Monday, May 07, 2007

NBA Mock Draft - Version 1.0

  1. Memphis. Greg Oden, C, Ohio State. Oden is as advertised. Dominant true centers who actually want to play the position on both ends of the floor are few and far between.
  2. Boston. Kevin Durant, F, Texas. In most drafts, Durant would go #1 overall, so Boston is in a can’t-miss situation if they maintain their status following the draft lottery.
  3. Milwaukee. Brandan Wright, PF, North Carolina. The wiry forward has a 7’4” wingspan which can immediately make him an inside force. However, Wright needs to develop a jumper and add weight. A true toss-up between Wright and Horford.
  4. Phoenix (from Atlanta – top 3 protected). Al Horford, PF, Florida. NBA teams will know exactly what they get in Horford who won two national championships. In the right system, Tito’s son can be a 20 and 10 guy for almost a decade.
  5. Seattle. Julian Wright, SF, Kansas. With Rashard Lewis possibly on the outs, the Sonics forgo their destiny of selecting a center and go with one of the complete players in this year’s draft class.
  6. Portland. Jeff Green, SF, Georgetown. He is the unselfish component needed to complete the Jack/Rodriguez/Randolph/Aldridge nucleus.
  7. Minnesota. Roy Hibbert, C, Georgetown. The very essence of boom or bust, Hibbert has been labeled by many. Yi Jianlian actually carries more potential, but does little different than Garnett.
  8. Charlotte. Yi Jianlian, PF, Guangdong Tigers (China). Considered the next big thing in China, Jianlian isn’t exactly Yao, but he’s very talented and has a mean streak unbeknownst to the unsuspecting.
  9. Chicago (from New York). Spencer Hawes, C, Washington. The first real reach of the draft, Hawes represents the scoring big man they badly need. Questions remain about his abilities as a defender. If Hawes doesn’t learn under Scott Skiles, he’ll never learn how to defend.
  10. Sacramento. Corey Brewer, SG/SF, Florida. Al Thornton and Joakim Noah are considered, but Brewer’s a better prospect. It should also be noted that Ron Artest and Kevin Martin could very well be out of Sac-town next summer.
  11. Atlanta (from Indiana). Mike Conley Jr., PG, Ohio State. Tyronn Lue and Speedy Claxton are make-weights. Conley Jr. is the missing piece in Atlanta and getting him with the 11th pick is realistic.
  12. Philadelphia. Al Thornton, PF, Florida State. In a word, explosive. Thornton is undersized to play the 4, but wasn’t Charles Barkley too short to be a 4?
  13. New Orleans. Nick Young, SG, USC. Let me preface this reach by saying that since Nicholas Batum is no longer in the draft, the Hornets could look to trade down. Chris Paul and Nick Young can have a symbiotic relationship in New Orleans.
  14. LA Clippers. Joakim Noah, PF, Florida. I’ll be honest. I don’t like this pick at all. I only have Noah this high to compensate for all of the folks who have him as a top 10 prospect. The Clips can pass him over for Tiago Splitter or Josh McRoberts.
  15. Detroit (from Orlando). Acie Law IV, PG, Texas A&M. The best player available at this point and a crunch time point guard. If Chauncey Billups is re-signed by the Pistons, then Law may fall to the next Philadelphia pick.
  16. Washington. Tiago Splitter, PF/C, Tau Vitoria (Spain). Slightly a better prospect than McRoberts, Splitter carries major upside and is one of Europe’s best players at the age of 22.
  17. New Jersey. Josh McRoberts, PF, Duke. While a pure center is the need for the Nets, McRoberts is an awesome fit for the Nets’ up-tempo style of play.
  18. Golden State. Thaddeus Young, SF, Georgia Tech. I’ll be surprised if Young lasts this long given his ceiling, but the potential losses of long small forwards threatens the Warriors’ ability to play their preferred style.
  19. LA Lakers. Derrick Byars, SG/SF, Vanderbilt. A true scorer that even Kobe may actually think about trusting. (Side note: Byars has a predicted draft range between 15 and 45 right now.)
  20. Miami. Marco Belinelli, SG, Climamio Bologna (Italy). At pick 20, the Heat have their pick of the shooting guard litter. And what a mighty fine litter it is. Belinelli is a combo guard who’s been compared to Ginobili.
  21. Philadelphia (from Denver). Javaris Crittenton, PG, Georgia Tech. Can be groomed by Andre Miller for the next 2 years as he matures.
  22. Charlotte (from Toronto). Arron Afflalo, SG, UCLA. Defense and width makes him more appetizing than Rudy Fernandez and Marcus Williams.
  23. New York (from Chicago). Sean Williams, PF, Boston College. Ok, this is a reach, but so was Balkman, who turned out to be a very formidable component. Williams, if he can gain Isaiah’s trust, is a defensive-minded player with shot-altering capabilities.
  24. Phoenix (from Boston through Cleveland). Marcus Williams, SG, Arizona. A disappointment for the Wildcats, Williams excels in the open court and can knock down jumpers.
  25. Utah. Rudy Fernandez, PG/SG, Joventut Badalona (Spain). Has NBA 3-point shooting range and the ability to slash. At 6’6”, he’s suited for the 2, but can also play the 1.
  26. Houston. Marc Gasol, C, Akasvayu Girona (Spain). Brother of Pau, he could easily be a complete stiff. Need over best player available the likely scenario, eve after lack of playmakers exposed the Rockets in the playoffs.
  27. Detroit. Aaron Gray, C, Pittsburgh. Potential losses of bigs necessitate this pick.
  28. San Antonio. Ante Tomic, C, KK Zagreb (Croatia). The Spurs need a center and he’s an international player. At age 20, he has some growing up to do but can do so under the wing of Tim Duncan. Needs to add weight to his 7’2”, 220-pound frame.
  29. Phoenix. Brandon Rush, SG/SF, Kansas. There’s no chance Phoenix keeps all of these first round picks. Rush presents great value here and trade bait. Hello, “cash and future considerations”.
  30. Philadelphia (from Denver through Dallas). Alando Tucker, SG/SF, Wisconsin. The Big Ten POY can make an instant impact, but will likely do it from the bench. Rice’s Morris Almond will also be considered at this pick.
Underclassmen: 19
International: 6
1st Senior: Al Thornton (12th overall)
Biggest Reach: Sean Williams (23rd overall)


Anonymous said...

Tomic is 237 lbs according to

Paymon said...

Speaking of Tomic, I've seen him rising on draft boards. I'm not sure exactly why though. I think he'll be in that 25-30 range regardless of my mis-statement on his weight.