I sit on the fence some more and decide to wait until the draft.
There's some good looking swingmen, SG/SF types in this class it looks like from the mocks. We've also got the second coming of Buboltz in 19 year old Argentinian PG Luis Pau.
If we stay at #18, we're projected to take SF Vidal White, a senior out of Connecticut. Honestly, though, the initial reports on him don't impress me much. There's also a few big men worth taking a look at for the 2nd round.
In my opinion, PF Pete Totten, a sophomore out of Oklahoma and SG Charles Seegars a one and done Tarheel, look like the best two players in the class from the first scouting reports.
After workouts, there's one player that emerges as the cream of the crop and another player who wouldn't be a bad secondary option if we can't move up to get our top guy.
2013 NBA Draft 1st Round
1. PF Kerwin Haston - Washington Wizards
2. PF Pete Totten - New York Knicks
The Knicks just got a huge, huge gift from the Wizards, who should've never passed on him. Call it the good luck charm of George Karl or something. Haston, by the way, is the first player ever drafted from Hampton and he goes #1 overall. Unbelievable.
3. SF Buddy Bracey - Cleveland Cavaliers
Wow! My 2nd choice winds up going #3 overall. Not what I anticipated at all. This is turning into one crazy, crazy draft.
4. PF Eric White - New Orleans Hornets
5. SF Ron McPherson - New Orleans Hornets
There was no way my #1 choice (McPherson) was lasting past the Hornets and I knew that. Problem being, the Hornets weren't willing to entertain a trade.
6. SG Charles Seegars - Chicago Bulls
To be honest, I was a lot less impressed with Seegars after we brought him in for a workout, so to see him drop some isn't surprising. The analysts are stunned he fell that far, though.
7. PF Todd Dissinger - Miami Heat
8. C Martin Beerbohm - New Jersey Nets
The Golden State Warriors, who pick next, are pissed. They needed a C in the worst way and the best one of a really weak class goes off the pick before theirs.
9. C Brandon Blanks - Golden State Warriors
....Leading them to really reach. This guy's a late 1st round pick, maybe.
10. PG Branko Starcevic - Seattle Supersonics
11. C Lavell Ledbetter - Orlando Magic
Unbelievable. There's a guy I thought sure would have gone off the board by now who's still sitting around. The only problem is that his attitude's been brought into serious question. Is he worth trying to move up 7 spots for given that question mark?
No. Not that far up at any rate.
12. C Chris Washington - Utah Jazz
This is really something. All these reaches on mediocre and/or undersized centers. Craziness abounds.
13. SG Jerian McCrary - Portland Trailblazers
Portland just got giftwrapped the player I thought about trading up for. With his kind of potential, especially as a scorer, you'd be crazy to pass on him in the mid 1st round, especially with the bench woes the Trailblazers have.
14. SG Matt Michaels - Phoenix Suns
15. PF Sean Griffin - Sacramento Kings
16. PG Luis Pau - Philadelphia 76ers
17. PG Josh Brinson - Memphis Grizzlies
The analysts are saying we'll take SF Rodney Brown, a 22 year old out of Oklahoma State. He's got good scoring instincts and a great work ethic, but he's got a mercurial temperment and is a turnover machine and a half. I'm just not excited about him at all, especially not compared to McPherson and Bracey.
And that's when we pull off the blockbluster, a trade that is so stunning, I can't believe I've done it until three weeks later.
Denver Nuggets receive
SF Patrick Pastner
SG Mateen Yeaton
C Phillip Gill
PG Marcus Williams
Indiana Pacers receive
PF Joakim Noah
PF Leroy Wright
SG Ben Gordon
PG Paulinho Buboltz
Denver Nuggets 2013 1st round pick (#18)
What this means for the Nuggets
GM Jestor has long coveted Yeaton and it's not hard to see why. He's 25, a two-time All-Star who just made the All-NBA 2nd Team last season and he gives Denver major size at the SG spot for the first time since Jestor's arrival at 6'8, 207 lbs. He's extremely polished and the Nuggets believe he can be the new AI. Pastner has quietly developed into a consistent, solid starting SF and at 24, he helps make Denver a lot younger in the starting lineup. Most importantly, he forces [b]Mike Miller[/b to the 6th man spot, where he'll be much more effective. Gill is raw, but has some very nice potential. Under the Great Teacher Larry Brown, he'll develop a lot more quickly than he would've under George Karl. Williams is a pass-first PG with good shooting talents, though he lacks the killer instinct.
What this means for the Pacers
The Pacers have pined for Buboltz in the same way that Jestor craved Yeaton and, together with Gordon, suddenly Indiana has a fearsome 3-guard set in Buboltz, Gordon and Tony Parker, a trio reminiscent of the Buboltz-Gordon-Chauncey Billups grouping in Denver a couple seasons ago. Gordon is a good replacement for Yeaton's offense and in Buboltz, Indiana sees a future franchise player and one of the best PGs in the NBA, if not the best. High opinions, but valid, given Paulinho's steady improvement in his three years in the league and the fact that he's still just 21 years old. Noah provides defensive punch that the Pacers lacked and tenatively slots in as the starting SF. Wright fell out of favor after a solid rookie season, but he's proven a capable starting C before and for the heretofore big-man-starved Pacers, he could be just what they're looking for at the five.
This is a major shakeup for both teams and it's too early yet to tell who will come out on top. Buboltz and Yeaton are both in the final year of their rookie contracts with no extension signed, something that may have played a factor in the trade.
18. SG Kevin Davis - Indiana Pacers
19. SG David Jordan - Indiana Pacers
Two shooting guards? Interesting. I thought sure they would've gone with Brown, but they passed on him. Strange decision by the Pacers here, but it's been that kind of first round.
20. PG Donovan McCarthy - Minnesota Timberwolves
21. SF Grant Fomby - Milwaukee Bucks
22. PG Scott Duggins - Detroit Pistons
23. PG Luther Kemppe - Boston Celtics
A late 2nd round type pick as a late 1st rounder. Boneheaded move by the C's here.
24. PG Tony Rowles - Atlanta Hawks
25. PG Kyle Reynolds - San Antonio Spurs
26. SG Larry Dove - Charlotte Bobcats
27. SG Jermaine Stokes - Houston Rockets
28. SF Rodney Brown - Los Angeles Lakers
Drops all the way to the Purple and Gold, where the Lakers snatch him up. Great, great value pick at this stage in the draft. I think he'll prove a valuable addition to the Lakers, especially with some of their players getting up there in years.
29. SF Vidal White - Toronto Raptors
30. PF John West - Dallas Mavericks
I'm so busy fielding calls about our blockbuster with the Pacers that I don't even see who the talking heads have us taking in the 2nd round. I take a flyer on the guy who looks like the best player left, SG Steve Harris, 22, out of UConn. The pick's a split decision by Chris and J.P., but I don't care. 2nd rounders rarely last more than a season or two on my teams anyway.
After the draft, I get a closer look at Harris and I'm initially not very impressed. He'll have to have one hell of a training camp to stick with the team.
Mateen Yeaton gets a $12 million base, 5 year contract with 10% raises. It'll mean a tightrope financially the next several seasons, but in my opinion, he'll be worth every penny. Besides, the new owner is willing to pay the cash, so long as we win.
Emeka Okafor lands a new contract as well, $7.35 million base for 5 seasons and 10% raises. The initial offer was $6.98 million base, but like a moron, I tried to negotiate a little lower and the end result was the agent just kept coming back with higher and higher offers. Emeka's 31, so by the end of the contract, he's going to be a $10.7 million albatross, right in the same year Yeaton's making $17.5 mill, but we'll worry about that when the time comes.
For now, I'm just happy believing that we've finally put together the kind of team that can at last break through and win the championship.
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)