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NBA Loud - by Rick Gillispie

2007 NBA Mock Draft First Round

May 17th 2007 23:37
1 Memphis: Greg Oden - center
An easy pick for the team that wins the lottery. He should lead his new team to the playoffs next season. If it is Memphis, then the Gasol and Oden combination could be a perfect pairing, similar to Duncan and Robinson. Oden averaged 16 and 10, over 3 blocks per game and shot over 60%, but a lot of that was with an injured hand. A healthy Oden, possibly with Larry Brown as his coach, will be a superstar in the NBA.

2 Boston: Kevin Durant - forward
Durant is a very good second prize, and the team that gets second spot in the May 22 NBA lottery will be happy to get Durant. Durant can play both forward positions, although small forward will be his best spot until he bulks up. Many of the stars in the NBA are not automatic at the free throw line, Durant won't have that problem as he shot 82%.

3 Milwaukee: Al Horford - power forward
The Bucks' season was lost due to all the injuries to their star players, they do get a reward and will be much better next season as they get to add another young star. Horford is the low-post option that they need, and a frontline with him, Bogut and Villanueva would be very talented.

4 Phoenix (from Atlanta): Joakim Noah - forward/center
If the Hawks move up in the lottery then they keep their pick, if they don't then the Suns get a bonus. This pick was part of the Joe Johnson sign-and-trade. If Phoenix do get this pick then Noah would be a great fit for how they play. Averaged a steal and 2 blocks per game this season with Florida.

5 Seattle: Yi Jianlian - forward
If they are going to stay in Seattle then this could be a good pick, but if the franchise is moving then a different player might make more sense. Yi's position in Seattle would be small forward, and there is a real possibility that Rashard Lewis will leave.

6 Portland: Corey Brewer - guard/forward
They already have a lot of youth but using this pick, instead of trading it for veteran help, is the right move. Brewer could start for them at small forward.

7 Minnesota: Brandan Wright - forward
Wright and Garnett have a lot of similarities, they could form a deadly duo at the forward positions. Wright shot 65% from the field, at the other end of the floor he averaged a steal and 2 blocks.

8 Charlotte: Roy Hibbert - center
He is a big body, and with Okafor sliding over to power forward the Bobcats could dominate inside. Hibbert shot close to 70% from the field this season, and he was not too bad on free throws too. His numbers were 67% from the field and 69% from the free throw line.

9 Chicago (from New York): Spencer Hawes - forward/center
Part of the Eddy Curry deal, wherever the Knicks' pick ends up the Bulls have the right to take it and give New York their much later selection. Hawes is a skilful center with passing ability and a variety of scoring moves, he could backup Wallace and also play alongside him. Hawes had a couple of assists and a couple of blocks every game, and for a big guy he can shoot and was good on 76% of his free throws.

10 Sacramento: Acie Law - point guard
They have to decide to rebuild and Law could step in and replace Mike Bibby. Law has good size for the point guard spot and his shooting has improved over his NCAA career, this season he shot 50% from the field and hit 46% of his 3-pointers.

11 Atlanta (from Indiana): Mike Conley - point guard
The Pacers can keep this pick but they have to get a top 3 spot in the lottery, the odds are not good for that happening. The Hawks could use a point guard and there should be a high-quality one available at this pick. Conley averaged over 6 assists per game.

12 Philadelphia: Al Thornton - forward
Power forward is their main concern. Thornton can play there but the official measurements will show if he is a bit undersized for the spot. With Dalembert ready to help out on defense they can go with Thornton at power forward. Thornton can score inside and out, his field goal percentage was 53% and he also hit 36 3-pointers at 44%.

13 New Orleans: Julian Wright - forward
The Hornets don't have one big specific need, so a versatile player like Julian Wright would be a solid pick. Wright could be a defensive wing, with Stojakovic there it would be a nice combo for Coach Scott to use. Wright was close to 1.5 steals and blocks per game, he also averaged around 8 rebounds.

14 LA Clippers: Josh McRoberts - forward
The Clippers underachieved this season and would not have been expecting to choose again in the lottery. With no real needs the Clippers will want a versatile player and McRoberts, who can play all the frontline positions, could be a good fit. McRoberts averaged 3.5 assists, 2.5 blocks and a steal last season with Duke.

15 Detroit (from Orlando): Ante Tomic - center
The Pistons' return from the Darko deal. Tomic is a bit taller than Milicic, and he would be another project center for them to draft and try to develop.

16 Washington: Jeff Green - forward
Green could give the Wizards a player that can replace what Jeffries did, but Green also brings scoring ability. He can defend, and had 5 blocks in one game and 3 steals in another, but he also scored at 51% from the field and was a good passer as well with over 3 assists per game.

17 New Jersey: Tiago Splitter - foward/center
Splitter has been starring at the highest level in Europe and would walk right into a starting spot with the Nets. That is if his European contract allows it, but a team would be more than willing to wait a year to get Splitter if there are buyout issues.

18 Golden State: Javaris Crittenton - point guard
It's the Don Nelson era again, and a tall point guard like Crittenton might be someone who fits with how they play. Not surprisingly, due to his length at 6-5, he gets a lot of steals. He is also a solid passer and shoots at a good percentage for a point guard.

19 LA Lakers: Marcus Williams - small forward
Small forward is the position for the Lakers to draft for, or they might use this pick to trade for another veteran. Williams was nearly in the last draft, he stayed another year and improved a lot of his game. He increased his scoring average to 17 points a game and also shot better from the field.

20 Miami: Alando Tucker - guard/forward
The Heat will want a player who is ready to contribute. Tucker is more than ready for the NBA. He doesn't have a lot of range on his shot, but the Heat have Kapono for that anyway. A big backcourt of Wade and Tucker could really punish other guards inside. Tucker scored 20 points at 47% during season 2007.

21 Philadelphia (from Denver): Glen Davis - power forward
The 76ers get a couple of extra first rounders from the Iverson deal. Glen "Big Baby" Davis would give the 76ers some bulk inside. If there is one team that knows what a “round mound” can do it is the 76ers.

22 Charlotte (from Toronto): Nick Young - shooting guard
The Cavs received this draft pick as well as Yogi Stewart for Lamond Murray, they then traded the pick to the Bobcats for Pavlovic. If the Bobcats go big earlier then a smaller player here makes sense, and if they draft a guard with their lotto pick then a project big might be the choice here. Nick Young has averaged around 17 points the past two years, he improved his shooting this season and was at 53% from the field.

23 New York (from Chicago): Brandon Rush - guard/forward
Curry is good, and he can score a lot of points, but he may not be worth the two lottery picks the Knicks gave the Bulls the past couple of drafts. The Knicks do get this pick from the Bulls. Rush would give the Knicks another scoring option. He is the best of the Rush brothers, and should have a much better career than JaRon and Kareem.

24 Phoenix (from Cleveland): Nick Fazekas - forward
The Celtics sent this pick from Cleveland to Phoenix a year ago when they acquired the rights to Rajon Rondo. Phoenix probably trade one of their later first rounders this year too, or they could draft an overseas prospect and leave them over there for a couple of years, but there is a chance they add three young stars for next season as this draft is very deep. Fazekas played his college basketball not far from Phoenix so they will have scouted him a lot, a big shooter at power forward would be a good addition to their team.

25 Utah: Aaron Gray - center
The Jazz like to have a big space-eater on their roster and Gray can do that. Not as tall as Mark Eaton or Greg Ostertag, but Gray is still a 7-footer and he brings plenty of bulk. Gray shot over 50% during all of his 4 years in college, the last two years he has averaged close to a double-double.

26 Houston: Rudy Fernandez - shooting guard
An extra shooting guard could take some of the load off McGrady. Fernandez is a quick player who can put up a lot of points. He will need to add muscle to combat some of the big NBA guards.

27 Detroit: Thaddeus Young - small forward
An interesting prospect, he has shown that he can shoot the outside shot, defend and handle the ball. Would provide a good player off the bench behind Prince and Hamilton.

28 San Antonio: Marc Gasol - center
A big player, not as skilled as his brother. If Marc Gasol does make it into the second round then the Grizzlies could have both as they pick first in the second round.

29 Phoenix: Jason Smith - forward/center
The Suns are always looking for height, Smith would help them rebound and defend the paint. They have Kurt Thomas, but the only other backup big-men for the Suns are Burke and Marks, so they could use several picks on tall players in this draft. Smith has been a possible draft pick the past couple of years and he strengthened his draft prospects with a double-double season this time, he also shot 58% from the field.

30 Philadelphia (from Dallas): Marco Belinelli - shooting guard
A scorer from Europe, the 76ers need some more offense and Belinelli could help them next season or could stay in Europe for a couple of years.

Roy Hibbert could dominate the paint in the NBA.(Picture from Getty Images)
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Comments
2 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]

Comment by Stanley

May 20th 2007 06:23
wow brave man for even predicting the order of the picks! but i do agree with your draft order nothing i could fault at all, great analysis. jianlian is already talked about in a big way.

Comment by Sports Insider

May 21st 2007 02:37
The first two picks are easy, and it has to be Oden at 1, but then there are around 20 players who could go in the other lottery spots.

Phoenix and Philadelphia, who could have 6 of the 30 first round picks, should make the draft interesting.

The draft lottery is going to change the order around soon, and maybe someone like Atlanta or Seattle could really turn their franchise around if they win the top pick.

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