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purdue101
06-20-2006, 10:29 AM
Can someone please copy and paste? Thanks.

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Unclebuck
06-20-2006, 10:39 AM
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Chad Ford's Mock Draft, Version 3: Picks 1 to 30

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By Chad Ford
ESPN Insider

• You be the GM: Try our Draft Machine

We're nine days from the NBA Draft and chaos still reigns.


Michael Jordan is now calling the shots in Charlotte, and J.J. Redick's week of bad news might send him sliding.


Meanwhile, all eyes are still focused on Toronto, where rumors continue to grow that the Raptors are going to trade down or out of the draft -- leaving our projected No. 1 selection, Italy's Andrea Bargnani, vulnerable at the top.


Our projected No. 2 selection, LSU's Tyrus Thomas, is on shaky ground too. If the Chicago Bulls trade their pick (there are rampant rumors about a potential trade with the Los Angeles Lakers that would include Lamar Odom), Thomas could tumble.


The Atlanta Hawks' apparent love affair with Shelden Williams at No. 5 also throws the front end of the lottery in an uproar.


Now that the Orlando and Treviso predraft camps are over, and the deadline to withdraw from the draft has come and gone with one significant dropout, it's time for a new mock draft, taking all the new information into account.


Here's our latest take, based on conversations with numerous NBA team sources, about how the draft might play out on June 28:



CHAD FORD'S MOCK DRAFT
PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS

Toronto
Andrea Bargnani Position: PF
Height: 7-0
Weight: 225
Age: 20
Country: Italy

The skinny: The Raptors spent another week in Italy scouting Bargnani. This weekend, Tyrus Thomas and LaMarcus Aldridge worked out. Rudy Gay, Adam Morrison and Randy Foye are coming in soon. GM Bryan Colangelo continues to assert that the Raptors haven't made up their mind about whom they'll draft if they keep the No. 1 pick.


Talk continues to circulate that the Raptors are going to trade the pick, moving down or out of the first round.


If they do keep the pick, all signs still point to Bargnani being the pick. He's not a perfect fit in Toronto (none of the top six really are), but he would give the Raptors some flexibility to make a deal later.


Chicago
(via New York)
Tyrus Thomas Position: PF
Height: 6-9
Weight: 229
Age: 19
School: LSU

The skinny: I've been championing LaMarcus Aldridge as a perfect fit for the Bulls all year, but after watching Thomas work out in Orlando two weeks ago, I can see why the Bulls would want him. However, I'm not sure the Bulls saw the same Thomas I did. A stomach virus limited his workout in Chicago, raising some doubts about his status with the Bulls.


Thomas' most serious competition for the No. 2 spot is Washington's Brandon Roy. The Bulls want to add size to their backcourt and think another big might be available at No. 16. From what I'm told, the Bulls are still leaning toward Thomas, but it's neck and neck.


Rumors of a possible trade with the Lakers have also complicated things. If the Lakers get the No. 2 pick, Roy would be their guy.


Charlotte
Brandon Roy Position: SG
Height: 6-5
Weight: 195
Age: 21
School: Washington

The skinny: Now that Michael Jordan is running the show in Charlotte, all of the information we had on the Bobcats is out the window. Owner Bob Johnson made it clear that Jordan, now one of the owners of the franchise, has the final say over all personnel decisions -- that includes the draft.


GM Bernie Bickerstaff worked out both UConn's Rudy Gay and Gonzaga's Adam Morrison and was impressed with both. Gay has more long-term potential, while Morrison is more polished and ready to contribute. I think Bickerstaff prefers Gay.


But I don't think Jordan is a fan of either. From all the evidence we can gather, Roy is the guy. If Roy goes No. 2, it could be Tyrus Thomas.

(Click here for more on Jordan's draft plans.)


Portland

Adam Morrison Position: SF
Height: 6-8
Weight: 205
Age: 21
School: Gonzaga

The skinny: The Blazers could go a lot of directions here -- but they have only one choice. The franchise is crumbling. President Steve Patterson's mismanagement is making fans yearn for the good old Bob Whitsitt's "JailBlazer" days.


The Blazers' biggest need is in the middle, and Patrick O'Bryant -- tops among the draft's true centers -- would work. LaMarcus Aldridge might not be bad in the middle when paired with Zach Randolph. Coach Nate McMillan is a big Brandon Roy fan. Much of the Blazers' staff is high on Andrea Bargnani (who could slide).


But if the draft plays out the way we think it will, look for Morrison to be the pick. Darius Miles' days in Portland are numbered, and management has to begin finding ways of exciting Portland fans again. The pro-Morrison "Draft the Stache" campaign proves that Portland fans still care.


Look for the Blazers to attempt to move up in the draft to get him. They're offering the Raptors anyone on the roster with the exception of Martell Webster and Jarrett Jack.



Atlanta
Shelden Williams Position: PF
Height: 6-9
Weight: 250
Age: 22
School: Duke

The skinny: Several league sources told Insider in Orlando and Italy that the Hawks had cut a deal with Williams.


If so, it's hard to understand. Why cut a deal with a guy who has a 99.9 percent probability of being there at No. 5?


Looking at the bright side, Williams makes some sense for the Hawks. He would bring much-needed toughness, rebounding and shot-blocking to the front line.


However, it seems like UConn's Marcus Williams, Kentucky's Rajon Rondo, Villanova's Randy Foye and Washington's Brandon Roy would all be better fits.


If the Hawks keep the No. 5 pick and have to pass on LaMarcus Aldridge for Shelden Williams, Knight's going to come under fire again -- the same way he did when he passed on Chris Paul last summer.



Minnesota
LaMarcus Aldridge Position: PF
Height: 6-10
Weight: 240
Age: 20
School: Texas

The skinny: The Wolves are hoping that Aldridge, Rudy Gay or Tyrus Thomas slips to them here. If the Hawks take Shelden Williams, the Wolves likely will get their wish, perhaps with two of the three available. Aldridge has a lot in common with Kevin Garnett, but together they could form a pretty formidable front line.


If none of the three are on the board, the Wolves might look for a point guard. UConn's Marcus Williams is ready to come in and contribute immediately. If the Wolves can get over the off-court issues in his past, he could be a great fit.


Boston
Rudy Gay Position: SF
Height: 6-9
Weight: 222
Age: 19
School: UConn

The skinny: The Celtics are in good position if the Hawks draft Shelden Williams. In that case, the Celtics can sit back and relax, if they like, and just let one of the top six players in the draft slide to them.


Gay doesn't fit a need in Boston, but that probably won't deter Danny Ainge.


But the Celtics don't really need young players at this point. So it's more likely that they'll use the pick as a bargaining chip to get a solid veteran, probably to fill their need at point guard.


Houston
J.J. Redick Position: SG
Height: 6-4
Weight: 190
Age: 21
School: Duke

The skinny: Given Redick's week from hell, would the Rockets really take him this high? An arrest for DUI, followed by news that his back is injured, could be problematic for a team already dealing with Tracy McGrady's balky back.


The Rockets have a number of needs, but the biggest is two guard. This is awfully high for Redick, but he should be a good fit in Houston. With McGrady and Yao Ming facing constant double teams, the Rockets need someone who can make opponents pay from the 3-point line.


So, while Redick might slide, I still think it's more likely the Rockets take him.


The Rockets also need help at point guard and up front, so UConn's Rudy Gay and Marcus Williams and Bradley's Patrick O'Bryant might be options, if available.


Golden State
Patrick O'Bryant Position: C
Height: 7-0
Weight: 250
Age: 19
School: Bradley

The skinny: The Warriors, while not a playoff team yet, don't have any glaring needs.


With Baron Davis' health always in question, having a big-time, experienced combo guard like Randy Foye or an up-and-coming point guard like Rajon Rondo could be very welcome.


But after watching O'Bryant recently, I can't believe he'll slip any farther than this. His combination of size and athleticism will be too much to pass on.


Seattle
Cedric Simmons Position: PF
Height: 6-9
Weight: 235
Age: 20
School: NC State

The skinny: The Sonics really want to get their hands on Shelden Williams. With Williams likely off the board when the Sonics pick, don't be surprised if they move into trade mode. A number of teams are trying to move up in the draft and the Sonics should be willing to sell.


If they keep the pick, they might go for Simmons, the next best thing to Williams. In fact, many scouts have him rated ahead of Williams. Simmons is bigger and more athletic, and in time should be a better rebounder and shot-blocker. The Sonics need someone to replace Reggie Evans' toughness on the boards, and Simmons is a perfect candidate.


Orlando
Ronnie Brewer Position: SG
Height: 6-7
Weight: 220
Age: 21
School: Arkansas

The skinny: The Magic have had their eye on Roy, Redick and Williams, and they've been trying to move up in the draft for the past several weeks to get one of them. So far, no luck.


If all three are gone, then the team must move on to Plan B, finding a big guard to pair in the backcourt with point guard Jameer Nelson. Brewer would be a good fit. He can swing to the point, plays aggressive defense and knows how to get to the basket.


Rodney Carney and Randy Foye are other possibilities here.


New Orleans/
Oklahoma City
Hilton Armstrong Position: C
Height: 6-11
Weight: 235
Age: 21
School: UConn

The skinny: After giving up Jamaal Magloire and losing Chris Andersen to a drug suspension, the Hornets lack an athletic, defensive presence who can rebound and block shots. They're hoping O'Bryant, the best center in the draft, is still on the board. Don't be surprised if they try to package their two first-round picks to move up to get O'Bryant.


However, if they're stuck at No. 12, Cedric Simmons or Hilton Armstrong could be the man. Simmons is very raw, but has the size and athleticism to be a significant presence in the paint down the road. If he's gone, Armstrong might be the pick. He's not as athletic as Simmons, but he's bigger and more skilled.


Philadelphia
Marcus Williams Position: PG
Height: 6-3
Weight: 205
Age: 20
School: UConn

The skinny: The Sixers have a lot of needs right now. They need a point guard so that they can move Allen Iverson back to the two where he belongs. They also need to begin developing a power forward who can take over when Chris Webber retires or breaks down.


The Sixers could reach a little here to take a player such as Hilton Armstrong or Alexander Johnson.


More likely they'll try to fill a hole in the backcourt. So would they take Marcus Williams, Randy Foye or Rajon Rondo?


Williams is the best pure point guard in the draft, but he's a below-average NBA athlete. Foye is a better athlete, has great versatility and is ready to play now, but there are questions about his ability to step in and play the point. Rondo is a freak athlete with great point guard instincts, and he's the best defender of the group -- but his inability to shoot the ball is a major problem.


Look for the Sixers to take a chance on Williams. He fits the Eric Snow model that once got them to the Finals.


Utah
Randy Foye Position: SG
Height: 6-4
Weight: 205
Age: 22
School: Villanova

The skinny: The Jazz's first priority is finding a scoring two guard. Roy, Foye and Redick are at the top of the list.


Foye could go as high as No. 5 to Atlanta (if the Shelden Williams rumors are bogus) or No. 6 to Minnesota. This scenario, with Foye falling all the way to No. 14, goes against previous expectations, but it is plausible.


Redick could also be an option here if he slips, though I'm sure owner Larry Miller has cooled on him after Redick's recent arrest.


If all three are off the board, the Jazz will look to fill their other need, at center. Greg Ostertag is retiring and no one believes that recently acquired Rafael Araujo is the long-term answer. The team could use an athletic shot-blocker to help out Mehmet Okur and Carlos Boozer in the paint.


Would they take Mouhamed Saer Sene? Karl Malone loved him when he came in for a workout. He's a project, but the Jazz might be ready to take a chance.


NO/OC Hornets
(via Milwaukee)
Rodney Carney Position: SF
Height: 6-7
Weight: 205
Age: 22
School: Memphis

The skinny: The Hornets will be psyched if Carney is still on the board here. The team could use an athletic, sweet-shooting swingman and Carney has the experience to step right in and compete right away. Questions about Carney's toughness and desire are the only reasons he might slip this far.

If Carney is off the board, Thabo Sefolosha and Marcus Vinicius are possibilities.


Chicago
Thabo Sefolosha Position: SF
Height: 6-6
Weight: 215
Age: 22
Country: Switzerland

The skinny: If the Bulls go for a frontcourt player with pick No. 2, look for them to try to add a big two guard to fill their need in the backcourt. Brewer and Carney would be likely targets if they're still on the board. If they're not, the Bulls could turn to Sefolosha. He's long, athletic and experienced, and he has a balanced, all-around game.

Temple's Mardy Collins is another option here.

Or, if the Bulls decide to go for a player such as Roy at the top, an athletic forward like Alexander Johnson could be the guy.

Indiana
Alexander Johnson Position: PF
Height: 6-10
Weight: 230
Age: 23
School: FSU

The skinny: The Pacers have a need for backups in both the frontcourt and the backcourt.


Johnson is a super-athletic power forward who can play a little like Kenyon Martin. With Jermaine O'Neal constantly nursing injuries, and potentially on the trading block, finding an option to replace him is essential.


If they decide instead to address their backcourt, Shannon Brown and Quincy Douby make some sense.


Washington
Rajon Rondo Position: PG
Height: 6-2
Weight: 171
Age: 20
School: Kentucky

The skinny: Rondo would be a steal for the Wizards.


Some GMs have Rondo ranked as the top point guard in the draft. He could go as high as No. 5 (Atlanta), No. 7 (Boston) or No. 13 (Philly). Rondo should be excellent in Eddie Jordan's up-tempo offense and allow Gilbert Arenas to swing to the two at times.


Mouhamed Saer Sene is also an option here, if available.


Sacramento
Sergio Rodriguez Position: PG
Height: 6-3
Weight: 170
Age: 19
Country: Spain

The skinny: Sacramento drafted Jason "White Chocolate" Williams and might take his Spanish clone, Sergio "Spanish Chocolate" Rodriguez. The Kings desperately need some help behind Mike Bibby. Rodriguez got off to a slow start early in the year because of injuries, but has looked like his scintillating self in the playoffs. He is quick, can run a team and can do it with flair. Another year in Spain and he'd have a chance at becoming a lottery pick, so this is a good get.


New York
(via Denver)
Shawne Williams Position: SF
Height: 6-9
Weight: 225
Age: 20
School: Memphis

The skinny: Jalen Rose will be gone soon and Knicks fans are still mourning the giveaway of Trevor Ariza at the deadline. Williams is a guy Knicks president Isiah Thomas can love. He is long and athletic, plays multiple positions and can shoot. He really needs another year of school, but playing for the Knicks is like playing for the JV at this point anyway. Brazil's Marcus Vinicius is another option here. Isiah is a fan.


Phoenix
(via L.A. Lakers)
Mouhamed Saer Sene Position: C
Height: 7-0
Weight: 232
Age: 20
Country: Senegal

The skinny: Coach Mike D'Antoni loves small ball, but that doesn't mean he'll pass on a talented big man. The Suns are hoping that either Hilton Armstrong or Mouhamed Saer Sene falls to them.


Sene is a bigger project than Armstrong, but he has more upside for a team willing to wait. Phoenix would be a perfect fit for him. The Suns also like Sergio Rodriguez.


If all three are off the board, the Ukraine's Olexisy Pecherov would be a good fit. He's 6-11, athletic, can shoot the 3 and has developed into an excellent rebounder in France this season. Think of a tougher version of Keith Van Horn.


New Jersey
(via L.A. Clippers)
Kyle Lowry Position: PG
Height: 6-0
Weight: 185
Age: 20
School: Villanova

The skinny: The Nets desperately need to upgrade their bench, both in the frontcourt and in the backcourt. Lowry is a super-athletic, scrappy point guard who could help the Nets restore the frantic pace they like to play. He's not the best shooter in the world, but he does just about everything else well. With another year in college, he might've been a lottery pick. That would make him a steal at No. 22.


Rajon Rondo (if he slips this far) and Jordan Farmar are also possibilities at this spot.


New Jersey
Shannon Brown Position: SG
Height: 6-3
Weight: 190
Age: 20
School: Mich St

The skinny: If the Nets go small with the No. 22 pick, it would make sense for them to go big with pick No. 23.


The problem is that there aren't a lot of bigs at this point that make sense. Alexander Johnson would work, but he's no longer a lock to be here.


A trade is a real possibility here, with the Nets either packaging two picks to move up or moving No. 23 for a future pick.


If they keep it, look for them to find another scrappy, athletic player at the two or the three. It could come down to Brown or P.J. Tucker. Both have great toughness and energy. Brown's ability to shoot the ball could put him over the top.


Memphis
Jordan Farmar Position: PG
Height: 6-2
Weight: 180
Age: 19
School: UCLA

The skinny: The Grizzlies have been searching for a center ever since Bryant Reeves retired. With Lorenzen Wright hitting free agency this summer, the need has never been greater. However, with O'Bryant, Armstrong and Sene off the board, there won't be many options left.


If they can't find anyone for the frontcourt, they'd be smart to grab Farmar. They have a pretty big question mark at the point. No one is sure whether Damon Stoudamire will return at 100 percent this season, and Chucky Atkins is a free agent.


Cleveland
Olexsiy Pecherov Position: PF
Height: 6-11
Weight: 222
Age: 21
Country: Ukraine

The skinny: Danny Ferry is praying that one of the top point guards -- Rondo, Lowry, Rodriguez or Farmar -- falls to him here. Eric Snow peaked years ago and it looks like Damon Jones is on the downslope of his career, too.


If they're all gone, the Cavs might try to go big, as insurance should Drew Gooden get an offer they don't want to match in free agency. Pecherov has turned into an accomplished rebounder in France this year and can really shoot from long range.


L.A. Lakers
Guillermo Diaz Position: SG
Height: 6-3
Weight: 190
Age: 20
School: Miami

The skinny: The Lakers don't need a pure point guard in the triangle, so Diaz should be a good fit. He is tough and super-athletic, and he's improved his stroke dramatically. Diaz would give Phil Jackson another backcourt scoring option besides you-know-who.


Ideally, however, the Lakers will move up in the draft and upgrade this position to someone like Brandon Roy.


Phoenix
Quincy Douby Position: SG
Height: 6-3
Weight: 175
Age: 22
School: Rutgers

The skinny: Douby should thrive in the Suns' small-ball system. He plays multiple positions, is great from long range and knows how to light up the scoreboard. With Leandro Barbosa just one year from free agency (and with the Suns looking pretty capped out), Douby could be a worthy replacement. Michigan State's Maurice Ager and Texas' Daniel Gibson are also good options here.


Dallas
Maurice Ager Position: SG
Height: 6-5
Weight: 202
Age: 22
School: Mich St

The skinny: The Mavs can always use a player who can stroke the ball, and Ager was that guy for the Spartans all year. His combination of athleticism, defense and shooting ability should make him a nice replacement for Jerry Stackhouse when Stack's contract expires in the summer of 2007.


New York
(via San Antonio)
Josh Boone Position: C
Height: 6-10
Weight: 237
Age: 21
School: UConn

The skinny: The rumor swirling around Orlando was that the Knicks cut a deal to draft Boone here, prompting him to stay in the draft. Boone has all the raw tools to be a steal here. He is long and athletic and has a great motor when he gets involved in the game. But he disappears for long stretches and seems, at times, to be disinterested in the game, so his stock isn't where it could be. But at this point in the draft, what's to lose?


Portland
(via Detroit)
Joel Freeland Position: PF
Height: 7-0
Weight: 225
Age: 19
Country: England

The skinny: The Blazers don't need more rookies, so don't be shocked if they take a flier on a kid who's still several years away. Freeland has been playing basketball for only three years, but he showed well enough in the Reebok Eurocamp for a team to take a chance on him with the last pick of the first round.


The Blazers could leave him in Spain for two more years and then end up with a very good, energetic big man who's ready to step in and play in 2008.


Croatia's Damir Markota is also a possibility here.



Other potential first rounders: Mardy Collins, James White, Marcus Vinicius Viera de Souza, Leon Powe, Daniel Gibson, Yotam Halperin, P. J. Tucker, James Augustine, Paul Davis, Darius Washington, Damir Markota, Mike Gansey, Will Blalock, Taj Gray, Dee Brown, Paul Millsap.

Chad Ford covers the NBA for ESPN Insider.


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http://proxy.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=2491106&type=story



Chad Ford's Mock Draft, Version 3: Picks 1 to 30

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
By Chad Ford
ESPN Insider

You be the GM: Try our Draft Machine

We're nine days from the NBA Draft and chaos still reigns.


Michael Jordan is now calling the shots in Charlotte, and J.J. Redick's week of bad news might send him sliding.


Meanwhile, all eyes are still focused on Toronto, where rumors continue to grow that the Raptors are going to trade down or out of the draft -- leaving our projected No. 1 selection, Italy's Andrea Bargnani, vulnerable at the top.


Our projected No. 2 selection, LSU's Tyrus Thomas, is on shaky ground too. If the Chicago Bulls trade their pick (there are rampant rumors about a potential trade with the Los Angeles Lakers that would include Lamar Odom), Thomas could tumble.


The Atlanta Hawks' apparent love affair with Shelden Williams at No. 5 also throws the front end of the lottery in an uproar.


Now that the Orlando and Treviso predraft camps are over, and the deadline to withdraw from the draft has come and gone with one significant dropout, it's time for a new mock draft, taking all the new information into account.


Here's our latest take, based on conversations with numerous NBA team sources, about how the draft might play out on June 28:



CHAD FORD'S MOCK DRAFT
PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS

Toronto
Andrea Bargnani Position: PF
Height: 7-0
Weight: 225
Age: 20
Country: Italy

The skinny: The Raptors spent another week in Italy scouting Bargnani. This weekend, Tyrus Thomas and LaMarcus Aldridge worked out. Rudy Gay, Adam Morrison and Randy Foye are coming in soon. GM Bryan Colangelo continues to assert that the Raptors haven't made up their mind about whom they'll draft if they keep the No. 1 pick.


Talk continues to circulate that the Raptors are going to trade the pick, moving down or out of the first round.


If they do keep the pick, all signs still point to Bargnani being the pick. He's not a perfect fit in Toronto (none of the top six really are), but he would give the Raptors some flexibility to make a deal later.


Chicago
(via New York)
Tyrus Thomas Position: PF
Height: 6-9
Weight: 229
Age: 19
School: LSU

The skinny: I've been championing LaMarcus Aldridge as a perfect fit for the Bulls all year, but after watching Thomas work out in Orlando two weeks ago, I can see why the Bulls would want him. However, I'm not sure the Bulls saw the same Thomas I did. A stomach virus limited his workout in Chicago, raising some doubts about his status with the Bulls.


Thomas' most serious competition for the No. 2 spot is Washington's Brandon Roy. The Bulls want to add size to their backcourt and think another big might be available at No. 16. From what I'm told, the Bulls are still leaning toward Thomas, but it's neck and neck.


Rumors of a possible trade with the Lakers have also complicated things. If the Lakers get the No. 2 pick, Roy would be their guy.


Charlotte
Brandon Roy Position: SG
Height: 6-5
Weight: 195
Age: 21
School: Washington

The skinny: Now that Michael Jordan is running the show in Charlotte, all of the information we had on the Bobcats is out the window. Owner Bob Johnson made it clear that Jordan, now one of the owners of the franchise, has the final say over all personnel decisions -- that includes the draft.


GM Bernie Bickerstaff worked out both UConn's Rudy Gay and Gonzaga's Adam Morrison and was impressed with both. Gay has more long-term potential, while Morrison is more polished and ready to contribute. I think Bickerstaff prefers Gay.


But I don't think Jordan is a fan of either. From all the evidence we can gather, Roy is the guy. If Roy goes No. 2, it could be Tyrus Thomas.

(Click here for more on Jordan's draft plans.)


Portland

Adam Morrison Position: SF
Height: 6-8
Weight: 205
Age: 21
School: Gonzaga

The skinny: The Blazers could go a lot of directions here -- but they have only one choice. The franchise is crumbling. President Steve Patterson's mismanagement is making fans yearn for the good old Bob Whitsitt's "JailBlazer" days.


The Blazers' biggest need is in the middle, and Patrick O'Bryant -- tops among the draft's true centers -- would work. LaMarcus Aldridge might not be bad in the middle when paired with Zach Randolph. Coach Nate McMillan is a big Brandon Roy fan. Much of the Blazers' staff is high on Andrea Bargnani (who could slide).


But if the draft plays out the way we think it will, look for Morrison to be the pick. Darius Miles' days in Portland are numbered, and management has to begin finding ways of exciting Portland fans again. The pro-Morrison "Draft the Stache" campaign proves that Portland fans still care.


Look for the Blazers to attempt to move up in the draft to get him. They're offering the Raptors anyone on the roster with the exception of Martell Webster and Jarrett Jack.



Atlanta
Shelden Williams Position: PF
Height: 6-9
Weight: 250
Age: 22
School: Duke

The skinny: Several league sources told Insider in Orlando and Italy that the Hawks had cut a deal with Williams.


If so, it's hard to understand. Why cut a deal with a guy who has a 99.9 percent probability of being there at No. 5?


Looking at the bright side, Williams makes some sense for the Hawks. He would bring much-needed toughness, rebounding and shot-blocking to the front line.


However, it seems like UConn's Marcus Williams, Kentucky's Rajon Rondo, Villanova's Randy Foye and Washington's Brandon Roy would all be better fits.


If the Hawks keep the No. 5 pick and have to pass on LaMarcus Aldridge for Shelden Williams, Knight's going to come under fire again -- the same way he did when he passed on Chris Paul last summer.



Minnesota
LaMarcus Aldridge Position: PF
Height: 6-10
Weight: 240
Age: 20
School: Texas

The skinny: The Wolves are hoping that Aldridge, Rudy Gay or Tyrus Thomas slips to them here. If the Hawks take Shelden Williams, the Wolves likely will get their wish, perhaps with two of the three available. Aldridge has a lot in common with Kevin Garnett, but together they could form a pretty formidable front line.


If none of the three are on the board, the Wolves might look for a point guard. UConn's Marcus Williams is ready to come in and contribute immediately. If the Wolves can get over the off-court issues in his past, he could be a great fit.


Boston
Rudy Gay Position: SF
Height: 6-9
Weight: 222
Age: 19
School: UConn

The skinny: The Celtics are in good position if the Hawks draft Shelden Williams. In that case, the Celtics can sit back and relax, if they like, and just let one of the top six players in the draft slide to them.


Gay doesn't fit a need in Boston, but that probably won't deter Danny Ainge.


But the Celtics don't really need young players at this point. So it's more likely that they'll use the pick as a bargaining chip to get a solid veteran, probably to fill their need at point guard.


Houston
J.J. Redick Position: SG
Height: 6-4
Weight: 190
Age: 21
School: Duke

The skinny: Given Redick's week from hell, would the Rockets really take him this high? An arrest for DUI, followed by news that his back is injured, could be problematic for a team already dealing with Tracy McGrady's balky back.


The Rockets have a number of needs, but the biggest is two guard. This is awfully high for Redick, but he should be a good fit in Houston. With McGrady and Yao Ming facing constant double teams, the Rockets need someone who can make opponents pay from the 3-point line.


So, while Redick might slide, I still think it's more likely the Rockets take him.


The Rockets also need help at point guard and up front, so UConn's Rudy Gay and Marcus Williams and Bradley's Patrick O'Bryant might be options, if available.


Golden State
Patrick O'Bryant Position: C
Height: 7-0
Weight: 250
Age: 19
School: Bradley

The skinny: The Warriors, while not a playoff team yet, don't have any glaring needs.


With Baron Davis' health always in question, having a big-time, experienced combo guard like Randy Foye or an up-and-coming point guard like Rajon Rondo could be very welcome.


But after watching O'Bryant recently, I can't believe he'll slip any farther than this. His combination of size and athleticism will be too much to pass on.


Seattle
Cedric Simmons Position: PF
Height: 6-9
Weight: 235
Age: 20
School: NC State

The skinny: The Sonics really want to get their hands on Shelden Williams. With Williams likely off the board when the Sonics pick, don't be surprised if they move into trade mode. A number of teams are trying to move up in the draft and the Sonics should be willing to sell.


If they keep the pick, they might go for Simmons, the next best thing to Williams. In fact, many scouts have him rated ahead of Williams. Simmons is bigger and more athletic, and in time should be a better rebounder and shot-blocker. The Sonics need someone to replace Reggie Evans' toughness on the boards, and Simmons is a perfect candidate.


Orlando
Ronnie Brewer Position: SG
Height: 6-7
Weight: 220
Age: 21
School: Arkansas

The skinny: The Magic have had their eye on Roy, Redick and Williams, and they've been trying to move up in the draft for the past several weeks to get one of them. So far, no luck.


If all three are gone, then the team must move on to Plan B, finding a big guard to pair in the backcourt with point guard Jameer Nelson. Brewer would be a good fit. He can swing to the point, plays aggressive defense and knows how to get to the basket.


Rodney Carney and Randy Foye are other possibilities here.


New Orleans/
Oklahoma City
Hilton Armstrong Position: C
Height: 6-11
Weight: 235
Age: 21
School: UConn

The skinny: After giving up Jamaal Magloire and losing Chris Andersen to a drug suspension, the Hornets lack an athletic, defensive presence who can rebound and block shots. They're hoping O'Bryant, the best center in the draft, is still on the board. Don't be surprised if they try to package their two first-round picks to move up to get O'Bryant.


However, if they're stuck at No. 12, Cedric Simmons or Hilton Armstrong could be the man. Simmons is very raw, but has the size and athleticism to be a significant presence in the paint down the road. If he's gone, Armstrong might be the pick. He's not as athletic as Simmons, but he's bigger and more skilled.


Philadelphia
Marcus Williams Position: PG
Height: 6-3
Weight: 205
Age: 20
School: UConn

The skinny: The Sixers have a lot of needs right now. They need a point guard so that they can move Allen Iverson back to the two where he belongs. They also need to begin developing a power forward who can take over when Chris Webber retires or breaks down.


The Sixers could reach a little here to take a player such as Hilton Armstrong or Alexander Johnson.


More likely they'll try to fill a hole in the backcourt. So would they take Marcus Williams, Randy Foye or Rajon Rondo?


Williams is the best pure point guard in the draft, but he's a below-average NBA athlete. Foye is a better athlete, has great versatility and is ready to play now, but there are questions about his ability to step in and play the point. Rondo is a freak athlete with great point guard instincts, and he's the best defender of the group -- but his inability to shoot the ball is a major problem.


Look for the Sixers to take a chance on Williams. He fits the Eric Snow model that once got them to the Finals.


Utah
Randy Foye Position: SG
Height: 6-4
Weight: 205
Age: 22
School: Villanova

The skinny: The Jazz's first priority is finding a scoring two guard. Roy, Foye and Redick are at the top of the list.


Foye could go as high as No. 5 to Atlanta (if the Shelden Williams rumors are bogus) or No. 6 to Minnesota. This scenario, with Foye falling all the way to No. 14, goes against previous expectations, but it is plausible.


Redick could also be an option here if he slips, though I'm sure owner Larry Miller has cooled on him after Redick's recent arrest.


If all three are off the board, the Jazz will look to fill their other need, at center. Greg Ostertag is retiring and no one believes that recently acquired Rafael Araujo is the long-term answer. The team could use an athletic shot-blocker to help out Mehmet Okur and Carlos Boozer in the paint.


Would they take Mouhamed Saer Sene? Karl Malone loved him when he came in for a workout. He's a project, but the Jazz might be ready to take a chance.


NO/OC Hornets
(via Milwaukee)
Rodney Carney Position: SF
Height: 6-7
Weight: 205
Age: 22
School: Memphis

The skinny: The Hornets will be psyched if Carney is still on the board here. The team could use an athletic, sweet-shooting swingman and Carney has the experience to step right in and compete right away. Questions about Carney's toughness and desire are the only reasons he might slip this far.

If Carney is off the board, Thabo Sefolosha and Marcus Vinicius are possibilities.


Chicago
Thabo Sefolosha Position: SF
Height: 6-6
Weight: 215
Age: 22
Country: Switzerland

The skinny: If the Bulls go for a frontcourt player with pick No. 2, look for them to try to add a big two guard to fill their need in the backcourt. Brewer and Carney would be likely targets if they're still on the board. If they're not, the Bulls could turn to Sefolosha. He's long, athletic and experienced, and he has a balanced, all-around game.

Temple's Mardy Collins is another option here.

Or, if the Bulls decide to go for a player such as Roy at the top, an athletic forward like Alexander Johnson could be the guy.

Indiana
Alexander Johnson Position: PF
Height: 6-10
Weight: 230
Age: 23
School: FSU

The skinny: The Pacers have a need for backups in both the frontcourt and the backcourt.


Johnson is a super-athletic power forward who can play a little like Kenyon Martin. With Jermaine O'Neal constantly nursing injuries, and potentially on the trading block, finding an option to replace him is essential.


If they decide instead to address their backcourt, Shannon Brown and Quincy Douby make some sense.


Washington
Rajon Rondo Position: PG
Height: 6-2
Weight: 171
Age: 20
School: Kentucky

The skinny: Rondo would be a steal for the Wizards.


Some GMs have Rondo ranked as the top point guard in the draft. He could go as high as No. 5 (Atlanta), No. 7 (Boston) or No. 13 (Philly). Rondo should be excellent in Eddie Jordan's up-tempo offense and allow Gilbert Arenas to swing to the two at times.


Mouhamed Saer Sene is also an option here, if available.


Sacramento
Sergio Rodriguez Position: PG
Height: 6-3
Weight: 170
Age: 19
Country: Spain

The skinny: Sacramento drafted Jason "White Chocolate" Williams and might take his Spanish clone, Sergio "Spanish Chocolate" Rodriguez. The Kings desperately need some help behind Mike Bibby. Rodriguez got off to a slow start early in the year because of injuries, but has looked like his scintillating self in the playoffs. He is quick, can run a team and can do it with flair. Another year in Spain and he'd have a chance at becoming a lottery pick, so this is a good get.


New York
(via Denver)
Shawne Williams Position: SF
Height: 6-9
Weight: 225
Age: 20
School: Memphis

The skinny: Jalen Rose will be gone soon and Knicks fans are still mourning the giveaway of Trevor Ariza at the deadline. Williams is a guy Knicks president Isiah Thomas can love. He is long and athletic, plays multiple positions and can shoot. He really needs another year of school, but playing for the Knicks is like playing for the JV at this point anyway. Brazil's Marcus Vinicius is another option here. Isiah is a fan.


Phoenix
(via L.A. Lakers)
Mouhamed Saer Sene Position: C
Height: 7-0
Weight: 232
Age: 20
Country: Senegal

The skinny: Coach Mike D'Antoni loves small ball, but that doesn't mean he'll pass on a talented big man. The Suns are hoping that either Hilton Armstrong or Mouhamed Saer Sene falls to them.


Sene is a bigger project than Armstrong, but he has more upside for a team willing to wait. Phoenix would be a perfect fit for him. The Suns also like Sergio Rodriguez.


If all three are off the board, the Ukraine's Olexisy Pecherov would be a good fit. He's 6-11, athletic, can shoot the 3 and has developed into an excellent rebounder in France this season. Think of a tougher version of Keith Van Horn.


New Jersey
(via L.A. Clippers)
Kyle Lowry Position: PG
Height: 6-0
Weight: 185
Age: 20
School: Villanova

The skinny: The Nets desperately need to upgrade their bench, both in the frontcourt and in the backcourt. Lowry is a super-athletic, scrappy point guard who could help the Nets restore the frantic pace they like to play. He's not the best shooter in the world, but he does just about everything else well. With another year in college, he might've been a lottery pick. That would make him a steal at No. 22.


Rajon Rondo (if he slips this far) and Jordan Farmar are also possibilities at this spot.


New Jersey
Shannon Brown Position: SG
Height: 6-3
Weight: 190
Age: 20
School: Mich St

The skinny: If the Nets go small with the No. 22 pick, it would make sense for them to go big with pick No. 23.


The problem is that there aren't a lot of bigs at this point that make sense. Alexander Johnson would work, but he's no longer a lock to be here.


A trade is a real possibility here, with the Nets either packaging two picks to move up or moving No. 23 for a future pick.


If they keep it, look for them to find another scrappy, athletic player at the two or the three. It could come down to Brown or P.J. Tucker. Both have great toughness and energy. Brown's ability to shoot the ball could put him over the top.


Memphis
Jordan Farmar Position: PG
Height: 6-2
Weight: 180
Age: 19
School: UCLA

The skinny: The Grizzlies have been searching for a center ever since Bryant Reeves retired. With Lorenzen Wright hitting free agency this summer, the need has never been greater. However, with O'Bryant, Armstrong and Sene off the board, there won't be many options left.


If they can't find anyone for the frontcourt, they'd be smart to grab Farmar. They have a pretty big question mark at the point. No one is sure whether Damon Stoudamire will return at 100 percent this season, and Chucky Atkins is a free agent.


Cleveland
Olexsiy Pecherov Position: PF
Height: 6-11
Weight: 222
Age: 21
Country: Ukraine

The skinny: Danny Ferry is praying that one of the top point guards -- Rondo, Lowry, Rodriguez or Farmar -- falls to him here. Eric Snow peaked years ago and it looks like Damon Jones is on the downslope of his career, too.


If they're all gone, the Cavs might try to go big, as insurance should Drew Gooden get an offer they don't want to match in free agency. Pecherov has turned into an accomplished rebounder in France this year and can really shoot from long range.


L.A. Lakers
Guillermo Diaz Position: SG
Height: 6-3
Weight: 190
Age: 20
School: Miami

The skinny: The Lakers don't need a pure point guard in the triangle, so Diaz should be a good fit. He is tough and super-athletic, and he's improved his stroke dramatically. Diaz would give Phil Jackson another backcourt scoring option besides you-know-who.


Ideally, however, the Lakers will move up in the draft and upgrade this position to someone like Brandon Roy.


Phoenix
Quincy Douby Position: SG
Height: 6-3
Weight: 175
Age: 22
School: Rutgers

The skinny: Douby should thrive in the Suns' small-ball system. He plays multiple positions, is great from long range and knows how to light up the scoreboard. With Leandro Barbosa just one year from free agency (and with the Suns looking pretty capped out), Douby could be a worthy replacement. Michigan State's Maurice Ager and Texas' Daniel Gibson are also good options here.


Dallas
Maurice Ager Position: SG
Height: 6-5
Weight: 202
Age: 22
School: Mich St

The skinny: The Mavs can always use a player who can stroke the ball, and Ager was that guy for the Spartans all year. His combination of athleticism, defense and shooting ability should make him a nice replacement for Jerry Stackhouse when Stack's contract expires in the summer of 2007.


New York
(via San Antonio)
Josh Boone Position: C
Height: 6-10
Weight: 237
Age: 21
School: UConn

The skinny: The rumor swirling around Orlando was that the Knicks cut a deal to draft Boone here, prompting him to stay in the draft. Boone has all the raw tools to be a steal here. He is long and athletic and has a great motor when he gets involved in the game. But he disappears for long stretches and seems, at times, to be disinterested in the game, so his stock isn't where it could be. But at this point in the draft, what's to lose?


Portland
(via Detroit)
Joel Freeland Position: PF
Height: 7-0
Weight: 225
Age: 19
Country: England

The skinny: The Blazers don't need more rookies, so don't be shocked if they take a flier on a kid who's still several years away. Freeland has been playing basketball for only three years, but he showed well enough in the Reebok Eurocamp for a team to take a chance on him with the last pick of the first round.


The Blazers could leave him in Spain for two more years and then end up with a very good, energetic big man who's ready to step in and play in 2008.


Croatia's Damir Markota is also a possibility here.



Other potential first rounders: Mardy Collins, James White, Marcus Vinicius Viera de Souza, Leon Powe, Daniel Gibson, Yotam Halperin, P. J. Tucker, James Augustine, Paul Davis, Darius Washington, Damir Markota, Mike Gansey, Will Blalock, Taj Gray, Dee Brown, Paul Millsap.

Chad Ford covers the NBA for ESPN Insider.


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purdue101
06-20-2006, 10:41 AM
thanks UB

Slick Pinkham
06-20-2006, 11:21 AM
was already posted in the mock draft thread

Trader Joe
06-20-2006, 02:25 PM
Mardy Collins has dropped like a rock. Out of the first round? I would be happy with him in the second. This guy looked like a lock lotto pick two weeks ago.

Pacersfan46
06-20-2006, 03:11 PM
Damn, If Aldridge drops to #6, I REALLY want that Minnesota pick.

If Mardy drops to the 2nd .... I'd do what it took to get him as well. What a wet dream though. It'll never happen.