OK. Very soon all the guesswork –
on the part of NBA decision makers and those like me who take this “mock draft”
stuff so seriously – will be over.
The 2007 NBA Draft is on tap for
Thursday night in New York City.
And here’s one last stab at how its
first round could shape up.
Please be gentle with your
criticism and/or laughter:
1. PORTLAND: Greg Oden
(Center, 6-11, 257, Ohio State)
Frank Says: I found it
amusing how some media outlets tried to create some contrived “Is Portland going
to take Greg Oden or Kevin Durant No. 1?” storyline. Yeah, guys, that was a real
2. SEATTLE: Kevin Durant
(Small forward, 6-9, 215, Texas)
Frank Says: And, no, I don’t
think his inability to hoist 185 pounds caused the Sonics any real disconcertion
about picking him second.
3. ATLANTA: Al Horford
(Power forward, 6-8 ¾, 246, Florida)
Frank Says: This is looked
upon as the “safe pick”, although speculation Wednesday among veteran sources in
NBA front offices was that the Hawks could opt for Yi Jianlian. If I were doing
the picking, I’d have to make the choice Mike Conley.
4. MEMPHIS: Brandan Wright
(Power forward, 6-8 ¾, 200, North Carolina)
Frank Says: If this guy
somehow slips all the way to No. 10, there are going to be some giddy folks in
Sacramento late Thursday night.
5. BOSTON: Yi Jianlian
(Power forward, 7-0, 240, China)
Frank Says: It’s doubtful he
ends up being the best – or even fifth best – player in the draft but he sure
has drummed up the most debate.
6. MILWAUKEE: Mike Conley
(Point guard, 5-11 ¾, 175, Ohio State)
Frank Says: Maurice Williams
will suddenly lose some bargaining power with the Bucks.
7. MINNESOTA: Joakim Noah
(PF/C, 6-11, 230, Florida)
Frank Says: If it isn’t Noah
then Kevin McHale & Co. could nab the most offensively skilled post player
in the draft (see Chicago’s selection two choices hence).
8. CHARLOTTE: Corey Brewer
(SF, 6-6 ¾, 185, Florida)
Frank Says: The Bobcats are
the subject of trade speculation with Philadelphia (which would like to move up
to take Spencer Hawes or Al Thornton) and Golden State (which wants Yi
9. CHICAGO: Spencer Hawes
(PF/C, 6-10 ½, 244, Washington)
Frank Says: The Bulls hopes
Minnesota truly doesn’t realize how talented Hawes is.
10. SACRAMENTO: Al Thornton
(SF, 6-5 ¾, 221, Florida State)
Frank Says: The Kings want a
big post guy here but wouldn’t toss back Thornton if either Wright, Yi, Noah or
Hawes isn’t here for the picking.
11. ATLANTA: Acie Law (PG,
186, Texas A&M)
Frank Says: This spot could
be sent to Seattle in exchange for Luke Ridnour. And the Sonics would select
12. PHILADELPHIA: Jeff Green
(SF/PF, 6-7 ¾, 228, Georgetown)
Frank Says: Could this guy
really still be on the board when the 76ers are picking here? It’s hard
to imagine why. But, yes, he could.
13. NEW ORLEANS: Nick Young
(SG, 6-5, 206, USC)
Frank Says: The Hornets are
supposed to like another Young (Thaddeus), as well. The Trojan will have a much
greater immediate impact on an NBA team, though.
14. CLIPPERS: Julian Wright
(SF/PG, 6-6 ½, 211, Kansas)
Frank Says: Here’s another
player that seemingly was a lock Top 10 choice just days ago. The rap? People
don’t think he’s a good jump shooter. Gee: Didn’t they scout him in
15. DETROIT: Rodney Stuckey
(PG, 6-3 ¾, 207, Eastern Washington)
Frank Says: If Nick Young is
still on the board, he would trump Stuckey here.
16. WASHINGTON: Thaddeus Young (SF, 6-5 ¾, 210, Georgia Tech)
Frank Says: But Javaris Crittenton is a possibility here as well.
17. NEW JERSEY: Sean Williams (PF/C, 6-8, 230, Boston College)
Frank Says: He’s got some
much written and talked about off-the-court issues. But, oh yes: He’s awfully
talented on the court.
18. GOLDEN STATE: Jason Smith (PF, 6-10 ¾, 233, Colorado State)
Frank Says: If the Nets opt
instead for Smith (which they could do), the Warriors would snap up
19. LAKERS: Marco Belinelli
(SG, 6-5, 190, Italy)
Frank Says: They’d like to
get a player who can “space the floor” with his shooting ability and Belinelli
would do a decent job of just that.
20. MIAMI: Javaris
Crittenton (PG/SG, 6-3, 195, Georgia Tech)
Frank Says: If Crittenton
has already been chosen, Gabe Pruitt would get strong consideration.
21. PHILADELPHIA: Josh McRoberts (PF, 6-8 ¾, 240, Duke)
Frank Says: Barring the
unforeseen, McRoberts’ draft spiral ends here.
22. CHARLOTTE: Daequan Cook
(SG, 6-3 ¾, 203, Ohio State)
Frank Says: Other than Nick
Young, no shooting guard’s talent excites as many scouts.
23. NEW YORK: Wilson Chandler (SF/PF, 6-8, 230, DePaul)
Frank Says: Another player
who some believe has “lottery-level” talent.
24. PHOENIX: Rudy Fernandez
(SG, 6-6, 175, Spain)
Frank Says: He’s got a $1
million-plus buyout with his team in Spain. That means it could be the 2008-09
season before he’s an NBA rookie.
25. UTAH: Derrick Byars
(SG/SF, 6-7, 230, Vanderbilt)
Frank Says: The Jazz
decision makers are crossing fingers he’ll be around for them to
26. HOUSTON: Morris Almond
(SG, 6-6, 215, Rice)
Frank Says: He would be an
option for the Jazz if Byars is gone.
27. DETROIT: Tiago Splitter
(C/PF, 6-10, 245, Brazil)
Frank Says: Another
European-based player who could put his NBA debut on hold for a bit.
28. SAN ANTONIO: Kyrylo
Fesenko (C, 7-0, 240, Ukraine)
Frank Says: He could be a
pretty nice post option when Tim Duncan finally hangs it up.
29. PHOENIX: Aaron Brooks
(PG, 5-10 ½, 161, Oregon)
Frank Says: He would
certainly provide a dozen or so very energetic minutes per game in relief of
Steve Nash next season.
30. PHILADELPHIA: Gabe
Pruitt (PG/SG, 6-4, 175, USC)
Frank Says: The combo guard
(he’ll eventually be a full-time point guard) could go to Philly at
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