Ray Allen to Boston!; Milwaukee on the clock

The first major move happened, and it was a big one. Ray Allen, a legitimate 25 point scorer, has been paired with another legit 25-point scorer in Paul Pierce, and a promising young big man in Al Jefferson.
This is a good move for Boston. They have some serious scoring punch in the East.
This is good news for the Warriors, because the Durant-Green combo (even if Lewis re-signs) is much less daunting than the Durant-Allen (and maybe Lewis) combo. The Sonics — who are also getting Delonte West and Wally Szczerbiak — are going to be awhile.
This move is going to have a serious trickle down effect. We might see Julian Wright or Al Thornton fall pretty far. Brewer, Yi, Noah, Brandan Wright are all still on the clock — and there’s almost assuredly going to be more trades.

Here are my next five pick expectations:

6. Milwaukee – Yi: the Bucks shun Yi’s request to go to a city with a big Asian presence
7. Minnesota – Brewer: great pick this late
8. Charlotte – B. Wright: This might be Phoenix’s pick. They like Noah More.
9. Chicago – Noah: I don’t think he’s a good fit in Chicago. I would take Hawes
10. Sacramento – Hawes: They get Brad Miller’s replacement


Knight Makes the Smart Move — Finally!

Sure, Atlanta now has more PFs than they’d ever need, but Al Horford was the third best player in the draft. He was the most NBA ready. He can contribute on both ends of the court. It was almost a no brainer.
Yi Jianlin is a sexy idea, but he’s not as sure as Horford. This dude is proven, he’s a winner, he’s got a great NBA body, a good head on his shoulders. They just couldn’t go wrong.
They now can move Shelden or Marvin Williams to get a veteran PG, or draft a PG at No. 11. Smart move.


Durant Needs Shuttlesworth; Atlanta on the Clock

Andy Katz just reported a PROPSED trade that would send Ray Allen to Boston for Delonte West and the No. 5.
Durant is not as good without Ray Allen. The Sonics are not as good without Ray Allen and Kevin Durant. Seattle is making a huge mistake if they think Durant and some scrubs can make some noise. Durant and Rashard Lewis may not be good enough.
Seattle has a chance to really be good. They have Allen. They have Durant. They can re-sign Rashard. They hav a serviceable young center in Robert Swift. Some nice (and fairly cheap) pieces in Johan Petro, Mickael Gelabale, etc. They have a solid PG in Earl Watson (Ridnour is all right).
Don’t blow it now. Spend some money for a couple years and try to really make some noise. Putting ALL the pressure on Durant is a mistake.


Oden Goes No. 1; Seattle on the Clock

I feel bad for Greg, kind of. Not bad like he’s homeless. But bad that everyone is crowning him the next Wilt Chamberlain. Can he afford a rough start? Will pretty good, or even kind of great, be enough?
This dude is being crowned. People are talking about championships falling out of the Portland skies.
The caliber of center that leads their team to championship is Hall of Fame. Only the greatest of all time have done so. Russell. Wilt. The Dream. Shaq. Seriously, prescendent says you have to be one of the greatest of all time to be a center and lead their team to a title. Wilt, perhaps the greatest ever, won one.
There have been several good to great centers who haven’t — including Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning and Artist Gilmore.
For Oden, to be less than one of the best ever is to be a bust.


What is Monta Worth?

Chris Mullin is no dummy. So not for a second did I ever think he was willing to give up Monta for the No. 11. That obviously was just a prelude to other moves. But, the question begs, what would you trade Monta for?
If Atlanta offered No. 3, would you take it? If Milwaukee offers No. 6, do you bite?
I’ve been weighing both options, and I can’t decide.
On one hand, I’m thinking you can’t trade possibly the next Gilbert Arenas, not for an unknown. For KG, sure. For Yi or Horford is another story. Do you sacrifice what you know you have for the hope of something else?
On the other hand, Monta is a project himself. As Nellie said, he’ll only be great as a PG, and he has a lot of work to become a good point guard. And big men are hard to come by, unlike PGs, so why not grab a good one when you have a chance?
I’m very interested in what you all think, but honestly, it’s all moot anyway. I don’t think Monta alone is enough to get the Warriors high enough in the draft to get someone they really covet, whether it’s Yi or Horford or Brandan Wright or Joakim Noah or Jeff Green.
*Atlanta clearly isn’t willing to give up Monta for No. 3.
*Memphis (No. 4) will have a much cheaper option in Conley, who even at this point is a better point guard.
*Boston (No. 5) loves its own young PG in Rajon Rondo
*Milwaukee (No. 6) would much rather draft for size and re-sign Mo Williams
*Minnesota (No. 7) has Randy Foye, so they’re set in the combo guard category
*Charlotte (No. 8) has Raymond Felton
*Chicago (No. 9) has Kirk Hinrich
*No way the Warriors trade Monta to the Kings (No. 10).
So Monta alone doesn’t get the Warriors in the top 10, which means anyone they would really want will not be around anyway.
Monta is a great prospect and all. But he’s got flaws that were broadcast consistently and nationally during the playoffs. Plus, he’s set to make big money next offseason and any team that needs a point is more likely to take one of the good ones in this draft (which they can get for two to four yers for cheap).
What can’t be overstated is that he’s perfect for the Warriors system, which doesn’t emphasize offensive schemes and doesn’t require its point guard to be a true one. Monta fits the Warriors and few other teams (can you imagine him running point for Utah, setting screens for the PF?). Other teams know that. Likewise, few guards fit the Warriors so well. The Warriors certainly know that.


Blog Question

Blog Question:

“If the Lakers pull something off for KG, how much better are they really? Minus Odom, Bynum and possibly Walton the rest of the roster is full of scrubs (Vujacic, Smush, Kwame, Evans, Vlad) and a few good bench guys (Cook, Farmar, Turiaf). I’m not even sure they can get a player with their mid-level that would pose a threat as a #3 option. You can’t even really liken it to Jordan’s Bulls because there are no Steve Kerrs, Ron Harpers, Rodmans, or 3-headed Monsters (Longley, Wennington, Perdue). Granted KG is a GREAT player, but losing Odom AND Bynum AND maybe Walton is a huge loss. Does a line up of Farmar, Kobe, Evans, KG, and Mihm compete with the the Suns or Spurs? After that starting 5, you basically have nothing coming off the bench. What are your thoughts, Marcus?” – EJ

There is some serious truth to what you’re saying, though Laker fans think otherwise. I know some diehard Laker fans who are acting as if Kobe and KG is it. I’m of the belief you need three great players to contend for a title, two great players and a pretty good third to be formidable. They won’t have a third great player or a formidable one with Odom and Bynum gone. Luke Walton would have to take his game to another level, and maybe having KG and Kobe would do the trick but it’s certainly not a lock.
One thing that makes the move to Phoenix so appealing is that he would be going to a loaded squad (Amare would be the third best player on that squad!). The Lakers aren’t loaded. The Warriors — with Baron and Jason and Jackson and Andris — would be more loaded than the Lakers.
But don’t underestimate the Lakers spending power. They can go get a third player who maybe has an undesirable contract. They can afford to also trade for a Stephon Marbury or Jamaal Crawford or Larry Hughes or Jason Terry — players who are overpaid but much better as a team’s third or fourth-best player.


Trade Down

I’ve been fathoming scenarios, talking with people, reading reports, and I just don’t see how the Warriors are going to get the help they need in this draft.
The only way is to move up, but that is far too risky in my eyes. Mickael Pietrus plus No. 18 is not enough to move up. I really doubt Al Harrington or Mr. Untouchable Jason Richardson or Stephen Jackson and No. 18 would do the trick either. True, their might be a team starving for veteran help (Memphis/Charlotte/Boston) that the Warriors can swindle. But, to me, all three make too much money. You’d be better off drafting Jeff Green or Corey Brewer than acquiring either of those guys.
Which leaves Monta and Andris. Is there anybody in the draft worth giving them up? There are a handful, including Oden and Durant, but that’s it. But even if the Warriors decided to give up one of those two to move up, it’s still not a done deal. Neither Monta nor Andris helped their trade value in the layoffs, especially Monta. Plus other teams simply have more to offer.
Portland, who is trying to get a second high pick, can offer several young players, an $8M expiring contract in Jamaal Magloire and an All-Star-caliber PF in Zach Randolph. Phoenix is pedaling Shawn Marion and Boris Diaw plus two first-rounders. Philadelphia has three first-round picks and a couple desirable youngsters. There’s some stiff competition to move up.
So, here’s my solution. Rather than drafting some project to sit on the end of the bench, I say trade down. You can get nearly as good a player, if not just as good, in the late 20s, even early in the second round, as you can at 18. Plus it would be cheaper. And what are the chances they get someone at No. 18 better than Josh Powell?
I’d give up No. 18 for No. 25 and an additional second rounder. I’d send No. 18 and Sarunas to Cleveland for cash and a future pick.
The Warriors might be better off with three or four second round picks, especially considering their second-round history, than getting another project committed for two years. Maybe they find a young jewel. Maybe they find more young talent they can use as trade bait to get what they really need.
Trading down is certainly an option I’d consider it.