by RENALDO and DAKARAI

You have to understand 10YS to know that we’re a group that’s prone to hyperbole.

We pride ourselves on ridiculous knee-jerk reactions, some we revisit for the sole purpose of self-deprecating humor, others we wear like a boy scout pin for a lack of self-awareness.

That being said…we’re pretty confident in this one:

This is the most important Draft in Bahamian history.

When the Dolphins drafted Ted Ginn Jr in 2007, Cam Cameron made the statement that the organisation had just drafted the entire Ginn family. Well we’re about to take that premise up a notch. When Adam Silver announces Buddy’s selection on Draft night, that’s the level of commitment that particular franchise is getting. You’re not just getting Buddy, you’re getting a family of about 400,000 Bahamians. We’re his family and this decision couldn’t be more important to us.

Buddy’s stature has outgrown that of a mere basketball player. He’s a certified sports icon. A Bahamian folk hero.

So here’s where we are in our story, in about a month our country of nomadic sports fans will learn of our new destination together.

Hield, a 6ft 4in, 207-pound shooting guard, is projected to have a likely destination of lottery teams looking for shooting and backcourt help – the Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Denver Nuggets or Sacramento Kings.

In his star studded senior season at Oklahoma he averaged 25 points per game, shot 50 per cent from the field and 45 per cent from three-point range. He also made four three-point field goals per game and shot 88 per cent from the free throw line.

He also grabbed six rebounds per game, dished two assists, finished with a true shooting percentage of 66 and one just about every noteworthy postseason award there is.

Buddy is the Pride; so we’re going to break down the possible Buddy Hield destinations in the upcoming NBA Draft. Not only where we’d like how to go, but where we think are the best destinations from a basketball, developmental and a financial standpoint.

First up:

Boston Celtics at No.3

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This is the ideal situation as 1) We will be able to watch on regular amazing eastern standard time, 2) this is a playoff team already so we should see him making the post season in year one.

The older you get the more important east coast teams become for Bahamians. It’s so weird that the Lakers are the number one Bahamian team considering most of their games don’t even start until 10:00om. Speaks to the level of morning productivity in this country.

If Buddy goes to the Celtics he immediately becomes the apple of many East Coast Sports writers eye, most notably “Our Father Who Art In Sportswriting” aka ” The Podfather” – Bill Simmons. If that happens, prepare for Simmons to talk ad nauseum about The Bahamas, the Celtics, the changing of the guard, and blah blah blah.

All the Celtics have to do really is trade Avery Bradley and they have a Hield/Thomas/Smart back-court of the future. For PR purposes, playing time and perhaps the chance to be under the best young coach in the league President Brad Stevens, we’d all be on course to become Celtic fans. – DD

The Celtics had lots of time to think about the third pick. With no drama in this year’s selection process, the lottery order played out exactly how the numbers projected it would. The question is what is the next step for a team of well coached over achievers that constantly confuse us with how good they are.

Do they go with size in the front court, a distributor in the backcourt or directly for Buddy’s calling card – shooting.

The Celtics shot just 34 per cent from three-point range as a team during the regular season and their bench was even worse at 31 percent. They also made 8.7 three-point field goals per game. Avery Bradley was the team’s top three-point shooter among players that qualified at 36 per cent. He’s also an overworked point guard playing out of position who led the team in minutes and posted a true shooting percentage of 54.

This team got away with outworking everyone during the regular season, but in the playoffs it became apparent that this team could only progress so far without a legit long range threat.

Evan Turner is an unrestricted free agent this offseason, the team has options RJ Hunter and James Young in 2017 while both Bradley and Isiah Thomas are unrestricted free agents in 2018. It could leave a gaping hole on the wing and an opportunity for Buddy to step in and be a major contributor on a playoff caliber team right away – RD

Minnesota Timberwolves at No.5

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Nobody under 30 has ever read this phrase in print – “The Timberwolves are actually drafting pretty well.” This is a bit like your uncle or your older brother’s T’Wolves who had a young Stephon Marbury/ Kevin Garnett combination.

This team has the last two Rookie of the Year winners, high flying slashers on the wing, a legitimate post presence and a distributor at the point. What they don’t have is shooting.

Zach Lavine is currently the only legit shooting guard on the roster. Shabazz Muhammad can play both positions on the wing but he’s just figuring out his role in the NBA and is not a shooter by the most meager standards (29 percent from three). Muhammad will also be a restricted free agent in 2017.

Like the Celtics, the T’Wolves shoot 34 percent from three with no catch and shoot guys on the perimeter. Something you may want to have moving forward if you have a player like Towns that will demand double teams. Lavine was the top shooter at 39 percent and the drop off to the remainder of the guards was sizable with Rubio next at 33.

When your top perimeter shooter wasnt ranked among the top 50 in the conference in true shooting percentage, you can use an upgrade. – RD

This would be an amazing spot for him to land, and I guarantee that he will take the Wolves to more playoffs appearances than the last player they had on their roster who was picked with the number five pick….. cough cough Kevin Love.

First, I have to apologize to the rest of 10YS for being so god damned annoying about this. Forget everything I said directly above, this is the best spot. A quad of young talented players who are missing Buddy’s exact skill set. I know what you’re saying, there’s not a starting spot here.

Well a year playing with Rubio and Lavine in the back-court before, Rubio is flipped for perhaps another shooter and Buddy is in prime position to receive passes from the post and knock down corner 3’s for the rest of his career. The Bahamas gets to bandwagon a team that hasn’t had a real bandwagon influx since the KG years and we get the Big Kat in our lives for at least 10 years.

Money is great,coaching is great, but playing with maybe two perennial all stars who will cover any whole in your game. That’s invaluable. – DD

New Orleans Pelicans at No.6

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Anthony Davis needs Buddy Hield on that team, but do we really want Buddy subjected to being ignored on the wings by Jrue Holiday? New Orleans would be a pretty lit destination for us to visit so for selfish reasons this ranks pretty high on my list. For basketball reasons I mean it’s aight, but the other two spots were a little more John Blaze than that. – DD

The Pels (I refuse to get used to that) are in a unique position to rebuild and contend at the same time with eight free agents this offseason, seven of which are unrestricted. Much maligned injury plagued starting two guard Eric Gordon is one of those UFAs. Gordon led the Pelicans in three-point makes per game while shooting 38 per cent from long range.
This entire team has durability issues. Dante Cunningham and Alonzo Gee were the only players who played more than 70 games. In fact they need the Suns medical staff from the Seven Seconds or Less era. That’s the only way this thing is saved. An injury Injury plagued team with a legit MVP candidate coming off a bad year but people still expects them to be in the playoffs. Buddy could be the difference.
The Pels shot 36 percent from three with Luke Babbit, Toney Douglas, Gordon, and Ryan Anderson were the top three point shooters, but none played more than 66 games. – RD

Denver Nuggets at No.7

They just drafted shooting dude from Michigan State ole what’s his name…Gary Harris. That’s it! So maybe the nuggets want to slot Harris and Hield in the same back-court and maybe recreate some of what the Warriors have with Klay and Steph. Except Klay and Steph are once in a generation type players and one is actually a point guard so there’s that. and that’s how you get to be the Denver Nuggets you appropriate a version of someone else’s plan and try to execute it. Jesus I hope he doesn’t go to Denver. – DD

The Nuggets may have their backcourt of the future already with Emmanuel Mudiay and Gary Harris. If they take Buddy in the lottery, clearly it means they don’t think that Harris is that guy. This team has holes everywhere so it would be tough to argue against taking the best player available at just about any position other than point guard. Mudiay and Harris take about four threes each per game but neither shoots a high percentage at 32 and 35 percent respectively. Obviously the best part about this for us – the readily accessible amenities in the great state of Colorado. Home games in Denver will be lit…in many many ways. – RD

Sacramento Kings at No.8

If they’re not careful, the Kings could be on the brink of stability with a new coach (who they hope Cousins and possibly Rondo will actually get along with) and they may have no idea how to handle that.

The Kings continue to search for a consistent answer at the shooting guard spot after 2013 lottery pick Ben McLemore has struggled with every opportunity. He scored just 7.8 points per game last season and shot 36 per cent from three pointers.

Hield made a record 147 three-pointers last season at Oklahoma in 37 games while the Kings leading three-point shooter, Omri Casspi, made 112 in 69 games.

This offseason Rondo and backup shooting guard James Anderson are UFAs while Seth Curry is an RFA. The following year Casspi and Darren Collison are UFAs while Ben McLemore is an RFA. Another team with a transcendent Kentucky Wildcat big that demands a double team and a winnable catch and shoot spot in the rotation on the wing. – RD

Kings GM Vlade Divac loves Buddy Hield according to a Chad Ford interview, so there is a strong possibility that they try and trade their number seven pick for the number four pick if Boston decided to pass on the greatest Bahamian shooter of all time.

Hhahahahaha No. Vivek Ranadivé you stay away from Buddy! – DD

 

Los Angeles Lakers at No.2

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Hello Bahamas. How are you? Stop yelling please. I can’t hear you if you’re all yelling at once. Yes Kobe or nuthin’. Yes I know the Lakers have the most championships. Wait What? What does Lebron being dead have to do with this? Sigh. They have the number two pick in the draft so theoretically if they wanted Buddy they could have him. However, Simmons and Ingram are the confirmed 1-2 picks unless something miraculous happens.

Buddy would need to have Yi Jianlian or Penny Hardaway level of workouts in order to get drafted ahead of someone who’s taller and four years younger. The only hope The Bahamas has of a Buddy/Lakers union is if LA trades back in the draft to pick up some veteran assets and listens to Kobe Bryant and the agent he and Buddy Share. So yes there’s a scenario, albeit a long shot, where Buddy becomes a Los Angeles…No, Seriously Please stop shouting.

Yes I know Kobe has five rings, you keep telling me. No I didn’t know the mob let Lebron win the titles those two times. Sigh. – DD

You think you want this…but you don’t.

You’re looking at this through the prism of “maximum sports fan feel good” and you expect to see the same Buddy you saw at Oklahoma. In your mind he’s the focal point of the offence, hits every big shot and becomes the face of the franchise with his persona both on and off the court.

He’s had a face to face with Kobe, he’s worked out with Kobe, he has Kobe’s agent, Kobe’s shot selection and even Kobe’s number.

You’re forgetting that this is the most unforgiving fanbase in the NBA, has no interest in a long rebuild and you will turn on him at the drop of a dime if he doesn’t become Kobe Bryant in two years.

You’re also forgetting that this is the most polarising team in the Bahamas, so right away, the minute he signs that contract, about 30 percent of basketball fans in the Bahamas will be forced to root against him.
This doesn’t sound fun for any of us.

Like any team looking to make a deep run at the free agency pool, the Lakers have nine free agents this offseason, six unrestricted, two restricted and one with the player option.

The Kobe era is done, which leaves a gaping hole at the shooting guard spot…unless you think Jordan Clarkson is the guy. The Lakers will have to make a decision on whether they move forward with Clarkson as the backcourt mate of the future for D’Angelo Russell. That’ll largely depend on the market value for Clarkson, who would be the leading returning scorer for the Lakers if he re-signs. At 23, he’s just a year older than Buddy and although he may not be quite the shooter, at this point in his career he’s a better ball handler and shot creator.

All of this is moot because we know this teams wants to rebuild as quickly as possible and that’ll happen through free agency, not the draft. They have a ton of cap space, and the “face of LA” void that some star player will have an opportunity to fill. If they stay at two they take Brandon Ingram. – RD

 

Pipe Dreams

(Miami Heat)

Maybe Pat Riley the God Father of all GMs has figured out that instead of having Bahamian Night only once a year at the Triple A, to have it 41 times in one regular season. The fact that Bahamians would be forced like the Heat would bring joy to my heart.

In a world where we were betrayed by the False King Lebron James and are about to live in a world where Wade is ready to retire from basketball – Buddy is the perfect player for this team. Close to The Bahamas, he fills a team need (shooting/guard play), a good coach, a stable organization run by Riley and a young squad that would be ready to mount a challenge in the east in a few years. Perhaps right in time for Buddy’ prime.

Bahamas Air would probably raise ticket packages. The Heat probably end up sponsoring businesses over here, because Buddy just won’t be a basketball player in Miami he’d be a business and Bahamians would flock to watch him play. Though this may actually be a little to close to home.

Sometimes to reach your apex you need to touch the road and leave your homebase and expose yourself to something strange, and cold. Maybe that’s what’s best for Buddy and not just us but for his career. He “falls” to five and gets drafted by The Bahamas Timberwolves. Everyone pack their coats. – DD

 

(Portland Trailblazers)

All I’m saying is that 100% of Bahamians drafted in the NBA lottery have been taken by the Blazers. Facts only. Which means they probably believe in Bahamians more than any other political party can claim. The last Bahamian to be drafted by Portland became a two time NBA Champion. Doesn’t matter WHERE it happened, those skills were honed and refined in Portland.

Also, Buddy can add to this clique of volume shooter senior guards that are shifting the paradigm in the NBA and making four years of school cool again. Stephen Curry is the President of the group, but Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are the VPs. – RD

 

Buddy Hield has become a Bahamian icon and hasn’t even stepped foot on an NBA court. He’s what 10YS has been calling a ‘One passport Bahamian’, no other citizenship claim, and there’s only one national team he can play for no matter how much another country may want him.

Buddy is Bahamian, and unapologetically so. If you follow him on Snapchat you hear him speaking in a thick Bahamian accent, blasting reggae, getting his teammates to say thing in a Bahamian accent, and annoying his mom in hilarious snaps. He doesn’t let you forget on his other social media to always ready to drop a #242todaworld hashtag and add a Bahamain emoji.

Buddy gets it.

He gets it more than any other Bahamian athlete with this kind of platform so we we all feel like we have a vested interest in where he goes at the next level.

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