Here we are, coming live from beautiful Tualatin, home of Bed Bath and Beyond, Home Depot, all manor of "homestyle" chain family restaurants, and of course, the Trail Blazers practice facility. I'm here, seated in a makeshift press room, located right on the practice court.
All the local press are packed in, camping in front of their laptops—which would suggest that nobody knows anything yet that you and I don't. The idea, I suppose, is the Blazers either do something big (like trading Travis Outlaw) or nothing at all—ditching their picks, selling them, whatever, in hopes of clearing cap space for a run at the free agent market (signing begins July 8). Something in-between those two, I'd say, is unlikely.
Across the double-wide facility is the "war room," cloaked in secrecy by the drawn blinds. We're more likely to get news from the TV's and blogs, as opposed to the place it's made, right over there.
We'll continue on, throughout the night with bullshit analysis, breaking news, and anything else deemed worthy. But before the 09 Draft actually begins, and as Ezra just noted, Sergio Rodriguez is reportedly gone. Traded along with the #38 pick to Sacramento for #31. How sad is that? Not that Spanish Chocolate is gone, but that he was worth about as much as the chair I'm sitting on.
Update: 7:00PM Meet the newest Blazer (at least for the moment), Victor Claver, a 20-year-old from Spain.
Ezra and my man Ben Golliver from BlazersEdge are so ecstatic that Sergio Rodriguez is gone they have officially offered to help him pack up his place and get the fuck out of Portland. Hear that buddy? Free. You don't even have to buy them lunch. Just think about it.
#1 - Clippers: Blake Griffin.
Good luck shopping Z-Bo, or getting him to come off the bench. Seriously. Good luck with that. You'll need it. Good luck with the rest of the curses and idiocy and yes, actually paying an LA radio station to broadcast your games.
#2 - Memphis: Hasheem Thabeet.
This draft should solidify in the mind of the Grizzlies it's to fold up. When players and agents say our dude isn't going to play for you, well, that's just a hideous thing. Not to mention the whole home crowd averaging 13 attendees per game. Yick. No draft pick this year—including Griffin—will keep the team out of next year's draft lottery. Sorry Hasheem. (Is sorry the theme of this draft? Survey says "yes.") Then again, maybe it's time for alternative measures. "Hasheem" means "destroyer of evil." So hire a feitcher to lay down some voodoo curse to lift the Grizzlies out of Memphis.
#3 - Oklahoma: James Harden.
Well how about that—a bit a drama in an otherwise light, predictable draft (that is, aside from whatever those crazy Blazer execs are up to back there)—the Thunder select the guard from ASU. An audible "wow" came up from a few folks here. I like dude because he wears a bow tie, plus he seems more on the interesting, smart side. I'm a sucker for any pro athlete who breaks the jock mold.
#4 - Sacramento: Tyreke Evans.
Yeah. Sacramento sucks. Not only as a basketball team, but as a city. That's that. Who cares. Next.
#5 - Minnesota: Ricky Rubio.
The pre-pubescent Spaniard, compared to Pistol Pete goes to the sinkhole in Minnesota. This is awesome because he'll be in our division, and we'll get ample chances to watch him play. The selection of the 18-year-old Rubio brings up an interesting question: Howcome the foreign player can be drafted at 18 but an American high-schooler has to wait until his graduating class has spent a year out of school? The NBA will hook up foriegn players but force Americans to spend a year in college or go abroad. What?
#6 - Minnesota: Jonny Flynn.
No typo there, Minnesota had both the 5 and 6 picks. They got #5 in a trade with the Washington Wizards.
#7 - Golden State: Stephen Curry.
New York fans are crying, as if they actually thought the Knicks would have a chance to grab the "draft's best shooter." Curry should fit well into Don Nelson's freewheeling, shot-hoisting, no-defense playing offense.
Now we're basically on to the dregs.
#8 - New York: Jordan Hill.
#9 - DeMar DeRozan.
Pac-10 tournament MVP. Blah... it's Toronto. Yer cold and fucked.
#10 - Milwaukee: Brandon Jennings.
This is the kid from Compton who decided to go oversees and play for actual $$$, rather than booster boners, until he was NBA elligible. The interesting thing now is to see, as it pretty much worked out for Jennings, how many players will follow his lead. As was mentioned in a NY Times article this morning, many players have no desire at all to go to college. And you know what, that's just fine. No reason to fake/force it.
#11 - New Jersey: Terrence Williams.
This is fucking bonkers. Earlier today the Orlando Magic took on the sad sack Vince Carter for the promising rookie Courtney Lee, Rafer Alston and others. Don't make no sense to me, as a fan of the Magic. Clearly I know nothing about Terrence Williams.
You can cut the fucking boredom here with a knife. It's ridiculous. Get to the Blazers already, or somebody—anybody—make a fucking trade. Sportswriters across the country are killing themselves, sucking down ribs and chicken wings at buffets across the country—GIVE THEM SOMETHING TO TYPE!
#12 - Charlotte: Gerald Henderson.
Doo Doo Doo Dee Dee Dee Dee! Second son of an NBA father drafted today. Doo Doo Doo!
Overhearing the Oregonian's Jason Quick—the man with the most insider knowledge in this room—doing a radio interview. He says although he usually feels he has some idea of what Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard might do, he is completely in the dark on this one. If he had to guess, he says, the Blazers will skip out on the draft altogether.
#13 - Indiana: Tyler Hansborough.
After a bit of speculation, I am SO SO SO glad this turd isn't coming to Portland. He went TOO HIGH here.
#14 - Phoenix: Earl Clark
Rumor has it the Suns will trade Amar'e Stoudamire to the Warriors for Andris Biedrins and some other junk. Add that to Shaq's departure, and what the fuck is happening in Phoenix? Can we get in on the fire sale and pick up Steve Nash? Pleeeeeease?
#15 - Detroit: Austin Daye.
And we're through with the lottery teams.
No buzzing around here at all, by the way. No rumors, tips, nothing. Again, this would suggest the Blazers are just going to dump salary, pick if they have to, and that's that. Get ready for free agency.
#16 - Chicago: James Johnson.
#17 - Philadelphia: Jrue Holiday.
Good Lord, wake me up when/if something happens. Caffeine alone aint cutting it.
#18 - Minnesota: Ty Lawson.
With their THIRD first round pick, the Wolves select their THIRD consecutive point guard. Some of these dudes will be traded.
#19 - Atlanta: Jeff Teague.
#20 - Utah: Eric Maynor.
#21 - New Orleans: Darren Collison.
AND THE BLAZERS ARE FINALLY ON THE FUCKING CLOCK
#22 - Portland: Victor Claver
WHO? What? Yeah... Nobody in here has any idea either. Apparently Claver is a small forward, which is the only position the Blazers have a real log jam at. God knows what's going on here, that is, unless Claver can stay in Europe. Perhaps a pick for another team? Perplexing indeed.
Claver is from Spain, so after losing the Spanish Connection for about five minutes with Sergio's departure, it's back.
#23 - Sacramento: Omri Casspi
The Israeli some predicted the Blazers would take is swept up a pick later.
Still no one here knows shit about the Blazers and Claver.
#24 - Dallas: BJ Mullens.
#25 - Oklahoma City: Rodrigue Beaubols.
More Claver, from his DraftExpress Profile:
No one will ever know how high Victor Claver’s stock could have rose had he not gotten hurt, and we’ll probably have to see if he can bounce back next season before knowing how to fully evaluate his NBA potential.
Claver was the definition of an opportunist before losing the vast majority of his season to a knee injury. Finishing at the rim at a 60% clip (very solid in the competitive Spanish ACB) and shooting 40% from three in catch and shoot situations, the 1988-born forward appeared to be turning the corner on his immense potential. Claver’s midrange game is still lacking, as evidenced by his .44 PPP on pull up jumpers, but the biggest concerns surrounding his game stem from the fact that he turned the ball over on 22.6% of his logged possession in half court settings and was fouled on only 6.4% of his shots, ranking him as the most turnover prone and the second-worst player at drawing fouls in our group. It’s pretty clear what he needs to work on the most this summer—his ball-handling skills. Considering the serious setback he endured, all Claver needs to do to keep his stock high going into next summer is prove that he hasn’t lost any of his considerable athleticism and continue shooting the ball at an excellent clip.
#26 - Chicago: Taj Gibson.
#27 - Memphis: DeMarre Carroll.
#28 - Minnesota: Wayne Ellington.
That's their forth pick, coming on the heels of the news that the Wolves shipped Ty Lawson to the Denver Nuggets. Great—now he's in our division too. And damn, studying under Chauncey Billups bodes well for Lawson.
#29 - Lakers: Toney Douglas.
Will apparently be shipped to the Knicks.
#30 - Cleveland: Christian Eyenga.
Alright. Jesus... I'm calling it for the second round, at least as far as non-Blazers related updates go. It seems the team is standing pat, and will likely let first-rounder Victor Claver spend another year in Spain.
#33 - Blazers: Dante Cunningham.
No one in this room seems to care, and neither do I. 6'8" forward from Villanova.