DD and VC and all kinds of wonderful stuff
That was some day. A couple of huge trades and some draft drama and if anyone told you they saw all that coming, they are lying.
Made it a bit hectic around here but we got through it.
But now we have one more thing to get through: A little live chat.
With DeMar doing his media schtick around 12:30 and me having to go cover track and field tonight after writing the DeMar story, we better start early, like 11:30 and we’ll go until DeRozan starts talking.
That sound okay?
And here’s a little something to get you through the morning:
You know how NBA types are always scolding us for talking about what a player isn’t rather than what it is? Like when we say, ‘well, Joe Blow couldn’t dribble with his left hand if you cut off his right told him his life depended on bouncing the ball three times without looking” instead of “well, Joe Blow sure looks good sitting on the bench wondering why his coach doesn’t play him.”
Well, I’m in for a scolding, perhaps.
Here’s what DeMar DeRozan (and we were told last night the ‘M’ in his first name is indeed capitalized after weeks of typing it down) isn’t:
HE IS NOT VINCE CARTER
Not, that is, until he makes eight all-star teams, wins a dunk contest, earns rookie of the year honours and jumps over some stiff for France in the Olympics.
HWSNBN (and regulars know that) still casts a rather large shadow over this franchise and to put a target on the back of a kid who hasn’t even practiced against legitimate NBA competition yet is a bit of a stretch.
There is a lot to like about this pick. DeRozan brings the athleticism they sorely lack, he plays a position of dire need and he could, as Bryan said last night, be very special.
Or he could be the No. 9 pick in a draft that may ultimately rival Kenyon Martin 2000 as one of the worst ever.
I don’t know, you don’t know, they don’t know for sure.
But as picks go, he was the best guy there they felt (and if I’d stuck with my original mock draft I would have looked spectacular with DeRozan here and Tyler Hansbrough in Indy, wouldn’t I?) and they seem entirely pleased with what they’ve done.
Jay said he’ll get a chance to start or at least compete for a starting job (which is good) and then Bryan dropped the VC comparison on him (which may not be so good).
This kid comes in with some huge expectations; they better hope he’s mentally tough enough to live up to them.
Action: Suns draft Taylor Griffin No. 48.
Reaction: They now lead all pro sport in having the other
He and Robin Lopez can talk about their better brothers on the bench.
I’m trying to figure out why they’re collecting point guards in Minnesota like so many trophy fish.
Kubla, er, I mean David, Kahn, the man in charge of hiring Sam Mitchell as the next Timberwolves head coach, swears his team can play Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn at the same time, citing Vinny Johnson and Isiah Thomas.
As we thought suggesting DeRozan is Vince was reaching a silly level of unrealistic expectations.
I will tell you this, though, when the Timberwolves were on the clock with that No. 6 pick, there were all kinds of nervous people in the Raptors war room. What better fit to a team with a young point guard, a young big man and nothing really on the wings other than DeRozan.
The sighs of relief when Kahn went all point guard crazy were almost audible.
(Or so I’m told).
So, who wins all the trades?
I think it’s quite easy, actually.
The team that made out the best, by far in my opinion, was Orlando. Vince is going to star down there, I’m warning you, and if he’s insurance against a Turkoglu departure, I can’t think of much better.
And if Otis Smith doesn’t start getting some consideration in those Executive of the Year races, they ought to quit giving them up.
Not sure if there’s a biggest loser, probably Milwaukee, which got a bag of junk for Richard Jefferson.
Aaron Williams. Eric Williams. Alonzo Mourning. Rafer Alston. Courtney Lee. Tony Battie.
Has there ever been a better player traded for a worse collection of questionable or non-existent talent than Carter? I wonder.
All kinds of Hedo Turkoglu questions in light of that Magic trade for You Know Who.
Here’s what I was able to discern last night:
He remains far and away the most coveted free-agent-to-be in the eyes of a lot of people who make big decisions around the Air Canada Centre and the arrival of that Vince fellow means he’ll be out there and available for sure.
(Yes, Turkoglu has an option and could play the last year of his contract in Orlando where he’d be second fiddle at the end of the game to Carter, second fiddle at the start of the game to Dwight, second fiddle in the middle of the game to Rashard and we don’t’ have any fiddles left to tell you where he’d fit with Jameer. Oh, and there’s a new CBA coming and Lord knows what the players will give back in this one so he better lock up a long-term deal this summer).
Anyway, digression aside, the cost is still too much. They could renounce everyone – Marion, Parker, Graham, O’Bryant, Douby and back the qualifying offer to Delfino – to maybe get Turkoglu and fill out the roster with a bunch of minimum salary dudes.
But haven’t we been down that road before? See, O’Neal, Jermaine; and Solomon, Will.
The best thing, and it’s been the best thing since the JO trade in February is to try and sign-and-trade Shawn for a younger version of himself, have the mid-level exception to try and capitalize on one of the many bargains that will be out there and build the bench that way.
No big home run necessary.
Action: Knicks get Darko
Reaction: Under the radar good
I have no idea how many saw this in light of all that went on but the Knicks moving Quentin Richardson to Memphis (wonder how all the fried food’s gonna help Q stay so cut) for Darko Milicic was a nice, very nice move.
I happen to think Darko may not stink entirely and if there’s one guy who can get him to play, I have a feeling it’s Mike D’Antoni.
Of course, Darko’s, um, dedication to his craft might take a hit playing in New York but if he’s going to make it anywhere, he’s going to make it there.
Speaking of the Air Canada Centre, they had one of those season ticket holder events last night down in the locker room for a select few fans (they couldn’t use the main bowl because it’s being torn up for some new seating) and it must have been fun and full of food and drink.
How do I know?
I know because when I was near the entrance talking on the phone and answering e-mails in search of some privacy after the Raptors made their selection, there was one fan, proudly sporting the nifty credential-like thing they had them wear, doubled over, surrounded by a couple of friends and a gaggle of security types suffering, as they say in competitive eating circles, “a reversal.”
Must have been a bad shrimp or something, right?
Action: Mighty Yankees Win!
Reaction: Hmm, maybe it’s not the coaching after all.
Okay, see you around 11:30