1. Raptors, LaMarcus Aldridge (6-10,
Frank Says: We’re still not convinced
Toronto hangs onto the first
2. Bulls, Tyrus Thomas (6-8,
Frank Says: Aldridge (if he isn’t gone
already) and Brandon Roy are the two
other very viable options for
Chicago, if it remains in this
3. Bobcats, Adam Morrison (6-8,
Frank Says: This, of course, is on the
assumption that he will still be on the board – which isn’t a
4. Trail Blazers, Brandon Roy (6-5,
Frank Says: If it remains at No. 4,
Portland would be more than pleased
with either Morrison or Roy.
5. Hawks, Randy Foye (6-3,
Frank Says: This is where it gets
tough. Marcus Williams is also an option. In the end, the hunch is that
Atlanta goes for the “best remaining
guard on the board”. And that would be Foye.
6. Timberwolves, Shelden Williams (6-8,
Frank Says: He is supposed to have a
Top 10 “guarantee” – and this might be the spot.
7. Celtics, Marcus Williams (6-3,
Frank Says: He’d have plenty of scorers
to get the ball to, that’s for sure.
8. Rockets, Rudy Gay (6-7 ½,
Frank Says: Who, a year ago, would have
imagined he’d still be for the taking in the eighth slot?
9. Warriors, Patrick O’Bryant (7-0,
State will need a lot of patience but
he gets a slight nod over Hilton Armstrong as the best long-term, low-post
prospect still available.
10. Sonics, Andrea Bargnani (6-11,
Frank Says: Some project him as the
best prospect. People we trust tell us not to buy into that notion. They say he
is a marvelous shooter but is next to a non-presence in the low post.
11. Magic, J.J. Redick (6-4,
Frank Says: With Jameer Nelson directing things and Dwight Howard drawing heavy coverage
down low, he should be able to get a healthy heaping of open jump
12. Hornets, Hilton Armstrong (6-11,
Frank Says: The argument of those who
like him over Patrick O’Bryant: Put Armstrong in the Missouri Valley Conference
and O’Bryant in the Big East, and what would their numbers
13. 76ers, Rajon Rondo (6-1,
Frank Says: This is awfully early for a
fellow who has never demonstrated he is more than a poor to midlands jump
shooter at best. But he’s the best “athlete” among the point guards, for
14. Jazz, Ronnie Brewer (6-6,
Frank Says: After Brandon Roy, he’s the
most versatile “wing-type” in the draft pool.
15. Hornets, Marcus Vinicius (6-9,
Frank Says: His stock continues to
climb as those who have seen him recently rave about his all-around offensive
16. Bulls, Rodney Carney (6-7,
Frank Says: He is slipping a bit but
this is about where the slippage would halt.
17. Pacers, Quincy Douby (6-2 ½,
Frank Says: Some talent evaluators
swear he’s every bit the jump shooter that J.J. Redick is.
18. Wizards, Thabo Sefolosha (6-6,
Frank Says: He’s another foreign
product whose stock is on the rise. He could be long gone before
Washington can take a pop at him,
19. Kings, Cedric Simmons (6-9,
Frank Says: His stock is barely behind
that of Hilton Armstrong, another of the “one-season wonders” among the guys
projected in first round.
20. Knicks, Shawne Williams (6-8,
Frank Says: There is an awful lot of
untapped talent in that tank.
21. Suns, Sergio Rodriguez (6-3,
Frank Says: We could be low-balling him
here. Some think he has more physical tools than any other “true” point guard
prospect in this draft.
22. Nets, Kyle Lowry (6-0,
Frank Says: Like Rodriguez, he could be
chosen a little earlier if there is a team picking before this spot who feels it
must nab a point guard.
23. Nets, Mouhamed Saer Sene (7-0,
Frank Says: He’s not anything close to
Greg Oden as a prospect. But he’s
the closest thing to next year’s No. 1 overall pick (who will be one and done at
State next season) that
New Jersey will ever have a shot
at picking this deep into a first round.
24. Grizzlies, Guillermo Diaz (6-2 ½,
Memphis is said to be in need of
a scorer. And that is exactly what Diaz is.
25. Cavaliers, Shannon Brown (6-1 ½,
Frank Says: He’s not yet a point guard,
by any stretch. But he’d get the job done playing alongside his buddy, LeBron James.
26. Lakers, Maurice Ager (6-4 ½,
Frank Says: Some question his quickness
off the dribble. But no one questions his ability to score, one way or
27. Suns, Olexsiy Pechrov (6-11,
Frank Says: He’s another guy who
supposedly has a first-round “promise” – and it might be with the Suns with
either of their two first-round picks.
28. Mavericks, Paul Davis (6-9 ½,
Frank Says: He’s the most offensively
skilled of the remaining frontcourt prospects and would likely flourish in
29. Knicks, Josh Boone (6-9,
Frank Says: If he ever refines his
offensive skills and figures out how to play hard almost every night out,
getting him here would eventually be considered a steal.
30. Trail Blazers, Alexander Johnson (6-9,
Frank Says: If
Portland really wants to gamble on
“upside”, it might opt instead for UCLA’s Ryan Hollins, who dominated
Memphis’ frontcourt in the NCAA
Other possible first-round picks: James Augustine (6-9, Illinois); Dee Brown (5-11, Illinois); Mardy Collins (6-5, Temple); Jordan Farmar (6-2, UCLA; could
withdraw); Rudy Fernandez (6-5,
Spain); Mike Gansey (6-4, West Virginia); Aaron Gray (7-0,
Pittsburgh; could withdraw); Ryan
Hollins (7-0, UCLA); Leon Powe
(6-7, Cal); James White (6-7,
Inducted into the USBWA Hall of
Fame in April, 2005, Frank Burlison is Scout.com’s national basketball expert and is
also a columnist for the Long Beach (Calif.) Press-Telegram. He can be reached at
email@example.com. Read more of Burlison’s pieces at