Thursday, May 27, 2004

3's Company

It could've gone better, but it also could've gone worse, as the Chicago Bulls last night landed the third overall pick in this June's draft. And as we all can assume, that means either drafting Duke SF Luol Deng, or trading the pick. I've said all along I want that pick gone to some team ready for more youngins, but drafting Deng wouldn't be a bad choice, because at the very least he fills a need. But My Man Sam(TM) isn't impressed:

Look, he's a nice player, about 6 feet 8 inches and a small forward, which is one of many unfilled positions for the Bulls. He can shoot some and play some defense. He's unselfish and has a sense of the game. But he's an incremental improvement. He's not a slasher to beat someone off the dribble, a requirement for the pro game. Is he better than Mike Dunleavy? Probably not. Wally Szczerbiak? Probably not yet. Though Deng looks like he would do well over time, could he use a teammate who can be double-teamed? Sure.

Admittedly I haven't watched enough Dukie basketball to get a decent assessment on Deng's 'slashing' abilities, but it sure sounds like Smith is pigeonholing Deng a little too early.

Meanwhile, on the happier end of the lottery, the Orlando Magic get the #1 pick, and are gonna draft Emeka Okafor. McGrady sees a young Alonzo Mourning (although I don't) and stays with the team, saving the franchise. And after this first sense of good fortune in months, Orlando Magic Fan is back!