Anyone Else Feel a Draft?
The Chicago Bulls drafted hometown hero Derrick Rose with the number one pick in the NBA draft last night. Anyone stunned, stupified, and dumbfounded? I didn’t think so. Congrats to the Bulls for their selection. Averaging nearly 21 PPG, 6.5 rebounds and 6.0 assists in his first and only year in the NCAA, he could inject some life in the United Center.
Rounding out the top 5 of the draft were Michael Beasley/Miami (26.2 PPG, 12.4 RPG), OJ Mayo/Minnesota (20.7 PPG, 51 steals), Russell Westbrook/Seattle (12.7 PPG, 4.3 APG), and Kevin Love/Memphis (17.5 PPG, 10.6 RPG).
I’d like to act all cool and insightful and talk about who will be a star and who will end up being one of the guys who has to keep the warmups on the whole game and twirl his dry and unused towel as he cheers his teammates on. But I don’t know. Unfortunately I’m not a prophet; it’s one of my flaws. So instead what I’m going to do is look at how last year’s top 5 picks fared. So here you go.
1. Greg Oden – The 7 foot freshman Buckeye averaged 15.7 PPG, 9.6 RPG, had 105 blocked shots, and won numerous defensive awards in his only year with Ohio State. Unfortunately for Portland, he then went on to average 0 PPG, 0 RPG, and O blocked shots since he missed the entire season due to knee surgery. But the man with the 60 year old face is still only 20, so while the Blazers had to wait a little longer than anticipated he could still be a good pick for them.
2. Kevin Durant – In his only year with Texas, Durant led the Big 12 in scoring with 25.8 PPG. He also led the conference with 11.1 RPG and 1.9 blocked shots. In his first year with the Sonics, he averaged 20.3 PPG, 4.40 RPG, and 2.4 APG. Hey Kev….it’s pretty cool that you didn’t burn the place down.
3. Al Horford – with the first two picks of the 2007 draft a given, a lot of speculation focused on who the Hawks would pick at number 3. They went with Horford, and for the first time in a while they chose……wisely. (Shout out to the old dude in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Oh, if only that truly had been Indy’s last crusade). In his last year at Florida, Horford averaged 13.2 PPG, 9.5 RPG, and 1.8 blocked shots. As a leading Rookie of the Year candidate this year, he put up 12.6 PPG, 10.4 RPG, and 3.6 APG.
4. Mike Conley, Jr. – Another freshman Buckeye, he averaged 11.3 PPG, 6.1 APG, 2.2 steals, and shot 30% from the arc. This year with the Grizzlies he battled injuries while posting 9.4 PPG, 2.6 RPG, and 4.2 APG. He also dropped the Jr from his name. When asked why, he said because it made him think of what was perhaps Arnold Schwarzenegger’s most vile and disturbing movie – Junior.
5. Jeff Green – The Hoya forward averaged 14.3 PPG, 6.4 RPG, and 3.2 APG. He had a solid first year with the Sonics with 10.5 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 1.5 APG.
So there you have it. The draft is always fun when it happens, but it takes time to truly figure out how good it actually was. Time will tell how Rose, Beasley, Mayo, Westbrook, and Love take to their new NBA careers. It will be fun to watch.
On a side note, as interesting as it was to do this research, I’ll be happy if I don’t have to type PPG, RPG, and APG for a little while.