The draft came and went and the Blunder did not get Blake Griffin. Yes, I breathe a sigh of relief. However, the drafting of James harden from Arizona State has been getting mixed reviews. Even I am not sure what to think on this. He's exciting, athletic and has a rookie contract - all things good for OKC. He's practically a local, if you consider Arizona local.
Rodrigue Beaubois - huh? Jury is out on this guy. Seems like a potentially wasted pick, but this guy will likely be quite cheap, which really fits OKC's needs here. They probably would've traded this pick if any takers stepped up, but in a weak draft, not much you can do here. This guy'll be fun in practice.
Overall, I'll give the Blunder a C+ grade. Harden is good - for sure. How he meshes with OKC remains to be seen, but the guy can play. I even watched him get taken to school, twice, by an overachieving Washington State team.
All Quiet on the Western Front.
On the OKC Free Agency front that is. OKC has been quiet this off season. Check book closed. The only noise so far has been the sounds of the Swiffer on the Ford Congressional Bail-Out Center floor and the Maytag scrubbing OKC's New York Knick tribute uniforms. Better run 'em through twice, folks - the stench of another 59-loss season under Bennett is hard to get off. Oh, and Ford is now bankrupt. Coincidence? I think not.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
The biggest moves in free agency were made by Detroit who corralled Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva to play in the city formerly known as Motown. While the city's auto industry is on life support, the Pistons will be revving it up.
Los Angeles Lakers (c'mon, as if I even need to clarify Lakers, here) grabbed Ron Artest, lost Trevor Ariza and get Phil Jackson back. They are still very likely the team to beat.
Orlando signs Vince Carter and loses Hedo Terkoglu. This is interesting. This team was poised to stay atop the Eastern Conference. Losing Turkoglu to Toronto hurts. Frankly it makes little sense at all - he should've gotten a deal done in Orlando or looked at Portland where he could at least live under the illusion the playoffs were a possibility. In Toronto? Nice city, NBA wasteland. Adding Carter looks great on paper, but how much more is he bringing to offset the loss. If it is anything at all Orlando should be poised for another deep playoff run.
Rasheed Wallace to Boston. An aging team just got more physical in the post. They'll add rebounds, push opponents scoring averages down, and lead the league in technical fouls. In addition, they do not have to play against his. Sure he is mercurial, but he's with a savvy mix of veterans in Boston who know how to win. If he can keep from coming unhinged mentally, he'll have a fun ride in Beantown.
Shaq traded to Cleveland. If he can stay healthy and give the Cav's 20 minutes late in games, he'll help LaBron. Maybe Shaq will find a second wind playing with LaBron. A m otivated Shaq is a dangerous thing. Hopefully he spends the off season polishing up his foul shooting. He makes it interestend for Cleveland. It's all about im staying healthy and being able to play the post come playoff time. Clearly a pro-active effort to keep King James in Cleveland.