Draft 2008: The Atlantic Divison
While I liked the Raptors deal, they really should have gone with the Gerald Wallace for TJ Ford deal. Wallace would be the perfect SF to team with Bargnani and could salvage Andrea's career while the Raptors also could have held onto their pick and perhaps grabbed someone like Roy Hibbert, Donte Green, or Nicolas Batum.
The Good: Nathan Jawai comes over to be the new backup big man for Toronto.
The Bad: Jawai never comes over and Jermaine O'Neal gets injured. Chris Bosh gets more and more frustrated.
My Guess: I'm not holding my breath on Jawai and while I like Jermaine O'Neal in Toronto, I just don't think he's going to be good enough to really make much of a difference. They still are a notch below the cream of the crop.
The Good: Mareese Speights is the next Al Jefferson.
The Bad: Mareese Speights is the next Robert Traylor.
My Guess: I don't mind the Speights pick. The Sixers might have wanted to look to trade down or grab Batum in order to work a deal with Portland or San Antonio but if no trade was out there, it makes some sense to take a flyer on the talented but underenthused Speights. It's about 40/60 against him ever working hard enough to fulfill his potential but he should, at the very least, be a servicable big body off the bench for the next five years.
New York Knicks
The Good: Danilo Gallinari blossoms into a great all-around player, kind of like a rich man's Mike Dunleavy Jr.
The Bad: Like his countrymate Bargnani, Gallinari struggles to find his niche and ends up being a Vladimir Radmanovic type.
My Guess: I really didn't like this pick for the Knicks. Gallinari is a player whom you have to build around. He's a 'tweener forward and requires a Gerald Wallace or Josh Smith type alongside him to cover up his defensive issues. The Knicks don't have that and may never get it. Danilo has potential but I think there were a number of prospects with higher ceilings or would have been better foundations for a rebuilding team.
New Jersey Nets
The Good: Yi Jianlian lives up to the hype and becomes a great running mate for Devin Harris and Vince Carter. Brook Lopez, Ryan Anderson, and Chris Douglas-Roberts all become the type of players that LeBron James wants as a supporting cast.
The Bad: Lopez is soft and only a slight upgrade from Jason Collins, Ryan Anderson is Kirk Haston, and CDR's unorthodox style wows the fans... in Europe. LeBron actually learns to appreciate Soulja Boy's music.
My Guess: Brook Lopez should be a Bogut/Kaman level player for me; a person with solid skills who can put up good numbers but probably shouldn't be in your team's core if you want to win. Chris Douglas-Roberts should pan out to be a solid shooting guard off the bench. He'll likely be sitting next to Yi who I'm just not sold on. Ryan Anderson will be a rich man's Scalabrine at best for New Jersey. My biggest issue with the Nets is that they ended up getting less for Richard Jefferson than Indiana got for an aging Jermaine O'Neal. Seeing that the Kings wanted Jason Thompson, I really think they would have been down with my proposed Artest, #12 for Jefferson, #21 deal. I thought the Nets really could have made some noise this offseason but after draft night, I'll be surprised if they can work another big deal to add any talent. I'm not sure they make the playoffs next season.
The Good: The C's grabbed two superb talents with question marks. JR Giddens will hopefully get his head on straight since he'll be around KG, Pierce, and Ray Allen while Bill Walker recuperates and blossoms into a James Posey type player. Semih Erdeh gets to tell his family that he was drafted by the NBA champs.
The Bad: JR Giddens doesn't get his head on straight and the C's waste a roster spot on a malcontent who makes people pine for the days of Tony Allen. The C's wants Bill Walker to play overseas but he refuses, forcing the Celtics, who don't want another rookie taking up a roster spot, to waive him. He goes to another team and blossoms. Thinking they are now best friends, Semih Erdeh puts the Big Three in his fave 5 and calls them night and day.
My Guess: Giddens develops into a useful role player but never completely shakes his personality issues. The Celtics hold onto Walker but he doesn't do much next year. He becomes a solid role player but his knee issues prevent him from becoming more than that.