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Favorite Books: "The Power Broker" and "The Worst Team Money Could Buy"
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On Thursday’s show of Big Blue Insider, Dick Gabriel will be asking “What If”. Some of our biggest sports legends, triumphs and failures where altered due to solitary events. One sharp turn and everything’s different. Dick will have his own list later on tonight (Big Blue Insider, 6-8pm, tell your friends) but I wanted to share some of mine and get your thoughts:
Rick Pitino never took Kentucky’s offer?
The Chargers and Colts switched QBs?
Len Bias didn’t overdose?
Dale Earnhart hasn’t crashed? Could he have at least passed Dave Pearson for #2 all time wins behind Petty?
David Stanley never was kicked off SMU’s football team due to injuries and a substance abuse problem, which lead to him losing his stipend and then giving a damning interview to a Dallas TV station? How much longer would the violations have continued?
The Malice In The Palace never happened? Do the Pacers win a championship? Does Ron Artest change to his stupid new name?
Drew Bledsoe didn’t get creamed by Mo Lewis? Tom Brady never gets a start, team may not reach the Super Bowl, and Brady could have floated around the league.
The Rick Pitino Led Celtics wind up with the 1997 First Pick – Tim Duncan, instead of the third and sixth pick – Chauncey Billups and Ron Mercer, both of who would soon be traded?
Anthony Davis doesn’t shoot up in height when he was a junior in high school?
Devery Henderson never caught the deflection on LSU’s Marcus Randell’s Hail Mary pass?
Rich Brooks turned down UK?
Dick Gabriel never shaved his beard?
We all know The Brow will be swatting shots and partying with Emeril and Weezy while playing for the New Orleans Hornets next season (unless their GM is a heavy drinker), but what about the rest of the Cats? Will Lamb drop threes in LA? Is Jones set to wear blue again? Will Miller get drafted? So many questions heading into the June 28th draft:
Michael Kidd-Gilchrest –
I say this because I really don’t want MKG to be associated with the Bobcats in any which way, so I’m giving them
Terrence Jones –
I’ve seen plenty of mock drafts, which have listed Jones from going anywhere from
I’ve also heard some rumors that teams STILL have some doubts on Jones’ work ethic and his attitude. Apparently they didn’t watch any
Marquis Teague –
Teague is much more difficult than either MKG or Jones, since while he has a above average, traditional PG skill set, there aren’t many teams looking for a starting PG right now. It’s a guard-driven league, and ironically the best destinations for him are either to play with another UK PG (Liggins in
Doron Lamb –
The big question when it comes to Lamb is whether or not he’ll even be drafted in the first round. This draft has an abundance of shooting and point guards, so it comes down to whether or not teams will select Lamb over Vanderbilt’s John Jenkins, Evan Fournier of France or Syracuse’ Dion Waiters. Plus you have to take into account guys like Will Barton of
Lamb can also get picked up by
Darius Miller – Second Round – Lets say…
He’s not going in the first round, sadly, and in the second round you don’t draft for need but rather on guys you hope you can mold. Miller brings leadership, a high basketball IQ, a strong mid range shot but little else. Just hope he lands on a team that gives him a chance to succeed.
The NBA draft lottery takes place tonight, with David Stern smugly anticipating the destruction of another franchise’s hopes. Of course, the prize tonight is none other than UK’s Anthony Davis. The star center is expected to go #1, and every God-awful team pins their dreams on his arrival.
So who will land the Brow? Here’ll I’ll break down the possibilities of each team, along with some notes on their rosters:
1. Charlotte Bobcats (7-59) – 25% chance of top pick, 64.19% Top 3 pick
You read that right: A team that had a winning percentage of .106 only has a 25% chance of landing the top pick. The draft was created to discourage teams from deliberately tanking towards the end of a season, however instances such as this prove that the system is broken. On top of that, the worst team hasn’t received the #1 overall pick since 2004, when the Orlando Magic selected Dwight Howard.
The Bobcats are dreadful (obviously) and their roster has little promise; Kemba Walker, last year’s first round selection, had a mediocre rookie campaign. They can’t lure in free agents, they’ve had some BRUTAL trades (Trading Tyson Chandler for Tyrus Thomas; Gerald Wallace for garbage and two protected picks – more on Wallace later), and don’t know how to draft (this could take up its own column, but…Adam Morrison, Kwame Brown, Sean May).
Even if they got the first overall pick, I wouldn’t put it past Michael Jordan to try and outsmart everyone in the room and select Kidd-Gilchrest or Florida’s Bradley Beal. Well…I don’t really think he’ll be that insane…but there’s still hope.
2. Washington Wizards (20-46) – 19.9% chance at top pick; 55.74% Top 3 pick
Again, a team that won thirteen more games than the worst team in the league only has a 5% less chance of landing the first overall pick. Just ridiculous.
This would be my second choice for Davis, as this team sports a young, speedy, pass first PG in John Wall, some exciting young players in Chris Singleton (who could be the Charles Oakley to Davis’ Patrick Ewing), Jordan Crawford and Jan Vesely, who can eventually turn into a deadly shooter but now is just known as “the guy who French kissed his girl on draft night.” The team also has some salary dumps in Nene (who’s serviceable) and Rashard Lewis (who’s not), but after a few years Lewis should be playing video games at home and Nene…well, he’s there for a while because Washington’s front office really wanted to get rid of MENSA-Member Javale McGee.
After those two deadweights leave town, or if Nene shows promise in bouncing back to the player he was just a few seasons ago, what FA wouldn’t want to play around a nucleus of Wall-Davis-Crawford? If they draft Davis, I’m buying ALL the jerseys.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers (21-45) – 13.8% chance at top pick; 42.57% Top 3 pick
Out of all the teams, THIS is the franchise I want to see land The Brow.
Kyrie Irving – who was another one-and-done player at Duke, but that’s apparently okay – is one of the most exciting players in the league; he does it all and makes it look effortless. Pairing him – and his physics-defying passes – with a player of Davis’ around the rim game? Oh man. I’d drive from Lexington to Cleveland for every home game.
Not only do they have Irving, but they had Omri Casspi (coming into his own), Alonzo Gee, Tristan Thompson, Manny Harris and Anderson Varejao, who’s signed until the 2015 season. Their only large contract was Antawn Jamison, whose deal ended after the last day of the season. The team has money to burn, so it can just churn out those Comic Sans-fonted contracts to pretty much anyone it wants, except LeBron.
4. New Orleans Hornets (21-45) – 13.7% chance at top pick; 42.33% Top 3 pick
No thanks. This would probably be the worst destination for Davis.
Let’s see: No one wants to go there. While they did finally get a new owner, his first priority was to discuss what the new team name should be, since New Orleans doesn’t really have hornets or some nonsense (Bring back the Jazz! Oh, wait…).
The ONLY player I like on the Hornets is SG Eric Gordon, and rumors of him being shipped elsewhere haven’t stopped since he arrived in the Big Easy. The rest of the roster is filled with over-paid has beens (Emeka Okafor, Chris Kaman, Trevor Ariza), disappointing young players (Xavier Henry, Al-Farouq Aminu) and guys who put up numbers but only because someone has to (Jason Smith).
If you love AD, and want him to be happy, pray for him not to land in NOLA.
5. Louisville Anaheim Sacramento Kings (22-44) – 7.6% chance at first pick; 25.5% Top 3 pick
I don’t see what they do with Davis here, unless they decide to have some sort of Duncan/Robinson scenario with Davis at the 5 and Cousins at PF. If that happens, the team might as well move to Louisville because Kentucky would become Sacramento East.
Cousins is a head case, but he’s extraordinarily talented, plus once the Kings fired coach Paul Westphal, he played much better. Under Westphal, Cousins averaged 13.7 points and 9.3 rebounds a game, and the team had no chemistry and no clue what was going on. Under Westphal’s replacement Keith Smart, Cousins averaged almost 20ppg and 12 rpg. That’s why I – and everyone else in this state – loved the dude: He’s a monster that can dominate any game at any time.
However perhaps the greatest compliment of Davis’ game is that he doesn’t require the ball to be effective, and that would really help out the ball-hogging Kings. With Cousins, Tyreke Evans, Jimmer “Time” Fredette, “Not That” Isiah Thomas, and Marcus Thorton the Kings have more than enough guys who can score. What they NEED is someone to set picks, grab rebounds and play defense. Basically they need Davis to do what JJ Hickson was supposed to do, before he turned into a ghost and was released.
6. Brooklyn Nets (22-44) – 7.5% chance at top pick; 25.19% Top 3 pick
You see that 25.19%? That number couldn’t seem small to the Nets or their fans. If they end up with the #4 pick, they’re screwed.
The Nets completed one of the most baffling deadline deals this season when they dealt Mehmet Okur, Shawne Williams and their top 3-protected lottery pick to Portland for Gerald Wallace. Now, this deal was dumb on multiple fronts: management thought they could either:
- Lure PG Deron Williams into signing a contract extension by saying “Hey! Gerald Wallace! He’s good right?” when Williams himself has said he basically doesn’t want to be there.
- Package Wallace and what’s left of Brook Lopez to the Magic for Dwight Howard and Hedo Turkoglu. Now that Magic GM Otis Smith was fired, there’s no one stupid enough to think that’s a fair trade.
- Lure Dwight Howard to sign there as a Free Agent after this season, since he could play with Lopez, Williams, Wallace and emerging scoring threat MarShon Brooks…only to have Howard sign his extension after the trade deadline.
I don’t normally root against the Nets – I never even really think about them – but I hope they land the 4th pick, which would then go to Portland. Portland deserves much better, although I don’t want MKG around their training staff.
The other options are Golden State, Toronto, Detroit, Minnesota or Phoenix but they all have a less than 4% chance of landing the pick. Of course with this borderline criminal drafting process, that means one those fan bases will be buying Brow Down jerseys shortly.