Welcome
to the Hawks BasketBlog! This is where you can come to read analysis and
commentary on the Hawks as well as topics around the league. Check us out
throughout the season as we will be posting new material on the Hawks, the NBA,
and maybe a few other subjects as well. Want to participate? Submit questions
and comments to us at
hawks.mailbag@atlantaspirit.com

and we will try to answer as many as we can!

Note: the opinions expressed here are not those of the Atlanta Hawks
organization or of the NBA.


Final
Wrap-Up

A few links to help you digest the
2006 NBA Draft
. Here is the
Hawks
press release
with info on the two draft picks,
Shelden Williams
and
Solomon Jones. Here are some

video
highlights
of Shelden, courtesy of the NBA. And here is Hawks GM

Billy Knight talking with ESPN
following the Hawks selections.

Thanks to everyone who read along with us tonight, it was fun!

-- The Web Guy | 12:55 a.m. 06/29/06 |
Have a comment?


What Did We Learn Tonight?

- We learned that Portland moved around more than any drafting team I've seen
since Jimmy Johnson was with the Cowboys, and laugh about it if you want
(because it is pretty funny), they still ended up with a bunch of really good
players who can help them turn things around in the Pacific Northwest.

- We learned Dallas has no plans to go away anytime soon in the Western
Conference. Maurice Ager = Josh Howard, trust me on this one.

- We learned that Risk is a game of world domination being played by two guys
who can barely run their own lives.

- We learned JJ Redick and Marcus Williams probably ended up in
the two luckiest positions in the draft. Williams may not realize it since he
will come off the bench at first, but playing with Jason Kidd will be the best
thing that ever happens to him.

- We learned that in the time it took me to write this, Portland made two more
trades.

- We learned that UConn tied a record with four first round picks (set last
season by Marvin Williams' UNC Tar Heels), but it still wasn't enough to help
them beat George Mason.

- We learned that the bottom of the draft looks like the final rounds of the
Scripps-Howard Spelling Bee.

- And finally, we learned the Hawks were concerned about their play on the defensive
interior, and made it their biggest priority to improve in that area in this
draft. With Shelden Williams and Solomon Jones, Atlanta added two players with
great defensive reputations, both of whom could contribute right away in support
of starting big man Zaza Pachulia.

-- The Web Guy | 12:45 a.m. 06/29/06 |
Have a comment?



And...Scene

Will Blalock goes to Detroit with the 60th and final pick of the 2006 NBA
Draft, becoming the league's version of Mr. Irrelevant. And thus our evening
comes to a close. For the second straight year, the night flew by way faster
than I had planned, so hopefully we got enough commentary in here for you the
fan.

I will be back in a few minutes with some final thoughts and a the Hawks
official press release concerning the players we chose on this lovely evening...

-- The Web Guy | 12:03 a.m. 06/29/06 |
Have a comment?


I Think Paris Hilton's Boyfriend Just
Got Drafted

Greek player
Loukas
Mavrokefalidis
was chosen with the 57th pick by Minnesota. Good luck to
their play-by-play men. Stephen A. is still yelling, in case anyone was
wondering.

-- The Web Guy | 11:58 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


South
Floridian Speaks Up

Just received this email from a USF fan, who had this to say about Hawks'
second round pick Solomon Jones:

"Solomon Jones does like to score. I have season tickets at USF just to
watch the Big East. This kid is good. Can shoot from anywhere on the court and
had the best shot of the whole team. Plays good defense and blocks a lot of
shots. Needs to beef up a bit!"

John A.
Clearwater Beach


-- The Web Guy | 11:38 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


Billy Speaks With ESPN

As part of ESPN's Draft Coverage, they

caught up to Hawks GM Billy Knight
about his selection of Shelden
Williams. Oh, and Portland made another trade. Seriously.

-- The Web Guy | 11:35 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


Second Round Continues

A couple good values in the middle of the second round, at least according to
me:

Leon Powe, #49 to Denver. This is a guy who dominated when healthy in
the Pac-10, but saw his draft status suffer because of his history of injuries.
Still, if he can stay in the lineup, he could be one of the best players in this
draft.

Dee Brown, #46 to Utah. A very good value for Utah, which not only
gets a great backup point guard to Deron Williams, but also reunites the two
from their college days at Illinois. I think there is a place for a guy with
Brown's speed and energy in the NBA, and I think playing with his former
backcourt mate will only help his development.

-- The Web Guy | 11:30 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


Checking In With Marvin Williams

With UNC's David Noel going to Milwaukee at #39 in the second round, it's as
good a time as any to hear from the Hawks #1 pick from last year, Second Team
All-Rookie selection

Marvin Williams
.


Marvin
is currently taking summer school classes in Chapel Hill for the summer, but had
a few moments to re-live his experiences from last season with The Web Guy:

Hawks.com: What was the hardest part about last year's draft?

Marvin Williams: Honestly? The waiting. We had a bunch of media stuff we
had to do during the day before everything got started, but after that, we had
several hours to kill before the draft got underway. I hated the waiting.

Hawks.com: At what point did you know you were going to come to Atlanta?

MW: Towards the end of the night. It was up in the air for most of the
time whether or not I might go to Milwaukee at #1, but as it got closer it
became more and more clear that I was going to become a Hawk.

Hawks.com: Is it different watching the draft on the other side of the
equation now?

MW: Most definitely. Growing up, we always watched the draft thinking,
"Man, I hope that's me someday, walking across that stage." It was such a
blessing to be able to make it this far, and I just remember last year giving so
much thanks and praise that my dream was coming true. It was a long journey to
get to where I am now, but of course, it's not over. I still have a lot of work
to do to stay, so I can't slow down.

-- The Web Guy | 11:15 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


Quotes
From Shelden Williams

Shelden Williams participated in a conference call with the local media soon
after his selection by the Hawks. Here are some of what he had to say about
starting out his career in the ATL:

Shelden
Williams:
(On being drafted) It's a great experience. I feel truly blessed
to be in this situation. Before my name got called out a lot of thoughts were
running through my mind- thoughts about playing ball with my brother in the
driveway, and about how far I've come since then. It was a great feeling to hear
my name called out.

SW: (On playing power forward in the pros) I've been a power forward all
my life. I was a power forward at Duke. A lot of people got confused because a
lot of times I was the only big guy out there and naturally they assumed I was a
center. But I've always been a power forward. I wasn't able to showcase a lot of
my skills at Duke because we had great shooters on the perimeter. I was asked to
be a low post player so I did it.

SW: (On if he can translate his game to the pros) I think I'll be able to
do a lot of the same things I did at Duke. I can be a low post presence and be a
defensive player. Somebody who can rebound the basketball and be a physical
player. That's what I did at Duke and I plan to keep it up at the next level.

SW: (On his shooting ability) Shooting from the outside wasn't really
called for at Duke because we had such great shooters on the perimeter, so it
didn't make too much sense for me to be out there as the primary rebounder and
post player. That's the way the system was and we all understood it so we played
our roles. When I was working out for different teams a lot of people were
impressed with how well I shot the ball, because they never got a chance to see
I could do that at Duke.

SW: (On what fans in Atlanta can expect to see from him) The fans
can expect the same things they saw from me when I played against Georgia Tech.
A guy that'll be very hungry to play, very physical, and a guy that's going to
give 100% night in and night out. That's something that you should expect from
me each time I step on the court.

-- The Web Guy | 11:02 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


And With
The 33rd Pick, The Atlanta Hawks Take...

Solomon Jones,
F, South Florida.
The Hawks stick with improving their inside presence with
Jones, a long and lean prospect from the Big East. Jones had some big games this
season against top competition, including a 12-pt, 12-rebound, 6-block
performance against UConn.

This pick may surprise some who don't know much about Jones, but he performed
well enough in the predraft camp in Orlando to warrant consideration at this
spot. Jones has work to do offensively, but defensively he is already a player
who can add something to the Hawks' arsenal.

-- The Web Guy | 10:55 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


First Round Comes To A Close

A very interesting round, as a bunch of trades shook up the order to the
point where I don't even know right now who landed where. How many picks did
Portland end up with anyway? Why is Stephen A. so upset about this, by the way?
Did he try out for them at some point? Portland had a bad year last season, so
why not try to add as many players as they can? LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon
Roy is a pretty solid combo at the top, and they really didn't give up that much
to get them. Did they need to make moves to get those players? Who knows?

UConn ended up with the most players taken with four (Rudy Gay, Hilton
Armstrong, Marcus Williams, and Josh Boone). Six international players were
taken, which without looking it up is less than the last few years. However,
look for the second round to feature a lot more.

I will come back to this in a little, but we are now on the clock for our
final pick of the night.

Let's see what we do...

-- The Web Guy | 10:43 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


Two
Sparties Get Taken, Thank Lucky Stars

Hawks Media Relations Manager Jason Roose is a former East Lansing resident, so
who better to chime in on the Cavaliers' pick of Shannon Brown:

Here is Roose's scouting report: "Exceptional athlete who plays above the rim. Good defender and his strength allows him to play bigger than 6'4. Good outside shot complements a strong mid-range game. Clutch performer who wants the ball late in games and is not afraid to take the big shot. Brings a toughness to the floor after playing for Tom Izzo
at Michigan State."

Not bad. Plus he gets to play with LeBron James. As for Maurice Ager, I will
take it from here.

In the NBA Draft, the rich get richer. In particular Dallas gets richer. Much
like they stole Josh Howard in 2003, they got Maurice Ager at #28 in this draft.
Ager was a four-year contributor at Michigan State and was one of the best
scorers in college basketball last year. He was slightly undersized, much like
Howard, which caused his stock to fall this far, but the guy can play. And now
he comes into a situation in Dallas where he can grow into a role with the team,
and eventually step in for someone like Jerry Stackhouse without making the
Mavericks miss a beat.

The Mavs have drafted incredibly well ever since Marc Cuban took over, and it
doesn't look like that will change any time soon.

-- The Web Guy | 10:30 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


Farmar Gone, Blazers Trade Again.

The Lakers get a great pickup in Jordan Farmar, who must be pinching
himself to make sure this is not a dream. He could have come back next year and
perhaps been a top-ten pick in 2007, but instead he gets to play with Kobe
Bryant and the Lakers, a stone's throw away from where he played his college
ball at UCLA.

Also, Portland traded again. Honestly, I am enjoying myself over here in
Hawktown, but I would LOVE to be doing a draft night blog over there. My fingers
might fall off though from trying to type out all the activity.

-- The Web Guy | 10:21 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


Hawks Co-Owner Michael Gearon Checks
In

This is an exciting night for the Atlanta Hawks. Shelden Williams is the kind of
guy who can jump right in right away and help us on the interior. We struggled a
lot last year defensively inside, giving up the second most points in
the paint in the league. Since Shelden is an excellent shot blocker and
rebounder, he should be able to contribute immediately and help to change that
for us.

We
placed a lot of value in this draft on guys who performed at a high level in
college over guys who are projected to have great long-term potential. Shelden
put up numbers across the board for four years at Duke in one of the toughest
conferences in the nation, and I'd rather have that than a guy who had one great
game in the tournament or only put up numbers for half a season.

Bigs are at a premium in this league. Shelden measures at 6'9", but with his
wingspan he plays more like a seven-footer. He is strong, physical, and should
be able to get minutes at the 4 and the 5, plus he's a nice complement to the
type of young players we have in Marvin Williams and Zaza Pachulia.

Shelden is one of just three players in NCAA history to finish his career with
at least 1,500 points, 1,000 rebounds, 350 blocks and 150 steals, along with
David Robinson and Pervis Ellison. That's not too shabby.

The bottom line is, we want to win, and we needed to get a guy in this draft who
can help us do that from the start of the season. We believe Shelden can do that for us.

-- Michael Gearon | 10:05 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


A Run On PGs

The guards are finally starting to fall off the board, as Rondo, Williams,
and Lowry have all gone in the last few picks. UCLA's Jordan Farmar is still
there, but I have a feeling he will be gone in the near future with Cleveland
and the Lakers up next. If he doesn't go there though, it's entirely possible he
could fall into the second round...

-- The Web Guy | 10:03 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


NJ Gets Lucky


Sometimes
teams draft well because they are very smart, and sometimes players just fall
into your lap and make you geniuses just for sitting there. With Jason Kidd
getting older, the Nets needed to find a PG to train under him, and in UConn's
Marcus Williams they got perhaps the perfect student. Williams is a pass-first
guard just like Kidd, and he will have every opportunity to work on his shot and
learn at the feet of one of the top point guards in NBA history.

The Nets nailed this pick, though again, there is no way they could have
thought he'd be here at this point. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.

-- The Web Guy | 9:50 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


Knicks
Pick, Analysts Disagree. In Other News, The Sun Rises In East And Sets In West

Isiah Thomas gets
a lot of grief from the national media
, but he actually has
a pretty impressive track record in the draft. With his pick of Renaldo Balkman
from South Carolina at 20, Stephen A. Smith and Jay Bilas tore into him like he
was a 16-oz filet. I must admit I am surprised at the selection, but Balkman has
actually been rising on draft boards since playing exceptionally well in
workouts and draft camps. He also led South Carolina to an NIT Championship.

And I was really hoping for a point guard there.

-- The Web Guy | 9:45 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


David Stern Is To Rutgers As Dick
Vitale Is To Duke

Perhaps the funniest moment of the draft so far, as Commissioner Stern just
announced Sacramento's pick of Quincy Douby at #19. As Stern announced the pick,
he mentioned Douby was not present at Madison Square Garden, then added "But he
comes from a great school."

Hey, way to go Rutgers! It's not often they get a shout out in an athletic
setting, let alone from arguably the most powerful man in sports. The Rutgers
coaching staff needs to use this in the recruiting process, it has to help.

-- The Web Guy | 9:34 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


Ukraine
Is Game To You?

Look, I've
seen every episode of Seinfeld like 30 times. So many, in fact, that when I run
on the treadmill at the gym and it is on the television with the sound off, I
know the dialogue well enough to laugh at the appropriate times even though I
can't technically hear the dialogue.

Washington just took Olexsiy Pecherov from the Ukraine, which immediately
made me think of
the
episode where Kramer and Newman are locked in an intense battle of the game of
Risk
on the New York Subway.

I can only hope that as part of Pecherov's duties as a rookie next season (or
later, if they choose to leave him in Europe as some teams tend to do with young
internationals) they will require him to chirp "You not say Ukraine is weak!"
whenever he commits a hard foul or perhaps blocks a shot. I can just imagine the
t-shirt possibilities...

-- The Web Guy | 9:30 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


David Stern Is Enjoying Himself

Anyone else noticing the goofy grin on the commish's face when he is announcing
these trades? I think he is digging the fantasy-type style of the trades so far,
plus he clearly was proud of himself for pronouncing former Blazer Victor
Khyrapa's name correctly.

Shawne Williams just went to Indy, the second straight Memphis player to get
taken. He was one of the best freshmen in the country last season, and could
have perhaps been a top-level pick had he stuck around another season. That is
two straight years the Pacers have lucked out at #17 (Danny Granger in 2005). I
know they probably are interested in winning a title, but it seems they have hit
upon a great spot for the draft. Just something for them to think about, I dunno.

-- The Web Guy | 9:23 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


More Shelden

Here he is talking with Stuart "Boo-Yah!" Scott. And here are some

highlights of him as a player
.

-- The Web Guy | 9:15 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


Portland
Drafting Like I Did In My Office Home Run Pool

Who
is running the show over in Portland? I bet they are having more fun tonight
than any team has ever had on draft night in NBA history. They are making trades
all over the place, bobbing and weaving their way in and out of spots like Roy
Jones, Jr.

I'm not slamming them, mind you. I just find it incredibly awesome they are
trading around like we would all want to do if we were in charge of a franchise.

-- The Web Guy | 8:42 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


Orlando
Makes Up For 2005

It's
easy to hate on JJ Redick - he is a Dookie, he writes poetry, and he is a pretty
boy. But I gotta say, the Orlando Magic nailed this pick. Nailed
it. Redick is the kind of player who, put on the wrong team, would probably have
a hard time in the NBA because of his lack of a complementary skill to his
scoring. But in Orlando, he will positively thrive.

The Magic have a tremendous inside combo in Dwight Howard and Darko Milicic,
and have a great penetrating floor leader in Jameer Nelson. All Redick will be
asked to do is come out and hit perimeter shots, and as we saw in college, he
will have no problem doing that.

Man, the Southeast Division is going to be tough in the next several years.
Sheesh!

-- The Web Guy | 8:46 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


Big And Tall Stores In For Improved
Quarterly Sales Projections

That's the story of this draft so far, if you ask me. For all the talk about
teams starting to play small ball more and model themselves after the Phoenix
Suns, we've already seen basically the top six bigs go in the first ten picks,
even if more "talented" players were available.

I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same, eh?

-- The Web Guy | 8:42 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!

That's right - I used a header that didn't involve his last name. When everyone
else zigs, the Web Guy zags. Gay went from the potential #1 pick all the way to
the Rockets at #8, but word on the street is they are trading him to Memphis for
F Shane Battier. Every year there seems to be a player of Gay's caliber who
inexplicably slides (a la Paul Pierce and Caron Butler). I know his rep is as a
soft player who disappears, but I think Houston (or Memphis) gets some pretty
good value here.

-- The Web Guy | 8:40 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


Hawks Coach Mike Woodson On The Pick

Mike
Woodson:
Shelden is a great player who got better every year in four years
of college. I think he averaged like 19 and 10 this past year. He fits a major
need for our ballclub with his ability to play on the inside. Our interior
defense was nonexistent at times last season and we gave up a lot of
points in the paint. I think with him and Zaza and Josh Smith we can do a lot
better now. Shelden can really provide us a presence at the power forward
position and be with us for a long period of time.

MW: We wore Zaza down last season because of the minutes we had to play
him so many minutes. I think Shelden can spell him a lot this year. With the way
the NBA is going, playing small ball, I think you could see us have Shelden,
Marvin Williams, Josh Smith in the frontcourt and Joe Johnson and Josh Childress
in the backcourt and see us give teams some matchup problems.

MW: Shelden was a guy we targeted from the beginning as a player who
could help us right away, so we are happy we got him.

-- The Web Guy | 8:25 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


And The Newest Hawk Is...

Shelden
Williams
, Duke.
This pick makes a lot of sense for us at this point. With
Aldridge, Bargnani, and Thomas gone, and the team looking to improve its
interior defense and rebounding, Williams was clearly the best big available.
Nicknamed "The Landlord", Williams was a defensive monster in college who
immediately steps in and gives the Hawks more toughness.

Another positive for Williams is he is seasoned - he played four years of
college ball at the highest level, and is ready to contribute right now, which
is something the Hawks need. Many people compare him to Antonio Davis or Dale
Davis, and if he has a career similar to either of those guys, the Hawks will be
happy.

Hawks GM will be out from Draft Central in just a little bit to talk to the
media, so we will get some comments from him and post here as soon as we can.

-- The Web Guy | 8:05 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


Blazers/Bulls Take Thomas

And we are officially on the clock...

Uh oh, Steven A. doesn't look happy. Apparently he disagrees with Portland's
moves...more on that later.

-- The Web Guy | 7:57 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


MJ Takes
Mo

Let the Rudy Gay watch begin...the Bobcats take Adam Morrison and his
mustache at #3, which makes a ton of sense for them. If they can just get
Emeka Okafor
and Sean May to stay healthy, they have a tremendous
young nucleus to build around.

With Morrison's intensity, I would be very interested to see if he and Jordan
ever go head-to-head at the practice facility sometime.

Portland (or maybe Chicago), you are on the clock.

-- The Web Guy | 7:52 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


Aldridge Is Gone

Hawks fans were certainly hoping this didn't happen, but LaMarcus Aldridge is
off the board. The Bulls took him at #2, which ESPN's Andy Katz is reporting
will then be turned around and traded to Portland in a package that includes the
#4 pick. My guess is that means the Bulls will take Tyrus Thomas at #4. I think
Aldridge is going to be great - he was an incredibly hard worker at Texas who
improved by leaps and bounds from the start of his freshman year to the end of
his sophomore year. He reminds me a lot of Chris Bosh - needs to get bigger, but
already possesses a very polished offensive game for a player his age.

The Bobcats are up next...

-- The Web Guy | 7:50 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


Sorry, I Couldn't Resist...

After
watching waaaaayyyyyyyy too much soccer in the last few weeks with the World
Cup, I can't let this opportunity pass to say that I sincerely hope Bargnani
proves less fragile than his futbol playing countrymen.

With the amount of banging that goes on underneath the basket in the NBA, games
would last forever if players curled up in a ball every time someone scraped
them with an elbow or put a shoulder into their backside.

-- The Web Guy | 7:45 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


And The #1 Pick Is...

Andrea
Bargnani from Italy goes to the Raptors at #1. No surprise there, as everyone
pretty much thought this was the pick they would make. A lot of people compare
him favorably at this stage to Dirk Nowitzki, but that is generous.
Still, Colangelo typically knows how to groom international talent, so look for
him to have a chance to succeed in Toronto.

If he is good, the Raptors have a pretty ridiculous frontline right now with
Bargnani, Rasho Nesterovic, Chris Bosh, and Charlie Villanueva. That's a lot of
height - unless they deal Villanueva as has been rumored (though they'd still
have a bunch of really tall dudes).

-- The Web Guy | 7:33 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


My
Personal Bias

A lot of people are talking about how many UConn players may go in this draft
(some say as many as six), but I just want to give a little shout out to my boys
from the University of Texas, who could see four guys taken. LaMarcus
Aldridge
is the only lock to go in the first, but just remember you heard
here this name: PJ Tucker. Anyone who watched college basketball over the
past three years knows Tucker was a dominant performer, but his lack of size
despite playing the forward position makes him unlikely to go any higher than
the tail end of the first round. He has been called a poor man's Charles
Barkley, and I think the comparisons are legit, at least in some ways.

I am a big believer in the notion that great performance in college typically
translates to success in the pros (take Boston's Ryan Gomes from this past year
as an example), and therefore I believe Tucker can be a big player (read:
starter for many years) for the right team - especially if the trend towards
playing the game like Dallas and Phoenix continues.

Daniel Gibson probably came out a year too early in terms of his draft
stock, but some team will take a flyer on him early in the second round. And who
knows? Maybe even Brad Buckman will get a nibble late in the evening.

Sorry, just had to put in my two cents.

And here comes the first pick!

-- The Web Guy | 7:33 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


Ah,
Foreigners

Ok, reason #453 why I love the NBA Draft. Watching the announcers butcher the
names of the foreign-born players. So far I've already heard Andrea
Bargnani's
name (BARG-Nani? BARN-Yanni? Roberto Begnini?) pronounced a bunch
of different ways, as well as a couple butchered references to Suns player Nikoloz Tskitishvili.
I wonder if this happens in reverse? Like, if Milwaukee's Joe Smith were to be
drafted into a Turkish League, would they struggle to get his pronunciation
down?

With the influx of foreign players joining the league through the draft, it's
just going to get harder and harder for the TV types to do their jobs (and
funnier and funnier for us to watch them stumble).

-- The Web Guy | 7:13 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


My Picks, Up Until The Hawks

Everyone and their mother has a mock draft - I even
did a top five

back when the lottery order was announced. So have I changed my opinion at all?

Here are my final picks for the top four, leading up to the Hawks pick at #5.
Let's see how foolish I look in an hour or so when this all goes down in flames.

1) Toronto Raptors - Andrea Bargnani. There were rumors it would be
Rudy Gay as late as yesterday, and LaMarcus Aldridge could still surprise people
and go here, but I think Bargnani is the choice. New GM Bryan Colangelo has
shown no hesitancy to roll the dice on foreign players in the past, and Bargnani
has been playing at the highest level of the Euroleague the last couple years.

2) Chicago Bulls - LaMarcus Aldridge. Tyrus Thomas could go here, but
in the end I think the Bulls go with the more polished offensive threat in
Aldridge.

3) Charlotte Bobcats - Rudy Gay. I don't think Michael Jordan minds
that Gay didn't dominate in college; Gay played on a team with several future
NBA players and still led the team in scoring. The Bobcats need an athletic wing
player, and Gay fits that bill.

4) Portland Trail Blazers - Adam Morrison. Morrison is a local(ish)
guy, and would be a dream come true for a franchise still trying to shake the
reputation as a home for the Bad Boys of the NBA. A lot of people want to
compare Morrison to Larry Bird, but I see him as more of a Glen Rice type
player. He won't make any all-defensive teams, but his knack for scoring (and
creativity in doing so) will make him a valuable player in the NBA for years to
come. Plus he looks just Randall "Pink" Floyd from Dazed and Confused. I mean
exactly.
See for yourself...

Alright, ESPN coverage has begun. Let's get this party started...

-- The Web Guy | 7:05 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


Finally, A Trade (We Think)

Reports out of Boston say that Boston has traded their #7 pick to Portland in
return for Sebastian Telfair. This one has been rumored for several days, but
does little to help decipher what will happen at the top.

Telfair, as you may recall, was the subject of intense scrutiny during his
draft year, doing the prep-to-pros route despite his smallish stature
(traditionally, most players that make the leap are big men). He played well at
times last year in Portland, but injuries kept him off the floor for extended
periods of time.

If the rumors are true, then the deal was submitted to the NBA after the 2:00
p.m. deadline, which means Boston will still technically make the selection at
#7, even if it is meant for Portland. It also means Portland now has two of the
top seven picks, which either means a) they will be able to add two very nice
pieces to their squad or b) they are really gunning to move up to get the player
they really want (speculated to be Adam Morrison.

In Telfair, Boston will have a more traditional point guard than incumbent
Delonte West, who is more of a scoring guard than distributor.

And away we go!

-- The Web Guy | 5:10 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


The Clock Is Ticking...

And
so far no news to report. Last year there were a couple trades before the
festivities got started that helped shape the direction of the first round, but
so far all we are hearing are crickets. Maybe there are still moves on the
horizon, but remember, once the first round begins, no trades can be announced
until after the end of the round.

There has been some news today on the NBA though, but it has very little to do
with the draft. The NBA will be
introducing a new ball
for the upcoming season, one that will make PETA very happy I believe. The
first NBA ball to eschew leather, it is instead made out of a microfiber
composite, which is to say that I have no idea what it's made out of but that's
what they are calling it so it sounds good to me.

The ball will have better grip for players, who often complain that traditional
leather balls have to be broken in before they become effective.

Sounds cool.

-- The Web Guy | 4:30 p.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?



Draft Day Is
Here!

The Hawks draft room is shown above, as Hawks GM Billy Knight, his scouts,
coaches, and other related staff members are all hunkered down to try to figure
out what tonight will bring us. I for one cannot wait - I love the NBA Draft. I
would say I rank it slightly ahead of the NFL Draft in terms of my favorites, if
for no other reason than the first round goes much faster and for the most part
you have a working knowledge of most prospects' strengths and weaknesses, as
well as team needs, so its easier to guess along with the proceedings and
predict who will go where.

This year, as I said yesterday, should make for quite an entertaining
evening. Billy even said it yesterday, there just hasn't been a draft in recent
memory with this much uncertainty at the top. Just yesterday it was reported on
ESPN.com that the Raptors were considering taking Rudy Gay at #1, and now some
are predicting he may drop as far as 9th to Golden State. When have you ever
seen someone's position vacillate that far? I certainly haven't.

Anyway, tonight promises to be a lot of fun, and The Web Guy promises to have
you covered as everything happens. If for some reason you aren't coming to the
Hawks
Draft Party
at Philips Arena tonight (doors open at 6 p.m.), then join
me in the Interweb for my live draft blog from right outside the Hawks
Draft Central. Here is what
last
year's looked like
, in case you are curious.

Feel free to submit your
questions and comments
, and I will try to answer as much as I can while
covering the night's events.

Let's Go Hawks!

-- The Web Guy | 11:30 a.m. 06/28/06 |
Have a comment?


Blog Archive #8

Blog Archive #7

Blog Archive #6

Blog Archive #5

Blog Archive #4

Blog Archive #3

Blog Archive #2


Blog Archive #1



Click here to read the 2005 Draft Blog!

NEXT UP:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter