Unsubstantiated Speculation: NBA Draft Links & Rumors

May 27th, 2008
Nothing about the NBA Draft makes any sense. GMs intentionally lie about who they want to confuse the rest of the league, agents pull players out of workouts to manipulate their value and the Milwaukee Bucks continue to pretend they are trying to win. Mock drafts are always way off, the rumored trades never go down and the ones that do are always out of left field. There is no rhyme. There is no reason. And that is exactly why it is so great. Sports fans love to speculate, and the NBA Draft is 90 percent speculatastic. So in an exercise of almost certain futility, I bring you Unsubstantiated Speculation, a column containing all the relevant, completely false draft news links from around the Intertubes. Look for this once or twice a week leading up to the draft. Believe nothing.

- Chad Ford looks at the Rose/Beasley pick, which is somewhat uninforming. I think Ford is great but I have a BIG problem with him continuously questioning Beasley's character and depicting Rose as squeaky clean. He has never backed up his questioning of Beasley besides that "he ran into trouble from time to time with practical jokes, pranks and general troublemaking," which is wildly vague and mildly defamatory. Both Rose and Beasley had very shady recruitments (Beasley with the Huggins thing, Rose with the Worldwide Wes thing) but neither had academic or legal troubles in college or high school. So based on, you know, actually important factors, it still remains a difficult decision. I think as a player Beasley should be the pick, but maybe there is a vagrant he killed that only Chad Ford knows about.

- For what it's worth, Bulls GM John Paxson has said it will be Rose or Beasley. Obviously not a surprise.

-This guy, who might be an idiot, thinks Rose.

- This was a pretty interesting piece from the Chicago Tribune where the reporter, KC Johnson, spoke with Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard and Magic GM Otis Smith about selecting first. There's a very good chance Smith only still has his job because he picked Dwight Howard over Emeka Okafor (the guy did pay Rashard Lewis 8 gillion dollars) and Pritchard still gets an "incomplete" on his. Obviously Paxson cannot blow this (and it's going to be very difficult to blow it). By the way, this KC Johnson fella appears to be the go-to reporter for the draft this year, much like John Canzano of The Oregonian was last year. In this notes column, he has the scoop on Avery Johnson possibly being the next Bulls' coach. Let me go on record and say that would be a disaster for both Chicago and Derrick Rose, who I bet Avery would pick. Avery is exactly like Scott Skiles, except more Katt Williams-ish.

- NBADraft.net's Aran Smith has Rose No. 1 in this mock draft but that's not the real news. No, the real news is that -- and I'm not sure how this is relevant to anything ever -- that Michael Jordan's Marcus and Rose are dating Chicago-area twins. I do not want to know how Smith obtained this info, but man that guy is good at his job.

- Everyone in Chicago has an opinion on this, including this Sun Times blogger, who is promptly assaulted in the comments section.

ESPN Coverage
- Let's knock out all the ESPN.com items now because ESPN has already done a great job covering the draft this year (yes, I said it).

Within the same Chad Ford Beasley/Rose thing from before, he suspects DeAndre Jordan has received a top five promise because his agent has declined some workouts or something. This is exactly the type of blind speculation I live for. And drafting DeAndre Jordan in the top five is exactly the type of thing that gets a GM fired. Which is coincidentally exactly the type of thing Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace thrives at.

- Here are a bunch of draft-related videos they have up there. Important things within: Kevin Love is no longer fat and has been hitting NBA threes and should be moving up draft boards; Bill Walker will stay in the draft is he thinks he is a first-rounder; Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni played with Danilo Gallinari's dad, meanwhile, Isiah Thomas likes spaghetti; OJ Mayo will never say anything interesting again; Marrese Speights and Joe Alexander look much better in workouts than in college.

- Ford takes a look at Walker, Brandon Rush, CDR and Jeremy Pargo at the A.T.T.A.C.K. gym in Chicago. He also loves Joe Alexander, which concerns me. Alexander seems exactly like the type of guy that looks way too good in individual workouts. And he thinks Chase Budinger is a lottery pick, which concerns me for many of the same reasons. (by the way, Chad Ford has roughly 36 players in his lottery.)

- JaVale McGee is the son of a WNBA player, which could not be more perfect. NEVER draft a skinny big man who was birthed from a WNBA player. I believe Red Auerbach first formed that rule.

- Gene Wojciechowski continues to write about controversial topics and a nation continues to be indifferent.

- Good to see Dana O'Neill is still writing even with the college hoops season over. She turns in another good piece on one-and-doners for next year.

Other Things Besides The Already-Redundant No. 1 Pick Debate
- Here is the first list of guys who will be at the Orlando Pre-Draft camp next week... but only to be interviewed.

- Memphis' Antonio Anderson has decided to go back to school, before participating in the draft process at all. I'm pretty convinced Anderson just declared for the draft to get out of Coach Cal's spring practice, headed to Cancun and then withdrew when he got back. Genius.

- Jerel McNeal is going back to Marquette, which is smart, but disappointing. I think McNeal can be a pro with his defense and athleticism. So what if he is a bit undersized and can't shoot, you only need to do one thing well to find a spot as a role player in the NBA (see: Varejao, Anderson).

- Josh Carter going back to Texas A&M, Alonzo Gee back to Alabama. That didn't take long.

- It appears Marrese Speights will stick in the draft, which is good news for teams in the 10-20 range who need a really good power forward. Apparently Speights has slimmed down and is routinely knocking down 18-foot jumpers. I think I'd rather have him than Joakim Noah at this point. Although Noah does bring other qualities to the table.

- Here's a good feature on Ryan Anderson, who I feel is being underrated by all the draft pundits. The guy is 6-10 and can score like crazy. And while he cannot guard anybody, neither can many NBA forwards. Again, the way role players work in the NBA (and all but about 6 or 7 players in this draft will basically be role players) is you fill a certain need for a team. Look athe Lakers, Jordan Farmar plays defense and hits open shots, VladRad shoots, Turiaf rebounds and acts like a crazy person, Vujacic shoots, defends and annoys people, Luke Walton passes and shoots. All of those guys were late picks that are incredibly effective in their specific role. And since there aren't going to be all-around studs around in the 20s, you might as well take a guy who can score off the bench and spot up on the perimeter like Anderson, defense be damned. He's only gonna play 20 minutes a game, tops, anyway... OR, just take Bill Walker or something.

- Speaking of Anderson, the blogger at BMac's Blog (presumably BMac himself) agrees with me, writing that Anderson's biggest draft flaw is not being European.

- Great interview from the great DraftExpress with CDR, who doesn't appear to be entertaining any idea of going back to school. (by the way, for everything you need on the draft, just go to DraftExpress, they are outstanding... but, uh, still read this site! hehe). With his handling, size and defensive ability, the first up-tempo team outside the top 10 should really consider taking CDR. Golden State at No. 14 would be crazy to pass on him.

- This Portland Tribune writer thinks the Blazers should trade the No. 13 pick (and so do I). With Oden coming in and Spaniard Rudy Fernandez coming over, Portland already has a full rotation of promising young guys. If they can turn the pick and one of the young guys for a solid point guard (Andre Miller, TJ Ford/Jose Calderon, Andre Miller), they should be a legit playoff team next year. Although, this guy thinks with a good number of lottery teams looking to trade (he cites "reports" on this, but that's a bit vague), the Blazers might get more talent by just keeping the pick. They need a shooter and unless Eric Gordon falls to No.13, there are really any shooters worth taking there.

- Some guy in Minnesota wants the T'Wolves to trade the pick because they suck at drafting players. Little does this man know, the Wolves are also very bad at trading for players. He claims there are no stars at No. 3, to which I ask: Why would a team trade you a star for a pick that cannot be used on one? Ugh, just take Mayo or Lopez.

- Here's a decent scouting report on Kosta Koufos except the writer says Koufos is soft because he is polite to people and that Daequan Cook is a prime example of self-assurance. I realize Cook was decent for Miami last year, but that comparison is completely insane. He also questions Koufos perimeter game, which we all know is nuts. I actually think Koufos' best skill is his ballhandling for a 7-footer, which he didn't get to show in college.
I'd take him top 20. There's also a possibility he will play for Greece in the Olympics.

- And finally, George Hill, Pride of Ooey Pooey, is going to Disney World.