I love the NBA Draft. Even though it often ends up frustratiing, I just find the whole process fascinating. This last week has been excruciating. I love all the speculation and braincrunching that everyone does trying to figure out who's going to be good and who's going to suck. And I love how every year, a bunch of experts get proven wrong.
Last year before the deadline, with our GM Walsh and the team we had, there was a lot to like. Life was good, even if we weren't competing for a championship. Between Gallo, Chandler, Felton, Mozgov, Fields, and of course DWTDD, there was a lot to root for.
Post trade, true, we had Melo, along with his high expectations and significant skills, and we had Chauncey, a guy I've always liked, but as far as loveability, the cupboard was a little bare, particularly with Landry being less Landry and the non-spectacular win-loss results.
So I'm very much looking forward to this draft. We don't need a superstar but we do need a couple of guys with skills, and hopefully sterling character and spectacular quirks. Though we only have one pick, I know Donnie will be working his last draft with us as hard as he can to pick up another player. The more the better. We needs us some young and crazy kids.
In any case, tonight, we should have at least one new Knick. There may be trades, too. I'm wearing my 'Do What Toney Douglas Do' T-shirt, with the full knowledge that it's possible Toney may belong to another team by tomorrow morning.
The draft itself is looking like it might get crazy and unpredictable. Maybe it's a function of having a pick right smack dab in the middle of the first round, but it seems like the top prospects all have big talent but significant question marks. However, to me it seems like there are an inordinate amount of talented players, particularly guys that might be really good guards available in the last first/early second round. On the big side, guys like Tyler and Biyombo entice with awesome potential, and threaten to push other more traditionally vetted prospects out of the way (and right into our arms?) Having one team with two picks in the top 4 (the cavs) and one team with two picks in the top 12 (Utah) and one team with the #2 and the #20 (Minny) frantically trying to unload the pick for a big star makes this draft ripe for craziness. In all the craziness, I'm sure some talented players will be lost in the shuffle. Who will it be?
Either way, I'm probably not going to get pissed like I did last year, because I think Team Donnie has earned my trust with that Landry pick. And despite Donnie's lame-duck status, knowing Donnie, he'll be fully in control of the process. I can't help but have a large amount of faith in the team of Walsh, Warkentien, Houston, Grunwald and D'antoni. I just have a good feeling these guys aren't going to do something completely dumb-ass. And if they can't pick up an additional pick, I know it won't be because of lack of skill or trying. And if Mr. Dumbassolan pops his head into the room, I feel confident Donnie will not care about appeasing or impressing him. I think Donnie's on this.
As for my final analysis: I think the Knicks shouldn't bother trying to trade up. Teams will probably be trying to trade up with them and they should listen, as it could net us an additional pick. They're going to have to make quick decisions on the fly. My favorite pick is Vucevic, becuase I think he'll be the best player available that fits our needs. But I wouldn't go crazy trying to leapfrog Philly to get him, because if he's picked earlier, I'd pick Darius Morris, then try to get a later pick and snag Jeremy Tyler or Keith Benson, or even Faried. If they can get Vucevic, I'd get a later pick and snag Charles Jenkins. I'd also like to see them pick up Jon Leuer in the second round, or even take a flyer on Ben Hansbrough so we can turn our Indiana matchups into bloody brother battles.
It's on fellows! Let's root for our drafting team and get ready to love a new Knick or two!