NBA Draft Live Blog: Free Darko Is Here




Well, after all THAT, Bethlehem Shoals has the enviable job of writing about actual sports right now. Well, not ACTUAL sports; the NBA Draft, anyway. After the jump, enjoy Shoals' life blog of the entire first round, or at least most of the first round, of this year's NBA Draft. Follow along, won't you?

-Hold everything. The WWL reports the mother of all draft night trades: the rights to Mayo, Marko Jaric, Antoine Walker and Greg Buckner to the Grizzlies in return for the draft rights to Kevin Love, Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal and Jason Collins. I knew McHale couldn't resist Love!

-Okay, last word. Chalmers going to Miami might matter. Sneaky way to pick up a point guard, one who went a lot later than he should've. No one but DraftExpress has that Batum to Portland deal. And I messed up who DeAndre Jordan went to. Blame it on the fatigue. With that, I bid you good night.

-Thanks for making Deadspin your NBA Draft destination. We should all expect some answers tomorrow.

-47. Wizards: Bill Walker. And there it is. Bilas, it wasn't a torn miniscus during workouts.

-Strangely, Bilas and Stu seem to be getting more lucid the longer this drags on.

-Just waiting on Bill Walker, then I quit.

-Finally. Douglas-Roberts goes to the Nets at 40. This might have put New Jersey past Portland for best draft. If you care about stuff like that.

-Sidney Weems sounds like someone who would've played for the Bulls in the 1970's.

-Forgot to mention that Chalmers went to the Wolves at 34. This CDR stuff is getting ridiculous.

-Apparently, I missed something important: Arthur going to the Rockets for Batum and a second-rounder, which I think already happened. Wasn't Seattle supposed to have the 400 picks in this draft?

-This is when we point out that Portland can't really bring on too many new players, so it's good to have a promising draftee stashed away in Europe.

-Oh, and I reminded Doc that, by taking Giddens in the first round, it wasn't a question of whether he "could play for us." It's called a guaranteed contract.

-Wow, that was great. I've been writing since the second round started and it all disappeared. Basically, I was surprised that Dorsey went before CDR (no shit), thought Portland was doing well

-Also, I made a joke about Adam Silver being the mouth inside the Alien's mouth, and wondered if I'd made it last year.

-30. Celtics: J.R. Giddens. KING ME. DRAFT GENIUS IN ACTION. If you scroll up/back/down forty-five miles or so, you'll notice me saying he could be the forgotten guard that teams take a look at when they're drafting late. Then again, I also assumed Chalmers, Douglas-Roberts, and Walker would be gone.

-Does Dick Vitale even watch pro basketball?

-There are so many Kinks songs you could write about Bilas.

-Why are the Celtics getting to take so long? This preferential treatment stops NOW.

-By the way, I said to someone today, this second round is going to matter. Stay tuned. That's where the real important stuff will happen.

-You know how the Class of 2007 was supposed to be so great for the sport, and then was a total letdown. The draft of 2008 is like that. They should cut away to Beasley and Riley's ongoing phone conversation, where they're debating the meaning of life, love and everything.

-Reminder: MARIO CHALMERS, CHRIS DOUGLAS-ROBERTS, DEANDRE JORDAN, BILL WALKER

-29. Pistons: D.J. White.

-JVG with an uncommon note of sincerity is his plea for appreciation of the Pistons, and "all they have accomplished."

-28. Grizzlies: Donte Greene. Gay&Warrick&Greene would be an amazing, if implausible, frontline. Too bad Kevin Love spoils the pot. Really stupid of them to not take CDR, unless it's proof they're planning to move ASAP. Yes, I am dealing in conspiracy theories at this late hour.

-Grizz on the clock, blah blah blah, they might want to consider "best available." Oh wait, there are still like 6 or 7 guys left who were supposed to go in the teens. What a bittersweet luxury.

-I'm hoping we'll start hearing about some trades soon. . .

-27. Hornets (for Blazers): Darrell Arthur. Yeah, I'd say that this draft has worked out well for Portland. Bayless and Arthur for a team that gets Oden, too, to start next season. Oh, and Ike Diogu, who at one point everyone wanted to trade for.

-Incidentally, this Ibaka pick makes me think that the Sonics lost their lease battle thing.

-Wow. The Blazers as a "struggling young team?" Did someone not watch last season?

-Hold up, didn't Turiaf get drafted when he needed a heart transplant? What's the big deal about a little kidney issue?

-26. Spurs: George Hill. Hill's from IUPI, which I thought was a news wire service.

-D'Antoni is so real. The only person willing to say that, if you need a point guard to turn a team around, you can't just assume that the third best one in the draft will do that. There's drafting for need in rotation, then there's drafting for need in a real, franchise-defining way. The latter is not to be taken lightly.

-25. Rockets: Nicolas Batum. Okay, that's nice. He was a projected lottery pick at one point. T-Mac won't last forever. They could use some more athleticism.

-Ugh. Undisclosed kidney issue for Arthur.

-Okay, now that I've gotten over gushing about Ibaka, that was stupid of Presti. I just listed everyone still on the board. The Sonics need people who can play; Ibaka the polar opposite of that. He won't even be in the NBA for years! It sure goes along with trying to keep the team bad. But really, CDR, Chalmers, Arthur, Greene couldn't have helped?

-As my colleague Chris Littmann put it "some contenders are about to load up."

-24. Sonics: Serge Ibaka. Okay, that's fucking weird. Ibaka's agent told teams not to take him first round, since he's signing a huge contract in Spain. With a big buyout. Going in the second would mean he could come over earlier. But I guess the Sonics really wanted him. Full disclosure: He's one of my favorites in this draft. Insane athlete, raw but resourceful, kind of like Tyrus Thomas if he understood the abstract principle of learning or problem-solving. Has been coached some.

-So we're at 24, and Arthur's available, and CDR, and Chalmers (depends on if you think Westbrook is a PG). And Donte Greene. . .

-23. Jazz: Kosta Koufos. Stu: "He is here in spirit because he is so big."

-22. Magic: Courtney Lee. A lot of people saw this one coming a mile away. He's a guard, but he's big. I don't know if that means the Magic are committing to small + Howard or making an effort to beef up.

-JVG is an honorary Jew, SVG an honorary Latino.

-My bad. . . 21. Nets: Ryan Anderson

I spaced out for a second there trying to find some reaction whatsoever in the comments to this. I wonder if y'all are just reading the comments as their own live-blog. God damn interactive web publishing.

-Okay, so about this leaving the green room: Doesn't that show a lack of character? Weakness? Refusal to take it like a man? Is it less manly than crying in the green room?

WWDRD?


WWMBD?


WWBLD?

ESPN, you can thank me later for that brilliant draft promo campaign.

-20. Bobcats: Alexis Ajinca. Color me absolutely shocked. I actually know something about Ajinca, or can at least say that I've interviewed him. He is physically ridiculous, and pretty darn skilled, but yeah, he's not ready yet. I just can't imagine Larry Brown likes this idea, or that Michael Jordan cares enough to think into the future and imagine what Ajinca might play like.

-Larry Brown and Michael Jordan are going to make me a sandwich, because that's the one thing happening right now that they couldn't screw up. Actually, scratch that. "Larry Brown and Michael Jordan Making A Sandwich" is a Terry Riley short film.

-That was really dumb, seeing as they need a point guard (Chalmers) and could use some more varied offense (Arthur).

-19. Cavs: J.J. Hickson. Wait, I don't understand. Is a motor an attitude thing, or a physical thing? Or both?

My thinking, as of right now-which is how LeBron thinks about this team, which is what matters-is that Hickson < Gooden < Boozer.

-A TRADE: AND AGAIN I AM ALIVE That's what I'm talking about. Pacers get Jack and Brandon Rush, Blazers get Bayless and Diogu.

Of course Rush's reaction doesn't change, they all say the same thing no matter what.

THE RUSHES: REUNITED. That's a little tear for my eyes.

Not sure why the Pacers need Jack, when they got Ford. I guess they were more interested in backing up Ford than complementing him. Bayless still has to learn how to play the point, I guess, because he's not taking minutes from Roy. But he's certainly got more long-term potential than Jack, who is a poster child for draft pick ceiling.

-Words of wisdom from Jackson. Words to live by: "Take a fresh piece of gum and enjoy it."

-18. Wizards: JaVale McGee. I like to dream of a future where McGee and Blatche will threaten the sanity of the East. I wonder how Jamison feels.

-I take back the Brenda Fraser comment, Brook Lopez is like a giant brain-addled Joaquin Phoenix.

-"He's going to bring someone who can defend at the defensive end."-Terry Porter

-17. Pacers (from Toronto): Roy Hibbert. Ho-hum. A big guy to replace Jermaine O'Neal, I guess. As the team emphasis shifts to Danny Granger. When you've already got Jeff Foster. Why didn't they take Darrell Arthur, who suddenly became a storyline when we were reminded he was in the green room still?

They didn't invite Donte Greene because of the similarity to Rashard Lewis.

-16. Sixers: Marreese Speights. I like this pick. As much as I wanted them to take another wing, Speights has a chance to be what Reggie Evans was for those two games when he was busy being something far, far greater than Reggie Evans.

-I am really sorry for not saying much about the interviews. The technical difficulties threw me for a loop.

-What exactly is the advertising demographic for the NBA Draft? People who like sort of humorous PG adventure movies?

-Just wait till that Lopez Brothers movie where Brendan Fraser plays both.

-15. Suns: Robin Lopez. Steve Kerr is really trying to prove a point, I guess. Amare is on the block.

-It's really strange that the Warriors are the ultimate in up-tempo teams, but really don't have much interest in long, athletic finishers. They'd rather put Stephen Jackson or Pietrus at the PF.

-Vitale's on, so I can tune out the tv and think a little. Oh wait, he just said "you can always find some guards later." Right, except for this year.

He has fixated on the one guy he can bring his potential rant out for.

-Okay, about the Randolph pick: If Nelson isn't playing Wright, why exactly is Randolph an appealing option?

-14. Warriors: Anthony Randolph.

Bilas: "Considerable linear extent in space." Is Jeru ghostwriting for him?

-13. Blazers: Brandon Rush. Eventually, they're going to need a point guard, but Portland's stockpile of young talent is pretty impressive.

-I have waited so long to say this somewhere it would be seen: I want to smack the fuck out of that guy. Who relates to this nattily-dressed couch surfer? He's about as sympathetic as a trust fund cokehead with closet full of R.E.I. gear.

-Basketball hat on: I wonder why the Kings wouldn't have gone with one of the more potentiall-y big men. I know they need to figure out their SF/SG logjam, but is this the end of the Brad Miller era?

-12. Kings: Jason Thompson Huh? I guess he is, other than Hibbert, the "most ready to play now" of the zillion big men left.

Still, I thought he was supposed to go #30.

-How come no one ever asks "can you play the center in the pros" or PF, or SF. . . it's not like point guard is the only position that has any formal requirements or responsibilities.

-11. Pacers: Jerryd Bayless. Yeah, I'd say that counts as a steal. Plus, the Pacers seems less concerned than others about whether or not Bayless is (yet) a real point, since they just got Ford.

-Okay, I think I got things working again. Sorry about that.

-"A really big mean streak" sounds like a dirty underwear issue.

-I didn't miss Bayless being draft at 9.5, did I?

-You can actually now purchase a mean streak online. Check your hotmail.

-10. Nets: Brook Lopez.

Sorry, having serious technical issues. Stand by.

-9. Bobcats: D.J. Augustin. He's short.

-8. Bucks: Joe Alexander.

Does anyone want Bayless? Donte Greene was my big candidate to slide.

it's too bad "White Chocolate" is already taken as a nickname, because it really makes sense for a kid whose dad worked in the industry. The chocolate industry.

SAS really can't do any better than "tell what it took to get there."

-If the Bobcats don't take Bayless, Larry Brown really is the devil and I'm going to break my own thumb.

-I really, really wish that Walsh had said "he's the kind of player who can bring a team to its knees." Get it? With his dirty nickname and all?

-7. Clippers: Eric Gordon. Nice for them, they thought they were going to have to move up to get him. Remember so long ago, when things like "Beasley and Marion go to the Clips" seemed almost real?

Another Bilas gem: "off the bounce."

Dudes, of course a lot of freshman are being picked. There's an age limit now. You can't go out of high school. And now teams are willing to pick freshman like they're picking high school players, i.e. be a little patient with initial imperfections.

-Why did SAS just say "they are sleeping on you" like a white person would? It may it sound really literal. Oh wait, now he sounds like he's talking to a child.

-Isn't there an Alice in Chains song about heroin called "The Rooster?" Did anyone happen to hear the "We Want Beasley" chant at the Pearl Jam concert at MSG last night?

-Jay Bilas hasn't been the same since Josh Smith turned out to be good. All the bile drained out of him and he's now just an "expert." Not a pundit.

-6. Knicks: Danilo Galinari. So wait, are we not allowed to mention Bargnani here? Galinari supposedly "has a toughness," which sounds a lot like that "mean streak" that Darko was supposed to have that set him apart from all other Euros.

-Stan Love actually showed Kevin footage of Kevin McHale. O.J. MAYO'S FAVORITE PLAYER IS EARL MONROE. Fall back.

-Wait, I'm sorry. You can improve your "Explosion Ability?" Is ESPN outsourcing their copy?

-5. Grizzlies: Kevin Love. "Not a great runner of the floor" This might devolve into a close reading of Jay's greatest.

-Not to break character, but how exactly do Beasley and Marion work together?

-Oh wait, Durant's there with Beasley.

-They're talking like the Sonics have anyone on their team other than Durant. Really, it's cool, just get someone else good out there.

-4. Sonics: Russell Westbrook.

Why is Kevin Durant there? Is he hoping he'll get drafted onto another team? (I know, too easy)

-3. Timberwolves: O.J. Mayo. I feel so naked. I was expecting at least three crazy things to have happened already.

Mayo kind of sounds like Kobe. A baby Kobe. How come only Shaq got "Baby Shaq?" I guess there was "Baby Jordan." But really, it should be as much of a stand-by as "poor man's _________"

-Big ups to my father, who wears that exact same outfit Beasley has on when he has to go to Capitol Hill.

-How come no one has pointed out yet that BASKETBALL SHOULD BE FUN?

-Kirk Hinrich just had his neck slit in the barn behind the United Center. You would've heard the gurgle, but Beasley's other beeper went off.

-2. Heat: Michael Beasley. Will told me to do that. Sorry I forgot to do it for Rose.

Did Beasley just have a beeper go off?

That shot of Mayo lurking the shadows was awfully diabolical.

"Arms that stretch beyond human limits." Jay Bilas, you are my lady love. Those arms probably reach the center of the earth, where if one of those fly-trap looking fish things got a plastic bag stuck in its stomach, he could reach in and save it. Pat Riley would leave it for dead.

-Hey, did anyone notice that I just deleted everything I've written so far? Thank god for keeping fifty windows open at once.

-Derrick Rose: Afraid of needles. Michael Beasley: Likes them for the hell of it.

-I know this site is nominally friendly with ESPN today, but Jay Bilas makes a mockery of talking out loud about basketball. He's a wind-up toy.

-Oh, by the way, there are no guards in this draft and too many uncertain big men. Everyone will be disappointed, unless they're in the top ten. That's why I full expect many teams to move up backward (if that makes sense) into the second round, so they can justifiably draft J.R. Giddens.

-Life blog is like "life partner." It means I'm gay with this blog and will give it all the effort I would rectal sex. Right?

-Early fashion returns: Everyone looks like shit. Except for Mayo, who has this whole fresh to def Carlton Banks thing going. With the solid gold frames. Eric Gordon looks like a penguin, which isn't doing much to make me think he's not fat-something Shanoff's been telling me all week. Speaking of which, he'll be Twittering all night, in case you want to read someone who actually watches college ball.

-It's amazing how invisible Derrick Rose has become. The debate was never about him vs. Beasley, it was whether or not Beasley was worth of bread and water. And every time he gets on camera, Beasley jumps in front of him and makes a joke about fast food.

-Let's get two things out of the way: Don't expect any single line as good as that Noah one from last year, and it will continue to bug me all night that there is an entire separate sky and ocean at the center of the earth. Fuck that.

-Thanks, Will. I'm really thrilled to have to follow all that.