Posted: Friday June 29, 2007 1:59AM; Updated: Friday June 29, 2007 3:01AM
As predicted in this space earlier this week, the Spurs elected to take Brazilian Tiago Splitter, whose complicated buyout will likely keep him overseas for another season. Like the Spurs need him.
Not only is Nick Young an excellent player, but by drafting him, the Wizards are free to let DeShawn Stevenson and Jarvis Hayes walk and use the money to re-sign promising prospect Andray Blatche.
The Warriors parlayed Jason Richardson (and the remaining three years and $36 million remaining on his contract) into lanky swingman Brandan Wright, who will play multiple positions in Don Nelson's helter-skelter offense. Highway robbery.
AND THE LOSERS ...
Yi's handlers did everything they could to keep him away from Milwaukee. The Bucks were not permitted to attend any of Yi's workouts and GM Larry Harris did not travel to China to see Yi play in person. According to league sources, Yi's representatives will ask the Bucks to trade Yi on Friday.
Jason Richardson can score but can't do much else. Jared Dudley would have been a second-round steal but is a reach at 22. I'm not sure Michael Jordan is management material.
Kevin Durant is destined for greatness; but by trading Allen -- and with the likely departure of Rashard Lewis, which factors into this grade -- the Sonics are putting an awful lot of pressure on Durant and Jeff Green. Even if Robert Swift becomes the answer at center, the Sonics are a long way from contending in the Western Conference.
Oh those quirky Ping-Pong balls! If the Hawks hadn't landed a top-three pick, the Suns likely would have selected in the top-five and Kevin Garnett would be donning a Suns uniform. As it turns out, Atlanta wouldn't field trade offers so Garnett is still in the Twin Cities, Amare Stoudemire is still in Phoenix and the Suns are left battling it out with Dallas and San Antonio for Western supremacy. Phoenix sold one of their first-round picks and took a flyer on Wisconsin's Alando Tucker with the other. Not exactly an earth-shattering selection.
Javaris Crittendon, Sun Yue and Marc Gasol are not the type of help Kobe Bryant is seeking. Unless Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak can pull off a blockbuster trade in the next two months, the Lakers' training camp will be a battleground.