The NBA Draft is scheduled for tonight and it has become obvious there is no consensus top choice in this year’s draft. Any one of three players, Adam Morrison, LaMarcus Aldridge, Andrea Bargnani could go number one. However, it’s doubtful any team will improve dramatically with these players, as all three are nowhere near ready to make an immediate impact in the NBA.
There's a great debate in this NBA Draft. Forget the talk about the talent level being down or there being no clear-cut top pick, unlike the Dwight Howards and Yao Mings of recent crops. This is about finding guys to plug into existing systems.
In case you missed this past season, the game has changed. Teams have to be versatile and sleek. A jumper is a handy weapon a la Western Conference Champs Dallas Mavericks.
Of the four teams that reached the conference championships, only Miami had the luxury of a true post presence, and you saw how limited Shaquille O'Neal was by the new rules.
So, with that said, who is the best pick: Washington's Brandon Roy, Connecticut's Rudy Gay or Gonzaga's Adam Morrison?
The answer depends on your drafting philosophy. Do you go for promise or productivity? Take the sure thing or gamble?
This draft will certainly not be confused with the ’03 edition of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony. Still, there are a few players that will make early impressions on their new teams, namely Brandon Roy and Marcus Williams.
The following choices are what I think the top five teams (General Managers) SHOULD DO, rather than what will eventually happen.
1) Toronto: (200-1): The Raptors recently hired a new Vice President in Maurizio Gherardini, who also takes over the role of Assistant General Manager. Gherardini coached Andrea Bargnani for Benetton Treviso in the Italian League, so expect Toronto to select the seven-foot forward with the top pick.
2) Chicago: (40-1): Since the Bulls are already a playoff squad, they should build on their success and take the player most ready to step in: Washington's Brandon Roy. Chicago also has the 16th pick where they can pick up a big man.
3) Charlotte: (200-1): The Hornets select Connecticut’s Rudy Gay with the third pick. The 6’9" forward has a habit of disappearing at crunch time in big games, but has tons of potential with his quickness and defensive skills.
4) Portland: (300-1): There’s only one possible choice and that’s Adam Morrison. The Washington native will be able to score in this league, but 75% of his all-around game, especially the defensive side, is a question mark.
5) Atlanta: (200-1): With a host of scorers and shooters, the Hawks need someone to distribute the ball and there’s no better point guard in the draft than the Huskies’ Marcus Williams.