Well, as I've chronicled through the years, my favorite night of the year, every year, is NBA Draft night. Last June, I had the distinct pleasure of of attending the Draft, and that night remains as the greatest night of my life (even better than when I lost my virginity). This year, I dropped the ball and didn't realize I could apply for a press pass through the New York Sun until the deadline had passed. It was unclear if the editors would let me do that anyways, but I should have been more proactive.
But even though I'm not going doesn't mean I haven't been paying attention to the pre-draft chatter. Now, we all know it's likely Derek Rose will be going No. 1 to Chicago, but after that anything could happen. The presumptive No. 2 choice is Michael Beasley, but who knows what team he'll be playing for. I hate having to make picks for the draft because it's really difficult given how many trades could possibly go down. Think about last year, you had two huge blockbusters, one of which directly affected the NBA Finals (Ray Allen going from Seattle to Boston). You also had a fat person/thug from Michigan State coming to the Knicks (Zach Randolph).
I'm not going to take you through a mock draft (because there are plenty of sites that have their own that are probably far more accurate. If you're curious you can go here, here, here, here, or here. Instead I'd rather go through some of the endless trade possibilities I've heard in the days leading up to this draft. So here you go:
1) Miami: Everyone who thought Michael Beasley joining Dwayne Wade and Shawn Marion in South Beach should reconsider. Apparently Pat Riley is less than enthused with Beasley's defense and ability to handle the Miami scene. Apparently, Riles is a huge O.J. Mayo fan and he's not likely to make it past No. 3 and Minnesota. The big news coming from Miami, though, is its interest in Elton Brand and his expiring deal. The Clips really like Mayo, so I wouldn't be surprised to see a swap along the lines of Shawn Marion and the No. 2 pick for Elton Brand and the No. 7 pick.
2) Baron Davis and the Pistons: It's been announced loud and clear by Joe Dumars that something is going to change within Detroit's core, but no one is really sure what at this point. They initially went after Carmelo, apparently offering Chauncey Billups and Tayshaun Prince in the deal. The Nuggets didn't bite (wise move in my opinion). Now there are rumors trickling out about the Baron (Davis that is) going to the 'Stones. I'm reading reports that say Chauncey and Rasheed for Baron. Hopefully, I'll get out to that pick up soccer game later today and ask the man myself about all the hubbub.
3) Jermaine O'Neal: Everyone knows he isn't happy in Indiana, but those same people also realize he's probably not anywhere near the player he used to be. But look at his player card, the guy has been through a lot (Portland during the Stoudamire, Rasheed Jail Blazer days, the Palace brawl, playing for Isiah in Indiana) and he's still only 31. I would be ecstatic if the Wizards could somehow get him, but that's really, really unlikely. The team getting mentioned the most is the Cavs, so O'Neal could play second fiddle to LeBron. Not sure how it could work considering Jermaine's contract, but the Cavs do have expiring contracts with Eric Snow and Wally Sczcerbiak that they might be able to pawn off. Something tells me Jermaine has been dogging it the past couple years and the jolt of playing with the King would do wonders for his motivation.
4) Zach Randolph to just about anyone who wants him: I've heard there's a possibility the Pistons might be interested in him, and that would probably involve a straight salary dump. The Knicks and the new regime of Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni want to get rid of all the excess contracts that Isiah took on over the past few years. Apparently, they are also interested in T.J. Ford, and Randolph could work in Toronto as a complementary bruiser to Chris Bosh.
5) Memphis: As we all know after he got fleeced in the Pau Gasol deal, Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace is probably open to just about anything, even if its so lopsided. Plus, because of the Gasol trade, he's got a ton of mid-high first round draft picks over the next few years. Rumor has it they want to trade down from No. 5, while also getting rid of Brian Cardinal's deal. I've also read Mike Miller and Mike Conley are the two most likely to get packaged in that deal. I'm going to take a wild stab and say they do trade this pick.
That's my best stab at this. I think something is going to go down tomorrow night, but I'm not sure if it will be something major like last year. I wouldn't hold my breath on the Baron or Jermaine deal happening, but the other three remain real possibilities in my mind. We'll have to see tomorrow. I wish I was going to be there live, but I'm still looking forward to the best draft in all of sports.