NBA Draft 2007: Blog -- Lottery Day
Posted May 27 2007 11:48AM
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 22, 2007, 9:45 p.m. ET
Could Greg Oden and Kevin Durant be playing in the same division come November? It seems that way as Portland (No. 1) and Seattle (No. 2) have the top two picks in the 2007 NBA Draft.
The Atlanta Hawks took the No. 3 spot and the remaining order is as follows...
But Blazers' GM Kevin Pritchard wouldn't commit to either Oden or Durant. And it's not just a matter of keeping his choice under wraps. For now, he's keeping an open mind."
"I want to go through the process first," Pritchard said. "Both guys are high character guys that have high impact, immediate impact. And we're after championships in Portland, so the decision will be who helps us win that championship."
Pritchard said that he would bring either Oden or Durant to Portland as soon as possible. They'll need to wait until after the Orlando Pre-Draft Camp, which takes place next week. But once that's done, Pritchard wants to see his prospects up close. And that's about the player's personality as much as it is about his basketball skills.
"We picked Brandon Roy," Pritchard said, "certainly because he's a great basketball player, but sitting down with him, eating with him and talking to him, you knew his character. You knew exactly what he was about. And that made a big part of the decision."
For the Sonics, having the No. 2 pick and an opportunity to select a possible franchise player could mean more than just what happens on the basketball floor. It could help keep the team in Seattle.
"Hopefully, it gets people even more excited in Seattle," President of Basketball Operations, Lenny Wilkens said. "Seattle has great fans. And we're still working real hard to keep the franchise there."
Four Hall of Famers and a ...
Posted by John Schuhmann on May 22, 2007, 8:15p.m. ET
The team representatives (the ones that don't know the results yet) are gathering in the studio with just about 15 minutes to go before we learn which ones are going home happy.
If I could be a fly on the floor (the walls are too far away) for one conversation going on, I'd pick the one with Larry Bird, Tommy Heinsohn, Lenny Wilkens, Jerry West and Mike Dunleavy, a distinguished group to say the least.
We Have a Winner!
Posted by John Schuhmann on May 22, 2007, 7:35p.m. ET
The winner of the Draft Lottery has been determined.
But only about 25 people know the results.
And they're currently locked a room upstairs without any way of communicating to the outside world. And they'll stay there until the results are announced on ESPN.
For more on what goes on in the room, check out Jeff Dengate's writeup from last year.
Jeff's in the room again right now, and he'll let you know how it all went down once he's allowed to get back to his computer.
Roy and Foye
Posted by John Schuhmann on May 22, 2007, 7:15p.m. ET
There are two current players here representing their teams, and they're pretty familiar with each other. Brandon Roy and Randy Foye were traded for each other on Draft Day 2006. Blazer Roy is the Rookie of the Year, and T-Wolf Foye showed improvement over the course of his first NBA season.
I chatted with each as they awaited the ceremonies.
NBA.com: What's going to be your first piece of advice for your incoming rookie(s) this summer? Randy Foye: Just to listen to whatever the veterans have to tell them, because the veterans run the team, you know. And if they can't listen to them, they're gonna make it tough for them out there.
NBA.com: How important is your confidence when you're going through your rookie season? RF: Once you make the first basket, it makes everything easier for you. Sometimes, rookies tend to struggle when they're out there and they're not comfortable. I think when you get your first basket, you pick it up a little on defense.
NBA.com: Were there ups and downs for you when it came to confidence this season? RF: I think I pretty much stayed the same. I was upset at times, but I pretty much stayed the same. And I knew that my attitude was gonna determine everything. So, I tried to just stay the same and stay confident.
NBA.com: Is there anything specific that you want to work on this summer after experiencing your rookie season? RF: Nah, I didn't really say I had to work on anything specific. Some people might go into the offseason and say, "I have to work on this or that." I just want to get better and tighten everything up. And work harder than I did last summer.
NBA.com: But is this still a big summer for you, now that you have a taste of what the NBA is like? RF: Yes. It's a huge summer, but I'm not gonna put out there what I'm gonna work on exactly, because then my opponents would know what I'm weak at.
NBA.com: What's going to be your first piece of advice for your incoming lottery pick this summer?
NBA.com: Is there anything specific that you want to work on this summer after experiencing your rookie season? BR: I think the biggest thing for me is to continue to work on the long ball, the three point ball. I think I want to do it more because it's something that my team needs and that's something that we needed in a lot of big games. We have an inside presence in Zach Randolph, so we really need somebody to stretch the defense and last season, we didn't have that consistently. So, after a full season, I see that's an area where I can not only help my team, but I can really help myself and I can open up a lot of things for me to make plays on the floor if I can knock down that shot consistently.
NBA.com: It seemed like the key to your success this season was the confidence you had from Day 1. Where did that come from? BR: The confidence is something that I began to build, even through my senior year in college. Just playing four years there made me really believe that I could play with these guys in the NBA. And as I played well in summer league, it gave me more confidence. And then when I went into training camp, coach said, "The starting position is open for you to take. Nobody's going to give it to you, but if you work hard, you can definitely earn the respect of me and your teammates."
And I went into training camp and I played hard, and coach said I played well, so my teammates trusted me. And when Zach Randolph told coach that he felt I should start, that gave me confidence to feel like I belonged. So, I'm like, "Man, if this guy's believing in me to go out and start right away, the last thing I want to do is let him down."
And just going out there and playing in my first game, I was relaxed and I was comfortable. Another good thing about the NBA is that I played like eight preseason games before that first actual game. So, after those eight preseason games, I felt like, "Hey, look. Those games are just as real as the games I'm gonna play in. Just the starters play more minutes." So, I was confident. At the same time, I was comfortable and ready to go.
NBA.com: Did you bring any lucky charms, or anything like that with you?
BR: Nah. Honestly, I never had a lucky charm throughout my whole life. And to just make one up to come to this event, it just wouldn't feel lucky. So, I'm just coming to be myself and be all the charm I can be.
Pink Hearts, Yellow Moons, Orange Stars, and Green Clovers
Posted by John Schuhmann on May 22, 2007, 6:45p.m. ET
Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley Jr. and President of Basketball Operations Jerry West are in the house and they've brought along two lucky charms.
Henry Abbott has his human-headed butterfly around his neck.
I haven't seen Bucks GM Larry Harris yet, but I'm sure he's got
the lucky stone (video) with him.
A Few Minutes with Larry Legend
Posted by John Schuhmann on May 22, 2007, 5:35p.m. ET
The team representatives are starting to arrive here at the NBA TV studio and one of the first to make his way into the hospitality tent was Pacers' President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. The Pacers are in a unique situation tonight in that, if they don't move up into the top three picks, their pick will go to Atlanta. The pick is top-10 protected, but Indiana currently sits at No. 11. And they currently do not have a second round pick at all, having traded it to Portland last year.
Knowing this, I sat down with Bird for a quick Q & A...
NBA.com: Did you bring any lucky charms, or anything like that with you? Larry Bird: Nope.
NBA.com: How are draft preparations coming along? Are you deep into it at this point? LB: They're working on it. It all depends on this. We might not have a first round or second round pick. But we're still working like we do. And it's going along pretty well.
NBA.com: Are you going down to Orlando for the Pre-Draft Camp next week? LB: Yes.
NBA.com: What do you think about the depth of this draft? LB: We feel that it is a deep draft. There's a lot of good players. But really, if you take the top two players, Oden and Durant, out of it, it's probably the same amount of talent that has been in the draft for a long time. They make it very special.
NBA.com: In the event that you leave tonight without a pick, are you still looking for opportunities to acquire one? LB: Yeah, we're always open-minded about the draft. We always see players we like. Maybe not in the top 25, but in the early second. And if we can move up and get a player we like, we will.
NBA.com: Have you learned any lessons in the 10 years you have been drafting with the Pacers? LB: Well, we've done pretty well with our drafts. When I first got there, we took Austin Croshere. Then we took Al Harrington. Then we took Jonathan Bender, which you never know about injuries. Then just down the line. The one thing about the draft is: People never really talk about it until the year after, so you really never know. You can't check out the size of a kid's heart in the draft. A lot of kids were coming out of high school at one time and you really didn't know what you were getting as far as talent. This thing's built on the talent. Sometimes you hit it, and sometimes you don't.
NBA.com: So, is an interview with a prospect play a big role in your decision making? LB: I'd rather interview them than watch them play, because you've got a pretty good idea of how good they are. But it's always good to sit down and talk to them.
NBA.com: With the speculation that their could be a lot of trade movement this summer, do you expect that some things could go down on draft night?
LB: I don't know. Everybody right now is just waiting to see where they're positioned in the draft. Some teams in the top 14 probably don't even want their pick, so they'll probably trade out of it. Phoenix has three first round picks this year, so I can't see them using them all. Somebody will get in some way or another.
The Big Day
Posted by John Schuhmann on May 22, 2007, 4:05p.m. ET
This is the biggest day of the year for our humble edifice here in Secaucus. The back parking lot is full of trucks, trailers and a hospitality tent. A group of folks from the New York office are invading our space. And NBA Legends Larry Bird, Tommy Heinsohn, Lenny Wilkens and Dominique Wilkins will all be here shortly.
Lottery Day is upon us. It's a day that could make or break a few franchises around the leauge, as well as have some serious ripple effects as we outlined yesterday.
Bob Kravitz talks with this year's prize catch, Greg Oden, along with his teammate, Mike Conley Jr., as they get ready for the draft.
Marty Burns profiles the lottery teams and what one of the top two picks could mean to them.
Sekou Smith profiles the guy who could be walking out of Secaucus (well, he won't actually be here, but you get what I mean) with two picks ... or none at all.
Ronald Tillery gives us 10 reasons why the Grizzlies need to win tonight.
With 13 teams in the studio and one more that could get a high pick by just sitting at home, there are 14 teams whose fans will be watching intently tonight.
Uh... make that 15.
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