Friday, 25 May 2007

Mock Draft 1.0

With the Lottery complete, it's time for my first version of a Mock Draft, at least for the Lottery picks. This will certainly change many times before the draft, but the early bird does get the worm.

1. Portland Trailblazers - Greg Oden, Ohio St.
Oden is the pick here. They do have some frontcourt depth, but Oden is just too good to pass up. He'll immediately be great defensively, and is offensive game is coming along very well. They may have to trade Zach Randolph, but Blazers fans should be very happy with Oden in the middle for a long, long time.

2. Seattle Supersonics - Kevin Durant, Texas
Durant was again the obvious pick here, especially since it looks like Rashard Lewis will opt out of his contract as expected. Durant is easily the 2nd best and most talented player in this draft, and might even save the franchise in Seattle.

3. Atlanta Hawks - Mike Conley, Ohio St
After passing up a bevy of point guards over the past couple of years, the Hawks need to take Conley here even if it's a little high for him. Conley's the best PG prospect in the Draft, and with his quickness offensively and defensively, combined with his excellent passing and decision making skills, Conley looks like a pretty safe bet to be very good in the NBA.

4. Memphis Grizzlies - Brandan Wright, North Carolina
I think the Grizz will go for the best player available, and that is probably Brandan Wright. He is supremely athletic for his size, and will help out the frontcourt. He probably won't contend for Rookie of the Year, but as long as he gets time to grow (and remains motivated) he has the talent to be the 3rd best player from this class.

5. Boston Celtics - Al Horford, Florida
With Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge's jobs possibly on the line this year, I think they'll look at Horford, who will be able to help them out more immediately than someone like Yi Jianlin. Horford is perhaps the most polished big man in the draft and will immediately contribute in the NBA.

6. Milwaukee Bucks - Yi Jianlin, China
TSF wrote about Jianlin a few days ago, and he really is an interesting prospect. He's extremely skilled, but he's really skinny and a little raw, which will probably leave him a couple of years away from being a major contributor. If you'll recall, the Bucks were the team to take Dirk Nowitzki and then trade him for Tractor Traylor... I don't think they'll make the same mistake again.

7. Minnesota Timberwolves - Corey Brewer, Florida
Kevin Garnett isn't getting any younger, and so the Wolves need someone to help soon. Brewer is very versatile and can do just that. He is the best wing defender in the draft, and he's also a good outside shooter that can take it to the hoop soon. He'd be a nice fit alongside KG.

8. Charlotte Bobcats - Julian Wright, Kansas
The Bobcats have lots of young talent, and Wright would fit right in with that. The thing that is so good about him is that he is extremely versatile... he's very skilled handling and passing the ball, so he can play sort of a point forward. He's also a solid rebounder and defender, and might even be able to play a little bit at the 4. That versatility is nice for a team with so many young guys trying to fit together.

9. Chicago Bulls - Spencer Hawes, Washington
The Bulls need a big man that can score, and with Roy Hibbert withdrawing his name from the draft, Hawes is the guy that most fits the bill here. Hawes doesn't have the athletic skill of some others, but he's really talented, sort of in a Brad Miller way. He might not be a star in the NBA, but he can be a solid contributor, which is all the Bulls need.

10. Sacramento Kings - Jeff Green, Georgetown
Another one of those guys that just does a little bit of everything. He is a decent shooter, but he's also a solid rebounder and interior defender. And for good measure, he's one of the best passers in this draft.

11. Atlanta Hawks - Joakim Noah, Florida
This is a bit of a drop for a guy that would have been a top 3 pick last year, but this draft is just a lot deeper. People like to point out Noah's flaws (such as that he can't really create any offense for himself), but he does a lot of things well. He brings lots of energy, he's a very solid rebounder, shot blocker, and help defender. If he falls this far, it'd be a good pick for Atlanta at 11.

12. Philadelphia 76ers - Al Thornton, Florida St.
The 76ers are more in need of a pure PF, but Thornton is the best player available at this point. He's a very athletic guy that might be able to play a little 4 (in the Shawn Marion mold), but he'll continue with the athleticism in place with guys like Andre Iguodala and Rodney Carney.

13. New Orleans Hornets - Thaddeus Young, Georgia Tech
With Desmond Mason departing, Young is the kind of athletic swingman that can replace him and play alongside Peja. He had some problems with inconsistency, but he is very talented on the wing. Playing alongside Chris Paul, he should become a very good player (though it'll take a little while) in New Orleans.

14. Los Angeles Clippers - Acie Law, Texas A&M
Law reminds me a lot of Sam Cassell, and I think he'll have the chance to play with him in LA. With the future of Shaun Livingston a little uncertain, the Clips could use a PG and Law is the 2nd best one in this draft. He's solid defensively, handles the ball well, and is not afraid to take the big shot.

What do you think?