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Draft Observations

*Durant-Oden Debate
I would’ve taken Kevin Durant.
I like Ohio State center Greg Oden. I do. And I don’t think Portland general manager made a mistake by selecting Oden. It was the safe move, if not the smart move.
But how do you pass up Kevin Durant? How do you pass up a chance to get a player with that much talent?
That’s like taking Hakeem Olajuwon over Michael Jordan. Sure, the Dream got two titles, but Jordan got six and he turned the Chicago Bulls franchise into household name.
Durant is a star in every sense. He’s an amazing basketball player, who can do things with the rock 90 percent of players can’t do. He’s also got an aura about him. He knows he’s all that, and the fans of the team he plays for will know it, opponents will know it. He gives a franchise a face and a personality, and he’s going to win.
Oden will win, too, and he’ll certainly be a talented player. But the things that are working against him – offensive immaturity, possible injury problems, needs talent around him – is enough to make me take Durant.
They’re both as sure a bet as you’re going to get in the draft. But it’s the difference between getting a Honda Accord and a Dodge Charger. Both are going to get you from A to B. The Honda is reliable and sure to get the job done. But a Charger, with some nice rims and tinted windows, can get the job done and turn some heads while doing it.

*The Yi Movement
Is now headed to Milwaukee. The Bucks totally ignored Yi’s disinterest in going to Wisconsin – he wanted to go to teams in a city with a strong Asian presence – and drafted the 7-foot, 242-pound rookie.
I can already see the clip of Yi sharing brats with Bob Uecker at Miller Park. You just know Yi, Michael Redd and Andrew Bogut will be the leading vote-getters for next year’s All-Star Game.
Apparently, the Bucks are saying they will keep Yi (pronounced EE), that is until NBA Commissioner David Stern steps in a makes it happen for the league’s sake.
The amount of money to be grabbed from China’s loyal fans is too great. Yi being with the Bucks forfeits the opportunity for the NBA to tap into a huge, relatively untapped Asian markets of the Bay Area, Los Angeles and New York. That’s a lot of money on tickets and jerseys, a lot of unique sponsorships and business partnerships, going unexercised.
Don’t get it twisted, the Bucks will ship Yi. It will take one sweet offer from a team, and maybe a threat by Yi not to report, and maybe a little urging from Stern. But my money is on Yi never play for Milwaukee. And the Bucks will be a better team for it.

*First-round surprises
There were several guys who were expected to go in the second round that slipped into the first. Jared Dudley. Aaron Brooks. Aaron Afflalo. Alando Tucker.
Of course that meant Gabe Pruitt, Josh McRoberts, Nick Fazekas, Glen Davis, and Derrick Byars slipped into the second round. Those could be some pretty nice steals. One steal the Warriors missed? Dominic McGuire from Fresno State. They could’ve gotten him at 46.

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Marcus Thompson

  • J-Rich is the man

    We will miss you J-Rich! It’s hard to trade the heart and soul of our team but in the long run the Warriors will benefit. J-Rich, you were a great Warrior and will never be forgotten.

  • T-Bone

    Here’s my draft observation. The Warriors got NO RESPECT!! Everytime it was their time to pick ESPN would go to a commercial break. What the hell was that all about??!! ESPN wouldn’t ever do that to teams like the Laker’s, Mav’s and Suns. If it happened once it’d be no big deal but twice…disrespect! FYI….Hilmy should play on team USA soccer.

  • commish

    It is hard to tell if the chess moves have all been moved. If so, Portland has just checkmated their division and conference, if not next year, then certainly in the next two years. And Seattle (er Oklahoma City or Las Vegas) will be on their heels.

    Sentiment and love for J-Rich aside, it is hard to tell yet whether our moves made us a better team. Just don’t know yet whether the fat lady has sung. We dumped $48 mil so we can deal at least with Beans’ extension (probably $10 mil for 5 years). That leaves Monta. Maybe we are still after KG or Yi (with the help of my cousin, David Stern).

    The one thing I don’t understand is why we picked a guard at 18 when we have Monta and presumably Zuki. But then again, Mully found AB in Europe.

    I thought the day had great drama. I’m sorry for Jason, but happy (I think) for the team and our future.

  • EJ

    BLOG QUESTION:

    Marcus, I’m probably the first to point this out. If we do keep Wright, it still makes a whole lot of sense. We’re going to be seeing a lot of Kevin Durant over the next 10 years or so (4 times a season). Wright matches up with Durant in terms of length and athleticism and could be a good match up on defense. If Marion gets moved, the Suns have no one who can guard Durant. Lakers? No. Kings? No. Clippers? No. Nuggets? No. Do you think acquiring Wright was influenced by Durant being in the same conference?

  • manhattanproj

    i really dont understand all the kg talk, esp the one by your colleague, tim kawasaki. if minny wanted kg, they would have picked him instead of brewer. why wait and risk the chance of losing him? so i really dont see how wright will be shipped to minny. if minny will trade kg to w’s, it will be for players other than wright. and like you’ve mentioned several times, marcus, minny has similar players that w’s can offer. ellis – foye. davis and jackson – untouchable because of temperament, contracts, game. harrington – brewer and the guy from boston college. andris – may be desirable but not enough to net kg. pietrus/barnes – not exactly pieces that you are looking for in rebuilding mode. so it’s hard to see how the w’s will get kg?

    maybe you can elaborate your thoughts on kg going to w’s and what are the chances that minny is interested in wright from your sources in a post.

  • T-Bone

    marcus,

    You’ve probably already have seen this but my buddy just emailed this my way. I don’t like this trade at all!!!

    Just got this from CBS Sportslines’s Rumor Mill:

    GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
    The winner of the Kevin Garnett trade sweepstakes could possibly feature a dark horse in the Golden State Warriors. After acquiring the draft rights of Brandan Wright in a trade with the Charlotte Bobcats for Jason Richardson, the Warriorrs are possibly putting a package deal to bring Garnett in Sunny California, reports the Los Angeles Times. The Times reports that the package includes Wright, Andris Biedrins and Monte Ellis.

    Here’s what I could dig up on the LA Times website

    Garnett, sought by the Lakers and Phoenix Suns in multi-team talks that broke down this week, may still be traded … with speculation now centering on the Golden State Warriors.

    Whether it was part of a deal the Warriors are working on with Minnesota or not, they traded guard Jason Richardson to Charlotte for North Carolina’s Brandan Wright, a promising young big man whom the Bobcats drafted at No. 8.

    The Warriors may now offer Wright with center Andris Biedrins and guard Monta Ellis and enough salary to make the deal

  • EJ

    to manhattanproj:

    from a financial stand point, taking brewer and then dealing kg later makes sense. for instance, because of the cba the warriors could send the 10 mil trade exception, wright, and another player to the twolves in exchange for garnett. since garnett makes more than the exception, a player from the w’s would need to involved to complete the deal (maybe a sign-and-trade with pietrus??). dealing kg would free up cap space for the t’wolves without really taking on a huge contract like jrich (when he was here) depending on who they get from the warriors. it makes it easier for the warriors to make the deal rather than finding a 3rd team to make the salaries work. minny could start their rebuilding process around brewer, wright, and foye. if they took wright, there’s no way they get brewer from say…the bobcats. that leaves them stuck in no-wheres-ville, rebuilding while kg is still on the squad. they’d have to take back some huge contract to unload him then. someone please correct me if i’m wrong.

  • gswbandwagon

    I don’t think the exception can be packaged with anything else. You can’t do something like Garnett for the 10 mil exception and Foyle’s contract. If we were going to trade for KG, we should’ve done it as a 3 way with the Bobcats as it’d make salary matching easier.

    What we could use the exception for is swallowing a bad contract or two that the Wolves would want to unload. For example, we could make a KG deal and then a technically separate deal where we take a guy like Hudson or Jaric and give back no salary.

  • manhattanproj

    hey ej,

    if you think about it, it just doesnt make sense. if minny wanted wright, why risk losing him? do you understand the point? the fact that they take brewer means they dont like wright as much as brewer. if they wanted wright, they would have taken him over brewer. no one thinks they can get a prospect they like by trading for him later. if trade doesnt work out, you’ll lose him.

    it’s hard to see how the w’s can get kg. the w’s just dont have the pieces. yes you can give up ellis, andris, wright, and whoever to make the numbers work, then what’s the pt of trading for him. kg is good but not good enough to compensate for the lost production. jr was the w’s best bet. now that he’s gone, who else make sense.

  • Derek

    Put J-Rich in the category of Great W’s who didn’t win, but entertained the hell out of us.

    World B Free, Purvis Short, Bernard King, Sleepy Floyd, Chris Mullin,Hardrock Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, Joe Barry-Carroll, Antawn Jamison, Gus Williams,Gilbert Arenas, Wilt Chamberlin, Nate Thurmand and the few who escape my memory.

    He’ll be missed

  • daniel

    i just wanted to comment on Durant. a scouting report, albeit an informal an uneducated one, if you will.

    Durant:

    Probably his greatest strength is his jumper, and it is here where the TMac comparisons are strongest. The three point shooting is particularly similar. They both get great elevation off the floor from three land and shoot the ball high above their head. They hit full elevation on their three point shot effortlessly. This translates well in the pro game.

    Greatest weakness:

    besides a relative lack of upper body strength, one thing i’ve noticed that hardly gets any play is a relative lack of hops. People say this guy “leaps out of the gym”. Really? Can someone give me a measurement of his vertical plz? Cuz to me, it looks like this guy has a 20-25 vertical TOPS.

    and that’s it for now. i’d comment more but im sleepy =)