Saturday, June 28, 2008

Mayer: Draft spot just the beginning

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...


Most Kansas University basketball fans were looking forward to this weekend as a time to reflect fondly on how well things went for Jayhawks in the NBA Draft.

Instead, many of us are puzzled, perplexed and downright angry about some nitwit developments which indicate why the NBA has trouble sustaining meaningful loyalties.

Lots of local chests swelled with pride when KU's Brandon Rush was drafted No. 13 by Portland. General Manager Kevin Pritchard, taking care of a kid from the home stable? Rush barely donned one of those silly identity caps before he was traded to the Indiana Pacers in a five-player deal.

Trades, which involved all five KU draftees, knock a little dew off the prestige lily. The NBA and its people are so good at that.

OK, wouldn't be long before Darrell Arthur and Mario Chalmers were locked into first-round guaranteed contracts, right? Tension built as name after name was called including a 7-foot-1 "potential" from France; a 6-10 teenager from Spain via Congo; a 6-7 "possible" from France; and a 6-2 guy from IUPUI at No. 26.

Four to go, two Jayhawks still left in the nest.

New Orleans picked Arthur at 27, a big relief after rumors about a kidney problem. If Darrell isn't seething about somebody not doing his job in the sales department, he should be.

By this point, fans were really boiling.

Was the kidney caper reflected in Arthur's draft by New Orleans and then a frustrating hegira to Portland, Houston and Memphis? Even if Darrell is a bit soft and undersized, he's still better than a lot of those picked before him.

Things got terribly tense with three picks left and NCAA hero Chalmers unclaimed.

How many of you wanted to kick in your television screens when J.R. Giddens, once at KU then at New Mexico, was chosen by Boston. Lots of us saw it as an insult to Chalmers, who then had to wait until No. 34, where no contract is guaranteed.

Many of you surely were wringing your hands and tearing your hair out, if there is any, about the bungle on Arthur's health and the slighting of a good kid like Mario, for J.R. Giddens.

Good luck, Boston. You may need it when J.R. gets to roaming Boylston Street, Quincy Market and The Common. Chalmers was selected by Minnesota and traded to Miami, where a good agent might strike a decent deal. But don't use Arthur's shill. (By the way, where's David Padgett?)

By then many KU faithful were miserable and disgusted about Draft 2008. Darnell Jackson deserved to go higher than 52nd, winding up in Cleveland via Miami.

Sasha Kaun blessedly had a couple million dollars lined up in Russia, and nobody was too acrid about his going No. 56 to Seattle and being re-assigned to Cleveland.

He deserves everything good, as do Jackson and the other three Jayhawks in the draft, who all are better than some NBA doofuses think.

Let's hope for miracles. They do happen. When a journeyman like KU's Greg Ostertag can wind up with more than $48.2 million in total salary over 11 years, you know there's a genie in a bottle waiting for somebody.


yates33333 11 years, 11 months ago

Good question. Where is David Padgett? Louisville?

joebailey 11 years, 11 months ago

I live in Albuquerque and saw J.R. play for UNM. Steve Alford did a great job with him. He led the team in scoring and rebounding from a SG and SF. He was the MVP of the Mountain West Conf. I saw him play at Kansas as a freshman and soph. At Kansas,he could not or would not drive when he had the chance. Here at UNM he would drive from the key around a pick, all the way to the hole (which many times was a power dunk) or stop and jump way up over "everybody" and, take a jump shot. He would have had a higher scoring average if Alford would have let him go. He was a very good team player on offense and played good defense. Blocked shots and rebounded. Remember he can really "sky". No guard his size or smaller can stop him when he drives and then goes up for a stop jump shot.

TheTruth08 11 years, 11 months ago

People who criticize the selection of J.R. Giddens in the first round must not have watched him play at New Mexico this year. Dude has become a stud. He's no longer the non-ballhandling, chuck up stupid threes type of player any more. His ball-handling skills are there. He can score all the way out to the three-point line. For a guard, he's an excellent rebounder. He's improved immensely. He was a double-double guy for most of the year. It's a good pick up for Boston.

NH_JHawk 11 years, 11 months ago

jhawk7782 & tis4tim,If this was early 2007, I would certainly agree with you both about Ainge's decision making. Any Celtic fan would (you should've heard the fan base here in New England question him). However, since then the Celtics have not only won an NBA Championship (convincingly too, i might add, against the mighty Western Conference champs), but Ainge was also named NBA Executive of the Year. Hard to debate his decisions now after achieving those 2 outstanding accomplishments. I would think that a GM with that under his belt deserves the benfit of the doubt, especially now that the Celtics will be in contention for the Title for the forseeable future. That is my reasoning as to why it's "hard to question Ainge."jhawk7782 - btw, Allen and Garnett didn't come to Boston in the same deal (to clarify your claim of Ainge's ONE good decision). They were seperate deals.

FlaHawk 11 years, 11 months ago

While I think Mario is a much better college player than JR, teh jury is still out at the NBA level. Mario is a combo guard and VERY small especially when playing SG. Some teams this will work against and some will absolutely destroy him. It is all in the match ups! JR has the right body type for the NBA. He is a head case, but isn't everyone in NBA a head case after a few seasons. Mybe he is just getting head start! I see no reason JR should have gone after Mario in the draft. His upside is much greater than Mario's. However, JR is a much greater risk of a flame out. He does have guaranteed money though!Forget JR's screw ups at KU. He was a cance to the team and had to go. In the NBA, every team has cancer's on the team. They play because they have game. If they DON'T they are gone. JR will still be a rich man with his guaranteed money.How can a screw up like JR manage to pull all this off? He did not get a NCAA ring, but think about all that guaranteed money that can be used for bad purposes!!

Michael Bratisax 11 years, 11 months ago

It's hard to question Danny Ainge??He has made a total of ONE good decisions. He traded for Garnett and Allen when they became available. Doesn't take a genius to make that deal.Remember Al Jefferson? Michael Olowokandi?

Michael Auchard 11 years, 11 months ago

Why should a KU fan feel that an NBA team must pick our players to retain our loyalty? This entire article doesn't makes sense to me. These teams are playing to win. Period. They aren't trying to get a VERY small market like Lawrence, or even KC, to join their fan clubs. I wish they would have picked our guys higher, but I don't "blame" the NBA for anything. That would be like HS fans hating on KU for not selecting the players they like. It's ludicrous. We play to win just like the teams in the league.

Michael Auchard 11 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, I agree jhwkfan, the street definitely goes two ways.

trich424 11 years, 11 months ago

"However, since then the Celtics have not only won an NBA Championship (convincingly too, i might add, against the mighty Western Conference champs), but Ainge was also named NBA Executive of the Year. Hard to debate his decisions now after achieving those 2 outstanding accomplishments. I would think that a GM with that under his belt deserves the benfit of the doubt, especially now that the Celtics will be in contention for the Title for the forseeable future. That is my reasoning as to why it's "hard to question Ainge."Wow, the winner of the dumbest post. Ainge had the second WORST team last year. He got screwed in the draft, and was within inches of being fired. He made two desperate moves, and the players bailed him out. Don't let one year change his entire career as GM with that team.

cobweb 11 years, 11 months ago

Punk Giddens ahead of Chalmers? Are you freakin' kidding me? I just lost a ton of respect for the Celtics.

WilburNether 11 years, 11 months ago

Memo to Bill Mayer:The NBA is not a sport. It is a sports entertainment business.Just like the World Wrestling Federation.Duh.Yeah, some of the draft & trade decisions would appear to be ludicrous to sports fans, but never forget Rule #1: The NBA is not a sport; it is a sports entertainment business. That's why the league has referees "guide" certain teams to win in the playoffs, e.g., the infamous Lakers-Kings game in 2002, when the advancement of a high-profile team from the second-largest TV market in the country best suited the league's business interests.The only difference between Dick Bevetta and Tim Donaghy is that one cheats at the behest of, and for the benefit of, the NBA, while the other cheated for his own benefit.

63Jayhawk 11 years, 11 months ago

Some interesting observations from visiting the individual Team web sites through nice photo of Darrell & OJ on the Grizzlies home page.2) Brandon is not even listed on the Roster on the Pacers web site even though Bayless and another rookie form Midland JC (Appleton's previous team) are listed.3) Kahn is listed on the Cleveland's roster as being from Arkansas.

Dirk Medema 11 years, 11 months ago

Solomon - This isn't the same J.R. Giddens that left Kansas in disgrace? It most certainly is the same JR.You are very correct that he's tall, has a sweet shot, can put the ball on the floor, and led his team in rebounding as well as scoring. You might also add that he has plenty of charisma, and I'm sure he did well in the meetings with Ainge, etc.What you fail to mention is that he went from a team, KU, where he was surrounded by talent to one where there was nothing but himself. Maybe you did't realize that he also was kicked off the team there as well, and who knows what went on behind the scenes regarding the coach leaving.JR was a cancer at KU, and one of Coach Self's best recruiting moves was to help JR understand that he had no future at here. It remains to be scene how long it takes for that to happen in Boston, and how much of JR's millions will be spent on bail and attorney's fees.You are absolutely right that Mario will be just fine. He would have been a great fit along side Rondo, and my guess is that he would have started ahead of him by the end of next year. It would have been a lot harder for him to make that team though. Miami is a great spot for him, and needs his particular skill set. He will be teamed with Beasley, the best player in the draft, and Dwayne Wade, a bonafide superstar when he's not injured. His real value was evident when Miami gave up 2 second round picks for him.A post yesterday pointed out the difference between going to the NBA Champions to the team with the worst record, which is amazingly ironic to me. Last year, Miami was the NBA Champions and Boston had the worst record (or close to it?). Mario is in the best position of all the players, except for maybe Sasha, and DA has only his family to blame for how his kidneys were SELF-managed.

Lance Hobson 11 years, 11 months ago

Man, pretty harsh words for Giddens. It's all true, though. He got in trouble stealing stuff at Walmart before he even came to KU, and I doubt he's changed much. More disgraceful than that was his three point shot. It looks ugly and it certainly was his sophomore year. He single handedly lost the Bucknell game for us - everyone blames Self but it was completely his fault. He kept shooting threes and kept missing. Just like he did the entire second half of that season. He is a head case. Mario and him should never be mentioned in the same breath.

KEITHMILES05 11 years, 11 months ago

I'm very happy for Giddens. He has much more of an NBA body than Chalmers. He has proven through adversity that he can overcome. Say what you want about the kid but dollars to donuts he's gonna prove all his detractors wrong and do just fine.

Joe Ross 11 years, 11 months ago

"Never debate an idiot. They bring you down to their level and beat you with experience."

NH_JHawk 11 years, 11 months ago

Say what you want about the Celtics. It's hard to question Danny Ainge's decision making, especially after WINNING an NBA Championship. Why lay blame on the Celtics anyway? Maybe because you didn't like them even before the draft took place? Remember, there were 29 picks before Giddens and there are certainly other teams, besides Boston, that could've used a skilled combo guard like Mario. Miami comes to mind....oh yeah, that's where he ended up anyway.Don't get me wrong, I was also very surprised that JR Giddens was chosen over a guy like Mario, or CDR for that matter. It's easy to feel "insulted" because we all have a strong emotional attachment to the guy that kept our Jayhawk dreams alive in the NCAA Championship game. But be fair and ask yourself, is Chalmers perhaps in a better situation in Miami where he will have a good chance at making an immediate impact? Or in Boston where he'd be more likely to spend significant minutes on the bench? But Round 2 isn't guaranteed money you say? I have no doubt that Mario will indeed make the Miami roster and make the big $$$.

Joe Ross 11 years, 11 months ago

editor alerteditor alertWilburNether wants to be an editor.

alexwishart 11 years, 11 months ago

i've been on the cavs site and their message boards are filled with fans blasting managment for picking jj hickson and darnell jackson. on the positive side, there are some good articles there that show the character of DJax and tell some of his story. their GM Danny Ferry praises DJax up and down for the type of player he is and what he thinks he'll bring to the team. there are also videos on the memphis griz and miami heat sites with our boys in them. the indy pacers' site has little to offer about rush most of the draft buzz centers around the rest of their trades. it seems like they are all in full rebuilding modes, but i'm certain that that bodes well for the jayhawk rookies.

tis4tim 11 years, 11 months ago

jhawk7782,Don't forget: Sebastian Telfair, Ryan Gomes, Mark Blount, Wally Sczcerbiak, Marcus Banks, Antoine Walker, Gary Payton...

Joe Ross 11 years, 11 months ago

Regarding the drafts, especially of the last couple of years, Ive often wondered how a team of Oden, Durant, Beasley, Rose, and Mayo as a starting five would fare against the rest of the league.All in all, it was a great draft for KU as a TEAM. Individually, disappointing for Arthur obviously and somewhat for Chalmers who is not guaranteed money. Even with that though, I agree with Coach Self who thinks all five guys can make a living in basketball at the level of the NBA. And what about Sasha? The highest paid of all of them! Also a feel-good story of Darnell Jackson who has gone through so many hurtful things personally. I just hope RR can make a living in basketball, either as a player or coach.

NH_JHawk 11 years, 11 months ago

trich242 - Way to step up and embarrass yourself. Dumbest post? Everything you mention happened in 2007, BEFORE THE CELTICS WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP!! Let me re-post the 1st part of my SAME COMMENT that you so conveniently omitted."If this was early 2007, I would certainly agree with you both about Ainge's decision making."I'll translate this in laymens terms so you'll understand it this time: "I agree"

Jarrod Flaming 11 years, 11 months ago

I also live in Albuquerque and have seen J.R. play for UNM for the past 2 years. I have always been and will always be a Jayhawk fan, but it has been very cool to take my kids to see the Lobos. Coach Alford has done a great job with the team. You may not know this, but early in the year Alford told Giddens to get his academics in order, making him stay in Albuquerque during an exhibition trip to the Bahamas. Giddens responded to this positively and changed and now is a better man for it. Giddens and Daniel Faris have even been bringing ball players to our church. It's great to see them walk in and carry such a presence.J.R. Giddens is the real thing and while I'm sorry Chalmers didn't make it in the first round, I'm very happy for J.R. He is a good pick for Boston.Chalmers is going to be fine. He is a good ball player and I think he will go far and I look forward to watching all of the Jayhawks in the NBA this next year...but first, Rock Chalk Jayhawks! We gotta championship to defend!!

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