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Smack / Jun 30, 2012 / 7:55 am

More NBA Draft aftermath, and looking ahead to free agency

Dion Waiters

The aftermath of the NBA Draft is always a good time to tell who actually knows something about basketball and who should just sit in a corner and think about hockey. One particularly popular non-informed opinion we’ve heard across sports-radio shows and Internet columns since Thursday is that the Cavs messed up by taking Dion Waiters with the No. 4 overall pick. Now we’re not guaranteeing that Waiters will be a good pro. He might not pan out, just like any Top-5 pick could potentially be a bust. But if your only reason to bash Cleveland’s pick is that Waiters wasn’t a starter at Syracuse, well, you need a better reason. The same people who think a college sixth man can’t do damage in the NBA are probably the same people who can’t understand why Manu Ginobili doesn’t start for the Spurs … Many comparisons have been made between Waiters and Marvin Williams in 2005, but this isn’t near the same case: Marvin didn’t start because he was a freshman on a veteran North Carolina squad; Waiters didn’t start because Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim is smart enough to know good teams have at least one guy who can come off the bench and be a game-changer. And we like the way the Cavs approached their top pick. Forget pre-draft rankings and “value” picks: If you need a two-guard and Waiters is the best two-guard on the board, take him … The first few days after the draft are also interesting because we can see where some of the best undrafted players end up. Casper Ware, the point guard from Long Beach State who probably put a scare into your favorite college hoops squad last year, was picked up by the Pistons to play for their summer-league squad. Ware is a superstar in L.A.’s Drew League summer showcase, and if he makes the Pistons he could be going head-to-head with Chicago playground legend Will Bynum in practice. That’s like a streetball fan’s version of a Deadliest Warrior fantasy matchup. Can we get Duke Tango to call Detroit’s training camp? … University of Texas sniper J’Covan Brown landed with the Heat after he went undrafted, which gives the defending champions three young guards — Brown, Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole — who will walk into any gym anywhere and think they’re the best player there. That’s quite the feat considering they’ll be seeing LeBron and D-Wade every day … Speaking of the Heat, now Chris Bosh has joined D-Wade on the list of NBA stars who will skip the London Olympics. At this point, maybe Anthony Davis does have a chance to make the Olympic roster. Hell, we wouldn’t be surprised if so many NBA stars pull out that Radric Davis ends up playing on Coach K‘s squad … Sorry, but we’re not buying the reports that the Celtics were trying hard to move up the draft board for Austin Rivers. OK, maybe the Celtics were interested in Austin, but we can’t see Austin being interested in the Celtics. The kid is about to become rich to go with the already young and single part. You really think he wants his Dad anywhere near the antics he’s about to get into? Son playing for father is a cute story and all, but as Will Smith once said on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, men have ugly needs … The trade sending Lamar Odom to the Clippers is complete: Mo Williams and Shan Foster go to Utah, second-round draft pick Furkan Aldemir goes to Houston, Tadija Dragicevic and cash goes to Dallas, and L.O. goes back to L.A. Will he be able to get his mind right? Probably … Brandon Roy‘s return to the NBA has been rumored for months, but only recently has there been an actual team attached to the rumors. The T-Wolves are said to be interested in B-Roy, six years after they originally drafted him and then traded him minutes later for, um, Randy Foye. But hey, it’s never too late to correct a mistake, right? Maybe it is if that mistake has really bad knees … Does anyone actually think Steve Nash will sign with the Raptors? This sounds like when Kobe was supposed to be seriously considering signing with the Clippers a few years ago, which was most likely a ploy to get the Lakers to give him what he wanted. Nash is either staying in Phoenix — and ensuring he’ll never win a championship — or he’s going to the Knicks or Nets … If the Suns don’t bring Nash back, they might not look all that different next year. First-round pick Kendall Marshall is an incredible passer, so as long as coach Alvin Gentry keeps the same system in place, guys like Marcin Gortat and Channing Frye will continue to look like legit scoring threats. Rumors also have the Suns interested in adding a scorer like James Harden, Jamal Crawford or Nick Young in free agency, so there should be no shortage of triple-digit games in Phoenix without Nash … We’re out like Bosh …

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