I enjoyed the read over at NBAdraft.net on the main page today, it is full of little draft rumor gems. With the draft lottery just about a week and a half away, I am getting pretty excited. I was trying to decide if this year’s draft will be more important to the franchise than last year’s draft was. I think after reflection the answer is that it depends. It depends on how we fare at the lottery. If we get the top pick or the second pick, then yes, I think it is. The player we get with 1 or 2 will likely be a 40 mpg player for us for years to come, and as important as any other player on the roster in years. If we get picks 3 through 7, it becomes less sure.
At pick 3, a guy like Harden could be a bonafide starting SG for years, but maybe Presti makes us all fall out of our chairs with a pick like Hasheem Thabeet……I don’t think Thabeet will ever be a 40mpg player in the NBA, and if he is, it will be a few years down the road, that much is for sure in my opinion. Also at 3-7, a guy like Stephon Curry would help this team immensely with ball handling and shooting, but it’s not a sure bet that he would even start, or ever start consistently. He seems like an offense off the bench/backup point guard to me at the moment.
For those reasons, I think last year’s high lottery pick of Westbrook, in a very solid draft was more important, but, if we get a top 2 pick this year, in a weak 2 man draft, then this year would be more important.
Anyway, according to the NBAdraft.net article, the rumor is that the Knicks have given guarantees to Curry that he won’t get past New York:
it appears to be a legitimate possibility that if the Knicks have the 8th pick on draft night they will use it on Curry. Curry’s game would fit extremely well in Mike D’Antoni’s wide open style and his scoring ability would be enhanced.
This get’s interesting when there are these “supposed guarantees”. Assuming that the Thunder select above the Knicks, but don’t have a top-2 pick, there could be some deals swung. Remember, we were kind enough to hand them Chris Wilcox’s expiring deal so he could get a tryout in the D’Antoni system for the last 1/3 of the season. That deal was just weird. We brought in leadership and professionalism in Malik Rose, and jettisoned an unhappy player, but Rose’s deal was actually more expensive than Wilcox’s. It was almost like Presti was gaining favors from the Knicks for future use. Maybe the Thunder select Stephon for the Knicks, then swap Stephon for the Knick’s later lottery pick, and pick up a second rounder for the swap. It would explain why Presti has been working out so much second round talent lately.
Also, a thing or two about Ricky Rubio:
Ricky Rubio recently signed with American agent Dan Fegan and it appears he will attempt to use a marketing deal with a shoe company to help pay off the 4.7 million Euro buyout. An NBA team can only pay $500K of that buyout meaning that Rubio will be left with nearly 6 million dollars owed to Joventut.
Aaahh…so that’s how you get out of a Euro deal. Genius. I had been wondering how, if the Thunder were able to get the second pick, our cost conscious GM would be able to creatively get Rubio to buy out the bigger portion of his contract and come over to the states and play right away (NBA teams can only pay a small amount towards a Euro player’s buyout of his Euro contract).
Also Jonny Flynn is supposedly the desired “heir apparent” to Steve Nash:
Phoenix appears to be Flynn’s safety net as it’s unlikely the Suns will let him slip past their pick at 14. They see him as Steve Nash’s possible successor with Nash likely bolting in free agency after next season.