The NBA Draft: Where No One Knows Anything

Only one man knows where he's going tomorrow night

By Josh Alper
|  Thursday, Jun 25, 2009  |  Updated 7:35 AM PDT
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Whether you were talking to Jonny Flynn, Tyler Hansbrough or Hasheem Thabeet at the Westin Hotel in Times Square in Midtown one day before the draft, they were all singing the same confused tune.

Blake Girffin knows where he's going. None of the other 13 players that assembled for the media seemed particularly confident of where they'd be starting their professional careers. Tuesday's trade that brought the Minnesota Timberwolves the fifth pick of the first round onlt reinforced the uncertainty.

Brandon Jennings, the point guard who passed on Arizona for a year with Lottomatica Virtus Roma, summed it up best when asked if he was ready for the big night.

"A little worried," he said. "With the trades and all that's been going on, Washington doesn't have a pick now, I think it's going to shake up the draft a little bit." 

That's as good as any analysis you'll find. Minnesota holding two picks smack in the middle of the lottery will go a long way toward determining how all the other chips fall. Will they go for a guard and a forward? Two guards? Package the picks in another deal? The only answer thus far is that it's made for an unsettled group of future draftees.

There were other storylines. Ricky Rubio and Hasheem Thabeet each downplayed the conventional wisdom that they didn't want to go to Memphis with the second pick. Thabeet said the only reason he cancelled his workout with the Grizzlies was because he had to renew his visa in New York, lest he be deported shortly before he becomes a multi-millionaire. Rubio was more circumspect, but did say he'd spoken with the Gasol brothers and Juan Carlos Navarro about their experiences (good and bad) in Memphis.

Jennings admitted that he and other players had discussed the ignominy of being the last player in the green room on Thursday night. He and DeMar DeRozan both admitted to some fear of that happening, but, if media interest is any guide, Austin Daye of Gonzaga may have the most to worry about.

While reporters clamored around Jennings, Stephen Curry and others, Daye sat quietly and patiently in a corner waiting for someone to chat him up. Few did, but that's fine. The real awkwardness is yet to come.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.

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