2008 NBA Draft: Winners/Losers
Portland Trailblazers- Traded Jarrett Jack and draft rights of Brandon Rush (No. 13) to Indiana for Ike Diogu and draft rights to Jerryd Bayless (No. 11), traded draft rights of Darrell Arthur (No. 27) and the draft rights to Joey Dorsey (No. 33) to Houston for draft rights to Nicolas Batum (No. 25).
For the second straight year, the Blazers came away the big winners. Last
year Portland added its franchise center in Greg Oden, and this year it added a
potential franchise lead guard in Bayless. He’s explosive, can score from all
over the court, and will complement Brandon Roy beautifully in the backcourt.
Batum is an upside pick who may not play right away, but has Rudy Gay-like
athleticism and slashing ability. A line-up of Bayless, Roy, Martell Webster,
Travis Outlaw, Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge, Channing Frye, and Oden will compete
for a playoff spot next season and for an NBA Championship within three years.
Chicago Bulls- Drafted Derrick Rose (No. 1) and traded Sonny Weems (No. 39) for Omer Asik (No. 36).
Chicago came away with the best prospect in the draft. Rose figures into a crowded backcourt that already includes Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon, and Larry Hughes, which means one of those three is on his way out. Look for Chicago to shop Hinrich for a serviceable big man some point this summer. If they can’t get one for him, they might have to bite the bullet and trade Gordon, who would likely bring in a high-caliber post player to a franchise that desperately needs one. Asik was extremely impressive in a workout in Treviso, he's a late bloomer who many thought could land in the first round.
Miami Heat- Drafted Michael Beasley (No. 2), traded two future second round picks for to Minnesota for Mario Chalmers (No. 34)
O.J. Mayo came up in discussions, but ultimately the Heat opted for the right
choice. Jeff Van Gundy called Beasley a Hall of Fame talent, which might be getting ahead of ourselves, but I’d expect Beasley to step in and help turn this franchise
around. If Beasley indeed isn't a "Riley guy", the Heat can always
showcase his talents for a year or two and unload him, his value will be substantial as he's sure to tear it up right from the start. Chalmers was considered a
possible mid-first rounder who slid. He gives Miami some much needed depth in
the backcourt and may even end up starting alongside Dwyane Wade if he improves
his playmaking skills.
Seattle Supersonics- Drafted Russell Westbrook (No. 4), Serge Ibaka (No. 24), traded for DJ White (No. 29), Devon Hardin (No. 50) and Sasha Kaun (No. 56)
The Sonics did well adding ultra-athletic and versatile Russell Westbrook. Ibaka is a long term project who will be left over in Spain for a number of years. And a short but incredibly long and explosive 4-man in DJ White. Hardin and Kaun are both seniors with a ways to go offensively, but solid late 2nd rounders.
Milwaukee Bucks- Traded Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons to New Jersey for Richard Jefferson, drafted Joe Alexander (No. 8), drafted Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (No.37)
Milwaukee upgraded it's talent level. The Bucks know what they are getting in Jefferson, and Alexander has a chance to be an absolute star in this league. The problem is, they both play the same position, although there's some notion that Alexander can play some 4. To make matters worse, Charlie Villanueva, Milwaukee’s power forward, plays more like a small forward as well. It will be interesting to see how the Bucks mesh, but one thing is for sure: they certainly added some cornerstone pieces last night.
New Jersey Nets- Traded Richard Jefferson to Milwaukee for Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons, drafted Brook Lopez (No. 10), drafted Ryan Anderson (No. 21), drafted Chris Douglas-Roberts (No. 40).
Yi makes sense from a marketing standpoint, even if he never lives up to the hype. Aside from the trade, which brings in considerable potential, the Nets finally added a low post scorer in Lopez to complement defensive-specialists Josh Boone and Sean Williams. Anderson should be a match up problem, and will stretch defenses and Douglas-Roberts, a First-Team All-American, was a tremendous value in the second round.
Los Angeles Clippers- Drafted Eric Gordon (No. 7) and DeAndre Jordan (No.
Gordon will be given time immediately and has all the makings of a star. Jordan, once considered a top-five prospect, slid into the second round and arrives in LA with virtually no risk attached at all. He’s 6-foot-11, 250-pounds and has nearly as much upside as anyone in the draft. Should he turn into anything close to the next Dwight Howard, as he has been compared to, this would be one of the better picks in recent memory.
Memphis Grizzlies- In an eight-player deal, Memphis acquired OJ Mayo,
Marko Jaric, Antione Walker, and Greg Buckner for Kevin Love, Mike Miller, Brian
Cardinal, and Jason Collins. Also acquired Darrell Arthur for Donte Greene and future second rounder.
Memphis is the winner in the deal. Mayo will be electric when paired with Rudy Gay and Mike Conley Jr. Now, the Grizzlies have to shop Kyle Lowry and Javaris Crittenton and get some frontcourt help. Memphis also did well adding Darrell Arthur a lottery level talent whose representation apparently dropped the ball on notifying teams about his physical condition causing him to slip hard. Speaking of winners, Marko Jaric tying the knot with Adriana Lima? Someone please explain this one to me. Wowzers!
Indiana Pacers- Traded Jermaine O’Neal to Toronto for TJ Ford and draft rights to Roy Hibbert (No. 17), traded Ike Diogu and draft rights of Jerryd Bayless (No. 12) to Portland for draft rights to Brandon Rush (No. 12) and Jarrett Jack.
It's unclear what exactly the Pacers are doing. They added a point guard in Ford, but traded away their franchise big man and replaced him with Hibbert, a skilled offensive player who is too slow and lethargic to excel at the NBA level. It was time to rebuild, but Indiana looks like it will be competing for a high lottery pick next season. Giving up Jerryd Bayless for Brandon Rush and change was completely asinine.Cleveland Cavaliers- Drafted J.J. Hickson (No. 19)
The Cavs had a number of options at 19 but a 6'8 project power forward was not what the Dr. ordered. Since losing Carlos Boozer in free agency, this team has failed miserably to surround LeBron with proper talent, and this pick is more of the same.
Minnesota Timberwolves- T’Wolves acquired Kevin Love,
Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal, and Jason Collins for OJ Mayo, Marko Jaric, Antione
Walker, and Greg Buckner.
Basically, it’s a Love for Mayo swap with a lot of bad contracts. Minnesota did well unloading some terrible contacts (Jaric and Walker) while taking on Cardinal's terrible contract. Minnesota gave up a potential All Star guard Even more puzzling is the decision to move Al Jefferson to center, and make Love a top 5 pick. On the positive side, Miller can step in and help this team win games next year.
Charlotte Bobcats- Drafted DJ Augustin (No. 9) and Alexis Ajinca (No. 20).
The Bobcats have a young point guard in Ray Felton and have a glaring need at center. Drafting Augustin, a good college player who’s lack of size and athleticism will hurt him at the next level, was a mistake considering Jerryd Bayless was on the board. They compounded that error by using the 20th pick on Ajinca, a very long, very unpolished prospect who averaged just five points and five rebounds per game last year in France.
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