Monday, 25 June 2007

NBA Mock Draft

With the draft finally just a few days away, it's time for the final edition of my mock draft. I'll just give my picks for the lottery, because things become a lot more complicated beyond that and I don't want to embarrass myself with the lack of success. Also, for other mock draft databases that have been kind enough to link to my first mock draft, check out the DC Pro Sports Report or Walter's Football Site, which both have extensive links to mock drafts.

Anyway, enough talking, on to the mock draft.

1. Portland Trailblazers - Greg Oden, Ohio St.
Draft Kevin Durant (an excellent blog) may disagree, but I have to think Oden is the pick here. As I wrote when I blogged about this last week, I think Oden is the right pick, though Durant wouldn't be bad. As long as they take one of those two, there is no bad pick here. I firmly believe that.

2. Seattle Supersonics - Kevin Durant, Texas
If Oden is the grand prize, Durant is a pretty good consolation. Durant comes into the league with an offensive skillset that we have NEVER seen before from someone his age. The perimeter jumper, the postup game, driving to the hoop, with his height and wingspan... I'm not sure we've ever seen something like this.

3. Atlanta Hawks - Al Horford, Florida
Almost everywhere I've read seems to think that Horford is the pick here, and I agree. He's the 3rd most ready to play, and he has all the tools to be an above average power forward. They should be able to address the PG position with the 11th pick, so with this you just have to go BPA, and that is Horford.

4. Memphis Grizzlies - Mike Conley, Ohio St.
I think they'd love to get their hands on Horford, but that doesn't look like it's going to happen. This could be a little dicey because they took Kyle Lowry last year, but they don't really have any other youth at that position. Conley probably isn't ready to be a starter right away, but he should be able to play some minutes there and be a good starter soon.

5. Boston Celtics - Corey Brewer, Florida
This is where a lot of the intrigue starts, because Boston could take Brewer, Yi, Jeff Green, or very possibly trade the pick (as has been rumored a lot). I kind of think they'll trade the pick, but if they do hang onto it I think Brewer will be the choice. He's ready to contribute right away on the wing and is the best option if they want to reach the playoffs next year, which all of the trade rumors would suggest.

6. Milwaukee Brewers - Yi Jianlin, China
It's a long-term option, but he could have one of the highest ceilings of anyone in the draft. There are concerns that he might be soft, or not NBA ready, but he's still a 7-footer with great range and skills. Milwaukee might not be the best fit for him, but I think he's the pick if he's still on the board here.

7. Minnesota Timberwolves - Jeff Green, Georgetown
There is a lot of talk that the Wolves like Noah as well, but Green is the more well-rounded player, and is a bit of a poor man's Garnett (without the defensive ability of KG). He's unselfish with the ball, is a good passer, and has pretty good range on his jumper. He'd be a nice fit alongside Kevin Garnett.

8. Charlotte Bobcats - Joakim Noah, Florida
Noah seems to fit the prototype that the Bobcats have... successful college players from successful college programs. People seem to be bashing Noah more than anyone else in this draft, but I think he's going to be a really nice role player. He's very solid defensively, has a high basketball IQ, and plays with tons of energy. Everyone can use a guy like that.

9. Chicago Bulls - Spencer Hawes, Washington
The offensive-skilled big man the Bulls need. Hawes is comfortable around the basket, which is something that the other big men can't really say right now. He's not going to be able to step in right away and start, but they don't need that. He'd be a great fit for the Bulls and another young piece for a talented team.

10. Sacramento Kings - Brandan Wright, North Carolina
Wright seems to be slipping every day with poor workouts and concerns about his motor, but he could be a steal if he drops this far. The concerns are certainly legitimate, but he is extremely talented. He is an athletic freak for a guy his size, and is a really good finisher around the basket.

11. Atlanta Hawks - Javaris Crittenton, Georgia Tech
There is a lot of talk lately about how the Hawks might be favoring Law, but I still think Crittenton will be the choice. He's a local guy, and even though he is not nearly as ready as Law, he probably has more potential and a higher ceiling.

12. Philadelphia 76ers - Al Thornton, Florida St.
Philly really needs a PF, but a super-athletic wing like Thornton would fit in great with guys like Andre Miller, Andre Iguodala, and Rodney Carney. Julian Wright or Jeff Green are also very strong possibilities here (especially if Green happens to slip here), but I think Philly would be pleased to get an athletic scorer like Thornton.

13. New Orleans Hornets - Nick Young, USC
Young is moving up the boards (even heard someone say Charlotte might be thinking about him at 8), but I think he will be the pick here. He fits the Hornets needs... an athletic 2 that can shoot and score. He'd be a perfect fit alongside Chris Paul.

14. LA Clippers - Acie Law, Texas A&M
With Cassell getting older and Livingston's future still a little uncertain, I think they'll take Law if he's still on the board (IE if Atlanta doesn't take him at 11). Julian Wright is another choice here, but Law is NBA ready and will help in the backcourt.

What are your thoughts? Which picks would you change around?