Wednesday, June 28, 2006

NBA Mock Draft: The Lottery

I don't really have the time nor desire to do a full first-round mock, or even the full draft mock, but I'll go with the first 14 picks. Here they are, how I think it will wind up (presuming there are no trades, which is a very premature statement but one I'll make for the purposes of this post!)

1) Toronto Raptors - Andrea Bargnani - If they don't trade the pick, I think Bargnani is the guy, especially with the hiring of the GM of Bargnani's old team as the Raptors assistant. He's being compared to everyone from Dirk to Darko to Skita (all wrong), but he seems to be more like a Vladimir Radmanovic with a better inside game. I have no idea how ready he is to play right away, but he'll be a very nice player in the NBA with his inside/outside game.

2) Chicago Bulls - LaMarcus Aldridge - I think this pick will probably be either Tyrus Thomas or LaMarcus Aldridge, judging by everything I've read. I like Thomas more, I think Aldridge will be the pick, as he is the more "true" center and probably a little more ready to contribute on the offensive end, although Thomas is the more athletic player and better defender.

3) Charlotte Bobcats - Rudy Gay - As John Hollinger said in his chat, the fact that the Bobcats are looking mainly at Gay or fellow SF Adam Morrison is a little baffling, becuase Gerald Wallace was actually their best player last year, and he just so happens to play SF. I think Brandon Roy would be a great fit here, and while I'm not fully convinced they'll pass on Roy, Gay looks more and more like the pick here.

4) Portland Trailblazers - Adam Morrison - Morrison seems to be the choice here if he falls here, because he fits a need and he's the most popular player in the draft from a fan's standpoint. And he is a great scorer, but I'm not sure his all-around game measures up to being the #4 pick, but well, I have no say in it. LaMarcus Aldridge is also a possible pick here if he's on the board.

5) Atlanta Hawks - Shelden Williams - From all reports around the web, Williams is going to the Hawks, whether it's here or if it's involved with a trade. I'm not in love with this pick, and I think they should go with Marcus Williams, but S. Williams is a polished player, very good defensively (although he has a propensity to pick up fouls), and can contribute right away. Or at least, that's what Billy Knight will say.

6) Minnesota Timberwolves - Tyrus Thomas - Thomas does play basically the same position as Kevin Garnett, but I think the Wolves would really like Thomas to fall to #6. Both players are so athletic that I think you can player Thomas/Garnett at the 4/5 and not really give anything up on either end of the floor. Randy Foye is also a definite possibility here, as is Brandon Roy if he's on the board, but I think Thomas or Aldridge will be the pick if they're still on the board.

7) Boston Celtics - Brandon Roy - It's been pretty impossible to get a read on what the Celtics will do here, leading me to believe they'll just take the best player available, regardless of position. Roy would be a great fit, he can play multiple positions, and he's the most ready-to-play guy of anyone in the draft.

8) Houston Rockets - Randy Foye - The Rockets are praying for Brandon Roy, but I don't think you can be too disappointed with Foye. Foye's an excellent player on both ends. He can create his own shot (which can't be said for anyone in Houston except T-Mac), he doesn't have health problems (a la JJ Redick), and he's a good defender. With T-Mac and Yao, he wouldn't have to do a whole lot, and that'd be ok.

9) Golden State Warriors - Patrick O'Bryant - I've seen more talk lately about the Warriors possibly leaning towards taking a guy like Rodney Carney here, but I think they wind up taking O'Bryant. He's a bit of a project, but the Warriors do have Ike Diogu looking to get more minutes as well, so they wouldn't need O'Bryant to play a whole lot right away. His stock has been soaring, so much so that it wouldn't shock me if a lot of teams look at him as the best C prospect in the draft.

10) Seattle Supersonics - Cedric Simmons - I think the Sonics will be happy if either Simmons or O'Bryant falls to them here at 10. Simmons doesn't have a great offensive game, but he's a very solid defensive player, and very athletic, which is basically what Seattle needs, since they sucked defensively. I think this is a little high for Simmons, but it'd be a solid pick for the Sonics.

11) Orlando Magic - Ronnie Brewer - There's been some talk that the Magic might target a shooter like JJ Redick, but I think the multi-dimensional Brewer is too good to pass up here. Brewer's an excellent defensive player, a decent shooter, and he can play a couple different positions, which makes him a good fit on a young, emerging team like the Magic. Really nice pick here for Orlando if they make it.

12) New Orleans Hornets - Rodney Carney - Carney is not great at creating a shot for himself, but that's ok becuase he does lots of other things very well. He's a solid spot-up shooter, he can get out on the break better than anyone else in the draft, and he can be a lockdown defender. On a team with Chris Paul, this would seem to be a perfect fit.

13) Philadelphia 76ers - Marcus Williams - I've written at length about Marcus Williams, so if you read any of that, you'll know I think this would be a great pick here for my favorite team, and this would pretty much make the draft cool no matter what else happens!

14) Utah Jazz - JJ Redick - Talk has been more persistent about the Jazz going after a big man like Hilton Armstrong or Saer Sene, but in the end, I think they go with the shooter. I have grave doubts about Redick's ability to consistently produce in the NBA, but he is a great shooter, and for that reason, I think the Jazz will take him here with the final pick in the lottery.

And that's all for me. Of course, I'll have all my reactions up late after the draft, so be sure to check back then. For more draft coverage, check out Critical Fanatic's breakdowns of each position, and watch the draft on Wednesday night!

6 comments:

Zach Landres-Schnur said...

what happened to williams?!?

twins15 said...

Looks like character and conditioning issues were a big concern for GM... no other reason he should have ever fallen to 22 in the draft.

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