From My Sporting Perspective
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There were many surprises announced by both the commissioner and the deputy commissioner last night in New York at the NBA Draft. From Russell Westbrook going at #4 to Brook Lopez dropping to #10 and from Jason Thompson being chosen at #12 to DeAndre Jordan and Mario Chalmers having to wait until the second round to hear their names called. No one could have predicted such a thing for one of the deepest draft class's in recent memory. But it was also one of the youngest in recent memory as twelve freshmen were drafted last night.

No surprise was the fact that Derrick Rose, Michael Beasley, and OJ Mayo went 1-2-3 to kick off the draft. Surprising at #4 was Russ Westbrook, the combo guard out of UCLA who was considered by many to be the best defensive guard in the draft. Another surprising selection in the top ten was Danilo Gallinari, whose dad roomed with Coach D'Antoni while Mr. Gallinari played professionally in Italy. However, D'Antoni claims that Danilo has the tools to become a great player in the League, and if you're a Knicks fan, you have to at least be happy with that.

I was also somewhat shocked to see Joe Alexander's and DJ Augustin's names off the board before Jerryd Bayless's and Anthony Randolph's. It was also surprising to see Brook Lopez fall to #10, where the Nets scooped up the second-best center in the draft. What a night for Nets fans! The two biggest winners of the draft has to be them and Portland, both of which were helped tremendously in their aspirations to reach the postseason. Another thing I don't get is why Sacramento didn't trade down a few picks, possibly with Phoenix. Jason Thompson, maybe the biggest surprise pick of the draft, would have still been available and the Suns would have been able to grab Brandon Rush, the one they've been showing the most interest in all along.

Let me know sound off on Roy Hibbert. This guy has bust written all over him and he will be just another benchwarming seven-footer in the NBA. Athleticism is so much more crucial in the League than in college, and Hibbert lacks in that department tremendously. Once he has to guard guys his own size or be guarded by guys as tall as him, he'll be ineffective and useless out on the court.

Next are the Suns. What the hell do they think they're doing? Grant Hill was someone I could live with. Shaq was pushing the envelope with me. Robin Lopez just puts me over the top. They are slowly but surely becoming a half-court walk-it-up team like the Spurs. Now I understand why they got rid of D'Antoni, but I don't understand the reason. They were in contention to win it almost every year so why change? I'm making a bold prediction: Phoenix won't make the playoffs next season.

There were two surprises, in my mind, at the end of the first round. One of them was Donte Greene, someone I had going in the mid-lottery. He dropped all the way down to 28, where has was drafted by the Grizzlies. The second surprise was JR Giddens going in the first round. I saw him as a great pick in the early to mid-second round, but why the first? Why gamble like that when you're the defending world champions? However, Boston redeemed themselves when they traded for Bill Walker, a phenomenal talent who has the potential to be great.

The second round saw seven foreign players drafted, which brings me to another point. Foreign players have the highest chance of being a bust (i.e. Darko Milicic) yet they also have the highest chance of being a steal (i.e. Manu Ginobili). My point? Wait until the second round to draft your European players. You never know; you may get lucky. Also, this shows how weak foreign scouting is even in this modern age.

The second round also featured four players that I could see easily going in the first round: Mario Chalmers at 34, DeAndre Jordan at 35, Chris Douglas-Roberts at 40, and Bill Walker at 47. Walker and CDR are the two that are most puzzling to me. Obviously, the scouts were scared away by the unorthodox methods and injury problems, respectively. However, I would think that at least one scout would see past that and see that one or both of these players has the chance to be a future all-star, if not a solid starter for years to come.

That concludes my breakdown of the deepest and yougest draft class I've ever seen. Good luck to them wherever they play next year whether it be overseas, in the NBA, or in the D-League. Also, a congrats goes out to Semih Erden of Turkey, who had the honor of being drafted last at pick #60.

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The Words Of My Wisdom

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