I say this every single time I write here, but it has been way too long.
Something's have changed since the last time I was here:
Such as Anthony Davis is a Laker (not officially), having a near-death experience (car accident), and I get a slightly different hair cut.
Somethings haven't changed:
Such as Colin Cowherd still talking nonsense about the Browns, Stephen A. Smith is still (seemingly) on every ESPN platform at the same time, and Lavar Ball is still talking crazy (aside from a seven-ish month hiatus when LeBron had to have done something to quiet him).
Speaking of the Ball Family. I'd be willing to bet that we will be hearing plenty from Lavar come the 2020 NBA Draft. Unlike Gucci sun glass thief, LiAngelo Ball, LaMelo Ball will be a lottery pick a year from now.
Enough of them for now. Enough of them forever depending on who you ask. Jeff Goodman actually apologized for how much he covered them initially.
6:45 - Okay, can we talk about the early trade movement? Usually things unravel as the draft begins, but not this year! Minnesota has traded Dario Saric and the number eleven pick to Phoenix for the sixth overall pick:
Atlanta got the fourth pick for the eighth, seventeenth, and thirty-fifth picks.
What a move! Atlanta gets to bolster their young core of Trae Young, John Collins and Kevin Huerter with a top four pick. My early thought is they will get another guard to pair with Trae, but who knows. Sorry Kevin.
Now to the official start of the diary.
7:00 - Welcome to the 2019 NBA Draft, Draft Diary: Volume Three!
7:04 - It's still crazy that we have all these moves before the draft even started. Also Woj wasn't on the main desk last year, right? I mean he's gonna be on his phone the whole night. Is watching Woj answer his phone on live TV good TV? It might be. I mean this was funny.
7:06 - Rece Davis asking Woj if he's gonna tweet during the draft is like asking Jay Bilas if he's gonna say wingspan over and over tonight.
(Note: if you dare to play the Jay Bilas drinking game during the draft then please don't drink and drive. He is very aware that the drinking game is a thing and he will say something along the lines of, "Tip it back, people, wingspan.")
7:07 - Okay, so Woj won't be on the main stage the whole night. Probably the right call. Even though he did a live show when The Vertical was a thing. According to various people I follow on Twitter.com; it was a very good show.
7:10 - Little Zion package being shown. When was the last time a college basketball player was only referred to by their first name. The initial nicknames don't count (KD, AD). Off the top of my head it might be Jimmer. Yeah this guy:
Also peep the line at 2:37. These were the days before KD pretended to be an egg on Twitter. What a time to be alive!
7:11 - That block may be one of the greatest of all time. That's not hyperbole.
Chill Cavs fans! I know this is still a thing:
7:15 - It's cool that Zion and RJ Barrett are such good friends. How insane would it have been to face an AAU team that had Zion and Ja Morant on it? That's scary stuff.
7:18 - The lining of Ja's and RJ's jackets are cool. Ja with family and Murray State and RJ with a Canadian flavor. TheRinger.com's Draft Guide (which is amazing by the way) says he has shades of Jalen Rose, alpha Andrew Wiggins, Harrison Barnes and Rudy Gay. RJ clearly showed his alpha characteristics during his season at Duke. Granted, usually it was driving to the rim and taking a crappy shot instead of trying to get the ball to Zion, but that's just details.
7:24 - Players in attendance are being introduced. It's crazy how nowadays everyone has some crazy outfit because they are fully aware how many eyes are watching. Gone are the days of this:
Did you know that he also had a lime green suit as an option? He told a story on his podcast one day about it and he went with the suit he ultimately wore because he thought he was going to be drafted by the Clippers. How about that? He even wore the suit last year on ESPN's Get Up!
Not sure if it was baggy enough.
7:26 - Tyler Herro is an amazing name. Imagine if he makes a clutch shot while playing 'hero ball'. Man those stories would right themselves.
7:29 - Can this thing start already? I have to be at work in twelve hours.
7:32 - Nothing against Forrest Whitaker, but you could have gotten someone better for a quick narration, right? That wasn't exactly aw-inspiring.
7:34 - It's absolutely hysterical that Adam Silver gets a nice reception. David Stern got the boos. And actually encouraged them:
And Roger Goodell. Ha, Roger Goodell. Too easy though:
7:36 - Rece beat me to it. This shouldn't take too long for Zion to be picked by New Orleans. Although it's been a while since we knew who the first pick would be as soon as the lottery was over. Yeah we've known who the first overall pick will be before Adam Silver made it to the podium, but I'm talking when there's one guy and everyone else. The last time was probably the other time the Pelicans had the number one overall pick.
I like Zion's look. He doesn't need a tie.
7:38 - Marty Smith is the best. I love how much energy he brings to live TV:
Even though he isn't perfect.
7:39 - Marty is crowd surfing in New Orleans. I don't know if there will be a live shot tonight that can beat that.
7:41 - Zion is officially the first overall pick. As we have known since.. like December. He wasn't the top recruit out of high school and was actually the third ranked prospect among the guys Duke had. They had four guys at the McDonald's game so they were fine:
7:43 - Can't hate on the raw emotion we're getting from Zion. Even knowing he was going to be the top pick for at least a few months. That's great to watch.
7:44 - The draft hats suck, okay. There I said it:
@ me bro @TheLanceMorris
7:46 - Is Zion instantly the biggest star in New Orleans? I mean overall like if you were to include the Saints in that discussion. Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara and Mike Thomas are all amazing players, but football players are just not the same level of star as their NBA counterparts. I think it's an interesting conversation.
7:47 - Memphis officially takes Ja Morant as the second overall pick. No surprise his favorite player growing up was Russell Westbrook. He's a much more natural point guard than Russ, but man this kid is explosive. If he has a consistent jumper he will easily be an all-star, and being an all-star guard in the Western Conference is super hard.
7:49 - The hat choice by his father is stunning to say the least.
7:51 - Emotion from Ja too. People do forget that these guys are human.
7:52 - Bobby Marks says the Knicks need everything. Starters and bench. He's not wrong.
The Knicks officially take RJ Barrett as the third overall pick. I loved what I saw out of RJ before he even got to Duke. There was a lot to like. He was the top player coming out of high school.
Just watch this and you'll see why:
7:53 - Wingspan, people. Again, be careful.
7:56 - More emotion. He kept it together for a a minute before his dad walked up. Love it. I don't know if he gave himself the 'Maple Mamba' nickname. (If he did that's a major fine) But that would be the ultimate best case scenario for him.
7:58 - It's only a little awkward seeing the State Farm commercials with James Harden and Chris Paul after everything that's been said about that situation this week:
8:00 - I say it every year and I will say it once again. I hate, absolutely hate, that we have to go through this charade of saying a player is picked by X when really they have been traded to Y. The player has to go up there and put on a different hat and take all these pictures with it. Why can't this be changed?
8:00 - The Lakers, no actually the Hawks take De'Andre Hunter with the fourth pick overall. Dude was a monster at Virginia. What more can you say about them other than when he was hurt they lost to UMBC in a historic upset. With him they won a National Title. Enough said:
8:07 - The Cavs go with Darius Garland from Vanderbilt. I gotta say I didn't see much of him because of his injury. But in high school he was a dog. Good on the Cavs for taking, who in their eyes, was the best guy available even though they drafted Collin Sexton in the top ten a year ago.
Maybe they can play together. In the Finals we saw big stretches where Toronto played Kyle Lowry and Fred Vanvleet together and they are both smaller players. Garland is 6'2 and Sexton is 6'2 as well. Portland does a similar style with Dame Lillard and C.J. McCollum and they seemed to play well this season until Lillard got banged up in the Western Conference Finals.
8:08 - Um, what the hell is he wearing? I don't have words:
8:14 - Yeah, Coby White does have the best hair in the draft. At least of the guys there. Not much comp in that regard.
8:15 - The Suns, sigh, the Timberwolves go with Jarrett Culver from Texas Tech as the sixth overall pick. Dang his family is impressive. Dad's a preacher and his brother was an awesome high jumper. This guy made Texas Tech a good basketball team. Let's call a spade a spade, you haven't gave a damn about Texas Tech basketball maybe ever. If you ever did give it a thought it was when Bobby Knight was there for a hot sec:
8:18 - It's a good thing Jarrett wasn't wasting his time playing football. He might have gotten hurt! It's always great to hear strong faith on display from both him and his father.
8:19 - Oh, great. The Bulls. Ugh, I'm tired of the Bulls. They've been a giant dumpster fire the last few years. That's exactly how you pick seventh for three straight years.
8:21 - The Bulls take Coby White from North Carolina as the seventh overall pick. He was fun to watch with UNC. UNC was overlooked heavy this year (in my eyes) with all the hype in the ACC with Duke and with Virginia being as good as they were:
He's gonna be a solid guard in the league. The Bulls have enough good young guys now. How about you go out and do something. Psh, Jim Boylen. I mean this guy. The Bulls SB Nation site doesn't seem to be his biggest fan.
8:22 - Don't mess up the hair, Coby! This could happen:
8:24 - Maria Taylor is really good at her job. ESPN works her to death all over the place with Get Up!, things on the SEC Network, College Gameday, you name it she's been there. I wanted to make that thought known:
8:28 - Once again, the Hawks, no, the Pelicans are taking Jaxson Hayes the center from Texas. How am I just now learning he is from Cincinnati? (Moeller High School) This will allow Zion to play the four spot, but is that the right move? Maybe having Zion as the center would be the best move long term. Time will tell.
8:30 - Wingspan, Jay, this isn't nice:
8:32 - The Wizards are taking Rui Hachimura with the ninth overall pick. He was awesome last season at Gonzaga. Heck they gave Duke their first loss of the season. I think he would be an all-star... maybe if he plays in the year 2007.
I really don't think he's gonna be all that good. I just don't see it. It's awesome that he is the first guy from Japan to be drafted, but pioneers aren't always great. For every Dirk there's a Zaza. Get outta here, bum:
8:35 - Jay, we've been over this.
Also I don't see him being a Kawhi Leonard type player at all. That was who Chauncey Billups compared him to. His defense was never really all that good.
8:40 - The Hawks take Cam Reddish from Duke with the tenth pick. Ask one of the guys he played against in high school. Just about all of them will tell you Cam Reddish was 'cold' in high school. I think he was stifled having to play with Zion and RJ. I love him going to the Hawks. They are going to be so fun next season.
8:41 - Damn it, Jay.
8:44 - So trades can't go through because of the new league year rule? I mean that makes sense, but it's just so dumb to have someone go on stage with a team that they know they aren't being drafted by and they have to have all these memories with a team logo they aren't going to play for. I'm forever going to hate that.
THANK YOU, SOMEONE SAID IT:
8:46 - The Timberwolves, no the Suns, take Cameron Johnson eleventh overall. You have to hope he can become a good three and D guy. He can shoot. We know this, but can he do anything else? I would think getting anything else would be a plus. He can shoot in the league. They need a wing player. They traded T.J. Warren a few hours ago. Josh Jackson has been seen more trying to get in the V.I.P section than doing good things in an NBA Basketball game. They need all the help they can get.
8:47 - Jay, that's enough, I can't anymore.
8:52 - The Hornets go with PJ Washington from Kentucky as the twelfth overall selection. Death, taxes, and Kentucky having someone go in the lottery. They don't always have guys stick around for another season, but he was really good in Lexington. Jay just said he thinks he will be a solid pro and he took the words right out of my mouth. Probably won't ever be an all-star. That's fine. He'll be a nice player. He would probably be better on a team that's better than Charlotte. Especially if Kemba does wind up leaving:
8:55 - PJ throwing some shade on his dad saying his mom is a better shooter. Ha, I love it.
Also I think we've seen enough of Zion for one night. There's other players, ESPN. I know that seems crazy but it's true.
9:01 - The Miami Heat goes with Tyler Herro as the thirteenth pick overall. Back-to-back Kentucky guys. That's the most excited Drake has been since the parade where he celebrated like he was in the Raptors rotation. Herro could be a fun player. His favorite player is Devin Booker and you can see why after watching him for a few minutes. That's the best case for him:
9:02 - Does Jay Bilas make a Von Trap family reference at least once a year? I think so.
9:03 - The suit is fire:
9:04 - Maria Taylor putting Herro's watch into the camera was perfect. Love everything about it.
9:05 - The Celtics are up next because of the trade when the 76ers moved up to take Markelle Fultz two years ago. Fultz is now on my Orlando Magic. Safe to say the Celtics won that one. No Fultz slander will be tolerated here.
9:08 - The Celtics take Romeo Langford from Indiana with the fourteenth overall pick. He played hurt a good chunk of the season. He had a major injury with his thumb. That sounds painful. He could play a major role on the Celtics this coming season if all that people we think are leaving actually leave. Very interesting for sure.
9:11 - Just one question for Romeo? He didn't look all that enthusiastic too if we are being honest. If that's how he looks when he plays he will drive Bill Simmons insane.
9:12 - Rece, ya had to go with a Romeo joke huh:
9:15 - The Pistons go with Sekou Doumbouya as the fifteenth overall pick. He's been a pro since he was fifteen years old, and he is the fifteenth pick overall. How about that? I'll be honest that is about the extent of my knowledge on him.
9:16 - Hey, guess what? THE MAGIC ARE UP NEXT LET'S GO!
9:17 - In most of the mocks I saw the Magic were taking Tyler Herro (gone) and Nickeil Alexander-Walker. I would have to think the later would be the top option, but who the hell knows with the Magic.
9:19 - Yes, DJ Augustin won us a playoff game against the eventual NBA Champion Toronto Raptors in the first round, but we need a new point guard:
They probably won't take one anyway.
9:20 - Chuma Okeke from Auburn is the pick at sixteen. Terrific. A guy who's hurt and at a position we don't need. WE HAVE ENOUGH FORWARDS WHETHER VUC COMES BACK OR NOT AT CENTER. Who is he getting minutes over? AG? No. JI. No. I don't like this at all. The NBA is dominated by guards and the Magic don't have that many good ones, and no one who's even above average as of now.
9:23 - Can we take a player that isn't a complete project? Fultz is someone we hope can get himself together. Bamba was hurt a lot of last season and needs to develop a lot. Thank God that Issac played well after being hurt as a rookie. Still I'm going to be sick.
9:26 - The Nets, actually the Pelicans due to a trade, go with Nickeil Alexander-Walker from Virginia Tech at pick seventeen:
Hey you know who could have used a good guard?
9:27 - THE MAGIC. He can score, he can pass, is an alright defender. Hey Jeff (Jeff Weltman Orlando GM) the Pelicans have a three guard crew of Lonzo Ball, Jrue Holiday and now Nickeil Alexander-Walker. The Magic three guard crew is (hopefully) Fultz, Fournier and Augustin. I've loved a lot of what you've done but this ain't it.
9:30 - The Pacers go with Goga Bitadze from Georgia (the non college Georgia). His basketball idol is Zaza. He's gonna suck. Book it. You can't look up to Zaza and be good. These are facts.
9:32 - In case you didn't get enough. HERE'S MORE ZION!
9:36 - The Spurs go with Luka Samanic from Croatia with the nineteenth overall pick. Everything they say about him now will be everything I know about him. Sorry not sorry.
9:38 - The Spurs always seem to get the most out of foreign players. They seem to be Pop's type.
9:39 - I know he has question marks, but I'm still surprised Bol Bol is still out there. Yeah he's super skinny and only played a handful of games in college. I'm very aware. I think he could be a really good stretch five if he can get his body right. Yes, I know it's a big if. But we are now in the 20s. You can take a chance now. I mean who would want to go against this:
9:42 - Boston takes Matisse Thybulle from Washington at pick twenty, but he will be going to Philly in a trade. Bill Simmons loved his highlights and is probably crushed that he won't be wearing Celtic green. Great defender. If you get anything else that's a big plus. Good pick for the 76ers.
9:45 - (goes to check Twitter)
Hey, I got something right!
9:50 - OKC picks Brandon Clarke at pick twenty-one, but he will be going to Memphis in a trade. But isn't Jaren Jackson a true power forward? I'm sure Jackson could play the five. Although Jonas... Wait, how do you say his last name, Charles Barkley?
9:52 - Kind of crazy that Clarke started at San Jose State and transferred to Gonzaga. They always seem to win the transfer game.
9:54 - RJ Barrett now on the set. Did they not wanna talk to Ja or did I miss something?
9:58 - The Celtics take Grant Williams from Tennessee with the twenty-second pick. I'm surprised he was picked this late. Sam Vecenie of the Athletic loves him:
Shocking that the Celtics make a good pick late in the first round. Remember when they took Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo with back-to-back picks? That was something.
Nonetheless, I like Williams for the Celtics. He can play next to Jayson Tatum and is a good two way player.
10:03 - The Jazz are taking Darius Bazley with the twenty-third overall pick, but it's going to OKC. This was the guy that got an internship with New Balance and did that instead of going to college or the G League.
Apparently OKC likes to take guys that didn't go to college for whatever the reason. They drafted Terrance Ferguson who played overseas instead of going to college.
10:09 - The Sixers are taking Ty Jerome with the twenty-four overall pick, but they already made a trade and this pick is going to Boston. Wait, what. He's actually going to Phoenix. Another trade being made. They've needed a point guard since they traded all their point guards. At one point they had Isaiah Thomas, Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe all on the same team. Since then it's been a little rough. Solid guy to put next to Devin Booker. Well maybe.
10:17 - Portland takes Nassir Little with the twenty-fifth overall selection. It's about time. Little was by all accounts a top ten guy coming into the draft. Great addition to the Blazers. Helps the Blazers a ton.
10:18 - Can someone grab Bol Bol? Please?
10:20 - Jay, I care about you. Don't do this.
Ye approves.Jay Bilas says Maria Taylor's shoes don't match, she questions his fashion credentials pic.twitter.com/VRYEShWccG— Board Man Gets Paid (@cjzero) June 21, 2019
10:24 - Cleveland goes with Dylan Windler from Belmont as the twenty-sixth pick in the draft. I guess when you can't get LeBron you have to take a white small forward, right? (See Osman, Cedi). If one of the first things you bring up about a player is their golf trick shots then he might not be that good.
10:25 - "Does America drink when I say wingspan, or just when you say it?"
SEE THEY KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE DOING
10:31 - Brooklyn takes Mfiondu Kabengele with the twenty-seventh pick overall. But he will be going to the Clippers. Man, they really think they are getting KD & Kyrie. They are making so many deals to clear space. You know who didn't think about clearing space? I'll give you a moment.
10:33 - The Warriors are gonna take Carsen Edwards, right? It just makes too much sense for them not to.
10:38 - The Warriors, hey it's about time we mentioned them. They take Jordan Poole with the twenty-eighth pick overall. Well I got the position right. Poole was annoying to go against as a Buckeye fan. Always seemed to make the big shots when Michigan needed him. He'll get to learn from Steph and Klay (if he stays) and that would help him tremendously.
10:41 - Bol Bol, Kevin Porter and Carsen Edwards are all still out there. Edwards was projected to maybe sneak into the first round. Bol Bol and Porter were each supposed to be at least lottery guys if not just outside the lottery. It'll be very interesting to see where they wind up.
10:43 - The Spurs go with Keldon Johnson from Kentucky as the twenty-ninth overall pick. You know the Spurs will make this guy at least solid. Spurs gonna Spur. Oh, hey Spurs fans, any chance you miss this guy?
I hope you could hear that gif.
10:48 - The Bucks, the Bucks, man it took awhile to mention them too. They go with Kevin Porter to round out the first round. Although this pick is actually going to Cleveland. I really thought the Cave would take him with their other first round pick, but I guess they knew something I didn't and it worked out for them just fine.
I don't like draft grades but I do like saying what my perception was on what some teams did. It might work and it might not.
Here are the teams I thought had good nights and who didn't have a great night:
Good - New Orleans Pelicans
They get Zion and Nickeil Alexander-Walker. Having the number one pick helps, but it certainly looks like they maxed out what they could with their assets.
Bad - Orlando Magic
Guards are a thing. You can draft a guard in the first round. It is allowed. I hate them.
Good - Atlanta Hawks
They got De'Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish. If they are both healthy they will both be first team all-rookies. Enough said.
Bad - Washington Wizards
I don't think Rui is gonna be a difference maker.
Good - Boston Celtics
I would have liked had they kept Matisse Thybulle, but they got Romeo Langford and Grant Williams and I think they are at least going to be solid pros. (Update: they also got Carsen Edwards from Purdue. Yeah they're a winner tonight.)
Bad - Phoenix Suns
Just doesn't seem like they really know where they want to go. Cameron Johnson and Ty Jerome are alright. I don't know. I don't see Jerome being an amazing player and Johnson seems like he can only do one thing. That could be great for him or it can get him out of the league in a few years. They could have just went with Culver and didn't for whatever reason.
Well that will just about do it for me. Now to go see if the 2k servers are working...
The auction house hasn't worked right for a week. God forbid they update us and tell us why things aren't working.
Thank you as always for reading!! I appreciate it more than you know.