6:50 – Evening. This is around the 5,000th live blog of the NBA Draft going on tonight, and at least 1,000 of those are more qualified to dissect tonight’s picks than I am. But hey, screw it, I need something to do tonight. I’ll be live-blogging with a heavy heart tonight since Michael Jackson has (apparently) died of a heart attack at 6:15 ET. Special thanks to TMZ’s insane vigilance over all things celebrity because all the major media outlets were quoting their story first before there was official confirmation. Welcome to the new media. So before we get started for real, enjoy:
I’ll be periodically uploading Michael Jackson videos all night as an excuse to listen to them all night. A part of my childhood died for good today, at age 29. RIP Michael Jackson.
7:00 – They’re showing the green room on ESPN now, but the draft doesn’t start for half an hour. Frankly, I’m watching Family Guy out of one eye and tearing up at “Man in the Mirror” with the other. This could be a serious medical problem.
7:18 – What would be a spur-of-the-moment live blog without some pain the ass technical difficulties? Nothing, I tells ya. Nothing.
Love the suit on Stephen Curry. Grey pinstripes and lavender underneath. Well done, sir
Okay, who let the OTHER Griffin brother into the building? He’s clearly 45 years old. Look at the hairline!
7:22 – I’m shutting this down now: there is no way Ricky Rubio is as good as Pete Maravich. It’s impossible. Can’t be done. He’s just a good point guard who’s 18 years old and has horrible, horrible hair.
7:25 – Amare might get dealt to the Warriors for a very mediocre looking platter of players, Brandan Wright, as well as the 7th overall pick. Then again, Amare’s a shadow of the player he was five years ago, so he might as well go to Golden State so he can phone in his defense some more. Nelly’s gonna love him.
7:27 – Stephen Curry is a skinny kid. At least he can shoot the basketball, right Ricky Rubio? The two of you need to go on the Rocky diet: raw eggs, steak, and an anti-social loner girlfriend from around the way.
7:29 – Here we go! I wonder who’s gonna get chosen first?
7:31 – OH BABY YOUUUUUUUUUUU GOT WHAT I NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED. AND YOU SAY HE’S JUST A FRIEND. AND YOU SAY HE’S JUST A FRIEND….
7:32 – Can I just type it now? Okay I’m gonna do it.
1. Los Angeles Clippers
Pick: Blake Griffin, F, Oklahoma
7:35 – Rousing speech to kick off the draft by David Stern. He even mentioned the “very rowdy group” up in the peanut gallery tonight. Way to show up for a shitty draft, fans, and boo the Lakers when Stern congratulates them.
7:36 – Blake Griffin knows the Clippers aren’t the purple and gold team in LA, right? He’s wearing a Lakers-purple shirt underneath his black suit. I heard him mention he had something of a “surprise” for his outfit at the draft, even though he said he wasn’t going to do anything outrageous. This is gonna be such a great failure.
7:38 – Mark Jackson says Griffin “can’t miss” and is a “special player.” Van Gundy astutely mentions the Clippers have a lot of guys who need minutes at his same position in the front court, so some of them are gonna get moved. But who the fuck would want Kaman, Camby, or Randolph?
7:40 – Griffin finally gets picked for real. So the Clips didn’t screw the pick up, but something has to go wrong, right? Not to go all Sports Fella on you, but it’s the fucking Clippers.
Fourth straight year a Big XII player was selected in the top two of the draft.
7:42 – Now things get interesting. The Baker has Thabeet going to Memphis here, but I’m not so sure they’re that smart.
From Phillips: Welcome to hell, Blake.
7:44 – Griffin is the highest OU player selected since Wayman Tisdale, who’s dead. Too soon?
Mike Dunleavy has morphed from looking like Tony Soprano to looking like Al Davis 15 years ago. Manages a team like him too. He doesn’t see a problem with the crowding in the Clippers frontcourt at the moment. Genius move to make him the GM, Donald Sterling.
2. Memphis Grizzlies
Pick: Hasheem Thabeet, C, UConn
7:48 – Phillips is starting to talk himself into this Grizzlies roster. They’ve got a ton of young talent and now they’ve got a defensive force at center, but they need a competent coach, and that ain’t gonna happen.
7:49 – Thabeet’s best offensive scenario is to be as good offensively as Dwight Howard is now. In other words, he fucking sucks and can’t score. But hey, when he’s averaging 0.9 blocks per game next year, I’m sure that’ll be fun for everyone involved in this pick. That said, Thabeet can teach Blake Griffin a thing or two on how to wear a suit to the draft. Grey and light blue. Nice.
7:52 – Who wants to sex Thabeet?
3. Oklahoma City Thunder
Pick: James Harden, G, Arizona State
7:52 – A lot of people thought this was Rubio, but not The Baker. This is a way better pick anyway. The Thunder already have a point guard in Westbrook, and they can’t possibly know if he’s the answer or not yet, so it’s def not time to give up on him. Harden fills some holes, and Bilas says he could be a lot like Brandon Roy, which is a great comparison. Much better pick here than Rubio.
7:55 – Harden’s bow tie is fantastic. Gold suit, lavender bowtie and shirt. Well done, sir, well done.
7:56 – Harden would be a major stud if he played somewhere other than Arizona State, which is a basketball Siberia. If he plays for Duke or UNC, he pushes Griffin for the number one spot.
4. Sacramento Kings
Pick: Tyreke Evans, G, Memphis
7:57 – Hopefully Evans didn’t dramatically change his SAT scores on his way into Memphis.
Big for a PG and might add a lot to the Kings shit roster. Bobby Jackson couldn’t possibly have thought he was really going to start all next season did he?
8:00 – The Baker had Rubio going here, but now the kid is starting to get the Aaron Rodgers Face and we’re only four picks into the draft. Face it, kid, not a whole lot of teams want a finesse point guard who simply cannot shoot.
Another purple shirt on Evans. Did the players agree on this beforehand or something? I feel like this would have been leaked on Twitter or something.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Washington)
Pick: Ricky Rubio, G, Spain
8:04 – LOVE the USA USA USA chant when he got picked. The T-Wolves are gonna be a really, really young team this year, but I kind of like that they’re blowing up the roster. What they’re doing with McHale’s work is like what Rome did to Carthage: burn everything and salt the earth.
8:06 – From Phillips: Rubio looks like the kid from The Shining.
I love the Rubio/Jefferson/Love combo, but holy shit the T-Wolves should have kept OJ Mayo. That team would be really good two years from now. As it stands, I can honestly say I have no idea what the T-Wolves are gonna look like.
8:08 – “I’m Ricky Rubio. I’m not like anyone else.” Other than Steve Nash, you mean?
8:09 – I’m really sick of the Maravich comparisons, just like comparing everyone to Jordan. The thing that made them great was a compulsive obsession with basketball and winning (well at least for Jordan). Who the hell knows if Rubio has that or not? The kid could just be a pretty passer and very little else.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves
Pick: Jonny Flynn, G, Syracuse
8:11 – Didn’t they just take a point guard? This has to be a future trade. There’s no way they keep both of these guys. The front office must not have been able to swing something before the clock ran out. If they keep both of them heading into the season, I don’t think anything’s gonna change in Minnesota any time soon.
8:12 – Hick Flick’s facebook status: Sad day for music fans, but a good day for little boys.
8:13 – I have no idea which guy is better defensively, but I’d keep Rubio and get a veteran to work behind him and teach him some stuff. Then again, the Spanish kid is a lot more coveted by teams further down the board. Minny is just waiting for a Godfather offer.
8:15 – There’s an NBA Combine? How is this not as big a deal as the NFL Combine?
8:16 – Jamal Crawford just got dealt to Atlanta from Golden State for Acie Law and some other dude.
7. Golden State Warriors
Pick: Stephen Curry, G, Davidson
Knicks fan is booing the shit out of this pick. Golden State just ripped their hearts out.
8:18 – Rick Bucher says Minny didn’t expect Rubio to be there when they picked, and they think he and Flynn can play together next year. Sorry to all four T-Wolves fans. Looks like the new guy might be as dumb as McHale.
8:19 – I kind of miss Isiah making these picks. Always made things way more interesting.
Dell Curry’s birthday is going pretty good, I’d say.
8:20 – There’s actually Knicks fans up in the stands in MSG itself, not just in the theater. I don’t get why these people keep coming back to the franchise. They’re not gonna be good for a hell of a long time. And honestly, I hope they never are because we don’t need more New York front-runners.
8. New York Knicks
Pick: Jordan Hill, F, Arizona
Knicks fan is booing the pick. I mean, I’m not cheering, but damn New York fans suck. Worst fans in all sports by far.
8:22 – The Knicks just drafted a kid who has only been playing organized basketball for “a relative few years,” according to Jay Bilas.
In a related story, I just set the over/under in years before Hill is released by the Knicks at 3.5.
8:24 – I’ve never seen a franchise whose entire hope for success depends on a free agent two years into the future. If they don’t get LeBron, they’re totally, utterly fucked.
8:25 – Donny Walsh says Hill is “a very nice guy.” Good to know.
$5 says this pick gets traded in the next couple of days.
9. Toronto Raptors
Pick: DeMar DeRozan, G, USC
8:28 – Phillips and I saw him play in high school a couple of years ago on the same night as Jrue Holliday, and he LOOKS like an NBA player. That said, he is the rawest player taken in the draft so far. Oh wait, I typed that forgetting about the Knicks’ pick. Definite project for a team that can’t really afford it at the moment. I bet they screw him up.
8:30 – Speaking of USC, you think Tim Floyd is missing the recruiting trail? I keep seeing him out on Sunset Blvd trying to hand an envelope stuffed with wadded up newspaper and asking them if they can guarantee John Wall to him.
8:32 – Oh boy, Shaq is gonna join the broadcast! I wonder what they’re gonna ask him about that he couldn’t just put up on Twitter and save everyone the time?
The Baker has DeJuan Blair going to the Bucks here. Why are the two upper midwest teams (Minny and Milwaukee) so horrible? Couldn’t be the location, could it?
10. Milwaukee Bucks
Pick: Brandon Jennings, G, CA/Italy
8:34 – NO! Jennings was supposed to drop out of the lottery and be a disappointment. Leaving for Europe for a year can’t be a viable solution or that piece of shit Sonny Vaccaro wins. Plus Jennings is a dumb fuck who couldn’t get himself eligible and is a major project at the point. He solves absolutely no problems for the Bucks. Plus that year in Italy proved nothing about his game. GAAAHH!!!!
8:37 – Van Gundy just discussed how Jennings is already used to riding the bench after his year in Italy, so he’ll be able to deal with the adversity of sitting as a rookie. Better get used to that feeling, Brandon.
Haha, Jennings isn’t even there because he didn’t think he’d be a lottery pick. Apparently the Bucks had Flynn ahead of him, but no dice.
8:39 – The Nets gave up Vince Carter, who was a pain in the ass on a losing team anyway, and got Courtney Lee and some other nothingness in return. Lee is pretty good, but he’s only a rookie.
See you after the jump….
11. New Jersey Nets
Pick: Terrence Williams, F, Louisville
I didn’t really watch much college basketball this year, though I won my office bracket pool (!). I guess Williams is pretty good, but I’m not particularly impressed. He kinda seems to be another Vince Carter but with less athletic ability and a little more well-rounded game.
8:41 – Yet another guy who needs to work on his shot. Seems like almost every pick decided they didn’t really need to shoot well to play basketball. Williams’ game could translate better to the NBA than college, apparently.
12. Charlotte Bobcats
Pick: Gerald Henderson, G, Duke
8:45 – The homers are gonna love this pick, and he’s gonna help the Bobcats win the ACC title this coming year. Henderson can play, but the Duke system limited his game quite a bit and the Bobcats fucking suck. I wonder what country club Jordan called his pick in from.
Okay back to making hot dogs for a second before my local team, the Pacers, make their pick.
13. Indiana Pacers
Pick: Tyler Hansbrough, F, North Carolina
8:50 – Good call, Baker! The whiteness was way too much for the Pacers to pass up.
Nice “over-rated” chant from the NY fans.
8:52 – Good job by the desk debunking that “hustle and heart” description of Hansbrough. The guy is a great player. But the worst part is the Pacers playing into that and taking him because they’re so afraid of Pacers fan’s latent racism. Fucking Indiana.
14. Phoenix Suns
Pick: Earl Clark, F, Louisville
8:56 – Finally, Brandon Jennings is there to shake hands with the commish. Earl Clark, however, had better things to do. Probably because no one thought he’d go this high.
8:58 – Pitino describes him as “shy.” I love it when coaches take shots at players who leave the program. I think Rick counted on having him next year.
9:00 – Brandon Jennings says playing in Italy was a great experience because he got to travel to Spain and Germany. Wow, I bet that was worth it for being a dumbass in high school and not being eligible. Remember folks, he went to Europe because there was no way in hell the NCAA was gonna let him play with his academic history.
15. Detroit Pistons
Pick: Austin Daye, F, Gonzaga
9:02 – Everyone seems to like this kid, and he just got drafted by a playoff team, so that doesn’t suck. Hey, Danny Ainge, why the fuck would Detroit trade their entire nucleus for a young point guard you say has to grow up? Dumars is stupid, but not that stupid.
9:04 – Austin Daye is “skinny” and “not that athletic,” but I’m sure he’s a very nice kid worthy of being picked just outside the lottery. If Corey Brewer, who is way, way more athletic, is too small for the NBA, then what hope does Austin Daye have?
9:06 – Vitale loves Hansbrough. Shocker. But he saved the Curse of Dick Vitale for Stephen Curry, saying he’ll be the rookie of the year. He did it to Redick, and now he’s done it to Curry.
16. Chicago Bulls
Pick: James Johnson, F, Wake Forest
9:08 – Who? Apparently, Johnson was a martial-arts champion back in Wyoming. But there isn’t a whole lot going on with this pick. He seems a lot like Joakim Noah, to be honest.
9:10 – Steve Kerr is on TV now trying to pretend he didn’t destroy a championship contender in Phoenix. And now he’s ragging how Shaq didn’t work out even though HE MADE THE FUCKING TRADE. The balls on NBA GM’s.
17. Philadelphia 76ers
Pick: Jrue Holiday, G, UCLA
9:15 – And there goes the last guy in the green room! Holiday was good at UCLA, but not great, so he’s all potential at this point. I think he realized his offensive game wasn’t gonna get any better under Ben Howland, so he just went out.
When Phillips and I saw him a couple of years ago, he didn’t impress, though he apparently scored a shitload of points the night before.
But how the fuck is Jrue supposed to be pronounced “Drew”?
9:17 – Holiday was initially projected as an early second round pick? Wow. What the hell changed?
I bet the T-Wolves take another point guard here.
9:19 – This commercial with Carl Edwards driving and talking about maybe running out of fuel during a race is easily the lamest commercial ever.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Miami)
Pick: Ty Lawson, G, North Carolina
Haha, holy shit I was kidding! What the fuck is Minnesota doing?!?!!?!?!
9:20 – The Wolves definitely could have kept Kevin McHale and done this exact same thing. This had better turn into several good players and options, or there’s going to be about five people in the stands in Minneapolis.
Ric Bucher says Lawson is getting traded to the Nuggets for some kind of future pick or something. They still have two point guards tonight.
Haha, even Roy Williams was confused by that pick.
19. Atlanta Hawks
Picks: Jeff Teague, G, Wake Forest
9:25 – Speaking of skinny, it’s Jeff Teague! He’s a good scorer, but he’s only 175 lbs. And, you know, scoring point guards always work out in the NBA, right? Plus he doesn’t really play the defense. But I guess they just traded Acie Law, so hey, whatever.
9:26 – I love that all Stuart Scott had to do was say Larry Brown’s name, and a cascade of boos came out of the MSG crowd. What? I thought that marriage worked out perfectly!
9:28 – Keystone Light: because old people getting hit in the head with unopened beer cans is funny. Maybe it’ll distract everyone from the awful, awful taste. Listen, college freshmen and high school kids don’t need Keystone to advertise. Everyone already knows that’s their target audience and nothing is gonna change.
20. Utah Jazz
Pick: Eric Maynor, G, Virginia Commonwealth
9:29 – A “true” point guard, as opposed to the other point guards who have been taken tonight. At least he’s two inches taller than the rest of them, but he’s 164 lbs. Yeesh.
Man, there is no fucking size with any talent this year. What a horrible draft.
9:30 – More boos for Larry Brown. This is warranted, but you still suck, New York fan.
You suck, Perez Hilton. Fucking ass-tard. Fack you.
21. New Orleans Hornets
Pick: Darren Collison, G, UCLA
9:35 – And there goes the other half of UCLA’s back court. Also another point guard. How many six foot guards with speed and a mediocre shot could there be? I really like Collison though. Kid is a gamer through and through. Plus he stayed in school all four years.
9:37 – Hick Flick is The Most Interesting Man In The World. Stay thirsty my friends.
Okay, okay quit teasing the GD Shaq interview. By the way, Portland traded three picks, including two tonight and one second rounder next year for this pick, which is exactly two ahead of the Mavs.
9:39 – Since no one else seems to be saying it, it’s ridiculous that so many people are writing off Greg Oden after what was essentially his rookie year after an injury. The kid hadn’t played in a year and big men always have a ton to learn. It’s ridiculous to say that he’s a bust when he’s on a playoff team while Durant is on one of the worst teams ever so he can just concentrate on his offensive stats.
22. Portland Trail Blazers (from Dallas)
Pick: Victor Claver, F, Spain
So does Ricky Rubio know this kid? This is a Euro-stash pick so he’ll come to the NBA in a couple of years.
9:41 – They hype the Shaq trade and then let Lisa Salters or whoever the fuck this is do the interview? Nice job, ESPN.
9:43 – Shaq says he’s comfortable coming off the bench if he has to. And how the fuck did the team with he and Stanley Roberts at LSU not win a national title? Wow.
23. Sacramento Kings (from Houston)
Pick: Omri Casspi, F, Israel
9:45 – New York fan loves that pick. Nice to see a member of the tribe get drafted. Wait, he’s Jewish, right?
9:48 – One of the Jackson brothers is on TV at the moment making a statement. It’s hard to comprehend how fucking famous Michael Jackson really is. He’s a real celebrity, not those retards on “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.”
24. Dallas Mavericks (from Portland)
Pick: BJ Mullens, C, Ohio State
9:50 – Thad Matta really, really didn’t want to lose this kid after one year, but BJ decided he’ll show HIM! He didn’t even start and is “a ways away from contributing.” I have two words to describe this pick: Robert Swift. Stay in college, kids. If you have to develop at the NBA level, you should just stay in college and develop there. Otherwise, you’re gonna hear Bilas say stuff like “isn’t a very good defender” and “won’t contribute any time soon.”
9:52 – The hot dogs are causing a bit of the indigestion as I’m typing. Cut me, Lou!
25. Oklahoma City Thunder (from San Antonio)
Pick: Rodrigue Beaubois, G, Guadeloupe
9:53 – And Oklahoma City wins the award for the most random selection of the night. The kid was sitting in the crowd when he got picked, and he was just playing in France, not in a good league. I have no idea what purpose this pick serves.
9:55 – OKC is going to trade this pick to Dallas for BJ Mullens. I can’t wait to do a draft recap a couple of years from now and mention how pointless that trade was.
From Phillips: what are the odds [T-Wolves GM David Kahn] takes another point guard, then gets interviewed by StuScott and co. and gives the “I’m an agent of chaos” speech (from The Dark Knight)?
9:57 – Okay so I haven’t posted another Michael Jackson video. The last one fucked up the formatting of the post and I got gun-shy, alright? Jeez. Let me grieve in peace over here.
26. Chicago Bulls (from Denver/OKC)
Pick: Taj Gibson, F, USC
10:00 – Gibson is “long” and a good rebounder. He needs to get stronger and has to overcome being yet another soft forward on the Bulls. Do you think they’ll ever get interested in acquiring some one who is a physical presence over there in Chicago?
There, you happy? I am. I’m talking ’bout the man in the mirror!
10:05 – Some one needs to take DeJuan Blair who’s….24?!?! Wow.
Van Gundy was just talking about when the Grizzlies were good and “winning 40-50 games a year.” I know it happened, but I don’t remember it and don’t totally believe it really happened.
27. Memphis Grizzlies (from Orlando)
Pick: DeMarre Carroll, F, Missouri
10:08 – Just drafted a kid who’s gonna need a liver transplant 20 years from now. No way that becomes an issue sooner than that.
So wait, this kid is smaller than Hansbrough, hasn’t won nearly as much, but he gets credit for having a good work ethic and hustling? I hate the fucking NBA so goddamn much. The experts have no idea what the fuck they’re talking about from day to day.
10:10 – Seriously, no idea what they’re talking about.
Is this gonna be point guard number four?
Apparently, Minny wanted James Johnson with the Lawson pick and are dealing him for a protected first round pick. Yay? At least there’s some one to get Love and Jefferson the ball.
28. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Boston)
Pick: Wayne Ellington, G, UNC
10:12 – Well, Ellington isn’t a point guard at least. Kid is a prototypical shooting guard, and I’m a little surprised he got taken so low. Hey, Jay Bilas agrees with me. The kid is polished and athletic who can shoot and create his own shot. How does that suck to have, exactly?
10:15 – Roy Williams really is the cat who ate the canary at UNC these days. The guy has absolutely no doubt that he’ll have a shit-ton of talent on his squad, and he’s got that grin no matter what happens. Says that Hansbrough is a great fit in Indianapolis too. Can’t imagine why everyone thinks that.
29. New York Knicks (from LA Lakers)
Pick: Tony Douglas, G, Florida State
10:15 – The Lakers are actually picking for the Knicks here, and are getting a 2011 second rounder in exchange along with some cash. The Knicks also just dealt Quentin Richardson for Darko Milicic. Van Gundy says he’ll help with the defense in New York but everyone knows D’Antoni doesn’t care about defense.
10:16 – Is Douglas a point or a two-guard? Apparently he plays the defense, which is something you can’t totally teach at the NBA level because so much of it is instinctual. That said, that shit is still complex. Value pick here.
10:20 – I’m glad I managed to use “value pick” at least once tonight. Especially since most of these guys are gonna end up as career role players.
30. Cleveland Cavaliers
Pick: Christian Eyenga, G/F, Congo
10:23 – LeBron and I are not fighting…
I guess this is a good pick? It’s definitely a development pick instead of a guy they need to play right away. Just some one who can learn and contribute in a couple years once he becomes a trivia question about who took over at LeBron’s position. He was in the same program that produced Ricky Rubio, but on the second division team.
10:25 – And I’m spent.
It was a fairly interesting first round in that everything went according to plan for the Clippers and the T-Wolves did whatever they could to make it seem like they don’t care at all about what happens to the team. Other than that, this was a pretty lame draft class, and The Baker will probably write a post in a couple of years about how terrible this draft turned out and how the best picks were made at the bottom end of the first round. Not that I’m cynical about this year’s draft or anything.
And with that, I bid you farewell so I can lay down and relax before the wife gets home.
Good fight. Good night.