1. Portland – Greg Oden, c, Ohio State
There is definitely going to be talk of how great Durant would fit for the Blazers, but I don’t think you can pass up an opportunity to pair Oden and Aldridge for the next 10 years. That’s a young Duncan and Robinson to build around. Furthermore, no matter how much impact Oden will have, he likely won’t be a title-winning big man for a couple of years. That means the Blazers will still get a couple of decent draft picks where they can pick up a wing or move Zach Randolph for one.
2. Seattle – Kevin Durant, sf, Texas
Seattle was the real winner of the draft (just ask Shanoff). There is no way they can mess up their pick. If Portland takes Oden, Seattle takes Durant. If Portland takes Durant, Seattle snatches Oden. Regardless of what happens, the Sonics are getting a marketable, cornerstone player from this draft.
3. Atlanta – Brandan Wright, pf, North Carolina
Chad Ford has the Hawks taking Conley here, but I think he’s too much of a reach for the number 3 pick. There are a few decent pgs in this draft, so I think Atlanta knows they can wait to pick one up with their second lottery pick. Not to mention the Hawks have an infatuation with versatile wing players.
4. Memphis – Al Horford, pf, Florida
Sorry about being the big loser in the Oden-Durant sweepstakes. That’s what you get for tanking the season. Nonetheless, Horford is a stud and he’ll pair nicely with Gasol, or if they trade Pau he can be a part of the nucleus there with Lowry, Warrick, and Miller.
5. Boston – Corey Brewer, sg, Florida
Another team that blatantly tanked the season, and I’m glad they didn’t get what they wanted from it. Fortunately for them, this is such a deep draft that they can still get a quality player in the 5 slot. Brewer is crazy talented and might end up as a more offensive-minded Josh Howard.
6. Milwaukee – Julian Wright, sf, Kansas
Milwaukee is such a going nowhere franchise right now. They have a couple of good, young pieces (Bogut, Villanueva) and an All-Star (Michael Redd) but it doesn’t seem like they have a real plan about what they’re trying to do. Wright fits here though since he can give the Bucks a lot of different options on the floor. He’s got a weird shaped head though.
7. Minnesota – Jeff Green, sf, Georgetown
There are so many similar players in this year’s draft; it’s kind of hard to keep them straight. I see similar skill sets in Green, Brewer, the Wrights, and Thaddeus Young, but they’ll all end up as solid players. The Wolves are in such a predicament between trying to get younger and trying to win for KG (FREE GARNETT. Jeff Green isn’t the missing piece (and I don’t really think the Wolves will ever win for Garnett), but he’s good.
8. Charlotte – Nick Young, sg, USC
This is the first reach of my mock draft, but the Bobcats are pretty set at both forward spots, center, and point guard. It seems like they need a shooting guard since Morrison is too slow to stick opposing 2s. Young is talented, but I think this is too high for him, but I can definitely see Charlotte picking him.
9. Chicago (via New York) – Spencer Hawes, c, Washington
I don’t know how I feel about this (Chad Ford has him going to Chicago too). The Bulls desperately need inside scoring, but I don’t love Hawes. Hopefully he doesn’t turn out to be a stiff.
10. Sacramento – Joakim Noah, pf, Florida
Should have came out last year and been top 5. He’ll do well in Sacramento, assuming Ron Artest doesn’t try to eat him.
11. Atlanta (via Indiana) – Mike Conley Jr., pg, Ohio State
See. I told you the Hawks could get a point with their second pick. If the Hawks do end up with Conley here it almost makes up for them passing on Chris Paul AND Deron Williams two years ago.
12. Philadelphia – Yi Jianlian, pf, China
I saw him on SportsCenter. People think he’s good. I hope Philadelphia doesn’t tear him apart.
13. New Orleans –Al Thornton, sf, FSU
Scoring machine. He’ll replace Desmond Mason (probably leaving) and Peja Stojakovic (made of paper mache).
14. L.A. Clippers –Acie Law IV, pg, Texas A&M
Sam Cassell is as old as the original Acie Law. The Clips also need a point after Shaun Livingston’s knee exploded last year.
15. Detroit (via Orlando) – Tiago Splitter, pf, Brazil
Why not? Because the last time Detroit drafted a foreign big man he ended up being Darko Milicic. Why? Because they can take a chance. Why else? He has the best name in the draft.
16. Washington – Jason Smith, pf, Colorado State
I don’t know anything about this guy except that he’s big, has a boring name, and the Wizards need someone decent inside.
17. New Jersey – Thaddeus Young, sf, Ga. Tech
Carter and/or Kidd are gone after this year, but the Nets drafter his replacement last year. Young will help alleviate the scoring loss of Vince.
18. Golden State – Ante Tomic, C, Croatia
I don’t know him either, but I think the Warriors like foreigners.
19. L.A. Lakers – Javaris Crittenton, pg, Ga. Tech
Jordan Farmar is not the answer at point. Crittenton is solid.
20. Miami – Sean Williams, c, Boston College
Shaq is old. Udonis Haslem is Udonis Haslem. Eventually the Heat are going to need a big man to fill those voids.
21. Philadelphia (via Denver) – Brandon Rush, sg, Kansas
A moody, head-case, shooting guard in Philly. Seems about right.
22. Charlotte (via Toronto through Cleveland) – Josh McRoberts, pf, Duke
This gives them some depth behind Okafor and May. Plus the Bobcats love drafting established players from North Carolina colleges.
23. New York (via Chicago) –Rodney Stuckey, sg, Eastern Washington
I’m not familiar with Rodney Stuckey, but he’s an undersized shooting guard. The Knicks LOVE those guys.
24. Phoenix (via Cleveland through Boston) – Daequan Cook, sg, Ohio State
Daequan Cook can shoot. I hear Phoenix is pretty big on that. Gives them another option behind Raja.
25. Utah – Marco Belinelli, sg, Italy
Another pick I made simply because it seems like the Jazz enjoy foreign players.
26. Houston – Gabe Pruitt, pg, USC
Houston needs a point guard (sorry Luther and Rafer), and Pruitt’s the best one left.
27. Detroit – Derrick Byars, sf, Vanderbilt
I’d imagine Detroit gets rid of this pick, but they can take a chance since they’re already getting a top 15 player earlier.
28. San Antonio – Rudy Fernandez, sg, Spain
Once again, San Antonio is good at foreign players (Ginobili, Parker, Oberto).
29. Phoenix – Marc Gasol, c, Spain
Pau’s brother is supposed to be worse at defense. He should fit right in in Phoenix.
30. Philadelphia (via Dallas through Denver and Golden State) – Glen Davis, pf, LSU
I think they need a fat guy since Derrick Coleman isn’t there anymore.
May 23, 2007
1. Portland – Greg Oden, c, Ohio State