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View Full Version : Chad Ford's Mock Draft, Version 3.0: Picks 1-30



Y2J
06-04-2007, 06:12 PM
http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?id=2892431&sport=nba&ft=ss



The NBA's Orlando predraft camp is behind us, and individual team workouts begin on Tuesday.
At this point very little is set in stone. Rumors (many of them contradictory) were flying fast and furious in Orlando and will continue until the June 28 draft.
Teams got a glimpse of the top prospects on the last day of the predraft camp. Workouts, interviews and the Reebok Eurocamp will alter dramatically the face of the draft. And we expect a few underclassmen to pull out. In fact, Croatian big man Ante Tomic started the process on Sunday by withdrawing because of a dispute with his Croatian team.
Here's our latest take, after talking to numerous NBA team sources, about how the draft might play out.
You can also take a look at our updated Top 100 list of the best prospects in the draft.

The skinny: Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard told me in Orlando he hasn't made up his mind yet. Both Oden and Kevin Durant will visit to meet the staff and go through a battery of interviews. But unless Oden raises a red flag somehow, I believe he's the man.

The skinny: Sonics president Lenny Wilkens says he isn't trading the pick. But the same can't be said for the rest of the roster if Durant's the pick. Expect the team to rebuild around Durant.
By the way, after talking to Durant on Thursday, I think it's safe to say that if Portland passes on him, he'll try to drop 50 on the Blazers in their first meeting.

The skinny: In our last mock draft we posited that the Hawks essentially had to take point guard Mike Conley.
Well, the intel out of Orlando is that they are leaning toward the athletic Wright and will sort out the point guard situation with the No. 11 pick.
Wright has one of the biggest risk/reward factors of anyone in the draft. And I'm just not sure how well he fits on a team filled with such similar players as Josh Smith and Marvin Williams.

The skinny: With Horford measuring out in Orlando at an impressive 6-foot-9 with a 7-foot-3 wingspan, any concerns that he might be too small to play the 4 are gone.
This move gives the Grizz some toughness up front and allows them to either move Pau Gasol back to the 5 or trade him this summer.
Corey Brewer and Mike Conley are also possibilities here.

The skinny: This is a tough call since the future of the Celtics is so murky. Yi has the most upside at this point but also carries a significant risk that Celts boss Danny Ainge might not want to bear. And with Paul Pierce stumping for immediate help, it might be an unpopular pick.
I wouldn't be surprised if the Celtics traded the pick -- the Warriors and Bulls would like to move up here and grab Yi.
If the Celtics go with Corey Brewer instead, it might mean the end of the Paul Pierce era in Boston.

The skinny: The Bucks likely will decide between Conley and Julian Wright here. With Mo Williams hitting free agency, Conley's a good pick and a better pure point guard prospect in the long run.
Wright would fill a void at small forward and give the Bucks an athletic facilitator in their frontcourt.
The skinny: The Timberwolves' biggest need is in the frontcourt. However, Brewer's too good to let fall any further. The Wolves could play him at the 2 and 3 and get an immediate defensive boost.
Joakim Noah, Julian Wright and Spencer Hawes are also possibilities here.

The skinny: The Bobcats likely will go after free agent Rashard Lewis to handle their scoring woes. They also need to improve their rebounding, which is where Noah comes in. Bernie Bickerstaff and Michael Jordan will be fans of his energy and the intensity he brings to the game.
If they Bobcats put him with Emeka Okafor, Sean May and Primoz Brezec, they would have a number of different looks they could give opponents on their frontline.
Besides, Noah projects as one of the most marketable guys in the draft and the Bobcats are still searching for players like that.

The skinny: The Bulls desperately need low-post scoring, and Hawes might be the most offensively-gifted low-post player in the draft.
The team also likes Julian Wright, though he isn't nearly the best fit here.
The Bulls really want Yi, however, so don't be surprised if they try to move up a few spots in the draft to get him.
This pick could also be a target for the Blazers. They'd love to get their hands on Jeff Green or Julian Wright. The Bulls could trade this pick and P.J. Brown (in a sign-and-trade) for Zach Randolph.

The skinny: With Ron Artest likely packing for a new destination this summer, they'll want to replace his versatility on the defensive end. Wright is not the scorer that Artest is, but he's a better facilitator.
That would be a welcome change for Mike Bibby and Kevin Martin, who both thought Artest controlled the offense too much.

The skinny: If the Hawks go big with pick No. 3, they have to go point guard here ... right? After the Hawks passed on point guards Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Rajon Rondo in the last two drafts, will Crittenton be able to fill those shoes? He's big, athletic and he can shoot the ball, but he lacks ideal quickness and experience.

The skinny: The Sixers really need a power forward, but at this point, Green is clearly the best player left on the board. He's a much better prospect than the small forward the Sixers drafted last year, Rodney Carney. He also could play a little 4 in a small-ball-type lineup.
Green, like Andre Iguodala, has some serious point forward skills and would provide more glue to a team that looked like it was starting to come together in the second half of the season.
The skinny: With Desmond Mason hitting free agency, the Hornets will look for a swingman to play alongside Peja Stojakovic, who they hope can return to health. Brewer is the ideal fit, but if he's gone I expect they'll try to decide between Thornton and Nick Young.
Thornton is the more NBA ready of the two, though it appears Young might be a better fit.

The skinny: With Shaun Livingston's future up in the air, the Clippers need to think about adding another point guard. Sam Cassell can't run the show forever, and Law would be a good replacement.
Like Cassell, he's a scoring guard who is fearless at the end of games. He should be able to step in and contribute immediately.

The skinny: Many NBA scouts raised their eyebrows when I listed Stuckey this high, but I still think he'll be the pick for Detroit. He just seems like the type of player Detroit likes and he's an excellent fit.
Stuckey is a Randy Foye-type combo guard who can play some point but really excels by putting the ball on the floor and getting to the basket. He would be a big upgrade over Flip Murray.
Nick Young and Thaddeus Young also are possibilities here.

The skinny: Small forward isn't a huge need for Washington, but Young has too much talent and upside to pass on at this point. Washington fans would just have to be a little patient with him.
The Wizards also like Brazil's Tiago Splitter, but they made a similar pick last year in Olexsiy Pecherov.

The skinny: The Nets desperately need some interior defense and Williams is the best shot-blocker in the draft.
Off-court problems got him kicked off the team at Boston College, but at this point in the draft the reward starts to exceed the risk.

The skinny: Watch the Warriors closely. They are very high on Yi Jianlian and will try to move up in the draft.
If they can't, Smith is the perfect type of player for Nellie. He is tall and athletic, gets up and down the floor and can score from just about anywhere on the floor. He also plays with great energy. He could be a real sleeper in the draft.

The skinny: Young is a steal if he slips this far in the draft. He could go as high as No. 8 to Charlotte or No. 13 to New Orleans.
He doesn't fit a need, but it's tough to see the Lakers passing on the local Laker fanatic if he lasts this long. And his shooting ability and athleticism make him a valuable asset.
Don't be surprised if this pick gets moved as part of a trade to bring in another star for Kobe.
If the Pacers were to send Jermaine O'Neal to L.A., for example, you can bet they'd want to grab a shooter like Young.

The skinny: The Heat are hurting at the point. Jason Williams is coming up on a contract year and the Heat prefer to play Dwyane Wade at the 2.
Pruitt is a combo guard who has great size for the point, excellent athleticism and a beautiful stroke on his jumper.
However, the Heat are also a likely candidate to trade their pick.

The skinny: Sixers GM Billy King loves Duke players, and McRoberts has a lot more talent than his box scores at Duke suggest. He's tall, athletic and very skilled, but he played most of his career out of position at Duke.
He's not a go-to type player, but he should be a better, more athletic version of Luke Walton.

The skinny: The Bobcats would fill their need at 2-guard with one of the more underrated players in the draft. Almond has great size for the position and might be the best long-range shooter in the draft.
The Bobcats thought they got outside shooting when they drafted Adam Morrison last year, but Almond is a much better shooter.
This pick is another one that looks like it might be for sale.

The skinny: Cook has great upside, but he's not ready. Right now he's a good shooter and athlete, but he doesn't have much of an in-between game.
But the Knicks are looking for perimeter shooting and Cook might just have too much talent to pass up here.

The skinny: I wouldn't be surprised to see the Suns try to package this pick along with No. 29 to move up a few spots in the draft or to facilitate a trade to get rid of Marcus Banks or Boris Diaw.
If they do keep it, I suspect they'll go international so that they can keep the player in Europe and off the payroll.
Splitter has enough talent to go a few spots higher, but he won't be able to get out of his contract until 2008.

The skinny: The Jazz want to add a shooter who can play the 2 and 3 and play some defense.
Byars is a bit of a sleeper. He really didn't come on strong at Vanderbilt until his senior season.
Italy's Marco Belinelli and Rice's Morris Almond are also possibilities here.

The skinny: Davis has amazing skills for a big guy -- the problem is that he's just so big. If he can keep his weight down, he could end up being a steal this late. But that's a big if. Workouts will be very important for him.

The skinny: If the Pistons go with a guard with pick No. 15, you can expect them to add a big man to balance things out in the frontcourt.
Hardin has all the physical tools to be an excellent pro, but is still a long way from contributing. Look for the Pistons to put him on the same two-year development plan that's worked so far for Amir Johnson.

The skinny: As long as Tim Duncan is around to hold down the middle, the Spurs could use some improvement in their shooting in the backcourt.
Belinelli has one of the best pure strokes in the draft. He also comes with great experience in the Euroleague and should be able to step in and help right away.

The skinny: Suns likely will try to trade this pick, but if they keep it, they'll likely go international.
Fernandez had a breakout season in Spain this year. He's an excellent athlete with a good shooting stroke and the ability to play some point. His lack of strength and durability are the only things keeping his stock this low at the moment.

The skinny: The likelihood of the Sixers' keeping all three picks is slim … but if they do, they'll probably take an international player they can stash overseas.
Gasol, the brother of Grizzlies forward Pau Gasol, made huge strides in Spain this year and could be a decent backup center down the road.

Chad Ford covers the NBA for ESPN Insider.

CableKC
06-04-2007, 06:52 PM
If Conley is available at the #5 spot......I would dump all this Lakers/Pacers cr@p and offer up JONeal to the Celtics for Ratiff/Green/#5 pick ( Conley ).

Roaming Gnome
06-04-2007, 07:54 PM
If Conley is available at the #5 spot......I would dump all this Lakers/Pacers cr@p and offer up JONeal to the Celtics for Ratiff/Green/#5 pick ( Conley ).

I'm glad that you are not the G.M. then...I couldn't disagree with you more.

Kegboy
06-04-2007, 08:18 PM
I'd trade JO for Conley and Bynum. :-p

CableKC
06-04-2007, 08:20 PM
I'm glad that you are not the G.M. then...I couldn't disagree with you more.
IMHO.....I would much rather have Conley and Green then have Bynum and whoever we get at the 19th spot.

Keep in mind...this is based off of the assumption that all we get for JONeal is Kwame+Bynum+19th pick. I'm not entirely optimistic that we can somehow get Odom out of any Laker deal.

pwee31
06-04-2007, 08:36 PM
If Conley is available at the #5 spot......I would dump all this Lakers/Pacers cr@p and offer up JONeal to the Celtics for Ratiff/Green/#5 pick ( Conley ).

The Lakers would be giving up a proven vet and potential all-star when healthy in Odom to replace JO at PF, a 19 year old 7'0 center in Bynum who has the potential to be a franchise type of center, and 19th pick in a pretty deep draft that I think will even out after the 1st 3-4 picks, where we can draft a young SG to round out the backcourt with Tinsley to give us a solid starting 5 and solid depth, without having anyone out of position. OR we could still take a PG to replace Jamaal (who may have worn out his welcome)


With the Celtics, you get an old expiring in Ratliff who might be able to still block a shot or two. A young GG who like Bynum, has the potential to be a franchise player, but at the SG position, and you get the #5 and use it on Conley (whom I like). We have a nice young.. yet unproven backcourt and I guess we bank on an undersized Ike to give us an inside presence? So we have a nice looking young core with not much experience in the backcourt. Granger, and then a frontcourt filled with question marks. Maybe 3-4 years down the road it will all come together.

I don't mind trading with the Celtics, but if we're going into what I think would be full rebuilding mode with young projects and trading an all-star in JO within the easten conference to add to the all-star they already have in Pierce, and a young potential big man all star in Jefferson, then I think you have to get more then Ratliff/Green/Conley.

I make the Celtics add either Rondo or Delonte West to the deal and maybe try to get a Perkins or Gomes as well, then I take the 5th pick and draft the a big who can score.


Thanks for the mock info Y2J, it's nice to see different mocks of whom teams might be leaning towards with a little info as to why, instead of just listing names, and comparing to other players already in the league.

pwee31
06-04-2007, 08:40 PM
IMHO.....I would much rather have Conley and Green then have Bynum and whoever we get at the 19th spot.

Keep in mind...this is based off of the assumption that all we get for JONeal is Kwame+Bynum+19th pick. I'm not entirely optimistic that we can somehow get Odom out of any Laker deal.


Ahh, I didn't see your assumption, but I don't think the Laker deal happens without both Odom and Bynum. I can't see Bird being that stupid, but who knows... I might have my blinders on :cool:

Smashed_Potato
06-04-2007, 08:57 PM
The Lakers are gonna give up Odom and Bynum they have a gun on there head i think we all know that.

D23
06-04-2007, 08:58 PM
Ahh, I didn't see your assumption, but I don't think the Laker deal happens without both Odom and Bynum. I can't see Bird being that stupid, but who knows... I might have my blinders on :cool:

I believe I read somewhere (maybe from the press conference) that JO'b will have more of a say in what kind of players the team goes after. This makes me somewhat more optimistic of the summer, regardless of what happens with the JO/Lakers drama.

pwee31
06-04-2007, 09:37 PM
I believe I read somewhere (maybe from the press conference) that JO'b will have more of a say in what kind of players the team goes after. This makes me somewhat more optimistic of the summer, regardless of what happens with the JO/Lakers drama.

Yeah I heard that as well, and I think that is definitely a good thing. I dunno if JOb is the best at talent scouting either, but at least he and Bird sound like they're on the same page, which I never felt was the case with Carlisle.

I don't think Bird has made the worse moves. Yeah the GS deal was pretty iffy, but I'll continue to give it time, and if you look at the players Bird has brought in, you can see what he was trying to do, but Carlisle wasn't the right coach for it. Bird just brought in the guys he liked, but didn't take into effect the style and type of coach Carlisle was.

Of course Rick "tried" to make it work, but he has to coach the way he knows how, and do what has been successful for him. You can't bring in an uptempo and pick n roll type in Sarunas, who is not a very good defender, to come in a play for a slow it down, throw in the post, or have a shooter come off screens type of offense and a grind it out one on one type of defense.

That's why Quis was also not effective early. He was use to pushing the ball and getting it in the open so he could create. Carlisle's offense was slower, but after the GS trade, he allowed Quis to create and saw what he could do.

Everyone blames Bird for the moves that he has made with the players, like bring Al back then trade him away not even halfway into the season. When the worse move was probably keeping Carlisle a year too long.

It would have been nice to see what JOb could have done with the likes of Jack, Al and Runi.

That won't happen, but I'm optimistic to have a front office and the coaching staff on the same page one again, and I'm excited to see the results of that.

beast23
06-04-2007, 11:25 PM
IMHO.....I would much rather have Conley and Green then have Bynum and whoever we get at the 19th spot.

Keep in mind...this is based off of the assumption that all we get for JONeal is Kwame+Bynum+19th pick. I'm not entirely optimistic that we can somehow get Odom out of any Laker deal.I'm "nearly certain" that if we would give up JO to the Lakers, we would get whoever the hell we wanted not named Kobe, plus other players to even the salaries.

PaceBalls
06-04-2007, 11:48 PM
Because Conley will do so well in our new 3-pt offense...

Yes there really is a worse shooter than Jamaal Tinsley, he is from Indiana. His name is...

Mike Conley Jr.

CableKC
06-05-2007, 11:47 AM
Ahh, I didn't see your assumption, but I don't think the Laker deal happens without both Odom and Bynum. I can't see Bird being that stupid, but who knows... I might have my blinders on :cool:
NP.......I'm a "worst-case scenarios" type of guy...when it comes to the recent GSW/Indy trade....sorry to sound so negative...but I'm not going to give them the benefit of the doubt.

I'm preparing for "Kwame+19+Bynum", hoping for "Odom+Kwame+Kwame+19" but expecting "Odom+Bynum".

CableKC
06-05-2007, 11:58 AM
I'm "nearly certain" that if we would give up JO to the Lakers, we would get whoever the hell we wanted not named Kobe, plus other players to even the salaries.
To play Devil's Advocate...or in the NBA world.....Stern's Advocate.....the only reason why I don't think that we will end up with a "full buffet" and choose whoever we want outside of Kobe is that I doubt that a Laker combo of Kobe+JONeal ( with no Odom or Bynum ) can win a championship...much less do any better then they did this last season.

It simply wouldn't be in their best interest to trade all of their "Trading Assets" away to get a player like JONeal.....cuz honestly....although JONeal is a very good player.....I don't think that he is good enough to make it to the next level for the Lakers.

At least relating to this topic about the draft.....IF we were in the enviable position of having either a Odom+Bynum+19th pick or a Ratliff+5th Pick+Green ( with or without Delonte ) trade on the table....it would be difficult for me to choose which is better. But if its Kwame+Bynum+19th pick deal from the Lakers....then its a no-brainer for me...I would go for the Celtics deal.

avoidingtheclowns
06-05-2007, 12:08 PM
To play Devil's Advocate...or in the NBA world.....Stern's Advocate.....the only reason why I don't think that we will end up with a "full buffet" and choose whoever we want outside of Kobe is that I doubt that a Laker combo of Kobe+JONeal ( with no Odom or Bynum ) can win a championship...much less do any better then they did this last season.

It simply wouldn't be in their best interest to trade all of their "Trading Assets" away to get a player like JONeal.....cuz honestly....although JONeal is a very good player.....I don't think that he is good enough to make it to the next level for the Lakers.

At least relating to this topic about the draft.....IF we were in the enviable position of having either a Odom+Bynum+19th pick or a Ratliff+5th Pick+Green ( with or without Delonte ) trade on the table....it would be difficult for me to choose which is better. But if its Kwame+Bynum+19th pick deal from the Lakers....then its a no-brainer for me...I would go for the Celtics deal.

the lakers would have a few other options if they did the bynum, odom, #19... they could either look to fill their PG or the SF with another strong option. they could go after rashard, richard jefferson, gerald wallace using kwame, S&T walton, future picks, etc... they could also trade those pieces for a more competent PG and sign someone like Grant Hill to play a Horry-esque role off the bench (he can't play back-to-back-to-back anymore but is still quite talented) for the MLE.

i think the lakers have more options than fans might let on.

CableKC
06-05-2007, 12:45 PM
the lakers would have a few other options if they did the bynum, odom, #19... they could either look to fill their PG or the SF with another strong option. they could go after rashard, richard jefferson, gerald wallace using kwame, S&T walton, future picks, etc... they could also trade those pieces for a more competent PG and sign someone like Grant Hill to play a Horry-esque role off the bench (he can't play back-to-back-to-back anymore but is still quite talented) for the MLE.

i think the lakers have more options than fans might let on.
Assuming that the Lakers give us Odom+Bynum+19 for JONeal....the only way that the Lakers can even remotely consider signing a "3rd option" to replace Odom is if they are able to package Brown with the remaining players to get that player. But any package that involves Brown+filler ( even Farmar or Walton )+future picks won't net them the type of player.....much less top tier FAs like Rashard, RJeff or Gerald Wallace.....that will take them to the next level. At best...I think that they can get some vet 3rd tier player that wants to take less $$$ just for the chance to wait from the 3pt line to Kobe and JONeal to pass it to them.

I agree that they will have options...but it will be dependant on how much we take from them for JONeal.

JayRedd
06-05-2007, 01:23 PM
Assuming that the Lakers give us Odom+Bynum+19 for JONeal....

I'm not saying it's your assumption, Cable, but do we really expect this much for JO? They're really gonna throw in a pick on top of that? Why? Couldn't the Lakers just go get KG with that package instead?

I was (am) under the impression that the main reason they would go after JO instead of KG is so they don't hafta give up as much for a hopeful title run next season.

I can't imagine us getting Odom + Bynum + anything else remotely valuable.

If (and I still see it as a big if) we're getting both Odom and Bynum, I would expect the rest to be stuff we don't want to make the money work.