Our pic of the day comes courtesy of East Rutherford where Blazers NBA Rookie of the Year Brandon Roy and GM Kevin Pritchard react to winning the NBA draft lottery last night. The Blazers, who won 32 games (one less than the Knicks folks) had their slim 5.3 percent chance come through to pull an upset over the NBA’s worst Memphis and the Celtics:
With a core which includes the gifted Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Zach Randolph, Jarrett Jack, Travis Outlaw and Martell Webster, the Blazers certainly have a young nucleus in place where selecting either Greg Oden or Kevin Durant could just vault them back into the playoffs.
The question is what will Pritchard do with the moody Randolph. The former Spartan is a talented player who averaged a double double (23.6 PPG, 10.1 RPG) in 68 games. He turns 26 later this summer. Does he fit in or will Portland finally trade him? He’s a solid scorer and rebounder but is injury prone and has had his reputation questioned.
Maybe the Blazers go in a different direction here. Winning the No.1 overall pick gives them many options. Will some team make them a can’t miss offer to move down that puts them into serious contention sooner than people expect like ESPN’s Jon Barry asserted to the shock of Stephen A. Smith at a roundtable discussion?
You never can tell. Especially with a franchise which once passed on Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and John Stockton to select Sam Bowie second overall over two decades ago.
With the Grizzlies and Celtics upset (if you saw Jerry West’s face and Boston’s Lottery Party reaction you know- not even kidding here! ), the Sonics moved up to No.2 while the Hawks were third which was good news for them because had they dropped further, that pick would’ve gone to Phoenix (gulp). Instead, the Hawks boast both the 3rd and 11th overall selections. They desperately need a point guard. So figure Mike Conley, Jr. to fit the bill there with one of those picks.
Memphis, Boston and Milwaukee (NBA’s three worst teams) slipped to fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.
So, does anyone want to try to caption this pic of a demoralized West. Just look at it and his reaction:
“It’s about as disappointing as you could ever hope for. It’s like pitching pennies. It’s grossly unfair to the team, but I’ve said it before, I don’t think the lottery is fair. I never liked it. I don’t think it’s a good system at all, period.”
What a bitter old man. As if he didn’t have a lot of luck when he built those championship Laker teams. You chose to work in Memphis when you could’ve ridden out to the sunset. Take it like a man or just do everyone a favor and get out!
Does anyone want to put a real caption on that sad photo? Any takers?!?!?!?!?!
The Bulls had the rights to the Knicks’ pick as part of the Eddy Curry deal. The good news for lifetime man Isiah Thomas is that Chicago wound up with the ninth pick. They should still get a good player (Joakim Noah???) but at least it’s not the dreaded worst case scenario of either Oden or Durant.
Here’s the full lottery results with the draft in NYC set for June 28th:
9.Chicago (from Knicks)
11.Atlanta (from Indiana)
One quick thought on Vince Carter’s demand for a three-year $60 million extension:
No freaking way the Nets and Rod Thorn do that. As the NY Post’s Peter Vecsey pointed out in a Tuesday column, the 30 year-old small forward is slowing down which also might explain the more predictable bail outs in Vince’s game against smaller defenders. He’s still explosive but just not as consistent. And as I’ve pointed out here before, the former Air Canada has never been a clutch playoff performer.
It’s time for the Nets to move on. If that means signing and trading the superstar, then they should do it. They can definitely find a taker and get something back for him.