Was reading Bill Simmons' draft diary from 2 years ago and I'm amazed at what the thought process of the general public (represented by Simmons) at this time. LINK
Here are all the Hornet related things:
5:18: Here come the Clippers at No. 8! Whose ACL is getting blown out this year??? And it's … Al-Farouq Aminu, the Wake Forest forward who kinda looks like Urkel. He sure seems happy for someone who's about to end up in a full-body cast. Nice pick for the Clips; they could use energy legs off the bench. As long as they're not dangling in the air over a hospital bed. And yes, if you're talking about the No. 7 pick in a draft being "a good energy guy off the bench," it's a pretty good bet that the draft sucks.
5:19: E-mail exchange with my buddy JackO:
-- Me: Did you know Al-Farouq Aminu means "the chief has arrived" in Nigerian?
-- JackO: "I'm screaming 'Al-Farouq Aminu!!!' during my next 25 orgasms."
5:31: I present two athletic perimeter guys for you, both freshmen:
• Xavier Henry (born March 1991), 2-guard: a top-3 college recruit in 2009, started on the No. 1 college team (regular season), averaged 13.4 ppg (27.5 mpg), shot 45.5 percent and 41.8 percent on 3s, didn't get a ton of touches on a veteran team, did everything he could to fit in.
• Paul George (born May 1990), small forward: not a top-100 college recruit, best player on a 15-18 team in the WAC, averaged 16.8 ppg (33.2 mpg), shot 42 percent and 35 percent on 3s, played inferior competition.
Whom did the Pacers take? Naturally, George. Did I mention that their best player (Danny Granger) is a small forward? I love the NBA.
5:32: Bilas just mentioned that George was 6-foot-8 with a 6-11 wingspan. According to the Google search I just did, the human wingspan is normally 1.07 times a person's height. So if George is 80 inches, and his wingspan is 83 inches, actually, that's a wingspan about 2½ inches smaller than it should be. I'm glad I'm here.
5:36: New Orleans picks Kansas center Cole Aldrich at No. 11, then deals him to Oklahoma City (our first trade!) with Mo Peterson's expiring contract for the No. 21 and No. 26 picks. I would have loved that move for OKC if Aldrich didn't measure 6-9 in street clothes during the combines; that triples the potential that he's just a shorter Joel Przybilla. On the bright side, he can bang the boards, set some picks, make a jump hook and give you six fouls. I know, I know … try to contain your excitement. Even the trades are boring in this draft. The fans are so zoned out they can't even remember to boo David Stern anymore.
5:42: First funny line of the night from Van Gundy (after Aldrich's interview): "[The Hornets] needed to trade him, he just compared Sherron Collins to Chris Paul."
5:44: Memphis happily takes Henry at No. 12. That was like last year's Hasheem Thabeet pick, only the complete opposite. Heather Cox quickly interviews Henry's dad under the NBA's little-known "If any lottery pick has a dad at the draft, you have to interview him" rule. By the way, Memphis is close to realizing a dream of mine: They could start three lefties next season (Zach Randolph, Mike Conley and Henry). I've always wanted to see an all-lefty crunch-time five; we're 60 percent there.
5:45: Forgot to mention, it's an emotional day: the 25th anniversary of Karl Malone's draft-day outfit!
5:48: Our "draft capologist" Tom Penn (the former assistant Blazers GM) explains how New Orleans got under the cap by dumping Peterson's body. Er, contract. I'm pretty sure I could have been our draft capologist while doing this diary and wearing jogging pants in my house. Why wasn't this job posted by HR? I would have applied
7:05: Memphis is picking 28th with the final piece it received from the Lakers in the infamous Pau Gasol trade. The pick? A very excited Greivis Vasquez, who pops out of the stands for a hug/handshake with Stern. Fun moment. So if you're scoring at home, Memphis ended up with Marc Gasol, Darrell Arthur and Vasquez for the second-best center in basketball and someone who helped the Lakers to three straight Finals and two titles. There hasn't been a deal that unfair since Paulie became a partner in Sonny's restaurant in "Goodfellas," stole all of Sonny's liquor, bankrupted it, then had Henry and Tommy set it on fire for the insurance money. Actually, even that wasn't as bad as the Gasol deal. I hate everything.
7:11: The Vasquez interview cheered me up. Unlike just about everyone we've seen, he was delighted/giddy/candid and basically reminded us that, yeah, it's a big freaking deal to get drafted in the first round of the NBA draft. Highlight of a fairly tedious night