Suddenly, Everything has Changed

Suddenly, Everything has Changed
Jun 24, 2004, 01:00 am
By Aaron Bronsteter

Putting all the vegetables away,
That you bought at the grocery store today,
And it goes fast,
You think of the past,

Suddenly everything has changed

You're the GM of an NBA team with a top-10 pick on the draft, praying at night that the player you have coveted will drop to your position. You've come home after a long day of working the phones, trying to dig up as much information as possible. You get a phone call from your wife on the way home to pick up some groceries and you figure that the time to yourself will help you unwind after a long day. You sit down in your car, listen to your favorite CD, pick up the groceries and head home to your family.

You get home, put the groceries away and think about how quickly the draft has come this year. You methodologically think of how you can carve your team's name and your reputation as a general manager into the NBA's annuls of time by making the pick of a lifetime. Besides, you've been doing this for months. You've seen who the teams ahead of you and behind you are working out and you know exactly what you're going to do, right? Wrong!

You turn on the television to find that Dallas has traded Antawn Jamison for Jerry Stackhouse, Christian Laettner and the 5th overall pick. Jesus. But wait, there's more. You find that the Phoenix Suns have traded the 7th overall pick to the Bulls for a future 1st, their 2nd round pick and cash. No Tyson Chandler, nothing, just future picks. Your heart starts beating quickly, realizing that just when you thought that you knew everything, you know nothing. You go on the Internet, see what the mock drafts are saying, e-mail your scouts, e-mail whoever you can and it's back to the drawing board, this time with only one day remaining before the draft.

Driving home the sky accelerates,
And the clouds all form a geometric shape,
And it goes fast,
You think of the past,

Suddenly everything has changed

You get back into your car, head back to the office and get back on the phones, knowing that the other GMs are scurrying for as much information as possible.

If you're Bernie Bickerstaff, you've acquired a cool 2nd rounder, you're drafting either Emeka Okafor or Dwight Howard (although I wouldn't put it past Bick to take Shaun Livingston) and you've got an easy night of sleep ahead of you.

If you're John Weisbrod, you're watching tapes of Okafor and Howard all night, deliberating over the decision. A polished center who could become the next Bill Russell or Alonzo Mourning or an injury prone center in a power forward's body? Or an 18 year old phenom committed only to his religion and his basketball, who has told himself that he will be the 1st overall pick in the draft but do you draft a proven commodity or a question mark?

And if you're one of the GMs drafting 3 through 13, you're up all night watching tapes, talking to your cohorts, working the phones and figuring out what the hell your general manager peers around the league are thinking. Does Dallas want the number 5 pick or do they want Shaq? Why would Chicago want another lottery pick when they want a veteran? Do they want Ben Gordon, Luol Deng, Andre Iguodala or Paul Pierce? Danny Ainge is unpredictable at best, but imagine the damage he can do now.

What is everyone thinking? I mean, the draft isn't easy, but this is ridiculous.

What if you're the new Raptors' GM Rob Babcock and you're faced with the possibility that Ben Gordon, Shaun Livingston and Devin Harris are unavailable. Which player do you go after? Do you draft based on need or take the best player available?

What if you're John Paxson and you want to prove that you're a competent GM who cares about his team's future? Is getting younger with two lottery picks yet again the answer? Isn't that why Krause was ousted?

What if you're Billy King and you need a player to compliment the enigmatic Allen Iverson? Few drafted players have proven to do so effectively, so what do you do?

What if you're Don Nelson or Mark Cuban and the Lakers balk on a Shaq trade? Who would you want at the #5 position?

What if you're Washington or Phoenix? D you make a mistake or is this lottery passable?

What if you're Elgin Baylor? Do you take Gordon, Livingston or Harris? What if Deng is available?

If you're Luol Deng, are you worried? This was a 1-2-3 draft and now it's a 1-2 draft. GMs know what they'll get with Deng, a solid and consistent player. But what if? What if Livingston pans out and becomes the next best point guard? What if Ben Gordon lives up to potential and becomes a superstar? Deng is proven, but he's a proven 2nd or 3rd option on any NBA team, but the question marks, the players with a high ceiling, those players could be worth the gamble.

Putting all the clothes you washed away,
As you're folding up the shirts you hesitate,
Then it goes fast,
Think of the past,

Suddenly everything has changed

Deciding who to draft or who will be available at your position is a process that takes months. There are hundreds of different scenarios that GMs will often embrace. But yesterday, two trades changed the entire course of this NBA Draft and have changed the entire draft climate. After those trades were announced, GMs were forced to envision new scenarios within the span of 24 hours. The most likely scenario became unlikely, the player you thought would fall right into your lap could be snapped up in the blink of an eye. Your sleeper could become someone else's sleeper. Today decides the future of many franchises and the road was paved, but yesterday, two crucial trades changed everything. Suddenly, everything has changed.

Lyrics Credit: Suddenly, Everything has Changed by The Flaming Lips

Recent articles

Twitter @DraftExpress

DraftExpress Shop