Two Ducks found themselves drafted in the second round of the NBA draft yesterday.
Malik Hairston was drafted by Phoenix, then promptly traded to San Antonio. I think that this is a great fit for Malik. Malik has an NBA body and, while he never became the superstar we all envisioned, he does a lot of things well. Bruce Bowen is 37, and Robert Horry is probably retiring. That leaves Ime Udoka as the likely starting SF for San Antonio next year. With Bowen's age likely to limit his minutes, there is room for another small forward on this roster. And without the great expectations of being an elite scorer, I think Malik really has a chance to shine.
Maarty Leunen was drafted by Houston, to join with former Duck Aaron Brooks. The Rockets have a ton of forwards--Shane Battier, Mike Harris, Carl Landry, Steve Novak, Luis Scola, and fellow draftees Donte Green and Joey Dorsey. Even if the Rockets keep six of those guys--and that would be a lot--Leunen has to beat out two guys. I hope he proves me wrong. But Maarty isn't a low post guy in the NBA (wasn't really in college), and I question whether he has the quickness or offensive repertoire to keep up with more athletic wings in the NBA.
Bryce, to my amazement, wasn't drafted. Here's hoping that he finds somewhere to play next years, and works his way into the league someday.
Congrats to Malik and Maarty. Best of luck in the NBA*
*except when you are playing against Portland
Here is a rundown of all conference players drafted:
3. OJ Mayo (USC) Minnesota (Rights traded to Memphis)
4. Russell Westbrook (UCLA) Seattle
5. Kevin Love (UCLA) Memphia (Rights traded to Minnesota)
10. Brook Lopez (Stanford) New Jersey
11. Jerryd Bayless (Arizona) Indiana (Rights traded to Portland)
15. Robin Lopez (Stanford) Phoenix
21. Ryan Anderson (California) New Jersey
37. Luc Richard Mbah-a-Moute (UCLA) Milwaukee
38. Kyle Weaver (WSU) Charlotte
48. Malik Hairston (UO) Phoenix (Rights traded to San Antonio)
50. DeVon Hardin (California) Seattle
54. Maarty Leunen (UO) Houston