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Thursday Bullets

  • Chad Ford has hundreds of trade scenarios that might mess up your draft board. "The most popular has the Portland Trail Blazers packaging No. 4 and No. 30 along with Travis Outlaw or one of their young point guards to get up to No. 1." Basically, everyone wants to trade up or down, and some teams even want to trade up and down.

  • Ford also says J.J. Redick's agent reports that J.J. will be working out again for teams before the draft.

  • Wait, what was the lesson of these playoffs. Is it all small ball, sharing, and multi-talented players? Or is that you have to have stars?

  • Incredible Chris Berman stories, and one more reason TrueHoop should have t-shirts, I guess. By the way, I'm wearing a FreeDarko shirt right now.

  • FreeDarko's Bethlehem Shoals on the run-up to the draft: "Recent drafts have treated us to such overcooked comparisons as Caron Butler, the next Paul Pierce; Dajuan Wagner, spitting image of Allen Iverson; Mike Sweetney, son of Elton Brand; and Mickael Pietrus, the Kobe we never knew. There's also the endless parade of Next Jermaine O'Neals and Next Dirk Nowitzkis, the slightly newer Myth of Next Gilbert Arenas, and the inevitable Myth of Next Dwyane Wade. In many cases, these men have grown into perfectly respectable NBA operatives. But to saddle them early on with such lofty, and often distortive, comparisons does nothing to clarify either the scouting process or their potential role in the program." My take on this? At draft time, experts are asked a lot to describe a player's nature or style, in words and not pictures. It's just easier and more descriptive to say he's "like Dirk Nowitzki" than he's "a multi-talented big man who prefers to play on the wing." The pitfall comes when that "like Dirk Nowitzki"comes with the implication so-and-so is at the same level of Dirk Nowitzki, which clearly no one in any draft is.

  • MiamiSportsDudes have a three part series on the redemption of the Miami Heat.

  • Mark Cuban, still speechless on his blog since the big loss.

  • The Killer Crossover Mock DraftCast Rolls On.

  • Charley Rosen names the heroes and goats. My favorite line: "Keith Van Horn helped his team by sitting on the bench."

  • Scary: Treating mock drafts as actual sources for statistical analysis. One thing that comes out of it is a consensus as to who the top 14 players are.

  • He was bagging groceries not that long ago. Now Jonathan Givony tells me Joel Freeland could be on his way to being a first-round pick. (Draft Express has him in the second round at the moment.) Paul Coro reports.

  • Maverick Moneyball reviews how accurate everyone's NBA Finals predictions were. Great stuff. As a group, "former NBA people" soundly whipped writers and bloggers. So much for the dumb jock stereotype.

  • Ira Winderman hands out good grades to practically every Heat player.

  • Jones on the NBA wraps up the playoffs.

  • Nesterovic to Raptors.

  • David Thorpe on Udonis Haslem: 99% of the fans really do not understand just how unlikely it is that Haslem is a starter on a world championship team. Undersized, undrafted, and playing a role wholly foreign to him all his life, “Champ” ( I officially changed my nickname for him from ‘UD’ after last night) shattered the odds and the expectations... The NBA gets so caught up with size, as it relates to height, instead of of size as it relates to heart and effort. And that is what makes Champ so unique. His drive to win is so powerful. It really is a way of life for him. The more people doubt him, the hungrier he becomes."

  • StraightBangin': "I can't tell you how disappointed I am that the Heat won. Pat Riley's betrayal of the Knicks was an epochal moment of my lifetime, and one of those rare instances during which I immediately knew just how significant it would become."

  • The dark side of the draft: a Laker executive says a lot of teams don't want their picks. That means they'd rather have an open roster spot that guarantee a contract to a first-rounder. The Lakers, on the other hand, want picks. Ronnie Lester tells LakersBlog: "You hear a lot of teams in the draft, especially lower in the draft, really don't want their picks. So yeah. There are six teams in the first round that have multiple picks. Six teams have two picks, so you kind of target those teams. In a draft like this, which like you said is not a great draft, a lot of teams don't want their one pick, so why would they want two? So you talk to those teams, and I think if we can move up, we'll try to do that. Sure."