Friday, June 22, 2007

2007 NBA Mock Draft- Picks #21-30

21. Philadelphia 76ers – Joakim Noah, PF, Florida- A high-energy guy and great teammate, but NOT a top-10 pick! Lacks the physical strength and offensive skills to be anything more than a role player.
22. Charlotte Bobcats- Jared Dudley, SF, Boston College- Intelligent, unselfish and mature. May not have tons of “upside”, but he plays the game correctly and doesn’t do anything badly, a la Shane Battier.
23. New York Knicks- Demetris Nichols, SF, Syracuse- Potentially an MSG fan favorite. A physically and mentally mature player with a strong mid-to-long range game who also plays tough defense.
24. Phoenix Suns- Marco Belinelli, SG, Italy- Belinelli is an athletic guard with speed, quickness and a quick release with legitimate 3-point range- in other words, he’s the perfect Phoenix Sun.
25. Utah Jazz- Sean Williams, C, Boston College- Character issues hurt his stock. Has dominant physical skills, particularly on defense, and has shown consistent improvement. Will prove to be the draft’s biggest steal.
26. Houston Rockets- Marcus Williams, SG, Arizona- His length, outside game and smooth ball-handling, will be a good complement to Yao and T-Mac. However, must add muscle and attack the basket more.
27. Detroit Pistons- Wilson Chandler, SF, DePaul- Strong and athletic, with a knack for hitting the boards. Although his offensive game needs development, he’s already a very good finisher around the basket.
28. San Antonio Spurs- Arron Afflalo, SG, UCLA- An experienced winner in college. Not an incredible athlete, but plays extremely well in a system and works hard defensively. A perfect fit in San Antonio.
29. Phoenix Suns- Ramon Sessions, PG, Nevada- A strong, unselfish leader with no glaring weaknesses. Like to pass, able to score, in virtually every aspect, Sessions’ game mirrors that of Steve Nash.
30. Philadelphia 76ers- Alando Tucker, SF, Wisconsin- Team player with the size, athleticism and experience to contribute immediately as a weapon on the break. Should work to improve his defense and ball-handling.

2007 NBA Mock Draft- Picks #11-20

11. Atlanta Hawks- Acie Law, PG, Texas A&M- Memo to Billy Knight: DRAFT A POINT GUARD!!! Seriously. Please? Law, an experienced, clutch leader will be on the board. DRAFT HIM!
12. Philadelphia 76ers- Yi Jianlian, PF, China- The draft's biggest wild card. Despite the hype around his impressive workouts, Yi has yet to face NBA competition or play an NBA schedule.
13. New Orleans Hornets- Derrick Byars, SG, Vanderbilt- An all-around talent with great strength and versatility and defensive intensity. He will only benefit from playing with Chris Paul, who makes everyone better.
14. Los Angeles Clippers- Julian Wright, SF, Kansas- A little raw on offense, but Wright is fundamentally sound, very fast and extremely unselfish. As he develops, this may prove to be a steal.
15. Detroit Pistons- Rodney Stuckey, SG, Eastern Washington- Dominated lesser college competition, but he’s very strong, can score from anywhere on the floor and gets to the line. Has an NBA-ready perimeter game.
16. Washington Wizards- Kyle Visser, C, Wake Forest- A great fit. Visser gives Washington the rebounding and an offensive option in the paint. Could be the inside presence they are lacking.
17. New Jersey Nets- Morris Almond, SG, Rice- An offensive machine with a great mind for the game and a willingness to hit the boards. Either a complement or a replacement for Vince Carter.
18. Golden State Warriors- Tiago Splitter, C, Brazil- A big man with Splitter’s speed, quickness and court vision is an ideal fit for Nellie’s system. Hopefully he’ll add muscle without losing a step.
19. Los Angeles Lakers- Jason Smith, PF, Colorado State- The perfect inside-outside big man for the Triangle offense, with range out to 18 feet. Great fundamentals, but needs to add muscle and improve rebounding.
20. Miami Heat- Spencer Hawes, C, Washington- In the top ten, very high BSW (Big White Stiff) potential, but an intriguing later pick for a veteran team with a playmaker like D-Wade.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

2007 Mock NBA Draft- Picks #1-10

With the NBA Draft just over a week away, now is the time shift the idle speculation into high gear. That's right.... mock draft, baby! Over the next three days, I'll be revealing what I consider to be the best selection for each team in the first round. To reiterate, this is not what I think will happen June 28, it is what I would do given each selection. Rather than waste time and energy on over-analysis, along with each pick is a 25 word (or less) explanation of its rationale. For the purpose of this mock draft, I have assumed no trades, so I will have the teams picking in their original order. OK, here we go! Let's kick it off with picks #1-10:
1. Portland Trailblazers- Greg Oden, C, Ohio State- A dominant rebounder and defender with a solid offensive game who rounds out the Blazers' awesome young core. Look for them in the 2008 Playoffs.
2. Seattle Supersonics- Kevin Durant, SF, Texas- At 6'10", Durant has range out to 25 feet, makes his free throws and is a dominant rebounder. Could save pro basketball in Seattle.
3. Atlanta Hawks- Al Horford, PF, Florida- An extremely strong and athletic big man whose body and game are NBA-ready. Will be the inside presence the Hawks are desperate for.
4. Memphis Grizzlies- Corey Brewer, SF, Florida- A fantastic athlete with long arms who'll mature into a Scottie Pippen-type defender. He'll also run the floor and can hit an open jumper.
5. Boston Celtics- Jeff Green, SF, Georgetown- Versatile, strong and a proven commodity. Teaming Green with Paul Pierce and Al Jefferson will give the C's a top-shelf frontcourt.
6. Milwaukee Bucks- Mike Conley, PG, Ohio State- With free agent Mo Williams likely to leave, Conley's ability to penetrate is the perfect complement for Michael Redd and Charlie Villanueva on the perimeter.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves- Al Thornton, PF, Florida State- KG is unlikely to be in Minnesota much longer, and NBA-ready Thornton will give the Wolves an new offensive threat to build around.
8. Charlotte Bobcats- Nick Young, SG, Southern Cal- With an NBA body and a nice mid-range game, Young will develop into the scoring threat that Adam Morrison was supposed to become.
9. Chicago Bulls- Brandan Wright, PF, North Carolina- An athletic big man with extremely long arms. Chicago's loaded roster will give Wright valuable time to develop and try to realize his incredible potential.
10. Sacramento Kings- Thaddeus Young, SF, Georgia Tech- Outside of Kevin Martin, the Kings are aging and on the decline. Young, one of the best athletes available, is a great building block.