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The Youngest Player in the NBA Andrew Bynum Gets Some NBALOUD Love. Plus, T-Mac and Yao Get Freaky for Houston

Recent discussion on NBALOUD in regards to the biggest surprises 
Andrew Bynum is making waves for the Lake Show.

so far in the NBA season failed to mention an eye opening development for a certain player in a storied franchise from Los Angeles. Readers of NBALOUD meet Andrew Bynum who at 17 years, eight months and two days was the youngest player ever to play for an NBA franchise last season  a record that surely will never be broken now there is a minimum age requirement for the league. Bynum is still the youngest player this season and so far has been a revelation.

Bynum is averaging 13 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game while establishing him as the centre of the present and future for the Lakers.

Here are some more numbers for young Andrew:

Date of Birth: October 27 1987
Height: 7-0 (2.13 cm)
Draft: 2005 (10th overall) picked by the LA Lakers

Andrew will also perhaps go down in history as the last high schooler to be drafted in the NBA after the league changed its eligibility laws. Bynum nominated himself for the draft due to the very fact that the NBA has mandated that any draftees are to be at least 19 years old, thus ensuring that the majority of their citizens would have at least one year of college under their belts.

The University of Connecticut was supposed to be his destination but NBA riches were a bigger lure. Who in the right mind wouldn’t take the NBA option over university? Show me one person who says otherwise and NBALOUD will show you a liar.

 

T-Mac was in a destructive mood today. (Image from wikipedia)

As the above mentioned statistics would attest Bynum is having a fine beginning in regards to his second season and in the match against Minnesota a few days ago Andrew had the impressive numbers of 20 points and 14 boards.

Working with Kareem must be paying off.

Moving towards league news today the Dallas Mavericks remain winless for the new season and are in dire straits with a 0-4 record. This opening losing streak is the worst start in franchise history and what is most shocking is that this Dallas team is the very same outfit that came within two wins from an NBA title last season. Those days earlier this year must seem like an eternity now.

Phoenix is also struggling with their own poor record going down to the San Antonio Spurs 111-106 in overtime. Steve Nash aka Stevie Wonder is still having a magnificent season but his team just can’t get over the hump. What is most perplexing is that last season without their most talented player in Amare Stoudemire they managed to go deep into the playoffs. Now, with Amare back they have lost their mojo.

Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady combined for a deadly 1-2 punch to lead the Houston Rockets to another victory. T-Mac dropped 32 and Yao scored 23  when both players are firing the opposition stand little hope of getting the win.

Today’s Results

Toronto def. Philadelphia 106-104
Washington def. Indiana 117-91
Orlando def. Seattle 88-87
NJ def. Utah 96-89
Boston def. Charlotte 110-108
San Antonio def. Phoenix 111-106
Houston def. Milwaukee 97-93
NY Knicks def. Denver 109-107
Portland def. LA Lakers 101-90
LA Clippers def. Dallas 103-85
Sacramento def. Detroit 99-86

Could Kobe Bryant take Showtime to Broadway?

Although the NBA season has come to an end with the Spurs being crowned kings of the hill, it doesn’t mean that the world of pro-hoops suddenly takes a hiatus till November. As a matter of fact the off season is interesting in its own right with the draft, trades and free agent signings all coming to the fore.

With the playoffs ending, we here at NBALOUD will give you dear readers the lowdown on the latest news and rumours regarding the Association.

Beginning with the Cleveland Cavaliers who were brutally exposed in their lack of offensive weapons after LeBron James is now reportedly interested in making a move for Mike Bibby.

Cleveland and Sacramento have engaged in discussion in the past in relation to acquiring Bibby, but those negotiations obviously fell through. Talk has apparently been renewed because Mike would be a great addition to the Cleveland line-up � he fulfills the Cavs need for a pure point guard, whilst being a nice second option behind Bron-Bron offensively.

Bibby will also greatly improve the woeful shooting of Cleveland from beyond the arc

Mike Bibby would be excellent in Cavs colours. (Image from nba.com)

because he ranked seventh in the league in 3-pointers, hitting 36 percent of his attempts. You can bet that King James would dearly love Mike to come on board.

Veteran Orlando forward, and all-round nice guy Grant Hill, who is a free agent this offseason, has reportedly expressed interest in joining the Suns, Pistons or Spurs if he doesn’t re-sign with the Magic. Hill has stated that he wants to play for a contender that has a light practice philosophy. Phoenix would be the best fit, because coach for Phoenix Mike D�Antoni, doesn’t really engage in heavy practice sessions, preferring to save the legs of his squad for game situations.

Speaking of the Suns, Shawn Marion has been rumoured to be offered as trade bait because the team wants to offload burdensome contracts. Boston has become a leading suitor, potentially giving up their fifth pick in the upcoming draft to get Marion. Losing the Matrix would be a massive blow for the Suns because he is the unsung hero of the squad and you can be assured that Phoenix would look long and hard at any potential deals.

Finally, the recently unhappy, then happy, then unhappy, Kobe Bryant is apparently a target for the New York Knicks. Isiah Thomas, who is both coach and president of the team, has vowed to be active in trying to bring both Kobe and Jermaine O�Neal to Gotham. Obviously, Thomas is living in dreamland because they have no assets worth trading for, and not only that, the malcontents on the Knicks are also on massive contracts. Only teams with certifiably insane front office personnel would even entertain trading with New York.

Today�s video is of the top 10 blocks from the past season. Watch Yao get rejected by little Nate Robinson for a second time this week. 

2007 NBA Mock Draft First Round

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.

Kevin Federline Beats Ron Artest

Now that Ron Artest�s album has been released for about two weeks
Sorry Ron but your album isn’t going to be number one.

 there would be more than one reader dying to know how much of a success his album has been. The pre-release hype in the basketball media was deafening with the talk of another Ron-Ron emerging through art.

The album �My World� was supposed to blow up and make Artest larger than his basketball playing thug persona. Has that happened? Well, do you really want to know all you fine readers out there in cyberspace?

Can we get a drum-roll please?

The official first week figures of units moved for Ron-Ron�s album is: 343 records sold!

Hmm, in any language that is a rather paltry effort. Come on! NBA fans go out there and blow your precious dollars on Ron-Ron�s album because I am sure it is a worthy purchase. I mean 

Think about it: Almost as many people bought this man’s record in comparison to Artest’s!

going through past history with NBA players releasing rap albums there is certainly a great pedigree there for all you hip hop aficionados for some quality MC�ing (cough, cough).

Does anyone want a little perspective on how badly Ron-Ron�s album sales figures have been? Kevin Federline�s album sold 6142 more albums than Artest�s! Talk about an emasculating statistic.

Ron-Ron should take heart that at least he outsold William Hung�s Christmas record by one � with that in mind it can�t be all bad right? Right?

In other NBA related news Kobe Bryant is being sued by an Arkansas man who has accused the Laker star of deliberately elbowing him during a game against the Grizzlies last year.

Ben Geeslin has accused Bryant of coming off court during a play, landing on him then intentionally and without provocation elbowing Benny boy. Geeslin seeks more than $75, 000 in unspecified injuries that required medical attention from the alleged incident.

Don�t you just love lawyers?

2007 NBA Mock Draft: First and Second Rounds

After the first two picks, it is going to be difficult to predict the NBA draft this year. There are many talented prospects from all over the world who could go in the lottery or might end up being a steal in the second round. Here are some predictions for the two rounds of the 2007 NBA draft.

Some big news among the underclassmen has changed the lottery. Hibbert is out of the draft, he would have been a lottery pick. There could be more underclassmen and also international players who withdraw in the coming weeks. The NBA will also release the official measurements of the prospects and that might move players up or down in the draft.
1 Portland
Greg Oden C (7-0 245) Ohio StateThe reason: He’s the biggest and the best available. He would have been the top pick last year, and probably the year before that too. He is a once a decade franchise center.
Trades to consider: They are not trading this pick, but could move someone like Randolph or Przybilla and there is also the possibility that they trade to get another pick to take Conley.

2 Seattle
Kevin Durant SF (6-10 190) Texas

The reason: Seattle just wait to see who Portland picks, and then they take Durant or Oden.
Trades to consider: They might want a sign-and-trade to get something for Rashard Lewis, but that will occur later in the offseason. Ray Allen doesn’t have a lot left, he could help a contender and Seattle could get a fresh start and build the team around Durant.

3 Atlanta
Mike Conley PG (6-0 170) Ohio State

The reason: The Hawks need a point guard, they have to figure out if they take one here or if they wait until pick 11.
Trades to consider: It might be time to trade Childress, and maybe one of the Williams forwards too.

4 Memphis
Al Horford PF (6-9 235) Florida

The reason: They need to get Gasol some help inside, Horford would be a good fit.
Trades to consider: Stoudamire doesn’t really fit as they are rebuilding, they might be able to find a team that could use him.

5 Boston
Joakim Noah F/C (6-11 230) Florida

The reason: They missed on Oden but they still need a center, Jefferson can take the scoring load inside and Noah could take charge, and also take charges, on the defensive end.
Trades to consider: They might look to rebuild and their older players would not be part of that plan.

6 Milwaukee
Corey Brewer G/F (6-8 185) Florida

The reason: Brewer can help at several positions and he plays hard at both ends of the floor. The Bucks only ended up in this part of the draft because of injuries so they will want to add another young star to Redd, Bogut and Villanueva as they won’t be picking this high for a long time.
Trades to consider: Bobby Simmons might be a player they try to move.

7 Minnesota
Brandan Wright PF (6-10 210) North Carolina

The reason: Brandan Wright could go at pick 3, so he is a very talented player and if he is still around at this spot it would be a good pick for Minnesota as they get some help inside for Garnett.
Trades to consider: They need to remove some of their guards, so James, Hudson and Jaric might be candidates for a trade.

8 Charlotte
Julian Wright SF (6-9 220) Kansas

The reason: He is an exciting player who can play two or three positions and as the Bobcats don’t have one real need to address they can take Wright who will help in several areas.
Trades to consider: Othella Harrington didn’t do a lot for the Bobcats, maybe they send the veteran to a new team.

9 Chicago
Yi Jianlian PF (7-0 230) China

The reason: A bonus pick for a very strong Bulls team, they don’t have a big need so they can take who they think has the best potential. Depending on the picks before this spot, it could be Yi, Noah or one of the Wrights that the Bulls take. Yi has the height of a center but eventually he might play small forward, the position that he eventually plays will also be affected by what team drafts him. He could be a center for the Celtics, a small forward for Milwaukee, and if the Bulls do get him he could start his career as a backup to Tyrus Thomas at power forward.
Trades to consider: The Bulls could be looking to see what Nocioni would return in trade.

10 Sacramento
Spencer Hawes C (7-0 230) Washington

The reason: The Kings need to get younger. Hawes would give them a young center to build around.
Trades to consider: It seems they are looking to trade Artest, other veterans like Bibby and Abdur-Raheem could go too.

11 Atlanta (from Indiana)
Tiago Splitter PF (7-0 240) Brazil

The reason: If they go small earlier then they need a center here, Splitter might stay in Europe for another year but the Hawks can be patient.
Trades to consider: Everyone will be calling the Hawks to try to get pick 3, and pick 11 will also be a valuable asset for them.

12 Philadelphia
Josh McRoberts PF (6-10 230) Duke

The reason: Power forward is the position they need to look at. McRoberts can do whatever the 76ers need, he is a very versatile player.
Trades to consider: The 76ers have plenty of other picks in this draft, they might be able to combine some of them with this pick and move up a few spots. A team like Minnesota or Memphis might want to exchange their higher pick for a couple the 76ers’ selections.

13 New Orleans
Jeff Green SF (6-8 225) Georgetown

The reason: Mason may not be back so Green could step right into the lineup.
Trades to consider: There is no need to keep both Hilton Armstrong and Cedric Simmons, either of those big-men could get the Hornets another first round pick in this draft.

14 LA Clippers
Acie Law PG (6-3 185) Texas A&M

The reason: Livingston will miss the year, Cassell is very old, a point guard prospect is the way to go. Law is a very good shooter, so when Livingston does return Law could play the shooting guard spot on offense with Livingston playing the point.
Trades to consider: There is often talk about Maggette being traded, Mobley might be another player they try to move.

15 Detroit (from Orlando)
Al Thornton F (6-7 210) Florida State

The reason: They do miss a scoring option off the bench, Thornton could play both forward spots and put up points quickly, just like Corliss Williamson used to do for the Pistons.
Trades to consider: Losing in the playoffs the way they did, and Billups’ free agency, could cause the Pistons to change things around. Rasheed Wallace might not be someone that Dumars wants to keep.

16 Washington
Thaddeus Young SF (6-8 210) Georgia Tech

The reason: The Wizards used to start Jared Jeffries alongside Jamison, Butler and Arenas. Thaddeus Young could also fill that role and he would bring a lot more scoring and better ball-handling than Jeffries ever did, and Young is also an athletic defender.
Trades to consider: Haywood is already gone. They should find a team eager to send them something useful for the big 7-footer.

17 New Jersey
Jason Smith PF (7-0 230) Colorado State

The reason: There is uncertainty over Krstic, Smith will give them another big body who can score and rebound.
Trades to consider: They might be listening to offers for Kidd, Jefferson or Carter. Carter is now a free agent so that would have to be a sign-and-trade.

18 Golden State
Javaris Crittenton PG (6-5 180) Georgia Tech

The reason: Crittenton could go anywhere from pick 11 to 27, and he would be a good fit next to Joe Johnson if Atlanta do take a point guard at 11, and a big at pick 3. The Warriors have a team of versatile, multiple-position players and if Crittenton is still available at this pick he would be a good fit with Davis and Ellis.
Trades to consider: It seems they are looking to trade Sarunas Jasikevicius. They would probably like to also move Adonal Foyle but there are not any takers for him, and his contract, at the moment.

19 LA Lakers
Aaron Gray C (7-0 270) Pittsburgh

The reason: If they do make a big trade, they will need to include Kwame Brown for salary-cap reasons. Mihm, who was injured, will be a free agent. So the Lakers might want to get another center. Gray would be a good backup for Bynum. Coach Jackson has always used a big body, like Cartwright or Longley, to fill up the paint and Gray can do that.
Trades to consider: It seems like there could be a blockbuster involving the Lakers, and they will try to get a big star like Jermaine O’Neal or Rashard Lewis.

20 Miami
Nick Young SG (6-6 200) USC

The reason: The Heat need to find more scoring, they might be able to start Wade, Young and Wright next season, with Haslem and O’Neal in the big spots. That lineup would give them three young and athletic scorers, and with Kapono off the bench they could put up big scores without relying on Shaq.
Trades to consider: The Heat don’t have a lot to offer, but they can get creative and might be able to work something involving Walker, Williams or Posey.

21 Philadelphia (from Denver)
Glen Davis PF (6-9 290) LSU

The reason: The 76ers need a strong inside player to crash the glass and score in the paint, “Big Baby” can do that.
Trades to consider: They have already tried to trade Hunter, maybe they should try again to see if they can move him.

22 Charlotte (from Toronto)
Gabe Pruitt PG (6-4 170) USC

The reason: Felton will need some help, Pruitt can begin as his backup at the point and there could also be times when Felton and Pruitt can play together in the backcourt.
Trades to consider: Plenty of teams will want to trade for a first round pick, the Bobcats might get a good offer for pick 22.

23 New York
Alando Tucker G/F (6-5 205) Wisconsin

The reason: The Knicks added defensive players last year, drafting Balkman and signing Jeffries, adding Tucker in the draft would give them a very good scorer.
Trades to consider: Marbury might need to go, as the Knicks build around Curry, Lee and Frye.

24 Phoenix (from Cleveland)
Ante Tomic C (7-2 240) Croatia

The reason: The Suns always need height, here is a big prospect who might interest them. Tomic could go much earlier, his individual workouts will be very important in determining his draft spot.
Trades to consider: The Suns are reportedly looking to move a big-salary player, possibly Diaw.

25 Utah
Rudy Fernandez SG (6-6 172) Spain

The reason: Shooting guard is still a problem for the Jazz, Fernandez might be the answer. While they did take Brewer last year, he is also an option at small forward while Fernandez might be able to play some occasional point guard.
Trades to consider: There has been talk about moving Kirilenko, he is a great defensive player but at his salary he doesn’t produce enough points.

26 Houston
Nick Fazekas PF (6-11 225) Nevada

The reason: A power forward with an outside shot can stop teams doubling on Yao. Fazekas stayed another year in college and showed extended range last season hitting 43% of his 3-pointers.
Trades to consider: Howard and Alston are inconsistent, the Rockets couldt look to trade them, it might depend on who they draft and sign as well as the readiness of someone like Head or Hayes to start now.

27 Detroit
Marcus Williams SF (6-7 207) Arizona

The reason: A versatile player to backup Prince and Hamilton.
Trades to consider: If the Pistons get someone they really like with their earlier pick then they might want to trade this selection.

28 San Antonio
Marco Belinelli SG (6-6 200) Italy

The reason: The Spurs are always careful with their salary cap, if they draft an overseas player then they might leave them for a year or two before bringing them over.
Trades to consider: Jackie Butler played well when he had minutes with the Knicks, the Spurs might look to get a future pick for him if they are bringing over Scola.

29 Phoenix
Bobby Brown PG (6-1 170) CS Fullerton

The reason: Banks is not going to be the answer for a backup point guard role so Brown gives them another option.
Trades to consider: Their window closes when Nash gets too old, maybe they use this pick or both their picks to add another veteran for immediate help next season.

30 Philadelphia (from Dallas)
Morris Almond SG (6-6 215) Rice

The reason: The 76ers should have added players for specific needs with their earlier picks, with this one they can take a prospect that they think could be a steal and Almond might develop into a big scorer.
Trades to consider: This is their third pick of the first round, so they might trade it for a future first.

31 Seattle (from Memphis)
Rodney Stuckey SG (6-4 205) Eastern Washington
Seattle and Portland have plenty of second round picks, if Stuckey doesn’t go in the first round then one of those Pacific North-West teams will take him. A great scorer, he is the same size as Ray Allen but does not have his range.

32 Boston
Jared Dudley SF (6-7 220) Boston College
Dudley improved his game during his senior season, he increased his rebounding and scoring averages and more importantly he also shot much better from long range.

33 San Antonio (from Milwaukee)
Marc Gasol C (7-1 265) Spain
A big guy with international experience. The Spurs can leave him in Europe for a few years.

34 Dallas (from Atlanta)
Taurean Green PG (6-0 177) Florida
A smaller point guard but he has the championships to show he can play. He passed the ball a lot more in 2006, in the 2007 season he showed that he could shoot the ball at a much higher percentage.

35 Seattle
Mustafa Shakur PG (6-3 183) Arizona
His four years in college produced very similar stats, that isn’t bad because he was good as a freshman with 4.5 assists per game and he also shot over 50% in his first year. He did push his assists per game to nearly 7 this season so that should be something scouts look at.

36 Golden State (from Minnesota)
Kyle Visser C (6-11 244) Wake Forest
He came out of nowhere with a big senior year after not doing a lot in previous seasons. Visser went from 5 points to 17 and from 4 rebounds to 7 per game. The Warriors often need help among their bigs and Visser might find a role there.

37 Portland
Derrick Byars SF (6-7 220) Vanderbilt
He brings some versatility with passing and getting steals, he is probably a small forward in the NBA but he might be able to play shooting guard too. He can put up points but his shot isn’t the most consistent.

38 Philadelphia (from New York)
Kyrylo Fesenko PF (7-0 240) Ukraine
A tall prospect who will be drafted this year or next year, he could still withdraw from this draft. He won’t be able to help a team right away so it could be a few years before he wears a uniform in the NBA.

39 Orlando (from Sacramento)
Trey Johnson SG (6-5 218) Jackson State
If Taurean Green lasts to this pick he might be someone Orlando really wants. The Magic did draft a shooter last year but there is room for another on the roster. Trey can hit the 3.

40 LA Lakers (from Charlotte)
Arron Afflalo SG (6-5 210) UCLA
It could be a popular pick, with the fans and also with Farmar. Afflalo was nearly in the draft last year, he will probably go in the same place as he would have then, as he hasn’t improved into a definite first rounder. His outside shot is still inconsistent and he didn’t improve many of his stats this season.

41 Minnesota (from Philadelphia)
Herbert Hill PF (6-10 240) Providence
He doubled a lot of his stats and nearly averaged a 20-10 in his senior season. Teams are always looking for size in the second round and he should be selected.

42 Portland (from Indiana)
Stanko Barac C (7-2 235) Bosnia
When they are this big it is certainly worth a second round pick. Drafting him would be a long-term investment.

43 New Orleans
Antanas Kavaliauskas F/C (6-10 250) Texas A&M
A solid offensive player with good skills, he could give them a different kind of center when compared to the shotblockers they have there now.

44 Orlando
Mario Boggan PF (6-7 235) Oklahoma State
He can play taller than his listed height, although it is a big step from college to the NBA for a short power forward. He doesn’t have NBA 3-point range and he isn’t too quick so he might not be able to play small forward.

45 LA Clippers
Daequan Cook SG (6-5 210) Ohio State
He could go in the first round, his individual workouts will show whether he can play or if he produced because he was on a great college team. He can play and he did show that as he produced when Oden was out, his free throw numbers are a bit of a concern as he was only around 70%.

46 Golden State (from New Jersey)
Curtis Sumpter F (6-7 220) Villanova
He is a quality player, he defends and scores at a good percentage, but he might not have a position in the NBA. His range is getting better and he might be able to extend it to 3-point range.

47 Washington
JR Reynolds SG (6-3 197) Virginia
He will want to show NBA teams that he can play some point guard. Thanks to teams like the Wizards and Warriors, combo guards are coming back. One thing Reynolds can do is get to the free throw line, he takes and makes a lot of free throws.

48 LA Lakers
Demetris Nichols SF (6-8 210) Syracuse
He’s a scorer who increased his field goal percentage and 3-point percentage every year, he also shot his best free throw numbers in his senior season.

49 Chicago (from Golden State)
Jermareo Davidson PF (6-10 230) Alabama
He should find a team in the draft who want his rebounding and shotblocking.

50 Dallas (from Miami)
Reyshawn Terry SF (6-8 228) North Carolina
A solid scorer who can get his points all over the court.

51 Chicago (from Denver)
Lee Humphrey G (6-2 192) Florida
A shooter, NBA teams always need those. The Bulls’ GM knows the importance of having a great shooter on the floor. The “other guy” on the Florida teams, Humphrey shot plenty of his college 3-pointers from NBA range.

52 Portland (from Portland)
Aaron Brooks PG (5-11 160) Oregon
The Portland fans won’t need anything else after hearing that Oden is theirs, but a local product like Brooks would also be appreciated.

53 Portland (from Chicago)
Brad Newley SG (6-6 200) Australia
It is unlikely that Portland keep all of their second round picks, but if they don’t trade them they could also avoid crowding their roster if they take a few overseas prospects. Newley could find a spot on their bench, or be allowed to develop for a few years overseas.

54 Orlando (from Cleveland)
Carl Landry PF (6-7 250) Purdue
He put up plenty of points at a high percentage, but it won’t be easy for him in the NBA at his height.

55 Utah
Mike Nardi PG (6-0 175) Villanova
A solid player who knows how to run a team. While Utah have a great starting point guard, they will have to look at the backup spot with Fisher getting old and Dee Brown may not be a long-term answer.

56 Milwaukee (from Houston)
Dominic James PG (5-11 175) Marquette
It always makes a team popular when they take a local player in the draft. The Bucks might also need to find some more point guard depth, they have a couple of possible free agents at that position.

57 Detroit
Ron Lewis SG (6-4 200) Ohio State
Florida should get at least four players drafted and Ohio State could also have four players going to the NBA if Lewis finds a team. His outside shooting can be streaky but he can also get to the free throw line and he hits his shots there.

58 San Antonio
Renaldas Seibutis SG (6-5 180) Lithuania
Another shooter for the Spurs. They can strike gold late in the draft, and the Spurs will have plenty of international prospects on their draft list.

59 Phoenix
Ivan Radenovic PF (6-10 225) Arizona
A tall guy with a shot. It doesn’t hurt that he went to Arizona.

60 Dallas
Ali Traore PF (6-10 250) France
The Mavs could use another inside scoring option.

Have a look at the official NBA site for news on the prospects as well as a consensus mock draft.
NBA.COM draft page

The 2008 NBA All-Star Game Starters Have Been Announced.

The All-Star Game starters have been announced and there was one massive surprise out west � Allen Iverson nabbed one of the starting guard positions! Well, done AI.

Boston Celtics forward, Kevin Garnett led the voting with 2,399,148. KG, participating in his
Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson.

‘Melo and AI are two badass ballers for Denver. (Michael Martin/NBAE/Getty Images)
11th straight mid-season classic, will for the first time suit up for the Eastern Conference. Following Garnett in vote numbers is LeBron James, with first time starter Dwight Howard, Nets guard, Jason Kidd and Dwayne Wade rounding off the rest of the leading lights out east.

Wade�s participation in New Orleans follows a trend that has been evident in every All-Star Game: a player who balls for a horrendous team still gets a place as a starter. Miami are having a forgettable season, with the game a respite from the grind of constant humiliation: “It’ll be the first enjoyment in a while,” Wade said.

“Being an All-Star, it’s amazing to be there with the other great players around the league. It’s a special weekend. Everyone makes you feel so special. It’ll be great, and it totally takes your mind off your season.” (Mahoney, AP, 2008)

Congratulations must go out to Jason Kidd too who makes his first starting appearance out east since moving to that side of America in 2001. Finally, the fans had recognised the ill skillz the man possesses.

Moving onto the Western Conference, Kobe Bryant was the leading vote getter, with the ever present Yao Ming and Tim Duncan joining the Bean, and of course the aforementioned, Allen Iverson who got the numbers after a late surge in votes, overtaking Tracy McGrady along the way.

When the final update was released two weeks ago, Iverson was 80, 000 votes behind T-Mac, and ended up beating the Rockets guard by 10, 410 votes when it was all said and done.

AI will be joined in the starting line-up with fellow Denver Nugget, Carmelo Anthony, who also got the approval of the fans. This marks the first time two players from the Nuggets had been voted by the fans as starters since Alex English and Fat Lever accomplished the feat many moons ago.

Congrats to the All-Star starters. Here are the final numbers.

2008 NBA ALL-STAR BALLOTING TOP 10
OVERALL LEADING VOTE-GETTERS

 

(Source: NBA.com)

Today’s video is of Allen Iverson’s 2001 All-Star Game MVP Performance.