This Thursday will mark the 2008 NBA draft. After a year of research and analysis, 30 teams will attempt to acquire the next Kobe Bryant. At this point, the only sure thing appears to be Michael Beasley and Derek Rose. (not necessarily in that order) Now given the fact that the "experts" are wrong a lot more often than they're right, it's interesting to hear the justification for their choices--and second guess them. I'm always intrigued by the guys they seem to have missed. How was Carlos Boozer still available at number 35? Or Michael Redd at number 55? Would you believe Samaki Walker and Todd Fuller (who?) were drafted before Kobe?
This past season saw Chris Paul single handedly elevate the New Orleans Hornets to another level. Suddenly, 5 of the top 10 teams in this years draft want a point guard. The point is without a doubt the most difficult position for making the transition from college to the pros. There is a list a mile long of players in the rec leagues around the country that were at one time can't miss point guards in the NBA. For every Chris Paul and Deron Williams there are a dozen Sebastian Telfairs.
I heard a very interesting comment while watching the game on Tuesday night. Mark Jackson pointed out that the reason players are limited to 3 seconds in the paint at both ends of the floor, is because that's where the game is won and lost. I'm old school. A basketball team is built from the inside out. The athleticsm of a point guard may be fun to watch, but at the end of the day, the objective is to win the game, and that's not going to happen in the backcourt. Without the pieces already in place, no point guard is going to drastically change your basketball team. Ask Mark Cuban. Case in point: the 3 best point guards in basketball, watched the Championship on television. One couldn't even make the playoffs.
There are a number of 7 footers in this draft that are potential game changers. Some may not be ready to step in now and some may never develop into All-Stars, but most have too much upside to be ignored. In a previous blog, I had Brook Lopez going to Seattle at number 4. It appears the Sonics are one of the teams looking to acquire a point guard (I have no idea why), and Lopez is now rumored to be the 1st intelligent decision Michael Jordan will make. Kosta Koufos, Roy Hibbert, and DeAndre Jordan are also worth the risk. Again I'll say it--you can't teach 7 feet.
Between me and the scouts, one of us is going to look like an idiot, but over the last 3 years, my record is better than theirs. I'm playing with the house's money.
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