From guest writer Brian Fuller, here are his thoughts on the 2007 Draft as a whole:
The 2007 NBA Draft...
Simply put, this draft was slightly disappointing for me. A great deal of hype had been built and in my opinion, the hype went unrealized. The biggest names in basketball were being dangled in front of us in tantalizing trade scenarios that would have made me all giddy had they happened.
But they didn't, and we were left with this. Don't get me wrong, it was still a pretty good draft. Here is my totally slanted and outrageous stance, and I will do what so many others do and be cliché by using the whole winners and losers thing...
Loser: Atlanta Hawks.
The Hawks had a chance to land Amare Stoudemire while giving up only 2 draft picks. Stoudemire is a First-Team All-NBA player. With Joe Johnson and Josh Smith, the Hawks would have immediately become a top 3 team in the East. They most likely could have made the finals next year. And their new uniforms suck. They just got those nice gold alternate jerseys a couple years ago, and they scrap them. Wow.
Loser: Kevin Garnett
Garnett could have been in Phoenix. Now it will be more difficult to move Garnett, although the Warriors and Mavericks have entered the mix. The Warriors are offering a very tempting package for KG, including Monta Ellis and allegedly Al Harrington, although the Wolves want Andres Biedrins included in the deal...
Winner: Greg Oden
He went first in the draft. He becomes the anchor of a quickly rising team. How could he not be a winner?
Push: Kevin Durant
Durant started the night great, getting drafted second and looking at playing alongside Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis. Now Allen will wear a different shade of green, and Lewis will pull the trigger with any other team. Durant is now left to carry an NBA team as a rookie. He'll average 20 and 8, but he will have a hard time getting his team a lot of wins...
Winner: Portland Trail Blazers
No one did better in the draft than these guys. They get their center for the next decade and made a stellar trade, bringing in Channing Frye and Steve Francis. Frye will contribute at PF, and Francis can play the 1 or the 2 for the Blazers, giving this team a very versatile and athletic look. I like this team a lot now. I think they can legitimately make the playoffs next year.
Winner: NY Knicks
The Knicks didn't do so bad in this trade either, netting a very good PF in Zach Randolph and getting a solid backup guard in Fred Jones.
Idiot: Isaiah Thomas
One question: Who is Wilson Chandler? Thomas is the quirkiest drafter ever.
Loser and idiot: Danny Ainge
Ainge has no idea what's going on. He shipped out Jeff Green for Ray Allen, who is the best shooter in the NBA, which is a good trade. But Ainge takes on more salary and for what? Has Ainge really done enough to make this team good? I do not think he has. Ainge seems to be throwing together whatever he can to make this work.
Loser: Yi Jianlian
Yi doesn't get to play in a city with a Chinatown. I hope he is a man and shows up in Milwaukee when he is supposed to...
Winner: Michael Jordan and the Bobcats
Jordan didn't do too shabby in his first draft, netting a couple solid players and Jason Richardson...that is, if his knees hold out for Jordan...
Winner: Golden State Warriors
In moving Richardson, the Warriors cleared some room to make a run at a solid free agent or another good player via trade (Garnett?). At the very least, Golden State can now keep their core together for a few years and make a run in the playoffs...
Winner: Rodney Stuckey
Stuckey is a big-time guard from a little school who now gets to play for one of the best teams in the East. I'd like to think he will contribute off the bench for Detroit, especially if Chauncey Billups decides to bolt...
Loser: Houston Rockets
The Rockets really needed a big bodied PF. They drafted two guards, one of them barely measuring in at 6 feet.
I swear ESPN kept showing the same 3 commercials; all I know is that sprite is good for some reason, Dwayne Wade can't putt, and Tim Duncan is NOT about himself...
Now anyone who actually watched the draft got to see Dick Vitale and Stephen A. Smith. Seriously, these two guys are crazy. I'm surprised Stephen A. didn't go nuts when Vitale called him out on the 2003 draft being better thing (By the way, the 2003 draft was better...). These two guys should have their own show. Or simply a debate. The winner can get a crash cart to revive himself...