The Stack is back on this Monday and apologizes for not getting to the NBA Draft recap in Friday's post. Promise it will be in there today plus other thoughts from the weekend so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Monday, July 1:
Final NBA Draft thoughts
It was a wild night Thursday night at the NBA Draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. When the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Anthony Bennett from UNLV with the number one overall selection, you knew the NBA draft was going to be crazy. That move stunned just about everyone. The prevailing thought was that it was either Nerlens Noel from Kentucky or Alex Len from Maryland. Not so fast said the Cavs. The team had four picks and had a chance to really make the team good for years to come. Maybe it will, but their draft certainly lacked the sizzle that it should have had with four picks. With the number nineteen selection, the Cavs took shooting guard Sergey Karasev from Russia. In the second round they took shooting guard Alex Crabbe from California and Carrick Felix from Arizona State. Maybe these picks pan out and everyone questioning the Cavs will look silly, but right now, their draft picks don't look great.
Mentioned Noel, what about his slide? Not one, not two, not three, not four, not five (no we're not talking LeBron James championships with the Heat), but six, that is the pick he fell to when the New Orleans Pelicans took him and then they thought it would be wise to trade Noel and a 2014 first round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for Jrue Holiday. Next year's draft just so happens to have Kansas' Andrew Wiggins, only the best player to come into a draft since LeBron in 2003. In fact, the 2014 draft may be the best draft since 2003, maybe ever. Why would you give up a first round pick for next year, especially when you're not guaranteed to make the playoffs like Pelicans likely won't. Doesn't make sense.
The pick by the Washington Wizards at number three to take Otto Porter may have been the best pick of the draft. Not only is he talented and has a ton of upside, but Porter went to school at Georgetown in D.C. so the fans know who he is. That will help the Wizards bring fans back to the Verizon Center. Terrific pick in my opinion.
And watch out for the Portland Trail Blazers. Landing C.J. McCollum from Lehigh at number ten gives them a terrific young backcourt pairinig with rookie of the year Damien Lillard. The Trail Blazers are going to score a ton of points. I'm going to say right now that Portland makes the playoffs next year.
And of course, being from South Dakota State, a special congrats goes out to point guard Nate Wolters on being drafted #38 by the Wizards and then going to Philadelphia before finally winding up in Milwaukee for point guard Ricky Ledo, 43rd pick and a 2014 second round pick. The Bucks got a great player who will definitely help them out. All-time leader in points and assists at SDSU. Most of the state will be cheering for Wolters and the Bucks. Congrats again Nate.
Speaking of trades, there were a lot of them Thursday night, just like there seems to be a lot every NBA Draft. Here's my question. Can the NBA not approve of the trades until after they happen? It gets very confusing for ordinary fans to watch and see the Utah Jazz draft Shabazz Muhammad at #14 and Gorgui Dieng at #21, but who were picking for the Minnesota Timberwolves who sent point guard Trey Burke who was the #9 selection to the Jazz. Even typing it is confusing. The NBA needs a faster approval proces or something. The trades come through far later after they actually happen. Doesn't make the product that great to watch. The 2014 NBA Draft will certainly be interesting.
NBA free agency begins
NBA free agency started at midnight today and there is already some big news with Chris Paul electing to re-sign with the Los Angeles Clippers for five years worth $107 million. Clearly the signing of Doc Rivers as head coach had to have helped persuade Paul into staying. This won't be the last move for the Clippers who will try and go after Dwight Howard as well as others.
Speaking of Howard, where will he land? Most likely he won't stay with the Los Angeles Lakers. Billboards have gone up in L.A. and Dallas telling Dwight to either stay or come to Big D. He is the biggest catch in the free agent pond. Where will he end up? Houston, both L.A. teams, Dallas and Atlanta will all make a run at him. NBA free agency will certainly be interesting.
Sunday saw plenty of champions, surprising for the last day of June. Maybe not. Perhaps more attention should have been paid. Here's who won Sunday:
- The X-games crowned their final champions in Munich, Germany.
- The Confederation Cup, perhaps the second most important tournament to only the World Cup, was won by the host country Brazil. They beat Spain 3-0. Brazil will host the World Cup next year in 2014.
- And what about Inbee Park? Who you might ask? Well she won the Women's U.S. Open, and while that is signifcant enough, she has now won the first three majors of the LPGA season. Only Babe Zaharias ever accomplished that feat. The Women's British Open is August 1-4. That suddenly poses far more significant attention to then previously thought.
Now that the playoffs are done in both the NBA and NHL, The Stack won't be posting everyday, but will be if there is huge news in the sports world so check back everyday to see if there is a post. Will for sure be back with daily posts starting in late July when NFL training camps start with looks at every NFL team plus thoughts on every team's schedule.
Coming up later this week: Latest and biggest sports headlines