Analysis: Bucks couldn't pass on big man in the middle
Utah's Bogut headed to uncertain future as No. 1 pick overall
Before commencing an analysis of Tuesday's NBA Draft, this disclaimer must be made:
Nobody ever knows for sure.
Such No. 1 overall draft picks as Kwame Brown, Michael Olowokandi and Joe Smith in the last 10 years establish the truth of that disclaimer
There's simply no such thing as a can't-miss pick.
With that out of the way, here's a quick analysis of this year's draft:
As expected, the Bucks couldn't pass up a chance to get a dominant player in the middle and chose Utah's Andrew Bogut. ESPN "experts" Stephen A. Smith and Greg Anthony both expressed the opinion that Bogut won't be enough to get the Bucks to the playoffs, but they're forgetting that in the Eastern Conference, it doesn't take that much to reach the postseason. Bogut will tally some double-doubles this season, but a Bucks resurgence also presumes they will be able to hire a coach who can coach and hang on to Michael Redd.
The experts seem to think that down the road Tuesday's No. 2 pick, North Carolina's Marvin Williams, will be recognized as the best player of this draft, but don't discount the Atlanta Hawks factor. This is a poorly run franchise, and it will be a challenge for Williams to stay focused and develop while getting drubbed on a regular basis.
The Jazz obviously think they scored big in this draft, getting Illinois' Deron Williams. It's a good place for Williams to land, too, because the Jazz have a good track record for developing point guards.
The Jazz's pick left the next-best point guard in the draft, Wake Forest's Chris Paul, to go to the Hornets at No. 4. New Orleans desperately needed a point guard since the departure of Baron Davis, but he'll be facing an uphill battle. Unlike the Jazz, which has some talented offensive players to make Williams look good, the Hornets aren't a well-stocked franchise at this point.
Another Tar Heel, Raymond Felton, was a good pick for Charlotte at No. 5. The word on Felton is that he's a shoot-first, pass-later type point guard who will need two or three seasons in the NBA to develop. But in their second season the Bobcats aren't going anywhere soon, and Felton can develop right along with the franchise.
Mock drafts featured a lot of different choices for the Blazers, but they had been rumored weeks ago to be interested in high-schooler Martell Webster, and that proved true. This ending up being a good pick likely will depend on whether this franchise can get its act together and provide an environment conducive to the development of a youngster, and in recent years, Portland has proven to be anything but that.
The first surprise of the draft was the Raptors taking UConn's Charlie Villanueva with the No. 7 pick while there were several higher-regarded players at the same position still available. The mock-draft consensus didn't even have Villanueva being a lottery pick, much less No. 7. It's possible the Raptors are thinking of having the 6-11 Villanueva play center, which means former BYU center Rafael Araujo, last year's first-round pick by Toronto, could be on the way out.
The announcement of the Knicks' first pick, Arizona's Channing Frye, elicited a noticeable number of boos from the partisan Madison Square Garden crowd. At this point Frye is a strong but slim power forward with some shotblocking skill, and he'll probably be counted on to help replace the traded Kurt Thomas.
The draft's second surprise, albeit a mild one, was Ike Diogu, a 6-8 forward from Arizona State, at No. 9 to Golden State. He was widely considered to be a mid-20s pick, though ESPN's mock draft had him going to the Warriors. Diogu doesn't seem like the kind of player who will get Golden State over the playoff hump; by all reports there were players who might have given the Warriors more immediate help.
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