Moderator: I differ in opinon from the Loch. Of Portland's four trades and four draft picks, I have no problem with anything they've done. The one part you could probably argue is ditching Ratliff's corpse for La Frentz, primarily because La Frentz has one year longer on his deal. However, La Frentz will be more useful in the meantime. The amount of dealing that Portland made tonight is almost comical, but let's let the rest of the offseason play out before coming to a final judgement. I've got jury duty tomorrow so I'll be out of commission, but Lochi will be posting with a deeper analysis of what Portland accomplished, and I'll be doing the same on Friday.
Hope you enjoyed the draft.
#31: Portland - James White
Moderator: I don't know much about this guy. Supposedly he's got crazy hops, he went to Cincy, and can play a little defense. Sounds like someone we traded last offseason, eh?
#30. Portland - Joel Freeland
Lochi: Um...David Stern is about to announce a trade in which the Portland Trailblazers have acquired David Beckham, Thierry Henry, and Wayne Roony for cash considerations. Seriously, what the hell are they doing? I'm going to take some time to think about all this bullshit and post something tomorrow that at least has a theory as to what the hell happend tonight.
Moderator: Freeland is a project center whom they can leave in Europe for a couple of years. He may be able to contribute down the road.
#29. New York Knicks - some stiff
Moderator: That was Lochi's was of saying "the knicks selected Mardy Collins, who is a 6-6 PG from Temple. He's another combo guard, isnt a great athlete, doesn't have a position in the NBA, and makes the sixth player of this type that New York has." Another ridiculous pick by the worst GM in sports.
#28. Dallas Mavericks - Maurice Ager
Moderator: An interesting pick, and one that many people predicted. He's a 6-5 shooter who can also play a little D, which will make him quite useful in the Big D.
Lochi: Best part about this pick is he was in the audience and a fringe first rounder.
#27. Phoenix Suns - Sergio Rodriguez
Lochi: Another soccer player as far as I know. Apparently he's a Blazer? What? I have no comment on this until tomorrow but this is very confusing. A 6'3" point guard from Spain? Why?
Moderator: So, I guess Portland made a trade to get this guy. Which means I'm suddenly interested in him. He's a 6-3, 170 lb (?) pass-first point guard, and seems to be a nice pickup. According to Andy Katz, Portland acquired him for "cash". Which means it's the second transaction Portland has made (the first being Foye for Roy) where all they gave the other team was "cash". I'm a bit perplexed by all this. One thing I'm not sure of is whether Rodriguez will be coming over to play now, or if he's staying in Europe for a season or two.
#26. LA Lakers - Jordan Farmar
Moderator: The worst-kept secret, that LA wanted Farmar. If this were almost any other team I'd be saying that this is a value pick. But since it's LA, that means he'll have to play right away and will have to endure Kobe's wrath. Doesn't look bright for him. As an Oregon Duck fan, I"m glad he's out of our way, but it probably would have been better for his career if he'd stuck around another year and been a lottery pick next season.
Lochi: I like this pick too. Farmar doesn't need to shoot to be effective (and UCLA was better when he wasn't). Good, in control point guard. I think this makes the Lakers good enough to lose in the first round of the playoffs next year. Oh...wait.
#25. Cleveland Cavs - Shannon Brown
Lochi: I actually like this pick. They're few and far between right now, but at least this guy could be a nice role player. Streaky shooter but if you get him on a hot night, he can really light it up and that can maybe be the difference in a playoff series for the Cavs. The Cavs are smart, up is down, black is white.
Moderator: Agreed. This is the pick that Memphis should have made. Ideally, the Cavs would let him sit on the bench for a season and play 10-15 minutes a game for 2 years so he can develop a bit and then step into a solid role.
#24. Memphis Grizzlies - Lowry
Moderator: How upset do you think Memphis was when Marcus Williams lasted until #22 and they were thinking "shit, we need a PG, and the guy who most resembles a true pass-first PG and was supposed to be a lottery pick is almost falling to us at #24." But then he didn't. So they settled for this medicore player who I predict will be out of the league by the time the next World Cup starts.
Lochi - Little guy, can't shoot. Wow it's getting ugly.
#23. NJ Nets - Josh Boone
Lochi: Um, can't shoot, soft, nice pick.
Moderator: Well, he's quick and he can block shots, but he has always seemed like a big pussy to me. Basically a homeless man's Marcus Camby. And I"m not talking about the homeless guy who panhandles enough to eat decent meals and sneak decent clothes out of the donation bin ... I'm talking about the dirty-ass mother fucker who just plops down in the middle of the block and acts like an ass to those who do not give.
#22. New Jersey Nets - Marcus Williams
Moderator: Nice pick. Very nice pick. It is a surprise that Williams slipped this far, and New Jersey can let him sit on the bench and develop behind Kidd. Williams is a true PG and a very good passer, and I couldn't think of a better teacher than Kidd.
Lochi: The heir apparent obviously. Decent value at this point. Jason Kidd is going to miss games so at least they have a distributor for the games he's out.
#21. Phoenix Suns (kind of) - Rajon Rondo
Lochi - obviously trading this pick. Sebastian just started drinking heavily.
Moderator: ESPN is saying that this pick is being traded to Boston. Why would Boston want Rondo when they just acquired Telfair? Is it the "throw enough shit against a wall and something will stick" theory? I think Portland went by this theory about 2 years ago. Worked out well for them.
#20. New York Knicks - Renaldo Balkman
Moderator: Uh ... what? Mistake number 4,325 by Isiah Thomas and the New York Knick front office. This dude averaged 9 points per game in the freaking MAC conference. I'm not much for quoting Jay Bilas, but I'll amend that rule in this special circumstance: "I'm stunned. This guy is a second round pick at best. There is not another team who would have taken him in the first round."
Lochi: Ahhhh, Isiah, thanks buddy, that made me laugh. Gotta like Spike going "...sleeper?" Seriously, does this guy play striker for Brazil? They should have just taken Ronaldhino.
#19. Sacramento Kings - Quincy Douby
Lochi: Honestly, I can't even come up with a good joke for this one. Easily the most sold jersey of this rookie class.
Moderator: The doob-meister! Nice player, and with Bonzi Wells' pending free agency, I understand the pick.
#18. Washington Bullets - Alexei Pecherov
Moderator: This is another player whom I am not very familiar with. He's from the Ukraine, and some of you may recall that I name-dropped this guy as someone Portland may consider with the 30 or 31 because he's a big man and he might stay overseas for a year or two. But, um, other than that I really have nothing to add here. The empty beer bottles are starting to pile up if that means anything to you.
Lochi: Fran Fraschilla loves him, he loves all things Euro apparently. Anyone else notice that Fran says everyone is "a year away" or "two years away"? Here's a question for Franny, is there anyone over there that's really worth a damn or are you still just trying to get ESPN to pay for your Euro vacation for a while longer? "Yeah, this guy can kind of shoot, might be able to rebound, probably a year or two away."
#17. Indiana Pacers - Shawne Williams
Lochi: Um, what do the Pacers need a power forward for? Bilas just informed us that he's "long armed". Really? He's 6'9", how short could his arms be if he's not a T-Rex? Thanks Jay.
Moderator: Interesting pick. I actually expected Indiana to go with a PG here, especially with Tinsley looking more and more like he can't be a full time NBA point guard and Marcus Williams still available. I guess they could use some depth in the front court, and it provides a bit of insurance if they want to deal O'Neal. But I'm stretching here with that justification.
#16. Chicago Bulls - Rodney Carney
Moderator: Another solid, solid pick. That's three in a row. These guys will be very good role players. Carney is almost like Darius Miles, except he cares about basketball.
Lochi: Supposedly this pick is a trade for the dude I never heard of, Thadeus Thabo Whoever, this is a good pick for the 76ers. If you've got all the other guys collapsing on Iverson the whole time, and you've got sniper Korver, might as well have a guy that can throw down like crazy slashing to the basket.
Lochi draft note: Dan Patrick better watch his back leaving there tonight. Godfather Stern is pissed off. He could get the Big Pussy Treatment if he's not careful.
#15. Los Angeles Hornets of Anaheim - Cedric Simmons
Lochi: Interesting pick. 2 in a row that I like. Athletic, and was initially projected way too high but in the mid-first round you gotta like a guy that can at least provide some explosiveness.
Moderator: Agreed, good pick. Simmons will be a nice banging big man who's a poor man's Zach Randolph. I'll tell you this much: he'll be better than Hilton Armstrong.
#14. Utah Jazz - Ronnie Brewer
Moderator: Great pick. I think he'll look like a steal in a couple of years. Got some great NBA skills, and won't be spectacular but he'll be a nice scorer and a nice player.
Lochi: First pick I liked in a while. Dude can be a serious sniper and has a "plus" NBA skill right now.
Lochi Blazers Thoughts: Foye for Roy, straight up with a C-note. How the hell is this legal?
#13. Philly 76ers - Thabo Sefolosha
Lochi: No fucking idea.
Moderator: I'm with Lochi here. I've seen a few NBA Nation highlight clips of this guy, and read a few Chad Ford columns about him, but that's really all I know. Let's talk about Portland for a minute. If I'm understanding everything correctly, the net from their trades is:
GONE: Telfair, Ratliff, 2008 2nd rounder, #4 pick, Viktor Khryapa, "future considerations"
ACQUIRED: LaMarcus Aldridge, Raef LaFrentz, Brandon Roy
#12. New Orleans Hornets - Hilton Armstrong
Moderator: I'm going to admit something to you, I had never heard of this guy until the NCAA tournament and didn't even think he'd be a first-round pick until about a week ago. So while that may degrade my credit to some of you as to whether or not I know what I'm talking about, I"m going to confide something in you: sometimes I do, and sometimes I don't. This is one of the times where I don't. I know that he's a big man, I know he blocked a ton of shots in college, but this pick seems a little bit like a reach to me.
Lochi: We've officially reached "reach status". Could be a nice player, they have Chris Paul and they could use a nice young big man that doesn't need the ball. Could be a Brian Grant type player long term, without the dreads of course.
#11. Orlando Magic - JJ Reddick
Lochi: I'm 3 beers in, want one JJ?
Moderator: First of all, JJ Reddick's voice is much deeper than I anticipated, which is the exact opposite of David Beckham. (My esteemed co-author is a HUGE soccer fan so i figured i'd oblige him by incorporating some sort of soccer reference). Have you ever heard Beckham talk? It's Tyson-esque. As for Reddick, nice pick, will be a good player, will have a long career, can do one thing very well which 90% of the NBA cannot do (shoot the lights out). Can't fault anyone for taking him in the 10+ range.
#10. Seattle Sonics - Mohammed Saer Sene
Moderator: ESPN is reporting that Seattle has made a trade and this pick is for someone else, but they don't know who yet. I assume that's true, because with Robert Swift around (who is surprisingly good for a big slow whitey) they don't need to use a lottery pick on another Center. A bit more on the Portland news: it appears that they've traded Randy Foye for Brandon Roy (hey, wow - that rhymes). Clearly Portland must be giving something other than Foye for Roy, otherwise Minnesota would have just taken Foye themselves. I imagine it's probably the #30 or #31 pick along with Foye. Nice to see though that a second team has simple taken advantage of the Blazers by taking a player they wanted and then charging them to get him.
Lochi: Who the hell is Saer Sene? In other words, the Sonics pass.
Lochi: Blazer thoughts, yikes, they really fucked this thing up. Same principle as before, one guard isn't going to play, only now they've given up more stuff for a guy that everyone knows they wanted. Sweet. Oh, and they just got the less explosive, less talented, less "wow" player of the two, well done dumb asses.
BREAKING NEWS: PORTLAND IS SWAPPING PICKS WITH MINNESOTA. BRANDON ROY WILL BE A BLAZER, RANDY FOYE WILL BE A T-WOLF.
#9. Golden State Warriors - Patrick O'Bryant
Lochi - Now THIS is funny. I would openly like to offer double or nothing to our fearless moderator on his Warriors are a playoff team wager.
Moderator: We knew that someone would pick the Big Irish Stiff (with a name like O'Bryant, how can he not be Irish?) and then we speculated that the Warriors might be just that team. Nice work. As for the Warriors, they are not going to make the playoffs next year, despite with Lochi says. I think they're about 13 months away from blowing the whole thing up again.
#8. Houston Rockets (for the Memphis Grizzlies) - Rudy Gay
Moderator: ESPN is reporting that Houston is making this pick for Memphis, because they are trading it for Shane Battier. Shane Battier? Really? Gay has the chance to be an outstanding player, and I think this is a foolish trade by Houston. Props to Jerry West though.
Lochi: Great move by Jerry West, as usual. I still question building a team around Gasol, but they are a playoff team and just got a potential high impact wing player.
Blazer pick - Soooooo, they're either full of shit and Jarret Jack isn't "untouchable" or they just admitted "well, we're morons, we drafted a high school gunner that's nowhere near ready and we hope he's Wes Person off the bench long term." Has to be one of the two, one of the guys is coming off the bench, Foye, Jack, or Webster, unless you think Webster can play the 3, which he can't. Ugh.
#7. Boston Celtics (for the Blazers) - Randy Foye
Lochi - Um...they traded a point guard, drafted a point guard. I'm officially at a loss for words.
Moderator: FUCK YOU VERY MUCH, BLAZER FRONT OFFICE. What the hell is this? Seriously, what the hell? Alright, I was excited about getting Aldridge, but I officially do not understand what is going on. You trade Telfair because you are apparently high on Jack, but then you draft another point guard. You have the opportunity to draft a player (Rudy Gay) that will allow you to trade Darius Miles freely, but pass it up to get a combo guard. Instead they get a guy who -- while a nice player -- plays the same positions as the two guys they drafted in the first round last year. So overall, the team has traded Telfair, Ratliff, Kryapa, "future considerations" and the #4 pick for LaMarcus Aldridge, Randy Foye, and Raef Lafrentz. Kind of weird. Oh, and by the way, Stephen A Smith can go fuck himself with an NYPD broomstick.
#6. Minnesota Timberwolves - Brandon Roy
Moderator: Excellent pick for Minnesota. Fills a need, and fits both bills of "huge upside" and "can play right away". He'll look good next to Ricky Davis and Kevin Garnett. Now if Minnesota can just get themselves a distributing point guard, they'll be all set. And even better, this means that Rudy Gay falls to Portland. I am happy about this. If you'd have told me 2 months ago that Portland would come away from this draft with LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Gay, I'd have taken lewd pictures of your girlfriend and posted them on the internet. Good stuff.
Lochi: He's a Husky, I hate him, never thought he was that good in the first place. Great pick for a division rival. (note - let's just say I'm not to be trusted when it comes to evaluating anyone from the U of Washington)
#5. Atlanta Hawks - Sheldon Williams
Lochi: Hilarious. He obviously gives them...honestly, I have no idea what he gives them.
Moderator: I would understand this pick ... if Atlanta was selecting at #12. It's a reach. He's essentially a poor-man's Elton Brand, which makes him Corliss Williamson. By my count, this is now two picks in the top 5 (along with #1) where I believe the GM's should be faulted a bit for not being able to trade down and pick up another asset. Now Minnesota is up next, and let's hope they go with Randy Foye, leaving Portland it's choice of Gay or Roy. Either way, the Blazers will have access to at least one of them, which is a good thing.
#4. Portland Trailblazes (for Chicago Bulls) - Tyrus Thomas
Moderator: Thomas is one of my least favorite players in the draft; exactly the type of player that i would never draft if i were an NBA GM. He only played real well for a portion of one season, he's kind of a head case, didn't get along with his coach, and showed a bit of attitude in the interviews. I guess he's a prospect, and more power to the Bulls. One other quick thought regarding the Portland deal: I'm fine with them dealing Khryapa. He's a backup SF, and with Travis Outlaw on board, we already have a backup SF.
Lochi: Although I'm not as down on him as my co-conspirator, I'm pretty happy Thomas isn't a Blazer. Canzano saying that he spoke to the kid and "there's nothing between his ears", that was the capper for me. He's like a less creative Matrix Marion.
#3. Charlotte Bobcats - Adam Morrison
Lochi - This makes me sad.
Moderator: Emeka Okafor, Ray Felton, Sean May, Gerald Wallace, Adam Morrison. That's a nice little nucleus that Charlotte is putting together. I'm sad that Portland didn't get Morrison, but if they end up with Roy or Rudy Gay with the #7 pick, I'll be happy with the overall haul. Nice pick for Charlotte, and I'm surprised that MJ made this selection.
BLAZERS TRADE FOR LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE
#2. Chicago Bulls (for Portland TrailBlazers) - Lamarcus Aldridge
Moderator: Lochi is right, ESPN is reporting that Chicago has traded the #2 pick to Portland for the #4 pick, Viktor Khryapa, and "future considerations". They have selected Aldridge for Portland. I'm happy, because the Blazers are getting a fantastic prospect. Interesting though, because it definitely shows that the team had Aldridge ranked higher than Morrison. Could this be a prelude to a Z-bo trade? Clearly now, Portland will be looking at a wing player (doubtful that Roy will still be available at #7) with their next pick.
Lochi: I'm cautiously optimistic about this move. They get a center, and as I've stated before I'm a sucker for a sky hook. It means Joel is gone, but I do like Aldridge as a player. I'm upset about Morrison, but so be it. I'm not going to go on a kill-crazy rampage at the Rose Garden over this move. Gotta think Gay or Roy are their next targets.
#1. Toronto Raptors: Andrea Bargnani
Moderator: Just as we suspected, Bargnani goes #1, as told to us by David Stern (aka "King of Personality"). In case the shot of the Toronto draft room (which looked like a bunch of guys who had just woken up from a long nap) didn't confirm it for you, it's official. Overall I can say this: it's a ballsy pick. Aldridge would have been a little safer. I wouldn't have taken Bargnani first, but you have to admire them for sticking to their guns. I'm a little confused as to where Bargnani fits in with Bosh and Villanueva, but hey, he's clearly got some amazing skills for a big man.
Lochi: Look, I'm Italian, that's the least Italian looking Italian guy I've ever seen. He looks a lot more like a guy playing for the U of Utah than an Italian. He also can barely dunk, shoots set shots from the outside, and is tall. They just drafted the Euro Sam Perkins first overall. Congrats.
Lochi: Celtics trade update, the Blazers threw in an 08 second rounder for no apparent reason. Wow, this night is starting off just swell.
Lochi: Apparently all hell broke loose in the last few hours. The Blazers aren't getting Adam Morrison, which is a disaster. They traded for Raef Lafrenz (shaking head). They're just basically hoping that Aldridge somehow falls to them. The FAN is reporting that the Bulls are fielding offers from all over the place (including a whopper for Kevin Garnett), and Aldridge has been told he's either going to be a Chicago Bull or a Portland Trailblazer. Kind of makes you dizzy. The draft starts in about a half hour, all updates and posts will be in this space from both of us, just refresh your browser to see our banter, rage, etc. The Toronto Raptors are on the clock, and yes, I've already started drinking...
Moderator: That makes two of us. Let's get this baby started. Hooray miller lite!
Moderator: Last-minute rumors:
1. The sonics are using the #10 pick and trying to either move into the top-7 or down to the 15-20 range.
2. Memphis is trying to trade into the top-10.
3. Houston is trying to either move from #8 into the top-6, or trade the pick for a veteran player.
4. It's looking more and more like Aldridge is going to Chicago at #2, and Morrison is going to Charlotte at #3, which is pretty much the worst possible scenario that could happen.
5. Stephen A Smith is quite possibly the worst, most annoying commentator on television. Seriously. He gives Tim McCarver a run for my money as "person i'd pay to most to just go away".