Thursday, June 27, 2013
Solomon Hill is a first-round NBA Draft pick. And Grant Jerrett, against all odds, was taken in the second round, albeit after an Arizona State player.
Hill, Arizona's do-everything forward was taken 23rd overall by the Indiana Pacers, a team that took the Miami Heat to the brink in the NBA Eastern Conference finals and might have just been one player away from winning that series. Could Hill, a 6-foot-6 senior, be the answer?
Hill was the second player from the Pac-12 Conference taken, behind Shabazz Muhammad, who was taken 14th by Utah but then was traded to Minnesota.
Jerrett ended up going 40th overall to the Portland Trail Blazers, a pick that comes with no guarantees unlike for those taken in the first round. And all that the ESPN analysts could really say about him was that he has no neck.
Adding to the one-year UA player's career uncertainty: after the draft, his rights were traded to Oklahoma City, which at least means he won't have to go as far to travel to whatever NBA Developmental League team he's likely to end up with next season.
Other notable (or questionable) picks Thursday: Cleveland used the 1st overall pick to take Anthony Bennett from UNLV, someone that NO ONE projected to go in the top six; while New Orleans briefly turned University of Kentucky into its minor league feeder program when it took Nerlens Noel a year after taking fellow one-year-and-done big man Anthony 'The Unibrow' Davis from UK. But then Noel and his sick flattop 'do was traded to Philadelphia for a guy named Jrue.
Oh, and also, apparently the best basketball players in countries like Germany and Greece are also black. Still waiting for a black Mexican or Korean to get drafted.
And for those of you who still care about the Suns (i.e., those who shop at Fry's and notice they have Suns Rewards points that can be converted into suite access!), Phoenix's once-proud-but-now-run-into-the-ground franchise chose Alex Len, a center from Ukraine by way of Maryland, with the No. 5 pick. That's about all you need to know about him.
The Suns also have a connection to NBA history by, as their owning of the 30th pick in the first round made them part of the last-ever pick announced by commissioner David Stern. Stern, who had run the league for 30 years, did his best to milk the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and even egged them on at times, is retiring.
Oh yeah, that Suns pick: guard Nemanja Nedovic from Serbia. Like it matters, since that pick ended up going to Golden State in a trade. Instead, Phoenix got Kentucky guard Archie Goodwin in a trade for the 29th pick.