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Dick's impressions on draft night


Some thoughts from NBA draft night ...

• I really thought the draft began with pick number four. It didn't take a Harvard degree to realize that Derrick Rose, Michael Beasley and O. J. Mayo would go 1-2-3. I was surprised when Seattle took UCLA guard Russell Westbrook at the fourth slot. He is a great athlete with a tremendous potential upside. That said, I felt the Sonics could have gone for Kevin Love and enjoyed a special front line with the Bruins standout teaming with Kevin Durant and Jeff Green. With six picks in this draft, Seattle could have taken a guard later on. Also, I felt Jerryd Bayless and D.J. Augustin could have gone higher than Westbrook. I give the Sonics a C for that pick.

• This year's draft has to have a greater impact than last year's. Think about this: only four of the first round picks from the 2007 draft averaged at least 10 ppg as a rookie (Kevin Durant, Al Horford, Jeff Green and Al Thornton).

• Minnesota made a great move getting Kevin Love from Memphis because Mike Miller was also part of that deal. Love understands how to play the game, shows excellent passing skills and comes from a great basketball background as his father played in the NBA. I don't understand the logic of Memphis giving up Miller and Love although I am a big Mayo fan.

• Chicago's decision to take Rose was an easy one. I think back to 1994, when the Bucks passed on Jason Kidd and took the Big Dog, Glenn Robinson. Look at 2005, when the Hawks chose Marvin Williams at No. 2 and let Deron Williams and Chris Paul slide by. My friends this game is now dominated by good guard play. If the Bulls passed on Rose, a former high school star in the Windy City, Mr. Paxson would get treated like Steve Bartman (the fan who infamously interferred with a potential out at Wrigley). Rose is ideal for Chicago with his leadership skills. The Bulls get an A.

• I believe Beasley will be the Rookie of the Year. He is the most physically talented player in this draft. My only concern is how he handles life on South Beach. There are temptations out there, and young men with mega-millions could have outside influences to deal with. I have met Michael Beasley and I really believe he has a strong desire to be the best he can be. He must make certain that he stays away from those temptations that will present themselves. He is a no-brainer on the court that can flat-out play, giving 20-10 a night. Beasley, Dwyane Wade and Shawn Marion will form an outstanding trio for the Heat. Miami earns an A.

• The Knicks took a gamble by picking Danilo Gallinari. Some of the kids not taken have a lot of talent, and Gallinari may be a project. He is a pick based on potential. The Knicks get a C.

• The first senior taken was Jason Thompson of Rider by the Sacramento Kings. I hope and pray Reggie Theus can get a long-term deal. This is another pick on potential but I feel this is a gutsy one. Thompson and George Hill were the biggest surprises of the first round. Hill, from IUPUI is a combo guard who can defend.

• I like what the Nets did by picking up a pair of Pac-10 players in Brook Lopez and Ryan Anderson. I was surprised Lopez slipped all the way down to No. 10. Anderson can really shoot the basketball for a bigger player. The Nets were one of the winners in the draft, especially after they picked up Memphis star Chris Douglas-Roberts in the second round.

• I liked the Clippers' pick of Eric Gordon. He has a passion to play. Remember, he was hampered by a wrist problem and some turmoil at Indiana last season.

• For guys like Mario Chalmers, DeAndre Jordan, Douglas-Roberts, Jamont Gordon and Richard Hendrix, all who lasted past the first round, don't give up on your dreams. Realize that players like Michael Redd, Carlos Boozer, Gilbert Arenas, Luke Walton, Kyle Korver, Manu Ginobili, Monta Ellis, Ronny Turiaf, Daniel Gibson and Leon Powe were all second round choices. Chalmers and Jordan went early in the second round.

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