Some thoughts about Thursday night's NBA draft...
At No. 3, the Nets took Derrick Favors out of Georgia Tech. He is young and it will take some time to develop him as an NBA player, especially on the offensive end. If I was making the pick, I would have gone with DeMarcus Cousins out of Kentucky because he is more ready to contribute right away. I understand there are issues over maturity, but Cousins will be a force on the glass.
Minnesota made a solid pick in Wesley Johnson out of Syracuse. He is a wing player who can contribute right away and I know Jonny Flynn, another former Orange player, has to be thrilled. Last year we took shots at David Kahn because Ricky Rubio stayed in Spain. This time around, he has the Rookie of the Year in Johnson. He will be dynamite from day one.
I was a little surprised that Golden State took Ekpe Udoh out of Baylor. I would have gone with Greg Monroe of Georgetown. I love his passing ability inside. I thought Detroit made a solid pick taking Monroe at No. 7. Indiana made a questionable decision in going with Paul George of Fresno State at No. 10; I would not have let Patrick Patterson go at that point.
Cole Aldrich was a good pick for New Orleans, though he did not stay there long. The Hornets dealt him to Oklahoma City, which needed to add size. Aldrich is a unique player because there were not many true big men at center available. He can rebound and score in the paint.
Ed Davis will make lots of cash as the 13th pick in the draft. Yet I firmly believe he would have been a top five pick if he went back to school.
The first senior taken was Trevor Booker at No. 23 out of Clemson. It says a lot about the college game as too many kids want instant gratification and go into the draft early. Some of these youngsters don't develop their game enough. It is about ego, and some of the underclassmen got bad advice.
Look at some of the underclassmen that did not get selected in the first round! My "All-Should Have Stayed In School" team includes: Solomon Alabi, Hassan Whiteside, Willie Warren, Samardo Samuels, Lance Stephenson, Devin Ebanks and Armon Johnson. None of them got the call in round one, which means no guaranteed first-round money!
Congrats to the Big 12, which had a record seven players in the first round. The big conferences did well as the ACC and SEC each had five in round one, while the Big East had four.
Kentucky set a record with five first-round picks when Daniel Orton went No. 29 to Orlando. The Wildcats broke the prior record of four shared by Connecticut, North Carolina and Duke. That says a lot about the Kentucky program and John Calipari.