like they're being asked to clean up something.)
Anyway, it's a good read (yes, I know, Insider...) about how two skinny guys are trying to put on weight to impress NBA scouts. Two things about the piece: 1) It looks like they're practicing inside a velodrome, though I didn't see any bikes; and 2) for those of you who've wanted it, you get to see Noah shirtless.
Anyway, Brewer impresses Ford:
"Brewer looks great.
In our most recent Consensus Mock Draft, Noah's No. 5 and Brewer's is a lucky No. 7.
Um, How Big is Your Upside?
Posted by Rob Peterson on May 14, 2007, 5:15 p.m. ET
With eight days until the Lottery (and whenever I hear the word Lottery, I always hear it in Alanis Morissette's voice... "win the lah-ter-ee". I don't know why. Anyway... back to the regularly undigressed blog post), not much is happening on the Draft front. Teams in the Lottery will choose which people to send to Secaucus for the drawing and for the poor (or lucky) guy who sits in the studio while his team drops or rises in the Draft.
You can't spell "live television" without tension. (You'd just need to leave out one "n".)
Every once in a while, I spy Chad Ford on ESPN.com because I like to see who's moving up and who's moving down. Right now, somehow, Greg Oden's and Kevin Durant's stock has risen. I don't know how much higher it can go, but apparently, it's rising.
Meanwhile, Collegehoops.net gives Oden and Durant six stars! It's a six-star system, but I would like to see if a future player could squeeze out an extra star.
Anyway, Jeff D'Alessio of Cox News Service reports on ESPN's Doug Gottlieb's Draft dream team. Guess which two Gottlieb has as Draft thing-one and thing-two? (Though, he doesn't have many nice things to say about -urant's D.)
Consider them sung, but they probably won't be in the "lah-ter-ee."
How Olden Are You?
Posted by Rob Peterson on May 10, 2007, 5:30 p.m. ET
How can we put this gently? Potential No. 1 overall pick Greg Oden appears mature beyond his years. So much so, his mom's had to repair his birth certificate from having to prove his age over and over and over again.
(Oden was only eight pounds, 10 ounces when he was born? Wow. My son, who will never, ever grow to be 7-2, was 8 pounds, 11 ounces when he was born. Strange, and not necessarily germane to this post. I'm just sayin'...)
Seems to me another superstar had to go through some hazing about his mature stature as well.
Haven't We Heard This Before?
Posted by Rob Peterson on May 10, 2007, 5:30 p.m. ET
This guy, Tiago Splitter, seems as if he's made himself available for the Draft each year for the past three years without actually going through with it.
Three early entries, three early withdrawls.
But because he's 22, it's his last chance for the NBA Draft. ESPN.com's Chad Ford (Insider ... so sue me) says Splitter will be in the Draft, but he may not be in the NBA:
"Splitter's people have been working with Tau [Ceramica] to come to an arrangement. The best-case scenario is they allow the buyout to happen this year. The worst-case scenario is he spends another year in Europe developing and then joins the team that drafts him (in June) in the summer of 2008."
This Earth, It Is Shaped Like a Basketball
Posted by Rob Peterson on May 10, 2007, 5 p.m. ET
Ford, (yes, it's Insider ... sorry) comes up with his top 10 international Draft prospects. It is, after all, a global game. This Earth, it is shaped like a ball. Yi tops the list (and yes, Ford sort of admits Pavel Podkolzine wasn't all he was cracked up to be). One word for that: understatement.