Saturday, June 28, 2008

All’s well that ends well

Arthur already over draft-night fiasco

Kansas' Darrell Arthur plays with a basketball at his table in the green room before the start of the first round of the NBA Draft. Arthur fell to the 27th pick of the first round and was traded three times before the night ended but said he was happy he landed in Memphis.

Kansas' Darrell Arthur plays with a basketball at his table in the green room before the start of the first round of the NBA Draft. Arthur fell to the 27th pick of the first round and was traded three times before the night ended but said he was happy he landed in Memphis.


Breaking down a confusing NBA Draft for Jayhawk fans

In last night's NBA Draft, Bill Self essentially sent a starting lineup to the NBA. However, Brandon, Darrell, Mario, Darnell, and Sasha will not play for the teams that originally drafted them. Here's the breakdown of a very confusing 2008 NBA Draft for the Rock Chalk Nation...

Darrell Arthur, one of the heroes of Kansas University's national championship victory over Memphis, was introduced to the media and public as a member of the NBA's Grizzlies on Friday in Tennessee.

The 6-foot-9, 225-pound forward from Dallas was asked at a news conference what he had to say to Memphis Tigers fans, still steamed that his 20-point, 10-rebound effort helped the Jayhawks to a 75-68 overtime victory in San Antonio.

"Don't hate me too much. I was just doing what I was told," Arthur said with a laugh.

"And I'm sorry."

He was in a jovial mood just hours after a painful NBA Draft in which he sat in the green room at Madison Square Garden and watched his name drop from the lottery to No. 27 overall because of a rumored kidney condition.

"I got selected by New Orleans, got traded to Portland, got traded to Houston, then got traded here," Arthur said of a wacky draft night.

"I really didn't want to go too far to Portland so this is the best possible thing for me. We have a young roster. I'm going to try to impact this team in a positive way."

Who knows where Arthur would have been selected had there not been a misunderstanding about his rumored kidney condition? What is known is he had an elevated reading on a kidney test conducted at the Orlando draft camp in early June.

Several teams heard about that test, but not about a test conducted Wednesday by the Washington Wizards, which reportedly showed no kidney problems for Arthur.

"In Orlando, I had the bloodwork done, and my kidney level was high. I was taking Claritin for my cold. They said that was probably the reason for it. I got bloodwork done in Washington the day before the draft, and everything came out fine. I thought everything would be fine. I thought the teams would have been notified about it, but I didn't know what was going on," Arthur said.

His agent, Jerry Hicks, gave his version to Luke Winn of Sports Illustrated. Hicks told that tests in Orlando had Arthur's blood containing higher than normal levels of creatine, which can indicate kidney failure or malfunction.

After Philadelphia expressed concern on June 24, Hicks had Arthur take another test Wednesday in Washington.

"We did the bloodwork on the morning of the 25th, and by noon, (the kidneys) were determined to be completely normal. I received a message from Washington - which is still saved in my voice mail in my office - that everything was normal. Philadelphia received word that things were normal. How this became an issue around the league is puzzling, to say the least," Hicks told Just two teams in the league knew the truth about Arthur, Hicks said.

Arthur wasn't blaming the NBA or his agent for not spreading the word about his kidney actually being fine.

KU coach Bill Self tried his best to help out Thursday night when frantically contacted by NBA teams who initially wanted to take Arthur.

"He shouldn't have fallen outside of 15, no way," said Self, aware the difference between guaranteed money of the top 15 and 27 picks is $1,118,000 over two years.

"I talked to NBA teams last night that were picking in the next three minutes saying, 'Bill, what's up? Can you give me stuff?' And we're talking to people and we're telling them who to call and all that stuff and we never saw any of the reports. We're saying, 'Call the Wizards. Call the Wizards. Call the Wizards,' because I was scrambling around trying to get information myself because this was unknown to me until the night before last."

That's because the durable Arthur had no kidney problems at KU.

"They (NBA general managers) said one minute before the draft, 'We can't take him, can't take him, our doctors won't let us take him,''' Self related. "That's sad because if that's not the case somebody really dropped the ball. I don't know what the reasoning was but I hope they had a valid one.

"It's sad for Shady and his family, but Memphis got a really good player in him. How often do you have a pick at 27 that would have a chance of starting in the NBA as a rookie?"

Memphis general manager Chris Wallace indeed gushed about Arthur at the news conference.

"In 1998, when I was working for the Boston Celtics we got lucky with another Kansas Jayhawk when Paul Pierce fell to us at No. 10," Wallace said. "I feel the same way to get Darrell to slide to the end of the first round.

"I know he wasn't very happy last night. His misfortune was our fortune. I think he'll profit for coming here. This community will embrace him with open arms.

"Darrell," Wallace added, looking at Arthur straight in the eyes, "sorry about what happened last night in a way, but kind of glad it did happen to you last night, all right?'''

That's because the Grizzlies are elated to have him aboard. Arthur said he is simply happy to be in the league after two years at KU. He's been a buddy of former USC guard O.J. Mayo, also acquired in the first round via trade, for years.

"I've been knowing O.J. since seventh grade, competing in AAU ball, playing for USA Basketball, hanging out with him over the years," Arthur said. "He's always been a great friend. We'll work as hard as we can, listen to the coaches, listen to everybody trying to help the team."

And as far as beating the University of Memphis back in April?

"He doesn't have one feeling of regret in his body," Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley said with a big laugh.


Joe Ross 11 years, 11 months ago

Reports coming out of the draft were that teams communicated with their physicians and were advised against taking Arthur. "The doctors wont let us take him."The mistake was miscommunication. Nothing more. How else do you explain a kid from Western Kentucky being drafted before Arthur? Because Arthur should have stayed another year at KU?Ridiculous!

Paul Meyer 11 years, 11 months ago

Why didn't Arthur's agent do a better job in notifying the rest of the league about the results from the test performed by the Wizards?

KGphoto 11 years, 11 months ago

Dude. I think you're on the wrong page.Besides, Chalmers hits the game winner against Rose's Bulls to take the east, (Rose retires and checks-in to an asylum) then breaks Kobe's weak heart in the 7th game, with a rainbow to take the title. It's done. I don't even have to watch. Done.

Chris Weaver 11 years, 11 months ago

i feel bad for shady - but there was also a four day period about two weeks before the draft when he was MIA - teams couldn't contact him and he no-showed at least one NBA workout. does anybody else remember that? what happened?

BigBundyTime 11 years, 11 months ago

Did Shady end up signing with an agent before the draft? I think I recall that he did.If so and I were Shady, that idiot would have been fired before the bell rang midnight on draft night. That is by far the worst representation that I have ever seen.With a known pending problem and a seemingly perfect explanation collaborated by Washington, this guy should have squelched this before costing DA $1+M. Isn't that what these guys are paid the big bucks to do?Maybe there is more to the story...but this fires me up for DA.

bunot 11 years, 11 months ago

how can philly be the only team that had issues with this? the orlando tests go out to every team in the seems to me that the agent was hoping the wizards and the 76ers were going to pass the info out to the rest of the teams that darrell passed his blood test. that's just horrible representation on the agent's part. i'd kick him to the curb!

actorman 11 years, 11 months ago

"... they'll give him an above standard contract for a 27th pick."I don't think that's an option. Isn't the salary scale set for rookies? I don't think there's any room for a team to pay more--or less--than the scale.

Lance Hobson 11 years, 11 months ago

FlaHawk, you are on probation for that Wizard of Oz reference!

justanotherfan 11 years, 11 months ago

Here's the thing about staying another year for Chalmers and Arthur.With Chalmers, the issue NBA teams had was his ability to play the point full time. So the question is, would that issue have been cleared up if he stays at KU for his senior year? Well, Sherron would've been back as well, and he's a point guard. So would Mario have played to point exclusively? No. So does that solve his NBA problem? No. He's still a combo guard that is only 6-1. That wasn't going to change with another year at KU.With Arthur, his issue was size and strength at the 4, or additional quickness at the 3. Would those issues have been cleared up with another year at KU? Unlikely. KU wasn't going to move Arthur out to the perimeter to gain more skills at the 3. Unless he grew another inch or so, he wasn't going to be the prototypical NBA 4 man. And since he wasn't going to move away from the basket for another year at KU, his stock would not have changed all that much with another year. Basically what I'm saying is, another year in school, while helping them statistically and being fun to watch, would not have changed what NBA scouts thought about their main issues. That said, I still think both will be successful in the NBA, despite the issues that scouts saw.

rgreene 11 years, 11 months ago

Yeah I thnk the new trend is to get it redone after 2 years. The team has the option in year three whatever that means.

Gary Bedore 11 years, 11 months ago

Oops that last comment was by me. I had not logged out the other user.

jasonsgill 11 years, 11 months ago

Almost all of the MVP candidates this year were one and done guys: there is almost NO doubt that players become better by spending more time in the NBA than college. As far as money goes, DA will make the difference up if he has a good career by the time his 3 year option comes up, not to mention that with a guaranteed contract, he's already ahead of the curve. It's only in the best interest of KU fans for DA and MC to stay (and even then, there is certainly a good argument to be made that we'll be better off two years from now by those guys leaving, and I think we'll be fun to watch next year anyway).As for Mario, the only thing he doesn't have is a guaranteed contract, b/c otherwise he's in the best position of almost any rookie. Don't be surprised if he's getting big minutes for a playoff team in about 8 months

Gary Bedore 11 years, 11 months ago

I didn't read Whitlock's story but here's what I posted the other day. Do you all agree or disagree with gb?Regarding Arthur and Chalmers, first Mario:-- You have heard that term guards are a "dime a dozen."That's changed a bit in regards to franchise-changing point guards I guess.But ultimately that is what the GMs thought of Mario: A dime a dozen type guard.Not apparently in their minds a great point guard prospect and too small to be a great 2.Now Miami seems to disagree. This is one deal where he is going to make it. The fact the Heat gave up cash for him plus the second rounders means Riley wants him on the team.So Mario will get a big money deal. His agent will have to do the good work now. Europe could be a bargaining chip. But Mario figures to get a good, not great deal to start with. He still made the right call to leave. He had nothing to gain by coming back.ArthurSomebody dropped the ball as Self said. Nobody is saying who. Arthur isn't blaming the Wizards or his agent. Look, if an NBA team desperately wanted Arthur and heard about this kidney thing you'd think the team would get it cleared up. I think it's partly the kidney thing and partly like DeAndre Jordan, GMs decided Darrell wasn't a great great prospect.He can prove it now.I mean folks look at Jordan. He also was supposed to go first round. He and Darrell are nice players (though I never liked Jordan) but not NBA stars.If an NBA team desperately wanted Arthur at 10, 11, 12 ... they'd have been appeased about this kidney thing.He'll be fine as it turns out. He gets big bucks for 2 years, then can renegotiate. His family still now gets to turn their lives around. He'll be making almost 900,000 next year. Not bad for a 20 year old.

Gary Bedore 11 years, 11 months ago

The salary scale is set.He'll be fine.Think about it. I think it's in my notes the other day but he gets something like 850 this year then upper nines then over a mill his third year. Usually the contracts get redone after two years.Going from no money to 850 at the age of 20 is pretty nice for he and his family.

pepper_bar 11 years, 11 months ago

Now I'm picturing everyone in the LJW sports department taking turns using one computer. It's actually quite the charming visual.Arthur's dumb luck in this whole deal is he wound up somewhere where he's got a shot at endorsement deals making fun of himself for his role in Memphis losing a NC. If any local businesses have adroit marketing people, DA will do just fine in non-salary compensation.

FlaHawk 11 years, 11 months ago

DA is no longer a child. He has to be responsible fo rhis own behavior and decisions. These 19-20 year olds are not mature off the court. He may be from South CLiff, but he has a lot to learn about buisiness.Hopefully, a lot of money (not a real lot of money) will last him. This coul dhave been avoided, but he will learn (the hard way).This ain't Kansas (KU) any more!

KEITHMILES05 11 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, the agent sounds like a dumb bell. From what I have read he has only one no name other NBA guy and is a lawyer. Go figure.However, DA and his camp should have done their due diligence to get a "real" agent and no some no name guy wanting a fast buck. Sure hope he doesn't leave his professional career in the hands of his mom and AAU coach.

kansaspike 11 years, 11 months ago

I'm still not buying this is why Shady fell. I've heard teams that passed on him saying the kidney was a non-issue.As Jason Whitlock said---"Darrell Arthur fell out of the draft's top 20 because he doesn't have a true NBA position. He's not big and strong enough to defend power forwards. He's not quick enough to defend top-flight small forwards."Face it--- the mistake was not staying another year at KU.

KGphoto 11 years, 11 months ago

No doubt. 850 is nothing to sneeze at. But I think this should motivate him to get that contract redone in two years. It could be a blessing in disguise. I can't wait to see what that O.J, D.A. combo looks like on the court.Add them in with Rudy Gay, Mike Conley and Darko? That's a nice young core for Memphis. I could see his salary rising quickly.

34_5_20_nbaTitle 11 years, 11 months ago

the heat will not be a playoff team next year dude.

kataboom 11 years, 11 months ago

his agent didnt notify every team because the issue was only with one team: philly. how every other team found out about the heightened creatine in the blood in the original orlando test, no one has an answer.

kranny 11 years, 11 months ago

I dare say that Arthur will get a pretty good contract despite the screw up. Memphis wants him there and I'm sure they'll give him an above standard contract for a 27th pick. Don't cry for Darrell, he's going to make a lot of money. If they don't offer him 7 figures this year, he'll definitely get it next year. I would think that you'd want to keep your 2 first rounders at all costs. As for staying at KU, that's ridiculous. Injuries do happen!

fourthrowrocks 11 years, 11 months ago

FYI, it's CREATININE that is measured on common blood tests and that when elevated is an indicator of kidney problems. creatine is the supplement stuff that Mark McGwire, among others, took.

Brad Devlin 11 years, 11 months ago

His old high school teacher probably called up each team and told them about how he needed to have a kidney transplant... Once again, he was just looking out for DA's best interest.

lee3022 11 years, 11 months ago

Gary you might be mistaken about 1st round contracts being redone after 2 years. I follow the NBA pretty well and cannot think of one that went that way. The CBA calls for two years and then 2 one year options to renew for a year. If the option is exercised the team must stay with the salary structure of the CBA. If the option is not picked up the player immediately becomes an unrestricted free agent able to sign anywhere. No team is going to risk losing a player they want to another team. A few years ago Carlos Boozer was at Cleveland and talked the team into releasing him from his rookie contract to re-sign him to a much bigger contract. After his release Boozer thumbed his nose at Cleveland and skedaddled to Utah and the Cleveland folks have never recovered. They are still trying to find a PF for the team.

milehighhawker 11 years, 11 months ago

justanotherfan....completely disagree. Both of their stocks would have risen if they had returned to KU. Simply for the fact that there were something like 7 or 8 freshman in the lottery. Next years class is no where near what this years class was.Addition by subtraction, less elite prospects, higher draft rating!

Gary Bedore 11 years, 11 months ago

Thanks Lee.Your explanation is perfect.Their stocks may have risen had they returned as Brandon's did.Then again, what about injury?Shady had that heart scare a few years ago as well as the stress fracture.Mario ... I mean he already is a junior. He had a great year. The team isn't going to be as good this year. Yes in a perfect world if he had a monster season his stock may have gone up.But it's a different world now. his heart wouldn't have been in it for a final season after hitting the shot and winning the title. Miami probably is going to sign him. Shady gets guaranteed money meaning he's a millionaire.I don't think either should have come back in this current climate.I don't think Hansbrough should have come back either. He'd have been a first rounder as well. But in a major upset, I guess winning a title means a lot to that guy.The KU guys already got their title.It's pretty much take the money and run now and Shady and Mario both will make a bundle next year.They couldn't put it off, riding the title to the money.

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