By Chris Rasmussen
At last, this is the time of the year for big men clad in big suits, David Stern naming names (um, not in that way), homoerotic scouting reports (Knicks GM Donnie Walsh described his draft pick as having “tremendous size” and an “unusual package” … and he’s normal compared to his predecessor) and awkward conversations between Stephen A. Smith and teenagers. (Worst. Dateline. NBC. EVER.)
Let’s look at the draft picks from the local area:
2. Michael Beasley, PF, Miami. Ok, I don’t get why everyone – including reportedly Pat Riley — downgraded Beasley before the draft with everyone calling him “immature,” as if the other draftees wore top hats and read back issues of the New Yorker. Oh, he’s also apparently shorter than previously reported, which NEVER, EVER happens in the NBA. I got the feeling that if there were three more weeks of draft coverage, Beasley would be a surly extra from the movie Under The Rainbow.
Fact is: Beasley had a better year than Kevin Durant in his last college season. John Hollinger’s statistical breakdown indicates he is the best big man in any draft since 2002.
What’s not to like – he already has a lame blog, so he’s NBA-ready. In ten years, Beasley returns to Manhattan after appearing in multiple NBA All-Star Games to watch his alma mater suffer its 22nd consecutive loss to the Jayhawks.
13. Brandon Rush, SG, Portland and then traded to Indiana: Because Rush stayed in college, he’s considered old and therefore not as “projectable” as other players. That’s right – he’s over the hill at the age of 22. As he was traded to Indiana during the draft, he will wear a Blazer hat but not play in Portland – much as you see a lot of people wear KU gear in KC who never set foot in Lawrence.
He's the most successful Rush brother to play in the NBA, which is setting the bar really, really low.
27. Darrell Arthur, PF, New Orleans and then traded to Portland, Houston and finally Memphis: Arthur had the humiliating experience of waiting in the draft room to be one of the first ten names selected, powerlessly looking at his future earnings decreased with every pick. Some expected him to drop out of the lottery, but no one thought he’d come close to falling out of the first round, mysterious kidney issue or no. Why? Got me. Are there questions about his effort? Sure – but among the players selected before was one who averaged five points a game in the French League.
Traded three times last night, he already has a head start on his collection of authentic NBA caps.
30. JR Giddens, SF, Boston: Boston’s lineup has character, but might soon need a character witness.
34. Mario Chalmers, PG, Minnesota, traded to Miami: Oops. He guessed wrong. Like Arthur, he was a potential lottery pick after some impressive workouts. Instead, Chalmers drops to the dreaded second round where he is not guaranteed a contract. He may be forced to Europe or the Developmental League next year. On the bright side, he’ll never have to pay for a meal when he visits Kansas City or Lawrence.
47. Bill Walker, C/PF, Washington: On the bright side, he did not re-injure either knee during the draft.
52. Darnell Jackson, PF, Miami: Most second-round picks don’t have much of a career. I hope he has one.