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Gorgui, Siva Headed Off to Begin Pro Careers

Now The Real Work Begins

Mike Stobe

For the first time since 2009, Louisville Cardinals heard their names called in the NBA Draft. Gorgui Dieng, who I assume will win "Best Dressed" for his suit + tie clip combo, was taken with the 21st overall pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves (technically he was taken by the Jazz but as part of a trade that sent Gorgui and Shabazz Muhammad to Minnesota and Trey Burke to Utah) and has already left for his new job according to a 5:24 AM tweet:

Preface all of this by saying I have no idea about the NBA as I have proved over and over again, but this pick was right after the Bulls (who many thought would love to have Dieng in their defensive system) and right before the Nets (who apparently really liked Gorgui after workouts and made a trade that turned them into maybe the second most interesting team in the NBA next year) and it's weird to think how different Gorgui's career might be had he ended up with either. MN apparently has a really good Center who is a free agent, but if they lose him, Gorgui may have a chance to fight for a starting spot right away. Also MN has one more year of Kevin Love and has Ricky Rubio as their PG, so Gorgui would seem to fit into their lineup? Maybe?

According to the mothership (click through for a really visually cool draft grade post), MN got a B- on "Upside", a B on "Fit" and a B on "Immediate Impact" which sounds like they don't love it or hate it, but also sounds like they really have no idea how it is going to play out.

ESPN Insiders can get Chad Ford's thoughts on this draft, which is hilarious considering how wrong he and everyone else was about all of this, which either shows that the draft predictions are done by people with no idea or the people making the picks have no idea what they are doing. Or some combination of both?

From my perspective (again, I'm upfront that this is a free site and I have no idea what I'm talking about) I'm sure all of these teams had plans and contingencies, but I wonder how many really had Bennett going 1st, because once that happened it seemed like everything was chaos, and people making decisions under extreme duress is not ideal. Like New Orleans. Apparently New Orleans was debating late into the night over which of the 3 first round PGs they were going to take. Then all of a sudden it's their pick and Nerlens Noel is there. So they draft and trade him to Philly for Jrue Holiday and they also apparently give up a pick in next year's loaded draft. If they had an hour to think that trade through, do they do it? How fast did that trade come together?

Where was I? Oh ya, bashing Chad Ford. I'm not even going to link to it since it is Insider, but if you have an Insider account you know where to find it.

Over on Canishoopus, the SB Nation Timberwolves blog, most of the focus has been on Muhammad, but the short article about Gorgui calls it a "good use" of the 21st pick. There are like 1100 comments which I assume are all just pictures of Gorgui and people debating whether "St. Paul Gorgui" or "Walk On Each Of Our 6,000 Lakes Gorgui" is their favorite Gorgui.

Yahoo! Sports seems to like the pick:

Jeff Eisenberg's Analysis: Thanks to its decision to trade back from No. 9, Minnesota now has a perimeter scorer in UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad and a rim protector in Louisville's Gorgui Dieng. The 7-footer averaged 2.5 blocks and 9.4 rebounds for the national champs last season and he's a better offensive player than most people think. He's a decent passer, an excellent screener and an underrated mid-range shooter.

It got tense as the draft picks kept coming off the board late in the second round, especially when teams who seemed to like Peyton Siva picked other people, but finally the Detroit Pistons took him with the 56th overall pick. Pretty good place for him I think, as they had talked about moving Knight to the 2-guard anyway, and there are no other young point guards for him to have to compete against.

As good as Yahoo! was on Dieng, they sorta missed a key thing on Siva. See if you can find it:

Jeff Eisenberg's Analysis: A second member the national champion Louisville comes off the board. The point guard was a savvy leader for Louisville last season, but his lack of size or elite athleticism will make it difficult for him to make a roster.

Yup. Guess being one of the most athletic guys at the combine doesn't mean what it used to.

The angle from Detroit seems to be the fact that the Pistons passed over local star Trey Burke in the first round, took a couple of wings and then a point guard late in the second round. Will be something to watch over the next few years. Siva apparently will back-up Calderon at PG if they re-sign him.

Overall, the real work starts now for both guys, and I will have two more NBA teams whose box scores I will be checking and games I will be watching if they are ever on TNT or ESPN.