2007 NBA Mock Draft (II)

Want more draft coverage? Also see Chad Kettner's 2007 NBA mock draft!

I can't remember a time when there's been more hype surrounding a draft than this year. I was too young to remember the 1984 draft. The 1996 draft turned out to be a juggernaut, but the best player from that draft, Kobe Bryant, went 13th, hardly sound scouting. Finally, I don't think anyone expected the 2003 draft to be as stacked as it has turned out to be.

The 2007 NBA draft is getting '84-type hype. Ohio State's Greg Oden and Texas' Kevin Durant are sure to be the top two picks in the draft. I must admit, I am quite giddy with the idea of a Portland team featuring Jarret Jack, Brandan Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Oden, and player to be named in the eventual Zach Randoloph trade. Here's to the Sonics and Blazers pulling a sign-and-trade swapping Randolph and Rashard Lewis, a deal that makes sense for both sides, which is probably why it won't happen.

But I digress.

At the NBA lottery designation, you could see the disdain on Jerry West and Tommy Heinshon's face as Roy held up the number one Portland jersey. The upside is this draft is loaded, and if everyone holds position and does not trade spots, which will happen, here's one man's take on where everyone should go.

1) Portland - Greg Oden — Obvious choice. Franchise center. In the last 27 years. there have been two determining factors in a team winning an NBA championship. A franchise center, or two Hall of Fame players. Look it up, it's all there.

2) Seattle - Kevin Durant — Obvious choice No. 2. I like him better than Greg Oden, and I can't wait to finally see him play live. He has a bigger upside than Oden, but let the stat above speak for itself.

3) Atlanta - Al Horford — This is where it gets dicey. In the last two drafts, the Hawks have needed a point guard. They have passed on Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Raymond Felton, and Rajon Rondo. Atlanta has five players who play the same position, and in last year's draft, with superior talent ahead of him, the Hawks took Shelden Williams, who is a poor man's Jason Collins at best. There are a couple of good point guards on the list, but please take Al Horford. He will sure up your front court and give you a beast to make up for the bust from last year's draft.

4) Memphis - Joakim Noah — Here's the thing, does Memphis pick the next best player in the draft in Brandan Wright or does it go for what it really needs, a guy who will give you a little bit of everything. With new head coach Marc Lavaroni coming in, you can bet the Grizz will be moving. They have three point guards, Kyle Lowry, Damon Stoudamire, and Chucky Atkins, so there's no need for Michael Conley, Jr. They have two players, Hakim Warrick and Stromile Swift, who fit the mold of Wright, long players with a lot of talent, but no hunger. Take the sure thing, and get yourself a winner.

5) Boston - Corey Brewer — The third straight Gator from the back-to-back national champions is a no-brainer for the Celts. With Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Al Jefferson, Corey Brewer will be just what the doctor ordered, a small forward slasher who will take away heat from Pierce on the offensive end, as well as add support on the defensive end.

6) Milwaukee - Brandan Wright — The guy has a chance to be something special. He can defend, rebound, and has an upside offensively to create havoc down low. Only problem ... does he want to? Add Wright to Charlie Villanueva, Andrew Bogut, Mo Williams, and Michael Redd, and that has the makings of a playoff team.

7) Minnesota - Jeff Green — If Kevin Garnett is going to stay in Minnesota, he needs immediate help. Jeff Green out of Georgetown can provide that. He can defend, shoot, and is old enough to come in right away and not miss a beat. The Big East Player of the Year has all the tools to help K.G. get back to the playoffs.

8) Charlotte - Julian Wright — With Michael Jordan calling the shots, I can assure you that's he not going to go for another one-dimensional player like he did with Adam Morrision last year. I also don't believe M.J. has the gall to go for a Chinese prospect. With that in mind, Charlotte will take the most versatile player with a lot of potential. Wright can play four different positions, which means a lot for a team that is stacked at the four, but is lacking everywhere else.

9) Chicago - Yi Jianlian — Chicago learned in the playoffs that an offensive post player is a must. I've never seen Yi play, but people are touting him as the second coming. So with this in mind, it seems logical that Chicago, needing a low-post scorer, would go after the most polished post player in the draft.

10) Sacramento - Al Thorton — This is the toughest pick. The Kings are in a dilemma because of the poor showing Brad Miller produced this past year. He looked like an impostor. I believe the Kings keep the faith in their star and go after some much-needed scoring. Thorton is 23-years-old, which means he's ready to go right now. With Reggie Theus' approach to coaching from New Mexico State — shoot-no-shame — he'll drool over Thorton's ability to fill it up.

11) Atlanta-Michael Conley — Would you look at who's still available ... Atlanta kills two birds with one draft. If Conley's not available, look for Acie Law to head south.

12) Philadelphia - Spencer Hawes — The Sixers are in need for some major post play. The nucleus of the two Andres, Iguodala and Miller, are all fine and good, but what is there after that. Samuel Dalembert is a good defender and rebounder, but lacks an offensive punch. Kyle Korver is a three-point specialist. Look for Philly to go offensive and grab Spencer Hawes and fill its post problems quickly.

13) New Orleans - Nick Young — With CP3 at the helm, all you need are spot up shooters and lane fillers. The Hornets have Peja Stojakovic to shoot and Tyson Chandler to board. Desmond Mason is hitting the market. Add USC's Young, and you got yourself a nice little foursome, including a tremendous backcourt that will compete for years to come.

14) Los Angeles Clippers - Acie Law — The problem for Los Angeles' other team is the unknown of Shaun Livingston. The franchise's future took an ugly spill last season, and blew out everything that is possible in his knee. Will he come back full strength, who knows? What is known is Acie Law can come in and start right away. It can be extra special to have him learning under Sam Cassell, two guys whose play is eerily similar. If Livingston comes back full strength, even better, if not, you're set.

15) Detroit - Rodney Stuckey — If Detroit learned anything last year, it's that you can't win it with you starting five alone. Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton are near the best at their positions, but the Pistons have no reliable backups. Lindsey Hunter is already collecting pension, Flip Murray is a streaky player, and Carlos Delfino hasn't been seen since 2004. Stuckey can play either the point or the two, and can succeed at both.

16) Washington - Jason Smith — Washington comes to the table with the Hibachi, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, and DeShawn Stevenson. Brenden Haywood and Etan Thomas split time at center. Smith gives the Wiz a more gifted post player and one that can give Washington a much needed post option to go along with the perimeter foursome.

17) New Jersey - Sean Williams — Williams may have only played half a season last year, which means he's rested, but he's what the Nets need, a post player with some attitude. Jason Kidd, Vince Carter (if he stays), and Richard Jefferson are the big three and with Nenad Kristic coming back, hopefully, the Nets are one post player from returning to Eastern Conference contender.

18) Golden State - Tiago Splitter — He's big, athletic, defensive, something Golden State desperately needs if they want to go from miracle team to serious contender. Splitter can run the floor and gives the Warriors an inside presence to go with their chaotic pace that stifled the Mavs in last season's playoffs.

19) Los Angeles Lakers - Javaris Crittenton — The Lakers are ultimately up a certain creek without a paddle. There are so many holes on this team that there's not one true pick that can help right the ship. Los Angeles is full of projects, and with the impending Kobe trade, or god-help-us miserable Laker-Kobe, there is no great pick. So why not pick up Crittenton, a great defender, something the Lakers desperately need; unselfish, works well with Kobe, and he's big.

20) Miami - Gabe Pruitt — Right now, the Heat rotate Gary Payton, Jason Williams, and Dwyane Wade at the point. Needless to say, fresh blood is needed. Pruitt showed in the tournament that he can run an offense and play good D.

21) Philadelphia - Thaddeus Young — Along with Spencer Hawes, the addition of Young immediately jumps the Sixers back into Philly prominence. Add his athleticism with Miller's playmaking ability, and Iguodala's all-around game and they will definitely make the playoffs next year in a weak East.

22) Charlotte - Morris Almond — What Charlotte really needs is someone to take the heat off of Gerald Wallace, one of the most underrated players in the NBA. Almond can straight up shoot the lights out, and at 22, will be one of the veterans, age-wise, on a team that is starting to come into focus.

23) New York - Marco Belineli — I'll be honest with you: Isiah Thomas scares me. He is an absolute genius at scouting talent — I mean, did you see Renaldo Balkman being a player? — neither did I. He's brought in the goods year after year during the draft, so as much as I think Belineli can be an asset to a team that is full of drivers and post up players, who truly knows?

24) Phoenix - Rudy Fernandez — As everyone found out in this year's playoffs, after the Suns starting six, who else is there? Kurt Thomas is a good defender and an excellent mid-range game, but that's about it. Fernandez can offer assistance at both shooting guard and small forward, allowing D'Antoni to expand the rotation and give guys like Raja Bell, Boris Diaw, and Shawn Marion a little more rest.

25) Utah - Arron Afflalo — Utah is one perimeter shot away from taking the next step to challenge the top three. Although Afflalo is not up there on the depth chart, you have to respect his shooting, and I think for this reason, Jazz grab him with the 25th pick. If not Afflalo, look for another sharp shooter to go here.

26) Houston - Glen Davis — The Rockets have an endless supply of backcourt players, but lack a true consistent big man to aid Yao Ming. Big Baby, if he stays in shape, can provide a myriad of offensive weaponry to a team that should be much better than they have been the past few years.

27) Detroit - Josh McRoberts — I really don't like McRoberts. I think he's soft, lacks heart, and who can forget him crying during the Duke/Carolina game? At the same time, he was a potential lottery pick last year. Detroit needs help down low and McRoberts can be a nice supporting cast member to a good Detroit team.

28) San Antonio - Petteri Kopenen — The champs need to address the backcourt. Tony Parker's game is in the paint, and constantly getting banged around sooner or later will catch up to him. Jacque Vaughn and Beno Udrih are not reliable backups. Kopenen is a better talent than both, and will provide exactly what the Spurs are looking for, keeping their international relations above par with the rest of the league.

29) Phoenix - Kyrylo Fesenko — It's hard to believe Phoenix will keep all their picks this year as they got rid of all their picks last year. Fesenko, however, can be an asset to a team in need of some frontcourt help. He's big and can run the field, cut right out of the Phoenix mold.

30) Philadelphia - Taurean Green — The last of the Gator top prospects, Green can truly be helpful for the Sixers to backup Andre Miller. He's a better option than Kevin Ollie at least.

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