This is something new. For me, at least. There are other writers that have done draft diaries, but this will be the inaugural FanSided edition.
If you haven’t previously read my work on FanSided or Dunking With Wolves, well, I’m a Wolves fan. Yes, it hurts. And no, I don’t think I can change.
I’m watching this evening with KD. And I live in Oklahoma City. You fill in the blanks.
(Alright, not that KD.)
KD is a die-hard Lousiville fan, and doesn’t have his own NBA team. He pretty much only cares where Gorgui Dieng and Peyton Siva end up, so that’s kind of obnoxious. He’s also hoping for the Wolves to have a horrible draft night, because that would be funny for him.
6:32 p.m. – And we’re off. David Stern slowly walks to the podium to the usual lusty chorus of boos. In a mild upset, the Miami Heat receive an even lustier barrage of boos than Stern himself when he congratulats them on back-to-back championships.
6:36 p.m. – They show “highlights” of the draft lottery. Hard to have highlights of a awkward, middle-aged man (future commish Adam Silver) pulling cards out of envelopes, but they went there. Poor Young Gilbert. If only he knew that the #1 overall pick that he fought so hard for might be used to select Alex Len.
6:38 p.m. – Why does Jay Bilas love Ben McLemore SO MUCH? He also likes Len a little too much. I’m a little upset I haven’t heard Bilas drop a “wingspan”. We’re eight minutes in. This is ridiculous… no more Bilas on actual players. Just on measurements, please.
6:39 p.m. – I’ve never noticed how 12-year-oldish McLemore looks. Is it the red and white bow tie?
6:41 p.m. – The number one pick is…Anthony Bennett?!? Wow….I think Stern knew just how crazy that was, doing the whole hamming up the crowd thing right before he announced the pick. Actually, he paused to play to the crowd right in the middle of the announcement, forever ruining the moment for Bennett’s friends and family. Since, of course, this will probably be the poor guy’s career highlight. It isn’t his fault his expectations are now through the roof.
Also, how about the audible yelp coming from Bill Simmons on the ESPN set? Amateur hour, no doubt. That replay of Stern announcing the pick that goes into the annals of history is certainly eventful. Hard to edit that clip. Way to go, Simmons.
6:47 p.m. – Orlando takes Victor Oladipo. Not a surprise. Good selection, and GM Rob Hennigan (who’s fantastic, by the way) made the correct pick over Ben McLemore. He’s re-made the Magic roster quickly, and a core of Oladipo, Tobias Harris, Nik Vucevic, Moe Harkless, and at the moment, Arron Afflalo, is pretty promising.
Victor looks sharp in his three-piece suit. Although I wish that Bilas understood that he’s a better player than McLemore. I’m getting tired of Bilas; he’ not providing a whole lot of insight. And he still hasn’t thrown out a “wingspan” yet. Unreal.
6:52 p.m. – Obviously, Porter is the pick here. This is about the only sure thing in the entire draft. Meanwhile, Stern is hamming begging (audibly, in fact: “I can’t hear you”) for more and more boos from the crowd. And, of course, receiving them. Otto Porter, Jr. is announced as the pick. The Wizards got one right, for once. Kudos to them.
6:58 p.m. – No, Bill. The Wizards do not have a “foundation”. They have a couple of good players and a bunch of bad ones. I love Porter, but he’s already probably the best player on that team after Nene. I like Beal, too.
Scratch that, I re-looked at the Wizards’ roster. Still not great, but if something were to suddenly click with Wall…you never know.
7:01 p.m. – The Charlotte Bobcats have selected Cody Zeller with the fourth pick in the draft. Very good pick by the Bobcats, albeit a slight rich here. You’ll note that they hire Rich Cho, and this was probably not Michael Jordan’s pick. Cho knows what he’s doing. I think we’re all in agreement that M.J. does not.
I love Zeller. He’s athletic, and NBA teams will know how to use an athletic, semi-stretch four in a much better way than coach Tom Crean used him at Indiana. Bilas is getting really excited, which makes me wish I didn’t like this pick so much.
7:09 p.m. – There it is! Finally! Bilas with the “wingspan” and “tip it back, America”, not missing a beat! Just continuing on with his scouting report on Len! Great stuff, great television. Although I do wish he hadn’t gotten really excited about Len’s “shot-blocking” ability. I mean, he has that “ability” because he’s 7’ 2”. He isn’t a great defender. BUST ALERT. I don’t like this pick, if you can’t tell. It also means that Marcin Gortat is a goner very, very soon.
7:11 p.m. – Eating Buffalo Wild Wings really, really fast hurts. It’s also difficult to eat wings and type at the same time. Very happy with my choice of boneless wings.
7:12 p.m. – The Pelicans take Nerlens Noel…honestly didn’t see that coming. It was point guard, point guard, point guard, all along. He may fit next to Anthony Davis, but they need to work on post moves. Nobody’s scoring in the paint on them, though.
7:17 p.m. – I was mildly surprised that the Kings went with Ben McLemore here and not C.J. McCollum. Bilas is incessantly repeating that McLemore has the highest ceiling in the draft. I don’t agree, but McLemore is a nice player. It’s hard to complain about this pick.
7:23 p.m. – According to Andy Katz, the Philadelphia 76ers swooped in and traded for Nerlens Noel from New Orleans. New general manager Sam Hinkie is going to do a great job, incidentally. It isn’t very often that ownership will go from an old-school, stubborn, curmudgeonly decision-maker to a new-school, intellectually-based GM. Apparently, the Pelicans also traded a first-rounder to the Sixers in this deal, while Jrue Holiday is headed to NOLA.
Great trade for Philly, and what are the Pelicans doing? Strange stuff, for sure. Holiday’s okay, but largely overrated. Obviously Hinkie doesn’t love that contract. Although I wouldn’t have loved the Davis/Noel fit for NOLA, so I kind of get it.
7:24 p.m.– As Stern is delaying his walk to the podium, Simmons throws out a “searching for a forty for the block party” joke. Actually a very witty comment. Love it. The world needs more Simmons on live TV. Literally anything can happen.
In the meantime, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been selected by Detroit, ruining my evening. The Wolves, along with myself, love KCP, and he was expected to be there at #9. I was hoping the Pistons would trip over themselves and pick Muhammad here, but no such luck. At least C.J. McCollum is still on the board for the Wolves.
7:30 p.m. – Man, the Wolves better take McCollum. He’s even dancing in anticipation. Him and Ricky Rubio will make a great back court. Small, but adorably entertaining. Simmons keeps making weird yelping noises. Still working on the live TV thing, obviously. ESPN should do a better job of shutting his microphone off when he’s off-camera.
7:31 p.m. – Trey Burke, eh? Obviously he doesn’t fit with the Wolves’ roster, and the stoic look Burke’s face tells that same story. Maybe trade him down to whomever picks up McCollum? I’m okay with it. Assets are a positive thing. I also don’t absolutely hate the idea of keeping Burke, point guard jokes aside. It isn’t a great fit, obviously, but it’s a great value pick. Like him off the bench. Simmons agrees.
7:33 p.m. – Spoiler alert, courtesy of Mrs. Burke. Trey is being moved to Utah? I don’t love how this looks, unless Gordon Hayward is part of it….thinking….Yes! I want Hayward and the #21! You can have the #26, Utah. I’ll even accept Alec Burks and the #21! That’s fine too. But I don’t want both the #14 and the #21.
7:37 p.m. – Ick. McCollum to the Blazers. They win, we lose. Don’t love the fit with Lillard, but I really, really like McCollum. Very smart, great shooter. Could be a better Stephen Curry, in my opinion. Shades of 2009 all over again for this Wolves fan….
7:43 p.m. – Here comes Chris Broussard, acting like his audience has never seen a basketball game before. Thanks, Chris. Appreciate the help.
He has informed us what we’d all gathered by now, that Minnesota does in fact have a Ricardo Rubio on the roster, and Trey Burke will be moved. They will receive the #14 and #21 picks….KD is smiling from ear-to-ear and talking about how spectacular this is….
7:44 p.m.- ……………..
7:45 p.m. – Sorry, I blacked out. Why not just take McCollum? It’s Steph Curry all over….While I was sobbing, I think Michael Carter-Williams was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers. Couldn’t really see him through the tears, but it happened.
Good pick for the Sixers. Hinkie is great. Why couldn’t the Wolves hire him, again? To be clear, I didn’t want Carter-Williams on the the Wolves, per se, but he’s a good pick for the Sixers, especially if Holiday is on the move.
So does OKC go with Steven Adams here? I was expecting this as a smokescreen all along. I bet it’s Olynyk.
7:50 p.m. – The Thunder take Adams. Interesting. He’s raw…apparently GM Sam Presti can’t get enough of throwing seven-footers against the wall and hoping one sticks. I thought Olynyk could have played some minutes this year for OKC if he had been the pick, but there’s no chance that Adams plays a real role on the Thunder in 2013-14.
Adams’ New Zealandian (?) accent is great. I may watch all of his post-draft interviews simply because his voice is really, really fun to listen to. Still don’t love the pick.
7:25 p.m. – Andy Katz tells us that the Mavs are still desperately trying to move the #13 pick to clear cap space, as Jalen Rose is saying that it isn’t “necessary” for people to talk about Chris Paul leaving Los Angeles. Alright, good call, Jalen. It just. Isn’t. Necessary. We’ll all shut up now and stop thinking our own thoughts.
7:27 p.m. – And now Broussard is telling us the same thing about Dwight Howard. Why even bother? These guys know everything already, anyways, right? And the cap thing…Broussard. If we’re watching the draft, we either a) understand the idea of the cap or b) are watching the draft with someone that will eagerly explain it to us. Just stop. It feels condescending.
7:28 p.m. – I’m feeling the fact that Dallas just picked Kelly Olynyk (apparently for Boston, in exchange for two second round picks, according to Katz). That means that Russian Sergey Karasev is still out there for the Wolves (via Utah) at #14!
Oh…what if they pick Shabazz Muhammad? KD has been willing this for weeks. It’s getting awkward. I think he’s starting to feel bad. But they won’t do that, right? Rick Adelman hates selfish players….
7:34 p.m. – Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!! Ultimate sorrow. I honestly didn’t think this was a legitimate possibility. I’d blocked this from my mind, utterly and completely. It wasn’t an option here. I was sure of it.
Simmons doesn’t like it. And Bilas does. Unbelievable….this is my nightmare. This means it’s definitely a horrible pick, if I didn’t know it already. I can’t see anything anymore, and I can barely type. WHY NOT JUST TAKE C.J. MCCOLLUM!?!?! I don’t care about Shabust’s competitiveness! He can’t shoot!
And Jalen likes it. This couldn’t be worse. Horrible, horrible mistake. Simmons is so very right about this…un-athletic James Harden is actually a good comp.
7:38 p.m. – I couldn’t even crack a smile for Bilas’ “McLovin” joke about Muhammad’s age. That’s when you know it’s bad. That was a pretty great joke. KD is laughing. The whole panel is laughing. I want that…I’m jealous. Sometimes, not having your own NBA team is probably best.
And now Simmons is wondering why Burke couldn’t have been the Wolves “awesome third guard”. Ugggh…why do I agree so much with him right now?….
7:43 p.m. – At the rate this is going, I’m not going to make it out of lottery. I’m devastated. The Bucks take Giannis Antetokoumpo at #15. Nice pick. I’m jealous again.
7:45 p.m.– It’s like Groundhog Day. It’s going down in flames. Karasev is still sitting there. Players like Reggie Bullock and Allen Crabbe should be there at #21. I’m trying to hang in until there.
The panel is so board their talking about 2014. We’re only halfway through the first round. Great.
7:48 p.m.– Lucas Nogueira, Brazilian big man is selected by Boston, for Dallas. And Simmons proclaims that Lucas has won the internet. I don’t know if this is a worthy moment to throw that out there, but his hair is pretty awesome.
7:55 p.m. – Dennis Schroeder to Atlanta…love it. Very nice player. Simmons being offended by the Rondo comp was quite hilarious. I love very loosely scripted live T.V. So many awkward looks and weird stutters.
8:00 p.m. – The Hawks take Shane Larkin and trade him as part of that large-ish trade to the Mavs. Aaaand we have a David Kahn joke by Simmons. It took a full 1 ½ hours! Shocking. Clearly this pick is being moved. Larkin’s okay, and he’s a good fit for Dallas.
8:07 p.m. – Worst. Day. Ever. The Cavs picked Karasev. I knew they would. I was hoping that the Wolves would take either Karasev or Bullock, whomever Cleveland doesn’t take. There’s still hope for a shooter, I suppose. But we’ll screw it up.
8:14 p.m. – The Bulls are playing along. Thought they’d go Franklin or Dieng here, but they went Tony Snell from New Mexico. I’m fine with it, because that means the Wolves (via Utah) at #21 can still take Bullock. He’d be a nice fit.
And Shabazz just showed up, Brandon Jennings-style. Weird stuff, and this handshake, hold hands, walk at the same time scenario couldn’t be more awkward.
8:16 p.m. – Could this Muhammad interview in the Jazz hat like five picks after he was actually picked while knowing he’s playing for the Wolves and even talking about playing for the Wolves be any more awkward? Really weird stuff. I like Muhammad’s voice too, though. Surprisingly soothing. I still don’t like the pick, though.
8:20 p.m. – I’m about to give up. But now we have a Rece Davis joke about Stern perhaps dropping his cue card, explaining why he’s taking so long to stroll to the podium, followed by Stern cracking a joke about the international fans not understanding that booing is a “sign of respect”. Followed by both cheers and boos, of course.
And the pick is Dieng! I love this pick. I would have probably taken Bullock and then taken either Dieng or Withey at #26, whomever was remaining. But I won’t complain. We screwed ourseves once with the Shabazz pick, so I won’t whine too much about this one. It’s a solid selection.
Of course, KD is pretty pumped. Not as excited as I thought he’d be. I don’t think he loves the idea of kind of having to cheer for my favorite team. Plus I’m still steaming over the Shabazz pick. Although, this should kind of cancel out the Shabazz hate I was expecting for the next calendar year. Yeah, I’m going to like this pick just fine.
And the rest of the first round…
Things got confusing. Other than Simmons’ random noises into his hot mic and Stern’s continually begging for more and more boos, the rest of the draft was somewhat bland. Of course, I was depressed, so watching some of my favorites fly off the board was extra painful.
One of the best moments of the night was the Nets selecting Plumlee at #22, and Simmons asking Bilas and Jalen if he was a rich or poor man’s Greg Stiemsma, or just Greg Stiemsma. Bilas lost control of his face with laughter, and Jalen was annoyed. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know who Greg Stiemsma is.
Andre Roberson, small forward out of Colorado, was taken with the Wolves’ #26 pick, which was sold to Golden State, who traded the selection to Oklahoma City. Sly Sam Presti does it again. Roberson is an analytics favorite, as he’s an absolute animal on the glass. Jealous again. It’s becoming a theme.
Denver takes Frenchman Rudy Gobert at #27 and sends him to Utah. That’s an interesting trade for Utah. They have big men coming out of their ears. Raw big men, at that. This is becoming weirder than Minnesota point guards or OKC seven-footers in the middle of the first round.
We also found out that the Nets-Celtics trade was going through. Simmons lost all color in his face and almost had an aneurysm on live TV. As a Wolves fan that has suffered through the evening, it was spectacular. There was even a moment of awkward, truly live TV late in the evening, when Doc Rivers was asked, via satellite, how he would respond to Simmons accusing him of quitting on the Celtics.
Rivers shot back, essentially calling Simmons an idiot while also skirting around it, and Simmons responded by not backing down and accusing Rivers of changing his story. Compelling stuff, but I bet ESPN doesn’t like it.
All in all, it was a great night of television. And despite the draft nearly driving me to alcoholism, it was fun. My Kevin Garnett jersey and my Ricky Rubio t-shirt jersey are both tear-stained, but at least KD will be getting a Timberwolves Gorgui Dieng jersey, I suppose.