The NBA Draft Lottery was held
Tuesday night and it took only three days for the shape of the first round to be
And the look of the college
basketball preseason Top 10 teams has changed as well because of two
*On Wednesday, Georgetown center
Roy Hibbert announced he was returning to the Hoyas for his senior
It deprives the June 28 draft of a
likely lottery (top 14) choice but keeps Coach John Thompson III’s
program as a strong national championship contender for next season – even with
the loss of Big East Player of the Year Jeff Green, who is
bypassing his senior campaign for the draft.
*And on Friday evening 6-foot-6
Brandon Rush of Kansas, who would have been chosen in the No.’s 20 to 25
range of the first round on June 28, said he’ll be back in Lawrence for his
That decision is enough to cement
Kansas as the team to beat for the Big 12 title next spring and to keep Bill Self’s program in strong Final Four contenders’ mode.
And on June 28 there will be two
other very happy people because of the Hibbert and Rush decisions: the two guys
who get into the first round because Hibbert and Rush are staying in
Here’s the first of the
frankhoops.com mock first rounds for the 2007 NBA Draft:
1. Portland: Greg Oden (7-0,
Frank Says: The last time
this franchise had an opportunity to draft a center as talented as this guy was
in 1974 and the player’s name was Bill Walton.
2. Seattle: Kevin Durant
Frank Says: Suddenly it
doesn’t seem quite as imperative that the Sonics resign Rashard Lewis.
3. Atlanta: Brandan Wright
(6-9, North Carolina)
Frank Says: The player the
Hawks need is Mike Conley but Wright has too much value to pass up with this
4. Memphis: Joakim Noah
Frank Says: He’s the most
versatile post in the draft pool. Now, if he only had a jump shot . .
5. Boston: Jeff Green (6-8,
Frank Says: If Oden isn’t
the Rookie of the Year in 2008, it will be this guy – regardless of who selects
6. Milwaukee: Al Horford
Frank Says: He’ll team with
Andrew Bogut and Charlie Villanueva for a nifty frontcourt.
7. Minnesota: Yi Jianlian
Frank Says: He could go as
early as fourth or as late as 10th.
8. Charlotte: Corey Brewer
Frank Says: The Bucks and
Timberwolves will be tempted to take him.
9. Chicago: Spencer Hawes
Frank Says: The most
offensively skilled post player in this draft pool, he could be nabbed
beforehand by Minnesota.
10. Sacramento: Mike Conley
(6-1, Ohio State)
Frank Says: The most
promising of the point guards could be long gone before the Kings are on the
11. Atlanta: Acie Law (6-3,
Frank Says: But this pick
takes place only if the Hawks don’t end up with Conley
12. Philadelphia: Al Thornton (6-8, Florida State)
Frank Says: Even at 12 I
might be undervaluing him. But, at 24 on Dec. 7, he’ll be the elder statesman of
rookies. Kevin Durant doesn’t turn 19 until Sept. 29.
13. New Orleans: Nick Young
Frank Says: One of the three
or four best “scorers” in the draft pool.
14. L.A. Clippers: Julian Wright (6-7, Kansas)
Frank Says: Like Noah, he
could have been a character in The Wizard of Oz who bemoaned to Dorothy “If I
only had a jump shot!”
15. Detroit: Tiago Splitter
Frank Says: Could spell both
Rasheed Wallace and Chris Webber.
16. Washington: Jason Smith
(7-0, Colorado State)
Frank Says: The Wizards
could be tempted to go with McRoberts.
17. New Jersey: Josh McRoberts (6-10, Duke)
Frank Says: The Nets will be
tickled if McRoberts or Smith is still for the taking when they’re doing the
18. Golden State: Thaddeus Young (6-8, Georgia Tech)
Frank Says: Assuming Don
Nelson is still coaching, Young would seem to fit the spread the floor and drive
it or shoot it-approach well.
19. L.A. Lakers: Rodney Stuckey (6-4, Eastern Washington)
Frank Says: Scouts go about
50-50 as to whether he’s a point or scoring guard.
20. Miami: Javaris Crittenton (6-5, Georgia Tech)
Frank Says: He’s much more a
“scorer” than “true point guard” at the moment.
21. Philadelphia: DeVon Hardin (6-10, Cal)
Frank Says: Hampered by
injuries the past two seasons, he’s the true sleeper among post prospects in the
22. Charlotte: Daequan Cook
(6-5, Ohio State)
Frank Says: Athletically, he
is as good as it gets in this draft at the two-guard slot.
23. New York: Rudy Fernandez
Frank Says: He can shoot it
deep and take it to the rim. How physical is he?
24. Phoenix: Marco Belinelli
Frank Says: He’ll give Steve Nash another guy to set up in transition.
25. Utah: Ante Tomic (7-2,
Frank Says: He’s on the thin
side (230ish) but has a lot of ways to score.
26. Houston: Gabe Pruitt
Frank Says: He’s not a
“point guard”, per se, quite yet – but he’s a lot closer to fitting into that
mold since coming under the tutelage of Tim Floyd.
27. Detroit: Wilson Chandler
Frank Says: A player whose
stock will climb before June 28.
28. San Antonio: Nick Fazekas (6-11, Nevada)
Frank Says: No, he’s nothing
approaching the “next Tim Duncan” but he’s good enough to evolve into a
multi-skilled post contributor for the Spurs.
29. Phoenix: Marc Gasol
Frank Says: If he’s
two-third the prospect his brother was at the same stage, he’ll be in the NBA
for a while.
30. Philadelphia: Sean Williams (6-9, Boston College)
Frank Says: He’s probably
closer to 6-8 than the 6-10 he is listed in other places but there is no
exaggerating his rebounding and shot-blocking abilities.
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
firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more of Burlison’s pieces at