FreeDrafto Pre-Game: Sources inside and outside
Dashing this off quick before the monstrous FD Draft Chat begins, but you heard it first: trades will define this draft. Not to say that there will be tons; rather, the magnitude of '06 will depend on what caliber of names switch places as a part of this night's festivities. Think of it this way: none of us are all that enamored of anyone out in the sea this evening. If these players suddenly find themselves involved in a trade for Marion, Garnett, or any other big names currently being tickled silly by the rumor mill's million little cilia. Tyrus Thomas is none too exciting on his own; cast him as some fraction of, or commensurate with, Marion and now there's some gravity to him—and to the draft as a whole. Ironically, this is kind of the rabid empirical cousin of the "next so and so" approach that I've trod upon so extensively in the past. Comparison are stupid unless someone's willing to actually, in cold cash and court time, replace one with the other.
In a strange way, the Telfair trade plays into this, and has actually served to get me twice as excited about the draft as I was before it went down. Although he's hardly a legit player, Bassy's someone we "know" and can form a personality-driven opinion of. That might be what's really missing from this draft (last year's might've almost had too much of it), proving that it's not just a paucity of talent that's keeping me at arm's length. Apparently I tune in for some combination of human beings whose journey I can savor and the mad scientist scouting that makes possible their ascent. Sadly, this one seems lacking in both.