June 22, 2009
I don't know what's going on.
Exactly, I know, what you want to hear at the tip of nine in the morning on the East coast, from a man who is paid to analyze basketball whilst separating fact from fiction based on years of experience and at least half a brain. A brilliant move on my part. Absolutely the best way to pass myself off as an NBA boffin worth regarding.
It's the truth, though. At least I'm admitting it. And, save for a special, storied few, that's how it goes for most of us. Nobody is going to have any real idea about what is going on with this upcoming NBA Draft until sometime well after midnight on June 26th, when the NBA forces teams to pass through yet another trade deadline.
Until then, we're left with quite a big mess, and little that we can count on.
What's to count on? As mentioned before, very little. And try not to think that through, as we glide from rumor to rumour to pose to feint to floater to tosser to concrete chunk. But, while you're reading, here's a brief snippet of what, nearly-exactly, to expect:
1). The Clippers will likely draft Blake Griffin.
2). Danny Ainge controls all the world's media.
3). Someone from ESPN will force a horrendous Twitter joke on Thursday night.
4). Everyone, no matter how connected, will consistently be wrong, wrong, wrong way more than they're right, right, right should they toss anything out there as absolutely concrete before late afternoon on Thursday.
This is why — and I know how skeevy it looks to go in-house with what I'm calling the gold standard — columns like this need to be read and re-read. Nothing as a faux-given, nothing as a "bank on it, buster!," nothing meant for show. Just a good cross-section, expertly researched, about what people are talking about.
Beyond that, where can one go?
And, must you go somewhere ... well, no. Don't go anywhere. I'm sorry, but you have to sit tight until Friday morning. That's just how it is in this time of year. You're just going to have to be patient, you transaction-starved masses.
Really, as daft as the Minnesota Timberwolves have been over the last two decades, would they really toss Kevin Love(notes) and the 18th pick toward Memphis for the second selection in the Draft? I don't care if Ricky Rubio might be the next Jason Kidd(notes), we do know that Kevin Love is a definite 2009-version of Kevin Love. Right down to the name. Why trade that?
And while we wouldn't be shocked if Danny Ainge makes a personnel move involving one or several of his players built around the researched assumption that this would help improve the team he's in charge of improving from year to year, isn't it at all possible that little mid-June reminders about a player's permanence and overall worth to the Boston Celtics could help the team in the long run?
Ready Ray Allen(notes) for that non-contract extension? Remind Rajon Rondo(notes) that Sherman Douglas (in his current state) could have probably scored 20 a game on Derrick Rose(notes) last spring? Give the impression of trying to anxious Celtic fans when, in fact, brass knows that the team is sort of forced into staying put because of the squad's sheer brilliance? A good problem to have, somehow stuck in a city that's never seen a good thing it couldn't complain about.
The Trail Blazers? Made about 47 Draft-night deals over the last 4.7 years. Worked the phones and Paul Allen's checkbook all the way to the best (statistical) offense in the NBA in 2008-09. Rumored to be after Hedo Turkoglu(notes), for whatever reason (you do know that Hedo would have to face, and face up, Trevor Ariza(notes) four times in the regular season alone?). Desperate to keep face? Hoping to keep the fans involved? Who knows?
Vince Carter(notes)? New Jersey shouldn't have signed him to a massive deal in the first place. Now they want to trade him, possibly, but they kind of want to make the playoffs, but they kind of want to start over, but they sort of want to keep up appearances as they head to Brooklyn sometime in 2019, but they'd also like to trade Vince Carter, but they don't want to trade him.
Sounds like the same wishy-washy Nets team we've become accustomed to, always shooting for that .500 mark. Nothing too far above, or below. Care to validate?
The Bulls? We don't care how good you are, we just care about your Final Four appearances. One? Two? Can you take a charge? Scream real loud? Can you hit a jumper? No? Two out of three ain't bad.
Sam Presti? He's three years older than me. I've done something wrong. I've made a huge mistake. Nothing to do with pertinent Draft rumors, I just felt a like a good bit of Monday morning self-loathing.
Mock drafts? Stop it. Just stop it. Don't try to guess what happens. You don't know what's going to happen. We know you don't, and we don't mind that. Stop acting as if we do mind it. Cut us some slack. Give your readers a little respect.
So here's what I'm promising, for the rest of this nutty, nutty week.
We'll be on this stuff. We'll be ready, ready to pounce, ready to discuss, ready to question, ready to analyze, ready to aid you. Ready to cheer you. Ready to bring you back to earth. Ready to help.
We're not going to take your knowledge for granted, and speak in absolutes. We know that you know better. I live my life in constant fear and dread, knowing that you know better, and that I have to work harder. I'm confident that our work in that area will pay off, this week.
One thing we can tell you, with absolute certainty? You have to have fun with it. There's no point in paying attention to the next four days of nonsense if you can't stave off nature, red in tooth and claw, with a well-earned guffaw or seven. You'd be missing the point if you didn't.
Just like the Grizzlies. Hey-oh!
I do know jokes. Man, do I know the jokes.