Some other observations on the draft:
The Knicks' major achievement was getting Oakley and unloading Cartwright. But the drafting at No. 19 of DePaul's Rod Strickland, the best pure point guard in the draft—including Grant—may prove to be almost as important. Because of its frenetic, pressing defense, New York needs a strong backup for point guard Mark Jackson, last season's Rookie of the Year.
San Antonio did well to acquire 6'7" Willie Anderson, a guard from Georgia, with the No. 10 pick. With a backcourt rotation of Alvin Robertson. Johnny Dawkins and Anderson, and the hiring of coach Larry Brown, the Spurs have set the table for the 1989-90 arrival of the main course—David Robinson.
After trading for Cartwright, the Bulls drafted a center, 7-foot Will Perdue of Vanderbilt. General manager Jerry Krause says that both Cartwright and incumbent Dave Corzine are versatile enough to get significant minutes at power forward. Perhaps, but don't rule out a trade involving Corzine.
The quote of draft day belonged to former Syracuse center Rony Seikaly, whom the Miami Heat, a team that has never played a game, selected at No. 9. "This team can do nothing but get better," said Seikaly. "It can't get worse." An athletic type who will eventually have to switch to power forward because he doesn't have the bulk for center, Seikaly was a good choice for Miami. But the Heat may have done even better by landing Strickland's back-court mate at DePaul, Kevin Edwards, with the 20th selection. Edwards, a shooting guard, could turn out to be the sleeper of the draft.
The Charlotte Hornets, the other expansion team, took Rex Chapman of Kentucky with their first pick. Chapman is anything but a sleeper. He will be expected not only to wrest the ball from new teammate Kelly Tripucka, who arrived via a trade with Utah, but also to do his share of the scoring. The Boston Celtics could have had Notre Dame's David Rivers with the 24th pick. He would have improved their speed, but the Celtics don't like small guards (Rivers is 6 feet). So they opted for 6'6" Brian Shaw of UC Santa Barbara, a do-everything Dennis Johnson type. Picking right behind the Celtics, the champion Los Angeles Lakers then took Rivers in their annual search for a point guard to run the show when Magic Johnson needs a break.
But like other established teams ( Boston, Atlanta, the Detroit Pistons, the Dallas Mavericks), the Lakers did not expect, and were not looking for, much help in the draft. That was for the NBA's wish-we-were's, like the other team in Los Angeles. Right now, the Clippers, along with North Carolina, Georgetown and Michigan, look like a good bet to reach the NCAA Final Four next year. As for the NBA playoffs, which the Clippers have not made since 1976 (when they were the Buffalo Braves), management had better give the speedboats a year to learn to navigate the course.