That's What They Said: Lazar Gets Thrown to the Wolves Edition

As is my custom, I was doing about twelve different things during the NBA Draft last night, looking up intermittently as the first round moved along. And I happened to be looking at the TV as David Stern came out to announce the last pick in the first round.  Says I to Mrs. Q: "With the 30th pick, the Washington Wizards select Lazar Hayward, Marquette."

I'll be damned if Mr. Stern didn't say those exact words, five seconds later.

The NBA Draft: Where Premonition Happens.

Let's check the Internets to see what others are saying about 'Zar the Wolf:

Cracked Sidewalks notes that Lazar becomes the fourth Marquette senior to move onto the NBA since 2005:

His guaranteed contract as a first round pick means that he will join Travis Diener (2005), Steve Novak (2006) and Wesley Matthews (2009) as the 4th player since 2005 to play all four years at Marquette and then go straight to the NBA. In an era of one-and-dones, Marquette is the only school that can make that claim.

Minnesota GM David Kahn was impressed with 'Zar's maturity:

"He caught not only my eye, but Kurt's eye [Wolves coach Kurt Rambis] during workouts," Kahn said of Hayward, who will turn 24 in November. "He's a mature, solid college player, a tough kid. I expect him to really challenge for playing time next season."

A whole lot more, after the jump.

Marquette Athletics has this great picture of Jimmy Butler welcoming basketball campers Friday morning.


SBN's Timberwolves blog, Canis Hoopus, wasn't happy with Minnesota's selections and thinks the Wolves reached for 'Zar:

Viewed by itself, this draft is an insane mess.  Wes Johnson will be a very nice pro.  A very nice pro.  He would have been a magnificient pick at #7 or 8.  At 4, he's a reach.  Martel Webster is a nice young player who may have been held back by the slow-paced Blazers and Nate McMillan's desire to have athletic swingmen stand in the corner shooting threes, but he's a stretch for the 16th pick + Ryan Gomes' awesome contract. Lazar Hayward had a wonderful workout and should be a decent role player, but is he worth a guaranteed contract at the end of the 1st?  Who else was going to nab him? 

NBA FanHouse also wasn't excited by Minnesota's draft, giving the T-Wolves a D-minus.  Ouch:

The Wolves had a lot of picks, including No. 4 and No. 16 overall. What did the team come out with? Small forward Wesley Johnson, veteran small forward Martell Webster, relatively unsung small forward Lazar Hayward, two international players (Nemanja Bjelica and Paulao Prestes) and Rutgers shotblocker Hamady N'diaye. Not exactly a bumper crop of talent. ... Minnesota, I do not understand what the frick you are doing.

Chad Ford thinks Hayward can fill a niche off the bench (Insider, to see the whole thing):

When you're drafting this low, you're really looking for role players. Hayward's very tough and he has a good jumper.

NBADraft.net liked the pick.  As a result, I like NBADraft.net:

Lazar Hayward is a grinder that should stick around for a while. Sporting a crazy wingspan (7'1), Hayward played mainly PF at Marquette but has the skills to play the 3 in the pros. He can knock down the open jumper and is a great free throw shooter. His athleticism won't blow anyone away, but his effort makes up for it much of the time. Hayward could turn into a very solid contributor off the bench in the Jared Dudley mold.

SI.com had 'Zar rated as a 2.4 coming into the Draft, making him the lowest-rated player to be drafted in the first round.  I assume this rating scale is like golf, and a lower score is better, which makes Washington's selection of John Wall (rated a 10) a huge mistake.  Right?

The Sporting News' Mike DeCourcy noted -- before we knew that Lazar's rights had been traded to Minnesota -- the Wizards picked high-character kids in the first round:

The Wizards ended the first round the way they began it: with a terrific pick of a high-character winner. Hayward is a dicey proposition from a position standpoint. He was a power forward throughout his college career, but he can shoot, plays aggressively and finds a way to make an impact.

In the same vein, the Journal Sentinel's Todd Rosiak says that Hayward remains the hard-working, humble young man who came to Milwaukee four years ago:

I called Lazar Hayward tonight in the minutes following his being picked 30th overall by the Washington Wizards.

He didn't pick up. I wasn't surprised a bit, with his cell phone undoubtedly blowing up with congratulatory calls and text messages from family and friends, former teammates and coaches.

But not more than 10 minutes later there he was, calling me back, and apologizing for not picking up when I'd called originally. ...

The fact he even took the time to call me back on such a busy, joyous evening underscores the kind of person Hayward is. In my eight seasons on the beat, I've never seen a player walk onto campus literally the same way he walked off it -- until Hayward.

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