Top prospects got to keep switching hats

Originally Published: June 28, 2006
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

NEW YORK -- Randy Foye simply left the Boston and Portland hats somewhere in Madison Square Garden.

"Whoever is going there should take them," Foye said. "I'll take this one."

He was pointing to his teal Minnesota Timberwolves hat, the third one he had been handed Wednesday evening after Foye was selected by Boston at No. 7, traded to Portland as part of the Sebastian Telfair deal, and then moved to Minnesota in a flip-flop of picks (Portland got No. 6 overall pick Brandon Roy).

Foye, a senior guard from Villanova, was traded more than any other player Wednesday in a 15-trade draft night that was an unofficial record.

Of the top eight picks, only three players -- No. 1 overall selection Andrea Bargnani (Toronto), No. 3 Adam Morrison (Charlotte) and No. 5 Shelden Williams (Atlanta) -- were selected by the team they will play for next season.

Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesThis was just the first of three different hats for Randy Foye Wednesday night.

"The right word is surreal," Foye said of the multitude of trades. "It didn't hit me that I was an NBA player."

That's because he was moved so many times in a 30-minute period.

"It was amazing. I was first going to Boston and then to Portland and figured that was it, but then I went to Minnesota," Foye said. "I was like, 'Wooo.' But then I thought back to my workout at Minnesota, and I know I showed the shooting ability and athleticism. I think it also helped that we played the NCAA Tournament games in Minneapolis."

The NBA media staff is under strict orders to keep the players going through the media horde and broadcast interviews wearing the hat of the team that selected him until a trade is official. In the case of Roy and Foye, the deal wasn't done for roughly 20 minutes after Roy had already gone through his media obligations. At least Foye got a chance to do his interviews with the correct hat on his head.

"It's odd, but it's a business," Texas sophomore center LaMarcus Aldridge said. Aldridge was sporting his new Blazers hat, which replaced the Chicago Bulls cap he initially received when he was selected No. 2 before being shipped to Portland for No. 4 pick Tyrus Thomas.

"It was kind of awkward, but it all happened so fast," Aldridge said.

Aldridge and Thomas got a heads-up from their agents that a trade was in the works, so they just went along with the show, took the hats, went up on stage and shook the commissioner's hand.

It was, as ESPN's Jay Bilas said, like being at a mall with a Lids store that was holding a two-for-one sale.

Ultimately, the players still went where they fit best. Minnesota coveted Foye. Portland wanted Roy. The reason the Wolves picked Roy ahead of Foye was because they got cash considerations from the Blazers in the deal.

The Bulls did their deal with the Blazers so they could also get Viktor Khryapa.

Rodney Carney may have been the last to know what was happening with his trade scenario. Carney, who played four years at Memphis, was part of a swap with Philadelphia and Chicago that involved the No. 13 and 16 picks. The Bulls wanted Thabo Sefolosha but didn't think he would last until No. 16 (Utah was interested at No. 14), so they struck a deal with the Sixers to take him at No. 13 and then took Carney for the Sixers at No. 16.

"I didn't know," Carney said. "I sat down for my radio interview and they said, 'What do you think about going to Philadelphia?' I didn't know."

Carney didn't work out for the Sixers because he was hurt. He did interview with them, but the Sixers talked to Memphis coach John Calipari as late as Wednesday afternoon before deciding on Carney. That's how last-minute some of these deals were on Wednesday.

"It was a crazy night," Carney said. "It's a good thing I got drafted, though. I was sitting there getting nervous."

Andy Katz is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com