In just twenty short days we will know exactly where this team will be drafting. Running the Draft Simulator a mere six times I was able to secure us the #1 pick. What will freak everyone out is what Chad Ford has us doing if we don't end up with a top three pick, drafting Yi Jianlian. There were rumors a couple months ago that Dave Pendergraft was off scouting Yi during the NCAA tournament, so there could be something to that prediction.
I'd love to tell everyone that I have a great scouting report on Yi Jianlain, but honestly all I've ever seen on him are these two clips from YouTube. The first of these is an eight minute highlight clip much like the one we saw last year on Mo Sene right after the draft. I'll tell you this much, from this clip he's got a much more 'American' game than I expected. He's solid on slashing to the hoop, he does a nice job with his footwork in the post and handles much better than 99% of seven-foot players I've seen. The second link shows him making a move against Pau Gasol which is just absolutely sweet. I know Gasol's not a great defender by any stretch of the imagination, but the move is great no matter who he makes it on.
I watched these two links a couple days ago after playing the draft simulator and didn't think much of it, that is until I picked up today's TNT and read John McGrath's article and in a fever induced dream I started thinking about the real possiblity of why we could draft Yi. Honestly I don't think there's much to John's column in terms except there's a huge market in China. One thing I've heard repeatedly from Clay is his belief that Seattle is a market that can and should be a bridge to the Asian market. Which got me thinking that it might not be a horrible thing to have the countries second biggest star playing in Seattle.
In twenty short nights I'll be watching along with everyone else hoping that we do get one of those top two picks, but I'm starting to come around to the idea that getting Yi makes a lot of fiscal sense for a team in Seattle. Now I'll grant that if Ford's predictions are correct I'll be a bit disappointed that we'd have passed on Brandan Wright, but I'm less disappointed in that concept now than I was a week ago.