The Phoenix Suns were very obviously trying to maneuver their way around the luxury tax before the draft started with all the rumors surrounding Shawn Marion. Since they could not find a deal that they felt was worthy of being made, they instead opted to land a pick in next year's loaded draft (Cleveland's). They also saved themselves $9 million - when taking salaries and luxury tax savings into consideration.
This is the name of the game in today's luxury tax era, as tough as it is for fans to swallow. Building a team like the Suns with max or near max players like Steve Nash, Marion, Amare Stoudamire and soon enough Boris Diaw is not cheap. Keeping them together is even more difficult when the owner doesn't have deep pockets.
* Traded for Cleveland's 2007 first rounder, cap space and cash.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers had some basic needs and they made an effort to fill them through the draft. Davis had a nice college career. He certainly has the size and basic skill-set to make the rotation. Guillermo Diaz is an intriguing pick by an intriguing team. The Clippers can pair him with 6-7 point guard Shaun Livingston and allow Diaz to play his natural position (shooting guard). You rarely get someone that late in the draft who can actually play, but the Clippers appear to have done it.
It's difficult to criticize a team drafting this late, but it's even more difficult to see how Jordan Farmar fits into the triangle offense. With Phil Jackson's emphasis on tall point guards who can shoot and play defense, Farmar is an odd choice because he is just the opposite.
Regardless, Farmar is still a very nice player. His ability to find the open man is top-notch, as are his ball-handling and leadership skills. The true test for Farmar will be to see how he reacts to playing in the D-League or seeing little to no playing time on the NBA level.
Later in the draft the Lakers went out and acquired two more guards who really don't fit their system in Maurice Evans and Pinnock. That brings them to six young guards on their roster excluding Kobe Bryant, so something will have to give. Trading a 2007 second round pick for a player who almost certainly would have gone undrafted seems like a bit of a waste. Especially when considering Pinnock is a long shot to make the team.
* acquired Maurice Evans; acquired J.R. Pinnock (58)
Geoff Petrie has coveted a combo guard in the mold of Bobby Jackson to bring off the bench since he traded Jackson. Petrie managed to secure the most talented combo guard in the draft despite picking at No. 19.
Douby will bring Sacramento's Princeton-style offense a new dimension with his deep range, outstanding toughness and ball-handling skills. He led the Big East in scoring and shot a terrific percentage despite being double-teamed almost every game. He has NBA-ready skills.
Sacramento has more issues to address, but did a fine job considering where it picked.
What this will really boil down to is just how good O'Bryant wants to be and whether he'll continue to work hard. He improved from being a reach for a mid-major school to sign two years ago to a top-10 pick. Considering how raw he is, if the Warriors make the playoffs next year it probably won't be because of him. Regardless, O'Bryant has every tool needed to become a very solid NBA center down the road, and it will be up to Golden State's coaching staff to bring that out of him.
At No. 38, the Warriors drafted a player who has almost none of the tools needed to become a solid NBA center down the road in Kosta Perovic. Considering the amount of big men Golden State already has on its roster, this pick is confusing to say the least.