The Oden-Durant Sweepstakes are over. Here are the winners and losers.
Winners - Dreams Come True
This year's R.O.Y. could be welcoming next year's R.O.Y.
Greg Oden, pack your bags for Portland. Life is good if you're a Blazer fan right now. Your young team improved a lot last year and put together a nice end of season run. With just a 5% chance for the top pick in the 2007 NBA draft lottery, Portland now has had a dream come true. Sure, they have their choice between Oden and Durant, but I see them taking Oden to be that defensive presence who will eventually blossom offensively. They have enough offense right now with Roy and Randolph, 2 potential 20 point scorers. If you want to talk about good young talent, Portland has it, Oden, Roy, Aldridge, and Jack. All were recent draft picks and are going to make Portland a force to be reckoned possibly next year, but definitely in the many years to come. Check out our good friends over at Blazers Edge for more coverage and a letter to the commissioner.
But it did.
We won! We won!
Kevin Durant, I hope you enjoy Seattle. They're rejoicing in Seattle not only because they just won the 2 prize lottery, but this may help keep the team in Seattle. If they move to Oklahoma City, that would be devastating. Hopefully Durant's potential star power will keep the franchise in Seattle. He'll bring more fans to the arena and I bet the season ticket representatives will be very busy today taking new orders. The real question is, how does this team get better? Rashard Lewis is probably gone as he's a restricted free agent. Durant is probably going to be better than Lewis, but there are still big holes on that roster. If the management realizes that they're going to lose him, they better work out a sign and trade because you can't let that kind of talent leave for nothing in return. If the management keeps Lewis, they'll have 3 potential 20 point scorers on the roster, but still won't play any defense. They might score a lot more, but they're trading in the defense of Collison/Wilcox for the defense of Durant, a downgrade. In the long run, the Sonics have another star on their hands and the combo of Ray-Ray and Durant is going to be lethal.
If Atlanta's pick was outside the top 3, they lose their pick to the Suns. By earning the #3 spot in the draft, they narrowly escaped losing their pick. They'll most likely screw up the #3 pick anyways, but you never know. To make their team even stronger, they get to keep the Pacers #11 pick in the trade that sent Al Harrington to the Pacers. So, armed with the #3 and #11 picks in what is billed as one of the strongest drafts ever, the Hawks could have some major talent coming in.
Is this a message from The Commish to teams thinking about tanking the season? If you tank the season, to get a top pick, you will not be rewarded. In one of the most hyped lotteries since Yao Ming and before that Tim Duncan, the winners were not one of the 3 worst teams. Stern might have got some flack if one of the teams that tanked it won the whole thing. Maybe it was luck, but by not rewarding the teams that tanked it, I think it's a good message in upcoming seasons that tanking doesn't always help your team.
Losers - Nightmares
We now have a new logo for the NBA Draft
What a sad day for Memphis fans. The worst possible scenario happened, they ended up with the lowest possible pick, #4. How will the fans recover? They'll still have a shot at some excellent talent, but they didn't get the franchise player they were dreaming about. I just hope they don't screw up The Yi Movement and take our favorite overseas prospect. If they team up a talented SF or PF from this draft with Gasol and Miller, you still have a very competitive team.
Outside of Bucks fans, does anyone really care about the Bucks? No? Okay. From top 3 pick to #6. Michael Redd, you should have gone to Cleveland to play with LeBron instead of staying in Milwaukee. They'll still get a baller at #6. In fact Corey Brewer might just be there and he would fit nicely into where Bobby Simmons was supposed to. Mo Williams, Redd, Brewer, Bogut, Villanueva. Gotta like that lineup especially in the East.
Any NBA team with Mike Dunleavy Jr. is going to be a loser, but this isn't the reason this time. The Pacers no longer have a draft pick in this year's loaded draft. Smart move. I'm sure they expected to be in the playoffs when they made the deal with Atlanta for Al Harrington in exchange for their pick. Now they're stuck looking in from the outside like a kid with his face pressed against the glass of a candy store. Fire Walsh and Bird. Those guys set the franchise back a couple years with their boneheaded trade for the Dunmurphy Sisters. Thank you Indiana and Free JO! (Also, Indy Cornrows, another SB Nation Hoops blog, can't be too happy about not having a pick).
Boo Hoo. Let me go pout. I can't be successful without Oden or Durant.
Lastly and perhaps most entertaining from my point of view, the Celtics got screwed. All the Boston hype, all the Boston woe is me, all the East Coast bias, shattered. They were banking on this draft to get a franchise player, the hopes and dreams of an entire franchise on being in the top 2 picks. They lost out on Tim Duncan and now they lose out on Oden and Durant. What did they lose, 19 in a row? Except for Al Jefferson, which one of those young guys do you really want? Gerald Green? Rajon Rondo? Ryan Gomes? Actually I'll take Leon Powe because he's a local guy. Haha. Fire Ainge. Take back Doc Rivers' contract extension. Oh and there needs to be a free P-squared (Paul Pierce) movement much like the Free KG Movement. The guy is The Truth and deserves to actually play on a team that competes not tanks. Can the media stop covering the Celtics now? NOBODY CARES! (Except for fellow SB Nation blog Green Bandwagon, check them out!)
Now that the order is finally set, mock drafts will pop up all over the place. One of the more popular ones is NBA Draft.net.
#1: Greg Oden (Portland)
#2: Kevin Durant (Seattle)
#3: Brandan Wright (Atlanta)
... #18: Rudy Fernandez (Golden State)
Drop your Winners and Losers for the draft in the comments
Update: The Bill Simmons article I was waiting for: Welcome to the Next Decade of Discontent
The thing that really kills me? I thought we were going to win. I really did. I was feeling it. Yesterday in downtown Boston, the sun was shining and the sky seemed especially blue. Dad and I walked through the park in Boston Common on our way to lunch and I remember saying, "What a nice day, something good is going to happen." It felt like having a baby all over again -- I just wanted to get it over with, and whatever happened, I knew my life would never be the same.