30 Mayıs 2008

Paxson's choice, and career death is an option

Derrick Rose or Michael Beasley. That's the choice. This is a two-player draft, which means John Paxson has a 50-50 chance to keep his job.

That's the thing that has been missed in all the talk of the Bulls' lucking into a franchise-saving situation (yes, franchise-saving, given all the anger and ill will engendered by the money-grubbing punks who disgraced the uniform last season).

Paxson was positively giddy during interviews about how he wasn't watching the draft lottery until his sons yelled upstairs that the Bulls were going to do better than the projected ninth overall pick. Indeed, they would do better than anyone imagined. Better than anyone else in the NBA. And now Paxson has to pick the right guy, pick the champion, or he'll pick up his last check.

Do the math: Luck = pressure. This draft, see, will determine the Bulls' next five years, at least. It also will determine whether Paxson gets fired before then, and here's why: The last time the top two picks became NBA champions was the class of '92 when Shaquille O’Neal and Alonzo Mourning went first and second. Thing is, they didn't win for the teams that drafted them (Orlando and Charlotte, respectively), they won in Miami in 2006 with Mourning backing up Shaq.

In fact, you could go back 40 years and not find another set of Nos. 1 and 2 that has done anything like that without scouring rosters for a failed top pick who took up space as a 12th man on a championship team.

So, Paxson has to get it right or get out, simple as that. You can't draft Beasley and have him turn into the next Derrick Coleman -- a guy with attitude problems who only gets good numbers on bad teams. You can't draft Rose and have him turn into the next Kenny Anderson -- active, fast and couldn't see the floor to run a play if he was locked in the gym by himself all night. That's the kind of scouting and drafting that gets you fired.

Then again, you don't want to take Rose and have Beasley become the next LeBron James, and you don't want to take Beasley and have Rose become another John Stockton (only without the dirty play). That gets you fired, too.

Of course, Paxson also could trade the pick. But the guy who drafted LaMarcus Aldridge and traded him for Tyrus Thomas, and the guy who couldn't trade for Kevin Garnett or Kobe Bryant or Pau Gasol is probably not the guy you want dealing something this big. So, Paxson's future is on the clock.

kaynak : NBA