By DJ Gallo
Special to Page 2

The NBA draft is just two days away and -- oh, boy! -- what a draft it will be.

I don't recall any other pool of draft prospects that has been so consistent talentwise from top to bottom, allowing teams at the bottom of the draft to get players just as mediocre as those available at the top.

Since it's so difficult to differentiate between players this year, NBA front-office personnel are searching for every bit of information they can find on each player in hopes of finding someone who stands out.

And since I'm nothing but helpful, I wanted to offer up some scouting reports I've developed on a few of the biggest names in the draft. I trust they will be of use -- and I hope every NBA GM keeps this in mind Wednesday night: In a year when the draft is a boondoggle, the only smart choice is to choose Pittsnogle.

Adam Morrison (6-8, SF, Gonzaga) -- Solid all-around player who has been compared to Larry Bird, Rick Barry, Wally Szczerbiak or anyone white. His game has no similarities to any person of color. None. Poor defense and lack of athleticism have scouts questioning how good he can really be, and mustache has scouts questioning his decision-making. Emotional player who likely will start bawling and rolling around on the floor if he's not taken with the first pick.

Andrea Bargnani (7-1, PF, Italy) -- Those high on him say he could be the next Dirk Nowitzki, while others claim he's nothing more than the next Nikoloz Tskitishvili. Regardless, he'll easily become the best player named "Andrea" in NBA history.

Tyrus Thomas (6-8, PF, LSU) -- Compared to former LSU forward Stromile Swift. Will be a great choice for any team looking to find a Stromile Swift-esque nine points and four rebounds per game with a top-five draft pick.

LaMarcus Aldridge (6-11, PF, Texas) -- Can score, rebound and defend. Could go to the Bulls at No. 2 where he would -- in a perfect world -- team with another ex-Big 12 big man Chicago picked high a few years ago, Marcus Fizer, to form an imposing front line that would no doubt dominate opponents for years to come.

Brandon Roy (6-6, SG, Washington) -- Dynamic player who will likely be called the "surprise" of the NBA draft next season (by East Coast media people who never stayed up late enough to watch him play in college). Only negative is that as someone who played four years in college and is nearly 22 years old, Roy is quite old for an NBA rookie.

Rudy Gay (6-8, SF, UConn) -- Scouts drool over his size and athletic ability and think he can become a superstar. Only downside is the minor fact that he never was really all that good or productive in college and was actually quite disappointing in every conceivable way. But I'm sure that's nothing to worry about. Golden State would love to take him with the ninth pick, mainly because his jersey would be a huge seller in the San Francisco area.

Marcus Williams (6-3, PG, UConn) -- A great passer who led the nation in assists his sophomore year. Last year, in his junior season, he led the nation in laptop thefts. Has had trouble with weight gain, leading to questions about his work ethic and if he perhaps ate Khalid El-Amin.

J.J. Redick (6-5, SG, Duke) -- Armed not just with a jump shot or a dribble, but also armed for life. Big-name player who can sell tickets -- mostly to those who will want to come to the arena to heckle him. Showed great abilities as a leader at Duke and can really rally a team at halftime or during timeouts with a selection of inspirational poetry. Shot a team-high 42.1 percent from 3-point range last season and also was among the lead leaders in the ACC in blood-alcohol level.

Rajon Rondo (6-2, PG, Kentucky) -- Often referred to as a "pure point guard" because that's nicer than saying "a point guard who can't shoot at all -- no, really, he's awful." Rondo is an extremely quick player, but he needs to put on weight. Of course, then he'll be a slow player who needs to lose weight in order to gain quickness. Bit of a catch-22 there.

Shelden Williams (6-9, PF, Duke) -- Very polished scorer with his back to the basket. Can also face up and score by distracting his defender with his face. Self-motivated, but will respond best to a fiery coach who drops f-bombs two or three times per sentence.

Jordan Farmar (6-2, PG, UCLA) -- Has great court vision. His ears also enable him to hear passing lanes that other players cannot. Struggles with turnovers and shooting, so he should fit seamlessly into the system of any team in the draft lottery.

Headlines ...
New Knicks' coach disappointed to discover his roster is terrible

Ozzie Guillen says he doesn't need the support of a "stupid redneck like John Rocker"

Lowly Braves bumped by TBS for remainder of season for airings of "Shawshank Redemption"

Jason Grimsley rats out neighbor's kid for coming home after curfew

Here's yet another headline using the word "bend" in reference to David Beckham's goal

Four Things I Thought I Thought While Ordering a Hemp Shake from Randy Moss ...
1. The idea to expand the NCAA Tournament from 64 to 128 teams is terrible, but I'm not at all surprised it is receiving heavy support from a lot of coaches. I know if I were a mediocre college coach and couldn't get my team into the NCAA Tournament, I'd vote to have the field expanded, too. But if this does happen, I know I'm really going to be looking forward to the NIT Tournament, which will feature the 129th through 168th greatest teams in the land. It will be ratings gold. Players dribbling off their feet. People tripping and falling over each other. Airball after airball after airball. Basically, the WNBA but with some dunking.

2. I don't want to sound cynical -- because it's totally not my style -- but I almost have to wonder if the NCAA is considering an expansion of the tournament because it would make them millions of dollars in additional advertising and ticket revenue. So what that adding another round to the tournament would force players to miss even more class than they already do. That's why tutors exist. And so what that the NCAA's mission statement says the organization's primary goal is "to integrate intercollegiate athletics into higher education so that the educational experience of the student-athlete is paramount." That was written back before emoticons were invented. All they have to do is throw in one of those eye-rolling smileys at the end of their mission statement and everything will be fine.

3. It will be interesting to see how the 29 NBA also-rans incorporate some of the Heat's style into their games next season, since all champions in all sports are copycatted to a degree by those they beat. Hopefully it won't be to mimic Miami's practice of playing half-assed through the entire regular season, because that probably won't be all that helpful in terms of the NBA's resurgence. (Personally, my hope is that every team gets a point guard who looks, talks and acts exactly like Jason Williams for the pure hilarity it would provide. That would be straight up dope, yo. Word.)

4. The more I watch the World Cup, the more I'm shocked the U.S. team couldn't at least get out of group play on the superiority of our health care alone. Here we have a wealth of resources at our disposal to treat injuries. Elsewhere it seems they have only aerosol spray cans. Every time a player from another country gets injured, his team's training staff runs onto the field armed with nothing more than an aerosol can. Once they get to the player, they lightly massage the afflicted area for a few seconds and then spray it with the contents of the can. Then they stare at it for a few seconds and spray some more. Shockingly, this rarely heals the player. Next, they seem to say something along the lines of: "Sorry, Carlos, but spraying your leg with hair spray does not seem to have healed you. Unfortunately, this is as far as medicine has advanced in our country, so we have no other means with which to treat you. We will now remove you from the field on a stretcher and take you to the hospital. They have aerosol cans there that spray both hair spray and deodorant. Hopefully that powerful combo will do the trick. Beyond that, all we can do is pray."

DJ Gallo is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine as well as the founder and sole writer of the award-winning sports satire site SportsPickle.com. He also contributes headlines to The Onion.




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