A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
A Quiet Night For The NBA in New York
NEW YORK– The night began with the Chicago Bulls selecting Memphis stud point guard, Derrick Rose and then the Miami Heat (Pat Riley) came to their collective senses and selected Kansas State beast forward, Michael Beasley.
Once the Minnesota Timberwolves took USC guard O.J. Mayo the draft went a little haywire and without much buzz and anticipated. UCLA big man Kevin Love was taken by the Memphis Grizzlies with the No. 5 pick and his college teammate, Russell Westbrook went to the Seattle Sonics.
Love and Mayo were later in the night traded for one another along with other goodies.The New York Knicks took to the International scene and grabbed, multi faceted forward, Danilo Gallinari of Milan (Italy).
New coach Mike D’Antoni and President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh are looking to change the complexion (no pun intended) of the team.D’Antoni who was a teammate and roommate for overeight years with Gallinari’s father, Vittorio is looking to have playmakers and or scorers at every position.
There was tons of talk that the Knicks would pick up a point guard in the draft but as Walsh stated regarding Gallinari, “he’s an unusual package for his size”, and thus he was just too good to pass up on.
Popular reserve forward David Lee will more than likely be traded before training camp starts for a point guard. There was some talk that the Knicks and the Charlotte Bobcats had discussions on a Lee for Raymond Felton trade.
Felton is a young and tantalizing point guard that would be able to run D’Antoni’s high octane offense and thus make Gallinari’s NBA transition much easier. Stephon Marbury would probably be bought out or traded outright if that were to happen as there would be no need to keep both around.
Felton at age 24 is the absolute goods!
The two players that took drastic falls in the draft were Arizona’s combo guard Jerryd Bayless and Kansas’s power forward Darrell Arthur.Coincidently both of their rights were traded away from the teams that selected them.
Bayless fell to pick No. 11 and was tagged by the Indiana Pacers and later traded to the Portland Trailblazers while Arthur fell all the way down to the 27th pick and was grabbed by the New Orleans Hornets.
Arthur who fell so far because of a falsely suspected kidney problem was traded to the Blazers also.Both players will have chips on their shoulders after the draft night festivities. Especially Bayless who was talked about possibly going as high as the fourth pick.
Either or, all of these players, fans and front office personnel will have to be patient before they reap the real benefits from this class. There was a recordseven freshman and a young Italian player (19 years old) selected in the Lottery (the first 14 selections).
Let the growing pains begin.
For all the lofty trade rumors and innuendos leading up to the Draft the only ones of significants that went down were the New Jersey Nets trading Richard Jefferson to the Milwaukee Bucks for Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons.
And another speculated trade between the Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors involving T.J. Ford and Jermaine O’Neal exchanging passports went down the day before.