Making the trip to Conseco Fieldhouse tonight to cover my second straight NBA Draft. Since a basketball arena isn’t the most exciting place without well, basketball, I figured I’d write updates on the blog to pass the time.
7:15 PM: Just arrived at the media room. Setting up my laptop, getting ready for a long night of watching a scrolling ticker at the bottom of a screen. TV set up here is pretty brutal, five 20-inch tube sets with no good view from where I’m sitting. Oh well, at least there’s free pizza.
7:22 PM: Draft is minutes away. Should be an interesting night. Can’t remember a more anticipated draft for the Pacers. At this point a straight-up pick at No. 10 would be a complete letdown.
7:37 PM: Wall to the Wiz. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
7:43 PM: And Turner goes No. 2 to the Sixers… no surprises here. Not sure how he fits in with swingman Andre Iguodala already in place, but I can’t fault Philly for the pick. Definitely the second-best player in college basketball. Turner’s Big Ten tourney sold me.
7:48 PM: This is where it gets interesting. What will the Nets do at No. 3?
7:49 PM: NJ picks Derrick Favors. The rumor of the Pacers sending Granger and the No. 10 to the Nets for Devin Harris and the No. 3 goes up in flames. Gotta say I expected more out of New Jersey’s James Bond villain owner. Figured he would shake things up a bit.
8:00 PM: Wow, Wesley Johnson and DeMarcus Cousins go 4-5 to the Wolves and Kings. Every mock draft writer in the country is looking like a genius right now. I wonder what will last longer: the draft going on without a trade or the pizza supply. The media horde looks pretty hungry…
8:07 PM: Warriors take Epke Udoh and Pistons go for Greg Monroe. I really think Monroe is a good fit for the Pistons, he gives them some much-needed size in the frontcourt. Things are getting interesting. Is Hayward next?
8:19 PM: No Hayward, Clippers take Al-Farouq Aminu.
8:25 PM: Perhaps the biggest temptation of Bird’s career as Pacers GM is gone. Hayward to the Jazz. It’s definitely for the best, Hayward should love playing for Jerry Sloan.
8:30 PM: It’s Paul George. Don’t like it. Don’t want to judge George right away, but he plays the same SG/SF/PF position as Dunleavy, Rush, Granger, and Murphy. He shoots the three and doesn’t play defense. Why pick him?? He wasn’t even first team All-WAC. I’m hoping I’m wrong.
8:31 PM: Does anyone else find it hilarious that the only guy reacting to the Pacers’ pick in the New York crowd is wearing a 1994 Reggie Miller jersey?
8:41 PM: First trade of the night: New Orleans’ draft pick Cole Aldrich and Morris Peterson to OKC for the 18 and 21 picks. Bad news: there goes Indiana’s Eric Maynor trade. Worse news: the pizza supply is gone.
8:57 PM: Just got back from the Jim O’Brien press conference. He rejected any questions about potential trades, saying George was drafted “for us.” Someone has to be on the way out. George is essentially Murphy, Dunleavy, and Rush — he shoots the three-pointer and doesn’t play defense. I’m guessing Murphy is a goner.
9:23 PM: Interesting that Bird went against his usual preference of picking experienced, four-year seniors. I guess that’s the way it is in the NBA now, you don’t draft a player for what he’s done, but what he can become. That’s nice and all, but who is going to play point guard??