Stay tuned throughout the night as Andrew Perna and Jason M. Williams comment on the 2009 NBA Draft. Andrew is stationed in the upper deck of the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, while Jason is taking it all in from the West Coast.
6:30PM Andrew Finishes Setting Up
I've finally finished setting up on the left balcony at the WaMu Theater. In honor of Jason, I have set up an empty chair with a candle on it.
6:42PM Jason "Arrives"
Thanks Andrew, I'm starting to feel a serious case of what my better half refers to as "FOMO" - Fear Of Missing Out. I can't even believe all of these marquee trades that have already taken place - Shaq, Vince, RJ, Jamal, Mike Miller, and even Amir are moving on to bigger and better things. Let's hope to see a few more big deals as the night progresses.
6:50PM Jennings is M.I.A.
Agent Bill Duffy has advised that Brandon Jennings watch the draft in private. I don't think he's going to slip too far, but perhaps out of the top ten. Wow.
Okay, Andrew, I realize you have a few hours before it's Go Time for Indiana, but I want you to go on the record with your Official Pacers Top 5 Draft Board, sponsored by EA Sports.
That's a loaded question, but taking into account who "could" be available, this would be my top five if I were making decisions in Indiana: DeJuan Blair, Terrence Williams, Brandon Jennings, Jeff Teague and Gerald Henderson. I'd like to have more bigs on that list, but the draft is so short on them. I'm Blair all the way.
6:58PM Breaking Pop Culture News
Sad news out of Los Angeles. It appears that Michael Jackson has died after being taken to the UCLA Medical Center today, suffering cardiac arrest after collapsing earlier in his west Los Angeles home.
7:03PM ESPN Goes Live
ESPN's coverage has gone live on television. Jeff Van Gundy gets a huge ovation from the crowd, which appears active. But we already knew they would be. As far as the crowd is concerned, the Knicks are the only team in the league.
7:06PM Andrew Sights A Pacer
Yet again, my eyes have spotted a Pacer at the WaMu. Roy Hibbert is walking around, which isn't surprising since he's from Queens.
Tyler Hansbrough is safe! He won't be the final player waiting at the WaMu to get drafted. Taylor Griffin is here supporting his young, much more talented brother.
ESPN is reporting that the Suns are discussing a trade with Golden State that would send Amare Stoudemire to the Warriors for Andris Biedrins, Brandan Wright, Marco Belinelli, and the 7th overall pick. The Suns would have to be hammered not to accept that deal.
I'd agree Jason. A few Golden State fans that I know are rolling around foaming at the mouth. Is there any direction in that front office?
Update in Chad Ford's latest mock. For some reason he has Blake Griffin going to the Clippers at number 1 at 99.9 percent confidence level, but has Stephen Curry to the Knicks at 8 at 100 percent. He must know something we don't know.
7:34PM Crowd Reaction
A rowdy "Lakers Suck" chant is going strong.
Imagine if they didn't take Griffin.
They are going to accidentally draft Taylor.
--Clippers take Blake Griffin with 1st pick
Griffin is gone. In other news, it's Thursday.
--Grizzlies take Hasheem Thabeet with 2nd pick
Jason, you think Thabeet's smile is fake?
Yeah, it's gotta be. I wonder how his communication will be down low with Marc Gasol clogging the paint next to him. Or will Hasheem pair with Hamed Haddadi to form the most dangerous duo down low from overseas in NBA history?
--Thunder take James Harden with 3rd pick
7:53PM Crowd Reaction
Somewhere between Shock and Awe.
Jason, how does your top-five look for the Knicks?
1. Rubio, 2. Jennings, 3. Curry, 4. Tyreke, 5. Hill. And yes, I realize Rubio is probably going to be gone within the next 15 minutes.
This has to be Rubio, he'll get his wish of playing in a big market. Perhaps Oklahoma City got a little scared.
--Kings take Tyreke Evans with 4th pick
Who does Minny go after? Rubio and Curry makes the most sense to me. If they do, New York is going to fold into itself. It's going to get rowdy there pretty soon. I'm glad I'm safe under the sun.
--Timberwolves take Ricky Rubio with 5th pick
Crowd starts a "U-S-A!" I've never been a fan of that.
My heart is shattered knowing that I'm going to have to settle on Jrue Holiday since Sactown refused to comply and select Rubio. I pray Rubio drops a 20-20 on Sacramento each time Minny matches up with the Kings.
--Timberwolves take Jonny Flynn with 6th pick
Wow. Most surprisingly draft in a very long time.
Best possible scenario: Knicks walk out of here with either Curry or Jordan Hill.
--Warriors take Stephen Curry with 7th pick
My head is spinning, but I love it. Curry is stolen right out from underneath the nose of New York, and the crowd is pissed. No matter who the Knicks take, NYC will be tough on him.
ESPN claims that Minnesota is keeping both Rubio and Flynn. Are you kidding me?
--Knicks take Jordan Hill with 8th pick
The selection of Hill is good on a few levels. One, Hill is a big body who can actually block shots and play the run and gun game. Two, this allows the Knicks to shop David Lee around the league and upgrade their shooting guard position. Three, with the newly acquired 29th pick, they can grab a sharp shooting guard like Toney Douglas, Patty Mills, or Jack McClinton. PLUS! Don't rule out a potential Kahn/Walsh swap of David Lee for Ricky Rubio down the line this summer.
I just spotted someone in the crowd with a #23 New York jersey, and the name on the back is James. It looks authentic too. I sure hope he didn't waste $160...
--Raptors take Demar DeRozan with 9th pick
This has got to be Holiday, but then again I have no clue.
--Bucks take Brandon Jennings with 10th pick
OK, the No. 3 player on my Indiana "Draft Board" is gone. Just please, don't let them take Hansbrough.
--Nets take Terrence Williams with 11th pick
Wow, what a great day for the Nets. They save 40M over the long haul by shedding Vince Carter, they save 16.5M for the Summer of 2010, they pair Devin Harris with Rafer Alston and Courtney Lee. Now they add a versatile 2/3 in Terrence Williams, and they already have Sean Williams, Josh Boone, and Brook Lopez in the paint. Basically, they cleared a ton of cap space, added a ton of young athletic promising players, and conveniently left the small forward position noticeably weak. Can you say that they are in 100% LeBron mode?
--Bobcats take Gerald Henderson with 12th pick
Three of the five guys I had on my Indiana "Draft Board" are gone, but my No. 1 remains...
--Pacers take with Tyler Hansbrough 13th pick
I just got word that Andrew is being rushed to a New York City hospital. He'll be back shortly, I hope.
--Suns take Earl Clark with 14th pick
The smelling salts are out, and I'm back. Jennings makes an appearance from back stage, what is this WWE?
Matt Cheesebro, the greatest Piston fan in history, is depressed that Earl is off the board. From the heart of Detroit comes a bold statement: PLEASE don't take BJ Mullens from the HATED Ohio State.
--Pistons take Austin Daye with 15th pick
And Cheesebro almost blacks out in relief...
Tayshaun Prince is now the second gangliest player in the NBA, and now also the second gangliest player on the Pistons...thanks to the 6-11 190 lb Austin Daye.
--Bulls take James Johnson with 16th pick
--76ers take Jrue Holiday with 17th pick
The Sixers are the luckiest team in recent draft history. Here they get another steal with Holiday dropping to 17. They have the best "fallers" - Iguodala fell to them, Thaddeus fell to them, and even Speights fell to them last year...unfair.
--Timberwolves take Ty Lawson with 18th pick
Another point guard for the Wolves! Wow, can you say Ricky Rubio to New York!? Stu Scott has the best quote of the night, "Well, they'll pass the ball a lot." Hysterical. Stu is redeemed for the night.
Nevermind, it appears Ty Lawson is headed to Denver for a future pick...
--Hawks take Jeff Teague with 19th pick
And Reina's man is off the board with the 19th pick as Jeff Teague heads to Atlanta. I guess this means farewell to Mike Bibby with the addition of Jamal Crawford and Jeff Teague. Can you say Mike Bibby to Portland?
--Jazz take Eric Maynor with 20th pick
Retro fact: In a TV interview with Bobcats coach Larry Brown, I noticed that Charlotte point guards will look to their right and see a Gerald...look to their left...another Gerald. Wallace and newly-selected Henderson will form the most dynamic Gerald Tandem in league history.
--Hornets take Darren Collison with 21st pick
--Trail Blazers take Victor Claver with 22nd pick
I'm back. Just made a quick radio appearance. Thanks for holding down the fort Jason.
--Kings take Omir Casspi with 23rd pick
--Mavericks take B.J. Mullens with 24th pick
--Thunder take Rodrigue Beaubois with 25th pick
Oklahoma City is going to trade Beauboius to Dallas for Mullens.
Oklahoma City is piecing this team together. First they solidify the shooting guard position with James Harden. Now, they swap picks with Dallas and get their hands on a high ceiling big man out of Ohio State, B.J. Mullens. Add that to their core of Russ Westbrook, Jeff Green, and Kevin Durant. Finally, they add a capable big who can play the pick and roll with Westbrook and be an immediate upgrade over Nick Collison and Nenad Krstic.
--Bulls take Taj Gibson with 26th pick
It appears that the Knicks are tag teaming with Ricky Rubio's agent, trying desperately to get the enigmatic point guard on his way to New York. Stay tuned for more as David Kahn tries to resist the calls from his former mentor.
--Grizzlies take DeMarre Carroll with 27th pick
T'Wolves on the clock...another point guard? I'm thinking Nick Calathes.
--Timberwolves take Wayne Ellington with 28th pick
I love the Ellington pick for Minnesota. Talk about an immediate improvement. Kevin McHale was a terrible GM. Now Kahn steps in and within a month he grabs the fifth pick for Mike Miller and Randy Foye - nothing special. And now he grabs perhaps the best point guard in the draft in Ricky Rubio, their new starting point in Jonny Flynn, and now their new starting shooting guard in Ellington.
Ladies and gentlemen, Darko is a Knick.
--Lakers take Toney Douglas with 29th pick
The 29th pick is going to New York.
This is a great minute for Knicks fans. First, they unload the only player on the roster that I still hate in Q, who has become a non-rotation player. They add another shotblocker in Darko. They add a solid defensive sharpshooter in Toney Douglas. Wow. A great minute for the Knicks. While it may seem hilarious/terrible that the Knicks got Darko, he's only a one-year project and Mike D'Antoni might be the only coach in the NBA to get the most out of Darko. Darko can hit shots, run the floor, play solid interior D and he JUST turned 24 last Saturday. Great low risk, high reward deal for New York.
--Cavaliers take Christian Eyenga with 30th pick
And the first round is over. Bring on Adam Silver! Or not, the crowd is filling out at the WaMu Theater.
--Kings take Jeff Pendergraph with 31st pick
--Wizards take Jermaine Taylor with 32nd pick
--Trail Blazers take Dante Cunningham with 33rd pick
--Nuggets take Sergio Llull with 34th pick
--Pistons take DaJuan Summers with 35th pick
--Grizzlies take Sam Young with 36th pick
--Spurs take DeJuan Blair with 37th pick
Something serious had to come out of Blair's physical. He's better than a 37th pick, and he'll be great in San Antonio.
This pick smells of pure savvy opportunistic Spurish nature, and will be similar to how Boston got Glen Davis, another smallish big man who was successful in college, and will surround the Pitt big man with a strong foundation of veteran leadership. Look for Blair to follow in Big Baby's footsteps and be a very successful role player at the power forward for San Antonio.
--Blazers take Jon Brockman with 38th pick
--Pistons take Jonas Jerebko with 39th pick
Shocker. Another Swede in Detroit. They seem to have a Swedish fetish, since the majority of the Swedish national hockey team are Red Wings, and now Jonas Jerebko is a Piston.
--Bobcats take Derrick Brown with 40th pick
--Bucks take Jodie Meeks with 41st pick
--Lakers take Patrick Beverley with 42nd pick
The crowd is dead, and most of the media are falling asleep. I still have quite the travel home, but I wouldn't trade covering this thing for anything. Oh, and Dick Vitale is like a record. And a broken one at that.
--Pistons take Chase Budinger with 43rd pick
--Timberwolves take Nick Calathes with 44th pick
--Cavaliers take Nick Green with 45th pick
Jason has left the building, and I'm packing up. It's been fun guys, thanks for reading along tonight. Enjoy the remainder of the draft and follow along on our Draft Cast.
Andrew Perna is Deputy Editor of RealGM.com and co-host of RealGM's Radio Show. Please feel free to contact him with comments or questions via e-mail: Andrew.Perna@RealGM.com