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Crew fans get more on your favorite team
By Matt McCoy
I have to give it up to former Buckeye and 610 WTVN basketball analyst Tony White. I blogged a pre-draft story Thursday about Deshaun Thomas' prospects in the NBA draft and Tony said the best fit for Thomas would be a 'San Antonio like veteran team.' Good call Tony.
Thomas waited a while, but was selected late in the second round with the 58th overall pick by the Spurs.
"I think it's a great team for him," White said with 610 WTVN's Joel Riley Friday morning. "They know how to develop talent and they're not in a rush to put a player out there right now to go out and score a bunch of points. They have the talent, they have the depth, they have a solid team and they can work him in over time and give him an opportunity to go develop himself."
Whether that's on the Spurs roster remains to be seen. Not many late second round draft picks wind up landing in the NBA their first year.
"I really think he's going to play overseas. I don't think he's ready to make that squad right now," White said. "He's not physically ready yet. I think the Spurs look at him as a long term fit...I don't think he makes the Spurs right now because he has so much to work on."
Thomas' selection kept Ohio State's streak alive. At least one Buckeye has been taken in seven consecutive NBA drafts, the longest such streak in college basketball.
Tony's 'steal of the night'
Thomas was the fifth and final Big Ten player selected. The other four all went in the first round. Indiana teammates Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller were taken second and fourth to Orlando and Charlotte respectively. Michigan's Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. were selected ninth and 24th. Burke was picked by Minnesota, then quickly traded to Utah while Hardaway went to the New York Knicks.
"The steal of this draft in my opinion was Trey Burke," Tony said. "Victor Oladipo went way too high. I think he's going to be a good player but number two? I'm not sure about that. Cody Zeller---way too high at number four but Trey Burke going at number nine...I think the Utah Jazz got a steal in Trey Burke. In my opinion, in five years he's going to be an all-star."
To listen to Tony's interview with Joel Friday morning, click HERE:
The best and also most awkward moment of ESPN draft coverage came late in the proceedings and it involved columnist turned NBA analyst Bill Simmons and LA Clippers coach Doc Rivers. Rivers, the long time Boston Celtics coach, left for LA in a long rumored 'deal' between the two teams.
Simmons, finishing his first year as a studio analyst for ESPN, makes no bones about his allegiance to the Celtics and everything Boston. In addition to the loss of Rivers, during the draft the Celtics traded popular veterans Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, along with Jason Terry, to the Brooklyn Nets, putting the Celtics in full rebuilding mode.
Simmons has said that he believes Rivers 'quit' on the Celtics. He contends that Rivers knew the Celtics would be rebuilding so he manuvered his way out of Boston, forcing the Celtics into the unusual trade with the Clippers.
During the draft broadcast, ESPN's Shelly Smith asked Rivers about Simmons contention that he 'quit.'
"I would like to call him an idiot," Rivers said. "But I'm too classy for that."
When the studio crew got it back, Simmons was asked to react and didn't back down.
“The truth keeps changing. He’s giving different quotes about this," Simmons said. "When he sticks to a story, I’ll believe the truth.”
If you missed it, here's the exchange.