Wednesday, June 22, 2011

2011 NBA Draft Preview

I've always held a place in my heart for the NBA draft. Part of it is the hope that comes with adding the very best newly eligible players. Part of it is the fact that NBA draftees are often the most impactful of any of the sports. And part of it, I'm sure, is the fact that the Bullets/Wizards have had lottery picks more often than not over the past twenty years. They're really quite bad.

This year, however, I'm even more interested than usual. Here are a couple thoughts as to why:
  • The Cavaliers' rebuilding. One year removed from losing Lebron James to free agency, the Cavs ended up with the #1 and #4 picks in this year's draft. They have a chance to acquire two potential all-stars in a single night, and that's exciting no matter what team it is.
  • The Wizards have the #6 pick. It's early enough that you've got a shot at this draft's top tier talent, but not so early that you're out of the mix right away. Having to watch those first five picks go will be good drama for all thirty-six Wizards fans who watch the draft.
  • College players at the top. While Enes Kanter and Jan Vesely will go early, the projected top three picks are all players out of college. I may not have watched much college hoops last year, but these are at least a few names I recognize.
  • Trade buzz! There are always plenty of rumors leading up to the NBA draft, but it seems like the buzz is deafening this year. With so many of the early picks seemingly up for trade (the Timberwolves at 2, the Jazz at 3, the Cavaliers at 4, and the Wizards at 6), we're all hopeful for a flurry of activity on draft night. Usually that hope gets dashed by about pick 16, but hey, dare to dream, right?
  • It's not the NFL draft. The NFL draft this year was just terrible. I'm interested to see if the NBA draft, which I've loved since I was in middle school, is its own machine, or if they suffer from the same shortcomings.
Look for my lottery mockery later today or tomorrow.

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