Mercifully, the NBA Draft is over and we can put Mock Drafts on ice for a while. I did not watch all of the festivities last night, but I did make a few notes and I have looked over the entire draft list quickly. Here are first impressions – which ought never to be confused with giving teams a grade for the draft before these guys ever set foot in a real NBA game.
Sam Hinkie, GM of the Philly 76ers, has a plan. He has been there for several years now and it seems as if the plan is to put 5 players on the court all of whom are 6’ 11” tall – or taller. After taking Nerlens Noel two years ago and Joel Embiid last year, the Sixers took Jahlil Okafor at #3 last night. Maybe that will work; Noel can play defense and not worry about shooting which he cannot do. Okafor can play offense and not worry about defending which he cannot do. Embiid can rehab his foot.
If you think I am exaggerating here, check the Sixers’ 2nd round picks:
Guillermo Hernangomez is a 6’ 10” center from Spain. He is headed to the Knicks for 2 future draft picks one of whom will be used to secure the rights to Andre the Giant should he return from the grave.
Arturas Gudaitis is a 6’ 11” center from Lithuania. Playing in the Lithuanian League last year, he averaged 6 points and 4 rebounds per game. Oh swell…
Luka Mitrovic is only 6’ 9” so he can be the Sixers’ point guard on their skyscraper lineup. In the Serbian League, he averaged 8 points per game and 5 rebounds.
The Knicks took Kristaps Porzingis at #4. They say he is a shooter who cannot/will not defend. Knicks’ fans loved Andrea Bargnani, right? They may have found his clone…
I think the Heat got a steal at #10 in Justise Winslow.
If the Sixers are trying to corner the market on centers, maybe the Celtics are trying to do the same with guards. Taking Terry Rozier in the first round is not surprising; having the Celtics take him with their top pick was indeed surprising. Their next pick was another guard, RJ Hunter who will be a 3-point shooter but will give up a ton of points too.
The Cavs taking Tyus Jones was a good move. Now they have someone to bring up the ball and set the offense other than LeBron James.
The Rockets got Montrezl Harrell in the 2nd round. How did that happen?
I shall put the NBA in the rear view mirror for a while with this comment from Brad Dickson in the Omaha World-Herald as he gets to the heart of the story in the NBA Finals:
“Golden State defeated Cleveland for its first NBA title in 40 years. That’s the uplifting part of the story. The downside: The last time Cleveland won a professional sports championship, the team’s punter was Meriwether Lewis.”
If you believe the talking heads on ESPN, Roger Goodell is going to “take his time” before rendering a decision in the Tom Brady appeal matter. That means that we will have a period of time where this story is like the Chinese water torture. The reports will come regularly and will have no new content – because until he renders his decision, there is nothing new to report.
Some folks say that this episode is important to Goodell because his job may hang in the balance. Obviously, I do not know if that is the case; but if it is, let me remind everyone of something I wrote last September. The job of NFL Commissioner – and the Commissioner of all the other major sports too – is to grow the league and to do so in a way that maintains labor harmony. That is the job.
The conundrum for Roger Goodell now is similar to the one he sort of found his way out of in the Ray Rice Affair. He has to grow the league and keep peace with the NFLPA, but – and this is as big a “butt” as any nose tackle in the league – he is also required by the CBA to be the NFL disciplinarian. Those two things just do not fit together well and in the next CBA the league and the union need to come up with a way to have an independent person or body take care of the discipline business.
Please note that this is an issue that needs attention by the league and the union jointly. To my non-legally trained mind, a Collective Bargaining Agreement is analogous to a contract; and in order for it to be a contract and not an edict, there needs to be at least two signatories. The NFL pushed to have the discipline power in the hands of the Commissioner over the years; the NFLPA acquiesced to that – and probably got some concession somewhere in return for that concession. In any event, the two sides need to correct this situation the next time bargaining happens.
Finally, here is – hopefully – the final word on the 2015 US Open golf course from Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times:
“Hear about Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Billy Horschel teaming up to bankroll a line of Chambers Bay wine? It’s 100 percent sour grapes.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………