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.