After sleeping on it and taking a little time to consider carefully every pick and move, here is what I've come up with.
1. The Portland Trail Blazers will win an NBA title in 3 years, if not sooner. Count me among those who did not understand them when they made 9000 trades in last year's draft, but after this year's I began to understand. While many may question the wisdom of picking two foreigners in the first round this year, it is actually not a bad move to make. If Portland doesn't sign any major free agents or make any more roster moves, here is what their roster will probably look like.
Guards-Jarrett Jack, Brandon Roy, Martell Webster, Steve Francis, Ime Udoka, Sergio Rodriguez, and Taurean Green. Forwards- LaMarcus Aldridge, Channing Frye, Raef LaFrentz, Josh McRoberts, Darius Miles and Travis Outlaw, and finally Centers- Greg Oden, Jamaal Magloire, Joel Przybilla, and Luke Schenscher.
Given that only 15 of those guys can stay on the team, I'm figuring Schenscher and Udoka are probably the odd men out. But here's the kicker. They will have Rudy Fernandez, Petteri Koponen and Joel Freeland, all first-round picks from the last two years, developing overseas. It's like Portland is setting up an overseas farm team here, and most of the guys they've brought in over here are high-character guys from winning teams. Taurean Green and Josh McRoberts come from historically top programs and Oden was in the title game this year. Just an overall great effort by Kevin Pritchard and Paul Allen.
2. Michael Jordan is getting too much negative flak for trading Brandan Wright for Jason Richardson. I thought Stephen A. Smith would never stop talking about how bad this deal was for Charlotte. Jason Richardson is a proven scorer, and Charlotte is still a young team. Get someone in there who can be a veteran anchor and provide some explosiveness. Emeka Okafor is a great young cornerstone, as is Sean May and Raymond Felton. But that leaves the 2 and 3 positions, and Jordan filled one of those with Richardson, and will have the other one covered if Gerald Wallace comes back.
3. Philadelphia did better than some think. I kind of question the Daequan Cook to Miami move, but I think they made up for it with Derrick Byars. I had a feeling they might try for Byars at 20, so the fact they got him at 42 worked out. Don't buy into the Blazers getting a better deal by buying Koponen at 30. Philly got the guy they wanted, plus a little extra cash.
4. Verily, I say unto Yi, you and your "management" need to shut the h*&% up. You're not Eli Manning, you went to Milwaukee. Deal with it. When you average 20/10 and record your first rap video (which, judging by your post-selection interview, no one will be able to understand anyway), then you can talk about demanding a trade. Until then, you're Wang Zhi Zhi, not Yao Ming. He Michael Jackson, you Tito.
5. Mavericks got great value with Nick Fazekas. I had said they needed more low-post strength, and this guy can shoot outside. Excellent, now all we have to do is find a way to get Croshere out of here.
6. Detroit really reloaded in the backcourt. I like both of their guards, especially Stuckey.
7. Boston will make the playoffs ths year, and they didn't have to give up Gerald Green or Al Jefferson to do it. Rajon Rondo will continue to develop, and Big Baby will be a second-round steal.
8. Seattle will be in the Western Conference Finals in 3 years, if not less. I know, this sounds like #1, but it's not just an Oden/Durant thing. Durant and Jeff Green will team with Lewis, Swift, Wilcox, and one of the most underrated young centers in the league (in my opinion), Johan Petro to be a solid playoff team. Durant will likely lead the league in scoring by the time he's old enough to drink.
9. San Antonio has their own foreign farm team going. Tiago Splitter will be along next year, possibly with Luis Scola and Ian Mahinmi. And just when you thought the team was getting old and couldn't keep winning.
10. Phoenix has to be concocting a deal somewhere. For a team as badly in need of depth as they are, they had no business selling Rudy Fernandez to Portland, though Alando Tucker was a nice choice and in hearing D.J. Strawberry's name called and a reference to his dad (who I grew up watching) that didn't include a police blotter was extremely refreshing.
Now we'll see if those pesky rumors about my beloved Mavericks actually having serious conversations about KG are true. See you next time.