Last chance to get in the Daily Thunder MockTest. Here’s what you can expect tonight: Of course and open thread to discuss everything, but I’ll be running another wonderful live draft diary as part of it. And then of course, once the smoke settles, some instant analysis. It’s going to be beautiful. Also, if you are interested, the TrueHoop Network will be running a massive Live Blog throughout the evening with multiple blogs taking part. So be sure to check that out as well. Matt over at HP is heading it up.
Chad Ford’s confidence level is 50 percent for OKC taking Ricky Rubio: “If the Thunder keep the pick, my brain says Harden is a perfect fit in Oklahoma City next to Russell Westbrook. The scuttle is that Curry is the hot name in the Thunder’s draft war room. And a few people think Thabeet’s size will win the day. But I have to believe that Rubio, whom we’ve had here since the night of the lottery, will end up in OKC.”
Ian Thompson’s latest and greatest mock: “Thunder – Stephen Curry. The Thunder could go with shooting guard James Harden, Ricky Rubio, Tyreke Evans or even Jrue Holiday here. But the latest hunch is that they’ll complement Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook with a shooter and playmaker. As Oklahoma City turns into a playoff team, Curry could become his generation’s Manu Ginobili off the bench.”
Reader Jacob Thompson (who designed the awesome Thunder logo I use for Twitter and other places) put together this little photoshop for the player he’d like to see in a Thunder uniform tonight:
Just wanted to say thanks to Steve Kerr for beginning to blow up the Suns. I like the looks of that 2010 pick more and more. Potentially an unprotected lottery pick for Kurt Thomas? Yes please and thank you.
Bruce Jenkins of the SF Gate looks at the draft: “Oklahoma City: This appears to be Thabeet’s preference, and he’d look good alongside Kevin Durant and point guard Russell Westbrook. So would the best shooting guard available, 6-5 James Harden out of Arizona State.”
Chris Littman on the Rubio-Westbrook situation: “And you know what? You are indeed trippin’ if you bring in Ricky Rubio and try to move Russell Westbrook off the ball. A point guard averaging 15.3 points, 5.3 assists and 4.9 rebounds probably shouldn’t be moved. And more to the point, why upset one of the best young groups of talent in the NBA with an unwanted influence? Here’s why it won’t happen: Sam Presti is smart. I mean really smart. Think I’m kidding? The search “Sam Presti Genius” returns 5,930 results on Google! The guy has a long-standing history of quite literally turning nothing into something — most famously making two first round picks appear out of thin air in the Kurt Thomas deal. In other words, Presti knows better than to screw this up.”
Darnell Mayberry took part in a teleconference talking to Sam Presti: “Q: Did you guys hire a Spanish law firm, and if so, what for? A: I believe that the report was confirmed from the team. And secondly we want to be as thorough as we possibly can as we prepare for the draft in all aspects. It’s not specific to one piece of information that was reported. Q: Should the fans read into that decision in any way? The Thunder is the only team that has reportedly hired a Spanish law firm. A: I can’t speak for any other team. Our focus is on being as prepared as we can for this draft.”
I absolutely LOVE this about Ricky Rubio. I’m split about 50.1/49.9 between Rubio and Harden, but this just about puts it over the top:
HoopsWorld looks at a few players who could slide tonight: “James Harden – During a breakout sophomore campaign at Arizona State, Harden saw his draft stock skyrocket and has been projected to go as high as No. 2 overall in the 2009 NBA Draft. The 6’5″ shooting guard’s stock began to dip after a lackluster performance in the NCAA Tournament in which his Sun Devils were eliminated by Syracuse in the second round. In two tournament games Harden shot made just three of 18 field goal attempts and scored 19 points, one fewer than his season average. The Pac-10 Player of the Year was reportedly given a guarantee by the Washington Wizards that they would select him with the fifth pick in the draft, but the team has since shipped the selection to Minnesota for guard Randy Foye and forward Mike Miller. Compound Harden’s disappearing act in the team’s biggest games with a horrible private workout for the Grizzlies in Memphis and you’ll find reason to suspect him to slide in the draft.”
Did you know this? I didn’t: “There are all kinds of reports that the Lakers will trade or sell their first-round pick and yet just the other day I wrote that ‘NBA rules prohibit trading your first-round pick in consecutive years. The Lakers have traded away their 2008 and 2010 picks. So they have to keep this one.’ What’s the deal? Gather around for a little story.”