Friday, June 25, 2004

Draft Thoughts

meh. that's it. just......meh.

After being brow-beaten with trade rumors, like last year....there was just draft picks, like last year. Especially after the deal for Phoenix's #7 pick, I was expecting at least one or two veterans to be heading to Chicago by today. But looking at it as simply draft picks, getting Gordon at 3 and lucking out with Deng at 7....that's not bad. That's basically as good as it can get.

Mixed feelings abound . Like I said yesterday, I'm not sure a Gordon-Hinrich backcourt can last defensively. And couple that with Deng's supposed unathleticism, a scoring wing player could torch the Bulls. But that is assuming Deng is going to be relied upon heavily, which he shouldn't. This offseason (and tradeseason) should still be looking for a defensive-minded 3. Since Deng has been praised for his maturity and background it has been masking the fact that he is still only 19. He won't be starting this season.

I wanted Iguodala at #3 instead of Gordon, but I also wanted Michael Pietrus last year instead of Hinrich. So I am willing to give Paxson the benefit of the doubt here. As much as wing defense was needed, scoring was perhaps needed even more. When Jalen Rose was shipped out, it was the green light for Jamal Crawford to be the primary scorer on the team. He didn't come through, so hopefully Gordon can help him out.

Or will Crawford even be around? I am guessing that Crawford will either be signed to an exorbitant offer sheet by teams under the cap like the Bobcats, Hawks, or Nuggets. And there's always the possibility of a sign-and-trade. Maybe that's the way Paxson gets his wing defender.

And then there's the character issue. All the talk today has been about the Paxson-Skiles mold. Getting character guys from big-time programs with maturity and hard work ethic and all that garbage. As much as the organization feels burned by malcontents like Curry and Crawford, I am hoping Paxson still is going for talent over anything else. Don't draft Luol Deng over Iguodala because Deng developed maturity escaping from war-torn Sudan or learned how to be an upstanding young man from Coach K. Draft him because you think Deng is *better*. 

You know who was a mature guy from a big-time program? Jay Williams. And before he went Evil Knievel on us, he turned out to be a spoiled brat who couldn't handle the NBA life. So I am hoping Paxson isn't putting too much stock into the character issue.

So all in all, I'm pleased. Kindof. Maybe. At the least the Bulls got 2 guys that should help soon, and are 'assets' (the buzzword of the week) that can possibly be moved for a star. The team still has holes, but Crawford may be dealt and there's still free agency.

Notice I haven't mentioned Chris Duhon. Well, if he beats out Jannero Pargo in camp, more power to him. Oh I forgot, Duhon has 'court-savy'. Why does my hometown team have to be "Duke, the pro years"????

And when you're watching the Draft and you see Xenophobe Dick Vitale (I don't think ESPN got those letters I sent last year) giving your team an A++++++, its hard to get that excited.  I'll have more on that guy next week.