Jordan's debate over No. 2 pick could go down to the wire


Jordan's debate over No. 2 pick could go down to the wire

The drama of who will go first in Thursdays NBA Draft was settled months ago, as Chicago native Anthony Davis took college basketball by storm en route to leading Kentucky to a national championship and sweeping every individual honor he could rack up in the process.

But what apparently still hasnt been decided is which player will hear his name called after the Hornets select Davis.

The seemingly cursed Bobcats reportedly favor Kansas power forward Thomas Robinson, though North Carolina small forward Harrison Barnes, Florida shooting guard Bradley Beal and small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Davis Kentucky teammate, are supposedly still in the mix to varying degrees. The odds of Beal going to Charlotte dropped when the Bobcats acquired former Bulls guard Ben Gordon in a trade with the Pistons, while team owner Michael Jordan has to worry about the stigma of picking another player from his alma mater after drafting bust Sean May a few years back and Kidd-Gilchrists raw offensive game might not be a match for the scoring-challenged squad.

However, although it appears Robinson is the obvious choice, Cleveland is reportedly interested in acquiring the second pick from Charlotte - for its own No. 4 pick and either the 24th pick or two early second-rounders - to ensure that Washington, selecting third, doesnt pick the player the Cavaliers want.

In that scenario, Robinson would still be on the board for the Bobcats with the fourth pick, unless the Wizards decided to pick the D.C. native, despite having acquired veteran frontcourt help from New Orleans, in the form of center Emeka Okafor and small forward Trevor Ariza.

When it comes down to it, all of those teams need significant help and while all four candidates for the second pick have their positive qualities, no rookie will be a savior. Whether or not any trades are made, it comes down to whether a physically-mature power forward who should be able to start from Day 1 of his career, but possibly never become a superstar (Robinson), an average-sized shooting guard with a beautiful-looking stroke and a limited sample size of success (Beal), another supposed sharpshooter, this one with size, as well as questions about his upside and ability to get to the rim (Barnes) or a tenacious defender, energy player, open-court athlete and an unpolished offensive game (Kidd-Gilchrist) is the player that can help a terrible team improve to the point where a light can be seen at the end of the tunnel.

On paper, they all seem right and they all seem wrong, but thats the beauty of the NBA Draft, basically a crapshoot with a lot of research done, as theres no way to measure work ethic, heart, off-the-court influences and other intangibles, not to mention the chance that injuries stymie a promising career.

If the Bobcats do keep the pick, Robinson - who looks like a 10-year starter and maybe never develops into an All-Star, but helps Charlotte immediately with his motor and winning mentality - is the safe bet, but this time of year, youre damned if you do and youre relegated back to the lottery to serve your penance if you dont.

Hawks Talk Podcast: Thoughts on Corey Crawford's season debut


Hawks Talk Podcast: Thoughts on Corey Crawford's season debut

In the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle, Jamal Mayers and Charlie Roumeliotis recap Corey Crawford’s season debut after missing nearly 10 months with a concussion.

Mayers talks about the Kitty system that Niklas Hjalmarsson and Vinnie Hinostroza probably dealt with in their returns to Chicago.

The guys also discuss what’s next for Crawford, the upcoming matchup against Artemi Panarin and the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the Blackhawks’ biggest areas for improvement.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below, and be sure to subscribe, rate us and write a review!

The Daily Line Podcast: How will Khalil Mack's injury affect the Bears-Pats spread?

NBC Sports Chicago

The Daily Line Podcast: How will Khalil Mack's injury affect the Bears-Pats spread?

On this week’s Daily Line podcast, VSIN’s Sam Panayotovich joins Ryan McGuffey and Paul Aspan to take us inside the scene in Vegas as last week’s Bears-Dolphins line jumped from Bears -3.5 to Bears -7 on the news that Brock Osweiler would replace Ryan Tannehill (3:00). We look ahead to the Patriots (-2.5) at the Bears, discuss what kind of impact Khalil Mack’s injury could have on this week’s spread (6:30) and Sam gives us his best bets of the week (7:30). Joe Ostrowski of the Early Odds podcast also joins the show to discuss the how to get the best of the number (14:00) and whether home underdogs will stay hot. Plus, the guys make their picks for week 7 (18:00) and a quick thought on the Bulls over under. (32:00)

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below: