Nothing ever changes: Charlotte Hornets 1996 first-rounder Kobe Bryant.

Ahh…sweet refuge.  It’s NBA Draft Day, meaning we have an excuse to stop ripping the local baseball teams and talk about the Lakers basketball for a day.   Let’s only go halfway though – let’s rip the draft.  It’s one of the weakest in years.

Here are the two names you care about today: Kyrie Irving is a freshman point guard from Duke who played eight regular season games, shredded a toe, then made it back for the Blue Devils’ three March Madness games, blowing up for 28 in their Sweet 16 loss to Arizona and Derrick Williams who averaged almost 20 points and a hair over 8 rebounds in his sophomore year.

Barring trades, they should go in that order to Cleveland and Minnesota.  The Cavs pick, by the by, came from the Clippers, who probably still got the better of the deal in which they dumped Baron Davis’ contract from hell on Cleveland and picked up Mo Williams.

The Lakers, meanwhile, want Williams bad.  They allegedly offered up Lamar Odom for the T-Wolves’ #2 pick.  Rumor has it that, had they been willing to pony up Pau Gasol or ‘Drew Bynum, the deal would have gone down.  Bynum is now considered almost untouchable since Jimmy Buss – Jerry’s son, who’s also primarily responsible for the Mike Brown hire – takes credit for drafting him.

Other entertaining stuff:  They’re pining away for Jimmer Fredette, this year’s Adam Morrison, in his native country of Utah.  In fact, some of the native folk think he walks on water.  If they take him, it’ll be with the #12 pick.  With the #3 pick, which the Jazz also have, they’re expected to grab 6-11 Turkish phenom Enes Kanter.  He was a Kentucky Wildcat last year.  He was never eligible to play college ball, but he was there.

The real mystery date in today’s draft is Jeremy Tyler.  He was, far and away, the #1 recruit in the 2010 high school basketball class.  Unfortunately, young Jeremy apparently dislikes school even more than most, so he said, “School’s Out,” (hit the link – trust us) and took a pass on his senior year, turning pro instead.  In two years, he played ten games in Israel (which actually has a decent basketball league) and fifteen more in Japan (which doesn’t).  Here’s guessing somebody at the end of the first round takes a flyer on the Maccabi Haifa and Tokyo Apache “veteran”.

The dude who’s blowing up the most right now is Washington State shooting guard Klay Thompson, who may go as high as #4.  Laker fans surely remember his father, Mychal Thompson.

Speaking of the Lakers, they have four second round picks tonight, meaning they’re unlikely to get anyone overly useful.  The main guy they apparently have their eye on is Duke’s other point guard, Nolan Smith, who managed to stay in college for four years and averaged 20 points and 5 assists this year.

Trades will occur today, and with a lockout looming in eight days, today also is trade deadline of sorts.  Because NBA players have a week to report to their new teams during the off-season, if you want to make a trade and be able to give your new guy(s) a physical in order to make sure you didn’t get damaged goods, you have to make the trade today.

Everything that goes around comes around, so let’s finish by going back around to that promising young high school player who averaged 31 points a game his senior year.  We think he has a future, just not in Charlotte.  Of course, we don’t think the Hornets have a future in Charlotte either.

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June 23, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Basketball, KCAL Crew, KCAL Rocks, Sports | No comment