Speculation On Final Leg As Draft Approaches
Brandan Wright
Brandan Wright
Scout National Basketball Columnist
Posted Jun 28, 2007


Well, anyone who watched Ohio State play at least a couple of times this past season should have had a pretty good clue as to who the No. 1 choice in the 2007 NBA Draft is going to be. No. 2 isn't a mystery, either. After that, though, things are going to get a bit dicey.

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 side splitter.

 

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 Jianlian)).

 

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 Rodney Stuckey.

 

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 college?

 

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 Williams.

 

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 select.

 

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 21.



 

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 frank.burlison@presstelegram.com. Read more of Burlison’s pieces at www.frankhoops.com



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