The angst last year was palpable. Uncertainty filled the air like smoke from a Red Auerbach stogie. Within the Kings 'war room', and amongst Kings faithful, doubt converged with hope, conflicting emotions amidst desire that their targeted 2010 draftee would fall oh-so wonderfully, like the bra strap off the shoulder of Kate Upton.
Anticipatory. Intoxicating. Arousing intrigue. Demanding of undivided attention.
Repeated and belated thanks, GM David Kahn, for your inability to recognize beauty if it popped off the pages of SI, stripped down to a bed sheet, and reverse cow-girled you into the 2012 NBA Lottery.
Kahn: "Did you notice the unsightly mole behind her right knee cap? Pass."
Kings rookie DeMarcus Cousins may not be able to rock a two-piece like incredible Kate, but as a projected Top 5 NBA center through normal player development and professional maturity, he was figuratively worthy of cover girl status, with temporary belly bulge photo-shopped into six-pack abs.
Wes Johnson? Nice guy. I like my bank teller to be nice. I appreciate selfless acts of kindness, but it is not the foremost quality I seek out of a high-level professional basketball player. Wes Johnson is the basketball equivalent of Kate Upton's less photogenic best friend, the one with the fabulous personality.
Kahn selects ahead of the Kings once again of course, but this year is different. Angst has dissipated. Cloudy uncertainty has lifted in favor of clear skies and fresh air. The June 23rd draft is unfolding to be a Day at the Beach, with a cooler full of Corona's, Kate Upton as your seductive playmate, sporting a bikini that redefines the word 'skimpy'.
When perfection unfolds, all you need to do is savor the moment. So defines private time with a Victoria Secret stunner, as it does the pending Kings 2011 NBA draft.
While one may be fantasy, the other is soon-to-be reality. Granted, adding a near ideal player to your favorite team that you know will be available to perfectly complement existing personnel pales in comparison to quality time with The Perfect Woman, but it at least surpasses building sand castles with Kate's friend and Jerry Reynolds in a purple and black speedo.
OK, so that might be fun too.
"Nice suit, J.R., is that a Jimmer in your pocket or did you just watch him workout?
Last year I predicted the Top 5 players in the draft a week prior to the event. At the time I was confident in my prediction. This year I am about as confident as Jerry Reynolds in said speedo flaunting his stuff at an all access photo shoot.
Insincere apologies for the disturbing imagery.
Anyway the countdown to this Thursday is 'on' and forecasting is fun! I will therefore take lead from the silver-foxed Adonis, suck in my gut, imagine Jimmer uncontested at the three-point line in effort to "fill out" my sparse attire, and aspire to achieve photogenic results.
Hoping on a miracle, perhaps, with a hodgepodge of a draft like this one. So what baby, let's strike a pose!!!
The draft is uninspiring and challenging to gain predictive grasp pre-Kings pick, especially at 3 through 6, although my lack of focus and present insight could be due to Kate Upton and her 2:00 glimpse into paradise. The top of the draft is conspicuous by its lack of marquee talent and projected stars. Still, a gem or two is likely to emerge capable of immediate and eye-popping contribution. Busts, disappointments and D-League assignees will be available too, though without neon signs over head to forewarn participants. And therein lies the fun. GMs and teams will have to rely upon their analytical prowess and evaluation expertise more than ever since candidates have been unable to differentiate themselves definitively. Regardless, names will be called, podiums approached, suits worn freshly, and dreams fulfilled. Here's what to expect and why...
Blob's Draft Board: The (Meh)nificent Seven
Pick #1: The Cavs rebuild will be off to rousing start if they can parlay the #1 and #4 pick into a low post player deserving of consistent double teams, and a PG prospect capable of competing against the Roses and Rondos of the East. If they can walk away from this draft with a formidable inside-out duo with star potential, they win twice in a month without taking the court. Previous win? See LeBron James NBA Finals performance, as detailed by Adolf Hitler:
The choice between D-Will and Kyrie Irving involves fundamentally solid and athletic players, and similar chance for stardom, so how do the Cavs decide? Kyrie Irving plays the most important position on the floor as a PG, while D-Will plays the least important as a PF. His claims at the pre-draft camp that he is a SF was an agent-driven comment based on the roster makeup of the top drafting teams. Anyone who watched D-Will at Arizona knows that he flourishes as back-to-basket guy (and power dribble face up from within 15 feet). He strayed out to the 3-point arc occasionally and hit impressive percentage, but that's not his game. Irving has an ability to make Cavs teammates better immediately through quickness and playmaking, while D-Will will not make teammates better until (1) he is able to consistently draw doubles, and (2) passing effectively out of doubles.
Irving has high basketball IQ, maturity beyond his years, and in limited sample size proved an efficient scorer. Unless something no one else is privy to is unduly or deservedly emphasized during the Cavs due diligence, Irving is their pick.
1. Kyrie Irving
Pick #2: As much as any GM, David Kahn fancies himself a roster craftsman, and prides himself upon the notion that he has a special insight others lack (see proclamations regarding Darko, and his all-star potential, and Ricky Rubio, and his distorted rationale over his slow development.) He's out to prove himself in the midst of ridicule and botched drafts, and gain vindication for past mistakes.
If this pick does not get traded, and a trade is still strongest likelihood, I think Kahn would love to select Bismack Biyombo. It is a high-risk move that, if pays off, earns him the kudos he craves. Never mind that Biyombo has the offensive arsenal of a third world country, Kahn wants to field a respectable team, if not a winning one, and subdue his critics. He needs a homerun this draft, not a single. Picking the Congo Sensation represents a swing for the fences.
There is logic to this pick: Biyombo is the opposite of DeMarcus Cousins and Al Jefferson, skilled players who play below the rim, with questionable attitudes, and two players Kahn spurned via draft and trade. In contrast, Bismack is an unskilled above-the-rim swatter, an incredible athletic specimen, and who by all accounts is a lovely person.
Foremost on his mind, Kahn needs Ricky Rubio to succeed. Desperately. To that end, he has Kevin Love on the boards to feed him outlet passes. B-Easy Beasley and Nice Wes are catch-and-shoot wings. Biyombo protecting Rubio in case of defensive lapses, and to show and trap on pick and rolls, will further ease the rook's transition. An ability to complement the slower-footed K-Love and Darko has frontline appeal. Biyombo catching alley oop lobs from Ricky would have the Wolves fans howling. These types of idealized visions are churning around in Kahn's mind: Is Biyombo the glue that can unify my incompatible mix of disparate parts, and allow me to remain gainfully employed?
I think Biyombo is going to make it in the NBA and have a long career. If he can learn to catch and finish, and discover a half-hook, he's a 12/12/3 block player. But, as a rookie can he significantly help to turnaround the NBA's worst team?
David Kahn's receptionist: "Chris Webber for you on Line Deep Six, Sir."
Kahn: "Put the call through, receptionist. By the way, who should I pick with the 2nd pick in the draft?"
Kahn: "Never mind, transfer the call, golly gosh gee-willikers.
Kahn: (Clear throats and lowers pitch of voice) This is David Kahn, and I am a very busy and important man."
C-Webb: "I hear you are going to select Bismack Biyombo with the 2nd pick of the draft..."
Kahn: "Who told you that? My receptionist? What did she tell you, C-Webb? What do you know, C-Webb? Are you and my receptionist in cahoots, C-Webb? Golly gosh gee-willikers, I need answers right now, C-Webb, as I am a very busy and important man.
C-Webb: (Long pause) "Good luck". Click.
Holy Darko, did I just make a case for a player as second pick in draft who could not win a game of H-O-R-S-E against Stevie Wonder? The blood flow from my brain that journeyed south courtesy of my sweet Kate has yet to make the round trip.
I like Biyombo, and Kahn does too, but:
2. Derrick Williams
Traded for rights for to Bismack Biyombo and additional assets.
Pick #3: It may be logical to conclude that having shipped their best player and Top 5 NBA PG in Deron Williams in return for Derrick Favors and Devin Harris, the Jazz will look to add Brandon Knight in hopes that he can replace D-Will, and become player of similar impact over due time. I have my reservations, however.
GM Kevin O'Connor scouted D-Will, drafted D-Will, and watched D-Will school opponents for many seasons, then soured on D-Will when he said mean and injurious things to Old Man Sloan to cause irreconcilable differences, subsequent resignation, and in general for franchise panties to get twisted into bunch. D-Will grew weary of Sloan's rigid coaching style, dissatisfied increasingly with the Jazz cost-cutting player moves, and did not conceal his displeasure, nor his capacity to twist said franchise panties.
What does this have to do with who the Jazz pick at #3? Nothing, nothing at all really, I am just stalling because I have no idea who the Jazz will pick, and I like to inject the word panties into my writing when opportunity arises. :=)
I just spoke with Kate, who wears panties, occasionally, since her and I are tight like that, both our relationship and her panties, and she informed that the Jazz will bypass Knight for same reason the Kings are a lock to select you-know-who at #7.
Knight does not project as an impact player worthy of #3 status. He does not distinguish himself with one easily defined skill. He's long and lean and quick, but not John Wall long, lean and quick. He can score pretty good, not scintillating. He might be able to run a team someday, not yet. In other words, he projects to be like Devin Harris and the Jazz already have a player like Devin Harris, and his name is Devin Harris.
3. Enes Kanter
While Enes is completely unproven, he gets the Coach Cali Stamp of Approval, and measures out ahead of Brandon Knight in terms of projected impacted. Big men with size, agility and fundamentals like Kanter don't come around often, are less abundant than guards like Knight, so Enes gets the nod here. This is a high risk, high reward pick, but O'Connor will not think twice about making bold move, as proven by trading his superstar.
Pick #4, #5, #6:
Jan Veseley will be selected by one of these three teams next up: Cavs, Raptors, and Wizards. Kawhi Leonard will be selected by one of these teams. And Brandon Knight will be selected by one of these two teams not named the Wizards. I reserve the right not to specify an order because (1) This is my fan post and I make the rules, and (2) See Rule 1. OK, that's a cop out, and the mighty and omniscience Blob does not cop out. Besides how you will know what to think on Draft Night if I don't tell you? LOL. (Inside joke reserved for one person on this site who will not find it funny. And that's why its funny.)
By process of elimination we can exclude Knight from consideration at 4th spot, since the Cavs nabbed their PG at top spot, and exclude him from 6th spot since the Wizards nabbed their PG at 1st spot last year. Progress! Math is fun. Before returning to our draft board, here's a quick math problem for your edification: 1+1 = Don't draft Jonas.
4. Jan Veseley
5. Brandon Knight
6. Kawhi Leonard
#7 Pick: And so here we find ourselves basking in the glow of sunshine, the curves of our incomparable Beach Bunny, and witness to a draft board that shapes up as envisioned, with the most desired candidate available for the choosing. No stress. No uncertainty. No hope conflicting with doubt. Awww. A Day at The Beach.
"Kate, my sweet, can you apply a little more sun lotion to my shoulders? I think you missed a spot."
By any objective analysis, Jimmer Fredette will be on the board at pick #7. There has been speculation he could go as high as #3 to the Jazz, rather than the actual hopes by Jazz he lasts until #12. This 3rd pick speculation is without merit. First a player's place of origin is inconsequential to landing spot. And while the Jazz recognize the value of shooting, and need shooting as most teams do, and appreciate the polish and appeal Jimmer offers, they cannot afford to bypass a potential cornerstone big man like Kanter.
The Kings have masked their intentions well since Jimmer's visit, and completed their due diligence, auditioning candidates including Kawhi, Kemba Walker, and paying visit to Jan Veseley's private workout. They have sent out signals subsequently with information leaks to the media that Jimmer may not be their decisive choice. All this serves as an effective smokescreen to conceal their true intentions, and dissuade Jimmer suitors (Knicks, Dubs) from leap frogging. Don't be fooled.
7. Jimmer Fredette
Enjoy the draft. The day calls for tropical-like conditions. The water feels great. Jump in.
Kate: "Wanna join me for a swim?"