Forgive me if I fall asleep. I just walked in the door after spending all day moving out of my apartment, which included a two-section couch that weighs approximately 6,000 pounds. And it’s blazing hot in Seattle today. I’m weak, hungry, thirsty, irritated and exhausted. In other words, I feel infinitely worse than the 60 ballplayers who will hear their names called during tonight’s NBA Draft. And especially worse than the 14 Lottery picks who are about to bring home serious paper.
Although I missed the first four picks, those were predictable anyway: John Wall to the Wizards, Evan Turner to Philly, Derrick Favors to New Jersey, and Wesley Johnson to the Wolves. Now it gets interesting, with the Kings on the clock at No. 5…
* Sacramento picks … DeMarcus Cousins, PF/C, Kentucky. His diamond-studded watch could pay for three public schools in Compton. ESPN graphic says, “Must Improve: Maturity.” My cousin just asked me, “Is he fat?” My answer: “Ummmm … he could lose some weight.”
* John Calipari says this is the greatest day in Kentucky basketball history. Tony Delk, Ron Mercer and Rick Pitino would like a word with him.
* Golden State picks … Ekpe Udoh, PF, Baylor. His name is pronounced like “Eppay,” so get ready for some inappropriate Speedy Gonzalez-inspired signs in the Oracle Arenas crowd. I thought Greg Monroe would have been perfect for the Warriors’ offense, but I guess the rumors were true that the team wasn’t sold on Monroe.
* Detroit picks … Greg Monroe, PF, Georgetown. Stu Scott says it’s “interesting” that Greg’s uncle played football at BYU. I think it’s interesting that the Pistons passed on Ed Davis, who they were supposedly in love with. As a Georgetown fan, I wish Monroe would have stayed one more year, but that’s being selfish. He’s ready to go pro now and will be a good pro. Jay Bilas: “Some question his desire, but you heard the same thing about Jeff Green.” Yeah, and people still question Green’s desire and aggressiveness.
* The Clippers pick … Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, Wake Forest. Did he just do the Fresh Prince/Jazz handshake with his boys? Nice grown-man suit by Aminu, but the clear locs bring it down a tad. Bilas has said multiple times that Aminu needs to “work on his skill level,” which is his way of saying the kid is a sick athlete who doesn’t really know how to play basketball yet and might end up being the next Julian Wright. But the Clips had to go with a small forward here, and Aminu may have the most raw talent of all the prospects.
* Utah picks … Gordon Hayward, SF, Butler. Of course they did. Not that they needed a small forward or anything, but, you know … At the same time, Hayward is a highly-skilled, smart player who can help a playoff team right away and doesn’t need to be brought along like a project. Larry Bird must be crushed to have this happen right before the Pacers picked at No. 10.
* It says Hayward was an all-state tennis player in high school, but Mark Jones AND his colleague fail to ask what he (or his twin sister, a college tennis player) thought of the Isner/Mahut 11-hour marathon match. Dropped the ball there.
* Comment of the live-blog so far, from reader fallinup: “Clippers pick ‘Squints’ from The Sandlot. Good pick!”
* My Pacers pick … Paul George, SF, Fresno State. Umm … OK. We already have Danny Granger. I like George and think he’ll be a good player, but Indy had so many other needs, namely shooting guard, power forward and point guard. Maybe they made this pick for somebody else.
* New Orleans picks … Cole Aldrich, C, Kansas. Again, did they really need a center? Especially one who can’t really slide over to the four? The Hornets needed help up front, but I was thinking more in the form of a power forward who can back up David West, play D and play a couple of positions. Aldrich is a true center and nothing else. But he is a really good defender, so it’s not the worst pick in the Lottery. Fran Fraschilla just said Aldrich “is not going to be a great NBA player.” They’ve gotta ask Cole about that in his interview …
* WOW. Right after Fraschilla dogged Aldrich, it says Aldrich’s favorite TV personality is … Fran Fraschilla. Maybe he appreciates his honesty.
* Ric Bucher just reported that Cole and Mo Pete will be traded to OKC for the Thunder’s first-round picks (21, 26).
* Memphis picks … Xavier Henry, SG, Kansas. My cousin: “Zah-vee-ay?!? What happened to Xavier?” I don’t know. Bilas says Zah-vee-ay has “excellent length.” That’s what she said. Then Bilas says Zah-vee-ay is “somewhat left-handed.” I think this means O.J. Mayo is definitely being groomed to play point guard.
* Toronto picks … Ed Davis, PF, North Carolina. Another skinny lefty power forward full of potential. Sounds familiar.
* I would seriously murder one of these hip-hop gerbils for a cheeseburger right now. I’m deathly hungry.
* Houston picks … Patrick Patterson, PF, Kentucky. I was thinking they’d go with a center, but remember that Luis Scola is a free agent this summer. Patterson has always been in somebody’s shadow, from playing next to super-hyped O.J. Mayo in high school to playing with John Wall and crew at Kentucky, but he’s really good. I think he’ll surprise a lot of people with how effective he is in the League.
* Milwaukee picks … Larry Sanders, PF, VCU. The first guy who is not in the building. The Bucks needed a big man who can play defense, so this was a good pick.
* Minnesota picks … Luke Babbitt, SF/PF, Nevada. The Wolves hope he doesn’t repeat as the Wack Player of the Year. Get it? Never mind …
* Chicago picks … Kevin Seraphin, PF, France. The same fans who chanted “U-S-A!” when the Raptors picked are booing the international kid. David Stern was already laughing before he read the card, expecting to butcher the name. From the highlight video we learn that Seraphin can dunk when nobody is guarding him, and block shots when nobody is looking.
* Oklahoma City picks … Eric Bledsoe, PG, Kentucky. Kevin Durant does a quick interview beforehand, then immediately jumps back on Twitter or whatever he’s doing.
* Trade rumor/report: Ryan Gomes and Luke Babbitt from Minnesota to Portland for Martell Webster. Good move for the Wolves (if it’s true) who could use a shooter, but between Webster, Wes Johnson and Corey Brewer, that’s a lot of small forwards.
* Boston picks … Avery Bradley, PG, Texas. If you see somebody twitching and foaming at the mouth on the MSG floor right now, it’s Dime’s Aron Phillips. He’s a huge Celtics fan, and Bradley is probably his favorite college player.
* San Antonio picks … James Anderson, SG, Oklahoma State. GREAT pick for the Spurs, who needed a shooter (though they also could have used a big man) and got one of the best college players in the nation after he slipped farther than expected.
* Bucher reports that Eric Bledsoe is being traded to the Clippers.
* Oklahoma City picks … Craig Brackins, PF, Iowa State.
* Portland picks … Elliot Williams, SG, Memphis. Good picks that I’ve been predicting for a while. Sorry, I’m elbow deep in McDonald’s right now.
* Minnesota picks … Trevor Booker, PF, Clemson. Love this guy. First senior off the board, and my pick to be the next underrated undersized big man who will make a real impact in the League. Except usually those guys get picked by playoff teams.
*Atlanta picks … Damion James, SF/PF, Texas.
* Memphis picks … Dominique Jones, SG, South Florida. One of the guys who was called a “sleeper” so much, he’s almost not a sleeper anymore. Stu Scott says Jones is a “Poppa’s boy” who talks to his Dad at least five times a day. I guess that means I’m a Poppa’s boy, too. And my Dad’s one of those where if you don’t pick up a couple times, the next time it’s, “Where were you? Why didn’t you pick up?”
* Oklahoma City picks … Quincy Pondexter, SF, Washington. I don’t understand how Pondexter has a father named “Roscoe” whose basketball nickname is “Bonecrusher,” and yet his only nickname is the tragically lame “Q-Pon.”
* Forget my bragging about the Brackins-to-OKC pick. He’s been traded to the Hornets. But that’s a good move for them. Like I said, they need a versatile four who can put the ball in the basket.
* New Jersey picks … Jordan Crawford, SG, Xavier. And apparently he’s being traded to the Hawks for Damion James. Good move for ATL, who needs some insurance in case Joe Johnson leaves.
* Memphis picks … Greivis Vasquez, PG, Maryland. And the Venezuelans are going NUTS. Good pick for a team that needs some depth at point guard. First highlight on the video is Vasquez making Duke’s Kyle Singler fall down on a crossover, which MD fans of course love. I agree with the ESPN crew: I like when guys like Vasquez don’t do the too-cool-for-school thing and have raw emotional reactions to getting drafted. That’s the footage you want to show kids who dream of going to the League.
* Orlando picks … Daniel Orton, C, Kentucky. Three points, three rebounds, 13 minutes a night … and he’s getting first-round money while somebody like Jerome Randle will have to fight and scrap to make a roster. That’s how it is when you’re tall and appear very talented.
* That clip of Orton messing up his commercial spots, while funny, might have just killed his potential endorsement career.
* With the last pick in the first round, Washington picks … Lazar Hayward, SF, Marquette. Everybody loves seniors at the end of the first round. I’m shocked Hassan Whiteside hasn’t been picked yet. Not that the Wizards necessarily need another young springy center, but still.
* Interview with Stan Van Gundy, who seems really excited to get Daniel Orton but whom I feel will blow a few vocal chords screaming at Orton next season. Is the Orton pick a slap in the face to Marcin Gortat?
* New Jersey picks … Tibor Pleiss, C, Germany. Tibor is going to the Hawks. Seven-footer put up 8 and 5 last season, and his highlight tape was shot at one of Germany’s best YMCA’s.
* Miami picks … Dexter Pittman, C, Texas. Bilas: “You wonder whether the game is a little too fast for Dexter.” That was the nicest way he had of saying Pittman is fat.
* My guy Hassan Whiteside is pulling a reverse DeAndre Jordan. A couple years ago, Jordan went into his freshman college season with a ton of hype, almost completely fell off the map at Texas A&M, and slipped into the second round. Whiteside had zero hype coming out of high school, shot up the mock drafts like a rocket, and was supposed to be a Lottery pick before slipping into the second round.
* Sacramento picks … Hassan Whiteside, C, Marshall. Finally. Although he’ll find a hard time getting minutes behind Sam Dalembert, DeMarcus Cousins and Jason Thompson. I wonder if Sacramento trades this pick later on.
* Trade: Memphis sends Dominique Jones to the Mavs for cash.
* Portland picks … Armon Johnson, PG, Nevada.
* Washington picks … Nemanja Bjeclica, PF, Serbia. Do I really have to how learn to spell this one by heart for Smack?
* Detroit picks … Terrico White, SG, Ole Miss. Great shooter, but smallish for a two.
* Milwaukee picks … Darrington Hobson, SG, New Mexico. Great slasher, but skinny for an NBA player. Two guys who will almost definitely be better college players than pros. But if you could combine them, you’d have quite a player.
* And now the Knicks are on the clock. It’s all gonna be a letdown from here, so we’ll slow down on the pick-by-pick analysis and check in with regular updates instead.
* New York picks … Andy Rautins, SG, Syracuse. Total hometown pick. Not that Rautins isn’t a deadly shooter who knows how to play, but I don’t even think a lot of people had him being drafted. Did I just hear that Leo Rautins has a gigantic tattoo on his ribcage? He’s like 60 years old, right?
* New York picks … Landry Fields, SF, Stanford. The crowd is only booing because the West Coast time difference means they have no idea who Fields is. But as a Pac-10 fan, I can tell you the kid is nice. He was probably the best pure scorer in the Pac-10.
* While the broadcast was on commercial, my Pacers took Lance Stephenson, SG, Cincinnati. Basketball-wise and business-wise, it makes a ton of sense. Lance has first-round talent, but if he doesn’t work out, Indy isn’t committed to him for first-round money. The Pacers need a two-guard and they need somebody who can create his own shot. Lance can help them out. That’s kind of a letdown that they didn’t shot the Lance pick on TV. He may have been in the building and he’s a New York guy, so the crowd would have had some kind of reaction.
* My man Jarvis Varnado (C, Mississippi State) gets scooped up by the Heat, then Miami picks Da’Sean Butler (SF, West Virginia). Everybody knows Varnado can block shots, but he’s not really center size and doesn’t have much of an offensive game. Butler would have gone in the first round if he didn’t wreck his knee in the Final Four.
* Tom Penn reminds us that if Miami trades Mike Beasley, they can potentially sign three max-contract guys. In other words, Beasley is getting traded any day now.
* The Lakers just got better. Devin Ebanks (SF, West Virginia) might never be an impact player, or he could become the next Trevor Ariza. Low-risk, high-reward pick for the defending champs.
* Milwaukee took Jerome Jordan (C, Tulsa), the classic guy who probably should have gone pro a couple years earlier than he did when he was getting first-round buzz as a mysterious prospect. After giving scouts time to nit-pick his game, Jordan dropped. But he could be a late steal for the Bucks.
* Gani Lawal (PF, Georgia Tech) is another guy who could have been a first-rounder. Either he’s this year’s DeJuan Blair or we never hear from him again. If Mike D’Antoni were still coaching the Suns he’d have no chance, but Alvin Gentry actually uses his bench.
* With the 48th pick Miami gets Latavious Williams, a small forward who would have been a freshman in college this year but went to the D-League instead after flirting with the idea of going to China.
* Projected Lottery pick (or at least first-rounder) Solomon Alabi (C, Florida State) finally gets picked at No. 50 by Dallas. Before the college season started I wrote a column saying Alabi could be the next Hasheem Thabeet. And the fact that I still might be right isn’t a compliment to Alabi.
* The Celtics picking Luke Harangody (PF, Notre Dame) is just corny. Did they need the White Big Baby? Not really. But he played for the Irish and they’re the Celtics.
* The Oklahoma Sooners get the collective “Stay In School, It’s Your Best Move” award. Willie Warren (PG/SG) and Tiny Gallon (C/PF) fell into the second round when they could have stayed in Norman, showed more of their game next season and increased their chances of getting a guaranteed contract.