After spending the last pre-draft evening chatting with sources about Thursday evening's annual festivities, I was reminded that some things never change. Everyone lies. Coaches. Scouts. Agents. Team executives. It's never personal, though, and as one GM said earlier today, "Why would you want anyone out there to know what you really think about a player you might want to draft?"
With that in mind, here are a few final thoughts:
- The Kings desperately need a willing passer, floor leader, entertainer and charismatic personality. I have a suspicion that Ricky Rubio will be gone when they pick at No.4, but if the Spanish point guard is on the board, please, take him. The Kings are going to struggle the next two seasons, anyway, but at least with Rubio, who is a much more creative passer than Jonny Flynn, Tyreke Evans or Stephen Curry, they would be fun to watch.
- Historically, undersized or smallish point guard guards who don't shoot well (Flynn) don't fare well in the NBA. John Stockton, Mark Price and Steve Nash share two characteristics: All are/were superb shooters and exceptional passers/playmakers. When I look at Flynn, why do I think of ... Darnell Valentine? Flynn is much quicker, of course, and not as thick. But I tend to side with those who are trepidatious about undersized point guards who don't shoot well and aren't particularly gifted passers/playmakers.
- Evans' potential upside notwithstanding, do the Kings really want another 6-foot-5 swingman? Exactly how many more dents before the hardwood has to replaced? (See Ron Artest, John Salmons, an ailing Chris Webber, etc.). Word is, though, that the Memphis star is going to be a terrific scorer in this league. Some project him as the second best player (to Blake Griffin) in the draft.
- The Memphis Grizzlies, who select No.2, were set on Hasheem Thabeet before owner Michael Heisley flew into town Wednesday and reminded team execs that he will be the one deciding which player is chosen. Heisley is a wildcard here.
- Oklahoma City GM Sam Presti is keeping everyone guessing, even more than usual. The obvious choice for the Thunder, selecting just ahead of the Kings at No.3, is shooting guard James Harden. But no one around the league is even willing to venture a guess at what the secretive Presti is thinking or what he plans to do. It wouldn't be a shock, say, if Rubio is snagged with this pick.
- Speaking of owners. The Maloofs enter the mix Thursday morning. Wonder what they're thinking? I'm sure we'll find out.
- And let's not forget trades. After Griffin, this could be an unusually fluid draft.
Party time at Arco
So, okay, it's not exactly the NBA Playoffs, but fans are invited to attend the draft proceedings and watch the event on the overhead screens - free of charge - at Arco Arena. The doors open at 3:30, with the proceedings getting underway at 4.
This is what he does
It's easy to criticize some of Geoff Petrie's more recent free agent signings, specifically, his tendency to overpay role players, but his draft record is outstanding. He missed on Quincy Douby - bypassing Rajon Rondo, as did a lot of others - but that's the exception.