Tag:

2008 NBA Draft


Via the Daily News
"...(Donnie) Walsh respects Thomas, particularly his ability to evaluate young talent. Three of Thomas' former first-round picks, David Lee, Nate Robinson and Wilson Chandler, are starting for Mike D'Antoni and are enjoying their best seasons.

Thomas' first draft pick as Knicks' president was Trevor Ariza, who was selected 43rd overall in the 2004 draft. Ariza is a top reserve for the Lakers and scored a career-high 26 points in Sunday's win over Dallas.

Thomas scouted Danilo Gallinari, Walsh's first draft pick with the Knicks, but it is believed that Thomas favored Indiana shooting guard Eric Gordon, who was selected seventh by the Clippers after the Knicks drafted Gallinari with the sixth pick.

Tags: 2008 NBA Draft, Danilo Gallinari, David Lee, Donnie Walsh, Mike D'Antoni, Wilson Chandler
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Hahn has implemented this live chat stuff, and we think it's great. He discusses several scenarios including Monte Ellis, Duhon, David Lee and Zach Randolph.

Ellis not be my ideal PG either, but who cares if he fits with Crawford. If we get Ellis we should move JCraw, stat. Ellis is a long shot at best, so it doesn't really matter. That said, I'm somewhat excited to see what Crawford can do off the ball in D'Antoni's system.
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Luis Fernandez, the European talent evaluator for draftexpress.com, has the following take on Gallinari.

The connection between D?Antoni and Gallinari has been generously voiced: the Knicks coach shared team with Danilo?s father, Vittorio, back in the eighties, when Olimpia Milano dominated Europe (the great Bob McAdoo joined them too).

Now, many can think this is a sentimental pick, or something similar.

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Leave it to an out of town clown, er, "writer" to sum up Chicago's feelings on the Knicks' pick of Gallinari.

DRAFT GRADE: D

New York Knicks. It didn't take the New York fans at the draft long to start booing. Welcome to New York, Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni. They said it would take awhile, but New Yorkers aren't that patient. They booed loudly and often as Italian forward Danilo Gallinari walked across the stage. The question is if LeBron James wants to play with him. Anyone seen Frederic Weis? Ouch.

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Off the bat we knew the Augustin pick made no sense for the Bobcats. But that doesn't mean, apparently, that Ray Felton is going to be shipped. We speculated Lee and a player, but GM Rod Higgins shot that down today.

Charlotte Bobcats general manager Rod Higgins says drafting D.J. Augustin isn't intended to supplant Raymond Felton as the team's starting point guard.

Specifically, Higgins said, there's ?no truth? to a report out of New York that the Bobcats might trade Felton to the Knicks for power forward David Lee.

Augustin should get minutes right away, but I'm not buying shifting Felton to the 2 as a combo backcourt. Felton would be a great "engine" for D'Antoni. Lee is the issue, since he can tell a team that he won't re-sign if he doesn't like where he ends up.
Tags: 2008 NBA Draft, David Lee, Raymond Felton
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Great times last night. Thanks to the folks at Butterfield 8, and the SNY crew for coming together on a terrific night. My thanks to the TKB staff: Andrew, Steve and Mike, the Knicks could use such teamwork, already.

I was very pleased I got the chance to meet some of the fans of the site and posters, all of whom share great love for the Knicks, chicks, and beer.

I have to say that at no point did I take McHale seriously with Mayo, but I thought Love in Memphis was a good fit. Either way, I'm not sold on how aggressively Donnie was trying to trade up.

Tags: 2008 NBA Draft, Danilo Gallinari
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Greg Hutchins of the Garden Grasp had this to add after reading my take on the draft. Of course Greg was at the WaMu center and sat in on the Danilo Gallinari press conference after he was picked. Here was Greg's take:

With optimism at a fever pitch heading into the 6th pick, David Stern's announcement that Italy's

Danilo Gallinari is now the future of the Knicks sucked the gravity out of the WaMu Theatre at Madison Square Garden. Fans who longed for an "engine" to push Mike D'Antoni's offense, were shocked with the Donnie Walsh's choice.

Tags: 2008 NBA Draft, Danilo Gallinari
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I had the opportunity to go to the NBA Draft for the first time last night. The experience was interesting with all the "buzz" going on in the WaMu Theater.

Overall the NBA puts on a great show and knows how to market. There were plenty of stations, both inside and outside the Garden, where fans could be entertained. Additionally, plenty of advertisers had the opportunity to pitch their products (Sprite being the main sponsor of the draft) and give away free goodies.

The interesting part of the draft is that there is not the normal demarcation line between the players and everyone else. There are various "Green Rooms", but you could easily run into Derrick Rose going to the concession stand as you walked through the building. I actually sat a few rows behind Alexis Ajinca, who went #20 to the Bobcats.

Tags: 2008 NBA Draft, Danilo Gallinari
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We had a chance to listen to Danilo Gallinari speak right after he was selected at the draft. Take a read of the transcript given to us courtesy of ASAP Sports.

Q: Talk about your feelings about being picked.

DG: I'm so excited, I have no words. It's a dream for me and I really don't know what to say. I'm so excited and happy to be here

Tags: 2008 NBA Draft, Danilo Gallinari
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Rumors swirling about the Knicks talk of selecting Danilo Gallinari. Fans are already booing the pick the Knicks haven't even selected yet. With countless undesirable draft picks over the years, Knicks fan fear another Fredric Weiss. Gallinari has talent and size but like another other potential pick their move to the NBA cannot be guaranteed. The Knicks have been weak in finding International talent which can transform their game to the NBA. The booing is ringing through the Garden from images of past draft blunders that Knicks fans are still haunted by.
Tags: 2008 NBA Draft, Danilo Gallinari, Knicks, Mike D'Antoni
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It's draft night, Knick fans, and due to the regime change, I am actually anticipating a competent, logical draft decision to be made by Knick management tonight. I'm actually excited and looking forward to what happens this time! Wow! I don't know what to do with myself (beside head down to Butterfields 8, like every good Knick fan should). I don't think I've been this confident and excited for a Knick draft since...............1985?!?!? Good Lord.

A part of me is honestly scared after being subjected to years of trade day blunders. Who can forget lottery picks being used on a Frenchman like Frederick Weis (who ended up never setting foot in the Garden) or a 375-lb. forward like Michael Sweetney (who if memory serves me was scarfing down Popeye's chicken when he came to the podium)? Who can forget draft day trades for winners like Antonio McDyess and ZBo?

A part of me is waiting for Donnie Walsh to announce that he traded David Lee to Memphis for Kwame Brown, drafted Kostas Koufas at six and then rip his face off to reveal that was Isiah Thomas all along. That can't happen right? We're sure Isiah is gone for good?? Butterfields better have fire insurance just in case.

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I will be at the WAMU Center tonight with Greg Hutchins of the Garden Grasp to cover the NBA draft. I hope to be giving you update posts from my phone if I hear anything. I will also hope to grab some audio to put on the Knicks Blog Radio Show tomorrow. Stay tuned for details on the draft and radio show.
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As per Chad Ford..."The Grizzlies have also been talking trade with a number of teams. On Monday we reported that the Knicks were talking to Memphis about swapping David Lee and the expiring contract of Malik Rose for the No. 5 pick and Brian Cardinal's awful contract.

However, as of Wednesday night, those talks appeared dead. According to sources, Lee's representatives sent a message to the Grizzlies that Lee didn't want to play in Memphis and would refuse to sign a free agent deal with the Grizzlies next summer."

That's a shame however we found this from the Times...

According to executives with two teams, the Knicks are discussing a swap of first-round picks with Portland. The Knicks would send the No. 6 pick, forward David Lee and another player to the Trail Blazers for the 13th and 27th picks and a player, possibly Steve Blake or Jarrett Jack. (Portland is acquiring the 27th pick from New Orleans.)

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Finger point for the no look from brooklynmutt.

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...Donnie Walsh tonight should he pick Danilo Gallinari, ask yourself if you'd take the best player in the Big East. Gallinari would have destroyed the Big East this year, according to our European Scout.

Or they could trade down, which doesn't always make fans happy.

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We will be doing a live podcast from the draft TONIGHT and look forward to getting behind the scenes scoop on any trades or player movement.

Also, as previously mentioned, SNY will be filming our "Free Drafts on Draft Night" at Butterfield 8 in Manhattan just a few blocks away.

If you are on line for tickets to the draft, check out our knicksblog girls handing out vouchers for a free draft beer courtesy of TKB (we know Knick fans need it.)

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...up to 4 to take Eric Gordon as per 1050 radio.
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According to a league source, Charlotte might be closing in on a deal with Memphis that would give the Bobcats the No. 5 pick in the draft, with their eye on Rusell Westbrook or Kevin Love.

Westbrook's stock has taken a serious leap over the last 10 days and he could go anywhere between No. 4 (Seattle) and No. 11 (Indiana). The Knicks would love to see him at No. 6, the Clippers at No. 7 or the Bobcats at No. 9, if they stay there. Jun. 26 - 10:35 am et

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Wendy Nix of ESPN said during last night's draft show that Donnie Walsh told her he probably won't be able to make any of the move-up trades he was pursuing. Chad Ford of ESPN.com says the David Lee-to-Memphis for the No. 5 is dead because, apparently, Lee suggested to the Grizz he won't sign long-term to play in Graceland. The truth behind a lot of these rumors involving the Knicks is the lack of interest from other teams. I've been told by several league executives that Donnie is facing a sobering reality right now: most of his players just don't have any trade value- except Lee.

...Andrew Smith writes....

This was something Tommy and I discussed at the outset of the offseason. We tried to put ourselves in the shoes of every general manager around the league to come up with trades that might be good for both sides. And, it was virtually impossible. It's absolutely amazing to see the PLAYER options that were just handed out in these contracts that we are now bogged down with. That is the harsh reality that Walsh and D'Antoni signed up for. It's going to take a lot of patience on their part, and our part.

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According to the Post, they've discussed the possibility of moving down, scooping up PG Jarret Jack.

The Knicks have talked to Portland about trading down, swapping No. 6 with 13, possibly gaining point guard Jarrett Jack. But a league source said Walsh has very little interest in trading down, only up.
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I've seen my fair share of basketball over the years, and have studied it heavily. I've done what most of you have done, mastered season after season of NBA Live, dominated fantasy basketball leagues, even had the opportunity to play D-III hoops (which I passed on). I played on six basketball teams in my life that won well over 20 games in a season to go with losses that you can count on one hand.

In fact, I was looking at some college notebooks the other day and among the scribbled notes of Quantitative Business formulas and Robert Frost poems, I noticed literally dozens Xs and Os of designed half court plays that I thought could help any offense pick a part even the most stingy of defenses. And vice versa.

"Wow, I'm a basketball loser," I thought.

Tags: 2008 NBA Draft, Donnie Walsh
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Courtesy of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel
While no trade demand has been issued, dissatisfaction from Shawn Marion over his long-term outlook in Phoenix contributed to the Feb. 6 trade that sent him along with guard Marcus Banks to the Heat for center Shaquille O'Neal.

Marion had been off-limits for a trade, by league rule, until his opt-out window closed. At 6 p.m. Tuesday that changed.

Now options with Marion can be explored, possibly those including picks in Thursday's draft. One permutation would be the Knicks' No. 6 pick and guard Stephon Marbury, who holds an expiring contract, for Marion and center Mark Blount.

And they say NY writer's rumors are bad....
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If the Heat don't find any takers (for Beasley at 2), sources told ESPN.com's Andy Katz on Tuesday night that Mayo was told by Heat brass -- which included Riley, general manager Randy Pfund and coach Erik Spoelstra -- that Mayo is in contention to be selected outright at No. 2.
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Ken Berger of Newsday notes the key to the Knicks/Grizzlies deal is dependent on what happens with Marc Gasol.

As Alan Hahn has reported, there?s legitimate traction to Memphis? desire to trade the No. 5 pick to the Knicks for David Lee. The Memphis situation revolves around Marc Gasol?s decision to return to the United States and play for the Grizzlies, who hold his rights after he was dealt by the Lakers in the trade that sent his brother, Pau, to Los Angeles in February. Memphis can?t begin negotiating with Gasol until July 1, but they appear to be operating under the assumption that he will serve as this year?s lottery pick. Gasol?s return to the States gives Memphis the flexibility to use the fifth pick to bring in an experienced veteran who complements Gasol ? which is where Lee enters the equation.
The Knicks would then have the fifth and sixth picks and would be leaning toward taking Italian forward Danilo Gallinari and UCLA guard Russell Westbrook. Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni would love to find a way to get O.J. Mayo, but would need some dominoes to fall their way to have any chance.
Rumors abound that Gasol will sign a 3 year/9 million dollar deal with the Grizz, so, if Berger's right, this is a done deal. We'll see.
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Via Howard Beck of the NY Times
Taking Danilo Gallinari, a 19-year-old Italian forward, may give skeptical fans Fr?d?ric Weis flashbacks. Drafting Arizona?s Jerryd Bayless, who may or may not be a point guard, would only expand the Knicks? corps of not-quite-point guards. Ditto for U.C.L.A.?s Russell Westbrook and Indiana?s Eric Gordon.

But Walsh is a veteran of 22 drafts and is prepared for the howls. His first two lottery picks with the Indiana Pacers ? Chuck Person in 1986 and Reggie Miller in 1987 ? were both unpopular at the time.

?The first year I got unanimously booed ? it was the whole arena ? for taking Chuck Person, who became rookie of the year,? Walsh said. ?So that made me feel good. The second year was Reggie Miller, and I realized that there were some cheers. But four-fifths of the arena booed.?

Tags: 2008 NBA Draft, Donnie Walsh
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Our boy NYsportsGUY breaks down who the Knicks should take at point guard, Augustin or Westbrook.

Considering that the Knicks new coach requires it, and the Knicks haven't had one since Doc Rivers, it is critical that we draft a Point Guard this year. Most of the draft experts agree with this notion. Here is a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the two that will most likely be around when the Knicks have to make their selection.
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Andy Katz notes that there could be a sure sign that the Grizzlies/Knicks deal is on or off come Thursday.

A potential deal with Memphis and New York apparently has some legs. The Knicks, who have the No. 6 pick, would get the Grizzlies' No. 5 pick, David Lee and other considerations to Memphis. New York would then select UCLA's Russell Westbrook and Italy's Danilo Gallinari with its No. 5 and No. 6 picks. If Memphis selects UCLA's Kevin Love, that is a strong indicator that the Grizzlies are keeping the pick.

? If the Knicks and Grizzlies work out a trade in the Nos. 5 and 6 spots, then the top nine could go like this:

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Found this forum on a Raptors site. Their fans aren't enthralled with what the Knicks have to offer in exchange for T.J. Ford.
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I know this is only semi Knicks-related, but ESPN.com is reporting that the Suns and Clippers are discussing a deal that would send Leandro Barbosa and the 15th pick in exchange for Corey Maggette and the 7th pick. I've always been a big fan of both Maggette and Barbosa (probably more so than most), and think this would be a great trade for both teams. But, if THIS is the market for Barbosa, then it is comical that there are people thought that trading Jamal Crawford for Leandro Barbosa would be bad for the Knicks.

I also wonder who Phoenix can be hoping they land with the 7th pick. My guess would be either Brook Lopez, because Shaq has become a 25-minute a night player who cannot stay healthy for a full season. Or D.J. Augustin, a pass-first PG as the heir apparent to Steve Nash, who is now 34-years old.

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1. Chicago Bulls: A big surprise if they don't go for Memphis point guard Derrick Rose.

2. Miami Heat: I heard Monday afternoon that the Sonics were trying to trade up to No. 2 for Michael Beasley. I don't believe that's true. I do believe that Miami will keep the pick to take Beasley and that he'll be Rookie of the Year.

3. Minnesota Timberwolves: The roundtable in their draft room is said to be split between UCLA forward Kevin Love and USC guard O.J. Mayo. Can they rationalize taking Love as high as No. 3? They can't afford to trade too far back for either player.

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Can I have the key master? Although we believe the T-Wolves will start the dominoes falling, it appears Pat Riley is not in love with Beasley, and is actively looking to trade out of the 2 spot, according to ESPN's Chad Ford.

One source told Insider that the Heat are revisiting trade talks with the Grizzlies. Insider reported several weeks ago that there was talk that Memphis would give up Mike Miller, Kyle Lowry and the No. 5 pick as part of a package for the No. 2 pick. The same source said the Heat are asking the Grizzlies to sweeten the deal by substituting Mike Conley for Lowry. The deal would be Conley and the No. 5 pick to Miami for the No. 2 pick and Daequan Cook.

That trade would land Riley the point guard he covets and still get him a high lottery pick in the draft. The Heat would likely choose between Kevin Love or Brook Lopez at No. 5.

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The time has come for us to ask:

[Poll=7]

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It is our estimation, which was solved over a few cold ones at the local sports bar last night, the following scenario would give Walsh an A++++ on Thursday.

  • First with Knicks/Memphis as reported by Chad Ford?s ESPN. Trade David Lee and Malik Rose for Brian Cardinal the 5th pick.
  • Then send Zach Randolph and either the 5th or 6th pick for Jason Maxiell, Rasheed Wallace and 29th pick. We'd leave out the 29th pick if need be.
  • Draft Russell Westbrook or Bayless (Mayo won't fall) at 5 and hope that one of the following players is available at 29: Omer Asik, JJ Hickson, Darrell Arthur or Javele McGee.
We liked the ZBo to Detroit move weeks ago, but if Dumars (big if) would throw in Maxiell, this is a fleecing. It's a rumor too good to be true. We love Maxiel and don't think he'd be included, but maybe Dumars is itching to deal Wallace, which he may be since Peter Vescey said Sheed was untouchable, and JD may really want to move up to 5 or 6.

Wishful thinking? Absolutely, but we are talking about best case scenario here.

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Mike Dougherty of the Journal News notes on his blog that although many rumors should be taken at face value, Donnie Walsh is active.

"The pensive team president apparently told a number of people inside and outside the organization the Knicks will not be predictable. So let?s deal with the unexpected.

Walsh is definitely calling around the league, seeking a match for pieces that don?t seem to fit here.

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Mitch Lawrence of the Daily News notes that the Knicks should hook the one true point guard in the draft, D.J. Augustin.

With Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni wanting to be competitive right away, Augustin - who averaged 19.2 points and 5.8 assists as a sophomore - might make for the best choice. And that's why a couple of teams drafting in the Knicks' vicinity see him coming to New York, even if a few think it's a bit of a reach. Once a lock to go in the top 10, Augustin's stock took a hit when Rose and Memphis ran over the Longhorns en route to the Final Four.

"That scared some people because you're looking at Augustin thinking, will this also happen on the next level?" said one Eastern Conference GM whose team picks in the top 10. "But he is the consummate point guard. He knows how to run a team and he can come in and do it right away, no questions asked. He's crafty with the ball. He can get his shot. And he can shoot it."

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Chad Ford mentions a rumored deal that is apparently heating up between the Knicks and the Grizzlies.

Even stronger are rumors that the Grizzlies are talking to a number of teams, including the Knicks, Blazers and Suns, about deals that would send the No. 5 pick to whomever is willing to take Brian Cardinal's awful contract (2 years, $13 million left). The latest buzz has the Knicks talking to Memphis about a deal that would send David Lee and the expiring contract of Malik Rose to Memphis for No. 5 and Cardinal.
Walsh may be angling to package 5 & 6 for 1 or 2, but I'd almost hang on to the pick and take two solid young players at 5 & 6. Beasley is a can't miss, and I think Chicago stays put. Any way you slice it, this would be a solid play.

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Splitting the double teams, wow.

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Jonathan Givony of draftexpress.com has some interesting notes as we head into the exciting draft week.

Is Jerryd Bayless as much of a lock at 4 as everyone thinks? A number of NBA teams we?ve spoken with don?t think that?s the case. Almost everyone at this point in fact has Brook Lopez slated be picked by Seattle, with Bayless dropping slightly to the Knicks at #6. If Lopez doesn?t go 3rd, 4th of 5th, he will be taken by a team that did not work him out, as he only agreed to be seen by those three teams.
He also mentions, as we've speculated, that the Clippers may jump up to 3 and take OJ Mayo.

As of right now, if Minnesota keeps the pick, it appears likely that Mayo will be selected at #3, although things could still change between now and draft day. One rumor making the rounds says that the LA Clippers may offer to package their own pick (#7) along with their 2009 first round pick (protected) and the future pick they are owed by Minnesota(top 10 protected), in order to move up and select Mayo.
Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel speculates the Heat and the Sonics may be in serious trade discussions.

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Marc Berman has some thoughts heading into Draft Week.

Indications are Walsh and his new hire Mike D'Antoni want to come away from Thursday night with a point-guard-of-the-future, whether via trade (T.J. Ford and Leandro Barbosa are being heavily shopped) or from a collection of combo guards plentiful in the middle of the lottery.

During interviews, D'Antoni has told the guards who have worked out he's looking for "an engine" to run his high-powered attack.

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I'm very hard on ESPN, particularly their lame anchors, their awful analysis, and most recently, their coverage of the NBA Finals.

But, Bilas is one of the best. He's smart, can back up his points with substance and proof, and thinks logically. Plus he has a solid eye for talent.

He's said what I've said about Mayo. No one is saying the kid isn't talented. He's not a point guard, although as Bilas says in the video, he can "initiate an offense."

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From the Jordan Classic at the Garden a few years ago. Eric Gordon playing as well along with other prospects.

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From Newsday's Alan Hahn

The Arizona Republic reported that the Knicks are interested in Suns guard Leandro Barbosa, who thrived in the D'Antoni system and is very close to Dan D'Antoni. The Suns are looking to move up in the draft and are shopping Barbosa and Boris Diaw along with the 15th overall pick, which they received from Atlanta in the Joe Johnson trade in 2005. Barbosa's contract runs through 2012 and averages $7 million per season. Portland reportedly also is interested in Barbosa ... The Knicks have been shopping Zach Randolph but have received very little interest ... Depending on what happens with O.J. Mayo and Jerryd Bayless in the first five spots, the Knicks likely will decide between Indiana's Eric Gordon or Italian star Danilo Gallinari at the No. 6 spot, with UCLA's Russell Westbrook as a sleeper.
Apologies to Hahn if we jumped the gun in saying he thinks Westbrook is a lock.

From the Post's Marc Berman

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Lock down defender and superior athlete who has point guard experience. I love this kid's tools. Second best guard prospect period. Yes, ahead of Mayo.

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Yahoo sports talks with The Jet and Greg Anthony, two former Knicks and guys who would make great executives one day.

Smith makes a great point to fans saying they are fooling themselves if they think this is a pick that will turn around the organization.

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Newsday's Alan Hahn says that the Knicks will stay put and draft UCLA's Russell Westbrook.

Notes & quotes: The latest word is that the Knicks intend to keep the pick at No. 6 overall with an eye on UCLA guard Russell Westbrook, especially if USC's O.J. Mayo and Arizona's Jerryd Bayless are off the board . . .
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